Traveling around now a days so can't find much time to blog properly, but till I actively resume: Here's Noam writing in the Irish Times about the U.S Financial crisis and its anti-democratic nature.
Anti-democratic nature of US capitalism is being exposed
By Noam Chomsky
THE SIMULTANEOUS unfolding of the US presidential campaign and unraveling of the financial markets presents one of those occasions where the political and economic systems starkly reveal their nature.
Passion about the campaign may not be universally shared but almost everybody can feel the anxiety from the foreclosure of a million homes, and concerns about jobs, savings and healthcare at risk.
The initial Bush proposals to deal with the crisis so reeked of totalitarianism that they were quickly modified. Under intense lobbyist pressure, they were reshaped as "a clear win for the largest institutions in the system . . . a way of dumping assets without having to fail or close", as described by James Rickards, who negotiated the federal bailout for the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management in 1998, reminding us that we are treading familiar turf.
That title came to mind when I read my friend Aarti's piece on Pen Tehsil's referendum, a must read, where they refused Mukesh Bhai's brotherly love in favor of keeping their ancestral lands.
Why won't those illiterate, anti-development motherfuckers give up their land? Can't they see that this is for their and India's greater good? Take the money and get out, go live in a slum in Mumbai.
I wouldn't be surprised if soon this stupid, new experiment of democratic referendum is taken off the tables and we return to the tried and tested use of brutal force to acquire land. This kind of voting is changing things and making it difficult for India Inc. Change is a constant only as long as it constantly favors the powerful.
Update: Here's a Social Impact Assessment Report prepared by Tata Institute of Social Sciences for Sea King Infrastructure Ltd. (Sea King is the promoter for the Reliance SEZ) [PDF Link]
In this hilarious rant against the profound dumbness of Sarah Palin, Aden Renkai puts her in her place:
Sarah Palin is a stupid, self important, ignorant bitch who I wouldn’t put in charge of wiping her own ass. And it’s not just that she’s dumb - which she is - it’s that she’s willfully ignorant of the facts and yet absolutely dead-bang certain that she’s right about her opinions. It’s more of this “governing from the gut” bullshit that we’ve been Chimping along with for the past eight years.
And here's Palin's debate flowchart from Aden Renkai's caustically funny take on the vice-presidential debate.
The chameleonic changes happening in India are capable of reviving surrealist non-sequiturs. How can Information Technology (IT) be pitted against bread (Roti)? Such improbable opponents can only emerge from either the laboratories of Victor Frankenstein or economic scientists at the World Trade Organization.
Incessant repetitions have convinced the world, including the dying polar bears and penguins at the poles, that there is an IT revolution going on in India. Believe me, walking the streets of India outside of Bangalore or Gurgaon, it feels like a facetious rumor.
There are a lot of back-office, low-end jobs percolating down to India essentially because of the low wages our accent-trained English speaking young are willing to accept. The real human beings behind the pseudonyms of Mary Janes and Joe Smiths are not unaware of their exploitation. Living in a shortsighted culture that promotes the present, in the moment, instant gratification as the highest value, it is their only option for individual independence. In the pursuit of their individualism they are unwilling to question the greed of their employers. When their Government prostrates to the power of Corporations and legal due process is a farce (remember Bhopal) they are smart enough to shut up and show up for work at the stroke of the midnight hour.
I thought this was hilarious, especially the mustached demon jaw of Bush layered on what is most certainly Arnold's steroid pumped body.
Demonstration against the India-U.S. nuclear deal in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
The Times Group is India's largest media conglomerate with a turnover of over USD $700 million. It has eleven publishing centers, fifteen printing centers, fifty five sales offices and over seven thousand employees. It owns five dailies, thirty one magazines, thirty two radio stations and reaches you, your children and your dog in two thousand four hundred and sixty eight cities and towns. Through its subsidiary companies it has interests in major radio, television, film and online businesses.
It is fair to say that the trap of this media composite is inescapable if you are in anyway connected to India. With ownership of such mass media, The Times Group exemplifies how modern corporatism has turned the meaning of language upside down. Mass Media is no longer mass if it is held by a couple of entities. The 'mass' in mass media was meant to be us, the masses. Mass media means people's media, not corporate media injected into people's veins. It means the media is of the people not a media which steals from the people.
Last month I'd written about the core issues around the US-Indo Nuclear deal. Yesterday the House of Representatives in the US Congress cleared the Nuclear Deal with 298 out of 415 members voting in favor. With only ten Republicans against it, most of the opposition (107 votes) came from the Democrats. It might be insightful to study the fund-raisers and contributions by the neo-conservative USINPAC to those who voted in favor. Even though the US Senate still has to clear it, after a 71% vote from Congress chances are that this is a done deal. And we are done for as Manmohan tells Bush:
“Mr. President, People of India deeply love you”.
In my initial rage I hurled abuses at both the huggers, especially the turbaned one for having the audacity to lick ass of a depraved criminal using our name, but soon returned to sanity. There is enough insanity going on. At least the turbaned one is displaying some emotion which is otherwise comparable to that of a paper-weight.
In the aftermath of multiple blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi, within the last 2 months, Indian politicians and the mediascape have notched up the din on combating Terrorism with tougher terror laws. Even a catchy name has been assigned to the blasts that gels with the foot-tapping beats and motion graphics of News Networks. Operation BAD (Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi). The nifty acronym optimistically presumes that this might be the end of the operation since Delhi was bombed on the 13th of September.
The responsibility of the blasts was taken by a group that calls itself the Indian Mujahideen. In perverted displays of machismo, the group sent out emails to media networks and SMS messages to cops, minutes before the blasts, presaging the inevitable certainty of what was about to happen and taunting them to stop it if they could. Perhaps this was their idea of fair play and feeling invincible. Twenty one people were killed in Delhi that day.
When a bomb rips through a busy public place it kills without prejudice. It does not discriminate between a man, woman or a child, a believer or a kaffir, rich or poor, black, white, brown or yellow. It is unbiased as the harbinger of death and destruction to all those and that within its periphery. As it shamelessly robs its victims of life, it also rips through the social bonds they carry with their loved ones. Just like the barbarity of those who planted it and the truculence of a Government that vows revenge, a bomb is apathetic to that extended adjunct of its prey. These families and friends are left to deal with their psychological wounds on their own. Then there are those who are left maimed at the borders. A lost limb, a lost sense, shredded skin and a benumbed mind. These scars of trauma they carry for the rest of their lives.
PATNA, India, Aug 18 (Reuters) - A state government in eastern India is encouraging people to eat rats in an effort to battle soaring food prices and save grain stocks.
Authorities in Bihar, one of India's poorest states, are asking rich and poor alike to switch to eating rats in a bid to reduce the dependence on rice. They even plan to offer rats on restaurant menus.
"Eating of rats will serve twin purposes -- it will save grains from being eaten away by rats and will simultaneously increase our grain stock," Vijay Prakash, an official from the state's welfare department, told Reuters.
Officials say almost 50 percent of India's food grains stocks are eaten away by rodents in fields or warehouses.
Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar's caste and tribe welfare minister, said rat meat was a healthy alternative to expensive rice or grains, and should be eaten by one and all.
"We are very serious to implement this project since the food crisis is turning serious day by day," Manjhi, who has eaten rats, told Reuters.
In Bihar, rat meat is already eaten by Mushars, a group of lower caste Hindus, as well as poorer sections of society.
Thanks to Raj Patel for the link.
For those of you born in the nineties or later, unaware of the word "Krishi Darshan": it is a TV program started in 1966 on Doordarshan - the Indian State sponsored Television channel. It literally translates to "A look at Agriculture".
In the eighties, growing up as an urban kid, it was the most boring program one could imagine watching, but then there was nothing else to watch. The dullest anchors interviewed the dullest speakers on the nature of soil, various low and high productivity seeds and ways to improve crops using chemicals and fertilizers. The National Propaganda and our lie-infested school books harped about how successful the Green Revolution was.
The underlying theme of all propaganda was: hold your head and your cock high because socialist India is going great guns. Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer). And so the pseudo socialist spin went on till 1991 when we were informed by the then finance minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, that India was about to go bankrupt!
Compared to today, some may remember that as a more innocent time. But that would be a romantic fallacy. Indira's India was as corrupt as today's India. The only difference being that there was a sense of shame in corruption (or maybe even that is my childhood imagination). Today, that shame, imagined or otherwise, has certainly gone away. Now we boldly proclaim our right to plunder and call it "Free Market". And of course a lot more have joined the orgy giving it a notion of democratic participation.