The Customer is (NOT) Always Right

August 3rd, 2008

Bagi yang memiliki anak, tentu sudah tahu bahwa anak-anak berkembang dan selalu berubah-ubah sifatnya. Pada saat ini, anak saya nomor 3, Umar, memiliki kebiasaan baru. Seringkali dia malas berpikir :)

Jika ditanya, kadang jelas terlihat bahwa dia tidak berusaha berpikir, dan malah langsung menjawab “nggak tahu“. Nah, kalau malasnya ini sudah kumat, pertanyaan-pertanyaan berikutnya akan sama saja, dijawab dengan “nggak tahu

Maka saya selalu dengan tegas menuntut dia untuk menjawabnya dengan benar. Sampai saya yakin bahwa dia memang sudah benar-benar berusaha.
Kadang sih cukup memakan waktu. Juga membebani emosi kita. Atau kadang kita sebetulnya sedang perlu melakukan hal yang lain.

Tapi, inilah tugas orang tua. Kewajiban kita mendidik anak-anak kita, agar mereka bisa tumbuh menjadi manusia yang normal.

Sayangnya, tidak semua orang tua melakukan hal ini :(

Salah satu contohnya bisa dibaca disini :

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m looking for non-fiction.”

Me: “What kind?”

Customer: “Just non-fiction.”

Me: “Okay…do you want history? Or science? Psychology?
Business?”

Customer: “No, just NON-FICTION!”

Me: “Ma’am, most of the store is non-fiction. You’ll have to be more specific.”

Customer: “Don’t you get it? I just want some non-fiction!”

Me: “All right. Do you see over there, where it says ‘Fiction?’”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “All the books but those. Good luck.”

Braindead :D

Dan dia tidak sendirian. Ada BANYAK sekali zombie di situs NotAlwaysRight.com ini :

Me: “You found them.”

Customer: “Yeah. I couldn’t see them because the sign was in the way.”

(Note she’s referring to a large, 18 inch sign with three inch wide red letters that read WALNUTS. It was added because customers complained they couldn’t find them.)

Me: “You couldn’t see the walnuts because of the sign that said WALNUTS?”

Customer: *angry* “Yeah, that’s right!”

Me: “I…can’t help you.”

.

Sialnya, umur semakin tua bukan jaminan akan semakin bijak. Kadang malah jadi semakin aneh. Seperti kata Joker, “What doesn’t kill you makes you…. stranger:D

(I was ringing up a old lady when another old lady in my line recognized the first lady.)

Old Lady #1: “Oh hey! I didn’t see you there!”

Old Lady #2: “That’s okay… I didn’t recognize you with clothes on!”

Me: “What?!”

.

Zombie yang satu ini ingin berlibur ke sebuah pulau, namun tidak tahu cara menuju kesana :

(Let it be known that there are only two ways to get to Catalina Island: by boat or by helicopter.)

Me: “Hotel *****, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “I’d like to make a reservation. And when’s the earliest we can check in?”

Me: “Normally not until noon but we may be able to make an exception. When is your boat scheduled to arrive.”

Customer: “Oh, no, were not coming by boat.”

Me: “Okay, helicopter then?”

Customer: “Oh no, that’s silly.”

Me: “Well, may I ask how your planning to get here.”

Customer: “Down the 405, duh!”

Me: “I’m sorry, you can’t drive to Catalina Island.”

Customer: “You can’t?”

Me: “No, it’s an island. You know, surrounded by water.”

Customer:Catalina Island is an ISLAND?!

Me: *headdesk*

.

Freudian slip nya juga betul-betul membuat mulas :

(Talking to a female customer…)

Me: “Do you see the ‘Local Area Connection’ icon?”

Customer: “Yes, I see your ‘Local Erection’.”

.

Tapi mungkin ini adalah yang paling lucu !

(I was working the candy bar when a I was approached by a man seeing Bridge to Terabithia with two young kids. He points to the popcorn machine:)

Customer: “I’ll have two boxes of cockporn, please.”

(There was a two second pause as the customer’s eyes went wide with horror…and then I started to laugh. He got the popcorn and ran upstairs, with me standing behind the counter with tears running down my face.)

.

Tentu saja, ada berbagai blunder yang berkaitan dengan IT :

Customer: “I’d like to buy the Internet, please.”

Sales: “The whole thing?”

.

Cukup tercengang ketika menemukan satu cerita yang melibatkan Debian :D

Me: “Thank you for calling tech support. May I help you?”

Customer: “How do you fix Debian?”

Me: “Depends on what the problem is. What are some of the issues you’re having?”

Customer: “I paid $700 for it! It should work PERFECTLY!”

Me: “Ma’am, Debian is free. If you paid $700 for it, all that means is that you’re an idiot.”

Customer: “Really?”

Me: “Yep. Anything else I can do for you?”

Customer: *click*

.

Customer berikut ini kemungkinan akan sukses merebut gelar “orang paling tolol di dunia” :

(I had just started a new IT job for a large school district and was not expecting the level of stupidity I would be dealing with on a regular basis. Within my first 3 weeks, I receive a phone call from a school.)

Clerk: “Hi, I am trying to use this new system on these computers and I attempting to make my account. My Principal got me started but now I am stuck.”

Me: “What seems to be the problem?”

Clerk: “Well, it is asking me for First Name and I have no idea what I am supposed to type.”

Me: “You’re at the registration screen? Um…well I think you are supposed to enter your name.”

Clerk: “Oh…okay…wait. No, it’s asking me for something else.”

Me: “What now?”

Clerk: “It says…last…name…what do I put here?”

Me: “Probably your last name.”

Clerk: “Oh, thanks…oh Jesus, now it’s asking for my phone number! What the hell am I suppose to put here! Why can’t I just do it the old fashioned way?”

Me: “You mean pen and paper?”

Clerk: “Yes! It was so much easier. These fancy computers are just so complicated. I never understand what I am suppose to do!”

(I bit my tongue and just let her ramble on about how ‘First Name’ was such an incredibly hard concept to grasp.)

.

Gaptek ? Anda tidak sendirian :

Coworker: “Tech support, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I need LSD for my son. You have that, right?”

Coworker: “Uh?”

Customer: “You know, that high speed internet thing…”

Coworker: *trying not to laugh* “You mean DSL?”

.

Tapi yang satu ini memang agak keterlaluan gapteknya… :D

(We had a notice from one of the Nevada affiliates that Las Vegas residents would be suffering from a network outage due to a problem with their broadcasting equipment.)

Customer: “I think someone is standing next to your satellite with a ham radio. You need to run out and get them to stop.”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but that’s not the problem–”

Customer: “I will have you know, son, I am a Gunnery Sergeant. I’ve worked with Hand Operated Radios for years and I’m telling you RIGHT NOW…there is someone standing next to your satellite with a d*** radio and it’s interfering with my signal. I demand you to get out there and tell them to stop.”

Me: “Far be it from me to ever argue with my clients, but I will have to at this time. I understand that you’re a Gunny Sergeant and that you’ve operated HAM radios for years, but I know my satellite equipment, and it’s not possible for someone to be standing next to my satellite with a radio.”

Customer: “Oh? Really, smart man? Why is that?”

Me: “Because our satellites are in outer space. Furthermore Las Vegas has an outage going on due to a technical issue with their broadcasting equipment.”

Customer: “Oh. Okay.”

.

Namun kadang ada juga customer yang telah berusaha terlebih dahulu, sebelum akhirnya mengkontak technical support :

(We were trying to troubleshoot a printer than quit working…)

Coworker: “… go ahead and click on the printer and faxes icon.”

Customer: “It’s not opening.”

(My coworker tries it himself, and waits nearly 40 minutes for a window to pop up: it eventually shows 70,916 documents in the queue!)

.

Tetapi, lebih seringnya, ya, zombie lagi :

Me: “Okay, sir, can you tell me the brand of your computer?”

Caller: “Compaq…” (or so I thought I heard…)

Me: “Okay, sir, give me a sec–”

Caller: *apparently still reading* “…compact disc.”

Me: >.<

.

Dan untuk penutup, seorang ibu yang sangat tidak pantas untuk menjadi ibu :

(It was raining one day and didn’t look like it would be stopping any time soon.)

Guest: “Hi, could you tell me when it’s going to stop raining?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure.”

Guest: “Well, why not? I came here to enjoy the park, and my family can’t do that when its pouring rain! When will it stop so we know when to come back?”

Me: “Hold on a sec…”

(I pick up the phone.)

Me: “Hi, GOD? Ya, its me, how you doing? Ya, ya…I’m good as you can see. Well you see this woman standing next to me? She’s wondering when you’re gonna stop the rain so she can enjoy the park…Oh, okay. I’ll let her know! Have a magical day!”

NotAlwaysRight.com sekarang menjadi salah satu situs favorit saya :D

Calvin & Jobs

August 3rd, 2008

For lovers of Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, and Mac aficionados; here’s something to made your day — Calvin meets Steve Jobs.

I LOLed.

Hope it made your day too :)

Tidak Punya Handphone ? ?

July 29th, 2008

1998: Solidarity (”Yeah, me neither–I hate those things!”)

1999: Envy (”Lucky you; I had to get one for work.”)

2000: Indifference (”Okay, what’s your home phone number then?”)

2001: Encouragement (”You should get one–you can play Tetris on them now!”)

2002: Confusion (”I thought you were, like, a tech guy.”)

2003: Sympathy (”They’re getting pretty cheap. You’ll be able to afford one soon.”)

2004: Irritation (”So how am I supposed to get a hold of you?”)

2005: Derision (”If we go out tonight I’ll send you a fax.”)

2006: Skepticism (”Are you serious?”)

2007: Awe (”Wow, you’re like the last one.”)

2008: Incomprehension (”You don’t … how …?”)

:D

Sumber : Defective Yeti

Banyak produk Sunblock Tidak Efektif dan/atau Berbahaya

July 28th, 2008

EWG (Environmental Working Group) di Washington baru-baru ini menemukan bahwa ternyata 4 dari 5 produk sunblock yang mereka uji tidak memberikan perlindungan yang cukup terhadap radiasi sinar matahari. Sehingga 80% dari produk itu tidak efektif melindungi kita dari efek sampingan radiasi yang berbahaya, seperti kanker kulit :(

Informasi lebih detail mengenai bahaya radiasi sinar matahari bisa dibaca disini.

Beberapa produk sunblock malah mengandung zat berbahaya yang mudah masuk ke dalam tubuh melalui kulit; seperti oxybenzone, yang bisa merusak DNA dan makin memperbesar kemungkinan terjadinya kanker kulit (!)

Saya mencoba mencari merk Nivea, salah satu merk sunblock yang paling populer di Indonesia, di database EWG. Ternyata, semua produk Nivea yang mereka tes masuk kategori 7 - high hazard :(
2 di antaranya malah mengandung Oxybenzone.

Hal ini sangat relevan karena saya senang berenang dengan anak-anak. Terutama karena saya dan anak saya menderita asma - yang bisa terbantu dengan berolah raga seperti berenang.

Apakah sunblock yang Anda gunakan juga berbahaya ? Silahkan bisa Anda cari informasinya di database sunblock EWG.

Semoga bermanfaat.

Bonus:

Produk air freshener, deterjen, laundry, dan berbagai produk dengan pewangi ternyata mengandung berbagai zat beracun. 5 dari 6 produk dengan pewangi, yang di test oleh Profesor Anne Steinemann dari University of Washington, mengandung zat beracun penyebab kanker yang sangat berbahaya, yang oleh EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) dinyatakan sebagai tidak boleh terekspos kepada manusia sama sekali.

Dicurigai berbagai zat-zat tersebut telah menyebabkan berbagai kesusahan dan masalah kesehatan bagi manusia modern - kanker, asma, sex development, alergi, dll. :(

Detail lebih lengkapnya bisa dibaca di artikel ini - Arnold Schwarzenegger sepertinya telah menemukan musuh yang tidak akan bisa dia basmi sepanjang hayatnya.

EU (European Union) sudah mulai berusaha mengatasi hal ini, dengan mewajibkan para produsen produk dengan pewangi untuk mencantumkan 26 bahan berbahaya jika digunakan di produk ybs. Belum ada hukum seperti ini di Amerika. Idealnya, seluruh bahan berbahaya harus dicantumkan tanpa kecuali, sehingga kita bisa menghindarinya. Mungkin Indonesia mau jadi pelopornya?

Quote :

“In the meantime, I’d recommend that instead of air fresheners people use ventilation, and with laundry products, choose fragrance-free versions.” — Prof. Anne Steinemann

Solusi sementara ? Hindari produk dengan pewangi ? Agak susah ya, tapi ya kita coba saja.

Cara Mudah BBM Murah

July 23rd, 2008

Tahukah Anda bahwa ada cara mudah & GRATIS (tidak perlu membeli alat apapun) untuk membuat BBM menjadi murah ?

Bagi para pengguna kendaraan pribadi, mahalnya BBM cukup terasa signifikan. Bahkan bagi pengendara motor sekalipun - ada staf kami yang mengeluh karena biaya BBM motornya menghabiskan 10% dari gaji bulanannya.

Bersamaan dengan masalah ini, ada banyak oportunis yang berusaha mengail di air keruh. Mereka menjanjikan hasil selangit - asalkan Anda membayar mereka untuk membeli alat / produk dari mereka. Kabar buruknya; banyak produk tersebut yang penghematannya tidak seimbang dengan biaya yang sudah Anda keluarkan.
Jadi, bagaimana solusinya ?

Sebetulnya solusinya cukup mudah, dan dengan hasil yang sangat signifikan :

  • Penggunaan BBM menjadi lebih hemat
  • Jarak jangkau kendaraan menjadi lebih jauh dengan uang yang sama / lebih sedikit
  • Polusi udara menjadi berkurang

Berikut ini adalah 2 tips yang dapat membantu Anda menghemat BBM dengan hasil yang paling signifikan.

Hindari akselerasi & rem mendadak

Akselerasi & rem / berhenti secara mendadak sangat boros / membuang BBM secara percuma, dan juga bisa mempercepat usang berbagai komponen mobil Anda.

Pada akselerasi mendadak, yaitu menekan pedal gas dengan dalam, pembakaran BBM terjadi dengan tidak sempurna. Ada banyak sekali BBM yang jadi terbuang percuma karenanya, dengan hanya memberikan sedikit penambahan akselerasi.
Pembakaran BBM yang tidak sempurna juga cenderung menghasilkan polusi yang lebih banyak.

Kenali kemampuan mesin mobil Anda. Biasakan untuk menekan pedal gas secara ringan saja, sekedar batas akselerasi normal mesin mobilnya.

Dengan demikian, maka pembakaran BBM bisa menjadi lebih menyeluruh, dan bisa jauh lebih banyak BBM yang berubah secara sempurna menjadi energi untuk menggerakkan mobil.

Tentang rem / berhenti mendadak, kerugiannya 2 kali lipat, yaitu :

  1. Komponen-komponen rem & ban menjadi lebih cepat usang
  2. BBM yang sudah dikonversi menjadi energi kinetik / laju mobil langsung lenyap dalam seketika begitu saja

Biasakan berhenti secara perlahan. Idealnya, Anda cukup melepaskan pedal gas, dimana laju mobil otomatis akan berkurang sendiri secara alamiah karena berbagai hal (friksi di mesin, di jalan, gravitasi, dst). Tekan rem untuk berhenti total saja.

Tentu saja ini harus dilakukan secara baik, jangan sampai malah jadi membahayakan Anda maupun pengendara lainnya :)

Kita bisa menghindari berhenti mendadak dengan mempraktekkan gaya mengemudi defensive driving. Cara mengemudi ini, secara ringkas, tidak hanya memperhatikan kendaraan Anda sendiri - namun juga awas dengan lingkungan sekitar dan memungkinkan Anda mampu untuk memprediksi kemungkinan-kemungkinan bahaya.

Mungkin saja Anda sudah mengemudi secara aman - tapi bagaimana dengan pengendara lainnya ? Bagi Anda yang berada di Jakarta, tentu Anda sudah tahu bahwa mengemudi dengan aman bukan jaminan bebas dari kecelakaan. Saya sendiri dalam 3 minggu ini saja sudah **di** tabrak 2 kali. Sayangnya kejadian tersebut terjadi pada saat saya berhenti, sehingga tidak bisa dielakkan dengan teknik defensive driving. Tapi pada banyak kesempatan lainnya saya alhamdulillah berhasil selamat dari kecelakaan berkat teknik ini, dan juga sudah menghemat banyak uang karena jadi jarang berhenti mendadak.

Salah satu artikel berisi tips-tips praktis defensive driving bisa dibaca di blog ini. Kalau ada yang lebih jelas & lengkap, silahkan kabarkan kita semua ya.

Jaga agar RPM selalu dibawah angka 2

Ini ternyata adalah salah satu dosa terbesar saya sebelumnya - sering sekali saya memaksa mesin mobil bekerja sampai RPM 4 atau 5. Berarti sekitar 4000 atau 5000 rotasi per menit.

Sebetulnya ini tidak perlu, dan amat boros BBM.

Setelah saya coba, kita bisa tetap mendapatkan performa yang cukup nyaman dari mobil tanpa perlu melewati RPM 2.

Jadi, pastikan & biasakan untuk ganti persneling sebelum RPM mesin melewati angka 2.

Pada beberapa mobil dengan persneling otomatis - seperti Honda Jazz, ini adalah setting standar. Namun beberapa mobil otomatis lainnya kadang baru akan pindah gigi pada RPM yang lebih tinggi, sehingga cenderung lebih boros BBM. Jika demikian halnya, coba tanya ke dealer mobil ybs, dan minta agar disetting ulang.

Jika kita bisa melakukan ini, maka akan segera nampak bahwa konsumsi BBM kendaraan kita menjadi turun secara cukup drastis.

Pada mobil Honda Jazz, ini berarti kecepatan maksimal sekitar 80 - 90 km/jam. Ini sudah cukup cepat, dan tetap hemat BBM.

Itu saja ??

Ya, cukup itu saja :)
Walaupun ada banyak trik-trik lainnya, namun 2 tips tersebut adalah yang paling signifikan menghemat BBM.

Pada kasus saya, mileage / jarak tempuh mobil saya setelah pengisian BBM meningkat drastis, dari 300 km menjadi 400 km !

Jadinya bagi saya serasa seperti BBM tidak naik :) karena pengeluaran saya untuk BBM per kilometernya tetap sama saja. Sungguh menyenangkan.

Padahal, ini masih belum hemat betul. Kadang saya masih tergoda untuk menggeber mesin mobil melebihi RPM 2, he he

Kalau betul-betul dijaga, saya yakin satu kali isi bensin bisa cukup untuk menjelajah sampai sekitar 450 km. Ini target saya berikutnya.

Bagaimana dengan Anda? Seberapa besar penghematan yang bisa Anda capai dengan kedua tips ini ? Yuk coba kalahkan saya sejauh-jauhnya. Buatlah saya menjadi iri berat dengan prestasi Anda :)

Tips-tips lainnya

OK, sebetulnya masih ada banyak trik-trik lainnya. Namun, hasilnya tidak sebesar seperti 2 trik yang saya sampaikan sebelumnya.

Beberapa diantaranya :

  • Menjaga filter oli tetap bersih : terutama bagi mesin diesel. Filter oli yang kotor dapat menurunkan performa mesin, membuat boros BBM, dan menghasilkan lebih banyak polusi.
  • Mengisi ban dengan CO2 (karbon dioksida) : Ini yang dilakukan oleh mobil-mobil Formula 1.
    Bukan dengan Nitrogen :) (saya agak bingung kenapa banyak bengkel yang menyediakan ini - padahal udara yang kita hirup saja sudah 80% terdiri dari nitrogen !)
  • Car sharing : dengan berbagi tempat di kendaraan kita untuk orang lain, maka kita telah membantu mengurangi konsumsi BBM global. Syukur-syukur malah seperti yang dialami oleh kakak ipar saya - para penumpangnya turut urunan uang bensinnya, sehingga pengeluaran BBM nya jadi berkurang.
  • Naik sepeda : Zero BBM :) sejak sekitar tahun 2002 di Inggris saya sudah biasa bersepeda sampai ke kantor. Sangat menyenangkan, karena ada jalur sepeda di kanal-kanal Birmingham. Jadi kita bisa menghindari dari jalan raya, dan bisa bersepeda dengan tenang sambil menikmati pemandangan indah di sepanjang kanal tersebut. Rute yang saya jalani biasanya adalah Pipe bridge (dekat stadiun Aston Villa / rumah) sampai ke Farmer’s Bridge no: 9 (Central Birmingham).

    Badan sehat, dan biaya hemat. Sayang tidak bisa saya lakukan di Jakarta, karena saya alergi debu :(
    Tapi kalau Anda sanggup, maka ini jelas adalah pilihan yang cukup menarik.

  • Jaga tekanan angin di ban : Terlalu rendah, maka Anda membuang BBM secara percuma. Terlalu tinggi, maka kendaraan Anda jadi mudah slip. Dan pada kedua kasus tersebut sama-sama akan merusak ban lebih cepat.

Anda punya trik-trik lainnya ? Silahkan sharing juga dengan kita ya.

Terimakasih.

Para Kiai incar nomor hoky - malah dapat nomor sial

July 13th, 2008

Ketika beberapa hari yang lalu saya membaca berita di detik.com, saya cuma bisa geleng-geleng kepala sambil merasa sedih. Betapa tidak, para kiai, orang-orang yang semustinya mencerahkan umat Islam kita ini, ternyata percaya kepada numerologi. Mereka berdoa agar PKB mendapatkan nomor urut 9, karena sesuai dengan jumlah bintang di logo PKB.  

Gak penting banget :) 
Lagipula level kiai, kok masih mengurus yang seperti beginian. Kalau orang-orang awam mungkin iya, masih banyak sekali yang “berburu angka” supaya bisa menang togel dan judi-judi lainnya. Tapi kiai ?

Anyway, beberapa  hari yang lalu saya membaca koran dan tercengang membacanya. PKB mendapat nomor urut 13 ! Angka sial …

Saya ketawa terpingkal-pingkal membaca beritanya :D

Pacar saya sampai bengong, kenapa ini orang ketawa sampai tergelak-gelak sendiri? Setelah mengetahui berita tersebut, dia juga ikut ketularan tawanya saya. Oh, ironi …. (oh, perut saya… mulessss)

Takdir memang kadang suka bercanda menggoda kita semua, dengan cara-cara yang sangat lucu dan menggelitik. Mudah-mudahan PKB sukses, bisa membawa Indonesia ke gerbang keadilan & kemakmuran, dan membuktikan bahwa angka 13 itu bukan berarti sial. 

Maju terus PKB ! :D

Misinformation on / Propaganda against Islam

July 3rd, 2008

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.
– Thomas Paine

As a man with belief (Islam), I fully agree on that statement. God has bestowed us with a superior brain, therefore we should really try to fully utilize it. This is one way to say “thank you” for the gift.

A bit about a belief system, like Islam - there are parts of it that can be made into (you can probably describe as) dogma. Therefore, you just believe, no need to ask questions. This can save a lot of hassle of thinking about so many things. You just do. However, of course, this makes us susceptible to liars & soothsayers.

Islam, although can be viewed as a literal “Human’s Guide to Life”, it prefers us to use our brain. The first phrase ever revealed was “iqra” - meaning: “read”. And there are also numerous commands in Quran telling us to think about things - “afala ta’qilun”.

Yet, not many are doing this. Many of our current problems may very well caused by us being led ashtray by our “leaders”. They took advantage of our inability to think critically, and lied to us for their own gain.

This has caused many to defect from Islam.

I have friends who became agnostic, because she/he really hates how our Muslim “leaders” have prohibited us from thinking. Some have become atheists. Some have changed religion. My own experience have been written partially here. Many have suffered from the dogmas.

Naturally, I’d assume that they, these intelligent defectors, will be more able to think more intellectually. Most are. But some are actually actively misleading others. This is worse - they act as the superior intelectual beings, but in reality they’re acting like those they hate most. These are the Islamophobics.

Their intelligence has been consumed by their hate. Still pretending to be rational, but most of the time it’s their ego talking. It is really sad to see these people, consumed alive by the fire within themselves. But more dangerous is that they’re trying to bring down others with them as well.

An example can be found here.

The level of misinformation on that single-post is truly astounding.
They’re easy to debunk if we care to spend a bit of time and think. Let’s see what we can find :

1. Islam means peace

As any translator can tell you, translating is not always an exact science for many reasons. For example, I was not able to find an equivalent of “pseudoscience” in Indonesian.

A rich language such as Arabic will have words which may have no parallels in other languages. In this case, sometimes we’ll  have to settle with words which are closer to its actual meaning.

And in the case of “islam”, it is indeed can be translated as “peace”. Permutations of the word can also be translated as different meanings.

So indeed Islam means peace, and saying not so is either ignorance or a lie in itself.

2. Christ is a prophet of Islam

Jesus Christ, or known as Isa, is indeed a prophet in Islam. The author complained about why we don’t care about his teachings then ? Well, the problem is that his original teachings has been altered. This is quite well documented & researched. Also try searching for “council of nicea” for a bit more details on the subject. However, the original alterations were already made by Paul even before that, so if you’re interested on this subject, then you need to focus your research on the person.

Anyway, all prophets are teaching about monotheism, a single God. In this case, both Isa & Muhammad are exactly the same.

3. Allah means God

I really don’t understand why he’s complaining that the word Allah was originated from Aramaic language. It even strengthens our link with other Abrahamic faith, effectively annuling his #2 complain even.

4. Islam allows free thinking

This is a fact, even encouraged in Islam. There are numerous advantages to those who would think. It is even declared that those who also think are siginificantly better off in God’s view than those who just pray.

5. Islam is Universal

Indeed it is. It’s being taught and practiced all over the world.

It’s even already practiced out of this Earth :)
Recently one of the shuttle’s astronaut is a Muslim, and he continued to be able to practice Islam on the space.

6. Islam is pro-equality

SirArthur claimed that : “Islam is based and supports many kinds of hierarchies with high levels of discrimination and enslavement.”

No idea why, how, where did he got such ideas. If he’s willing to spend even a bit of time looking at the original sources, he would have a different ideas.

For example; he complained about “hierarchies”. I was confused, what hierarchies? Even Muhammad himself was not happy if he arrived and people stood up to respect him. He declared that everyone is equal in front of God. He didn’t even prescribed any power/control system for us (democracy, monarchy, etc) until his death, leaving that up to us.

7. Islam isn’t racist

SirArthur said that “he (Muhammad) compared the black people’s head with raisins” as the base of his argument that Islam is racist.

When I looked for the source, here’s what I found :

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah’s Apostle said, “You should listen to and obey, your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 89, Number 256)

Well, it suddenly become totally different isn’t it. You thought an agnostic would know better than quoting something out of context / cherry-picking verses like this… anyway, SirArthur could be an agnostic in disguise.

The source even strengthen our #6 argument that Islam indeed is pro-equality. Where else a black slave could become ruler for others ? This is completely unthinkable in even America up to the 60’s, and it still never happened that a black man become a president there. While Islam has preached about this since 14 centuries ago.

8. You can try Islam and if you don’t like you can quit

SirArthur claimed that “The penalty for leaving Islam is death.”

In Quran itself it’s claimed that “there is no compulsion in religion”. Muhammad himself has pardoned apostate, not execute him. And there’s is simply no historical record that indicates Muhammad or any of his companions ever sentenced anyone to death for apostasy.

A more detailed discussion on the subject can be read here.

9. Islam allows Christians and Jews to live free within Muslim controlled countries

It is. At one point of time, some Christians even preferred to live under the rule of Muslims, since they will receive better treatment.

SirArthur complained that “They do under a tax and several cut off of citizenship rights“. I was laughing reading it, as if he’s not paying any tax ? :) Come on.

Anyway, the so-called “evil” jizyah is to be paid by non-muslim, because they’re exempt from Zakat. So, muslim pay Zakat, and non-Muslim pay Jizyah. Equality again here. So what’s the problem?
The mind boggles.

And lack of certain “citizenship rights”, I was suffering under the same term when I lived in UK. It is very well expected that non-citizens are not to have the full rights of a citizen. For example, I paid the full tax, but I didn’t get any benefit (example: children welfare support, etc).

In reverse, there was no such discrimination in Islam. Non-muslims who are on good terms with Muslims are expected to be treated equally. Even at war, muslims will prefer to die protecting them, rather than letting them be slaughtered by the attacking army.

10. Taxes may be lower with Islam

SirArthur claimed that “tax is addressed to religion, not to the public benefice or infrastructures“.

Um… no. Tax (Zakat) is supposed to be first addressed to the poor ones. More details here.

Other uses of Zakat follows after that one.

11. Islam is about charity

SirArthur claimed “but Muslim charity can only be addressed to other Muslims. In order to a Muslim to aid a non-Muslim this last one has to convert first (or die starve)“. This is simply a lie.

Muhammad was very well known for his generosity to all living being. Including non-muslim.

In one case, there was once a blind Jewish beggar who kept cursing Muhammad in Medina and say bad things about him. What he did in return was he make sure the beggar is well fed, he will even fed the beggar himself. All without revealing his identity at all to him.

When Muhammad died, Abu Bakr decided to try to continue his habits, including feeding this beggar. The beggar however instantly noticed, he screamed that Abu Bakr is not the usual person, that the previous one was treating him with more care & gentleness.
This made Abu Bakr to cry, and he revealed that it was Muhammad who was giving the charity to him. It’s easy to predict that the beggar was deeply touched by all this, and at the end he converted to Islam.

These are what Muhammad has been teaching to all of us. Compassion to others. Excellent manners.

It’s a pity that many Muslims missed it, and therefore causing others to hate us. We need to sort out our act, and the sooner the better indeed.

Re: Misinformation against Islam — there are so many others out there. It’s so easy to create a lie, there’d be no way I’d be able to counter all of them.

But the point of this post is to implore you, dear readers, to not blindly belief everything. God has given us brain for us to use. Not to be disused. To those who doesn’t belief in God, then please examine the quote from Thomas Paine which I’ve mentioned at the beginning in this post.
It will help ensure our, your, own well-being.

Hope you have found this post useful.

BBM & Listrik naik : Berkat USAID ?

June 25th, 2008

USAID adalah badan pemerintah Amerika yang menyalurkan berbagai “bantuan” kepada negara-negara lainnya. Masalahnya, seringkali berbagai “bantuan” tersebut dicurigai adalah kedok untuk mencapai keinginan pemerintah Amerika. Modus operandinya cukup beragam, dan bagi yang mau mencoba mengamati, akan segera menjadi jelas berbagai triknya.

Saya barusan mendapatkan email terlampir dari Satrio Arismunandar, yang kebanyakan kita mungkin lebih mengenalnya sebagai produser acara “Jika Aku Menjadi” di Trans TV. Ternyata email tersebut ditulis oleh Agus Nizami, yang saya yakin sebagian besar dari kita sudah pernah membaca berbagai artikel beliau di berbagai forum/milis/website.

Di artikel tersebut Nizami mengangkat sebuah dokumen USAID tertanggal 2002 yang ditemukannya, dengan judul “Energy Sector Governance Strengthened“. Dokumen ini menunjukkan persekongkolan mereka untuk (pada akhirnya) menaikkan harga BBM & Listrik.

Dikutip dari dokumen USAID : … By minimizing the role of government as a regulator, reducing subsidies, and promoting private sector involvement …

Artinya: mengurangi peran pemerintah sebagai pengatur / regulator, menurunkan subsidi, dan meningkatkan partisipasi perusahaan swasta (dalam soal BBM & Listrik)

Hasilnya sudah kita “nikmati” bersama :(
BBM sudah naik secara drastis. Listrik juga sudah naik untuk sebagian masyarakat, dan kenaikan secara keseluruhan bukan hal yang mustahil.

Masalah BBM saja sudah merupakan hal yang luar biasa sangat berat. Satrio Arismunandar menulis satu posting dimana terjadi berbagai kasus bunuh diri karena kenaikan BBM tersebut :

“Sekarang saja hidup saya susah, karena miskin. Apalagi nanti, kalau harga minyak dan bensin jadi naik, tambah susah lagi. Saya sudah tak tahan hidup, malu sama keluarga, pingin mati saja,” kata Jamaksari, seperti dituturkan para tetangganya.

Dalam surat wasiat yang ditemukan di saku korban, Jamaksari berpesan (pada istrinya), “Neng, titip anak. Kakak sudah tidak tahan lagi. Inilah yang bisa saya titipkan. Jamak minta tobat. Ibu, semuanya, jangan menyalahkan siapa-siapa. Ini murni bunuh diri, nebus dosa. Salam untuk bapak, uwak, sekalian.”

Bayangkan jika subsidi PLN untuk rakyat kecil juga sampai “berhasil” dicabut - berapa lagi nyawa yang akan melayang ?

Dari dokumen USAID ini, jelas kenaikan BBM & Listrik adalah untuk berbagai kepentingan bisnis & pemerintah asing (Amerika). Terlalu banyak & kompleks untuk diuraikan disini, selain saya juga tidak memiliki cukup waktu untuk melakukan investigasi lebih lanjut secara komprehensif.
Mudah-mudahan ada yang bisa melanjutkan investigasi ini dengan lebih lengkap lagi.

Dengan semangat kebangkitan nasional, dan hari kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia di 17 Agustus nanti — katakan TIDAK pada para penjajah ! Merdeka !

Banyak terimakasih kita ucapkan kepada pak Agus Nizami yang sudah mengangkat soal ini.

Terlampir email selengkapnya :

—– Original Message —-
From: A Nizami <nizaminz@xxxxxxxxxx.com>

Berikut adalah dokumen USAID (United States Agency for International Development, Lembaga Pemerintah AS) tentang “Penguatan Pengaturan Bidang Energi” di Indonesia yang menunjukkan campur tangan pemerintah AS mengenai sektor energi Indonesia.

Sekitar 90% migas Indonesia “dikelola” oleh perusahaan Multi National Company (MNC) seperti Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Halliburtons, Unocal, yang mayoritas berasal dari AS. Dari “kerjasama tersebut” MNC dari AS mendapat keuntungan yang sangat besar melebihi dari kontrak bisnis yang wajar. Sebagai contoh jika ongkos pompa minyak (tidak termasuk pengilangan dan distribusi ke SPBU) yang wajar hanya sekitar US$ 4/barrel (Rp 231/liter), maka MNC mengeruk keuntungan hingga US$ 50/barrel atau lebih dari 12 kali lipat.
Jika dikalikan dengan 365 juta barrel/tahun maka keuntungan lebih MNC tersebut adalah Rp 154,5 trilyun.

Sementara di dokumen CIA tentang Indonesia disebut bahwa sektor listrik di Indonesia masih “regulated”. Tarifnya masih “diatur” oleh pemerintah Indonesia, sehingga harganya terjangkau oleh mayoritas rakyat Indonesia yang masih menengah ke bawah.
Hal ini jelas tidak menguntungkan bagi para “investor” AS yang ingin mengeruk keuntungan sebesar-besarnya. Untuk itu harus dideregulasi. “Subsidi” harus dicabut sehingga harganya mengikuti harga pasar, atau yang sekarang disebut “Harga Keekonomian”.

Untuk itu pemerintah AS lewat USAID mengucurkan jutaan dollar yang dikucurkan kepada kaki tangan mereka agar kebijakan mereka bisa berjalan di Indonesia, yaitu deregulasi, pengurangan subsidi (penaikan harga), dan reformasi bidang energi. Untuk itu USAID jadi “Donatur Utama” agar usaha tersebut berhasil. Untuk tahun 2001 dan 2002 saja mereka menganggarkan masing-masing US$ 4 juta (Rp 37,2 milyar) agar berhasil.
Berikut cuplikan dari dokumen USAID yang berjudul “Energy Sector Governance Strengthened”:

<i>By minimizing the role of government as a regulator, reducing subsidies,and promoting private sector involvement, a reformed energy sector can contribute billions of dollars in tax revenue. USAID has been the primary bilateral donorworking on energy sector reform, which helps leverage larger multilateral loans.</i>

USAID “membantu” pemerintah Indonesia agar Parlemen, Ormas/LSM, Media, dan Universitas “dilibatkan” sehingga “Penghapusan Subsidi” dan “Penentuan Harga” tidak menimbulkan “jeritan” masyarakat terlalu besar. Bahkan Kepala Bappenas, Paskah Suzetta, menyarankan subsidi dicabut secara bertahap setiap bulan sehingga tidak terlalu kelihatan (meski efeknya tetap terasa oleh warga). Bappenas menyarankan harga minyak dinaikkan sebesar 2% setiap bulan selama setahun (24%) sehingga sama dengan harga pasar. Meski mungkin para demonstran tidak mengetahui, tapi ini tetap akan memukul kantong para supir angkutan umum dan nelayan.

<i>the Government of Indonesia, with USAID assistance, ensured that national and local parliaments, civil society organizations, media, and universitieswere involved in the decision. As a result, there was minimal public outcry. USAID also supported this process by providing policy analysis for energy pricing and subsidy removal.</i>

USAID “bekerjasama” langsung dengan pejabat Indonesia yang berwenang merevisi draft UU tentang Listrik dan merancang struktur peraturan:

<i>USAID advisors work directly with Government of Indonesia officials responsible for implementing power sector reform, revising draft electricity legislation and redesigning regulatory structures.</i>

Hebat bukan? Betapa baiknya pemerintah AS “membantu” merevisi dan merancang UU energi dan listrik kita…. USAID “membantu” membuat RUU Minyak dan Gas yang dikirim ke DPR bulan Oktober 2000. Seorang ekonom menyatakan bahwa RUU tersebut dibuat oleh pemerintah AS. Komisi DPR tinggal memberi stempel dan tanda tangan saja:

<i>USAID helped draft new oil and gas policy legislation submitted to Parliament in October 2000.</i>

Di tahun 2001 USAID mengucurkan US$ 850.000 (Rp 7,8 Milyar) ke LSM-LSM dan Universitas-Universitas untuk kampanye masalah energi seperti “Penghapusan Subsidi Energi”:

<i>In FY 2001, USAID plans to provide $850,000 DA to support NGOs and universities in developing programs for raising awareness and supporting involvement of local government and the public of energy sector issues,including removal of energy subsidies</i>

Dengan kucuran dana sebesar itu tak heran jika ada oknum Lembaga Peneliti satu Universitas Negeri terkenal menyatakan jika harga BBM dinaikkan jumlah rakyat miskin akan turun….

USAID bekerjasama dengan ADB dan Bank Dunia dalam “mereformasi” bidang Energi Indonesia. Dengan hutang US$ 20 juta (hanya sekitar Rp 186 milyar), penasehat USAID berperan sebagai manajemen proyek dan perencanaan. ADB dan USAID bekerjasama membuat rancangan UU Migas Indonesia tahun 2000. Melengkapi usaha USAID, Bank Dunia melakukan “Studi Komprehensif” bidang Migas dan kebijakan tarif serta “bantuan” finansial dan restrukturisasi PLN.

<i>Other Donor Programs: USAID works closely with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank on energy-sector reform. USAID assistance is leveraging a $20 million ADB power sector-restructuring loan, with USAID advisors playing project management and planning roles. The ADB and USAID worked together on drafting a new oil and gas law in 2000. Complementing USAID efforts, the World Bank has conducted comprehensive studies of the oil and gas sector, pricing policy, and provided assistance to the State electric company on financial and corporate restructuring</i>

Yang harus kita sadari adalah bahwa setiap pinjaman dari IMF, Bank Dunia, ADB (yang merupakan alat AS dalam menguasai ekonomi dunia) mempunyai syarat bahwa negara peminjam harus melaksanakan Agenda Neoliberalisme seperti “Privatisasi”, Deregulasi, Pencabutan Subsidi/Kenaikan tarif (mis: pencabutan “Subsidi” BBM agar harga mengikuti harga pasar/harga keekonomian) , perdagangan bebas, dan sebagainya (Tabb, William K. “Globalization. ” Microsoft® Encarta® 2006).

Dengan menaruh putra/putri Indonesia yang jadi mantan Direktur dari Bank Dunia dan IMF di kementrian bidang Ekonomi, Institusi Globalisasi tersebut dengan bebas dapat menjalankan program Neoliberalisme di Indonesia. Penjualan BBM di Indonesia sekitar Rp 418 trilyun per tahun sementara listrik PLN sekitar Rp 200 trilyun per tahun. Total sekitar Rp 618 trilyun (belum termasuk batubara). Itu baru di harga bensin Rp 6.000/liter.
Jika mengikuti harga “Pasar” atau “Keekonomian” yang sekitar Rp 10.000/liter nilainya naik jadi Rp 1.018 Trilyun! Indonesia dengan jumlah penduduk nomor 4 terbesar di dunia jelas merupakan “pasar” yang menarik bagi AS. Setelah menguasai sekitar 90% di sektor hulu Migas, adakah dengan program Privatisasi dan Kenaikan Tarif, AS ingin menguasai sektor Hilir dan juga bidang Listrik? Adakah ini merupakan “Penjajahan Ekonomi” oleh AS terhadap Indonesia?

Belanda yang merupakan sekutu dekat AS bertindak tegas menangkap agen-agen CIA yang berusaha memata-matai Belanda, merekrut kaki tangan AS sehingga kebijakan Belanda tidak dapat dipengaruhi AS.

Bagaimana dengan Indonesia? Lembaga-lembaga AS (baik pemerintah mau pun swasta) dapat dengan bebas memberi dana kepada Individu, Lembaga Pemerintah (Polri, TNI, dsb), dan LSM-LSM Indonesia tanpa proses audit/kontrol dari masyarakat/negara. Adakah Mereka dan LSM-LSM ini akhirnya akan jadi agen asing yang bekerja untuk kepentingan asing ketimbang kepentingan rakyat Indonesia? Dengan proyek NAMRU-2, pejabat militer AS bebas keluar masuk Indonesia tanpa izin khusus.

Mudah-mudahan putra-putri Indonesia mampu melakukan yang terbaik untuk rakyat Indonesia. Bukan untuk kepentingan asing.

Berikut dokumen selengkapnya dari USAID:
http://www.usaid.gov/pubs/cbj2002/ane/id/497-013.html

Baca artikel selengkapnya di: http://infoindonesia.wordpress.com

9/11 : Authorized by George W. Bush

June 15th, 2008

For years I’ve been reading the 2 extremes of the story : those who hypes it up and use it as the reason to kill other innocent people (hi Bush !), and those who claim it as conspiracy theory.

However, the second camp (conspiracy theorists) sometimes are using crazy assumptions and other invalid methods to support their claim.
Some are rational and have pretty good proofs to support their claims - but unfortunately, many others are just plain crazy.

But it may seem that it will indeed be proven as a conspiracy, headed by none other than the President of the USA himself.

As claimed by Stanley Hilton :

“This (9/11) was all planned. This was a government-ordered operation. Bush personally signed the order. He personally authorized the attacks. He is guilty of treason and mass murder.”

Stanley Hilton is no nobody. Here’s who he is :

Stanley Hilton was a senior advisor to Sen Bob Dole (R) and has personally known Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz for decades. This courageous man has risked his professional reputation, and possibly his life, to get this information out to people.

The summary of his claim : Bush ordered 9/11. We have the proofs. We have eye-witnesses :

SH: Our case is alleging that Bush and his puppets Rice and Cheney and Mueller and Rumsfeld and so forth, Tenet, were all involved not only in aiding and abetting and allowing 9/11 to happen but in actually ordering it to happen. Bush personally ordered it to happen. We have some very incriminating documents as well as eye-witnesses, that Bush personally ordered this event to happen in order to gain political advantage, to pursue a bogus political agenda on behalf of the neocons and their deluded thinking in the Middle East.

I also wanted to point out that, just quickly, I went to school with some of these neocons. At the University of Chicago, in the late 60s with Wolfowitz and Feith and several of the others and so I know these people personally. And we used to talk about this stuff all of the time. And I did my senior thesis on this very subject - how to turn the U.S. into a presidential dictatorship by manufacturing a bogus Pearl Harbor event. So, technically this has been in the planning at least 35 years.

And he’s backing it up with lawsuit worth US$ 7 billion :

We are suing them under the Constitution for violating Americans’ rights, as well as under the federal Fraudulent Claims Act, for presenting a fraudulent claim to Congress to justify the bogus Iraq boondoggle war, for political gains. And also, under the RICO statute, under the Racketeering Corrupt Organization Act, for being a corrupt entity.

Yeah, we are suing Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Mueller, etc. for complicity in personally not only allowing 9/11 to happen but in ordering it. The hijackers we retained and we had a witness who is married to one of them. The hijackers were U.S. undercover agents. They were double agents, paid by the FBI and the CIA to spy on Arab groups in this country. They were controlled. Their landlord was an FBI informant in San Diego and other places. And this was a direct, covert operation ordered, personally ordered by George W. Bush. Personally ordered. We have incriminating evidence, documents as well as witnesses, to this effect. It’s not just incompetence - in spite of the fact that he is incompetent. The fact is he personally ordered this, knew about it. He, at one point, there were rehearsals of this. The reason why he appeared to be uninterested and nonchalant on September 11th - when those videos showed that Andrew Card whispered in his ear the [garbled] words about this he listened to kids reading the pet goat story, is that he thought this was another rehearsal. These people had dress-rehearsed this many times.

in return he & his team is being personally harassed :

And I’ve been harassed personally by the chief judge of the federal court who is instructing me personally to drop this suit, threatened to kick me off the court, after 30 years on the court. I’ve been harassed by the FBI. My staff has been harassed and threatened. My office has been broken into and this is the kind of government we are dealing with.

First of all, my office was burglarized in San Francisco several months ago. Files were gone through and some files were seized - particularly the ones dealing with the lady that was married to one of the hijackers. Fortunately, I had spare copies in a hidden place so nothing disappeared permanently. But more significantly, FBI agents have been harassing one of my staff members and threatening them with vague but frightening threats of indicting them. And it’s just total harassment. They have planted a spy, an undercover agent, in my organization, as we just recently discovered. In other words, these are Nazi Germany tactics. This is the kind of government you have in this country. This is what Bush is all about.

About loss of privacy in USA following 9/11 :

Every corrupt and criminal government has done this - they suppress their own people: Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Mao Tse-Tung, that’s why we have the Patriot Act. So it’s hand in hand. They had it planned to go right up to September 11th, this was all part of the plan. You have to do it. It was part of my senior thesis. You must follow through the terrorists attacks with a political suppression mechanism in the law. And that’s why they want Patriot I and Patriot II and their plans are to continue launching more terrorist attacks to justify even more repression.

Unfortunately, he lost the lawsuit.
However, the story doesn’t end there - the lawsuit was lost NOT because of lack of evidence. But it was because :

the judge reasoned that U.S. Citizens do not have the right to hold a sitting President accountable for anything, even if the charges include premeditated mass murder and premeditated acts of high treason

How nice it is to become the US president - free, unlimited “out of jail” pass !
Complete immunity to do as one pleases.

No wonder US gov’t is such a wreck today, and it’s wrecking havoc with others all over the world in daily basis.

Anyway, what Stanley started is now being picked up by JusticeFor911.org - a coalition pushing for formal investigations on unresolved 9/11 questions, such as :

  1. Why were standard operating procedures for dealing with hijacked airliners not followed that day?
  2. Why were the extensive missile batteries and air defenses reportedly deployed around the Pentagon not activated during the attack?
  3. Why did the Secret Service allow Bush to complete his elementary school visit, apparently unconcerned about his safety or that of the schoolchildren?
  4. Why hasn’t a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day?
  5. Why haven’t authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested
    foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains?
  6. Why has Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who claims to have knowledge of advance warnings, been publicly silenced with a gag order requested by Attorney General Ashcroft and granted by a Bush-appointed judge?
  7. How could Flight 77, which reportedly hit the Pentagon, have flown back towards Washington D.C. for 40 minutes without being detected by the FAA’s radar or the even superior radar possessed by the US military?
  8. How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours, as well as to visit houses, restaurants, and flight schools they were known to frequent?
  9. What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state?
  10. Why did the Bush administration cover up the fact that the head of the Pakistani intelligence agency was in Washington the week of 9/11 and reportedly had $100,000 wired to Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader of the hijackers?
  11. Why did the 911 Commission fail to address most of the questions posed by the families of the victims, in addition to almost all of the questions posed here?
  12. Why was Philip Zelikow chosen to be the Executive Director of the ostensibly independent 911 Commission although he had co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice?

More questions and details on those are available on 9/11 Independent Committee’s website.

Here’s hoping that the truth will be uncovered soon.

Bonus : Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

Published on The Journal of Business, 2006, vol. 79, no. 4

Quoted:

After September 11, 2001, there was a great deal of speculation that the terrorists or their associates had traded in the option market on advanced knowledge of the impending attacks. This paper generates systematic information about option market activity that can be used to assess the option trading that precedes any event of interest. Examination of the option trading leading up to September 11 reveals that there was an unusually high level of put buying. This finding is consistent with informed investors having traded options in advance of the attacks.

Obama & Oprah : President & Vice President

June 6th, 2008

Below is a reply to a message that I sent to Obama’s campaign a few days ago.

Basically I was suggesting that Obama pick Oprah Winfrey as his vice president.

I think Obama & Oprah would make a formidable team, and will bring good things for all of us.
Not just to American people, but potentially to many others in this world.

Let’s hear it for Obama & Oprah ! :D

Dear Harry,

Thank you for contacting Obama for America. The volume of messages we’re receiving has gone up since Barack’s victory in Iowa. While we cannot respond individually to over a thousand messages per day, the level of interest and thoughtfulness of the comments reflected in these communications are very gratifying. Your thoughts on our campaign and America’s future are greatly appreciated.

Individual citizens like you are the foundation of this campaign.
……
Thank you again for writing.

Sincerely,

The Correspondence Team
Obama for America