Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thoughts of late

Of late I have been troubled by the political turmoil in my home state of Perak. Sadder still is the obvious underhanded tactics of the ruling regime deployed to gain a slight majority in order to launch a coup of the State Assembly.

Whatever little respect I might have for BN is now gone. Poof! I may not be a bigshot. Just a Joe in the street. But I am a Joe who can vote. And with my limited clairvoyant skills, I predict that currency induced defections will not stop in Perak.

Linux and Free Software
RHEL 5.3 promises to bring a lot of goodies. Centos 5.3 is still in active development, but for those who cannot wait to see what are new, download Startcom Linux. Startcom Linux is a rebuild of the Source RPMs of RHEL with enabled multimedia features. I tried Startcom sometime back and it was rock solid. Unfortunately as it is based on RHEL (and Fedora Core 6), there were issues with my wifi dongle (a Zydas 1211 chipset) and while it perfomed admirably it was just no good for me.

Ardour, the venerable Free/Open Source audio workstation suite is closing its doors. Its project lead Paul Davis is now looking for a job after Ardour's longtime sponsor SAE decided to suspend its support indefinitely. Although I am not into AV stuff, I have read enough about it to know that it is a damn shame to lose such a valuable asset of the Free/Open Source universe.

Also the Free Software Magazine has just published its last issue.

And of course Microsoft is up to its tricks again in scaring another dumb company into paying into its protection racket.

And also, apparently Microsoft is afraid of Ubuntu Linux.

Zionism and such
The Gazan invasion by Israel was tragedy. Thousands of people lost their homes and many hundreds lost their lives. Who among us hasn't been touched by the Palestinians' plight? Sadly thugs who professed solidarity with the noble Palestinians chanted anti-Jewish slogans and performed many disgraceful acts against the Jewish people.

However, Zionism and the Jewish people are different. Zionism is a nationalistic political ideology that hides behind the facade of Judaism. It is like calling all Chinese communists or all Germans Nazis. How lame is that?

Also not all Palestinians are Muslims. No less than 10% are of the Christian faith. But lo, from the press one gets the feeling that it is a purely Jews vs Muslims conflict.

An interesting article (in Malay) is written by Hishamuddin Rais here detailing the differences between the ideology Zionism and the Jewish people. Now for those who read Malay, I will advice an open minded attitude if you should want to read it.

When I was in college, most of my teachers were from the Middle East. One of them, is from Palestine. I have heard much about the bad blood between the Jews and Palestinians from the local media and was intrigued enough to ask about that. I was as thick and politically insensitive as that!

What he told me was this; he has nothing against the Jews, fact was he has a few Jewish friends. What he and his brethren hate are the Zionists. Note the differences. Nobody likes an army that, whether it's a foreign one or one of our own; when they throw their weight around with fully loaded guns.

I am not pro-Jewish or anything. Heck I don't even know anyone's Jewish. We now live in the 21st century, but yet the ugly spectre of racism still haunts us. We have thousands of years of arts, philosophy and even the belief in a divine deity that love all humans, but yet there are many among us who would judge others based on their skin colour, religious beliefs or just look different.

Perhaps even with all the progress we humans have achieved and all the clever inventions we prided ourselves with, we are no different than the first ignorant peasant who decided to hate the guy in front of him just because he looked different.

No comments: