Politics, Religion, and Trolling

Steer Clear!

The reality is, that the friends you socialize with i.e. dine-n-wine with; or the friends you socialize with online — they may have political views that may surprise/or shock you.

Well, will you continue to be friends with them, or will your turn your back on them? Don’t the wise often say, don’t discuss or argue about these matters? Not only could it turn into a no-win battle for either party, but you may well lose a friend.

I just saw a page ad pop up on Facebook. It also displayed which of my friends had ‘liked’ it. Hmm… never mind, I shan’t get swayed.

Downtime rejuvenates the working body… and mind.

Mind you, if anyone caused pangs of guilt in your head, ’cause you took a short nap in the middle of a work day, erase those negative feelings, pronto!

Downtime is not a waste of time… repeat these words in your head, until you feel free of guilt… not because I’m suggesting that you feel so, but because you will truly feel liberated from that nagging feeling that somehow made you feel you’d committed some major crime.

Mid-afternoon can take its toll on you, in more ways than one. Perhaps it’s the hottest part of the day. May be you’ve had a series of meetings all morning, and concentration during those meetings was imperative – – even if you were not the speaker (in fact, more reason to have been concentrating on those ‘need to increase productivity’ speeches from your boss, and his/her boss) – – because your annual bonus depends on what they said this morning! It is also possible that what you’d planned and hoped for as a productive sales call turned out to be a ‘hit by a bolt of lightning’ nightmare… your junior had just botched up, and you spent precious time troubleshooting, mollifying the irate customer or prospect. One could put this down as an occupational hazard… but remember, although the blow was hard to handle, and you somehow succeeded to salvage that business, the entire process and effort took an immense toll on you – not quite quantifiable.

At every juncture, each one of us is making decisions… numerous decisions… some impact us in small, trivial ways (but they all add up, nevertheless); others, have a bearing on our lives. It’s e.g. the difference between keeping – or losing – your job; or, whether or not your kid will be able to go on a camping vacation with buddies in the spring… your bonus would pay for that eagerly-awaited vacation and the much-deserved new pair of boots you will buy for the child, to not simply show off, but to bring some comfort to those little feet. Isn’t that what you’re wearing out your soles for (without having to sell your soul for the extra bucks)?

Image

Decisions such as these take their toll on us as working individuals. Your short nap will not break your company’s bottom-line, but without the twenty minutes’ shut-eye, you may, at some point, reach your breaking point! Think of it as a mini vacation from work… from having to look at a gazillion emails, a respite from the incessant stream of phone calls, but most important, it’s a few minutes off, from having to ‘make a decision’. Your productivity is bound to improve and you’ll more than make up for the ‘lost’ twenty odd minutes, ‘slacking off’. Try it out.

Reams of research by psychologists, scientists, and even global businesses have arrived at one common conclusion that we, as human beings, in today’s mad pace of work, technology, and media impact, are inundated by information overload that takes a toll on us. With the numerous points of decision making imposed upon us each day, it is not unreasonable that our body and mind require rest and rejuvenation at a mid point during our waking hours… separate from the deep sleep we normally go into, for 6-8 hours each day of our life. A quick internet search within scholarly articles for query phrase (keyword search) “mid-afternoon nap productivity” generated numerous results… the pix here is a screenshot of page 1 of the SERPs.

A recent article in The New York Times also evoked numerous thought-provoking reader responses.

Mumbai Police blasted… after three explosions in Mumbai!

6.56 p.m. through 7.01 p.m. Indian Standard Time… 20 people dead, 113 injured… in  terror attacks across Mumbai…  in Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar!

Protests against Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and anger towards Mumbai Police, who… are caught sleeping!

Yet again… was the Intelligence in a slumber… while terrorists orchestrated these heinous attacks?

Public furor seems valid. Recall Mumbai’s 26/11?

India says terror attack kills 21, injures 113

Visuals

What a sad state of affairs…

For a succinct overview of  today’s terror attacks on Mumbai visit Wikipedia… 13th July, 2011 Mumbai Bombings

One more rebel… yet again, an American!

A sick mind, a sickening situation, or is it the beginnings of a sick nation???

Way back in July 2009, I referred to Bryant Neal Vinas, an  American rebel who trained with Al Qaeda; he had actively engaged in discussions to blow up the Long Island RailRoad in NY. Then, there’s the  case of Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado-resident, who, in 2009, had plotted to blow up NYC’s subway system. Then again, the case of David C Headley, age 49, a Chicago resident, also American, who colluded with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group, which caused havoc in Mumbai in November 2008. Since then, ostensibly, all these guys have co-operated with the FBI and/or other authorities, to reveal further details regarding proposed heinous crimes. There are others… many others, in the US, American-born rebels in their 20s who have been uncovered… many others may be in hiding, or in the making, who knows… until next time!

The Tucson terror last weekend is not likely to be the last, I’m so sorry to say so.

For the families who lost their loved ones, the pain must be deep; the anguish unforgettable! If it turns out that the gunman is “sick of mind”, it is unlikely to lessen the pain caused by the crime/s he committed…

For the nation, Tucson will be yet another event – sad – but again, sorry to say so… soon to be forgotten. After the initial angry outbursts, and a few op-eds later, each of us will get on with life. What’s more, some may even callously say, “So what, s..t happens.” Can’t you hear those NRA guys touting that? “To prevent that in future, let’s make it even easier, to procure guns…” Are Americans progressive in their thinking? Think again… if so, NRA couldn’t possibly have such a strong lobby.

Apni Dilli, Unke Khel… Our Delhi, Their Games… a musical satire!

Delhiites, and non-Delhiites, Indians and Indians abroad, sports fans and even those with merely a faint interest in sports, are all pretty much disgusted by the way The Games have turned out… nothing but scummy flotsam… yuck!

Diatribe about the Commonwealth Games is all over the virtual world as well. Here’s  asurband’s music video on YouTube that appeared in my mail-box a short while back, as a ‘forward’ from a friend… people are expressing their wrath about this issue in whichever medium that works for them; no, I’m not alone.

If you’re a YouTube subscriber, please do log on; I urge you to leave your comments… if you understand Hindi you’ll get the subtle nuances and understand the plight of the local people… if not, the visuals speak, so watch the video anyways! In karaoke style, read the text that scrolls, and sing along.

I feel sad for those who have suffered on account of these games… no, not The Games, but the games that politicians have played for decades since India’s Independence way back in 1947. It seems there’s no stopping them! I wonder what will??? I guess, nothing… they have no shame.

Some of us left India; others left and have returned to India with renewed hope. It doesn’t matter… politicians treat the common people like they were animals! Oops… sorry, people; in Dilli, animals get royal treatment… they’re allowed to run loose in the village to play at The Commonwealth Games, or was it to scare away South African athletes – – the few who dared to come to India to play, all the commotion and the falling bridge notwithstanding.

Commonplace… money talks, after all… so what if it’s the Commonwealth Games?

Now, wait,  I’m not referring to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s rants about the Commonwealth. This is about India’s money power! Her trading partners – Australia and Canada, and the erstwhile mighty Britain too are heading to India, after all the brouhaha over the past few days.

Compromised or not, The Times of India’s screaming headline, “India’s cash and clout soften tough stand“, implies the ill-fated Delhi Games will go on

I’m tired… time to call it a day… both, figuratively, and otherwise.

Also read excerpts of the Zee interview with the vitriolic Mani.

Pay-as-you-throw… Tax on Trash!

Not yet here in the US, but could soon be, if local governments take cue from the UK. From some of the comments, it appears that even in the US some form of tax is levied on different types of garbage – recycling, organic yard trash.

Apparently, you cannot trust your neighbors… some fear that the neighbors will throw their rubbish in your bin… some thought to sleep over, eh!

One can die, debating this issue, or one can let the issue die… an unnatural death, because the fact remains that tax on trash will soon be fact… such things just don’t go away.

If you’re interested, you may read about this issue here, or watch the video here.

Oversight… the contradictions in its meaning just irk me!

Talk about anomalies in language, particularly in English!

Even in the past, I blogged about this. Why can’t people just use another word when they mean “supervision”? Under the guise of ‘oversight’ so much damage has been done to this country… not all of it inadvertently!

Yet again, Mr Bernanke claims “lax oversight caused crisis“! I say, it will happen again and again and yet again… not through oversight; not inadvertently, but in full view and with the full knowledge of the powers that be! Until they stop pushing everything under the carpet with this blanket use of ‘oversight’… whoever cooked up the dual meaning of this word had to be all messed up… blame it on oversight – inside and outside! Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But this is just my weird blog… what about the weird goings-on on the stock exchange and in the world today… everybody suddenly seems to be on a high. Wonder if it is oversight… seeing above and beyond… you see, I’m extending the usage of ‘oversight’… surely that will pass? All’s not well with the world, and yet the markets are surging, folks are euphoric, thanks to improved oversight… or what???

You may ignore my diatribe (with a singular meaning) above, but someone please take a look at the text below, and the visual Thesaurus that follows…

Main Entry: oversight
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: failure, omission

Synonyms:

blank*, blunder, carelessness, chasmdefault, delinquency, dereliction, disregarderrorfault, inattention, lapse, laxity, miscue, mistakeneglect,overlook, overlooking, preterition, pretermission,skipslip, slipup

Antonyms:

attentioncarerecollectionremembrancesuccess
* = informal/non-formal usage
http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/oversight#visualthesaurus
Main Entry: oversight
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: care, supervision

Synonyms:

administrationaegischargecheckcontrol, custody, directionguard, guardianship, handling,inspection, intendance, keepkeepingmaintenance,management, superintendence, surveillance,tutelage

Antonyms:

ignorance, neglect
Defining Oversight_Visual Thesaurus

In the war against Al Qaeda, how will the US cope with rebellious local youth!

Billions of tax dollars are spent by US to wage a war against terrorist groups outside the nation. But then a young man from Long Island, New York, travels all the way to Afghanistan, receives training from Al Qaeda, then plots a terror attack over his home base, then goes on to confess… who and what should the American people fear more?

The anger and terror lies within the common people of the US. The reasons may be varied… frustration about the status quo, ignorance, prejudice, poverty, skewed perceptions, unreasonable expectations of life…

It’s odd though… people from other parts of the world have thus far believed that Americans have it all… with no reason to be frustrated, that they are all rich, beautiful and smart! The irony of it all… and now in the present downturn, we have already heard of how these pent-up emotions of frustration and anger of the unemployed can take shape!

Response to: “The New Frugality: No Passing Fad” in The New York Times

In response to this article, http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/the-new-frugality-no-passing-fad/comment-page-11/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Largely, you could say I’ve lived frugally my entire life; whether or not I held a well-paid job, did a survival job, or when I have no job; only, so that I could save for the rainy days (which are a given for most people, at least at some point in their lives, on an average); yes, and my savings I invested conservatively – not always with great results, but with reasonable success. Despite being watchful, today those investments have dwindled to virtually nothing. In fact in the given situation, I even played the bear market, so as to recover some of my losses. But in a single day the market spiked because of one measly piece of news. For almost two years I’ve been unemployed, despite my best efforts. Yes, I’ve lived off my “savings”… and no, I’ve never ever claimed unemployment insurance (that would be demoralizing for me). Tired of applying for jobs that are commensurate with my skills (with little success) and my profession, I started to apply for jobs – anything that I could handle, and which I was confident would fit my skills. I still don’t get them, perhaps because I’m “overqualified”. I trimmed my resume, but no go. Networked, contacted recruiters, applied for jobs online… no response. I started my own business… after delivering a couple of projects it’s been quiet… there’s no work! Where I live, it costs me a lot to keep going out looking for a job. Oh, and did I mention… I’m not hooked up to cable TV, rarely eat out (perhaps 3-4 times annually), am not a shopaholic (classic styles can go far). The car is 10 years old, I eat once a day… where do I cut back further? Here are a couple of blog posts which may interest some readers:
https://chitralekhan.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/ad-agency-layoffs/
https://chitralekhan.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/is-todays-stock-market-rally-for-real/
Even for those “frugal” folk among us, who are now considered “fashionable”, how far and for how long would our savings “for a rainy day” carry us? I’m busy trying to figure that out. Tax filing deadline isn’t too far now… this year at least that should be easy-peasy, eh? Especially if you haven’t had a job for most of the past year.