Sunday, January 30, 2011

How Bush was half right

When Bush invaded Iraq , the motives attributed to the invasion kept changing. First it was that Iraq was on its way to assembling a nuke... that was proved to be incorrect.. The term WMD was introduced into our lexicon, and also meant chemical and biological weapons(The same kind that Iraq used in the Iran Iraq war...).
That bogey was also disproved. And finally we were offered the Bush vision of a democratic Mideast, which would then not be such a hotbed of disgruntlement and extremism.
Its too early to tell, but the events in Tunisia and Egypt, might have set the ball rolling for a democratization of the mideast.  
But this is how it was always meant to be , the masses revolting against the rulers... Not democracy imposed from the outside by Uncle Sam.
How things will play out in both Tunisia and Egypt is not clear... What is , clear, there is a belief amongst the populace that by not accepting status quo they can change things..
That belief might have been missing or lacking upto this point.
Solutions imposed from th outside are typically resented by all parties.
Ask the Indian government who brokered peace between the LTTE and the Lankan government in the late 80's. How did that end? With the Lankan government supplying arms to the LTTE to take on the Indian Peace keeping force.
So in conclusion, Bush had one right idea (manybe in a thousand).. but he sure went about it the wrong way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rehabbing from my second ACL(Knee) reconstruction surgery

I went in for an ACL reconstruction on my right knee on Jan 17th 2011. The procedure was performed by Dr Robert Marx at the HSS.
Today is T+8 days since surgery and I am able to walk around without crutches for the most part. I have to keep the crutches as a precaution. I have started physiotherapy today. I have also been following the exercies outlined in the "Knee Crisis Handbook". I started going to the gym a few of days back and have not missed a a single day since.
I have decided to maintain some sort of a record of my activities on this blog, so it might be of some help to others in a similar situation.
So far as far as the PT goes I have focused on
  1. Leg raises.
  2. Heel Slides
  3. Leg extensions
  4. Quad Sets
Other exercise not related to my rehab I have been able to do are
  1. Bench Press
  2. Upright Rows
  3. Preacher / dumbbells curls.
  4. pushups
  5. lat bar pulldowns.
So far the focus has just been on figuring out what I can do , without putting my surgically impacted knee at any risk or discomfort.
By the weekend I intend to try pilates. I am not able to bend my knee comfortably, but there should be more than enough exercies I should still be able to do.
The PT has also promised to try out cycling and a whole other bunch of exercises the next time I see him. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Teaching a lesson you say? Oh well thats alright

Jan 22nd 1999, an Australian missionary Graham Staines along with his sons aged 10 and 6, were burnt alive , while they slept in their car in Orissa (one of India's poorest Provinces). The main culprit, Dara Singh was apprehended and sentenced to life in prison, a sentence that was recently upheld in the highest court of the land

I would be unfair to not give any background on this issue. Graham Staines had been involved in converting poor and uneducated tribals in some of the most impoverished parts of India. Such activities have been going on for long. Hindu organizations have long objected to such activities, and even in a country like India with its long history of tolerance to various religions, such activities are not exactly welcomed. There has been a build up of anger in the tribal belt helped along by political organizations that can be described as Hindu right wing.
In trying to explain the background of this , I am in no way trying to condone , the grave injustice that took place on the night of the 22nd Jan 1999.
Quite the opposite actually.. No matter what your views on conversion.. as a decent human being you have no option but to be outraged at the murder of a missionary and 2 kids both below 10 years.
Here is bits from the Supreme Court judgement that overturned the prosecutor's plea for the death penalty.

“Whether a case falls within the rarest of rare case or not, has to be examined with reference to the facts and circumstances of each case and the Court has to take note of the aggravating as well as mitigating circumstances and conclude whether there was something uncommon about the crime which renders the sentence of imprisonment for life inadequate and calls for death sentence,” said the bench.
“In the case on hand, though Graham Staines and his two minor sons were burnt to death while they were sleeping inside a station wagon at Manoharpur, the intention was to teach a lesson to Graham Staines about his religious activities, namely, converting poor tribals to Christianity. All these aspects have been correctly appreciated by the High Court and modified the sentence of death into life imprisonment with which we concur.”

Note that the judges thought the intention of teaching a lesson , somehow was enough to save the perpetrator from execution..

If this isn't a miscarriage of justice.. I am not sure what is. If this is not grounds for execution , I do not know what is..And if this does not meet the requirements for a rarest of rare case I am not sure which case would.