Archives for February 2007

The News Channel I Like!

If you’ve been reading my material, I think you know that I am
not too impressed by the mainstream news channels. Increasingly,
we see news as entertainment, and the notion of news “stories”
being just that; stories FIRST – stories that fascinate,
intrigue, titillate, and arouse curiosity – and news only as a
poor second. Competition between channels increasingly brings the
entertainment element to the fore, and truthful reporting to the

Well, I am happy to say that all that has finally changed for the

There IS a channel that I can recommend, and that I believe does
deliver the goods in reporting things around the world that
really matter, and that strives to do so in an honest way.

Although, this channel has been around for years, it has not had
very good press, and has not even been available in English.
Hence, we have not really had the chance to get an unbiased
opinion of it by watching it ourselves.

So who am I talking about?…..

The new Al-Jazeera in English!

It only started up a few months ago, but I have to say that I am
totally impressed.

It comes out of Doha, London and Washington, and it looks as if
the parent station have spent billions on setting up this brave
new venture.

Perhaps it is because this is the first English-speaking news
channel to be outside of the US/UK propaganda nexus that we
finally get to hear what is REALLY going on in places like
Israel, Iraq, Iran and the like. Perhaps it is because Al-Jazeera
is an Arab channel that we finally get to hear what the people of
the Middle East REALLY think.

For example, you don’t just get the usual baloney labelling of
people whose grievances we don’t understand as “terrorists”.
Instead, you might actually find the grievances of some of these
people being honestly discussed. Al-Jazeera does not just
spoon-feed you the party line of propaganda, by treating the
issues ridiculously simplistically, as is often the case

Instead, they make a real effort to connect with the
complexity of each issue they discuss. That’s why you will hear
opinions expressed that you just won’t get elsewhere. Other
English new channels have too many interests to protect, i.e. toe
the party line etc., to ever dare to break new ground in honesty.

In fact, it’s precisely because Al-Jazeera is (a) Arabic and (b)
does NOT possess the in-built bias of the US/UK nexus of English
channels, that they are actually trusted to report in some places
that are off-limits to the rest.

It’s not all Middle East coverage. They have many quality
documentaries from all parts of the world, and excellent
interview programs (President Jimmy Carter and Jesse Jackson have
been on).

They’ve got Riz Khan (can’t remember where he came from, but it
was a big news channel), who always hosts a fascinating mixture
of interview and viewer Q%A. then, there’s the UK’s legendary
David Frost. The fact that he’s moved to Al-Jazeera is a major

However, it goes beyond that. They try to report REAL news;
things that matter, or SHOULD matter, to intelligent educated

Hence, if you are more interested in knowing the latest on
missing blonde teenagers in Aruba, or Britney Spear’s latest
haircut, or where Anna Nicole Smith gets to be buried and by
whose permission…. well, you KNOW where to go for that.
Al Jazeera is NOT for you!

Anyway, last time I heard, Al-Jazeera in English was not actually
available anywhere in the USA. THAT in itself is a pretty telling
statement, for the so-called Land Of The Free. Hopefully, that
will change soon.

You can still get to see it at:

There is a free service there, as well as a paid broadband
version. Frankly, it IS worth paying for if you are in the US and
cannot get it any other way. I think you will find it a breath of
fresh air compared to the rest that are out there.

It’s not that ALL other English news channels are bad. It’s just
that they have a huge inherent (and often invisible) bias in them
when it comes to reporting international news. Hence, “the truth”
is almost impossible (and that’s before we even get into the
issue of them running “stories” that are more for entertainment
than actual news value, just to stay up in the ratings).

Let us not forget that both the US and the UK and the primary
CAUSES of many of the worst problems we see in the world today.
I am NOT talking about just the last six years either. Check
your history, people, going back the last hundred years or more!
Interestingly though, you will NEVER find the US/UK news channels
ever pointing the finger down at the ground upon which they are

Check out Al-Jazeera. If you have an open mind, and a functional
brain, I think you’ll be very impressed.

Copyright 2007. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.

Feng Shui Unblocking

A Happy Chinese New Year to you!

This is the year of the Fire Pig for the Chinese, which they
consider to be especially auspicious. Let’s hope so. The
world can use a little good fortune right now.

Anyway, on with my latest findings and activities in Feng Shui…

It’s actually a pretty complex subject and I don’t pretend to be
an expert, but rather a student. Also, without making certain
specific Feng Shui calculations, individual for each person and
each residence or work place, it’s impossible to say a vast

That said, there are still certain Feng Shui principles that are
universally applicable, and we can certainly discuss those.

One is the notion of clutter and not holding onto old things.
Holding onto stuff you no longer need symbolizes holding onto the
past, or else not being willing to let new fresh energy into your
life. When you hold onto hold stuff, you are not making space for
new things in your life. You are closing down the flow of

Take your attic, for instance…

In Feng Shui, your attic symbolically represents your future.
However, most people stash a pile of old junk in their attics!
What do you think this has to say about their future? That is
quite apart from the fact that the sheer volume of all this old
stuff blocking the free flow of Qi energy through the area of
your home that is supposed to represent your hopes and dreams.

Clutter throughout the house also blocks free flow of Qi energy
through your home and your life, according to Feng Shui. Even
psychologically, and quite apart from any Feng Shui concepts, we
can understand that a blocked environment could have a blocking
influence on the mind, and hence on one’s ability to perform well
at life or work.

I remember when I bought my first home outside the UK, and went
over to live there for the first time when it was totally empty.
It was a unique experience, probably never to be repeated. For
the first, and perhaps only, time in my life I was totally
unencumbered by the enormous weight of possessions. No computer,
No crowded bookshelves. No wardrobes stuffed with suits, shirts,
and jeans. Nothing, apart from what I had brought over in one

It was an extraordinarily “light” sensation, like being liberated
from heavy shackles. Maybe we’ll feel this way just after we die?
i don’t know… but maybe.

Anyway, even if you can’t get bear to get rid of much, try
starting small. See what you CAN dump without regret. Remember
that if your hand is clenched tight gripping onto something, it
can’t be open at the same time to accept whatever the universe
might be offering.

Take a good look at what is in your attic. If it’s there in the
first place, it means you are not using it much. Will you EVER
use it? If the brutally honest answer is no, then think of
getting rid of it. In general, according to Feng Shui, it is best
to keep the attic as empty as possible. If you have an out-house
such as a garage of some sort, maybe you can store your stuff

Take another look around your house. What could you do without?
How about those old clothes in your wardrobe? You know the ones I
mean. The nice stuff that’s three sizes too Small. But you keep
it anyway because…. who knows… One day, you just might fit in
it again!?

As you unblock your house and get rid of clutter, consider that
you are symbolically unblocking your life and freeing the energy
of the universe to flow freely once more. What stronger incentive
could there be than that?

Feng Shui

You Can LISTEN To This As A Feng Shui Podcast

As some of you may know, it’s the Chinese New Year coming up, and
it’s the year of the Fire Pig.

Now, this might have been purely incidental information for me if
it was not for the fact that I have begun studying and practicing
Feng Shui.

For anyone whose been living under a rock all these years, Feng
is the Chinese art of arranging your home or office in such
a way as to be conducive to attracting positive energies from the
universe to aid you in your life, both personally and
professionally. It is about creating a harmonious environment
that becomes a symbolic representation of what you wish to
manifest from the universe.

The basic theory of Feng Shui is that the Qi, the universal energy of life
that flows through the universe and all living things, also flows
through your home and business environment. Hence, by arranging
these in a way that attracts and strengthens the Qi, you will
attract good fortune to your existence, and simultaneously
minimize the effects of illness, misfortune and disaster.

Cynics might say that there is more than a small element of
Sympathetic Magic about it, i.e. the notion that by affecting a
representation of something, you similarly affect the thing

However, if you do subscribe to the idea that there is more to
the universe that meets the eye, and that all things accord with
spiritual principles, then Feng Shui does make pretty good sense.

Even for the materialistic skeptic, it can still be argued that
the psychological and symbolic effect upon the psyche of putting
your living or work space in order, as if it were your very life,
must be very strong.

It seems that it’s not just ex-hippy New Agers who are into Feng
. Major corporations in the West now employ Feng Shui
consultants, for sizable packages, to advise them about the
construction of their buildings. Of course, this has been going
on in China for thousands of years.

I’ve been putting myself through a crash course in this subject,
and I have to say that it’s a pretty complex subject to grasp all
at once. It’s also an enormous task to put one’s home to rights,
according to Feng Shui principles.

For a start, there is the sheer amount of physical “stuff” in the
house to move or get rid of. This alone can take weeks, months or
even years. However, the bigger clutter takes place in the mind.
There is so much stuff that, despite the fact you have not
touched it for years, you just do not WANT to get rid of!

Sentimental stuff. Things that “might” come in useful one day.
And stuff you just can’t bear to do without… for no good reason
at all!

The Feng Shui attitude is that if you’re not prepared to let go
of old spent energy, then you cannot allow new energy into your

That’s easy to say… but you should take a look at my library
sometime! The Feng Shui approach to books seems to be that if you
haven’t used a book in the last two years or so, then the chances
are that you never will, and they have therefore become
“clutter”. Feng Shui practitioners aim to reduce their books by
at least one third to one half.

Well, I have to say this this is a major point of resistance for
me! Some? Maybe. But one third? Not going to happen! At least,
not this year.

Feng Shui does have a lot going for it though as a spiritual and
mental discipline. There is little doubt in my mind that your
environment does affect your mind and body, which in turn affect
your success in life.

Anyway, as I proceed with this, I’ll keep you posted on how I am
getting on. So far, I’ve been busy putting up Feng Shui “cures”
and “activators” in preparation for the Chinese New Year. I have
to admit that, for me, it’s still a fairly quaint process that
has me laughing out loud at times (in a good-natured fashion).

Then again, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! So let’s
see what comes of it. Right?

Let me know your thoughts about Feng Shui below.

Copyright 2007. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved