The biggest thing in town was the protests which led to the banning of Facebook, YouTube and hundreds of websites, in reaction to the placement of the blasphemous Danish cartoons on Facebook. The cartoons were not placed by Facebook itself. But by someone who had a Facebook account. The blasphemy was not brought to an end, and the ban was imposed not to end the blasphemy, but to prevent the sort of protests that happened when the original cartoons were published. Then, if anyone recalls, the Mall burnt. The protests did not invoke an equivalent reaction. This time, it seems, people left it to governments. Like the last time, governments looked at it as a law and order problem, not a question of blasphemy. Foreign governments, who we are in alliance with, look at it as a freedom of expression issue. Used to committing blasphemy against Jesus Christ and their own holy figures, they wish we Muslims would show enough broadmindedness not to mind blasphemy against the Prophet. Why should we? So that we can be presented to their home audiences as fit allies in the War on Terror. They are so careful of their own home public opinion that they want us to fit in with their perception of us, whether or not we do. That image implies, or should, that we are worth fighting for; that we fit in with their image of us. They do imagine us as belonging to the Third World. That means we are in reality as devoted to the Four Freedoms, Mom and Apple Pie as them, only we dont have as much access. Ideally were not supposed to have any access, but if theres hope of access, then we will have some hope of acceptance. What we in the Third World are not allowed to have is electricity. Instead, we are supposed to have global warming. The problem in Hunza is to be blamed on global warming. One way of looking at it is that we have now got extra water which could be used to generate some electricity. The other way of looking at it is that the water has been provided to us by the Almighty to see what use we make of it. The closure of the markets and the extra holiday seems to have been useful, because the loadshedding has gone down, but though we are heading towards the really hot part of summer, we havent had the real increase in loadshedding we should have, which would have told us, and the world, that the War on Terror is being successfully fought. There was some relief in the last week in the shape of some rain. When the weather simply gets too much to bear, there is usually relief, but its usually in the form of a windstorm. A few drops of rain fell last week, which was a great relief, for there is otherwise an incipient drought which is being blamed on global warming. Too much salt in your food? Blame that on global warming too. After all, its taking the rap for everything else. So why not too much salt? Salt is important, remember. You might have high blood pressure, after all. And yes, you can blame that too on global warming. You might think that this emphasis on browsing and sluicing a little overwrought. Well, She Whose Word Is Law is not just on a diet, but Ive learnt some important facts. First, sweetmeats (like good old patisa) are not fattening. Nor are cream rolls. True, they dont lead to the loss of weight, though I would have lived with the claim that they did, but I repeat that they are not fattening. Admittedly, biryani is. Though only if eaten by the plateful, not the spoonful. These are not really the issues that should strike us at this time of the year, when talk about the Budget, or rather, rumours about it, are rife. However, we have got a date, and an early one at that. That means that taxes are going to be heavy, which is as it should be in the Third World. And if taxes arent heavy, how else do we expect to pay for the War on Terror? We missed an opportunity to save the expenses of a minister when Rehman Malik was pardoned. He must be the first sitting member of a Cabinet to get a presidential pardon. And to need one. But anyway, if he had not got that pardon, the whole of NATO would have lost the sole Warrior on Terror. Remember, the presidential pardon. That must be told to every visiting foreigner. And will.