Category Archives: Politics

Troy Akin

Life in the US # 1003

US politicians are in general very well spoken, and on a normal day, Todd Akin gives them a decent run for their money. But then comes this.

[Update, October 13, 2012: Rep. Todd Akin claims that evolution is not a ‘matter of science’]

Should we spend $1.5 Billion on 2012 General Elections?

As per Granderson on CNN, the general election 2012 is going to cost upwards of $1.5 Billion. Is that going to help us get a little bit less broke?

Why not force the candidates to just post their opinions online? They can debate on TV – that doesn’t cost them anything.

PS: Web hosting is not free either, but Google (through Blogger), Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and other companies provide enough free channels that and recoup through advertising.)

If you don’t want to stop online piracy, at least stop misleading names!

As the Wikipedia begins its 24 hours blackout, internet users are being urged to oppose the SOPA (“Stop Online Piracy Act”) and PIPA (“PROTECT IP Act”). Why should the users oppose acts with such noble-sounding names? We all want to stop online piracy. We also want to protect the IP, I presume.

A few years ago we had a slightly related problem – how could a true American oppose the Patriot act.

The problem is that these bills use a name that may or may not be consistent with the content. We need to urge the congress to use a simple number, such as “Bill 239203923”, to describe each Bill. Many states already force that. The name itself creates a bias. If we want the people to be more knowledgeable of what they are voting on, then let us start with a neutral sounding number. At least some one has to ask the question – “What does Bill 239203923 stand for?”

Very Apposite Word of the Day: Psephology

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for Nov 2, 2010 is especially appropriate: Psephology, which is the scientific study of elections. (Today is the field day for all US political pundits and general public with particular interest in psephology.)  “Psephology” is from the Greek word psephos for pebbles – the connection being that pebbles were used by the ancient Greeks in voting.

Kudos to the M-W guys for enlightening us every day.

Tiririca in Sau Paulo – “It can’t get any worse” :-)

Amazing story: “No joke! Illiterate clown triumphs in election“.  An entirely honest approach and (hopefully) no over-promising attitude – what is not to love about it. 🙂

Tiririca’s humorous slogan: “It can’t get any worse”

Tiririca’s promise: To do nothing more in Congress than report back to them on how politicians spend their time. “What does a congressman do? The truth is I don’t know, but vote for me and I’ll tell you.”

Clowns as politicians – who would have thought?

Meera Shankar Dinner

Meera Shankar Dinner 20100914Excellent dinner at the residence of Her Excellency Meera Shankar, Ambassador of India on September 14th.  As always she spoke very eloquently.  I have had the pleasure of hearing her in the past and I have always been struck by how approachable and personable she is.  She spoke for about 10 minutes, and in those ten minutes itself, she was able to articulate the various aspects of the US-India relationship, including economic, trade, education and military relationships.

Answering to questions, she did clarify the Indian government’s position on a variety of issues such as collaboration with foreign universities and the issue of increasing foreign direct investment in certain sectors.

The question in mind of many peoples’ minds (including mine) is how can the world participate and benefit from the 8% annual growth that the Indian economy is showing.  Clearly with the bank interest rates in US currently at near zero percent, the contrast is hard to ignore.