Posts Tagged ‘ Sarah Palin ’

India Link in US: Nikki Haley Creates History as First Woman Governor

As Reported by The Hindustan Times

Parents of both Nikki Randhawa Haley, who on Tuesday won the governor’s election in South Carolina, and Bobby Jindal, the other Indian American governor of Lousiana, were born to immigrants from Punjab. Nikki Haley is the first woman and the second person of Indian origin after Bobby Jindal to become governor in the US. Jindal won the top job in Louisiana state in 2007.

While Nikki’s father Ajit Singh came to the US from Amritsar, Bobby Jindal’s (who name before his conversion to Christianity was Piyush Amrit Jindal) father Amar Jindal came from Malerkotla, not far from Amritsar.

Nikki’s victory is another sweet moment for Amritsar because the first Indian American Congressman Dalip Singh Saund, who served three terms (1957-1963) in the US Congress from California, also came from that city, the home of the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s most famous shrine.

Nikki, whose family is running a garment showroom called Exotica International in West Columbia since 1976, has been serving as a legislator in the South Carolina state assembly since 2004.

“I don’t do anything halfway – I’m in this race to win,” Nikki had told IANS in July taking time off her busy campaign for raising money.

“I am confident that come November, the people of South Carolina will send me to the Governor’s Mansion.

“When they (voters) do, I will immediately get to work to give them progress that makes them proud.”

Asked whether her Sikh background will matter in the race, she had said,”What matters most in South Carolina – and I imagine elsewhere in the country – is not the personalities of the candidates but the message they carry.

“Our message of bringing good government back to the people of this state, creating jobs by reforming our tax code so it’s flatter and fairer, and reminding government of the value of a dollar resonates with all the people of this state.

“I am very proud of my background and how I was raised. Just as in 2004 (when her opponents had raised the issue of background) I will hold my head up high and focus on what I can do for the people of this state.”

Nikki beat Democrat Vincent Sheheen who tried to steal her conservative agenda by projecting himself as “pro-life, pro-gun rights and pro-jobs”.

Pakistanis for Peace Editor’s  Note 11/03/2010We at Pakistanis for Peace want to congratulate Nikki Haley for winning the governorship of South Carolina in a very tough and hard fought race. Both as an American as well as ethnically being a person from the Indian subcontinent aka Desi, we are proud to see her elected to serve as governor, despite disagreeing with her party on many issues.

Her rise as well as that of Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana to the top of American politics is a source of pride for all Desis, be they Indian, Pakistani, Bengali, etc. We invite people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds to join our Facebook group at Pakistanis for Peace and strengthen those who support peace between India and Pakistan and around the world. To join, clik  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37793413510&v=wall

The Next Ronald Reagan?

By James T Hackett for The Washington Times

Ronald Reagan was an American original and a unique political phenomenon. He combined unusual charm and personality and showed common sense that connected with the average American. He was attacked viciously by the political elites, who saw his popular appeal – and his opposition to big government and high taxes – as a threat to their domination of the nation’s politics.

Conservatives have been searching for a new Ronald Reagan, so far without success. But perhaps the Gipper’s heir is in sight. Sarah Palin is remarkably similar to the late president. The Mama Grizzly from Alaska is certainly an American original, and her success in picking political winners against the odds has shown that she is no less a political phenomenon. And the policies she supports are similar – small government and low taxes, plus energy self-sufficiency and a balanced budget.

Just as Reagan was denigrated as an ex-movie actor with limited education, Mrs. Palin is portrayed as an ex-model with limited education, which means she did not go to Harvard or Yale, like most recent presidents and much of the liberal elite. The fact that elites from those institutions have nearly destroyed the economy and bankrupted the country does not reduce their arrogance or diminish their efforts to hold onto power.

Mrs. Palin was roundly criticized when she left the office of governor of Alaska, but since then, she has been riding a populist wave accompanied by Tea Party activists who want a return to common sense and responsible spending. President Obama promised change, which many sought after the budget excesses of the George W. Bush years and the pork-obsessed Republican Congress. But candidate Obama was unclear, telling each audience what it wanted to hear.

Now we know what he meant by change – a much bigger federal government, excessive government spending, harsh new energy and environmental regulations on business, spending in support of labor unions and the bailout of profligate state governments. Under Mr. Obama, the environmentalists are running amok, spending billions on windmills, electric cars and other green-energy schemes while blocking oil drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

The administration does not care that giving money to the states only perpetuates their overspending while doing little to help unemployment. At the same time, their anti-oil bias and excessive regulation are reducing jobs in the all-important private sector. The Keynesian economists in control will not accept that their policies are aggravating the problem.

Most Tea Party activists are grass-roots Americans who see what Washington elites cannot, which is why they keep winning. Sarah Palin has become a political power by encouraging Republican women to run for office and by her amazing ability to pick winners – and often help them win – even against heavy opposition spending. With Mrs. Palin’s support, Republican women are becoming politically successful in growing numbers.

Mrs. Palin has endorsed more than 20 winners in Republican primaries this year, many underdogs who were given little chance against the party’s chosen candidates. Among her notable successes have been the nominations of Nikki Haley, an Indian-American woman, for governor of South Carolina; Carly Fiorina, a former corporate executive running against Sen. Barbara Boxer in California; Rand Paul, a maverick candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky; and Susana Martinez, running for governor of New Mexico. Now she is supporting another maverick, Sharron Angle, in her high-profile race against Harry Reid, the Democrats’ Senate leader.

But Mrs. Palin’s biggest success has to be the amazing turnaround in last week’s Alaska election for the Republican Senate nomination. It is very hard to oust an entrenched incumbent such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski, daughter of a former senator and governor, with eight years in office. Her opponent, a virtually unknown lawyer, Joe Miller, was considered a hopeless candidate, with polls showing him far behind and practically no one picking him to win, except Sarah Palin.

Yet, with Mrs. Palin’s endorsement, he came from behind to win the Election Day count by 1,668 votes. The final result waits for the counting of absentee and contested ballots, but the turnaround has nonetheless been spectacular. Mrs. Palin has shown she is a force to reckon with, which is why the left is attacking her so relentlessly.

The question is whether she can apply her keen political instincts and the grass-roots support she generates to become the next Ronald Reagan. The liberal powers clearly fear that she can.

 

-James T. Hackett is a former Reagan administration official and Heritage Foundation writer.

The American Debate: Where Has All The Love Gone?

By Dick Polman for The Philadelphia Inquirer

As we navigate the waning days of our xenophobic August, with so many opportunists in high dudgeon about Muslims in our midst, perhaps it’d be wise to quote a notably tolerant Republican – somebody whose words might possibly shame the fearmongers who currently pervade his own party.

For instance: “America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms, and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. . . . They love America just as much as I do.”

On Sept. 17, 2001, so said President George W. Bush.

Hey, I’m starting to miss the guy. Notwithstanding all the disastrous aspects of his presidency, his generous, inclusive attitude toward immigrants of color – particularly Muslim Americans in the wake of 9/11 – was always in the finest American tradition. We could use a sustained dose of his tone today.

Unfortunately, the conservative movement that he twice led to victory now seems to have shelved that pluralistic tradition, preferring instead to sow fear to reap short-term political gain. And not a single prominent Republican politician has had the courage – heck, it’s not even courage, it’s a duty – to step forward and denounce the roiling irrationality that currently infects our political discourse.

So we’re stuck with the faux issue of a “ground zero mosque” that’s actually not just a mosque (it’s a proposed community center with an interfaith board of directors) and not at ground zero; with Newt Gingrich equating all Muslims with Nazis; with myriad attacks on mosques in Florida (pipe bombs, bullets); with Sarah Palin Twittering her simplicities; with an evangelical pastor who plans to mark the 9/11 anniversary by burning copies of the Quoran (when asked what he knew about the Quoran, he replied, “I have no experience with it whatsoever”); with a tea party blogger who writes that all Muslims are “animals” who worship a “monkey god,” and whatever else the haters are doing in our name.

Since no elected Republican dares to utter a peep, let us try to quell the hatred, however briefly, by skimming the cream of the Bush ouevre. What you’re about to read was mainstream Republican thinking just a few scant years ago.

From the president’s second inaugural address, on Jan. 20, 2005:

“In America’s ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character – on integrity and tolerance toward others . . . . That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Quoran . . . .”

From remarks on June 27, 2007, at the rededication of the Islamic Center in Washington:

“We come to express our appreciation for a faith that has enriched civilization for centuries. We come in celebration of America’s diversity of faith and our unity as free people. And we hold in our hearts the ancient wisdom of the great Muslim poet Rumi: ‘The lamps are different, but the light is the same.’ ”

From remarks on Sept. 17, 2001:

“Both Americans and Muslim friends and citizens, tax-paying citizens . . . were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens. These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that. The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Quoran itself: ‘In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.’ The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.”

Compared with what we’re hearing on the Republican right these days, Bush sounds like a “Kumbaya” folkie in the tradition of Peter, Paul, and Mary. But even at the time, he was no starry-eyed naif. Aside from the fact that his calls for tolerance were in the best American tradition, there was also a dash of calculation. He and his advisers knew that al-Qaeda wanted to frame the war on terror as a clash of civilizations. Therefore, it ill-served America to behave as though it were at war with Islam. It was smarter to embrace the followers of Islam, as a way of isolating the violent extremists who had perverted its tenets. Basically, this was a national-security priority. It still is.

Bush’s former chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson, understands that. He’s one of the only Bush alumni who has spoken out; in a recent newspaper column, he reiterated the Bush credo: “A president not only serves Muslim citizens, not only commands Muslims in the American military, but also leads a coalition that includes Iraqi and Afghan Muslims who risk death every day fighting Islamic radicalism at our side.”

In other words, Americans who attack their fellow Muslim citizens – and politicians who inflame such attacks or remain mute – are weakening America. As Gerson put it, treating Muslims as bogeymen, and assailing their Lower Manhattan project, will “undermine the war on terrorism. A war on Islam would make a war on terrorism impossible.”

Of course, it’s easy to understand why the post-Bush GOP has done nothing to quell the Muslim-bashing. Its priorities are decidedly short-term. Forget the war on terror; this party is primarily focused on the war for control of Congress. Its conservative base is angry, fearful, and ginned up for November. Muslim American voters are far less numerous, and the liberals and moderates who lament the current hysteria aren’t likely to vote Republican anyway – or even to vote at all this year.

So it’s probably futile to wave the flag and quote George W. Bush again, but let’s give it one last try. Six days after 9/11, he warned his fellow citizens that Muslims “must be not intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value.”

Is that really so hard to agree with?

NYC Mosque Should Be Seen As a Reconciliation Not a Provocation

By Manzer Munir for Pakistanis for Peace

A New York City panel cleared the way Tuesday for an Islamic Center and mosque to be built several blocks from Ground Zero and the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to deny historic status to a 19th century building near Ground Zero. By doing so, it paves the way for the old building’s demolition and the construction of a 15 story Muslim community center, a mere two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The controversy has brewed for months over the creation of a mosque and an Islamic center so close to the site of the World Trade Centers where nearly 3,000 Americans died in terrorist attacks blamed on Muslim terrorists affiliated with the terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

Opponents of the mosque have argued that the creation of it so close to the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks disrespects the memory of those killed. They also question who is behind the funding and bankrolling of the proposed structure, Cordoba House, which is estimated to cost nearly $100 million. Many prominent members of the Republican Party such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have come out strongly against the building of the mosque and Muslim center so close to the site of the attacks. Gingrich argued that “that the Ground Zero mosque is all about conquest and thus an assertion of Islamist triumphalism which we should not tolerate.”

Seemingly directed at peace seekers such as myself, Sarah Palin posted the following message on her Twitter page “Peace-seeking Muslims, please understand. Ground Zero Mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Please reject it in the interest of healing.”

Some of the relatives of the victims of the 9/11 attacks have come out and said that the mosque and Islamic center would amount to a monument for terrorists as the extremists would see it as a celebration of their destruction of an American monument and lives lost. According to them, the building of the Muslim structure gives an impression that the Islamic extremists won and we Americans lost, not just in terms of lives lost but also in terms of lost and lowered morale.

The proponents of the Cordoba House have advocated the building of the structure especially since they see the center as an organization that promoted tolerance and inter faith dialogue, reflecting the rich diversity of New York City. They say that the “center will be community-driven, serving as a platform for inter-community gatherings and cooperation at all levels, providing a space for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”

Their website further states that the Cordoba House project is “about promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture. Cordoba House will provide a place where individuals, regardless of their backgrounds, will find a center of learning, art and culture; and most importantly, a center guided by Islamic values in their truest form – compassion, generosity, and respect for all.”

In fact the name Cordoba House, takes its name from the medieval Spanish city where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in peace and harmony under the Moors of Spain for over 800 years. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was right in supporting the construction of the Cordoba House not just on the basis that religious freedom is enshrined in our constitution, but because it was the right thing to do. Denying the building of this structure would have been a blatant admission on the part of the city and indeed the entire country that there is absolutely no difference in the twisted misinterpretation of Islam practiced by the hijackers and the Taliban and the one practiced by the rest of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. As if a mere 19 deranged, misguided, yet determined adolescent men could change the fact that the vast majority of the adherents of Islam are peaceful, hardworking, average people like you and me who want nothing more than to live a good life, raise their kids, and worship their creator.

No, the opponents of the Cordoba House and their hate wagering backers and right wing politicians like Palin and Gingrich want nothing more than to incite people into believing that Islam in general is bad and evil and to suspect anything that goes on in a mosque. Oddly enough, it seems that much like their enemy, the Taliban and Muslim fundamentalists, the right wing politicians in the GOP want nothing more than “Clash of Civilizations” to come about between Islam and the West. Preachers like the Pastor Terry Jones in Gainesville, Florida who is organizing an “Everybody burn a Quran Day” as well as mainstream evangelicals like Pat Robertson also condone this view and treatment of Islam and Muslims.

Little do these so called “leaders” realize that scores of Muslim Americans also perished that day on September 11, 2001. The hate and fear mongers will not want you to know the story of Salman Hamdani, a NYPD police cadet, who was a part time ambulance driver, an incoming medical student, and devout Muslim whose remains were found at the North Tower, with his EMT medical bag beside him, presumably trying his best to help those at the site of the attacks. Or the Muslim waiter at the Windows of the World restaurant, who never got to see his wife give birth to their son two days after the attacks. I wonder if Gingrich, Palin or any of the others could look US Army Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan’s mother in the eye and tell her that although her son died in an American uniform fighting in Iraq under the American flag, his religion and his beliefs system are evil and have no place in American life. The deceased Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient would turn in his grave at Arlington National Cemetery if he knew how his faith was being disrespected and marginalized by politicians and right wing blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, individuals who never served this country or risked their life as had Specialist Khan.

It is heartening to see that good sense prevailed by the New York City panel that had the tough job of deciding on this issue and this heavily watched story. Although there promises to be a further fight and appeal by the opponents of the Islamic center, one hopes that the ruling would stand as denying it would clearly violate the freedom of religion that all faiths should get in America, regardless of the actions of some of their members. After all, one should not punish and ostracize the many for the actions of a few.

-Manzer Munir, founder of Pakistanis for Peace, is a freelance journalist who writes for PakistanisforPeace.com and other online journals.

BP Stands for Let’s Blame Palin for the Recklessness of “Drill Baby Drill!”

By Manzer Munir for Pakistanis for Peace

As the BP Oil Spill passes into its 61st day, I began to wonder what the BP in British Petroleum could also stand for. Here is a list of things that I and some friends have come up with that could be the abbreviation for BP.

BP= Bad Planning- The Bad Planning and lack of a coherent emergency response in the event of a rig collapse such as the one that caused the BP Oil Spill and has made a bad situation worse as the company, now still in charge 61 days after a disaster of their own causing, struggles to find a way to stop the leak.

BP= Barely Plugging- More than 6 weeks after the spill started, BP was able to attach a pipe to the well at the bottom of the ocean and is able to siphon 250,000 gallons a day (one tenth of what is estimated to be spilling into the Gulf each day). This clearly is not a solution as this is Barely Plugging the oil spill that continues to poison the ocean and all that live in and around it.

BP= Beach Pollution= See also Bathing Prohibited. The oil from the spill has caused Beach Pollution in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Florida. The loss of revenue by the towns and cities in these states that would normally welcome millions of tourists in the summer months is going to have a very damaging effect to many of these states already reeling from the worst recession since the Great Depression.

BP= Bankrupt Probably- Many experts are saying that BP will not be able to financially survive this disaster and most likely will go Bankrupt Probably. If that happens, will the American public foot the bill as we did for the Wall Street failure? One thing is for sure, the company is looking at a very bleak future both criminally and financially.

BP= Be Prepared- This disaster shows the lack of planning for events such as these and underscores the reason for oil companies as well as government agencies such as the Minerals Management Service to Be Prepared in the event of disasters such as this spill. A lack of an emergency plan both by BP and the government is also at fault for making this disaster as bad as it has been.

BP= Bad People- Are the executives at BP Bad People for being at the helm of a company that caused the greatest disaster in history and worse yet for calling the residents of the Gulf “Small People” and showing great indifference to the plight of the residents of the Gulf and to the American public?

BP= Barren Planet- The oil spill is causing irreparable damage to the environment and to the ecology of the ocean and its long term effects are unknown by scientists at this point. One thing is for sure, water is the source of all life on the planet and as we kill the ocean and all living creatures in it with this oil spill, we are guaranteeing ourselves future where life will be hard to sustain on a Barren Planet.

BP= Behemoth Plume- The oil spill has created a Behemoth Plume that is at least 15 miles wide and 3 miles long and growing. This plume is a dead zone with no oxygen and a place where no living creature can survive. As the oil continues to flow and goes unchecked the size of this plume grows and there are reports of second and third oil plumes now forming in the Gulf.

BP= Beyond Pathetic- 61 days and counting and the leak has not been stopped. This is beyond pathetic for BP, and the government’s oversight departments.

BP= Be Patient- How long can the people of the Gulf of Mexico as well as the American people wait for BP and the government to fix the spill and stop the oil leak, not to mention clean up the gulf? And is that even a possibility?

BP= Barely Progressing- 61 days into the oil spill and it seems we are Barely Progressing as oil continues to spill into the Gulf at alarming rates.

BP= Bad Publicity- No amount of new splashy television or print advertisements will replace the Bad Publicity that the company of BP has received. Rarely in the annals of corporate history has a company ever faced such a public relations nightmare as has BP and it will be interesting to see if it ever recovers from this or ends up going under, much like the rig.

BP= Big Problems- The BP Oil Spill is perhaps the biggest of the Big Problems facing the Obama administration and the American people. The economy can be eventually fixed, the housing prices will come back up, people will eventually get rehired, wars will eventually be won or lost and will come to an end, but an ecological and environmental disaster such as this spill we will never fully recover from as a planet.

BP= Birds Poisoned- Tens of thousands of Birds Poisoned as a result of the oil spill. Many birds and animals that are unique to the Gulf region are feared irreparably harmed due to the disaster.

BP= Black Plague- The oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and continuing to do so each day means that this spill has become the Black Plague of death not just to the people and the animals of the area, but indeed quite possibly for marine life and perhaps eventually for the planet as no one knows the true effects of this unprecedented disaster on the ecology of the planet.

BP= Broken Pipeline- The Broken Pipeline at the bottom of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spill as much as an estimated 1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons of oil a DAY into the ocean!

BP= Blood Pressure- Blood pressure was further raised for those living along the Gulf of Mexico as the administration imposed a ban on all new offshore oil drilling and exploration. This has caused many workers in the area who rely on this industry to feed their families, to be laid off by other oil companies as the government assesses the situation and the safety of offshore drilling.

BP= Boiling Point= The Americans affected by the oil spill that rely on the fishing, boating, and tourism in the area have long reached a Boling Point in their patience with BP and with the government’s response.

BP= Better Prosecute= Attorney General Eric Holder is assigned by President Obama to investigate the BP Oil Spill and into criminal charges against the company are now a certainty, especially given the deaths of 11 workers in the explosion that caused the Deepwater Horizon rig to collapse and start the spill on April 20.

BP= Black Pelicans= Pictures of Black Pelicans and other animals as environmentalists worry that number of dead and affected animals is in the tens of thousands. The animal and sea creatures of the Gulf region are expected to be devastated for many years to come.

BP= Billions Paid- This stands for the billions and billions of dollars already paid by BP and the untold billions that will be paid by them in the future and possibly all of us tax payers if the company goes under and becomes bankrupt

BP= Barack’s Problem- This disaster has become President Barack Obama’s Katrina. But at least with hurricane Katrina, the calamity passed within hours and the government started the clean up and rescue, whereas with the BP Oil Spill this is a disaster that keeps on spewing and keeps on polluting as today is the 61st day the spill has continued to flow. How he has handled himself at the onset of this disaster and its continuation could be the defining moment of his presidency as this is squarely Barack’s Problem, unlike the economy, Iraq, and Afghanistan, which all he inherited.

BP=Bankruptcy Protection- See also bankruptcy probably. The amount of damages and compensation that BP will have to pay out in claims and also in penalties could wipe out the company and it may have to seek Bankruptcy Protection.

BP= Brand Problems- See also Bad Publicity. The BP brand has been damaged forever and no amount of advertisements will change the public image and Brand Problems that the spill has created for BP.

BP= Bleeding Planet- The unchecked, endless, and prolonged seepage of the thick crude oil into the ocean is causing death to millions of wildlife and is making earth a Bleeding Planet which one wonders whether we can survive this catastrophe.

BP= Bathing Prohibited- See also Beach Polluted, hence bathing prohibited. And if no beach visitors, no revenue for many states like Florida from tourists and many other places in and around the Gulf of Mexico that depend on the billions of revenue dollars from the fishing and tourism.

BP= Blame Palin- Probably one of the most poignant points of this article and one ignored by major media publications is that there is a correlation to the BP Oil Spill and Palin’s “Drill Baby Drill” slogan during the presidential campaign. Her proposals of allowing the oil drilling everywhere during the 2008 campaign, including in some of America’s most pristine places such as Alaska, galvanized the oil industry and revved them up into a “Gold Rush” mentality where short cuts were taken and oversight lost by the government in a greedy push for more oil saw sloppiness and Bad Planning cause the worst environmentalist disaster in history.

BP= Bye Planet- If the oil spill continues to go on and spill up to 2.5 million gallons into the ocean each day, how long before it engulfs all our oceans and kills a large portion of plant and animal life on the planet? Would that mean the end of the world when that happens?

So in conclusion, BP stands for The Black Plague, because of the Bad Planning,  now let’s Blame Palin, for the Beach Pollution casued by Broken Pipes, with Billions Paid, now it’s Beyond Pathetic, as we’re Barely Progressing, while Black Pelicans, become Barack’s Problem, and the Behomoth Plumes, mean bye Bye Planet!

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