Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The End of Iraq War

Finally the unpopular Iraq war has come to a close. After nine years and almost 1 trillion dollars in tax payers’ money. We have left Iraq not out of our choice but because the Iraqis did not wanted to give immunity to U.S. soldiers if they did something wrong. But anyway it is good that we are out of it and now we can concentrate on one war (which right now we can barely afford). That is a nasty one since it will be more lengthy and it is more backward than Iraq ever was. But once again Iraq is much better than at the start of the war although the sign of sectarian flare-up can never be discounted. But it is now up to Iraqis to decide if they are going to fight among themselves or live a life of coexistence peacefully among different sects.

Although there has been lots of up and down in the Iraq War, nobody thought that the U.S. will leave Iraq with its entire troop out of the country. After this unnecessary war, we (the people) should make sure that we are not sucked into another war just because we don’t like their government because it is the people who have to decide what kind of government they want. Even so if the people are incapable of doing that, we should encourage moral and political support without committing our troops to the venture because we cannot sustain another war nor we do wish to have a regime change which will never be totally Pro-American. We should learn from our war history and let the people choose their own form of government without our overt interference in their affairs. This is the lesson we should learn from the Iraq War.

The Wall Street Protests

What started as a protest against Wall Street bankers and corporate greed and quickly became a national and international phenomenon has now almost fizzled out without achieving its goal. But wait what was its goal to start with? I was fortunately (or unfortunately whatever you want to call it) close proximity to that famous Zucotti park where they were protesting but never had the opportunity to pass by them. Anyway what was the reason that the protest was organized since most of the people who were protesting against corporate greed and Wall Street bailouts were in fact patronizing them one way or the other. Can you ever get rid of Wall Street and Corporations; I highly doubt it since they have becomes so much intertwined in our lives.

Even when we are saying that we are not going to support corporations and Wall Street, we are inadvertently doing it by buying their stuff from stores and putting money in banks which may be related to Wall Street. It was the wrong area to protest since it is the politicians and the lobbyists that they should be protesting since they make the laws and approve bailouts. Even the mom and pop stores buy their products from big corporations. The eating, drinking, sleeping, wearing and buying houses are loosely tied to the corporations and the banks. So in order to change and protests, Wall Street may not be the right place. If a protest is what they want then they should be influencing their Congress men and women to change laws and support the everyday person.

On the lighter side-Movies-Tron Legacy

Special effects laden sequel to the 1980s movie regarding the son of the creator of Tron who gets into the game and tries to destroy the created when he threatens to unleash his power onto the real world. Jeff Bridges reprises the role of the father whose son saves the day. Stunning visual effects and a great movie to watch. Highly Recommended especially if you watch it in theater.

On the lighter side-Movies-How to train your dragon

Another one of the blockbuster animated movies about a boy in the Viking era whose father is the chief of the tribe which puts him under intense pressure to kill a dragon but instead he befriends one and saves the day at the end. Pretty good animation and a highly enjoyable movie. Recommended for everybody

On the lighter side-Movies-Shrek forever after

Although this one made quite a boatload of money but I was not that happy with it since it is not that funny as compared to the rest of the series. Shrek (Mike Myers) stars as the disillussioned Ogre who longs for a time before he was the friendly Ogre and gets his wish and comes to regret it. With the voices of Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas. I will recommend it for the kids but not for the adults. Recommended with reservations.

On the lighter side-Movies-Clash of the Titans (2010)

Sam Worthington Stars as Perseus, Son of Zeus who has to defeat Hades and his monster in order to save city of Argos. Special effects laden 3D remake of the same name movie made in 1981. Plenty of special effects and adventure. A good escapist movie to watch with Ralph Finnes as Hades and Liam Neeson as Zeus. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Rite (2011)

A young doubtful clergyman goes to Italy to study exorcism and meets Anthony Hopkins who does the exorcism. Initially skeptical about it, the young priest goes on to do on Hopkins when he seems to be possessed. Although not a horror movie per se and not that good either but if you want to see Anthony Hopkins acting (which is as usual excellent), watch it, otherwise Not Recommended.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Money does not buy everything but it sure helps a lot

Ah that classic saying that Money can't buy everything and it is true to a point. You can't buy love or affection with money and countless other examples like honesty, health. But it sure helps if you have enough money to enjoy. It is true that you can't buy love but you sure can take your date out to a nice dinner and have a nice wedding. You can't buy health but you can surely have the best medical facilities to take care of health. Money can't buy you a good mind but it sure help you hire a good tutor for your kid to excel in SAT and in numerous other entry exams. You cannot bribe an officer when you get ticketed as it is against the law, but you can hire a good attorney to represent you and get you a good hearing instead of relying on court appointed ones.

Money can pay your bills and afford you a nice life style and it can help you have a comfortable living. It also helps that you are not constantly stressed out about have less money. And again since this economy has affected everybody guess what people are stressing out about , of course it is the so called scourge of "Money" that people without jobs or having more debt are complaining about and wishing if they had enough money to ride through this turbulent and stressful financial times in their lives. So all I can say in the end is that having Money sure helps a lot in one's life.

Stretching oneself too thin

We individuals tend to do this all the time when it comes to finances but now in this economy everybody has stretched out themselves to the limit. And it is not just the individuals but corporations, states and countries have become overly indebted and thus beholden to forces outside their control. Debt can be good if you are going to use to pay for stuff which you would have to wait a long time before buying but to roll over the debt and keep on putting off by buying more stuff means you are setting yourself up for disaster. This has happened to most people lately and countries have stretched themselves too much without ever having the means to repay their debt completely.

Now the question is how to repay your debt. You can do it in two ways. One is to cut your spending but how much and where to cut is the question. If you cut too much people and your own life style will suffer and if you don’t cut then you have to increase your income in order for the increased income to pay for the debt. But as the economy is right now, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find another job or work overtime. the other way for the individual would be start a small side business to supplement his/her income. But here again you have to know what you are going to offer to your potential customers and for how much, where are you going to get the goods and how much margin you should be earning (a whole different story). But my point is stretching yourself too much can stress you out physically, mentally, emotionally and if you are a country politically. We should try to avoid this scenario at all costs if possible.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bullying of all kinds

Nowadays an increasing number of articles and news are coming out regarding bullying. They are mostly in the context of school or college kids bullying some vulnerable kid into committing suicide or scaring them for life by making them retrieve into a solitary world. But if you see around, a kind of silent bullying keeps going on daily. Husbands or wives bullying each other to do things which they don’t want to. Big and economically and militarily powerful countries bullying (putting pressure) on small countries to guard their interest. States bullying their citizens with higher taxes and the like. But although a lot is being said about how bullying destroys kids lives or even drive them to suicide. There is a tacit approval of other kinds of bullying.

Since we believe that grownups and small nations can and have more capacity to withstand or tolerate bullying, but this does show up in the newspapers that it can also kills unknown number of people through various means, but it is not reported or if it does it is not in the context of bullying but of mutual agreement of the two parties. But how do we know it is a mutual agreement and the sufferer may be suffering in silence. We need to tackle every kind of bullying and highlight it instead of concentrating on one while the silent majority suffers without anybody to turn to.

The face of owners on corporations

Okay everybody knows that the corporations are started by individuals who then become the founder, Chief Executive officer and sometimes the chairman of the board if they are a public company and if a private company then they can skip the chairman of the board part. But some owners become so much tightly associated and recognized as the face of the corporation that anything goes wrong with the health of slight hint of misstep by that owner results in disaster for the company as a whole. If they are public company, their shares can drop or rise by the slightest hint of any activity by the owner since they are the brain behind the corporation. Although it is nice those individuals can have so much power over their corporations but this can end in disaster if their no succession plan in place or the markets perceive that the corporation can become handicapped without the owner.

I believe that the owners/founder should try their best to promote their corporation's brand and try to dispel the notion (if there is any) that the corporation's future is tied to that of the original owner. If the owner/founder wants to make sure that the corporation survives anything that happens to the founder then it is really imperative that he/she work behind the scenes including outsourcing different responsibilities to people other than him/her but keep a close eye on the activities of his corporation in order to make sure it does not deviate much from the vision he/she has when he/she originally founded the corporation. This way if he/she dies or transfer the ownership to other people the market can rest assured that it will survive without the original founder influence.

The blunders that companies make

You know everybody makes blunders and suffer for it as a consequence. Most of the people make amends to their blunders and get on with their lives as it affects them more or less on a personal level but when a company makes blunders than it has not only to contend with its customers but also suffer internally with the morale of the employees going down. This happened with a video rental company when they abruptly raised the prices of their rental to double of what people were paying before drawing outrage and anger at people who have previously perceived the company as the most consumers friendly. In disgust, the membership of the company went down and now they are trying to mend fences slowly. It just shows how a well managed company can bungle its way (which they have already acknowledged) and become unpopular at the same time.

It is not the first time and it won't be the last time many well managed and superbly run companies will make blunders and initiate or change policies in which they run business that will alienate some of the core customers. The companies have to do some internal training and do some experiments before even initiating new policies, because the changes that the companies may make financial sense to them but if they do not let their customers or clients know them and have test experiments before going live with them then they will continue to have problems which can hit their bottom-line badly.

Rewarding your employees

You know it is that time of the year when most of the employers start the evaluation process. A recent article said that some of the company has done away with the annual evaluation. But every employee whether evaluated or not think that they deserve to get something (despite the economy). How do you reward your most creative and productive employees while trying to keep the normal one happy. You can either promote the most productive ones and give some raises to the normal ones (such as the cost of living adjustment) but you can also ask them through a survey what they crave most this year as a gift and then depending on the price of the gift either pay full or pay a portion of it.

A promoted employee is already happy with a new job and a raise. But if you are unable to afford to give a promotion or a raise due to whatever reasons, you can give them a computer or some gadget, a gift card or a reservation in a small hotel just to let them know that you appreciate their services and have not forgotten them even though the times are tough. And it is not only that you can reward your employees at the end of the year but you can do that throughout the year which can put much cheer and happiness's on the faces of your employees. Rewarding your employees need not be expensive or elaborative but should be good enough to have an appreciation of their contribution to the growth of your company.

Can small businesses create loss leaders?

You may or may not have heard about loss leaders. This is when a big store discounts some stuff below their purchasing cost in order to entice customers to come and buy more regularly priced or expensive products on which the store make money. All the big box retailers do that since their volume and purchasing power allow them to make money on regularly priced stuff and take a loss on the slow moving stuff and thus make profit in the process. The question is can the small businesses like the mom and pop stores create loss leaders in order for people to buy their regularly priced item. On the face of it, it seems that is not possible since the very small businesses are already struggling to get by and they don’t have big purchasing power or marketing budget to advertise their wares.

But if you are creative enough, one can have numerous items bought brand new at low prices discount then discount and try to get word of mouth or advertise cheaply or for free on the web. Another way is to have a drawing (without breaking your budget of course) to create a buzz about your store and then see the people coming in. I would right now not go for the group coupon thingy although it creates buzz but if you are unable to handle to rush you can be burnt (not to mention lose big). The internet has created many business models (and destroyed some too) but overall if you are able to have some small stuff as a giveaway or as a discount, you can create a lot of buzz even with one customer (as I said before word of mouth can be a huge marketing tool if played right) and also don’t forget the social media where you can hit pay dirt if you are smart and creative enough.

The psychology behind coupons

Have you ever thought about what's goes on the business owner mind when they decide to offer coupon effectively to reduce the price? It is just playing mind games with the consumer since it makes the consumer feel good about themselves that they got a good deal and saved some money. Believe me I have the same feeling but I have been playing this game very long (and I guess you have too) to figure out when it is time to play the coupon game and when it does not. Sometimes you can get the same product or services without getting in the hassle of cutting the coupons or waiting for the time when the coupon is offered. As the popularity of the coupons reach feverish levels, a number of websites have cropped up to make some money out of this craze.

Television shows have been created which revolve around ordinary families saving ninety or more percent on their grocery shopping. Although you can say that saving money by way of coupon can be addictive but you have to be dedicated coupon clipper along with organization and enough time to snarl those deals. But even if you are saving money, it is just another way for businesses to market their business and they can expense this as a marketing cost. The main psychology behind using coupons is to save money and get the product for less than its normal price but what is the normal price is the question. The businesses don’t exist to lose money so even when we think we are saving money, the businesses are still raking in the dough.

Bad luck, bad circumstances or bad policies

Ever since the recession started in 2008, the new President has been beset with problem. Although most of the people still blame the previous President's policies for the current mess, but President Obama has to not the only one to be blamed. Although he can provide leadership but we had a good six to seven years of fun riding on huge piles of debt since 9/11 and the biting would have been very nasty. But even the so called economists have been surprised by the current depth of the recession. There is no one consensus for whose is to blame for the ongoing unemployment and slow recovery. It is either bad luck, bad circumstances or just bad policies, no two opinions have been the same.

I believe that it is the combination of all of the above, he had a bad luck and bad circumstances that he inherited a devastated economy fighting two wars and then the financial crisis exploded here in the U.S. and then in Europe (which is still ongoing), but bad policies are also contributing like over regulation, uncertainty about taxes, not providing enough leadership so that he can keep unity or at least working relationship with Congress. He should stop the impression that the Democrats are only here to tax and spend and listen to different policies and not what is near and dear to him even if it wrecks havoc with the economy. But it is easier said than done since I am not the President and I don’t know how much pressure he is in so I can only give my opinion. But he has the power to change things and if presented to the American public convincingly, he can get his way.

The pressure tactics

It can be of various kinds and it can vary from individuals to nations. For example right now Iran is the increasing target of international sanctions to put pressure on the regime to abandon its nuclear program. The United States uses various tools to exert pressure on nations and on individuals to comply with either the international law and national laws. It uses a combination of financial, military and political means to exert pressure so that it can achieve its goals. It is not only the international powers that can put pressure, even countries which do not have the military means to fight international powers. Iran for example regularly accuses arrested Americans of spying for the CIA. Pakistan puts pressure on the U.S. and NATO through blockage of routes to Afghanistan to achieve its own goals. China uses its massive currency and heavy weight to influence international matters related to Taiwan.

North Korea arrests American and accuses them of espionage and thus put pressure on the U.S. government to ease pressure on it. Parents put pressure on the kids to achieve good grades in school and teachers put pressure on students with difficult exams and if possible through detention to make the unruly students behave in a certain way. Every way you see pressure is there, you may not feel it but you are constantly under pressure every day of the week even while relaxing you are also under pressure since there is not enough time for you to relax and leave the worries of the world behind for a while. So folks the pressure tactics are can be human or it can be from nature. Either way you are pressured.

Telling them how it is-2

It just seems like the European are trying to buy time so that maybe in the near future their economy can grow out of recession and they can pay their debts back. But is that possible with some of the European nations population falling and the life time increasing putting increasing strains on their welfare system. How long these things can last as the debt keeps on piling up without any decrease in sight. All I see is sea of debt and it is not just the Europeans but the U.S. is also awash in debt and the tough love approach is also lacking here too. As anybody knows who have debt, unless the principal amount is paid off, the interest keeps on accumulating and sometimes it is even more than the principal. This is what is happening with sovereign debt.

I have never seen any principal reduction, all I ever hear is it been roll over with new issuance as the old debt gets paid by the new one. It is also with human contact, after all we try to maintain peace and tranquility by telling lies or sweet talk our way out of situations but ultimately one day we have to be given tough love either by your well wishers or by your circumstances. It is nice to hear bad news slowly but sometimes it is better to get in one go and get it over with rather than have intermittent shock treatment. This should be now the main concern of politicians that how to tell it to their constituents like it is without getting swept away in the next elections. It should be done now rather than down the road when things can get much worse.

Telling them how it is

It is not just the economic crisis engulfing Europe or the world in general but the notion of skirting or circumventing the truth in order to deal with it at a future time some time back fires. For example the truth behind the European crisis has not be told forthrightly to the different nation states (since I am hesitant to use the word Europeans because not all Europeans are in the same boat of fiscal indiscipline). The European crisis have become so severe that they have gone a begging to China and even the huge emerging economies to buy their bond so that they have some time to relax in the sun. But as somebody from the emerging markets told them that the Nation states of Europe have to largely deal with the fiscal mess themselves with little help from the fast developing countries.

And to be fair it is wrong of the European to ask the emerging countries to help them since the developing countries are either still developing or have no chance to recover their investment once they invest in the overly indebted nations of Europe. Tough love is being introduced in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy and also in France too but it is either too little or it is just buying time till the next elections or a miracle waiting to happen. The truth is still being veiled in camouflage and promises which seems less likely to be fulfilled.

Sharing household chores

When you are a family (any kind of a family) there is an implicit agreement that you are supposed to do your chores. Even little kids are taught that they have to do their chores like making their beds, putting dirty clothes in their place, organize their toys etc. As an adult you are supposed to share household chores with significant other. Any kind of chores which reduces the burden on your significant other is a welcome sign and contributes to a happy household. It is not just me that is saying but studies have concluded that indeed that is the case and I have done that and got appreciation. Maybe not all of the men or women do equal amount of chores around the house but an overwhelming majority do that.

For example, my duty is to take out the garbage and doing laundry (which to say the truth I enjoy it), but besides that I do numerous other little chores which may not be significant enough but as I said before every little help counts. Children should be taught from an early age to take care of their stuff so that they can assume responsibility and help you lower your stress level. Apart from this, if you are going on a vacation and everybody helps out it speeds up the time you can pack your bags and you can enjoy more of the time vacationing rather than putting burden on a single person. Anyway the next time you are trying to avoid sharing household chores, just think about if everybody avoids it then the whole household will be in chaos.

The Supposed allegations against corporations-2

Even the small businesses whom some people support against big corporations buy their stuff made by corporations. Corporations are a fact of life and it is hard to wean ourselves from them when we wear clothes made by corporations, eat stuff made by corporations sleep on beds made by them and even live in houses where most of the materials are made by them. There is always a choice that if people don’t want to work for one they can do that but how are they going to survive since even small home business need to tap into the huge economies of scale that the corporations use to provide us affordable stuff.

Although sometimes it is frustrating that corporations does not give a damn about the jobless or are heartless when it comes to community service and we keep on rallying corporate greed but in fact it is actually the people who are running the corporations who are the real face of them and they are behind the greed or you can say the profit which are mandated to increase and give it back to their shareholders. Even the people who rally against corporate greed have their pensions and other retirement accounts put into a mutual fund which is of course the stocks of corporations. So unless we can find another way to live our lives, we will have to deal with the so called "devil" that we know.

The Supposed allegations against corporations

Since the corporations started, there has always been accusations hurled against it that they are greedy and heartless and they just care about the money aspect and the community in which they serve is just a vessel for them to earn more profits while contributing little to society. But why are these allegations true that the despite all the hatred people still want to work for one and we buy stuff from them even while hating them in the process. A corporation is made up of people who work for shareholders of the company. Usually if the company is publicly traded, all the shareholders want is the company is well managed enough to earn them enough money so that they can profit from the increase in the shares. Even if they are not publicly traded, one of the main reason for it to survive is to make money.

If it is losing money, then there is no point of its existence. But corporations are made up of people and it is the people who run them according to the wishes of their shareholders mostly and their owners if it is privately held, but they do exist to earn profit. Now the question is despite the hatred why do we keep on applying to these corporations even if we hate them to their guts. The truth is we don’t hate them enough to severe our ties with them completely. We live, eat and breathe corporations daily even if we don’t know we are doing so regularly.

Is hacking into computers that glamorous?

Although hacking into computers have been going on as long as the computers have been around, but lately it has become an epidemic and the hackers proudly announce it to the world that they can hack into any system and disrupt it. Although sometimes their intensions are purely to test the system, but sometimes they are hacking criminally to hijack and steal the identity of innocent victim. Whatever is the case, I don’t find it quiet amusing that the hackers think that it is very glamorous and prestigious to hack into any computer and disrupt it. Maybe it is fun for them but for the millions or even thousands of victim who have entrusted their identity and sometimes funds to institutions getting sometime stolen by strangers is very disturbing and upsetting.

Instead of wasting their time on this frivolous activities where the end game is the destruction of somebody innocent's lifesavings or identity, why don’t the hackers put their talent to use and contribute to the society by starting businesses and startups and help the economy and hire people . I for one would be creating many companies if I had the expertise in computers and help the less fortunate by donating to different charities and helping out the community in general. But that is me and despite all the effort, there will always be some people out there who would always find immense satisfaction in disrupting the life of innocent people.

On the lighter side-Movies-Paranormal Activity 2

The Prequel to the first one regarding haunted goings on in a house hold and how the family copes with it. I for one was not that scared of the movie and sometimes it was excruciatingly slow and boring to boot. I really don’t understand how it makes so much money. Although there is very little gore but the suspense element was also lacking. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies- Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood stars directs and co produced this movie about a bitter Korean War Vet who is recently widowed and angry at the world. He also does not like Asian people who are his neighbors but once he gets to know them, he becomes their friend and helps them dying. The name of the movie is in regards to the Gran Torino 1972 car that his neighbor tries to steal and ultimately inherits from Eastwood. Very good movie and highly enjoyable. Recommended.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Checking things before buying-2

But as people become increasingly comfortable with shopping online and an increase in free shipping, people have started to buy a majority of stuff online which they were previously shopping in brick and mortar stores. But one thing still remains regarding buying things; it is all about the human interaction and face to face communication that is lacking in online sales. Although you can talk to a person and even see their faces but to have a face to face conversation in person is lacking and that still haunts the internet place. The prices maybe good but I still see a lot of people in malls and stores buying things which could have been easily brought online like for example. You can easily buy toys online but in store the smiling and laughing faces of the kids playing (or test driving) different toys is lacking on the internet.

Personally I am attracted by the low prices and the convenience that the internet provides, but if I want something in a hurry or just browse some stuff in a store, I would not hesitate to make that journey and feel and touch the stuff and even buy it if I can't wait for the delivery guy to drop by my house. It is just the connection that a human being have with the physical location of a store that is attractive to me and also the feel that I am surrounded by a variety of things that I may have not intended to buy but just buy it out of impulse is quiet attractive to me. Household items are also something I would rather go to a home improvement store and buy by myself rather than wait for it to be delivered at a time when I may not be at home. So different people may a list of things they would rather check in person before buying.

Checking things before buying

Although the internet has created a very different market for products since you can only see the picture and order the item online blindly ( I have done it too) but for some things I would rather check in person then to trust in some picture blindly . And I am sure there are some people out there who would do the same .That is why you are seeing that despite the fact that people are in increasing numbers ordering things online, Black Friday every year is a huge success (even for a few days) and people still want to get their hands on to a particular product right away. I can provide you with a list of things that I would rather test drive (or you can say see in person) before I buy or order online.

The first thing is a car, although cars are now being sold online but still you have to test drive the car. You can check the prices, comparison shop. find history of the used car, see different models, go to different websites but ultimately you would have to go a dealer, haggle price with him (or her) test drive the car and only then you can decide if you really want that car. Same thing is with shoes, although I know my size but I still want to try it before buying it (although various shoe websites are out there where people order shoes online without hesitation or reluctance and without trying).

The matter of religion in Elections

Now that the Election season is in full swing, once again we are faced with the candidates religion affiliation. Everybody is not of mainstream religion is being targeted and each candidate (or at least their supporters) are casting the other candidates religions credentials as dubious. I don’t really understand that since when the religion have comes to symbolize a candidate's electability to the highest office. If the oath is to uphold the constitution, why is a candidate's religion sect or affiliation targeted. The constitution clearly states that in the First amendment that there is Freedom of religion. It does not say that there is Freedom of religion only if you Christian, all others will not be eligible to the highest office. Other thing is that even Christian candidates have stumbled badly in their years of office and evoking God for their decisions does not absolve them of their free will decisions.

My point is that trading accusations about one religion being a cult or not enough Christian would not solve this country's problem one way or the other. Religion is a personal matter and in this country it should not be brought into public or consider a hindrance to the highest office because history if full of people who have been very religions but yet ultimately were flawed human beings who made terrible decision and ultimately other people suffered because of it. So the eligibility of the candidates should be based on their sound policies to guide this country. This country is a democracy and it should not be turned into Theocracy.

National interests redefined-2

When we say national interests we immediately make it as a national security issue without thinking how we are going to pay for it and is the government really the one to define it as such. Since the government is made up of representatives of the people and they use public funds by way of taxation to spend it according to people's wishes. But we have seen that national security interests are not defined in much detail and if somebody tries to ask for much detail it is just said that it is in the best interest of the nation's security and it will be put in jeopardy if all the details are leaked to the public.

But now that this new economy has started to make us think about how to carry on our day to day business and this economy is not going to fundamentally change in the near or any future (by the way we are taking on debt), we should be starting to ask hard and tough questions about our absolutely necessary national interests abroad are and how we are going to pay for it. We will not be able to afford to defend unlimited national interests and it should be really crucial and even our long term interests may be damaged in order to qualify as a National interest.

On the lighter side-Movies-Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

A 2010 updated remake of the 1987 Movie Wall Street Starring Michael Douglas as the disgraced Gordon Gekko who comes out of jail after serving several years in prison and tries to connect to his estranged daughter ( who is dating Shia LaBaouf-a Wall Street Trader). Oliver Stone's movie is a good one to watch revolving around the 2008 financial crisis and how the world becomes upside down for Wall Street people but as the movie shows nothing is learned at the end and life goes on. Good Movie to watch although not as great as the original one. With Frank Langella and Josh Brolin. Recommended

National interests redefined

As we have been witnessing and experiencing the free fall of our economy, there is few discussions about what are national interests are? We keep on hearing from Politicians that this or that is our national interests especially in the realm of international affairs. Before we could have afforded to carve out a broad area under which we could have defined our national interests but with the economy in a sorry state and everybody worried about the Federal debt, this issue needs to be tackling head on especially internationally. First of all we need to stop acting like we have all the money in the world to protect every corner of the world. We should stop acting like the World's policeman simply because we don’t have the money to be on call if something happens in all the parts of the world.

What are our national interests anyway? Every time something happens anywhere in the world, we invoke these words and then everybody is behind it without knowing the facts or questioning how are national interests are affected by that area. We have security interests in the Middle East, In Europe, in Latin America, in the Far East, in Africa and now our troops are going to be stationed in Australia. Even in a remote place called Antarctica, we have carved our share of national interests and on water and in space we have our national interests. Do we really have the money to protect all these areas. The answer is obviously and absolutely NO.

Our broken, Stalled Government

We are back to square one. I mean the threat of a government shutdown is again looming due to the divergent interests of the two major political parties and in this situation the ordinary system gets squeezed. Although we call our government representative of the people but the way the politicians have been behaving lately is nothing short of pathetic. Nothing gets done unless one party or the other party gets something for their own interests. Take for instance the holdup for the extension of the payroll cut deduction and extension of the unemployment benefits, it is being held up due to the price tag and also due to one party wanting to get something in return. Although right now the parties have woken up to the monster of Federal debt but when they were voting for the pet projects nobody thought about how we are going to pay for it.

The economy has not improved as hoped by the government and even throwing in more stimulus (which is another name for payroll cuts and unemployment extension benefits), it is not going to improve much before the election. If you don’t believe then you should take a look at Europe and see for yourselves. But in this time of crisis instead of joining ranks to help people, all the politicians are doing is holding up the government hostage to their interests and creating uncertainty in the markets. Even if we have a government of one party it will still be a broken stalled government because this is what the democracy we have chosen ourselves and unless truth and sanity prevails we will be subjected to this kind of partisan bickering.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Droning the terrorists

The United States have come to increasingly rely on unmanned aircraft to eliminate and spy on the terrorists in different countries of the world. Not only was this but a recent news that we are also using here in the U.S. for aiding border agents in their endeavor to secure the border. For the domestic security there may be concern about privacy invasion but no such hesitation exists when using outside the country. In fact after using to increasingly effectiveness in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan where the drones have eliminated many terrorists, the drones have been expanded to Africa where the new breed of terrorists is being targeted. Although initially I was opposed to the use of the drones as it violates the sovereignty of a country but now I have to come to appreciate its effective in the war against terror.

Sovereignty is established when you have the writ of the government anywhere in the country but if you don’t have it or just looks the other way or for whatever reason, you have no sovereignty if you can enforce your laws of the land on a particular area and here the drones are like in international airspace. They are effective because it minimizes the loss of life of the country which is operating and it eliminates the terrorists. But here a point is to be made is that if you are at war, there will always be civilian casualties so to pretend that the drones can only kill the terrorists would be absurd assumption. Right now this is the latest in the technology of the war and we should use it if it means fewer casualties (no matter on what side).

Is the American dream fading?-2

All over you see there is gloom and doom and there is no single magic bullet that someone can apply that can fix things in a year or so. These things were building up but people were too much absolved with themselves to see what was going to come. And now it is going to take an equal amount of years maybe five to ten years (if everything goes smoothly as the forecasts are saying) to fix these things. But the world is changing very rapidly and we as a nation are having a hard time adjusting to the new realty. If you look at Europe, although far away from us is still scarier to us since they are also mired in enormous amounts of debt. And I don’t believe that the debt is going to get repaid.

The coming scenario of higher defaults and foreclosures would be depressing sight to see but one silver lining is that after this cleanup, people and institutions can learn to live sanely and not go crazy with all kinds of exotic ways to present loans to people who will never pay or not understand (in the moment of temporarily loss of sanity). But as the history of the world tells us that human beings never learn from history and we as a nation are very ill equipped to face the new and fast changing realities of the new world where the competition would wipe out the less educated and less fortunate. It is a scary scenario to envision but unless people are scared into action, nothing would change.

Is the American dream fading?

Once upon a time, the American dream was alive and kicking. People owned homes, their incomes were increasing and the opportunity for higher education was plenty. But lately since the great recession of the early 21st Century, these dreams are either fading or are completely out of reach for millions of Americans. People are losing their jobs and thus their homes to an increasing bad housing market, the incomes are either stagnant or just not increasing due to the global and local competition and the higher education is being subject to more fees and less financial aid or if it is available then the students are going to deeper and deeper debt to see their degrees are not want the actual market wants to hire or need.

Pessimism is all around and no political party has the right ingredient to rally the nation to new heights again. In fact they are mired in partisan bickering and spending too much money on defense when we need the money right here and not promote regime changes and protect supposedly utopian interests abroad. The global market has become increasingly competitive and the companies need not be based in a particular country to reap the rewards of profit. Profits follows where are there are low taxes, stable economy and opportunities to grow without much regulation. But all this seems is getting lost on the politicians. Also it is the fault of us people too that they have been too complacent and dependent on the so called experts to guide them through this financial mess.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-The Town (2010)

Ben Affleck stars as a leader of a gang of bank robbers who fall for one of his victims and start to have second thoughts about continuing his life of crime. Plenty of superb action and acting by all makes this a great treat to watch and it will hold your interest to the end. Recommended.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Pretty good animated sequel of the continuing saga of creatures from the Ice Age, starring the voices of Ray Ramono, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, Sean William Scott and John Lequizamo. This time the elephant (Ray Ramono) partner is pregnant with his child and he goes overboard to make sure everything is done safely for the baby to arrive. In the meanwhile they fall in a pit and land in an alternate world where Dinosaurs rule. Good animation and some good jokes. Fun to watch and highly Recommended for every one.

On the lighter side-Movies-Inglourious Basterds (2009)

A remake of the same name of the seventies movie regarding a group of Jewish American soldiers on a mission to kill the Nazis in Germany. Brad Pitts stars as the leader of the group. Gory at times but the main issue is the length of the movie (over two and a half hours) and quite talkative at times with not enough action to hold your interest. Brad Pitt's accent is a struggle to understand but very nicely done. Recommended with reservations.

On the lighter side-Movies-Insidious (2011)

Weird horror movie starring Patrick Wilson as a teacher whose one son goes inexplicably into a comatose situation and finds out the hard way that he is in a world called " the Further". Don’t ask me how or why he goes there because it does not make sense. Although the chills are there (like Paranormal Activity stuff) but not great of a movie. It was made for USD 1.5 Million but made USD 92 Million worldwide surprising the movie industry. Expect a sequel to it by the way it ended (like all the horror movies do). Recommended but only for horror fans, all others stay away.

On the lighter side-Movies-Scream 4

All the three main characters return to the horror series which is now getting too tired to watch. David Arquette as the Sheriff, Courtney Cox as his reporter wife and Neve Campbell as the survivor of the previous massacres all came back to this sequel (as if sorry to say they did not have any other movie deal). Not that great, but lots of killings and not even that is innovative or new. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Green Hornet (2011)

Good movie regarding a Playboy who inherits a newspaper after his father passes away and in trying to relieve his boredom invents a character called Green Hornet to fight crime. Seth Rogen is the Green Hornet along with his sidekick/partner (Asian pop star Jay Chou) who does all the work and Cameron Diaz is Seth Rogen secretary whose research inadvertently helps Green Hornet. Very fun movie and entertaining. Recommended

Monday, November 28, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-There will be blood (2008)

Daniel day-Lewis stars as an early 20th century prospect who hits pay dirt with his oil wells but his greed lead him to isolation and utter self destruction. Pretty good movie but a long one with good performance by Mr. Lewis. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-District 13 (French)

District 13 is a hype French Martial arts/Action/gunplay movie which was hugely successful in France and elsewhere. It is a story set in the near future in Paris, France where the worst of the district have been walled in and no authority is present. A neutron bomb is stolen and a highly skilled martial arts security official is sent in to diffuse it who is aided in his endeavor by a guy who is skilled in French Martial Arts called Parkour (which is a combination of dodging urban obstacles to escape from difficult situation, sort of like that). It is a very neatly, fast paced and highly enjoyable film. Highly Recommended especially for action fans.

On the lighter side-Movies-Unknown (2011)

Stars Liam Nesson as a Scientists who comes to Berlin to attend a conference with his wife and have an accident making him amneciac to things he did before his accident and tries to piece together his life before he gets killed in the process. He is assisted in his endeavor by an illegal immigrant girl (Played by Diane Kruger). Also stars Frank Langella and Aidan Quinn. Very exciting movie right until the end where they bring back the same old assassin who has forgotten his past plot like in the Matt Damon movies Born ultimatum and others. Was not very happy with the disappointing plot twist. Otherwise the movie is good but predictable. Recommended with reservations.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-New Moon (2010)

The continuing saga of the girl who falls in love with a vampire. But this time around her vampire lover have left the town to avoid getting her hurt and she starts to fall in love with another local who happens to be werewolf whose clan has an uneasy truce with the vampires. The continuation of great scenery makes it an attractive movie to watch along with romantic pains and pleasures that accompany when you are totally in love and can't be with your lover in one way or the other. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Twilight (2008)

Surprising well made romantic/horror/action movie about a girl (Kristen Stewart) who moves in with the father in Washington State small time and quickly get smitten with love with a guy (Robert Pattinson) who is revealed to be a vampire. Very good scenery and good intense romance between the two makes it a highly enjoyable movie. No wonder it made tons of money for the film makers. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Alice in Wonderland

Mia Washowska stars as Alice who one day falls in a cave and goes into a magical wonderland where animals speak and plants are alive. There she meets different characters and fight a dragon. If you have read the story or have seen the earlier versions, you will get a treat in this one with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the mean Queen of one kingdom against her nicer sister of another kingdom (played by Anne Hathaway). Very entertaining and highly recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hangover

The Hangover is a comedy movie which stars Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham and a cameo by Mike Tyson. It is about how four guys go to Las Vegas to have a bachelor party and ends up losing their Bridegroom to be in the process. They wake up from a hangover and have no recollection of what happened to them overnight, making them trying to find out what happened to them and their friend bit by bit. Quite funny at times, but still I can’t understand how come it made tons of money in the process. Not for all tastes but still recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Despicable Me

Despicable is an animated movie with Steve Carrel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnet and Miranda Cosgrove voices. It is about a girl who is trying to be the greatest villain the world has ever known but redeems himself when he takes under his care three orphans initially trying to get his hands on a shrink machine. Funny and good story makes it highly enjoyable and thus highly recommended for all.

On the lighter side-Movies-Megamind

Megamind is a computer generated animated movie starring Will Ferrell as a super villain who after vanquishing the super hero creates another super hero in order to relieve his boredom and win his girl. With Brad Pitt and Tina Fey. A good but not great animated movie but enough to satisfy the little ones and family alike. Recommended for all.

On the lighter side-Movies-Tucker and Dale Vs Evil

Now here is a movie that I will highly recommend. It is a horror comedy, more like a comedy with a bloody twist. Two so called hill billies go to their newly purchased cabin in the mountains and encounter college kids who mistakenly think they are killers and try to kill them but end of killing themselves in various stupid ways. It is a parody of all the horror movies where you think that it is the fault of the killer but you end up getting happy that the dumb folks are getting killed for their stupidness. Highly recommended but bloody.

On the lighter side-Movies-Gulliver’s Travels (2010)

Jack Black stars as a dead end mail guy in a small company who has a secret crush on his coworker. Who by vows by going on a boat alone in a supposedly suspicious part of the Bermuda triangle and gets zapped into a place called Lilliput where all the people are one tenth or more of his size. This is another take on a popular story about Gulliver's travel to the land of the tiny people and not half bad but it is too predictable and is essentially a Jack Black vehicle. Few laughs here and there but not that much to sustain your interest. Recommended with reservation.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Secret life of bees

Stars Dakota Fanning as young girl who runs away from home when she cannot take the abuse of her father and takes shelter in the sprawling home of a bee keeper Queen Latifah who teaches her about the ways to take care of the honey bees. It is based in the south about the time when the First civil rights act was signed into legislation, so you should be expecting some kind of racism. Overall a good movie but pretty emotional and a tear jerker. Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies- Green Zone

Matt Damon stars as an U.S. Army Soldier who is on the hunt for the supposed WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and discovers a conspiracy of fabricating and justifying the war in Iraq. Lots of Intrigue with minimal action to come with it. But it shows the dilemma of the U.S. soldiers of going into a country with good intentions and getting disillusioned when they don’t find what they were supposed to. With Greg Kinnear as the person who makes sure that Matt Damon does not get to the truth. Only so so. Not recommended

The pressures of competition

As the world's population increase, the competition arena is getting tougher and tougher. It all boils down to who get the jobs and this starts from the day a baby is born. There is competition to get the best baby clothes, best doctors, best hospitals and list goes on and on and since there can only limited amount of every stuff available, the competition becomes very fierce and here whoever has the most money wins. In the education field, we seek out the best schools with the best teachers and for that we pay a lot of money.

Our students are constantly under pressure to compete harder and harder so that they can get admitted to a dwindling number of seats in the elite educational institutions of the country. And when they are competing against their friends for good grades, it is now not guaranteed that they will get the best jobs. Since the world has now changed and everybody it seems have embraced free market capitalism, the number of jobs being outsourced has increased leaving us with a smaller number of jobs with a higher number of candidates.Sometimes these pressures to compete take a psychological tool on our young generation. This pressure to compete will not stop even if we have an even pool of jobs for even pool of candidates because not every company can be world class or top tier and the pressure will be on the best companies to hire the best candidates and again the competition game will start and we are back to square one. It is not only in jobs on individual basis but among countries on the basis of exports, sports, militaries and any thing you can think off. I am sorry to say but the world will always have competition no matter what system it adopts.

The need for enhanced cyber security

The hackers have been very busy lately attacking any corporation or government website at will and then proudly announcing to the world that they are the culprit. They don’t think it as a crime but as a matter of badge of honor and also they think that they are fighting the so called "capitalist" systems that exploit people everywhere.

But in addition to blaming the hackers, one think is for sure that they hackers despite fighting on behalf of the littleguys (most of you and me basically) have also done favor to the corporations and governments and exposed their vulnerability to their computer system. But despite this, the alleged victims keep on doing the same thing over and over again and exposing themselves to breach of security every now and then.I can understand that small businesses do not have the resources to pour into security of their computers but what about the big businesses? They should know that since being big, they are accessed by more people and hence trusted by them so the corporations should be having a fool proof security of their IT systems. But they have been careless enough not to pay attention to this aspect of their security. It is time that they are one step ahead of the hackers in enhancing their cyber security and use more longer and hard to detect passwords and constantly changing them every week to make sure they are not been targeted.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Warrior's Way

Korean Super star Jang Dong Gun stars as a ninja assassin whose final task is to eliminate a baby but he does not and escapes to the old west in the U.S. and hides among circus people which include Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush. There he tries to hide his identity but is forced to fight again against his former Master who arrives with his own army of ninjas to eliminate him and also have to face an army of ruthless cowboys who have been terrorizing the circus town for quite some time. Good ninja sequences as the movie try to blend the east and west way of killing. Depending on your taste, it can or cannot be recommended. For me I would not recommend it.

On the lighter side-Movies-Red

Very enjoyable Bruce Willis movie regarding a retired Special Forces person who becomes mysteriously targeted for death and seeks out the person (s) behind it. In his endeavor, he calls back his team comprising of Helen Miren, John Malkovick andMorgan Freeman. Based on a comic book, a highly enjoyable comedy/action movie which never lets its entertainment guard down. By the way Red stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous. Also stars Ernest Borgnine. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies- The Bounty Hunter

Gerard Butler stars as an ex-cop now a bounty hunter, who is tasked with bringing his bail jumping ex-wife (Jennifer Anniston) to jail and collect 5 grand. An action comedy film and still don’t understand how it can make so much money. I guess the cinema going people have too few choices to see what is on the silver screen. Not a great movie, although the acting is good and so is the chemistry between the main characters. Recommended if you are a fan of Jennifer Anniston, otherwise you can watch better done comedy movies.

On the lighter side- Movies-The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney Pictures teamed up to make this Nicholas cage movie regarding a Sorcerer's training his reluctant apprentice (with magic and sorcery) to battle his nemesis Alfred Molina in present day New York. Good special effects and an overall good enjoyable movie but nothing special overall. Recommended for fun time, otherwise you can do better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-My bloody valentine 3D (2009)

Another in the long line of needless remakes and that also in forced 3D version. Not a good movie to watch even when it came out in the early eighties and the same can be said of this one but with the added novelty of being hit at your eyes if you have a 3D television, otherwise watching it in 2D can have the same effect. Not very bloody either. Not Recommended to anyone.

On the lighter side- Movies- The Losers

An A-team clone based on a comic book of the same name regarding a team of elite soldiers who are betrayed by their commanders and go on the lam to find out who is really behind the betrayal. Lots of action and fights but it does not hide the fact that it is essentially a rehash of A-Team down to the leader of the team who is a colonel. Not Recommended for anybody.

On the lighter side- Movies-Halloween( 2007)

Updated Rob Zombie version of the John Carpenter's Horror Classic with more violence and sexual situations than before. It also shows more of the reasons behind the character of Michael Myers. Overall not a bad movie comparing to the remake being made now a days with more original story inserted. Watch it in the unrated version. Recommended for the fans, otherwise stay clear.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-Saw V

I won't even bother to attempt to explain this movie if you have not seen one of its installments (there are up till now seven of them-the last one in 3D). Why don’t I want to that, just because it is all blood and gore? I recently had the chance to see the Number III and Number IV in the unrated version and boy it was a bloody mess. It really showed you what the director had intended to show if he was allowed to do it. The way the bodies of victims get tortured is sometimes unbearable to watch. It is not that the blood gets animated and you feel that your senses have become numb. It really makes you feel squeamish after a while. I have seen so many extremely bloody and violent movies but this takes the cake (until I see the next level of violence and brutality on the screen). Recommended if you can stomach the violence in the unrated one. Otherwise be forewarned not for the squeamish and hence not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Machete

Very violent action movie starring Danny trejo an Ex-Mexican Federale (Mexican Federal Police) who is framed by the Drug lord (played by Steven Seagal) and who flees to the U.S. only to face off with Jeff fahey (the agent of Steven Seagal). Robert Di Nero stars as the anti-immigrant senator and Cheech Marin as the gun totting priest. With Lindsay Lohan as Jeff Fahey's daughter. Some nudity but Highly recommended movie for action fans.

On the lighter side-Movies-Prince of Persia: The sands of time

Jack Gyllenhaall stars as the Prince of Persia a fantastic sword swashbuckling rendering of the video game of the same name, fighting off his nemesis in order to protect the Sands of time put in the dagger protected by the Princess of Alamut. His nemesis turns out to be his Uncle played by Ben Kingsley. It is a very fast paced and very exciting adventure movie where most of the stunts of Jack was done by him purportedly and directed by the action director Jerry Bruckheimer. Watch it you won't know where the time flies. Highly recommended with great action scenes. Too bad it was not made in 3D since most of the action looks like it is in 3D.

On the lighter side-Movies- Cirque du freak: the Vampires assistant

Horror/Comedy movie regarding a boy who accidently becomes a Vampire's assistant when a Freak circus comes to town. With John C. Reilly as the Vampire and Salma Hayek as his bearded girlfriend. Lots of Freak characters in the movie and it does hold your interest but not enough to be truly interesting. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Shutter Island

Highly Stylized and atmosphere Martin Scorsese Movie regarding two Federal Marshalls (including Leonardo Di Caprio) going an island in the early fifties off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts to investigate the disappearance of a mental patient from mental institution and gets messed up in their heads (and mine too). The good doctor (played by Ben Kingsley) is out to show that the Leonardo is messed up in the head and does not distinguish between reality and fantasy and as the movie progresses and takes a bizarre turn and the rest is you have to see it to believe it. Fine acting by all especially Leonardo. A must see for Scorsese and Leonardo Fans and others too. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Marie Antoinette

Kirsten Dunst (of the First Spider Man Fame) stars as the teenager of Austria who gets married into the last French king and have a ball of time before she is executed by the French Revolutionaries. She was only 14 years when she got wed into the French Aristocracy and then got bored to death doing nothing. I was appalled by what I saw as the do nothing French Aristocracy wasted their nation's wealth while the poor person got hungry. Watching operas, eating, drinking, going to parties, strolling in their vast estate, hunting and generally doing nothing made me think that how disconnected the king of France was at that time. It was right for the people to stage a revolt, when the King does not care about their subjects. You really have to see this movie to believe what I am saying and feeling really disgusted at the wasteful of the money and lives of the French Royalty of that day. Highly recommended for the sheer absurdity.

On the lighter side-Movies-Kick-Ass

Very enjoyable supposedly teen movie regarding a nerdy guy who wears a costume and tries to become a super hero of sorts only to have his butt kicked quite often. Once in the field of superheroes, he encounters real life Father and Daughter crime fighting duo and takes on the bad guys with them. Very brutal in some parts especially when the girl (supposedly 11 or 12 years old) start killing the bad guys in ultra violent fashion and speaks foul and dirty language. With Nicholas cage as the father of the girl. Highly recommended if you can sit through some of the brutal and bloody scenes.

On the lighter side-Movies-The other guys

A truly fantastic Comedy Movie Starring Mark Walhberg and Will ferrel as two pencil pushers in the New York Police Department who gets chance to play true detective cops when two other macho cops commit suicide during a robbery. Over the top acting by Mark Walhberg and Will Ferrel with a surprising boss in the shape of Michael Keaton (seeing after a long time). With Eva Mendes as the hot girlfriend of Will Ferrel- the Police accountant. Very funny and action oriented movie. Definitely worth watching. Highly enjoyable and highly and Must Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-3.10 to Yuma (2007)

This is the updated version of the late fifties classic staring Russel Crowe as the bad guy and Christian bale as the rancher escorting him to the 3.10 Train to Yuma. Christian Bale is a struggling rancher who is going to town to settle some issues with his ranch debt and in comes Russel Crowe who has killed and ambused a wagon full of money with his companions. In town, Russel Crowe gets caught by the Sheriff of the town and he asks people to escort the prisoner to the 3.10 Train to Yuma. Christian bale jumps at the the chance of earning USD 200.00 and decides to accompany Russel Crowe to the station. His gang is not far behind and lots of shoot out occurs in the process. But not to give away the ending, this is a good Western to see just because of the cool acting by Russel Crowe. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Wolf Man (2010)

Updated version of the early 1940s classic with different second half. You have got to watch it in the Unrated version since it is more bloodier than the theatrical one. The transformation of Benicio Del Toro into a werewolf won an Oscar Award. With Anthony Hopkins as the father of the tormented Del Toro. The atmosphere British scenery sets the mood for this movie. Although due to the unrated version of this movie, it is sometimes hard to watch the bloody mess that the Wolf Man creates but that is also the best way to watch the director's version of this movie. Bloody fun, although it was a bomb at the box office, but still watch it for sheer bloody enjoyment. Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Brooklyn’s finest

Very gritty and depressing movie regarding New York City's Brooklyn Borough Cops dealing with corruption, temptation of money, drug dealers, prostitution and the like. Although the acting is good by all the top actors (including Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes), the general mood of the movie is very depressing and shows the true happenings that can tempt a man of law. Watch it for somewhat true picture of police life and temptations but be forewarned it is really depressing and sometimes hard to watch.

On the lighter side-Movies- Splice (French-Canadian)

Adrien brody stars as a scientist whose experiment into forbidden science creates a man/beast creature which turns initially is a benign one but becomes aggressive once it matures and eventually kills people. A weird movie to be sure. Not for all tastes but for a curiosity factor you can take a look. A little bit of Science fiction but not a horror movie of any sort. Go check it out. Not for my taste and as such Not Recommended. But for all you science fiction fans, another curious treat for you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-Dark days of Night: Dark days

This is the latest (number 2) installment in the Dark Days of Night series, although it went straight to DVD and did not see the light of day in theaters. It just continues on the saga on the last survivor of the first series who wants to avenge the death of her husband and the rest is you know it is the killing of the vampires’ mission. Just another saga of the vampire facination of the horror movies. I don’t know how long will the film makers keep on churning out these kinds of movies before they find an original concept or some original writers and take some risks with unknown actors and bring out a real true horror movie. Not Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies- A nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Here we go again. Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas I guess that is why they are making remakes of the movies long dead and gone. This seems to be the case here too as Freddy comes back to haunt the kids and put them to permanent sleep. Bloody movie with no redeeming value other than if you want to keep your score of the movies high, watch this sorry excuse of a movie. Although it made money (they just suckered more helpless kids and adults to watch this remake) , other Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Resident Evil: Afterlife

Another entry into the Zombie Apocalypse saga finding Milla Jovovich traveling to a promised land (this time in Los Angeles) where they will be safer from Zombies and instead again battling another horde of them. I watched it in 2D instead of the 3D and you can see that I missed most of the effect which were enhanced specifically for 3D theaters. But still it is nonstop action packed movie with few hints of horror than action. Highly Recommended. But if you are not a fan of Horror/Zombie/Action then you stay away from it.

On the lighter side-Movies-George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead (2010)

Another in the long running series started in 1968 and continuing up til 2010 (and I don’t know how many more are in the pipeline). This one takes place on an Island where there is a feud going on between two families. One family wants to kill all the Zombies and the other one keep them lock up and don’t kill them. This Island is supposed to be free from Zombie plaque affecting since the only way to get in or out is through the Sea. But as it happens in a movie, the plaque did not get restricted to the Mainland and ultimately it started to affect the protected inhabitants of the Island. Well in between this story there is the usual Zombie killing. Just does not shock me anymore but I keep on seeing these movies for dumbness. Maybe I should switch to the Italian Old Zombie movies for Shock and Awe factor. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Fast & Furious (2009)

The fourth in the series of drag racing is an exciting entry regarding the ex-convict Vin Diesel and the Fed Paul Walker trying to find their common enemy in the leader of the drug cartel in Mexico. Very fast car racing and excellent action drives this fourth installment of the series. I have heard that after Fast Five, they are filming back to back Fast Six and Seven at the same time. So stay tuned. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Australia

A very long movie in which Nicole Kidman plays a widow trying to save her ranch from villains and enlists the help of Hugh Jackman in the process. It is filmed in the backdrop of World War where the Japanese attack Australia. I had to struggle to watch this movie (over 2 and half hours long) and the movie and acting were okay. But if can't sit through the whole movie, you are not alone. Since it failed at the box office. Only for patient movie fans, otherwise Not Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Devil (2010)

The guy who brought you The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, Unbreakable (superb movie) comes another one of the so called Horror/Suspense/ Mystery Category Movie. It is about five people who are trapped in an elevator and find out that one of them is a Devil and is killing each of them one by one. Claustrophobic movie makes you feel like not riding the elevator any more. But each one of them has hidden criminal past and in the elevator setting each one gets their nerves cracked up. I did not enjoy it and the people who brought you the above mentioned good movies are not up to par here. Not Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Fertile ground

Another one of the Run of the Mill horror movie but with less gore and more psychological trauma movie, regarding a couple who relocate to a rural area after encountering a tragedy in the urban setting and then the isolation and the history of the house gets to them and bizarre showings in the house drive the wife to see her husband as trying to kill her. It is nicely done but with scaring people with ideas that have been done to death, this one is also in that fine category. Nothing new here except nice acting, otherwise Not Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Chain Letter

Okay I am back to my old self again, watching stupid and predictable horror movies like I have to watch as many dumb horror movies as I can. Any way it is about a serial killer who sends email to unsuspecting teenagers asking them to forward his email to their friends and if they do not or delete it, he somehow knows that and then takes brutal tactics to kill them one by one. Pretty bloody mess of a movie with just one redeeming warning that do not put your whole profile on the internet. Not recommended.

Friday, October 21, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-The last house on the left (2009)

This is the modern updated version (remake) of the early 1970s movie of the same name which was considered very controversial at that time. But since times have changed and so has the tolerance of violence in movies. But this movie still gives you the creeps of how mild mannered folks can turn their personalities upside down in the face of violence. It is about how four people brutalize two girls (including a graphic rape) and how they come up to the house of one of their victims and get tables turned on them in ways they think would not have done to them. Very graphic and violent. Not for the squeamish. Recommended but only if you have stomach for the level of violence. Otherwise stay away from it.

On the lighter side-Movies-Hatchett-II

Sequel to the equally dark and violent horror movie. It is about a human deformed monster terrorizing the Louisiana Bayou and anybody who comes in contact with him. The story takes off exactly where it left off with the sole survivor of the previous massacre returning to the swamp with some more hunters to hunt and kill the beast. Very violent if you want to see the unrated version. Although just an excuse to continue the series with more innovative ways to kill. Not recommended for any one.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Palestinian question

Usually I don’t ward into super contentious issues, but if you have been my blog follower, you have read about this too. Now the new twist in this is that the Palestinians want a member status in the United Nations and the only nations knowingly opposed to it are the U.S. and Israel. Now I am not in the shoes of the Palestinians and the Israelis about how they feel in their respective places but for the U.S. to keep on interfering in their matters when it is can be clearly seen that the U.S. is losing clout on both of them is a waste of time and effort on our part. It is a known fact by now that the U.S. will not let any resolution against Israel without vetoing it and the Palestinians will not get their way.

Since I was born I have been hearing about this conflict and frankly despite the best (or not) intensions of the U.S. nobody in this three way relationships will budge from its stance on issues that are near and dear to them. This issue has been going on so long and I don’t believe that it will be resolved soon or to any body’s complete satisfaction. Now with this membership bid at the United Nations, it also would not change a thing and life will go. I am not pessimistic but realistic about this issue. It is just a waste of time for the U.S. government to keep on pushing for something that is not achievable to everybody’s liking. We have many other solvable issues to deal with than to keep on solving this unsolvable issue.

Lender of the last resort-China?

Since the beginning of the European debt crisis, the Europeans solely are trying to stave off the contagion that will happen if Greece fails. Among other suggestions, one that is gaining somewhat support is to contact China and have it buy some heavily indebted European countries bonds. The Italians have already talked to them and the Chinese have obliged somewhat but nothing more. Now it is such an irony that China was sometimes called the Sick man of Asia and now it has the world’s biggest foreign currency reserves and clout to go with it and now the Sick man of Asia is being courted by the Sick people of Europe to save them from bankruptcy.

But as with other solutions, this will not materialize as the Chinese are too smart to start buying the European Debt without any substantial in return. Although Europe is one of their biggest markets and they don’t want to go down, but to invest in individual countries will not cut out for the Chinese. For one they are still classified as a developing country with millions of people under poverty (unlike Europe) and they don’t want to squander away their foreign reserves on bonds where they will get nothing in return. They may be the biggest foreign currency holders but they want to make sure that they invest it wisely in these uncertain times and right now Europe is not a good place to invest as it has now become the Sick man of Europe.

Europe in Debt Valley-2

Every day has become a nail bitter for Greece, Europe and the rest of the world as everybody is watching whether Greece will make it or default on its debt and leave the Euro to come back to its old currency. It just shows that nationalities trump the sense of belonging to one continent. Everybody jealously guards their own sovereignty and when it comes to making financial contributions, national pride trumps everything and old stereotypical attitudes comes to surface. If Greece was the only one, somehow or some way it could have been contained but with Ireland, Portugal, Spain and now Italy in the picture, it is harder to know how the Euro will be saved as you can only just have enough funds to save small countries but not Spain or Italy.

The infighting that is going on within Europe to find a cure for the Greek ills is still not finished as nobody wants to commit unlimited amount of funds (read: Debt) to fund a country which will not have the means to pay it back any time soon unless massive cuts in spending and increased tax collection takes place. European debt crisis is not going to go away soon as the markets and even politicians are now beginning to realize that in order to save the Euro, there will have to some sort of exit of some fiscally weak countries. Just like in order to save a life you have cut off the affected part, the same should be true of Europe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Europe in Debt Valley

Ah the Great continent called Europe now in Debt valley and surviving day by day on crisis mode. What happened to this great continent where some of the world richest nations are? It is not hard to see that some nations were more equal than others and the massive welfare state that was being sustained was just a smoke screen for accumulating debt after debt and masking the true nature of debt which still is not known. Then the great idea came to integrate the currencies of European nations into one eliminating the old currencies and in effect the fiscal sovereignty of several nations without having a plan to deal with bankruptcy or worse exit of any nation in the European Union.

It is a real tragedy and I can say arrogance on the part of the European Union to assume that every nation will be equal in the union without taking into account the different histories, languages, cultures, animosities and financial realities that goes with it. Even if all Europeans think that they are alike based on their shared religion, this economic crisis has exposed the truth that ethnicity plays in people lives every day (for a comparison see the Arab nation divided into 22 countries based on one religion). The Greek government’s financials are in shambles and every few months they have to cut some of their budget in order to qualify for a few billion dollars while the Germans and other rich nations accuse them of deceit and laziness.

And the Salaries remain sluggish

A few days ago, another price hit was given to us commuters who commute from New Jersey to New York, an increase in the transit and bridges toll. And this will not be end of it since they plan to increase every year for the next four years. They want it to be used for the World Trade Center constructions and also some for the maintenance of the roads, transit and bridges. My question is everything is going up except the salaries of the people who ride on these transit systems and roads. I know the economy is tough and I am thankful that I have a job, but the cost of living keeps on increasing without any corresponding increase in salaries or at least some other supplemental income to help with these costs.

While keeping these modes of transportation should be the utmost priority but what about the people who will have to pay for these costs. It is becoming increasingly expensive to live now in the Northeast of the U.S. as the costs of going to the city keeps on increasing. And then the politicians and economists keep on saying that our economy is sluggish and people are not spending enough money to spur the economy. Well if you keep on increasing the costs of reaching your work to earn a living, how will people spend somewhere else when there is so much uncertainty out there? It is nice to lament the lack luster economy but practical solutions to jump start it is hard to come by except increase the cost of living while leaving people to deal with the ever decreasing value of the dollar.

Running out of ideas on economy-2

And what does the government do change this, another stimulus package (which has slim chances of passing the debt weary Congress). This time it is tax, cut and spend (not the usual Tax and spend), but again the Republicans and not ready to come to grips with the tax and spend policy, although they are ready with the cut phase of the stimulus). And the FED is also trying to jump in the ship with its own stimulus because they are concerned with the sluggish pace of job growth. But we have been all through this before and we have not seen any noticeable impact on the job market. Although it is not going to happen but the overburdened regulation and sluggish demand is what is holding back the economy this time around.

The world has moved on to better things but we are still stuck with burdening our businesses with more regulation. To comply with this is more expense rather than income and the businesses don’t want extra employee to have more regulation to comply with if they can make do with the one they have now. Labor costs due to overregulation is high as compared to other countries and if we want to compete, we would either have to have reduced regulation or lower standard of living since all the companies are doing now is to outsource their business or lower the salaries of their entry level employees. As many have seen the government have run out of ideas to stimulate the economy and we should not expect much from them in the coming months or years as overregulated businesses and heavily indebted individuals hold tight the money they can get their hands on.

Running out of ideas on economy

As anybody who is a least bit of interested in the economy of the U.S. or the world seems to come to a conclusion that even after throwing everything at the economy to spur it to move and grow, the economy seems to be stuck in glue like situation. I am saying this because the government pushes through some stimulus package and it sticks for a while but when the impact is finished, the economy comes unglued. This is what is happening to the U.S. economy right now. More and more money (or rather I should say “stimulus”) is being put into place and when it is gone, we will be back to square one. You are essentially training people to wait to respond to some stimulus and when it comes, it is a “aha” situation that without the government providing stimulus, the economy would stay the same.

I don’t know if it is the right or the wrong approach. But to put it bluntly, it is the wrong approach since the money being spent is being funded by more debt but the end result is still the high unemployment rate. The people who are feeling the impact of this sluggish economy will tell you that the economy never came out of recession (no matter what the economists say otherwise). You just have to read the newspapers and surf the internet to find out how the economy is affecting people of all classes, that the economy is not creating enough jobs to support the ever increasing population.

The unemployment curse

Since I have been two bouts of unemployment I know how difficult it is to be unemployed for long or any period of time. You may have all the time in the world but that is in it a curse since you don’t have the money to spend in that “leisure time”. Then if you have a family, you have to answer or at least avoid looking into the eyes of your significant other that you have sent out resume or at least contacted some companies. You really do feel a lowly person when you are out of a job. Although it is not your fault but the fact is if you are not working it may seem that it is your fault that you are even unable to secure the minimum wage job (not that I am looking down on this categories of employees) but if you are unable to land a minimum wage job, you really feel that you have let yourself and your loved ones down (no matter how bad the economy is).

Even if you trying to help your significant other by doing other chores like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning around the house, lawn mowing, picking up kids, helping them with their homework, taking out garbage, etc., your family may rather see you working and bringing home the income than doing the other “chores”. If you are out of work for a long time (like more than six months or so), you try to avoid your relatives and your in laws lest the topics turn to “did you find a job”? It is not a pretty situation and believe me I really hate people who come back from vacation and say that it was too short. Would they want to trade in for a uncertain long term vacation?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Death is not easy

We always see or read or know somebody who have died and don’t know how it feels to die. Because of course unless somebody experiences death or death like experience, other people would just see the end result that is the death. I have experiences two near death experiences and believe me folks it is no laughing matter. Both times I almost drowned in water. One was in a lake and once in a pool. But the most vivid one I remember is the lake one. When I was drowning and trying to escape death and my friend was trying to save me, I was struggling to get out of the clutches of death. I just felt somebody sucking the life out of my body, inch by inch, piece by piece. It was not a good feeling because it really takes some extraordinary strength to take a soul from somebody.

There is also no such thing as white light that is depicted in countless movies and books. You just see darkness around you and the only thing you have in your mind (if it is working ) is how to survive because if it is not your time to go, then you will succeed and if it is your time then no power or circumstances can prevent that from happening. So next you see somebody in a dying state, just try to think that for you it may be just another some painful event, but for the person enduring that death, it is the end of life.

Extreme jobs situations

I have been reading an interesting article (aren’t they all are) regarding how this economy has made ordinary folks go to extreme lengths to find jobs or earn money. There was one father who had to go to Iraq to fire fighting. And then there was another person who goes out at night to scavenge food with his son in the garbage pile of restaurants. And the most extreme one is about a lawyer who lost her job and had to go topless in order to pay the bills. I am just discussing this to show that these are unusual times and unusual times call for unusual ways to earn money and support your family. These are only people who have decided to come forward and tell their stories, there may be more even hundreds of thousands who are living this kind of life style and trying to put food on the table in unusual ways.

In other ways there are situations where people have to go to work in other states or even have to commute hours to reach their work. Unless you are in their shoes, you would not know how hard it is for them to do this. It is a failure of our government that the jobs are disappearing and there is no credible policy to arrest this decline. We are constantly buying stuff on credit and spending billions on the military while the people of this country are trying to find whatever ways they can to keep their head above water. It is really a shame and you can read it all over the internet the struggles people are enduring every day just to survive in this unforgiving economy.

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 came and went by smoothly. Although there were unconfirmed reports about some terror plot and police and other law enforcement agencies were on high alert but everything went by without a hitch. The 9/11 memorial has been opened to the public and constructions is still going on strong on the World Trade Center site. It has been 10 years to that fateful day when terror hit the United States in unspeakable ways. I still remember that I was working midtown when the first plane hit. First it was thought of as an accident, but when the second plane hit, it dawned on everybody that it was no accident but a deliberate attack on the U.S. We were glued to the radios and also TV and then we were asked by the building management to immediately evacuate the building and thus I went downstairs and then I went up a few blocks to the Borders store and nearby I saw the TV showing the attacks on the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

All through this time, we have invaded Afghanistan and also Iraq and have spent trillions of dollars on this so called “War on Terror” and I believe we will be constantly on high alert. Our security forces have done a commendable job keeping America safe and secure and constantly thwarting any terror plot since we should never let our guard down to the threats that are constantly emanating from within the U.S. and without.

On the lighter side-Movies- The Maze (2010)

Why I watch stupid horror movies is one question I don’t seem to have an answer for. I love horror movies but some movies which are billed as horror is more like suspense with a good measure of gore thrown to disguise it as a horror movie. This is one kind of movie that you should avoid it if you can. Stretching this movie to 90 minutes was a big crime as it should have done with in less than an hour. Low budget movie which could have been made in any maze and maybe during the day would have made me watch not as intensely as it is hard to watch it in dark. It is about five friends who crash into an abandon and closed corn maze and lo and behold encounter their deaths at the hands of a serial killer. Nothing surprising here. Not recommended for anybody.

On the lighter side-Movies- Hunt to Kill

Stone cold Steve Austin Stars in this action packed movie regarding a US border patrol who has relocated to Montana along with his rebellious daughter to start anew, but come face to face with a ruthless brand of killers looking for stolen money and forcefully kidnaps his daughter and him to track their betrayed friend and recovered the loot. As you know that Steve Austin was a one time World Wrestling champion and now uses his muscles to make hit or miss action oriented B movies. Along with Gary Daniels, this is a time killer with somewhat patchy action in between. Recommended if you are fan, otherwise avoid it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The very small business

Everybody is talking about the small business nowadays. But the definition of the small business I believe is a little misleading any business with less than 500 employees is considered a small business. If it is in my case it would be like less than 50 employees not 500. Anyway, the talk of small business shed light on these people who hire more people than they previously have. But what about the businesses that have less than 10 people or even less than 5 people as their employees. Nobody talks about them since their hiring capacity is so low as not to affect the unemployment rate. Nowadays it is very hard for these very small businesses to raise money, expand their business and even hire people when there is so much uncertainty out their regarding demand, health care laws, taxes etc.

I believe that more attention should be given to these small businesses as they can really ramp up hiring of people if the right conditions are there to support their effort. Although the sole proprietorship are many in numbers but once their business outgrow beyond their capacity to manage it individually then they try to expand and then find out that they cannot due to financial constraints. Now more than ever, these small businesses should courted aggressively and given priority in loans and credit since they have more in stake for the success of their business than business having more than 50 or more people as employees.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies- MacGruber (2010)

Will forte stars as the indestructible MacGruber (based on a character in the Saturday Night Live show also a parody of the hit TV series MacGyver), brought out of retirement to fight his nemesis Val Kilmer who had previously killed his wife. Gross out comedy with some nude scenes and sexual situations thrown in to shore up the movie. It also stars Power Booths and Ryan Phillipe. Although it has some comedy scenes, but that does not hold up the movie very well. Recommended if you like nudity and sexual situations to hold the movie together otherwise stay away from it. Absolutely not recommended for children.

On the lighter side-Movies-Black Death (2010)

Black Death refers to the bubonic plague that swept Europe in the 14th century and killed millions. This is one of the fictional accounts of one such mission by an emissary of the bishop of England to a remote village where there are reports of the dead coming back to life and there is no plague. It stars Sean Bean as one of the emissary who gets the help of a young monk to travel to that place and bring those people back to the teachings of the Church. A little bit bloody with dreary atmosphere to give it an authentic look. But it is not that great of a movie and it is just a time killer. But even if you have to time to kill, use it for some other movie worth your time and attention and satisfaction. Not Recommended.

The economy going nowhere

Every month, usually the economists and politicians get excited or disappointed by the unemployment numbers and they base their analysis with how much the economy is going to improve. But as many people have experienced it, the economy is at a standstill and whatever excitement the unemployment generates, it is not going to erase the fact that the general public is broke and getter more so every day. Most of the people were underwater already with their mortgages and the hurricane made their biggest investment-the house literally under water. So now the people are battling not only market forces but also natural forces. Their biggest ATM has just been gutted to the ground.

The same ATM that was used some years ago to get anywhere from home equity line of credit to spend it on vacations, college education, cars, renovation, investment property is now completely drained of superficial money. Maxed out of credit card and under water houses, car payments and grocery bills, people are really stressed out and under huge amount of debt and there is no way in sight if it is going to end before the next elections. So whatever the incentive to reduce taxes and other monetary benefits that the government may or may not dole out in future, it is all going to either reduce the debt or increase the savings in these uncertain times. So from here on , experts advice on the economy should be taken with a grain of salt if it is too optimistic because for a few years, the economy is not going anywhere and staying put.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-Mirrors 2

Mirrors 2 is a direct to video horror movie which has slight comparison to the original one. In it a security guard who had a terrible accident in which his fiancé was killed, as a favor starts working in a soon to be opening departmental store and start seeing image of a girl in the mirror and decides to help her find her killer. Not a great movie to boost about although the effects are a little graphic. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies- The Keeper

When I was young, I used to watch Steven Seagal movies and enjoyed it. But now I am not sure about it, although he has been making movies right and left but all of them are ending in direct to video with limited shelf life. This is one of his latest movies in which he plays a cop who is doubled crossed by his partner and he kills him and escape to the south to help his buddy baby sit for his daughter. The usual gun and fist fights, but now he seems like a bit tired and heavy set. Anyway, if you have the time to kill watch it but don’t sweat on finding it. Not recommended.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The storm that was the story

This past week northeast U.S. got hit by hurricane Irene with all the assorted winds and rains accompanying it. My house was luckily enough not much affected except I had water in the basement like 2 inches which had to be drained about. It took I and my wife almost six hours to drain the water out, because every time we thought the basement got dry, the water came coming back. This maybe because New Jersey got hit by unusual amount of rain this summer and the ground was saturated and the water had no where to go, so it kept on seeping in thru the walls. But thankfully there were no power outages so that we were able to clean the basement without being in the dark. But not all of the people were lucky; some had their basement flooded out and no power for several days.

Cleaning up is still going on and the rivers that dot New Jersey are still rising making one miserable summer for some people whose houses were completely taken over by swollen rivers. As I have pointed out before, that it is nice to live near the river with views of tranquil water flowing towards the sea but you just need to have one heavy rainfall to ruin your house and then you have to do evacuations and salvage your belongings. I don’t know how people do it some year in and year out but apart from the financial loses the emotional and physical toll it brings on people can only be felt by those affected by it. Anyway people are trying to get back to their normal lives after these devastating hurricanes.

The irritating, turnoffs, annoyances and the obnoxious Behavior-2

I am sure everybody has their turnoffs behaviors too. For example, if you are snoring and the other person does not or is trying to go to sleep then it becomes a little bit more than annoying, it becomes obnoxious and inconsiderate behavior. I know that sometimes people cannot control their snores but what fault is of the other person who has to suffer such agony. Another one is when you are in a public place and people after doing their stuff in the restroom don’t wash their hands and just leave. It is clearly unhygienic and inconsiderate on the part of that person. Oh, the best one is when a person is flipping pages and every time he (or she) moist their finger to flip a page. It is highly annoying and irritating behavior.
I don’t know about you but another one is the law where you have to clean after your dog. It is a highly gross out behavior, picking the crap of your dog by your hand. Most of the people due this diligently and have an ingrained habit built into them, but it becomes really gross when the snow falls and the dogs do their stuff and some people cover it up with snow. So when the snow melts then you see the crap all over your place. I can just keep on going about all the annoying behavior that people indulge in that makes me stay away from those people if I have a choice but sometimes you don’t and you have to share this world with time. I wish people can realize what they are doing and avoid embarrassing themselves and other people.

The irritating, turnoffs, annoyances and the obnoxious

I believe that everybody must have encountered one of two of the above in your life time. Most of you may also have it in recurring times at different places and it is not a happy face when you see one. For example I have my all time top of the list is the playing loud music when you have a head phone on. When I travel the subway, sometimes I hear a loud music from somebody’s ears and it annoy the heck out of me. There was this one time, not to long ago that in a pin drop train silence, out came a loud music from a person who was in his old world. Everybody was trying to find out who he was and on top of that he was playing the same music again and again. I guess some people are not considerate about others and they will get theirs in the end.

Other one is of the person who drives the slowest in the fastest lane and sometimes they are on the phone. If you want to be on the phone drive at the right side and not on the left. I guess there the people forget that they are really driving. Other one is the person who is picking up his nose in front of everybody oblivious of his surroundings and then pretends that nothing happened. How much irritating and annoying behavior is that is beyond me?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Delusional by choice

We as an American people have decided that we would be delusional when it comes to fiscal responsibility. In times like these when everybody is talking about reducing Federal Deficit, in comes the American Public to say that they don’t want the politicians or any other for that matter to touch their Medicare and Social Security benefits, not surprising many people were also opposed to reducing the defense budget. And these folks (according to a recent poll) include the “beloved” TEA Party activists. Now I don’t know how we are ever able to reduce the deficit (and the debt also) when the majority oppose tax hikes, and majority also oppose any cuts to their entitlement benefits.

As I have said several times in the past in my blog that we will have to tackle the entitlement and the defense monster if we are going to have a decent dent in our debt growth, there is no way out of it and in the meanwhile (although I am oppose to tax hikes) it is a bitter truth that there will be tax hikes in the future. But right now we as a nation have lost all sense of reality and are trying to protect the unprotected part of the budget. This debate will keep on going and painful decision will be kept on postponing until we will have to the doomsday scenario budget cuts and tax hikes which I hope will not be necessary. We should stop our delusional decision and start working on reality.