Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fish rots from the head

Especially if it is as regimented as the Chicoms. Unfortunately the good times will now come to an end and the last man Zhou will see is the hang-man.

And if people ever want to understand what crony capitalism is this would be a text book example.

Head spy is a good job to have (if you can get it). Total assets of $14.5 Bil is not bad at all.

Erdogan cant bowl (can he throw?)

The man behind the screen usually comes off as pitiful when the spotlight lights up the (dark) spots.

In the ICC T20 World Cup ongoing in Bangladesh here is an excerpt from the Guardian live commentary during the India-Australia match which just got over:

Ink more expensive than perfume

It is the font, stupid!!! Just change to Garamond and watch Uncle Sam pocket a cool $400 million/year.

Bam!!! just like that, all budgetary donut-holes mysteriously disappear, and the lions (republicans) and the lambs (minorities surviving only on food stamps) can relax together in peace (under influence of legal pot of course).

If it seems too good to be may be true after all.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lying liars are "playing with fire"

Trust us. Really, we never snoop, or share your personal data, except this one time when we slipped up. Please believe in our mea culpas and re-invest your faith in us.

In today's closely knit relationship between security states (USA is proud to be #1, even ahead of China) and strongman companies, it is reasonable to assume that whenever you stroke a key on the inter-webs, some automaton somewhere is paying close attention.   
What we are seeing is a trailer of how the future will be shaped- the word privacy will be absent from all languages and dictionaries.

The nine sisters of the North-East

We, the denizens of North-Eastern India know that it is considered as a backward area that most  Indians will never visit over their lifetimes. Man Mohan Singh is supposedly the Rajya Sabha MP from Axom but he remains a stranger to his (adopted) state.

The North-East has large cohorts of non-Hindus (majority Protestant denominations) who are not expected to align with the "Manuvadi" party (aka BJP). The Congress (with a Roman Catholic at the top) should be a natural fit (unless one digs deep and discovers historical rivalry between Protestants and Catholics).

Friday, March 28, 2014

The $2 Billion (virtual) reality

Facebook is on a buying spree these days, enterprising BPites (especially the innovative young hipsters) can also think of pitching their stuff. Good luck!!!

Facebook is buying Oculus VR, a startup that makes virtual reality headsets, in a $2 billion deal.
Occulus VR founder Palmer Luckey explains reality to his young fans: 

Dogs barking mightily at the caravan

As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going...straight to prison.

These are indeed desperate times and desperate measures are needed to concentrate the minds of voters.

That said re: recent reports on rapid muslim population growth (relative to Hindus and others in selected states) it is interesting to hear of Masood's claims that UP is 42% muslim (wiki claims 18.5% in UP, 9% in Gujarat). 

The census data will be awaited with great interest.
Congress Lok Sabha candidate Imran Masood was on Saturday arrested on charges of hate speech in which he threatened to "chop" Narendra Modi "into pieces", remarks that led to an FIR being filed against him by police besides sparking an outrage.

"If Modi tries to make Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, then we will chop him into tiny pieces...I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks UP is Gujarat. Only 4% Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42% Muslims in UP," he had said.

However, he later apologized for his remarks, saying, "I should have been more cautious with my words" and that the same were said in the heat of electioneering.


Monsters Inc

The Americans are cutting their losses (who can blame them), Karzai is straddling the fence (he is fooling himself) and the evil people are free to scare little kids.

It sounds just like a fairy (horror) tale but there will be many more true stories like this from Taliban controlled Af-Pak territory.

It is beyond belief that the powers that be (from America to Afghanistan) are waiting (for what?) to designate the Taliban as terrorists. They will feel bad, the poor dears. Nelofar's life is presumably lost in vain.

The story is heartbreaking. A Facebook status update on July 16, 2013, from Ahmad Sardar, the Afghan journalist in Kabul. Nelofar, his 5-year-old daughter asks her dad, “Do the Taliban kill animals too?” The father answers no, and the little girl says: “I wish we were animals.”
Little Nelofar is dead now, brutally murdered by the Taliban – shot in the head – together with her dad, her mom and her 8-year-old brother. Of Nelofar’s family, only her 2-year-old brother has miraculously survived, in a coma with three bullets in his body.

Raza Rumi survives terror attack

...but his driver is dead. The guard's condition is critical. We hope he survives and regains good health.

As for Raza, it is clear that the thugs will try again and again...they are ruthless and relentless...and they will not be satisfied with just sending a message...they need to see (and feel) the blood on their hands.

This is the fourth attack on Express Media Group. Three staff members of the group have already lost their lives. The Taliban will control the message by destroying the messengers.

Every smile you fake (they are watching you)

The dilemma of being a Muslim-American- you are presumed guilty unless proven innocent.

Your intimate family and friends are in the pay of the NSA (and so are you). It is a re-run of the East Germans and the Stasi- mothers spying on kids and the like.

Arun Kundnani has written a book on Islamophobia that highlights many aspects of what it means to be a Muslim in America today.
How come when we talk about spying we don't talk about the lives of ordinary people being spied upon? While we have been rightly outraged at the government's warehousing of troves of data, we have been less interested in the consequences of mass surveillance for those most affected by it – such as Muslim Americans.

Missing God's own country

We believe this wholeheartedly- if there was a God, a supreme being who feels for her children (as we all are) she would not allow such an abomination to stand.

Normally we get along very well with people of faith, we truly enjoy the varied cultures that shine through during the ceremonies and we absolutely relish the food. Every dish is prepared with an abundance of love and it is a pleasure to share the joy. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian...this may be a cliche...they are all the same.

Then there is the sinister aspect of religion (they are all the same, again). It breeds zealots who turn into monsters on the pretext of acting as angels. In  this sense, religion is a veritable poison, tolerable in light doses, at higher doses will kill both friend and foe without discrimination.

In this case highlighted below, the greatest culpability (in our opinion) lies with Joseph's own people at the high table.  They are supposed to (at the minimum) stand by their brother in times of need. Instead what we see is a full and complete betrayal, condemning a lady (and a loyal wife) to death and her husband who is now amongst the living dead.
After a four year long legal battle with college authorities for his reinstatement, Prof T J Joseph, whose right hand was chopped off by fundamentalists in 2010, rejoined service at the church-run Newman college in Idukki on Friday morning, three days before his retirement.


After a long 8 months a (partial) return to sanity. If a stable govt is not formed (hint, hint) then the rates may go down again.  As far as the stock market is concerned, analysts are forecasting a big crash coming up, so if you have enough money to play with please proceed but with caution :-)

Continuing its rising streak, the rupee on Friday strengthened to below 60 level at 59.90 for the first time since July 2013 against dollar in late afternoon trade on sustained foreign fund flows.

Dealers said sustained selling of the American currency by banks and exporters and ongoing bull-run on the domestic equity markets also buoyed the rupee sentiments.

The Indian currency resumed higher at 60.18 per dollar as against the last closing level of 60.31 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and firmed up further to break the crucial 60 level to trade at 59.90 in late afternoon trade, a level last seen in July 2013.  

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE sensex gathered 125.60 points, or 0.57 per cent to close at a new lifetime high of 22,339.97 after climbing to an all-time intra-day high of 22,363.97.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sawan Masih: judicial murder

Judicial murder is the unjustified use of capital punishment [ref. wiki]. It is our humble opinion that capital punishment is never justified.

The term was first used in 1782 (German Justizmord) by August Ludwig von Schlözer in reference to the execution of Anna Göldi. In a footnote, he explains the term as "the murder of an innocent, deliberately, and with all the pomp of holy Justice, perpetrated by people installed to prevent murder, or, if a murder has occurred, to see to it that it is punished appropriately."

Voltaire in 1777 used the comparable term of "judicial assassins" (assassins juridiques)
Hermann Mostar (1956) defends the extension of the term to un-premeditated miscarriage of justice where an innocent suffers the death penalty.

The verdict was expected and there remains very little hope for this man (he cant be released anyway). He is in real danger of being killed in prison while awaiting the appeals process to be completed. In an ideal world he should be allowed to escape to a safe haven in the west but the chances of that happening are slim to none.

Many Poonams required for (social) revolution

But two will do for now.

First off, congratulations to all who contributed towards eradication of polio. But bigger and fiercer battles lie ahead. 

Here is some thought as to how we can improve health-care of individuals by caring for the health of the society. Social revolutions will help reduce and eventually remove the burden of caste based discrimination that lies at the heart of why and how entire populations have gone missing from the civilian radars.

From anecdotal observations, India has a problem of traditional mature generation drifting apart from a westernized younger generation. For the good of the society this needs to change and the best place for  the change to take place is in the fertile fields of social service.

The youngsters will always get points for energy and youthful beauty (aka click-bait but equally the most click-safe picture we could find), but they will need to learn wisdom and patience from their elders. The matured folks need to give the youngsters their space in the front-lines and allow them to grow up as contributing citizens and (better) leaders for tomorrow.

This is the parampara model that we do recommend strongly, inter-generation bonding is good for the community, nation and for the democratic model to work properly. 

Polio free!!! but many "question marks" remain


Congratulations to all 10 countries who passed (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Sri Lanka are the SAsian nations, also Burma, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and East Timor).

Given India's pathetic condition it was considered to be the last frontier for polio. The fact that the job was done at all is nothing short of a miracle.

However celebrations need to be tempered with caution. Polio has now spread westwards to Syria from Af-Pak (via jihadis who plan to set up a drone-free forward base from which to attack Europe/West), it can just as easily spread eastwards as well.

The symbol for polio eradication is Rukhsar Khatun the last victim who still needs treatment and (as noted below) her "future is still a question mark." 

Not to mention, question marks for millions of Rukhsars living a virtual death sentence as dictated by the merchants of death


Indian Muslims (USA) prepare for Gallipoli

The Association of the Indian Muslims of America (AIMA) approves of this message in support of the one and only AK-272

One hundred years following the original Great War and the launch of the famous Gallipoli campaign, the muslim regiments must be prepared for jihad (once again).
In these times of clear and present danger, the muslims of India (150 million official, probably 200 million including all migrants)- after decades of blind devotion and service from the heart- must abandon the sinking Congress ship. 

All regiments to be mobilized under the supreme leadership of Rt. Hon. Kejriwal - a honest to good re-incarnation of Lt. Col. Kemal (plus a muffler for local color).

Remember folks, this election is undoubtedly the most important one in decades. Defeat the M... Monster now and the beleaguered minorities in India will be able to breathe safely once more.

In other (weird) election news, Karuna-nidhi has decided to forgive and support Congress (but only after the election???). The old guard is fighting hard to keep the boat floating for the next generation(s).

At the moment it appears to be a bit of a lost cause (and the muslims know it as much as anybody else, hence the advert below).

The skullduggery (mass corruption) that triggered this whole mess is likely to turn the poor princes into paupers.

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which is already under attack from within and outside, is facing a new quandary from one of its supporters – a non-profit group from US – that has issued an advertisement in a community newspaper appealing the Muslim voters to support the AAP.

The ad that appeared in the 1-15 February issue of Milli Gazette is doing the rounds on the internet. While the party has denied issuing any such ad on the social media, the advertisement appeared on Milli Gazette’s Facebook page has put the Aam Aadmi Party in a spot.

The ad issued by the Association of Indian Muslims of America reads: “An Appeal to Indian Muslim citizens and voters to support Aam Aadmi Party to remove the ills of: corruption, influence peddling, abuse of religion and caste, money power, denial of justice, police brutality, from the society at large in the country. 

These ills have resulted from gross abuses by most political parties. The majority of Muslims being deprived people are hurt more than others from these ills. Hence, Muslims in large numbers should support AAP that is comprised of good people, and that is trying to cleanse the national political and governance system. We appeal to all to campaign for AAP, raise funds for them and vote for AAP candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections.”

"Autism begins in the womb"

Scary but hopeful at the same time.

Also re: 0.7mil estimated count (UK) suffering from autism- that is 1.2% of  the population- part propaganda, part over-diagnosis perhaps?

Scientists say they have new evidence that autism begins in the womb.

Patchy changes in the developing brain long before birth may cause symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), research suggests.

The study, in the New England Journal of Medicine, raises hopes that better understanding of the brain may improve the lives of children with autism.

They used genetic markers to look at how the outermost part of the brain, the cortex, wired up and formed layers. Abnormalities were found in 90% of the children with autism compared with only about 10% of children without. The changes were dotted about in brain regions involved in social and emotional communication, and language, long before birth, they say.

The researchers, from the University of California, San Diego and the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, say their patchy nature may explain why some toddlers with autism show signs of improvement if treated early enough.

They think the plastic infant brain may have a chance of rewiring itself to compensate.

"The finding that these defects occur in patches rather than across the entirety of cortex gives hope as well as insight about the nature of autism," said Prof Eric Courchesne, a neuroscientist at the University of California San Diego.

Dr Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said: "If this new report of disorganised architecture in the brains of some children with autism is replicated, we can presume this reflects a process occurring long before birth. "This reinforces the importance of early identification and intervention."

Carol Povey, director of the National Autistic Society Centre for Autism, said the study shed light on a complex and often misunderstood disability.  
"Better understanding of the early brain development of children with autism could help us find new and more effective ways to support the estimated 700,000 people living with the condition across the UK," she said. 


A fascist by any other name.

If this doesn't constitute fascism I don't know what does. 

Chinese missile blows away Indian battalion

Susan Su, the chinese missile has destroyed the careers and future of a few hundred (rich? clueless???) Indians. Plus a bit of slavery and perjury thrown in.

A silver lining of justice colored the dark clouds when the Kalpana (Iron Dome) Anti-Missile weapon was eventually unleashed.

Since public memory is very short people will soon forget this tragedy and (not) hopefully a new set of victims will be sacrificed at the altar of greed and corruption (all parties involved).

If there  was a hero it was Indian-American attorney Kalpana Peddibhotla who fought dilligently on behalf of the students and even persuaded US immigration to remove ankle-bracelets (aka dog-chains) from people who may be innocent victims.

Immigration attorney Kalpana Peddibhotla, who handled the cases of several former Tri-Valley students, told India-West after the verdict was announced: “Today’s verdict against Susan Su is an important day of closure for the hundreds of international students that were duped by her and wasted countless dollars and time as a result of her fraudulent school, Tri-Valley University.” 

“This trial substantiates that students were also victims of her fraud and that they deserve justice. While I am happy about today’s verdict, I still have concerns about how our government regulated TVU in the first place,” said Peddibotla.

“Susan Su’s intentional fraud, coupled with the lack of early government intervention and oversight, has permanently impacted the personal lives and careers of many former TVU students,” added the Indian American attorney, who – shortly after the ICE raid – persuaded the U.S. government to remove the ankle bracelets that were shackling detained Tri-Valley students. 

The founder of California-based Tri-Valley University in the US, who destroyed the academic careers of several hundred Indian students, has been convicted on 31 counts including visa fraud by a federal grand jury.

Susan Xiao-Ping Su's sentencing is scheduled for June 20. The guilty verdict followed a three-week jury trial before the Jon S Tigar, US District Court Judge in San Francisco.

Through her illegal operations involving visa fraud and wire transfers Su made over $5.9 million through her operation of Tri-Valley University (TVU), prosecutors said.

About 90 per cent of TVU's students were from India. She engaged in seven money laundering transactions using proceeds to purchase commercial real estate, a Mercedes Benz car, and multiple residences, including a mansion on the Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, California each in her name.

The investigation began in May, 2010 following a tip to federal investigators pertaining to irregularities at TVU.

Su was indicted by a federal grand jury in November, 2011. She was charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, visa fraud, use of a false document, false statements to a government agency, alien harbouring, unauthorised access to government computers, and money laundering.

Evidence at trial showed that Su, 43, engaged in a two-year scheme to defraud the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by submitting fraudulent documents in support of TVU's petition for approval to admit foreign students and, after having obtained such approval, fraudulently issued visa-related documents to student aliens in exchange for "tuition and fees".

In her petition, Su made material false representations to DHS regarding TVU's admission requirements, graduation requirements, administrators, instructors, class transferability, and agreed to comply with federal regulations.

Three purported TVU professors testified that they never authorised Su to use their credentials in connection with the university. Multiple TVU employees testified that the university had no requirements for admission or graduation, and that Su routinely instructed her staff to fabricate fraudulent transcripts.

In carrying out the scheme, Su made additional false representations to DHS through TVU's use of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which the US government uses, in part, to monitor the F-1 student visa programme, the Justice Department said.

Through her false representations, Su was able to unlawfully obtain and issue F-1 visa-related documents without regard to the students' academic qualifications or intent to pursue a course of study required to maintain a lawful immigration status.

Su admitted and maintained student aliens in exchange for tuition and other payments, the justice department said.

The jury also convicted Su of harbouring two TVU student employees to assist her in making the false representations to SEVIS. One of the harboured student employees testified that Su asked him to paint her house and to move furniture. 

Immigration attorney Kalpana Peddibhotla, who handled the cases of several former Tri-Valley students, told India-West after the verdict was announced: “Today’s verdict against Susan Su is an important day of closure for the hundreds of international students that were duped by her and wasted countless dollars and time as a result of her fraudulent school, Tri-Valley University.”
“This trial substantiates that students were also victims of her fraud and that they deserve justice. While I am happy about today’s verdict, I still have concerns about how our government regulated TVU in the first place,” said Peddibotla.
“Susan Su’s intentional fraud, coupled with the lack of early government intervention and oversight, has permanently impacted the personal lives and careers of many former TVU students,” added the Indian American attorney, who – shortly after the ICE raid – persuaded the U.S. government to remove the ankle bracelets that were shackling detained Tri-Valley students.
“While some certainly have been able to move forward, pursue their education and careers, others I have known and represented have had to return back to India after spending years trying to come out from under the TVU closure,” Peddibhotla told India-West.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The new un-touchables are rising

A new caste rises in India- comprising of political dynasties who cornered 29% of the seats in 2009, 9% more than 2004. They are the new un-touchables, not because they have too little power, but too much. And people love them and accept this as a natural phenomena.  

Thus even as Brahmins fade away, Brahmanism will  survive in India cutting across all barriers. This includes even the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Hindus are thieves and Hindu rituals are kaatumirandithanam- barbaric) and the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (Hindus are impotent). They abhor the Hindu caste pyramid in theory, but insist that they should be the top caste in practice (kind of like how the British were the royal caste before 1947).

The voters are fine with this, because they accept the basic logic of the caste system, that of the parampara, by which a father teaches his son (and on rare occasions the daughter) the tricks of the trade. It is perhaps unfortunate that the list is headed by an under-performing son (perhaps the daughter would have been a better choice).

Carnegie professes to be shocked by this but they should note the list of presidents in the USA (excepting Obama) of late reads as Bush, Clinton (twice), Bush (twice) and is expected to revert to Clinton in 2016 (and perhaps after that, Jeb Bush from Florida). In a pure meritocracy that is the USA is this truly kosher?

A poll released by the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace confirmed recent surveys pointing to a strong showing by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after a decade of rule by Gandhi's Congress Party.

Gandhi, 43, whose father, grandmother and great-grandfather were all Prime Ministers, is the candidate from the Congress Party in elections starting on April 7, going against the BJP's Narendra Modi, the son of a tea-stall owner.

But the poll did not support suggestions that Indians have rejected hereditary candidates. Instead, 46 per cent of voters said they preferred politicians who hail from dynasties. 
 "What we found was kind of shocking," said Milan Vaishnav, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment's South Asia programme. "Nearly one in two Indians say, if I had a choice, I would prefer to vote for a candidate who has a family background," he said.

The vast majority of voters who preferred dynasties said they thought such candidates would be more adept or likely to succeed, with only 15 per cent saying that their main motivation was an expectation of patronage.

Twenty-nine per cent of Indian lawmakers elected in the last election in 2009 succeeded family members or have relatives also serving in Parliament, a figure that rose by nine per centage points from the previous vote in 2004, Vaishnav said.

The survey, conducted with the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Advanced Study of India, took opinions from 65,000 households as part of a project that will examine changing trends.

When asked about voting preferences in late 2013, 31 per cent sided with the BJP-led alliance and 23 preferred the Congress-led coalition, in what would amount to a reversal of fortunes since the last election.


Uma and Maya face an uncaring world

How many of you have little daughters (children even)?  

How would you react if you knew that they were lost? Would you hope and pray for some kind stranger to show up? Would you be worried about "stranger danger." Our advice for the children is to holler, (as is clear from the article) just standing and looking forlorn may not suffice.

What about the stranger himself? If he is a man, our advice is to look for a woman (or a cop). Doing nothing is not an answer.

One little girl was clutching her favorite toy while her younger sister was sucking her thumb – and both looked utterly lost and forlorn. The girls stood for an hour on a Saturday morning in a busy shopping arcade looking for 'help', as part of a social experiment for television.

Hidden cameras recorded Uma, seven, and Maya, five, who took it in turns to look lost.

Astonishingly, over the whole hour only one person, a grandmother, took a moment to find out if there was a problem. All of the 616 other passers-by completely ignored the girls.

ITN researchers chose Victoria Place shopping centre, next to London's bustling Victoria Station, to test the British public. Maya and Uma agreed to help and were brought along by their mother Reshma Rumsey, who watched from behind a nearby pillar with a presenter. Uma went first, standing alone in the middle of the concourse, holding her pink  doll and putting on a good act of being scared and vulnerable.

Under the gaze of the hidden cameras 25 yards away, dozens of shoppers and travelers bustled past. A mother with a pram manoeuvred around her, then a group of women pulling suitcases turned a blind eye. After 20 minutes, not a single person had stopped to ask the seven-year-old if she was all right, even though some of them had plainly seen her.

Next, it was her five-year-old sister's turn. Maya stood sucking her thumb, and then tried kneeling down, gazing up forlornly at passing shoppers, but she too seemed to be invisible. Eventually, a pensioner gave her a concerned look. At first, Pearl Pitcher, of Kent, who is in her seventies, carried on walking, but she soon turned around and came back to ask Maya if she was waiting for somebody.

Mrs Pitcher said later: 'She had stood too long by herself and no parent or friend came up to see her. I was very hesitant to come and ask her, and I walked past but I thought I must come back – just in case. 'I think the older generation would stop, but very cautiously, a bit like I was. I don't know about the younger generation. A lot of people walked by and didn't take any notice at all.'

Mrs Rumsey said she was 'gobsmacked' by seeing her daughters ignored by more than 600 members of the public. The 39-year-old journalist said: 'When you see that little face looking so lost, and people are walking past, it is awful. 'I did not expect so few people to stop … it's shocking that people noticed a child on her own and they just walked past, whether it's through fear or because they didn't care or because they didn't notice. As a mother, to watch your child on their own, looking lost and needing help and watch people walk past is heartbreaking.'

Experts said the reluctance of the passers-by was partly explained by people being busy, and partly a fear – especially among men – of any help they offer a child being misinterpreted.  

But the NSPCC said a child's welfare was more important than worrying about being labelled a 'stranger danger'. A spokesman said: 'We have got to get a message out to adults that they have a responsibility to protect children and that must supersede any concern you have for other people's perception of why you are reaching out to help that child.'

* Little Girl Lost: A Police 5 Special will be shown on Channel 5 at 6.30pm tomorrow.