Sunday, July 19, 2015

On Facebook for a few days.

Trouble with laptop and I do not know how to do cut and paste on iPad. But I post similar links to here without passages on Facebook

Friday, July 17, 2015

An article about Syriza from January 2015

Why Syriza cannot save Greece. It seems to be from an anarchist perspective. It seems interesting to me and largely correct "But they are playing with fire, promising solutions they cannot deliver. If their failure could open the door for fascism, it could also create a new phase of movements outside and against all authoritarian power."

Narayana Murthy raises interesting questions

How can you, the graduates of IISc, contribute towards a better India and a better world?:
"...let us pause and ask what the contributions of Indian institutions of higher learning particularly IISc and IITs, have been over the last 60-plus years to make our society and the world a better place. Is there one invention from India that has become a household name in the globe? Is there one technology that has transformed the productivity of global corporations? Is there one idea that has led to an earth-shaking invention to delight global citizens? Folks, the reality is that there is no such contribution from India in the last 60 years. The only two ideas that have transformed the productivity of global corporations – The Global Delivery Model and The 24-hour workday – came from a company called Infosys.
Yet, let us look at the problems that surround us here in India. We have the largest mass of illiterates in the world. We have the largest number of children with malnutrition. We have the poorest public health service in the world. We have the dirtiest rivers in the world. Our vehicles produce he highest carbon per vehicle in the world. We have the lowest per-capita usable water in the world. Our primary education is one of the lowest quality in the world. I can go on and on. The important thing ls to recognise that this country has no shortage of problems to be solved urgently."
I think that hints answers to his questions in the first paragraph are in the second paragraph and also the discriminatory systems. It is difficult to raise too much above the surroundings; slowly the outside atmosphere seeps in. Moreover, these institutes are were based on some sort of trickle down theory, but they are acting as trickle ups for those who make it there mainly from the elites.
There are some reactions "And the answer lies in State funding, institutional autonomy, quest of excellence, and a pro-people development model." To me it seems like the elites are trying to preserve and enhance their gated communities. Another reaction here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


"The article, about five sewage workers, described what happened to them when they got into a manhole, at Mumbai's Usha Nagar Culvert on the Eastern Express Highway, to remove gunny bags from 35 feet under the sewage pipeline:
"Sameer, Rajesh and Dhaneshwar were the first to enter the chamber by means of a rope. Ravindra and Panchonan, who followed them, came out citing difficulty in breathing. After waiting for some time, site supervisor Shivanand Chavan called in the cops. By the time the fire brigade personnel entered the chamber, wearing gas masks, Sameer, Rajesh and Dhaneshwar had died."" from Bharat Ratnas: the Clean India army every Indian must meet. Another article (both via Benjamin Kaila). One of the photos:

Bharat Ratnas: the Clean India army every Indian must meet

The Iran deal

Some of the leftist blogs were skeptical that a deal would be reached. Juan Cole sugests a plausible reason:Did rise of Daesh/ISIL ensure Iran Nuclear Deal ? In another article he discusses Reagan's deals That Time Ronald Reagan Opened Iran and illegally sold Khomeini weapons : "Then Reagan had his people steal hundreds of T.O.W. anti-tank missiles from the Pentagon warehouses and illegally ship them to Khomeini’s Iran, then on the US terrorist watch-list. Let me just underline this. Reagan was prevented by law from selling US weaponry to Iran, and certainly without notifying Congress under the Arms Export Act. There was no aboveboard, legitimate way to do this. So he just had his people pilfer expensive weaponry and ship it to Iran. A notorious Israeli arms dealer was the intermediary.
Note, too, just for the annals of perfidy, that Reagan was at the same time militarily supporting Iraq,  and had told Baghdad they were his allies.Reagan, being a fiscal conservative, made Khomeini pay for the weaponry. Reagan then put that money in secret Swiss bank accounts and gradually sent it to the Nicaragua right wing death squads. That was how he got around the Boland Amendment. He didn’t use US government money for this purpose. It was Khomeini’s money.
In return for the American weapons, Iran agreed to pressure the Lebanese Shiites to let US hostages go, solving a PR problem for the US Republican Party."

Keynes in 1915

(via Lars P.Syll) Thanks to the departure of an arrogant negotiator, serious negotiations can begin now:
The negotiations on the Treaty of Versailles have so far been disrupted by the attitude of a British negotiator, a certain John Maynard Keynes. He has a flamboyant personality and dubious morals,[1] and has consistently employed an arrogant and professional tone to crush other negotiators with his contempt.
Ignoring the elementary lessons of economics, Mr Keynes has argued that countries running current account surpluses, and which have made significant efforts, are just as responsible as countries running deficits in creating economic imbalances. Moreover, he has asserted that in times of underemployment, the surplus countries should spend more, thereby encouraging prodigality. He has claimed that in periods of economic hardship, public spending should be increased, and has mocked officials who naturally believe that a country cannot increase its output by spending less in order to save more. He has supported the view that Germany should be allowed to reconstruct its economy by cancelling its debts, whereas crushing Germany under the weight of repayments would push the country into misery, and so encourage its far right. In fact, it is of course clear that even a partial cancellation of debts would set a dangerous precedent, and favour waste. Lastly, he has called on all countries to scrap policies decided unanimously, which support the return to gold parity at pre-war levels. Moreover, he has claimed that this objective is not only costly and unfeasible, but has also been responsible for Europe’s weak growth, while Mr Keynes has refused to accept that wages are excessive.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anatole Kaletsky on the Greek crisis

Looking at some of the recent writing on the Greek crisis, I find that Anatole Kaletsky said in February that Greece is playing to loose. He was taken to task for it but he seems essentially correct. He also wrote a book Capitalism 4.0 in 2010 reviewed here by John Kay. Interview with Kaletsky.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Coming to a school near you

Atticus Finch in the sequel

Atticus Finch is a racist in To Kill a Mockingbird's sequel from The Guardian.
Purnaprajna Bangere comments on my wall: "This is truly surreal; the parallel existence of a fictional character has brazenly intersected with the reality of our times (and perhaps all times.) The surrealism comes from the fact that he was thought of as a real life hero fighting for justice in the first place.....shows how people live and seek solace in images, sentimentalism, fiction and more OR Is this all a ploy to merely sell? Amazed by the hoopla! Phew"
My comment: "I was stuck by the parallels with the development of caste consciousness I noticed among friends over the last sixty years or so."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Instruments of old Bollywood film music

Yves Smith on Greece

"Tsipras has just destroyed Greece" :
"As MacroBusiness sums up:
This is basically the same proposal as that was just rejected by the Greek people in the referendum…This makes absolutely no sense. The Tsipras Government has just:
  • renegotiated itself into the same position it was in two months ago;
  • set massively false expectations with the Greek public;
  • destroyed the Greek banking system, and
  • destroyed what was left of Greek political capital in EU.
If this deal gets through the Greek Parliament, and it could given e veryone other than the ruling party and Golden Dawn are in favour of austerity, then Greece has just destroyed itself to no purpose."
Long read. Towards the end, there is a list of Policy Commitments and Actions to be taken in consultation with EC/ECB/IMF staff.
Germany won't spare Greek pain - it has an interest in breaking us by Yanis Varoufakis:
"Based on months of negotiation, my conviction is that the German finance minister wants Greece to be pushed out of the single currency to put the fear of God into the French and have them accept his model of a disciplinarian eurozone."

This may be a sign of how weaker countries will fare under various treaties and globalization.