Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

Friday, August 01, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in July Twenty14... [Part One]

It feels like December 2012 all over again. 
Bangalore - formerly Pensioner's Paradise, Garden City and the City where violent sexual crime used to be rare is now anything but a Paradise, has more over-flowing gutters than gardens and where young children and women are being raped almost everyday. 

And this has riled up the armchair activists like sharks on a feeding frenzy. Enough is Enough! Stop talking! 
Recently on Quora, I read a question which wondered why men in Bangalore are better towards women than the men in the North. You must be kidding me!
Will one-stop Crisis centers for rape victims help? Tough to say. Even as I write this, more than 50 women would have been raped and chances are none of the perpetrators will be punished. 

Them geniuses at the Women and Child's welfare committee decided that banning mobile phones in colleges will be enough to stop rapes. My advice to them: Don't breed, please!
But if you are breeding, please produce some girls. We are running short of girls and the dwindling numbers have now reached 'emergency proportions'. On the flip side, it isn't looking good for the survivors either

Moving on to matters that won't ruffle the manicured feathers of placard-holding pseudo activists, the Met. dept announced that Monsoons will be the lowest in 52 years and a private agency declared drought. No shit!! With the way we have been chopping down those trees, I'd be surprised if we didn't face the consequences. 
Our civic authorities helpfully pointed out that we have been wasting 42% of our drinking water. 

Remember the gigantic oath-taking ceremony that our honorable new PM took in May? Well, the government spent 17.60 lakhs for it. A small price to pay for the 'acche din'.

Talking about prices, Modi came out with his maiden 'pro-reform' budget and the industry swooned, politicians had a case of sour grapes and ordinary non-smokers cheered! Biggest gainers: ITC! 
For starters, you get to save more of the peanuts you'll earn under 80c and PPF (Public Provident Fund). and Indira Vikas Patrika makes a return now. 
Good News: Unlike the previous governments, there won't be any more loan waivers for farmers who can't and won't pay and a renewed focus on infrastructure. YAY!

Every other politician cried blue murder and the Congress said it was just a copy-paste job. Well, Mr Congressman, if it was an exact replica of your budget, then why are you complaining? Arvind Kejriwal managed to get his 10 seconds of glory too. 

The US has been cozying up to Modi under the blankets and by the time you read this, Obama has sent the Welcome wagon

But petrochemical major Reliance seems to be squirming with discomfort after the government refused to revise and hike prices of gas from the Krishna Godavari basin and when GAIL was told to not pay RIL Much gas was passed.

BJP seems to be cracking the whip and in this month's 'I'm the Boss' news, Modi has warned his MPs that they are not supposed to bunk parliament

While we have an extremely fickle-minded bunch of politicians, they sure do know how to unite when it's payback time

Politicians Beware!
Amit Shah - a close confidante of Modi and a guy who doesn't really get along with politicians on the other side of the fence got elevated to become Modi's right hand, and whistle-blower IAS officer Ashok Khemka is set to have a PMO role. Did someone say 'sweet revenge'?

Our favorite 'foot-in-mouth' former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju stirred the hornet's nest by saying that politicians interfered with judicial appointments during the UPA regime. Now Mr Katju, tell us something we didn't know. 


And that's why Mr Natwar Singh, a former Sonia Gandhi confidante and 'chuddy-dost' wrote a book on Mrs G. This is what is called 'skeletons springing out of a cupboard'. Considering how the sales of these books are through the roof, I think this is just the tip of the ice-berg. 

Look out for more juice as Mrs G has announced that she will write a book too. Good year for Indian fiction.

A hop, skip and a jump away, Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal had a case of verbal diarrhea.  Well, see this is precisely the reason why I think everyone in the party has lost their marbles. They are on their way out a'la the UPA.

Meanwhile, the Scum of Maharasthra Shiv Shena got some reel-time this month when they were caught on camera force-feeding a Muslim caterer. Denial followed by an apology

In yet another aviation disaster, a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet MH-17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels using Russian SAM. All hell broke loose
Putin flipped flopped and finally flapped.
Across the world, a small passenger plane making a second landing attempt in stormy weather crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing 51 people and injuring seven

But in slightly more cheerful aviation news, Air India crash-landed safely in Newark, after it developed technical issues shortly after take-off. And it won't matter to us that he saved 100s of lives and he will be forgotten soon.
Meanwhile, a Chinese airline tested in-flight WiFi. They may be the butt of cheap jokes, but they are still way ahead in innovation. 

Hollywood may like to portray otherwise but after fighting marathon battles that they don't seem to be winning, the Americans are now frustrated and fatigued

In FIFA, Neymar got kicked out. Literally. And Germany trashed the bejesus out of Brazil.
Ultimately, Germany faced Argentina and walked away with the World Cup. Not because the better team won (clearly Messi can only do so much) but because the Germans never blinked. The lonely goal that gave the Cup away couldn't have been possible if the Argentinian goalkeeper wasn't distracted for that exact second. 

Facebook announced the launch of 'Mentions', an exclusive app for people in public spotlight. I can actually see how this is going to feed on the ego and flagging self-esteem of our many celebrities, but who cares. 

Maria Sharapova didn't know who the short curly-haired former cricketer was and Indians were shocked. This from a nation of idiots who let their kabbadi, hockey and football stars fend for themselves. Bastards!

Talking about Cricket, Dhoni was lampooned by the stiff-upper lipped British press after he stood by the allegations against James Anderson in the ongoing series in Britain. Gee!
So while we were getting our butts handed to us on a platter in England, across the border in Glasgow, with 15 Gold medals, we stood a proud 5th. Bolt stole the show with a gold at
4x100 mtr relay race. He could have raked up quite a controversy but his sportsmanship is something we could all learn from.

In this month's 'I wonder why?!' section
Having lobbied for more rights up until the last year, India awed and shocked everyone when she vetoed a landmark WTO agreement which could spell disaster for the regulatory organization.

The Americans saw another round of a mass shootout in Houston. Sometimes, I wonder why the Arabs spend billions of dollars training to kill Americans. Maybe they should just let them buy more guns and kill themselves. Why the government won't rein in the powerful gun industry is a simple question of economics and will-power.
Nuclear talks with the Iranians failed. AgainWe all know the Iranians have the nukes, why can't we just leave it that way?
Eventually, I have a feeling that it won't be humans who will kill us. Nature can do the Shift+DEL even better.
Until then, we'll have unscrupulous businesses sell expired meat to fast-food conglomerates like McDonalds and KFC in China and kill thousands. 

In more Beiber trouble, neighbors in the upscale Beverly Hills complained of excessive noise from the Canadian pop star. If only he remained the cute and adorable brat that was. Sigh!

IIT- Mumbai had a feline visitor who refused to leave. The students, ofcourse took to twitter for comic relief. Well, let's hope the big cat gets a 7 point something.
And a Rhino poacher in South Africa got 77 years in prison, in what could be the harshest sentence against a poacher anywhere. If you ask me, he needs to do 77 years of community service and not prison time.

Srilanka apologized for an embarrassing article that created an uproar in Tamil Nadu. 

Reliance India made its footprint count when it bought Network18, a media conglomerate that spans news and entertainment. With a history of suppressing or being biased, this could spell doom in a nation where freedom or speech is still a myth and channels sell endless montages about the mundane and mindless entertainment 24 hours a day.

For want of a better cause to fight, PETA launched another attack on Mrs Kardashian for swimming with the dolphins in Mexico. 

Israel has been pounding the falafel out of Gaza. Now, we all know whose side the US is on, but do we really know the truth behind this conflict? Israel has been following a rule of intentional disinformation and government-sponsored propaganda to stifle and throttle the Palestinians and control the way everyone outside of the Arabian peninsula see their conflict. Now, Israel is no saint and neither is Palestine. 
But to a question - Can it be so hard for a nation to live peaceably with their neighbors? The answer lies in the will of the its politicians to be peaceful. Historically Israel has portrayed itself as the wounded nation surrounded by enemies and as a Christian, I know how the scriptures are replete with God's promise to protect a nation that is hounded. But Israel's strategy of wounding the enemy but not killing them is what keeps the world (read US) entertained and sympathetic with the Israeli 'cause'. With over a 1000 killed in a fortnight, this is a travesty of justice no matter who is on your side. The Palestinians captured an Israeli soldier and knowing how capture of its soldier affects them, this is both an Israeli weakness and the Palestinian strength. 

In 'Interesting News of the month' section, a 17 year old turkish girl was declared as the 'World's tallest female' by the Guinness Records committee.
The NY Museum of Natural History, made famous by the Ben Stiller 'A Night at the Museum' movies will host an adult sleepover on the 1st of August. 

Outraged over ongoing allegations of unauthorized snooping, Germany expelled top US diplomats. See, now this is something that Indians and rest of the world will never have the balls to do. 

In this month's 'We have money to burn' section, 
India paid up her dues to Iran and decided to wean herself off the sweet stuff. 
Air India got a very expensive shot in the arm - Rs 6500 crore expensive and tied up with Star Alliance . Much brouhaha followed.

VIP Samadhis (glorified tombs) costs us Rs 8 crores/year to maintain. Much ado about nothing!

Mamata Di gave away Rs 8 lakhs as festival bonus to its civil servants and Telangana (the wealthier twin of Andhra) roped in Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador and we all took to the streets! It looks like we are still hurt that she went and married the neighbor's son when we had 10 eligible bachelors in the family. The fact that she still chooses to play for us is patriotic enough. I can name 50 politicians who aren't 1% as patriotic as this lady who plays every match even if she knows she will lose it. 


Dubai launched the world's largest shopping mall which will also have an indoor theme park.
Looks like Dubai is getting to be the place to be if you have the money to burn..

But if you have kids or a strange fetish for Harry Potter, be sure to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which opened at Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan.

In a relief to millions of husbands who are harassed by unscrupulous wives, the Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest husbands when a dowry case is filed. Seeing as how women would file the 498a and other frivolous cases at the drop of their marital tiara, this judgement rankled the Women's organizations but the men let out a collective sigh of relief. The apex court went one step ahead and declared that women who file a frivolous case against the husband will be criminally punished if found untrue. Now, that's called justice!

At times when we are trying to rein in runaway inflation and when tomatoes cost Rs 50/kilo, the government declared hoarding of essential food will be considered a non-bailable offense. This should strike the right amount of fear in the hearts of those unscrupulous businessmen. 

Bad guys, watch out! SEBI is on a prowl.
Byrraju Ramalinga Raju (aka The man who did the Enron to Satyam) and 4 others were fined Rs 1849 crores and banned from doing any business for terms ranging from 4 to 14 years by the market regulator.
The SEBI cracked the whip with Subrata Roy and told him to do business while in custody. Screwed!

Across the pond, Pistorious was diagnosed with split personality in the trial where he is accused of intentionally murdering his paralegal girlfriend in their tony villa last year. If convicted, the 'Blade-runner' could spent a substantial amount of his life behind bars. Whatever it is, this is the end of his running days. 

In similar news, the forensic pathologist who examined Sunanda Pushkar, wife of high-flying twitterati Shashi Tharoor, testified that her death was highly suspicious and that he has been coerced to fudge her death certificate. If you ask me, I'll always known it is Shashi. If we can pass judge Aarushi's parents the way we have because of the way they are, I think we can do the same to Shashi too. I think I've seen food stay fresh longer than Shashi's remorse at his 'dear' wife's death.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, 
Almost 10 years after it made a splash, Orkut will be given a quiet burial in September. 
Zohra Sehgal, the grand old lady of Bollywood, changed her earthly address. Respect!
21 people died in one of the worst metro accidents in Russian history. 
And Archie is dead too. RIP!


We Indians (me included) often complain at how inefficiently slow we are when it comes to developing a military equipment. And while we bask in the glory of the shame we heap on ourselves, Uncle Sam tells us how they are just as bad. The F35 Joint Strike fighter has been under development for over 20 years and will start limited trial flights soon. 
Projected to cost over $1 billion dollars a pop, I think they may have bitten off a little more than they can chew this time. 

In this month's 'Watch Out!' section, 
Be sure to watch Hercules, Dwyane The Rock Johnson sparkles and Irina Shayk strips.
... and for Part Two of And that's the cookie crumbled in July Twenty14.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

While I was celebrating... May 2013 [1/2]

I'm nuts about May!!
I think it's because growing up, that was when my summer vacations started. And for a boy who loved getting covered in mud and the sheer thrill of adventure, May was the month.


This was also the month of some of the craziest and insaneiest things we did.
After marathons and walk-a-thons, some of us decided we needed to shag a lot and many of us used our hands and imaginations to good use in Philly. Now, to save you the trouble of searching, I've researched and found that the world record for the longest session is held by a Japanese guy who imagined his girlfriend, family, friends and co-workers to keep him stimulated for 9 hours and 58 minutes. Family?! Yew
And Porn got a healthy thumbs up too! Researchers in the Netherlands (?!) claim that porn is positive. Really?! Why don't we have studies like that in India?


In other weird news from across the planet, Jacko's problems simply refuse to die and a school in Washington closed today due to great weather.
The UN threw its weight on repealing the much maligned AFSPA in Kashmir and the North East. One of the reasons why our army will get away with this is because the huge majority of us are unaware of the atrocities the army commits in the name of peace.

Talking about peace, Americans want their government to keep their noses off Syria. The two-year long conflict has divided the Middle East and threatens the fragile peace in the region. So while most Americans are oblivious to the crisis in the Middle East, they still want to keep Modi out.



North Korea sentenced an American to 15 years hard labor, fired a few missiles and now everyone 'thinks' they could have long-range missiles that could eventually reach the great continent of North America. 

Meanwhile, America signed a deal with Australia to sell several squadrons of F-35s and modified versions of the Super Hornets. Sigh!
Now, tell me something - How can a country that fails on every infrastructure parameter manage to create nuclear submarines?


So while Uncle Sam is eager to layeth the smackdown on ruffians in their backyard, we are trying to sit pretty and pretend the Chinese incursion didn't happen. Oh, the irony! Our flag meetings and 'coercive diplomacy', or the lack of it, wasn't going to affect the Chinese outcome. They won a bloodless coup when they capitalized on the perfect time to pitch their tents in our lawn. Our paralyzed government sang its last swan song, our intelligence agencies tied itself in a knot and unlike the military leaders in countries around us, our armed forces are impotent and mere stooges of our corrupt politicians
The Chinese came, stayed for as long as they pleased and left when they wanted. All our bellicose rhetoric and empty posturing only made us look like utter buffoons. Not Mohammed Ali, Mr Foreign Minister.
Even their dailies lampooned our inaction.

The Supreme Court called the CBI, the government's parrot. While we all sighed in fake relief, the PM and his council of ministers took offense. Now, repeat after me- 'Oh Yeah!'

Israel struck out and the world looked the other way
Google touched a few raw nerves when it recognized Palestine as an independent nation and some of our text books gave Arunachal Pradesh to China. In your face, Rest of the World!

Down south, we made our political aspirants sweat it out . Eventually, we made sure we spoke (and got rewarded for it) and when the ballots were counted, the ruling party crumbled and the lesser evil rose to power. The celebrations lasted an entire week and the bubbly flowed freer than water. Alas, it is now time to walk the talk.


Meanwhile, our western neighbor got a new head and we all celebrated the novelty. Promises were made and will be broken.

It has been proven that elections can cause loose talk. The Congress-led UPA government have suddenly developed amnesia and appear to be talking utter trash. Well, seeing as how they have looted us for a decade, I think it is only fair they allow their compatriots from the other side of the fence to loot us for a few years too.


Some of us took the law into our hands when a 14 year old girl was gang-raped in LaLa Land. Not surprising because Didi wasn't really inspiring confidence in anyone with her brand of mickey mouse governance.


India isn't known for her choice of politicians, so when our honorable minister, Mr Manmohan Singh starting shuffling his feet in the mud, it was time for Mrs G to take control.


We did a Sarabjit when a Pakistani prisoner was brutally killed. India said all the right things, again. Our politicians gained political mileage and Pakistan issued a travel advisory to all its citizens traveling in India. And I thought to myself, 'so does that travel advisory also apply to their citizens who've come to kill innocent Indians too?'
Now, can we have the rest of Sarabjit, please?

While most celebrities in showbiz are reluctant to step away from the limelight, Leonardo DiCaprio announced he is taking a break while still at the top of his game. Admirable!

So it is an open secret that Apple and Samsung love to fight with each other, but Nokia said it. Switch


Like a hyena following the scent of rotting meat, Priya Rai is now set to titillate the world's largest democracy. Bring it on!


Johnson & Johnson's has struggled with many of their baby products in the US for a while, but it faced the authorities' wrath when it was using ethylene oxide - a substance used to produce industrial chemicals and to sterilize medical equipment - to kill bacteria in its baby powder and had not conducted mandatory tests to make sure there were no remaining traces in the powder. Shame!


In sporting news, Abhinav Bindra convinced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take its prodigal son back. And how!

The latest edition of IPL was spicier than a Chicken Tikka masala. Starting from Farah Khan's Jumpin' Japak to  the revelation of spot-fixing. Now, I bet Sreeshanth didn't see this coming when he did a Lalit Modi on twitter as IPL 6 began but I've always felt the KKR win last year was just a flash in the pan.

While Sreeshanth & Co is guilty beyond doubt, how many of you think he is just the fall guy? So that explains how he built a palatial bungalow even though he has played so little. Old man Katju, I hear is preparing his 'Pardon Sreeshanth' petition even as I write this post.

Apathy knew no bounds either. Doctors in the City of Oranges, Nagpur, refused to provide timely treatment to teenager who was 'brutally' raped by her stepdad.
Five deaf and mute orphans were raped and 2 jawans got 10 years hard labor. Simply great!

In the words of the 'Mask'.. Somebody stop me!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Two funerals and a Party [335/365]

Having postponed writing for quite a while now, I think I have learned my lesson. November was an interesting month. Lots of interesting people dying, some getting killed. Others missing the point completely.

So it does look like the world will end soon.
Bal Thackeray died.
Finally!
The grand ol' man of Mumbai and the 'Savior of millions' finally packed his bags and left.
Predictably, Hell is all excited about the 'new hires'.
Tomorrow when he is buried/cremated and packed off, he will cause the last traffic jam in his life.
For an immensely talented person, he surely chose the wrong profession.
Bal T is an excellent example of what will happen when a person is influenced by the wrong ideas.

A couple of hundred kilometers away, we saw another death. Totally avoidable, yet an unfortunate example of how subtle and fleeting life really is.
When Chadha and his brother killed themselves in a shootout over a property, they left behind everything they lived for. While the families of both the brothers might want to put the past behind them and move on, killing each-other really didn't achieve anything.

Israel lost its marbles and decided to pound its southern neighbor. What's ironic is how powerful Israel is as an economy and a force to reckon. We have been struggling to keep our porous borders er.. less porous but Israel shows the way to keep its people and its country secure. The rest of the world can go to hell with their opinions and their fake pictures and reports.

Aarushi was in the news again. Apparently our investigation agencies are still digging for truth and found that the blood found on her pillow is not the same as in the murder weapon. Duh!
I wonder how much longer her parents will need to suffer the ignominy of seeing their daughter's life and death played out in the media like an Indian play.

Politics was in the news again.
With Arvind Kejriwal launching the Aam Aadmi Party, the other parties almost shat in their pants. It is definitely a risky proposition but considering how he has had much success in whipping up support, elections next year should be interesting.
As far as branding goes, I think he managed a coupe of sorts by naming his party this way, but what will matter is how honest its candidates will remain and how fast it can frame a political agenda. So far and by the admission of its creator, the party does not even have an economic plan for the country. Deja vu, anyone?
The more important question here is- Can one party change how India has been ruled for decades?
The unfortunate answer is No. Just as it took many parties with vested interests to plunder India in the years since our Independence, Arvind's AAP sounds more like a mango drink advt than a party that can stand against the monster it wants to fight.

On a brighter side, BJP expelled one of its own for daring to question its tainted leader. Not really surprising considering how we love to eliminate our opposition, this will be water under the bridge for the veteran.


Monday, November 05, 2012

The Forever War [310/365]

This picture spoke a thousand words..
When the Arab world erupted in civil activism aimed at toppling corrupt dictators, optimists (including me) across the world thought they were experiencing an Arab version of the French Revolution.
Eighteen months down, Egypt has another radical dictator in place, Libya is best left unsaid, Tunisia is in doldrums, Bahrain is .. well not spoken of anymore at dinner tables and world conferences and Syria is still nowhere.

As if all this fighting wasn't enough, we now have Israel and Palestine fighting with each-other. It looks like our optimists spoke too soon.

After many months of civil unrest, peace has eluded Syria. Thousands have died. Tourism too.
Millions of dollars worth of weapons have changed hands and billions have been destroyed.
What are the rebels fighting for? If it is peace and justice that they are looking for, it would be safe to say that neither is coming.
Global super-cop- Uncle Sam, is cautious about stepping into another cesspool of Arab discontent after the fiasco of the recent years. With tensions spilling over to neighboring countries, this conflict appears to be growing like a pustule out of control.

The Arabs have always been touchy about freedom. Yet, they have been unable to respect their neighbor's boundaries and sovereignty.
As the conflict between Israel and Palestine grows, we know that this is not the Palestine that Israel fought a few decades ago. With an Iran that has been cornered by the West, this could be the one chance that the Iranians could use against a common enemy.

Only time will tell when and how the region would find peace. And the next recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.


In the meanwhile, I think I've understood why the Arabs and Jews are always at each others throat- Circumcision.


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