Monthly Archives: November 2008

Reflections from Bombay, the morning after

After following his blow-by-blow twitter updates during the so-called end-game in the siege of the Taj in Bombay yesterday, I have to share with you journalist Prem Panicker’s poignantly acerbic ruminations from the morning after sleepless nights following the unfolding tragedy. If you don’t want to read / listen to anything else from the sensationalistic media drumbeat today, I understand; but do read this one essay.

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Islam, Terror, and the Failures of the Intellectual Left

An excellent analysis by Rohit Chopra of how some of us on the left may be hoist by our own petard when talking about the causes of terrorism. Is it some political-correctness that leads to pointing fingers at all kinds of factors (economics, geopolitics, imperialism, globalization, capitalism, poverty, post-colonialism, etc.) except religion?

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Amit Chaudhuri: Mumbai, the city I love.

The novelist reflects on his (and my) beloved city, Bombay and how it has changed in becoming Mumbai. My own thoughts are still discombobulated by what the city has just been put through… but this is good reading.

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A new chapter on the environment and governance

America may yet return to the fold of civilized nations… with this grown-up at the helm:

That was Barack Obama’s surprise speech via video to the bi-partisan Governors Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles yesterday. Nice to have this commitment about rejoining the community of nations in a collective effort to address climate change, isn’t it? How refreshing, after the denialism of the previous (and still current) president W!

And how about this little step towards a transparent democracy – a peek into the inner workings of the transition towards a new policy regime on energy and the environment:

Check out the ChangeDotGov YouTube channel for other glimpses behind the curtain of this transition towards what’s shaping up to be a truly Web-2.0 Presidency!

Endorsing a presidential candidate through the lens of science

How can you argue (rationally) against this?

Far more important is this: Science is a way of governing, not just something to be governed. Science offers a methodology and philosophy rooted in evidence, kept in check by persistent inquiry, and bounded by the constraints of a self-critical and rigorous method. Science is a lens through which we can and should visualize and solve complex problems, organize government and multilateral bodies, establish international alliances, inspire national pride, restore positive feelings about America around the globe, embolden democracy, and ultimately, lead the world. More than anything, what this lens offers the next administration is a limitless capacity to handle all that comes its way, no matter how complex or unanticipated.

Sen. Obama’s embrace of transparency and evidence-based decision-making, his intelligence and curiosity echo this new way of looking at the world. And that is what we should be weighing in the voting booth. For his positions and, even more, for his way of coming to them, we endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States.

[read the rest of the endorsement from Seed: Barack Obama for President]

And then, if you haven’t already done so, go VOTE!!