Saturday, February 28, 2009

U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Resolution

'Freedom Under Fire: U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Resolution' by Christopher Hitchens, Lou Dobbs - "U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Resolution"

1 a: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b: the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2: irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable
How will anyone decide what is an insult to God? Human rights are inviolable and human rights are sacred and the stupid resolution will be a step towards denying them.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar pulled from T20 exhibition game

Sachin Tendulkar pulled from T20 exhibition game: "Indian cricket authorities forced star batsman Sachin Tendulkar to withdraw from an exhibition match on Friday because one of the participants, New Zealander Hamish Marshall, had links to the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL)"

The cowards at the BCCI treating ICL players (ex and current) as untouchables to ensure that they have no competition!


Smoke Signals: "Shame"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Advani hails Rahman; UPA takes credit for Slumdog's win

Advani hails Rahman; UPA takes credit for Slumdog's win: "The Government has given itself credit for the 'conducive atmosphere' that's contributing to an 'achieving India'."

It is getting more and more difficult to choose between the parties. Not that it was ever any easier! Conducive atmosphere? Achieving India? Do these people not get it? Think of the number of Rahmans, Danny Boyles, Resul Pookuttys that lurk in extreme poverty in the country, will you? That one Rahman gets an Oscar is because the dude is talented, hard working and is sheer lucky that his talent didn't get wasted.

The Congress might want to brag a little less. Maybe they should remember how BJP lost after their India Shining campaign!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Hindu : Karnataka / Udupi News : Sene opposes provocative dressing: Muthalik

The Hindu : Karnataka / Udupi News : Sene opposes provocative dressing: Muthalik: "Sene opposes provocative dressing: Muthalik"[Via]

This idiot (hope I have offended him) is opposed to women wearing Burkhas and women provocatively dressed and of course, every other jobless dude will soon find reasons to be opposed to something. Now-a-days this world is in grave need of moral policing. Who other than those that are jobless (not sure if the entire blame for their joblessness is on them) could be better suited to indulging in the unethical and immoral nonsense that should be illegal and criminal but isn't!

Muthalik also shares wisdom:
Mr. Muthalik said that provocative dressing by women was responsible for various crimes, including rape and suicides.
Thank heavens that he didn't blame the west for rapes and suicides in India.

ANTIDOTE: The Purpose Of Law

Pretty shocking this:
ANTIDOTE: The Purpose Of Law: "If anyone causes damage or injury to anyone else, he must pay damages. In India, this vital pillar of The Law simply does not exist. You may be hit on the road by a car driven by a reckless driver, and break a few bones, but under our The Law, you can claim no damages as compensation. You may go blind drinking illicit hooch – but there is no damage that the bootlegger will be forced to pay you. Your building may collapse in the rains, but the builder will not pay damages. In all these instances, the criminal law will take over, the police will be called in – and these bullies will extort money from the tortfeasor, as in the case of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, or the Uphaar cinema fire."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

VHP asks Muslim groups to issue fatwa on terror

VHP asks Muslim groups to issue fatwa on terror: "VHP asks Muslim groups to issue fatwa on terror"

So there will be a fatwa on VHP too?

Friday, February 20, 2009

IBNLive : Nandan Nilekani's Blog : The last chance

IBNLive : Nandan Nilekani's Blog : The last chance:
"The NDA government had made a stab at labour reforms and backtracked at the outcry, and while the UPA government had plenty of reformers in its midst, it sidestepped these critical issues. Unless the next government at the Centre takes up these reforms and resists both the inevitable outcry that will come from interest groups and the temptations for easy shortcuts like reservations, we will see our biggest promise - our demographics - become our albatross. As millions of young people with high aspirations enter the workforce and find they neither have the skills to get a proper job, nor the ecosystem that creates proper jobs, the disappointment is going to be palpable. Almost every crisis we have today whether it is the atavism in Mangalore or the parochialism in Mumbai can ultimately be traced to unemployed and underemployed youth. Without quick action the demographic 'dividend' could well turn out to be a demographic 'disaster'. The next five years is our final chance."

Monday, February 16, 2009


If BJP wins, India wins: LK Advani-India-The Times of India: "'There's no country in the world where constitutional head of government was reduced to this level. What we have is not Manmohan Raj
but Sonia Raj,' said BJP's PM candidate L K Advani at the Rashtriya Raksha and Vijay Sankalp rally here on Sunday. He also said, 'If BJP, India wins.'"

Well, at least he didn't say if Advani wins India wins! I guess if Advani/Manmohan/Sonia and the rest of the Gandhi clan, and any other politician I can think of wins, India only looses. Unfortunately, in a democracy some dude has to win!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

IBNLive : Sagarika Ghose's Blog : Panties and Perverts

I had reached the quoted link via [India Uncut]. Then I had not cared to read the link in its entirety. On reading it I was reminded of how people had ganged up against women who worked at call centers, so much that it had been proposed that women should not be allowed to work later than 10PM in the night! This was their response and solution to a couple of women raped and killed on their way to their way to work at night. Maybe women working late hours and giving up their traditional duties (in line with western culture?) is also not a forward movement for India. Of course, victimizing the victim is indisputably Indian culture?
IBNLive : Sagarika Ghose's Blog : Panties and Perverts: "However much we may hate the Sene, upholding the commercially-driven Valentine's Day as a supreme cultural resource, or seeing the pub as the shining symbol of our social 'freedom' may not be forward movement for India. If young people are choosing urban lifestyles that are desi imitations of Sex And The City, this is hardly a matter of celebration. In fact, today, fears about 'westernization' are so deep that with the exception of UR Ananathamurthy, few of Karnataka's galaxy of public intellectuals have come to the defence of the young women drinking at the Amnesia Lounge in Mangalore on 24th January."

Politically, there is even a consensus on the moral failings of "pub culture, " with even the BJP's ideological opposites, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and health minister Ambumani Ramadoss expressing energetic disapproval of pubs. When union minister Renuka Chowdhury urged that there should be a "pub bharo" campaign against the Sene, several of her own Karnataka Congress leaders protested that drinking was against their norms.
Also, I think she reads too much into the response of politicians who, even if they think otherwise, will not speak anything that will put off their vote banks (a lot of Indians who have in all probability never been to a pub but are very confident of their notions of what a pub is like and especially what men and women do in a pub.).

To me it is hardly a matter of celebration that so many people think freedom should of the kind they think is acceptable.

I am no historian but did Indians never drink? We do have bhang and bhang ki thandai even now-a-days. Why are people so scared of drinking? Its OK not to drink but being scared or calling it un-Indian seems to be a stretch to me and yes I love to drink and would hate to live in a place where I can't buy one at will.

'Despite these riots, I stand by what I wrote' by Johann Hari -

'Despite these riots, I stand by what I wrote' by Johann Hari -
"'All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don't respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don't respect the idea that we should follow a 'Prophet' who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn't follow him. I don't respect the idea that the West Bank was handed to Jews by God and the Palestinians should be bombed or bullied into surrendering it. I don't respect the idea that we may have lived before as goats, and could live again as woodlice. When you demand 'respect', you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade.'"


The protestors said I deliberately set out to "offend" them, and I am supposed to say that, no, no offence was intended. But the honest truth is more complicated. Offending fundamentalists isn't my goal – but if it is an inevitable side-effect of defending human rights, so be it. If fanatics who believe Muslim women should be imprisoned in their homes and gay people should be killed are insulted by my arguments, I don't resile from it. Nothing worth saying is inoffensive to everyone.
It is a tragedy that the editor and the publisher were arrested. Were the fanatic goons arrested? When will mobs stop ruling opinion? To all the goons, stop getting offended! If you have such great conviction in your beliefs try to engage in a to and fro of opinions.
The solution to the problems of free speech – that sometimes people will say terrible things – is always and irreducibly more free speech.
Can't agree more!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Minister scolds, airline cuts back fare hike

Minister scolds, airline cuts back fare hike:
Patel's statement came as leading airlines decided to stop promotional fares to arrest losses, though flag carrier Air India said its fares will be ten per cent lower than those of Jet Airways and Kingfisher's cheapest rates.

Patel said Air India will 'never be a part of such cartelisation and will ensure that competitive pricing ensures better prices to passengers'.
I wonder how Air India can offer 10% lower fares than other airlines. But then it is owned by the Govt., so I guess it has all the money it needs. As far as my experience goes Air India has to be the worst I have been aboard. So unless Air India is eating into tax payer money, it rather offer lower fares, else I would have very little reason to board their aircraft.
Jet Airways announced 30-day apex fares on key domestic routes after Patel made his displeasure over airlines hiking fares clear.
On what basis does Patel know what the correct fares are? Also, from what I know the biggest part of cheap tickets is the airline tax. Maybe Patel should cut the tax a bit!

Also, the Govt.-industry nexus sucks in India. The industry wilts very easily under Govt. pressure and I think that is because of the favors exchanged between the two. Setting up anything, not just an airline but lesser business enterprises would need greasing the palms of the government and of course greasing will continue as long as the enterprise. I am especially skeptical of the big business families in India who very often are seen sucking up to politicians. They keep the Govt. happy and at least till very recently and I guess even now to a great extent the Govt. protects them from any external competition.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Landlords play moral police -Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India

Landlords play moral police -Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "House owners in the city are now asking single working women to furnish character certificates on company letterheads, before renting out their houses."


Monday, February 09, 2009

Fire the foreigner, it is the moral thing to do!

Okay, protecting the American's job is the moral thing to do is what the senator said. Of course, to accomplish that favor firing the foreigner!

[Via a friend's shared item on Google Reader]:
"'Hiring American workers for limited available jobs should be a top priority for businesses taking taxpayer money through the TARP bailout program,' Sen. Grassley said.

'With the unemployment rate at 7.6 percent, there is no need for companies to hire foreign guest workers through the H1-B program when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs,' Sen. Grassley said.

Sen. Grassley and Sen. Sanders both argue that U.S. firms have a moral obligation to protect U.S. workers' jobs."

It is not clear to me why would companies go through the pains of hiring foreign workers if there are enough qualified Americans around who are looking for the same jobs.

Have American companies been hiring foreign workers because they are altruistic? How is it moral to spend the tax payer's money in an inefficient way? Of course, the tax payers can choose to do so and may want the companies getting the bail out to do so as it is their money. That reminds me that H1-B workers pay taxes too and given that they are highly qualified workers the tax each one of them pays, I am guessing and could be wrong, must be more than an average American pays. Anyway, H1-B workers don't have the right to vote and so have no way of controlling how their money is spent.

More wisdom from Grassley on how Microsoft should handle its planned layoffs:
"These work visa programs were never intended to allow a company to retain foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American workers, when that company cuts jobs during an economic downturn,"

"It is imperative that in implementing its layoff plan, Microsoft ensures that American workers have priority in keeping their jobs over foreign workers on visa programs,"
Okay, now we should layoff based on nationality. I would toss a coin if there were two equally valuable employees and I had to fire one but nationality seems like a morally correct option. Senator Grassley, as an American senator must now renounce all stuff he has other than that which is Made in the USA. Having renounced all that isn't made in the USA he should start buying Made in the USA. That will add to the stimulus that the economy needs and is the moral thing to do.

Breaking News: Barber is derogatory!

SRK to drop 'derogatory' term 'Barber' from film posters-India-The Times of India: "The association had earlier objected to the title of the film, terming the use of the word 'barber' 'objectionable and derogatory'.

The association president Uday Takke had reportedly threatened to take to streets if the film, that is set to hit theatres next Friday, was released with some objectionable content."

Wonder what Uday Takke wants us to call him?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Economic View - It’s No Time for Protectionism -

Economic View - It’s No Time for Protectionism - "Critics of China say it is keeping the yuan undervalued to gain an advantage in the international marketplace. A cheaper yuan makes Chinese goods less expensive in the United States and American goods more expensive in China. As a result, American producers find it harder to compete with Chinese imports in the United States and to sell their own exports in China.

There is, however, another side to the story. The loss to American producers comes with a gain to the many millions of American consumers who prefer to pay less for the goods they buy."


Who Hired All the People Getting Laid Off? - TIME

Who Hired All the People Getting Laid Off? - TIME: "As the mass layoffs that are part of the daily news increase, economists and analysts will begin to ask how all of those people came to be employed in the first place. Recent data show that jobs cuts actually increase productivity, at least to a point. At some successful companies, it appears that adding personnel was just poor expense management."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

ANTIDOTE: On The Side Of Modernity

ANTIDOTE: On The Side Of Modernity: "But this battle must be fought. It is not only about a “way of life” – the good life, if I may add – it is, most importantly, about the subjugation of women. In Mangalore, the goons beat up the women. They want all Hindoo women in sarees, demure, serving dinner dutifully to their (drunken?) husbands. This stereotypical Hindoo woman is their ideal. This may hold appeal to some village women, but it is not the way in which Indian women have been progressing in their long march to Freedom."

After Bush, shoe-cide attack on Chinese Premier

After Bush, shoe-cide attack on Chinese Premier: "Following the incident, Wen said: 'This despicable behaviour cannot stand in the way of friendship between China and the UK'. He was then ushered away by security personnel."

Haha... the Chinese premier calling throwing of a show despicable behavior!

I do think that the Chinese Premier should have been allowed to finish his speech. I also don't condone throwing a shoe at an unarmed defenseless person. But I do wonder what would happen to a citizen of China if he/she had thrown a shoe at the premier at a speech in China. Also, how different would the shoe thrower be treated than the treatment the Iraqi show thrower would have suffered under Saddam's regime....

Monday, February 02, 2009

Assets of ministers, kin exempt from RTI: PMO-India-The Times of India

Assets of ministers, kin exempt from RTI: PMO-India-The Times of India: "Assets of ministers, kin exempt from RTI: PMO"

Dr. Manmohan Singh, thanks for leaving a legacy of corruption behind! What a shame, though!