I was reading this story and simply shaking my head, how stupid can you be? this debate over black and white...it went from a small town, to the state, to the national newspaper and now I am sitting here, 5000 miles away, and thinking, these people are stupid.
Saturday, July 5
An interesting conversation here, but I am not very sure that Vint Cerf's ideas are really right up there. I have had my conversations with him in Malaysia and I found a rather naive belief that permeates his thinking, and here's another example.
Why is it that broadband is necessary for development? And why is this idea so entrenched? that's really bad and sad that people are jumping up and down saying that we need to have broadband. Erm, why? Why must I pay my tax dollars to pay for an internet? How does India work without broadband and manage to do wonderfully well with mobiles?
then he looks at the internet as a road system. And he thinks that the private sector abuses the internet. Well, give me a reason to use it, as I have already told him. All those airy fairy pie in the sky models where money magically appears to pay for his internet toys simply will not work. You need to show and tell me how your work actually adds value to me. And if I find it valuable, then I will pay for it. The fact that the majority of the Web 2.0 companies have not made much money and very few have actually made a profit tells me that their economic model sucks. And then come along people, who after failing to get money from the open market, run crying to the government to pay for their taxes.
Sod it, no bloody way. Net neutrality be damned, you pay for what you use. As for dis-enfanchising the people, well, here's my question, since when did I as the people become responsible for everything you do? if you live in a place which does not have suitable services, well, you either go without or move to a place where there is this facility. I see no reason to support this idea that the government exists to provide every bloody service for every bloody person. No, sorry, it does not. It has to first make sure we are secure, and then stay the hell away from me.
I was falling about laughing when I read this. When you replace one racist scheme for another, do not be surprised when other races play up. I see that all the time and have talked about it left right and centre. Race based economic policies are always destined to collapse under the weight of their own inconsistencies. We have seen riots and deaths in India, USA and across vast swathes of Africa over this issue.
In the USA, blacks are given affirmative action, but then when yellows from China and Japan, and browns from Asia and Latin America over take them and pick up all the pieces, then it is no longer racism but, erm, what is it?
Here are some examples of how racism is perpetuated by the same people who suffered under it.
The Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws use the same racial classifications of the apartheid era, giving advantage to those who were designated as black, Indian or coloured during the years of white rule.
So, the blacks are continuing on doing the same racist stuff.. And because of that, this happens:
The Chinese were considered "coloured" during the apartheid years and suffered discrimination, but from 1994 they were considered "white".
Hmm, so a yellow was first coloured, then became white and now they are black. From a basic economics, political, and frankly common sense perspective, this policy sounds stupid. Why not simply open it up to anybody who is poor and needs help? But no, moronic leaders (that Thabo Mbeki is a prime example, I feel hatred towards him, frigging idiot), will keep on going because that's how low brow they are. Makes more sense to be a racist than to be smart and help all South Africans.
This would be amusing if it was not so sad and worrying. The treasury is actually the nation's treasury, it takes my tax dollars in and then gives it to deserving folks like the sick, ill, and deprived. If i do not pay my taxes, then the government can come and lock me up and take my pots and pans.
But this very same government cannot account for the money it has taken from me. Its accounting is in a shambles. Why? because the auditors are refusing to sign off on it. The economic incompetence of this government is staggering. In any case, I as a taxpayer have suddenly become the owner of a bank and I am now lending money to others for mortgages. And this decision was taken by Alistair Darling and that prime moron, Gordon Brown. God, you need to be turfed out ASAP, how much more damage will you do to the country?
Well, since the ECB is now claiming that its strategy for interest rate management is backed by the citizens, then I have a further idea. Lets fire all those expensive chaps sitting on the 18th floor downwards in Euro tower in Frankfurt.
No? but then, hold on, since the rationale for your interest rate management seems to be the backing of citizens and not economics theory and expertise, then we might as well as give over the right to manage interest rates to Gallup or a local newspaper. They will simply go out, ask people, rates up or down? the majority win and the rates move accordingly.
Well, actually there are not 10 but 12 laptops, and those laptops are going to go to 3 hospitals who have bone marrow transplant units. Kids in this situation can end up with more than an year away from other friends, schooling etc. etc. If things work out, these 12 laptops would have helped at least 30-40 kids over the next 2-3 years.
That's 40 man years of happiness that these two wonderful men at the local council managed to do. Can you imagine that statistic? Even if you consider it to be just 10%, that's 4 years even. 4 years of happiness to a sick child. That's so impressive and creditable. God will indeed reward them and in any case, life has a way of thanking people who help others.
God bless you both. Thank you again.
This is something that makes my blood boil.
Tens of millions of Indians living below the poverty line on 50 pence or less a day were forced to pay an estimated £110 million in bribes over a three-month period for access to basic services.
Bloody unbelievable indeed. You are trying to help the poorest and the poorest have to pay bribes to get it. Each and every person who has taken a bribe will suffer, man, bad karma for them, they will suffer, their families will suffer. Bad money doesn't help. And the police? Least said about them. I am reminded of a quote which i read recently.
When a soldier dies, they say that a shaheed (martyr) died, when a policeman dies, they say that a thief died.
That's what you are, thieves and cowards and basically scum, you bastards, may you rot in hell. And for the politicians? Snorts, bunch of wankers
Besides the fact that quite a lot of these tips can apply to everybody and to Indians as well, some bits were very amusing.
Interviewer: “So do you have any questions about our company or the position?”
Muslim: “I need off every Friday from 1pm to 3pm. Is there a room I can pray in a couple of times a day? Also sometimes I need to wash my feet in the sink, is that ok? Which restroom should I use? Do you have lotas? Can I borrow the watering jug?”
Interviewer: “Thanks, we’ll be in touch….”
I have never experienced this before but then, working in the city burns every sense of religiosity out of you but makes you into a fervent believer in God.
I love this idea. Simple idea, government employees work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Move it to 4 days of 10 hours each. Besides the classic savings left right and centre, the idea that government is not going to be in place to bugger up my life for another day is frankly good. And plus most of the work that needs government intervention is not driven by working days at all. I need to pay in my council tax, or renew my licence or complain about noise. What's the connection with hours worked? The state needs to calculate the average rainfall in the state or needs to find out the number of children in class 7. What's the time involved? and if one says that its important that the state government has to be open for 5 days, why not for 7 days? :) We have to slowly move away from this idea that hours worked is equal to work done. Only for a very few professions is that correct. Not for all, and it will be less and less as more and more automation takes place...
Tuesday, July 1
This argument by Dr Shahid Qureshi is one of the most novel arguments in favour of a nuclear bomb in Pakistan. The idea that there are organised minorities which are somehow out to get Pakistan is deeply engrained in so many minds that its not funny. Some priceless gems:
In cricket when a player scores a hundred, nobody asks how many catches were dropped. When nations survive wars and conspiracies, no one in history asks what they were living on or what they were eating.
Pakistan's nuclear deterrent has reduced chances of a war in the region and there is a greater chance of peace flourishing in the subcontinent. One doesn't count the costs involved in survival.
The author has obviously forgotten Kargil and the many times India Pakistan nearly went to war. And here's another classic conspiracy theory, it was not our fault, my lord, it was the enemy who dunnit.
What happened in 1948, 1965 and 1971 wars and then in Kargil is part of military history but what really happened in the world's leading capitals is an ugly story of betrayal, treachery and selfishness. There is, no doubt, that the 1971 war and separation of East Pakistan was an international conspiracy and more of stabbing in the back by friends, like the US, both in 1965 and 1971.
But this line is the best one: However, treachery is also telepathic. Hehehe, how amusing, telepathic treachery, hehehe. Very nice indeed. And this book's review was given by a certain Brigadier Khalid. His LISA has collected together the most amusing and funny collection of "experts", bunch of clowns. He comes up with the most wonderful ideas, provides a laugh a minute. Fascinating, and to think he actually has a readership. But then, there is an idiot born every minute. Here, read his review and giggle:
War on Terror & Siege of Pakistan
By Dr Shahid Qureshi
Freemedia Publishers, Lahore
ISBN 9781 42599 5454
Conspiracies Against Pakistan
Most books about Pakistan are written and published abroad are either by Western authors who need to justify their angle on Islam or Pakistan or by Pakistani academics seeking to fit in with the Western academics. It is rare to see a book reflecting the point of view of a mainstream Pakistani about Pakistan particularly in the English language. This book is indeed the views and fears of a mainstream patriotic Pakistani.
Dr Shahid Qureshi has collected a vast amount of documents that are often ignored or sidelined because they do not support the subjective point of view that the author holds. In this book all relevant material on difficult subjects is compiled that is useful for further research or in support of facts for which references are not easily available. This book is particularly useful for students who need fact to draw their own conclusions or for writing a pro-Pakistan narrative as a part of their course of study.
Many analysts believes that ‘the so called ‘War on Terror ‘ was planned long before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and regime change in Pakistan from Nazwaz Sharif to General Musharaf in October 1999 was some how part of the plan’? Is it a mere coincidence that military rule was in place in Pakistan on both Soviet and US invasion of Afghanistan? This book provides information and analysis of the events as well as role of the players within the power circles of Pakistan.
One often wonder why is it so easy to install puppet regimes – civil or military - in a country like Pakistan that has a clear polity enjoying wide and strong public support! I admire the author of this book - Dr Shahid Qureshi – for his courage and patriotism to have attempted to provide an answer. In few words, the answer is the existence of ‘organised minorities’.
Organised minorities find it easy to infiltrate the establishment and influence the people because Pakistan is an open society. The core of the society is fair, generous, and hospitable. They are fair to the point of giving preference to the ‘other’ point of view over their own. They are generous - ever eager to forgive and forget. These characteristics provide for ease in maintaining social harmony. But they also make infiltration very easy.
Pre-independence politics saw the creation of two powerful elements to influence and control the Muslim core – Qadiaynis and the feudal. The Qadiaynis remained the sole subversive element who continued to flourish until they were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Thereafter, those who wanted to influence Pakistan’s policies found it easier to consort with the Army Chiefs who emerged as powerbrokers. The foreign powers seeking to determine policy infiltrated the military as well as the political system to influence promotions in the armed forces as well nominations of ministers in the cabinet as allegedly happened after February 2008 elections.
The major foreign influence on Pakistan is of US. During the Cold War, when the objectives of Pakistan as well as the USA in South Asia were identical or complementary, this influence was benign, even helpful. But India has worked its way into favour and has become the principal US ally in the region. The watershed moment was the betrayal of Pakistan when USA supported Indian invasion of East Pakistan in 1971.
American CIA carried out a study how the vote of the rural majority elects a government and the urban discontent removes it from power. They found that the political inclinations of the population in rural as well as urban areas of Pakistan were similar except in Karachi. They concluded that even a popular government could be removed by agitation in Karachi. That is the raison d’etre of the MQM.
The fear of the Qadiaynis and the MQM is widespread in Pakistan. Like the backlash against Qadiaynis in the seventies, there is every likelihood of a backlash against the MQM in the coming decade. But it is avoidable. The identity of the MQM is ethnic, not sectarian. It is books like this, which help limit the damage they can do and create a space for them to return to the mainstream. Pakistan was split into two when a conspirator (an Indian agent) was able to gain the trust of the Bengali people. That may be happening again. The leaders of all the main political parties are leaders for life, and General Musharraf wants to be one. All of them depend on foreign support largely. In such an environment, the two organised minorities - Mirzais (Qadiaynis) and MQM can operate freely to subvert Pakistan from within.
The people trust the military but not Musharraf. Could the military support patriots among politicians to frustrate the subversives? I believe that disclosures and analysis like in this book improve the prospects of that to happen. Each one of us has a duty to come forward and call a spade a spade. It is only through such courage and patriotism that ‘robust unity’ of the core of the nation will be mobilised to frustrate the subversives in our country ‘under siege from within’.
Moreover, It is always dangerous for anyone to criticise politicians because they tend to be vindictive. However, it is safer to comment on military rulers and their surrogates. This book is written during the Musharraf era when Internet opened the lines of communication and information became freely available. The book compiles useful information on all the important events of the last decade with references included to link past events. Tabooed subjects like the MQM and its links with India; the Qadianis and their patrons; insurrection in Baluchistan and the role of India, Russia, and America in it; co-operation between Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad; the accusation of nuclear proliferation against Pakistan, are all covered.
This is a book providing information that is hard to obtain; it is a book that helps understand complex events linked to and surrounding Pakistan; and it is a rich source of themes and ideas. I commend it to readers.
London Institute of South Asia
Conspiracy theory galore...But if a book has been recommended by this clown, it immediately means that the book is destined to the never to be read pile...
Sunday, June 29
FINALLY, with the grace of God, a local authority has been so kind as to offer 10 laptops for the kids.
I thought it would be easy, just call up the CIO or talk to them, get things moving and after few weeks, laptops and pc's will come pouring down. Well, that's the idea, but did not work that easily.
Asset disposal is a giant mess in most companies, while you are very careful in ordering stuff, to dispose stuff is horribly difficult. And people do not think through the logistics. Let me give you some examples, first by taking the example of a laptop and second via the example of a mobile phone.
You get a mobile phone from the company and then after 2 years, you lose it. So you order a new one and a spanking new one appears on your desk, you drool over it and so on and so forth. After 2 weeks, you find the old mobile phone nestling inside the umbrella stand where you dropped it when bending over it. This is the problem, what do you do with it? if you take 100 people in this situation, 90 will simply chuck it into a drawer at home and forget about it, 5 will give it to their children or wives, 5 will bring it back into the office and ask what happens with old kit. 99 times out of 100, there is no mechanism for actually accepting old mobile kit within companies.
Full asset refresh is a different matter. I kitted out the whole floor with 1000 pc's, so after 2 years, I refresh the entire lot, so the entire lot gets disposed off properly and I can sell off the old piles. But when you are talking about 1-2 old kit, once in a while, they will be left to collect dust and mould in your secretary's desk, underneath some desks, inside some cupboards, or what have you.
It is just too expensive to worry about 1-2 pieces of kit and most people just do not return kit. We ran a scheme that if you returned your own mobile in these large charity containers, we can recycle it and then buy goats in Ghana or something. Guess what happened? very few old mobile phones came through, and even those which did, were actually picked up by other employees whose current mobile phone was of an older generation than the disposed one.
So between laziness, difficulty in collection, no proper disposal policy and so on and so forth, collecting laptops for the charity is very difficult. Even if somebody at the top was willing to help out, the huge amount of work required to go after changing the policy neatly defeats the entire exercise. I personally failed to do so at the last bank I worked in. I was going down the wrong way by going for the top and asking for donations.
So what I am trying to do is to play the same game. Try to hook into the asset refresh cycle. Some laptops will be handed back to the ordering desk, and if we can hook into those few returned laptops, then we are in business. And then the van can come down from Nottingham on a regular basis and collect them.
This means that I have to press the flesh of many many senior people and network widely. And so many people say yes and well, not much happens. Nothing wrong with that, these things happen, people are busy, but its tough on everybody, raise expectations, expend energy and then fail. I am currently running at about 20 contacts to 5 actual asset conversations to now the first actual delivery. So I think I am doing ok...
But every now and then, and this is for the first time, that we have managed to get 10 laptops freed from a London council. I am very grateful to the gentleman concerned, his asset manager and the young lady who made the introductions.
Here is a photograph of a very kind gentleman who donated a laptop he won to a long term ill child.