Category Archives: corruption

Snoqualmie Blues

Summit at Snoqualmie sucks. There are a lot of people who think so for different reasons. Mostly these are people who know their way down the slopes and complain that the runs are too short or that there are too many people on them (those pesky little kids on skis… I actually think they’re cute). That may be true but the convenience of being able to drive to Snoqualmie within an hour definitely compensates for that. And they have a few decent runs which can be challenging. Guess what I’m saying is that I’m not really at a skill level to complain about that.

What I do want to whine about is how badly managed the rental area is. And how they pulled a cheap little trick on me and robbed me of $33.33. Not to mention how obtuse some of the people who work there can be, but I guess that’s not really an issue unique to Snoqualmie.

I went there one Saturday in Dec 2007 and bought a Ez 1-2-3 package that give you 3 days of lessons, rentals and lift tickets… awesome deal but I guess that’s how they compete in the market. As luck would have, they lost power (apparently that happens to them often) and after walking up the little green slope a couple of times, I decided to wind up for the day. No hard feelings, first time that season, a hiccup before the Snoqualmie machine starts up I thought… whatever. I asked and they said that yes, they would give me credit for an extra day as a part of the package.

I go back there 2 more times, wait for more than an hour at the rental line each time, which could be much faster with a little reorganization of their space, even if they don’t add any additional employees there. But anyway, I get rentals and lift tickets and have fun on the slopes.

Then I go there the 4th time (counting the one time there was no power) and the lady at the counter, after spending 15 minutes looking at the computer, tells me that I don’t have any more turns left in my Ez 1-2-3 package. I tell them about the whole power outage credit I was suppose to get and she tells me that the computer says that I already got the credit and hence have exhausted the package. I tell her that I have come there only 2 times besides the time they had no power and point to my friend who was in the exact same situation as me and had just gotten his rentals and lift tickets. She says she recognizes me and my friend and believes me but the computer tells her otherwise. I say OK, maybe there has been a glitch or data entry error, can she not override it and give me my last day of the package.

I mean how big of a deal is it for her to do this when she herself believes that things are okay, even if she didn’t, just the fact that I was there, sincerely arguing my case, should have made her think. Yeah I could’ve been a fool who drove all the way to Snoqualmie to stand in line for an hour and a half to get a free rental but what are the chances? Think woman… think.

Anyways, that’s where the obtuseness kicks in… all she does is tell me 3 or 4 times that the computer tells her that I have exhausted all days on the package. Each time she tells me that I tell her that I have understood what the problem is but that does not stop her from repeating herself just once more… god I pity her boyfriend or husband.

Note that this was after a particularly long wait in the lines there. I was dying to get on the slopes and the rental area was clogged with people, and disorganized as usual. I wanted to speak to the manager and she said I would have to go downstairs (to another messy disorganized area in a line with 20 people ahead of me) to speak to her. I went anyway. Tried to get up to the front to explain that I had already been in a line for an hour and half, but all the manager said was that I would have to get in line. I understand their need to have everyone follow the rules but that’s what separates the smart people who get work done from the drones who get everyone in line indiscriminately.

My friends were on the slopes and I wasn’t going to waste any more time so I went ahead and bought a $180 season’s pass that has rental and lift tickets included, kinda gave in to the mis-management at Snoqualmie. I feel bad about that but they are close to Seattle and easy to get to… really that is the only reason I would go there.

If I had a choice I wouldn’t, so if you have one, don’t…

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CNN – No Ron Paul

Dec 16 was the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Ron Paul supporters organized a massive fund raiser and raised over $6 million dollars which happens to be a record for a single day for any candidate in the history of the US.

cnn-nopaul-touched.jpg

Huge news you would think.

Ron Paul is anti-Bush, anti-war, has no special interests to please, a clean and consistent record and is corruption free… not the typical politician such as Giuliani, Romney or Clinton. Without the help of mainstream media and infact without even his own participation, over $6 million dollars have been raised for him. You would think this news is all over the media and he would be given coverage for many hours atleast today, the day he made the record.

But hell no, CNN is busy covering Pam Anderson’s boobies (or was it her 2 month marriage… they’re fabulous babe but you know what I mean? :-).  At one point during the afternoon, there was a little link up there but disappeared within the hour.

MSNBC was slightly better. They had an inconspicuous little link for a long time on the website… but Sanjay was the main attraction of the day… WTF???

How can I believe that a single honest journalist works in these organizations when there has been no effort to bring forward the most important news of the day or even this entire election so far. The fools in Fox get a memo that tells them what to do but you guys in CNN are self motivated… fucking over-achievers.

 Anyway, maybe it’s all for the better… piss more people off and you might just create the tipping point that lazy Americans need to kick Bush and his cronies along with his followup acts Guiliani and Romney out…

 Here’s Ron Paul’s website: http://www.ronpaul2008.com 

And here’s a word of wisdom from Kent Snyder, Ron Paul’s campaign chairman

“Mainstream media is behind the times… maybe 2 or 3 years behind”

Think about that… it’s before You Tube or Digg were around… damn they’re fuckin’ dinosaurs

Check him out, donate and spread the word… Peace

Why people like Noam Chomsky are not on TV

No one is better at telling it than he, himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cceC3DeFcY

As for Jeff Greenfield, Producer of Nightline, please shut up and dont try to be an intellectual when you are not.

The US Constitution is broken (What the Founding Fathers could not see)

This is a direct quote from the US constitution.  

“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it.  If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”

Yes, the constitution does provide the president the authority to veto a bill and send it back to the congress. The veto can then be overridden only by a two-third majority in the house where the bill originated.

This is an article about Separation of Powers (a term attributed to Montesquieu). Keep in mind that Separation of Powers is a very different concept than Separation of Church and State and one that is not so straightforward. It is not a perfect system and it has often been argued that a combined Executive and Legislative might be better.

I believe that Bush has exploited the Separation of Powers framework to assume a dictatorial role, while the Legislative has been handicapped, even now, when the democrats have a majority in both houses, to a point where it is unable to pass any meaningful piece of legislation.

So why is so much power vested in one man who is a part of the Executive when the main role of that branch is executing the orders of the Legislative? And given the strong connection that the Executive can have with one party, isn’t this the perfect opportunity for the president to override the basic intent of the constitution when it created the Legislative?

In effect a minority in the house + the president is turning out to be far more powerful than a majority. Is this not a broken system?

Were the framers of the constitution just not able to comprehend that there could be wide and complete disregard of principals on which the it was founded? Or could they not see the deep rooted corruption and fear of persecution that exists among republicans and prevents them from standing up to the president? I think not.

They did provide many checks and balances and yes they created the Judiciary which was meant to interpret the laws and provide a check for both the Executive and Legislative through judicial review.

However, they did not cater for is the complicity of “We the people” in the gross undermining of law and the system of checks and balances. Public opinion plays a huge role in what is deemed lawful and often, consciously or unconsciously will determine its interpretation. Polls don’t mean much but the fact that 24% of the people still approve of Bush’s role as president is something the founding fathers could not have anticipated. We might be screaming and shouting on blogs and going to Ron Paul gatherings but unfortunately a lot of Americans do not realize how serious the implications of the acts of the Bush government are. A lot of them do but have chose to ignore those acts, or in effect have suspended their constitutional rights under the guise of “more pressing problems to be solved”. It’s almost a cliche now but so relevant:

“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither” – Ben Franklin

This has happened often in times of national crisis like the Great Depression, or the Vietnam War. But now, the motivations of the people who support Bush are very different and have nothing to do with sacrifice and everything to do with strong misguided fears. What those fears are, is a topic in itself and I dont want to get into it at this time… but Bush has used race, nationalism and the fear of a changing world to divert their attention from real issues. Those people are not innocent however, and are fully to blame for allowing this to happen.

Shame on them for letting down the basic principals of liberty and life laid down by the Founding Fathers… they did not see you coming.

The South

I keep going back to this once in a while… it’s brilliant and funny. The writer is pissed that the 2004 GOP convention was in NYC… Lots of great facts too.

http://fuckthesouth.com/

Wake Up America…

One thing I thought when I started blogging here was that I would keep this blog civil and not use language or opinion that could be perceived as petty because that gives people who want to divert attention from the main argument fodder to do so. It’s very hard to do when you hear what these “gentlemen” running for the republican nomination have to say, when you clearly see how shallow and myopic their ideas are and how limited their ability to understand the world is.

Ron Paul is a notable exception. I have never seen a more consistent and logical person. I hope it is not going to be that very fact that keeps him from being the president of the US. Really, he makes everyone (including Obama) look like rhetorical mouth pieces fighting for petty self gratification and power. He makes their words seem like meaningless blabber.

But anyways, that’s not why I started writing this post. I want to put my voice out their with so many others who are just flabbergasted at how America is being fooled into a possible war with Iran… right under our noses, while we scream and shout to oppose it, neo-conservatives and republicans are firstly acting like they have support and second concocting up scenarios and demonizing Iran and Ahmadinejad. They are shamelessly trying to hypnotize the people.

 People, please stand up and speak out against this. Bush and Cheney along with people like Rudy, Romney etc will take you to another war. Your sons and daughters will be killed, 10s of thousands of innocent people in Iran will be killed, people all over the world will be tortured, arrested and murdered. The world will be set back, become a much more dangerous place.

These people really have no morals or complexity in their characters. Sometimes they don’t even have a choice because of the commitments they have made to faceless business interests. They are just delivering to those who they have promised on their way to power…

ISAFF Seattle – Sunday (10/07) Afternoon

Wow…. Sunday, 2:00PM movies were an excellent example of why I love to watch independent theater. 3 of the 4 short movies/documentaries shown today were excellent. The 4th was nice too.

 The theater was almost full, as usual and there was a short introduction by Sahar Zaheer and Farhad Tyabji (I think). One thing I have noticed at this festival was that there are a bunch of people come by themselves, unlike a regular movie where people usually come in groups. Maybe because the content of the movies is more important than the fun of going to the movies with friends.

The theme for the afternoon short movies was “Global Shorts: Love, Dreams and Despair” and the movies tackled issues related to these emotions and South Asians living from all over from Australia to Maldives.

 These were the movies and my ratings:

  • Arranging Love, Sheila Jayadev – 4/5
  • This was an interesting topic and the director and editors did justice to it. It followed 3 second generation Australian Indians (two girls and one guy) as they figured out love, relations, sexuality and their lives. It was hilarious at times, especially when the guy, Sunil busts out something in his imitation Indian accent. I thought the movie was great at capturing the feeling of people who grow up in a country different from their parents. Or even someone like me who has been here for only a part of their lives but has changed in certain ways which put one in contradiction or at odds with the norms back in our home countries. Somehow I think this is so much more easier to see in the Indian diaspora, maybe because they are so many of us, and many of us are so articulate. The folks in this movie certainly were (articulate), and so were their parents and relatives who were a part of the documentary.

    It was kinda cool when one of the girl’s mother says she cannot understand dating because she believes that one can give their body, heart and soul completely and truly only once. She also said that she thought that the word “love” was overused in the western culture. I don’t disagree with her but I wish it was used more in India. I wish love was expressed more openly, whether it be between two lovers or between parents and children. It does make a difference in how open and expressive we turn out as individuals.

    In conclusion, I think the movie handled the issue very well and was pretty funny. Definitely recommend watching it.

  • The MisEducation of Pakistan, Syed Ali Nasir – 4/5
  • What could be a more boring topic… primary education in the remote areas of Pakistan. However this documentary got a huge applause from the audience. It was well made and aggressive. The movie confronted the issue by actually going to various schools all over Pakistan, in remote rural areas (and some parts of Pakistan are indeed very remote), meeting with teachers, students, officials and politicians in the area. And there was interesting footage of teachers and politicians lying boldly on camera and then their lies being exposed. According to the movie, primary education in Pakistan is in a horrific state and is one of the lowest in Asia and even those children coming to school and getting a supposed education do not meet even the minimum bar expected at their levels. Corruption is rampant in every aspect from building construction to teacher attendance.

     We need more movies like this that tackle social issues in an bold way and expose problems in a way that cannot be ignored.

  • The Morning Fog, Aminta Goyel – 3/5
  • This was a nice movie about a girl from a rich family growing up in Bombay who is kind of detached from the artificial high society life she is growing up in and is attracted to nature and writing. The story wasnt really complete in itself but as with most short movies,  the content was in the details. It looked very professionally produced.

    I thought the key phrase in the movie was “We dont expose ourselves to everyone, only to a chose few”… and this movie is how that plays out. Very interesting but a little abrupt. The actress, Ira Dubey who plays Koko, the lead in the movie did a good job and is very cute. Also this is going to be the writer/director, Aminta Goyel’s graduate thesis project. Good luck to her.

  • Himalayan Dreams, Ali Rasheed – 5/5
  • This was a fantastic short documentary. One of my top two movies from the festival. It was a documentary about contrasts. A man living in Male, Maldives, a tropical, warm and densly populated place dreams of going to the Himalayas where there are wide open spaces, high altitudes and freezing cold tempreatures. He does go and this is a chronical of his travel.

    What made this movie so good was the personality of the main character, Muha. He was the most likable and down to earth guy you will come accross. Yet he has this incredible bigness about him. The film totally captured this and his extraordinary journey as he went from sea level to one of the highest points in the world.

    In the movie, he touches on the practical aspects such as the preparation and training he underwent, the bouts of altitude sickness and the logistics of his travel. He also talks about his feelings as he encountered people and landscapes on the way and how the journey affected him.

    It’s a great film and I highly recommend it.

     To all the people making ISAFF happen… thanks and keep it up. Again here is the official site of ISAFF and here is Tasveer’s website