Sunday, March 31, 2013
It is not often that we see our old teachers. Especially for us who happened to pass out from school in 1965. When I went to meet Br. Fernandez at St. Mary's on 1st January for wishing him a Happy New year he informed me that Br. Peters who taught us Chemistry 1965 would be coming over to St. Mary's from Shillong in January to spend the winter. We made plans to meet him. However there were four of us from the 1965 batch in Kolkata and herding all four together proved to be a difficult task. However, three of us were finally able to meet him on 7th of March, just two days before he was due to return to Shillong. S.P Chatterjee, A K Roy and I were the lucky ones. J K Ghosh could not make it as he had some urgent work. He looked very much the same although slightly worn out because of age. Naturally he did not recognize any of us. But his memory was jogged by SP when he brought some old cards and letters which Brother had sent to SP SP had preserved these all these years it looked like just for this meeting. There was so much to talk about, bringing ourselves updated on all that he had dome after he taught us and we updated him. It was a pleasant three hours we had. We promised to meet him regularly during his winter visits to Kolkata.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Kolkata, March 29 (IANS) There was no signs of a thaw in the standoff between the Mamata Banerjee regime and the West Bengal state election commission, putting a big question mark on the panchayat polls schedule announced by the government. The ruling party sharpened its attack on the commission while the opposition accused the government of attempts to create a constitutional crisis so that the polls are not held on time. State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, who called on Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Banerjee during the day, admitted that it was difficult to hold the maiden phase of the elections April 26 as scheduled. "We will take a final decision on Monday," he said. Earlier in the day, Mukherjee had said a fresh notification on the rural polls would be issued soon. "We find it very difficult to consider and agree to suggestions given by the commission," he said, responding to the latest missive from the panel Thursday stressing the need for deployment of central paramilitary troopers. The state election commission has sought 800 companies of central paramilitary troopers, a suggestion that has not found favour with the Banerjee government. However, Mukehrjee seemed to have softened this tone on the issue, saying there was no guarantee that the state will get 800 companies of paramilitary forces if it asked for. Meanwhile, Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy alleged that letters penned by the panel were being drafted in the office of a rival political party. Roy also accused the state poll panel of delaying the elections. Alleging a collusion between the commission and the opposition, he said "The support for the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and the Congress has sharply declined. There is a conspiracy to delay the polls so as to defer the certain defeat of these opposition parties." Hinting that the erstwhile LF government had extended the tenure of the state election commission from three to six years with ulterior motives, Roy said: "The necessary amendment was passed only in 2010, when an imminent political change in the state was quite perceptible." Roy also ruled out a role for the governor in the ongoing deadlock. The Congress hit out against the state government, saying it was "trying to create a constitutional crisis". "It intentionally went against constitutional provisions and unilaterally announced the poll schedule to precipitate a crisis so that the polls are not held in time," said party state unit president Pradip Bhattacharya. Left Front chairman Biman Bose said there was a cloud over the Panchayat polls schedule and questioned the intention of the government to hold the rural polls. If morning shows the day, then the SEC is 100% right in demanding that the Panchayat elections be held under the supervision of central forces. We have seen during the last few months how the TMC has handled the law order situation in Bengal. They have sabotaged all investigations where TMC workers were involved in murder and rape. The situation has deteriorated so much that the Governor of the State had to pass critical remarks. The SEC is entirely if fearing that the TMC would create a law and order situation to win the Panchayat elections. Mamata Banerjee is following all the footsteps of the CPM and has probably prepared the blue print for scientific rigging as well.
Lucknow, March 30 (IANS) More trouble comes the way of former Uttar Pradesh minister and independent legislator from Kunda, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya in the triple murder case at Balipur. The family of gram pradhan Nanhe Yadav has complained to the CBI of threats from the former minister and his men. Nanhe Yadav was shot dead March 2, while having tea at a stall in Balipur village. His brother Suresh was also killed. In a written complaint to the CBI team camping in the village to probe the triple murder, including that of deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Zia-ul-Haq, who rushed to the village to quell violent protests, the family of the deceased Nanhe and Suresh Yadav have apprehended threat to their lives. They told the investigative agency that they feared the "political connections" of the former minister. Seeking security for the family, Pawan, the younger brother of the pradhan, has alleged that Raja Bhaiyya had telephonically threatened him not to proceed with the case any further. Pawan has also demanded that the CBI question Raja Bhaiyya in the case. A senior CBI official confirmed to IANS Saturday that a formal complaint (tehreer) with regard to the threat perception to the family of the deceased village head had been received. "We have received a complaint and would act on it as per law," he said. Meanwhile, sources said that the CBI team probing the murders had decided to register Raja Bhaiyya's name in the case diary of the triple murder, thus making it imminent that the legislator be "put through interrogation." Soon after the murder of the police official, his widow Parveen had also accused Raja Bhaiyya of conspiring to kill her husband. "There is no doubt that Raja Bhaiyya had a hand in my husband's death," she had said. Zia-ul-Haq, circle officer of Kunda, was killed March 2 by a mob when he rushed to Balipur following the murder of village pradhan Nanhe Yadav and his younger brother Suresh. After the widow of the cop pointed fingers at Raja Bhaiyya and his name was included in the first information report (FIR), the Kunda MLA was forced to quit the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet. It does not require an elephants memory to remember the criminal antics of one Shahabuddin, a criminal MP during Lalu Yadav's reign, whose career was cut short after Nitish Kumar came to power. I wonder where he is rotting now. This Raja Bhaiyya was kicked out of Mayawati's cabinet but was welcomed with open arms by Mulayam Singh and made a minister of jails in Akhilesh Yadav's ministry. Habits die hard. Raja Bhaiyya was again up to his old tricks but he may have bit off more than he could chew when he arranged to bump off the D S P, Zia-ul-Haq. The fact that the DSP was a Muslim has queered the pitch for Mulayam Singh as if he did not take action, his Muslim vote bank would leave him. Further, the persistence of the DSP's widow, Parveen, has paid off. Let us hope now the law will actually take its course and not as the politician's claim it will.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
New Delhi, March 28: Press Council of India chairperson Markandey Katju Thursday said he would continue to seek pardon on humanitarian grounds for actor Sanjay Dutt and Zaibunissa Kazi, who have been sentenced to five years in prison for their role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Clarifying his position after Sanjay told reporters in Mumbai that he would not seek pardon and would surrender within the given timeframe, former Supreme Court Justice Katju said: "Sanjay Dutt may not appeal for pardon, but I will appeal for his pardon. I think he deserves pardon." "He has said that he will not seek pardon but others can apply for pardon, and I'm going to apply for him. I'm preparing a letter today (Thursday) for pardon for both Sanjay and Zaibunnisa," Katju told a news channel. He said he would seek pardon for both Sanjay, 53, and Zaibunissa Kazi, 70, on humanitarian grounds. Zaibunnisa was a co-accused in the 1993 bomb blasts case and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by the Supreme Court. Katju had said two days ago that he received an e-mail from Shagufta, Zaibunnisa's daughter, appealing to him to seek pardon for her mother. Elaborating on the reasons for his stance, Katju said, "This man (Sanjay Dutt) has suffered enough for 20 years. I will continue my efforts to get pardon for him. It is purely on humanitarian basis. Personally, I don't know the man. I'm not his fan and I don't see films. I'm not his relative or friend, but both Sanjay Dutt and Zaibunissa deserve pardon on humanitarian basis." "Pardon can be granted on myriad grounds. Public good is one of them, it can be humanitarian and various grounds," Katju added. Katju's reaction came soon after Sanjay Dutt, who has been convicted under the Arms Act for his role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, said he would surrender when the time comes and would not be seeking pardon. Speaking out for the first time since the Supreme Court handed down its verdict last week, Sanjay appealed to the media for privacy and said: "...When I am not going for pardon, there is no debate." An emotional Sanjay, who broke down while addressing the media, said he had the highest respect for the court. "This a very, very tough time," he said. "Just let me be in peace till I go in." He said he would be completing his work commitments. I notice that a host of Congress party leaders including Digvijay Singh are asking for pardon for Sanjay. Now Katju has added the name of Zaibunnisa so that he can give a more balanced view. I suppose the Congress leaders and film personalities will now start espousing Zaibunnisa's case also. But who are these people to pardon or seek pardon for the accused. Pardon can only be granted by those who were affected by the Mumbai Bomb blasts, that is the victims who died or were maimed for life and their relatives. Only those people have the right to pardon them of seek their pardon. All the others are just playing to the gallery.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
DEAR ALL, Are You Suffering from Heart Diseases? Have you been advised to undergo Angiography or Bypass surgery? Please Wait... Before you undergo Angiography or Bypass treatment, you must try with confidence this remedy. God Willing, the blood vessels going to your heart will be reopened You will be cured. A few days back someone suffered acute pain on the left side of his chest and thereafter, experienced discomfort which continued for quite some time. He decided to get himself checked. After check-up and ECG the physician/cardiologist advised him to have an angiography done. The angiography was done and the cardiologist advised him for a Bypass as three of his arteries were blocked with different percentages. He then met his friend who also happened to be a Vaid (an Ayurvedic Practioner)and told him, what the doctors had advised. The doctor had even fixed a date after about a month for the operation. During this period, the Vaid prescribed the remedy below which he took for exactly a month. A day before his bypass operation, he arrived at the Hospital in Mumbai for a second check-up to see if there was any improvement as he had started feeling much better. After taking a close look at the results and his previous results, the Doctors asked him if he had taken any medication after the previous tests were carried out. He told them that besides the medicine prescribed by the doctor he had taken the following as prescribed by the Vaid. Ingredients For Making Heart Arteries Opening Drink Ingredients: Lemon juice:- 1 cup Ginger juice :-1 cup Garlic juice:-1 cup Apple cider vinegar:- 1 cup Mix all above and simmer in low heat for about 60 minutes or till solution reduces to 3 cups. Remove solution to cool, then mix 3 cups of natural honey and store it in a jar. Drink one tablespoon daily before breakfast. Your arteries blockage will open in most cases. It does not taste bad in spite of the Garlic as the other three and honey neutralize its taste. Obviously, the operation was cancelled. Warm Regards Sumit Kumar Sharma The above has been sent by a very close relative of mine and I can guarantee its efficacy. His father has been taking the above with tremendous improvement in the breathing problems he was having. As informed earlier, I was in Bangalore from the 11th to the 28th of February. On the 25th Feb, my wife started feeling extremely uncomfortable in her chest and her heart palpitations increased and she thought she would probably die.She was stressed and was sobbing.She took a sorbitrate but things did not improve. There was nobody at home. I being in Bangalore and my younger son Jay, being in office. She called my son and asked him to fix an appointment with our family physician, Dr. R S Mazumdar. The doctor was very angry on doing the ECG. His reports for ECG was LBBB/LAHB/S3/N, LV strain , RSR in V5 V6, her BP was 160/80, She started taking the following medicines. FLAVEDON MR, NITROCONTIN 6.4, CLOPILET 75, STAMLO-T, NITREST and SORBITRATE (SOS). On the 28th she started taking Hriday Sudha, an ayurvedic heart tonic and some ayurvedic tablets from our ashram n Ahmedabad. On the 15th March, we went again to report to the doctor. This was the doctors report. ECG 3 weeks back was LBBB/LAHB 1HD. Now on 15.3.13, it is normal. BP 120 / 80. There was skin rash like blood leaking under the skin. Clopilet was stopped by the doctor. The doctor himself was astonished how such a bad ECG could become normal in 20 days. We told him it was probably because of the ayurvedic tonic. What was the tonic? The composition on the bottle is given below. Aiiium Sativum - 14.28% Zingiber Officinale - 14.29% Citrus Medica - 28.58% Honey - 42.85% Now what is Aiiium Sativum and Zingiber Officinale. It is Garlic and Ginger. An what is Citrus Medica? It is a type of lime. So you see, the formula given above is similar to what my wife has taken and has been foud to be very effective. Only addition was the Apple Cider Vinegar. I don't know what affect Honey would have on Diabetes patients. I suppose I shall have to test it on my self and check the blood sugar levels everyday. So, go ahead and try out the above if you have any heart problem and don't have diabetes.. The more people try it out, the more will be the confirmation. You can continue taking the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Just add this tonic. I will later let you know the results on my diabetes. You will get much faster relief.
If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's an erudite scientist and humorist whose mind sees and expresses things differently than most of us do. ." Here are some of his gems: 1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize. 2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back. 3 - Half the people you know are below average. 4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name. 5 - 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. 6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good. 7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. 8 - If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain. 9 - All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand. 10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. 11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend, But she left me before we met. 12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark? 13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink? 14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. 15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. 16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane. 17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. 18 - Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now. 19 - I intend to live forever. So far, so good. 20 - If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? 21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. 22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice? 23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder." 24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name. 25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. 26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. 27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. 28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread. 29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research. 30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard. 31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up. 32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it. 33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film. 34 - If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you. 35 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work? Sent by Prakash Bhartia
Recently, Sanjay Dutt was in the news for all the wrong reasons. 18.03.2013 - Congress member Sanjay Dutt said that the water tankers for Asaram Bapu's festivities were supplied by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. "He (Asaram Bapu) wasted lakhs of litres of water while celebrating Holi at the Kasturchand Park in Nagpur yesterday," Dutt alleged, raising the matter in a point of propriety, and demanded action against the supporters of Asaram Bapu. 21.03.2013 - MUMBAI—India's top court Thursday sentenced Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt to five years in jail for the illegal possession of arms in a case connected to a series of bomb blasts that ripped through Mumbai and were one of the deadliest terror attacks in the country. I was just wondering if the first and second items are connected. Remember the saying, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. There his been quite a row on the Holi celebration of my Guruji. I thought, it would be better if you got the opposite view also. Not wasting water but saving water. Ayurveda texts describe the benefits to the skin of colours made of Palash flowers. It prevents Irritation of the eyes, allergies, insomnia, various dermatological problems, depression, anxiety, psychosomatic illnesses, such as depression prevents other intractable problems. To save water and prevent the harmful effects of chemical dyes, Sant Shri Asharamji Bapuji ' organizes collective Holi using natural colors. Of the tankers ordered for the Nagpur and Aroli (Thane) and Satsang – programs only one tanker per programme was used to play Holi. The waters of all the other tankers were used for drinking purposes. Thus the propaganda of 'Wastage of millions of liters of water' - are misleading and untrue. Six thousand liters of water was used for a gathering of more than a lakh of people ie. Less than 60 ml per person was used. These faithfuls do not celebrate Isolated Holi in their homes. Thus this type of mass program saves at least 20 to 30 Lakhs liters of water. Pujya Bapuji is encouraging this trend of playing Holi with natural colours instead of chemical dyes across the country. Thus money to the tune of millions and billions are saved from going abroad. Some people suggest that Holi be played with dry colours. But each person would require anywhere within 35 to 200 liters of water to wash away. Thus on an average for every one lakh person we would require 1 crore liter of water for Holi. In contrast, playing Holi with natural colors of the Palash flower gives employment to the poor adivasis in the villages and also improves the health of the persons using the colours and reduces their medical expenses. Over the past many years more than 50 crore liters of drinking water and cold drinks made of Palash, Rose and Awala syrups and butter-milk is being distributed free of costs to the thirsty millions during the summers in many regions of India by the different Ashrams and Samithis, inspired by Bapuji. Crores of devotees who go to Bapuji’s Satsang have been offered cold drinks made of the flowers of this Palash tree which is called Brahmabriksh as it cures many ailments. Do you want to know what waste of water is? And where is it occurring? In the abattoirs, 15000 liters of water is used to get 1 Kg of meat. 18 lakh liters drinking water per day is wasted in Maharashtra Deonar Abattoirs. To make 1 liter of cold drink, 55 liter of water is wasted. In the cold drink and alcohol making industries, crores of liters are wasted to wash the bottles and machinery. In the large luxurious hotels Lakhs of liters of water are made available for the swimming pools. When our politicians come to visit drought-hit areas, thousands of liters of water are sprayed before the helicopter lands so that the helicopter does not blow dust over the area. In the name of 'Rain Dance', 'Pool Party', resorts and hotels waste Lakhs of liters of water. The Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Mr. Binod Tavde has provided the shocking figures of the water used by the Beer making industries in Maharashtra. He gave documents of the figures published in “The New India Express” on 15th March of the crores of liters of water wasted and the astonishing increase in the wastage every year. (1) Millennium Beer India Ltd - The Wine manufacturer was given 1,288 crore liters in January 2012 which was nearly doubled to 2,014 crore liters in November 2012. (2) Foster's India Limited: - They got 888.7 crore liters water in January 2012. This was increased to 1000.7 crore liters of water in November 2012. (3) Indo - European Breweries: - In January 2012 they got 252.1 crore liters of water. In November 2012, they got 470.1 crore liters. (4) Aurangabad Brewery - This giant wine manufacturer was given 1462.1 crore liters of water which has been increased to 1400.3 liters. According to a survey of 'Observer Research Foundation” in Mumbai, 65 crore liters of water is wasted everyday due to leaking pipes. This water flows directly into the drains. At least Holi water falls on human beings giving health benefits. Using the print and Electronic media to publish such news items as “Wastage of Lakhs of liters of water” is misleading and is untruthful. Propagating such idiotic views on the collective Holi celebrations for conservation of water has hurt the feelings of his crores of disciples. It would have been much better if instead they placed the truth and showed how this programme is saving water, improving the health using national resources and also giving employment to the poor adivasis and benefiting the general masses.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sometimes good - sometimes not so good. Take Switzerland. The images of pristine alpine ski slopes, the famous Toblerone chocolates that are shaped like its beautiful peaks and lazy cows with bells singing in the mountain air are what the travel brochures project. But Switzerland is still seen as that shady country willing to hide the illegal wealth of African dictators, Asian politicians, Middle East arm dealers, Russian oligarchs, or India's notoriously dishonest businessmen and members of the establishment. A James Bond movie will typically have a scene of "bad" money changing hands in a Swiss Bank. A crime novel will have some link to a numbered account of a Swiss Bank. The SEC and the Eurozone still badger the Swiss to get rid of their secrecy and open their banking practices to global scrutiny. If you wish to embarrass a politician (not that they ever get embarrassed), all you need to do is allege they have a Swiss bank account. You don't need to say its "dirty" money - that is a given. So, while most people love Switzerland for its chocolates, the real secret of Switzerland's success may have been the ability and willingness to act as a laundering machine for dirty money. A marketing person would say that is the "brand attribute". And with that they would promptly release an ad campaign: Why is Switzerland such a clean country? Because it is one big laundering machine. Swiss under threat? But in a world that is flat (though crooked) the monopoly of that brand attribute is rapidly changing - you no longer need to go to Switzerland, Singapore, or Mauritius to launder money. As the Cobrapost sting operations across 49 branches of Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank in five zones have shown, you can allegedly launder money right here at home in India. 24x7: the branch managers will be willing to open the bank branches for you at special hours. True, the chocolates in India are terrible - nor is the air as clean and crisp as the air in Switzerland. But, when laundering money is your main objective, maybe those ancillary things don't matter. These private sector banks have been opening branches at the rate of maybe 5 per business day. Over the next seven years, by the year 2020, these banks will have covered every nook and corner of India with their glass and steel branches. Before you can say "Cobra Sting" they will have converted all your dirty black money into sparkling white life insurance policies. It may cost you Rs 880 per Rs 100,000 to do this magic trick - and it will cost you a lot more in hidden commissions if you buy those insurance products - but what are a few rupees between friends? The good news is that the branch managers will have met their monthly targets. And these companies will have met their annual earnings targets. The senior managements of these banks will retire rich - their ESOPs will be worth a lot more. After all, life is a "baniya ka hisaab kitab" - as a senior member of one of the stung banks had told me many years ago. And that clearly shows up in the video tapes. Life is about targets, profit growth, and market cap. Life - and business - is not about ethics, about doing the right thing, or about being fair. We lost that innocence when people we look up to tell you "as it is". The Mahatma's image may be on the notes but the impunity of Mrs Gandhi is in the hands that grab them. Mr. Deepak Parekh, the venerable Chairman of HDFC, reminded us while talking at a CNBC event a few months ago: corruption is a non-issue and cannot be eradicated; the media are wasting their time talking about it. It is this same corruption that generates the black money which allegedly gets laundered by supposedly holy private sector banks. Banks which have commanded a valuation premium (in full disclosure companies I am affiliated with, may own some of these shares for clients). This black money is one of the large engines of growth in earnings. Banks moving into clean-tech, Indians can buy gold The boring scientists and PhD types tell us that clean tech is a process of converting a low energy input into a higher energy output, without pollution. But we know these scientist-type folks remain poor with dishevelled hair, frayed collars, and torn chappals. The scientists need to learn the creative use of clean-tech technology as mastered by the suave bankers with gelled hair, stiff button-down shirts, and polished black shoes. Normally, a person earning an income of Rs 1 lakhs would need to pay a 30% rate of tax to convert his income to what is called "white money". But the clean-tech banks, using business principles that have baffled those with Ph. D.'s, can find ways to convert cash or "black money" into "white money" by paying Rs 880 per lakh, or a "conversion charge" of 0.88%. That sure beats the official tax rate of 30% for your hard earned profits. In fact, banks can now boldly advertise: Clean-tech investing with low tax impact. Contact your bank for further details. The Finance Minister should no longer focus on telling the RBI what he thinks the interest rate should be. Instead he must give tax credits to the private sector banks to devise a method to convert our unclean air into energy and reduce India's oil-import bills. If that were to happen, the FM will finally allow us to buy as much gold as we want! And buy gold we must. India certainly needs more of these private sector banks (yes, RBI, please grant more licenses) and India needs more of its respected business leaders to suggest that fighting corruption is waste of time. So, every time you hear about a new branch being opened in your smelly, stinky neighbourhood just think of it as another step in the right direction: by 2020 India will be the cleanest country in the world. But, sadly, you will still need to visit Switzerland for their chocolates. They are the best! The above is from "The Honest Truth" written by Ajit Dalal for the Equitymaster.
Every Friday the vice president takes a helicopter designated as Marine Two from the vice president’s residence in northwest Washington to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland . He then hops on Air Force Two to fly back to his home in Delaware . At the end of the weekend, he returns on Air Force Two, usually a Boeing C-32. On Saturdays in warm weather, Biden regularly returns to Andrews on the airplane to play golf at the base with President Obama. After the game, he flies back to Delaware . On Sunday evening, he returns on the plane to Washington — all at taxpayer expense. The Boeing C-32 is a specially configured Boeing 757-200 commercial jet. The cost of flying the plane is $22,000 an hour, so each half-hour trip to or from Delaware costs about $10,000. Each golf game costs taxpayers $20,000. At that rate, the annual cost to taxpayers of Biden’s weekend trips is well over $1 million. That does not include so-called deadhead flights when the plane often flies back to Washington empty and then returns empty to pick up Biden. In addition, the Secret Service rents more than 20 condominiums in the Wilmington area for agents who must accompany Biden when he returns to his home state. Rather than try to find hotel space, the Secret Service decided to rent the condos in part because, even when he knows his schedule in advance, Biden rarely tells agents until the last minute when he will be returning to Wilmington beyond his weekend trips. As a result, agents cannot plan their own lives. A Secret Service agent says that since Air Force Two parks at Andrews, Obama is obviously aware that Biden is running up a huge government tab for each game of golf they play. Biden’s press office had no comment. Asked if President Obama thinks these costs are appropriate and why he has not questioned Biden’s flying to play golf with him at a cost of $20,000 per game, the president’s press office had no comment. Biden’s commutes have cost taxpayers at least $4 million so far. After my story ran on Newsmax, a major media outlet obtained Pentagon records confirming the trips and costs. But so far, that outlet has not run the story. The rest of the media have ignored it. In addition to his salary as vice president of $230,700, Biden has free use of the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory. The vice president’s residence is a handsome 9,150-square-foot, three-story mansion overlooking Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington . Complete with pool, pool house, and indoor gym, the white brick house was built in 1893 as the home of the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory. Congress turned it into the official residence of the vice president in 1974 and gave it the address One Observatory Circle . During the day, at least five Navy stewards attend to every personal need of the second family, including cleaning, cooking, shopping for food, and doing the laundry. Biden has portrayed himself as a regular Joe, a product of a working-class family who takes on millionaires and Republicans who are said to be out of touch with middle-class Americans. Last June, Obama appointed Biden to root out wasteful government spending. But behind the scenes, it’s a different matter. Biden’s disregard for the cost of constantly shuttling back and forth to his home in Wilmington and his additional trips to golf with the president betray the arrogant, contemptuous attitude we saw him display toward Ryan during the debate. “The White House is a character crucible,” Bertram S. Brown, M.D., a psychiatrist who formerly headed the National Institute of Mental Health, told me for the Secret Service book. “It either creates or distorts character. Few decent people want to subject themselves to the kind of grueling abuse candidates take when they run in the first place,” says Dr. Brown. “Even if an individual is balanced, once someone becomes president, how does one solve the conundrum of staying real and somewhat humble when one is surrounded by the most powerful office in the land, and from becoming overwhelmed by an, at times, pathological environment that treats you every day as an emperor?”; The vice president has chosen the emperor approach, revealing his true character. Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is the New York Times best selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Sent by Prakash Bhartia Well, I suppose politicians are the same everywhere.
The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System has a range of roughly 2,300 feet - and is to be deployed in Afghanistan this month. The rifle's gun sight uses a laser rangefinder to determine the exact distance to the obstruction, after which the soldier can add or subtract up to 3 meters from that distance to enable the bullets to clear the barrier and explode above or beside the target. Soldiers will be able to use them to target snipers hidden in trenches rather than calling in air strikes. The 25-millimetre round contains a chip that receives a radio signal from the gun sight as to the precise distance to the target. Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the system, described the weapon as a 'game-changer' that other nations will try and copy. He expects the Army to buy 12,500 of the XM25 rifles this year, enough for every member of the infantry and special forces. Lehner told FoxNews: 'With this weapon system, we take away cover from enemy targets forever. 'Tactics are going to have to be rewritten. The only thing we can see enemies being able to do is run away.' Experts say the rifle means that enemy troops will no longer be safe if they take cover. The XM25 appears to be the perfect weapon for street-to-street fighting that troops in Afghanistan have to engage in, With enemy fighters hiding behind walls and only breaking cover to fire occasionally. The weapon's laser finder would work out how far away the enemy was and then the U.S. soldier would add one meter using a button near the trigger. When fired, the explosive round would carry exactly one meter past the wall and explode with the force of a hand grenade above the taliban fighter. The army's project manager for new weapons, Douglas Tamilio, said: 'This is the first leap-ahead technology for troops that we've been able to develop and deploy.' A patent granted to the bullet's maker, Alliant Techsystems, reveals that the chip can calculate how far it has travelled. Mr Tamilio said: 'You could shoot a Javelin missile, and it would cost $43,000. These rounds will end up costing $15.50 apiece. They're relatively cheap. Lehner added: 'This is a game-changer. The enemy has learned to get cover, for hundreds if not thousands of years. Well, they can't do that anymore. We're taking that cover from them and there's only two outcomes: We're going to get you behind that cover or force you to flee.' The rifle will initially use high-explosive rounds, but its makers say that it might later use versions with smaller explosive charges that aim to stun rather than kill.. One of the revolutionary bullets which can be pre-programmed to explode to hit troops that are hiding. Sent by Prakash Bhartia
Monday, March 25, 2013
The kids filed into class Monday morning. They were all very excited.. Their weekend assignment was to sell something, and then give a talk on salesmanship. Little Sally led off. "I sold Girl Scout cookies and I made $30" she said proudly, "My sales approach was to appeal to the customer's civil spirit and I credit that approach for my obvious success." "Very good", said the teacher. Little Debbie was next. "I sold magazines" she said, "I made $45 and I explained to everyone that magazines would keep them up on current events." "Very good, Debbie", said the teacher. Eventually, it was Little Johnny's turn. The teacher held her breath. Little Johnny walked to the front of the classroom and dumped a box full of cash on the teacher's desk. "$2,467", he said. "$2,467!" cried the teacher, "What in the world were you selling?" "Toothbrushes", said Little Johnny. "Toothbrushes", echoed the teacher,"How could you possibly sell enough tooth brushes to make that much money?" "I found the busiest corner in town", said Little Johnny, "I set up a Dip & Chip stand and I gave everybody who walked by a free sample." They all said the same thing, "Hey, this tastes like dog poop!" Then I would say, "It is dog poop. Wanna buy a toothbrush? I used the President Bush method of giving you some crap, dressing it up so it looks good, telling you it's free and then making you pay to get the bad taste out of your mouth." Little Johnny got five stars for his assignment. Bless his heart. Sent by Prakash Bhartia
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Today I experienced how the taxi drivers must feel when they are foulmouthed by policemen of different denominations. And now I feel can empathise with them somewhat. The fact is I love driving around, but am always a careful and law-abiding driver. I give way to uphill traffic, I signal my intentions much in advance, people in a hurry I always make room for, any vehicle with a lamp and in a hurry I always give side to, specifically ambulances, fire tenders and vehicles with their emergency lights on etc. I also give way to the many red light vehicles that always seem to be in a hurry, even though it gets my gall, (more than anything else I feel that the drivers in these vehicles are aiming to please the VIP occupants by speeding so that the flag up front flutters). When I come across pilot vehicles I automatically swerve to the side. When it is the pilot of the state’s number one citizen, like everybody else I gave way. Oh yes we drivers know when number one is coming along; you just got to notice the panicky reactions of the traffic police, the civil police on duty and even the home guards on traffic duty (who are given all the dirty work by their police brethren)along the sides of Sikkim highways. Thus today around 1 pm while driving up to Gangtok, I came across the CM’s motorcade coming down – probably on the way to Rabong or wherever. Like every other vehicle I too headed for the side of the road. However, since it was at the bend of Central Hotel, below the old Lal Bazaar Super Market, and there was a stopped downhill facing vehicle on the opposite side of the road, I didn’t stop straight away as the rushing vehicles might have hit me and slowly crept forward toward the gate of the ‘Lower Secretariat’ to give more space to the CM’s convoy and stopped. The pilot vehicle whizzed by but not before some idiot in the vehicle yelled at me –“EH SIDE GAR AIE”. Boy was I cheesed off. Here’s me a humble, law abiding citizen (voter), a very careful and safe driver with a high sense of road and driving etiquette and I get bawled at for doing the correct thing by some idiot in the pilot vehicle. Police everywhere in the world are trained to be civil. You got to take your hats off to the British police who are all civil and polite even when they beat the shit out of suspects and convicts (so I’ve been led to believe). The US cops we see day-in-and-day-out in the movies –“Sir please raise your hands – you have the right to remain silent etc.” What is wrong with our administration/government/authorities that policemen have no respect for the common man? They get high and mightier specifically when they are on escort duty etc. Anyway after I sat down to think about this (I get angry very late, sometimes a day or two later) I realized that there are many, too many, things wrong in Sikkim and changes are really needed sooner than later. By changes I don’t mean replacing one necessary evil with another one. I think it’s time common, sensible and ordinary people and voters (like me for example) started looking at alternatives and started making a stand for themselves if Sikkim is to survive even as a semblance of the Sikkim that we all once used to know. So help me God. The above was posted on FB by N G Dorji Khangsarpa. I was under the impression that the Sikkim Government was different from others. But I seem to have been wrong. Power goes into the head very fast.
My cousin brother Bijay, was suffering from heart ailment since a few years. His valves were giving him problem. Professionally he was a Pandit doing Puja with a limited source of income but too proud to ask for help. The people who came to his mandir for worship and those to whose office he went to do Puja assured him of all help if wanted to have an operation. But they never kept their word and his condition deteriorated. Finally when it became unbearable, he informed us. The doctor who was seeing him advised a further angiogram to check the condition of his heart. I didn’t agree with the decision so we took him to Dr. Sunil Lihla of Rabindranath Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata. He had performed my brother’s and my angioplasty. On seeing the reports Dr. Lihla informed that two of his valves were not functioning properly. He advised us against doing the angiogram in Calcutta and instead to rush him to Dr. Devi Shetty’s “Narayan Hrudalaya” in Bangalore. He feared that if we did the angio in Calcutta, he would be advised valve replacement and he feared that in Calcutta the risk of losing him would be 20%. Although RTIIC was a part of Dr. Shetty’s hospital chains, he still advised us to go to Bangalore for greater safety. On Monday 11.2.2013, at 7.15 am we (Bijay, his son Vikas and I) flew to Bangalore as we did not want to waste time. It was a wise decision for his condition, after admission into the hospital, deteriorated so much that if he had been brought by train, he would have expired on the way. He was immediately put under emergency support system by 3.00 pm and until Wednesday his condition remained serious as both his heart and lungs were in serious condition. On Wednesday evening they did a C T Scan of the thorax to go into the problem of the lungs. A pulmonologist was called to help in the treatment. His sputum as sent for testing. On Wednesday night a new problem developed. Bijay got it into his head that the hospital staff, doctors and nurses wanted to kill him so he stopped taking any food or medicine from them. At 10.45 PM, we were called to the hospital to assist them in handling Bijay. We stayed the whole night with him in the CCU, holding his hand and reassuring him. By around 5.00 am he had cooled down sufficiently to take medicine from us. He still would not take medicines from the staff and would shoo them away if they came nearby. Staying in a CCU, if you are healthy is a frightening experience. Two patients died that night in the CCU and when the patients condition become serious, the rushing of the doctors and nurses to help the patient makes you heart beats run like a steam engine. Then in the morning, one of the patient’s relatives came into the CCU and started crying loudly. I suppose, the deaths too may have played a part in worsening Bijay’s condition. We remained with him the whole of Thursday, giving him his prescribed medicines. The results of the sputum test came. Both TB and cancer was ruled out. However blood continued to come in the sputum which had the doctors worried. Finally in the evening a psychiatrist was called to assist in treating his paranoia. It was only after the medicines prescribed by the psychiatrist were given to him; he cooled down and fell a sleep. At 10.00 PM, I went off to the hotel to sleep. Vikas stayed with him until 5.00 am, just in case he again woke up and caused problems. Friday was uneventful, in that Bijay slept the whole day under the influence of the sedatives given by the doctor. However, now, he started fearing the staff would kill me and his son and advised us to go away from the hospital. We tried to meet Dr. P V Rao, who would be performing the valve replacement surgery. However, he was busy and we could not meet him. So we set up an appointment with him for Monday, 17.2.2013. It is only after meeting him can the dates for Angiogram and the surgery be finalized. On Monday after waiting from 10.00 am, we could finally meet him at around 6.00 PM. On seeing Bijay’s reports, he informed us that his condition is serious and his chances of surviving the operation would be only 25 %. Bijay’s condition is so weak that he may die on the operating table. He asked us to take a decision whether we should go ahead with the operation. I had been observing Bijay for the last 10 days and could see that if we took him back without the operation, he would not last more than a few months. It was decided to go ahead with the operation and we decided to bring his wife and daughter-in-law to Bangalore for the operation. Dr. P V Rao went and saw Bijay after our discussion and he confirmed his earlier statement. Dr. Sunitha Abraham then confirmed that she would start taking necessary action for the angiogram. Bijay was put under medication to reduce his INR which was 3.2. She said it had to come down to 1.5. His potassium too had to be increased. On Wednesday the INR had reduced to 2.9, which was still high. His potassium too had increased. Dr. Sunitha said that the medication would continue to bring down the INR further and some more doctors too would examine him. Dr. Rajagopalan, a second pulmonologist who had been referred to by Dr. P V Rao, informed that because of Bijay’s poor health, they would not do surgery on him. We should take him back. In the evening his condition became worse and he was again moved to CCU. He was put under Vent API for the whole night. This is a machine which pumps oxygen directly into his lungs. On Thursday, there was no improvement in Bijay’ s condition. Friday - 24.2.2013. Met Dr. Devi Shetty through Rajiv, his secretary. Vikas cried in front of Dr. Shetty that he could not manage his father’s treatment and he doctors were saying they would not perform the operation. Dr. Shetty assured him not to worry about the charges. His father’s condition presently did not allow for the operation to be done now. Later on, if his condition improved, they would perform the operation. Again Bijay started getting into the phobia that the people wanted to kill him. He was again given sedative and put under Vent. Saturday. Bijay is drowsy. He was under the vent the whole night with 80% O2 volume. He was very drowsy. He was not passing urine adequately and it was building up inside him and he had to be given Lasix injection continuously.Since his BP was low, he had to be given Dopamine injection continuously. Since Lasix reduces BP and Dopamine increases heart rate and BP, these had to be balanced delicately as . Sunday – condition remained the same. No vent was put at night. Monday, 25.2.2013 – Reached Hospital at 8.30 am. Bijay’s condition became bad in the morning. He was put in Vent. Sputum report came. Bijay was found to have Klebseil Pneumonia. This is highly infectious and the staff was advised to wear gloves and mask while treating him. We too have been asked to stay away from him and wash our hands with alcohol after contacting him. Tuesday, 26.2.2013 - Bijay’s condition remained critical throughout the day. We stayed the whole day in the hospital. At around 10.45 pm, we were suddenly called to the hospital. We were informed the his BP was dropping and we should stay nearby. Vikas and I stayed the whole night at the hospital. His BP varied from 90/60 to 55/30. At 4.00 am, I went back to the hotel to take a quick nap and Vikas returned at 6.00 am. I returned at 8.45 am and found the doctors and nurses pumping Bijay’s chest. I realized that the last moments had come and so called his family from the hotel. They came immediately. The doctors tried their best but I knew that all their efforts would be in vain. At 10.30 am, they declared him dead. The above episode made me wonder if miracles occur, or even if God listens to our prayers. Here was a man who was a Pujari, a Hanuman disciple who had built a temple in his home and did Puja and Aarti meticulously in both mornings and evenings. His whole family was praying for his well being. My wife and our family are disciples of Sant Asharamji Bapu. We prayed continuously for a miracle to save Bijay. Whatever Pujas, rituals, mantras suggested by anyone was carried out. Nothing happened. Bijay died. My conclusion. Lord Krisna said in the Bhagad Gita, you do your Karma and leave the result on ME. You have the power to do your karma but the result depends upon ME. Does He change His results as per our prayer? I don't think so. Prayers do not affect HIM. Lord Chesterson may have said, "More things are done by prayer than this world dreams of" But I do not agree with him. Prayer gives you the inner strength to help you pass through difficult times. It makes you feel that you have a supporter in God and thus make you increase your efforts to achieve your goals. It is YOUR efforts which help you, if it was ordained by God. If it isn't, no amount of efforts on your part will help you. On the other hand, if you did not make those efforts, you would never achieve those goals. Prayer plays no part in getting what you want except giving you the inner strength. Hence the first condition is that you make your effort. After that whether you get or do not get what you want depends on what HE has programmed at the time of your birth. He is Omnipotent, Omnipresent. He has lived through all ages, past, present and future. He does not have any form and yet He assumes the form of all beings in the Universe. He does not require our flowers, water and other offerings. Prayers are just an expression of what we humans feel would be appreciated by God. Just as we appreciate gifts and good talk, we feel God too needs the same. I believe God has programmed our whole life, including death, at the time of our birth on the basis of our past Karmas. He does not change that, no matter what we do or offer Him. He has made certain rules and regulations on which the whole Universe runs. We humans are still trying to discover those laws. If we follow those laws, we will have healthier lives and live longer. Bijay had problems with the valves in his heart. He could have lived longer, if he had taken action earlier. However, he financial condition did not allow him to take action until it was too late. That is the apparent cause. However, the root cause is that God had programmed Bijay's life for only 57 years. So how could Bijay have done otherwise? Once you realize this, you move out of the sorrow and joy of death and birth. One of the first laws of God is do karma, for without karma, life cannot go on. Even when God comes to the earth in any reincarnation, even He has to do karma. The second law is that you are bound by the results of your past karmas. Good karmas give good results and bad karmas give bad results. If you want to get out of this cycle of rebirths you have to make your karmas - niskarmas. That is offer all your karmas to God. This you can do if you know your karmas are good. That makes you want to be good. God is also called SATHCHITANAND. This consists of three words. SATH - means -truth, for only HE is the TRUTH. All else is false or temporary. CHIT - means - mind- for HE is in the mind. Our whole body is destroyable. Only the MIND or SOUL is indestructible. ANAND - means - Bliss - for only HE is Eternal Bliss, all else is temporary.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Visitors from “high-risk” regions, including the Indian subcontinent — or their British sponsors — would be required to put up “security bonds” worth thousands of pounds as a guarantee that they would return home when their visas expire, it was announced on Friday. The money would be refunded when they leave Britain. The bonds will cost at least £1,000 depending on the perceived “risk” factor. Visitors deemed to pose the highest risk are likely to end up paying several thousand pounds. The government is reported to be studying the Australian system, where bonds cost between 5,000 to 15,000 Australian dollars. There were fears that people from India and Pakistan could be the hardest-hit as they accounted for the largest number of visitors coming to Britain to attend weddings or visit relatives. alled the move “discriminatory,” while the Labour Party, which first floated the idea several years ago, described it as “impractical.” Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, described it as “unworkable, impractical and also discriminatory.” “This idea is likely to end in tears... we have tried it before” he told the BBC. The controversial measure was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as part of the Tory-led government’s crackdown on immigrants. In the past, his Liberal Democratic party has opposed the move, but on Friday Mr. Clegg justified it, arguing that it was meant to check “abuses” of visa rules. “The challenge isn’t just stopping people coming into Britain illegally, it’s about dealing with individuals who come over legitimately but then become illegal once they’re already here,” he said adding that the bonds would need to be “well-targeted so that they don’t unfairly discriminate against particular groups”. ‘Mr. Clegg denied that he was trying to “outflank” his Tory coalition partners on immigration, which is likely to be a major issue at the next general election. Insisting that there should not be an “arms race of rhetoric” and calling for “low populism” on the issue, he said: “I’m determined we lay the foundations for an immigration system that embodies this nation’s instincts and its values: our openness and tolerance on one hand; our sense of fair play, on the other.” His remarks came as his colleague, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, attacked the Tories’ target of cutting down immigration, saying it would do “enormous damage” to the British economy. I don't understand why people should object. We in India are flooded with illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan. These people come visiting their relatives and then get lost in Mumbai or Delhi or Kerala and get all legal documents to prove they are Indians from people like Mulayam Singh and Mamta Banerjee.
HS examinees on rampage for cheat right OUR BUREAU HS examinees went on the rampage at two test centres on Friday, breaking furniture, throwing stones and attacking officials, because they were not allowed to cheat. Trouble broke out at Bethuadahari JCM High School, under Nakashipara police station in Nadia, and Kabi Keshablal Vidyapith in Bongaon, North 24-Parganas, after the day’s exams ended. Police had to rush to the schools to control the situation. Examinees at Kabi Keshablal Vidyapith, who study at Bongaon High School, wanted invigilators to give them “chits”, small pieces of paper with parts of answers written, during their chemistry and history exams. Because the invigilators refused to do so, a group of examinees gheraoed headmaster Narayan Biswas and demanded to know why they had not been “helped”. They alleged that some non-teaching employees of the school had taken money from another group of examinees and supplied them chits. When the headmaster denied the allegation, the students ransacked his office and classrooms. Later, residents of the area assembled in front of the school to protest the ransacking and beat up an examinee. A police officer said students of Sudhakarpur High School, who wrote their history paper at Bethuadahari JCM High School, ransacked the examination hall after submitting their answer scripts. An invigilator said the students were abusing them from the start of the examination and demanding that they be allowed to copy from books and chits. “We tried to persuade them to write their papers but they continued to abuse us,” he added. A teacher at Bethuadahari JCM High School said: “The students started the fracas by abusing the invigilators. Later, they broke chairs, tables, desks and damaged blackboards.” Two non-teaching employees and a Class XI student of the Bethuadahari school were injured in the violence. Group D employees Ashish Chatterjee and Basudeb Mandal sustained minor injuries in their attempt to stop the students. A teacher said one of the stones thrown by the examinees hit Class XI student Maheswar Ghosh, who was admitted to Bethuadahari hospital. The Nadia superintendent of police, S.R. Mishra, said: “We have detained one student, who allegedly started the trouble and abused invigilators. We are questioning him.” “We have sought detailed reports from the headmasters of the two schools. Appropriate action will be taken against those who created trouble,” said Muktinath Chatterjee, president, West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education. The council also informed Bratya Basu, the school education minister, about the violence. A week before the HS started, the minister had promised to take all possible steps to prevent cheating and violence during the exam after a meeting with district magistrates and superintendents of police at Writers’ Buildings. Basu had recently said at a function that “cheating is a social menace and the state government is taking every possible measure to prevent all kinds of malpractices during examinations”. Since those who cheat in exams are mainly from the weaker section of society who have been trampled for centuries by the upper caste, I would suggest that the "Right To Cheat" should be made into a fundamental right for the SC, ST and OBC and Muslim category of candidate. It would further the cause of Justice which is being allowed to them by way of reservations in all walks of life. I hope you are listening -Mamta Banerjee, Mayawati and Mulayam Singh.
Friday, March 22, 2013
The telecom sector in the country has been on a roller coaster ride. Most of the sector's troubles started in 2008 with the issue of 2G licenses. With license and spectrum being given to many new players, the sector subsequently saw one of the worst price wars ever. The resulting competition, hit the margins of every operator in the industry. Since then things have been more downhill than uphill. And the government with its regulations has not helped matters. The regulators, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and TRAI, have been working more for the government than what they have been for the sector. Everyday there are new levies and fines that they inflict on the sector. This has led the balance sheets of all operators to be stretched to the hilt. In a recent shocker, DoT has demanded an additional Rs 27.64 bn from 9 operators. These are the operators whose license was cancelled in February last year by the Supreme Court. The amount that DoT has demanded is towards the onetime charge on the spectrum held by them till their license was cancelled. As per the DoT the onetime charge on these operators is valid because they did hold the spectrum from 2008 till February 2012. We are not going to try and get into the justification of cancelling licenses and the 2G scam. What we would like to highlight is a typical case of an industry which was doing well. Its fortunes attracted the government which seems to have descended on it like a predatory bird. And now the government and the regulators are trying to milk it for all its worth. It is true that the government needs funds. Funds to bridge its yawning fiscal deficit. But this should not be at the cost of driving an entire industry into bankruptcy. It has already burdened the sector with higher spectrum charges and spectrum rates. The November 2012 spectrum auction was nothing but a ridiculous display of the government's greed. The levy of such onetime charges is not going to help matters. Eventually every business will want to earn a return. And if the government continues with its predatory policies, the sector will go into losses instead of earning returns. This would not just hurt the business but would also hurt India's image in the eyes of the foreign investors that it is desperately trying to attract. The latter have already been cribbing about how business conditions in India are difficult thanks to the government. The policies do not help the common man either. If the government continues to milk the telcos for every penny, eventually the telcos will start milking the common man to earn more through higher telecom rates. It is high time that the government changed its stance and started trying to cut its own wasteful expenditures to bridge its fiscal deficit. That would be better than killing a sector that provides a necessary service. The above is from the mail I receive from Equitymaster The UPA government has become a Frankenstein. Its corrupt ways has destroyed the whole system and its never ending appetite for money is making it impose newer and newer taxes. They have already started taxing water. In the not too distant future I won't be surprised if they start taxing for the air we breathe in and for piss and shit we pass out.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
New Delhi, Mar. 21 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday distanced the Congress-led UPA Government from the CBI raid conducted at DMK leader M.K. Stalin's Chennai residence, saying he was upset over the entire incident and would find out the details. "We are all upset at these events. The government had no role in this that I am sure of. We will find out the details. This should not have...(happened). The timing of the raid is most unfortunate," Dr. Singh told the media here as a political conspiracy broke out over the CBI action against Stalin. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad commenting on the issue said that the government was surviving on the shoulders of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED). "If any DMK leader has committed any corruption that ought to be investigated, but it seems very curious that day before yesterday the DMK party has withdrawn support. In the last nine years, there was no CBI raid on any of its leaders except the 2G case because of the Supreme Court and suddenly this morning there is a raid. This only confirms this government is surviving in the chair upon the shoulders of CBI and Enforcement Directorate," he said. Meanwhile, DMK leader T.R. Baalu confirmed that neither Stalin nor his family were part and parcel of the FIR (First Information Report). "CBI is misusing their position neither Stalin nor his family members are part and parcel of the FIR. Where is the chance for them? Why should they go there," he said. Senior Congress Minister, including Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, also strongly condemned the CBI action. "I was told about it a little while ago. I am trying to gather facts. Normally I don't interfere with the work of the other department. But in this case, I have to say that I strongly disagree with the action of the CBI. It is bound to be misunderstood," Chidambaram said. "I thoroughly disapprove the CBI raids and condemn it. However much we condemn it, would be less," Nath added. Stalin, whose residence in Chennai was searched by the CBI in connection with alleged illegal import of cars here this morning, termed the latest developments to be a 'political vendetta'. The raids at Stalin's residence took place two days after the DMK formally withdrew its support to the UPA alliance. The DMK on Tuesday withdrew its support to the UPA over the issue of alleged human rights violations of Sri Lankan Tamils, and ruled out any reconsideration. A five-member DMK delegation headed by T.R. Baalu handed over a letter by party supremo M. Karunanidhi to President Pranab Mukherjee at 10.30 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhavan withdrawing support of its 18 Lok Sabha MPs to the UPA government. This move of the DMK has made the UPA Government vulnerable despite its assertions of having a parliamentary majority. The ruling coalition will now eye for support from the regional parties, which includes the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. With the pullout of the 18 DMK MPs in the Lok Sabha, the strength of the UPA Government declines from 295 to 277 in the Rajya Sabha. (ANI) The government is is the habit of using the CBI, ED and Income Tax department against people/parties who oppose it. Do you believe the prime ministers claim of innocence? I don't. As soon as P Chidambaram returned from Chennai with an empty hand, he must have instructed the CBI to raid Stalin's house. The CBI must have had all the papers ready but had not taken any action because the DMK was a part of the UPA. As soon as the DMK decided to part ways with the UPA, the had to face the wrath of a woman spurned. It could not be otherwise. The Congress is habituated to take this type of action. Both Mulayam and Mayawati are supporting the Congress just because of these threats. Some public spirited lawyer, should go into the basis on which the CBI had raided Stalin's place. They would find that the documents were more than one year old. It would confirm my above point.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
New Delhi, Mar 20 (ANI): The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Wednesday following an uproar over issues relating to Sri Lankan Tamils and Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma's remarks against Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, members from DMK, AIADMK and CPI trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against alleged atrocities on Tamils in Sri Lanka. They were soon joined in the Well by SP members, who carried copies of press reports on Verma's comments on Yadav. They shouted slogans seeking the Minister's removal. Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon and later for the day. Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha too. Verma on Monday hit back at Mulayam Singh Yadav after the latter demanded his sacking from the Union Cabinet. "Who is Mulayam to ask for my removal? Has he made me the minister? He should apologise, for he has betrayed the nation," he told media here. Verma had earlier in a rally in his constituency of Gonda, around 200 kms from Lucknow, said that the Samajwadi Party chief has links with terrorists. He also alleged that Yadav was corrupt and a "dacoit". (ANI) Is Beni PPrasad Verma right in accusing Mulayam Singh of harbouring dacoits and terrorists? His exact words were "Samajwadi Party nahin, sirf Mulayam Singh Yadav kharab hai. Unka apradhik jeevan raha hai, aur aatankwadiyon se bhi unka rishta hai. Bahut jald Mulayam Tihar Jail janey ko taiyyar rahein. Mulayam zaher ka ghoont pe rahe hain, aur Congress ko samarthan de rahey hain, aur commission bhi kha rahey hain. (Not only the SP, even Mulayam is a bad person. He has a criminal background and relations with terrorists. Mulayam should be ready to go to Tihar Jail soon. He is extending support to Congress under compulsion, and also taking commission for this.)" He added: "Mulayam ne hamesha apney virodhiyon ko dushman ki tarah liya hai. Mulayam looterey key sath gundey bhi hain. (Mulayam treats his opponents as his enemy. He is a dacoit, a goon.)," Beni is is the habit of often putting his foot in his mouth but this time he has hit the nail on the head. Although both the Congress and the BJP would agree with him, political compulsions make the Congress ask Beni to apologise. After all the DMK has just withdrawn support and the Congress would like to make up the the numbers so that it can continue to misrule the country for another year. I have no such compulsions and so can agree with Beni wholeheartedly. From the time when Mulayam embraced Phoolon Devi in his party, he is in the habit of taking in the unscrupulous and criminally minded people in his party. When Mayawati sacked Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, Mulayam, immediately took him in his party and made him the jail minister. What an irony? A criminal is made jail minister. See, how he is now accused of killing DSP Zia-ul-Haque through his henchmen. It is Mulayam Singh who has made Azamgarh a breeding place of terrorists by his blind support to Muslims just for their votes.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - India would be breaking international law if it stops Italy's ambassador from leaving the country in a dispute over two Italian marines charged with killing two Indian fishermen, the European Union said on Tuesday. The statement was the bloc's most forceful intervention yet in the festering dispute over the marines which has soured relations between India and EU member Italy. The Supreme Court last week temporarily barred the envoy, Daniele Mancini, from leaving after Rome refused to send the marines back to India to face trial following a home visit. The marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, part of a security team protecting a tanker from pirates, are accused of shooting the two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February last year. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton noted the Indian court's ruling about the ambassador "with concern", Ashton's spokesman said. Ashton regarded the 1961 Vienna Convention, which sets rules for diplomatic relations, as a cornerstone of the international legal order that should be respected at all times, he said in a statement. "Any limitations to the freedom of movement of the ambassador of Italy to India would be contrary to the international obligations established under this convention," he added. "(Ashton) continues to hope that a mutually acceptable solution can be found through dialogue and in respect of international rules and encourages the parties to explore all avenues to that effect," the statement said. The EU statement echoed comments by Italy's Foreign Ministry on Monday that the Indian court's decision violated diplomatic immunity law. The Supreme Court had allowed the marines to go home for four weeks to vote in last month's parliamentary election, provided they returned. They have not done so, and Italy's Foreign Ministry said the incident had become a formal dispute over U.N. laws. India's Supreme Court said in a long-awaited ruling in January that India had jurisdiction to try the marines, but Italy has challenged that decision, arguing that the shooting took place in international waters. Italy's announcement that the sailors would not return caused an uproar in India' parliament and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government is under pressure to respond forcefully. (Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Andrew Heavens) I have a solution to the Italian crisis. Let us get back the two Italians and in exchange, we can give them one Italian, Sonia Gandhi. I am sure the BJP would agree to this swap. Poor MMS. He is bullied by anyone and everyone. From Abdullah in the North, to Didi in the East and Karunanidhi in the South and Sharad Pawar in the west.
An important message to everyone, 1 Egg, & 2 Mobiles 65 minutes of connection between mobiles. We assembled something as per image: Initiated the call between the two mobiles and allowed 65 minutes approximately... During the first 15 minutes nothing happened; 25 minutes later the egg started getting hot; 45 minutes later the egg is hot; 65 minutes later the egg is cooked. Conclusion: The immediate radiation of the mobiles has the potential to modify the proteins of the egg. Imagine what it can do with the proteins of your brains when you do long calls. Please try to reduce long time calls on mobile phones Sent by Prakash Bhartia
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Very Important to remember this! For years, the conventional wisdom has been that the best treatment for a black eye especially when hit by a cricket or GOLF ball is to cover it with a piece of raw meat. Scientific studies have proven that while the raw meat helps reduce the swelling and aids in the healing process, applying cold meat actually delays the recovery of the broken blood vessels that cause the bruising around the orbital socket, while frozen meat may cause superficial thermal burns to the skin. These same studies demonstrated that application of warm and tender meat is much more effective in helping the eyes recover from the damage because the bruising isn't compounded by thermal shock.. Therefore, the next time you get a black eye, try this method: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sent by Prakash Bhartia
Just applied for a building permit for a new house. It was going to be 100 feet tall and 400 feet wide with 9 turrets at various heights and windows all over the place and a loud outside entertainment sound system. It would have parking for 200 cars and I was going to paint it bright purple with pink trim. The Local Council told me to p.o. So I sent in the application again, but this time I called it a Mosque. Work starts on Monday. Sent by Prakash Bhartia. Shakespeare said "What's in a name?" Do you agree with him?
Monday, March 18, 2013
In Switzerland, Thomas Minder - the owner of a herbal company which supplied toothpaste to Swiss Air - has led a small revolution. Fed up with the pay to the "fat cats", Mr. Minder began a campaign in 2006 that led to a national referendum on pay scales to the CEOs, senior management of companies, and members of their Boards. The question on the ballot of March 3, 2013 was: are CEOs and members of the Board (known to be friendly to the CEOs!) of companies like Nestle, UBS, and Credit Suisse paid too much? The referendum had a turnout of 46.7% of the eligible 5.1 million Swiss voters. And 67.9% of those who voted said, "yes, the CEOs get paid too much". This was the 3rd highest margin of acceptance of any referendum in the history of Switzerland. And this victory was despite en estimated USD 8 million spent by the business federations - and the government - to defeat this proposal. Even though the dogs were barking ferociously, the people refused to be swayed. Swiss info reported: For her part, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said voters had expressed their dissatisfaction with excessive corporate pay packages. "Voters have given a signal to politicians to act and to the business community to show that it has understood the message," she told a news conference. Sommaruga added her ministry would present an interim regulation within 12 months allowing parliament time to define the details of the necessary legislation. It is only the 20th people's initiative - out of the 183 proposals that have come to a nationwide vote since 1891 - to win approval of Swiss voters. In the near future they will also have the final say on proposals by centre-left parties and trade unions to cap manager salaries by a 1:12 ratio within a company, or to introduce a minimum salary at a nationwide level. A few weeks before that the European Union voted that the bonus payment to any employee of a bank could not exceed 200% (2x) that of the base salary. Minder's proposal got a huge boost when news broke on February 15 - 3 weeks before the ballot date - that Daniel Vasella, the outgoing CEO of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, would be paid USD 78 million not to work for a competitor for 6 years. Embarrassed by the leak - Mr Vasella said he would not take the pay-out. But the damage had been done. Not that the sinful are kneeling down besides Pope Francis for redemption. On March 14 - 11 days after the referendum to limit pay, UBS announced that it was paying out USD 2.6 billion in bonuses to top employees for their performance in calendar year 2012. UBS happened to have lost USD 2.6 billion (what it paid as bonuses) that year. The bonus, by the way, was on average USD 6.5 million per senior executive. The incoming CEO of UBS was paid USD 26 million as a "golden handshake" package. That, too, will not be allowed in the future. But the godly fat cats feel there is some genius they have that must be rewarded - and they will continue to behave that way until it is illegal to do so. Many studies of shown that - on average - people working in the field of finance have seen a dramatic increase in their salaries and bonuses over the past 3 decades. Most other sectors have seen little or no growth over that same time period. A world full of egoistic MBAs? If someone were to plot a chart with the number of MBAs graduating in the world each year, the corporate scandals, and the amount of money paid to "top management", there would be a very strong correlation. As a graduate of the MBA Program from Kenan-Flagler, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I believe that I learnt a lot about the principles of business. This has allowed me to contribute to the various companies I have worked in - including Quantum AMC. But I know that I cannot take an excessive financial credit for what I have helped build. Many people have contributed to what has been built and - knowing that I have a limited life span - I would expect my share of future contribution to decline dramatically over time. Most MBAs, though, don't feel that rewards need to be shared. In business schools, we are not taught humility. On the contrary, we are told that we are a special, select group of extremely smart individuals. The business schools will teach and equip us with tools that will allow us to have a tremendous impact on the companies we work for. We are brainwashed into believing that we are mini-gods ready to rule the world. It is a rare business course - and an even rarer teacher - who will tell us to work for the benefit of society. To prove the point, after the various financial scandals in 2008, the Dean of Harvard Business School suggested that Harvard needed to have a charter of ethics. Which makes you wonder: what exactly were they teaching those brilliant students at HBS all these years? How to cheat society? The roster of financial geniuses who find new ways to mess up the lives of millions of people - and then have the lobbying power with governments to write themselves a bail out cheque using tax payer's money - are from many of these infamous business schools. Companies should be built to benefit society - and to find ways to reward a larger number of people with a larger share of the total pie. And there is this view that the only value-add in life and to society is what can be measured in terms of some market cap or some GDP number. That is humbug: happiness is not measureable by money alone. But this concept sounds alien - the world has been infested with the demi-god CEOs and their armies of swashbuckling MBAs. The media worships them when they should be shaming them. Mr Thomas Minder in distant Switzerland has reminded us that governments - and institutional shareholders (presently part of the same racketeering "maximise my pay" exercise) - have a right and responsibility to bring some balance back in the reward structures. The fat cats need to be slimmed down big time - it is time to bring out the surgeon's knife. Correcting the imbalance - knowing the geniuses still want their outsized share! Meanwhile, our own little effort to correct the imbalances has begun. The National Streets for the Performing Arts (www.NSPA.in) started an initiative to pay musicians a fixed fee for every hour of musical performance at public places. This began in October, 2012 with the initial involvement of 8 musicians. Today, over 20 musicians have signed up to perform. We have sparked off an estimated 400,000 smiles - and recognise there are millions of souls yet to stir. A musician working with NSPA, on average, makes maybe Rs 360,000 per year for all their efforts to bring some joy to society and soul to its people. Our stated objective: the world will be a lot better place when a musician - on average - earns more than a dead soul working for the financial crooks. And - in case you believe that the financial firms have been reformed - this breaking headline from AsianInvestor: Goldman laments brain-drain in smart solutions: Stefan Bollinger, head of the firm's private investor product group and Asia corporate sales, believes there is too much focus on vanilla business at the expense of innovative ideas. In September 2010, when the fury over bail outs of the fat cat financial firms was at its highest, the same Stefan Bollinger's plan was outlined in an article with the same publication as: The US firm outlines plans for building its solutions platform for private investors in Asia, focusing on simple, transparent and liquid products. But that was then. The US and global governments and regulators are no longer seen as enemies of the financial firms. The Great Swindle has been forgotten. The sins of the past have been washed out. The pretence of simplicity is no longer required. It is time to go out and reach for your wallet! You've heard it directly from those who do God's work, there was no Pope required to interpret this message: it is time to innovate and blow up the world - and keep collecting their oversized salaries. Yes, NSPA and its ambition to ensure musicians and others from the Arts get rewarded more for their contribution to society has got a long way to go...but it's a start.... The above is from "The Honest Truth" a newsletter which I receive from Equitymaster. I suppose we in India too should have such rules. CEOs here of regular loss making companies do not feel shy in giving themselves fat salaries while the poor shareholder gets no dividend.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
#Papaya helps prevent constipation and also aid in digestion. #Regularly consuming papaya helps to relieve morning sickness and nausea. #Papaya has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-cancerous properties. #papaya is very beneficial to strengthen the immune system. #Raw papaya also helps in reducing menstrual irregularities for women. Papaya helps to ease the condition by promoting natural flow of menstruation. #Papaya cleans the stomach and studies have shown that papaya alone eaten for 3 to 4 days has a highly beneficial tonic effect upon the stomach &intestines. ~dr.sharib azmi The above is from https://www.facebook.com/dailyhealthtipss
~Guava is a laxative fruit. Being a rich source of dietary fiber, it helps to cure constipation. Magnesium in guavas helps to relax the nerves and muscles in the body. Guavas are low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging, immune-booster,etc. Guava is packed with vitamins and minerals that help to keep the skin healthy, fresh and wrinkle free. Guavas are very good sources of vitamin A, the nutrient best known for preserving and improving eyesight. Guava is rich in Vitamin C which helps to prevent the viral infections like cold and cough. It also effectively helps in treating scurvy. One cup of guava is packed with almost the same potassium as bananas. Potassium works as an important factor in regulating blood pressure by reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing normal blood pressure. Regular guava consumption can also do the skin good through its vitamin E content. Vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin through its antioxidant properties. Guava is a cholesterol free fruit. It satisfies and keeps the stomach free from hunger for a long time. It assists in weight reduction and helps to control diabetes. Guava should be consumed regularly if you want to avoid heart attack. ~dr.sharib azmi The above is from https://www.facebook.com/dailyhealthtipss
1 ) Anti Cancer :İt is Natural Cancer Treatment , lychee fruit prevents the growth of cancer cells , Research has also shown that lychee fruit may provide impressive anti-breast cancer properties 2 ) Oligonol : oligonol, a low molecular weight polyphenol found abundantly in lychee fruit. Oligonol has been found to have several Anti-oxidant, Anti-influenza virus actions. In addition, it helps improve blood flow in organs, reduce weight, and protect skin from harmful UV rays 3 ) Potassium and Copper :Lychee also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and copper. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids help control heart rate and Blood Pressure; thus offers protection against Stroke and Coronary Heart Diseases. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. 4 ) Vitamin C :Lychee is extremely rich in Vitamin C and contains approximately 40 percent more vitamin C than orange.Studies suggest that consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. 5 ) Vitamin B ,Thiamin ,Niacin ,Folates : It is a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are essential since they function by acting as co-factors to help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats. 6 ) Lychee is considered Diuretic and Digestive. 7 ) It even has high levels of Beta Carotene, greater than that found in carrots.β-Carotene is stored in the liver and many other organs ("golden ovaries")Strengthens The İmmune System 8 ) Lychee fruits are low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but rich in dietary fiber which, can be very important for individuals who are concerned about their excess body weight. 9 ) It is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, which are quite essential for the body. ~dr.sharib azmi The above is from https://www.facebook.com/dailyhealthtipss
I mowed the lawn yesterday, and after doing so I sat down and had a cold beer. The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking on various topics. Finally I thought about an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts? Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts. Well, after another beer, and some heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with the answer to that question. Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby; and here is the reason for my conclusion. A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, "It might be nice to have another child." On the other hand, you never hear a guy say, "You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts." I rest my case. Time for another beer.... Sent by Prakash Bhartia
Friday, March 15, 2013
A professor at Auburn University was giving a lecture on Paranormal Studies. To get a feel for his audience, he asks, 'How many people here believe in ghosts?' About 90 students raise their hands. Well, that's a good start. Out of those who believe in ghosts, do any of you think you have seen a ghost?' About 40 students raise their hands. That's really good. I'm really glad you take this seriously. Has anyone here ever talked to a ghost?' About 15 students raise their hand. Has anyone here ever touched a ghost?' Three students raise their hands. That's fantastic. Now let me ask you one question further...Have any of you ever made love to a ghost?' Way in the back, Ahmed raises his hand. The professor takes off his glasses and says 'Son, all the years I've been giving this lecture, no one has ever claimed to have made love to a ghost. You've got to come up here and tell us about your experience.' The Middle Eastern muslim student replied with a nod and a grin, and began to make his way up to the podium. When he reached the front of the room, the professor asks, 'So, Ahmed, tell us what it's like to have sex with a ghost?' Ahmed replied, "Shit, from way back there I thought you said Goats." Sent by Prakash Bhartia
New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The Lok Sabha was adjourned repeatedly Friday as opposition parties protested the alleged neglect of Hindi and regional languages in Union Public Service Commission examinations. The lower house witnessed three adjournments. When the house met at 11, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned it for half hour as Samajwadi Party and RJD members walked towards her chair denouncing the alleged "insult" to Hindi. Among those protesting was Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad. When the house re-convened, the number of protesters swelled with those from the DMK, Shiv Sena and Janata Dal-United joining the Samajwadi Party and RJD. "Angrezi me kaam na hoga. Phir se desh ghulaam na hoga!" some of them shouted. P.C. Chacko, who was in the chair, called for the Question Hour but the din continued, leading to yet another adjournment. It is these cow belt politicians who are most responsible for breaking up India. The three language formula which propagated English, Hindi and the regional language was the best for India. However, by their insistence, they are bringing reactionary protest from other states where Hindi is not the official language. Why don't these people realize that English is a world language an even poor people are sending their children to English medium schools to give them an advantage in life. Any person who knows only English and Hindi will find it difficult wading through everyday chores in Bengal, Odisa, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat. Hindi films are doing what these politicians are not able to do. These politicians send their own children to the best English medium schools and then ask the general public to avoid English.
The cardinals at the Vatican may have chosen their new Pope, the first time in the modern era when a non-European has been made a Pope - the religious head of the 1.2 billion Catholics. And Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina has chosen the name Pope Francis - in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, a lover of the poor. Closer to home, our Finance Minister gave his sermon on February 28 on how he sees the immediate finances of the country and what he plans to do about them. And at the end of two weeks of speeches and explanations and expert opinions sprinkled with the usual high-praise ratings that come out of Chicken India, I have a simple question: do you have any faith in the Finance Minister and his government to ensure that the money planned to be spent will actually be spent the way it is supposed to? The budget indicates an increase of 30% in the expenditures towards social services, education, and health - things that are supposed to help the poor. Do you believe that any of this increase in expenditure will actually reach the targeted poor? Or will it fatten the pockets of the middle-men? Has the Finance Minister acknowledged that corruption is India's number one enemy? And what, if anything, is he willing to do about it? Instead, the Finance Minister and his love for the "quick-fix" have brought him back to his favourite - and only - nursery rhyme: "I hope the RBI will cut interest rates." After having denied Dr Subir Gokarn an extension of his term as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and having seemingly loaded the bases with another supporter of lower interest rates, the Finance Minister can bet on some action there when the RBI meets on March 19th. The falsehoods of governments In July 1991, Dr. Manmohan Singh - then the Finance Minister to Prime Minister Rao - correctly pointed out that "investment was an act of faith". What Dr. Singh implied was that no amount of numbers could persuade (or dissuade) any investor from making the act of an investment - a key catalyst for the future of the seeds of growth. The reforms that began in 1982, picked up speed in 1985 and 1987, and accelerated in 1991 brought with it a lot of faith. And a lot of investment. But over the past decade, the UPA and NDA governments - and state governments across political parties - have been tainted by private deals, cosy relationships, and corruption. Politicians are now the problem - not the solution. They have blatantly used their position of power to enrich themselves, their families, and their friends. They have become that large worm plugged into the intestine of the economy eating away at our very core. Every spending programme aimed for the poor is assumed to be laced with a substantial kicker of money to some middle-man. And where there is no programme in existence - they create a new one. A highly educated person like the Finance Minister has announced a plan to set up a woman's only bank and fund it with Rs. 1,000 crore. Why could the FM and his team not identify existing, non-government women's organisations and give them the money to allocate the Rs. 1,000 crore? I am sure the FM has heard of SEWA set up by Ela Bhatt over 30 years ago. And I am sure he has the ability to analyse their efficiency. And, yet, rather than allow groups like SEWA (which, by the way, is focused on women) to help him reach his well-intentioned goals of helping women, the FM chose to set up a new entity! Why? Was he more interested in ensuring that the programme becomes another political football and another way to encourage leakages in the system? What a terrible idea! Another project that will be doomed to failure and manipulation. Every big-ticket deal from spectrum, to coal, to iron ore, to gas fields, to the Common Wealth Games has the dubious distinction of a political hand somewhere on the take. And every investigation by the CBI is seen to be manipulated for some end objective. The Supreme Court, noting the power of the government, has forbidden the CBI to hand over any information on the so-called "coal-gate" scam to the government. That is a record of shame. The Supreme Court is clearly indicating its lack of faith in the government's ability to keep information that it receives from the investigating agencies in confidence. Does the honourable Court fear that the government may, in fact, leak this information out to its friends to help them prepare a defence? Why should we heed the government's appeal? In an interview with CNBC after the budget, the Finance Minister noted: "I am hoping that the people of India will heed my appeal and not demand so much gold. For example, if the people of India stop buying gold for one year, that will solve most of our problems in that year." Let me give you a counter appeal on behalf of the people of India, sir: If the politicians and the bureaucrats stopped cheating India for one year, we will solve most of our problems for the next century! The budget is an annual statement of accounts. But within it lie stated and unstated intentions. The Finance Minister has been focused on balancing the need for spending more (in light of a general election in the next 12 months) and worrying about a possible downgrade from the international credit rating agencies. That is his balancing act: the act of a politician, not that of a statesman. There is nothing to suggest that this government - or politicians in general - wish to address the issues facing India. There is nothing to suggest they even care about corruption. There is everything to suggest the government is happy to announce new routes of creating ways to guarantee future leakages (a bank dedicated for women) rather than identifying existing routes which can be used efficiently and effectively. Nope, there is no faith to be wasted here. Make sure you have your allocation to gold. The above is from the mail I receive from Equitymaster under the heading "The Honest Truth