Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The WikiLeaks Does It Again, Grossly

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This time the WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website, has touched the inner sanctum of the US government -- mainly the diplomatic mails and telegrams -- which every country considers most secret and sacred at the same time and guards them viciously.

Data journalism is sometimes necessary for the greater good of the citizens of a country. But, if this journalism, which is mostly illegal and immoral in its approach, goes overboard, like this time, is a cause for concern no doubt.

Total transparency in everything cannot work. Every person, family, community, organization, institution, and country has to maintain some secrecy to function in this world. If every one knows everything, there would be the chaos of the first order. Irresponsible transparency is no transparency at all.

The WikiLeakers themselves are acting against the "principle of transparency in everything." They are maintaining secrecy before placing the data to the world public through their website. They are not releasing the name or names of persons who handed over the unauthorized data to them. Julian Assange, the head leaker of the WikiLeaks, himself does not let his whereabouts known.

This time, on November 28, the WikiLeaks dumped more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables and mails for the world public. These leaks have removed all the layers of clothing from the body of the US government. The denuded government felt total embarrassment in front of ogling world governments and public.

Earlier in last July, the WikiLeaks exposed US government documents on its war in Afghanistan.

Such data journalism, in specific cases, can be an effective tool for gaining justice when certain injustices cause maximum harm to the interests of the citizens of a country or countries. That does not mean all and everything, although unrelated to the cases, must be exposed.

Let's see below how cartoonists look at the recent leaks.


Cartoon courtesy: www.allvoices.com/

Cartoon courtesy: theweek.com/

Cartoon courtesy: www.allvoices.com/

Cartoon courtesy: cartoonblog.msnbc.msn.com/

Cartoon courtesy: www.allvoices.com/

Cartoon courtesy: www.toonpool.com/

Cartoon courtesy: www.allvoices.com/

Cartoon courtesy: www.theglobeandmail.com/

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Photo Meditation of the Month (November, 2010): BEING OF SERVICE TO OTHERS


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Bark of a birch tree in a family garden in Toronto
Photo (Toronto) © Jerome D'Costa

Bark of a maple tree at the campus of
St. Jerome's University
at Waterloo, Ontario

 Photo (Waterloo, Ontario: June 19, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa


Being of Service to Others

The bark of each type of tree is different -- in shape, colour and natural design.

Scratching of the bark is a kind of art. Romantic people scratch barks to leave their messages and love symbols of a heart pierced with an arrow. "John was here" or "Shawn loves Jennifer" are such examples.We can call it "the bark language."

Barks are used for various purposes. Almost all over the world, different barks are used for their medicinal properties. North American Indians used to make light canoes with birch tree barks to travel in rivers and waterways. In Europe, making corks of bottles from a special kind of bark was a big industry. Rubber trees give out a whitish juice when their barks are cut in a certain way and the collected juice is turned into rubber after some processing. Tasty maple syrup is also extracted similarly from Maple trees. Certain animals eat selected types of barks for their nutrition and healing. Cinnamon, a spicy bark, is a common spice used widely in the Middle Eastern and the Indian subcontinental cooking.

Barks are so simple but useful to others. We need to thank God for providing such wonderful items for use by his other creations. As the barks are there to serve others, so are the mankind -- the best of God's creations. We also need to be environment-friendly and not exploitative and inimical to trees and other flora. This mutual respect and love will make this world more livable for our generations to come.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Poem of the Month (November, 2010): THE RHYTHM OF LIFE

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My poem Jiboner CChondo in Bangla (Bengali), was published in the above little magazine Doel of December 25, 1987, from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Aldrick Biswas was the editor of the magazine.

For the readers of this blog, I am presenting my poem in English:

The Rhythm of Life

We lose the rhythm of life,
We regain the rhythm of life.

Again, we lose the rhythm of life,
We get back the rhythm of life.

That's the way life goes on, so will it go on.





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The Quotation of the Week (November 28 - December 4, 2010)

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Photo (Portland, Oregon, USA: 1976) © Jerome D'Costa

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Bishop Patrick D'Rozario, CSC, Appointed Co-adjutor Archbishop of Dhaka

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Bishop Patrick D'Rozario, CSC, of Chittagong,
while on a recent visit to Toronto

Photo (Toronto: October 24, 2010) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa


Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Patrick D'Rozario, CSC, of Chittagong Diocese as the co-adjutor archbishop of Dhaka, Bangladesh, reports Vatican Information Service (VIS).

In the last week of January, 2011, Bishop Patrick D'Rozario will assume his new office in Dhaka. At the retirement of the incumbent Archbishop Paulinus Costa in October, 2011, he will officially succeed him as the new archbishop.

Bishop Patrick D'Rozario, born on October 1, 1943, at Padrishibpur of Bakerganj District in Bangladesh, became a priest on January 8, 1972. Later he taught at the National Major Seminary (later renamed The Holy Spirit Major Seminary) in Dhaka. On September 12, 1990, he was consecrated as the Bishop of Rajshahi Diocese. He was installed as the Bishop of Chittagong Diocese on April 21, 1995.

According to The Catholic Directory of Bangladesh, the Catholic population of Chittagong Diocese in 2007 was 32,950 and that of Dhaka Archdiocese was 78,813.

On a recent visit to Canada, Bishop Patrick D'Rozario met with Bangladeshi Catholics in Toronto on October 24 and offered a special Mass, arranged by the Bangladesh Catholic Association of Ontario (BCAO). He also went to Montreal to attend Brother Andre's post-canonization solemn thanksgiving Mass at the Montreal Olympic Stadium on October 30. Bangladeshi Catholics of the city were happy to meet him, too.



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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Quotation of the Week (November 21 - 27, 2010)

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An illiterate village mother with her child
at Char Harirampur -- an island in the Padma River --
in Faridpur District, Bangladesh

Photo (Char Harirampur, Dt. Faridpur, 1984) © Jerome D'Costa


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Modern Casanova Charms His Way to 19 Marriages!

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Oliver John Killeen in an attractive dress
Photo courtesy: The Toronto Sun

Oliver John Killeen in ordinary dress
Photo courtesy: The Toronto Sun

Oliver John Killeen (72) is an Irishman and a modern Casanova who is said to have seduced and married 19 women in four countries including Canada. This inter-country charmer is now facing trial in Toronto on the charge of bigamy (having two wives at the same time), reports The Toronto Sun of today.

He had a way with women who found him to be a good talker with tall stories and a charming personality. He was a good talker and an attentive listener with a remarkable knowledge of female psychology. He would talk about what the women wanted to hear. Once he was arrested in Britain but got away easy. In an interview to an Irish newspaper, he had said: "Getting divorced is costly and time-consuming, so I decided not to bother." He further said: "I gave women what they wanted. If they were foolish enough to marry me with a few weeks of meeting me, that was up to them." He also bragged: "Conning women is easy."

Casanovas in Bangladesh

There are examples of Casanovas in every country. Bangladesh newspapers from time to time come up with such examples which mostly happen in rural areas where mostly illiterate and financially disadvantaged people live simple lives and where the rule of law does not extend to its full extent. Dozens of years ago, I had read of a full-bearded elderly guy who had married 44 times. There was another case of a fellow marrying for the eighth time. In those areas, Muslim men can get verbal divorce by shouting "talak, talak, talak" (I divorce you) three times at the wife!

The Real Casanova is from Italy

The real Casanova, after whom the word 'Casanova' (a womanizer; a philanderer) got mentioned in the dictionaries, is originally from Venice, Italy. His name was
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (1725-1798). He was a soldier, diplomat, adventurer, spy and writer. In his autobiography he mentioned in detail the erotic conquests of women he had made. He claimed to have conquered 122 women in several countries of Europe, especially France. Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Doodle on NGOs in Bangladesh


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A doodle on non-government organizations (NGOs)
 in Bangladesh
Doodle (Dhaka: February 26, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Quotation of the Week (November 14 - 20, 2010)

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Burning of wood charcoal in a campfire at the Sibbald Point
on the shore of Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

Photo (August 28, 2010) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa



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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Canada Observes the Remembrance Day Today

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On this day, Canada observes the annual Remembrance Day with due respect to the numerous Canadian soldiers -- dead and alive -- who served in the World War I, World War II, Korean War and the war in Afghanistan.

The federal government officials in a special ceremony in the National War Memorial in Ottawa paid their tribute to the soldiers. Provincial government officials do the same in their respective provincial capitals.

Cultural and educational organizations and institutions have their own programmes for observing the day. The general public purchase poppy flowers, symbols of the soldiers fighting in the wars, and wear them on their lapels as a mark of respect.

Today we salute our soldiers who made their supreme sacrifice in defending the freedom and peace in this world.


A poppy flower for use on the lapel
Photo (Toronto: November 11, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa

A beautiful cartoon on the Remembrance Day of 2010
Cartoon courtesy: The Toronto Star (Nov. 11, 2010)


A 25-cent Canadian coin with a poppy flower
commemorates the Armistice Day
Photo (Toronto: Nov. 11, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa


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Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Quotation of the Week (November 7 - 13, 2010)

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Sunset over Lake Simcoe on the south shore
of the Sibbald Point, Ontario, Canada

Photo (August 28, 2010) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa



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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bangla (Bengali) Calligraphy: "Jesus, you are sweet"

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The Bangla (Bengali) calligraphy 
that says "Jesus, you are sweet."
Calligraphy (Dhaka: May 22, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa



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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Solemn Thanksgiving Mass in Montreal In Honour of St. Andre Bessette, CSC

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In honour of Brother Andre Bessette, CSC, who was officially canonized in Rome on October 17, a special thanksgiving and jubilation Mass was held on October 30 at the Olympic Stadium of Montreal, Canada. The main celebrant was Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte (Archbishop of Montreal) and his co-celebrants were Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana (Apostolic Nuncio to Canada), 58 Canadian Bishops and about 100 priests.

Among the government dignitaries present were Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Quebec's Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne, and Quebec's Premier Jean Charest. Among about 45,000 attendees were also present a strong contingent of priests, Brothers and Sisters of the Congregation of Holy Cross in which Brother Andre also belonged. Thirty relatives and kins of Brother Andre were an added attraction.

The two-hour ceremony was mostly conducted in French. In his homily, Cardinal Turcotte said: "Brother Andre was a man of attentiveness and compassion. He left it up to all those who were unhappy -- rich or poor -- to approach him. Very often, he went to those who could not come to him. Almost every day, in his office, for hours and hours, he lent his ear. He made himself attentive to those who confided in him their misfortunes, their sufferings, their illnesses, their disappointments, their failures, their unhappiness... After listening, he comforted them. He called them to courage and hope. He exhorted them to trust in God. He prayed a lot for those who spoke to him. He prayed to God. He prayed to Mary. With fervour, he prayed to St. Joseph, he prayed before Christ on the Cross."

Cardinal Turcotte further added: "Brother Andre was convinced that God could use him to accomplish wonderful things. For many decades, people came to him as a worker of wonders. It never went to his head. In fact, he often said, 'The world is silly if it thinks that Brother Andre is doing miracles. It is the good God who does the miracles. Saint Joseph obtains them.' And, following Saint Paul, he said, in reference to God, 'An artist makes the most beautiful paintings with the smallest of brushes.'"

Finally, Cardinal Turcotte commented: "This is not a small Saint that has been canonized, but a great, great one. This great saint -- Brother Andre -- is from our home. Among our parents and grandparents, or among the friends of our parents and grandparents, many knew him. He lived close to us on Mount Royal and said, 'When I die, I'll be much closer to the good God than I am now, I will have much more power to help you.'"

On his way to the Olypmic Stadium before the Mass, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for the first time, visited St. Joseph's Oratory for half-an-hour. Father Claude Grou, CSC, the rector of the Oratory, accompanied the prime minister in his visit to Brother Andre's original small wooden chapel, the main basilica, the tomb of Brother Andre, the relic containing the heart of Brother Andre, and the votive chapel having hundreds of lighted candles.

The Bangladesh Delegation

The Bangladesh Holy Cross delegation came to Montreal after attending Brother Andre's canonization ceremony in Rome. This delegation comprised of Bishop Patrick D'Rozario of Chittagong, Brother Binoy Gomes (Provincial of the Brothers of Holy Cross), Brother Jarlath D'Souza, Brother Nicholas Thielman, Brother Rodney Struble, Brother Robi Purification, Brother Placid Prodip Gomes, Brother Sylvester Mridha, and Brother Hamlet Francis Gosal.

Several dozen Bangladeshi Catholics from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa also attended the ceremony in the Montreal stadium.


Before the Mass, the procession of bishops and priests toward the
main altar in the Olympic Stadium

A view of the participants of the Mass

Another part of the procession

The main altar where the Mass is being celebrated

A section of the participants in the stadium

Another section of the participants

Some other concelebrating priests among the participants

More participants!

Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, the main celebrant of the Mass

Some members of the Bangladesh Holy Cross delegation and
some Bangladeshi Catholics from Toronto can be seen
in this section of the crowd


Some other members of the Congregation of Holy Cross
among the participants


Waving white linen participants express their solidarity

Members of a family waving their white linens

The crowd leaving the stadium after the ceremony
Photos (Montreal Olympic Stadium: October 30, 2010)
© Jerome D'Costa and Joachim Romeo D'Costa



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