Let The Good Times Roll

[...]

The Indian economy grew at an unexpectedly brisk pace of 8.9 percent in the second quarter of 2006, propelled by a sharp turnaround in its once laggard manufacturing industry.The Indian growth rate is now among the highest anywhere; at the pace announced Friday, the economy will double in size every eight years. Manufacturing output in the three months through June grew 11.3 percent from a year earlier, beating a 10.6 percent expansion in the roaring Indian services trade of call centers and software houses.

[...]

so we are giving china a fight for the finish in manufacturing as well... it will be years or even decades before we match the cap-ex that china has built over the years.. we need to ensure that these good numbers are not just a flash in a pan.. or some quaterly aberration but the rise of a counter-weight to chinese dominance.. but matching up to china is no one way street.. it has to be built in from in-side and ground-up.. it needs strong phyiscal as well as social infrastructure... as i had already said before in my previous posts...

"Normally the best of the times are there to make the toughest of decisions.. the choices of today will decide the growth of tomorrow... there has to be positive reforms to sustain and further this growth instead of relying on foreign funds to do the trick.. "

but this fractious left-leaning government has done nothing to sustain or augment this growth trajectory.. some would say that current government made it on the pro-poor platform... hmmmm.. so the government wouldn't do anything that's seen pro-big-business... sure.. lets buy this argument for a minute... show me what this establishment has done for its so-called poor votebank.. those marginalised... nothing except rabble rousing.. farmers continue to commit suicide.. not much movement either on infrastructure or so-called social justice front.. a kind of inertia has gripped this government.. and brought it to a halt.. for anything and everything ... everybody looks over their shoulder to sonia gandhi... as if she holds the destiny of over one billion people... such servile attitude of the current leadership is scornful... tell me 'whats the biggest decision this goverment took in last one year'... and you are left scratching your head as if this country was in some utopian land.. an el-dorado.. where all things possible have been achieved.. this inertia.. inaction.. this 'chalta hai attitude' would take us nowhere.. it has taken us nowhere in last sixty years... how can establishment think that things would turn honky-dory with it doing nothing...

~Who Are You~

Pictures From The Weekend

We went to Niagara falls this weekend... couple of pictures to sum-up that lovely feeling.. and the great time we had there...





Niagara Falls , New York State

Written On the Wall

President Musharaff : In 2001, the United States had threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age unless it joined the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Bush Jr. : I would order American troops to take action inside Pakistan if Osama Bin Laden was found to be hiding there.

so the obvious question is.. Is the "honeymoon" over..? such sabre rattling when the general is facing tough time is bound to even lessen the elbow space he has.. after all he was the america's 'best hope'.. and see how the hopes come crashing down... so what has caused the apparently warm realations to cool off so dramatically... i guess everybody saw it comming...

#afghanistan is in midst of the most serious insurgency after US troops marched into Kabul.. and its open secret that from where taliban is drawing its real power... Bin Laden and his men hiding somewhere.. maybe in a cave in miran shah or maybe a luxiourious appartment in downtown karachi...

#the president (Musharaff) himself looks as shaky as ever before... even after eight years in power nothing much has improved on ground... politically.. economically... the democracy is nowhere to be seen.. the muslim right is still powerful.. parts of his country are under tribal or political insurrection...

#recent incidents have shown that his power is slipping or he is incapable of even sound judgement.. the recent military type killing of nawab bugti.. the ceasefire in waziristan ( effectively ceeding those FATA areas to taliban ) has shown that he may not be after all in america's best interest... i have a feeling that this waziristan thing is a prelude to US forces in pakistan...

#pakistan has become The Factory Of Terrorism... not only in its immediate neighbourhood.. but in lands as remote as britain ( the failed plane bombing plot ) has convinced people that camps in kotli don't need kabul or kashmir to spew venom.. it will find reaons anyways... they have become those swamps that need to be drained out...

But i doubt how far the United States is willing to go to tighten the leash aroung Musharaff.. america is not in the best of times militarily and strategically... atleast in this region.. i believe neither Bush nor Musharaff have any other cards to play with respect to terrorism... they need each others back for scratching... and i guess both need Bin Laden back also for scratching.. after all the day he is caught.. Bush and his fabled 'Global War On Terror' will lose its singular fighting ( or existential ) motive.. Musharaff will lose his sole trumpcard.. even though he is playing with empty hands or even possibly with his hands tied at the back...

~Carry On My Wayward Son~

Being Conservative...

there is a great debate going on in U.S. a kind'of introspection as to where this country is heading under Bush Jr... and you hear terms like neocons.. conservatism.. theocons.. christian right.. over and over again on U.S. media.. 'am not sure what exactly these terms mean in context of american polity.. or the general sense of unease in political circles... i don't know if current administration policy on iraq or on torture or on religion in politics or on gun control or on global warming measures up to being conservative or liberal... but i 'm sure this is not the way to go forward... and i am also sure that i belong to that school of thought in which Bush Jr. is not the leading torch bearer.. be it conservative or liberal... i read this recent essay that speaks on being conservative and on global warming.. i kind'of liked it... so i 'm copying it here...

[...]

Conservatives do not seek to remake the world anew. We do not hope to impose upon it some abstract ideological “truth” or bring about some new age for humanity. We seek as conservatives merely to live up to our generational responsibility and to care for the inheritance we have in turn been given. This ecological vision is a Burkean one, which is why Toryism’s natural colour is as much green as blue.

Of all those likely to be alarmed by freakishly hot summers, potentially freezing futures and drastic events such as super-hurricanes, conservatives should surely be the most prominent. Conservatives tend to like things as they are and have been. They are discombobulated by change, which they always experience as, in some measure, loss.

And loss it is. When an old tree is uprooted by a storm, when an old church is razed or an old factory turned into loft apartment, we all sense that something has been lost — if not the actual thing then the attachments that people, past and present, have forged with it, the web of emotion and loyalty and fondness that makes a person’s and a neighbourhood’s life a coherent story.

Human beings live by narrative. We become sad when a familiar character disappears from a soap opera, or an acquaintance moves, or an institution becomes unrecognizable from what it once was. These little griefs are what build a conservative temperament. They interrupt our story, and our story is what makes sense of our lives. So we resist the interruption, and when we resist it we are conservatives.

Resisting massive climate change is resisting a huge disruption of what we have been and there are few endeavors more conservative than that. The sadness one feels at the destruction of, say, New Orleans, is a conservative emotion.

[...]

you can read the entire essay here

~Bang A Gong (Get It On)~

Is 'Conservation' A Dirty Word

is conservation a dirty word out here... why is that even after dire warnings about global warming & oil at $70+ a barrel.. only lip service is being paid to conservation... maybe everybody has some stakes in keeping the oil wells pumping and light bulbs burning... last week i paid a casual visit to a casino.. had lunch buffet.. where i think the whole concept was how many times and how much could you waste food... such unbridled excesses... 5% of global population consuming i guess anywhere between 30-40% of global output of anything... and everything.. and with the growth of chinese and indian middle class ( another 2 billion+ wannabees ).. consider what will happen if these also live the lifestyles of an average american.. consume like them.. drive cars like them... waste like them... i am pretty sure that my energy consumption here vis-a-vis when i was in india is maybe 10 times over... maybe more... so is my daily carbon footprint... ( in case you don't know carbon footprint ) where will all the resources and energy come when most of us in india/china will live lives that be 'carbon-copies' of life out here.. can we sustain such consumption patterns... The world is not only 'round' and 'flat' but also 'finite'... but George Bush won't speak the word 'conservation' as if preservation was something of a pariah... as if preservation was something way out of american psyche.. he talks for taxing Big Oil... for opening up Alaska for drilling... in the same breath as he talks about going green.. and virtues of less fuel guzzling cars... what a hypocrisy.. the world needs to act and act fast to conserve and preserve what we inherited.. but then somebody has to walk the talk...

Question Of The Day : George W. Bush always says that terrorists are out there to destroy the American Way Of Life... i 'am left scratching my head... what exactly is this 'American Way Of Life'... ?

~Fade To Black~

What We've Learned

this week five years have passed since the twin towers came crashing down... five years have passed since america realized that terrorism is not something which afflicts other nations.. five years since "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" jingoism.. five years of now quickly unravelling "Global War On Terror".. so the obvious question now is... are we anywhere safer than we were before 9/11... has the terrorists hideouts been eliminated.. and the swamps that breed these terrorists have been drained out... I think NO... neither is america any safer now, nor those muslim grievances that bred alienation have been removed.. in all cases the muslim youth out on street is more rabid anti-U.S. than ever before.. and yet Mr Bush. espouses a foreign policy thats difficult to understand and impossible to justify..

i am quoting some of the lines ( that i liked.. ) from the cover story in Time.com about the five years post 9/11 and the Great Mess we are in right now....

[....]
All wars, even the noblest, bring a reckoning of means and ends. The war on terrorism has long since lost its crisp moral lines. Who foresaw that the battle would require a national seminar about when it's O.K. for Americans to torture prisoners and whether near drowning counts? Or a debate over which clauses of the Constitution might be expendable? We may agree that terrorism is wicked, but we're still unsure about how to answer it."
Presidents make their hard decisions and then abide forever with their mistakes and regrets. Since the decision to commit soldiers to battle is the most fateful he makes, it is here that a President--his instincts, his judgment, his pride and his purposes--is most exposed. If he succeeds, the errors are footnotes; if he fails, the best intentions are just dust.
[....]

[....]
No, we don't know how the story ends. The idea that history is written by the victors has been wrongly credited to Winston Churchill, but he did say, "If you are going through hell, keep going." But you wonder whether years from now--5? 10? 50?--there will come a day when the victors actually know that they've won, that the battle is over and they can set about the writing. And whether even then, we will be sure that we have got the story right.
[....]

~Gypsy Eyes~