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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Moderate Republicans need to speak up

It is time for the moderate Republicans to speak up and wrestle out party leadership from the right wingers for survival. As Americans, our loyalty ought to be for our system of checks and balances. It is in the interest of sustainable and just policies to have each house run by Republicans and Democrats respectively. Most mistakes by our government have occurred when all the three branches of government were run by the same party. Monopoly in governance leads the other to resort to divisive politics.

The Editorial in Charleston Daily Mail (listed below) is based on my article at Washington Post. I am a registered Republican and have voted Republican in the last several elections except for the President, I voted for Kerry and Obama respectively as we needed to get away from aggressive stance the Republican leadership had taken and made us vulnerable.

I am yet to find a Republican from the leadership who can talk peace? I am yet to see a leading Republican’s presence in interfaith and peace groups? There was not one Republican leader who spoke peace making during the elections, they all have the arrogance that bombing and annihilating others will make the problems go away.

Problems are not solved that way; the Bin Ladens like McCain, Palin, Romney, Rudy Guiliani and others do not understand the simplest logic; if we threaten other nations, we jeopardize the safety of our own people and become susceptible at the vulnerable moments. Thank God the Americans dumped the rascals, rather routed them out. There is a second coming, as long as the moderate Republicans crap in their pants and are afraid of speaking up, the American public will dump more of them in the mid-term elections.

It is time for the moderate Republicans to speak up and wrestle out party leadership from the right wingers for survival. As Americans, our loyalty ought to be for our system of checks and balances. It is in the interest of sustainable and just policies to have each house run by Republicans and Democrats respectively. Most mistakes by our government have occurred when all the three branches of government were run by the same party. Monopoly in governance leads the other to resort to divisive politics.

What is your take?

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam and offers pluralistic solutions on the issues of the day, his work is encapsulated in 22 different issue blogs and 2 websites listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL

Why don’t moderate Democrats speak out?
http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/18430

The only time I ever read the On Faith blog at the Washington Post is when it touches on politics, and suffice it to say that its authors’ politics do not coincide with mine.

This time out, the authors invited Mike Ghouse to make a guest post, with the tagline: “Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a write on Pluralism and Islam and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day; a frequent guest on the media.”

Ghouse discussed the establishment of a mosque near Ground Zero, under the headline: “On mosque, U.S. should stand on moral high ground.”

The money line: “We need to set higher standards of civility and NOT stoop down to the level of Talibans or some dictators and monarchs around the world. If we want other nations to behave, we need to lead the way. We need to stand tall and on a moral high ground and be an example of morality and civility to the world.”

Yes, we must set an example for the world. Liberals like saying that. Except when they oppose American hegemony. One of the arguments against the liberation of Iraq was that the Iraqis did not ask for democracy.

But this time, we must be an example. From the post: “The right wingers on the other hand will pull all of us Americans down from the moral high grounds we have held for nearly a century and sink us in bigotry. We have stood up for the Holocaust survivors, the refugees and the oppressed people in Bosnia and elsewhere in the world.”

Yes the Holocaust survivors.

Before the Holocaust, we did nothing. Liberal icon FDR sent the St. Louis back to Europe. Shoo, Jew, shoo.

Ghouse sees the controversy as being stirred up the “pied piper Limbaugh.” Apparently if you disagree with him, you are a rat being led by a pied piper.

But it was this line that struck me: “It is time for the moderate Republicans to speak up and wrestle out party leadership from the right wingers for survival.”
Ah yes, the old saw about moderate Republicans. Shame on moderate Republicans for not speaking out.

How about moderate Democrats?
Why not call for moderate Democrats to speak out against the Race Cards this administration plays?

Why not call for moderate Democrats to speak out against the deficits that are 5 times what they were when Republicans controlled Congress and the purse strings?
Why not call for moderate Democrats to speak out against the administration’s throwing away of the guilty pleas of the 9/11 planners?

Why not call for moderate Democrats to speak out against the nomination of the unqualified Elena Kagan?

Why not call for moderate Democrats to speak out against corruption in Congress?
That would be more pertinent than a protest to construction of a mosque near the site of an attack led by radical Islamists.

The full paragraph is a hoot: “It is time for the moderate Republicans to speak up and wrestle out party leadership from the right wingers for survival. As Americans, our loyalty ought to be for our system of checks and balances. It is in the interest of sustainable and just policies to have each house run by Republicans and Democrats respectively. Most mistakes by our government have occurred when all the three branches of government were run by the same party. Monopoly in governance leads the other to resort to divisive politics.”

His contention is that when Democrats screw up it is all the fault of moderate Republicans — not Democrats.

Actually, he is wrong in that final sentence as well. FDR controlled all 3 branches of government and the other side did not “resort to divisive politics,” nor did Democrats in most eras when Republicans had overwhelming control (the Civil War being the exception; secession is pretty hard to top when it comes to divisiveness).

Perhaps I might have been more convinced of his call to listen to our better angels if he had listened to his better angels and not muddied his argument with unnecessary attacks on Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and John McCain. When attacking the other side for being venomous, leave your own venom at home.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11:00 AM and is filed under All. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unity Day USA - a 911 Memorial Event


We are pleased to invite you to Unity Day USA; a purposeful event to bring Americans together. The idea for Unity Day USA was first conceived on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and took its current form on Sunday, September 11, 2005. We cannot let things happen and drift into the abyss of incoherence. It is an initiative to come together to stand up for the safety, security and cohesiveness of America.

Continued: http://911unitydayusa.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Themes for the Parliament of Worlds Religions in 2014

The theme that might capture our imagination and encapsulate our issues in 2014 would be, “A legacy for the next generation” or “A legacy for seven generations.” It is not a new idea; it is a tradition of the native peoples of America.The issues that affect our lives in the coming decade will continue to be environment, water, hunger, religious and ethnic intolerance. If we shy away from consciously shaping our future, we may drift into the abyss of incoherence. We may be fighting against deeply entrenched positions rather than finding solutions to the common issues.

Continued: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2010/07/parliament-of-worlds-religions-summit.html

http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mosque at Ground Zero religious freedom too far?

Thanks to Dallas Morning News for presenting different points of view. Our own Rabbis and Pastors have spoken respectfully.

Indeed, it is another opportunity to the world to see what we are made of; the world will see the spirit of our freedom and who we are, we are open to others, our freedom does not scare us, we are secure with ourselves and secure with the God given diversity; and we live with confidence of who we are.

We set the tone for the world, so other nations can emulate us and not the other way around.
Continued: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2010/07/is-mosque-at-ground-zero-religious.html

www.MikeGhouse.net

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bottom line prayers-wishes

Right in the middle of the devotional songs, the six year old stands up with her eyes wide open, and in an excited voice blurts out, “Gee Dad, that’s cool, God can be worshipped in so many different ways!” Indeed that sentence has become a part of my teaching in Pluralism. Pluralism is simply respecting the otherness of other and appreciating the god given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us.

Continued: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2010/07/bottom-line-prayers-wishes.html

http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Standing up for Jews, Gays and Mexicans, why should you?

Standing up for Jews, Gays and Mexicans, why should you?

Pastor Fred Phelps is staging protest against Jews, Gays and Lesbians and the Mexicans right here in Dallas, Texas. Here is an opportunity for you to stand up for the rights of others and add purpose in life. Join us for goodwill prayers and hope the positive energy will open people’s hearts and minds towards each other, leading to appreciating the value of living in harmony. - Mike Ghouse

A few pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157624336357507/

Pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas boasts of holding 43,660 peaceful demonstrations. This weekend he is staging protest against Jews, Gays and Lesbians and the Mexicans. We need to be unselfish to serve our selfish interests. Here is an opportunity to find a purpose in life and stand up for the rights of others.

Why should you stand up for others? You may find answers in the following lines inspired by Martin Niemoller’s eternal poem about co-existence;

First they expressed their hate for Jews,
it did not bother me because I am not a Jew;

Then they condemn Gays & Lesbians,
it did not bother me because I am not a Gay;

Then they deny the divinity of Catholicism,
it did not bother me because I am not a Catholic;

Then they want to look down upon Mexicans,
it did not bother me because I am not a Mexican;

Finally, they want to harass me the new immigrant,
It does bother me, that there is no one left to speak for me.

~~~~

One of the most beautiful things religions teach us is living for the sake of others; seriously, when we are concerned about ourselves, and we become utterly selfish and care about ourselves in the moments of our strength, then what happens to us in our vulnerable moments?

Religions help us sustain peace and balance in the society in the times of our spiritual, physical and societal ups and downs. Living for the sake of others is not a charity or even a noble thing to brag about; it is indeed the pragmatic thing to do.

Jesus taught us how to co-exist in peace by removing prejudices and embracing every one that God has created, not just the ones who act, eat and look like us, but those whom the society had neglected. He embrace the then socially rejected prostitutes and the lepers, was that his limit of compassion?

We hope the Ministries of Westboro Baptist Church seriously consider the role of Jesus in creating a world of love and peace. I request them to ponder;

1. What would Jesus do if he ran into a HIV infected person, condemn him or bless him?

2. What would Jesus do if he had a line up of prostitutes, Lepers, Pious Pastors, Ordinary people, Gays and Lesbians, Mexicans and immigrants; hug them or curse them?

3. Should we reduce Jesus to be a partisan fellow to take sides?

4. Would Jesus agree if God were to sign a deal behind others back?

One of the gifts of Jesus was his helping us to create the kingdom of heaven on earth where every one of God’s creation lives in peace and love, without fear, and lives in unison with the cosmic universe. Can we follow Jesus and remove the fears and bring peace to all? Didn’t he say: A new commandment I give you - Love one another as I have loved you so that all men may know you are my disciples, John 13:34, 35. Are we to be known for our love and compassion -- or our hostility?

Didn’t Jesus have the power to change the world by merely saying let it? Why did he not? Did he want to test us to see if we follow him? Are we going to follow the path of compassion and forgiveness that he chose, or act out of fear and hatred for others?

Please show your solidarity by standing with the ones who need to be stood by now. Let there not be any hate for the men, women and children of the Westboro Baptist Church. We can always overcome ignorance with love and kindness – just as Jesus did.

As a Muslim, I am standing up for the rights of every human being; it is not against the individuals but against the ignorance. As a Muslim I have stood up for Atheists, Bahais, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Natives, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and many of them in between.

I hope to meet the Jewish man whom I met at the Gaza Rally in downtown Dallas in December of 2008. I was with the banner of Dallas Peace Center and saw a Jewish teen taking pictures followed by heated discussion between him and a Palestinian. The police officer stepped in and told the teen to be out of there; I walked up to the officer and defended his right to be there as any one else. The officer told me not to interfere while I asserted that I will stand up with the teen. Then he told me that he would arrest me and I was ready for it, but the Jewish teen went to the other side and I followed him with my camera until the teen left behind the screen wall.

Unless we learn to stand up for the rights of others, we cannot claim to be just and we have no right to expect others to stand up for us.

The folks form the Westboro Baptist church are holding demonstrations at various place in the D/FW Metroplex. A few of them are the Dallas Holocaust Museum, The Cathedral of Guadalupe, Jewish Community Center, Chabad of Dallas and several other places including Arlington, the complete list is at: http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html . I will be there at the Holocaust Museum and hopefully other place. Please join me for a prayer of peace and prayer of co-existence. We have to live together; we might as well live with harmony and cohesion.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India, Peace and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and is a frequent guest on the media. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
~~~~~

Last week, as a Muslim I stood up and joined in with the Jews, GLBT, Catholics, Immigrants and others and offered prayers of Good will outside and inside of the Holocaust Museum and other places. Indeed, the Holocaust Survivors including Max Goldblatt and one of the founders of the Holocaust Museum, Mike Jacobs and other members joined in with me for the goodwill prayers. This is the kind of Dallas I envision, standing for each other and being there for each other and we hope that the Parliament will become a catalyst in helping us all look to each other as Americans and nothing but Americans, meanwhile we need to continue with our individual and group efforts. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/07/texas-faith-dallas-and-the-201.html

ACTIONS ITEMS
If you support this initiative, please list the name of your organization and the weblink and contact info in the comments section below, we will list it on the following websites and five related blogs.

http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/
http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/
http://www.mikeghouse.net/

I will be at the following places:
Friday, 07/09/2010 2:15 PM - 2:45 PM Dallas Holocaust Museum 211 North Record Street, Down Town Dallas

Friday, 07/09/2010 3:45 PM - 4:15 PM Texas Jewish Post 7920 Belt Line Road, Addison

Sunday, 07/11/2010 08:30 AM - 09:00 AM Dallas, Chabad of Dallas 6710 Levelland Road, North Dallas

The Resource Center is located at: 2701 Reagan St. Dallas TX 75219

The anti-GLBT/Jews/Catholics/Hispanics Westboro Baptist

Church protests will be protesting both Beth El Binah (a Jewish congregation) and the Resource Center of Dallas. Last week, the Resource Center of Dallas released an announcement about their attempt to use this protest as a way to raise much needed funds for a new ice machine that it badly needs to continue serving the homeless with HIV. For every minute Fred Phelps and his hateful "church" intends to protest, RCD is asking for a donation pledge. So if you pledge $1/minute, your donation will be 30 bucks. So far, RCD has raised over $800 from over 25 contributors. Donations have come from all over Texas and as far as New York. Equality March of Texas is one of the organizations helping the Resource Center to raise funds. Please take a stand by donating and being present at the Resource Center with Equality March of Texas!

For the entire schedule is at this link,
may God help them with goodwill:

http://www.godhatesfags.com/schedule.html

FOX TV, Sean Hannity and Mike Ghouse about NASA tonight

I am preparing a few talking points and request you to give me short sentences and phrases to talk about this tonight Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at Sean Hannity Show on Fox News.

I am particularly requesting my friends from native traditions to share their perspective.Daniel Pipes will be opposing it and I will be supporting this intiaitive.

" NASA has outreached Russia, China, Israel, India and Saudi Arabia to put their astronauts on the space mission, let the world come together on science and exploration"

"Religion is the biggest influence in one's life, it is time we give some weight to religion, and bring aboard Muslims, Native Americans, Hindus, Bahais, Jews, Christians, Buddhist and others to be a part of creating a better world, better world through science and research"

Continued: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/07/fox-tv-sean-hannity-and-mike-ghouse.html

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India, Peace and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and is a frequent guest on the media. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 4th - what does freedom mean to you?

http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-4th-what-does-freedom-mean-to-you.html

Happy July 4th. What does it mean to you? July 4th means freedom to me and I continue to debate with myself which one of the two is the most important value to me, Freedom or Justice?

The essence of freedom is directly proportional to the ability to question oneself, to question our own faith and our own myths and prejudices about others and find answers to set ourselves free. When I read Abraham Lincoln’s statement in Dale Carnegie’s book way back in late sixties, “With malice towards none” I was moved. Years later, I have written in my will, that one day I am going to be completely free from prejudice, bias, malice and ill-will and if I do, I want my headstone to read “With Prejudice towards None”, or “Zero Prejudice”.

Thank God for America, where we cherish and value the freedom endowed to us by the creator. I chose to be an American and I am blessed to be one in my heart and the spirit.

No matter what our Pastor, Pundit, Rabbi, Imam, Shaman, clergy, teacher or politician tells us, we are the ones to deal with ourselves in our solitude. So, the responsibility to live freely rests squarely on our own shoulders. For every good we do a serene feeling gets uploaded and for the every wrong we do, that serenity gets depleted.

I have come to revere our constitution for the value it places on equality, freedom and justice. Indeed, I have to plug in for my mother land India, whose constitution was influenced by American constitution, both free nations run by the people for the people.

July 4th means freedom to me and I continue to debate with myself which one of the two is most important to value to me, Freedom or Justice?

The essence of freedom is directly proportional to the ability to question oneself, to question one's own faith, myths and prejudices about others and find answers to set oneself free. When I read Abraham Lincoln’s statement in Dale Carnegie’s book way back in late sixties, “With malice towards none” I was moved. Years later, I have written in my will, that one day I am going to be completely free from prejudice, bias, malice and ill-will and if I do, I want my headstone to read “With Prejudice towards None”, or “Zero Prejudice”.

Thank God for America, where we the people cherish and value the freedom endowed to us by the creator. I chose to be an American and I am blessed to be one in my heart and spirit.

No matter what our Pastor, Pundit, Rabbi, Imam, Shaman, clergy, teachers or our politicians tell us, we are the ones to deal with ourselves in our solitude. So, the responsibility to live freely rests squarely on our own shoulders. For every good we do a serene feeling gets uploaded and for the every wrong we do, that serenity gets depleted.

I have come to revere our constitution for the value it places on equality, freedom and justice. Indeed, I have to plug in for my mother land India, whose constitution was influenced by American constitution, both free nations run by the people for the people.

Seriously, we have to ask ourselves;

1. Am I free from bias towards other races?
2. Am I free from bias towards people of other religions?
3. Am I free from bias towards people of other nations?
4. Am I free from bias towards people with different life styles?
5. Am I free from bias towards people who do not have a degree?
6. Am I free from bias towards people who do “lesser” jobs than I do?
7. Am I free from overweening opinion of myself?

If we justify any one of these behaviors, we really need to sit down and analyze ourselves, for truth will set us free. Freedom is so beautiful, once you taste it; you get hooked on to it. Religiously, when Jesus says follow me, or Krishna says surrender to me, or Quraan says submit to the will of Allah and every one of the religion says the same thing… What are they saying? To become like God, to be free from conflict, free from bias, free from ill-will and to be one with the cosmic energy.

In your search for the truth, I hope you will discover that the hate for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Americans, Arabs, Pakistanis, Indians, Koreans or someone else is binding and blinding you, it gets your blood pressure going, you get upset, you curse others… is it worth it? Friends free yourselves from all these bondages, you are not a slave, and be a free man or a woman. Hate is not the solution, co-existence is, you live your life and I will do mine together we can build a community for all of us to feel home.

I was irreligious for nearly thirty years, with love for all religions, but none for myself. I have developed a habit of randomly flipping through the pages of almost all of the Holy Scriptures at my home, one such event led me to this beautiful life changing phrase for me, “Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility” in Bhagvad Gita. Mahatma Gandhi asserted “Satyameva Jayate” truth ultimately triumphs. That’s what turned me to research the veracity of attacks on Islam, my former religion at that time. It set me free and thank God, I have taken extraordinary time to understand Quraan and have grasped the politics of misquotes and mistranslations and have rendered the findings in a Blog on Qur’aan.

I could have chosen to adapt any religion, as all of them are equally beautiful, my choice for Islam was my extensive research on Pluralism and co-existence that I found in Qur’aan, otherwise, I would have been fine as a Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Choctaw, Hindu, Humanist, Jain, Jew, Maya, Sikh, Wicca and every tradition in between and the Zoroastrian. I cherish and honor every which way one worships or acknowledges the divine, one does not have to believe in God to be a good human to work with, live with, dine with or be friends with. Indeed, my pledge to myself is to defend the divinity of every religion with an open heart and an open mind.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Do the the right wingers recite this pledge of allegiance? Would they really say, "liberty and justice for all?"

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

Most of us are not ready for it, particularly our clergy but munch on this thought any way; isn't religion about humility? Every form of prayer is geared to remove arrogance, as it is the root cause of conflicts; humility is a catalyst to building bridges and understanding. Isn't claiming superiority of your religion amounts to arrogance? Doesn't it really keep you away from the essence of it? I have endured humiliating experiences, thank God for it, but I have to let it be known that, we will be free from arrogance within our life time and acknowledge the otherness of other with love and affection without losing an ounce of our own religion.

TID-BITS

Now a few tid-bits about July 4th followed by the list of events that led to American independence, the declaration of independence, Bill of rights and the link to our national Anthem sourced form Library of Congress and Wikipedia.

Morocco was the first state to recognize the independence of the United States of America. The two countries signed the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship ten years later. Friesland, one of the seven United Provinces of the Dutch Republic, was the next to recognize American independence (February 26, 1782), followed by the Staten-Generaal of the Dutch Republic on April 19, 1782. John Adams became the first US Ambassador in The Hague.

On April 3, 1783, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Count Gustaf Philip Creutz, representing the King of Sweden, and Benjamin Franklin, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce in Paris, France. In the Treaty, they pledged, firm, inviolable and universal peace and a true and sincere friendship between the King, his heirs and successors, and the United States of America.

Moin Ansari and Dr. Range Gowda historians of Tipu Sultan, a brave Indian patriot from the State of Mysore was allied with the French and was ready to overwhelm his rival Marhattas who were in bed with the British. Tipu’s policies were similar to those of the other patriot across the oceans, where General Washington allied with the French General LaFayette defeated British colonialism in America. On 4th of July 1776 Mysore along with Washington celebrated the American independence.

IN 1999 on the biannual centenary of Tipu Sultan’s death, Dr. Range Gowda and I had talked about celebrating July 4th in Sriranga patnam ( Tipu Sultans capital near the City of Mysore) and it never materialized. However, two brass busts were made of Tipu Sultan, one went to the Chief Minister of the State and the other one is with me here in Dallas.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India, Peace and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and is a frequent guest on the media. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/


Additional comments:

Vanja, indeed, that is the truth, if you can make it here, you can make it everywhere. This nation continues to remain open to ideas, thoughts, cultures and diversity and that is the simple reason for its prosperity.

Ann, your quote takes me to Buddha, Prophet Muhammad and every spiritual Master; Buddha's four truths if followed, will set one free from misery and frustration; Muhammad's concept of Jihaad; conquering one's jelousies, hate, ill-will, malice, anger.... will lead one to be free.
Anoop, thanks for the comments, your first comment is wisdom studded.
Happy independence to ya'll.

Freedom and restrictions go hand in hand. The more advanced or civilized a society is, greater the restrictions. My friend Dr. Saleh Shariff was amazed at the restrictions on driving, parking etc we have in the United States, when he visited me in the early 80's ..

Indeed, the restictions offer freedom to drive freely knowing that the restrictions on all, assures me the freedom to be safe and drive without fear. Prophet Muhammad had once said, that he would like to see a society where a woman, a child or an old man can walk to Damascus without fear of any harassment. Dr. Rajagopalachari, India's first governor general had reiterated that by adding, whether it is day or night, one should feel the freedom to go anywhere any time without any fear and concluded, that is civility to me. Indeed, it is

Maha, indeed, both nations have opened their arms to others, it is the sense of security people have felt, they are not threatened by the otherness of other.

I hope the infractions among us in the last few years will go away and sustainable ideas grow and take a deeper root.The Statue of Liberty; "Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,... See MoreThe wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" And here is my write up about India;We are proud of our heritage - a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-regional and multi-linguistic society, where we have come to accept and respect every which way people have lived their lives.

For over 5000 years, India has been a beacon of pluralism - it has embraced Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism to include in the array of the indigenous religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
~~~~~~~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the American National Anthem:http://www.mikeghouse.net/USATEXAS/nationalanthem.asp

U.S. National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner" Composed by John Stafford Smith - lyrics Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out of of their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave'
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

Listen to "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Read the modern score of "The Star-Spangled Banner"

American Flag Etiquette: http://www.mikeghouse.net/USATEXAS/etiquette.asp

American Flag Etiquette.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. The section of law dealing with American Flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code. Some general guidelines from the Flag Code answer many of the most common questions:

The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.

The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.

The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.

The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.

The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS LEADING TO JULY 4TH

Chronology of Events
1776

June 7
Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, receives Richard Henry Lee's resolution urging Congress to declare independence.

June 11
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence. American army retreats to Lake Champlain from Canada.

June 12-27
Jefferson, at the request of the committee, drafts a declaration, of which only a fragment exists. Jefferson's clean, or "fair" copy, the "original Rough draught," is reviewed by the committee. Both documents are in the manuscript collections of the Library of Congress.

June 28
A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence is read in Congress.

July 1-4
Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence.

July 2
Congress declares independence as the British fleet and army arrive at New York.

July 4
Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in the morning of a bright, sunny, but cool Philadelphia day. John Dunlap prints the Declaration of Independence. These prints are now called "Dunlap Broadsides." Twenty-four copies are known to exist, two of which are in the Library of Congress. One of these was Washington's personal copy.

July 5
John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, dispatches the first of Dunlap's broadsides of the Declaration of Independence to the legislatures of New Jersey and Delaware.

July 6
Pennsylvania Evening Post of July 6 prints the first newspaper rendition of the Declaration of Independence.

July 8
The first public reading of the Declaration is in Philadelphia.

July 9
Washington orders that the Declaration of Independence be read before the American army in New York

July 19
Congress orders the Declaration of Independence engrossed (officially inscribed) and signed by members.

August 2
Delegates begin to sign engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence. A large British reinforcement arrives at New York after being repelled at Charleston, S.C.
1777

January 18
Congress, now sitting in Baltimore, Maryland, orders that signed copies of the Declaration of Independence printed by Mary Katherine Goddard of Baltimore be sent to the states.
Source: Library of Congress


DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

BILL OF RIGHTS

The Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known.[1] They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three-fourths of the States. An agreement to create the Bill of Rights helped to secure ratification of the Constitution itself.[2] Thomas Jefferson was a supporter of the Bill of Rights.[3]

The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, guarantees free speech, free press, free assembly and association and the right to petition government for redress, forbids infringement of "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms...", and prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by a grand jury for any capital or "infamous crime", guarantees a speedy, public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,"[4] and reserves all powers not specifically granted to the federal government to the people or the States. Most of these restrictions were later applied to the states by a series of decisions applying the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, after the American Civil War.
Source: Wiki

Text of the Bill of Rights
Preamble
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent starts of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.[6]

Amendments

First AmendmentEstablishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second AmendmentMilitia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. [7]

Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendmentdue process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain.
No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sixth AmendmentTrial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Seventh AmendmentCivil trial by jury.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sharia Laws in America

No group of Muslims in America has called for Sharia Laws in America, the American Justice system works for them and they will oppose the Sharia Laws (as they are). I will be one of the first ones, if not the first one to stand up against it, and the Muslim majority in America is happy with the American system and do not want the Sharia Laws in America

Continued: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/07/sharia-laws-in-america.html

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Own Private India

I don't know what to make of the following article..... it is funny, it is critical and it highlights the change... 
 
Indeed as Indians we are taking the responsibility to be a part of the society, it is necessary that we integrate rather than assimilate. However, we need to be ready for the change, our kids, grand kids or their kids will fully assimilate into the society, our heritage becomes their history.
 
The safety and security of a society depends on integration where people of different religions, nations and races attend each others weddings, funerals, birthdays, graduations and other celebrations as normal event.  I just want to share a bit of my own personal life - my late wife Najma's funeral was attended by nearly 2200 people at the mosque, we had people from every religion, race, different orientations and others and they all came to pay respects to her. Thanks to all.
 
For most of us, this is our permanent place as we may take our last breath on this land, and those of us who will be buried, it would become our permanent address. Thank God the cemeteries in America are eternal.
 
What is your take?
 
Mike

My Own Private India

Click here to find out more!

Illustration by John Ueland for TIME

I am very much in favor of immigration everywhere in the U.S. except Edison, N.J. The mostly white suburban town I left when I graduated from high school in 1989 — the town that was called Menlo Park when Thomas Alva Edison set up shop there and was later renamed in his honor — has become home to one of the biggest Indian communities in the U.S., as familiar to people in India as how to instruct stupid Americans to reboot their Internet routers.

My town is totally unfamiliar to me. The Pizza Hut where my busboy friends stole pies for our drunken parties is now an Indian sweets shop with a completely inappropriate roof. The A&P I shoplifted from is now an Indian grocery. The multiplex where we snuck into R-rated movies now shows only Bollywood films and serves samosas. The Italian restaurant that my friends stole cash from as waiters is now Moghul, one of the most famous Indian restaurants in the country. There is an entire generation of white children in Edison who have nowhere to learn crime. (See pictures of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park.)

I never knew how a bunch of people half a world away chose a random town in New Jersey to populate. Were they from some Indian state that got made fun of by all the other Indian states and didn't want to give up that feeling? Are the malls in India that bad? Did we accidentally keep numbering our parkway exits all the way to Mumbai?

I called James W. Hughes, policy-school dean at Rutgers University, who explained that Lyndon Johnson's 1965 immigration law raised immigration caps for non-European countries. LBJ apparently had some weird relationship with Asians in which he liked both inviting them over and going over to Asia to kill them.

After the law passed, when I was a kid, a few engineers and doctors from Gujarat moved to Edison because of its proximity to AT&T, good schools and reasonably priced, if slightly deteriorating, post–WW II housing. For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses. Then, in the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins, and we were no longer so sure about the genius thing. In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.

Eventually, there were enough Indians in Edison to change the culture. At which point my townsfolk started calling the new Edisonians "dot heads." One kid I knew in high school drove down an Indian-dense street yelling for its residents to "go home to India." In retrospect, I question just how good our schools were if "dot heads" was the best racist insult we could come up with for a group of people whose gods have multiple arms and an elephant nose. (See TIME's special report "The Making of America: Thomas Edison.")

Unlike some of my friends in the 1980s, I liked a lot of things about the way my town changed: far better restaurants, friends dorky enough to play Dungeons & Dragons with me, restaurant owners who didn't card us because all white people look old. But sometime after I left, the town became a maze of charmless Indian strip malls and housing developments. Whenever I go back, I feel what people in Arizona talk about: a sense of loss and anomie and disbelief that anyone can eat food that spicy.

To figure out why it bothered me so much, I talked to a friend of mine from high school, Jun Choi, who just finished a term as mayor of Edison. Choi said that part of what I don't like about the new Edison is the reduction of wealth, which probably would have been worse without the arrival of so many Indians, many of whom, fittingly for a town called Edison, are inventors and engineers. And no place is immune to change. In the 11 years I lived in Manhattan's Chelsea district, that area transformed from a place with gangs and hookers to a place with gays and transvestite hookers to a place with artists and no hookers to a place with rich families and, I'm guessing, mistresses who live a lot like hookers. As Choi pointed out, I was a participant in at least one of those changes. We left it at that.

Unlike previous waves of immigrants, who couldn't fly home or Skype with relatives, Edison's first Indian generation didn't quickly assimilate (and give their kids Western names). But if you look at the current Facebook photos of students at my old high school, J.P. Stevens, which would be very creepy of you, you'll see that, while the population seems at least half Indian, a lot of them look like the Italian Guidos I grew up with in the 1980s: gold chains, gelled hair, unbuttoned shirts. In fact, they are called Guindians. Their assimilation is so wonderfully American that if the Statue of Liberty could shed a tear, she would. Because of the amount of cologne they wear.

See TIME's Pictures of the Week.

See the Cartoons of the Week.

Read more:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html#ixzz0sUKIa5Jj