Saturday, March 15

More Muslim Rage Boy syndrome!

Right after I talked about how rage boy syndrome around Eliot Spitzer (heard a good joke about that but might only be understandable by a Brit, "amazing drop for Spitzer, from attorney general to plain solicitor") and I get another email from the same person and this time referring to this link. Right, see? it was the Jews who had done it and to corroborate it, they spoke with "defence sources" who said the call girl ring was a front for Mossad. And Eliot was brought down because he went after money laundering people connected to Russian, Israeli and Wall Street people. And Mossad is running this?

Once it was funny, second time it is cause for concern (have you had your meds yet?) and third time it will be ignored.


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Friday, March 14

The mother of all "oops" moments for a central bank!

Oops indeed.

The price of real gold is currently soaring Ethiopia's national bank has been told to inspect all the gold in its vaults to determine its authenticity. It follows the discovery that some of the "gold" it had bought for millions of dollars was gold-plated steel.

The first hint that something was wrong reportedly came when the Ethiopian central bank exported a consignment of gold bars to South Africa. The South Africans sent them back, complaining that they had been sold gilded steel.

An investigation revealed that the bank had bought a consignment of fake gold from a supplier, who is now under arrest. Other arrests followed, including business associates of the main accused; national bank officials; and chemists from the Geological Survey of Ethiopia, whose job it is to assay the bank's purchases of gold and certify that they are real.

But what has clearly now got the government even more worried is that another different batch of gold in the bank's vaults has also been found to be fake, and this time it was gold which had been there for several years, after being seized from smugglers trying to take it to

The Ethiopian parliament's budget and finance committee ordered the inspection of all gold in the national bank's vaults. A report from the auditor-general on the affair is expected to be
presented to parliament during its current session. Gold is mined in Ethiopia in considerable quantities, and a trader selling gold to the central bank has to have it tested and certified by the Geological Survey.

Whether the bank bought fake gold in the first place, or whether real gold from the vaults has been swapped for gilded steel, the fraud has cost the bank many millions of dollars, and it must have involved collusion on a considerable scale.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Your jihad is important to us!

This just killed me laughing (and made my little munchkin wake up at 6:15 in the morning which made my wife upset with me, but it was worth it...). So true!

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Thursday, March 13

Cypriot leaders agree to direct talks under UN auspices later this month

This is extremely good news. The Greeks have finally given in to common sense and have decided to talk, i just hope the UN can manage to get these two obdurate groups to talk and resolve that bloody Cyprus Issue. Also see here.

Israeli at center of Spitzer scandal

Far too typically, Muslim Rage boys are all over this story raising such a huge chuckle and smile on my face. (See my previous essay about rage boys). But the fact that so many morons are out there getting all excited about the fact that there was an Israeli involved is just so amusing indeed. Erm, yes, Israeli's do have prostitution. And they do have pimps as well. Gosh, are you saying that Muslims dont do prostitution or pimping? :P

Mind you, they also do high technology, but you do not see those emails being circulated, lol. What morons.... I feel bad taking the mickey out of these pond life gits, but today was not a good day and they are as good as a target as any to vent my frustration on! :) Mind you, I started the day with taking the mickey out of a very strange foul mouthed bizarre man on one of my mailing lists so it evens out.

Here's the message which has been circulating.

The alleged procurer in the prostitution scandal surrounding New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has an Israeli passport. A federal magistrate in New York ordered Mark "Michael" Brener held without bail after his arrest last Thursday related to allegations that he headed the Emperors VIP Club, described by police as a high-priced prostitution ring.

The Associated Press reported that $600,000 in cash and an Israeli passport were elements in the denial of bail to Brener, 62. Brener's lawyer said he has been a U.S. citixen for 20 years. The New York Times has reported that Spitzer is the "Client 9" described in the search warrant that led to the arrests of Brener and four alleged colleagues.
Spitzer, a Jewish lawyer whose office conducted serious investigations of at least two Jewish organizations when he was state attorney general, made a brief statement to the media Monday admitting he had let down his family and the public. He did not offer any details.

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Check your password

Thanks to Sree, this site is very interesting. Given that we are blessed with bloody Lotus Notes (may the fleas of 1000 camels infest the inventor of that piece of kit or the man who selected the damn thing for the firm), we have to do some major password selections and have some major heavy duty security. Anyway, the results of some of my passwords were very interesting, its amazing how the addition of a capital letter or just one additional letter to a word or juxtaposition of numbers and alphabets can change the strength. Have fun checking! :)

Wednesday, March 12

Freeloaders versus good citizens around the world

A question that is so frequently asked in the third world countries relates to the comparison between Singapore and Country XXX about litter. See here for an example. In other words, when you would not dream of littering in a country like Singapore, why would you do so in India, Nigeria or what have you?.

But I am still not sure that littering is avoided in Singapore because their citizens are very heavily brought into the civic sense and have a sense of community or is it the threat of draconian corporal punishment if you spit or litter. My feeling is that it is a mixture with a bit more of the latter than the former, but I am happy to be corrected.

In other countries, public goods are not considered to belong to one self, they do not identify with civic society and thus are very happy to go about littering or spitting. I remember Mish, one of girls I worked with at Solly's, she went to Nepal to teach English to orphans, I spoke to her and she said in an outraged indignant tone after praising them to high heaven, but they all spit so much. As it so happens and what I found out, one does not spit in Brazil, I am afraid. But I digress. Anyway, these people who do not believe in civic society and exhibit littering behaviour are called as free loaders.

For example, if you were not involved or engaged in local government or society, then you would have no hesitation in chucking a stone at the local electronic traffic information board or destroy a bus shelter or throw litter on the ground. Leaving aside the issue of upbringing or culture or what have you, the assumption is that it is somebody else's problem and somebody else will handle it. In other words, free loaders.

But these freeloaders are punished by the law, such as in Singapore, and their behaviour changes. But one interesting question is, what is the reaction of the freeloaders to this punishment and would they retaliate against them? I read about this in the FT recently. I quote:

Students in 16 cities around the world played a "public goods" game, in which everyone is given monetary tokens. They could either keep the tokens for themselves, or put them into a common pot that yields extra interest to be shared between all the players, whether or not they contributed to the pot. After one round, everyone's contribution is revealed and players can "punish" each other by taking tokens away.

Now this was the interesting part where the national differences came through (beware of generalisations, I hate Paris but I love France, I love France but hate them frogs... :)). In countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey and South Korea where you have strong authoritarian institutions (either on the governmental or patriarchal society level), the freeloaders took revenge and hit back at their punishers with the sad outcome that the overall pot was reduced for everybody.

In countries of Western Europe, US, Australia and surprisingly China, there was much less freeloading and more social behaviour, less punishment was observed and the earnings actually increased over time. I think its worthwhile to quote the full conclusion by the study leader:

"The findings suggest that in societies where public co-operation is ingrained and people trust their law enforcement institutions, revenge is generally shunned. But in societies where the modern ethic of co-operation with unrelated strangers is less familiar and the rule of law is weak, revenge is more common."

Curious, no? specially the anomaly around China? But more broadly, trust in the law is crucial for civic society and that will require less authoritarianism, less patriachal behaviour and more individual freedom. For the society to be trusting, you have to trust the individual, to trust the individual, you have to have respect for individual rights. But as long as you have this idea that the government knows best or some weird religion knows best, you will end up with a bunch of anti-social freeloaders who drag down the entire society. But this, this was just an experiment and the results have to be taken with a grain of salt!

Board Member performance in India

If you have board members who are board members in too many companies, then the
busyness hypothesis says that the directors will be over committed and cannot monitor
the firms properly. But this paper seems to suggest otherwise.

Jayati Sarkar and Subrata Sarkar, Multiple board appointments and firm performance in emerging economies: Evidence from India, Pacific-Basin Finance JournalIn Press, Accepted Manuscript, , Available online 4 March 2008.


This paper extends the literature on multiple directorships, busy directors and firm performance by providing evidence from an emerging economy, India, where the incidence of multiple directorships is high. Using a sample of 500 large firms and a measure of “busyness” that is more general in its applicability, we find multiple directorships by independent directors to correlate positively with firm value. Independent directors with multiple positions are also found to attend more board meetings and are more likely to be present in a company’s annual general meeting. These findings are largely in contrast to the existing evidence from the US studies and lend support to the “quality hypothesis” that busy outside directors are likely to be better directors, and the “resource dependency hypothesis” that multiple directors may be better networked thereby helping the company to establish more linkages with its external environment. Multiple directorships by inside directors are, however, negatively related to firm performance. Our results suggest that the institutional specificities of emerging economies like India could work in favor of sustaining high levels of multiple directorships for independent directors without necessarily impairing the quality of corporate governance.

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Tuesday, March 11

You can convert but discrimination remains

This is why I am very jaundiced towards conversions and proselytisation even though it is a right and its perfectly fine. But if you think conversion is a route to social policy, then think again as this proves:

Upper caste and Dalit Catholics clash
Nirmala Carvalho - 3/10/08
Asia News

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Two Christians died and many more were wounded shot by police who intervened yesterday to stop clashes between Dalit Catholics and upper caste Catholics in the diocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu).

Troubles started on 7 March when a group of Dalit Christians from the Villupuram district began a hunger strike to protest discrimination in a local parish by the Vanniyar.

Three months ago Dalits from St Jabamalais Annai Church in Earyur built another church dedicated to Saghaya Madha (Our Lady of perpetual Help) and sought to have it erected as a separate parish with its own priest.

They were backed in their demands by two political groups, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Vck) and Ambedkar Makkal Iyakkam (AMI). The VCK even put up posters calling for the closure of St Jabamalai and the recognition of the new parish church.

In response some 500 upper caste Christians went on a rampage on Sunday, attacking Dalits and torching over 30 huts.

Police said that when they moved in to stop the protest they were pelted with stones and were thus “forced” to open fire on the aggressors. M Periy Nayagam, 40, and A. Magimai, 24, were killed and 40 more people were wounded.

Fr G Cosmon Arokiaraj, secretary to the Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, told AsiaNews that the “confrontation in the area between Dalit and Vanniyar Catholics goes back quite some time, but the Church does not want to split a parish along caste line,” but is working towards “gradually removing discrimination against the Dalits and uprooting all forms of discrimination.”

These tragic incidents show that it is urgent to ban many forms of discrimination against Dalit Christians both within the Christian community and especially society at large.

In fact “since the Christian community is perceived as a single entity,” he explained, “the government does not recognise to Dalit Christians the same rights as other Dalits.”

In the Indian caste system, states have granted specific benefits and quotas in schools and public service for Dalits to compensate for their secular low social standing.

“For years Dalits have been discriminated within the Church itself,” he said. “They cannot sit with upper caste members in the same church; they are buried in separate cemeteries; they cannot use the same roads as upper caste people. When the mother of a Dalit priest died in the 1990s the upper caste did not allow the funeral procession to use the main road; even the bishop failed to bring about a compromise.”

“In India more than 65 per cent of all Christians are Dalit, but Christians represent only 2.3 per cent of a population of 1.1 billion people.”

A Tax Policy should be?

This was brilliant, encapsulating in four words, what a tax policy should be comprised of (in terms of principles)



simplicity and


It is so sad that so many people forget about these basic principles. Specially this government, the habit of this government to make the tax policy unstable, uncertain, complex and unfair is legendary. Total incompetents. You just wait till the budget and then we all will be wincing.

In any case, I am not going to vote for Labour this time around, even though my local MP is pretty good. No replies to my emails, no referendum on the EU constitution, economic disasters, PM is a coward and hides and bottles out, disgusting.

Sunday, March 9

Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War

While researching my last essay here, I came across this paper. Quite an interesting paper, but I have some issues with it, the 4 categories that she comes up with are too vague. I quote:

  • Dispossessive - the class of events, including both in and out-migrations, in which the principal objective is the appropriation of the territory and/or property of another group or groups, and/or the elimination of this group or groups as a threat to the ethno-political or economic dominance of the perpetrators; this includes what is commonly known as ethnic cleansing;
  • Exportive - those displacements undertaken either to fortify a domestic political position -by expelling political dissidents and other domestic adversaries - or to discomfit or destabilize foreign government(s);
  • Militarized - those displacements conducted, usually during active conflict, to gain military advantage against an adversary - namely, via the disruption or destruction of an opponent's command and control, logistics, or movement capabilities - or to enhance one's own force structure, via the acquisition of additional (sometimes reluctant) manpower and/or resources; and
  • Coercive - the class of events in which (real or threatened) outflows are used, as a foreign policy tool, to induce (or prevent) changes in political behavior and/or to extract side-payments from the target(s); coercive use includes the propagandistic use of outflows (which are often generated by others) for their own benefit.

While there were some interesting examples, generally, the taxonomy is too vague and then the number of examples which you can move around is even worse. This inexorably leads to a very small, limited and disappointing set of public policy recommendations and discussion.

JO - Civil Wars
PB - Routledge
AU - Greenhill, Kelly M.
TI - Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War
SN - 1369-8249
PY - 2008
VL - 10
IS - 1
SP - 6
EP - 21
UR -


In recent years, it has been widely argued that a new and different armament - i.e., the refugee as weapon - has entered the world's arsenals. But just how new and different is this weapon? Can it only be used in wartime? And just how successful has been its exploitation? Using a combination of statistical data and case study analysis, this article tackles these questions and provides a detailed examination of the instrumental manipulation of population movements as political and military weapons of war. In addition to 'mapping the terrain' of the issue by providing a comprehensive typology of the most common means by - and desired ends for - which displaced persons have been used as political and military weapons since the end of the Cold War, the author also provides a portrait of the identities of the kinds of actors most likely to engage in this kind of exploitation. She also proposes an explanation for what motivates them to resort - and apparently increasingly so - to the use of this unconventional policy tool, despite the reputational and potential retributive costs of doing so.

Now this is great branding!

Polls deal stunning rebuke to Malaysia coalition

I do not have a good feeling about this, I have a very bad feeling that Malaysia is heading for severe racial tensions and the ruling Islamic party will also turn right in order to save the power berth. Pretty much transparent. And unfortunately, Muslims in Malaysia are not in the huge majority so it will not be pretty at all. Secularism is the only way forward but that will only happen after a huge conflict, I think.

State directed discrimination never works out properly. When you have institutionalised discrimination, it will piss off somebody!