Year of living fearlessly
Declare 2012 the year of living fearlessly. Self interest, avariciousness, careerism and mercenary are labels that deserve permanent affixture on the foreheads of ruling elites: American and Pakistani.
Fear not, a new wave of enlightenment tiptoes unbeknownst. Offering hope while rejecting phony ideologues, religious extremists, corrupt rulers and do-nothing executive, legislative, military and judiciary. The realisation that this caucus of the corrupt is the ultimate villain is sinking in, slowly but surely.
The world’s 99 per cent of working class stiff are charting their own way out of the minefields of poverty, ignorance and economic deprivation laid down by the elite.
Today’s heroes and heroines are hoi polloi like themselves, the everyday people. Malala Yousafzai and the anonymous Florida bartender, to name a few.
Never before was the difference this stark. Never before was the chasm this wide. Events, some man-made, others brought on by nature’s wrath, washed ashore the selfishness of the ruling elite. They pushed their acquisitive agendas driving further a wedge between the 99 per cent and themselves. Mitt Romney’s wealth we saw in the form of luxury mansions dotted around America. Some joked that if he won the presidential elections, White House would be the smallest mansion the couple had ever occupied. Under Romney, America’s millionaires were to become billionaires while its 47 per cent could go to ‘hell.’ Obama won. Still the battle is far from over. The din continues.
‘Fiscal cliff’ is the latest scream heard over airwaves across America. Everyone’s taxes will go up on January 1, 2013 jolting the nation towards recession. The obstructionist Republican Party only has the interest of the wealthiest 2 per cent. It will not allow Obama to raise their taxes. In desperation, Obama has taken to the road, launching a full-throated campaign to win public support on how to avoid the economic fallout.
Why Malala? Why should Americans care about a Pakistani teenager? Evil in the form of terrorism, religious extremism, sectarianism, racism and economic exploitation appears to be winning in the race against universal compassion, courage and truth. Malala is the face of virtue; Taliban are the face of evil. Americans, almost all, don’t know Zardari or Kayani or Iftikhar Chaudhry. These people are Pakistan’s privileged who don’t care if the Taliban have mushroomed everywhere. They only care about themselves, their perks, their bank accounts and oh yes, their sons, daughters, brothers and sisters getting rich on their account.
And who’s the faceless Floridian bar tender? Why should Americans care about a nonentity? He alone showed America (what the 7-digit salaried news people could not) the real Mitt Romney who behind closed doors is a hypocrite telling his rich donors that 47 per cent of Americans (read blacks and Latinos) are moochers living off social security and unemployment benefits. It’s best to quarantine them was Romney’s remedy, just as one quarantines a virus that has sneaked into your computer.
The secretly recorded ‘47 per cent’ speech proved to be Mitt’s Waterloo for the White House.
Host of MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell is encouraging his viewers to “stuff the ballot box” for Malala at Time.com to make her Time’s ‘Person of the Year.’ Additionally, he has constructed his own website giving viewers only two names to choose from: Malala, and the bartender.
O’Donnell has already cast his vote. It is for Malala Yousafzai.
This is the time for Pakistanis to stand up and be counted. Go to O’Donnell’s website http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/11/26/ vote-the-last-words-person-of-the-year/ and “stuff the ballot box” for Malala as O’Donnell wants us to do. Declare 2012 the year of living fearlessly.
Pakistan’s judges and the legal community need to borrow a page from Egypt’s judiciary that is today digging in its heels against a sweeping decree by President Mohamed Morsi to legislate without judicial oversight.
“The court will not be intimidated by any threats or blackmail and will not submit to any pressures practiced on it from any direction, regardless of its power and unity,” said Maher Samy, the constitutional court’s spokesman at a news conference.
“The court is ready to face all of this no matter the heavy cost or high price, even if that requires the lives of its judges.”
Thousands of Egyptians have thrown their voice of protest behind the judges and have gathered at Tahrir Square vowing to fight until Morsi withdraws the decree.
What has been Pakistan’s Supreme Court’s biggest achievement since the restoration of its chief justice? Unless, I’ve missed the highpoints, the two medals to be pinned on their gowns are: getting rid of Gilani and drafting a letter to the Swiss about Zardari’s laundered millions sitting in Swiss banks. The judges know best, but to expend valuable time, resources and energy on a letter that calls for no action by the Swiss due to presidential immunity enjoyed by Zardari makes little sense to me.
The Swiss have in all probability, filed away the letter.
Meanwhile, with winter arriving and gas disappearing, the only heat generating is from conspiracy theories. Back are the two retired spooks sending SOS messages about a strategic game being “planned and played (Washington, London, New Delhi, Moscow)” which is “far bigger than the Bahria scandal, Royal Palm golf course or NILC scandals.” Generals Shahid Aziz and Javed Ashraf Qazi are circulating emails, asking: “Do the generals, admirals and air marshals have the depth of vision to see beyond their retirement dates? Does the military high command ‘think at all’ besides plotting about plots. I mean real estate plots.”
Let Aziz and Qazi continue against the leadership in the army. Remember 2012 is the year of living fearlessly.
In Washington, a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics found that 76 out of 108 retired top generals were on the payroll of defense contractors while still continuing to advise the Department of Defense. The moral: most retired generals everywhere are greedy.
Rumors of a rift between the COAS and the chief justice are travelling beyond Pakistan’s borders. A friend wrote from Islamabad telling me that posters were seen in the F-8 Markaz local courts against the army. Others in the US have received similar messages. Who is behind the smear campaign?
Remember 2012 is the year of living fearlessly. Let the voices of protest be heard. The more divergent they are the better. Plurality of views is democracy’s cornerstone.