Foreign Polls and Surveys: Reality, Deception and Hidden Agenda
By: Afreen Baig
Recently, it had become sort of a fashion, to give reference to Foreign Polls and Surveys while speculating on the future of Pakistan and the popularity levels of our leaders. Later it was Pakistan’s election process and its consequences. The Media religiously quote these Polls & Surveys to pursue their specific agenda and give credibility to their rumoring views and specious news. The faith is so great that the credulous Pubic doesn’t even bother to check on the reliability, funding and intentions of the lobbies behind these Polls & Surveys.
[A survey released by the U.S based International Republican Institute was released recently with all sorts of negative indicators shown associated with the elected government of the PPP and its coalition partners.]
The credibility of these organizations leaves a huge question mark, when they fail to come clean and clear about their affiliations and their loyalty to their financers. Who funds them and for what purpose?
Founded in 1983, the International Republican Institute (IRI) is an organization, funded by United States government. The IRI operates as a political organization abroad, providing training and assistance to political parties. One could question the interest of the IRI in elections of other countries and the kind of assistance or leverage it provides to their political parties? Why would Pakistan’s political parties require assistance from abroad, specifically the IRI?
As a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, IRI plays no part in domestic U.S. politics. It further raises suspicions, as to why a US organization is not allowed to publish polls and surveys about their own elections, while meddling in Pakistan?
The majority of its board, staff and consultants are drawn from the Republican Party. Most of its staff and board have links to right-wing think tanks, foundations, and policy institutes, while many also represent major financial, oil, and defense corporations. Oil and Defense corporations – the root cause of all recent evil wars!
IRI Board of Directors includes the current aspiring US Presidential candidate Senator Mc Cain. No wonder the Republican Party was eager to group with late Benazir Bhutto and wanted to see the moderate forces together. The IRI was projecting fraudulently the future allies of the Republicans i.e. the PPP in the upcoming Pakistani elections.
The IRI is also accused of training some of the leaders of the 2004 coup d’etat in Haiti, as well as funding opposition groups in the country in a destabilization campaign in the months leading up the removal of democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by a coalition of Canada, USA and France.
Abbas Ather’s column:
A new survey: A new conspiracy?
(Express, 23 Dec 2008)
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Texas Baptist Convention and President, This assumption of discipline and devotion to excellence is an environment that can be fostered in public schools just as the uniforms that made it clear we were there to work are now present in many public schools.I know many people of faith whose churches temples and mosques have adopted public schools These groups tutor in reading science and math at their adopted schools as well as help raise money for items not covered in the schools’ budgets Relationships formed between students and their tutors often last for years as their mentors continue to help beyond the immediate need For a child there is nothing to substitute for the knowledge that some unrelated adult has faith in you and your abilities For some that person is a teacher For others it’s a tutor or school volunteer That knowledge alone can spur a child to greater effort even in the face of great difficultiesWhen someone places his or her faith in the potential of a child and backs up that faith with action such as tutoring it does move the needle Imagine how far we could move the needle if we all did thatMIKE GHOUSE President Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters DallasMaking an “education dent” is not merely about academics It also is about producing all-round kids: academically socially religiously and culturally Kids need to grow up to be a part of society and not apart from it in their outlookHowever I have always envied those kids who went to the Catholic schools for the discipline they received from superbly run systems As an adult and before we had our children I wanted to send my kids to Mormon schools for the cohesive family values they teach Making decisions for our kids to go to school was a worthwhile exercise We seriously debated about sending them to the public school or private school day care or private care The strongest point in favor of public school was raising them in an environment that would familiarize them with the real world they were going to be a part of when they grew up It would be a norm to see people of different faiths races and ethnicities working together marrying each other going to plays watching football games watching their kid’s soccer games and even the places of worshipThank God both my kids were not raised with an ounce of bigotry If they decide to run for a public office they will have it easy as they are comfortable with every race faith ethnicity culture or sexual orientation They were well-oriented with my home and work Don’t we want our leaders to represent every member of their constituency If we do we need to prepare them for thatMy grade school social studies book had a few pages that gave a summary of each religion and its fountainhead As a kid I understood that there were as many faiths as the candy colors I could get especially the police candy We owe it to our children and the future of our nation to keep the personal version of God in our homes or teach them all versions of God in school or noneI will not move the needle a bit I will stick with the First Amendment There is a lot of wisdom in it TREY GRAHAM Senior Pastor First Melissa and Radio Host Faith Walk with Trey GrahamProviding quality education to our nation’s children should be a priority for all Americans For both a family and a nation “children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3) Educating our children and preparing them to be productive citizens are society’s collective responsibilities People who have committed to follow Jesus as Savior should focus on all types and methods of education Many evangelical Christians have been tempted to retreat to private Christian education for their children as a way to shield the young people from the temptations of the world Other followers of Jesus have chosen homeschooling as the method that allows maximum parental involvement and the choosing of subject matter most in line with the parents’ belief systems A large number of Christians however believe that being involved in the public school system is the best way to provide quality education for the greatest number of students while ensuring that a Christian biblical influence remains present where most families send their children Each family is free to make their own choices based upon prayer counsel and the needs of their children In addition to parents deciding where to send their children Christian teachers must decide where they want to work Many educators who profess to be Christians are logically drawn to teaching in a Christian school setting where they assume that shared spiritual values exist between parents teachers and administrators In addition many faithful Jesus followers serve as teachers in the local public school systems dedicated to showing God’s love and grace while teaching math or science or reading These teachers believe they can best follow Jesus’ calling to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) by teaching children of Christians and non-Christians as members of faculties which include both Christians and non-ChristiansMayor Rawlings is correct when he espouses the biblical idea that God is omnipresent The God who created the world cannot be excluded from the world so Christians need not fear that the Heavenly Father is absent from our schools today Developing policies for education should start with the biblical worldview that all children are valuable because they were created by God and are loved by God Acknowledging this we then must agree that all children deserve quality education and that parents governments local leaders and average citizens should cooperate to see this goal achievedI would urge Mayor Rawlings and other local leaders who profess faith in Christ to encourage the faithful Christian educators to maximize both their God-given love for children and their skills in academia Our local citizens overwhelmingly agree that a quality education is due each child in America and we should work together with that important goal in mind I hope and pray that people who are called by God to salvation in Jesus Christ and called by God to serve as teachers will have the resources and opportunities to achieve that same important goal I would encourage teachers who love and follow Jesus to seek God’s direction for their education careers I trust that God calls some Christians to teach in Christian school settings but I also trust that God calls some Christians to teach in public school settingsMany members of our church family love Jesus and love children and have chosen to do both by serving as educators in local school districts In short I would submit that the strategy of AND be employed instead of the strategy of OR To best serve God and to best educate children teachers who are Christ followers can honor the Savior while teaching in Christian schools AND teachers who are Christ-followers can honor the Savior while teaching in public schoolsNITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS Minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) DallasEducational institutions are not simply meant to create industry and employment but rather education is primarily for the purpose of character development The ancient Vedic aphorism states that the sign of an educated man is that: 1 He sees all women except for his wife as one would view their own mother2 He does not covet other people’s property no more than one would covet garbage in the street3 He sees the pains and gains of others as his very own and therefore is compassionate towards other’s distress and happy for other’s happinessThis wisdom is naturally developed when one studies and practices the science of the soul In America we have so many educational institutions yet how many institutions discuss the nature of consciousness How many institutions can clearly explain the difference between a dead body and a living body Everyone in this world wants to be happy however to be happy one must know the self and how to please the self Because of mis-identifying the temporary body as the self people in general look at the opposite sex or same sex as objects of their enjoymentOther people’s property is seen with envy And the pains and gains of others are something to take advantage of and exploit Therefore if there is no higher knowledge of the self the modern educational institutions often can increase materialism and unhappiness within society HOWARD COHEN Lecturer in Jewish-Christian relations and member of Congregation Shearith Israel and Congregation Beth Torah DallasIt will not be possible to introduce discussions about God in a public school setting without offending one religious group or another There is no way to present such a discussion sans offense short of referring to God as Mother Nature Fate Prime Mover etcEven then there will be an objection from parents who do not want their children taught about God regardless of the generic nomenclature used It is arrogant for people of faith to assume that there cannot be an objection to incorporating a non-denominational discussion and not understand the objection of those parents No parent whose child attends public schools should expect the schools to introduce their children to any religious beliefs or discussions about God For those parents who expect there to be such a discussion there are privately supported religious schools that they can attend Then they can be assured that their children will be exposed to their own religious traditionsBut if you really want to make an education dent especially getting students to discuss God and larger issues of moral consequenceWe all would like “to make a dent” to have a better result from our schools but what does that have to do with discussions about GodAs for the quotes from the mayor’s speech:God can play an important role in improving education The mayor said there ought to be a robust discussion of God in schools That conversation he said could begin with the commonalities between “God-ness” and goodness“Surely we can create a new way to educate to fund the best and the brightest in this country” Rawlings said “For me it starts with God being omnipresent in lives across this country”They were meaningless statements of a politician pandering to his audience It is a monument to “freedom. 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