Vantage point

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

So McCain has decided to pick a woman as his VP nominee, to go after disgruntled Hillary voters. Of course, she is as un-Hillary-ish as possible. Pro-life, anti-gay-marriage, pro-gun, NRA member, avid hunter, mother of 5 kids..... and look at her -

Whether this makes the female demographic favor the McCain-Palin ticket remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. The American-Pie-fan demographic might just vote Republican this November.

Update: Turns out she is an ice hockey fan. Maybe they should name a drome after her.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Kashmir

Recently, there have been several articles in the media sympathetic to the cause of Kashmiri "azadi". Their arguments seem correct, from a moral and factual point of view. They just miss to apply a realistic perspective.

Reading those articles, which are directly or indirectly, appealing to the Indian state to let Kashmir go, makes me wonder if they think it is America/Britain/France/Australia ruling Kashmir. What makes them expect that the Indian people would be outraged by atrocities committed by their government in Kashmir, when such atrocities, albeit on a smaller scale, are carried out even in the rest of India with ease?

Random arrests and detentions, torture, custodial deaths, rape by men in uniform, failure to provide security or any economic improvement, etc etc. Everything happens on a daily basis even in India. There are no real institutional checks-and-balances against these excesses. Yet there is no mass movement to overthrow the current system of governance. In fact, perpetrators of these excesses in the rest of India enjoy positions of power and influence quite easily.

Why then, would the Indian people even pay attention to the demands that Kashmir be let go for the reason that our government is carrying out these atrocities?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How To Win More Medals

It has happened for the first time in my life - India has 2 medals in the same Olympics! Wrestler Sushil Kumar has won a bronze in Wrestling. Joy!

This is the time when everyone discusses what we can do as a country to win more medals in future Olympic games. People want more money poured into sports, better infrastructure built, and of course everyone wants KPS Gill fired. None of that is likely to happen any time soon. The government does not have any money to spare.

So here is my plan. Abhinav Bindra, our first individual gold medalist, is rich. Super rich. Super duper rich. He had his own shooting range to practice in. We should take inspiration from his success, and ensure that children of the rich take up sports more seriously. The government should set up a Department (with a Minister to boot) which evaluates the children of all millionaires in India, and tracks their athletic (or marksman-ic) development as they grow up. The government should make it illegal for the children of millionaires to focus on education. What do they need education for? Their daddies and mommies have so much money!

The proposed department will give instructions to millionaire parents about which sport their kids should take up, how much time and money they should devote in their training, and what sporting facilities should be built in their big houses. It is the millionaires spending the money, so taxpayers are not burdened. And considering the growing number of millionaires in India, we have a substantial talent pool available.

Only by forcing all rich kids to take up sports, can India dream of Olympic glory.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why There Won't Be Another Georgia-like Conflict After 2008

Terabytes have been published about the Georgia conflict. Many say that the US is responsible. Bush has been pushing to get Georgia into NATO, has been lavishing praise upon them, and has all but coaxed them into fingering Russia. If he hadn't pumped them up so much, this conflict would not have taken place. Why did Bush encourage Georgia so much?

The real reason, which no one talks about, is this - Bush thinks the country is named after him. George-Georgia.

The reason such a conflict will not be repeated, is that there are no countries called Barackia or Johnstan.