HOME | ABOUT US | Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com You can send an email to: MikeGhouseforIndia@gmail.com


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Americans Tolerant of Religions,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Americans Tolerant of Religions, Poll SaysThe following survey (below) filed under Nations News is indeed reflective of the average American, no matter how you pigeon hole him or her. The “survey finds most Americans don't feel their religion is the only way to eternal life — even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise." Indeed, if we can learn to accept and respect every which way people worship the divine, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Continued at: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2008/06/americans-tolerant-of-religions.html

Monday, June 23, 2008

Conservative, a dirty word

Whether we agree or disagree, there is always another way of looking at things. We should have the choices to evaluate alternatives.

If conservatives had their way, no woman would have been allowed to vote, no rights of equality would have passed in our nation, no woman would have had a free choice with her pregnancy. Conservatives would keep half the population under their control. All the things that we are enjoying and are proud of today, are the fruit of open minds.

Being liberal is being open minded, allowing one to be flexible to evaluate each situation. The word conservative will remain a dirty word for a while, as long as the Rove's and Cheney's have a grip on the party. Jesus was liberal, he went out and reached those whom conservatives shunned.

We can compel and subdue other nations with our might, but the oppressed ones will be waiting for a chance to get even. That happens in our spousal, parents/kids and other relationships. We need to win friendship; it is safe for us, good for others.

The policy of terrorizing nations has failed miserably and must be discontinued. The policy makers are the Neocons, who believe they have to keep other nations at war for our safety that is a wrong notion and needs to be surgically removed from their brains. We would be much safer if we promote peace.

60 Years have gone by, neither Israel nor Palestinians have the peace. It is our policies run by the Neocons that are preventing peace on earth. As long as the conservatives have a grip on the world, peace is going to be difficult. They are masters in keeping every one on the edge, in doing so, they are on the edge as well.

McCain is a war monger and we don't need to destroy our economy with their personal wars dumped on us the Americans and run huge deficits. We need to win the world back again, earn our lost respect and influence the world, so each one of is a winner. Obama is the best choice for our nation at this time.

I am glad Obama is an open minded fellow and not a stick in the mud.

Blackwell is full of it, like Pat Robertson, Falwell and others who said Katrina and 9/11 were God’s revenge, Blackwell throws this “The anti-christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA?? “

How did he cook this statement? Where did he get this from? That is the problem with conservatives, they lack thinking and reasoning. It is this mind set that is dangerous. Muslims came into being 600 years after Jesus, the Word Muslim did not exist, yet he cooks up that anti-Christ would be a Muslim. He is attempting to pass his opinion as though it might have been a prophecy in the Bible, thank God, besides the conservatives a majority of Americans would not buy it. Yet the conservatives claim God is on their side?

Time has come for the moderates to run the nation moderately and peacefully, something Jesus would approve.

Mike Ghouse

Ken Blackwell - Columnist for the New York Sun

It's an amazing time to be alive in America . We're in a year of firsts in this presidential election: the first viable woman candidate; the first viable African-American candidate; and, a candidate who is the first front-running freedom fighter over 70. The next president of America will be a first.

We won't truly be in an election of firsts, however, until we judge every candidate by where they stand. We won't arrive where we should be until we no longer talk about skin color or gender. Now that Barack Obama steps to the front of the Democratic field, we need to stop talking about his race, and start talking about his policies and his politics.

The reality is this: Though the Democrats will not have a nominee until August, unless Hillary Clinton drops out, Mr. Obama is now the frontrunner, and its time America takes a closer and deeper look at him. Some pundits are calling him the next John F. Kennedy. He's not. He's the next George McGovern. And it's time people learned the facts.

Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton. Never in my life have I seen a presidential frontrunner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record. Walter Mondale promised to raise our taxes, and he lost. George McGovern promised military weakness, and he lost. Michael Dukakis promised a liberal domestic agenda, and he lost.

Yet Mr. Obama is promising all those things, and he's not behind in the polls. Why? Because the press has dealt with him as if he were in a beauty pageant.. Mr. Obama talks about getting past party, getting past red and blue, to lead the United States of America . But let's look at the more defined strokes of who he is underneath this superficial 'beauty.'

Start with national security, since the president's most important duties are as commander-in-chief. Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong II, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists - something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s. Even Democrats who have worked in national security condemned all of those remarks. Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

Next, consider economic policy. For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreements, created by Bill Clinton as well as President Bush, have made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago. Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on 'the rich.' How to fix Social Security? Raise taxes. How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes. Prescription drugs? Raise taxes. Free college? Raise taxes. Socialize medicine? Raise taxes. His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.

Finally, look at the social issues. Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, 'All praise and glory to God!' but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have 'hijacked' - hijacked - Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. His spiritual leaders endorse homosexual marriage, and he is moving in that direction. In Illinois , he refused to vote against a statewide ban - ban - on all handguns in the state. These are radical left, Hollywood , and San Francis co values, not Middle America values.

The real Mr. Obama is an easy target for the general election. Mrs. Clinton is a far tougher opponent. But Mr. Obama could win if people don't start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches. His vision of 'bringing America together' means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or warmongers. Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs.

But right now everyone is talking about how eloquent of a speaker he is and - yes - they're talking about his race. Those should never be the factors on which we base our choice for president. Mr. Obama's radical agenda sets him far outside the American mainstream, to the left of Mrs. Clinton.

It's time to talk about the real Barack Obama. In an election of firsts, let's first make sure we elect the person who is qualified to be our president in a nuclear age during a global civilizational war.
Subject: Kind of scary, wouldn't you think Remember--God is good, and is in time, on time - every time

According to The Book of Revelations the anti-christ is:

The anti-christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA??

I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to repost this as many times as you can! Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet...do it! If you think I am crazy,. I'm sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the 'unknown' candidate.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bush before truth commission

http://theghousejournal.blogspot.com/2008/06/bush-before-truth-commission.html

The following article by Dr. Bernard Weiner is humurous and is worth pondering.

I am waiting to see the extremists like O'Riley, Hannity, Limbaugh and their ilk jump on the author of this article. They are good in ganging up, what makes these extremists believe in Bush beats me.

72% of the nation clearly does not like anything Mr. Bush does, and yet these guys make a God out of him, labeling themselves as conservatives, making that word a dirty word.

If it were in Canada, UK, Israel, Australia, South Africa, India or other democracies, he would have been dumped in a hurry with no confidence in the President. Of course, our system of governance is the best, this is the first time in the history we have a ruthless, arrogant and ill-intentioned man in power.

Do we expect another one like him? If we do, we need to amend our constitution to dethrone the self annointed fascists. It is a shame we let him use the name of God to advance his wickedness.

Mike Ghouse
# # #

Bush's Testimony Before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Written by Dr. Bernard Weiner
Friday, 13 June 2008
http://atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/4068/1/

by Bernard WeinerAuthor's Note: Some time after the Bush Administration had left office, in the beginnings of what historians call the period of "Restoration of Constitutional Rule," criminal indictments were about to be unsealed aimed at the architects of the former regime's illegal foreign wars/torture policy and martial law-type domestic rule. Those indicted would have one last chance to escape likely incarceration: testimony before the recently-instituted Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Here is a partial transcript from George W. Bush's appearance.

Bishop Tutu:

Welcome, Mr. Bush. Please raise your right hand and swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Bush:
Yeah, sure, I do.

Tutu:

Please be seated. As we made clear when Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and others Administration officials appeared before us, those who testify here do so voluntarily in order to be evaluated for amnesty for their crimes. Please note: If you tell the full truth, you will escape criminal prosecution and likely incarceration. If you lie, you will be dismissed from these proceedings and your case will be forwarded to the criminal prosecuters here and to the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. Do you understand?

Bush:
Yep. Given how important these proceedings are, I would request that my attorney be permitted to sit next to me.

Bush:
Yep. Given how important these proceedings are, I would request that my attorney be permitted to sit next to me.

Tutu:
There are no legal issues to be adjudicated here. This is a forum for truth-telling, plain and simple. The Congress and President established this independent commission in an effort to aid in social healing. In my country of South Africa and in other countries where such Truth and Reconciliation Commissions have been active, telling the truth, no matter how painful it seems at first, works as a salve for society, allowing both victims and victimizers to move forward in their lives. Now, let us begin.


Bush:
OK, bring it on.


Commissioner#1:
Mr. Bush, we will be covering much ground here this morning. In the main, questions will cover two major areas: your lies and deceptions in starting an unnessessary war, and your placing yourself above the law and the Constitution.


Bush:
Nobody ever impeached me for any of that. As for the war, my behavior in attacking Iraq was justified by the intelligence we had at the time. I can't help it if the intelligence agencies gave me bad advice.

Chairman
Tutu:
This is your final warning, sir. This is not a court of law, you are not going to be punished for anything you say here, as long as you tell the truth. If you persist in pretending that you did nothing wrong, you w —


Bush:
Hey, you accused me of lying and deceiving the American people. I don't see it that way at all. As President, I was responsible for protecting and defending my country. There may have been mistakes made along the way, but everyone makes mistakes. There's no need to use terms like "war crimes" and "lies."


Commissioner #2:
Your "mistakes," if you want to call them that, resulted in the death and wounding of at least several hundred thousand troops and civilians. We'll get to those war crimes and lies as we proceed. Right now, since you brought up the subject, I would like to hear you talk about those "mistakes" you made in launching and prosecuting the war in Iraq. Can you name any?


Bush:
I think I was, I think we all were, too gullible in accepting the word of Iraqi exiles as to how easy this war was going to be. It was a mistake to do so. Likewise, it was a mistake on our part to accept at face-value the assessments presented us by the intelligence community about Iraq's WMD stockpiles. That was a mistake; it made fighting that war much more difficult.

Commissioner #1:
If I understand your testimony, sir, your "mistakes" had to do with the details of how to prosecute the war, not on the decision to go to war in the first place.



Bush:
Yes, that's correct. Saddam Hussein was an evil man, with evil intent. He wanted to restart his WMD programs, nuclear programs. We had to take him out before he could do that.


Commissioner #2:
But that wasn't the rationale you gave at first; you claimed he had active WMD programs and stockpiles. In any event, a "pre-emptive" war, under international law, can only be justified when a country is facing imminent attack. Even according to your own experts in the National Intelligence Estimates, whose findings you ignored, Iraq was five to ten years away from being able to acquire WMD. You attacked a basicially defenseless nation. That, sir, is a war crime. What gives you the right to decide life and death for so many people?


Bush:
I was President of the United States of America, the lone remaining superpower on the planet. If we didn't act, nobody would have removed this despicable dictator from the world.

Commissioner #3: But in the last months of your presidency, you didn't even consider launching such action against the dictator Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or the military junta in Myanmar, both of whom were basically starving their citizens to death and authorizing beatings and/or murders of those who resisted. Might your eagerness to take action in Iraq have had anything to do with the large oil reserves in that country?


Bush:
Of course oil was part of the equation. The world runs on the stuff. But our main motivation was to help the Iraqis start a new, democratic life, and thus provide a model for other Middle East countries to move to a similar track. Our intentions were honorable, even if the intelligence was flawed.


Commissioner #3:
Mr. Chairman, I don't think we can proceed with this witness. We have volumes of documented evidence from the Administration, statements by CIA agents and analysts, the Downing Street memos from the British war cabinet, and testimony from Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill and others, clearly demonstrating that prior to his launching the invasion of Iraq, the witness was aware that there were no WMD stockpiles in Iraq, no extant chemical weapons or nuclear weapons programs, no links to 9/11 or al-Qaida. And yet he and his fellow conspirators lied about all that time and time again and utilized deception and blatant propaganda in the run-up to the war in order to bamboozle the Congress, the American people, and allies abroad into supporting his illegal and immoral war and occupation of Iraq. And he still can't stop prevaricating.


Tutu:
Yes, I am inclined to agree. Mr. Bush, you will be dismissed from these proceedings. Bailiff, prepare to take the witness to the criminal courts division for trial, along with his fellow conspirators Cheney, Rove, Rice, Libby, Feith and the others. As you already know, I'm sure, Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Powell, Mr. Perle, et al., did receive amnesty for their crimes because they chose to relate the truth to this panel.


Bush:
Let's not be hasty here. Maybe, Mr. Chairman, I could elaborate more on some of my statements and you'll see that I am telling the truth, as I know it.


Tutu:
I want to impress upon you, Mr. Bush, that you are on the razor's edge here.


Commissioner #1:
So tell us about your decision to go to war, now that you apparently have decided you remember more about that period.

Women in Audience:
Our son Greg was sent back three times to fight your goddamned war in Iraq, and he died there, for no good reason! You have blood on your hands, Mr. Bush! You deserve to be —


Tutu:
Madame, we all understand and share your anguish, but there is a Commission forum across the hall where you can express your feelings for the record. Here, the aim is to permit witnesses to testify without being pressured by victims or family members of victims. Please do take your seat. Thank you. The witness may proceed.


Bush:
I can't tell you how sorry I am for that woman's loss. Now to answer your question, Commissioner: As the lone superpower still standing, the United States had the opportunity to use our strength and good intentions to alter the geopolitical map of the world. Doing so, of course, would help America and our economy, but we believed that it also would help the citizens of those countries we were interested in moving faster toward democracy and free-markets. In addition, the Muslim world was strengthening and growing more assertive, with a militant wing bent on violence and destruction of Western democratic values. They had attacked us and our European allies, with devastating results. We felt this was the perfect time and opportunity to take them on, while they were still relatively weak, wipe them out or at least marginalize them. The example of what we did to them would translate to others, who would then be more agreeable to our point of view.


Commissioner #3:
But what you wound up doing was serving as the best recruiting tool the Islamic jihadists could ever hope to have. Besides, If you felt this strongly about your mission to change the world in this way, why not just go to the American people and tell them what policy you had in mind and why it was so important and necessary? That's what we do in a democracy. Instead, you hid that essential information from the American people, and from the Congress that would have to approve and authorize funds. Mr. Wolfowitz told this commission that even though he and you were quite aware that there were no WMD stockpiles in Iraq, your administration chose to scare Congress and the citizenry with frightening tales of WMD and nuclear mushroom clouds and drone planes dropping toxic chemical agents over America — in short, that you chose to deceive in this way because scaring the American people like that was the only way you felt you could get the support you needed.


Bush:
Yes, that is more or less what happened. In democracies, it takes forever to make decisions and we felt we had a brief window of time to attack and change the world for the better; we simply could not afford the luxury of long debate and legislative or U.N. restrictions. So we "catapulted the propaganda" about WMD and all the rest, and launched our attack.


Commissioner #2:
But by pulling the inspectors out of Iraq — who, by the way, could find no stockpiles of WMD — and rushing a vague resolution through the United Nations, your forces weren't quite ready for the occupation of Iraq, for the nation-building and reconstruction phase that would follow. And I didn't even mention that you left American units exposed to attacks by insurgents since the troops didn't have the right equipment, the correct body and vehicle armoring and so forth. Your troops secured the oil ministry, but didn't even guard the arms caches all over Iraq, which were being used by the insurgents to build roadside bombs.


Bush:
As I said, mistakes were made. Don Rumsfeld insisted on a small force to fight the war and police the occupation, so we couldn't be everywhere at once. Eventually, I had to ask him to resign. But before you commissioners dump on me, I do realize that I was the final decider and have to bear some responsibility for what happened. I am truly sorry for whatever mistakes I may have made — for the mistakes that I made. I am truly sorry...

Commissioner #1:
Moving on to another topic. In your zeal to keep America from more terrorist attacks, you effectively nullified numerous amendments to the Constitution that protect U.S. citizens from a rapacious, out-of-control federal government. And you asserted that as "commander-in-chief" during "wartime," you could violate whatever laws you so chose, despite the will of the people as expressed through their members of Congress. You even disappeared the 700-year-old legal tradition of "habeas corpus," which requires that the government go before a judge and explain why someone has been arrested and seek the court's approval to hold them.



Bush:
As 9/11 demonstrated, we are in a new world now. The quaint niceties of democratic procedure, habus corpse, habanero corpus — whatever you said — and search-and-seizure rules and all the rest of those Constitutional guarantees, just get in the way of protecting American citizens from the bad guys. Speed was of the essence and we felt we quickly had to give our national-security agents the tools with which they could stop the terrorists before more attacks could be launched. No doubt, some innocents were harmed in the process and mistakes were made.


Commissioner #1:
It wasn't just a few innocents who suffered, sir. The Constitution of the United States, which has served as the bedrock for our jurisprudence and manner of governance for 250 years, was effectively destroyed. You behaved as a dictator, choosing which laws you would obey. You arrested U.S. citizens and threw them into secret prisons. You authorized torture as state policy. You secretly ordered massive domestic spying and data mining of ordinary Americans. In short, your Administration ran amok, and when questioned about those transgressions, you or your spokesmen said that the Chief Executive couldn't be touched because, you claimed, the "commander-in-chief" was acting in a time of "war" and you were free to take whatever action you felt was necessary under those "wartime" conditions. Even when the U.S. Supreme Court twice told you that you had overstepped your authority, you continued to break the law.


Bush:
I didn't consider it "breaking the law." My responsibility was to protect and defend the nation, and I did what I considered to be necessary in that regard. It's possible that I went beyond what was necessary, and for that I take full responsibility. But it was done out of the best of motives.


Commissioner #3:
The oath you took on Inauguration Day was to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," which is to say to the rule of law as laid down by that document, not to the "nation," which leaves much to interpretation and permits over-reaching presidents to confuse themselves with the "nation." You didn't protect the Constitution, you ran rough-shod over it, nearly turning this country into a police state. Motives don't count here, sir; you violated your oath of office.


Bush:
What do I care what you think? That's just your opinion! I would — I mean, if I did go too far on the Constitution thing, I accept responsibility for my actions. I realize that some people got hurt by my actions. I offer my apology. My sincere apologies. My sincerest apologies.


Commissioner #3:
Mr. Chairman, it seems clear that the witness is issuing these mea culpas merely because he realizes he must if he's to have a shot at amnesty.


Bush:
That's not true. I'm real sorry if anyone got offended.

Tutu:
Given the history and official lawlessness of this witness, we'll take what we can get. At least the former President admitted his responsibility for many of the most egregious crimes committed. We'll take a short break now. When we return, we will examine the witness' immoral and criminal behavior in more detail on these issues and on torture, global warming, corruption, Katrina, vote-tabulation fraud, politicizing the justice system, environmental degradation, and so on. #

Friday, June 13, 2008

Life is a Poem of Love - Life of Najma Ghouse


LIFE IS A POEM OF LOVE 

the story of your life, our life and my life. 




The Spiritual freedom is indeed the greatest achievement in one’s life and it permanently clings to you till eternity. Those of us, who can free ourselves from tension, pain, anxiety, apprehension, hostility, malice, pressure, tension, stress, strain and conflicts, are showeredwith blessings of peace and joy. It is good to be free.

I am pleased to have celebrated her life, nearly 400 people attended the event, 12 different religious songs were sung by our friends from different faiths honoring her interfaithness including the Native Americans. At her funeral, the mosque was shut down by the fire marshall with 3000 people in the hall... my atheist friends joined the funeral services as well.  120 pictures are at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/albums/72157683543969933






This is my personal story of achieving spiritual freedom for us; and my late wife and I before she passed away from Cancer.

The example was set by my mother, when she passed away, she tied all the lose ends of life. From the hospital bed, she called every one she knew to apologize and to forgive, and to bring closure to little things that mattered much; small things that create barriers and tensions between people. She made her family's life easy and embarked on her eternal journey, after cleaning her slate and the slates of the others. In our culture, we don't verbalize our love to parents, siblings and kids, at least my generation, we express it through our caring actions. However, I gathered myself over the phone and said that I loved her, and that whatever I am today, was because of her, and that I am grateful to her, what a relief that was! When I reached Yelahanka, my home town near Bangalore, I was late by about 4 or 6 hours. I sat next to her and admired her for tying the lose ends of life and going in peace, what a lesson to learn.





It was my turn now.

A month before Najma passed away, she and I consciously developed an understanding of things that needed resolutions and closure. We embarked on working a list, the things she wished away; went away one at a time, the little things that gave her tensions, apprehensions and fears, the things she wanted to see happen; started happening one at a time. Thank God, every conflict was graciously resolved and she had this wonderful opportunity to clear the air and receive her freedom.







Three days prior to her death, I shared the good news with her, “Najma, spiritually you are a free person now, you will be pleased to know that all those items that bothered you and gave you tension are done with, the loose ends are tied, and if you were to get up and walk and be with any one, hear about anything or see anything you will be completely free from tensions”. 



The smile that appeared on her face was simply life giving, it meant everything to me, it was a relief to me to know that as a spouse I have done my part in completing her life successfully and I thank God for that. I asked her to forgive my shortcomings and without missing a beat, she asked me to do the same. It was one of the best emotional releases she and I have had in our lives. It was a perfect Michami Dukadam. (cleaning each others slate)


At about 7:05 PM, fifteen minutes prior to taking her last breath, on Thursday, May 22nd, our friends Gopala and Matthew with their spouses joined in and we prayed short versions of Hindu, Christian and Muslim prayers* holding each others hands making a circle. I stretched my hand under Najma's right hand fingers, the hand was downside, feebly she put her fingers on mine and I held her hand gently and each one prayed.


As I walked out with my friends, three of Najma's friends joined her for a few minutes and came out when I entered the room back again about 7:19, I was barely out for about 6-7 minutes. Najma's sisters Arifa and Razia were standing by her feet and I was by the head. Arifa called me to see if Najma was breathing, there was tension on her face.... then both of them told me to look under the neck, I put my hand and I felt she was breathing, then our RN friend Melanie walked in and put her stethoscope, the sisters and I were getting anxious until she made the pronouncement that Najma is not breathing any more, waiting for those few seconds seemed like an eternity to me.


Najma had a beautiful smile on her face; indeed, she had that smile all day long and remained till the funeral prayers next day at Richardson Mosque after the Friday congregational prayers.
 That was the last time I saw her. She radiated peace and contentment; she had successfully finished what she was to do in this life. She was ready and happily went on her eternal journey living a purposeful life. 

Najma had reached the pinnacle of freedom when she took her last breath. It is a beautiful way to bring closure to life and I wish this happens to me, you and every one. Amen!



A day before she passed, after my routine conversation with her in the morning, I started walking towards the door and I 
hear out a calling, “Miiike” it was loud and clear. I was surprised as she did not have the energy to speak out like that, as I turned around, Uzma noted the puzzle on my face and instantly responded, “Mommy is calling for you”… 



I walked up to Najma, leaned over and looked at her. She said, “I Just wanted to say, I love you”. Those were the most powerful words to me at that time and I am going to treasure the sound and romance of those words. Thanks Najma.


Najma and I have lived our life experiencing the full spectrum of emotions ranging from Khatta (sour), Meetha (sweet), Pheeka (tasteless), Teekha (off), Khara (spicy) and Kadva (bitter) brim with caring and lots of loving. 


We have enjoyed the happy moments that life had offered; we have lived the fantasies; survived the challenges; experienced the bitterness and above all bonded with the thread of romance till death did us apart.  That was a beautiful relationship for us.





Life is a poem of love; it is the fluency of passing day and night and a life time to live. Life is your story, our story, my story and every one’s story.



Najma would come alive when we went to see Sirena, a bronze mermaid in the flowing stream in the town of Salado south of Waco. Some times we just jump in the car and drive out to East Texas and sing along the golden oldies and Golden melodies like; ai mere dil-e-nadaan tu gham say na ghabrana, chalo dildaar chalo, hum tere pyaar may sara aalam kho baithay.... gali may aaj chand nikla.. hum nay dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushbo... O duur ke musafir, a zindagi ke mele, my zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya... aa chal ke tujhe, a mera diwanapun hai and ai dil mujhe aisi jaga le chal. We were always ready to go to see Sirena, it was a place where we felt relaxed and in tune with each other and certainly we cherished those romantic moments of life.


Whenever we wanted to go out, we consciously picked the nights when the moon was in full glory. We went out to the B & B on Lake Travis and or Lake Whitney. There is one place out there where the dome shaped circular tent sits atop the corner of a hill...and when the Chandni (moon light) filters through glassy-moon-roof and softly shines in her dark brown eyes, she looked beautiful like the Goddess Aphrodite and an Apsara as we call it in Hindi and a Hoor in Urdu. She looked peaceful and we both longed for those moments to freeze on us. I could not resist humming "Chaudveen ka chand ho, ya aaftab ho, jo bhi ho tum khuda ki khasam, la jawab ho" 





The soft gentle laps of the waves consistently hitting the rock edges created a symphony with the breeze kissing the leaves of the tree hovering over the tent. The occasional sounds of frogs and crickets were ironically mellifluous in the calmness of the night.







Heck we would sit on our rocker in front of our house looking at the stars in the expansive sky, the shimmering moon reflecting on the pond across our house cooled us, the desire to just stare into each other's eyes was beautiful ("Mera Khoya huwa rangeen nazara deday, mere mehboo tujhe, meri muhabbat ki Khasam") The breeze from across the Golf course made us feel good about life and being together. It was a full life, I am glad we have had those lamhaat (moments) and yadon ka sahara (memories to cherish) to treasure. 

Neither of us had the voice to sing or tune to follow, but we sure sang a lot. Our favorite duets were... O hain zara, khafa khafa...to nain yoon churaye hain and rim jhim ke geet sawan gayay... chalo dildaar chalo and our all time favorite was Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma hai.

Indeed we carefully planned our trip to India and picked the 14th eve of Moon to visit Taj Mahal.

When it is full Moon, the Taj is glorious and romantic, it does something to you, it tings your heart. You feel a serene sense of romance, the desire to put your beloved on the pedestal, the desire to express how much you want her.


Way back in the early 60's when the Queen of England visited Taj, she skipped out of her hotel the next night, the entire Indian security machinery was hunting for her and eventually they found her sitting in front of Taj and gazing at it, in her own world. The old lady was imagining her youth when she desired for her lover... the kind ofromance you see in the movie Titanic. Taj is certainly a monument of love.






Najma and I sat in front of the Taj till late night waiting for
 Ms. Moon to show up from behind the clouds; as Najma called the Moon; Ms. Moon and the Sun; Surya Devata. Ms. Moon decided to stay behind the chilman (clouds) and did not show up. Najma was giving instructions to the moon to show up and I was waiting if Moon would listen to her. We were determined to see the moonlit Taj and came back early next morning.

We could not contain ourselves with that joy, and absorbed the full glory of the Taj, 
it is a beauty to treasure. You feel the reciprocal spirit of romance. Once in your life time, you must make the pilgrimage to this sanctuary of love. We were so overwhelmed with the joy that we had to find a way to balance it out. On the left of Taj, there is a sanctuary, we walked over there and expressed our gratitude to
 the creator for our union. That was one of the most gratitudinal moments of our lives. Feeling and expressing gratitude brings a blissful state of being. Thank you God.










When you push the  refresh button of your life, as the Jain philosophy urges each one to forgive the other and start the life all over again with a clean slate. One who forgives is dearest to Allah and forgiving is central to Jesus' teaching as well. There is wisdom in it, every philosophy and every religion urges you to do that. Forgiving is the most powerful things one can do. Please don't delay it, forgive every one that has hurt you. If your life were to come to an end today,  you will have peace written on your face.  It is indeed empowering.

Please take that step today; be it your spouse, parents, siblings, kids, friends, co-workers or any one, forgive them genuinely and call them up and let them know that you felt discomfort about a particular aspect of relationship and that you seek forgiveness, and that your heart and mind does not have ill will, anger or hate towards them. Do your part.


Thanks to Najma, she and I had the luxury to put things behind, forgive and express our love for each other, and indeed we have released and freed each other. It is Nirvana, Mukti, Moksha, Nijaat and Salvation to her and I. She went in peace with her best smile on her face.

Peace will come to you, just do the right thing from this moment forward. Let yesterday be gone, if there is left over, do your best to tie the loose ends and clean the slate of your life. Happiness is a choice.




The creator, no matter what name you call him, be it Yahweh, Jesus, El, Ilahi, Ishwar, Deos, Ahura Mazda, Allah, Bahaullah, God, Mahavir, Buddha, Wahe Guruji or any name you are familiar with is yours, as much as he is every one else's.  He is with you and wants you to be at peace whether you are with a religion or not, he (she or it) will not abandon you, after all he is your creator, just ask him to be with you in doing the right things, or do it on your own for your own goodness.

Please make a list of things, every thing that you wish, every thing you need and want, whether you do it or not, it will bring purpose in your life. Live the life purposefully, one day at a time, you will not get a second chance to experience it. Be the best person you can be. Amen

May God guide us to clean our slate every day, bring humility and remove the arrogance. May you be blessed. Amen.



Najma was a volunteer par excellence. She was good to the people in distress, she gave them good counsel when they came to her or she went to see them. I enjoyed listening to her with admiration. She was getting the distressed calls all hours of the day, between us, we had a pact, that she can share the story of the people, but not tell me who they were and we kept the privacy of the people intact with one exception; where we had to go pick a lady up in the middle of the night who was thrown out of her house. Following that for a full week, we would go pick her up from a temporary house, and take her to jobs to clean houses and then take her back, thanks God finally she found a place to be a nanny. There were so many women out there that Najma was blessed to be a part of their relief. It is tough; but you and I can make a difference in every one’s life by stretching just a little bit of our time. 




Najma enriched herself with each individual she served. The world is a better place today because of the spirit of volunteerism in each one of us. You, me and every one of us is endowed with the gift of helping others and a majority of us receive boundless joy in caring about others, though joy is not expected.






Life is a poem of love, it is the fluency of waves, constantly moving from one realm to the other without looking back, life is nothing more than your story and my story (Ek pyaar ka naghma hai, moujon ki rawani hai, Zindagi aur kuch bhi nahin, teri meri kahani hai.)

We gain a few things in life while we lose some, the purpose of life is coming into the world and departing; it is in and out and choosing to fill the in-between with joy and caring (Kuch paa kar khona hai, kuch kho kar paana hai, Jeevan ka matlab to, aana aur jaana hai.)

I thank the creator for our blessed life and express my gratitude for bringing a beautiful closure to her life. May her soul keep smiling and inspiring others to live for the sake of others, there is a joy and peace in it. Amen



I request for you to seriously consider pushing the refresh button of your life, as the Jain philosophy urges each one to forgive the other and start the life all over again with a clean slate. One who forgives is dearest to Allah and forgiving is central to Jesus' teaching as well. There is wisdom in it, every philosophy and every religion urges you to do that. Forgiving is the most powerful things one can do. Please don't delay it, forgive every one that has hurt you. If your life were to come to an end today,  you will have peace written on your face.  It is indeed empowering. Please take that step today; be it your spouse, parents, siblings, kids, friends, co-workers or any one, forgive them genuinely and call them up and let them know that you felt discomfort about a particular aspect of relationship and that you seek forgiveness, and that your heart and mind does not have ill will, anger or hate towards them. Do your part.
Thanks to Najma, she and I had the luxury to put things behind, forgive and express our love for each other, and indeed we have released and freed each other. It is Nirvana, Mukti, Moksha, Nijaat and Salvation to her and I. She went in peace with her best smile on her face.






Peace will come to you, just do the right thing from this moment forward. Let yesterday be gone, if there is left over, do your best to tie the loose ends and clean the slate of your life. Happiness is a choice.

The creator, no matter what name you call him, be it Yahweh, Jesus, El, Ilahi, Ishwar, Deos, Ahura Mazda, Allah, Bahaullah, God, Mahavir, Buddha, Wahe Guruji or any name you are familiar with is yours, as much as he is every one else's.  He is with you and wants you to be at peace whether you are with a religion or not, he (she or it) will not abandon you, after all he is your creator, just ask him to be with you in doing the right things, or do it on your own for your own goodness.

 


Please make a list of things, every thing that you wish, every thing you need and want, whether you do it or not, it will bring purpose in your life. Live the life purposefully, one day at a time, you will not get a second chance to experience it. Be the best person you can be. Amen

May God guide us to clean our slate every day, bring humility and remove the arrogance. May you be blessed. Amen.

 * Our friends from Hopi, Cherokee, Apache and Toltec traditions have prayed for Najma's well being. Then the Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Sikh, Wicca, Zoroastrian and other friends have blessed her soul. Thanks to each one of you for the grace, kindness and love you have showered on Najma


 Picking things up for some one who cannot, make time to help a stranger and simply doing good to others makes our heart smile and we can do this every day. Every thing we are enjoying today is because of the spirit of volunteerism in others. Life is about balance, when we receive a benefit, our life balance is indebted; we have to give back equal or more to bring that balance back up. It brings peace, it is the net composure of body and mind. It is that simple to live a happier life. There is a saying attributed to the Holy Bhagvad Gita “ Neki kar darya may daal”… meaning, when you do good, do not expect rewards or any compensation in kind, but just do it. May God bless every human who cares about others.

You can start your life tomorrow with a commitment to serve others; As the Jewish scriptures say Ve'ahavta la'ger, you must love the stranger for that guaranteed happiness. Jesus reached out to the ones who were abandoned by the society, Prophet Muhammad said, the least you can give to others is hope and a smile; the Hindu scriptures want you to treat the whole world as one family, Buddha, the learned one taught the joys of living for others. The Sikh faith is indeed founded on the principle of caring for the humanity, the Jains and Baha'i believe our joy comes from taking care of others as the Wiccan believe we have to take care of what we see; life and the matter. I am particularly moved by His holiness Reverend Moon, who has built up a kingdom of goodness with a powerful mission of his work; living for others. Najma and I had the privilege to greet Father and Mother Moon and present a bouquet of flowers to them in person.


Najma enriched herself with each individual she served. The world is a better place today because of the spirit of volunteerism in each one of us. You, me and every one of us is endowed with the gift of helping others and a majority of us receive boundless joy in caring about others, though joy is not expected.


 This is my story and I urge you to consider, getting on with your family members, friends,  customers, clients, members of the society, and all the people that you know and had tensions. By forgiving, apologizing or making it  up you will find freedom, freedom from tension, embarrassment, and difficulties. There will always be a few, you simply cannot do a thing, they will remain belligerent, all you can do is forgive them, which means when and if you see them, you will be devoid of negative feeling.

May every one of us close on our lives by tying as many loose ends as we can, there is peace in it. May you be free.

Michami Dukkadam

Mike Ghouse

A Tribute to Najma Ghouse
Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Road, Addison, Tx 75001

The world is a better place today because of the spirit of volunteerism in each one of us. Every one is endowed with the gift of helping others and a majority of us do receive boundless joy from caring about others.

Picking things up for some one who cannot, taking time to help a stranger and simply doing good to others makes our heart smile, and we can do this every day. Every thing we are enjoying today is due to the spirit of volunteerism in others. When we receive a benefit, we have to give it back as well to keep a running balance and a living a happier life. It is as simple as that, that is the secret to living a peaceful and happier life per the spiritual masters. Please join us and unleash the spirit of volunteerism in you.

You may be pleased to hear the Hymns in Chorus from several faiths and enjoy the moments of affection, romance and pure goodness.

Discrimination: Public Prayers

Supreme Court Brief Filed on Behalf of Hindu Americans

Continued at: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2008/06/discrimination-public-prayers.html

Monday, June 9, 2008

Barack licking the lobby

http://theghousejournal.blogspot.com/2008/06/barack-licking-lobby.html


The man who stood for pluralism and inclusiveness has shamefully fallen from grace. His rhetoric about not giving an inch to the lobbyists sounds farce, fake and sham. The American media will give him a pass, they do not have the freedom to question his licking, nor the guts to go at it.

Israel Lobby was needed in the mid-sixties to protect Israel from the rhetoric of annihilation, and now they have gone in the opposite direction, their presence has continually put Israel in conflict and further away from peace.

The power of bullying shuts out others from standing up, it is time for the Israeli public and the American Jewry to stop the lobby and not let the conflict prolong. The public should be able to drop the guards and live in peace, but first they have to throw out the failed polices of the lobby, as their work will continue tie the world in conflicts.

The false talk of McCain and Obama must be discouraged. Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, Scooter Libby, Billy Crystal, Donald Rumsfield and their likes are not for Israel, they are for pocketing cash by frightening the general public, terms they use like clear and present danger is downright stupid. If the same people put their effort to bring peace, both the Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.
The enemies of Israel are not Ahmedinejad or Hamas, the real enemies are the Neocons who sell their lies to the gullible few and keep every one on their toes. It is time to wake up and watch the movie, the life of a bee and ask the lobby to work for peace and not grand scheme to annihilate others. The more they scheme and fabricate the fear, the more damage they do to Israel.

Barack is my hero, but he needs to purge this flaw and be a free man to do the right thing for every one in the world. For peace is not sustainable without justice. Peace is not an exclusive thing for the powerful or the bullies to talk about, it is a reality we have to work for. You cannot have peace when the one next to you is not.
And Uri Avenery is right, "...Obama's declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people."
.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com
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Barack's shameful AIPAC grovelling
No, I Can't! Obama and The Israeli Lobby
http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/52177

by Uri Avnery

AFTER MONTHS of a tough and bitter race, a merciless struggle, Barack Obama has defeated his formidable opponent, Hillary Clinton. He has wrought a miracle: for the first time in history a black person has become a credible candidate for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world.

And what was the first thing he did after his astounding victory? He ran to the conference of the Israel lobby, AIPAC, and made a speech that broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning.

That is shocking enough. Even more shocking is the fact that nobody was shocked.

IT WAS a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organization had never seen anything like it. 7000 Jewish functionaries from all over the United States came together to accept the obeisance of the entire Washington elite, which came to kowtow at their feet. All the three presidential hopefuls made speeches, trying to outdo each other in flattery. 300 Senators and Members of Congress crowded the hallways. Everybody who wants to be elected or reelected to any office, indeed everybody who has any political ambitions at all, came to see and be seen.

The Washington of AIPAC is like the Constantinople of the Byzantine emperors in its heyday.

The world looked on and was filled with wonderment. The Israeli media were ecstatic. In all the world's capitals the events were followed closely and conclusions were drawn. All the Arab media reported on them extensively. Aljazeera devoted an hour to a discussion of the phenomenon.

The most extreme conclusions of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were confirmed in their entirety. On the eve of their visit to Israel, this coming Thursday, the Israel Lobby stood at the center of political life in the US and the world at large.

WHY, ACTUALLY? Why do the candidates for the American presidency believe that the Israel lobby is so absolutely essential to their being elected?

The Jewish votes are important, of course, especially in several swing states which may decide the outcome. But African-Americans have more votes, and so do the Hispanics. Obama has brought to the political scene millions of new young voters. Numerically, the Arab-Muslim community in the US is also not an insignificant factor.

Some say that Jewish money speaks. The Jews are rich. Perhaps they donate more than others for political causes. But the myth about all-powerful Jewish money has an anti-Semitic ring. After all, other lobbies, and most decidedly the huge multinational corporations, have given considerable sums of money to Obama (as well as to his opponents). And Obama himself has proudly announced that hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens have sent him small donations, which have amounted to tens of millions.

True, it has been proven that the Jewish lobby can almost always block the election of a senator or a member of Congress who does not dance - and do so with fervor - to the Israeli tune. In some exemplary cases (which were indeed meant to be seen as examples) the lobby has defeated popular politicians by lending its political and financial clout to the election campaign of a practically unknown rival.

But in a presidential race?

THE TRANSPARENT fawning of Obama on the Israel lobby stands out more than similar efforts by the other candidates.

Why? Because his dizzying success in the primaries was entirely due to his promise to bring about a change, to put an end to the rotten practices of Washington and to replace the old cynics with a young, brave person who does not compromise his principles.

And lo and behold, the very first thing he does after securing the nomination of his party is to compromise his principles. And how!

The outstanding thing that distinguishes him from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain is his uncompromising opposition to the war in Iraq from the very first moment. That was courageous. That was unpopular. That was totally opposed to the Israel lobby, all of whose branches were fervidly pushing George Bush to start the war that freed Israel from a hostile regime.

And here comes Obama to crawl in the dust at the feet of AIPAC and go out of his way to justify a policy that completely negates his own ideas.

OK he promises to safeguard Israel's security at any cost. That is usual. OK he threatens darkly against Iran, even though he promised to meet their leaders and settle all problems peacefully. OK he promised to bring back our three captured soldiers (believing, mistakenly, that all three are held by Hizbullah - an error that shows, by the way, how sketchy is his knowledge of our affairs.)

But his declaration about Jerusalem breaks all bounds. It is no exaggeration to call it scandalous.



NO PALESTINIAN, no Arab, no Muslim will make peace with Israel if the Haram-al-Sharif compound (also called the Temple Mount), one of the three holiest places of Islam and the most outstanding symbol of Palestinian nationalism, is not transferred to Palestinian sovereignty. That is one of the core issues of the conflict.

On that very issue, the Camp David conference of 2000 broke up, even though the then Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was willing to divide Jerusalem in some manner.

Along comes Obama and retrieves from the junkyard the outworn slogan "Undivided Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel for all Eternity". Since Camp David, all Israeli governments have understood that this mantra constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to any peace process. It has disappeared - quietly, almost secretly - from the arsenal of official slogans. Only the Israeli (and American-Jewish) Right sticks to it, and for the same reason: to smother at birth any chance for a peace that would necessitate the dismantling of the settlements.

In prior US presidential races, the pandering candidates thought that it was enough to promise that the US embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. After being elected, not one of the candidates ever did anything about this promise. All were persuaded by the State Department that it would harm basic American interests.

Obama went much further. Quite possibly, this was only lip service and he was telling himself: OK, I must say this in order to get elected. After that, God is great.

But even so the fact cannot be ignored: the fear of AIPAC is so terrible, that even this candidate, who promises change in all matters, does not dare. In this matter he accepts the worst old-style Washington routine. He is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the US has a vital interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace that will allow it to find ways to the hearts of the Arab masses from Iraq to Morocco. Obama has harmed his image in the Muslim world and mortgaged his future - if and when he is elected president.



SIXTY FIVE years ago, American Jewry stood by helplessly while Nazi Germany exterminated their brothers and sisters in Europe. They were unable to prevail on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to do anything significant to stop the Holocaust. (And at that same time, many Afro-Americans did not dare to go near the polling stations for fear of dogs being set on them.)

What has caused the dizzying ascent to power of the American Jewish establishment? Organizational talent? Money? Climbing the social ladder? Shame for their lack of zeal during the Holocaust?

The more I think about this wondrous phenomenon, the stronger becomes my conviction (about which I have already written in the past) that what really matters is the similarity between the American enterprise and the Zionist one, both in the spiritual and the practical sphere. Israel is a small America, the USA is a huge Israel.

The Mayflower passengers, much as the Zionists of the first and second aliya (immigration wave), fled from Europe, carrying in their hearts a messianic vision, either religious or utopian. (True, the early Zionists were mostly atheists, but religious traditions had a powerful influence on their vision.) The founders of American society were "pilgrims", the Zionists immigrants called themselves "olim" - short for olim beregel, pilgrims. Both sailed to a "promised land", believing themselves to be God's chosen people.

Both suffered a great deal in their new country. Both saw themselves as "pioneers", who make the wilderness bloom, a "people without land in a land without people". Both completely ignored the rights of the indigenous people, whom they considered sub-human savages and murderers. Both saw the natural resistance of the local peoples as evidence of their innate murderous character, which justified even the worst atrocities. Both expelled the natives and took possession of their land as the most natural thing to do, settling on every hill and under every tree, with one hand on the plow and the Bible in the other.

True, Israel did not commit anything approaching the genocide performed against the Native Americans, nor anything like the slavery that persisted for many generations in the US. But since the Americans have repressed these atrocities in their consciousness, there is nothing to prevent them from comparing themselves to the Israelis. It seems that in the unconscious mind of both nations there is a ferment of suppressed guilt feelings that express themselves in the denial of their past misdeeds, in aggressiveness and the worship of power.

HOW IS it that a man like Obama, the son of an African father, identifies so completely with the actions of former generations of American whites? It shows again the power of a myth to become rooted in the consciousness of a person, so that he identifies 100% with the imagined national narrative. To this may be added the unconscious urge to belong to the victors, if possible.

Therefore, I do not accept without reservation the speculation: "Well, he must talk like this in order to get elected. Once in the White House, he will return to himself."

I am not so sure about that. It may well turn out that these things have a surprisingly strong hold on his mental world.

Of one thing I am certain: Obama's declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people.

If he sticks to them, once elected, he will be obliged to say, as far as peace between the two peoples of this country is concerned: "No, I can't!"