Tuesday, June 30, 2015
2 major platform planks, the Land Bill and the GST Bill, are bogged down due to opposition obstructionism, and there doesn't seem to be anything new from the govt being put through for reforms. They need to come up with more.
Step aside, Somalia: South-East Asia is the new piracy capital of the world
Israel is not at the table negotiating the deal on Iran's nuclear programme. Yet it is Israel's national security, perhaps more than anyone else's, that will be affected. Threatened by Iran's nuclear and hegemonic ambitions, Israel and most of its Arab neighbours question whether the expected agreement will stem either.
The choice is not between a good deal and a bad deal. A good deal — permanently rolling back Iran's nuclear capacity, as was done in Libya — is no longer possible. The question is whether the deal is acceptable, given the confines of the framework agreed in April.
That framework in effect legitimises Iran as a nuclear-threshold state and focuses on stopping it from crossing that threshold. In the first decade the deal limits Iran's capacity to quickly make enough nuclear material for a weapon. But in the second decade Iran is allowed to reduce its breakout time almost to zero, as restrictions on enrichment and stockpiling of uranium expire.
Now Beijing wants to build a new Silk Road across the Eurasian landmass, equal in economic and cultural significance to that ancient precursor. Its ambition is leading it to make deals in a volatile region from which the west — in its preoccupation with east Asia — is essentially withdrawing.
But when the elected government of one of the very few millennia–old surviving indigenous cultures and nation in the world gets its day in the sun to celebrate something that all humanity can derive benefit from, the illiberal liberals get apoplectic while they stress out over Yoga. Funny how, these days, they even beat the rival camps of proselytisers to either decry everything Indian as the very work of the devil or purloin it for the "civilized world" and package it as a gift of the master race which the natives would otherwise so presumptuously celebrate as their own. The Master Race just can't have that.
In the British press, the build up to International Yoga Day began weeks before the main event. The Guardian, with its Hindu hating Jason Burke (at one time he described the Iraq invasion as "entirely justifiable from a humanitarian perspective") was quick off the mark using all the wiles of the plagiaristic 14–year old which seem to be the hallmark of the foreign news hack: name dropping, a sprinkling of unheard of, but dangerous non-entities like Owaisi thus creating a vacuous veneer of "research" and "respectability" best described as pretend-journalism.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
- Engineering marvel: India’s first underground rock cavern for storage of crude oil is ready.
- PV, the architect of ‘Look East’ policy: The man under whose term India brought in momentous economic reforms which pulled India from the brink of an economic catastrophe.
- Lip service to Sanskrit, no revival roadmap: A year after it assumed office, there is little evidence that the Modi govt has done much for India's classical languages, including Sanskrit, which many in the current administration claim to hold dear.
- Robots and jobless growth: The use of robots is driven not by the urge to cut labor costs. The business case for automation is first and foremost "line speed - and you get the benefits of high levels of quality". Robots, it turns out, are more reliable welders than their human counterparts. There are typically 3,500 welding points in a car; so reducing human error means the production line has to be halted much less frequently.
- Circadian Rythms: LEDs Mimic Sunlight to Help You Sleep Better
- World class cancer:
First we import their chemicals Then we import their cancer Then we import their medicine Then "World Class Cancer." https://t.co/GC0cGNv0R4— Sankrant Sanu सानु (@sankrant) June 26, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
In contrast to the All-in-One approach of the new Multix from Eicher-Polaris, Mahindra is now coming out with the Jeeto, which is actually an assortment of small mini-trucks offering significant improvements in value for money, and targeted at the small commercial market segment, which is a very important demographic in India:
The newer crop of Nano-like offspring are reminiscent of Japan's famous micro-sized Kei-cars and Kei-trucks, which helped to power that country's post-war economic revival:
History of the Kei Truck
These cheaper yet important products helped to empower the lower end of society by helping to raise their productivity and give them a leg up on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.
Friday, June 26, 2015
- Polluter will have to pay, finally: Delhi proposes congestion fees on different classes of Diesel heavy vehicles. The money thus collected will be used to improve public transport facilities. ... one hopes they execute this right
- ISIS infiltrates Kobani: Kurdish forces are closing in on IS fighters in the town of Kobani in Syria, after the militants slaughtered at least 154 people in one of their biggest massacres of civilians in the country’s civil war.
- Yoga keeps him floating: He floats in the sea for 115 minutes
- Microbial Bioremediation of Effluents: Coffee pulp bacteria clears oil spills, finds Nitte college team
- Satnam Singh Bhamara: NBA's first Indian-born player
- Vivek Ranadive: Businessman, engineer, author, speaker and philanthropist. Owns NBA team Sacramento Kings
- Ben Affleck: Millionaire white heir to slaver fortune intimidates black professor into covering up his racist plantation roots
- Did Larry Summers apologize to Raghuram Rajan? : Does Larry Summers have integrity?
China has moved an oil rig at the center of last year's violent dispute with Vietnam closer to Vietnam's coast in the disputed South China Sea, just weeks ahead of the first visit by a chief of Vietnam's Communist Party to Washington.
The move, announced by China's maritime safety authorities, comes soon after the country indicated it was close to setting up new outposts in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia, as it nears completion of land reclamation in the South China Sea.
China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.
Fwd: Iran deal: hardliners in Teheran+ Beguiling Americans: a guide for Indian Diplomats+Time to bell the FAT CATS+Japan stands up+A week in India
From: Sanjeev Nayyar
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Thursday, June 25, 2015
The Chinese bailout of Pakistan on the Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi case in the United Nations on Tuesday was as obvious as a hurtling fivetonne truck around the corner. What was more astonishing was that one expected that the UN Sanctions Committee would ask Pakistan to rearrest Lakhvi. The release last April of the mastermind of 26/11 was in violation of the UN resolution on terrorist organisations and groups.
The Chinese have behaved similarly in the past. Beijing blocked sanctions against the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar in 2009. In December 2010, they prevented the UN Security Council (UNSC) from imposing sanctions on Hafiz Saeed and the Jamat-ud Dawa. And earlier this year, they blocked Indian efforts to put Hizb-ul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin on the terrorist list.
Lakhvi is not important to the Chinese. But the symbolism of their move is. It suits China to be difficult with India and express its irritation with our attitude on oil exploration in the South China Sea. A veto on Lakhvi is a painless exhibition of solidarity with Pakistan that plays the victim card effectively. Beijing is aware that Pakistan will never take any action in the 26/11 case that will give India comfort. It is simply gathering another IOU from Pakistan knowing how important Lakhvi's incarceration is for India.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
1) China possesses a rapidly improving military that, in certain local or regional engagements, could match — and even defeat — U.S. forces in battle.
2) In military terms, China is a paper dragon that, despite its apparent strength, is powerless to intervene in world events far from its shores.
Seeing the distinction between these two ideas is the key to understanding China's strategic aims, its military means and the threat, if any, that the country poses to its neighbors, the United States and the existing world order.
- Exit sign: Vasundhara defence collapses, PM still silent
- China arm-twists another tech giant: Qualcomm in venture with Chinese chip maker. The new deal involves far more advanced technology than before.
- Gut bacteria and your mood: The rich array of microbiota in our intestines can tell us more than you might think. ...What's in Arvind Kejriwal's gut?
- North County as Copenhagen: Google’s bike vision for Silicon Valley
.... lessons for India
- India, the world's biggest whiskey market: Indians consumed 1.5 billion litres of whiskey in 2014, completely dwarfing the United States' 462 million litres.
- Atheism must be about more than not believing in God: The human impulse is to seek answers, and to date, atheism has been unsatisfactory in its response.
- From Katha Upanishad:
the sun, is not stained by faults external to it the self within every being, Is not stained by the suffering of the world— Path of Soul (@pathofsoul) December 1, 2014
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
2.5Cr to TOI for coverage of IPL parties? Wow. The news you read is paid for! #Presstitutes https://t.co/jGgwmGztWU @LalitKModi @mediacrooks— Sankrant Sanu सानु (@sankrant) June 23, 2015
The world in which Florentine statesman Niccolo Machiavelli lived scarcely resembles our own. City-states have been replaced with nation-states. Empires have collapsed, never to be rebuilt. And modern warfare is waged with weapons and tactics the likes of which he could have never imagined. Yet similarities remain. Although he died nearly 500 years ago today, Machiavelli would be able to navigate our politics as deftly as he navigated his, because the principles that govern them remain much the same.
At the time of his death, Machiavelli was well known in northern Italy for his service as a politician and diplomat in Republican Florence from 1498 to 1512 and as a writer of Commedia Erudita, or "learned comedy" plays. He was less well known for two works that now define his legacy: The Prince, first distributed under the title On Principalities in 1513 but not officially published until five years after his death in 1527, and Discourses on Livy, written in 1517 but published posthumously in 1531. Thomas Cromwell, the legal mastermind behind the English Reformation, is said to have admired Machiavelli, and Henry VIII and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V both owned copies of The Prince. But at the time of Machiavelli's death, few people, if any, recognized in his thought and actions the start of a new, radically modern epoch in politics.
Machiavelli's legacy has since grown to colossal proportions. He is credited with introducing the difference between public and private virtue — between the principles that govern personal morality in friendship, family and business, and the moral logic that guides the politician or statesman. In doing so, as political philosopher Leo Strauss observed, Machiavelli broke from politics as understood by "the Ancients" as the pursuit of a unified public and private "good life" and gave us the notion that politicians can and should operate according to the demands of the state as an entity independent from civil society and its moral imperatives. He understood that in private morality, where a person's integrity is at stake, the means matter as much, if not more than, the ends. But in public morality, where the power and prosperity of states are at stake, the ends are fundamental even if they do not entirely justify the means. A leader who embraces personal moral imperfection to protect their realm is, in this sense, more virtuous than a ruler who, in their pursuit of moral perfection, fails to consolidate their power, make critical if unsavory alliances and secure, through violence if necessary, that which ensures the survival of their realm.
Of course, Machiavelli was not the first to submit that statesmen play by different rules than private individuals. But he was the first to argue persuasively that these rules constitute a morality every bit as legitimate as that of everyday life. The persuasiveness of his case rests not in its philosophical expansiveness — unlike most philosophical discourse, his writing draws heavily on aphorism and anecdote — but in its relation to the world — his world. Machiavelli wrote from life, and his writing has shaped the way generations of political leaders, philosophers and publics understand politics. Just as important, it also shaped the way politicians and statesmen practice politics. Grasping Machiavelli's legacy thus requires that we look not only at what he wrote but also the world in which his work was written, for it was in that world that the modern state was given birth.
Blueprints for the State
In 1453, two events utterly transformed the world in which Machiavelli himself would soon be born. That year, the armies of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, armed with a 17-foot long, 37,000-pound cannon, burst through the great walls of Constantinople. Once inside, they laid waste to the Byzantine Empire, sounding a death knell for the siege-based warfare that had characterized Medieval Europe and, more broadly, for the feudal social and political orders it supported. Mehmed's invasion also sent a wave of scholars and artisans, many of them Greek, from the eastern Mediterranean to Italy. By the time of Machiavelli's birth in 1469, these immigrants were well on their way to planting the seeds for what would become the Italian Renaissance.
Masayoshi Son, 57, who has pledged to invest a total of $30 billion (Rs 1.9 lakh crore) in India so far, told ET in an interview on Monday that it will be India and China fighting for the number one and two positions this century after overtaking the United States.
"I would like to participate in this exciting moment, as we participated in China's hockey stick moment," he said, referring to the shape of the growth curve of the Middle Kingdom's economy.
"That's why I am not just saying these beautiful words, but I am saying it with the money. I am really interested in participating in India's hockey stick moment," said Son.
A conversation with Aldous Huxley not infrequently put one at the receiving end of an unforgettable monologue. About a year before his lamented death he was discoursing on a favorite topic: Man's unnatural treatment of nature and its sad results. To illustrate his point he told how, during the previous summer, he had returned to a little valley in England where he had spent many happy months as a child. Once it had been composed of delightful grassy glades; now it was becoming overgrown with unsightly brush because the rabbits that formerly kept such growth under control had largely succumbed to a disease, myxomatosis, that was deliberately introduced by the local farmers to reduce the rabbits' destruction of crops. Being something of a Philistine, I could be silent no longer, even in the interests of great rhetoric. I interrupted to point out that the rabbit itself had been brought as a domestic animal to England in 1176, presumably to improve the protein diet of the peasantry.
... deleted; #longread
From: Michel Danino
This is the last article in the weekly SandHI series on Indian knowledge systems published by Financial Chronicle:
By Amita Sharma
June 22, 2015
Links to the previous seven articles in the series — introductory article, ancient metallurgy, architecture, Ayurveda, ecological traditions, agriculture, mathematics, cosmology, historical roots — can be found here: http://www.mydigitalfc.com/sandhiseries
If you have enjoyed any of the articles in the series, please consider leaving a comment online; it will help the series attract notice. (You will find a comment box at the bottom of every article.)
Monday, June 22, 2015
Fwd: Digitizing Defence & Security+Why thousands of Chinese are migrating to Europe+Yoga day is a good beginning, but only a beginning
From: Sanjeev Nayyar
to unsubscribe write back
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The answer lies in a book called 'Taqwiat-ul-Iman' (Strengthening Faith), written in 1820s, by a famous Indian preacher, Shah Ismail Dehlvi.
After key leaders of the Wahhabi umbrella in the form of Deoband, its missionary wing Tabligh Jamaat and Ahle-Hadis, a stream that is followed by Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, took an anti-yoga stand saying it was against the tenets of true Islam, it has been indeed heartening for patriotic Indians to see many Wahhabis, particularly students, doing yoga in cities like Ahmedabad. A Deobandi leader even performed yoga with Baba Ramdev at a public stage in Delhi recently. It only shows that apart from Sufi or Barelvi Muslims, who have openly supported yoga, there is a moderate section in Wahhabis too which is not opposed to yoga, howsoever small or big that might be.
Still, it is necessary to go into facts as to why the Wahhabis oppose yoga. A look into the Wahhabi history shows that the anti-yoga stand is rooted in a book called Taqwiat-ul-Iman (Strengthening Faith) written in 1820s by a famous Indian preacher, Shah Ismail Dehlvi, who died fighting against the Sikhs in the battle of Balakot (now in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) in 1831 along with his preceptor, Syed Ahmed Barelvi, labelled as Syed Ahmed Wahhabi by the Britishers at that time.
The Modi government's delay in approving this is baffling.
On June 9, Indian Army special forces teams raided camps of the NSCN(K) and the PLA in Myanmar. This first-of-a-kind strike in recent years, illustrates how special forces are best utilised. Lightning intelligence based thrusts to achieve specific objectives. With the prospects of a full-scale conventional war receding intelligence-based operations like Myanmar are likely to be the norm. In recent years, special forces operators have found their skill sets being utilised in Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and other-than-war situations. During the Uttarakhand floods last year, Army commandos created rough helipads to rescue stricken pilgrims.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
- Ambani privilege: Reliance Gas to repay loans by 2031 instead of the next four years. The company currently has a total debt of Rs 16,010 crore.
- India's English advantage: Cisco to invest $60 Million in India, $10 billion in China.
- FII privilege: FIIs are not investors but "arbitrageurs" engaged in buying and selling of financial assets globally in order to realize gains from price differences. By expanding their space, the govt is reducing its own autonomy of policy making.
- Making Pakistan Proud: Mamata government practically ignored Yoga Day event.
- Guns in America: For every criminal killed in self-defense, 34 innocent people die
- Meditate on the Sun:
If anything comes close to god, as a giver & sustainer of life on Earth, it is the Sun. People prefer to worship imaginary stuff and shun it— The Penguin (@Moskvaa) June 21, 2015
Saturday, June 20, 2015
What did I tell you? AK49 is getting tired of Delhi, and is seeking a new gig - just like how he previously absconded from Delhi after 49 days to chase votes Varanasi. The fellow obviously suffers from ADHD. Let's hope that Bihar's voters recognize him as the political carpetbagger he is, so that his Jungle Raj in Delhi doesn't lead to a revival of it in Bihar.
- Guess Which Country Has The Biggest Increase In Soda Drinking -- India sees 73.4% rise in 5 years, highest among major nations.
- Sin Tax: Mexico's Sugary Drink Tax Makes A Dent In Consumption.
- Fobbing off Facebook: Facebook is, by and large, for the idle, attention-seeking (somewhat insecure), a bit anti-social and lazy people. It's also for those who think their every action matters - including what they put into their mouth through the day.
- Russia's Superjet: China+Russia could, some day, threaten Airbus and Boeing.
- Ions: The Body's Electrical Energy Source