published by Justin Podur on Sat, 03/23/2013 - 16:35
KABUL - It's raining in Kabul so I spent a quiet day indoors, reading and watching television, surfing the 30 some Afghan channels. Yesterday the winner of Afghan Star (basically Afghan Idol), Sajed Jannati, sang a song for New Year's. Another New Year's concert took place today, and the singer was Farzana Naz, who has even given a concert in the southern province of Helmand.
published by Justin Podur on Fri, 03/22/2013 - 13:55
KABUL - An article in Safi Airways magazine, which I read on the flight from Delhi, reports that while 10-12% is a good return on investment in the US, 50% and more is possible in Afghanistan. Waiting for luggage to come around at Kabul airport, looking up at the empty billboards offering advertising space for sale, it's easy to forget that this is a land of opportunity for businesses, contractors, and NGOs. But, although it is not clear that they'll leave very much behind when they leave, it is.
published by Justin Podur on Wed, 03/06/2013 - 03:16
I only started paying attention to Hugo Chavez and Venezuela at the time of the 2002 coup. At the time, I was deeply engaged with the Canada Colombia Solidarity Campaign. Friends I was making were on the run, living underground, trying to work in a context of disappearances and massacres, assassinations and torture, in a country that was being reshaped by a massive military program called Plan Colombia.
published by Justin Podur on Thu, 02/21/2013 - 14:06
21 February, 2013
A review of Nandan Nilekani's Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century (Penguin Books 2009)
If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?
It's a daunting task to critique a book by a billionaire. JK Galbraith once wrote that conventional wisdom has it that wealth is correlated with intelligence. By that logic, the author whose book I'm reviewing, Infosys founder (net worth $1.7 billion) Nandan Nilekani is exponentially smarter than me.
published by Justin Podur on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:59
Dan Freeman-Maloy, whose blog is notesonhypocrisy.com, has collected several significant pieces of research on Canada and the Palestine Question and published them as a single PDF (Aaron Swartz would be proud). He has also done a major talk on the same issue, that elucidates some of the main points in the PDF. For those interested in Canadian foreign policy, for those interested in the Israel/Palestine conflict and the west's role in it, Dan's work is indispensable.
published by Justin Podur on Fri, 02/01/2013 - 04:38
First published at http://www.countercurrents.org/podur310113.htm
Sometimes, at night in the city where I live, in Toronto, I will be walking alone to or from the subway station. No one else will be on the street, and I'll see a woman walking towards me in the distance. My protocol is to cross to the other side of the street where I am clearly visible, and let her pass with a lot of distance between us. When I'm walking behind a woman at night, I'll do the same thing – cross the street, quickly pass so that she can see me in front of her rather than hearing me behind her.
published by Justin Podur on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 09:21
Joe Emersberger's got a sharp eye for discerning when media information is misleading or false. When the 2004 coup happened in Haiti, Joe published his correspondence with the Globe and Mail reporter in Haiti at the time, and very ably showed me how someone with a keen eye and decent principles can hold their own in a debate with someone with a privileged position and (undeserved) authority.