Friday, December 27, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Reasons to not use PDF

I'm sharing my experiences with PDF till now.
1. I would recommend formats like epub or txt or docx or odf or just
an 'offlined' html (without the excessive supporting files that a
normal browser Save creates). The pdfs become closed fortresses;
they're good for printing and protecting, for saving to print later;
not for reading and sharing.
2. We can't read them properly on a phone (have to drag left and right
all the time to read sentences). And some kinds of phones can't open
them whereas text files they can.
3. On a new computer and some makes of android devices, you have to
install software to run a pdf; and Adobe which really infests the
system with background updaters is the most prominent one available
(don't expect our target audiences to know about alternative
4. They usually weigh more than the same content would in other formats.
5. The content in them can't be efficiently copied over to quote in
papers and excerpts. We want the content to be open, not closed. I'd
love to see college students copy-pasting from the stuff I'm sharing
and mixing them into their papers and submissions. I want to enable
synthesis here.
6. They're not machine-friendly, so programs can't index them or
extract useful information from them. This is why Project Gutenberg
(largest repository of ebooks in open domain) insists on using simple
text files instead of pdfs. Content going into pdfs is more likely to
be forgotten and lost as compared to other formats.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The invisible religions causing the real harm

There's something I'd like to share regarding organized religions and
the resistance to their domination.
There are some religions that I've noticed only recently, which have
silently taken hold everywhere while making sure that they are not
referred to as religions. Upon some inspection I'm finding them fitting
all the attributes about organized religion that even I stand against.
Mind, I'm not going to slot myself in any box of pro or against
religion; that's another matter.

Coming back to these religions, The alarming thing I'm finding is that
even among people who have since long declared themselves to be free of
any religion, who have spent years advocating against invasion into
people's lives and taking away of human rights on the basis of religion,
I'm finding unquestioned acceptance and loyalty to these religions.
Through their actions, many otherwise very nice people are become
unconscious participants in forcing many fellow humans into
indoctrination into these religions.

This has led me to conclude that these invisible religions are far more
sinister, far more dangerous than Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jewism
and others that have become the favorite blame-target of many
discourses. At many places, I'm finding that even some evils commonly
attributed to the declared religions (like causing wars, for example)
are originally coming from these invisible religions. And by
misdirecting the blame, we're making the invisible religions even more
powerful, all-encompassing while wrongly framing groups of people who
have nothing to do with the evils.

One of those religions is money (in its current form). Another is
compulsory education. And they're both intricately linked to each
other, so they're more like different facets of the same thing.

Why do I think of these as religions? Let me show:

Money is accepted as universally essential for everything. And yet we
don't question or understand properly exactly how it is made, where it's
coming from. At the very root of the chain, there's outright magic
happening (Fed Reserve creates money out of thin air upon creation of a
loan), and even down the chain it doesn't follow any realistic laws
(fractional reserve banking system)

There is a priest-class that creates the money and keeps it going. They
make the rules regarding money, apply them differently to the 'junta'
and differently to themselves... ordinary people can be punished
ruthlessly for violating them whereas those in the order get plenty of
leeway (ex:bank bailouts). They do everything to make sure everyone gets
more and more dependent on this religion. Anyone who tries to make do
without adhering to this religion, is liable to be outcasted and even
attacked and made to comply.

Education is declared and supposed to be accepted as an essential. The
theoretical potential, which practically can never been achieved, is
used to justify the most oppressive conditions. The promise of a
glittering future (structurally designed to be rewarded to less than 1%
of the population) is used to justify destroying the present of the most
vulnerable sections of the population (the children!). Again, those who
oppose it are outcasted and liable to vehement ridicule by all those
around them. Government assistance in certain areas is not extended to
those who do not follow this religion. It is intolerant of non-believers
and declares them inferior, in need of intervention. The priest class
here, ridicules anyone from outside the establishment who dares to
challenge the status quo.

Both money and education seek to separate people from nature. Both are
inherently artificial and do not have much basis in the real world. They
use arbitrary numbers and symbols (GDP and grades, degrees) which have
no real limits, and anything is fair in their pursuit, even wars that
devastate whole countries. Both have proved by now that following them
leads to degradation of society, yet they keep demanding fealty with the
promise of a glorious future.

Both money and education, as they exist today, are well organized. Even
if some components are officially independent of each other, they share
reverance to the same edicts and regulate each other to maintain the
status quo. They have definite origins that can be traced back to
imposition and propaganda by elites. They did not emerge from the
people; they are here not by accident but by design.

We can go on and on, but basically I hope that when we do talk about the
harmful effects of religions, these invisible religions also get taken
into account. Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jewism, etc... these are
not playing the major role in causing the major problems of the world
today. It is the invisible religions we should be taking a stand
against. I invite all atheists and those opposed to religious harm, to
introspect and find the hidden religions they're unknowingly following.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Art of Distraction

The Art of Distraction : Manufacture a crisis that's so obviously
against-the-best-interests-of-the-people, such a no-brainer, that's so
in the open, so plainly ain't-gonna-happen, that the nation's attention
is totally fixed there for weeks; meanwhile you can quietly do anything
else : pass draconian laws, bury other happenings, let the outrage over
other scandals die down, get rid of evidences and get clean away while
the people are focused on something else.

So let's see what the Indian govt secretly does on the side while the
media is blanketing us with supreme court verdicts on matters that are
nobody's business.

Greed - a natural consequence of Scarcity

Excerpt from Charles Eisenstein's book "Sacred Economics", CHAPTER 2 : THE ILLUSION OF SCARCITY

Greed makes sense in a context of scarcity. Our reigning ideology assumes it: it is built in to our Story of Self. The separate self in a universe governed by hostile or indifferent forces is always at the edge of extinction, and secure only to the extent that it can control these forces. Cast into an objective universe external to ourselves, we must compete with each other for limited resources. Based on the story of the separate self, both biology and economics have therefore written greed into their basic axioms. In biology it is the gene seeking to maximize reproductive self-interest; in economics it is the rational actor seeking to maximize financial self-interest. But what if the assumption of scarcity is false—a projection of our ideology, and not the ultimate reality? If so, then greed is not written into our biology but is a mere symptom of the perception of scarcity.

An indication that greed reflects the perception rather than the reality of scarcity is that rich people tend to be less generous than poor people. In my experience, poor people quite often lend or give each other small sums that, proportionally speaking, would be the equivalent of half a rich person’s net worth. Extensive research backs up this observation. A large 2002 survey by Independent Sector, a nonprofit research organization, found that Americans making less than $25,000 gave 4.2 percent of their income to charity, as opposed to 2.7 percent for people making over $100,000. More recently, Paul Piff, a social psychologist at University of California–Berkeley, found that “lower-income people were more generous, charitable, trusting and helpful to others than were those with more wealth.” Piff found that when research subjects were given money to anonymously distribute between themselves and a partner (who would never know their identity), their generosity correlated inversely to their socioeconomic status.

While it is tempting to conclude from this that greedy people become wealthy, an equally plausible interpretation is that wealth makes people greedy. Why would this be? In a context of abundance greed is silly; only in a context of scarcity is it rational. The wealthy perceive scarcity where there is none. They also worry more than anybody else about money. Could it be that money itself causes the perception of scarcity? Could it be that money, nearly synonymous with security, ironically brings the opposite? The answer to both these questions is yes. On the individual level, rich people have a lot more “invested” in their money and are less able to let go of it. (To let go easily reflects an attitude of abundance.) On the systemic level, as we shall see, scarcity is also built in to money, a direct result of the way it is created and circulated.

The assumption of scarcity is one of the two central axioms of economics. (The second is that people naturally seek to maximize their rational self-interest.) Both are false; or, more precisely, they are true only within a narrow realm, a realm that we, the frog at the bottom of the well, mistake for the whole of reality. As is so often the case, what we take to be objective truth is actually a projection of our own condition onto the “objective” world. So immersed in scarcity are we that we take it to be the nature of reality. But in fact, we live in a world of abundance. The omnipresent scarcity we experience is an artifact: of our money system, of our politics, and of our perceptions.

Obviously there's a lot before and after this that will answer most doubts that may come up. I recommend you read the book.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Man in Africa who recovered from AIDS using an "orgone zapper"

Excerpt from an ebook shared on

In recent months the case of Mr Nathan Kagina has created some excitement in Uganda. He was on the brink of dying from AIDS when he started using an orgone zapper (a Don Croft Terminator). Within 6 weeks, he had recovered completely and is now responding to blood tests as HIV negative. His case was published in all major Ugandan newspapers, and has led the Health Department to acknowledging the zapper as a legitimate treatment for HIV/AIDS. Nathan Kagina is a Ugandan citizen who recovered completely from full blown AIDS, using one of our zappers. Here is his story:

Yes, I am Nathan Kagina and I did promote the Terminator on National T.V., Radio, and Newspapers [here in my home country of Uganda]. The response and requests for more information and availability is overwhelming. Uganda has a population of about 30 million people and 20% are now living with HIV/AIDS and need this treatment. The government chemist, Minister of Health, Dr Grace Nambatya Kyeyune, has now included the ZAPPER for HIV treatment in Uganda, officially, on the basis of my own research, testimony and case study.

The Zapper is amazingly the most important scientific discovery since the Atomic Bomb but based on laws of magnetism.

In just six months of using the Zapper my viral load fell from millions per sample to an undetectable level.

This is bad news for the drug cartel and good news for millions living with HIV/AIDS, world-wide.

Thank you for your quick response and for your offer to give me a couple of Terminators.

Attached, find photos taken on the point of death (a memory photo with my wife and children) then the second photograph, after recovery.
Thank you DON for saving my life!.
Kind regards,
Mr Nathan Kagina, P.O. Box 16264
Kampala, Uganda
Email: nathan_kagina [at]
Tele: +256782690197 "

So, invitations to the skeptics out there to cross-check this. I've been looking into this more than just this case and have made my decisions on what to believe and what not to.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Questions about CNG

Comment on

Thank you for this article. I'd like to point out an observation : I
fear that this article carries in it an unexamined assumption that there
is infinite amount of CNG available without any cost or hazard. I
request that you also bring in an analysis of where the CNG is coming
from. It's natural gas.

How is it extracted?

If I'm seeing widespread protests in the world's most industrialized
countries against natural gas extraction through fracking; if they don't
have the technology to do it cleanly and without tremendous damage, then
what are we doing?

What happens to stored CNG when a natural or manmade disaster strikes?

Is India's infrastructure more advanced than theirs, or China's where a
massive natural gas pipe explosion killed scores of people in a city

CNG is a fossil fuel, and using isn't doing anything to repair the
dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere. Are we solving the problem or are we
exchanging one problem with another?

Truth of Gujarat

Good Site!

From subject-ship to citizenship

Really liked this article.

"If you ask me for an overall caption for the AAP movement, it would be,
from subject-ship to citizenship. People who think they can demand
things of their rulers, people who believe they have certain rights, who
are not becharaas (the helpless) who are not to be taken for granted,
and that the rulers are not mai-baap. And that's a very major transition."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Unexamined assumptions behind UID

I feel that there are some unexamined assumptions behind the whole citizen ID card thing.

One is that the top decision makers in government and the govt machinery are foolproof, infallible people who will never betray their citizens for their personal advantage.

Another is that the way to solve the problems of the day is by having maximum control over everything... by id'ing, tracking everything and everyone, and that we all need a perfect someone on top to keep a close watch over everything.

And yet another assumption is that the problems facing society originate from the population at large and particularly from those at the bottom of the societal/financial pyramid; and not from the elites and rulers at the top of the pyramid. We feel that all the poverty, hunger, deaths, child malnutrition, separation, pollution, disempowerment, discrimination, negativity etc is because of those sneaky people running away from unforgiving debt or fleeing persecution because of sexual orientation or life partner choices or being evicted out of their ancestral lands.... we think these people on the fringes of our society have no right to be burdening our infrastructure and clogging our welfare services. So they're the problem and they should all be tracked, ID'd, denied any basic human dignity because they can't prove that they're one of us, criminalized for not being "proper", and stamped out.

And then again... we make the assumption that finally we'll be able to devise a heavy, sophisticated system that will be able to ensure that despite having unlimited funds, extensive mafia links and questionable ties with the ruling elites of our society who are running this system, no "terrorist" can manage to fake his way through.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Surprising Healing Qualities of Dirt

Here's something I'm reading which I'm personally experiencing as well recently:

The Surprising Healing Qualities ... of Dirt

A doctor discovers exposure to healthy farm soil holds keys to healthy bodies

Some excerpts:
While soil scientists are busy documenting these soil-to-food links, immunologists and allergists in Europe are working above ground to uncover another intriguing soil-health connection, the so-called "farm effect." Why is it that children raised on ecologically managed farms in Central Europe have much lower rates of allergy and asthma than urban children or those raised on industrialized farms? Once again, almost everything points to microbes—in manure, in unpasteurized milk, in stable dust, on unwashed food and, yes, in the soil. In one study, researchers cultured farm children's mattresses and found a potpourri of bacteria—most of which are typically found in soil."
But what if our own immune cells are simply a backup mechanism to a more sophisticated first line of defense—our resident microbes?
And what if a healthy and diverse soil microbiome can foster a more diverse and protective human microbiome?"
"A group of French microbiologists were among the first to document this game of pass-the-gene when they identified the exact same sequence of DNA in two different Bacteroidetes bacteria species, one living on seaweed and the other in the intestines of Japanese people. They concluded that the marine bacteria had hitchhiked their way into the human gut via sushi and other seaweed dishes and passed their seaweed-digesting DNA on to resident microbes of the human host. The end result of this exchange is that many Japanese—and possibly people from other seaweed-eating cultures—have acquired a greater ability than the rest of us to extract valuable nutrients from their nori."
"Thinking of a healthy body as an extension of a healthy farm, and vice versa, is a paradigm shift for many of us. But when we consider that all of our cells get their building blocks from plants and soil then, suddenly, it all makes sense. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say: We are soil."

Nelson Mandela quotes that you won't find in mainstream media

  1. "A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens."
  2. "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings."
  3. "The current world financial crisis also starkly reminds us that many of the concepts that guided our sense of how the world and its affairs are best ordered, have suddenly been shown to be wanting.”
  4. "Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality. He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry."
  5. "There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like."
  6. “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
  7. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
  8. “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
  9. “No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.”
  10. "If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers."
  11. “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
  12. On Gandhi: "From his understanding of wealth and poverty came his understanding of labor and capital, which led him to the solution of trusteeship based on the belief that there is no private ownership of capital; it is given in trust for redistribution and equalization. Similarly, while recognizing differential aptitudes and talents, he holds that these are gifts from God to be used for the collective good."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The project in teaching that I wasn't able to do

Sharing a part of an email to a friend. TFI stands for Teach for India :
an educational NGO that I worked with in 2011-12 and where I publicly
walked out of in protest.. that's another story.

What you mentioned... " TFI classrooms to have absolute autonomy in
their curriculum, evaluation, instruction"...well well!
Long before my walkng-out, this is exactly what I had proposed to Pune
city team one month into my Fellowship when I was pulled up and
reprimanded for my poor performance. I shared with them Astra taylor's
talk on unschooled life and some other resources I'd found, and gave
them a challenge that for the next 2 units (ie, 3 months), I wanted
complete autonomy and freedom from TFI, esp the weekly testing ,
tracking regime. In exchange I offered that I won't take any salary or
reimbursements for the next 3 months. That way if I screwed up, TFI
could simply end my fellowship, say I wasn't even with them for last 3
months, and wash their hands off the case.

I challenged them that after that period they do their assessments and
see how far the kids have come. My plan (only in vague form in my head
at the time) was to let the class be, and using the free time gained
from not having to do so much deliverables after school, and the energy
gained from not having to control the classroom during school, I'd do
one-on-one or one-on-two tutoring with each kid after school hours. I'd
found that I could easily help them master an entire week's or more of
maths/english lessons in an hour when working with them alone, but this
worked only when I didn't have any other workload.

Naturally, the proposal was immediately shot down, ridiculed, with the
logical argument that I had no right to play around with the children's
futures (apparently they held the monopoly on that). My failures to
prove effectiveness in following their system so far were used to assume
I wouldn't succeed even in my own. In hindsight I think I'd have
probably failed to prove anything (because our systems used to measure
the learning of the children were themselves flawed), but I really
wanted the kids and myself to get a breather from the onslaught and
wanted to see how they can develop if allowed to talk and interact with
each other all day.

Why am I sharing this? Because I'm quite sure a LOT of teachers out
there have considered this and are too afraid to talk about it out of
fear of being ridiculed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decentralized communication network network
Hoping something like this project really comes about soon!

Commotion is an open-source communication tool that uses mobile phones, computers, and
other wireless devices to create
decentralized mesh networks.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The decline of empathy

Haven't you noticed it too, in your college or workplace? If empathy is indeed what makes civilization, then clearly we're on the path of destroying it right now.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Assassinations of Indian nuclear scientists a smoking gun

Please read this article:

Some quick points from there: The following deaths have been branded
as accident or suicide and no further investigation has been done by
1. two high-ranking engineers—KK Josh and Abhish Shivam—on India's
first nuclear-powered submarine were found on railway tracks by
workers. They were pulled from the line before a train could crush
them, but were already dead. No marks were found on the bodies, so it
was clear they hadn't been hit by a moving train, and reports allege
they were poisoned elsewhere before being placed on the tracks to make
the deaths look either accidental or like a suicide.
2. When nuclear scientist Lokanathan Mahalingam's body turned up in
June of 2009, it was palmed off as a suicide and largely ignored by
the Indian media.
3. Five years earlier, in the same forest where Mahalingham's body was
eventually discovered, an armed group with sophisticated weaponry
allegedly tried to abduct an official from India's Nuclear Power
Corporation (NPC). He, however, managed to escape.
4. Another NPC employee, Ravi Mule, had been murdered weeks before,
with police failing to "make any headway" into his case and
effectively leaving his family to investigate the crime.
5. A couple of years later, in April of 2011, when the body of former
scientist Uma Rao was found, investigators ruled the death as suicide,
but family members contested the verdict, saying there had been no
signs that Rao was suicidal.
6. the case of M Iyer, who was found with internal haemorrhaging to
his skull—possibly the result of a "kinky experiment," according to a
police officer. After a preliminary look-in, the police couldn't work
out how Iyer had suffered internal injuries while not displaying any
cuts or bruises, and investigations fizzled out.

My thoughts on the case:

I think we're settling for a very low-brain-usage, quick-fix
resolution of the issue by blindly tagging the case with Indo-Pak

The writer has done a good job of bringing the mysteries together and
highlighting the facts that cleary point to a conspiracy; that there's
been a deliberate cover-up by the government to keep the people from
knowing that Indian nuclear scientists are being targeted and
assassinated. But I feel he doesn't delve deep enough into finding out
or even pointing at the why's.

The motive behind killing someone who's not famous on the national
scene or who doesn't hold a critical military or governmental
position, but is privy to high-level technical information, is not to
pave way for war or not to destabilize the country. The country
should, but couldn't care less.

The motive behind such kinds of killings is to hide something that
hasn't come out into the spotlight yet; to prevent it from catching
too many people's attention. And because this is targeted at a small
group of professionals : Indian nuclear scientists, these killings
serve to silence everyone in the whole group through fear of being
"next". The absense of any real official investigation into the
killings, the callous dismissals by the government, serves to tell
them that their own government is complicit and no one is going to
protect them.

In such a situation it becomes the duty of the people from whom
certain truths are being kept away, to reach out and uncover those
truths. The best way to defeat these malicious elements doing the
killings, is to bring out the things that they've been so desperately
trying to hide : To make them fail in their mission.

So, let me set out my theories.
I think that this is not about nuclear weapons.
It's about nuclear energy. It's about the nuclear power stations that
the Indian govt is setting up, in ways that violate most international
nuclear regulatory safeguards.

The primary element of the Indo-US nuclear deal was the zero-liability
arrangement, under which in the event of something going disastrously
wrong, the companies making and operating the power plants cannot be
held reliable. This was the critical and most hotly debated element :
without this, there's no deal.

To bring this arrangement into perspective, recall the Bhopal gas leak
disaster : the deadliest industrial accident in recorded human
history. Today we have extensive coverage in the media and civil
society and public discourse about how the Indian govt has failed to
bring the people who caused this disaster to justice, and how the
companies who caused this, who willingly neglected safety have
treated Indians like expendable trash and refused to give any
compensation whatsoever to the victims despite the fact that they make
billions in profits each year.

If a zero-liability arrangement had been legislated to cover chemical
factories prior to the disaster, it would have been ILLEGAL for India
or Indians or any civil society group representing the kin of the
people who died or were injured, to get either justice or compensation
for the Bhopal gas tragedy. No matter how clearly the case may point
to responsibility for such an accident on the people who own and
operate the plants and who profit from cutting costs on safety
measures, we will be legally prevented from pursuing justice or
accountability. The owners can be as irresponsible as they want and
just leave when things go wrong, leaving us to clean up any mess they

Now, there's been an overdrive from the Indian govt and nuclear
establishment to repeatedly convince the people that the nuclear power
plants are going to be super-duper safe, that there is absolutely no
possibility of anything going wrong. There are several nuclear
scientists going all around the place emphasizing this. They've even
roped in India's rocket scientist, APJ Abdul Kalam, to certify that
it's all good. With all due respect, APJ is no longer in a technical
capacity to be saying anything about this subject. There are several
scholars and researchers and scientists from all around the world
opposing nuclear who know much more about the industry than he does.
But keeping that aside, I think it's clear that there is a consistent,
full-on campaign to convince the public that these power stations are
going to be as solid as a rock and are no threat to the public.

So, just contrast the zero-liability arangement with the safety
assurances. If nuclear power was as safe as is being campaigned, why
would a zero-liability arangement be needed? Let's bring this down to
a tangible level:
Would you buy a house if the guy you're paying to build it, it puts a
zero-liability condition on it? No. There can be no safety without
responsibility. For the house, you might be able to use an insurance
cover. But there is no insurance company in the world that is ready to
cover the Koodankulam, Jaitapur and other nuclear power plants being
set up in India. The Koodankulam reactor has 30 million people living
in its immediate risk zone. This is why the zero-liability arrangement
was needed. Because for them this is serious, they have taken the
trouble of really assessing the risks involved and have come to a
conclusion that they will lose all their money if they cover these
projects. An insurance company wouldn't give you accident insurance
cover for your car if they were certain that you cannot be trusted to
drive it safely and there is a high chance that you'll have an
accident. I would like to allege that it's been a similar case with
the nuclear power plants. With this in mind, all the public
reassurances fall flat. They can talk safety all they like and make
all kinds of castles in the air : if they're not taking responsibilty,
if it's not backed up with solid actions and legally bound guarantees,
they're as good as lying. Abdul Kalam isn't going to do squat if
Koodankulam blows up and kills over 30 million people while
irradiating the Bay of Bengal and destroying fisheries-dependent food
security of most of South-East Asia.

There's been very little to no opposition to these projects heard from
the Indian nuclear scientist community. The ones who are expressing
concerns, are being not-published by the media and being ridiculed,
yes, but even among the civil society networks there are few to no
nuclear scientists coming out in opposition to nuclear power. What do
the people make of this? Simple. These guys are THE guys who would
know, for sure, if a nuclear power plant being set up in my country
poses any risk. Since there are quite a number of them coming out in
support of nuclear power, and so few to none coming out in opposition,
the average person can hence assume that the opposition to nuclear
power is unjustified and that the grassroots movements and civil
society organisations protesting, don't know what they're doing and
should not be supported.

This is where the assassinations of Indian nuclear scientists comes
into the picture and serves as a smoking gun. What if the reason why
we're not hearing any objections from the scientists is because of the
assassinations, because the ones who are still alive and know some
inconvenient truths have been intimidated into not telling the people?
What if the truth that is being prevented from getting out, is that
all the assurances being made on safety and no-risk of nuclear power,
are false? The fact that there are targeted killings happening in this
crucial group throws into question any official statements coming out
of this group. The truth is more likely to be the opposite of what the
status quo is asserting.

Further reading:

Condition of Tribal areas prior to onset of modern development

I'm copy-pasting this from an email from another person: I think the
content is important to note here:

My association with ecology and human community-cultures developed
rather accidentally over 30 years ago when I reached Bastar in the
course of my work and wanderings with some Gandhians, many of whom I
still fondly remember and admire. Once in Bastar, I got into
field-research project (1980-85) in Abujhmad region of Bastar on the
thematic of Adivasi world view and the modern world. Spread over 4000
sq kms of, at places, impenetrable vegetation and with a somewhat
stable population of 13000, Abujhmad is the 'back of beyond' in
Bastar. It had had little or no contact with the outside world. More
interior villages as Ehnaar had never known the impact of wheels. The
small community lived on food gathering and hunting, with shifting
cultivation as a supplement. In a somewhat primeval stage it had
neither trade, nor industry, livelihood, occupation or other modern
apparatus. But neither was there hunger, starvation, beggary or
lingering disease.

There are big promises by development agencies and governments to make
people's lives better by bringing in modern infrastructure, commerce,
education, modern amenities etc to places that didn't have them. But
there is, till date, not a single "modern" system that has clearly
been able to provide to its people a system where there is no hunger,
starvation, beggary or lingering disease. When we talk about
modernization today, we are destroying thousands-year-old systems that
were delivering on these, and replacing them with systems that have
repeatedly failed the people AND harmed the environment which our
future generations need.

Here is my assertion: All that glitters is not high-tech; just because
something is new doesn't make it better. We are imposing inferior,
immature, unsustainable and self-destructive technologies upon people
who don't want or need them. Our high-tech gadgetry, our technology,
our chips and wires and wireless... is all INFERIOR to the natural
systems. Not superior; inferior. For the simple fact that it's all so
pathetically dependent, wasteful, non-regenerative,
non-self-sustainable and it has no future once certain limited
resources run out. We have taken shortcuts to accomplish things, and
those shortcuts are at too high a cost to be used again and again. We
are using inferior technology. We have a long way to go still in
developing it further. There is no reason to impose an inferior
technology on anyone; it will only cause more damage.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How non-hierarchical and consensus-based structures worked to pull off the largest civil protests in history

This article explains in-depth what led to some of the largest citizens protests witnessed in history, which happened in Brazil earlier this year.

Some of the findings should come as a surprise to those that think that consensus-based decision-making, and non-hierarchical structures cannot achieve anything.

An excerpt:
One hundred sixty activists from 13 collectives participated in the gathering, formulating a federal structure based on the principles of horizontalism, autonomy, independence and decision-making by consensus. They agreed to set up working groups based around communication, organization and legal support as well as a study group on transportation issues. Among the attendees was the engineer Lúcio Gregori, Secretary of Transport in São Paulo from 1990 to 1992 in the municipal administration of the then militant Worker's Party leader Luiza Erundina. Gregori held the view that transport should be a public service and therefore free. He argued that from the moment a fare is charged, a mechanism is established to divide those who can use it and those who can not, and therefore, the imposition of a fare represents the privatization of something that is common to all, public transport. He pointed out that just as health and education are free public services, so too the costs of transportation should be borne by those who benefit from the service, "the ruling class which needs public transport for employees to get to the workplace."

Kimberly Rivera's story : being punished for acting on conscience

This story form IVAW, Iraq Veterans Against the War, comes as a stark reminder that I must not associate the evils of the military-industrial complex with the people it exploits to get its job done. It also brings out the culture of abuse and injustice... the institutional violence inherent in the way governments operate today.

Kimberly Rivera chose to join the Army when her job at Walmart failed to provide enough income to cover her family's basic needs. "I still felt like a 24-year-old loser because our jobs were not paying the bills for the apartment, food, car, car insurance, health insurance, and credit card bills."

The Army offered job security, sign-on bonuses, a food and clothing allowance, medical benefits, housing allowance, "Everything I needed, they had," she said in a 2007 interview with Courage to Resist.

Multi-billion dollar corporations are continually increasing the gap between rich and poor. Their CEOs salaries continue to grow while worker's wages remain stagnant. Poverty is one of the biggest contributors to military recruitment - nearly half of all military recruits come from lower-middle-class to poor households. The conditions created by corporations like Walmart make it nearly impossible for people to find employment options that are more appealing than the military.

Kimberly was called upon to deploy to Iraq in 2006. She witnessed injustice and violence waged against ordinary people and it was more than she could bear.

In January 2007, upon returning to the US on leave from her deployment, Kimberly and her family made the difficult decision to flee to Canada and refuse participation in an unjust war of choice.

Last year, Kimberly and her family were deported from Canada. She was tried by court martial and sentenced to 14 months in prison. 

This Thanksgiving while Walmart executives prepare to get richer, workers are being asked to leave their families over the holiday weekend to provide the necessary labor for an unfair wage, and Kimberly Rivera is in jail, preparing to deliver her baby. She is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and has applied for clemency - if denied, she will have her baby in prison and be forced to immediately relinquish custody.

A message from IVAW:

Stop giving your money to corporations who perpetuate militarism by keeping their workers poor. Instead, help fund social change. Consider participating in #GivingTuesday by making a donation to IVAW on Tuesday, December 3.

Inline image 1

Take Action to Support Kimberly Rivera

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cowardice of objective reporting, legal protests

Excerpted from an amazing website that I've just come across,
And, of course, I fully endorsed the opinions expressed below.
I also liked the idea of giving a lot of interesting links all together in a "links of the month" article. Want to try it sometime.

Greenwald and Hersh Take Aim at the Once-Respectable NYT: Glenn Greenwald, perhaps the best hope for the revival of true journalism in Western society, responds brilliantly to NYT Bill Keller's pathetic defence of that newspaper's disgraceful and subservient reporting of the Iraq war, Wikileaks, NSA surveillance, and more. Excerpt:

But [the NYT and other mainstream newspapers have] produced lots of atrocious journalism and some toxic habits that are weakening the profession. A journalist who is petrified of appearing to express any opinions will often steer clear of declarative sentences about what is true, opting instead for a cowardly and unhelpful "here's-what-both-sides-say-and-I-won't-resolve-the-conflicts" formulation. That rewards dishonesty on the part of political and corporate officials who know they can rely on "objective" reporters to amplify their falsehoods without challenge (i.e., reporting is reduced to "X says Y" rather than "X says Y and that's false").

Worse still, this suffocating constraint on how reporters are permitted to express themselves produces a self-neutering form of journalism that becomes as ineffectual as it is boring. A failure to call torture "torture" because government officials demand that a more pleasant euphemism be used, or lazily equating a demonstrably true assertion with a demonstrably false one, drains journalism of its passion, vibrancy, vitality and soul.

Sy Hersh, investigative reporter extraordinaire and frequent New Yorker contributor, goes even further than Greenwald, describing the NYT and other mainstream media as "obsequious" cowards who dutifully report outrageous government lies as facts, and asserts that Obama is "even worse than Bush". And meanwhile, Tom Englehardt urges other whistleblowers to come forward despite the risks, echoing what I wrote prophetically in one of this blog's earliest articles way back in 2003.


An Open Letter to Peaceful Protesters: Bineshii explains that modern, banal, "legal" protest demonstrations accomplish nothing, and what is needed is a return to true non-violent direct action, which is inherently and increasingly not "legal". Thanks to Khelsilem Rivers for the link.

Could Community Meshes Survive Collapse, and Defeat the NSA?: Community mesh networks, communication co-ops that cut out the giant price-gouging (and surveillance-complicit) ISPs, work on the same principle as the Internet itself — decentralized and co-owned by users responsible only to their communities. Thanks to Generation Alpha for the link.

Non-profit Industrial complex

This video blows the whistle on big nonprofit foundations, funding,
etc. A lot of people who want to make a positive change in the world
are ending up becoming agents for these guys and then doing
whitewashing instead of actually addressing the core issues. There are
far better ways to do good things in this world; plundering Rs.1000
from the people and then making a big show of returning Rs.1 isn't
really the best option.

This does NOT mean all of the funders or NGOs out there are bad; it
only means we have to exercise responsibility and find out where the
money's coming from; and what are the strings attached. Instead of
looking for corporate-style reports and efficiency and hi-fi facades,
you have to switch over to looking for autonomy of the people you want
to assist or work with; you have to look for the personal connections.

This should also answer a question a friend of mine had asked me in
exasperation, "If there are so many NGOs and social workers
everywhere, why are there still bad things happening?" There is a
lapse in the way we connect these things.


Here's a comment I posted on the video page:
Thanks for putting this out so clearly. An educational NGO I worked
with, and publicly walked out of in a year, fits exactly this
description of non-profit industrialists. They exploited my will to do
something good for society and channeled it into something that would
only strengthen the status quo. So many wonderful people I know are
trapped inside such situations. NGOs in India are becoming careers
now, with huge salaries being given to the management and the internal
structure mirroring those of corporates. At the same time there are
wonderful grassroots, seemingly "unprofessional" orgs doing really
good work. Look for autonomy from funders in the organization you want
to assist or join; and always keep the larger picture in mind.

Further Reading:
This book explained some intricate parts about professional workforces
and how the structure of it precipitates some pretty nasty things:
Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmitt

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Call For a Crowdsourced Worldwide Wave of Action
Posted on November 17, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog

Preface: This new message from Anonymous was emailed to us.

The modern paradigm may still seem insurmountable "because it
possesses an outward front, the work of a long past, but is in reality
an edifice crumbling to ruin and destined to fall in at the first
 – Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

The decentralized movement toward freedom is raging across the world.
It cannot be stopped. The tipping point is near. Despite the lack of
coverage in the mainstream media, actions are springing up on an
increasing basis. A wave of transformation is rising. The zeitgeist is
shifting in our direction.

At this point, given all the nonviolent direct actions that are
currently being planned, it makes strategic sense for us to organize
them, in a decentralized way, in a way that the mainstream media
cannot ignore. A slightly more coordinated approach is all it will

The Awakening Wave

The last time we all rallied together in a loosely knit collective
fashion, the Occupy movement was born and the 99% meme brought the
corruption of our political and economic system, along with the
grotesque inequality of wealth, into mass consciousness in a profound
and lasting way. It was the opening act, the awakening wave.

Since the Occupy camps were crushed by brutal police state force, the
movement has splintered in many different directions. This is now
proving to have been a blessing in disguise. It gave us time to learn
from our mistakes, figure out what worked best and forced us back into
the autonomous actions that built the movement in the first place. We
have now experimented with different tactics and thought through
longer-term strategies.

Meanwhile, the repressive conditions that inspired Occupy in the first
place have become even more oppressive. Now more than ever,
governments no longer have the consent of the governed. A critical
mass has lost faith and trust in our existing institutions. The
present paradigm has outlived its usefulness. It has been overrun with
corruption and rendered obsolete. Our political, economic and legal
systems are doing much more to limit our potential than enhance it.

It's Time For A Worldwide Wave of Transformation

Let's pick a three-month span, perhaps throughout this coming spring,
and unite our collective actions into an unprecedented Worldwide Wave
that cannot be ignored by anyone.

Let's crowdsource a relentless global wave of action that protests the
corrupt, while also rallying around and celebrating effective
alternatives and solutions to the vast problems we are confronted by.
Imagine thousands of nonviolent guerrilla armies swarming corrupt
targets and rallying for viable solutions for a sustained three-month
cycle. If we begin preparing now, a massive spring offensive can lead
to a summer of transformation.

Staying true to the vital nature of the movement, you lead, in your
own way. Pick whatever issues concern you most and run with them,
knowing that likeminded people throughout the world will also be
fighting in solidarity, in whatever way they can, at the same time you

Not Focused Enough?

In an attempt to dismiss and undermine us, status quo propagandists
will once again criticize us by saying that our message of systemic
change is not focused enough or lacks coherent goals. This feeble
attempt to keep people from joining in with us will be overcome by our
widespread and consistent actions, which will lead by example and
inspire the cultural shift in mass consciousness that we urgently
need. Our diverse crowdsourced actions will boldly demonstrate our
will to expose, fight and overcome tyrannical systems. By rallying
around viable solutions and protesting what we are against, the goals
and freedoms that we aspire to will organically become self-evident to

Throughout history, when people have fought against tyranny and
oppression, they didn't have one perfect utopian model outcome agreed
upon beforehand. They just knew that the invading and old systems were
detrimental to their wellbeing and had to go. We are now in that

Don't let the propagandists fool you. We do not need corrupt
corporations or aristocratic government rulers anymore. They are
obsolete. People throughout this interconnected technological world
have already come up with much more effective systems to replace the
tyrannical one that is currently dominating our lives. There are
already many effective solutions to our problems, solutions that are
held back by the entrenched forces of shortsighted greed. Once a small
percentage of us withdraw our participation from corrupt entities and
opt out of tyranny, the old and obsolete systems of rule will quickly
fall away.

Extensive empirical evidence demonstrates that nonviolent movements
toward freedom result in positive outcomes. Research has proven that
it only takes approximately 3% of the population engaging in various
forms of nonviolent action to create significant meaningful change,
for the betterment of society. We now have the necessary critical mass
of aware people who are ready, willing and capable.

Guerrilla Tactics

This time the police state will not be able to crush us. We will not
have stationary targets. We will be everywhere, fluid and evasive. The
movement will be an unstoppable crowdsourced, decentralized and
autonomous revolutionary force.

We will engage in a diversity of nonviolent tactics, from large-scale
mobilizations to small daily acts. Most of you already know the
actions and tactics that are needed. Without revealing too much
strategic information, here are a few basic actions to get a fire
going in your mind:

> Mass gatherings, demonstrations;
> Marches, parades;
> Flash mobs, swarms;
> Shutdown harmful corporate and governmental operations;
> Worker Strikes;
> Hunger strikes;
> Sit-ins;
> Strategic defaults, debt strikes;
> Foreclosure prevention;
> Boycotting corrupt corporations;
> Move your money out of the big banks and the stock market;
> Use alternative currencies and economic systems;
> Cancel your cable television and support independent media;
> Use independent online tools that don't sell your info and protect your privacy;
> Online civil disobedience, Anonymous operations;
> Leak information on corruption;
> Use alternative energy;
> Build your own urban and hydroponic farms, or get your food from them;
> Support local businesses;
> Join local community organizations;
> Take part in food banks and help develop community support systems;
> Start or join intentional and autonomous communities;
> Experiment with new governing systems, Liquid Democracy;
> Host teach-ins;
> Organize socially conscious events;
> Make conscious media;
> Guerrilla postering, messages on money;
> Help inspiring groups and organizations spread their message;
> Random acts of kindness and compassion;
> Mass meditations, prayer sessions and spiritual actions.

The list goes on and on. You know what you can do to play a part. Do
whatever you feel inspired to do. Amplify what you are already doing.
Think about what you are willing to do to be the change that we
urgently need to see in the world, and then do it.

Don't get bogged down in infighting and caught up in negativity.
Ignore the saboteurs. Collaborate with people who inspire you. Keep
moving forward with an indomitable will, a compassionate spirit and
radiate a positive attitude. Moods are contagious. Be passionate and
have fun!

Our ability to take part in civil disobedience is multiplied by our
ability to easily record the actions on video and spread them
throughout the Internet. By flooding social media with these inspiring
videos, we will create a positive feedback loop that translates into
more action on the ground.

Radical change is urgently needed, so let's make transforming the
world the cool thing to do. Let's create a culture of transformation.
Let's blaze a contagious nonviolent wave of action through mass
consciousness, signaling the end of the old world, ushering in a new

Now is the time.
Ride the Worldwide Wave of Transformation

Friday, November 22, 2013

Philippines representative on hunger strike at world climate talks after superstorm devastates his nation

Yeb Sano, Climate Commissioner for the Philippines and the
government's lead negotiator at the the Warsaw climate talks, has just
seen his hometown and his country devastated by Superstorm Haiyan.
That record-shattering natural calamity has been directly linked with
climate change being caused by fossil fuel consuming industries around
the world. He has started a hunger strike, at the climate talks, to
demand action from global leaders, and started this petition calling
upon people everywhere to demand responsibility from their leaders.

Disrespecting the counterarguments

Shared this a few days ago.
Thought for the day : to achieve anything of significance in life, it is necessary to give some degree of disrespect to the counterarguments.

Expanding further:
If you live in a culture of constant criticism, cynicism and nay-saying, appropriate countermeasures are needed to be able to move forward. Why do we see many problems around? Because so many people have been convinced that they can't do anything about them thanks to the armies of credible, experienced and perfectly respectable people certifying with unbeatable logic and foolproof arguments how this is not possible, that can't be done...

Why do we see good things around? Because every now and then someone comes along with the nerve to disrespect all those people.

Globalization Vs Localization

Some definitions we ought to get right:

globalization. n.
1. the deregulation of trade and finance in order to enable businesses and banks to operate globally.
2. the emergence of a single world market dominated by transnational companies.
(Often confused with international collaboration, interdependence, global community.)

"Globalization is really a code name for corporatization. It's an attempt by the largest corporations in the world, and the largest banks in the world, to re-engineer the world in such a way that they won't have to pay decent wages to their employees, and they won't have to pay taxes to fix potholes and to maintain parks, and to pay pensions to the old and handicapped." 
~ Paul Hellyer, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

1. the removal of fiscal and other supports that currently favor giant transnational corporations and banks.
2. reducing dependence on export markets in favor of production for local needs.
(Often confused with isolationism, protectionism, the elimination of trade.)

"When production and consumption both become localized, the temptation to speed up production, indefinitely
and at any price, disappears. All the endless difficulties and problems that our present day economic system
presents, too, would then come to an end."~ Mahatma Gandhi, 1934

"Drawing in our economic boundaries and shorten[ing] our supply lines… permit us literally to know where
we are economically. The closer we live to the ground that we live from, the more we will know about our
economic life; the more we know about our economic life, the more able we will be to take responsibility for it."
~Wendell Berry

Sourced from :

Thursday, November 21, 2013

night and day

Sharing this coz I'm feeling like this right now... (with genders suitably interpolated, note)

"The Look" by Sara Teasdale
Strephon kissed me in the spring,
 Robin in the fall, 
But Colin only looked at me 
And never kissed at all. 
Strephon's kiss was lost in jest, 
Robin's lost in play, 
But the kiss in Colin's eyes 
Haunts me night and day.
- From:

Fwd: Kejriwal's letter to Anna

Whichever way this goes, I'm happy for the precedent set.

Respected Anna Ji,

Last night, while returning after our election campaigning, it was brought to my notice that we received a letter from you. At first, I felt very happy, as every message from you is like a blessing to me. But after reading your letter, I must say that I felt sad and disappointed.

You have mentioned in your letter that some groups have approached you to complain against me. Many serious questions have been raised by you through your letter. I have great respect for you. I hold you in high esteem, respect you as my teacher, and regard you as a father figure. It is my responsibility to answer the questions raised by you.

Issues raised by you have already been addressed extensively in the past. You had been satisfied with the answers to those questions. I was concerned because I wonder who is spreading these false and baseless accusations and what their intentions might be. However at the end of the letter you write - "I believe that these statements will not be truthful". You continue to trust me, I am happy about that.

Your letter asks three questions. The first question is about how we can promise to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly Elections. Anna, as you know, Prashant Bhushan, myself and many other members understand the intricacies of the laws. Obviously the bills passed by the Delhi Assembly will not apply to the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament or employees of the Central Government. We have not promised any such law. You might remember that when Uttarakhand agreed to pass this bill, you yourself supported the Chief Minister Khanduri at a press conference. On 29th December we intend to pass the same bill that will apply in the Delhi State area. The Chief Minister, ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly and all officers and workers of the Delhi government would be under its purview. I hope that you will bless us with your presence on this occasion. I also believe that we can soon pass this bill in the parliament with the support of the people of India.

Your second question was if our party is using your name in our campaign fundraising and campaign related activities. I do not know who is fabricating these lies and what motives they might have. As soon as you made a public appeal that we do not use your name in our campaigning, we have respected your request. We have not used your photograph in any of our campaign materials including posters and films. We do say that in 2011 there was an Anna Movement. This is a historical fact, which no one can deny, not even you.

With respect to the "Anna Card," the Aam Aadmi Party is not involved in it in any way. You may not remember this, but this card was issued with your full knowledge and permission in February 2012. This card was worth 25 rupees and the funds raised as a result were used to send movement related SMS. We received 1,59,415 rupees through the sale of these cards in Feb-March 2012 and 7,67,115 is April-July 2012. The funds collected from the card campaign are clearly mentioned in the audit accounts of the PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation). The sale of these cards was stopped many months before the formation of the party. Further, the funds that remained unused were even refunded to the people. Hence there is no question of the Aam Aadmi Party using even a single paisa from the proceeds of the Anna Card.

Your third question was how much funds have been raised during Jan LokPal movement, and whether if we are using this fund for Delhi Elections? Anna, according to Income Tax law, we definitely cannot use the funds raised during a movement in elections. This would defy the law of Income Tax, and we would be strictly prosecuted if we ever do so.

You have also mentioned in your letter that you are unaware of the funds raised during the protests at the Ramleela Maidan and at Jantar Mantar. Anna - Of all your questions and statements, this one has hurt me the most. We have discussed this not once, but several times, both formally and informally. Multiple audits have also been done. You had sent a special team to audit our accounts who has checked everything to ensure that you are satisfied and informed about the accounts. Even after that, if you raise the same question, you can imagine how painful that would be for me, personally. Its possible that you may not remember each point from our previous conversations, discussions and audits. So I am re-iterating the key ones here.

1. 'India Against Corruption' is not a legislative organization or constitutional entity, so the entire transactions have been brought under the purview of PCRF (Public Cause Research Foundation).

2. Right after the protest at Ramleela Maidan, under your guidance, IAC's core committee gathered for a meeting on 10th and 11th of September, 2011. According to the outcome of this meeting, starting from April to September, auditing of income and expenses of the social movement have been conducted. On 1st of November 2011, the results of this audit have also been posted on website, and the same report has been handed over to Income Tax department even though no one asked for it.

3. In May 2012, we have requested you to personally examine the accounts of PCRF records.You had constituted a special team comprising of your representatives Sh. Suresh Pathare, Dad Pathare & some other people. This team had audited complete PCRF accounts and found them to their satisfaction.

4. Also, besides the Income tax law that I cited previous, there is no question of the Andolan money being used. PCRF accounts (audited as mentioned above) clearly show that on April 1, 2011 (before the start of the Andolan), PCRF has Rs 54 Lakh (approx). The money that I got from the Magsaysay award was also added to this to help the Andolan. In August 2012, when the Anshann got over, there was only 14 lakh left in the PCRF account. This proves that, not only was the money raised Andolan completely spent, but PCRF ended up contributing another 40 lakh in addition to my Magasay award grant towards the Andolan.

Anna - All this happened with your knowledge, consent and direction. Whenever questions were raised on the finances of the andolan, after consultation with you, complete audit was carried out. With your blessing, this Andolan established new benchmarks of financial transparency in public life.

If, in spite of and after all this, you have questions, its my duty to answer them. We want the politics of India to be clear & transparent. Therefore, we would like to be the first ones to be audited & investigated in full public view, so that there are no questions that remain unanswered.

My proposal, if you agree is this. Let someone of the stature and credibility of Justice Santosh Hegde (or any other person who you trust) audit the accounts of IAC, PCRF and the Aam Aadmi Party. Justice Hedge would also for any complaints against us from the people as well. To carry out this investigation, whatever he needs from us will be provided to him. I want that Justice Hedge finish this investigation next week itself.

I assure you and the entire nation that if Justice Hedge's investigation reveals financial irregularities with IAC funds, or its use for AAP operations, then I will withdraw my candidacy from Delhi Assembly elections.

If no irregularities are found after investigation, it is not only my hope but the country's hope that you will come to Delhi to campaign for AAP.

Anna, like you I am always mindful that those in public life have to be extra careful of how they use the public's money. That is why, despite all the devious and malicious plotting by our opponents, there is not a stain on the record of the movement or of AAP. I sincerely believe that this investigation will settle once and for all that I have abided by your high ideals that I respect greatly.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Love Vs Financial security

Dear Men,

A woman who loves you truly will
never ask you to buy her
expensive gifts or take her to
expensive places...

She won't ask for diamonds, rubies or a promise to
bring her a
world of luxuries...

She just wants
your love, care and attention..
She wants you to spend a lot of quality time with her..
and appreciate her for all that she
does for you out of love and
Every woman is unique
in her own way...
Value her.

My rejoinder...
Thanks for sharing... it's nice to actually hear this from the women
once in a while.

Just wondering... what about the "financial security/stability" term
used on men to justify abandoning our dreams and passions to settle
for a boring, life-draining, soul-destroying career?

First they're ordered to compromise away their souls and morals for
money if they ever want to have a life partner (that's what's being
told to me right now), and then they're asked to show love, care and

Friday, November 1, 2013

Community Level Sanitation Initiatives

1. Nirmalgram, Nasik

(Not to be confused with govt's nirmalgram program which started much
later) They've done good work on eco-friendly, sustainable and useful
toilets design.

I stayed there recently. We used normal-looking indoor toilets inside
the dormitories, and found out later on that rather than going into
drainage or septic tank, they lead to 2-pit compost systems that
convert the excreta into manure and this manure is used in the organic
farm located at this place. First time I used modern, clean, indoor
toilets that create manure rather than disposing of it toxically.
Previously, in Auroville I've used, and cleaned out, a compost toilet
located outside the residence which is a little difficult /
inconvenient to use; but these at Nirmalgram were just like simple
modern toilets and till our last day there we had no clue it wasn't
going into the typical drainage / septic tank.

2. Safai Vidyalay, Ahmedabad
I've visited them twice; again, inspiring work, and the technologies
they've researched and published (openly) really ought to be adopted
on a large scale.

Both these places conduct tours, trainings and have a "toilet museum"
on their premises where we can see all the models for real.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Steps to sustainability

Excerpt from the book "Another turn of the crank"
By Wendell berry

1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation : What will this do
to our community? How will this affect our common wealth?
2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the
native creatures – within the membership of the community
3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources,
including the mutual help of neighbours.
4. Always supply local needs first. (And only then think of exporting
their products, first to nearby cities, and then to others.)
5. Understand the unsoundness of the industial doctrine of "labor
saving" if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of
pollution or contamination.
6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products
to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of the
national or global economy.
7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local
farm and/or.
forest economy.
8. Strive to produce as much of the community's own energy as possible.
9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community
and decrease expenditures outside the community
10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within
the community for as long as possible before it is paid out.
11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its
properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place),
caring for its old people, teaching its children.
12. See that the old and the young take care of one another. The young
must learn from the old, not necessarily and not always in school.
There must be no institutionalized "child care" and "homes for the
aged." The community knows and remembers itself by the association of
old and young.
13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or "externalized."
Whenever possible, these costs must be debited against monetary
14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded
loan programs, systems of barter and the like.
15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighbourly acts. In our
time the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of
neighbourhood, leaving people to face their calamities alone.
16. A rural community should always be acquainted with, and completely
connected with, community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.
17. A sustainable rural economy will be dependent on urban consumers
loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy
that will always be more cooperative than competitive.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How Foreign Aid is hurting the developing countries

Sharing this snippet as I found myself agreeing with it wholeheartedly.

"I believe foreign aid is a huge mistake. I don't think it recognizes the sovereignty and responsibility of the peoples who are receiving aid. And all too often, it empowers those who are already most powerful in the developing countries and does not empower the poor who need to be empowered. Very often the problem is a problem of unequal power in the society. And you're not going to help that problem by making the powerful even more powerful, which is what it does. It gives them patronage. It gives them projects which they can control and manipulate. Which the taxpayers in western countries are funding out of the goodness of their hearts, but frankly, it's not doing any good."

--Graham Hancock, in this video:

Companies that own most of the world's consumer products

YES, there is definitely concentration of a lot of power in very few hands.

Click on the image to see it in full size. All credits (and a lot of gratitude) to the people who made it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

HOW TO chat online from older phones, no need to buy android

For phones older than the android touchscreen ones but which have their color screen and can run java apps, there are 2 apps that let you chat using your gmail, yahoo or facebook account.
Ebuddy and Nimbuzz.

It's same kind of live chat as in whatsapp.
So, you can be online and communicate with ppl for free on a cheap 2G internet pack, without having to get an expensive android phone... the simpler java models are enough!

On my phone (sony ericsson k800, 6 yrs old, no touchscreen), ebuddy was able to get me online on gmail/gtalk; while nimbuzz got me online on facebook.

About whatsapp: well, it was aggressively promoted, made its own network instead of using existing ones, and purposefully stayed off of computers and older phones. Very limiting. It's their choice not to be backwards compatible. Too bad.

Giving back

I got reminded of something shared in the book "Disciplined Minds" by Jeff Schmitt : If you ask a nurse or a public school teacher or a farmer or a barber to do some CSR, to "give back", to do some pro bono work, they'd scoff at you. Because their jobs aren't stealing anything from society to be giving back. 

It follows that the professions where giving back to society is seriously considered, are the ones stealing from society, exploiting the ecosystem. And the more exploitative the profession, the more honourable it is to "give back", to work "pro bono".

About the book: This book explains the social agenda of the process of professional training. Disciplined Minds shows how it is used to promote orthodoxy by detecting and weeding out dissident candidates and by exerting pressure on the rest to obey their instructors and abandon personal agendas such as social reform -- so that they, in turn, can perpetuate the system by squeezing the life out of the next generation.
You can download an audio version of the book here:

Monday, September 16, 2013

a comedian uncovers the nexus between politicians, media and industry at an awards ceremony

Nice read. From this and from earlier articles and videos, I'm starting to really respect this one celeb figure.

"I don't know. I do have some good principles picked up that night that are generally applicable: the glamour and the glitz isn't real, the party isn't real, you have a much better time mucking around trying to make your mates laugh. I suppose that's obvious. We all know it, we already know all the important stuff, like: don't trust politicians, don't trust big business and don't trust the media. Trust your own heart and each another. When you take a breath and look away from the spectacle it's amazing how absurd it seems when you look back" -- Russel Brand

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Geoengineering, consequences of metals spraying in the atmosphere happening right now

Very serious stuff with compelling evidence... I request you watch the whole video before starting with the dismissals. In any case this calls for discussions. If we can spend so much time discussing corruption then this deserves to be talked about at least.

(And the way problems are solved is : first describe the problem, bring it out, understand it thoroughly, talk about it. You can't solve a problem by starting with or demanding to be given the solutions first : this quick-fix mentality is what caused most of our crises in the first place, with the fixes being far more disastrous than the original problems! First try to understand the problem properly, take in the details, give it time to sink in. Find the interconnections with other problems. If it's depressing then get depressed, pass through it. The solutions will emerge automatically inside you once you've understood the problem in its entirety)

Dane reports, among other things, on:
• Geoengineering related climate disruptions, extreme drought and deluge
• Ozone depletion
• Methane release
• Drastic reduction in arctic sea ice
• Global oxygen content reductions
• Oceans on the brink of collapse
• Massive fish die offs
• 200 species becoming extinct every single day
• A drastic rise in Autism, Alzheimer's, and Dementia
• Crisis level forest reductions
• The sterilization of soils making it impossible for plants to grow without Monsanto's aluminum resistant seeds
Dane Wigington presents hard data which reveals what these catastrophic programs have done to our planet to date and what they will do if they are allowed to continue. Please take the time to watch this video

Gift Economy

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