Sunday, May 14, 2006

When Death Comes to May

I am in India to attend my brother Philip's funeral. He was only 45 years old and died of mouth cancer on May 9th. He waged a long and courageous battle against the disease lasting almost three years. He had the bad luck of getting an extremely aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma. It ate him up and the larger than life, gregarious personality was reducecd to a shadow of his former self when he passed. Most of this damage was self inflicted....he chewed tobacco for over 20 years. He also drank alcohol and the combination as we saw was deadly.

The family will miss him. He underwent a remarkable transformation in the last few years. He was kinder, softer and nicer. Most of the aggression had waned although his legendary temper was still on display. To the end he kept up hope. He even filed his nomination to contest an AIADMK seat in the Park Town constituency in North Chennai.

He went to the office three to four times a week almost to the last month of his life. He was meticulous and scrupulously honest. He never forgot a favor and never turned away someone in need. He was generous with spending his political capital - even on people who he did not know well. His life of generosity was evident inthe fact that he had almost a 1000 people attend his funeral at St Thomas Basillica in San Thome.

Monday, May 01, 2006

3 years since "Mission Accomplished"

Its exactly three years since President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and declared under a banner "Mission Accomplished" that combat operations in Iraq were over. It was a Kodak moment but also a delusional moment. Since that time almost 2200 US servicemen have been killed in Iraq (total is about 2400 killed and 30,000 injured). Bushs declaration was reckless and deceptive. Since that time his stock has fallen precipitously from an almost 60% approval rate to about 30%.

If you love Immigrants - Stay at Home Today......NOT!! is stay at home day if you agree that Immigrants are

a. vital to this economy and
b. getting an unfair shake

Well as an immigrant to this great country I fervently believe both of the above points but I also think its ridiculous to consider boycotting work to make this point to the rest of the country.

I think that masses of brown skinned people waving the flags of their countries of origin and carrying Spanish placards as they gather in squares and march in many of our largest cities are just going to serve as fodder for the right wing to say "see I told you so....these are a bunch of militant, anti American law breakers with mixed and confused loyalties"

Even several of my moderate and Liberal American friends (albeit native born) are not happy that this boycott is taking place. I personally think most Americans accept the fact that Immigrants are essential to the economy. I also think that most reasonable Americans believe that a porus border is NOT in the best interests of this country.

The fact that this has suddenly become a centerpiece issue in 2006 is telling. Every 4 years the GOP searches for a bete noire to scare the American public shitless. Since the global war on terrorism no longer elicits a chubby amongst the voters the GOP is moving to painting illegals as the next thing to be scared about.

We have gone from being told to be scared about the "mushroom cloud over St Louis" to being told to be scared of Luiz the Mushroom picker.

Plan on having the threat levels start to creep up as November approaches