2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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India would have been a better place without Sathya Sai Baba



When Sathya Sai Baba died (24 April 2011) at the age of
85 years, he proved once again that miracles and predictions fail. He
had predicted at a public gathering at his head quarters in
Puttaparthy, in 2000, and repeatedly many times, that he would die at
the age of 96 only. And till the last moment, many of his devotees
clung to his word and waited for a miracle. May it be an eye opener
for the millions of gullible people whom he misguided and deluded.

De mortuis nihil nisi bene, they say, say nothing but good of the
dead. But I think Sathya Sai Baba’s case qualifies for an exception.
Too great is the damage that he did to India. His devastating
influence on reason and scientific temper caused huge setback to the
country. At a time, when scientific progress led to great social and
economic leaps and scientific awakening started spreading all over
India, Sathya Sai Baba launched a “counter revolution” of
superstition, supported by irresponsible politicians and other public
figures who should have known better. In my judgment, this is his
greatest crime. I have succeeded again and again to expose him
publicly as a fraud, so did some other rationalists. But due to his
political protectors he was never held responsible for his crimes
against public reason. Nor was he ever booked for any other crime he
was accused of. Numerous cases of alleged sexual abuse and murder are
yet to be investigated, not to mention the financial secrets of his
empire.

Sathya Sai Baba insisted in all seriousness that he was god, the
creator of the universe, and “proved” his divinity with a couple of
small “miracles”. As son of a village tantric he was familiar with the
hand sleights and tricks of the trade. However, he did not only
fascinate poor and uneducated villagers with his fraudulent
performances. Over the years, he managed to attract a galaxy of
India’s rich and powerful, among them ministers, prime ministers,
presidents, chief justices, top industrialists and superstars.

Sathya Sai Baba had a special modus operandi that was the key for his
astonishing success and the root of his enormous clout. Many of his
high society devotees came to serve their own vested interests. Some
came to rub shoulders with the prominent. Many joined the club because
it was working as a powerful syndicate spreading its tentacles all
over the political system. It was a way to the top jobs and a way to
get things done. Others were seeking financial support or wanted to
get rid of ill-gotten black money: The empire, it is alleged, was
based on money laundering, using foreign devotees and branches. In
fact, the huge foreign donations to Sai Baba stood in contrast to the
comparatively modest number of active foreign devotees and the
sometimes quite weak foreign branches, some of them residing in
private homes. That is no great surprise, when one considers that Sai
Baba did not speak any other language than Telugu and traveled only
once in his whole life abroad – to visit his friend Idi Amin in
Uganda.

On his 80th birthday, Sai Baba’s supporters announced that he would
turn from a miracle man to a philanthropist. That was, after I had
demonstrated his miracles so often in TV shows that many kids in the
streets could imitate them. That he since spent a part of the great
fortunes, swindled out of the gullible, for social development around
his ancestral village, is highlighted now to present him as a saint.
But as useful and welcome hospitals, schools and drinking water
projects for the poor always may be: this kind of alibi-philanthropy
is well known even from mafia-bosses. It cannot be weighed against his
crimes and the damage he has done to the Indian society.

In December 2005, I wrote a letter to then President Dr. Abdul Kalam,
one of Sai Baba’s ardent supporters, which was never answered. I
demanded criminal investigations against Sai Baba. If his social
development projects are meant to be indulgence to nullify his crimes,
this procedure is unprecedented and unacceptable, I wrote. It is a
shame for India that well-founded accusations and numerous reputed
witnesses against Sai Baba are ignored without any investigation. Do
saffron clothes make an offender untouchable for the law? Do we have
to tolerate that political protectionism raises its head so boldly,
mocking India’s democracy?

Sathya Sai Baba caused great damage to India. His irresponsible
political patrons corrupted the political culture of India. Encouraged
by the clout of Sathya sai Baba, a new clan of miracle mongers
imitated him. India would have been a better place without Sathya Sai
Baba.

By: Sanal Edamaruku
President
Indian Rationalist Association & Rationalist International

(This or other articles from the  Rationalist International Bulletin
may be reproduced by journals, blogs or web sites without change or
alteration in its content, and with due acknowledgment.)

Rationalist International: rationalistinternational@gmail.com

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Guru Pournima : My first Talk as a chief guest

गुरुपौर्णिमा

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The woman in your life……

minu (my love:life:wife) forwarded this beautiful article to me: 

T he woman in your life…very well expressed… 

Tomorrow you may get a working woman,but you should marry her with these facts as well.

Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are;
Who is earning almost as much as you do;

One, who has dreams and aspirations just as
you have because she is as human as you are;

One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your
Sister haven’t, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system
that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements

One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life;

One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family ,name

One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen

One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain; to be a servant, a cook, a mother, a wife, even if she doesn’t want to; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won’t like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you;

One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities;

Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply
Because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise

One, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met;

One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important, relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some and trust her;

One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house – your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly – your understanding, or love, if you may call it.

But not many guys understand this……

Please appreciate “HER”

I hope you will do….






Respect Her……..

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Natty Narwhal

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Sachin Tendulkar ….. “Unicus es “

Harsha Bhogle’s note after Ind-SA match. A must must must read

Remember when you failed an examination. How many people recall that, your class, friends, relatives? You failed to make it to the IITs or IIMs. Who remembers. How many times have you had the feeling of being the best in your class, school , university, state….., you failed to get a visa stamped this quarter…, you missed a promotion this year…, how did it feel when you dad told you in your early twenties that you are good for nothing…..and now your boss tell you the same…

You keep introspecting and go into a shell when people most of whom don’t matter a dime in your life criticize you, back bite you, make fun of you. You are left sad and shattered and you cry when your own kin scoffs at you. You say I am feeling low today. It takes a lot from us to come out of these everyday situations and move on. A lot??? really?

Now here’s a man standing on the third man boundary in the last over of a world cup match. The bowler just has to bowl sensibly to win this game. What the man at the boundary sees is 4 rank bad bowls bowled without any sense of focus, planning or regret. India loses, yet again in those circumstances when he has done just about everything right.

He does not cry. Does not show any emotion. Just keeps his head down and leaves the field. He has seen these failures for 22 years now. And not just his class, relatives, friends but the whole world has seen these failures. We are too immature to even imagine what goes on in that mind and heart of his. That’s why I would never want to be Sachin.

True, he has single handedly lifted to moods of this entire nation umpteen number of times. He has been an inspiration to rise above our mediocrity. Nobody who has ever lifted the willow even comes close to this man’s genius. His dedication and metal strength is unparallel. This is specially for those people who would have made fun of him again last night when India lost. They are people who are mediocre in their own lives. Who just scoff at others to create cheap fun. Who have lived in a small hole throughout their lives and thought they have seen the oceans.

Think about the man himself. He is 37 years of age. He has been playing almost non stop for 22 years. The way he was running and diving around the field last night would have put 22 year olds to shame. The way he played the best opening quickies in the world was breathtaking. He just keeps getting better which is by the way humanly impossible. Its not for nothing that people call him GOD.

But still I don’t want to be in those shoes. We struggle in keeping our monotonous lives straight, lives which affect a limited number of people. Imagine what would be the magnitude of the inner struggle for him, pain both mental and physical, tears that have frozen with time, knees and ankles and every other joint in the body that is either bandaged or needs to be attended to every night, eyes that don’t sleep before a big game, bats that have scored 99 international tons and still see expectations from a billion people.

And he just converts those expectations into reality. We watch in awe, feel privileged.

Well I think its time that his team realizes that enough is enough. They have an obligation, not towards their country alone but towards sachin. They need to win this one for him. Stay assured that he himself will still deliver and leave no stone unturned to make sure India wins this cup.

This is not just a game, and he is not just a sportsman. Its much more than this. Words fail here…..

— HARSHA BHOGLE

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Growing up………………today it’s my birthday

Yes I’m a year older today, and I seem to be getting more and more grey hairs, but I don’t mind the salt and pepper look

Growing older — I tend to think of that inevitable process more as ‘getting wiser and on my way to becoming a classic’. Isn’t that a much more optimistic way of looking at things?

 

WHY AGING ISN’T SO BAD

*People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

*Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

*No one expects you to run into a burning building.     

*There’s nothing left to learn the hard way.

*Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

*In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first

*The clothes you’ve put away until they come back in style… come back in style

*Things you buy now won’t wear out.

 

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My Little Angel



Oh, my little angel
You are the flesh and blood
of my flesh and my blood.
It was God who breathed life into you
and, for me, that was His greatest gift of all.
And now as I watch you sleeping
I’m still lost in wonder

at the miracle of your birth,
and lost for words to describe
the blessings you have brought me.
Where once my life seemed sometimes empty and futile,
now you fill me up and give me reason to live.
In a world full of suspicion, dishonesty and distrust
You, my little angel, are an open book.
When I am weak you give me strength;
when I am drifting, you are my anchor.
Oh, my little angel,
Whate’er befalls you in the years ahead
may the Lord above, who gave you to me,
hold you in the hollow of His hand.
………………….minu

 

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Support WikiLeaks and Defend Julian Assange!

WikiLeaks is under concerted attack from the US government. Also under attack by the US government is the whole idea of freedom of thought and of information.

It is increasingly clear that the “rape” charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are trumped-up affairs resulting from pressure by the US government and intelligence agencies on Swedish authorities. The main allegation of rape is being made by a Swedish woman, Anna Ardin, who admits she had consensual sex with Assange, but claims he failed to halt their love-making when a condom allegedly failed. Calling such a situation “rape”–if it even happened–makes a mockery of the term.

The idea of an international arrest warrant through Interpol on such a flimsy and in any case virtually unprovable charge is an insult to all the victims of real rape whose cases in the US and elsewhere around the world are regularly left unprosecuted. In addition, the woman making the allegation has a connection to a CIA-linked anti-Castro organization and a brother in Swedish intelligence who was a liason in Washington to US intelligence services, raising further questions about the whole “incident.” A second woman’s charges against Assange are even more specious–amounting essentially to a claim that Assange didn’t answer the woman’s phone calls after spending the night with her, or mention that he’d slept with someone else a while earlier.

For a great expose of the sham charges of rape (which are being reported in the US as if they were acts of violence or abuse), read this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which points out that Swedish law, which essentially makes having sex without a condom legally form of rape, even if consensually done, is about to make that country a “laughing stock,” which further shows that Ardin threw a party for Assange the day after the alleged “rape”, and which also shows that both women were boasting on twitter about their “conquests” of Assange after the alleged “violations” occurred.

The Obama administration has sunk to a new low in pursuing Assange, and is now having its so-called Justice Department try to manufacture a crime with which to prosecute Assange for doing precisely what real journalists should have been doing–namely exposing the criminal activities of the US government in engaging in acts of wars in countries like Yemen and Pakistan where the US is not legally at war, in pressuring foreign allies like Spain on behalf of US companies, in trying to trump up arguments to attack Iran with false information about alleged importation of long-range missiles from North Korea, etc.

The US is almost certainly also behind efforts to shut down WikiLeaks by closing down its DNS account, by attacking its servers through sophisticated hacking techniques, and by putting pressure on banks and payment systems like Paypal to get them to stop handling donations of support. Paypal, for instance, which was a major vehicle for donating to WikiLeaks, suddenly cut off the organization, saying it had somehow violated Paypal policies by engaging in “illegal” activity, though nothing that WikiLeaks has done has violated any law. The hand of the US government is clearly visible in this decision, too. (I find this particularly galling since a year ago, when I discovered that a scammer was using Paypal to yank $5 per month from my bank account, Paypal refused to act on my request that they block the payments, saying it was between me and the company, or my bank!)

WikiLeaks has currently found a new home at http://www.WikiLeaks.ch, thanks to the Pirate Party, a small independent political organization in Switzerland committed to freedom of information. Go there to make a donation of support, which can still be accomplished by credit card through an online transaction at a Swiss bank, or by wire transfer.

This is a critically important struggle. We can now see graphically illustrated the horrible reality that was created when President Obama issued his outrageous executive order claiming the right to order the extra-judicial execution of Americans overseas–an order the White House is now aggressively defending in federal court. We now have American political figures like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, both former and current presidential aspirants, openly calling for the killing of someone simply because he has opened up government secrets, and a depressingly large percentage of Americans are reportedly okay with that idea. If this kind of thinking continues unchallenged, none of us who espouse open government and freedom of the press will be safe for long.

To give an idea of how grave the situation has already become, I received an email today from a TCBH reader warning that with some people in Congress and the media suggesting, rather ludicrously, that Wikileaks and its members, including Assange, should be classified as “information terrorists,” writing articles telling people how to contribute to the organization might, under the Patriot Act, be then construed as “aiding terrorism,” which could lead to a forced one-way trip to Guantanamo or worse. If that sounds pretty paranoid, consider that Columbia University, a leading Ivy League institution, has warned its students not to view Wikileaks or to write favorably about it, for fear that this could “hurt job prospects” of graduates in the future.

It needs to be clearly understood by all Americans, and especially by anyone in the media who takes the profession seriously, that the attacks on WikiLeaks by the US government–attacks which have included heavy pressure on companies like Paypal, Amazon Books, Visa and Mastercard, all of which have closed their accounts with the organization, making it difficult if not impossible for Assange and his team to raise money, and on internet servers, making it harder for WikiLeaks to stay online–could as easily be used against news organizations and political organizations. If the government gets away with pressuring a server to close out an organization it doesn’t like, it could as easily pressure a print shop not to publish a magazine, a news distributor not to distribute newspapers, or a power company not to provide juice to a broadcaster. If the government can pressure banks to close WikiLeaks’ accounts, it could pressure banks to close a book publisher’s account. And if the government can, as Attorney General says he is doing, tries to create a law with which to arrest and punish Assange, it can as easily trump up a “crime” and arrest a print publisher or radio network owner. These actions are not the actions of a democracy. They are the lawless actions of a dictatorship.

The darkness is rapidly closing in during this administration that once claimed to be about “hope and change.”

——————An article by:
Dave Lindorff

from

This can’t be happening….

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A new way to fight corruption

Shaffi Mather explains why he left his first career to become a social entrepreneur, providing life-saving transportation with his company 1298 for Ambulance. Now, he has a new idea and plans to begin a company to fight the booming business of corruption in public service, eliminating it one bribe at a time.

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