Tuesday, October 13, 2015

China's vacant homes could accommodate all of India's homeless with plenty left over

part of an email forward...

14. Ghost Towns.

About 65 million homes sit vacant in China. This includes some entire towns that are completely devoid of people and they sit empty. These aren't old houses and towns that died out. They are new cities and houses that were built in expectation of a population boom expanding into them that never happened.

Another source pegs the number of vacant homes in China at 52 million. That's 5.2 crore homes.

Just to get this in context, A 2001 census reported that 78 million (ie, 7.8 crore) people across India were living without a home, many in overcrowded urban environments. (source)

Obviously they don't have any ambitions to "take over" any neighboring country. If they ever did, people would rush in!

Monday, October 12, 2015

[Solutions] Videos on Restorative Circles

Three  links on the development and practice of  Restorative Circles.
Dominic Barter talks about his work with Restorative Circles in Brazil and worldwide.: https://youtu.be/o-AUwX61-34
Jeff Brown, (NVC trainer, Columbus, Ohio) discusses aspects of restorative circle process: https://youtu.be/xPXLIuhlqEY

NVC Trainer  Duke Duchscherer speaks  about the origin of Restorative Circles  and its unique way of conflict resolution:    https://youtu.be/Q7FWjapsJRU

Shared in another email conv by Mona Patrao 

Story: the fox and the village

In a small village in India, a little fox told its father of his desire to eat human flesh. Next day father fox managed to get some pig meat (pork) and offered to his son. But the little fox didn't have it. Then the father fox managed to get some cow meat (beef) and offered it. The little fox declined to eat that as well. The stubborn  little fox was adamant that he will not settle for anything other than human meat.

That night the father fox left the pork in the front of a masjid and the beef in the front of a temple. By next day morning the entire village was filled with dead human bodies.

The little fox ate human meat for a week and was so happy his father managed to get so much human meat.

The story might be hypothetical, but the Fox is for real.

(Forwarded over whatsapp groups)

A note on the [Rethinking] articles / emails

Sharer's note: My [Rethinking] emails contain matter that might make you really resonate, or might really piss you off, depending on where you're presently standing. It will contain material that questions some or the other aspect of the prevailing status quo, and involves unlearning some long-sacred fundas and examining them from a new perspective (check out NLP). Hence the word "Rethinking". I came across these ideas with an open mind and an attitude of not judging but checking out what's there first, treating it like any other movie or story first, and then imagining and applying. I would advise the same approach to anyone. If you don't really have the leisure to check this out, then you shouldn't have the time to get offended either or even reply to it ;) If you really think there's no point in trying to explain a new thing to other people, then there's simply no point of you replying on the mailing list either.. who are you trying to influence if you don't want others to influence anybody? :P :D. Enjoy the email, and keep in mind that getting offended is a choice, plus something that unsettles us greatly is probably doing so because it's linking to other confusions we already have. On my part, I'm only sharing things that I have found to be true in my experience (why would I otherwise?), but there are many layers to reality and I too never agree with things absolutely all the time.. it's an ongoing journey. I do not have any expectations from your end. But we do have to find the others who also resonate (they mostly reply back privately or tell me when we meet personally, and oh boy we're growing) and make awesome things happen, hence sharing.

[Rethinking] The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest : 9 part documentary series online screening, 13-21 Oct 2015

Their first 11-part series (The quest for the cure continues) that aired an year ago was amazing and fundamentally changed some things for me.. I have a copy if anybody wants to see. Now a new series is starting as they bring up more insights and findings.


See more details in email below

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Sun, Oct 11, 2015 at 11:12 PM

Hey Nikhil Vj,

Thanks for choosing to watch the exciting new docu-series 
"The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest"

We've been working day and night to get it finished, edited, and 
ready for you.

I can't wait for you to see it :-)

Here's our broadcasting schedule (be sure to save this):

Episode 1: The True History of Chemotherapy & The Pharmaceutical Monopoly
(October 13th  9:00PM Eastern US time)

Episode 2: Cancer Facts and Fictions, Breast Cancer, Hormones, Skin Cancer & Essential Oils
(October 14th  9:00PM Eastern US time)

Episode 3: Cancer-Killing Viruses, Cancer Stem Cells, GMOs, Juicing & Eating the Rainbow
(October 15th)

Episode 4: Excitotoxins that Fuel Cancer, Nature's Pharmacy and Healing Cancer with Sound & Light
(October 16th)

Episode 5: Cancer Causing Blindspots, Toxic Vaccines, Homeopathy & The Power of Emotions
(October 17th)

Episode 6: The NOCEBO Effect, Healing Vaccines, Advanced Detoxing & Going Inside A German Cancer Clinic
(October 18th)

Episode 7: Heal Cancer with Clean Electricity, Unique Water, Natural Sunlight & Combining Superfoods
(October 19th)

Episode 8: Cannabis, Nature's Epigenetic Switches, Peptides & Healing with Micronutrient Therapy
(October 20th)

Episode 9: Cancer Conquerors & Their Powerful Stories of Victory
(October 21st)

All episodes start airing at 9:00PM Eastern US time on the date listed 
above and will be available for approximately 23 hours, after which time 
the next episode will be loaded onto our site for your viewing pleasure :-)

Be sure to keep an eye out for emails coming for us (The Truth About Cancer) as I 
will send you a reminder for each episode moving forward and the private 
link where you can watch it.

Thanks again for supporting our mission to expose, educate and eradicate cancer.

Enjoy and I'll be in touch soon,
Ty Bollinger


Thanks in advance and I'll talk to you soon :-)


© Copyright 2015, TTAC Publishing LLC, All Rights Reserved.

The information on this website is presented for educational purposes only. It is
not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a
qualified, licensed medical professional. The facts presented are offered as
information only, not medical advice, and in no way should anyone infer that we
are practicing medicine. Seek the advice of a medical professional for proper
application of this material to any specific situation.

No statement on this website has been evaluated by the Food and Drug
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and that we will be paid in some way. We recommend that you do your own
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Poem : A Spiritual Conspiracy - by Celia Hales

Spotted this amazing poem in "Bloom Nagpur", a local by-the-people
newspaper in Nagpur, August 2015 issue. I feel like it's speaking my
Contact: http://www.facebook.com/bloomnagpur

A Spiritual Conspiracy
- Celia Hales

On the surface of the world right now there is,
war and violence and things seem dark.
But calmly and quietly , at the same time,
something else is happening underground.
An inner revolution is taking place,
and certain individuals are being called to a higher light.
It is a silent revolution.

From the inside out. From the ground up.
This is a Global operation.
A Spiritual Conspiracy .
There are sleeper cells in every nation on the planet.
You won't see us on the T . V .
You won't read about us in the newspaper ,
You won't hear about us on the radio,
We don't seek any glory ,
We don't wear any uniform,
We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.
Most of us work anonymously .
We are quietly working behind the scenes,
in every country and culture of the world.
Cities big and small, mountains and valleys,
in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.
You could pass by one of us on the street,
and not even notice.
We go undercover ,
We remain behind the scenes,
It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit,
But simply that the work gets done.
Occasionally we spot each other in the street,
We give a quiet nod and continue on our way .
During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs,
But behind the false storefront at night,
is where the real work takes a place.
Some call us the Conscious Army ,
We are slowly creating a new world,
with the power of our minds and hearts,
We follow , with passion and joy .
Our orders come from the Central Spiritual Intelligence,
We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking,
Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Movies ~ Kind words ~
Smiles ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Social activism ~
Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness...
We each express ourselves in our own unique ways,
with our own unique gifts and talents.
Be the change you want to see in the world,
That is the motto that fills our hearts.
We know it is the only way real transformation takes place,
We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the
oceans combined.
Our work is slow and meticulous,
Like the formation of mountains,
It is not even visible at first glance,
And yet with it, entire tectonic plates,
shall be moved in the centuries to come.
Love is the new religion of the 21st century ,
You don't have to be a highly educated person,
Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it,
It comes from the intelligence of the heart.
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings,
Be the change you want to see in the world,
Nobody else can do it for you,
We are now recruiting,
Perhaps you will join us,
Or already have.
All are welcome,
The door is open~

From "Bloom Nagpur", a local by-the-people newspaper in Nagpur, August
2015 issue.
Contact: http://www.facebook.com/bloomnagpur

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Protesting against use of stereotyping words for victims of gang rape

To : The Editor, 'The Hindu' newspaper and news website

Dear Sir / Madam,

I want to protest about the use of words in the headline for this article:


"BPO staff gang-raped on moving van"
After reading the article, I found out the victim was a 23 year old young woman.

By boxing her off as "BPO staff" you are inviting insensitivity to the
case. It is possible that people who are against "BPO culture" will
treat this case with a "she deserved it" mentality instead of looking
at the humanity and the real human tragedy of the matter. No human
being, period, should have to go through this kind of soul-destroying
ordeal. This girl needs to be treated as a victim, a human being, a
woman. Whether she worked for a BPO or for the CMO or the PMO even
should not be considered at all. When anyone reads this story, when
they look at the headline, they are supposed to get a feeling that it
could easily have been my daughter, my friend, my sister, my cousin in
her place. Your choice of words must not give anybody the excuse to
avoid empathizing with the victim. In fact, this might even promote
further rapes of women, by dehumanizing people employed by BPOs.

At least in the online edition, please immediately change the headline
to something like:
23 year old gang-raped in moving van in Madivala

Monday, October 5, 2015

How to use Formfuse add-on in Google Forms to automate the form creation process

How to use Formfuse add-on in Google Forms to automate the form creation process.

Create a form

Name if as per needs, delete default first question

If adding Formfuse for first time, click Add-ons > Get add-ons.. then find Formfuse in the marketplace-like thing and install it. Then come back to the Add-ons menu, you'll find Fomfuse entry there. Click Start.

Take first option (create questions from a sheet) and click Next

WAIT for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not follow the first instruction.
During this time, the add-on script creates a new sheet in your responses spreadsheet, and makes it ready. Now, after the first "Ok button greys out, click the "this sheet" link in second instruction.

That will open up your responses spreadsheet in a new tab (if it opens a blank window, go back to the form and click the same link again)
Check out the place. Not that this is another worksheet in your responses spreadsheet. The responses to the form themselves will come in the next "Form Responses 1" worksheet.

Now fill in your questions. I had already copied that format over and written out my questions on a local excel file, so simply copy-pasting from there.

Pasting it in..

Now, switch back to the form. (You can also close off the other tab once your questions are filled in).
Press the "Create" button on Formfuse pane.

Voila! The form starts populating itself!

You're done. You can close off the Formfuse pane now.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Vladimir Putin's speech at UN on 28th September 2015

From http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/50385

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General,

Distinguished heads of state and government,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is a good occasion to both
take stock of history and talk about our common future. In 1945, the
countries that defeated Nazism joined their efforts to lay a solid
foundation for the postwar world order. Let me remind you that key
decisions on the principles defining interaction between states, as
well as the decision to establish the UN, were made in our country, at
the Yalta Conference of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition.

The Yalta system was truly born in travail. It was born at the cost of
tens of millions of lives and two world wars that swept through the
planet in the 20th century. Let's be fair: it helped humankind pass
through turbulent, and at times dramatic, events of the last seven
decades. It saved the world from large-scale upheavals.

The United Nations is unique in terms of legitimacy, representation
and universality. True, the UN has been criticized lately for being
inefficient or for the fact that decision-making on fundamental issues
stalls due to insurmountable differences, especially among Security
Council members.

However, I'd like to point out that there have always been differences
in the UN throughout the 70 years of its history, and that the veto
right has been regularly used by the United States, the United
Kingdom, France, China and the Soviet Union, and later Russia. It is
only natural for such a diverse and representative organization. When
the UN was first established, nobody expected that there would always
be unanimity. The mission of the organization is to seek and reach
compromises, and its strength comes from taking different views and
opinions into consideration. The decisions debated within the UN are
either taken in the form of resolutions or not. As diplomats say, they
either pass or they don't. Any action taken by circumventing this
procedure is illegitimate and constitutes a violation of the UN
Charter and contemporary international law.

We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with
one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of
the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and
exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don't
need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the
decisions they need, often stands in their way.

70th session of the UN General Assembly.
70th session of the UN General Assembly.
That's why they say that the UN has run its course and is now obsolete
and outdated. Of course, the world changes, and the UN should also
undergo natural transformation. Russia is ready to work together with
its partners to develop the UN further on the basis of a broad
consensus, but we consider any attempts to undermine the legitimacy of
the United Nations as extremely dangerous. They may result in the
collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, and
then indeed there will be no rules left except for the rule of force.
The world will be dominated by selfishness rather than collective
effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, and instead of
truly independent states we will have protectorates controlled from

What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been
mentioned by our colleagues here? It basically means freedom, every
person and every state being free to choose their future.

By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of
state authorities. You shouldn't play with words and manipulate them.
In international law, international affairs, every term has to be
clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and

We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn't be
forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has
declared the only appropriate one.

We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we
remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported
social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for
ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and
caused degradation instead of progress.

It seems, however, that instead of learning from other people's
mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export
revolutions, only now these are "democratic" revolutions. Just look at
the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa already mentioned
by the previous speaker. Of course, political and social problems have
been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted
change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about
reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government
institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and
progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total
disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.

I'm urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least
realize now what you've done? But I'm afraid that this question will
remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy,
which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.

Power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa
obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were
quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic
State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including
former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003
invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed
as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution
1973. And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called
"moderate" Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and
training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State.

In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was
initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes.
Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State
now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the
Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.

70th session of the UN General Assembly.
70th session of the UN General Assembly.
The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is
hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat
of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels
used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug
trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use
them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you'll find a
way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

I'd like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you
are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as
you are. So, it's a big question: who's playing who here? The recent
incident where the most "moderate" opposition group handed over their
weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.

We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm
them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the
global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around
the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different
countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with
Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.

Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can't allow them to return
home and continue with their criminal activities. Nobody wants that,

Russia has consistently opposed terrorism in all its forms. Today, we
provide military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other
regional countries fighting terrorist groups. We think it's a big
mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and
government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground.

We should finally admit that President Assad's government forces and
the Kurdish militia are the only forces really fighting terrorists in
Syria. Yes, we are aware of all the problems and conflicts in the
region, but we definitely have to consider the actual situation on the

Dear colleagues, I must note that such an honest and frank approach on
Russia's part has been recently used as a pretext for accusing it of
its growing ambitions — as if those who say that have no ambitions at
all. However, it is not about Russia's ambitions, dear colleagues, but
about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the
current state of affairs in the world.

What we actually propose is to be guided by common values and common
interests rather than by ambitions. Relying on international law, we
must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing,
and create a genuinely broad international coalition against
terrorism. Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a
broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just
like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And of course,
Muslim nations should play a key role in such a coalition, since
Islamic State not only poses a direct threat to them, but also
tarnishes one of the greatest world religions with its atrocities. The
ideologues of these extremists make a mockery of Islam and subvert its
true humanist values.

I would also like to address Muslim spiritual leaders: Your authority
and your guidance are of great importance right now. It is essential
to prevent people targeted for recruitment by extremists from making
hasty decisions, and those who have already been deceived and, due to
various circumstances, found themselves among terrorists, must be
assisted in finding a way back to normal life, laying down arms and
putting an end to fratricide.

70th session of the UN General Assembly.
70th session of the UN General Assembly.
In the days to come, Russia, as the current President of the UN
Security Council, will convene a ministerial meeting to carry out a
comprehensive analysis of the threats in the Middle East. First of
all, we propose exploring opportunities for adopting a resolution that
would serve to coordinate the efforts of all parties that oppose
Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Once again, such
coordination should be based upon the principles of the UN Charter.

We hope that the international community will be able to develop a
comprehensive strategy of political stabilization, as well as social
and economic recovery in the Middle East. Then, dear friends, there
would be no need for setting up more refugee camps. Today, the flow of
people forced to leave their native land has literally engulfed,
first, the neighbouring countries, and then Europe. There are hundreds
of thousands of them now, and before long, there might be millions. It
is, essentially, a new, tragic Migration Period, and a harsh lesson
for all of us, including Europe.

I would like to stress that refugees undoubtedly need our compassion
and support. However, the only way to solve this problem for good is
to restore statehood where it has been destroyed, to strengthen
government institutions where they still exist, or are being
re-established, to provide comprehensive military, economic and
material assistance to countries in a difficult situation, and
certainly to people who, despite all their ordeals, did not abandon
their homes. Of course, any assistance to sovereign nations can, and
should, be offered rather than imposed, in strict compliance with the
UN Charter. In other words, our Organisation should support any
measures that have been, or will be, taken in this regard in
accordance with international law, and reject any actions that are in
breach of the UN Charter. Above all, I believe it is of utmost
importance to help restore government institutions in Libya, support
the new government of Iraq, and provide comprehensive assistance to
the legitimate government of Syria.

Dear colleagues, ensuring peace and global and regional stability
remains a key task for the international community guided by the
United Nations. We believe this means creating an equal and
indivisible security environment that would not serve a privileged
few, but everyone. Indeed, it is a challenging, complicated and
time-consuming task, but there is simply no alternative.

Sadly, some of our counterparts are still dominated by their Cold
War-era bloc mentality and the ambition to conquer new geopolitical
areas. First, they continued their policy of expanding NATO – one
should wonder why, considering that the Warsaw Pact had ceased to
exist and the Soviet Union had disintegrated.

Nevertheless, NATO has kept on expanding, together with its military
infrastructure. Next, the post-Soviet states were forced to face a
false choice between joining the West and carrying on with the East.
Sooner or later, this logic of confrontation was bound to spark off a
major geopolitical crisis. And that is exactly what happened in
Ukraine, where the people's widespread frustration with the government
was used for instigating a coup d'├ętat from abroad. This has triggered
a civil war. We are convinced that the only way out of this dead end
lies through comprehensive and diligent implementation of the Minsk
agreements of February 12th, 2015. Ukraine's territorial integrity
cannot be secured through the use of threats or military force, but it
must be secured. The people of Donbas should have their rights and
interests genuinely considered, and their choice respected; they
should be engaged in devising the key elements of the country's
political system, in line with the provisions of the Minsk agreements.
Such steps would guarantee that Ukraine will develop as a civilized
state, and a vital link in creating a common space of security and
economic cooperation, both in Europe and in Eurasia.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have deliberately mentioned a common space for
economic cooperation. Until quite recently, it seemed that we would
learn to do without dividing lines in the area of the economy with its
objective market laws, and act based on transparent and jointly
formulated rules, including the WTO principles, which embrace free
trade and investment and fair competition. However, unilaterally
imposed sanctions circumventing the UN Charter have all but become
commonplace today. They not only serve political objectives, but are
also used for eliminating market competition.

70th session of the UN General Assembly
70th session of the UN General Assembly
I would like to note one more sign of rising economic selfishness. A
number of nations have chosen to create exclusive economic
associations, with their establishment being negotiated behind closed
doors, secretly from those very nations' own public and business
communities, as well as from the rest of the world. Other states,
whose interests may be affected, have not been informed of anything,
either. It seems that someone would like to impose upon us some new
game rules, deliberately tailored to accommodate the interests of a
privileged few, with the WTO having no say in it. This is fraught with
utterly unbalancing global trade and splitting up the global economic

These issues affect the interests of all nations and influence the
future of the entire global economy. That is why we propose discussing
those issues within the framework of the United Nations, the WTO and
the G20. Contrary to the policy of exclusion, Russia advocates
harmonizing regional economic projects. I am referring to the
so-called "integration of integrations" based on the universal and
transparent rules of international trade. As an example, I would like
to cite our plans to interconnect the Eurasian Economic Union with
China's initiative for creating a Silk Road economic belt. We continue
to see great promise in harmonizing the integration vehicles between
the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

Ladies and gentlemen, one more issue that shall affect the future of
the entire humankind is climate change. It is in our interest to
ensure that the coming UN Climate Change Conference that will take
place in Paris in December this year should deliver some feasible
results. As part of our national contribution, we plan to limit
greenhouse gas emissions to 70–75 percent of the 1990 levels by the
year 2030.

However, I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue.
Admittedly, we may be able to defuse it for a while by introducing
emission quotas and using other tactical measures, but we certainly
will not solve it for good that way. What we need is an essentially
different approach, one that would involve introducing new,
groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the
environment, but rather work in harmony with it, enabling us to
restore the balance between the biosphere and technology upset by
human activities.

It is indeed a challenge of global proportions. And I am confident
that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond
to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that
possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made
significant advances in fundamental research. We propose convening a
special forum under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively address
issues related to the depletion of natural resources, habitat
destruction, and climate change. Russia is willing to co-sponsor such
a forum.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues. On January 10th, 1946, the UN
General Assembly convened for its first meeting in London. Chairman of
the Preparatory Commission Dr. Zuleta Angel, a Colombian diplomat,
opened the session by offering what I see as a very concise definition
of the principles that the United Nations should be based upon, which
are good will, disdain for scheming and trickery, and a spirit of
cooperation. Today, his words sound like guidance for all of us.

Russia is confident of the United Nations' enormous potential, which
should help us avoid a new confrontation and embrace a strategy of
cooperation. Hand in hand with other nations, we will consistently
work to strengthen the UN's central, coordinating role. I am convinced
that by working together, we will make the world stable and safe, and
provide an enabling environment for the development of all nations and

Thank you.

Update: Also check out this  video:
Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions regarding ISIS from a US journalist at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014. Very clear, unescapable points made

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Newsletter from Storm Cloud Media, Katie Teague, Money & Life movie

Dear Storm Cloud Media Friends,

It's been a long time since you've heard from me.  I received a few emails over the summer from people asking what's up with Money & Life.  So I wanted to give quick review of the notables: 
  • I went to Japan in late May for an outstanding screening at Impact Hub Kyoto. The amazing folks there posted this sweet little video about the screening.
  • Films for action listed M&L as one the "Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use To Change The World."
  • Free Speech TV just acquired M&L for our first national television broadcast.
  • Gaiam TV also just acquired M&L and it should be available there in the next month.
  • I'm in conversation with a colleague about a deep engagement screening in Los Angeles in December (will keep you posted).
  • Independent screenings continue happening worldwide.


I spent the summer dreaming and developing a new website for my emerging visual storytelling that I am very excited about.  This is a container for new short films, photography and digital art, dedicated to our collective creation of a more regenerative, thrivable world.  

I will be sending out newsletter notification of new original content once or twice per month.  If you are already subscribed to the SCM newsletter, no need to sign up.

Check out the site and please share: 


Lastly I wanted to mention a great opportunity coming up called the Resilient Living School.  It's an 8-week residency program in the beautiful ancient mountains of Asheville, North Carolina running from from April 2 to May 26, 2016.  With an all-star teaching team (including M&L friend Charles Eisenstein) you'll learn earth skills, herbal medicine, food preservation, organic gardening, transformational community living and much more. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from many of the teachers this past summer and can attest to their immense capacity and knowledge-base. Sign-up now for the early bird discount.  Read here for more information.
Stay tuned.  I've got some short films that I'll be working on over the next several weeks.

In Beauty,


Creative Commons License
This work by Storm Cloud Media is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

[Rethinking] The need for making international trade non-critical to survival

The originating argument for having global inter-country trade was never about survival; the survival of each country was obviously presumed to be well taken care of by the natural  and human resources of that country by itself.

The rationale for the trade, then, was thriving. Getting that little extra. Making MORE wealth. Not surviving, but thriving. An add-on. A bonus. That's what trade was always supposed to be about.

If then we reach a point where this trading has become so interlocked and so inter-dependent that one domino falling risks the whole board,

If we have reached a point where SURVIVAL itself is threatened by unpredictability in what's happening outside the country, many times on the other side of the planet,

Then that means that the original rationale for having inter-country trade in the first place, has been violated. It has shifted from optional thriving to compulsory surviving.

And with this context in mind, people who say that we need the inter-country trading, FDI, derivatives trading, etc for the sake of our survival, "or else,,".. need to pipe down and remember what that trade was originally meant for. When a pundit regurgitates the "wisdom" that international trade is crucial for everybody's survival, we need to think critically and not accept that rhetoric. A system that is SO prone to collapse, where it's acceptable to send one or two countries down the tube and cause immense suffering, and also to risk the planet's biosphere itself but the trading and economic order is supposed to be sacrosanct, where one country depends on the other guys buying their stuff for survival : is simply not sustainable and is inherently programmed for inevitable collapse.

We need to work towards an international trading system that, while not turning its back to trading and exchange entirely, does stay loyal to the original pact and where each country's for-survival needs are met in-house. Trade internationally for thriving, for the bonus, for the add-on. Not for survival. And don't lose your survival mechanism in the blind dash for the add-on.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

[Rethinking] assumptions underlying the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Hi friends,

Here is a collection of articles that question the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and challenge the SDGs' core assumption that infinite material growth on an already over-exploited finite planet is the only way to tackle global poverty, by bringing back the context in which poverty has come about : it is not a naturally occurring phenomenon like some disease to be eradicated, but a result of historic injustices, unfair debts (and continuing interest payments from poor countries to rich!), unfair trade practices and a rigged global economic system that is in operation since at least 4 centuries. Also challenging the assumption that only materialistic over-consumption can give a happy and healthy life.

The links below are from some excellent alternative news sources, so to everyone who's been asking for them, do bookmark/subscribe to these sites. Many of them operate on volunteership or reader contributions

The problem of growth in the SDGs by Jason Hickel in The Guardian

The UNs sustainability plan is doomed - by Nafeez Ahmed on Motherboard

What if Everything the SDGs are premise on is just wrong - a reprint of the FastCo article by African Arguments 

5 Reasons to question the SDGs - a blog on the LSE site, also by Jason H

The UN mistakes the poison for the cure - a Conversation that picks up on our basic critique

Are the UN Sustainable Development Goals Doomed? - a write up of our analysis in Triple Pundit

We have also just started the release of a short series of blogs from NGO insiders - When It Clicked: Challenging the Narrative of International Development to help provide some "you are not alone" social proofing for other insiders. 

Thanks to Manish Jain, Shikshantar, Udaipur for sharing these.

An excerpt:
As Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying: "We cannot solve our problems with the same kinds of thinking that caused them." Unfortunately, by championing sustained economic growth as the path to sustainable development, the United Nations is committing precisely this error, mistaking the poison for the cure.

Another article, holding the SDGs in contrast with Pope Francis's encyclical :
The pope, by contrast, has struck at the systemic nature of the issue. "It cannot be emphasised enough how everything is connected," he says. "To seek only a technical remedy to each environmental problem which comes up is to separate what is in reality interconnected and to mask the true and deepest problems of the global system."
.. Thanks to Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune for sharing

If you are sharing any of these on social media, suggesting using these hashtags:

Why do we hate love-birds so?

Why do we hate love-birds so? Is it because we're afraid that if everyone finds salvation, a reason to live, and unity with the divine through each other then they'll stop giving power to the priestly classes?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Things that India needs for being a better democracy

Things that India needs for being a better democracy:

1. Jury in judiciary. We need juries in our courtrooms : Not just
judges. The British didn't install the function of a jury when they
created India's present court system, because they didn't want
citizens to decide anything. That reasoning is no longer valid. To
hammer in the irony, UK itself has jury in their court system! We need
to get back to honoring the authority of the group of anonymous

2. Petitions to create bills or call referendums : Figure out how many
people we need at municipal level, state level, national level. And
have a provision such that even if no lawmaker is bringing it, people
can force introductions of bills. And on decisions made by government,
a high enough number of people petitioning against it can force a
referendum on the issue.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Open questions for those looking for love

Open questions for those looking for love. These are some things I'm
asking myself right now.. sharing them with you.

1. What qualities would you look for in a potential girlfriend / boyfriend?

2. What qualities would you look for in a potential life partner?

3. Do your answers to questions 1 and 2 have consistency between them?

4. Which qualities are you attracted to in a girlfriend / boyfriend,
which you definitely do NOT want your life partner to have? Why?

5. How have popular entertainment, peer group, family values,
experiences in failed relationships, others' experiences etc shaped
your desires regarding both questions 1 and 2? Which has been more

6. As long as the answer to question 4 is non-zero, do you think
you're going to have success in converting short term romance to long
term life partnership?

(Disclaimer: This questionnaire is not for those who aren't looking for love)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Examples of informal conversations on networks

Examples of informal chit chat!
I was doing some free-writing and trying to brainstorm all the kinds of stuff that might be shared on a more formal network that go off-topic but which are still important for building a local community. So here!

  1. Urgently required B+ donor, contact XYZ, 99xxxxx at Sancheti Hospital. #ICanSaveLife
  2. Hi friends, we're organizing a trek to Sinhgad next weekend. Would anyone like to join...
  3. Play-date! We're 6 kids meeting up at Empress Gardens this Sunday, contact if your kids would like to join..
  4. Hi friends, I need help in choosing the best laptop buy for my cousin who's starting second year at XYZ college...
  5. Invitation to event that has something to do with social causes but the exact potential of open data in this is a bit fuzzy right now. Ex: Invitation to plantation drive...
  6. Thought for the day : "It's not about .... It's about ..."
  7. [DMer from another city] Friends, looking for accommodation for 2 nights, I'm attending a training in your city...
  8. Does anybody have all the episodes of Full Metal Alchemist : Brotherhood...
  9. Riddle: What did the open data enthusiast say to the...
  10. Does anybody know a good but cheap carpenter in Kondhwa area? For making...
  11. Where in Baner area can I find trusted organic vegetables and fruits at economical rate, I don't care about USDA certification or anything like that...
  12. FYI, List of toll-free numbers for basic services in Pune: ....
  13. Looking for room mate... Looking for PG accommodation...
  14. Can someone help me with bus routes, I want to get from X to Y...
  15. Hi All. Sharing my two cents on the ongoing XYZ political debate right now. Do read and let me know your thoughts on the matter. http://...

on Transportation, cycling

From Vinay Nair, shared over Vikal Sangam mailing list. Check out the links.. amazing resources and some very surprising truths

Perhaps this is an opportunity to begin to talk about cycling as a healthier and a more socially & environmentally responsible form of personal transport, and wonder why cyclists are treated as second-class citizens in this country?


Electric carts may well be a viable short-term solution, especially for school-going kids, but it side-steps fundamental flaws in city design. At present Indian cities are far too car-centric with infrastructure projects focused on road-widening (that eat into walkways) or building flyovers. There is no evidence that flyovers actually reduce congestion over the medium-to-long term because 1)they do no accommodate for sheer number of cars on roads and 2)they also fail to consider yearly car sales in a society drenched with car commercials. In the outer suburbs of Bangalore such as Whitefield for example, new building projects are 1000-home apartment complexes that will add at least 700 new cars as new middle and upper middle-class tenants move in. 700 new cars in a neighbourhood that is already creaking is no small number. And that is from just one single apartment complex.


Talk of massive investments in public transportation such as a metro network usually begins when a city is saturated with cars and wants to shift some of that away. But again, as with flyovers, nobody knows at what number that some becomes sufficient to reduce congestion. The Delhi metro is generally put up as the shining example of a modern efficient system that connects all of the city's corners and transports huge amounts of people every day. And for the most part, it is. Yet Delhi's roads are still as clogged as ever and its air is one of the most polluted in the country. Why? Because nobody thought of thinking how many people would choose to drive anyway.


Flyovers, metros and even electric vehicles are classic examples of the technocratic mindset - to invent itself out of problems in the short term. Whichever way we toss and turn it, a car-centric city either has to add more concrete to itself or spread out in search of new land, or both. And we are yet to consider the impact on rural areas where that concrete is found at the expense of forests, agriculture, people etc ..


But this is Vikalp Sangam and what can we do about it? How do we end our love affair with the automobile? How do we make cycling or walking to work or school safe, and more pleasant given our climate? Clearly there are two aspects to it - the technical and the psychological. I believe the technical bit is the easy bit, and that the real challenge lies in people's perceptions on cars, walking, cycling, and modernity.


Some links that document how change was brought to the Netherlands and why myths and perceptions are important (the website is a fantastic resource):


http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/search/label/beforeandafter (before and after conditions in cities after shifts in policy)


http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/all-those-myths-and-excuses-in-one-post.html (myths and excuses about cycling)


http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/who-cycles-in-netherlands.html (can children and old people cycle?)



http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2013/08/this-is-your-stop-child-murder-moment.html (child safety)

And finally something funny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W-3Mnu3Ovo

These are from the west, and undoubtedly for India, solutions will have to be tailored. But I think the lessons and the principles are essentially the same.


Who’s developing who? Open letter to UN

Sign the Open Letter.
View this email in your browser

Hi Nikhil,

With one week to go before the UN Summit in New York to formally sign the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it's more important than ever to let them know that they won't end global poverty by 2030, because they can't.

Global leaders and institutions have prioritised economic growth at all costs and a few technical fixes like mosquito nets for decades, but today a full 60% of humanity are impoverished - the environment is being destroyed, and only the rich are getting richer.

To tell the UN that their plans do not represent the best interests of the world's majority we need to ramp up our efforts while they are under the media spotlight – spreading the word as far and wide as possible to demand other ways of thinking beyond business as usual.

Let the UN know we want answers by joining Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and Anuradha Mittal in signing an open letter to the UN and global decision makers before 20th September, which will be published shortly before the summit.


If enough of us sign this letter, our powerful words will be read by Heads of State and be heard and retold by the world's media – forcing our leaders to address the real issues of income inequality and endless material growth.

Everyone loves the idea of a world without poverty, but what the UN is proposing for the next 15 years with their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can't work. We know this because between 1990 and 2010 global GDP increased by 217%, but the number of people living in hunger and poverty actually increased.

It is possible to overcome poverty in a way that respects the Earth and helps tackle climate change. The planet is abundant and its people infinitely resourceful. In order to do so, however, we must be prepared to challenge the logic of endless growth, greed and destruction that defines neoliberal capitalism.

It is a time for a new global system, based on social justice and harmony with the natural world. As they currently stand, the SDGs simply distract us from making plans that will truly address the scale of the challenges we face.

Join us in signing this letter as a community before 20th September, so that together with international experts on development; our voices will be heard at the heart of the UN. Tell world leaders we want answers to some BIG questions:

  1. How is poverty created?
  2. Why is growth the only answer?
  3. Who's developing who?



/The Rules team

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