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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Faster, Smaller, Lighter Missiles: How Brahmos Leads The Way?

June 22, 2013 2 comments

Indo-Russian supersonic missile, Brahmos may see a new competitor – the French missile, ASMPA.

The past and future of Brahmos | Image source: www.rian.ru

The past and future of Brahmos | Image source: http://www.rian.ru

Exactly one year ago, on June 20th, 2012, the French Government reported the successful test for their new upgraded missile – the ASMPA (Air Sol Moyenne Porte Ameliore).

Competition For Brahmos

Except for the weight, the new ASMPA is a Yakhont-Brahmos missile clone – like Brahmos, the French missile is also ramjet powered, kerosene-fuelled; 200-500 kg payload; 250-500 km range .

After a decade of ignoring the existence of a Mach-3 missile with Russia and India, the successful test of the new French missile should have been announced with much fanfare. Varying reports confuse ASMPA, deceptively named after its predecessor, the ASMP, which too was not widely inducted or utilized. Curiously, even one year later, very little has come out in the open. After more than a decade of silence, such a giant leap should have made the French Defense industry shout from rooftops.

With the end of Cold War, France probably does not need the ASMPA missile right now? France may decide to produce the ASMPA if the threat profile to France changes? Due to MTCR, anyway France cannot sell many of these missiles?

Why produce a missile that France does not need and cannot sell?

Maybe, India with Pakistan and China as rivals, needs to keep a high profile on new developments!

ASMPA Firsts

The ASMPA is expected to be integrated with the Rafale – something that was not done till September 2012.

Considering that this is less than 1.0 ton in weight, (globalsecurity.org gives weight specs. as 860 kg), compared to the nearly 3.0 tons that the Brahmos weighs, the ASMPA is major leg up.

For India, the ASMPSA missile means it can be something that can be fitted on all the Su-30MKIs, the MiG-29s, maybe even the ancient MiG-21s. At one ton, the Su-30MKIs will not need the major modifications, which is under discussion with the Russian vendors for the last 18 months.

Logic and The Rationale

Therefore, the ASMPA is probably the one reason why India opted for the Rafale. Possibly, that is also the reason why the signing of the Rafale contract is being delayed. Do the French have a missile that they can sell? Is it vaporware? Announced, tested, prototyped – but not in production and yet to be inducted.

MTCR regulations create artificial limits – probably the range of Brahmos is more than 300-km and the ASMPA range is less than 300-km. By declaring the range of the ASMPA missile to 500-km, France can claim that MTCR regulations stop it from sale or transfer of missiles and missile technology.

India’s indigenous interceptor missiles already attain speeds of Mach3-Mach-4. So, Indian requirements is probably limited to weight-reduction – which France seems to have achieved.

The Global Matrix

It is also a matter of much curiosity, that the Americans and the British or the Germans could not crack this technology – but the French did? After all, the test-integration of ASMPA with Rafale took two years after its test firing from a Mirage-2000N.

While the French do have a long history of experimental ramjets and hypersonic engines, integration into production, induction of these technologies has been lagging. It is in the stabilization, production and induction of supersonic ramjets that Indo-Russian partnership has excelled.

Not surprisingly, after the ASMPA announcement, India and Russia promptly announced that the Brahmos will be upgraded from supersonic speeds (Mach2.5-Mach3) to hypersonic speeds (Mach5-Mach6).

Laser guided missiles are one of Russia’s weaknesses. To overcome this technology shortcoming, Russia has signed a deal with France for integrating a system using French components.

France and Russia have also been co-operating on ramjet and scram jet technologies. Was there technology or a component barter between the French and the Russians?

ON AUGUST 20th 1998 Bill Clinton ordered American warships in the Arabian Sea to fire a volley of more than 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at suspected terrorist training camps near the town of Khost in eastern Afghanistan. The missiles, flying north at about 880kph (550mph), took two hours to reach their target. Several people were killed, but the main target of the attack, Osama bin Laden, left the area shortly before the missiles struck. American spies located the al-Qaeda leader on two other occasions as he moved around Afghanistan in September 2000. But the United States had no weapons able to reach him fast enough.

They have now pinned their hopes on an alternative approach: superfast or “hypersonic” unmanned vehicles that can strike quickly by flying through the atmosphere, and cannot be mistaken for a nuclear missile.

These hypersonic vehicles are not rockets, as ICBMs are, but work in a fundamentally different way. Rockets carry their own fuel, which includes the oxygen needed for combustion in airless space. This fuel is heavy, making rockets practical only for short, vertical flights into space. So engineers are trying to develop lightweight, “air breathing” hypersonic vehicles that can travel at rocket-like speeds while taking oxygen from the atmosphere, as a jet engine does, rather than having to carry it in the form of fuel oxidants.

The term hypersonic technically refers to speeds faster than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5, equivalent to around 6,200kph at sea level and 5,300kph at high altitudes (where the colder, thinner air means the speed of sound is lower). Being able to sustain flight in the atmosphere at such speeds would have many benefits. Hypersonic vehicles would not be subject to existing treaties on ballistic-missile arsenals, for one thing. It is easier to manoeuvre in air than it is in space, making it more feasible to dodge interceptors or change trajectory if a target moves. And by cutting the cost of flying into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the technology could also help reduce the expense of military and civilian access to space.

All this, however, requires a totally different design from the turbofan and turbojet engines that power airliners and fighter jets, few of which can operate beyond speeds of about Mach 2. At higher speeds the jet engines’ assemblies of spinning blades can no longer slow incoming air to the subsonic velocities needed for combustion. Faster propulsion relies instead on engines without moving parts. One type, called a ramjet, slows incoming air to subsonic speeds using a carefully shaped inlet to compress and thereby slow the airstream. Ramjets power France’s new, nuclear-tipped ASMPA missiles. Carried by Rafale and Mirage fighter jets, they are thought to be able to fly for about 500km at Mach 3, or around 3,700kph.

It’s not rocket science

But reaching hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 and above with an air-breathing engine means getting combustion to happen in a stream of supersonic air. Engines that do this are called supersonic-combustion ramjets, or scramjets. They also use a specially shaped inlet to slow the flow of incoming air, but it does not slow down enough to become subsonic. This leaves engineers with a big problem: injecting and igniting fuel in a supersonic airstream is like “lighting a match in a hurricane and keeping it lit,” says Russell Cummings, a hypersonic-propulsion expert at California Polytechnic State University.

One way to do it is to use fuel injectors that protrude, at an angle, into the supersonic airstream. They generate small shock waves that mix oxygen with fuel as soon as it is injected. This mixture can be ignited using the energy of bigger shock waves entering the combustion chamber. Another approach is being developed at the Australian Defence Force Academy. In a process known as “cascade ionisation”, laser blasts lasting just a few nanoseconds rip electrons off passing molecules, creating pockets of hot plasma in the combustion chamber that serve as sparks.

Scramjet fuel must also be kept away from the wall of the combustion chamber. Otherwise, it might “pre-ignite” before mixing properly, blowing up the vehicle, says Clinton Groth, an engineer at the University of Toronto who is currently doing research at Cambridge University in England (and who has consulted for Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, two engine-makers). To complicate matters further, scramjets move too fast for their internal temperature and air pressure to be controlled mechanically by adjusting the air intake. Instead, as scramjets accelerate, they must ascend into thinner air at a precise rate to prevent rising heat and pressure from quickening the fuel burn and blowing up the combustion chamber.

In other words, igniting a scramjet is difficult, and keeping it going without exploding is harder still. Moreover scramjets, like ramjets, cannot begin flight on their own power. Because they need to be moving quickly to compress air for combustion, scramjets must first be accelerated by piggybacking on a jet plane or rocket. There are, in short, formidable obstacles to the construction of a scramjet vehicle.

A Chinese programme to convert a nuclear ballistic missile into an aircraft-carrier killer, by packing it with conventional explosives, had reached “initial operational capability”. The DF-21D, as it is called, is designed to descend from space at hypersonic speed and strike ships in the Western Pacific. Even though the accuracy of the DF-21D’s guidance system is unknown, the missile is already altering the balance of power within its range.

DARPA suggested, America will need “the new stealth” of hypersonic vehicles. Similarly, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, remarked last year that the design of hypersonic missiles had become a priority for the country.

via Hypersonic missiles: Speed is the new stealth | The Economist.

India tells Britain: We don’t want your aid

February 5, 2012 7 comments

After losing the MMRCA-fighter deal to France, the British press, sputtering with impotent rage, wants to ‘punish’ India? How? Deny ‘aid’ that India does not need – or want!

British aid has supported British interests - with a sham interest in India's welfare.  |  Cartoon by polyp.org; source & courtesy - theroadtothehorizon.net  |  Click for source image.

British aid has supported British interests - with a sham interest in India's welfare. | Cartoon by polyp.org; source & courtesy - theroadtothehorizon.net | Click for source image.

Though massive inequalities remain, India has achieved substantial reductions in poverty, from 60 per cent to 42 per cent of the population in the last thirty years.

Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is incredible that ministers have defended the aid we send to India, insisting it is vital, when now we learn that even the Indian government doesn’t want it.”

As long ago as 2005, MPs on the international development select committee found that India “seems to have become increasingly tired of being cast in the role of aid recipient.” In their most recent report on the programme, last year, they said that British aid to the country should “change fundamentally,” with different sources of funding. The report praised a number of DFID projects, but questioned others.

DFID has sent more than £1 billion of UK taxpayers’ money to India in the last five years and is planning to spend a further £600 million on Indian aid by 2015.

As well as the Indian government, many other Indians are sceptical about British aid. Malini Mehra, director of an Indian anti-poverty pressure group, the Centre for Social Markets, said aid was “entirely irrelevant” to the country’s real problems, which she said were the selfishness of India’s rich and the unresponsiveness of its institutions. (via India tells Britain: We don’t want your aid – Telegraph).

In the last 5 years: –

India spent more than GBP 1billion on English language – which benefits Britain far more than it helps India.

India sends more than 50,000 highly educated and qualified people to Britain each year, which will cost Britain much more than GBP 1 billion.

British good intentions …

Most of this ‘aid’ projects are tied to buying British products, services and projects – that Britain needs to sell more than India needs to buy from Britain.

I wonder how much of this GBP 1 billion goes back to Britain – to British bureaucrats, politicians, fixers-and-peddlers who select the project that gets the aid.

Otherwise, why were they so desperate to give aid to India?

Helpless rage

The entire British industry is helplessly fuming as Euro-fighter consortium (of which Britain is a part) lost the MMRCA deal to France. And this aid story came from there.

By throwing a few GBP around, the British fatuously thought, they had an inside track on the MMRCA deal.

Bad calculation.

But then the British were always bad at maths.


European gold: Sold? Pledged! Safe.

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A socialist Europe is deep in debt – but still has substantial gold reserves with various central banks. At least as per official records.

24 types of Statism. Currency mismanagement is part of Statist systems |  Popular cartoon based on original by Barry Deutsch; modification source and author not known  |  Click for original Barry Deutsch cartoon.

24 types of Statism. Currency mismanagement is part of Statist systems | Popular cartoon based on original by Barry Deutsch; modification source and author not known | Click for original Barry Deutsch cartoon.

Printing presses – all systems go

As Governments across the world, print more and more money, the 20th century idea of Trustworthy State is on its last legs. Increasingly, the (undeserved) trust that the State enjoyed with the masses in the 20th century, is now close to breaking point.

We may very soon see a situation, where people will accept only gold – and no paper currency. The entire structure of 20th century monetary system after WWII, was built on paper. In the last 60 years, people (except a few) have gradually forgotten the link between gold as a store of value.

A memory lapse of a link that is too important to forget.

Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. |  Cartoonist - Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy - townhall.com  |  Click for larger source image.Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. |  Cartoonist - Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy - townhall.com  |  Click for larger source image.

Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. | Cartoonist – Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy – townhall.com | Click for larger source image.

Few people realize it, but Italy holds the world’s fourth biggest stockpile of gold, at 2,452 tonnes. That’s even more than France, and more than twice as much as China.

Only the U.S., Germany and the International Monetary Fund hold more.

The question here is whether some of the troubled European countries — such as Italy and France — are going to have to start selling off the national gold pile to meet their bills.

Some wonder if they already have.

Italy’s gold has a street value of about $123 billion — easily enough to cover this year’s $80 billion budget shortfall. Portugal’s $19 billion in bullion more than covers its $13 billion deficit. France has $122 billion worth of bullion, enough to make a massive dent in its $150 billion deficit.

Meanwhile, look at the people who actually have a lot of money — namely, the Chinese. I continue to suspect that, sooner or later, China is going to move some of its massive $3 trillion-plus reserves into gold, the only currency that no other country controls. At the moment, the richest Western countries, including the United States, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, hold between 60% and 80% of their entire reserves in gold.

The figure for China: Less than 2%. No, that isn’t a misprint.

When that bullion changes hands, it may be the moment when power shifts from the rulers of yesterday to the rulers of tomorrow. This is what happened a century ago, when plenty of that French, German and British gold ended up in the hands of the United States.

In the very short term, this may keep downward pressure on gold. The people who hold the world’s gold at the moment need cash, and may have to sell.

In the medium to longer term, it ought to be bullish. (via Will the Europeans have to sell their gold? – Portfolio Insights by Brett Arends – MarketWatch).


The U.S. Debt Limit

October 16, 2011 4 comments

Write-off the US at your own risk. They have been there and done that. For instance between 1995-2005, the tech boom pulled out the US from a deep slump.

See these cartoons as calls for action. (Debt Crisis ; Cartoon by By Bob Englehart, in The Hartford Courant  -  3/14/2008 12:00:00 AM; source and courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

See these cartoons as calls for action. (Debt Crisis ; Cartoon by By Bob Englehart, in The Hartford Courant - 3/14/2008 12:00:00 AM; source and courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

The Senate has signed off. The president’s borrowing power has been floated up to $10 trillion, which beats the AmEx black card. The president’s limit when he came into office in 2001 was $6 trillion. So it’s been hiked an average of $500 billion per year during his eight years of office.

Five Countries with the Highest External Debt, 2006

1. United States $10.0 trillion
2. United Kingdom, $8.3 trillion
3. Germany, $3.9 trillion
4. France, $3.5 trillion
5. Italy, $2.0 trillion
Source: CIA, The World Factbook, as of 9/20/07.

Five Countries with the Highest Current Account Deficits, 2006

1. United States, -$862.3 billion
2. Spain, -$98.6 billion
3. United Kingdom, -$57.7 billion
4. Australia, -$41.6 billion
5. France, -$38.0 billion
Source: CIA, The World Factbook, as of 9/20/07.

(via John Tepper Marlin: The U.S. 10-Trillion-Dollar Debt Limit).

Latest count

Now, an update on this status.

US Government debt has crossed US$14 trillion. That is equal to US GDP. It means that the US govt. alone owes as much money as what the entire USA earns each year (GDP). Corporate debt (150% of GDP) and individual household debt (150% of GDP) is on top of this. Since, finally household pay of all the debts, the US citizen is about 400% of income in debt.

Britain is about 500% in debt. The difference between exports and imports is current account deficit. All these countries are also running a huge current deficit.

What to do

In the medium term, control over oil may give the West the means to sustain the life-style that makes them ‘world-leaders’. No wonder the West is willing to kill millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. But all this killing is also an expensive affair. This killing of millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya is costing US$ trillions.

After that …

Media Role In Iraq War

September 26, 2011 2 comments

Looking at images of how US media presented the Iraq case to the US people.

Cartoonist Clay Bennett makes a case for leaders to take a polygraph test on the Iraq war. (Cartoon title - State of the Union Address; by Clay Bennett, for Chattanooga Times Free Press - dated 08/25/2003; source and courtesy - i78.servimg.com.org). Click for larger image.

Cartoonist Clay Bennett makes a case for leaders to take a polygraph test on the Iraq war. (Cartoon title - State of the Union Address; by Clay Bennett, for Chattanooga Times Free Press - dated 08/25/2003; source and courtesy - i78.servimg.com.org). Click for larger image.

American Triumphalism. (Michael Ramirez cartoon; dated 17th Dec. 2003; source and courtesy - cagle.com). Click for larger image.

American Triumphalism. (Michael Ramirez cartoon; dated 17th Dec. 2003; source and courtesy - cagle.com). Click for larger image.

The text on the printout reads,

“The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

A statement presumably made by GW Bush Jr. in his State Of Union address.

On the other hand, France was pilloried by cartoonist Michael Ramirez.

Reluctant to join the anti-Iraq alliance, France did not see any big contracts coming their way.

The same oil that the anti-Iraq alliance, led by the USA, was gunning for.

France looking at the Iraq war through oil-glasses. (Cartoon by Michael Ramirez, dated 28 Jan, 2003; source and courtesy - cagle.com). Click for larger image.

France looking at the Iraq war through oil-glasses. (Cartoon by Michael Ramirez, dated 28 Jan, 2003; source and courtesy - cagle.com). Click for larger image.

Even God can’t help you (Corruption-II)

February 24, 2011 3 comments
Cartoon by Ninan; courtesy - virup.wordpress.com

Cartoon by Ninan; courtesy – virup.wordpress.com

Not like that in ‘foreign countries

Jagdish Bhagwati, a wannabe-Nobel Prize-ee, declares, that unlike India,”In America, if you are caught, even God can’t help you’.

The world’s largest prison population will testify to Bhagwati’s assertion.

The biggest scams on earth, in the USA, will also confirm that sending minions to jail does not get rid of crime or corruption. Corruption is an ‘India only’ phenomenon, rests on a basic assumption that  ‘foreign countries’ are better. Bhagwati leads the charge on this front.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist (2001) implies that all governments can be bought – but then he goes further. Stiglitz claims the ‘US has the best democratic government money can buy!’ In the august company of Jagdish Bhagwati are The New Chatteratti. Like Chetan Bhagat, who believe during the British Raj, nothing like corruption could have existed. They dive deeper.

the United States values wealth, competition, individualism and religion. These are pretty much core to the essence of American society and culture.

However, ask someone to articulate Indian community values, and there won’t be a clear answer. Do we value wealth or education? Do we value democracy where people have a greater say in how they are governed, or do we believe in power in the hands of a select few to whom the laws don’t apply? Do we value honesty, or do we value getting a job done anyhow? Do we believe in frugality, or do we want to show off our wealth? Do we value our local communities, or do we value being part of India?

There are conflicting responses to any of these questions in the India … I call it confusion. Values cannot be unpredictable, they are consistent. The past decade was spent by Indian society in a muddled set of values. A clear set of values … a lack of good values is why scams happen, nepotism exists and the government doesn’t care about its people.

The reason there is no concrete set of Indian values yet is that the concept of India itself is new. Just over six decades ago, there was no India. We had a collection of princely states, with kings and queens, which the British ruled at gunpoint. When the latter left, we loosely stitched these together, cut off a large chunk with partition and labelled the result India. (Read more: Adding values to life – The Times of India; parts excised for brevity).

It all boils down to a belief in ‘character-less Indians’. It’s not just Chetan Bhagat or Jagdish Bhgwati. Sharmila Tagore thinks that Indians are sexual deviants, lechers. Dipankar Gupta has a different take – Indians are ill-mannered. Of course, all these cognoscenti of Indian character are better than Indians – and also think that ‘foreigners’ are better!

Dirty, rotten, brown Indians!

In a manner of speaking, some Indians continue to live with a poor self image – the vacuum of self-esteem that that these worthies reflect so well. Our political leadership, fortunately, does not quite believe that they are the only corrupt ones. They should know better.

It was in response to Nobel economist Gunnar Myrdal’s famous observations on corruption in India in his three-volume tome, Asian Drama, that Indira Gandhi famously observed that “corruption is a global phenomenon”.(Sanjaya Baru: Corruption and development)

Some 10 years later,

In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi on his first foreign tour as prime minister (at) one of his press conferences was asked if civil servants in India were paid so low that corruption in government had become a big problem. “We have no evidence from the western countries that higher pay for civil servants has completely removed corruption there,” Mr Gandhi said. (parts excized; text in parenthesis supplied; A K Bhattacharya: Look afresh at cooling-off rules).

A multi-author study on international commerce and was more balanced

Despite popular belief, corrupt practices are not a developing country’s problem. It is global and affects both the developed and the developing … In a recent news item from the WBI published in April 2004 the cost of corruption in both rich and developing countries is estimated at $1000 billion ($1 trillion) a year. (from Issues in international commercial law By Iwan Davies).

A former Home Secretary, during the demolition of Babri Masjid, was Madhav Godbole. He writes in his book,

In line with Indira Gandhi’s famous remark, “corruption is a global phenomenon,” one could say that motivated campaigning through the media is also a global phenomenon (from Unfinished innings: recollections and reflections of a civil servant By Madhav Godbole).

Looking far … and further

Was the Lockheed Scandal more egregious than the Harshad Mehta Scam? Was Watergate more dangerous than The Lewinsky Affair? Of course, there were many other scandals – bigger or less famous. Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds to Valery Giscard d’Estaing. Hardly anyone remembers Valery Giscard d’Estaing and Bokassa’s diamonds. Or how Margaret Thatcher used her official position to obtain a Saudi arms deal for her son, Sir Mark Thatcher, which reputedly netted £12m (around US$17m). Mark Thatcher ‘coup’ shenanigans in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.

Between WWI and WWII, many questions were raised in the British Parliament- and outside about Neville Chamberlain’s holdings in ICI, shares estimated at 11000. His son, Francis Chamberlain, had joined the Kynoch Works an old firm with which the Chamberlain family was associated. As also with BSA Company (Birmingham Small Arms) in which he was a director.

Joe Kennedy Cartoon| LIFE | 25 Jan 1963

Joe Kennedy Cartoon| LIFE | 25 Jan 1963

Joseph Kennedy, whose ‘career’ in Hollywood (after taking over a company by deceit), Wall Street, (he short-sold all his  shares just before the October Crash that set of the Great Depression), bootlegging (in partnership with the mafia), was second to none. His son – the President, John F.Kennedy. But don’t ask Americans about the son of bootlegger who flouted the US Constitution many times – John F.Kennedy. After JFK’s killing, 60 years on, there are many suspects who had motives. Mafia tops this list.

It has always been a source of wonder to me how could Joseph Kennedy, a bootlegger and a friend of the mafiosi become SEC Chairman? And after that, could the Great Depression not drag on? It was always 2ndlook’s suspicion that Hank Paulson’s behaviour in the Lehman collapse is similar to Bootlegger Kennedy’s behaviour. And this now coming out all in the open!! This is very similar to Joseph Kennedy’s shorting the market before The Great Depression.

Joseph Kennedy got his leg up by funding the presidential campaign of Roosevelt – whose own family made their money from opium trade in China. For Kennedy’s support, Roosevelt rewarded Kennedy with appointment as Head of SEC (1934) and as US ambassador to Britain (1938). An interesting book traces the Great Depression to a clique of 40 bankers and politicians – including Kennedy, Churchill, Bernard M. Baruch etc. Jack Churchill, Winston Churchill’s brother, ‘airbrushed out of history’, had some role.

In a democracy, people have choice!

In a democracy, people have choice!

Jack Churchill emerges from this fascinating book as an engaging and honourable man who dealt well with the mixed blessing of having a very great man as an elder brother. He was a constant support to Winston, and was able to shield the family from some of the worst effects of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, although Winston never referred publicly to this.

More recently, we had the internet media agog with Dick Cheney and his misdeeds. His attempts to bribe Nigerian officials resulted in settlement offer of US$250m. (Finally, Dick Cheney seems to have got away. Was that with or without God’s help, Professor Bhagwati.).

Corruption and conspiracy

But all this is not corruption. These are conspiracy theories. In India, conspiracy theories become corruption. In the Great Land of USA, and much of the West, corruption is a Conspiracy Theory. Initially difficult to understand, but corruption-as-conspiracy has a simple explanation.

To understand this, we will have to go to Singapore. Where anything you say, write, print, about the rich and the powerful (called slander, libel and defamation). These are laws made for the ‘safety’ and ‘protection’ of the rich and powerful. A conviction will set you back by a few millions of dollars, euros, francs, pounds, et al. Unless you have rock-solid evidence.

Something that does not happen in India at all. Indian courts and jurisprudence, put very little value on  slander, libel and defamation. Indian media gets the rub-of-the green. But more on that in my next post.

So, Shri Bhagat, Bhagwati & Co., before you leap, fly, dive, jump, run to conclusions about us ‘backward’ Indians, let me tell you something. While you stay with us, we would appreciate some civility. You do know that India’s doors are wide open. You can leave. Leave us backward Indians behind.

I promise, we wont miss you.

PS

Corrupt border guards are not unique to India’s borders.

Karl Marx – A big hit with capitalists

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Karl Marx was a big hit with capitalists

This cartoon shows it all

Faced with a crisis of labour due to abolition of slavery, Europe (specially England) started looking at alternatives for a new economic model. They selected a fugitive theorist, whose theories were creating interest in mainland Europe. Karl Marx. Fearing unrest, some European countries exiled Marx. However, Marx was popular with capitalists and in capitalist nations of Europe – and in the USA.

Communism

Communism awarded a monopoly over slavery to one employer – the State. Single employer, total monopoly (on labour, political power, economic resources), impress the slaves with the glory and future – were the elements of the new political system that Europe devised. This was the only Western ideology that was born out of design. With the demise of slave trafficking, 1832 in Britain; slavery re-introduced in 1802 by France) Europe was concerned about labour and industry.

France, Brussels, Britain etc. took the lead and provided patronage to Karl Marx and Frederick Engels to devise another system – an alternate to slavery. In the next few years, their publications found eager publishers and sold well. Their books, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, The Communist Manifesto (published in) 1848 laid the basis for an alternative to capitalism. Marx and Engels received significant royalties from the sale of their books – and could survive on earnings from their writing careers.

Obviously, Communism could not be ‘sold’ to the designated victims, that they were the new slaves. It had to be ‘bought’ willingly by the ‘target audience’ as yet another ‘level of freedom’. Slavery sold as a promise of freedom – You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Now Germany too admits they cannot manage diversity

November 2, 2010 2 comments

When the West wanted cheap labour, they changed laws. With economic stagnation they no longer need immi-grunts.

Behind the facade of liberalism, progress, democracy, is good ole bigotry. (Cartoonist-Ann Telnaes; courtesy-cartoonistgroup.com.). Click for larger image.

Behind the facade of liberalism, progress, democracy, is good ole bigotry. (Cartoonist-Ann Telnaes; courtesy-cartoonistgroup.com.). Click for larger image.

West does not need immi-grunts – for now

Aserious problem is that many believe that the Western world is about freedom, choice, individual rights, et al. After all Kasab wants to go to Yumm-rika! When the West wanted cheap labour from the Rest of the World they changed laws – and made a charade of change. During the Great Recession, with economic stagnation – they no longer need immi-grunts.

Has the West changed? Look at the religious profile across Europe.

Protestant Britain has less than 10% Catholics. Catholic France and Italy have less than 10% Protestants. The West today has the lowest levels of diversity – ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. And makes the most noise about freedom and human rights.

Rise of German right

Angela Merkel of German Christian Democrat CDU Party claimed that multiculturalism had failed. Muslims have not integrated into German society as much as expected.

Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has “utterly failed”, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

Merkel faces pressure from within her CDU to take a tougher line on immigrants who don’t show a willingness to adapt to German society and her comments appeared intended to pacify her critics. She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labour market. (read more via German multiculturalism has failed, says Chancellor Angela Merkel – The Times of India).

Thius is what assimilation, proselytization, melting pot, et al mean - finally and really. (Cartoonist - Ron Tandberg; courtesy - theage.com.au; date February 24, 2006.). Click for larger image.

This is what assimilation, integration, proselytization, melting pot, et al mean – finally and really. (Cartoonist – Ron Tandberg; courtesy – theage.com.au; date February 24, 2006.). Click for larger image.

Interestingly, Thilo Sarrazin, the man who is leading the Charge of the Right Brigade, is himself a descendant of Saracens –  Muslims. The current situation in Germany (and also in Europe) is captured by this report.

Ever since the release this summer of a polemical book by a former finance senator and central banker arguing that Germany is being “dumbed down” by “over-breeding” foreigners, the country has been gripped by a fierce immigration debate that has seen the chancellor, Angela Merkel, enter the fray. Thilo Sarrazin’s Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (Germany is Digging its Own Grave) has sold more than a million copies and led to 20% of Germans saying that they would consider voting for a Sarrazin party.

Häusler described the fact that the push for Germany’s far right is coming from the small neighbouring republic of Austria as “history repeating itself as farce”.

“Austria’s political culture has developed differently from that of Germany’s,” he said, because Germany underwent a postwar denazification process that Austria was largely spared. “You have been able to say things on the Austrian political stage that would not have been acceptable in Germany,” he added.

Nurhan Solkan, general secretary of the Central Council of Muslims, said: “Personally, it scares me. The inhibitions towards voicing your opinion about Muslims are fast breaking down. Nowadays I only need to park my car slightly badly for an old lady to come up to me and shout that I’d better go home to wherever I came from.” (read more via German far right emerges from shadows to join Cologne campaign against mosque | World news | The Observer).

Is this waht they were trying to hide. (Cartoon titled-The Melting Point of the Melting Pot By O'Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, Australia - 1/25/2007 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Is this what they were trying to hide. (Cartoon titled-The Melting Point of the Melting Pot By O’Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, Australia – 1/25/2007 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Europe dons heavy armor

Sarkozy, is a part of the French vanguard to deport “700 members of the Roma Gypsy minority, to Romania and Bulgaria, as part of its controversial crackdown on communities officials hold responsible for criminal activity.” Why could the French State not prosecute these 700 Roma Gypsy responsible for whatever crimes that the French authorities claim they have committed.

Sarkozy has encouraged French law-makers to prescribe dress-codes for the French. Sarkozy’s laws sez ‘no burqa’ for French Muslims. The French feel let down because “immigrants were supposed to blend harmoniously into society and not exist in separate communities” – and they did not. Sarkozy and the EU are playing out a charade over a fine for this deportation – and later apologize. Like the many false apologies, made or not made, after the genocide of Jews, Native Americans, or the Roma Gypsies or the Australian aborigines, and then get on with life.

Italy cheers for Berlusconi who is willing to take global frowns on the finger-printing of Roma Gypsies.

The Swiss want the State to determine the shape of Muslim mosques. No minarets on mosques, say the Swiss. Millions of Swiss have voted against having a third mosque in Switzerland with minarets.

The Danes want to pay Muslims to leave Denmark. Britain has imprisoned thousands of Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested in Britain to build a DNA data-bank – ostensibly to help in criminal identification.

Multiculturalism is Canada’s greatest mistake, but if it is any consolation, it is every western country’s greatest mistake. And now some of them are paying a terrible price.

In its ideological insistence on the equal value of all cultures other than ours (ours being the sole inferior one), multiculturalism’s main “accomplishment” has been to instill self-loathing in heritage Canadians, a sense of responsibility-free entitlement in identity groups, and the suffocation of critical diversity in the public form.

Even though Canada was a colony itself, and had never indulged in imperialism of any kind, Canadians were informed they must share in the blame because of their religious, racial and cultural association with former colonialists. (read more via Barbara Kay: Multiculturalism was Canada’s biggest mistake – Full Comment).

With token presence of Native Americans, Eskimos, Aborigines, Maoris, the West has become pioneers instead of invaders, genocidal regimes, racist bigots! (Cartoon titled-Maori Add Colour to National Party List By Chris Slane, New Zealand - 9/2/2005 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

With token presence of Native Americans, Eskimos, Aborigines, Maoris, the West has become pioneers instead of invaders, genocidal regimes, racist bigots! (Cartoon titled-Maori Add Colour to National Party List By Chris Slane, New Zealand – 9/2/2005 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

What does this mean

These statistics is about persecution and bias. Like after 9/11 in the US, more than 200 attacks occurred in the US on 500,000 Sikhs in a US population of 30 crores (300 million). I am not even counting attacks on ‘guilty’ Arabs and other Muslims.

Truly, like a Canadian commented on a multiculturalism debate

we’re not immigrants, we’re pioneers who made this country. Do you understand that? You didn’t immigrate to a stone age culture dominated by aboriginals in Canada or the USA. The society created by pioneers from Britain and also that created the modern Indian state. Your land was a mess and is only united by the British law, customs and good government. Same as Canada.

The aboriginals were savages and prehistoric, we tamed them! My only regret was that we didn’t fully assimilate them and destroy their past. (read more via Multiculturalism: Canada’s Biggest Mistake? | The Langar Hall).

When people start believing in propaganda, (reminds me of maya), it is a matter to worry about!


New fools for old wine in old bottles

August 31, 2010 2 comments

Using GDP numbers you can prove a lot of things. Using history, you can disprove the same economics. Duh!

PT Barnum’s maxim

There is a sucker born ever minute – (more on PT Barnum and on this quote.)

A significant number of Indians are fooled by the ‘achievement’ the West – especially those who are ‘educated’ in English. A few days ago, Mint, a business newspaper carried a post by Manas Chakravarty, who was using an old report by Angus Maddison to support absurd conclusions.

Transatlantic Slave Trade (Table Courtesy - http://www.nps.gov/ethnography/aah/aaheritage/histContextsD.htm)

Transatlantic Slave Trade (Table Courtesy - http://www.nps.gov/ethnography/aah/aaheritage/histContextsD.htm)

Writes Manas Chakravarty,

By 1600, the centre of Europe had shifted northwards and the golden age of Holland had begun. Dutch per capita income was $1,381 in 1600, while Britain in Shakespeare’s time had a per capita income of $974.Recall that 1600 was the year the East India Company was founded. In contrast, India’s per capita income continued to be $550, while China’s was $600. Note that even Ireland, one of the poorest of Western Europe’s countries, had a per capita income of $615, higher than India’s and China’s. In short, the per capita GDP numbers mirror the changes in power, prosperity and cultural and scientific achievement.It wasn’t till 1981 that India had a per capita income of $977, beating that of Britain in 1600. And it wasn’t until 1993 that India’s per capita income of $1,399 surpassed what the Dutch had achieved in 1600. Maddison’s calculations show that in 2008, India’s per capita GDP in 1990 dollars, PPP terms was $2,975, slightly more than one-third of the world average of $7,614. We have a long way to go. (via World history by per capita GDP – Columns – livemint.com).

Basically, Indians are such rotters! That is what Shri Manasbhai Chakravarty is saying, in simple English.

I know a little English, Shri Manasji!

In the light of day

Any reading of history will show how hollow and risible Manasbhai‘s conclusions are.

One problem with economics is the complete lack of ethics. Economists (like Manasji Chakravarty) cannot be bothered with ‘facts’. For them numbers must do the talking and walking. Some ‘good’ economists like Angus Maddisson can even put up a good strip-tease show with numbers. Admirers can view these ‘assets’ admiringly.

Like Manasji Chakravarty seems to be enjoying Angus Maddison’s strip-tease show.

Poster annoucing sale of slaves in the USA.

Poster annoucing sale of slaves in the USA.

General Julius and the Gauls

Take Italian GDP, of which Bhai Manas has a high opinion.

Sum and substance of the Italian Job? Julius Caesar, (he would be an Italian now), loots the Gauls.

What happens?

Economics (and Shri Manasji Chakravarty) will tell us that Italian GDP goes up. What great history and important economic conclusions can we draw from this loot?

Nothing, except that Romans were good at looting others. Let us forget, for now, that after Roman loot, French GDP goes down.

Cynical economists like Angus Maddisson  could point out that Julius Caesar also massacred hundreds of thousands of Gauls. Loss of lives and wealth will have no effect on GDP as both cancel each other out. Since fewer Gauls now have lesser wealth, per-capita GDP will remain static.

Right, Manasji?

The other thing that the Italians (called Romans then) did well, was kill slaves.

After using them.

Rome, the city alone, had a million slaves. Crassus, (full name Marcus Licinius Crassus) a Roman general, was very good at killing slaves. Crassus was himself, finally, killed at Indian borders – when he made the mistake of thinking that Indians would be easy targets for loot and enslavement.

Crassus, Julius Caesar’s patron-in-chief,  lined Rome’s highway, Via Appia with the bodies of 6,000 slaves. A lesson for revolting slaves. The French, Spanish and the Brits also learned their Roman lessons well, history tells us.

Too well, I say!

Learn your lessons

Soon, it was the turn of the French. The Spanish and the British also. To start the killing.

Increase productivity in Manasbhai’s words.

And time for Native Americans and Australian aborigines to die.

The West (the French, Spanish and the British were very good at this) ‘imported’ at least 10 million, maybe even 20 million slaves, from Africa into West-controlled territories. Economic output of the West goes up! (What else did you expect.).

The output of these slaves is included in Western GDP calculations. But slaves are excluded from census calculation! The lives of African slaves and the deaths of Native Americans are excluded from this economics. But Western GDP goes up. That is what the ‘numbers’ tell.

And good job says, Shri Manasji Chakravarty.

What can I say! Apart from pointing out that Manasji Chakravarty is wasting a lot of wood-pulp.

Most probably from modern Norway.

You can always get slaves! Why bother about people?

You can always get slaves! Why bother about people?

Optical illusion in economics

Norway! My favorite ‘case’ study in modern economics.

Modern Norway does two things very well.

One – they exploit nature very well. Dig up the earth to extract aluminum, cut down forests, and suck oil from the North Sea.

Two – all  Norwegians over-pay each other.

Over-paid taxi-drivers pay huge amounts for a haircut. Over-paid waiters fork out fancy amounts for a car-wash. And so on. Compared to, say Indians, Norwegians are paid some 10-20 times more.

A waiter in Mumbai earns between 125-200 dollars. A Norwegian waiter earns closer to US$1500-2000 per month. Both do the same job and the net economic output should not change. But it does. What Norway does is overstate Norwegian economic output – by over-paying everybody.

Democracy, you see!

This economic ‘trick’ creates a brilliant optical illusion. Of higher wages, profits, turnover, prices – and GDP. Now replace Norway, with any Western economy.

Same story and the plot does not change.

Old wine, old bottle … new fools

This great science of economics has another trick up its sleeve. Norway’s manufacturing out-put is a gargantuan, awesome, jaw-dropping 1 percent of Norway’s annual GDP.

So, Shri Manasji Chakravarty, before you massage numbers and get an ‘erection’ of fancy conclusions, like your ‘guru’ Angus Maddisson does, look behind those numbers.

Take a 2ndlook.

Reinvented narrative

After WWII (1939-1945), using favorable US-dollar  exchange rates, Europe climbed out of rubble and destruction. Recovering from 50 years of bloodshed, faced with the rise of USA and a certain liquidation of their colonial empires, Europe needed to reinvent their history.

One task for this new narrative was to explain the rise of the West. A plausible econo-metric modelling effort from the 1970’s was led by a British economist, Angus Maddison. This model explained away Europe’s economic growth to increased ‘productivity.’

Eyes closed, mouths agape

This study gained some following in India also. India, this analysis estimated, for the last 1000 years, accounted for 50% of the world economy and a world trade share of 25% for much of the 500 years during 1400-1900. The real problem with this study was the trojans that came with this model.

40 years after this report first came out, Indians still cannot use this report critically.


‘Strong’ cultures go weak in their knees

August 19, 2010 2 comments
Click for larger image.

Click for larger image.

Lingua Franca

Soon after the French Revolution (1789-1799), the new republic of France decided that it needed to stamp out all the local languages – and have One language – lingua franca. At the time of the French Revolution in France,

regional languages such as Provençal, Breton, and Basque were still strong competitors against standard French, the French of the Ile de France. As late as 1789, when the Revolution began, half the population of the south of France, which spoke Provençal, did not understand French. A century earlier the playwright Racine said that he had had to resort to Spanish and Italian to make himself understood in the southern French town of Uzès. After the Revolution nationhood itself became aligned with language.

Adds another writer

at the time of the French Revolution, only 10-12 % of France spoke French. Over the next 100 years, public schools and conscription armies turned “peasants into Frenchmen”. France simply did not allow diversities to flourish. Everyone came to speak French.

Look Again (While the British were busy in India, America's Founding Father's stole America from Britain - and the Native Americans.).

Look Again (While the British were busy in India, America's Founding Father's stole America from Britain - and the Native Americans.).

In the land of the Free

Americans were not allowed to learn or teach non-English languages for the best part of 200 years. All other language groups had to become American by giving up their own languages – and adopt the language of the land of the free.

By 1923, thirty-four states had laws that declared English the language of school instruction.  Since then, most states have enacted laws that require the use of English in specific situations, such as in testing for occupational licenses.

During the 1980s, resurgent xenophobia, directed this time toward Latino/a and Asian immigrants, revived interest in and support for comprehensive English language laws.  Organizations, such as U.S. English, formed to urge states and Congress to enact Official English and English-Only laws that encompass all aspects of government. (from Impact of English Language Movement on Consumer Protection Regulation By Steven W.  Bender Excerpted from Consumer Protection for Latinos: Overcoming Language Fraud and English-Only in the Marketplace, 45 American. University Law Review – 1027-348, 1047-1054 (1996).)

Various US state governments outlawed all languages – except English. It was only in 1923, was this was finally set aside after the matter reached the US Supreme Court (read Meyer vs Nebraska). The USA gathered some courage to start timidly with more than English only after seeing India’s success with 15 languages.

Why are these countries so ‘protective’ about their language? Why do they then want to ‘spread’ their language (English or French) to others?

Coming to India

In India, from a Western stand-point

Contrary to public perception (in the West), India gets along pretty well with a host of different languages. The Indian constitution officially recognizes nineteen languages, English among them.

Why is it that India preserves its unity with not just two languages to contend with, as Belgium, Canada, and Sri Lanka have, but nineteen? The answer is that India, like Switzerland, has a strong national identity.

As for India, what Vincent Smith, in the Oxford History of India, calls its “deep underlying fundamental unity” resides in institutions and beliefs such as caste, cow worship, sacred places, and much more. Consider dharma, karma, and maya, the three root convictions of Hinduism; India’s historical epics; Gandhi; ahimsa (nonviolence); vegetarianism; a distinctive cuisine and way of eating; marriage customs; a shared past; and what the Indologist Ainslie Embree calls “Brahmanical ideology.” In other words, “We are Indian; we are different.” (via Should English Be the Law? underlined text supplied for clarity).

How can we ever credit this poor, vernacular, dhoti-wearing man with such 'liberalism'? (Cartoon character - RK Laxman's Common Man).

How can we ever credit this poor, vernacular, dhoti-wearing man with such 'liberalism'? (Cartoon character - RK Laxman's Common Man).

Credit Gandhi or Nehru

Robert D.King (quoted above) after a fair amount of research makes a few missteps. He writes how in India

Hindi absolutists wanted to force Hindi on the entire country, which would have split India between north and south and opened up other fracture lines as well. For as long as possible Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister, resisted nationalist demands to redraw the capricious state boundaries of British India according to language.

How long would Nehru have lasted if really tried imposing Hindi? In this Hindi-imposition charade, some read a ruse by Nehru to actually impose English on the Indian population. His ‘tryst with destiny speech gives the game away completely – as his many other statements on English.

Similarly, Ashutosh Varshney (quoted above) makes a fine distinction between Indian‘mosaic’ and  the Western ‘melting pot’ models. He goes then and he misses the beat, completely, by crediting Gandhiji for this Indic construct!

He says, “Under Gandhi, India consciously embraced diversities” is he implying that before Gandhiji, India was a mono-bloc society. Was it under the thrall of ‘One’? Would Gandhiji have become a Mahatma in India, if tried the ‘melting pot’ strategy?

I think not!

Gandhiji would have been rejected, rubbished and trashed before he could have said M – of mosaic, melting pot or Mahatma. The only people who cannot be credited are the nearly 120 crore Indians who get by using each others languages! What role did they play in this?

Strange logic, this!

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