Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hi-tech Talaq

Fiza gets rude call, hubby says talaq over phone: "Fiza gets rude call, hubby says talaq over phone"

Otis wants Gandhi articles back, immediately

Otis wants Gandhi articles back, immediately: "Otis said he would negotiate with India on the 'two proposals he had submitted – increase in the spending on the poor and fully paid exhibition of Gandhi's items in 78 countries to spread the apostle of peace's message of non violence.'"

The man and his proposals!

Master Madoff!

Master Madoff by Don Cooper:
"One disgruntled former student, Boston money manager Harry Markopolos, appeared on 20/20 four years ago commenting on the simple investigation he had undertaken regarding master Madoff’s activities and the facts unequivocally indicated fraud: Madoff didn’t make buys or sells, he was making consistently above average returns for his clients, etc.. . He implied that the SEC should have caught those simple, basic aspects of trading in securities. He even had the audacity to suggest that they didn’t because either the SEC was an over-bloated, inefficient bureaucracy and/or so incompetent they couldn’t do the simplest things and therefore a waste of taxpayer’s money and/or – and this is just mean-spirited and obviously a product of Mr. Markopolos’ resentment – the SEC was bought off by a billionaire. Oh right. Please, like that can happen. What would Mr. Markopolos suggest? We get the SEC out of the securities markets so there’s no moral hazard and people will take responsibility for doing the necessary due diligence themselves before investing? Hah! Then what would the master’s like master Madoff do? Freak."
Who will regulate the regulator? Sigh!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Man Who Rumbled Madoff

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (March 11, 2009) - The Man Who Rumbled Madoff: "Markopolos took the team's findings to the SEC in 2000, but federal regulators refused to pursue the case—that is, until the financial meltdown laid bare the fraud on its own and forced them to act."

Wonder why people trust regulators any more than the selfish capitalists....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ramadoss turns health messiah again, no hookahs

Ramadoss turns health messiah again, no hookahs: "After the ban on smoking in public places, health minister Anbumani Ramadoss is now taking on the hookah parlours."

This man needs to go! Why can't he worry about his and his family's health? Maybe we should get the essential stats of all of them and vote on a diet plan that he and his family should follow! All the best Ramadoss if that were to happen.

There is a lot of shit that is very dangerous. The smoke that comes out of public transport is a good example. What say Ramadoss, do we ban transport too?

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation has already brought hookah parlours under the purview of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Act.

The corporation has been conducting raids at various hookah parlours in the city and revoking the licenses of parlours that do not have proper documentation.

And of course earning a lot of money from all those parlors whose license is not revoked or will be reissued in the near future.

This world does not need dictators, however noble their intents be.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Building walls with US trading partners - The Boston Globe

Building walls with US trading partners - The Boston Globe: "Democracy is bolstered by prosperity and damaged by downturns. Since the pioneering work of Martin Lipset 50 years ago, social scientists have tried to understand why democracies and wealth go together. My colleague Robert Barro found that this link exists not because democracies increase prosperity, but because prosperity supports democracy. The appeal of democracy's enemies increases when democracies, like the Weimar Republic, are unable to deliver economic success." [Via]

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Saturday Profile - An Empire for Poor Working Women, Guided by a Gandhian Approach - Biography -

The Saturday Profile - An Empire for Poor Working Women, Guided by a Gandhian Approach - Biography - "Freedom, one woman said, was “looking a policeman in the eye.”"

Caught between bails and ballots

So what will u choose, IPL or general elections? [Via:Cricinfo - Blogs - The Surfer - Caught between bails and ballots]:
"Repeatedly we are told that there is far too much at stake for too many people, for the IPL Board to even so much as contemplate the idea of such a postponement or a cancellation. But who are these stakeholders, and why should elected governments stretch their security apparatus dangerously thin in order to protect their interests?

The Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan players proved that cricket could indeed be a soft target for terrorists in this part of the world. While we may want to believe that India is a lot safer than Pakistan — and there is indeed some strong basis for this belief, 26/11 notwithstanding — this is not the time to traffic in illusions."
Well, honestly I am not sure voting makes any bit of difference in India. So, maybe, I would prefer watching a match instead of bothering to choose between the incompetent Gandhi family (where I base my judgement on their record to this day) and Shri. Advani.
The Indian Premier League is about many things. It’s about money, money, money, money, money… and then, of course, about a bit of cricket, of the frenetic kind, too.

Given that fact, this column has a suggestion to Mr. Lalit Modi, the IPL’s high-profile head honcho. He should request the Central Government of the world’s largest democracy to postpone the general elections scheduled for April-May. Well, actually he should go beyond that: he should demand it.
It is about money, only because it is the kind of cricket people come to a stadium to watch. It may not be the purest form of cricket but is the only form one with a 9-6 job can go to a stadium to watch without having to take a day off. Nobody is forced to go to the stadium. People can choose not to go to the stadium.

I am guessing that the Govt. must have been in the know of the IPL schedule given that the schedule was finalized before the general election schedule. I would be very surprised if the Govts (state and center) were not consulted before setting the dates. Organising such an event without Govt. permission should be impossible in India. Also, if the Govt. cannot keep India safe they should let the people of India know, the earlier the better. No life is so cheap to be left at the mercy of an incompetent Govt, a lot have already been lost. It is only reasonable that such an incompetent Govt. allows its citizens to find means of protecting themselves. It cannot force people to live in shackles because it cannot provide them with protection.

Also, the organizers of the IPL have a contract to keep, and I am not sure how I can sit on judgment for they wanting to keep their contract. The Govt. gets away with not keeping their election time promises, it is only good if others insist on keeping theirs even if it is for big money.
Those cheergirls are worth every penny paid to them: they not only get the fans into the stands well ahead of the contest but also help add colour and zest and life to our newspapers’ front and back pages _ and a few in between.
Well, even the newspapers are behind big money!

Now, this is what makes me furious:
There is a simple solution: postpone the polls, no matter what the Constitution says, no matter what the Election Commissioners may say. After all, can these blokes possibly bring in hundreds of millions to the kitty? Can they conceivably persuade Preity Zinta or Shilpa Shetty — draped in the finest their unabashedly expensive wardrobes can offer — to jive it live in front of TV cameras during the matches?
Unabashedly expensive wardrobes? Are Zinta and Shetty to live like the poor of the world? Will that make their cause more just or the poor any richer? They earn the millions because of investments they make of their own money. In contrast, wonder what the Govt. does with our money? Not much seems to change election after election, not even the sloganeering. Oh!, the sanctity of the constitution is at stake.
In a rational world, it would have been an open-and-shut case, a non-issue. If the governments of the States where the IPL matches are scheduled believed they would not be able to provide adequate security to the players because of the election pressures, then the Central Government should simply tell the Board of Control for Cricket in India that it would do well to postpone, or even cancel, the event.
In a rational world, the Govt. has absolute powers. Ya well!


This is exactly what I hate about unions (in the comments of the linked article), the presumption on their part that every worker should be on their side. If you don't want to work for a certain pay, so be it. You want to protest, fair enough. But you cannot force people to follow suit. That's not the way it works! Each individual should have the right to choose who they want to fight for their rights.
Communications Workers of America authorizes strike of 20,000 AT&T workers, could happen soon: "I also am an emloyee and you CAN NOT cross the picket line, If and when there is a strike. You will not be able to keep your job if you do. You have to be a union member in good standing. I do believe that you need to educate yourself... You need to make sure that is really what you want to do if you have bills.. You need to support your union. And for all the people on here that are downing the union. I feel that we are deserving of what we are asking for. We work our butts off also. I for one have been in a wage freeze for some time. How fair is this? I think everyone should educate yourselves before you go off on the CWA. They are fighting for our rights as workers and I am backing them and I will be there picketing and doing whatever I need to do for US as workers."

God's laws?

God's laws or the Catholic Church's laws?
Nine-Year-Old's Abortion Outrages Brazil's Catholic Church - TIME: "Archibishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of the coastal city of Recife announced that the Vatican was excommunicating the family of a local girl who had been raped and impregnated with twins by her stepfather, because they had chosen to have the girl undergo an abortion. The Church excommunicated the doctors who performed the procedure as well. 'God's laws,' said the archbishop, dictate that abortion is a sin and that transgressors are no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic Church."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dhoni's Mis-hit

India Today - India's most widely read magazine.: "Dhoni's Mis-hit"

When India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was, fresh off the Indian team’s first win in New Zealand, he began by saying he was “shocked and sad” that sportspersons had been attacked. Pressed further about Pakistan he went on, his responses containing these phrases, “I am glad I am in New Zealand and I don't have to worry about these things… Sides like us are quite happy not to be there, in this kind of a situation…. I am happy we didn't tour Pakistan, and that the government didn't allow us to tour Pakistan. It may or may not have happened to us. But overall I am happy to be here.”

It was the last thing out of his mouth and the first thing that got snapped up. The news channels were happy to call this typical of Dhoni “speaking his mind,”. It was all true, it was gut-feel “honest”. It is probably what every Indian cricketer and every player in the world felt privately at the time. But it was not appropriate.

I am not too sure what is inappropriate about saying that one is happy not to have been shot at.
On a day when some of his peers could have been killed, when a match official was fighting for his life and when seven innocent human beings had lost their lives, the over-arching sentiment from the captain of India called for something other than a statement whose sub-text essentially read: “Ooo, lucky, lucky us”.
He was happy not to be there as a result of decisions that were pretty much out of his control. How that translates to "Ooo, lucky, lucky us" is beyond me! Also, the Sri Lankan Board sending the cricket team despite warnings from security agencies is plain stupid.

Indian women burnt to death - Views -

Indian women burnt to death - Views - "Indian women burnt to death"

Maybe this aspect of our culture deserves more attention?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

'Democracy Is A Sin, Infidelity' :

'Democracy Is A Sin, Infidelity' : [Via]
"The Indian government has accused some Pakistan-based militant groups in the Mumbai terrorist attacks."

"I have no knowledge about that."

Making nasty comments online can land you in jail

Making nasty comments online can land you in jail: "Making nasty comments online can land you in jail"
“There are so many charges against Ajith, such as x, y, z. Our constitution does not allow such activity so it is not acceptable,” says Cyber lawyer Karnika Seth.
Why does the constitution have to be the last word? Can't it evolve to extend human rights to all?

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (March 04, 2009) - Unglobalization

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (March 04, 2009) - Unglobalization: "Unglobalization"

The article says, G20 leaders.....

Leaders, my foot.

Need is the new specialization?

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Another Loss for Economic Freedom: "Another Loss for Economic Freedom"

The Crimson reports:

Amendment to Stimulus Bill Restricts Hiring of Internationals

Troubled financial institutions that recruit heavily from Harvard may soon face restrictions on hiring international students if they accepted federal bailout funding. Under a recently passed amendment to the federal stimulus bill, companies participating in the Troubled Assets Relief Program—a government financial-rescue plan implemented last fall—will face more restrictions in hiring H-1B visa holders, foreigners with at least a bachelor’s degree and “highly specialized knowledge” in a particular field.

Next they should offer Americans in need jobs without interviewing them. Need is the new specialization, the greater the need the greater the specialization! Hurray! Of course, you ought to be an American.

Masters in need, someone?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cricinfo - Warm-up in doubt over ICL stand-off

Cricinfo - Warm-up in doubt over ICL stand-off: "'There's no way we'd stand for that,' New Zealand Cricket Players' Association chief Heath Mills was quoted as saying in the New Zealand Herald. 'They're New Zealanders and they're perfectly entitled to play in a domestic league in their own country. We will not accept players being stood down because of the petty politics of another country.'"

Good stand indeed! Enough with BCCI's stupidity and cowardice.

Pub attack: Girls can have their own way, says Advani

Pub attack: Girls can have their own way, says Advani: "'It (the attack) is basically against Indian culture, Indian ethos. Girls or boys, they have their own way', he said, adding that one may not approve the girls in pub but that does not mean one attacks them."

Fair enough! Lets see how consistently he will take the above stand.

MP govt proposes law to regulate Christian properties

MP govt proposes law to regulate Christian properties: "However, Minister, religious endowments Laxmi Kant Sharma said, 'There is no communal feeling behind the move. The government takes care of Muslim properties as well as Hindu properties so Christian properties can also be looked after.'"

Laxmi Kant, the government, wants more responsibility as they are fulfilling all their responsibilities to the best one can imagine.