Monday, June 30, 2014

Orwell's Birthplace in Bihar to be Made into Museum

Orwell's birthplace in Bihar will be preserved as a museum:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/30/george-orwell-birthplace-motihari-bihar-india-museum

It's quite ironic that George Orwell, who famously authored books like 1984 and Animal Farm, was born in Bihar. Apparently, some of Bihar's socialist politicians remain deaf to his satire.

Jihad on the Dole: The Revolution Will Be Subsidized

 British charity aid money is being siphoned by UK jihadis to oust their hated enemy, Nawaz Sharif:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/10899806/UK-aid-money-used-to-campaign-against-Pakistans-prime-minister-Nawaz-Sharif.html


Unlike NRIs, who at least earn a living for themselves, the overseas Pak-jihadis have to use infidel money to wage their holy wars.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Modi Lauds ISRO in English

The PM has congratulated ISRO on the successful launch of the PSLV C-23 mission, which saw 5 foreign satellites placed into orbit:

http://www.ndtv.com/article/cheat-sheet/our-mars-mission-cheaper-than-the-movie-gravity-pm-modi-after-pslv-c-23-launch-550128

Even more impressive than what has now become yet another routine launch, was the fact that Sri Narendra Modi chose to address the audience in english. In doing so, he was showing Indians and the world the level of primacy he puts on the Indian space program.



pslv launch: liftoff!

this launch with 5 comsats on board apparently lifted off smoothly. 

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Quick notes: Nalanda history, Chimp Music...

  • Concoction: Arun Shourie exposes Marxist fiction and lies on history of Nalanda


  • What Music Do Animals Like? Chimpanzees prefer listening to West African akan and North Indian raga over western music.


  • Our God is a living deity: I still remember the words of my father when he came out of the sanctum sanctorum after changing the Brahma (soul of Lord Jagannath) during the Nabakalebara in 1977. He emerged after nearly two hours. The first thing he did was hug me. We clung to each other and wept. Not only the two of us but all the sevayats present were weeping. Shaking like a leaf, my father whispered in my ears: "Brahma Hi Satya (soul is eternal)." The words have stayed with me. One should understand that our God is a living deity, who can be experienced only through love and dedication and not through scholarship..
    .. vEdAhamEtam puruSHam mahAntam | AdityavarNam tamasas parastAt ..


  • Rafale Fighter Jet Deal in Final Lap: Awaits Government's nod.


  • Eyes on defence deals: Western powers rush to court Modi

HondaJet Takes to the Skies

The venerable Japanese automaker has seen the production model for its first foray into commercial aviation make its maiden flight:

https://www.hondajet.com/news/article.aspx?ArticleType=pressrelease&CatType=news_detail_139.xml&bhcp=1





Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quick notes: St Anthony confesses, Grid losses...

Friday, June 27, 2014

does climate change cause jihad?

i can well believe that. on really hot days, i feel like going out and... killing something. 

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/06/slate-climate-change-could-have-led-to-the-rise-of-isil#

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Promoting Swadeshi in Defence

  • Spending Rs 5,000 crore to boost Sukhoi-30 MKI serviceability would "buy" as many additional fighters as the purchase of 126 Rafales for Rs 1 lakh crore. 

  • The IAF's obsolescent MiG-21 and MiG-27 fleets could be replaced economically with an improved (or Mark II) version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft; its development and manufacture accelerated through a strategic alliance with Swedish company Saab, which is close to completing the Gripen E - a fighter very much like what the IAF wants the Tejas Mark II to be. 

  •  A project like this would catalyse an entire aeronautical design and manufacturing ecosystem, especially the small and medium firms that wither away when the government buys overseas rather than innovating and producing domestically. 

  • Alongside this, aerospace engineering courses could be sponsored in selected technological institutes, which would feed into the indigenous design and manufacture of an advanced medium combat aircraft, a project already under way.

  • Finally, with the change left over from the Rs 1 lakh crore, New Delhi could press Stockholm hard to buy out Saab's aerospace division.
Ajai Shukla: Promoting 'swadeshi' in defence


Rejoinder by SP Singh:
While Shukla's patriotic fervor deserves appreciation, he somehow divorces himself from realism about the capability of our DPSUs, especially HAL. Almost 50 years in standing, it has 19 Production Units and 10 R&D Centres in 08 locations in India and employs perhaps the highest number of employees wrt any contemporary aircraft manufacturing facility on planet earth. And pray what have they given us in these fifty long years? Hyperboles of accomplishments, which truly were/are pain, pain and more pain with billions of dollars spent on foreign trips and collaborations. Some of their products that attained moderate success, courtesy the IAF, as no one else found them suitable, like HT-2,Kiran(HJT16) and HPT32,all Trainers were direct ripoffs from the Chipmunk, Jet Provost and Bulldog respectively. Among fighters the HF-24 designed by Dr Kurt Tank, a German, limped its way through in the IAF for want of a suitable engine.The others claimed to be manufactured by HAL like the MiG 21,Jaguar,Hawk and Su30 are either assembled or manufactured under license with over 75% imported components.

The much touted IJT and the LCA have been in the making for 30 years and are yet to reach anywhere near oprationalisation. While the LCA was hurriedly given op clearance by Mr Antony in December 2013, just before CAS Browne retired, as per conservative estimates it will take at least five years before it is fully ops in the IAF. The prototype IJT that flew in the Air Show at Yelahanka in 2005 crashed in 2010 and nothing has come online since then even in prototype form, when will it reach the IAF, if ever.

So that brings me to the two most disingenuous and unviable suggestions made by Shukla. Rescind the Rafale deal to save one lakh crore and do the following: (a) improve the serviceability of Su-30s to75% to get additional 95 ac online. Well said and highly wishful, but do remember all Su-30s are assembled at HAL leaving much to be desired in the finished product and costs the IAF close to Rs 500 crore besides being heavy on maintenance. In addition, 20% of the holdings go for MR&SOW. To achieve 75% serviceability of the remaining 80% , effectively 92% serviceability would need an uninterrupted continuous flow of product support, which is well nigh impossible because the IAF depends on HAL/Roseboron, who depends on foreign vendors, who never oblige.

Anyway, being ex Army Shukla will not find it hard to corroborate, as the serviceability rate of a soldiers common weapon is dismal, forget about the heavy eqpt like TANKS, BMPs and Arty Guns etc. (b), mould the LCA Mk 2 on the lines of Gripen E and acquire the Aerospace Division of SaaB for the “change” left over after operationalising the LCA Mk 2 so as to promote aviation ecology and ancillary units in India. First of all SaaB is a billion $ co with worldwide presence whose annual turnover is ten times that of HAL.So I wonder if it can be bought off with the small change. And then the product Gripen E. Saab has signed a deal on 18 Dec 2013 with Brazil to supply 36 Gripen E for USD 4.5 billion. The first ac will reach Brazil in 2019 and the last in 2023. So there is no way we could persuade them to sell their holdings for the change till 2023. SaaB is yet to integrate the AESA Radar on the Gripen , a must for modern fighters. Wonder if the HAL has even thought of this Radar for LCA Mk 2. So could HAL replicate the Gripen Model on LCA Mk 2 is anybody’s take.

Regrettably Shukla’s suggestions besides being incoherent smack of utmost ignorance on affairs Air Force, Aerospace and Air Power. If Mr Jaitely, in his wildest nightmares, were to ever implement these, he will do yeomen service to DRDO /HAL by filling their overflowing coffers with another one lakh crore – FOR NOTHING.

sundar pichai is da man in mobile

Quick notes: Rs 300 Cr baggage, Sundar Pichai...

  • Evangalical baggage: Thanks to Jairam Ramesh, the Modi government will have to shell out Rs 300 crore — over the next two years — and deal with a society registered in the UPA regime packed with “eminent persons” (mostly Church Activists) which include members of Sonia Gandhi’s NAC.


  • Sundar Pichai: The Most Powerful Man in Mobile


  • India can use: Type an SMS message in English and receive a text back with its Spanish or Chinese translation.


  • Weavers became beggars: For at least two centuries the handloom weavers of Bengal produced some of the world's most desirable fabrics, especially the fine muslins, light as "woven air", that were in such demand for dressmaking and so cheap that Britain's own cloth manufacturers conspired to cut off the fingers of Bengali weavers and break their looms. Their import was ended, however, by the imposition of duties and a flood of cheap fabric – cheaper even than poorly paid Bengali artisans could provide – from the new steam mills of northern England and lowland Scotland. Subsequently, India became the exporter of raw materials and foodstuffs – raw cotton and jute, coal, opium, rice, spice and tea – rather than manufactured goods
  • Colonialism lives on: We won't give up on multi-brand FDI say retail MNCs


  • pSecularistan:


  • Aereo: Finished?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

in the et tu? dept. now theeconomist trashes gandhis!

i think they are desperately trying to get the india account. got china account by kissing ass, now want to do the same with india.

maino-nehrus routed


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ok, a bit exaggerated, but the etruscan artifact is interesting

pn oak came up with a number of similarities like this, many of which are more coincidental than anything else. but it is entirely possible that the 'pagan' site that the vatican forcibly occupied was of a hindu-like religion. all ancient pre-abrahamic religions shared similarities. the etruscan shiva linga style artifact is quite remarkable.

however, i went to rome a couple of years ago, and almost every ancient building there is pre-roman, 'pagan', and has been simply converted to christian by putting a cross on it. just like hindu artifacts (eg. flagpole and granite oil lamps) have been made 'christian' in kerala by putting crosses on top of them.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Babu

Was the Christian Vatican Originally a Temple to Lord Shiva? 

 

All religions are one and are derived from Vedic Sanatana Dharma. Famous historian P.N. Oak claimed that the word Vatican originally came from the sanskrit word "Vatika", that "Christianity" came from the sanskrit words "Krishna-neeti", ("ethics of Krishna" or "the way of Krishna"), and that "Abraham" came from the sanskrit word "Brahma". He further claims that both Christianity and Islam originated as distortions of Vedic beliefs.

Vatican Church Compound Shaped as a Shiva Linga

Compare the two pictures below and you can see a striking similarity between the shapes of a shiva linga and the vatican church compound. Further if we look closer, we even see a perfect tripundra and bindu incorporated into their design.

 

In the following pictures let us compare the tripundra (three lines worn by Lord Shiva as tilak).

 

 

 

The word 'Vatican' itself is derived from the sanskrit word Vatika or Vatica, which means vedic cultural or religious centers. In sanskrit the word Vatika is used to describe a place, such as Ananda-Vatika, Ashrama-Vatika, Yagna-Vatika, etc. Such words and discoveries prove that the Vatican was a Hindu (Vedic) religious center before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity from 1st century AD. Also, according to some reports, a Shiva linga was found during the excavation and is kept for display at Gregorian Etruscan Museum in Rome (details below). Hindustan indeed was Virat.

Siva Linga at Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City (Vatika)

 

This Siva Lingam is exhibited in Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City. This has the most important Etruscan collection in Rome, starting with early Iron Age objects from the 9th century BC. Encyclopedia Britannica mentions under the headings "Etruria" and "Etruscan" that between the 2nd and 7th centuries BC, northern Italy was known as Etruria. During archaeological excavations many such "meteoric stones mounted on carved pedestals (Siva Lingas on bases)" have been discovered in Italy. This Siva Lingam was dug-up from Vatican City itself. Many more must be lying buried under the Vatican's massive walls and numerous cellars. 

P.N. Oak's Theories on Vedic Roots of World Religions 

P.N. Oak claims that Christianity and Islam are both derivatives of Hinduism, and that the Catholic Vatican, Kaaba and the Taj Mahal were once Hindu temples to Shiva. In his book, "Some Missing Chapters of World History", Oak claimed that the first civilisation was developed in India from which all world civilisations grew. He wrote books on this subject in three languages. 

Intent on rectifying what he believed to be "biased and distorted versions of India's history produced by the invaders and colonizers", Oak has written several books and articles on Indian history and founded the "Institute for Rewriting Indian History" in 1964. According to Oak, modern secular and Marxist historians have fabricated "idealized versions" of India's past and drained it of its "Vedic context and content". 

Oak claims that Christianity was originally a Vedic religion following Krishna and claims that Christianity was originally known by either the names Chrisna-nity or Krishna-neeti (with Oak stating these meant "The way of Krishna" or "The ethics of Lord Krishna"). These generally follow in line with Oak's other theories and claims that the Vatican was originally called Vatika and that the Papacy was originally a "Vedic Priesthood" until Constantine the Great around 312 A.D killed the "Vedic pointiff" and installed in his place a representative of the tiny Christian sect. Oak also makes the claim that "Jesus went to India between ages 13 and 30 to learn Krishna-neeti (Christianity) from sages." 

Amen comes from Aum 

When the Christians say "Amen" at the end of their hymns or to emphasize something, what they are saying is a corrupted form of "Aum" or "Om," which is the standard Vedic form of addressing the Supreme Being through sound. 

In the bible it is said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That primordial divine word, which is one with God, is the Vedic syllable "Aum". God manifests in creation as the Cosmic Vibration, which expresses itself as Cosmic Sound and Cosmic Light. The Cosmic Sound or Aum is the synthesis of all the sounds of the universe.

http://www.indiadivine.org/news/articles-on-hinduism/christian-vatican-originally-a-shiva-temple-r740

 

 

 

 

 






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Fwd: 2006 Malegaon blasts: ATS has evidence against 9 Deobandi Muslims for bombing Barelvi prayer event (Shab-e-Baraat) for which several Hindus were framed.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ravi

2006 Malegaon blasts: ATS has evidence against 9 Deobandi Muslims for bombing Barelvi Namaz event (Shab-e-Baraat) at Malegaon town's Bada Kabristan (Big Graveyard).
 
Deobandis belong to the same Sunni sect as the Taliban. Deobandis consider their rival Barelvi Sunni sect's prayers on Shab-e-Baraat night as un-Islamic and Wajib-ul-Qatl ("Deserving to be Killed"), as it involved offering Namaz for the departed ancestors' souls at their gravesites.
 
Several well-educated Hindu youths have been framed by the Maharashtra government and UPA government who let these Deobandi Muslims go scot-free.
 
Can the authorities undo the relentless torture inflicted in jail and several lost years of these innocent Hindu youths?  The responsible Maharashtra government and UPA government officials must pay dearly for this travesty. They should undergo the same jail sentences for forging evidence and subverting the course of investigation and justice.
 
 

2006 Malegaon blasts: ATS says it has evidence against 9 Muslim men

PTI | Jun 23, 2014
 
 
2006 Malegaon blasts: ATS says it has evidence against 9 Muslim men
The blasts at Malegaon, around 300km from Mumbai, on September 8, 2006 claimed 37 lives, leaving over 125 injured.
 

RELATED

MUMBAI: The Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra police opposed the discharge applications of nine Muslim accused arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case on Monday.

The court had directed ATS to submit its say on the discharge applications, after one of the accused belonging to a right-wing Hindu group demanded that court seek replies of CBI and ATS on the issue.

The National Investigation Agency, which took over the probe from other agencies at a later stage, has exonerated these 9, and claimed that the blasts were in fact the handiwork of members of a Hindu extremist group.

The ATS, in its reply, said it had filed chargesheet against these nine accused on the basis of investigation into the conspiracy hatched by them, their respective roles and evidence of various kinds.

"The role of the accused was established on the basis of the samples taken from the spot and from the godown of the accused and their voice samples," said Pascal D'souza, assistant commissioner of police, ATS, in the reply.

The evidence before the court was enough to frame charges against them, ATS said, adding that when CBI probed the case subsequently, its findings were "in consonance" with ATS's findings.

The next hearing would be in August. The accused who have sought discharge are: Noorul Huda Samsudoha, Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah, Raees Ahmed Rajab Ali Mansuri, Dr Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Aimi, Dr Farogh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi, Mohammad Ali Alam Sheikh, Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid, Mohammad Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed. All of them got bail after the case was transferred to NIA.

NIA arrested Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary and chargesheeted them. They came under the scanner after Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, allegedly confessed that Hindu extremists were also involved in the 2006 Malegaon blasts.

The blasts at Malegaon, around 300km from Mumbai, on September 8, 2006 claimed 37 lives, leaving over 125 injured. Most of the victims were Muslim pilgrims.

The town witnessed another blast in 2008, for which Sadhvi Pragya Singh, former army officer Srikant Purohit and others were arrested.



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Case filed against 10 Muslims almost one-year after Muzaffarnagar Riots



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ravi
To:


http://www.rediff.com/news/report/muzaffarnagar-riots-case-filed-against-10-community-leaders/20140624.htm

Muzaffarnagar riots: Case filed against 10 community leaders

June 24, 2014

District authorities have filed a case against 10 political and community leaders including ex Bahujan Samaj Party MP Kadir Rana and former Uttar Pradesh minister Saeeduzama of Congress for allegedly making inflammatory speeches.

The case was filed on Monday in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Garima Choudhry in connection with the alleged hate speeches made in Khalapar locality of the city on August 30, 2013, by the accused in defiance of prohibitory orders clamped following tension in Kawal village in the district.

They have been charged with violating prohibitory orders and inciting communal tension by making inflammatory speeches, the Additional District Magistrate Indermani Tripathi said.

The court has fixed July 1 for further hearing in the case.

The special investigation team probing riots cases has already filed chargesheets against these 10 leaders in various sections of IPC in connection with the alleged hate speeches, Tripathi added.

Apart from Rana, the others chargesheeted were BSP MLA from Charthawal Noor Saleem Rana, party MLA from Miranpur Maulana Jamil, Congress leader Saeeduzama, his son Salman Saeed, city board member Asad Zama Ansari, ex-member of the city board Naushad Qureshi, trader Ahsan Qureshi, Sultan Mushir and Naushad.

The communal violence, which had broken out in September last year in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining towns, had claimed over 40 lives and rendered above 50,000 people homeless.




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Fwd: New World Bank study calls for sweeping power sector reform in India



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <Cneal1@worldbank.org>
Date: Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:53 AM
Subject: New World Bank study calls for sweeping power sector reform in India
To:
Cc: Cneal1@worldbank.org, jdavidar@worldbank.org


Given your interest in energy, here is a new report launched in Delhi today by the World Bank Group, More Power to India: The Challenge of Distribution

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/06/24/switching-on-power-sector-reform-in-india


best regards,

Christopher Neal
Senior Communications Officer
Sustainable Energy Department
The World Bank
I 10 - 192 (MSN I 10 - 1000)
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433
Phone: (202) 473-2049
cneal1@worldbank.org
http://www.worldbank.org/energy
http://blogs.worldbank.org/energy/ 
https://twitter.com/neal208




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today is the anniversary of the Emergency

tough times.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Quick notes: Kaangress pulls an old trick, Tianhe-2...

  • Desperate Kaangress to try old trick in Maharashtra: Quota for Muslims!


  • Energizing India: 35 Gigawatts of electricity capacity is “stranded” because of the shortage of fuel... Listen to this blog, try Solar-Coal Hybrid


  • Pedestrians last on road designers' mind: “Not much attention is paid to pavements and zebra crossings. Bangalore ranks very low in the walkability index.”


  • China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer remains the world's most powerful. The development of the C919 airliner and drug testing in the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica were both helped by Tianhe-2's super powers.


  • Why People Eat With Their Hands in Kerala: "Our hands and feet are said to be the conduits of the five elements. The Ayurvedic texts teach that each finger is an extension of one of the five elements. The thumb is agni (fire) -- you might have seen children sucking their thumb, this is nature's way of aiding the digestion at an age when they are unable to chew; the forefinger is vayu (air), the middle finger is akash (ether -- the tiny intercellular spaces in the human body), the ring finger is prithvi (earth) and the little finger is jal (water)".


  • Juveniles committing rape: Why leniency? Reduce the minimum age to 16.


seal from afghan circa 400 bce

A seal from Afghanistan showing a central Asian Iranic ruler worshiping viShNu ~300-400s of CE pic.twitter.com/piAdpiXEF1



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emperor kanishka 29 years ago

Air India's Emperor Kanishka flying Montreal-London-Delhi with 329 on board was blown up on June 23 1985. pic.twitter.com/7klJE9I5fm



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fast track decisions by namo government

Embedded image permalink

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

romila thapar (wendy's indian equivalent) still at her task of demeaning hindus

Telegraph article says Pope is ignorant on Economics



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arvind

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10906849/The-Popes-attack-on-capitalism-shows-he-knows-nothing-about-how-the-world-really-works.html

The Pope's attack on capitalism shows he knows nothing about how the world really works

The logical conclusion of the Pope's tweets is that it is "evil" for the likes of Sir Richard Branson to have been allowed to keep the money he earned by providing the public with goods and services

Pope Francis gestures as he speaks during the weekly general audience in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican
The Pope recently criticised 'trickle-down' economics in scathing but equally incorrect terms Photo: Reuters

4:52PM BST 17 Jun 2014

Comments768 Comments

There can be no doubt that Pope Francis is a devoted and selfless man who has dedicated his life to serving others. A phenomenal theologian, he abhors war and poverty and is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of believers; he has gained widespread respect even among those who disagree with the Roman Catholic church's teachings.

So it is with great sadness that I must take exception to the Pope's views on economics and business. His hostility to capitalism, shared by the Church of England, is tragically misplaced. He has repeatedly savaged free markets, most recently at a Vatican conference this week, and aligned himself with the views of Thomas Piketty, the far-Left intellectual who obsesses about inequality and advocates crippling taxes on income and wealth.

In one key intervention, the Pope claimed that the "absolute autonomy of markets" was a "new tyranny". It was a strangely inaccurate vignette of the modern economic system, which is characterised by not-so-free markets that are routinely bailed out, subsidised, taxed, capped, fettered, regulated and distorted by activist governments and their monetary and fiscal policies. North Korea is a genuine tyranny; free trade and genuine free markets are anything but.

It gets worse, unfortunately. At the height of Pikettymania, and before many leading economists punched holes in the French economist's thesis, the Pope took to his Twitter account to state, without any caveats or context, that "inequality is the root of social evil". He was clearly referring to differences in financial outcomes and wealth – and crucially, not to poverty or to inequalities of opportunity, both very different concepts.

In any free society characterised by private property rights and folks endowed with differing tastes, ambitions, talents and aspirations, there will inevitably be a divergence in earnings and wealth. Francis' wholesale condemnation of inequality is thus tantamount to a complete rejection of contemporary economic systems. It is not a call for reform, or for moderation, but a radical denunciation.

The logical conclusion of the Pope's tweets is that it is "evil" for the likes of Sir Richard Branson to have been allowed to keep the money he earned by providing the public with goods and services, and that we need immediate equalisation through punitive taxes. Such an extreme view would have catastrophic consequences, annihilate incentives to work, save and invest and halt the progress of human civilisation.

The Pope's latest critique this week was equally unfounded, blaming speculators for high food prices. "The few derive immense wealth from financial speculation while the many are deeply burdened by the consequences," he said, claiming that "speculation on food prices is a scandal which seriously compromises access to food on the part of the poorest members of our human family".

Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, made similar comments, as have many pressure groups; ironically, food prices have actually been falling recently. But the truth is this: speculators are not to blame for high (or low) prices over any meaningful period of time, there is no genuine, robust statistical evidence to back up the Pope's claims and any profits traders make do not come at the expense of the poor.

Those who buy and sell and seek to predict the future perform a crucial and legitimate social function; without them, the economy would lurch from over-supply to under-supply. Markets would be horrendously opaque and illiquid, with some consumers paying far more than others for identical products. When the price of food goes up, it means experts collectively feel demand will rise or supply will fall; thanks to such speculation, market prices are the best possible early warning signal. They allow farmers to plant more of the right kinds of crops, and futures markets allow them to insure themselves against price changes. Speculators who keep getting it wrong go bust.

Food is relatively expensive because it is relatively scarce. Many countries are becoming richer and thus consuming more of it – which is wonderful – and more agricultural land is being used to produce biofuels and ethanol. Yet we have coped: technological progress, fuelled by entrepreneurial innovation, has made agriculture immensely more productive; and improved policies have meant that more countries now operate productive agricultural sectors.

Over time, it is these trends which determine the cost of our lunch and dinner, not traders; it is a shame that so many people find it easier to shoot the messenger than try to understand the underlying causes of scarcity and plenty.

Of course, the system can break down. Bubbles can appear: quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates have pushed up a variety of asset prices over the past few years; too much money is chasing too few commodities. Markets can be manipulated, as we saw with Libor; fortunately such illegal activity doesn't tend to have much of an actual long-run impact on prices but it should nevertheless be penalised severely. Cracking down on such abuse is one thing; seeking to stop speculation is another entirely.

The Pope also recently criticised "trickle-down" economics – in fact a caricature of free-market arguments – in scathing but equally incorrect terms. "There was the promise that once the glass had become full it would overflow and the poor would benefit. But what happens is that when it's full to the brim, the glass magically grows, and thus nothing ever comes out for the poor," he said. It is hard to reconcile such a baffling statement with recent economic history. Even the poorest among us today have access to medical technologies which the richest of the rich couldn't even have dreamed of a century ago. The number of people living in extreme poverty in emerging markets has collapsed from half the population in 1981 to 21pc in 2010. A giant new global middle class has emerged in China, India, Africa and Latin America.

Yet no real free-marketeer believes that growth alone is enough to solve all problems. In the West, wages are under pressure and youth unemployment elevated, among a myriad other urgent issues. The solutions are complex; they include boosting entrepreneurship, improving education and more flexible labour markets. They certainly do not involve wholesale, ill-informed attacks on the market economy.

Religious groups have a central role to play in improving society: they can promote self-control, civility, respect and ethical behaviour, and help to reduce fraud, manipulation and other illegal activity in all spheres of human action. They can remind their followers that there is more to life than merely accumulating goods, and that reading, learning and thinking are wonderful things.

They can convince the rich to finance poverty-alleviation programmes, medical research, and educational scholarships. They ought to emphasise the oneness of humanity, and thus help remove protectionist barriers which prevent people from poor countries from selling their wares to richer countries. The task is immense.

But unthinkingly to fight capitalism – the greatest alleviator of poverty and liberator of people ever discovered – makes no sense. The sooner the world's great religions learn to love the wealth-creating properties of the market economy, the sooner they will be able to harness them to make the world a better place.

Allister Heath is editor of City AM





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Neilsen Awards for Innovative Products

Neilsen has issued its awards for the most innovative products:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/23/business/nielsen-rewards-innovations-of-successful-new-products.html

Foreign Universities May Set Up Shop in India

In a welcome development, Minister for Human Resources Development Smriti Irani may help to address the yawning gap in higher education and skills development by allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/if-smriti-irani-has-her-way-foreign-universities-could-be-in-india/articleshow/37046886.cms

Priti Patel Makes Complaint On BBC

British MP of Indian origin, Priti Patel has escalated her complaint over the BBC's slanted coverage of Narendra Modi and Indian elections:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/Indian-origin-MP-takes-BBCs-Modi-coverage-complaint-to-UK-ministry/articleshow/37035502.cms

Sepoy Bharara Retorts to Criticisms

US federal prosecutor Preet Bharara issues a retort against criticisms directed at him:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-attorney-ny-comments-criticism-india-24250644?singlePage=true

Bullet Trains and White Elephants

The Modi govt seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on reforming India's railway transport system:



One would hope that the new govt will not succumb to "India Shining" syndrome like the last BJP govt did. It's one thing to want to improve the railway system, but it's another to aim for gaudy white elephants like bullet trains, which will benefit a small rich fraction of travellers while leaving the bulk of the masses shut out. Bullet trains are a cheaper alternative to domestic aviation transport, but not a cheaper alternative to existing rail transportation.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quick notes: 14 year-old cracks IIT-JEE, Fire Phone...

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/upa-factored-in-fare-hike-in-interim-railway-budget-but-did-not-say-so-in-parliament/


Bollywood's take on Iraq & Syria

Well, actually my take sort of - but this was a classic Ballywood song in the bastard tongue. Couldn't resist noting it in the context of Iraq and Syria. Enjoy:

http://youtu.be/xBSlGqIHSDU

Qurbani Qurbani Qurbani,
Allah ko pyaari hai Qurbani!

Govt Takes Action on Foreign-Funded NGOs

The govt has taken action against foreign-funded NGOs, causing them to shriek in predictable fashion:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/greenpeace-funds-hit-home-barrier/article6127476.ece

These sepoys won't go down without a fight, but it remains to be seen how motivated their sepoys will be without their foreign paycheques.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Culture of Consumption

Impose heavy taxes on restaurants and food joints serving in non-reusable containers :
As I wound my way through Bangalore’s streets in the Daily Dump van, I spotted numerous American brands out the window: Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut. But the United States doesn’t just export products to India—it exports a culture of consumption, backed by billions in advertising dollars. Many Indians want what we have, and it’s hard to imagine what will happen once India’s middle class—now 300 million strong and growing fast—quadruples its consumption to match ours.  As Bangaloreans consume more luxury items, the composition of the city’s garbage is changing—from food scraps and organic waste 20 years ago to mountains of plastic today. 
The Atlantic: Confessions of a Trash Tourist


http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/garbage-everywhere/373118/

two good wsj stories on the US

i got free access to both by googling for their titles. normally these are subscriber-only.



the first article says obama is on track to be one of the very worst american presidents.

the other article talks about how overly aggressive handouts don't help.


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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Bangladeshi infiltrators in India sent back $6.6 Billion last year (i.e. 6% of their country’s GDP)

not sure there's one-to-one correspondence between bangladeshi infiltration and unemployment in india. possible, though.

also, unlike indians in the middle east, bangladeshis get full resident benefits in india, and easily get to settle. what a deal! hey, they even get to vote in some places!

the bangladeshi invasion of india (esp as global warming causes their land to submerge) is one of the elephants in the living room that we are ignoring.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ravi
Date: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 10:55 PM
Subject: Bangladeshi infiltrators in India sent back $6.6 Billion last year (i.e. 6% of their country's GDP)
To:



From 1983 till 2011, Unemployment rates in India averaged 7.6 percent reaching an all time high of 9.4 percent in December 2010 and a record low of 3.8 Percent in December 2011. (Source: Wikipedia)

While millions of Indian families starve because of unemployment, these millions of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators are stealing tens of millions of jobs away from Indian youths and sending money back to Bangladesh !

--------------

Source: http://qz.com/221317/remittance-economy-india-is-to-bangladesh-what-the-middle-east-is-to-india/

IMMIGRANT LABOUR

Bangladeshis in India sent back $6.6 billion last year—6% of their homeland's GDP

By Diksha Madhok @dikshamadhok June 16, 2014 

Bangladesh receives nearly half of its total remittances from India. 

Migrant workers from the impoverished South Asian country sent home $14 billion last year, according to the World Bank. Bangladeshi workers in India transferred more than $6.6 billion to their home country, making them the biggest source of remittances to Bangladesh. This is more than four times the money being sent from Saudi Arabia, the second-highest contributor. 

Bangladeshi workers overseas sent $14billion home

India is a preferred destination among Bangladeshi migrants because of the low cost of migration. "Migrants can avoid securing a plethora of documents including issuance of passports if they migrate to India," says a study published by the Asia Foundation in 2013. 

return bus ticket from Dhaka to Agartala costs $10. 

Half a million visas

While there aren't recent data available on the total number of Bangladeshis staying in India, we do know that nearly 500,000 visas were issued in 2012-13. 

  Visas-issued-to-Bangladesh-citizens-Visas-Granted-oranges_chartbuilder (1)

Illegal immigration has become a hot-button issue in India. Prime minister Narendra Modi reiterated his strong stance against illegal immigrants during his elections rallies this year. 

"They must go back, they are robbing the youths of India of their livelihood," Modi said in a rally in West Bengal, the Indian state that neighbours Bangladesh. 

Two-way street

Foreign workers in India sent home nearly $11.1 billion in 2012. Almost all of this money went to other South Asian countries. 

Total remittance from India estimated at $11billion

It is not entirely a one-way traffic, though. Indians working in Bangladesh sent $3.7 million home in 2012. This makes the eastern neighbour the fifth highest contributor of remittance inflows. 

India is also at the top of the remittances league and non resident Indians sent $70 billion home last yearThe UAE is the largest source of remittances coming to India.




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sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity

is ISIS as fierce and unstoppable as the media reports say? a dissenting opinion

interesting application of the idea that 'nature abhors a vacuum'.

war nerd is well known for his insights into, well, war, esp in west asia.

http://pando.com/2014/06/16/the-war-nerd-heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-too-extreme-for-al-qaeda-i-s-i-s/

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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quick notes: Super30, Pearl millet...

  • Super 30: Children of cobblers and laborers crack IIT-JEE
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/super-30-sons-of-cobblers-and-grocers-among-27-who-cracked-iit-jee/

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Biblical Neanderthal to enforce teaching Christist fiction

There is a saying in Hindi: "Naya Mussalman Allah Allah!" approximately meaning "the recently converted Moslem shouts Allah the loudest".

The missionary zeal of this neo-convert
evangelical of desi origin will end up destroying, in the field of public education in the state of Louisiana what 
the founding fathers of America envisioned - the separation of Church and State. The greatness of the USA is not owed to Christianity in any way. It was achieved by keeping medieval bigotry in the public space at bay.

It will be a sad day for American liberty if "Bobby" Jindal gets his way on this. This fellow represents the worst of America and the worst of India.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/politics/jindal-withdraws-la-from-common-core-standards-program/2014/06/18/17088c40-f719-11e3-8aa9-dad2ec039789_story.html

Amazing: No difference in calendars for 1947, 2014!

I wanted to verify this for myself.
No difference except the years, apparently. Very interesting considering that 1947 was the year we were liberated from British colonial rule and 2014 is the year in which liberation from the Vatican's rule has commenced


Quick notes: Kerala model, University rankings...

https://twitter.com/RajivMessage/

  • All India Radio: News is now available on Soundcloud and Android Play Store

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Quick notes: Phones in pocket, Bike2work...

http://qz.com/221342/what-narendra-modi-could-learn-something-from-bhutans-prime-minister/



Saturday, June 14, 2014

Soccer, national pride and Chacha Nehru

Mediocrity in sport is yet another aspect of the Nehruvian Stalinist legacy bequeathed to India.

Unlike dictatorial regimes in other Communist countries which placed (and still do) a lot of emphasis on excellence 
in sport - the Nehruvian Stalinists did not.
I attribute it to their deracination, lack of national or civilizational pride. National pride just did not figure in the Stalinists' scheme of things. Excellence in sport on any other field was not a priority.

The treatment accorded to Major Dhyanchand, the hockey wizard was downright dishonoourable in contrast to the lionization of the Tendulkars and the Gangulys.

The Indian soccer team qualified for the 1950 World Cup, but did not participate - ostensibly for lack of funds, including allegedly for their SHOES!

It is hard to believe that India did not have money to purchase a dozen pairs of football shoes for the national team participating in the World Cup, yet could order a naval warship half away around the world to the English Channel - for a 21 gun salute to the late Edwina Mountbatten.

This was a singularly unconscionable atrocity against national pride by Chacha Nehru's Congress - and Suresh Kalmadi was not even the Union minister for sports yet!

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-11/blame-india-s-world-cup-drought-on-the-shoes

Kaangress style Selective "secularism" in action

The so called "techie" should not have been molested, if indeed he was "innocent" as alleged. 

The Facebook group led by the guitar hero aspirant youth seems to be a Congress-NCP creation - used to whip up "soft Hindutva" for:
1)undermining the Shiv Sena-BJP's Hindu nationalist platform,
2) evoke imagery of "Hindu fascism" gone berserk after NaMo's ascent to Prime ministership

This Kaangress incited hate mongering will serve to consolidate the "secular" votebank. On the other hand, the ill thought actions of a few misguided youth will be used to constrain the freedom of expression of Hindus.

Why is there no ban on Azam Khan & his Namazwadis? 
Why is there no ban on the genocidal Jihadis in Muzaffarnagar?
Why is there no ban on the Owaisis & his Razakars?
Why is there no ban on the Abdullahs & the Hurriyat band of separatists?
Why is there no ban on Madani & his Jihadis Moplah butchers?
Why is there no ban on Tauheed Jamaat and their Tamil Jihadis?
Why is there no ban on Badruddin Ajmal & his Jihadi infiltrators in Assam?
Why is there no ban on Mumtaz BanuArjee & her Jihadis in Bengal?

http://m.rediff.com/news/report/pune-techie-murder-ban-on-hindu-rashtra-sena/20140614.htm

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tesla Goes Open Source

  • Elon Musk: “Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day. The world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.” 


  • Unusual: “Normally, companies vigorously defend such technology. If you open up all your books to everyone, it means you all are fighting a war with the same weapons. This is especially true with powertrains, battery management and other technology automakers need to meet fuel efficiency mandates.”


  • Not entirely altruistic: “The move could pay off for the company when it builds the giant battery factories it plans to develop. Even if other competitors copy Tesla’s design, Tesla still gets to sell them batteries, and that’s pretty awesome.”


  • “The Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.”


Unrelated tweet: