Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

Ramadan 2010

As-Salaam-Alaikum

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Ramadan.  Ramadan is a holy month of observances for Muslims.  Ramadan encourages the faithful to fast, give alms to the poor, read selections of the Quran and recite prayers that bring Muslims into a deeper  faith engagement to draw closer to Allah.

This years Ramadan comes at a time when relations between Muslims and Christians are severely strained over issues such as The Ground Zero Mosque, continued war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Palestinian/Israeli politics and the challenges of assimilating Islamic practices into the cultural traditions of secular western societies.  The evidence of strain often manifests in ugly displays of intolerance and xenophobia that are exacerbated by economic duress and eagerly exploited by reactionary politicians.  Religious rightists seize on the opportunity to gnash away at the racial wounds and cultural divide to arouse suspicion to advance an intolerant Falangist agenda.

We hope that people of good will welcome Ramadan in a spirit of tolerance and recognize it as an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of Islam and to build bridges with the Muslim community.  Religious tolerance and the protection of the free practice of faith is a principal pillar of secular democracy.  The protection of this right is the surest safeguard that personal liberty and the free expression of thought remains central to the democratic culture of the United States.

We welcome Ramadan and offer a blessing to our Muslim brothers and sisters that they grow to understand the gift that secular democracies  confer on the free practice of religion.  And we hope people of faith and people of conscience recognize that Ramadan is an opportunity to bring all the great faith traditions together in a deep and rich engagement guided by the light and unifying love of the Beneficent One.

Amen

You Tube Video: Azan, Islamic Call To Prayer

risk: tolerance, religious liberty, secular democracy,

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August 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prognostications and Expostulations

We’re going out on a limb with this one or given thats its winter we’ll say we’re walking on thin ice. We’ll gaze into the crystal ball and pontificate on eleven subject areas for 2010. With some we hope we will be wrong. With some we hope we will be right.

1. Stock Market: Buoyed by well managed earnings by the large multinational companies in the DOW, principally as a result of cost reduction initiatives and exposure to global markets the Index will finish up 6% and close at 11, 011 on the last trading day of 2010. Given an inflation rate of 4% investors will realize a 2% gain on equity investments in DOW constituents. S&P 500 and NASDAQ will be flat gaining 2% for the year.

2. Iraq War: The war in Iraq will continue to wind down. America will scale down its military presence in the country. Troop levels in the country will approximate 85,000 by the close of 2010. Though direct American military involvement in conflicts will decline, Iraq will experience civil unrest as Kurd nationalists, Shiite and Sunni Muslims seek to protect their political and economic interests.

3. Afghanistan War: The escalation of America’s military presence in Afghanistan will move the theater of war further into Pakistan. The Taliban will be satisfied to harass US forces by engaging in a guerrilla war. Taliban and Al-Qaeda supporters will use the opportunity to increase the level of urban terrorist attacks in the large cities of Pakistan. Al-Qaeda confederates will seek to reestablish base of support in Somalia, Yemen and ties will begin to emerge in Latin American narco-terror states.

4. Iran: The political situation in Iran will continue to deteriorate. This is a positive development for regional stability because it will force the ruling regime to cede its nuclear program development initiatives. Iran will not be able to capitalize on the US draw down in Iraq. It will become increasingly isolated as Hezbollah and Hamas pursue actions that are less confrontational to Israel in Palestine and Lebanon. The ruling Caliphate position will weaken due to internal political dissent and external economic pressures.

5. China: It will be a year of ultra-nationalism in China. Its stimulus program that is targeted to internal development will sustain a GDP growth rate of 8%. China will use this opportunity to strengthen the ideological support of its citizens to fall in line with the national development initiative. Globally China will continue to expand its interests in Africa and will cull deeper relationships with its Pacific Rim club member Latin America. China will continue to use US preoccupation with its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and skirmishes in Yemen and Somalia as an opportunity to expand its global presence with a message of peace and cooperation.

5. US Mid Term Elections: Republicans will gain a number of seats in Congress. The continued soft economic conditions, state and local government fiscal crisis, war weariness and cut back in services and rising expenses will make this a bad year for incumbents and the party in power, namely the democrats. Sarah Palin will play a large role in supporting anti-government candidates drooling over the prospect of winning a seat in government.

6. Recession: Though the recession may be officially over, high unemployment, home foreclosures and spiking interest rates will hamper a robust recovery. The end of large government stimulus programs and the continued decrease in real estate values also present strong headwinds to recovery. We predict a GDP growth rate of 2% for the US economy. Outsourcing will abate and a move to reintroduce SME manufacturing will commence.

7. Technology: The new green technology will focus on the development of nuclear power plants.  The clash of the titan’s between Google’s Droid and Apple’s I Phone will dominate tech news during the year.  Lesser skirmishes  between Smart Phones makers or the war of the clones will continue to explode altering the home PC market and continue to change the market paradigm for old line firms like DELL, Microsoft and HP.   SaaS or cloud computing will gain on the back of lean business process initiatives and smart phone application development and processing infrastructure will encourage cottage industries fueling the cloud and making for some new millionaires. The tension between the creators of content and search and delivery will begin to tilt back toward the content providers. Litigation involving social networking sites will be filed to create safeguards against its use as a tool to control and manipulate behaviors thus threatening civil liberties and privacy rights.

8. Culture: The Googlization of civilization will allow individuals to embrace more corporatism as a pillar to add efficiency and order to their lives. Multiculturalism will continue to grow in the US. However a growing political backlash against it will become more of a prominent theme as Teabaggers agitate for a return to the true values of America. Electronic arts will make major leaps and bounds as commodification continues to be a driving force in the world of art. Printed words like books and newspapers will continue to dramatically decline. Writing, drawing and playing musical instruments skills will ebb as people prefer to develop digital skill sets. Texting and Tweeting make for poor practice for extended compositions.

9. Latin America: Instability will grow in Latin America as narcodollars continue to undermine political stability in Columbia, Venezuela, Mexico and Panama. The US will increasingly become involved in the conflicts between petro and narcodollars. Mexico’s stability will be increasingly undermined by the power and corruptible influence of the drug trade. China’s influence on the continent will grow.

10. European Union: The EU will continue to manage itself for stability. It will yearn to return to its aristocratic roots and will become increasingly conservative. It will continue to have a complex relationship with the expanding Muslim community. A call to deeper nationalism will arise out of a growing influence of Islam and the inefficiencies of EC bureaucrats in Belgium. The EU will continue its union of expediency to counterbalance their distrust of Russia and their distaste for America.

11. Environmental Justice: Though awareness continues to grow concerning the need to mount and implement large scale solutions to halt the problem of global climate change; the political will and resources required to drastically alter the planets current trajectory in growth of carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels remains unaltered. Social responsible enterprises, small businesses and individuals continue to make a difference. Eco friendly small businesses, urban farming, capital formation initiatives around renewable energy businesses are hopeful signs of a market response to the pressing problem. China is investing heavily in becoming a market leader out of business savvy and environmental necessity. Until the great powers of the world can come to some collective agreement on how to limit , cap or trade carbon credits we’ll have to be content to separate the trash and recycle, reuse and reduce.

You Tube Music Video: Donald Byrd, Stepping Into Tomorrow

Risk: unfulfilled predictions will make me look bad

January 5, 2010 Posted by | business, China, commerce, corporate social responsibility, culture, ecological, government, inflation, unemployment, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome Ramadan

ramadan2

According to the Lunar cycle, tomorrow begins Ramadan.  Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and engage in the spiritual reflection of God.  It is a compelling statement of faith and commitment to the precepts of Islam Muslims make for a month each year. Ramadan also is a time when prayer becomes more central to the expression of faith.  We have included some Ramadan prayers from Beliefnet.

We wish our Muslim brothers and Sisters a blessed and meaningful Ramadan.  May Allah bless and keep you as you journey to find more closeness and unity with the Benificent One.

As Salaam Alaikum

Risk: opportunity to get closer to Allah

August 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Night of Decree

As-Salaam-Alaikum

“Verily! We have sent the Qur’an down in the Night of Decree. And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, Peace! Until the appearance of dawn.” Quran [97:1-5]

We extend our prayers and best wishes to our Muslim Brothers and Sisters for a Ramadan blessed with peace, meaning and growth.

Alaikum As Salaam

Music Video: Call To Prayer

Risk: intolerance, faith



September 2, 2008 Posted by | community, faith, holiday, Muslim, Quran, seasons, soundtrack | , | Leave a comment