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Posts Tagged ‘words’

If true, this exchange between Sarkozy and Putin is astounding. Click here for the link.

With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on Aug. 12, Sarkozy told Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia, Levitte said.

“I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Putin replied.

Sarkozy responded: “Hang him?”

“Why not? The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein,” Putin said.

Sarkozy replied, using the familiar “tu”: “Yes but do you want to end up like (President) Bush?”

Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah, you have scored a point there.”

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says Quirky Indian.

I agree.

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I completely agree with Jesse Walker who says,

Could we retire the phrase “the race card” already? It rivals only “throw [X] under the bus” as the most annoying cliché of the year.

This election season has been especially awesome for cliche-lovers, and tiring for the rest of us. Its all part of the same old politics, and displays a total disrespect for change we can believe in. Also this obsessions with bounces and statistical ties is highly disconcerting. Lets start talking about some real issues instead of figuring out who is ready to lead and who are the ones we have been waiting for.

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Ed Winkleman writes:

My personal take on political correctness is that it’s an artificial construct that has benefits in the short run, but will outlast its usefulness and eventually become harmful. What I mean by that is shaming people into considering others’ feelings (or at least keep their hurtful opinions silent) long enough for those others to gain some power socially is a good thing, but for everyone to truly be on an equal playing field, that pseudo-politeness eventually has to end. It’s foolish to think you’ll ever get everyone to like/accept each other. The only practical thing you can hope for is that people have equal opportunity and equal protection under the law and that with those protections they can fairly fend for themselves.

I am no big fan of political correctness. I articulated my thoughts recently in a comment at Quirky Indian’s blog:

Personally, I dislike political correctness and think it does more harm than good.

It is of course a laudable trait to keep in mind other people’s feelings. And I have nothing against those who choose not to use phrases that might demean certain groups of people. However, there are pitfalls to taking these kinds of things too seriously. Today, we are in an era where political correctness often takes precedence over accuracy or truth, or where it is deemed right to suppress free expression simply to avoid hurting certain people. Or, it leads to situations like you mention, where certain groups get worse treatment than others. It leads to other absurdities too, with alarming regularity.

The better alternative to political correctness is a culture where people are — well — less sensitive. I am not saying this lightly. I am fully aware of the historical suppression of certain peoples and also of the power that words can carry. But everything is ultimately about striking balance and it seems to me that if people display a little less offence and a little more humor in dealing with perceived slights or offences, and able to, for instance, laugh off a politically incorrect joke rather than get worked up over it, we will all be better off. And the kind of culture I am proposing would also be one in which freedom of expression is accorded more respect than it is today in much of the world.

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Wendell Gunn, a conservative, wrote Obama when he sent him a campaign contribution:

My contribution to your campaign is based on hope and change: My hope that you will change your mind on the tax and economic policies you are proposing.

That’s strangely apt. I do not think there has been another presidential contender in history with such a large fraction of supporters who actually hope he has been lying. And yes, I am one of them too. Mea Culpa.

Of course, Obama’s obvious intelligence doesn’t hurt, nor does the fact that at least on the important issues of war, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic surveillance, he is so much better than McCain.

Here’s a nice article with quotes from some prominent conservative and libertarian Obama backers.

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In an interview with NDTV Karunanidhi was quizzed if his government was going to offer items like rice, cooking gas at a subsidised rate? He responded that it was unlikely since it was impossible.

Surely this requires skill. Would you ever think of saying something like that?

Here’s the link to the original article.

(Link via email from Naresh)

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Aamir Khan writes in his blog that the caretaker of his Panchgani house has a dog named Shahrukh. He emphasises that he had nothing to do with the naming of the dog.

I’m sitting under a tree, on the edge of a valley, approximately 5000 feet above sea level. The river Krishna flows far below us snaking its way among the Sahyadri mountains. A cool breeze is blowing, jannat ki hawa (breeze from the heavens), as my mother calls it. Ammi, Ira and Junaid are by my side and we are in the middle of one of our favourite board games ‘Settlers Of Catan’. Shahrukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for?

Now, before you jump to any conclusions let me add that Shahrukh is the name of our dog. And before you jump to any further conclusions let me add that I had nothing to do with naming him. In fact Shahrukh is the dog of the caretakers of our house. When I bought this house it came with the caretakers and their dog! Apparently Shahrukh (the actor) was shooting for a commercial in this house a few years ago, and that very day the caretakers bought a pup…, and named him Shahrukh. What are the chances of me buying a house which comes with a dog called Shahrukh!!!

Shah Rukh’s supporters (who clearly can’t read) react:

The shocking display of insolent humor has sent shock waves in the otherwise-insulated and unconcerned film industry. Says a very popular character-actor who has worked with both the actors, “I guess the freedom provided by a blog tends to loosen tongues. Amitji has never been known to be as undiplomatic as he’s on his blog. Aamir must have thought it’s time to increase the odds, what if Amitji’s blog gets more eyeballs! Also, his nephew’s film is around the corner. During the release of Taare Zameen Par, Aamir created a controversy by taking on Amitji and Black. Now for the nephew it’s Shah Rukh being called a dog. All I can say is life’s a bitch.”

Shah Rukh remains characteristically unfazed and humorous in the face of his colleague’s uncharitable and tasteless remarks. When this writer expressed shock and indignation at Aamir’s remarks, SRK responded, “Earlier on, people used to name their children after famous people. Somebody naming a dog after a known person is a new beginning in that direction. I don’t have a copyright over this name if used non-commercially.” But a close friend of SRK on promise of anonymity reacted far more aggressively. “Aamir’s megalomania has been brewing for a while. Earlier he declared himself No.1 as compared with SRK who took it smilingly. Now Aamir is down to street-level provocation…”

But it is not just excitable fans who indulge in such mischaracterisations. Big political parties are equally adept at it.

Or perhaps I should be generous and put it all down to cognitive dissonance.  

Update: This blogger goes on a rant about how lowly Aamir is and then links approvingly to my post. What on earth is wrong with the world? Can no one read? Is the stand I take in the above post so hard to gauge? Also see the amazingly nonsensical comment 1 below. This after going through my post.

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