This is the blog of Sukumar and friends.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Zombie banks - heads they win, tails we lose

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gibbs V. Santelli: He Should Read President's Plan (VIDEO)

To Mr. Rick Santelli: Excuse me, but I already subsidize you! Especially you folks with 5, 6 or more children. I have none and yet HALF my property taxes are school taxes that go towards educating your brats. You're happy to take that. Not to mention the bailouts that pay for your bonuses and spa treatments. But you rant about helping those who're in danger of losing their homes or those who have lost their health insurance?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Whining over Investment in Economic Recovery

Some are whining over the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 that President Obama signed into law today. Here's some of what the act funds:

$17 billion for science agencies including:
  • $10 billion for NIH (National Institutes of Health) - including $8.5 billion to expand biomedical research and the rest for university infrastructure;
  • $1 billion for NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) - nearly half of it for climate-change work;
  • $3 billion for NSF (National Institutes of Health) - for basic research;
  • $2 billion for DOE (Department of Energy) Office of Science - much of it for research in climate science and biofuels;
  • $830 million for NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration);
  • $580 million for NIST (National Institutes of Standards & Technology);
Green initiatives including:
  • $26.86 billion investment in energy efficiency to kick-start the economy by creating more than half a million jobs and saving hundreds of billion of dollars in wasted energy costs;
  • $18.95 billion for green transportation, including public transit and high-speed rail projects, to put more than 300,000 people to work building the transportation solutions we need to cut greenhouse gas pollution;
  • $32.80 billion for clean energy projects to reduce global warming pollution and cut down on pollution to rivers, lakes, and coastal waters, making them safe for drinking water, swimming, and fishing.
Yes, there are many aspects of the bill I don't like, but the people whining the loudest today are those who were silent (or worse, cheering on) even as hundreds of billions of tax dollars were poured into the sands of Iraq.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

While Rome Burns

Every additional day we delay the stimulus bill, another 20,000 get downsized.
"All in all, more than $80 billion was cut from the plan, with the great bulk of those cuts falling on precisely the measures that would do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump." - Washington Post

"$1 billion federal investment in chemical sciences research and development gets amplified into a $40 billion boost to the nation's gross national product and can create or maintain 600,000 jobs." - Council for Chemical Research

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Grasshopper and the Ant

A friend in India sent me a familiar retake on this old story... and I post it here, together with my own sequel:

Grasshopper and the Ant - Indian Version with a New Twist

Really a class analogy..

An Old Story:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Indian Version:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.

Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Mayawati states this as `injustice' done on Minorities.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for 'Bengal Bandh' in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.
CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ' Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes 'Special Reservation' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it ' A Triumph of Justice'.

Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice '.

CPM calls it the ' Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden '

Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later...
The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley,

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India,
As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the grasshoppers,... India is still a developing country…!!


The Ant employs hundreds of software engineers (Indians, Chinese and Americans) to work at his up and coming Silicon Valley company.

The software engineers do very well and buy multi-million dollar homes on credit.

The Ant decides to take his well-earned money and retire, after appointing an American CEO and CFO to manage his company.

The new CEO convinces the shareholders to give him and the CFO more bonuses and perks than the company makes in profit.

The new CFO cooks the books to show that benefits given to him and the CEO are assets, not liabilities.

The CEO buys up other companies that are failing in order to save on taxes.

The CEO lays off all software engineers in order to cut back on expenses.

The CEO hires more sales staff and buys multi-million dollar ads to convince the shareholders that the company is doing great.

The software engineers, unable to pay the mortgages on their homes, lose their homes. When their children fall sick, they can't pay hospital bills because they lost their insurance.

All the software engineers (Indians, Chinese and Americans) emigrate to Bangalore and Shanghai and get good jobs.

The shares of the Silicon Valley company crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

The sales staff are laid off, but steal the computers, the wall paper and the toilet paper before they go home on their last day of work.

The US government calls for an investigation.

The CEO and CFO fly off to a a small island in the West Indies, where they have stashed all their money.

The US government puts the Ant in jail and confiscates his home.

The Ant's children emigrate to Bangalore.

The Ant's children and the software engineers raise a legal defense fund for the Ant.

A high-powered lawyer argues that the Ant is not responsible for his actions because of mental insanity. They point to his working hard in the withering heat all summer building his house when he could simply have bought it on credit. They ask whether these are the actions of a sane individual.

The jury is convinced and find the ant innocent by reason of insanity.

The Ant spends the remaining years of his life at a comfortable resort sanatorium in Colorado, where he skis regularly and writes this book on his life experiences.

Moral of the story: the grass is not always greener on the other side!