Sunday, November 30, 2008

“Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.

— an anonymous Mumbai mortician on the special treatment for the Israeli victims

Here is a message from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), which is a “twenty-year-old civil rights group that advocates ‘for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives’” (via John Nichols):

MPAC expresses its condolences to the Jewish community and the various other communities whose members were involved in the tragic series of terrorist attacks in recent days. MPAC has sent letters of condolences to the Indian embassy, and encourages people of all faiths and nationalities to stand together against those who seek to divide our communities.

Media reports indicate that more than 150 people have been killed in the attacks. Those responsible for these brutal and immoral attacks should be swiftly brought to justice. Islam considers the use of terrorism to be unacceptable for any purpose.”

Friday, November 28, 2008

The madness in Mumbai is hard to put into a simple posting, reactions and thoughts. I remember well in July 2006, when the city was last attacked by fanatics. The events of the past few days are clearly much worse, in scope and scale. It is just too horrible what some people are capable of doing to other human beings, their own flesh and blood. Only animals are capable of doing what those mad marauding murderers did, truly. There is not much else to say about it, for me at least. It looks like the commandos are fighting off the remaining perpetrators, and there was something about a Chabad house.

I hope you all had a great and wonderful Thanksgiving. There is a lot we take for granted in life, like life itself and the joy it brings every day, lest we forget. And the simple things we think are as certain as the sun rising the next morning. All for now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I’m starting to see that the Left is already articulating a useful challenge for Obama to affect real change, the kind we were supposed to believe in, if not the beginnings of anxieties that Obama is simply going to govern as Clinton 2.0, with a few cosmetic tweaks — not too unreasonable if his cabinet picks are any indication. Michael Albert makes a good point: “…moderately redressing insanity isn’t what progressive Obama supporters meant by ‘change we can believe in.’” Katrina vanden Heuvel concurs, adding that the president-elect is a “centrist” and a “pragmatist,” both obviously true, almost to the point of dullness. If anyone is expecting anything radical or really transformative, exhale very, very soon because you will pass out before long from holding your breath. I think that these leftist voices should not worry too much; the election three weeks ago is still a major victory, by no means the end of the struggle but a good start. After all, center-right is preferable to hard right, which is what we’ve had for so long. The discussion brings to light a cold fact: there is no organized Left in the United States, aside from marginal writers and associations. Only a sustained, principled movement of people is going to affect change, not one man in the White House.

Before I write a book here, Happy Thanksgiving. There is still plenty to give thanks for, concerns and fears and dreads and doubts aside.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

To the President-elect: Your posting on your latest video for your economic recovery plan says “Of the people, By the people,” so wouldn’t the logical inference mean a bold plan to nationalize the entire financial sector and put it under public ownership? I’m still waiting. (Don’t make promises you cannot or will not keep.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do it, Obama. Do it now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

“… the last of the last.” Honor our veterans today.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Once the self-congratulation is over, and we all sober up, there will come soon the time when we will awake to the realization that there is so much to do, so many problems to address, so many issues to confront, so many promises to keep. My hope is that the youth of this country who helped propel Obama to the White House will not fall into complacency, but instead — with “Yes, we can” as the rallying cry — really work to make this country the land it should be, to not betray our founders, to fulfill our birthright and hold our newly ascendant leadership accountable to the people.

There is no denying the historicity of this week. Let there be no denying the power of the American people to do the needed work that will make this nation a light unto others, and a decent place in which to live, and to build on the successes of social movements at home and abroad so that our own hopes and dreams can become the ways and means for the population at large. We shall pay “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” as was written in our Declaration of Independence. The world is watching. One man cannot do it alone, and we must not have any illusions that powerful forces of resistance and reaction await him in the corridors of power in Washington.

Above all, let us constructively critique, challenge, and push the new president to do right by us and, by virtue of our empire, the entire world.

(Image courtesy Patrick Moberg.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We did it, America. It is still so hard to believe, but it happened.

Barack Hussein Obama will be the 44th president of the United States. I am so proud to be a citizen of this land. (Photo courtesy Andrew Sullivan.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Because it should not matter. (Courtesy the Daily Dish via Dan Savage via Queerty via MollyGood via Gawker.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

“It is now indisputable that the president and vice-president of the United States engineered a de facto coup against the constitution after 9/11, declaring themselves above any law, any treaty, and any basic moral norm in their misguided mission to rid the world of evil. ... If I were to give one reason why I believe electing Barack Obama is essential tomorrow, it would be an end to this dark, lawless period in American constitutional government.”

— Andrew Sullivan, today

We leave that era behind tomorrow. So will begin the task of clearing away the wreckage and trying to make even basic progress. Perhaps it is not a hope in vain that the world will forgive us someday, for the damage we have done to ourselves and to the world.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The nation’s major newspapers have endorsed Obama by a margin of 240 to 114.

The nation’s college newspapers have endorsed him 63 to one.