Saturday, June 26

Disabled People Sign

this can be a joke, but it is true, people use the disabled people places with gay abandon, dont really think it through. Sighs.

Friday, June 25

Height of bureaucratic nonsense

I saw this letter in this week’s economist from a gentleman called as Kenneth Hill. Never you mind about the contents of the letter, but in case you must, it related to child mortality data. This gentleman was writing on behalf of the:








We function independently of the agencies themselves.


Do you see what made me go wtf? This is bureaucratic nonsense piled on top of another one and and and. Why cant this be done out of one agency? but no, they need to have an independent agency to link other agencies. And then they need another group to tell this inter agency group what to do? and not just simple do, its advice on the method!

The mind boggles, this is what our tax dollars are going to? Sometimes makes me wonder what these world is coming to. Why dont we stop funding these frankly bureaucratic parasites from proliferating like mad?

Look at the problem, I as an ordinary citizen, do not understand why this group exists or why I am paying for this man’s salary, expenses or honorariums. I mean, I can understand what it does in English language, but why? We dont really have that much money to spare. If we shut this down I am sure we can use this money to save 100 kids from an early death.

This is why I never give money in terms of charity to these multi national boondoggles. In any case, my government pays up to 0.7% of its GDP on my behalf in aid. Without asking me. Which means its not charity, its forced contributions. Plus to think that my hard earned money is going on these useless gits just irritates the hell out of me. Pay your charity if you will to a local charity where you can see where the money is going, not to these utterly useless make-work jobsworth pencil pushing time wasting carbuncles on the body politic bureaucrats

Thursday, June 24

Trading with the enemy

I received this note in an email:

Israel firms look for opportunities in Gujarat

A business delegation from Israel is exploring opportunities for tie-ups with agro-business entrepreneurs in Gujarat, an official said on Wednesday.
According to Gujarat Agro-industries Corporation Managing Director D Thara, a 30-member delegation representing, among others, 17 companies of Israel is currently on a visit to the state to explore the possibility of business tie-ups in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, dairy sector and irrigation.
"We have given them a list of entrepreneurs with whom they can interact," Thara said.
Leader of the delegation Yitzhak Kiriati said: "There is considerable similarity between Gujarat and Israel in terms of agro-zones and water scarcity."
The delegation represents companies with business interests in sectors like water management and drip irrigation, agro-feed, dairy, fisheries, greenhouse, seeds and storage facility.
Israel's consul general in Mumbai Orna Sagiv, who was present at a conference in Ahmedabad Tuesday said that her country was looking for tie-up opportunities with Indian companies in their area of agricultural excellence.
The Gujarat government gave a presentation where it put forward its objective of doubling its irrigated cropped area from the present 3.1 million hectare of a total cropped area of 10.6 million hectare.

So I replied:

that's good news, these firms have some excellent intellectual property, technology and know-how that our people can do with, we should open up even more to these firms. can do nothing but improve our farmers, citizens and and and.

I got a comment saying that Israeli persecutes and does land grabbing, so the trade off is not justified. And my response was:

Well, I suppose it matters if one draws an equivalence between people who just happened to have the same passport. In other words, you are saying that every Israeli firm and person is jointly responsible for the persecutions carried out by Israel, yes?
if that is indeed the case, one will not deal with Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, US, Saudi Arabia, UK, etc. etc. which have been accused of the same kind of persecutions or landgrabbing or both. We see the same logic when people draw an equivalence between people who just happen to share religions. I dont think I will like it if somebody tells me that I am not going to be given a job because I happen to share the same sex, religion or nationality as some country, group or religion somewhere. There is a reason why collective punishment is wrong.
For that matter, we are, at this moment, using not less than 2-3 Israeli inventions or discoveries or patents or technologies in the areas of high-tech, biotechnology, medical devices, irrigation etc.. If one is using a mobile phone, using a computer, the internet, etc. etc. then the chances are that one is using Israeli tech. Obviously one has made the judgement call that its worth using Israeli tech :)
We use Israeli technology when it comes to saving the lives of our jawans. The amount of help, tech, knowledge and knowhow that our indian military forces have received from Israeli is massive. So many lives have already been saved. Israeli technology has been used extensively in our communications networks, our medical infrastructure, our research and development infrastructure, and so on and so forth.
So I guess what I am saying is that the question of trade off just does not exist :) The Israeli companies, just like the British, Thai, Chinese, Australian etc. companies all come to trade, we welcome them and we trade right back. :)

Its frankly very amusing how people go all narrow eyed and tunnel vision when it comes to blaming Israel. The fact that the moral equivalence they draw is frankly illogical is besides the point. And you see this time and time again, specially with Israel. And pretty much because every other country, group or religion is excluded, this behaviour is very frequently driven by anti semitism. Simple way to test it, take 100 people who have expressed anti Israeli thoughts, find out where they have exhibited similar thoughts for another country. The vast majority will not have done so for another country. Investigating deeper, you will find that the only difference is that the country is Jewish, hence the anti semitic accusation sticks.


Wednesday, June 23

Performance based pay for teachers is unfair as they dont control student performance

Here’s an interesting letter. I quote:


Ms. Clara B. Floyd, President
Maryland State Teachers’ Association

Dear Ms. Floyd:

One of your organization’s spokeswomen (speaking today on WTOP radio) explained that performance-based pay for teachers is “unfair” to teachers.  The proffered reason is that so much of a child’s intellectual development is affected by home environment, neighborhood influences, and other factors outside of teachers’ control that it is impossible to determine each teacher’s success or failure simply by measuring changes over time in the academic abilities of that teachers’ students.

Fair point.  But if it’s true that teachers have so little influence over their students’ learning that it’s “unfair” to tie teacher pay to the measured academic performance of their students, then what’s the use of public schooling?  If what students learn or don’t learn is largely outside of the influence of their schoolteachers, why spend all of these resources, year after year, on government schools?  Why continue to fund schools if children are so impervious to the fruits of formal education that any amount of knowledge that might actually take hold in their minds as a result of their schooling is too small to be measured?

In short, if your spokeswoman is correct, not only should pleas for performance-based pay for teachers be tossed into history’s dustbin, so, too, should government schooling itself be abandoned – for we can have no reliable evidence that it is serving its stated purpose of educating children.

Donald J. Boudreaux

Simplistic but thought provoking.

Tuesday, June 22

Taiwan wins damages over French defence sale

GOOD! I quote:

France’s arms industry was under scrutiny on Tuesday after an arbitration court ordered the payment of €630m ($820m) in damages to Taiwan over a controversial defence sale that has dogged politicians in Paris and Taipei for two decades.

The ruling comes as France faces allegations of bribery over the sale of submarines to Malaysia in 2002 and as questions are being raised over a similar deal with Pakistan in the 1990s.

Thales and the French state were fined over commissions linked to a sale of six Lafayette class frigates to Taiwan in 1991, in breach of the contract banning the use of intermediaries.

Thales, at the time known as Thomson-CSF, is liable for 27.5 per cent of the fine, in line with its share of the contract, and the French state is responsible for the balance.

The intensely political controversy has touched the highest levels of government in both Taipei and Paris, with allegations against top-ranked Taiwanese defence officers and a former French minister.

The frigate affair was even used in the Clearstream smear scandal that pitched French President Nicolas Sarkozy against his arch-rival Dominique de Villepin, over claims that kickbacks from the deal ended up in accounts – later proved to be forged – of senior French politicians.

In October, French investigators abandoned a separate criminal inquiry into whether some of the payments helped fund political campaigns, due to lack of evidence. The French government has repeatedly refused to release certain documents, citing “defence secrets”.

Thales said it would appeal against the decision by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration. “Thales disputes the very grounds of this decision. The company will initiate all available proceedings and actions against this award,” it said.

French government officials refused to comment, though Wu Den-yih, Taiwan’s premier, welcomed the ruling.

The affair came to light when a Taiwanese Navy captain and head of the island’s procurement office was found dead, floating off the coast of Taiwan in December 1993. His death sparked controversy over Taiwan’s decision to buy French frigates after initially favouring cheaper South Korean vessels.

French relations with China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan, also suffered over the sale.

The arms industry has a long shadow, specially with emerging markets. It stinks and the fact that politicians go about helping this corrupt behaviour is criminal. This is so shameful, the French State itself has been found corrupt. I know this could well be met with a Gallic shrug but come on, guys, you are supposed to be civilised and all that, proud of your culture, your education, your principles and your language. How does it feel when people say that’s all very fine and good, but where did all this culture and principles go when dealing with Taiwan?