Opinion

Entries arguing a particular point of view

All is as planned.. and a true story and Weebles

{josquote}I started: So Shirley (not her name)- you would like to buy a growth fund.
Shirley: yes - my friends at work have them and they are all making good money..
I continued: Shirley you are an active born again Christian - true?
Shirley - why Yes I am.
I then said: Is Jesus coming back sooner or later?
Shirley: - Why sooner of course - I truly believe that.
I continued: That's great. Are things going to get better or worse before the Lord returns?
Shirley said: Why worse of course, much worse - the Bible says so...
I concluded with: And you want to buy a growth fund - why???!!

Shirley bought a growth fund anyway...{/josquote}

I have blogged several times about being careful what you pray for.. one of the tenets of the Baha'i Faith is indeed the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty.

Over the past month mankind's own greed has created a situation around the entire globe where those with assets are now - depending upon who you listen to - 20 to 35% poorer. Also based on some assuredly convoluted logic 20 to 35% of the people are now according to constantly shifting demographics among the poor.

Talk about your basic birth pang of a New World Order - the contraction of the wealth of an entire planet by 25%.

The United States is about to cede its position as the dominant superpower on the planet as it does not have the money to do much except try to keep score and maintain order amidst this quagmire.

Things are so bad that the clock that tracks the National debt has run out of digits. That's right ! the debt has outgrown the clock.

As a person of Faith I should not be surprised.

Now for a quick story..

Full story...

Plan B--The Fake Web Log Syndrome

The Baha’i Presence in Israel: The Fake Web Log Syndrome

The other day I came across a web log that is supposedly being run by self-professed “hardliner Jews.” I have to admit that anything written by a self-professed hard-liner Jew is a must read for me, because there is yet a Jewish person to be seen that uses “hard-liner” as an adjective for oneself. Jews may be Orthodox or Reformed or secular or perhaps conservative but “hardliner” is not an appropriate internal designation. It is one of those give-away signs that subliminally say: “I am making this up” or “I am a fake website!” We see examples of this in Iran when a self-professed supposed Baha’i is quoted [in] government propaganda in Iran saying “I am a member of Baha’ism!” Then one knows the propaganda machine is at work. Such is the case with the web log: http://jewbahais.blogspot.com/

I don't know how it is in the gamma-quadrant, but here on Earth where truth and objectivity matter the fa├žade of a hardliner Jew asking for increased Baha’i activity is ridiculous enough, but the web log shows some overt ignorance of basic Baha’i nomenclature. Clusters A, B, C and D are for example introduced, and an A – Cluster is defined as one is one in which “1000 converts” a year are seen. This is further evidence that this web log was generated by someone not familiar with basic Baha’i language.

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Minority rights? No thanks!

When so many people face oppression in the Middle East, is there any point in focusing on the rights of minorities?

What we commonly think of as the 'Arab and Muslim world' is in fact a rich and varied mosaic of peoples. Over the last 50 years, many Middle Eastern minorities have been oppressed or have struggled to survive - be they national groups (Berbers, Kurds, Turkomans, etc), religious communities (Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha'is, etc) or both (Armenians, Jews, etc) …


Brian Whittaker

This was the blurb for a talk last night hosted by the London Middle East Institute, and attended by a fascinating collection of representatives from the region's forgotten minorities, even a Zoroastrian lady - one of the few remaining adherents of a faith that once dominated Iran and much of the surrounding area.

The main speaker was Egyptian-born Masri Feki, the founder of a French-based pressure group called The Middle East Pact, who had come over from Toulouse.

"Masri Feki sees minority rights as central to his vision of secular democracy," the blurb said. "Now, more than ever, thriving minorities are the cornerstone of a healthy civil society and the key to pluralism and peace in this troubled region."

{josquote}In most of the Middle East, though, with only a very limited measure of democracy, minorities and majorities are largely irrelevant: prejudice, discrimination, intolerance and bigotry are rife, full stop.{/josquote}

Well, I'm not so sure about that. As Mr Feki rightly pointed out in his talk, ethnic and religious diversity is something that pan-Arab nationalists and, more recently, Islamists, have tried to obliterate. But what's so special about minorities as such?

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Some interesting Australian Baha'i stats

  • In 1996 there were 8,949 Baha’is in Australia, and in 2001 there were 11,037 Baha’is in Australia: a 23.3% increase. (Source)
  • As of the 2006 census, there are 12,341 Baha’is in Australia. That makes 0.06% of the population and an increase of 11.8% from 2001. (Source)
  • Between the 8 Sep 2001 (day after 2001 census) to 7 Aug 2006 (day before 2006 census), there were 1,172 Baha’i immigrants who settled in Australia, the vast majority of whom came in through the humanitarian program. (Source)
  • According to the 2006 Census, there were 5640 Iranian Baha’is out of a total Baha’i population of 12,341. Over one-third (46 percent) of all Baha’is in Australia were born in Iran. (Source)

Full story...

Some interesting Australian Baha'i stats

  • In 1996 there were 8,949 Baha’is in Australia, and in 2001 there were 11,037 Baha’is in Australia: a 23.3% increase. (Source)
  • As of the 2006 census, there are 12,341 Baha’is in Australia. That makes 0.06% of the population and an increase of 11.8% from 2001. (Source)
  • Between the 8 Sep 2001 (day after 2001 census) to 7 Aug 2006 (day before 2006 census), there were 1,172 Baha’i immigrants who settled in Australia, the vast majority of whom came in through the humanitarian program. (Source)
  • According to the 2006 Census, there were 5640 Iranian Baha’is out of a total Baha’i population of 12,341. Over one-third (46 percent) of all Baha’is in Australia were born in Iran. (Source)

Full story...