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Things changed for me in 2008, and I switched to writing at www.TheGhousediary.com or TheGhousediary.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Life is a poem of love

Life is a poem of love; The story of our life.

Najma and I have lived our life experiencing the full spectrum of emotions ranging from Khatta (sour), Meetha (sweet), Pheeka (tasteless), Teekha (off), Khara (spicy) and Kadva (bitter) brim with caring and lots of loving.

We have enjoyed the happy moments that life had offered; we have lived the fantasies; survived the challenges; experienced the bitterness and above all bonded with the thread of romance till death do us apart. That was a beautiful relationship for us.

Continue

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Would McCain start WWIV

http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2008/07/would-mccain-start-wwiv.html

Would John McCain start wwiv?
Mike Ghouse

Most Americans understand the message of Jesus, where he says, even if you are slapped, work on mitigating the conflict rather than slapping back and continuing the slap cycles to eternity.

Cheney, Bush, McCain, Lieberman and Giuliani do not get that message, they are either insecure and want to keep fighting an imaginary enemy cooked by them or simply they don't understand that if by aggravating the conflicts, the opposite of what they imagine happens; insecurity to one an all. If others are not secure, we cannot be safe either.

We become a great nation by earning the respect from the community of nations, by being just and fair to the parties where there is conflict. We have to earn our name back as a nation that gives and cares where help was needed.

From a business point of view, the gang is downright stupid. Had we invested half of that money we blew in Iraq and Afghanistan on education, jobs, friendship and exchange programs, we would have had greater returns, we would have fewer enemies and the world would have been a safe place for us Americans as well as the people of the world. I am sure some one will come out with the statistics. Do we have more people frustrated at us American now, than before Bush’s misadventure? Brzezinski speaks sense, when he says, McCain could start the WWIV.

It is time to have leaders who reflect the sentiments of Americans, and make sure our democracy remains, government of the people, by the people for the people.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com

Brzezinski: McCain would start WWIV
Sat, 26 Jul 2008 22:26:50

Former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski
Former White House national security adviser says if John McCain becomes the next US president the world will move toward World War IV.

Former US President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski criticized US officials in Senator McCain's camp for pushing the presumptive Republican nominee toward a radical foreign policy on issues such as Iran.

Brzezinski described McCain's presidency as an 'appalling concept' as it would lead to the World War IV, arguing that from the viewpoint of figures surrounding the Arizona senator the Cold War counted as World War III.

"Well, if McCain is president and if his Secretary of State is Joe Lieberman and his Secretary of Defense is [Rudolph] Giuliani, we will be moving towards the World War IV that they have been both favoring and predicting," Brzezinski cautioned.

Earlier in October 2007, President George W. Bush, who has endorsed John McCain, warned of the eruption of World War III should Iran continue uranium enrichment.

Divisive words - Pro Israel or Palestine

http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2008/07/divisive-words-pro-israel-or-palestine.html

My comments are followed by the article "Durban redux? Vitriol may follow Israel to Geneva" and I do hope, we look at humans without a branding them with a label.

The words pro-Israel or pro-Palestine are divise, we ought to consider looking at the issue in terms of Justice, peace and security for the people of the area understood as Israelis and Palestinians rather than dividing ourselves in to the divisive camps.

It is human to crave for Justice and every faith is designed to deliever that to the people. Justice is the only thing that sustains peace and security for the people. The simple truth is that neither the Palestinians, nor the Israelis will have peace for themselves, unless they want the peace for the other and take steps to achieve it. Security will not come to either party, if other party is not in the equation.

Gun power is short lived, neither the Palestinians were able to succeed with it in the last sixty years, nor the history has oppressed the Jewish people in the three thousand years of their history.

What do the real people want? Not the Media not the Administration nor the hawks who believe in gun powder and all of them combined are a tiny minority.

Take a look at our own country. For the last seven years that will come to a conclusion in January 2008, our Administration and their policies did not represent the will of the people, the media failed to focus on it, instead they became the mouth pieces of the administration like they do in the non-democratic nations. Is Israel going through the same?

Justice must be the corner stone of any governance. The idea of partitioning the grops as Pro-Palestine and Pro-Israel is wrong, they should rather look at the issue from a human rights perspective.

Mike Ghouse
http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Durban redux? Vitriol may follow Israel to Geneva
By Michael J. Jordan Published Yesterday Cover Story

http://www.jstandard.com/articles/4550/1/Durban-redux%3F-Vitriol-may-follow-Israel-to-Geneva

Michael J. Jordan

View all articles by Michael J. Jordan GENEVA – In less than a year, the United Nations will try again to tackle the thorny questions of racism around the world. Its effort in 2001 devolved into a virulent attack on Israel and Jews.

While it’s too early to tell which groups hostile to Israel will show up at the follow-up conference in April, at least two hint at what treatment awaits the Jewish state.

The Ford Foundation, the powerful philanthropy whose money fueled much of the anti-Israel activity at the anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa, has opted out of the event in this Swiss city.


The New York headquarters of the Ford Foundation, which following JTA’s 2003 investigative series "Funding Hate," published stringent new guidelines on its grantees. JTA Photo
Indeed, Durban reportedly has become something of a dreaded "D word" in some diplomatic circles, prompting widespread concern that the follow-up could be a repeat of the anti-Israel extravaganza seven years ago.

At least two Palestinian organizations have declared publicly their intent to carry the crusade launched in Durban to Geneva.

That crusade paints Israel as an "apartheid state" like the South Africa of old to be similarly crippled through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. And by most accounts, even more pro-Palestinian groups are sure to arrive in Geneva to trumpet their cause célebre.

At the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, the rabid activism of numerous anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, virtually drowned out much of the world’s other ills.

Last month in Brazil, at the first regional meeting to determine the substance of next year’s conference, one group hinted at what to expect.

BADIL: The Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights (www.badil.org) issued an open letter (www.badil.org/Publications/Press/2008/press481-08.htm) to the "Latin American people, its governments, movements and organizations."

The letter stated: "The world’s imperial powers, with the United States and Israel at the forefront, are putting pressure on states" to "silence the principled voices of the victims of racism."

Latin America should resist, the letter said, because "the struggle against Israel’s colonial apartheid regime is one of the cornerstones of the struggle against state-sponsored racism and ongoing colonial policies worldwide."

BADIL was not present in Durban.

A second group created since Durban recently sought and gained accreditation to the Geneva conference. The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, (www.stopthewall.org) is at the forefront of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

It’s too soon to know which funding agencies will help send NGOs such as BADIL and the Wall Campaign to Geneva, but one watchdog suggests European money will likely be involved.

"European aid agencies give tens of millions of euros per year to very political, in some cases radical, anti-Israel NGOs, and these groups are the most active in the Durban process," said Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, which recently detailed these links in its report "Europe’s Hidden Hand".

"There are many officials in those agencies who come from an anti-colonialist, anti-American, anti-Israel political ideology," Steinberg said, "and they have almost no supervision, almost no open discussions in their parliaments over these budgets."

European Union officials told JTA that none of its grants are explicitly for NGOs to attend conferences, like the Durban follow-up, but rather are directed toward specific projects.

Beyond the Durban process, the EU officials say a grantee’s words — like branding Israel as apartheid or endorsing boycotts — are the "sole responsibility" of the grantee and do not reflect EU positions.

Brussels "cannot be held responsible" for these statements, nor can it "oblige them to refrain" from making them, said David Kriss, a spokesman for the European Commission delegation to Israel.

"The Commission is respectful of freedom of expression as a key feature of a democratic society," Kriss wrote in an e-mail from his office in Ramat Gan, Israel. "An open debate over political issues is indispensable on the way towards better mutual understanding.

"At the same time, the Commission is firmly committed to the fight against incitement to hatred between ethnic or religious groups as well as to the expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia, and will continue fighting these deplorable phenomena."

The 2009 Durban follow-up will likely cost "several million dollars," according to a U.N. official in Geneva, with U.N. member-states expected to foot the entire bill.

Few, however, have ponied up so far. Some $750,000 left over from the 2001 event is now being used, said the U.N. official, with Russia recently adding a contribution of $250,000 and China another $20,000.

Other countries have pledged funds but not yet delivered, which is typical among member-states that sometimes promise money but are slow to act.

Meanwhile, the United States, Israel, Canada, and France have threatened to boycott the event, saying it should focus on racism and discrimination generally, not stir the Middle East conflict.

To urge fellow NGOs and U.N. member-states to rise above at Geneva, the Magenta Foundation of Holland, the American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights and Human Rights First have circulated a petition with five "core principles" (www.magenta.nl/coreprinciples.html) that would reject any effort to "foment hateful stereotyping in the name of human rights" and instead "uphold language and behavior that unites rather than divides."

The New Israel Fund, a group that promotes human rights and pluralism in Israel, is one of 96 signatories pushing for a more productive conference. But NIF told JTA it will not allocate funds for any of its grantees to attend the event. In 2001, the fund provided $50,000 for such participation through a Ford grant it had received.

There is no contradiction, said an NIF spokeswoman, nor does it indicate a lack of trust that its own grantees — some of whom were most active in Durban — would adhere to these higher standards.

"Basically, NIF was outraged at the misuse" of the Durban forum and was concerned about "a possible repetition" of the tone and substance, said the spokeswoman, Naomi Paiss.

"We are a family of organizations representing a range of opinions," she said. "As strongly as we feel about Durban, this is not a question of forbidding another group from attending. We are saying we will not fund it."

One NIF and Ford grantee that played a prominent role in Durban — Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (www.adalah.org/eng/index.php) — says it has yet to decide whether to attend.

"Adalah will deal with the follow-up issues regarding Durban at the relevant time, not now," Eva Mousa, the group’s media director, told JTA. "At that time, Adalah will speak about it and discuss it with our donors, including Ford and NIF."

The United Nations, meanwhile, stung by criticism of the 2001 event, is taking steps to prevent a repetition.

In late May, member-states decided to host the event on the serene, secure U.N. campus in Geneva. In Durban, with thousands of activists milling about inside tents and on the streets, Jewish activists say the atmosphere often grew tense — even intimidating— punctured by anti-Semitic incidents.

The world body also is expected to eliminate a separate NGO Forum, which in Durban was the source of the harshest anti-Israel rhetoric (www-personal.umich.edu/~hfc/mideast/NGO_WCAR.htm). At the forum, the Jewish state was accused of such human rights crimes as genocide, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Startled by the protest walkout of the American and Israeli delegations — and the discredit it brought upon the conference — the member-states that remained settled on two rather benign references to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the government declaration (www.unhchr.ch/pdf/Durban.pdf).

At this point, it’s "very likely" that NGO participation in Geneva will be restricted and woven into the governmental gathering, said a U.N. official who asked not to be identified because there was no authorization to speak on the record.

NGOs instead will probably be encouraged to attend, but at most official U.N. meetings will have to request an opportunity to address the gathering beforehand. Each will be allotted three minutes to speak.

None of the 775 NGOs that attended Durban saw their accreditation revoked for their actions there, so they remain accredited and free to attend April’s event, according to the U.N. official.

"The NGO issue is a highly political issue here," the official said.

This format may mean less Israel-bashing, but also less criticism of U.N. member-states that rank at the bottom of most global surveys of racism and other forms of discrimination. After all, few governments choose to freely chastise themselves.

This is left to the NGOs.

Still, three minutes available every day at a four- or five-day conference – the world’s largest in the sphere of human rights — is enough time to sling arrows, hammer home a message to the media and have it documented for eternity in U.N. archives.

That’s why some Jewish observers were taken aback by the conference accreditation granted to the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

The group, according to its Website, was formed one year after Durban, in October 2002, by one of the more extremist NGOs that did attend Durban — the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network.

The Wall Campaign partnered with another prominent Israel basher at Durban, the Palestinian NGO Network, or PNGO, to hold the First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS) on Nov. 18, 2007. At the time of Durban, PNGO was a Ford grantee, but is no longer.

In addition, the Wall Campaign and PNGO are two members of the National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba, the Arab term for catastrophe used to depict Israel’s creation as a state.

On its Website, the Wall Campaign links to BADIL, the group based in Bethlehem, on the west bank, which declared its intent in Brazil last month to bang the apartheid drum against Israel in Geneva.

This link refers to BADIL’s role in leading the current "Nakba 60 campaign," an international effort aimed at countering Israel at 60 celebrations.

At the April planning conference for the Durban follow-up, the Wall Campaign won accreditation without debate. More public attention in Geneva was devoted to Iran’s intervention to deny a Canadian Jewish group accreditation to attend the event next year. The group, the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, citing bureaucratic and political hurdles, eventually withdrew its application.

BADIL’s home page in July announced a new Website, "It Is Apartheid," with a "viral, guerrilla marketing" campaign that includes tips on how to propagandize neighbors, co-workers and strangers (www.itisapartheid.org/itisapartheid.org).

The group’s presence in Brasilia and its lobbying of Latin American delegations was another harbinger for Jewish observers who warn the Geneva event may follow in the politicized footsteps of Durban.

The Geneva-based UN Watch declared that the current working paper (http://blog.unwatch.org/?p=168), in U.N. lingo known as a "non-paper," already "breaches red lines" as laid out by the Europeans: It singles out the Palestinians for sympathy, implicitly criticizing Israel.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which sent two observers to Brasilia, described the event as a "lost opportunity" to underscore those red lines.

Latin Americans "have failed to stand up and be counted," Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal’s director for international relations, told JTA.

Meanwhile, with the Ford Foundation announcing that it won’t pay to send any grantee to the Geneva conference — both because of its prospects for failure and potential to become another anti-Israel festival — and with other donors, governmental and nongovernmental, reportedly wavering, Samuels says that some have found a target to blame in case the Durban follow-up disintegrates.

Samuels said that in Brasilia, he discussed how to prevent a pro-Palestinian "hijacking of the agenda" with an Afro-American group lobbying for slavery compensation.

The fellow activist agreed, he said, but "blew my mind with a vehement accusation of Jewish control of the Durban boycott movement" and "attacked me for stopping foundation funding of their participation in Geneva and destroying possibilities for a NGO Forum."

JTA

Article Series
This article is part 4 of a 5 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
Durban’s descendants
Linking to South Africa
Questions raised about actions of some New Israel Fund grantees
Durban redux? Vitriol may follow Israel to Geneva
Ford funding to Jewish groups

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Americans are religiously tolerant

AMERICANS ARE RELIGIOUSLY TOLERANT - POLL

Americans are Religiously Tolerant, Poll Says
Mike Ghouse

The following survey (below) filed under Nations News is indeed reflective of the average American, no matter how you pigeon hole him or her. The “survey finds most Americans don't feel their religion is the only way to eternal life — even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise." Indeed, if we can learn to accept and respect every which way people worship the divine, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

I believe a majority of people are moderates and only a fringe of us, – no more than 1% any group of us; be it Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Bahai, Wicca, Jain, Wicca or other traditions are extreme fundamentalists and of that 1/10th of them, i.e., 1/10th of 1% of each group are extremists. We need to do serious research on this to prove it.

The extremists are broadly classified as the Neocons*

Continued at: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2008/06/americans-tolerant-of-religions.html

Religion and One God

Religion and One God
Mike Ghouse

Oneness of God is also expressed as oneness of the creation, oneness of the humanity and oneness of the people.

The phrase like God is one; the world is one or Vasudeva Kutabam express Unity of the universe referred to as numerical number “one”. It is a large embrace of diverse people to live together without conflict, when you do that, you have embraced them all and a sense of oneness surfaces. A conflictless world can be described as one world, where one God has acted out.

The guardians of the faith have a vested interest in promoting the idea that their faith is the best, and others are deficient, or even inferior or illegitimate. This protects their interests, but spritually they are wrong, a majority of the people believe otherwise, the majority simply wants to get along with others and do not believe for a moment that, their good friends who follow another faith will go to hell, they instinctively know that God will not cheat them.

Continued at: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2008/07/religion-and-oneness-of-god.html