Month: January 2011

Hosni Mubarak awaits his fate – Egypt Revolution

Following on from Tunisia public awakening or rather up rise against their government has had a knock on affect in surrounding countries.  The news mediums are busy as ever reporting on demonstrations against Egypt’s government – what little trickles out is a blessing as the 30 year dictatorial regime of Mubarak comes to an end – and communications mediums are taken down by the government in an attempt to control the situation ahead of the world opinion.

It’s becoming more and more difficult in imagining how Hosni Mubarak will be able to suppress this latest mass up-rise of its people.  Three decades of dictatorship is now being challenged by the common man.  I will be amazed if Hosni Mubarak stays in power for much longer. Friday demonstrations were feared the most, as the Mosques in Egypt are full with both men and women during the afternoon prayers.

This will have a profound affect on other neighbouring countries, countries who have a similar or poor government – not keen on listening to the public.  I guess they are making their own preparations to counter any similar anti-government demonstrations.  It is largely believed that, in that part of the world such public awakening catches on quick with neighbouring countries.

I am particularly interested in how Egypt’s or rather Hosni Mubarak allies in the region will react to these turn of events – Israel in particular have used Egypt in the past to broken deals with other Muslim countries in the region – bear in mind the general population of Egypt is anti-Israel, some who fail to recognise Israel as a legitimate state.  It will be interesting to see how Israel views the revolution folding in Egypt as Mr Mubarak was critical in Israel and Palestinian peace process.

The west mainly United States will no doubt be rethinking their strategy in dealing and supporting Egypt.  My bet would be that Mr Obama would like to play it safe – supporting both Hosni Mubarak and the general public.  While the unrest continues in Egypt – government led brutality against its people is becoming more evident, Mr Obama needs to be seen denouncing such brutality as public opinion was already against America for decades.  The administration also reacted sharply to the Egyptian government’s extraordinary move to shut down the Internet, social networking Web sites, texting and other wireless communications. Mr. Obama called on the government to reverse the steps, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described as “unprecedented.”

Could this be a start of a regional revolution?  A revolution which rejects western imposed dictators after World War One and Two – and supports a change in favour of Islamic religion and local culture.  This part of the world is strategically very important and the west will be dragging their feet in supporting Hosni Mubarak especially if the signs are there of his dictatorship coming to an end.

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Dead Poets Society – Take The Road Less Travelled On

Dead Poets Society - Awakening TempestInspiration is a wonderful experience and we hold close to heart the things from which we receive inspiration from.  I have watched for the first time ‘Dead Poets Society’ and I have truly been touched.  It was produced in 1989 and is almost as old as me but the lessons taught in this movie can most definitely be applied today.

Here is the official trailer:

My personal belief is that one’s body, mind, spirituality and emotions needs to be ready to receive inspiration, and inspiration can be drawn from anything as long as you are ready to accept it.  Had I watched Dead Poets Society years ago I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it as I have done now – why because my mind and spirituality is ready to accept inspiration but may not have been years ago.  Some have trouble understanding how to define the word ‘inspiration’, for me its simple – it’s a combination of vision, determination, courage and to be different.  This is what inspiration means to me.

What really makes this movie special is how the teacher (who is part of an established system but has challenged it before) encourages its students to think differently from what was known to be normal, to be free from the system they enrolled to and to rise to a new level beyond the level that was expected, to explore their fears to become fearless.  This is not a review of the movie by any means – but I would like to touch upon few words that were said in the movie – words which sends shivers down your spine – especially if you’re prepared to understand the real meaning behind them.

Once again, the words used are magical and really do challenge the system – something which we can apply today.  Check out the video below of just one example of brilliance:

Notice how the students (casual people) are amazed when something different or out of the ordinary happens (the teacher walks out whistling) – how the confusion of the masses occurs.  The confusion continues when they are asked to follow (come out to the hall way by the teacher) or do something that is not normal to the system.  In the end the students still seem to be confused but unsure.  This for me is how our society is today confused in masses.

I have watched this movie twice in as many weeks and hope to watch it again some point this week – it is that good, I just don’t feel that I have been able to absorb all of what is given from this movie.

Another fine example of a touching moment is when the teacher takes the students out to a court yard, and encourages them to engage in an activity, the following is said:

“Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular. Even though the heard may go ” That’s bad.” Robert Frost said, ” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” I want you to find your own walk right now, your own way of striding, pacing: any direction, anything you want. Whether it’s proud or silly. Anything. Gentlemen, the courtyard is yours. You don’t have to perform. Just make it for yourself…”

This moment in the movie (for me) is when the students have been prepared to start thinking different, to do what the society least expects or scared to do.  It’s about making a difference and that difference is what changes the world.

This post on the Dead Poets society is by no means concluded, as I will no doubt want to add to this later, as I continue to watch the movie again and again.

My advice to you is ‘it’s a must’ and I’ll go as far as saying buy it and add to your DVD collection – you never know when you might need to draw more inspiration, vision, determination and courage out of it.
It’s basically a master piece.

Statistics Prove Jack Straw WRONG and bias

I wrote an article about Jack Straw and his racial political motivated stunt to gain blocks of white votes days before a by-election.  Upon further research just to understand the magnitude of this problem and most importantly the racial connection between Pakistani men praying on vulnerable women – I found some very interesting statistics over at Pickled Politics:

Table 5.4b of this pdf shows that, in the latest year for which we have data, Lancashire police arrested 627 people for sexual offences. 0.3% of these were Pakistanis. That’s two people. 85.5% were white British. In Lancashire, there are 1,296,900 white Brits and 45,000 Pakistanis. This means that 4.163 per 10,000 white Brits were arrested for a sex crime, compared to 0.44 Pakistanis. If you’re a journalist, you might say that the chances of being arrested for a sex crime are nine times greater if you’re white than Pakistani.

Testing Jack Straws claims against actual facts prove how ill educated Jack Straw is – who happened to be Foreign Secretary for our country once upon a time.

Further investigation also revealed some interesting news that his brother William Straw had been found guilty of an indecent assault on a 16-year-old girl ‘White Women’ who Jack Straw refers to as ‘Easy Meat’ – he was placed on the sex offenders register for the next five years.  You can read the BBC news report here.

Jack Straw – Pakistani Men vs Easy Meat – I smell an election close by..

..and by doing a quick search on the Internet – there is a crucial by-election only days away.  I mean is this guy for real, playing the racial card now when an election is just around the corner?

I’m sure most of you have heard by now the comments by Jack Straw, if you haven’t then click here.

Jack Straw this really is your last straw, as his party wavering support from the Pakistani Community in reduces even more – his new tactic is to give them the boot and play the racial card in the hope of gaining White votes in this by-election.  This is a cheap publicity/political stunt and a stunt which will cost his dearly both with his party election results and his reputation (or what was left of it).

Instead of dealing with the breakdown of our society, detachment of children from their parents due to many factors we demonise an entire race group.  Our society has been collapsing for decades and factors such as binge drinking, drug abuse and increase in drug dealing in the street as added a layer of detachment from our family values – values which should hold families together, neighbours together and whole communities together.  Jack Straw has simplified this social problem into a racial one few days before a by-election.

Is he really saying that white people and people of other ethnicity do not traffic in White Women or take advantage of vulnerable white girls – who Jack refers to as ‘Easy Meat’?  That this problem exists just in Pakistani communities and we should all watch out for this or even better get their communities to deal with it?

This guy needs a reality check, and quickly too.  Politicians need to behave responsibly and with accountability.  If Jack Straw was so sure of his views then I’d like to see some statistics to back up this claims but I guess Jack Straw hasn’t gone that far, as doing so would take valuable time away from his party by-election campaign – so a cheap racial political motivated publicity stunt might just give him them result they need – he then can apologise later.

Pakistani Men vs White Girls

Jack Straw has made this to be a ‘them’ vs ‘us’ again.  A decent politician who has a good head on his shoulders would stand up for all vulnerable people (boy and girls, white or black, and people of different colour) against people who take advantage of them.  But Jack Straw is not standing up for vulnerable people against sex offenders.

Instead, Jack Straw is standing up for ‘White Girls’ against ‘Pakistani Men’ and if you’re not a white girl but are vulnerable then there is no hope for you.  As many critics have put it – he is turning this into a question of race when we have no evidence of race playing any part in this.  It’s similar in saying ALL Catholics are paedophiles, because child abuse is rampant within the priesthood.

A social problem not a racial problem

While I don’t deny that men of different ethnicity can carry out such crime at the same time I cannot see how Pakistani men can be singled out here.  The crime which is committed is terrible, horrific and cannot be justified – but some social elements have contributed to this.  In such cases these criminals are stronger people because their victims have poor support networks, poor relationships and little or no security and help from their parents or guardians, or good role models.

One obvious problem is the reason why it is possible for poor, insufficient social systems to continue and not improve.  Why no effort is made in educating families in improving ties with their children, try to reduce the gap between vulnerable people and their families.  The social systems have set the mindsets of many who say ‘Children who take drugs, or who are prostitutes, or who have behavioural problems’ are the reasons why we are having a social collapse and getting worse.

But if you step back for a moment and take a fresh look at it all again – you will realise that too often, people simply do not stop to realise that Children have no say in where they are born, or how they are raised – but by the time they are old enough and wise enough to choose ‘who or what they want to be’ their choices are limited or shaped by their life experiences.

These are causes of a poor social system and not root causes, and while people continue to have such mindsets vulnerable people will continue to be exploited by anyone not just Pakistani Men, and they will continue to be mistreated and badly let down by poor social systems which we do not have the will power to change.

The Pakistani parents in England are part of your society much like everyone else is – they  share the same concerns as their white counter parts and instead of driving them apart (like Jack Straw is trying to do for political gains) we should bring the two communities together and united under a common cause – to protect all children from drugs, alcohol abuse, crime and other evil.  The use of words by Jack Straw such as ‘easy meat’ is vile and offensive to white people – I’d hope he would show more respect in describing the problem.  Jack Straw contradicts himself by also stating that the sex offenders wings of most prisons are “overwhelmingly white” – Can you elaborate on that a little more Mr Straw?  Let’s not forget Jack Straw belongs to a party who gave us the Story of WMD in Iraq and the ability to assemble such technology in 0.45 minutes – some duff information which took us into a war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So in the interest of climate change I think Jack Straw is letting our too much hot air.

 

2011 – It’s about Relationships

Firstly – I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Healthy Successful New Year and I hope you all take full advantage of the New Year, as the New Year is like a blank canvas for a new start.

Secondly – The New Year is an opportunity for everyone to improve.  Improvements can be made in all aspects of life – some may put a limit on the amount of alcohol intake, some may control they spending and for some it maybe to improve their fitness, a friend of mine has a New Year resolution for collecting different types of glass bottles – don’t ask me why – whatever the improvement the New Year is the best time.

December for me has been a month for reflection and realisation.  Something which I’ve got into a habit of doing every year.  It’s a period where I gather some thoughts on how the current year has gone by and what I can do the improve going into the New Year.  It’s time to make a new resolution for the New Year.

My Resolution for the New Year is to work on RELATIONSHIPS – which includes friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours or anyone who I have engagement with.  We know how important relationships are in our lives.  Relationships is definitely a topic which we are going to see more off this year, and this year we will need our relationships to be stronger than they have ever been before.

The previous years I have made some promising changes as part of my resolutions and I’m happy to report that I have kept to these resolutions despite at time facing huge difficulties in maintaining them – 2010 was a year to improve my fitness, saying that my fitness has always been good but not consistent but by introducing different activities on a weekly basis has improved my health physically and mentally.  2009 was a year to take better control of my finances and to make my money work better for me, by introducing simple saving methods and reinvesting the money intelligently has brought forward its fruit.

So this New Year is going to be all about Relationships, improving and making stronger existing ones and making new relationships.  I fall into a trap of taking relationships as granted and an illusion that they will always be there.  What I fail to recognise is that relationships are a gift for me, each one is different to the other, each one has its highs and lows but they all make us what we are.

So by taking a new fresh look at the relationships I have – I will hope to make them stronger by putting more of my energy into them.  By doing just that little bit extra can make a big difference and can create a new level of relationship – a simple unexpected call to find out how someone is can increase your attachment, a call instead of sending a text message to someone can increase your attachment, and so on.

One social activity which I was well known for while I was a student was to invite friends once a month for a meal which I would cook, and the next month invite different friends and so on.  I guess this is something which I can reintroduce and manage going forward.

So this is what I will be introducing and doing in the New Year.  So what are you going to change for the new year?