Mathew Maavak

Hi! These are my works. They are an eclectic mix of facts, humor, loaded opinions and posers (for the readers to decide). I try to combine scholarship, journalism, analyses and cautious predictions. Demosthenes, Hitler, Hawking and Koko the Clown have their respective roles here. My leitmotiv is guided by these words - For you shall no longer be called Jacob but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed (Gen 32:28) I like beating odds; the bigger the better!

 

A WORLD OF ABBREVIATED CRITERIONS By Mathew Maavak (Oct 12, 2009) The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to US President Barrack Obama is another revelatory instance of our shortening standards. We are not governed by reason but by acronyms. In fact, our self-worth is set by them.

A ROULETTE OF TERROR, NUKES AND JIHAD By Mathew Maavak (May 18, 2009) After almost eight years, Operation Enduring Failure, as it should appropriately be called, is leading up to one inevitable question: Is it time to move from surgical strikes to the sterilization and cauterization of Pashtun lands in the Af-Pak region?

THERE IS INDEED A CHRISTMAS STORY by Mathew Maavak (Dec 21, 2008). Never had such a transplanted festival create a sense of oneness among children. Take away Christmas and you take away a seasonal joy entitled to them. It is so innately appealing to children that they universally provide the best celebratory squeals in honor of the most famous birth ever recorded -- and contested -- in history. As for the date Dec 25, there might be a surprise here...


US AMBASSADOR TO MALAYSIA SPEAKS ON 'WINDS OF CHANGE' (Nov 20, 2008). The recent US Presidential elections did bring about some unprecedented changes. The top US envoy to Kuala Lumpur outlines the new thinking.


LAYING PALIN'S WARDROBE BARE By Mathew Maavak (Oct 26, 2008).  What links mega-evangelism and compassionate conservatism to the porn industry? This is not the only quadrillion-dollar question left unanswered in the 2008 US presidential debates. That "drill, baby, drill" circus has thundered out a financial and social tsunami gathering current.


LITTLE WASTE IN SHANTYTOWN By Mathew Maavak (June 19, 2008). A visit to Asia's largest slum was revealing in many ways. For one, the contention that skyrocketing fuel costs might realign the global trading structure in favor of regional and local economies discount one rudimentary factor: some basic skills are on the endangered list in affluent societies.


 WE ARE IN A BAD FIX By MATHEW MAAVAK (Oct 9, 2007). This is a planet in denial. While the existential question gets a red hot "apocalypse now" for an answer, our stock markets seem to have regained paradise lost.If wars are yet contained, bidding wars will yet emerge over wheat, water, fish, medicines and oil. What will the future hold in this ecology of crises?  

 AN EXPLOSIVELY PENETRATED QUAGMIRE By MATHEW MAAVAK (March 1, 2007). The coalition of the willing is paving way for the unilateralism of the brave. The Road to Tehran though may meet an obstacle in Basra and Maysan. 

 GAMING FOR THE FIERY TOMORROW By MATHEW MAAVAK (Feb 7, 2007). Game scenarios regarding the outbreak of hostilities in Persian Gulf leave out one thing: what happens after. Israel may expand its borders dramatically...

 A PAWN IN THE GAME OF CHINESE CHECKERS By MATHEW MAAVAK (Sept 10, 2006). The pyongyang regime's unique role in "balancing" power in Northeast Asia. The appeasement of tyrannies continue unabated.

 THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF EDUCATION By MATHEW MAAVAK (Aug 23, 2006). Foreign ideas and degrees are to be used and improvised in a never-ending pursuit of of knowledge. Otherwise, that cert becomes a static, elitist showpiece. But much education has now been reduced to a tool of business, politics, skewed publicity and rankings

 WHEN TOMORROW BRINGS THE TWILIGHT OF OIL By MATHEW MAAVAK (Aug 16, 2006). The price of crude can only rise --in the mid to long term -- while supplies dwindle worldwide. And some interesting facts as well.

 THE PORNOGRAPHY OF VIOLENCE By MATHEW MAAVAK (Aug 10, 2006). One of the first causalities in a conflict is the blurring of reality. Children our are poster boys and girls for propaganda.

WORLD OF CRISIS OVERLOAD By MATHEW MAAVAK (Aug 1, 2006). Along with Peak Oil, enter Peak Grain and Peak Water.

STEADY GAME OF BRINKMANSHIP IN LEBANON By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 25, 2006). Market forces will not allow the current Israeli onslaught against Lebanon to get out of control.

GLOBOCOPS OF ENERGY SECURITY By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 18, 2006). Is there a multinational plan afoot to secure and supply energy resources? Here is where Darwinism and Peak Oil meets

CONTENTIOUS PHARMA ISSUES AT THE KORUS-FTA By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 13, 2006). Where drugs collide with the "free rider" turnpike of economics..

N.K. MISSILE BOON FOR JAPAN'S DEFENSE SECTOR By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 11, 2006). A sputtered Taepodong-2 has placed Japan's long-awaited rearmament program on the launchpad.

DUBAI CRUDE HITS NEW RECORD AMID INCREASING VOLATILITY By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 7, 2006). An increase of 35 cents to the Murban crude accompanies a larger high-octane drama.

OIL AND THE FOUR-LETTERED WORD By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 6, 2006). Oil prices are rising again, caused by a modern paradox with no cure. Read on...

FTA: WHERE RICE CAN SAVE LIVES By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 27, 2006). It is time for saner elements in the free world to take on the trade regime ayahtollahs.

SEOUL IS THE 'SECOND PRICIEST' CITY IN THE WORLD By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 27, 2006). Surveys based on capuccinos and rentals can be deceiving!

KOREA TOPS MILLIONAIRE CLUB DEBUTANT RATE By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 22, 2006). Millionaires were springing up fast in the emerging economies, with the Asia-Pacific region topping the list, followed by Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

GAMES WHICH HURRICANES HERALD By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 15, 2006). It might only take a repeat of Katrina to push the world to the brink.

HURRICANE SEASON AND OIL PRICES By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 14, 2006). Latinos swirling off the Atlantic are adding a premium to the geopolitical risk factor.

NAFTA AND THE TEQUILLA EFFECT By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 12, 2006). Opponents of the Korea-USA Free Trade Agreement should take a closer look NAFTA's supposed link to the collapse of the Mexican peso.

GAMES, COCK-FIGHTS AND FANDANGOS IN THE PERSIAN GULF By MATHEW MAAVAK (May 5, 2006). The Fifa World Cup begins next month. It's a quadrennial event that grips the entire world in a month-long state of frenzy. But there is a another game going on. Read the chicken trail from 60s nuclear strategist Herman Kahn to present day Iran.

PEAK OIL AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF TERRORISM By MATHEW MAAVAK (April 21, 2006). Crude oil has breached the $70 psychological barrier again. This time, however, it will not be a one-day seduction by the stormy Katrina. Peak Oil is forming a strategic fit with Peak Terrorism.

THE BRINKMANSHIP OF ENERGY GEOPOLITICS By MATHEW MAAVAK (March 3, 2006). The Persian Gulf crisis does throw up a stunningly audacious opportunity to reorder the world.

BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH By MATHEW MAAVAK (Feb 7, 2006). There is a clear and present danger of a unilateral US strike against Iran. It will however be grossly counterproductive. The Iranians need only retaliate against two or three major oil installations, besides sinking enough tonnage to make the Straits of Hormuz perilous to navigation. Letting loose a tiny armada of floating mines and employing a dirty nuke will precipitate global economic pandemonium.

A WORLD LIT BY ENERGY WARFARE By MATHEW MAAVAK and S. ROWAN WOLF (Jan 14, 2006). What "Mission Accomplished" in reality achieved was an intractable quagmire of bloodletting and a nightmarish prospect of global conflict. And it may have started in Iraq.

THE CAIAPHAS ORACLE By MATHEW MAAVAK (Jan, 2006). A lesson two thousand years ago is still lost within contemporary evangelical Christianity.

STRIP-SEARCHES, MEDIA FARCES AND AGITPROPS By MATHEW MAAVAK (Dec 30, 2005). When a "Chinese national" was strip-searched in Malaysia, few realized that it was the agitprop of the year, with immense geopolitical ramifications.

'ARIZONA, I REMEMBER YOU' By MATHEW MAAVAK (Dec 7 2005). Pearl Harbor revisited. How far did President Roosevelt save the world of a totalitarian future by baiting Japan with oil? Is the original scenario repeating itself in the tense world of energy geopolitics?

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT By MATHEW MAAVAK (Nov 18, 2005). When lines of communications are hijacked, chaos, wars and nemeses are generated. Plus, a little more on Southeast Asian "terrorism."

'I DON'T COUNT': A MINORITY REPORT ON THE FRENCH RIOTS By MATHEW MAAVAK (Nov 9, 2005). A tale of two minority reactions to alienation. If French youths can turn to rioting, how do minorities in Islamic nations react?

MALAYSIAN BLOGGERS UNDER ATTACK: AN ONLINE PSYOPS? By MATHEW MAAVAK (Sept 18, 2005). Are Malaysian bloggers being bombarded with "seditious" posts to create a New Online Order? What is Harvard University's role in regulating global voices?

9/11 REVISITED: THE US A VICTIM AND A TESTBED? By MATHEW MAAVAK (Sept 10, 2005). Was Sept 11 part of a historical impulse that may soon reach its intended culmination? Here is a fresh perspective and the role of Old Europe.

KILLER HAZE, INTELLECTUALS AND PAT ROBERTSON By MATHEW MAAVAK(Aug 28, 2005). What do air pollution, intellectuals, spooks and Pat Robertson have in common? They are bad for your health.

RUMBLINGS FROM MALAYSIA By MATHEW MAAVAK (Aug 3, 2005). The Malaysian connection to 9/11, the USS Cole bombing and local discriminatory practises revisited.

PANOPTIC GAMES By Mathew Maavak (May 20, 2005). There are some tangled games played out within dissident circles. It is part of a larger picture though.

ABDUCTIONS AND ABSURDITIES By MATHEW MAAVAK and ROWAN WOLF (March 22, 2005). The Giuliana Sgrena saga seems to have been hijacked by knee-jerk punditry and murky details.

SHUTTER CONTROL: PERSONAL AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES By MATHEW MAAVAK (March 11, 2005) The personal experience is mirrored in history. Six billion people now are making contemporary history, and after a century, any treatise on this era would include the name of George W. Bush, not the republican voter who died while fighting in Iraq.

SHUTTER CONTROL: GROUND ZERO By MATHEW MAAVAK (Feb 22, 2005). The liberating possibilities of the Internet are dwindling; its full functions creep is inexorably leading us to a new social order.

THE POWER, MILITARY AND COVERT DIMENSIONS OF A DISASTER By MATHEW MAAVAK (Jan 31, 2005). Many ominous things lurk while the post-tsunami reconstruction works are going on.

TSUNAMIC CALAMITY - MEDIA AND INDIVIDUAL DISCONNECTIVITY By MATHEW MAAVAK (Jan 26, 2005). Even mediamen and individuals in a disaster zone can face a "disconnect" in this wired world.

TSUNAMIC CALAMITY - A NATURAL SELECTION OF VICTIMS By MATHEW MAAVAK (Dec 28, 2004). Natural catastrophies can also be picky about its victims. This is Darwinism epitomized. It's our human story...

THE SCIENCE FROM RELIGION By MATHEW MAAVAK (Dec 15, 2004). An essay written from a biblical perspective. Is our existence a cosmic accident? Was our genius inspired by ancient accounts?

ELECTION 2004: REAPING WHAT WAS SOWN By MATHEW MAAVAK (Nov 10, 2004). "I wasn’t surprised at the recent election results. The reasons given were predictable. Some of them had the usual themes like Diebold machines and a repeat of other tools of electoral fraud. They could be right on this, to an extent this time around."

BROTHERS' KEEPERS —Part II By MATHEW MAAVAK (Oct 22, 2004). What happens when two Boneheads debate over their suitability for the No 1 job?

BROTHERS' KEEPERS By MATHEW MAAVAK (Oct 20, 2004). Do either Bush or Kerry make a difference in today's world of murderous collusions?

POWER PLAYS By MATHEW MAAVAK (August 19, 2004). The battle for hearts and minds depend on Power's caprice.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 24, 2004). Will there be early glad tidings for Bush and Co?

THE REST IS GAS By MATHEW MAAVAK (July 12, 2004). The road from the Fourth Estate to the Fourth Reich is getting shorter and straighter.

QUAGMIRE OF BLOOD, OIL, SWEAT AND DECEIT By MATHEW MAAVAK (June 21, 2004). Operation Enduring Occupation for the Iraqis, and enduring pain for the rest of us.

MISSION CREEP: A FORCE FOR GLOBAL STABILITY By MATHEW MAAVAK (May 31, 2004). There is a little cause for alarm here. The US army has cornered the bulk of world reserves at a time when oil prices are high. A domination plan panning out?

BURSTING BUBBLES AND THE ECONOMICS OF DOMINATION By MATHEW MAAVAK. Volatility is spreading and now we have oil to make it more combustible.

MAKING OUR HEADS TURN By MATHEW MAAVAK. Decoys of shock are being used to train our gaze in another direction. Our emotions are blinding us. Some burning issues are creeping in slowly.

THE FALL GUY SYNDROME - Pt 3 (Spinning Our Minds) By MATHEW MAAVAK. There is a method to this violence, and a reason why Bush needs a very pressing issue off the media's radar. A Reuter's report throws in a clue...

THE FALL GUY SYNDROME -Part 2 By MATHEW MAAVAK (May 2, 2004). More questions over the Abu Ghraib incident.

THE FALL GUY SYNDROME By MATHEW MAAVAK (May 1, 2004). President Bush has condemned the apparent mistreatment of some Iraqi prisoners, saying, "Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people. That's not the way we do things in America. I didn't like it one bit." I got up at 3am to read this. Only a cup of coffee confirmed that it wasn't a freak dream. Thankfully, my jaw didn't drop to the floor. UPDATED!

NATURE, ITS CHALLENGES, AND OUR PROGRESS By MATHEW MAAVAK (April 27, 2004). "Nature's role in our philosophical evolution is sacrosanct. Our environments intuitively guided human enterprise from the antediluvian days. The melodies of the flora and fauna inspired auditory distinctions, onomatopoeias, rudimentary tunes and gradually, the great classics and electronically wrought melanges that pump up our adrenalin today."

OPENING THE GATES OF HELL (March 22, 2004) By MATHEW MAAVAK. With the assasination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the hellhounds have been unleashed.

THE IRRATIONAL GAME By MATHEW MAAVAK (March 21, 2004). Some questions need to be answered over the Madrid Bombings. Here is my commentary.

STACKING THE IRANIAN DECK (Dec 21, 2003) The deck is now almost complete with the capture of the Ace of Spades. The new White House concern would be that this house built on cards aka the Iraqi charade would not collapse too soon, before the 2004 elections. What is missing is the Joker and there are eminently suitable candidates for this. Bush tops the list, and so does Tony Blair. Donald Rumsfeld, though, belongs more to that Tarot caricature called Death. That ranks higher than the Ace of any Spades!

THE TU QUOQUE TRAP — AN EARLY ANALYSIS OF SADDAM's CAPTURE (Dec 14, 2003)George W. Bush's popularity is dipping badly and those niggling questions about Sept 11 are now gaining feverish momentum. This capture comes timely for the incumbent, and the immediate propaganda value will be enormous. But has Bush walked into a trap?

A GLOBAL VILLAGE or A GHETTOIZED PLANET? (Aug 6,2003) The oldest profession in the world is not the commonly attributed sleazy barter blamed on the fairer half. It is in fact, a masculine creation, borne out of a defective state where jealousy, power and the need for approbation and survival swirl to create the concept of elimination.

DEPREDATIONS, MADMAN THEORY and "BLOOD for OIL" (July 10,2003). For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. — Sun Tzu, in The Art of War

US and BRITAIN - A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP? (June 23, 2003) The international charade continues, adhering as closely as possible to a Copernican path. Now, that Iraq is seemingly vanquished, according to the same liberators who still can't exercise their writ beyond Kabul, there is always the next phase couched in the same ultra-humanitarian lies.

MAMMON, CLASH of CIVILIZATIONS and the NEW WORLD ORDER (May 15, 2003) The Clash of Civilisations and the New World Order are present day simmering topics that have heated up further in the wake of the yet to be concluded Iraqi imbroglio. But is there any credibility to these grandiloquent discourses? Or are they factitiously trumpeted by power-mongers who use them as stalking horses?



Different Worlds Series

 Different Worlds, Different Glimpses Part 1 — The Asian Express This is the first part of a series of commentaries based on the author's recent travels. Since it's commonplace to charge the West with all forms of imperialism, let's see how the other side behaves, often.

Different worlds, different glimpses Part 2 — The Interrogation (Nov 16, 2003) This part deals with my ordeal at the Forth Worth/Dallas airport. The racial profiling continues. This time, things weren't funny. My reaction wasn't either.

Different Worlds, Different Glimpses Part 3 — The Gun-Lined Highway (Dec 8, 2003) This is fast becoming a study in ethnology, bigotry and violence. After all, I am in the American South!

Different worlds, different glimpses Part 4 — Austin City Limits and US Complexes (Jan 14, 2004) Making sense of the United States!

Different worlds, different glimpses Part 5 — The Two Towers (Feb 22, 2004) Piecing together a mystery in Texas?

Diffrent Worlds, Different Glimpses — The Pervert's Paradise (Part 6) By MATHEW MAAVAK (March 30, 2004). Ever wondered over how pretences are kept up over this bogus war on terror? And did you know that terror-preventing perverts don official uniforms? Read about my ordeal at Austin's "international" airport. Those who faced a similar treatment can contact me.