The 85th Death Anniversary of Lenin

But who really gives a fuck anymore?

Socialism is dead. It is so dead that even the Russians dont practice it anymore. Its strange to see posters about it on Sri Lankan walls though..

19th - Martin Luther King day. He had a dream! of a free country. Of equality, of black people living in a united America.

20th - First black president comes to power. In the United States! A free and equal America is finally realized and undeniably proven to the rest of the word

21th - Death of Lenin, a kick in the face of the last big 'enemy' of the 'free world'

You are dead. We are alive and stonger than EVER! look out Iran and Islamic Fundamentalism.

Am I too conspiratorial or was it all just a calenderial coincidence?


I think there is something very wrong with the hype surrounding Barack Obama and his forthcoming inauguration. The whole thing seems to me more fitting to a totalitarian dictatorship than a great democracy, more like a monarch’s coronation or a Roman general’s triumph than a swearing-in ceremony for an elected president.

Take the cost of the event for starters: $160 million (ten or eleven times what it cost to inaugurate Clinton and Bush). Hardly what taxpayers fork over their hard-earned cash for, is it? And then consider that there will be 40,000 security personnel at the inauguration – more than the number of troops the US has serving in Afghanistan. The outgoing President has even declared a ‘state of emergency’ in DC. Kathryn Muratore got it right on when she said:
Welcome to the inauguration of the "leader of the free world." You may only enter the city through these designated roads and transit systems. You will only have access to the inauguration after passing through a security checkpoint, where you will be treated with suspicion. There will be thousands of armed men surrounding you at the ceremony and parade. But, hey, that's the price of freedom!

I’m sure that if the founding fathers could see it, they would be absolutely sickened.

And of course, it isn’t just the event that is the problem – it’s... (read more)

Tom Bowman for

My sentiments largely echoed. I do not really think Obama is going to make any significant change except to change whatever inefficiencies that exist the US's existing methods in the pursiut of global economic dominance. I think a more comprehensive change is needed in the system itself to put the world in a brighter path for the future. Otherwise we'll just end up in a worse position than we are now in another 70 years or so. (assuming we'll get out of this one without any major wars/disasters) I'll be very surprised for instance, if he turns out to be another Andrew Jackson. Fingers crossed though. I've blogged about this guy way too much already.

SC throws down glove

The supreme court has given the government till January 27th to respond to the earlier ruling to reduce fuel prices to 100 rupees. I guess everyone calling the supreme court wimps kind of inspired them to assert themselves a little. No wait, scrap that. Everyone taking for granted that the supreme courts are wimps must have got to them.

So now they have given the government an ultimatum. And the government can react in one of three ways as I see it.

1) Ignore the SC

2) Buy for time

3) Tell them to sod off


4) Actually reduce the price of petrol.

That number 4 well, seems pretty unlikely at the present. But it is ardently hoped for. There is a sense of strange satisfaction seeing a hundred rupees translated into exactly one litre of petrol. Telling you exactly how far you can go, depending on what car you drive. Ah. Plus it's cheaper.

i think, most likely, number three two will happen. A few days complaining about the lack of paper in photocopy machines, giving out complicated instructions for the aquisition of petrol (i dont think any 3 wheel driver so far is really enjoying his full quota of 100 rupee petrol) making the hassle of actually getting it more costly to the indivudual than the savings he would make.

Number one or three, especially number three, and the shit really hits the fan and just splatters all over our pathetic faces.

Satyam not so truthful

So one of India's biggest tech giants just did an Enron. Their head just resigned and stocks plunge 82%. Market watchers are harping about potential implications for Indian business due to loss in confidence. Satyam was the only Indian tech firm to be listed in the Nasdaq as well. The credit crunch hitting India may have been a somewhat muted (or at least a bit turned down) threat, but this kind of stuff wouldnt help their situ at all.

21 dumbest moments in US business - 2008

Face it. 2008 was a culmination in a cyclical period of right royal self screw-age that the American business world just went through. Fortune lists the 21 dumbest moments in business in 2008.

Among the dumb stuff highlighted was the Paulson plan, Henry Paulson, Henry Paulson and Henry Paulson. The big 3 'big' automaker's CEOs, jet flights, hybrids also made the list.

The housing bubble, voluntary homeowner rescue plans that called for banks to run a loss (like they weren’t running enough already) to save the housing market kind of made it to the list as well along with

the people who 'displaced' blame at 'speculators' for artificially increasing the price of oil and followed up with blaming 'collapsing demand' for its sudden drop. But i suppose no one really knows wtf happened in the oil markets, really.

The whole Steve Ballmer (Microsoft) and Jerry Yang(Yahoo) thingummy figured heavy on the dumb list. Stevie for escaping by the skin of his nose by overvaluing yahoo and Jerry for missing out on pay day numero uno.

If you've not heard of Bernard L. Madoff then you should be ashamed of calling yourself a part of the great nation that spawned the likes of Sakvithi, cos this guy carried out one of the biggest scams in history. and he did it for decades too. His simple model for tricking the likes of Greenspan? The returns for your older investors are the new investments that come in. Rotation baby, it’s the new twist.

Something that i thought was not dumb at all was the Apple i-phone application. Here you had developers making millions by devising little games and selling em for $10 each to i phone users and one smart sonofagun thinks up a screensaver that is just a giant red ruby swirling on screen, calls it 'I Am Rich' and retails it for $999.99. How smart is that? eight people actually bought it (the i-phone retails for just $200) before Aple pulled it out. But i say why pull it out? i mean what brilliance! If you're rich, own an i-phone and want people to know. This app is for you! Niche marketing much?

Anyways I couldn’t resist giving a coupla slight spoilers but there are more good ones in here. With special appearances by everybody’s favorite two presidential candidates

Go check it out.

The battle for right

Who is a soldier? Is he a fighter in a noble cause? Or is he a villain used by the forces that are to channel his blood lust in the direction of who is perceived to be the enemy? Then should he be noble in his actions or should he be as dastardly in his deeds as his conscience provides provision for and his superiors give him leeway?

Talking about Ajantha Mendis, in a post that directed a fair bit of strong points of view in my direction. I became embroiled in this argument/discussion/casual chat with Mr. David Blacker. Though we started off talking about Ajantha Mendis, as all arguments go, this one ended up at a stalemate where there was a hold off on the meaning of one word and its implications.

The word was 'virtue' as it was used by Nicholas Machiavelli in his Art of War.

My argument was that soldiers, in order for war to be truly effective and not beget terror in any other form, have to be essentially 'good' people, and should not mistake going to war with having an opportunity to unleash suppressed animal instincts on innocents met along the way. To make things clearer I'll highlight a couple of exchanges me and David had. The extracts are from our last two comments.

Me: Virtue after all simply put, refers to good qualities doesn’t it?

DB: Over-simply put, I'm afraid. Good, after all, is a subjective term. But I think it's clear that Machiavelli didn't mean "goodness, honesty" etc. He was talking about strength, ambition, manliness.

Alright, let's assume that Machiavelli did mean these things when he spoke about 'virtue'; but then strength, ambition and manliness does not necessarily detract from being 'good' does it? one does not have to be evil to be strong, ambitious or manly. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that true manliness arises from achieving your ambitions in a way where you extract as little unnecessary discomfort on your fellow human beings. One can argue that it is a weakness and not a strength to trample upon the already downtrodden.

So therefore shouldn't soldiers essentially be good people? Shouldn’t they refrain from raping, pillaging, shooting unarmed civilians and leaving the women and children unharmed?

Perhaps it is the rationale behind the war in the first place that makes soldier behave in certain ways. If motives behind the war in question are contrived to seem good and just whereas there were ulterior motives present (take the Iraqi war for instance) then the soldiers will not be fully convinced as to the justifiability of their actions. The hidden truth will permeate down through the ranks and there will be a certain sense of frustration and greed and ambition that will be directed at achieving that ulterior motive in the level of the soldiers themselves. Translating into deeds that are commonly known as 'crimes of war' but pass unnoticed in most cases due to the confusion. Because essentially the actual motive behind the whole war is essentially in currently defined terms a 'crime'.

Iraq was a crime. There were no WMD's found there. Ever. The whole thing was a fisco. Some say the reason behind it was oil. But it was not a battle between good and evil or whatever you may call it. That much was painfully obvious. Here is where we specifically discussed a soldier's behavior;

Me: I beg to differ David. It is goodness that keeps a soldier from stealing from the dead. It is honesty that keeps him from lying to his superior to save his own neck. It is goodness and virtue in its 'modern meaning' that keeps a soldier from not shooting down an unarmed enemy; it is goodness and 'virtue' that would prevent all the war crimes that go unheeded in Iraq and perhaps, in our own land.

DB: That is true, and the fact that such atrocities occur (and have always occured) is in fact because virtue (in its modern sense) does not exist in the military. Virtue would prevent atrocities, yes, but it would also prevent the ruthlessness needed by military leaders which must sacrifice lives for objectives, ignore civilian suffering, and abandon everything but victory. Virtue, in its modern sense, would prevent an individual from even being a soldier who must kill and maim his fellow human beings in order to achieve a political objective. True virtue would prevent war.

But would virtue or being good and honorable actually reduce the effectiveness of a soldier? Or is soldiering just like anything else we humans do? and do we have a choice to choose whether to be honorable or bloodthirsty while doing it? like in Business, Career, Sport etc. can we always be virtuous and still win wars?