Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apple's Irish Tax Loophole

Apple's legendary creativity seems to extend to tax reporting as well:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/may/29/apple-ireland-cork-cathy-kearney

I wonder if Indian political parties have offices in Ireland?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fwd: The risk of lopsided trade with China by Brahma C



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sanjeev nayyar
Date: Thu, May 30, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Subject: The risk of lopsided trade with China by Brahma C
To: esams Nayyar <esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net>


The author calls for an informal boycott of Chinese goods. India knows who the enemy is – the moot point is can it show the political will to take some hard decisions to protect national interests.

The risk of lopsided trade with China by Brahma C 29/5/13

Asymmetric trade with China is exposing India to strategic risks even as it furthers Beijing's
 
 
Chinese territorial assertiveness is obscuring how Beijing is strategically expanding lopsided trade with India to rake in mounting profits while undercutting Indian manufacturing through an avalanche of cheap Chinese-made products. China's ballooning trade surplus with India is compounded by its import of mainly primary commodities while exporting finished products.
 
Perpetuating such an asymmetrical relationship presents India in an unflattering light as a raw material appendage of, and a goods-dumping market for, the Chinese economy. More importantly, the lopsided economic engagement gives China little incentive to bridge a widening political divide with India. If anything, it encourages China to continue with a strategy to keep India under strategic pressure so as to regionally contain it.
 
With China exporting more than 2½ times as much as it imports, its already large trade surplus will swell if bilateral trade rises from $70 billion currently to the targeted $100 billion in 2015. Economic problems in the West, by contributing to a slowdown in China, have only increased the importance of the Indian market for Beijing. This is what prompted Premier Li Keqiang to choose India as his first overseas destination for an official visit. This factor has also encouraged China's cash-rich, state-supported banks to offer debt financing to heavily indebted Indian companies that commit to buy Chinese equipment or supply raw materials.
 
While swamping the Indian market with its products, China has made it difficult for Indian exporters to gain much of a foothold in its own market, including in sectors where India is strong, such as pharmaceuticals and IT. As a result, India's exports to China largely consist of low-margin, unprocessed commodities. India's exports have actually slumped since 2012, in part because of legal and other wrangles at home over extraction of iron ore—the leading export item in the past decade to China—which conserves its own reserves of strategic mineral ores to rely on imports.
 
China's increasing access to the Indian market has done little to encourage it to pursue a less-adversarial foreign policy. Indeed, the more profits China has reaped, the more assertive it has become. As India's trade deficit with China has soared from just $1 billion in 2002 to $40 billion in 2013 (or one-third of India's overall trade deficit), Beijing has, for example, openly challenged Indian sovereignty in the large eastern and western sectors of the Himalayas by playing the Arunachal and Kashmir cards.
 
Instead of calibrating China's market access to progress on the political, territorial and water resource issues, a politically adrift India is unwittingly doing just the opposite—allowing Beijing to strengthen its leverage against it.
 
China has effectively turned asymmetrical trade into another instrument to prevent India's rise as a peer competitor. In fact, China is now leveraging its trade and financial clout—including its role as a major supplier of power and telecom equipment and its emergence as a lender to financially troubled Indian companies—to limit India's options on countering the Chinese strategic encirclement.
 
The paradox is that, despite the supply of turbines and other equipment, most Chinese exports are not technology items but cheap products that kill small-scale manufacturing and rob jobs in India, with some of them also posing safety risks or public health concerns. The bilateral focus on trade, even as China builds up strategic pressure along multiple flanks, aids the Chinese win-win agenda to reap profits while continuing to hem in India.
 
Consequently, the politics and economics of the relationship are going in opposite directions, to India's serious detriment. India wrongly bet on rapidly growing trade helping to mute political disputes and moderate Chinese conduct so as to create an environment conducive to the settlement of outstanding issues.
 
For China, trade is not only about economics but also about geostrategic interests. So, it does not allow booming bilateral trade to come in the way of its territorial assertiveness, as the recent Ladakh incursion highlighted. In fact, as underscored by its commercial actions against Japan and the Philippines, it employs trade as a political weapon. With China serving as Japan's largest overseas market, Beijing has sought to punish Tokyo through an informal boycott of Japanese products since last September.
 
In this light, any Indian dependency on Chinese imports will carry geostrategic risks. China encourages economic dependencies and then manipulates them to advance its strategic objectives.
 
So what can India do to prevent China from using its trade prowess for political ends? First, it must avoid any commercial dependency that cannot be easily be substituted with imports from elsewhere.
 
Second, India must aggressively contain the flood of Chinese-made subsidized goods through countervailing duties and anti-dumping measures that bite, or else it will become harder for it to develop a more mature manufacturing base. Its lodging of anti-dumping cases at the World Trade Organization has proven no deterrent.
 
And third—in the way China unofficially but assertively links economic issues with political matters—India must not shy away from linking market access to concrete progress on border and water issues. But if push comes to shove, it has the option to take a leaf out of China's playbook by orchestrating an informal consumer boycott of Chinese products.
Brahma Chellaney is a professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.
 
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
To unsubscribe write back



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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

pink revolution: Cattle rustling in New Delhi – Gardiner Harris



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Swami Devananda Saraswati
Date: Wed, May 29, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Subject: [New Post] Cattle rustling in New Delhi – Gardiner Harris
To:




Cattle rustling in New Delhi – Gardiner Harris

Posted on May 29, 2013 

Gardiner Harris"Cattle rustling, called "lifting" here, is a growing scourge in New Delhi, as increasingly affluent Indians develop a taste for meat, even the flesh of cows, which are considered sacred in Hinduism. Criminals round-up some of the roughly 40,000 cattle that wander the streets of this megacity and sell them to illegal slaughterhouses located in villages not far away." — Gardiner Harris

Stray cow drinking water from a stand pipe.When night falls in this gritty capital, gangs troll the darkened streets looking for easy prey among a portion of the city's vast homeless population; thousands have been rounded up and carried off in trucks in recent years.

The police say they have increased patrols and set up roadblocks in an effort to stop the trafficking. In some cases, officers have infiltrated gangs in hopes of catching them in the act. But the brutal kidnappings continue, and the victims—scrawny cows, which are slowly losing their sacred status among some in India—are slaughtered and sold for meat and leather.

Cattle rustling, called "lifting" here, is a growing scourge in New Delhi, as increasingly affluent Indians develop a taste for meat, even the flesh of cows, which are considered sacred in Hinduism. Criminals round-up some of the roughly 40,000 cattle that wander the streets of this megacity and sell them to illegal slaughterhouses located in villages not far away.

Many of the cattle in Delhi are part of dairy operations and their owners have neither the land nor the money to keep them penned. So the animals graze on grassy medians or ubiquitous piles of trash. Others too old to be milked are often abandoned and left to wander the streets until they die—or get picked up by the rustlers.

Cows block police patrols.Posses of police officers give chase to the outlaws, but the desperados — driving souped-up dump trucks — think little of ramming police cars and breaking through barricades. They have even pushed cows into the pathways of their pursuers, forcing horrified officers to swerve out of the way to avoid what for many is still a grievous sin.

"These gangs mostly go after stray cattle, but they will also steal motorcycles and scooters," one police officer, Bhisham Singh, said in an interview. "They kidnapped a woman recently and gang-raped her."

Behind the cattle rustling is a profound shift in Indian society. Meat consumption—chicken, primarily—is becoming acceptable even among Hindus. India is now the world's largest dairy producer, its largest cattle producer and its largest beef exporter, having surpassed Brazil last year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Much of that exported beef is from buffalo (India has half of the world's buffalo population), which are not considered holy. But officials in Andhra Pradesh recently estimated that there are 3,100 illegal slaughterhouses in the state compared with just six licensed ones, and a recent newspaper investigation found that tens of thousands of cattle are sold annually for slaughter from a market in just one of that state's 64 districts. Killing cows is illegal in much of India, and some states outlaw the possession of cow meat.

Cattle in New Delhi.Much of the illicit beef is probably sold as buffalo, an easy way to hide a sacrilegious act. But sometimes it makes its way to meat sellers in Delhi whose cellphone numbers are passed around in whispers. Steaks can be ordered from these illicit vendors in transactions that are carried out like drug deals.

Beef from cattle is also widely consumed by Muslims and Dalits, among India's most marginalized citizens. Indeed, meat consumption is growing the most among the poor, government statistics show, with overall meat eating growing 14 percent from 2010 to 2012.

Anuj Agrawal, 28, said he grew up in a strictly vegetarian Hindu household but tried chicken for the first time in his teens when he was at a restaurant with friends. He now eats every kind of meat, including beef steaks and burgers. "Once you taste meat, you're not going back to just fruits and vegetables," Mr Agrawal said.

He says many of his friends have made similar transitions. But he never eats meat with his grandparents: "I would be excommunicated if I did, so I go pure 'veg' when I'm with them. I want to inherit something."

Tranquilizing stray cattle in New Delhi.To some extent, the growing acceptance of beef is a result of the government's intense focus on increasing milk production, which has led to a proliferation of foreign cattle breeds that do not elicit the same reverence as indigenous ones, said Clementien Pauws, president of Karuna Society for Animals and Nature, an animal welfare agency in Andhra Pradesh.

"Cows are all about business and money now, not religion," Ms Pauws said. "They're all taken to slaughterhouses. It's terrible."

This is not to say that eating beef from cattle is widely accepted. The vast majority of Hindus still revere cows, and the Bharatiya Janata Party, one of the country's two major political parties, has demanded that laws against cow slaughter be strengthened.

Some landlords even refuse to rent to those who confess to a taste for meat.

But the demand for beef keeps rising, many here say, and with it the prevalence of cattle rustling. Last year, the police in Delhi arrested 150 rustlers, a record number. This year, arrests have continued to surge, Mr. Singh said.

Typically, the rustlers creep into the city at night. When the criminals spot stray cattle and few onlookers they stop the truck, push out a ramp and use a rope to lead the cow to its doom.

BeefsteakThe thieves can usually fit about 10 cows on a truck, and each fetches 5,000 rupees — about $94. In a country where more than 800 million people live on less than $2 a day, a single night's haul of more than $900 represents serious temptation.

One man who has helped the police in neighboring Uttar Pradesh said the rustlers were often able to bribe their way to freedom. "Even if they're sent to jail, they come out in 10 to 15 days and commit the same crimes again," said the man, who did not want his name used for fear of reprisals.

The unfortunate fate of some of Delhi's cattle has led some Hindus to establish cattle shelters on the fringes of the metropolitan region. One of the largest is Shri Mataji Gaushala, where thousands of cattle live on about 42 acres.

Sometimes, the rescue comes too late. Brijinder Sharma, the shelter manager, whose office walls are decorated with drawings of Lord Krishna hugging a calf, showed a video of a truck packed with cattle that was seized on its way to an illegal slaughterhouse. Many of the Indian leather industry is one of the largest in the  world.cows had already died of heat exhaustion.

"The social and religious status of cows has been under attack in India," Mr. Sharma said. He hopes that his shelter, which has an annual budget of $5.4 million, underwritten almost entirely by wealthy Indians who have emigrated to the United States, will help reverse that trend.

The afternoon feeding at the shelter attracted a crowd of happy onlookers. Abhishek, a one-named cowhand, called out among the lowing throng: "Sakhi! Sakhi!" A large cow with huge horns rushed to the front of the herd, and Mr. Abhishek kissed her on the nose. The cow responded by licking one entire side of his face, and Mr Abhishek beamed. – Times of India, 27 May 2013

» Gardiner Harris, 48, became The New York Times' new foreign correspondent in India in May this year.  He joined the Times in 2003 and previously covered public health, drug and food safety, and the pharmaceutical industry. Hari Kumar contributed reporting to this article.

See also




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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Condell on UK Jihad Murder

Pat Condell gives us a timely health warning reminder to watch our salt intake:



"Tolerance is like salt - it's necessary and beneficial, but too much of it will kill you."

'Peaceful Rise': US weapons systems compromised

"In many cases, they don’t know they’ve been hacked until the FBI comes knocking on their door. This is billions of dollars of combat advantage for China. They’ve just saved themselves 25 years of research and development. It’s nuts." Among the other weapons systems accessed by Chinese hackers include: 
  • The PATRIOT missile system (PAC-3)   
  • Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), the Army's ballistic missile interceptor program   
  • Aegis, the Navy's ballistic-missile interceptor technology   
  • F/A-18 fighter jet  
  • The V-22 Osprey   
  • The Black Hawk helicopter  
  • The Navy Littoral Combat Ship  
WaPo:The U.S. weapons systems that experts say were hacked by the Chinese

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fwd: China’s Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove by Brahma C



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


China's Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove by Brahma C 26/5/13 http://chellaney.net/2013/05/26/chinas-iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove/
 

Behind the hype and hustle, any India-China summit meeting runs along familiar lines: India flags its concerns sedulously, especially over Beijing's reluctance to clarify the line of control, the lopsided trade relationship, China's activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and the opaque Chinese projects on transnational rivers. The Chinese side responds with pious platitudes about friendship and cooperation that win front-page coverage in Indian press. All this is quickly forgotten until the next summit, when India goes through the same motions again.

In the intervening time, however, the trade pattern has turned more unequal, China has unveiled new dam projects on transboundary rivers and enlarged its strategic footprint in PoK, and the number of cross-frontier forays and border incidents staged by Chinese troops to pressure India has increased. This is exactly what happened between the 2010 New Delhi visit of Premier Wen Jiabao and the just-concluded trip of his successor, Li Keqiang.

Take the growing trade asymmetry. The joint statement issued at the end of Li's visit promises "measures to address the issue of the trade imbalance." But when Wen Jiabao came calling, China made a similar commitment to level the playing field by taking "measures to promote greater Indian exports to China with a view to reduce India's trade deficit."

Yet China's trade surplus has soared since then, significantly expanding India's current account deficit. With trade talks that began in late 2010 yielding little, there is little hope of any respite for India from China's escalating dumping of goods.

Confident that India will continue to do little else other than file anti-dumping cases at the World Trade Organization, Beijing is systematically undermining Indian manufacturing. Moreover, it still largely imports raw materials from India and exports finished products. One new way it is seeking to perpetuate this distorted pattern is by providing debt financing through its banks to financially troubled Indian companies that agree to buy Chinese equipment or supply primary commodities.

Now consider China's response to India's exhortations to stem its growing strategic involvement in PoK, a disputed territory. Li, as if to mock India's pleas, went straight from India to "all-weather" ally, Pakistan, and signed an agreement to build an economic corridor through PoK, where China is already engaged in several strategic projects. To shield these projects, Beijing has stationed its own forces in the rebellious, Shia-majority Gilgit-Baltistan, with the result that India now faces Chinese troops on both flanks of Jammu and Kashmir, one-fifth of which China has annexed.

Contrast China's refusal to heed New Delh's PoK-related protestations with the intense diplomatic pressure it mounted after India's ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) signed a contract with PetroVietnam to jointly explore for oil in two blocks in the South China Sea. Beijing warned India against "any unilateral exploration activities" there. OVL eventually withdrew from one block in 2011 and the other in 2012 after paying millions of dollars in exit fees to PetroVietnam.

Water has emerged as a key security issue in Sino-Indian relations and a potential source of enduring discord. But like Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier, Li snubbed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's plea that water cooperation ought to extend beyond mere data-sharing to institutionalized transparency on dam building.

China is the source of river flows to a dozen countries. But India is the most vulnerable of them to China's reengineering of transboundary flows because it alone receives nearly half of all river waters that leave Chinese territory. Beijing, however, continues to spurn India's proposal to conclude a pact or establish an inter-governmental institution to define rights and responsibilities on shared rivers. China wants only to sell flood-related hydrological data.

While working to disturb the status quo on international-river flows, China is clearly unwilling to accept the territorial status quo with India. The Indian assumption that greater trade would make Beijing more amenable to solving the border dispute and more sensitive to India's other concerns has been belied.

For more than three decades now, India has engaged China in never-ending rounds of sterile discussions on the boundary issue in what has become the longest, most-barren process of negotiations between any two countries in modern history. China has not only derailed the process to clarify the Line of Actual Control (LAC), rendering that term farcical, but it has also signalled unequivocally that it will not accept the LAC as the basis for a boundary settlement.

When Wen Jiabao came in 2010, he delivered a hard message on the border issue — that it will "not be easy to completely resolve the question" and that, in any event, it will "take a fairly long period of time." These remarks in a prepared speech amounted to a public disavowal of the "firm commitment" enshrined in the joint statement issued just hours earlier to resolve the border dispute "at an early date."

The latest joint statement, deferring to China, actually drops the "early date" reference. The fact that Li's visit was preceded by a 19-kilometre-deep Chinese incursion into Ladakh attests to China's resolve to keep India under sustained pressure by neither clarifying the LAC nor moving towards a border settlement. Beijing earlier sabotaged the Joint Working Group (JWG) on border talks by going back on its 2001 commitment to exchange maps of the eastern and western sectors with India. And by playing the Arunachal and Kashmir cards, it is now seeking to stymie the JWG's replacement mechanism led by the so-called special representatives (SRs).

Having being shaken by the daring Ladakh incursion, India has every right to tacitly link China's one-sided market privileges and bilateral political and military exchanges to substantive progress on the border issue. But it is flubbing the opportunity. The joint statement, for example, preposterously expresses "satisfaction" over the decade-long border talks between the SRs, even as it encourages them to "push forward the process of negotiations." This stance only aids the Chinese game-plan to take India round and round the mulberry bush.

India, however, has done well to counter China's draft "Border Defence Cooperation Agreement" by proposing its own accord designed specifically to prevent border flare-ups and incursions. The Chinese-drafted agreement, in the name of preserving Himalayan peace and tranquillity, cleverly aims to keep India vulnerable to Chinese military pre-emption by freezing its belated build-up of border defences.

Li's visit has served as a fresh reminder that India-China summits yield little more than hype, spin and reassuring clichés. Imploring China to see reason on border, trade, water and other issues is pointless because Beijing only understands the language of leverage. Combating China's containment-behind-engagement strategy demands a concerted Indian plan of action that combines beefed-up deterrent capabilities with leveraged diplomacy and military cooperation with friendly countries.

Brahma Chellaney is professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and the author of "Water: Asia's New Battleground."

(c) The Economc Times, 2013.

Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar
https://twitter.com/sanjeev1927
To unsubscribe write back



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Europe crawls, fearful of China

The EU's anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels is the largest trade case the Commission has undertaken, with around 21 billion euros of China-made solar panels sold in the EU. Germany initially supported plans for duties, and it was a German company, Solar World, which first raised the complaint against the Chinese. But fearful of losing business in China, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands are among those who oppose sanctions.
Reuters: EU duties on Chinese solar panels losing member state support

Article: US report warns on China IP theft

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22634685

Sent via Flipboard

sent from galaxy note, pardon brevity

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Essence of Motherhood

Amma has energized an entire organization that often fills the vacuum left by government. When a tsunami devastated parts of southern India in 2004, it took the state government of Kerala five days merely to announce what it would do by way of aid and relief. Amma, however, began a response within hours, providing food and shelter to thousands of people; in the following years, her organization says, it has built more than 6,000 houses. In 2003, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, then the president of India, was so impressed with Amma’s charitable work that he donated almost his entire annual salary to her organization.
NYT: Amma’s Multifaceted Empire, Built on Hugs

Solar Roadways

Wherever roads are laid, solar panels could go instead. Currently the solar road panels cost about three times as much as conventional roads. But over time the technology could begin to actually turn a profit.
Spiegel: Solar Road Panels Offer Asphalt Alternative

No Chief Ministerial ambitions

That's such an incredible act of renunciation:

http://newindianexpress.com/nation/Ajit-Jogi-not-ambitious-of-CM-post/2013/05/26/article1606180.ece


Former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi considered by many as a hurdle in the road of Congress victory in Chhattisgarh, has finally declared that he does not nurture any chief ministerial aspirations. This may lead to realignment of forces within the state Congress as observers think that like S M Krishna, he would also be ignored.


He had earlier described an operation to eliminate "Maoists"
as "genocide". I'd say that is an interesting choice of terminology.

http://www.asianage.com/india/c-garh-encounter-genocide-ajit-jogi-654


Last week’s encounter at Edesmeta in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, in which eight “innocent” tribals, including three children, were gunned down by security forces, seems to have provided fodder to the Opposition Congress in the poll-bound state to attack the Raman Singh government.
“It is not a fake encounter but genocide. The incident has clearly demonstrated the state BJP government’s insensitivity towards the helpless tribals of Bastar who are sandwiched between forces and Naxals,” former chief minister and senior Congress leader Ajit Jogi told reporters here on Thursday.





Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cadmium Rice

10% of China's rice crop is contaminated with the Cadmium. Mines and factories that make paint, batteries or electroplated products discharge waste water into local rivers and lakes. Whole villages suffer from the intense bone pain that is typical of acute cadmium poisoning before they realize what is wrong. But the farmers have to go on growing and selling their produce to survive. 
WSJ: China's Toxic Rice Bowl

san jose, CA: play based on 1942 bomb plot. June 8-23: Vande Mataram by Naatak





---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sangeeta Mediratta <smedirat@stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 at 3:39 AM
Subject: June 8-23: Vande Mataram by Naatak
To: southasia@lists.stanford.edu





  email-Banner
 

The Plot  
 
Aug 8, 1942: On the day Gandhi launched the Quit India movement in Bombay, a band of rebels met in Patna to plot their own campaign. Led by a University of Colorado trained philosopher, they planned to blow up public buildings and landmarks to sabotage both the Quit India movement and the British Empire. A veteran of World War I was recruited to build bombs; a renegade Congressman provided ideological cover; a couple of businessmen provided money; a restauranteur offered his backyard as a bomb factory. This is the story of their campaign - its motivations, flaws, triumphs and failures.
  The Plotters
plotters

 

 
About The Play 
 
Based on a true story - the Keezhariyur Bomb Case in Malabar, Kerala - Vande Mataram is a lament for Indian nationalism and the absurdity of being an Indian rebel in the 1940s.
 
Written and Directed by Sujit Saraf
Produced by Gopi Rangan

 
Language: Hindi (with English supertitles)
Run time: 120 minutes (incl. a 20 min. intermission)
 

Tickets and Showtimes

SHOWTIMES
 
              Fri Jun 7: 8 pm^
              Sat Jun 8: 2 pm^, 6pm^
    
             Fri Jun 14: 8 pm
             Sat Jun 15: 2 pm*, 6pm
             Sun Jun 16: 2 pm

             Fri Jun 21: 8 pm
             Sat Jun 22: 2 pm*, 6pm
 
             Sun Jun 23: 2 pm
TICKET PRICES
 
VIP - $28 ($35 after May 26
General - $18 ($25 after May 26


 
VENUE
Theater at San Pedro Square
29 N. San Pedro St.
San Jose, CA 95110 
 (map)
 

CHILDREN UNDER 10 YEARS WILL NOT BE ADMITTED.
^ The shows on June 7 & 8 will be staged exclusively for AID (Assoc. for India's Development). AID shows tickets here.
* The 2pm shows on June 15 and June 22 will be followed by a "QA with the playwright".


FREE PARKING
Please park in the San Jose City parking garage located across San Pedro Street from the theater. During intermission, we will validate your parking tickets. Parking without validation is $5 or more. We cannot validate parking for any other parking garage.


BuyTickets-red 
 
call-icon
650 762-8627


 

About Naatak

Naatak is a San Francisco Bay Area-based theater group dedicated to producing creative and thought-provoking plays. Since its founding in 1995 by students at UC Berkeley and Stanford, Naatak has staged 41 productions in English, Hindi and Tamil. Naatak is a registered 501 c(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit www.naatak.org.

 

 

 
 




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2110D Walsh Ave.
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Sangeeta Mediratta
Associate Director
Center for South Asia



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Sangeeta Mediratta
Associate Director
Center for South Asia
650-725-8150

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NuFood: soylent (green) comes to life: fact follows science fiction

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-22/not-green-just-soylent-is-this-the-future-of-food

--
thanks
rajeev

sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

the possibilities of 3-d printing

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cutting cola can save you some serious pain

Those who have at least one sugar-sweetened soda every day have a 33 percent greater likelihood of developing kidney stones compared with those who drink fewer than one serving a week. The researchers from Boston and Rome analyzed dietary data from 194,000 participants over the course of a decade or more and found associations between certain beverages — such as fruit punch and sugary sodas — and increased kidney stone risk.
Boston Globe: Prevent kidney stones: drink coffee but not cola?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

India ready to "guard" the world!!!

Laughable claim by the UPA.
GOI's prowess in the realm of
national security was on display
quite recently, in reverse chronological order:

1) Chinese military encroachment in a highly strategic area of Ladakh to extract military concessions.

2) Decapitation of Indian soldiers by Paki special forces on Indian soil without an appropriate retaliation.

3) Murder of Indian fishermen by Italian marines and their conjugal visits back to Italy with impunity while being allegedly "incarcerated" by Indian "authorities" (sic).

etc.

Actually, I'm confident that the Indian armed forces are quite capable of defending the nation - that is, if they are not starved of the necessary funding, equipment, political support - all of which are sadly lacking under the Stalinist dispensation which forces the military to be subservient to a corrupt civilian authority - rapacious politicians and bumbling bureaucrats.

Given all of the above, the bureaucrat's assertion is laughable. The Indian armed forces need a free hand to protect fast depleting national sovereignty first - their primary purpose.

Serving as "chaprasis" (guards) for other nations may be the next big thing in "outsourcing", but can hardly be a honourable
role for Indian soldiers or a priority.

http://m.rediff.com/news/report/india-ready-to-guard-the-world-pm/20130523.htm#


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said India was well positioned to become a net provider of security in its immediate region in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

He said India's defence cooperation has grown and it now had unprecedented access to high technology, capital and partnerships.

"We have also sought to assume our responsibility for stability in the Indian Ocean Region. We are well positioned, therefore, to become a net provider of security in our immediate region and beyond," Singh said.






Sufi "saint" arrested for raping 500 girls in Kashmir

There will be no display of copious tears by Omar Abdullah
in the J&K assembly, lamenting the abuse of 500 poor young Kashmiri girls, mostly Muslim.
Abdullah's tears are exlusively reserved for sudden appearance when a Jihadi terrorist ambushing an Indian army patrol is dispatched to hell by the Jawans.

Among other things, the obnoxious Article 370 enables a
Sufi "dervish" like this old goat to enact his various "Karishmas"
(miracles) with impunity for so long.

Unfortunately, the "miracles" of such "dervishes" are quite rampant in the Indian heartland as well. The vast majority of followers who patronize such
"Sufi sants" and seek their "miracles" are actually idiot Hindus. I will quantify their number at 80% of total Sufidom
in India. These Hindu dunces do not understand that "Sufis" are essentially missionaries who convert through fraud and mind
manipulation - when it is not feasible to convert by force. As such, they are more dangerous than terrorists indulging in outright Jihad.

But, try explaining this to those brainwashed in and raised on a staple diet of "SECULAR" faecal matter - and you end up being labeled as an "extremist" with
"unbalanced" views.

Don't you know that "all religions are equal"?

Don't you know that "all religions teach the SAME thing"?

Take a look at the "Sufi saint" in this story, radiating "spirituality",
"peace", "brotherhood" etc.

The "secularists" would have you believe that. Why, he could be a lost twin brother of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar!!!





http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Kashmirs-self-styled-godman-arrested-for-rape-of-young-girls/articleshow/20224692.cms


Kashmir's self-styled godman arrested for rape of young girls:

"SRINAGAR: A 42-year-old self-styled Sufi dervish Gulzar Ahmed Bhat was arrested on Wednesday by Jammu and Kashmir police for raping and sexually abusing several young girls at his religious centre, Khansahib in Budgam district..."
deleted


Fanatics Murder Soldier in UK

A British soldier was murdered in the street by a pair of Muslim fanatics wielding butcher knives:



One of the attackers gives a political justification for his attack to arriving media personnel, even while his hands are still dripping with the victim's blood.

Probably the bloodiest story in history

The Moslem Conquest of India
By Will & Ariel Durant [Volume 1, Chapter 16]
The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Church bullies BJP govt in Goa - to permit indiscriminate Cow slaughter

Will Shri. Manohar Parrikar meekly fall in line and comply with the Church's order to the state government to permit indiscriminate slaughter?

"Council for Social Justice and Peace" (sic) indeed. This is mischievous subterfuge intended to show Hindus their place, demonstrably and show that Hindus cannot protect:

1) their Temples from attack and looting on their native motherland, the cradle of Hindu civilisation.
2) their women from "Love Jihad" and "Love Crusades".
3) the Cow which they revere as
a symbol of Peace and as a Mother.
4) ultimately, their own motherland.

It is my hypothesis that the economically suspect "Right to Food" act, another brainchild of
the pseudo-liberal NAC - being actively considered by the UPA
- is being devised deliberately to give a handle to Church Mafiosi
such as the "Council for Social Justice and Peace" (sic) to invoke "Minority rights", "Minority
dietary rights" etc. to render unconstitutional and thereby abort any future attempts by putative Hindu nationalist goverments to implement a nationwide ban on Cow slaughter.

This is also another motivational factor for the "Pink revolution" engineered by the Congress led UPA, transforming India into the world's largest beef exporter - and present a fait acoompli to the slumbering Hindus.

The very first act of Karnataka's newly elected Kaangress state government was to withdraw the
restrictions on Cow slaughter implemented by the erstwhile BJP government. Talk about
*priorities* of a State government.

OT, if 6 crore people want to commit collective suicide, can anyone stop them?

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/act-on-beef-shortage-church-tells-goa-cm.html


"ACT ON BEEF SHORTAGE, CHURCH TELLS GOA CM

With the shortage of beef hitting into its third week, the Council for Social Justice and Peace, a social outreach arm of Goa’s influential Church has accused the Government of not doing enough to ensure that the red meat is made available after a High Court order allowed monitored slaughtering of bulls at Goa’s sole legal abattoir — the Goa Meat Complex.

“CSJP views with disappointment the failure of the Government to intervene and act with a sense of fairness and justice to the meat traders and those who consume beef as an essential part of their diet,” Father Savio Fernandes, the executive secretary of the CSJP, said in a statement to the Press.
The CSJP has already called on officials of the Goa Meat Complex seeking an immediate solution to the issue and asking that the Government act with a sense of urgency in order to ensure that the food and employment of the minority communities in the State are protected."





Andrea Colaco

Founders and creators of 3dim, a company launched by P.h.D students at MIT, are trying to change the way people interact with devices by introducing “the next wave of smart input” through gesture control technology. 
As Andrea Colaco, one of the company’s co-founders, explains it, 3dim will “dissolve” the boundaries and constraints between the digital and physical world. Using 3dim’s breakthrough technology, Colaco says users will be able to type on their smartphones using keyboards that are digitally displayed on hard surfaces, rather than clicking at letters on tiny screens.
Boston Mag: Thanks to MIT Students, You May Never Have to Touch Your Smartphone Screen Again

ToI: Goa girl develops touch-free phone technology

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

India Bans Dolphin Exploitation

India bans the captivity and exploitation of dolphins, categorizing them as "non-human persons"

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/indias-bans-exploitation-dolphins-says-they-should-be-seen-non-human-persons.html


Dr Watson is accepting new patients

Essentially, what has been done is to automate the knowledge base of an oncologist. And what usually happens when we automate such a function is that the skilled professional doesn’t get to do the job any more. It can now be done by less skilled workers plus the machine.

"The AMA is no more than a doctors’ guild jealously protecting the privileges (and thus incomes) of those inside the AMA from whoever might threaten those privileges and incomes."
Forbes: IBM's Watson: Maybe The Doctors Will Strangle It At Birth

NYT: I.B.M. Puts Watson to Work in Business

Nawaz Sharif

Need to occasionally appreciate a bit of humour in the "bastard tongue" of Ghalib, Iqbal et al!

Pakistani PM: "Nawaz Sharif"

Indian PM: "Na–Aawaz Na–Sharif"

RT @AtanuDey

ROTFL


Monday, May 20, 2013

The Economist | Lexington: Notes on three scandals

The Economist | Lexington: Notes on three scandals http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21578070-bad-week-president-revealing-what-really-irks-voters-notes-three?frsc=dg%7Cb via @theeconomist

Obummer following on footsteps of nehru dynasty in terms of coverups, strong arming, etc. Difference is that media is in upa pocket

sent from galaxy note, pardon brevity

Sunday, May 19, 2013

China's Cyber-Espionage Continues

 Chinese cyber-espionage groups which had gone silent after being exposed by US security experts have re-commenced operations:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/world/asia/chinese-hackers-resume-attacks-on-us-targets.html?pagewanted=all

Esha Khare

Waiting hours for a cellphone to charge may become a thing of the past, thanks to an 18-year-old high-school student's invention. She won a $50,000 prize Friday at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for creating an energy storage device that can be fully juiced in 20 to 30 seconds. The fast-charging device is a so-called supercapacitor, a gizmo that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time.
What's more, it can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries, according to Eesha Khare of Saratoga, Calif. "My cellphone battery always dies," she told NBC News when asked what inspired her to work on the energy-storage technology. Supercapacitors also allowed her to focus on her interest in nanochemistry — "really working at the nanoscale to make significant advances in many different fields."
NBCNews: Teen's invention could charge your phone in 20 seconds

interview with michael pollan, author of 'cooked' and other food classics

berkeley guy, so a bit leftie, but otherwise a great journalist. he wrote the piece on microbiomes san posted below.

http://m.npr.org/news/Books/177501735

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

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Caspian Report: Storm Clouds Gathering

Caspian Report has a good synopsis on India and the growing conflict between it and China - although I don't agree with all their proposed remedies:



Londonistans bleak future | The UK has just had one lost decade, and is about to enter a second

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10065143/The-UK-has-just-had-one-lost-decade-and-is-about-to-enter-a-second.html

Sent via Flipboard

sent from galaxy note, pardon brevity

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Person Plural: Microbiome

It turns out that we are only 10 percent human: for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes. Some researchers believe that the alarming increase in autoimmune diseases in the West may owe to a disruption in the ancient relationship between our bodies and their “old friends” — the microbial symbionts with whom we coevolved.

Where do these all-important bifidobacteria come from and what does it mean if, like me, you were never breast-fed? Mother’s milk is not, as once was thought, sterile: it is both a “prebiotic” — a food for microbes — and a “probiotic,” a population of beneficial microbes introduced into the body. Some of them may find their way from the mother’s colon to her milk ducts and from there into the baby’s gut with its first feeding. Because designers of infant formula did not, at least until recently, take account of these findings, the guts of bottle-fed babies are not optimally colonized.

Most of the microbes that make up a baby’s gut community are acquired during birth — a microbially rich and messy process that exposes the baby to a whole suite of maternal microbes. Babies born by Caesarean, however, a comparatively sterile procedure, do not acquire their mother’s vaginal and intestinal microbes at birth.
NYT: Some of My Best Friends Are Germs

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

7 Charged with Tresspassing

7 young men and women - recent chemical engineering grads from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - have been charged with trespassing after being discovered after midnight in a restricted area at the largest drinking water reservoir in Massachussetts:

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/05/quabbin_breach_sparks_probe

While it's good to see young Muslims trying to improve their education, why do it after midnight in a restricted no-trespassing zone?

Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest drinking water supplies in the United States.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

'Wrong to Link ATM Heist to India'

First, the hackers, quite possibly insiders, broke into computer records at a few credit card processing companies, first in India and then the U.S. This has happened before but here's what was new: They didn't just take information. They actually raised the limit on prepaid debit cards kept in reserves at two large banks.
The next step was technically simpler, almost an arts-and-crafts activity.
Crime ring members in 27 countries ran used plastic cards, just about anything with a standard magnetic strip, through handheld magnetic stripe encoders, widely available online for less than $300. Those devices allow users to change information on magnetic stripes or to write new cards with a simple swipe.
In this case, the stripes were rewritten with information from the hackers. That allowed the thieves to turn the cards into gold, instantly transforming them into prepaid debit cards with unlimited amounts of money stored on them.
Telegraph India: India first victim in ATM heist chain

US Socialist Police State?

American diplomats may have smirking over the Congress police state's harassment of opposition politicians in India, but now that Americans are getting a taste of that medicine at home, who's laughing now?




But unlike Indians, at least the Americans have some checks and balances, as well as a mature electorate which can put some of the more egregious offenders on the ropes.