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Fri, Sep 14 2001

I was heartened to hear the voices of reason from both the US and other countries in response to my posting yesterday and was even beginning to think maybe the voices of hatred and those calling for war are just a few loudmouths and that most of the populace here in the US are among the reasonable majority who see the futility of violence and the fact that violence only begets violence. But sometimes I wonder ... I've been going through the wording for what I'm going to say here most of the night - I lay awake around 2:00 am at night and thought about it since some of this is going to sound very harsh and is especially more so in the wake of such a huge tragedy but there are some things that need to be said because I see a lot of people crying for war and vengeance and I for one don't want to see another war - the suffering that the families and friends of those affected by the events of Tuesday are not going to be alleviated by plunging even more families (both in the US and outside ... for do you think that if it comes to war, that US soldiers are not going to perish too?) into melancholy and despair.

People here in the US seem to think (or at least imply) that this attack was something special - it is not! It is tragic and horrifying for those who were affected by it but this is something that quite a large portion of the populace of the world lives with as a day to day fact of life. I come from Sri Lanka where the nation is torn apart by a twenty year civil war and major landmarks and government installations get bombed every year - in fact, the Sri Lankan World Trade Center was bombed a few years ago by the terrorists! These self-same terrorists are aided by people living in Canada, UK (not the governments but individuals) and other countries. Does Sri Lanka try to go to war against Canada or the UK about this? No!! But then again, I guess Sri Lanka is a small island nation while the US is a super power - so how is the bombings in Sri Lanka different from those of the US? Does the size of the country decide how big an issue it is?

On the other hand, it is not as if the US itself has not had a hand in sowing terror in other nations - the rebels in Central America were aided by the US and Iraq was aided by the US in it's battle against Iran at one time ... So is the US against terrorism only when it is perpetrated on its own soil? Of course the pat answer would be that these weren't terrorists but freedom fighters! What exactly is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter? I guess that depends on which side you are on ...

War is not a good thing - whatever the cause may be! Those responsible for the atrocities of Tuesday should be brought to justice but not at the cost of both US and other lives. This is not about the US! It is about the human race as a whole - let us be aware of the cost of each and every human life and not give into blind anger and hatred and a desire for vengeance! I see people ask for God's retribution against the crimes of Tuesday but in the next breath I see the same people call for war - aren't you sure of God's might and justice that you want humanity's imperfect version of justice to prevail first?

I believe in justice - not human justice but God's justice - and I know that even if we don't punish somebody for their acts, they will receive God's punishment on the day of judgment but in the same token, we will be judged by our actions too! Let us bear in mind that to harm even one innocent in the process of bringing those who are guilty to judgment should be unacceptable to all of us as human beings - sadly this is not so! Let us by all means punish those responsible but take care that we punish only those responsible and not bandy about words like war and annihilation and say things like "Let us blow all of them off the map - they all of them harbor terrorists anyway!" because this just is not true. Each individual making up a nation is not the same - remember that Tim McVeigh who slaughtered countless innocents in the Oaklahoma City bombings was American ... does that make all Americans terrorists?

Let us be calm, clear-headed, non-partisan and above all human and humane! Let us believe in justice and defense but not revenge and offense!! Let us be resolved above all that we will try to avoid the shedding of innocent blood - no matter which country, cast, creed or race they belong to!!!
posted at 08:09:02 AM  link  comment

Thu, Sep 13 2001

I have been both horrified and saddened by the loss of life due to the horrific tragedies of Tuesday. I have had moments where tears sprang into my eyes hearing of people affected or those who'd perished or of just thinking of the agony and torment that those left behind must be feeling. I was thinking of writing about all that had happened yesterday while driving to work and was thinking to myself that though I always tried to see both sides of a situation that I couldn't really see the other side in this matter and that I would probably tear into anybody who tried to defend those who'd committed this heinous act against their fellow human beings. But I've watched America's reaction to these tragic events and have come to see the other side as well and I must say that I am deeply saddened and disappointed.

I have heard of Palestinian/Middle Eastern families over here in Michigan who had been harassed out of their homes, of Arabic people who had their homes burnt down, of Muslim women in traditional garb who are harassed by men on the streets - all because they belong to a portion of humanity that is currently suspected of being the perpetrators of these atrocities. I agree wholeheartedly that those responsible must pay for what they did? But do innocents have to suffer for the crimes of the guilty? Do people who committed no crime except to embrace a specific religion or were born in a specific part of the globe, have to suffer? I say an emphatic "No"!!

Let us not delve into anger and hatred, let us think these things through calmly and without partisanship. I believe that there is one thing higher than patriotism for one's nationality - the duty we owe towards humanity as a whole. We are all citizens of the world first and foremost! So let us put aside nationalistic and idealistic claptrap and unite as a race - the human race - and try to get through these difficult times and not descend to name calling and finger pointing.

I have watched the media and have been disturbed and concerned. Are they just stupid or are they actually trying to incite hatred and rioting? Ever since the tragedies occurred, the media consistently uses phrases like "even the Arab nations have expressed their condolences" or "despite the fact that Palestinians were out in the streets celebrating, Yasar Arafat expressed his regrets over the tragedies". I don't see why these things had to be singled out, I don't see why the Arab nations shouldn't be shocked by these devastating incidents. And yes, there were probably some misguided individuals who thought that America's tragedy was cause for celebration but does that fact need to be highlighted? Hard as it may seem to believe, I'd bet that Palestinian's weren't the only people who celebrated (and don't tell me that some Americans didn't celebrate when Iraq was bombed even though many innocent civilians died as well ...) but they are the only ones who are spotlighted over and over again. Why is that? Do they want a bloodbath here in the US so that all Palestinians or all people of Middle Eastern descent would be purged? It certainly seems like it at times to me ...

I know that some people are going to take this negatively but I do believe that those who don't speak out in times of injustice are just as guilty as those who perpetrate the crimes. And I also believe that it's a time when we should put aside racial and nationalistic boundaries and stand together as human beings. If we give in to anger and hatred, the culmination of these tragic events could be another world war and I don't think that any of us wants that. Why would anybody want anymore lives to be lost after such a devastating loss? I can't for the life of me fathom it ... Let us all hang together in these times of trial and tribulations as human beings and support each other and not point fingers or persecute people or as Benjamin Franklin once remarked, assuredly we will hang separately!
posted at 08:23:29 AM  link  comment

Tue, Sep 11 2001

This is such a sad day ... we have proven once again that as human beings we are senseless, compunction-less and probably destined for extinction just because we have no feelings what so ever towards our fellow human beings! How could anybody slaughter countless innocents like that? What cause can there be that is so mighty as to shed the blood of one single human being let alone thousands upon thousands? Why oh why can't we get it through our thick heads that there are no cast, creed, color, race,regional or political boundaries so sacrosanct that we should tear up this little mud-ball that we all live on by killing each other? I cannot but imagine what must be going through the minds of those who had loved ones in the affected areas, I wish with all of my heart that there was something I could do to help them or to ease their pain ... why? why?
posted at 01:34:32 PM  link  comment

I'm in a very introspective mood today ... Have you had moments when something - a memory, song, an event ... - evoked a feeling so strong in you that your heart seemed to be full to the point of bursting? I've had that happen to me twice in the span of twenty four hours. The first time was last night - I was thinking of Larry Niven's "Destiny's Road" and suddenly I was there on Destiny, standing on a ruler-straight road leading on to the horizon and beyond, with green alien vegetation growing profusely on either side of me. It was such an intense sensation that if I could have put everything that I felt at that moment into words, I probably would have come up with a brilliant novel. Now what I felt is just a fleeting memory but I can still almost touch that version of me there on Destiny and I guess that is exactly what makes a good writer (which I do not claim to be in case somebody thinks that's what I'm saying :p) - the ability to get in touch with a character and show everybody else the world through their eyes. I wish I had that ability like Larry Niven does but I don't ... sad <g>

The second moment of ... umm .. epiphany? .. no, not epiphany because it wasn't a revelation but rather just a fullness of feeling - as if either your heart or your brain was suffused to the point of bursting with just feeling ... Anyway, the second moment was today while driving to work. Alicia Keys came on the radio with "Fallin'" and I've heard the song many times before but that particular moment it evoked something in me that made me feel as if all was right with the world, that I finally understood what it was all about and that moment too passed ...

Why am I talking about all of this? No reason really :-) But those two moments really meant something (though for the life of me, I can't say what ...) and I just felt like writing about them. That's all ... but now on to other stuff. I was fortunate enough to get the "Alien Legacy" boxed set over the weekend for $50 - second hand. I have seen (I think) the first three movies in the Alien series but can't really recall more than moments from any of the movies. So I decided to watch them all and so I watched "Alien" yesterday and even had the time to watch a portion of the movie again with Ridley Scott's commentary. I'm surprised by how well the movie stands the test of time though some of the sets and the alien do show their age in different ways. It is also kind of shocking to realize that the movie was made twenty two years ago and that I was alive at that time - makes me feel positively ancient :p

Not much happening with the coding end of things. I am really really busy at work and so won't get to do much till perhaps the coming weekend. Incidentally, e-mails are steadily pouring in and if any of you don't hear from me, please forgive me since it's all this work - I've got a fairly huge bit of work that they want completed in five days and so I'm scrambling ...
posted at 08:07:28 AM  link  comment

Sun, Sep 09 2001

I don't know what's with golf movies and me! I just seem to love golf movies though I don't have any particular inclination to play the game or to even watch it as a sporting event :p I thoroughly enjoyed "Tin Cup" when I saw it and today I watched "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and a golf movie has captured my heart and my imagination once more! I won't even go into the acting or the characterization because I didn't notice any of it - all I noticed was the story, the philosophy and the game! It is a moving story on so many levels - it discusses life, character, philosophy without making any direct allusions to any of it - just as part of the game of golf. I enjoyed it immensely and my only regret at the moment is that I won't be able to watch the director's commentary for the movie today since I have other stuff to do.

Incidentally, if you wrote to me during the last week and didn't hear from me, it might be that I did but the e-mail never got to you since it looks as if the new ISP that I switched to last week might not have been sending my e-mails out. Or if you got two e-mails from me which are exact same copies of each other, then the ISP is working and you just didn't write to me :p I've been wondering about the e-mail since some of the e-mail that I sent out (I switch accounts and ISP's depending on whether I'm at work or home ...) never received a response. So I sent out some of the recent stuff again today but I'm not sure I got everybody or even that there is a problem ...

Didn't do much in the way of coding yesterday or today since I was too busy playing "Final Fantasy IX". The more I play that game, the more enmeshed that I become :p I don't know why I didn't like FFVII or FFVIII but I really enjoy this game and can't seem to stop myself once I start :-) I guess FFX will be just as engrossing since it is a traditional RPG instead of having all the futuristic/mechanical stuff as in FFVII and FFVIII. Of course, I'll need a PS2 before that but for the moment I guess there's a lot more life left in my old PlayStation since I'm still playing FFIX :p
posted at 04:56:05 PM  link  comment

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