Thursday, August 30, 2012

Extraordinary True Stories About Ordinary People

Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation and author, is known for her ability to glean interesting stories from the lives of ordinary people and weave these narratives into a unique blend of anecdote and fable.

Her latest collection of stories, 'The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk', features a fascinating cast of characters, each of whom made an indelible impression on the author. Extracted here is a nugget from 'Bombay to Bangalore', one of the most heartwarming stories in this collection:

It was the beginning of summer. I was boarding Udyan Express at Gulbarga railway station. My destination was Bangalore. As I boarded the train, I saw that the second-class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. Though it was meant for three people, there were already six of us sitting on it...

The ticket collector came in and started checking people's tickets and reservations.. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, 'What about your ticket?' 'I have already shown my ticket to you,' I said.

'Not you, madam, the girl hiding below your berth. Hey, come out, where is your ticket?' I realized that someone was sitting below my berth. When the collector yelled at her, the girl came out of hiding.

She was thin, dark, scared and looked like she had been crying profusely. She must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old.She had uncombed hair and was dressed in a torn skirt and blouse. She was trembling and folded both her hands.. The collector started forcibly pulling her out from the compartment. Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I stood up and called out to the collector. 'Sir, I will pay for her ticket,' I said.

Then he looked at me and said, 'Madam, if you give her ten rupees, she will be much happier with that than with the ticket.'

I did not listen to him. I told the collector to give me a ticket to the last destination, Bangalore, so that the girl could get down wherever she wanted.

Slowly, she started talking. She told me that her name was Chitra. She lived in a village near Bidar. Her father was a coolie and she had lost her mother at birth. Her father had remarried and had two sons with her stepmother. But a few months ago, her father had died. Her stepmother started beating her often and did not give her food. She was tired of that life. She did not have anybody to support her so she left home in search of something better.

By this time, the train had reached Bangalore. I said goodbye to Chitra and got down from the train. My driver came and picked up my bags. I felt someone watching me. When I turned back, Chitra was standing there and looking at me with sad eyes. But there was nothing more that I could do. I had paid her ticket out of compassion but I had never thought that she was going to be my responsibility!...

I told her to get into my car. My driver looked at the girl curiously. I told him to take us to my friend Ram's place. Ram ran separate shelter homes for boys and girls. We at the Infosys Foundation supported him financially. I thought Chitra could stay there for some time and we could talk about her future after I came back from my tours.

I was not sure if Chitra would even be there. But to my surprise, I saw Chitra looking much happier than before. Ram suggested that Chitra could go to a high school nearby. I immediately agreed and said that I would sponsor her expenses as long as she continued to study. I left the shelter knowing that Chitra had found a home and a new direction in her life.

I got busier and my visits to the shelter reduced to once a year. But I always enquired about Chitra's well-being over the phone. I knew that she was studying well and that her progress was good.. I offered to sponsor her college studies if she wanted to continue studying. But she said, 'No, Akka. I have talked to my friends and made up my mind. I would like to do my diploma in computer science so that I can immediately get a job after three years.' She wanted to become economically independent as soon as possible.. Chitra obtained her diploma with flying colours. She also got a job in a software company as an assistant testing engineer. When she got her first salary, she came to my office with a sari and a box of sweets.

One day, when I was in Delhi, I got a call from Chitra. She was very happy. 'Akka, my company is sending me to USA! I wanted to meet you and take your blessings but you are not here in Bangalore.'.

Years passed. Occasionally, I received an e-mail from Chitra. She was doing very well in her career. She was posted across several cities in USA and was enjoying life. I silently prayed that she should always be happy wherever she was.

Years later, I was invited to deliver a lecture in San Francisco for Kannada Koota, an organization where families who speak Kannada meet and organize events. The lecture was in a convention hall of a hotel and I decided to stay at the same hotel. After the lecture, I was planning to leave for the airport. When I checked out of the hotel room and went to the reception counter to pay the bill, the receptionist said, 'Ma'am, you don't need to pay us anything. The lady over there has already settled your bill. She must know you pretty well.' I turned around and found Chitra there.

She was standing with a young white man and wore a beautiful sari. She was looking very pretty with short hair. Her dark eyes were beaming with happiness and pride. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a brilliant smile, hugged me and touched my feet. I was overwhelmed with joy and did not know what to say. I was very happy to see the way things had turned out for Chitra. But I came back to my original question. 'Chitra, why did you pay my hotel bill? That is not right.' suddenly sobbing, she hugged me and said, 'Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay to Bangalore!'

Sent by Arun Shroff

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Foods for Diabetics

Green Leafy Vegetables

Dark, leafy greens like Spinach, Collard greens, Mustard greens, and Kale are nutrient-dense (Vitamins A and C and Calcium), low in calories and low in carbohydrates.

Spinach and other green leafy veggies may help reduce type 2 diabetes risk being rich in Polyphenols, Vitamin C and Magnesium.

Walnuts

Enjoying a handful of walnuts daily can help lower a diabetic's heart disease risk. Walnuts are rich in alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin E both being highly protective against heart disease.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is rich in fiber and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which your body converts to omega-3s EPA and DHA. Flax seeds also help in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. You can add ground flaxseed to your meals such as oatmeal, low-fat cottage cheese, and fruit smoothies.

Fenugreek

Amino acids from Fenugreek help facilitate glucose and insulin management. Fenugreek helps speed the process of blood glucose being utilized for energy, thereby preventing unhealthy levels of glucose continuing to circulate in the blood.

Beans

Beans kidney -rajma, pinto, navy, black) are rich in nutrients and packed in soluble fiber, which helps makes you feel full longer, it actually slows digestion and keeps blood sugar from spiking after a meal, keep blood sugar steady and plus help lower cholesterol levels.

Beans also make an excellent protein source.

Dairy products

Fat free yogurt will provide the calcium and vitamin D that adults need plus serves as a healthy in-between snack helping to curb cravings.

Yogurt is rich in protein and calcium. Studies show that people who eat plenty of calcium-rich foods are less likely to become insulin resistant.

Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber and are lower in carbohydrate content.

100 grams blueberries = 57 about calories; 100 grams strawberries = 32 about calories; 100 grams raspberries = 52 about calories

Barley (Jau)

Rich in fiber Barley helps steady your blood sugar while filling you up delivering a weight loss bonus.

Barley is one of the healthiest grains and is packed with a specific kind of soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can lower total and LDL cholesterol by preventing your body's ability to absorb it.

Oats

Oats are a diabetes power food because of their rich fiber content; half cup of cooked oats provides 4 grams of fiber; Oats can also lower total and bad / LDL cholesterol levels plus improves insulin resistance.

Barley, oatmeal, breads made out of whole grains also contain magnesium, chromium, folate and omega 3 fatty acids.

Dates

People with diabetes should indulge in just 2-3 dates a day as they are rich in fiber making them a diabetes friendly snack.

Dates are also loaded with antioxidants and have more antioxidants per serving than grapes, oranges, broccoli, and peppers.

Lentils - Different Dals

Lentils are healthy for diabetics as they help control your blood sugar levels as just1 cup cooked Lentils contains 16 grams of fiber.

Lentils are packed with soluble fiber, which digests slowly to keep your blood sugar from spiking. Lentils boost your energy levels and improve your mood.

Salmon

People with diabetes usually have low levels of HDL or good cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna) helps in increasing HDL levels and lower triglyceride levels.

Deep fried fish does not deliver the same health benefits

The above is from the mail I receive from Rediffmail I myself being a diabetes patient am using most of the vegetarian foods. I can't say about the Salmon as I have neve tried it.

Is Angela Merkel’s mania for austerity is destroying Europe - No

Which world leader poses the biggest threat to global order and prosperity? The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Wrong. Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu? Nope. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un? Wrong again.

The answer is a mild-mannered opera fan and former chemist who has been in office for seven years. Yes, step forward, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, whose solution to Europe’s financial crisis – or lack thereof – has brought the continent, and perhaps the world, to the edge of a second Great Depression. “World Bank warns that euro collapse could spark global crisis”, read the headline on the front of the Observer on 17 June.

With apologies to Mike Godwin and his eponymous law, Merkel is the most dangerous German leader since Hitler. Her eight predecessors – from Konrad Adenauer to Gerhard Schröder – presided over a manufacturing miracle at home and the rehabilitation of Germany’s reputation abroad. Under Merkel, however, the country finds itself isolated once again, loathed and feared in equal measure.

Cartoons in the newspapers of Germany’s neighbours have depicted the chancellor with a Hitler moustache or wearing a spiked, Bismarck-era military helmet. Commenting on the phenomenon, the columnist Jakob Augstein observed: “Her abrasive pro-austerity policies threaten everything that previous German governments had accomplished since World War II.” Merkel, Augstein rightly noted, is “a radical politician, not a conservative one”.

Neighbourhood bully

Merkel did not cause the financial crisis; that (dis)honour still belongs to the world’s “top” bankers. But her deficit fetishism and obsession with spending cuts are exacerbating the continent-wide debt-and-growth crises that threaten to upset more than six decades of pan-European unity and stability.

Then there is her bullying tendency. The majority of Greeks voted on 17 June either to delay or to cancel the EU-imposed austerity plan; up popped Merkel the next day to warn: “No departures can be made from the reform measures . . . We have to count on Greece sticking to its commitments” – and to slap down her foreign minister, who had suggested that the EU might give Greece more time to do cuts.

Merkel prefers to fiddle as Athens burns – and Madrid and Rome, too. Youth unemployment in Spain and Greece is hovering around 50 per cent; in Italy, a third of 15-to-24-year-olds are out of work. Riots beckon as Europe’s far right attracts new supporters. It is ironic that the leader of a nation paranoid about and offended by any mention of its Nazi period seems so relaxed about the rise of anti-austerity, neo-Nazi parties across the EU, from Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France to Greece’s black-shirted Golden Dawn to the fascists of Jobbik, now the third-largest party in Hungary’s parliament.

Merkel’s supporters argue that this is unfair. She is, they say, standing up for hard-working Germans who are weary of bailing out their feckless southern European neighbours. This is nonsense. First, figures released by the OECD show that the “lazy” Greek worker labours for 2,017 hours per year, which is more than the average in any other EU nation – and more than 40 per cent longer than the average German works. So a little less Schadenfreude, please.

Second, it isn’t just southern Europeans who are revolting against fiscal sadism. In May, Mer­kel’s Christian Democrats suffered a humiliating defeat in an election in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia. It was the party’s worst result in the state since the Second World War. Ordinary Germans are starting to acknowledge that austerity isn’t working.

But Merkel won’t budge. She is a purveyor of the conventional wisdom which says that the economy is like a household that can’t borrow or spend more than it earns. But economies are not households – or credit cards! – and common sense tells us that the solution to a downturn caused by a prolonged drought in demand is not to reduce demand further (by slashing spending). History teaches us that the Great Depression wasn’t helped by Herbert Hoover’s cuts in the US and, in pre-war Germany, it was mass unemployment, not hyperinflation, that propelled Hitler to power in 1933.

Fiscal self-flagellation

In a study published in 2010, analysts at the International Monetary Fund found just two cases, out of 170 examples across 15 advanced economies between 1980 and 2009, in which cuts in government spending turned out to be expansionary for the economy overall. They concluded: “Fiscal consolidation typically has a contractionary effect on output.”

Merkel’s insistence on fiscal self-flagellation, her unwillingness to countenance any fiscal stimulus by Germany or an easy-money policy by the European Central Bank, have pushed depressed countries such as Greece further into depression. The recent announcement at the G20 summit in Mexico that Merkel may now be willing to allow eurozone institutions to buy up the debt of crisis-hit member countries is too little, too late.

This isn’t just about geopolitics or macro­economics. Europe’s austerians have blood on their hands. Suicide rates are up by 40 per cent in Greece; the birthplace of western democracy is being remorselessly reduced to the status of a developing country. Meanwhile, Merkel, as the US economist Robert Kuttner wrote earlier this month, “continues to pursue Germany’s narrow self-interest . . . [because] Germany benefits from the rest of Europe’s suf­fering in two ways – expanded exports and dirt-cheap money”.

In denial and bent on austerity über alles, Merkel is destroying the European project, pauperising Germany’s neighbours and risking a new global depression.

She must be stopped.

Mehdi Hasan is the author of the ebook “The Debt Delusion” (Vintage Digital, £3.74). For the New Statesman's

The above has been sent by Arun Shroff.

I don't agree with the author.

The above is the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, as applied to human beings.

The figures given of Greek working hours are disputed. If they worked so hard, their country would have improved.

I had read elsewhere the story of corruption in all walks of Greek life.

Surely you can't expect the Germans to finance their corrupt ways.

After all, Chancellor has to first look after her country.

After all, everyone agrees that charity begins at home.

Having said that, I also agree that you cannot have peace if you become filthy rich and your neighbourhood is in shambles.

This is best illustrated in the story of Krishna and Sudama.

Krishna and Sudama were childhood friends.

Krishna was the king of Dwarika and Sudama was a poor brahmin.

When Sudama went to visit Krishna as per his (Sudama's wife's) instruction,

Krishna realized the pitiable condition of Sudama.

Krishna instructed Vishwakarma to build a palace for Sudama .

Vishwakarma went an informed Sudama's wife, Susheela, of Krishna's instructions and asked them to move out temporarily.

Susheela then told Vishwakarma that she would allow him to build the palace for her family if he built such palaces for the whole locality.

Vishwakarma was nonplussed.

He went back to Krishna with his dilemma.

Krishna then smiled and asked Vishwakarma to do as instructed by Susheela.

That is the best development.

Becoming rich with your neighbourhood and not pulling them down to your level as done by the Communists.

Prince Charles and the Hooker

You can’t resist British humour!!

Prince Charles decided to take up walking every day. At the same street corner he passed a hooker standing there every day.

He learned to brace himself as he approached her for what was almost certain to follow.

"One hundred and fifty pounds!" she'd shout.

"No! Ten pounds!" He said from the side of his mouth, just to shut her up.

This ritual between him and the hooker became a daily occurrence.

She'd yell, "One hundred and fifty pounds!"

He'd yell back, "Ten pounds!"

One day, Camilla decided to accompany her husband.

As the couple neared the hooker's corner, Prince Charles realised she'd bark her £150 offer and Camilla would wonder what he'd really been doing on all his past outings.

He figured he'd better have a good explanation for his wife.

As they neared the hooker’s corner he became even more apprehensive than usual. Sure enough, there she stood. He tried to avoid eye contact as she watched the pair pass.

Then, the hooker yelled:

"See what you get for ten pounds, you tight bastard!"

Sent by Arun Shroff

The Delta Flight 15 : WHAT A NICE STORY‏

"On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic. All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination."

"No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately--no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

"While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

"We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, New Foundland to have it checked out.

"We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM! .... that's 11:00 AM EST.

"There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S. After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

"The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.

"Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

"Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to lookout the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

"We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

"Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

"About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

"After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

"We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

"Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

"Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.

"Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

"ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes."Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

"Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

"Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully. It was absolutely incredible.

"When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked li ke a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling. Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

"And then a very unusual thing happened. One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

"He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

"The gentleman, a MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well. As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

"I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a far away place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them. It reminds me how much good there is in the world."

"In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good and Godly people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

"God Bless America . .. ...and the Canadians."

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option!

Sent by Arun Shroff

Taking the Bible Literally

On her radio show, Dr. Laura said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Schlesinger, written by a US man and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as quite informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman,

Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,

Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Friday, August 24, 2012

Illegal Aliens

An illegal alien, in Polk County , Florida , who got pulled over in a routine traffic stop, ended up "executing" the deputy who stopped him. The deputy was shot eight times, including once behind his right ear at close range. Another deputy was wounded and a police dog killed. A state-wide manhunt ensued.

The murderer was found hiding in a wooded area. As soon as he took a shot at the SWAT team, officers opened fire on him. They hit the guy 68 times.

Naturally, the liberal media went nuts and asked why they had to shoot the poor, undocumented immigrant 68 times.

Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel: "Because that's all the ammunition we had." Now, is that just about the all-time greatest answer or what!

The Coroner also reported that the illegal alien died of natural causes. When asked by a reporter how that could be, since there were 68 bullet wounds in his body, he simply replied: (BEST QUOTE ever) . . .."When you are shot 68 times you are naturally gonna die."

Sent by Prakash Bhartia.

We have our ownproblems. Our aliens came from Bangladesh and see what a problem they have caused to the whole of India.

Vote bank politics has become such that now politicians are afraid of even caling them aliens for fear of losing their votes.

Freebies

I have never heard this said as simply or as well. Class war at its best.

The folks who are getting the free stuff don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

And, the folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop. And the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!

Now... the people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

So... the people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff and giving them the free stuff in the first place. We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded.

The reason?

The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.

The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 236 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff.

We have one chance to change that in 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

ELECTION 2012 IS COMING

A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!

I'M 100% for PASSING THIS ON !!!For all our sake PLEASE Take a Stand!!!

Obama: Gone!

Borders: Closed!

Language: English only

Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!

Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!

N

O freebies to: Non-Citizens!

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Prize Winning Caption for Photograph

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Honourable PM can do no wrong

New Delhi, Aug 21 (ANI): Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday came out in full defence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the latter's resignation over the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report on coal block allocations.

Sibal said the Prime Minister can never do anything wrong, and termed all allegations levelled against him to be completely baseless. " We know our Prime Minister. He cannot do anything wrong," he said.

I think Sibal should have stopped at "anything".

He should have just said 'We know our Prime Minister. He cannot do anything."

We agree.

Everything is done by Sonia Gandhi

So why is the poor man made to suffer of is the title of PM so big that he is unwilling to give it up. Taunts and insults are minor hiccups which we shall overcome.

Only those who ride on horses can fall from them.

If you don't ride, you cannot fall.

Manmohan has been doing nothing, right from the beginning? No not nothing.

He was instrumental in getting the nuclear bill passed and for removing the CPM albatross hanging round the neck of UPA 1

Sex - Work or Play?

A man wonders if having sex on the Sabbath is a sin, because he is not sure if sex is WORK or PLAY.

So he goes to a Priest and asks for his opinion on this question.

After consulting the Bible, the Priest says, "My son, after an exhaustive search I am positive that sex is WORK and is therefore not permitted on Sundays."

The man thinks, "What does a Priest know about sex?

So he goes to a Minister, who after all is a married man, and experienced in this matter. He queries the Minister and receives the same reply.

Sex is WORK, and therefore not for the Sabbath.

Not pleased with this reply, he seeks out the ultimate authority, a man of a thousand years of tradition and knowledge.

In other words, he goes to see a Rabbi.

The Rabbi ponders the question, then states, "My son, sex is definitely PLAY.

Shocked, the man replies, "Rabbi, how can you be so sure it is PLAY when so many others tell me sex is WORK?"

The Rabbi softly speaks, "If sex were WORK, ...........my Wife would have the Maid do it.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

An interesting Fact: On Kasmir

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly that made the world community smile.

A representative from India began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Saint Kashyap of Kashmir, after whom Kashmir is named. When he struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath.' He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Pakistani had stolen them.'

The Pakistani representative jumped up furiously and shouted, 'What are you talking about? The Pakistanis weren't there then.'

The Indian representative smiled and said, 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech. 'And they say Kashmir belongs to them........ .........

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bin Laden Raid

Seals Reveal Truth About Bin Laden Raid

Osama Bin Laden was killed within 90 seconds of the US Navy Seals landing in his compound and not after a protracted gun battle, according to the first account by the men who carried out the raid.

The operation was so clinical that only 12 bullets were fired.

The Seals have spoken out because they were angered at the version given by politicians, which they see as portraying them as cold-blooded murderers on a kill mission.

They were also shocked that President Barack 0bama announced Bin Laden's death on television the same evening, rendering useless much of the intelligence they had seized.

Chuck Pfarrer, a former commander of Seal Team 6, which conducted the operation, has interviewed many of those who took part for a book, Seal Target Geronimo, to be published in the US this week.

The Seals own accounts differ from the White House version, which gave the impression that Bin Laden was killed at the end of the operation rather than in its opening seconds. Pfarrer insists Bin Laden would have been captured had he surrendered.

There isn't a politician in the world who could resist trying to take credit for getting Bin Laden but it devalued the intelligence and gave time for every other Al-Qaeda leader to scurry to another bolthole, said Pfarrer. The men who did this and their valorous act deserve better.

It's a pretty shabby way to treat these guys. The first hint of the mission came in January last year when the team's commanding officer was called to a meeting at the headquarters of joint special operations command. The meeting was held in a soundproof bunker three stories below ground with his boss, Admiral William McRaven, and a CIA officer.

They told him a walled compound in Pakistan had been under surveillance for a couple of weeks. They were certain a high-value individual was inside and needed a plan to present to the president. It had to be someone important. So is this Bert or Ernie? He asked.

The Seals nicknames for Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are a reference to two Muppets in Sesame Street, one tall and thin and the other short and fat. We have a voice print, said the CIA officer, and were 60% or 70% certain it's our guy. McRaven added that a reconnaissance satellite had measured the targets shadow. Over 6ft tall.

When McRaven added they would use Ghost Hawk helicopters, the team leader had no doubt. These are the most classified, sophisticated stealth helicopters ever developed, said Pfarrer. They are kept in locked hangars and fly so quiet we call it whisper mode.

Over the next couple of months a plan was hatched. A mock-up of the compound was built at Tall Pines, an army facility in a national forest somewhere in the eastern US.

Four reconnaissance satellites were placed in orbit over the compound, sending back video and communications intercepts. A tall figure seen walking up and down was named the Pacer.

Obama gave the go-ahead and Seal Team 6, known as the Jedi, was deployed to Afghanistan. The White House cancelled plans to provide air cover using jet fighters, fearing this might endanger relations with Pakistan.

Sending in the Ghost Hawks without air cover was considered too risky so the Seals had to use older Stealth Hawks. A Prowler electronic warfare aircraft from the carrier USS Carl Vinson was used to jam Pakistan's radar and create decoy targets.

Operation Neptune's Spear was initially planned for April 30 but bad weather delayed it until May 1, a moonless night. The commandos flew on two Stealth Hawks, codenamed Razor 1 and 2, followed by two Chinooks five minutes behind, known as Command Bird and the gun platform. On board, each Seal was clad in body amour and night vision goggles and equipped with laser targets, radios and sawn-off M4 rifles. They were expecting up to 30 people in the main house, including Bin Laden and three of his wives, two sons, Khalid and Hamza, his courier, Abu Ahmed al- Kuwaiti, four bodyguards and a number of children. At 56 minutes past midnight the compound came into sight and the code Palm Beach signaled three minutes to landing. Razor 1 hovered above the main house, a three-story building where Bin Laden lived on the top floor. Twelve Seals roped the 5ft-6ft down onto the roof and then jumped to a third-floor patio, where they kicked in the windows and entered. The first person the Seals encountered was a terrified woman, Bin Laden's third wife, Khaira, who ran into the hall. Blinded by a searing white strobe light they shone at her,she stumbled back. A Seal grabbed her by the arm and threw her to the floor. Bin Laden's bedroom was along a short hall. The door opened; he popped out and then slammed the door shut. Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo, radioed one Seal, meaning eyes on target.

At the same time lights came on from the floor below and Bin Laden's son Khalid came running up the stairs towards the Seals. He was shot dead. Two Seals kicked in Bin Laden's door. The room, they later recalled, smelt like old clothing, like a guest bedroom in a grandmother's house. Inside was the Al-Qaeda leader and his youngest wife, Amal, who was screaming as he pushed her in front of him. No, no, don't do this! She shouted as her husband reached across the king-size bed for his AK-47 assault rifle. The Seals reacted instantly, firing in the same second. One round thudded into the mattress. The other, aimed at Bin Laden's head, grazed Amal in the calf. As his hand reached for the gun, they each fired again: one shot hit his breastbone, the other his skull, killing him instantly and blowing out the back of his head.

Meanwhile Razor 2 was heading for the guesthouse, a low, shoebox-like building, where Bin Laden's courier, Kuwaiti, and his brother lived. As the helicopter neared, a door opened and two figures appeared, one waving an AK-47. This was Kuwaiti. In the moonless night he could see nothing and lifted his rifle, spraying bullets wildly.

He did not see the Stealth Hawk. On board someone shouted, Bust him!, and a sniper fired two shots. Kuwaiti was killed, as was the person behind him, who turned out to be his wife. Also on board were a CIA agent, a Pakistani-American who would act as interpreter, and a sniffer dog called Karo, wearing dog body armor and goggles.

Within two minutes the Seals from Razor 2 had cleared the guesthouse and removed the women and children.

They then ran to the main house and entered from the ground floor, checking the rooms. One of Bin Laden's bodyguards was waiting with his AK-47. The Seals shot him twice and he toppled over.

Five minutes into the operation the command Chinook landed outside the compound, disgorging the commanding officer and more men They blasted through the compound wall and rushed in.

The commander made his way to the third floor, where Bin Laden's body lay on the floor face up. Photographs were taken, and the commander called on his satellite phone to headquarters with the words: Geronimo Echo KIA Bin Laden enemy killed in action.

This was the first time the White House knew he was dead and it was probably 20 minutes into the raid, said Pfarrer. A sample of Bin Laden's DNA was taken and the body was bagged. They kept his rifle. It is now mounted on the wall of their team room at their headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, alongside photographs of a dozen colleagues killed in action in the past 20 years.

At this point things started to go wrong. Razor 1 took off but the top secret green unit that controls the electronics failed. The aircraft went into a spin and crashed tail-first into the compound... The Seals were alarmed, thinking it had been shot down, and several rushed to the wreckage. The crew climbed out, shaken but unharmed.

The commanding officer ordered them to destroy Razor 2, to remove the green unit, and to smash the avionics. They then laid explosive charges.

They loaded Bin Laden's body onto the Chinook along with the cache of intelligence in plastic bin bags and headed toward the USS Carl Vinson. As they flew off they blew up Razor 2.

The whole operation had taken 38 minutes.

The following morning White House officials announced that the helicopter had crashed as it arrived, forcing the Seals to abandon plans to enter from the roof. A photograph of the situation room showed a shocked Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, with her hand to her mouth.

Why did they get it so wrong? What they were watching was live video but it was shot from 20,000 feet by a drone circling overhead and relayed in real time to the White House and Leon Panetta, the CIA director, in Langley.

The Seals were not wearing helmet cameras, and those watching in Washington had no idea what was happening inside the buildings.

They don't understand our terminology, so when someone said the insertion helicopter has crashed, they assumed it meant on entry, said Pfarrer.

What infuriated the Seals, according to Pfarrer, was the description of the raid as a kill mission. I've been a Seal for 30 years and I never heard the words kill mission, he said.

It's a Beltway [Washington insiders] fantasy world. If it was a kill mission you don't need Seal Team 6; you need a box of grenades. Hooyah!

In God we trust!

If you can read this...thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English...thank a Veteran.

"Action Always Beats Reaction!"

Sent by Prakash Bhartia.

This sure is very gripping and I am sure it will soon be made into a full length movie.v

However, I believe the 90 minutes at Entebbe when when the Israelis went to free their aircraft and all the hostages.

The drama started with the in-flight hijacking of Air France Flight 139 en route from Athens to Paris, carrying over 262 passengers and crew.

The hijacking endorsed and supported by the then President of the Republic of Uganda, Idi Amin.

Israeli commandos travelled silently over 2,500 miles from Israel to Entebbe, landed in darkness at the airport, fought with Ugandan troops & the terrorists and rescued some 103 hostages taking them back to the safety of the Jewish state.

Unfortunately, the Israeli operational leader Colonel Yehonatan Netanyahu, was killed during the rescue.

So distinctly unlike our own capitulation to the hijackers of our own aircrapft to Afghanistan where our own foreign minister had to go to get the passengers released.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Grandpas and Grandchildren

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Olympic Bloopers

Here are the top nine comments made by NBC sports commentators during the Summer Olympics that they would like to take back:

1. Weightlifting commentator: "This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing."

2. Dressage commentator: "This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother."

3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."

4. Boxing Analyst: "Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious."

5. Softball announcer: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."

6. Basketball analyst: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces."

7. At the rowing medal ceremony: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew."

8. Soccer commentator: "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field."

9. Tennis commentator: "One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that, before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them...Oh my God, what have I just said?"

Sent by Prakash Bhartia.

They are truly Olympian Standard

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

UPA wanting a committed Judiciary

Frankly admitting that sometimes judicial overreach disturbed the balance between three branches of state, Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia today cautioned the Government against tinkering with the independence of judiciary.

"The government may make law for making judges accountable. We are not afraid of that. But it should not tinker with the very constitutional principle of judicial independence," he said.

Speaking on the occasion of Independence Day celebrations in the Supreme Court, he urged the Government while bringing law, it should not lose sight of the concept of judicial independence.

Justice Kapadia was apparently referring to the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill which had already been passed by Lok Sabha and is pending in Rajya Sabha.

A controversial clause in the Bill states: "No judge shall make unwarranted comments against the conduct of any constitutional or statutory institution or officials at the time of hearing matters in open courts during the course of hearing matters."

The bill allows the citizens to complain against corrupt judges, but has been facing criticism for this provision which jurists says would "virtually gag" the judges in open courts.

The Chief Justice said that the government must take the opinion of various jurists and take into account various developments around the world before making law.

"We need to make a detailed study before we tinker with the Constitution," he said while emphasising that any disturbance to balance of power among legislative, executive and judiciary would "damage the Constitution for all time to come.

The practice of wanting a committed Judiciary started with Indira Gandhi after her election was set aside and some of her decisions like Privy purse and nationalization of banks was questioned by the judiciary.

The judiciary was allowed to breathe more freely during the Janata Dal and NDA regimes. Now, once again, the judiciary actively pulling up the government on the various scams has again made the UPA worried and are again thinking of clipping the wings of the judiciary.

The government should take note from what is happening in Pakistan where government has come to a standstill because ot stand-off between the government and the judiciary. Here again because of corruption of Zardari

Fireworks before freedom day Verdicts for money - Mamta Banerjee

Fireworks before freedom day Verdicts for money: CM

Calcutta, Aug. 14: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said “what I see is that many verdicts are being delivered in exchange for money”.

“Bicharer bani nirobe, nibhrite kandchhe. Keno aaj shudhu takar binimoye adalote bichar hobe (The voice of justice is weeping silently in the wilderness. Why should cases today be decided in the courts only in exchange for money)?” the chief minister said at a seminar in the Assembly.

The seminar on “Executive Accountability to Parliament/legislature” was held to mark the platinum jubilee of the Assembly. Speaker Biman Banerjee was present when Mamata spoke.

The chief minister, who mostly spoke in Bengali, added: “I’m sorry that I have to say this. I’m saying this because this is the legislative assembly. You can criticise me. I shall be very happy if someone takes me to jail, arrests me, lodges a complaint of defamation. There has to be some place to speak one’s mind. What I see is that many verdicts are being delivered in exchange for money today. Why? The judiciary’s job is to give justice. Corruption has become the main pillar now.... This is our misfortune.”

A sitting high court judge said “if the chief minister’s comment is published in newspapers tomorrow and a member of the legal profession moves the court demanding action, the court can ask for a report from the Speaker”.

He added that had the chief minister made the statement in public, the court could have acted on its own.

But former Assembly Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim said tonight in response to a question: “Since the House was not in session and the Assembly premises were just used for the seminar, her observations about the judiciary could not be part of the House proceedings. So the Speaker had nothing much to do. As such, the chief minister does not enjoy immunity and anybody can move court against the chief minister.”

Mamata tonight said she stood by her statement in the Assembly. “Some people are trying to distort my observations about the judiciary in the Assembly. But what I wanted to assert was that judgments must not be sold. Aami chai bicharer bani jeno nirobe nibhrite na kande (what I want is that no one should be denied justice),” she told a rally in Behala, alluding to a Tagore poem.

At the seminar, Mamata did not cite any specific judgment but her comment came a day after the state human rights commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge A.K. Ganguly, recommended compensation and action against police officers for harassing professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour on the charge of circulating a cartoon.

Without naming anyone, the chief minister said at the seminar: “I brought a very good person and gave him a post. Not someone from my party but someone a little neutral. But then what did I see — oh God, he has no clue at all! He writes as if he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or the President of the country! Doesn’t even know what is under his powers; what his jurisdiction is!

“Therefore, it seems to me, there’s a persistent effort to destroy the system. We respect everybody — every commission, every committee, every kind of constitutional agency.”

Mamata said senior officials were being summoned at odd hours. She did not specifically identify anyone but panels such as the human rights commission can summon officials and have done so.

The chief minister said: “But you speak of accountability? Today someone will issue summons; some other day another person will; then on another day, someone else will. From the chief secretary to the home secretary, from the DG of the police to the CP, everyone is being summoned.

“He has secured some manpower. A car, a house, commission emoluments, facilities of all sorts — but what are they doing? Summoning everybody. Making them wait 12 hours out of the 24 hours. When will the executives work? Before deciding on others’ accountability, it’s necessary to determine the accountability of those who deliver verdicts. Politicians and executives will have accountability but you will not?”

The chief minister hit out at the media, too. “They have no authority on paper, they won’t come onto the field. Some people want to expand their business by abusing politicians. Is black money only with politicians? The media also have black money. If Surjya Kanta Mishra does something wrong, the CID, the CBI can inquire against him. Politicians can be caught easily but not the media because they run channels,” Mamata added.

The above is from the Telegraph. What Mamta has said is nothing new. Anyone who has visited any of the courts of the land will bear out what I say. Besides, having to pay your lawyers his fees, stationery and typing charges you have to pay a fee to the peshkar so that your file is placed before the learned judge. The amount depends upon what you want. Fortunately I am unaware of the big money which Mamata talks about for I have not felt the need to offer the same as I avoid lawyers like the plague.The little interaction I have had with one of them left a very bad taste in my mouth. The second lawyer was very good and reasonable. But Mamta should know that compared to corruption existing among the politicians,the judiciary look like angels. Instead of pointing fingers at the judiciary she should clean uo her own tribe.

Mamata’s dictatorial side

RANABIR RAY CHOUDHURY

On August 8, Belpahari — a village in West Midnapur which had been in the forefront of the “struggle” against the former Left Front Government since the nineties — once more shot into the limelight for a reason which will not stand the Trinamool Government in good stead in the months and years ahead.

Put very simply, the Indian republic is grounded in the tenets of Parliamentary democracy, which were violated brazenly by none other than Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself.

What makes the entire episode tragic is that Banerjee is a forceful democrat herself, her march to power in May last year being wholly dependent on her being able to focus sharply the frustration and dissatisfaction of the people of the State with the growing authoritarian tendencies of the erstwhile Left Front Government.

‘I KNOW THEM’

At Belpahari, while the Chief Minister was telling the crowd (as reported) “on how Maoists entering Belpahari from Jharkhand and Odisha were trying to scupper the Government’s development plans in Jangalmahal,” a man sitting in the front row stood up, pointed a finger at the Chief Minister, and charged her thus: “You are making false promises. You know well that your promises will never be fulfilled. Why are you lying to poor people like us.”

Reportedly, Banerjee turned furious, and pointing a finger at the man shouted into the microphone: “Catch him immediately. I have information that four-five Maoists are present at the meeting venue. They are trying to create disturbance.”

After the man was led away by the police, the Chief Minister turned to the crowd and said: “Did you see how I caught one of them red-handed? I know them.”

Reports appearing on August 9 on the incident said that the police later freed the man — mistakenly identified as Duryodhan Mahato (his real name being Shiladitya Chowdhury) — as they found nothing incriminating about him.

Indeed, a Belpahari police station officer was even quoted as saying that he was an “aggrieved villager” and they could not establish any link between him and the Maoists.

The officer went so far as to say that “he only expressed his displeasure as he said he believed that the Chief Mjinister’s assurances would not help him in any way. So we decided to release him.”

‘UNDESERVING MAMATA’

The matter ought to have ended there, the arm of the law having taken its own course after the Chief Minister put them on to a scent which failed to yield any result.

But Chowdhury was picked up by the police again on August 11 while tilling his land at Nayagram, an hour away by bus from Belpahari, arresting him (as reported) “on non-bailable charges, including criminal intimidation, which carries a maximum (punishment) of life term in prison or even death.”

The police are reported to have said that Chowdhury had entered a high-security zone with “mala fide intentions and tried to create a ruckus.”

Further, it was stated that when the police “went to arrest him on that day (August 8), he fled after a scuffle.”

What should the average citizen make of this entire episode?

Let us quote Markandey Katju, formerly of the Supreme Court and now Chairman of the Press Council of India: “She (the Chief Minister) is totally undeserving to be a political leader in a democratic country like India since she has no respect for constitutional and civil rights of citizens and is totally dictatorial, intolerant, and whimsical in her behaviour.”

How does Banerjee view this scathing indictment?

After all, she swept to power in West Bengal on the crest of a veritable tsunami of popular support.

I think the Supreme Court should do something regarding the way the police write down tutored FIRs as per dictates of their political masters. This is the second occasion in a span of four months. Earlier, they had done the same thing during the Cartoon case of the Jadavpur University teacher, Ambikesh Mahapatra for which the state Human Rights commission has asked the state government to take action on the police. If FIRs are not genuine, we cannot accuse politicians who have criminal cases against them of being corrupt. The FIRs may have been lodged with ulterior motives to defame poliicians. The Supreme Court should ensure FIRs are genuine and policemen who lodge false or imperfect FIRs so that criminals go scot-free, should be punished.

A walk into Jallianwala Bagh on 66th Independence Day

Amritsar, Aug 15 (IANS) It's been over 90 years since British troops led by Brigadier Reginald Dyer fired at unarmed Indian protestors at the Jallianwala Bagh here. But walking through the narrow passage, leading to the now clean, green and well-maintained park whose walls still bear the bullet-marks, manages to evoke a connect. As you step through the only entry to the park, a stone plaque there reads - "This is the place where the bullets were fired from."

You can almost visualise the scene from April 13, 1919.

Hundreds of people still come to visit the historical site, located in a congested area near the holy Sikh shrine Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple. And on the 66th Independence Day, it was no different at the place, now a national memorial spot.

"The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was one of the most tragic incidents in Indian history, so the place is certainly very important in context of the nation's independence. It is very heart-wrenching to see the bullet marks and makes us realise the sacrifices behind the freedom we have today," Hema Upadhyay, a tourist, told IANS.

It is hard to think how, from a lane, where even three people can't walk side by side comfortably, one man managed to perpetrate a massacre, leaving a reported 379 dead, and over 1,100 injured.

For several youngsters, the site takes them back to their history books, but the experience of seeing the bullet marks and "the well" in which several people jumped to their death to escape bullets, is all together different.

The bullet marks are clearly visible as they have been highlighted on the walls, and the 'Martyrs' Well' is covered by a steel net.

"It's something we have been reading about in our history textbooks since childhood. Going there is truly an overwhelming experience. It makes us realise what people had to go through to get us independence," said a college student named Ritika.

Neeta Sharma, a housewife, says once you enter the Jallianwala Bagh, "you automatically go back into the history and start imagining what the atmosphere would have been like on that fateful day."

According to an administration source at the Jallianwala Bagh, most tourists come here during the weekends or on holidays.

"You can say if 100,000 people come to Golden Temple, double the people come to see the Jallianwala Bagh," the source said when asked about the general crowd at the spot at any given point of time.

"A lot of tourists come from Maharashtra and down south. Many choose to first visit the Golden Temple and then they come to the Bagh, roam around, rest and also learn about the history. The people are still eager to know what happened here exactly," added the source.

The Bagh is never shut, and unlike most historical sites, has no entry ticket. It is very well-maintained, clean and green and people across all ages come to see the park, including young couples who don't mind strolling hand in hand. Right in the centre is a huge memorial tower erected in honour of those who died in the massacre.

There is also a museum with black and white photographs describing the incident.

The Jallianwalah Bag massacre was made famous because the opposition was British. What about the massacre which occurred on 5th November 2011 when Swami Ramdeo and his supporters were attacked by 1000 strong police force using lathis against unarmed people at midnight when hundreds were injured and one woman died. It would have been worse but due to the presence of the media and live TV coverage, the UPA had to show restraint. That restraint was not there for the British and so hundreds lost their lives. Maybe, if team Anna, comes to power, a monument will be made for that one person and those who suffered in that lathi charge.

Punish Share Market Scamsters

How do the idea of having a 'safety net' and 'guaranteed returns in 6 months' sound for your investments? No doubt they are very comforting. Well most readers would assume that the instrument being referred to would be a fixed deposit or a debt paper. But what if even your equity investments were ring fenced against market volatility? Well, as investors most of us would prefer safe returns in shortest possible time. But that the capital market regulator should go to any extent promising goodies to boost sentiments seems ridiculous!

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is worried about the lacuna in primary markets. Understandably so. The last 24 months have hardly seen any major capital market issuances by India Inc. Plenty of them have been cancelled at the last minute. Most others have seen investor money getting eroded over time. As a result investors have completely lost interest and confidence in IPOs.

Therefore, in order to reverse the fortunes of the IPO market, the SEBI has proposed some radical reforms. Key amongst them is the proposal to introduce a 'safety net' guarantee for the investors in IPOs. This safety net mechanism is being considered only for retail investors. It would be mandatory for promoters and other entities offloading shares through IPOs to compensate investors in the event of a loss. That is if the company's shares plunge below a certain threshold limit within six months of listing, the promoters will be liable to pay.

We believe that if implemented, such ridiculous reforms could be the perfect recipe for heightened speculation in stock markets. First of all the very idea of making returns from stocks in six months is uncalled for. Moreover, market speculators will hardly miss an opportunity to speculate on such IPOs. If promoters fail to compensate investors in the event of heightened volatility, confidence of retail investors in capital markets will be quashed for good.

Instead of making such absurd promises, we believe that the SEBI could do with some initiatives to ensure better corporate governance amongst companies. That coupled with promoting the idea of long term investing in stocks will solve the purpose. Fiscal incentives and adequate transparency on companies could go a long way in boosting stock investing. To top that we would also suggest that the regulator takes some solid steps in educating retail investors about stock investing.

The above is from the mail I receive from Equitymaster. The basic defect in our system is that we have no system of punishing the guilty according to the severity of his crime. Our politicians and bureaucrats amass wealth by hook or crack, mainly by crook. Politicians are never punished. The people may punish them by not reelecting them but what about the wealth that was amassed. Have we ever been confiscated their wealth? Same with bureaucrats, Their ill-gotten wealth has never been confiscated. What Nitish Kumar has done is a good beginning but I fear it is just for publicity. Do you seriously expect me to believe there have been just two bureaucrats who have amassed wealth by corrupt means? People who come to the share market for money and then cheat the people who subscribe to their issues should be a punished differently. Their names, addresses and family history should be widely published in all relevant media. A finger print, iris scan record should be maintained so that they can never come again to collect funds from the public, banks and financial institutions.

AUDACITY defined...

Anyone want to know the definition of "AUDACITY"? HERE IT IS! Secret Service Buys Two New $1.1 Million Buses for a Three-Day Presidential Campaign Trip while Obama flies ahead of the buses.U.S. President Obama walks to Obama's bus once he arrives in Minneapolis -St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota, August 15, 2011, where Obamais to begin Obama's three-day bus tour in the Midwest centering on the economy.
Obama FLIES into an airport somewhere in the Midwest, hops into one of two brand new $1.1 Million buses, paid for by you and me, for a bus tour around the Midwest. After an hour or so, Obama gets driven back to the airport for ANOTHER FLIGHT, lands at another airport, where another $1.1 Million brand new black Canadian bus is waiting for Obama - and then, repeats all that until Obama's Midwest "bus" tour is done! [These buses are Canadian-built, by the way, because Obama is SO CONCERNED about American manufacturing, creating American jobs and supporting American productivity.] Oh yes... and THEN, Obama leaves on a 10 day vacation to Martha's Vineyard... To REST UP from this grueling campaign bus tour! And don't forget... those brand new shiny black Canadian buses AREN'T DRIVEN to the location where they meet Obama. Oh no, they are loaded up on one or more C-17s so they can be flown to the destination ahead of Obama who is flying in Air Force One. AND... Believe it or not, this process is REPEATED FOR EVERY CAMPAIGN STOP. During this bus tour, Obama will lecture the 'little people' on how they need to live within their means while hinting of possible future government cut-backs and a need to raise revenues (aka: taxes)! Remember, too, Obama's sage advice to a family man to 'GO BUY A HYBRID VAN'when the man said that he couldn't afford to fill up his truck! Obama's personal 'carbon footprint' must be as large as most cities by now.
Sent by Prakash Bhartia. Thank God, our government and political paries in India do not have that kind of cash. The too would willingly do the same if the Indian Rupee was an accepted global currency like the US dollar. Then we could print our Rupee notes as the USA is doing and everybody would accept it, even the Chinese. Until that day, our leaders would have to continue to use helicopters.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

MEDICARE IN AUSTRALIA‏

The phone rings and the lady of the house answers,

"Hello."

"Mrs. Sanders, please."

"Speaking."

"Mrs. Sanders, this is Doctor Jones at Saint Agnes Laboratory.

When your husband's doctor sent his biopsy to the lab last week, a biopsy from another Mr. Sanders arrived as well...

We are now uncertain which one belongs to your husband.

Frankly, either way the results are not too good."

"What do you mean?" Mrs. Sanders asks nervously.

"Well, one of the specimens tested positive for Alzheimer's and the other one tested positive for HIV.

We can't tell which is which."

"That's dreadful! Can you do the test again?" questioned Mrs.Sanders.

"Normally we can, but MEDICARE will only pay for these expensive tests once."

"Well, what am I supposed to do now?"

"The MEDICARE Helpdesk recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town.

If he finds his way home, don't sleep with him.

Sent by Arun Shroff

Man arrested for publicly questioning Mamata

Kolkata, Aug 11 (IANS) A man, who had publicly questioned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about her government policies towards farmers, was arrested from West Midnapore district for "disrupting a public rally and assaulting police officers", police said Saturday.

He was later remanded to 14 days' judicial custody by a court.

"Shiladitya Chowdhury was arrested Saturday morning and booked for disrupting a public rally, entering into a high security zone and assaulting police personnel," Superintendent of Police, Jhargram, Bharati Ghosh told IANS.

Banerjee, on a visit to the Maoist-affected Belpahari area in the district Wednesday, was addressing a public rally when Chowdhury stood up and asked her: "Farmers are dying because they have no money. Empty promises are not enough. What are you doing for farmers?"

Stunned by the question, an angry Banerjee immediately branded him a "Maoist" following which Chowdhury was detained and taken for interrogation by the police.

He was, however, allowed to go that day but was arrested Saturday morning.

This is the level of tolerance of Mamta Banerjee.

After the cartoon e-mail, this is the new low of Mamta.

I just wonder where she would have been if the CPM had used the same yard-stick with her?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Former Assam official amasses crores

Guwahati, Aug. 9: Redaul Hussain Khan, the former deputy director of the Assam social welfare department, is rich beyond his means.

F

or a man whose official income from his salaries since joining government service in 1996 till 2009 is just over Rs 26 lakh, he amassed assets worth more than Rs 14 crore, says a CBI report submitted in the court of the special judge, Assam.

Khan is currently under suspension following his arrest in May 2009 for allegedly diverting government funds to militant coffers.

According to the CBI report, which was submitted in the court by the vigilance and anti-corruption branch of Assam police yesterday, Khan was found to be a crorepati (millionaire) possessing huge property disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The vigilance and anti-corruption branch registered a disproportionate assets case against him on May 25 this year.

The sleuths also conducted searches at Khan’s two houses located in the city on August 2 and 3 on the strength of a search warrant issued by the special court.

An official source said the vigilance and anti-corruption branch had submitted a report at the special court yesterday in connection with the searches conducted at Khan’s residences.

“Along with the report, they have also submitted the CBI report on assets amassed by Khan,” the source said.

The CBI in December last year recommended that the Assam government probe Khan’s disproportionate assets as the CBI cannot register a disproportionate assets case against state government employees. The CBI had found Khan possessing disproportionate assets during its investigation into misuse of central funds provided to the Dima Hasao Autonomous Council.

The source said the CBI found Khan having immovable and movable property worth Rs 14,02,09,943 while his total income from his salary since he joined on February 25, 1996 till 2009 was Rs 25,07,525.

The above is from The Telegraph.

Why do these public servants become corrupt?

It is because they know that the maximum the government can do is suspend them and if the worse comes to worst, they may be dismissed.

Whatever, they have earned through corrupt means is theirs for keeps.

The government never touches that.

If the government and Anna and Swami Ramdeo really want to remove corruption, they should immediatley arrange for all the property amassed through corrupt practises are confiscated, auctioned and the money should go to the government who can set up a trust for aiding the poor.

The Bihar government has initiated some steps but it is just eye wash.

Just publicity without any substance.

Do you seriously believe that in all these years of corruption, Nitish Kumar has just confiscated two properties?

Just fooling the people that he means business.

Kanda leaves Hooda government embarrassed

Chandigarh, Aug 10 (IANS) Till earlier this week, he was Haryana's powerful minister in-charge of home affairs with the entire police force at his beck and call. In a matter of just three days, Gopal Kanda became a fugitive himself, running away from the law.

Kanda, now a former minister but still a legislator in Haryana, could not have imagined that things would change so fast for him. But the suicide by 23-year-old Geetika Sharma, a former flight attendant of his now-defunct MDLR airlines, in Delhi last week was the game-changer. She named Kanda in her suicide note and the Sirsa legislator was stripped of his portfolio.

This was not the first time that Kanda had left the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government in Haryana embarrassed.

Always a controversial figure, his ascent from a school drop-out and petty businessman to one of the richest and most influential people in Haryana's politics - all within a span of just two decades - shows how Kanda used the system for his own gains.

A billionaire politician now, Kanda's penchant for high life could be seen from his sprawling fort-like farmhouse on the outskirts of Sirsa town spread over several acres and touted to be worth Rs.100 crore, as well as other properties in Gurgaon and nearby places. There were also the expensive luxury SUVs, gun-toting police commandos and even bouncers around him.

Added to that were his flashy businesses - an airline, casino and hotels.

On the run from Delhi Police after Geetika Sharma committed suicide last week in her Delhi apartment and named him and another executive, Aruna Chadha, as her tormentors who drove her to commit suicide, Kanda has always managed to be a newsmaker for all the wrong reasons.

When Hooda, compelled to take the support of independent legislators to come back to power in Haryana in October 2009, decided to induct Kanda as a minister in his government, it was a known fact that Kanda had criminal cases pending against him. He was given the home portfolio with the Haryana Police directly under him.

Kanda joining Hooda's bandwagon was equally controversial. He had to be given protection by paramilitary forces and escorted out of Sirsa town in his aircraft to enable him to join Hooda. Kanda had expressed fears of a threat to his life from opposition leaders.

In 2010, Kanda was caught on video asking his police commandos to beat up and fire at shopkeepers who were observing a strike in Sirsa town. He was shown repeatedly using abusive language standing on the door of his official car with the tricolour flag on it.

In July last year, his security men beat up former cricketer Atul Wassan on the Delhi-Gurgaon highway. Wassan had reportedly overtaken his motorcade and Kanda did not like it.

Kanda's staff had beaten up some income tax officials who had raided his premises in Haryana two years ago.

Last year, he had a public spat with the Congress MP from Sirsa, Ashok Tanwar, at a political function in Hooda's presence.

Kanda's case is not an exception but the rule.

Whether Kanda in Haryana or Koda in Jharkhand or A.Raja or Kalamadi in New Delhi or Reddy in Karnataka or Shahabuddin in Bihar, everywhere we are seeing the same thing repeated.

Chief ministers and Prime Ministers are taking the help of criminals to keep their ministeries in power and they continue to do so until the criminals are brought to justice by some mishap like a suicide in this case.

For every such criminal who is caught there are about 20 in each government who are not caught and with the CBI and other investigation agencoies being under the government, there is just no chance of them being caught, unless they go against the government.

That is why I say, we must have an alternative.

That is why Anna's team has to enter politics - TO CLEAN THIS STABLE OF CRIMINALS in parliament and legislatures.

India can win gold .......................................for corruption, says Ramdev

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) If the Olympics gave a medal for corruption, India could have won a gold, yoga guru Baba Ramdev said Friday as thousands poured into the Ramlila Grounds here for day two of his fast.

Calling on all of India to support his agitation against black money and graft, Ramdev said: "India could have won gold if there was a competition for corruption in the Olympics.

The crowds, which had started gathering since 8 a.m., cheered and clapped enthusiastically. To which Ramdev said: "This is not a matter to applaud."

He started the day with a yoga camp, before addressing the crowd in a speech that pitched for his movement against black money as well as for a stringent Lokpal bill, an independent Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a citizen's charter - also the demands of the now disbanded Team Anna.

"If the CBI is made independent, politics will become clean, because CBI is being used to blackmail opposition leaders," he said, echoing Team Anna leaders.

The three-day symbolic fast started Thursday. Organisers are expecting more crowds over the extended three-day weekend.

The above is from my Yahoomail.

What a shame?

And our PM just sits quitly like the SPHINX as if we are talking of some other country

Priceless Observations Department:

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.'

- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

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I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'

- Eleanor Roosevelt

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Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.

- Mark Twain

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The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.

- George Burns

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Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.

- Victor Borge

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Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

- Mark Twain

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By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

- Socrates

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I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.

- Groucho Marx

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My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.

- Jimmy Durante

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I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.

- Zsa Zsa Gabor

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Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.

- Alex Levine

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My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.

- Rodney Dangerfield

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Money can't buy you happiness ... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

- Spike Milligan

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Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP .

- Joe Namath

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I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.

- Bob Hope

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I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.

- W. C. Fields

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We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through

Congress.

- Will Rogers

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Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.

- Winston Churchill

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Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty .. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.

- Phyllis Diller

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By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.

- Billy Crystal

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And the cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out.

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Janmasthami - 2012

Janmashthami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated all over India. For some the holiday was on Thursday and for some on Friday. We too celebrated in our own small way at home. Some pictures of our Mandir with the image of Lord Krishna,Radhaji, Ganeshji and Lakshmiji, Saraswatiji, Hanumanji and picures of Durgaji, Shiv-Parvati and my Gurudev

Germany - the New Super Power

by Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The rise of a German Europe began in 1914, failed twice, and has now ended in the victory of German power almost a century later. The Europe that Kaiser Wilhelm lost in 1918, and that Adolf Hitler destroyed in 1945, has at last been won by German Chancellor Angela Merkel without firing a shot.

Or so it seems from European newspapers, which now refer bitterly to a "Fourth Reich" and arrogant new Nazi "Gauleiters" who dictate terms to their European subordinates. Popular cartoons depict Germans with stiff-arm salutes and swastikas, establishing new rules of behavior for supposedly inferior peoples.

Millions of terrified Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Portuguese and other Europeans are pouring their savings into German banks at the rate of $15 billion a month. A thumbs-up or thumbs-down from the euro-rich Merkel now determines whether European countries will limp ahead with new German-backed loans or default and see their standard of living regress to that of a half-century ago.

A worried neighbour, France, in schizophrenic fashion, as so often in the past, alternately lashes out at Britain for abandoning it and fawns on Germany to appease it. The worries in 1989 of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President François Mitterrand over German unification -- that neither a new European Union nor an old NATO could quite rein in German power -- proved true.

How did the grand dream of a "new Europe " end just 20 years later in a German protectorate -- especially given the not-so-subtle aim of the European Union to diffuse German ambitions through a continent-wide super-state?

Not by arms. Britain fights in wars all over the globe, from Libya to Iraq . France has the bomb. But Germany mostly stays within its borders -- without a nuke, a single aircraft carrier or a military base abroad.

Not by handouts. Germany poured almost $2 trillion of its own money into rebuilding an East Germany ruined by communism -- without help from others. To drive through southern Europe is to see new freeways, bridges, rail lines, stadiums and airports financed by German banks or subsidized by the German government.

Not by population size. Somehow, 120 million Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are begging some 80 million Germans to bail them out.

And not because of good fortune. Just 65 years ago, Berlin was flattened, Hamburg incinerated and Munich a shell -- in ways even Athens , Madrid , Lisbon and Rome were not.

In truth, German character -- so admired and feared in some 500 years of European literature and history -- led to the present Germanization of Europe . These days we recoil at terms like "national character" that seem tainted by the nightmares of the past. But no other politically correct exegesis offers better reasons why a booming Detroit of 1945 today looks like it was bombed, and a bombed-out Berlin of 1945 now is booming.

Germans on average worked harder and smarter than their European neighbours -- investing rather than consuming, saving rather than spending, and going to bed when others to the south were going to dinner. Recipients of their largesse bitterly complain that German banks lent them money to buy German products in a sort of 21st-century commercial serfdom. True enough, but that still begs the question why Berlin , and not Rome or Madrid , was able to pull off such lucrative mercantilism.

Where does all this lead? Right now to some great unknowns that terrify most of Europe . Will German industriousness and talent eventually translate into military dominance and cultural chauvinism -- as it has in the past? How, exactly, can an unraveling EU, or NATO, now "led from behind" by a disengaged United States, persuade Germany not to translate its overwhelming economic clout into political and military advantage?

Can poor European adolescents really obey their rich German parents? Berlin in essence has now scolded southern Europeans that if they still expect sophisticated medical care, high-tech appurtenances and plentiful consumer goods -- the adornments of a rich American and northern Europe lifestyle -- then they have to start behaving in the manner of Germans, who produce such things and subsidize them for others.

In other words, an Athenian may still have his ultra-modern airport and subway, a Spaniard may still get a hip replacement, or a Roman may still enjoy his new Mercedes. But not if they still insist on daily siestas, dinner at 9 p.m., retirement in their early 50s, cheating on taxes, and a de facto 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. workday.

Behind all the EU's 11th-hour gobbledygook, Germany 's new European order is clear.

Sent bu Arun Shroff

Humility - Zavere Poonawala


This about Mr. Zavere Poonawala who is a well-known Parsee industrialist in Pune. He had this driver named Ganga Datt with him for the last 30 years on his limousine, which was originally owned by Acharya Rajneesh.
Ganga Datt passed away recently and at that time Mr. Poonawala was in Mumbai for some important work. As soon as he heard the news, he canceled all his meetings, requested the driver's family to await him for the cremation and came back to Pune immediately by a helicopter.
On reaching Pune, he asked the limo to be decorated with flowers as he wished Ganga Datt should be taken in the same car which he himself had driven since the beginning. When Ganga Datt's family agreed to his wishes, he himself drove Ganga Datt from his home up to the ghat on his last journey.
When asked about it, Mr. Poonawala replied that Ganga Datt had served him day and night, and he could a t least do this being eternally grateful to him. He further added that Ganga Datt rose up from poverty and educated both his children very well. His daughter is a Chartered accountant and that is so commendable.
His comment in the end, is the essence of a successful life in all aspects:
“Everybody earns money which is nothing unusual in that, but we should always be grateful to those people who contribute to our success. This is the belief, we have been brought up with, which made me do, what I did”.
An inspiring example of humility.......
Sent by Arun Shroff