Sunday, December 30, 2012

Victim's Cremation Rushed, Hushed in Secrecy

The ruling govt yet again showed its selfish political obsessions by forcing the family to rush the cremation of their daughter at the brink of dawn, in hushed secrecy:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/delhi-gang-rape-after-awakening-india-she-sleeps-cremated-in-extreme-secrecy/articleshow/17823970.cms

Duryodhan is abusing Draupadi, and we're just standing around drunk and paralyzed.

Let's Take a Bus Ride - Profiles of the Rapists

Most of the rapists seem to have come from a particular slum camp, and all appear to have been drinking buddies:

 http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/12/29/in-delhi-slum-tales-of-the-rape-suspects/

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/delhi-gangrape-damini-cremated-accused-neighbours-want-them-dead/1/240072.html

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-if-they-are-hanged-won-t-accept-their-bodies-/1051973/

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?283460

http://www.firstpost.com/india/i-cant-demand-mercy-for-what-they-have-done-565420.html 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Malala Yousufzai Tweets on Delhi Rape Handling


Malala Yousufzai, the young 15-year old Pashtun girl who's undergone a strenuous medical ordeal of her own after surviving being shot by Taliban, attacked the Indian govt's decision to move the rape victim, by tweeting:
"The rapists dumped her on road. The government dumped her in Singapore. What's the difference?"
http://www.ibtimes.com/delhi-gang-rape-victim-dies-malala-yousafzai-blasts-indian-government-981650

http://post.jagran.com/why-gang-rape-victim-was-shifted-to-singapore-malala-to-india-1356775168

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Doctors-question-move-to-shift-girl-to-Singapore/articleshow/17814206.cms

What indeed.

Why Did Politicians Send Victim to Her Death?

The young lady was suffering from a serious infection, and therefore was in no condition to undergo any kind of transplant operation. Such transplant operations require the use of immuno-suppressant drugs to prevent organ rejection, and that's something you just don't do to someone suffering from severe infection. They should have waited another few weeks before transferring her.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/121230/news-current-affairs/article/shifting-killed-her-experts

The decision to transfer this patient who was in such precariously fragile health was obviously a political one. The ruling politicians decided that sending her abroad to Singapore 3000 miles away, out of sight and out of mind, was the most effective way to get the whole episode to fade from public attention sooner. The last thing they wanted was for crowds to be holding vigils outside her hospital, keeping this story - and public discontent - in the headlines.

http://www.countercurrents.org/wss291212.htm

By sending this fragile and helpless patient abroad, the rulers hoped to extinguish the protests that threatened them. In doing this, they extinguished her life. This girl was violated twice - first by the brutes who mutilated her, and then again a second time by the selfish politicians who sacrificed her health needs to serve their own political needs first.

Asia Society: A Panoply of Color in Singapore | best wishes to the poor rape victim girl transported to Singapore

Asia Society: Photo of the Day: A Panoply of Color in Singapore. http://goo.gl/mag/zMAZNLN

Aakash: Promises in the Sky

The Aakash tablet is yet another govt-supported joke Indians have fallen for:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/technology/indias-aakash-venture-produces-optimism-but-few-computers.html

Woman Who Pushed Sunondo Sen under Train Arrested

The woman who pushed Sunondo Sen to his death onto subway tracks in NYC has been arrested:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/nyregion/woman-is-held-in-death-of-man-pushed-onto-subway-tracks-in-queens.html

She's mentally ill, and seems to think that Hindus were responsible for 9-11.

#boycottrepublicday is trending on Twitter

Boycott Republic Day - send the ruling govt a message - pass it on.

http://india.nydailynews.com/politicsarticle/714a31a7cb24ee9e600573e9ef9af68d/why-was-victim-moved-shaken-delhiites-ask

http://www.fightbackmobile.com/signUpForm not endorsing this, as i have not checked it out

Friday, December 28, 2012

didn't #delhigangrape victim call digvijay before she died?

Rape Victim Has Died

The young rape victim whose life was hanging in the balance has died in a hospital in Singapore.

http://www.ibtimes.com/delhi-gang-rape-victim-dies-singapore-hospital-977186

Indian medical staff treating the girl had complained that the govt had imposed upon them its decision to have the girl transferred thousands of miles away to Singapore, when her health was precarious and fragile. It seems the decision was made by the Congress Party high command and not by the Health Ministry, or anybody with medical expertise.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/asia/article3642593.ece


The ruling kleptocracy seems to have been motivated by a desire to get this girl far away, out of sight and out of mind, in the hopes of getting this whole episode to fade from public memory more quickly. The last thing they would have wanted is to see crowds holding vigils outside the hospital where the girl was, keeping this story - and the public's discontent - in the headlines.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_gang-rape-survivor-shifting-a-political-gambit_1782903

There needs to be a public inquiry into how and why the decision to transfer the girl overseas was taken.

http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/delhi-rape-case-why-wasnt-she-shifted-to-aiims-instead-of-singapore/

Delhi gang rape victim dies in Singapore hospital | shanti for her, not for the nation #delhigangrape

Solar power capital cost has crashed

The Economist (TheEconomist):
#Dailychart: Today's chart shows the change in the price of cells used to generate solar power over time http://econ.st/10sgliQ

(Sent via Seesmic http://www.seesmic.com)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Asia Society: A Panoply of Color in Singapore | best wishes to the poor rape victim girl transported to Singapore

Asia Society: Photo of the Day: A Panoply of Color in Singapore. http://goo.gl/mag/zMAZNLN

Ramanujan's Final Conjecture Finally Proven

The mathematical genius of Srinivas Ramanujan continues to amaze. His final conjecture taken from him on his deathbed has now finally been proven:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/27/ramanujans-mock-modular-forms_n_2371680.html


Govt Threatens Media on Rape Coverage

Manish Tewari, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, has issued a formal warning to the media that their coverage of the Delhi gang rape story may earn them prosecution from the govt for creating a law-and-order problem:

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/manish-tewaris-media-diktat-a-sign-of-cong-returning-to-1970s-570228.html

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/Z9BOiWpegs9ynW4KJx57IM/Govt-denies-bid-to-muzzle-media.html

Apparently, it's the media coverage of the rape incident and protests over it which are the problem, rather than the incident itself.

Pranab's son Abhijeet Mukherjee withdraws sexist remark | all is forgiven

the #paintedladies pranab's son is thinking of

Painted_ladies_2

there are a few like this in san francisco's tenderloin district, seeking to 'party' with you.

the real "painted ladies" which of course pranab's son doesn't know



--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

old column: why modi scares the bejeezus out of the usual suspects http://bit.ly/yGKdWW

Tongue Slashed for Refusing to Convert

An Indian student in Germany was attacked by Islamic extremists who slashed his tongue for refusing to convert to Islam:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_indian-student-brutally-attacked-in-germany_1782415

intimations of mortality: #iffk best #kurosawa ikiru (1952) and amour (cannes winner 2012): http://wp.me/p1EQm-6H

on my blog at http://wp.me/p1EQm-6H

and also at rediff http://www.rediff.com/movies/slide-show/slide-show-1-kerala-film-fest-amour-ikuru/20121226.htm

A scene from Ikuru

Next
Rajeev Srinivasan in Kerala

Reporting from the recently concluded International Film Festival of Kerala, Rajeev Srinivasan writes about two particularly striking films that were screened at the fest.

The 17th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) concluded recently in Trivandrum cementing its reputation as India's best film fest, especially in showcasing world cinema, both contemporary and retrospective.

There were selections from the works of the Japanese master, Akira Kurosawa, and from the French New Wave's Alain Resnais. In addition, there were many recent films, including those honoured at Cannes, Berlin and other festivals.
 
Among the many good films on offer, I felt that two stood out, and both were on a theme that gets little attention: old age and impending death. Understandably, these are gloomy thoughts and do not lend themselves to entertainment, but these two films prove that in the hands of a master filmmaker, they can lead to great cinema.
 
The first is a masterpiece from Kurusowa, Ikiru, from way back in 1952. The other is Amour, by Austrian director Michael Haneke, and it won the best film award or Palme d'Or at Cannes 2012. Separated thus by 60 years, they speak about the universal issue of confronting one's own mortality.
 
Ikiru (To live), in black and white and set in the bleak atmosphere of post-war Japan, is the story of a bureaucrat in the Kafkaesque City Hall in Tokyo. He has spent his entire life in meaningless paper-pushing; and then he is confronted with the intimations of his own mortality in the form of stomach cancer. He realises he has less than a year to live, and he is forced to re-examine his life, and what he will do with that short time. 

Vote-Buying Thru Cash Transfer Schemes

The Congress Party is engaged in massive vote-buying through "cash transfer" schemes:

http://www.firstpost.com/economy/cash-transfers-come-polls-nac-views-go-into-dustbin-570259.html

This is their grand strategy for winning the 2014 elections. And Indians will happily sell their freedom, their mothers and their daughters in exchange for that cash.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Untamed Motorization Takes Its Toll

Each day, about 1,400 new vehicles hit the roads of New Delhi, already home to over seven million registered vehicles, a 65 percent jump from 2003. As a result, fine-particle pollution has risen by 47 percent in the last decade. Nitrogen dioxide levels have increased by 57 percent. The number of emergency visits relating to respiratory and heart problems has risen sharply.

Environmentalists recommend a hefty tax on diesel vehicles, a steep increase in parking charges and a rapid upgrade of the public transportation system to ensure more timely bus service and a better integration of buses and the metro rail system.

Japan Growing Fetish for Masks

The Japanese are developing an Islamic fetish for wearing masks:

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/11/29/surgical-masks-in-japan-fashion-trend-or-wall-of-self-isolation-more-japanese-youth-wearing-surgical-masks-to-hide-their-face/

Some claim it's to protect themselves and others from germs, while a growing number admit they feel psychologically comforted by hiding their faces. Good thing it's a low-crime country -- for now.

Shark fin soup. But honestly would happen in India too | Huge Shark Tank Breaks Inside Chinese Mall, 15 People Injured

Gizmodo: Huge Shark Tank Breaks Inside Chinese Mall, 15 People Injured (Updated) http://goo.gl/mag/ywKVVJ8

Article: Unmasking ungrateful Xmas kids on Twitter

4G: Airtel seeks government nod for testing voice services | reliance will win this race

Gangrape victim flown to Singapore hospital renowned for transplants | diversionary tactic, not compassion

a series of tweets on #delhigangrape

not only noam chomsky, but george orwell (he spent some years in india) would be delighted in NewSpeak coming out of govt.#delhigangrape

noam chomsy must be delighted at how well his acolytes in india manufacture consent on demand #delhigangrape#blametheprotesters

gandhi was a marketing genius. UPA almost there: easy to manufacture consent when you have entire media in your pocket.#delhigangrape

positively brilliant, though. great marketing and PR. UPA has nullified the real issue and deflected everyone's attention, created divisions

let us also remember, with due respect to constable tomar, that it is#delhigangrape that is the issue. there are always agents provocateurs

not difficult to fake a post-mortem. just read up on about 15 different ways in which it was cooked up in sister abhaya's case

i get the feeling i am watching the costa-gavras movie Z in slow motion. lies, coverups, killings. all to keep somebody in power

cop tomar story diversionary tactic. if so tender to cops, why hasnt UPA hanged afzal guru to honor 10 cops killed in parliament attack?


--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

DD Staff Scapegoated For Poodle Singh's Boo-Boo

Five Doordarshan employees were suspended for failing to reach Prime Minister’s residence well in time to record his speech on the gang-rape of a physiotherapist, a day after his faux pas during the televised address to the nation landed him in the eye of storm. Private news channels telecast the unedited version of Singh’s address, which shows him asking somebody “theek hai (all right)?” at the end of the speech. The crew was late because of traffic restrictions on important roads leading to the PM’s residence.
Deccan Herald: Five DD staff suspended after PM faux pas

Article: Gravity powers new lamp for developing countries

Monday, December 24, 2012

Void

Da Vinci was intrigued by the concept of the void as the source of all things —“Among the great things found among us, the existence of Nothing is the greatest. Its essence dwells as regards time between the past and the future, and possesses nothing of the present. This nothingness has the part equal to the whole and the whole to the part, the divisible to the indivisible and it comes to the same amount whether we divide it, multiply it, add to it or subtract from it.”

This is echoed in the Ishavasya Upanishad. “Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnaat Purna mudachyate, Purnasya Purna maadaaya, Purnamevaa vashiseyate.” Translating to “This (shoonya) is full, That is full/ From the full, the full is taken/ The full has come (from it)/ If you take full from the full, the full alone remains.”
DNA: Da Vinci code of spirituality
A different translation of Poornamadah:
That (pure consciousness) is full (perfect); this (the manifest universe of matter; of names and forms being maya) is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness.
Further reading from Shameem's blog

Dilbert: Merry Christmas 

He was funny as the slob Oscar | Jack Klugman dies at 90; star of TV's 'The Odd Couple,' 'Quincy'

Another psycho | Confessed serial killer hid in plain sight, then broke own rules

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A confessed serial killer from Alaska who hid in plain sight and whose crimes went undetected for more than a decade, was ultimately caught after he gave in to his compulsions and struck close to home.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/24/us-usa-crime-serialkiller-idUSBRE8BN0EM20121224

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The Atlantic: Is the Ivy League Fair to Asian Americans?

The Atlantic: Is the Ivy League Fair to Asian Americans? http://goo.gl/mag/37K7AZE

Sunday, December 23, 2012

today putin will give congress lessons on how russia's oligarchs stole 80% of natural resources post the collapse

not that the congress needs any lessons, but it is always good to have 'best practices' from one migrate to another. 

russia now has about 0.1% of the population (former appartchiks, KGB etc) owning 20% of national income.

well, almost exactly like what the congress has managed. 

blasphemy, no? RT@theeconomist In Britain, Bangladeshi and Pakistani women are finally entering the labour market http://econ.st/12IH9d5

Ramanujan's Divine Patterns

"No one was talking about black holes back in the 1920s when Ramanujan first came up with mock modular forms, and yet, his work may unlock secrets about them," Ono says. Expansion of modular forms is one of the fundamental tools for computing the entropy of a modular black hole.

Ono and two colleagues from Stanford drew on modern mathematical tools that had not been developed before Ramanujan's death to prove that a mock modular form could be computed just as Ramanujan predicted. "We proved that Ramanujan was right," Ono says. "We found the formula explaining one of the visions that he believed came from his goddess."


Ono and his students revisited the paragraph in Ramanujan's last letter that gave a vague description for how he arrived at the functions. That one paragraph has inspired hundreds of papers by mathematicians, who have pondered its hidden meaning for eight decades. "For the first time, we can prove that the exotic functions that Ramanujan conjured in his death-bed letter behave exactly as he said they would, in every case."
Science 2.0: Divine Patterns? Ramanujan's Magical Mind Gets A Math Formula

Tahrir Sq vs India Gate: right wing fascists toppled regime in Egypt, left wing stalinist regime hangs on in India. For now

Asia Society: 13 Predictions for Asia in 2013 | more of the same for India. No 'Indian summer' like arab spring

Asia Society: 13 Predictions for Asia in 2013. http://goo.gl/mag/SBn3ufE

Asia Society: Flourishing Shadow Banking Poses Risks to China and India's Stability

Asia Society: Flourishing Shadow Banking Poses Risks to China and India's Stability. http://goo.gl/mag/XZwPSOs

And these white people lecture Indians about oppression. They genocided native Americans and enslaved Africans

Mardi Gras Indians

An exuberant New Orleans ritual commemorates the friendship of escaped slaves and Native Americans

THE beadwork on Donald Harrison’s final Mardi Gras suit depicts a naked Native American woman, her body dark red, holding a baby in each hand. He wore the suit to perform at J...

http://www.economist.com/news/christmas/21568588-exuberant-new-orleans-ritual-commemorates-friendship-escaped-slaves-and-native

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Peel off solar cells developed

By @sandeepweb | The Rightful Inheritor of the Ignoble Raj…

Is the Congress party if you still had any doubts.As much as I’m outraged and saddened by the gangrape-a-day Raj presided over by the Congress party, I think such horrid occurrences are just a manifestation of a deeper malaise. The malaise, nay, the curse of being ruled by an ugly crew headed by ...

http://centreright.in/2012/12/the-rightful-inheritor-of-the-ignoble-raj/#.UNb7AeSsiSo

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The rupee is 60‰ undervalued according to the big Mac index

The Big Mac index

Burgernomics shows Switzerland has the most overvalued currency

THE ECONOMIST's Big Mac index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity: in the long run, exchange rates should adjust to equal the price of a basket of goods and services in ...

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/01/daily-chart-3

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ramanujan's 125 birth anniversary: from scientific american

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=remembering-ramanujan-india

the man who knew infinity, undoubtedly the greatest mathematical genius in recent memory. glad to know something at least is being done to preserve his memory. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

National Mathematics Year

Zhiwei Yun of Stanford University will receive this year's annual SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, which recognizes a mathematician age 32 or younger who works in a field influenced by Ramanujan.
Two longer-term projects begun this year: a documentary on the history of Indian mathematics and a mathematics museum in Chennai. 
Scientific American:  
Remembering Ramanujan: India Celebrates Its Famous Mathematical Son


HuffPo: The Man Who Defined the 'Undefined'

google doodle for srinivasa ramanujam's 125th birthday via hinduism today

Chinese Arms.. With Your Walmart Dollars

Until recently, American officials thought their F-22 and F-35 aircraft were the world’s only fifth-generation fighters. Then, on a 2011 trip to China, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates learned otherwise (the J-20). The People’s Liberation Army is also aggressively upgrading its drone fleet. 

Just 10 years ago, the budget for the PLA was roughly $20 billion. Today, that number is more like $100 billion. (Some analysts think it’s closer to $160 billion.) The PLA’s budget is only a sixth of what the U.S. devotes to defense annually, but defense dollars go much further in China.
PopSci: Inside China's Secret Arsenal

NYT's Poison Pens

NYT brings out its poison pen against Modi - who the heck is Vikas Bajaj anyway?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/opinion/sunday/indias-divisive-technocrat.html

No comment section for responses allowed, of course.

Dec 22 Rama on day 7 of dasa avatara. #irony UPA showed their idea of India, #rome #rajya, not #ram #rajya #delhigangrape

The winter of our discontent #delhigangrape. Today's winter solstice marks uttarayanam, new beginning for nation

Rome rajya: murdering Italians let go, Indian children teargassed, lathi charged

imagine the "resign, vaypayee" chorus if the BJP were in power and the #delhigangrape happened. not a peep from #radiamedia

updating simon&garfunkel, "where have you gone, [hero]? a nation turns its lonely eyes to you". india needs a leader

although we are fresh out of messiahs, we need a Joe DiMaggio.

and don't make me laugh by talking about those bum cricketers.

NaMo is the only one available. There Is No Alternative.

#delhigangrape protests: #fascism with an indian face on display; or maybe it is just #stalinism

#delhigangrape remember #rajbala, #emergency. they will mercilessly beat you to death

#delhigangrape that loud sucking sound you hear is the congress' moral authority to rule rushing down the toilet

delhi 2012 = paris 1968 = crumbling ancien regime as @kanchangupta said

Outlook: The Kettle Hits Back

Finally, a good piece in Outlook setting the record straight on Modi:

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?283393

The Left is squirming over the electoral verdict to be sure.

Friday, December 21, 2012

IFFK review on niticentral. the best film festival in india, indeed

http://www.niticentral.com/2012/12/politics-history-art-merge-at-indias-best-film-festival.html

although i didn't actually use that title, i agree with what the copy editor says. it is an awesome festival.

ikiru, amour, equus, kanchana sita കാഞ്ചന സീത , hiroshima mon amour, chemmeen ചെമ്മീന്‍, indian rupee ഇന്ത്യന്‍ റുപ്പീ ...

incredibly good movies. and you could have seen every one of them (and about another 200 films) for the princely sum of rs. 400, which is what a delegate pass cost. what a deal!

--
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

As 2014 approaches, watch out for renewed hostilities against Modi | Niti Central piece replug #namo

Xinhua, Chennai Applauds a BJP CM!

The Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh has stolen a march over the UPA government at the Centre by enacting the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act, 2012.
The Hindu: Raman Singh steals a march over UPA on food security
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Zbig Wants Kerry for SecState

Zbigniew Brzezinski supports John Kerry for US Secretary of State:

http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/12/20/brzezinski-hagel-kerry-team-is-good-for-diplomacy-war-free-future/

How predictable - an extraterritorialist speaks up for one of his own.

Ivy Leagues Discriminate Against Asians

Ivy League schools clearly discriminate against Asians:

http://www.businessinsider.com/ivy-league-discriminates-against-asians-2012-12

Asian enrollment at Ivy League schools has declined or stalled during a period when the U.S. population of college-age Asians nearly doubled.

#NaMo has the Big Mo -- momentum

hanging on to a two-thirds majority in the face of a dissenting entity that surely split his votes is a big achievement.

arvind kejrival's mango man party hopes to be vote-splitter in crucial elections. but arvind's 15 mins of fame are already over. so it is likely that congress and its paid media will trot out some other Great White Hope to divert attention. see how he has fallen out of the public eye:

my piece in niti central about post-gujarat moves by congress, channeling obama's moves, releasing CREEPS

pretty sure the congress will unleash more of the dirty tricks department people (remember richard nixon's CREEP -- ie committee to re-elect the president, the guys behind the watergate burglary).

in india that would be, what, CREEP -- committee to re-elect the p....

p for palm? ie the congress hand?
p for parasites? obvious
p for pachyderm for thick skin?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Los Angeles Times: Ireland to seek change in abortion law after woman's death #savita

Los Angeles Times: Ireland to seek change in abortion law after woman's death. http://goo.gl/mag/CHJ3LJE

Article: Dropping Instagram already? Try these Android alternatives

Editorial: Does Windows Phone even have a chance without Google?

World religious demographics

Faiths and the faithless

The world's religious make-up

RELIABLE data on the age and whereabouts of the religious and irreligious are hard to come by, which makes a new report on the topic from the Pew Research Centre welcome. Among its many findings is that Jews and Buddhists make the ...

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/12/daily-chart-13

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How Walmart Bribed Its Way in Mexico

Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business. Nor did it pay bribes merely to speed up routine approvals. Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.  
NYTimes: The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Got Its Way in Mexico.

                                                                                                                                
The latest Newyork Times story describes $765,000 in bribes that helped Walmex build a refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile area where electricity was scarce and smaller developers were turned away. It also describes in detail how Walmex allegedly paid $52,000 to change a zoning map so it could open a store near the ancient pyramids in Teotihuacan.  
Reuters: Wal-Mart seen facing sizeable fines in U.S. bribery probe

Monday, December 17, 2012

why the 'no electronics on planes' ban is a crock

it would be good to allow computers on board the whole time, but i hope they don't allow cell phones on board or all these obnoxious people will be chatting away (i suppose including me). no peace and quiet.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/12/radio-interference?fsrc=nlw|newe|12-17-2012|4396124|35215652|

technically, the problem with cellphones is with cellular towers on the ground, not with "affecting the on board navigation" as the flight-attendant always parrots.

Prepare for the Next GREAT WAR by bharat verma in IDR

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar


In the next decade India has to fight a war as much externally as within.
 
India’s problem arise because we have forgotten the Indian concept of Dharma. Sri Aurobindo wrote ‘It has been said that democracy is based on the rights of man; it has been replied that it should rather take its stand on the duties of man; but both rights and duties are European ideas. Dharma is the Indian conception in which rights and duties lose the artificial antagonism created by a view of the world, which makes selfishness the root of action, and regain their deep and eternal unity. Dharma is the basis of democracy which Asia must recognize, for in this lies the distinction between the soul of Asia and the soul of Europe”. (India’s Rebirth by Sri Aurobindo).
 
Prepare for the Next GREAT WAR by bharat verma in IDR
 

Today, India is ringed by turbulent states – Pakistan (land boundary with India 3,310 kms in the northwest), Nepal (land boundary with India 1,751 kms in the north), Bangladesh (land boundary with India 4,095 kms in the southeast) and Myanmar (land boundary with India 1,463 kms in the northeast). Turbulence has percolated through India’s porous borders in the form of arms and narcotics to finance insurgents, militants, terrorists and religious fundamentalists.

India remains Pakistan’s primary target and operating ground for Islamic fundamentalists and terrorist groups who infiltrate through Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), Nepal and Bangladesh and carry out anti-Indian activities with impunity.

As a rising economic power dependent almost entirely on foreign energy supplies, a time may come when India has to project its military power to protect and preserve the energy resources from Central and West Asia, and Africa.

Nepal is vulnerable to China’s influence. Its extremists have linkages with the People’s War Group (PWG) in India. In its bid to expand its influence, the PWG has carved a corridor ringing the states of Andhra Pradesh-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh-Orissa-West Bengal-Jharkhand-Bihar.

This endless internal turbulence in India is also inter-linked with external factors. To the North, India shares a 3,440 km long border with China, which can pose the entire spectrum of conventional, nuclear and missile threats. It can also influence and use as proxy India’s neighbors to weigh India down in every possible way.

In short, India’s 14,058 km long land frontier is impacted by a perpetually hostile or semi-hostile environment. Indian security stands threatened by demographic assault, arms and drug smuggling, and the safe havens that the insurgents have in India. Fundamentalist-religious groups in Bangladesh under Pakistani tutelage, West Asian finance and China’s patronage have synergized sufficiently to add to India’s security headache.

The grim reality is that the unending turbulence will continue to afflict our land and sea frontiers and airspace.

The Indian Temperament

By nature, the average Indian is highly individualistic and an entrepreneur. In every endeavor, his calculation is simply based on, “What’s in it for me?” He does not have the time or the inclination to actively get involved with the intricacies of the nation’s security.

India remains Pakistan’s primary target and operating ground for Islamic fundamentalists and terrorist groups …

This kind of entrepreneurial society requires a steel frame of military, naval and air power to ensure that India’s accommodative temperament and societal characteristic of gentleness remains protected from the turbulent violence that assaults the values of our democratic polity.

India’s Armed Forces

On attaining Independence in 1947, India inherited possibly the best instrument of war in Asia – a fine battle-ready military machine with a formidable reputation of winning wars in distant lands. Britain had employed it skillfully for over a century to sustain her empire and treasured it as the jewel in its crown.

In the years after Independence, India’s Army has been unendingly deployed for internal policing tasks to cope with the complex security situation. This deployment has kept the Union of India physically intact. But it is sad that 60 years after Independence, the stability of India still depends directly on the stability of the Indian Army. Field Marshal Wavell who was India’s British Viceroy in 1946, was prophetic when he said “… the stability of the Indian Army may perhaps be a deciding factor in the future of India.”

Making India’s Armed Forces Younger

For a number of reasons, and despite considerable efforts, the Armed Forces remain short of the manpower they need. It is imperative that this manpower shortage be removed speedily before the system buckles under the ageing profile of its leadership. There is only one viable strategy to attract the kind of talent that is needed and that is to assure military personnel of assured lateral induction into the para-military and police forces, the intelligence services and the civil administration.

 

Boeing Apache

Unfortunately, a consensus has not been achieved that “Lateral Induction” is the best way to attract India’s young but savvy population to the tough profession of arms, where risk-to-life is an everyday affair.

Major benefits will accrue from Lateral Induction. First, the transfer of highly disciplined, trained and skilled manpower to the civil set-up will contribute towards the creation of a ‘discipline culture’ in the country. Second, the superior training standards of lateral inductees will aid civil and para-military forces in combating terrorism and internal violence.

However, placing a large segment of a young Army on the land borders cannot entirely ensure the security of India. There are two aspects to it.

India has the potential and the prerequisites of becoming a great power within the next few decades, provided it can dovetail its foreign, economic and military objectives and mainstream its military power.

First, if a football team defends only its half of the field, it is certain that an adversary determined to create mischief, short of going to war, will create opportunities for its irregular forces (jihadis) to score goals through infiltration, smuggling and creeping invasions. The hostile environment that impacts India’s long frontiers requires that the role of military power to defend strategic frontiers must be firmly embedded in India’s foreign policy.

The second aspect is the need for political will to project the power of the Armed Forces beyond the Indian subcontinent to secure the sea-lanes for external trade and ensure the security of imported energy supplies.

India’s Place in Asia

India’s geo-strategic location with its 7,500 kms long peninsular coastline jutting into the Indian Ocean makes India a continental as well as a maritime power.

…without a ruthless winning attitude, India’s multi-religious and multi-cultural society cannot survive endless undermining by disaffected elements.

India impacts directly on East, West and Central Asia. As a rising economic power dependent almost entirely on foreign energy supplies, a time may come when India has to project its military power to protect and preserve the energy resources from Central and West Asia, and Africa. For India, with its pacifist temperament, this may sound imperial. But without a ruthless winning attitude, India’s multi-religious and multi-cultural society cannot survive endless undermining by disaffected elements.

The world has already recognized that with its democratic institutions, its liberal philosophy and its unique strategic location, India’s influence will extend beyond South Asia and directly affect Asia’s well being.

Dovetailing Foreign-Economic-Military Objectives

A nation’s foreign policy is dependent primarily on the strength of its economic and military power. The ability and the will to wield military power ruthlessly, to defend and advance national interests, when combined with the capacity and resolve to create wealth, constitute the proven route for every aspirant seeking recognition as an eminent power.

…to preserve its values, India needs to create an international alliance with like minded technologically surplus ‘far abroad’ to out maneuver the inimical intentions of the ‘near abroad’.

India has the potential and the prerequisites of becoming a great power within the next few decades, provided it can dovetail its foreign, economic and military objectives and mainstream its military power.

The crucial question is whether India will be a surrogate power or be a ‘great power’?

Ostensibly, our national objectives are to have a peaceful neighborhood. What should be the strategy to achieve it? Statements like “…stable and secure neighbors are in India’s interest” are well meant. The fundamental question however is – “Will India’s neighbors ever be stable and secure?” Appeasement of neighbors cannot constitute a strategy for any country.

India’s larger objective in Asia is to emerge as a geo-economic hub that can integrate and influence its extended neighborhood through mutually beneficial economic linkages and military relationships. As a benevolent power that has no external territorial interests, India is uniquely located – geographically and culturally to play this role effectively. India’s free media can be intelligently harnessed to further these national objectives and develop the complementarities that influence Asia.

To attain eminence in Asia, India needs to move simultaneously on three axes. These are India-West Asia, India-Southeast Asia and India-Central Asia. Of these, the critical one is the India-Afghanistan-Iran-Russia axis. Today, Russia is reacting firmly to intruders into its neighborhood. Her economic and military resurgence presents an opportunity for a relationship which would lend stability to the region.

…as the second largest consumer of oil and gas in Asia, the assurance of uninterrupted energy supplies is a vital factor in India’s security calculus

Moreover, as the second largest consumer of oil and gas in Asia, the assurance of uninterrupted energy supplies is a vital factor in India’s security calculus. By 2010, a substantial amount of oil and gas will be sourced from Central Asia. This resource-rich region will succumb to fundamentalist-religious Talibanisation if India and like-minded countries do not pre-empt it. In such an eventuality, American oil corporations will be expelled, particularly with the Chinese gaining ground and occupying positions that could dictate the future agenda in Central Asia. It is therefore timely for American capitalists to join hands with Indian counterparts in joint ventures.

Create Mutually Beneficial International Alliances

India’s ‘near abroad’ is under unprecedented turmoil. Pakistan is almost split into two states. The Pakistan Army controls one part and the other it ceded to Radical Islam. The Pakistan Army appears to be under retreat. In Bangladesh the war between Pakistan backed radical Islam threatens to undermine the present regime. Maoists in Nepal look up to China. Beijing successfully out maneuvered New Delhi’s influence in the latter’s backyard. These regimes being authoritarian in one way or the other have more in common amongst themselves than a multi-cultural democratic India.

They are also technology deficit regressive states. Therefore, to preserve its values, India needs to create an international alliance with like minded technologically surplus ‘far abroad’ to out maneuver the inimical intentions of the ‘near abroad’. The international community including Russia in the near future, will be compelled to wage the next Great War against the forces of Radical Islam threatening the world at large. As the core of Jihad is located in a state wielding nuclear weapons, the evolving scenario appears to be more threatening than witnessed during Nazi Germany. New Delhi’s support in the looming next Great War will be a critical element for swift victory for democracies and others.

India’s strategy must be to strengthen existing friendly relationships, while decisively cementing mutually advantageous new relationships in the favorable geo-political scenario now emerging.

Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
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Why LIMO LIBS hate Modi by swapandasgupta

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar


Why LIMO LIBS hate Modi by swapandasgupta 17/12/2012
 
 

By the afternoon of Thursday, December 20, two things will be pretty apparent to the people of India.

First, it will be clear whether or not the electorate of Gujarat continues to retain faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. With a 70 per cent turnout (in Phase 1 of the poll), a spirited election campaign that was centred on the State Government’s performance over 11 years, and little chance of a hung Assembly, the answer to this question should be unambiguous.
The second issue will touch on the future of Indian politics. If the BJP is successful in meeting the combined onslaught of the liberal intelligentsia, the mainstream media, the local leadership of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Gujarat Parivartan Party, the Central Government and the local Congress, there will be compelling pressure on the National Democratic Alliance (which, naturally, includes the BJP) to discard the absurd idea of ‘collective leadership’ and anoint Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the next general election.

I use the phrase ‘compelling pressure’ with some pre-mediation because I am almost certain that the process of declaring Modi the first among equals will not be without hiccups. Such a momentous step in a polity where succession planning is both non-existent and bereft of institutional structures is never without hiccups. Assuming Modi passes the December 20 test, the coming months will be delight for the media as a multitude of veterans, rivals and unnamed ‘sources’ will air their misgivings of such an ‘extreme’ step.

There will invariably be questions raised about Modi’s suitability to move from local to national politics-as if participation in State politics automatically negates a politician’s ability to play in a larger arena. There will be doubts raised over Modi’s temperament: can a man used to being the supreme boss of a one-party Government adapt to the infuriating complexities of coalition politics? There will also be the Nagpur question: will the RSS leadership allow such a towering individual to put the parent organisation in the shade? And, finally, there will be the inevitable Muslim question: can India be ruled by a man whose very name is anathema to the Muslim minority, at least outside Gujarat?

None of these posers can be brushed aside as irrelevant. No doubt the issues will be raised by people who have been opposed to Modi for the past 10 years and who are still hopeful that a ‘silent undercurrent’ will stop the Chief Minister’s juggernaut in Gujarat itself. But they are powerful people who wield considerable clout in the Establishment of what Modi derisively calls the ‘Delhi Sultanate’. For them, Modi is not merely someone they disagree with; he is an enemy. They would rather countenance the indefinite continuation of Gandhi-Vadra rule and the perpetuation of cronyism than imagine an India in the hands of an outlander from Vadnagar. Modi threatens their ‘idea of India’.

What we have witnessed and perhaps will continue to witness till the last voter in the next general election has pressed the EVM button is a form of class war. It is a war not about economic philosophies or even about something as nebulous as modernity. Looked at from every conceivable angle, the Gujarat over which Modi has presided for the past 11 years is a showcase for resurgent India. Nor is there any fear that Modi will pave the way for some perverse, backward-looking and insular society. Trade, technology and even globalisation have been central to the Gujarati mind, a reason why that society never took very kindly to the Nehruvian way.

No, the class war centres on the exercise of power, control and clout. A small example may suffice. Last week, a group of influential media people-known in rarefied circles as the Limousine Liberals-travelled to Gujarat, courtesy an international investment house, to do a spot of election tourism. In the recent past they travelled to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to observe the ‘real India’. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the Limo Libs are always given an audience by the leaders of the main parties. In Gujarat, the Congress rolled out the red carpet for them and I am informed (but am yet to verify) that the party’s heir apparent also found time to exchange notes with the group. The only exception was Modi. He encountered them at one of his public rallies, acknowledged them with a polite Namaste and went about his main business.
It is not for me to say whether Modi missed an opportunity to charm those outside his natural constituency-they are itching to be wooed-or whether he thought that spending time with those who are intractably opposed to him the individual is a waste of time. The point is that the likes of the Limo Libs are inherently ill at ease with a man who challenges the existing power structure without inhibition and with aggression.

This is where Modi differs from a Atal Behari Vajpayee. Despite being the so-called “right man in the wrong party”, Vajpayee sought to co-opt a section of the Establishment and I have no doubt that his cultivated ambiguity and Brahminical pedigree came in quite hand. Modi by contrast has always banked on pressure from below to get his way. His politics is based on raw energy. This is what the upholders of the status quo find frightening and unbearable.

Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
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WHY INDIA NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR THE DECLINE OF THE WEST

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vaidyanathan R
Date: Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 3:33 PM
Subject: WHY INDIA NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR THE DECLINE OF THE WEST
To: Vaidyanathan R

http://prof-vaidyanathan.com/2012/12/15/why-india-needs-to-prepare-for-the-decline-of-the-west/

 

WHY INDIA NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR THE DECLINE OF THE WEST

 

December 15, 2012 · by  Prof.  R. Vaidyanathan · in First Post

 

Two reports released this week in the US will have significant and far-reaching implications for countries like India. These reports are: Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, by the US National Intelligence Council, and US Strategy for a Post-Western World: Envisioning 2030, by the Atlantic Council.

These reports should be read and digested by countries like India as we need to prepare strategies to deal with the post-Anglo-Saxon era. The reports are available.

Firstpost is no stranger to these ideas. In an earlier article, Decline of the West, we had expected the decline to accelerate in the coming years. The decline stems not only from the shift in economic power, as the above two reports suggest, but from a fall in societal values.

Image003

People are comforted near Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday after a man killed 26 people, including 20 children. AP

Friday’s massacre of school children in Connecticut is yet another indicator of the loss of sovereignty of the family. The gunman could have come from a dysfunctional family system and gun culture is destroying the US social fabric.

In the earlier article, we had recalled the pioneering study of Angus Maddison for the OECD, in which he demonstrated that till 1820 India and China had nearly 50 percent of the global GDP before their decline started. From that point of view, we are “re-emerging markets” and not emerging markets. Nearly 200 years of western dominance are coming to a close, and, as predicted by Sri Aurobindo, “India will rise from the ruins of the western civilisation.”

The above mentioned two reports tell us something we always hesitate to believe till someone from the west confirms it for us. The reports indicate how China and India will be more powerful than the US by 2030. One of the reports also suggests that Asian cultures will supersede America’s and Europe’s in 20 years as the global middle class grows. But it also predicts that competition for resources, including food, space and water, will be fierce.

Five trends which will have far-reaching implications for the west and us are the following:

*The west’s problems are related to the decline of the family as an institution and household savings.

*Demography is increasing the proportion of old people in the population.

*Rising longevity is leading to a social security crisis which will bankrupt governments.

*The decline of the church and belief systems – both in Europe and US – could have major implications

*The Westphalia consensus about the sovereignty of nations which are not western/white is over.

These trends have not been adequately dealt with in the main reports possibly because they are focused more on economics, energy, etc. But the building blocks of any civilization start with the family, and this has gone for a six in the western world without alternate institutions emerging.

During the early nineties, more than 50 percent of global GDP, adjusted for purchasing power parity, was with the G7 countries (predominantly white/western), with the major emerging markets like India and China accounting for 36 percent. But this has already reversed. It is expected that the original G7 countries will have less than 30 percent of global GDP by 2020. Also, the forecast for growth rates in the coming years is either negative or a very low number.

The unemployment rate in many European countries like Spain and Greece is more than 20 percent and among youth (aged 16 to 24 years) it is nearing 50 percent. Europe had nearly 25 percent of the world population during World War I and now it is around 11 percent and expected to be 3-4 percent in another 20 years.

Britain has fallen out of love with marriage. The 2011 Census shows that the number of married people has fallen to 20.4 million, nearly 200,000 less than a decade ago. A quarter of the people in England and Wales are single, while the number of those cohabiting has risen from 9.8 percent of the population to 11.9 percent. Growing numbers of people are also choosing to divorce.

The breaking up of the family has put tremendous pressure on the state to sustain single parent/single women families and also the elderly. This has put their social security schemes – if at all funded – under strain.

Europe has become secular, which is a euphemism for renouncing or ignoring the church. For instance, the recent census in the UK has revealed that there has been a decline of 12 percent in people belonging to Christianity and 25 percent of the population said they had no faith – an increase from 15 percent a decade earlier.

The UK is also exhibiting tendencies in societal behavior more typical of third world countries. For instance, urinating in the streets is becoming a major issue and the town of Chester is using innovative ways to punish offenders like asking them to maintain local heritage sites.

The French are grappling with the issues of illegitimacy and failure of the family system. An ex-French law minster had simultaneous relationships with eight men and it is becoming difficult to ascertain who is the father of her kid. In another decade, many French kids may be able to identify their fathers only through DNA tests.

The USA is facing similar issues.  In 2010, more than 50 percent of children were born out of wedlock and illegitimacy is the new norm. Among blacks, it is 75 percent and among Latinos more than 55 percent.

The US faces an unprecedented crisis since families have been nationalized and businesses privatized. Society has become dysfunctional. This year, more than half the births are of non- white children, giving rise to the possibility of the US becoming a non-white majority country in another 30 years when Spanish and Chinese could become major languages. This could have a tremendous impact among Mid-West and Southern Bible-thumpers like Rush Limbaugh. This could give rise to sharper social conflicts and open up the old civil war fault lines.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal last year (10 October 2011), nearly half of US households received some form of government benefits like food stamps, subsidized housing, cash welfare or Medicare or Medicaid (the federal-state healthcare programme for the poor) or social security. The US is also a stock market economy where half the households have investments, and recent bank and corporate failures have hit them hard.

Under the circumstances India needs to strategize for the future.

We should recognize that for most of the Indian elite, their umbilical cords are linked to the west. Many of them are/were educated in the US or Europe, and most of them have their children studying or working there. Due to colonial genes, acceptance/recognition by the west is critical for average middle class Indians.

The danger is that we are going to buy their failed models when they are in decline. They will try to sell us everything they have, and we will buy because of our colonial genes. They will hire more Indians to head global companies as showpieces in order to penetrate our markets.

The reality, that the west is in decline and many of its institutions are failing, has still not struck us and we will continue to try and imitate them – including dysfunctional family systems. We should recognize that we are a civilization and not just a market. Today funds are in search of markets and not the other way round. Instead of heading global institutions, we should acquire them.

Civilisationally, we are nearer to the East than the West. We should take the lead along with others in the East to create alternative institutions to the World Bank, the IMF and the UN. The need is to recognize that the old debate about big business or big government is passé. Our ability to look beyond Marx and market into our thriving communities and bazaars will provide us answers to many issues.

Will India, as Aurobindo mentioned, rise from the ruins of the West?

 

 

_______________________________________

R.VAIDYANATHAN                                                         

PROFESSOR OF FINANCE                                             

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT  

BANNERGHATTA ROAD

BANGALORE

INDIA_560076