Indian Govt tries to censor Internet

Stupidity is contiguous  and Stupid Politicians are legion.

From-

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577158342623999990.html?mod=WSJINDIA_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are fighting back against increasing censorship demands from the Indian government and courts, arguing that they aren’t legally responsible for monitoring their websites and proactively removing user content that regulators deem objectionable.

The big threat for the companies at the moment is a lawsuit in a New Delhi trial court, which seeks to hold them and several other websites criminally liable for not censoring online content, including material that mocks or criticizes religious and political figures.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577158342623999990.html#ixzz1jVPdAsNT

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One not so apparent reason for Indian Govt to censor Internet is that the internet and social media were used for massive anti-Govt and anti-corruption protests in 2011. The Govt found itself on the backfoot, newspapers and television in India are generally considered pliable and manipulable by Govt  of  India (thanks to ad spends).Judiciary in India is also not known to be 100% honest or resistant of political pressures.

The incumbent Congress govt needs more legal weapons in its arsenal given elections are approaching this year in many states, and the need for more arrows in legal quivers  in India against the Internet is an inevitable and unfortunate next step. Since this is a global phenomenon (read- SOPA debate in US) ,and the huge huge internet population in India- this is one interesting battle to watch.

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Credit Downgrade of USA and Triple A Whining

As a person trained , deployed and often asked to comment on macroeconomic shenanigans- I have the following observations to make on the downgrade of US Debt by S&P

1) Credit rating is both a mathematical exercise of debt versus net worth as well as intention to repay. Given the recent deadlock in United States legislature on debt ceiling, it is natural and correct to assume that holding US debt is slightly more risky in 2011 as compared to 2001. That means if the US debt was AAA in 2001 it sure is slightly more risky in 2011.

2) Politicians are criticized the world over in democracies including India, UK and US. This is natural , healthy and enforced by checks and balances by constitution of each country. At the time of writing this, there are protests in India on corruption, in UK on economic disparities, in US on debt vs tax vs spending, Israel on inflation. It is the maturity of the media as well as average educational level of citizenry that amplifies and inflames or dampens sentiment regarding policy and business.

3) Conspicuous consumption has failed both at an environmental and economic level. Cheap debt to buy things you do not need may have made good macro economic sense as long as the things were made by people locally but that is no longer the case. Outsourcing is not all evil, but it sure is not a perfect solution to economics and competitiveness. Outsourcing is good or outsourcing is bad- well it depends.

4) In 1944 , the US took debt to fight Nazism, build atomic power and generally wage a lot of war and lots of dual use inventions. In 2004-2010 the US took debt to fight wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and bail out banks and automobile companies. Some erosion in the values represented by a free democracy has taken place, much to the delight of authoritarian regimes (who have managed to survive Google and Facebook).

5) A Double A rating is still quite a good rating. Noone is moving out of the US Treasuries- I mean seriously what are your alternative financial resources to park your government or central bank assets, euro, gold, oil, rare earth futures, metals or yen??

6) Income disparity as a trigger for social unrest in UK, France and other parts is an ominous looming threat that may lead to more action than the poor maths of S &P. It has been some time since riots occured in the United States and I believe in time series and cycles especially given the rising Gini coefficients .

Gini indices for the United States at various times, according to the US Census Bureau:[8][9][10]

  • 1929: 45.0 (estimated)
  • 1947: 37.6 (estimated)
  • 1967: 39.7 (first year reported)
  • 1968: 38.6 (lowest index reported)
  • 1970: 39.4
  • 1980: 40.3
  • 1990: 42.8
    • (Recalculations made in 1992 added a significant upward shift for later values)
  • 2000: 46.2
  • 2005: 46.9
  • 2006: 47.0 (highest index reported)
  • 2007: 46.3
  • 2008: 46.69
  • 2009: 46.8

7) Again I am slightly suspicious of an American Corporation downgrading the American Governmental debt when it failed to reconcile numbers by 2 trillion and famously managed to avoid downgrading Lehman Brothers.  What are the political affiliations of the S &P board. What are their backgrounds. Check the facts, Watson.

The Chinese government should be concerned if it is holding >1000 tonnes of Gold and >1 trillion plus of US treasuries lest we have a third opium war (as either Gold or US Treasuries will burst)

. Opium in 1850 like the US Treasuries in 2010 have no inherent value except for those addicted to them.

8   ) Ron Paul and Paul Krugman are the two extremes of economic ideology in the US.

Reminds me of the old saying- Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Both the Pauls seem equally unhappy and biased.

I have to read both WSJ and NYT to make sense of what actually is happening in the US as opinionated journalism has managed to elbow out fact based journalism. Do we need analytics in journalism education/ reporting?

9) Panic buying and selling would lead to short term arbitrage positions. People like W Buffet made more money in the crash of 2008 than people did in the boom years of 2006-7

If stocks are cheap- buy. on the dips. Acquire companies before they go for IPOs. Go buy your own stock if you are sitting on  a pile of cash. Buy some technology patents in cloud , mobile, tablet and statistical computing if you have a lot of cash and need to buy some long term assets.

10) Follow all advice above at own risk and no liability to this author 😉

 

Jim Goodnight for US Senate: Op Ed

Jim Goodnight, Chief Executive Officer, SAS, U...
Image via Wikipedia

This is NOT an April fool joke or a publicity stunt. It is also not meant to provoke discussion for the sake of provocation.

For a time, as I have studied both US and India , in what makes Government work or fail, academia work or fail, or businesses to work or fail- a common thread is the quality of people involved. Someone who is a wasteful businessman, will be a wasteful politician. Someone who is a flamboyant businessman with flair more than substance will continue that in public life.
Accordingly I have created a Facebook cause-

Jim Goodnight for the US Senate

http://www.causes.com/causes/600220-jim-goodnight-for-the-us-senate

If Donald Trump can run for President, I can think of no one who has done more for the American South. Unlike the tech heavy, Stanford dominated boom in California, the Mid West and South have been declining centers of influence. Cities like Austin Texas or Raleigh, North California are the exception rather than norm there. A friend who went to Duke once told me, the worst thing is to be borne a rural white male who is poor in America. There are no groups lobbying for education or internet hi fi blazing speeds for you. Socially you are expected to walk and thrive alone.

The Southern Baptist Church has managed to infiltrate and influence young minds there- the average conservative American seemed better off and happier in his moderated social behaviour. But the Church exacts a 10 % tithe, and it is efficient in stretching every dollar and every cent of church donations. Government works with the best intentions, but spending someone else’s money (your tax money money by a bureaucrat) is always more inefficient than the actual owner spending it alone. Taxes are higher than the 10 % tithe and seem to accomplish much less social change. You would rather go to work or go to war?

Accordingly I find that on the West Coast there are very few tech savvy leaders with a track record of both fiscal pragmatism, educational reform and job creation. Certainly the industry lobbyist is smarter at evading taxes than the average Joe, and campaign financing is still dependent on deep pockets despite the innovations of internet retail fund raising.

Would you like your Senator to be as considerate of creating jobs as entrepreneurs are. Jim Goodnight here is a metaphor for all entrepreneurs who dont believe in reckless hire-fire,outsourcing and long term views on people.

Click here to spread this cause- perhaps it will make existing politicians more efficient just by the threat of new competition.

http://www.causes.com/causes/600220-jim-goodnight-for-the-us-senate?recruiter_id=8347178



Movie Review- Peepli Live

A brilliant satire on Modern day India and impact of it’s progress on Agricultural India- the movie lampoons the multiple media channels that have mushroomed up, the various issues regarding India’s social welfare ‘schemes’ and of course the fact that 100,000 farmers have committed suicide and 8 million farmers have left farming since the economic reforms created progress- without being heavy and sometimes being cheeky at Indian Politicians , and Bureaucrats in general.

Watch it- its  a better quality Bollywood movie.

Politicians with pants down

How many politicians do you want to see

Cheating on their wives and then apologizing on TV

Making excuses and being sorry for what they do

Caught with pants down and then appealing to you

There was Bill , and he is now trying to get back to White house again

and Larry Craig apologized when he got caught in turn

Apparently paying for it, and getting caught

is worse than  toilet  knocks ,or having cigars with the intern

Bring back the golden days

When people had affairs discretely

Media minded their ways.

When police didnt leak,

cases like that on TV

This is getting too familiar

or is just me

Getting a man in trouble With his wife and kids

Is not enough , you have to take his job too

Daily assault on senses

Of hapless me and you.

Does the world run out of problems on those days

When politicians  get caught with the pants down

Maybe politicians should get some operations done.

Make them impotent before their tenure has begun.