Saturday, February 25, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-In order of disappearance (2014-Norway)

A snow removal operator in Norway finds out his son has died of overdoes. He plots revenge against the drug dealers with deadly consequences. Slow but enjoyable. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Bornless ones (2016)

A group of friends moves into an isolated cabin that harbors deadly secrets. Good horror movie, bloody and gory. Recommended with caution

Traveling anxieties by air-2

Then once you get your luggage checked in, you proceed to the security line for the screening of your items that you will carry with you on board. Since 9/11/2001, screening has become more stringent and in addition to automatic scanning, sometimes manual checking is done on persons. Once you clear the scanning, you collect your belongs and proceed to the gate number where your flight is going to take off from. Once you reach your designated gate, you will have to wait for the boarding instructions which are at least forty minutes before the flight take off time. So in order to kill time, you can either go on the internet or buy some snacks to satisfy your hunger. I suggest buying your snacks before you enter past the security area as the snacks are quiet expensive in the departure lounge. But liquids you cannot carry with you so you have buy in the departure lounge. When the gates are opened for boarding, the passengers who are first class and have other special privileges are allowed to board first. For me it is not a big deal since you are designated a particular seat number, so you can wait your turn if you are in the economy class. But once inside the plane, a sense of claustrophobia sinks in as you see so many people in close proximity with you flying on the same plane for a few hours (or more) can be sometimes nerve wrecking. You carryon can be put in the overhead bin or under your chair, and after that you get seated with annoying seat belts which are just the size that fit you tightly. And then the traveling starts. This is the just the added hassles that you may encounter when traveling by air.

Traveling anxieties by air

For some the word travel means excitement but for others it means excitement coupled with tension and anxiety in preparation of that travel. Whether you are traveling by car, train, ship or by air, the hassle of packing your stuff and planning your trip if it is for pleasure or vacation can be a gargantuan and stressful task. But if you are going to travel by air, the stress multiples in terms of the time and effort put into it. Although the packing is the same, but the added time to get to the airport adds to the stress. If you are going to a domestic destination, you have to reach the airport before a certain time and if you are traveling internationally then the time to arrive at the airport almost doubles. Then you have to make sure that if you flight in the morning that you wake up at a certain time to beat the traffic rush in order to reach the airport. If it is the international travel, you have to make sure that you are carrying your passport which should be unexpired. Then the boarding pass needs to be printed and then you have to check your suitcases making sure that they are not above the maximum weight allowed because if it does then either you can do two things, one is to pay for the extra weight (which nobody wants to pay for it of course) or you can if you have another suitcase which is of less weight, you can transfer your stuff from the overweight suitcase to the less weight one and avoid the fees. This can be stressful as I have done it before.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-The Wailing (2016)-Korean

The arrival of a stranger in a village coincides with mysterious sickness among the villagers. A cop tries to find reason behind the mystery. Long but interesting horror movie. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The Nice Guys (2016)-Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe

The adventures of two misplaced private detectives in 1970s Los Angeles. Good action comedy. Recommended

Monday, February 20, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Arrival (2016) - Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner

A linguistic is tasked to decipher the language of the alien visitors. Interesting concept and execution. Recommended


It is the hardest thing to manage in one’s life and I have seen (including I) struggling with how to manage time. Sometimes we succeed but most of the time we fail. You may have heard many idioms regarding time like “time is of the essence” and “time is money”. A new trend is emerging which is in the initial stages but may catch on is the time of arrival to come to the office. A few years ago, it is essential that you reach your office on time (like at 9.00 AM) but with no time to leave or leave when ones work is done but lately, the bosses have either come to realize or have become relaxed that sometimes people are late due to traffic or weather conditions but there is no rule to punish or admonish the person as long as the work gets done and the client’s needs are served. But sometimes, you have to really be on time even if the other person is not as you may be perceived to be a slacker if you keep on missing your time to come to work. I have noticed that the time to come to the office gets noticed by management but the time to leave gets ignored which is very curious. But it is not only for the office but other events that despite your best efforts, you are late and sometimes feels embarrassed or after a while don’t care anymore as it becomes part of life that you are not in control of how you control time as so many factors are involved which can result in your leaving late and coming late to some occasion. And it is time that flies so fast that you are at a lost to what happened, especially if have kids and you see them growing up and then realize that how fast they have grown up and feel the loss of time that you have missed spending with them. Time waits for nobody and we need to manage our time wisely in order to gain the maximum benefits out of it.

On the lighter side-Movies-All through the house (2015)

A person disguised as a Santa Clause starts a bloody and gory killing spree in a small town. The movie was gory enough to be enjoyable with an unexpected twisted ending. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Heroes wanted (2016-Spain)

Spanish comedy action movie about an inept elite team of would be Special Forces tasked with recovering a lost nuclear bomb. Some good jokes but nothing much going for it. Not Recommended

Saturday, February 18, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Bodom (2016-Finnish)

European horror movie about a group of people investigating a lake where four people before were killed with the killer still at large. I struggled to keep my attention as it was boring from my point of view. Not Recommended

Love the snow, not the aftermath

Recently my town in New Jersey got eight inches of snow. The Snow started falling in the late at night and became heavy as the day went by. And as usual before the arrival of the snow, there was a lot of warning of stocking up of supplies, closing of schools and traffic disruption anticipated. And our town was one of the luckiest ones as the storm moved eastwards; the amount of snowfall went up reaching in some towns to eighteen inches. As usual, the cleanup crew to clear the roads came up in full force to clean main roads first and then the local street roads. As I have said in my numerous posts before, I love the snowfall and it does seem pretty when it is falling but it is only pretty when it is falling because when it stops the actual heartache starts. Some people during these storms lose power and it really becomes a cumbersome chore when the weather is below freezing and you have to clean the snow. It is better to start cleaning right away because as the weather remains below freezing, the fluffy snow becomes hard overnight and then you have to deal with putting more pressure on yourself to clean the hardened surfaces on your car and in your driveways. So the day after the snow is the cleanup time for individuals as the surface gets hardened and the cars have to start for a few minutes longer to make them warm enough to drive. As the title says for me at least I love the snow, not the aftermath.

On the lighter side-Movies-Bad Kids of Crestview Academy (2016)

Bad kids placed under detention in an elite educational school fight for survival against an unknown killer in this black comedy/horror spoof. Recommended

Respect and family

Respect and family are the two things that people don’t want to mess about it and I have heard it or listened to it in numerous occasion that you don’t disrespect somebody and also don’t mess with their families if their families maybe the worst in the world. Especially when I watch shows in which they show inside the prison system, the recurring theme that I listen from the prisoners is that somebody disrespected them or their families and that is how they got into trouble and even in the prison, this theme of respect and family is carried over and sometimes results in violence. Because I believe in the prison system, respect is the only thing that is hurtful to every prison regardless of his or her prison time. Outside the prison, respect for oneself and taking care of your families is the number priority for even the most hardened criminal not to mention normal people. Respect for oneself and for their families is what drives people to behave humanly towards each other and if you don’t do that towards each other then all hell can break lose for even the supposedly lowest of the profession and the poorest of the poor demand and deserve respect because it is the only way they can stand their head up high and move along in life. And you know it does not cost anybody anything to give respect to each other in everyday life and that is how the society in which we live are held together peacefully without hatred and bigotry.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fear of State

Although it has been going on forever but recently the clampdown of anything anti state has been ramped in not only developing states but also developed states as well. But it is really worse in developing states as those states with fragile governments use every excuse in the book and out of it to clamp on dissent and accuse their own citizens of anti state and anti religion activities and in the garb of these accusations, jail these so called enemy of the states and even make them disappear. Sometimes clamping on rights activities mean denying them passports and create fabricated accusations which are then abetted by their supporters to make sure the voice of reason is not heard and make them an example so that other people of similar views keep quiet. Lately due to the rise of the social media and the climate of fear due to the rise of terrorist related activities, governments all over the world have been clamping down on dissent in the name of national security, definition of which is so broadly defined that anything you say even if it sounds reasonable can be construed as being against the mainstream official view and you can be accused simply based on this as being part of some anti state group which does not want to see the society secured. People have to be very careful of what they post on social media especially if they are in some security obsessed state since even your best friends can look the other way when it comes to state accusing you of subversive activity if you have posted something on social media.

Moving to Mexico-2

But even if you job is highly automated, you can’t beat four dollars a day in Mexico even with all the infrastructure remains the same. Despite a much diversified economy, the U.S. is still one of the most expensive places to do business and it all relates to the regulation and taxes that are imposed on the business. Now with all the automation going on, I am worried that the low skilled people will be in dire straits despite the attempts by some to increase their wages to fifteen dollars an hour which is to me highly ridiculous. As I have said before, I have seen jobs which require bachelor degrees advertising fifteen dollars an hour. If you are going to offer minimum wages at fifteen, the people who had been there before and are at fifteen and above will demand more and this will ripple through all the departments in the organization. But back to Mexico and despite what the President says, the businesses will make decision based on what is good for the company and their shareholders, the only game changer will be if the same goods exported from Mexico costs the same as if it were made in the U.S. Until this happens, business will keep on moving their production to Mexico but also keep on keep some jobs in the U.S. to make sure there is minimal protest of people losing jobs in the U.S.

Moving to Mexico

No, it’s not me; I am talking about jobs moving to Mexico because for some companies, the U.S. has become too expensive and too much regulation to give much profit to the companies who are fleeing there to get a break on their costs. I mean despite the efforts by the new U.S. Administration to impose a border tax on goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico and appealing for the companies to stay in the U.S., the march of the companies goes south. Even if some of the companies are choosing to have production stay in the U.S., most of the companies are confidently moving their production line to Mexico even under this climate of Nationalism and trade protection. Why that is the production keeps on moving to the south. The answer is simple, economics. If nobody has guessed that by now, they should take classes again in economics if they have not already done so. Why would anybody want to move their production to Mexico when you have far more productive people willing to work in the U.S. although more expensively. Simple case of economics as the regulatory environment is very lax and also the cost of labor is only four dollars a day as compared to 7.25 per hour in the U.S. so even if the productivity level of the Mexican workers is less than the U.S. the cost to acquire and train them to do the same job as is being done in the U.S. outweighs the higher cost in the U.S. How would you be able to beat that unless you are in very economically depressed part of the U.S. and your job is highly automated enough to lower the cost advantage.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-31 (2016)-Sherri Moon Zombie

Five people are kidnapped and are forced to participate in an underground tournament to survive against violent and sadistic killers. Good effort, but gory. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Skiptrace (2016-Hong Kong)-Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville

A cop from Hong Kong teams with an American to capture a Chinese criminal. Not as good as the hyperactive Jackie Chan movies but passable. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Magi (2016-Turkish)

A woman tries to save her sister from demonic forces in this good horror effort from Turkey. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Dance of Death (1976-HK)-Angela Mao

A woman tricks two Martial arts masters to make her teach their different style in order to avenge her friends’ death. Suspend your beliefs and just enjoy the comedy and various ridiculous styles of Martial arts. Curiously in this movie, Angela Mao keeps getting referred to as a man and not woman. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Stoner (1974)-George Lazenby, Angela Mao

An Australian cop and Taiwanese copy go undercover in Hong Kong to destroy drug business. Martial arts action galore. Recommended with caution

Saturday, February 11, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-The Charnel House (2016)

A remodeled slaughterhouse into a condo building haunts its new inhabitants. Nothing special. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Trolls (2016-Animated)

When the happy trolls are captured by grumpy beings, the troll princess tries to rescue them with the help of her friends. Superbly feel good movie. Highly recommended

What if you are all alone?

A few days ago I was watching a movie and just realized that how human beings long to have association with another human being. Long days of loneliness have been seen by some people to descend into going crazy and if you are alone somewhere, although it is nice for a while but afterwards it just seems that you very glad to see someone to talk too even it is just a stranger. Despite all the social media websites sprung up during the last few years, social interaction has not gone down. And if someone becomes isolationist and only deal with people on the social media then some people think it is dangerous for that person and the society as a whole. The biggest punishment that I have seen given to prisoners is the solitary confinement where the prisoners s are not allowed to have contact with other prisoners and this sometimes drive them crazy. In a reality based TV show, prisoners who are sent to solitary confinement beg to be allowed to come back into the general population. I don’t know what goes through their head while they are in solitary confinement but I guess having no contact with another human being does takes its toll on their minds. And if you are all alone with no human contact for a long period of time, I don’t know how an individual will be able to survive unless he/she starts talking with themselves and that is also a sign of going nuts.

Conflict of interest in business

The other day I was with someone talking about how the auditors needs to be audited and it got me thing that the guy was right in one sense that the internal auditors that the company has can help with the audit but the external auditors need their client base to consider when auditing the books of the company. They are supposedly independent but they have to satisfy their client from whom they are getting paid and if the audit is more adverse than internal auditors, then the external auditors may not be retained the next time and the company may go for audit shopping to find an auditor who is more favorable to them. And herein lies the conflict of interest, the external auditors are supposed to be independent and should strictly follow all the audit and accounting rules and laws to audit the books but as seen by the heavy fines given to the banks lately and ongoing, it seems that that internal and external auditors are not doing as much of a great job in protecting their clients from government fines. When such a thing happen, the regulators, be it with the state one or the federal regulators should step in and impose external auditors to audit the books of the company whose auditors may have intentionally or unintentionally overlooked some of the compliance issues related with the audit. I don’t mean to sound suspicious of all audits but the constant barrage of fines and penalties imposed on corporations and especially on banks means that the internal auditors are ignoring some of the aspects of audit or even overlooking them and thus creating perception that there are lax controls in the way banks handle compliance. In this case, I would rather have outside independent auditors sent with federal or state mandates and conduct their own audit as to make sure that banks and corporations are complying with all the laws of the state and Federal government.

The so called backlash against immigration ban

Since the Muslim Immigration ban started, there have been much protest and uproar in the U.S. regarding it as many people oppose to the ban have come out in the street to protest it with much intensity and ferocity but despite this there has been a very curious case of no protest in the heartland of America where people voted Republican as most protest have been concentrated in cities with big immigrant population. It is very curious that the majorities of these people are happy with the ban and already feel safe about it as it is like with a placebo that people feel good about although there is no effect. Already it was very difficult to come to the U.S. as it took eternity to go through all the interviews and vetting and background checks and then people were allowed in. There seems to be much divide between people in the heartland and those who are in the coastal cities as people who are in constant interaction with immigrant feel obligated to protest the ban. Maybe people in the heartland have less connection/contact with immigrants/Muslims and that is why they have been supportive of the ban and thus no protest to oppose the ban. It is rather curious and dangerous that now people have seen a great divide who oppose immigration generation and Muslims particularly and people who support it as a matter of safety and national security. I just wish that the political storm created over this ban should focus people to think the positive about human beings and not blame the actions of some deranged individuals who cleverly uses the name of a religion to blame all the followers of the religion as one cannot blame the action of one white supremacist on all the white race and religion.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Initial days of the New U.S. Presidency

It has only been fifteen days since the start of the new Administration in the U.S. and already it has created much anxiety and upheaval around the world especially in the U.S. First it was the immigration ban on seven Muslim majority nations for 90 days which has just recently overturned by a judge in Seattle, Washington. The President has been issuing executive orders right and left which also have started to include Obamacare, which the new President has said all along, he will dismantle (but now it seems he will be able to just tweak it to call it his own I guess). Then there was the executive order to start the process of building the wall along the Mexico-American border, and reportedly testy relations with Mexico and Australia along with getting tough with Iran and changing his tune with Israel regarding the new settlements in West Bank. For the most part, the executive order banning Muslims has been the most contentious as it has brought about huge crowds to protest this so called ban. Not a day goes by when there is not a protest regarding this ban. Also in regards to trade, he has withdrawn from the Pacific trade agreement and vowed to renegotiate with Mexico regarding NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada). He has also publicly clashed with companies who are sending jobs to Mexico and vowed to overhaul the immigrant visa that brings in so called highly skilled immigrants to the U.S. cheaply. All in all, it is just the start of his President and as I predicted this will be an interesting four years with many more of my posts dedicated to it.

Valentine’s Day marketing

As the end of January came, I started to see valentine day sales started to prop up all over the internet, especially the ones which had to do with flowers and chocolates, as the season of love heats up not only in the U.S. but also around the world. But nowhere it is more prominent as it is in the U.S. cause it is like black Friday for flower business (also on Mother’s day too). And it is not only flower shops that are counting their dollars for this day as jewelry stores and websites gear to advertise more and more in hopes of appealing to your heart to get stuff for their loved ones. Although people try to spend carefully all year long but especially for this occasion the marketers pull all the punch and try to induce guilt associated with not giving something special to their loved ones and supposedly force people on even very limited budget (like me) to splurge something even if it is a token gesture of love. Although I do spend some money on this occasion but it is really ridiculous that if you are trying to buy some flowers on this day, the prices become ridiculously outrageous and the one dozen red roses which on normal days may cost fifteen dollars becomes sixty or more and then if you want to include vase and some chocolates it can easily top hundred or more. The same can be said of the Mother’s day. So if you want to splurge some money on your loved ones, order early so that you can get a good deal and still be able to show your loved one you do care.

Fake news galore

There have been fake news all along but by the new election, it has reached a height never seen before. Now with this immigration ban in place, not a day goes by when you see fake news coming out by as many people as possible giving alternative or some news which they have heard by someone and they just pass it along without even first investigating if it is true or not. Due to the plethora of fake news, foreigner and would be immigrant are getting confused and scared about what is true or not. Facilitating this news is the circulation of it through social media which adds to more confusion. I know that in this case, people may have the intention to inform their loved ones or even common folk about what is going on but it is just hearsay and people ought to get the confirmation that the news is true before believing or decimating it to other people. This fake news have become so big that what is considered a satire have some time become a news item which is inadvertently carried by some major news media only to be embarrassingly retracted by them when it becomes clear that they were duped into believing it. The U.S. election had some fake news circulating on social media which some of the people have blamed for election loses by some candidates. Although social media giants have started to fight back against fake news on their websites, but it is too early to tell whether this will be enough to stop fake news.

Free speech concerns

Recently there was a protest against a speech given by a conservative person on the University of California, Berkeley, and the same place where the most contentious speeches have been made previously. But this time it was different as the supposedly peaceful protest turned into violence and the University had to cancel the whole speech before it even started. A similar thing has happened in New York University that a conservative person had to cancel the speech in view of the protests orchestrated by some students. Now I understand that since the election of the new President, things have not been running as smoothly as before and there has been a great divide between liberal and conservatives. But this time, people don’t even want to hear what the conservatives have to say and have resorted to violence and reportedly they have planned to keep up this kind of pressure. As you already know that I am a big proponent of freedom of speech and this includes speeches which are deemed uncomfortable by some and may hurt the sentiments of many people. But here is my point that even if the speech is hurtful, everybody should be given a chance to present their point of view and if you don’t like it present your point of view and convince the other side that they are wrong. Resorting to violence means that you have already convinced people that you don’t have a counter argument and the only way is to shut the other person. Freedom of speech is for everyone and it should be respected by all.

Subdued reaction to the U.S. Muslim ban

Since the seven Muslim country temporary ban came into place, there has been largely hue and cry and protest in the U.S. as people are outraged about this ban. But apart from Iran and lately Turkey, no other so called Islamic countries have come out in the open stating their opposition to this ban. In fact most of the Islamic world biggest countries have been very quiet about it since it does not affect them. But now one of the foreign ministers of United Arab Emirates (UAE) has come out in the open supporting this ban and here it shows how much there is unity in the Islamic world. Most of the non Muslim not affected by the ban have been protesting it and showing solidarity with the Muslim neighbors and refugees and you see the foreign minister of one the wealthiest Arab Countries coming out in favor of the ban. That is why I have been kept on emphasizing that the tears shed on the plight of Palestinians and now the Syrian refugees are just crocodile tears to show the world how much the Muslim and especially the Arab world cares about the Muslims since it is hard to imagine that for the seventy years, despite their enormous wealth, the Arabs and Muslims have been unable to force the Israelis to give Palestinian an opportunity to create their own homeland. And my argument also now holds true as Muslim countries that have not been banned have come out in support of the ban on their fellow Muslims. I rest my case. Appeal for donation: Please donate to this site so that I can provide you with views on current events and great movies. Your ongoing monthly contribution of 95 cents will help me in improving and maintaining this site. Thank you

The Retail competition heats up

Just a day ago, Wal-Mart ®, the biggest retailer in the world decided that to take on ® on its own turf, they are going to offer free two day shipping on two million items out of the 30 million items sold by them. Although everybody is applauding this move (including me) but in their case it is not as real competition as people think it is. True there is no membership fees (unlike ®) and the only condition is that the minimum order is $35.00 and it is a win-win situation for most customers who also happened to be® prime members where they have to pay $99.00 per year in order to avail the two day shipping. I will try Wal-Mart® and let you know how it goes but for now I believe that Amazon ® is much better than Wal-Mart® as Amazon ® much larger variety of items than Wal-Mart® for their two day shipping. Included in the Prime is also the unlimited streaming of movies available, plus free music and unlimited photo storage. Nothing can beat that, but if Wal-Mart can include all of the above and also include millions of other items in addition to the two million and still have no subscription fees than I think Wal-Mart® has a chance at giving serious headaches to ® but for now ® is still the winner but it will have now have to work harder to retain their loyal Prime customers. Appeal for donation: Please donate to this site so that I can provide you with views on current events and great movies. Your ongoing monthly contribution of 95 cents will help me in improving and maintaining this site. Thank you

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Far Right people

The recent attack in Quebec, Canada on the Muslim house of worship has been attributed to a guy who wrote far right views on immigration and religion on social media. In Europe, Far right parties are all the rage as they applause President Trump decision to ban immigrants from seven Muslim countries. Far right people hold extremist views about immigrants and about religion and mostly are associated with Islamophobia. But don’t think for a moment that Islam does not have far right people in it. Muslims are so concentrated on the far right activities in the west that they tend to forget that what they do sometimes is equal and even worse than what far right people do in the west. It is only because it is not advertised as such does not mean that it is not policies similar to far right extremists. Islam countries have worse problems accepting anybody who is not mainstream official Islamic sect in their countries. I mean if you are an Ahmadis in Pakistan or Shiites anywhere (except Iran and Iraq), you are pretty much screwed as the far right Islamic parties keeps on harassing their Muslim minorities and many times to the point of killing some of the sect members without any regard to remorse. So in addition to make hue and cry over extremists nationalist segments of the Western Society, the Muslims should also raise a voice against their own hate filled and bigot agenda in their home countries.

The H-1B visa for highly skilled applicants

Since the temporary immigration ban started for seven Muslim majority countries, people have been protesting the ban every day. In all this noise, there are other immigration issues that are coming to the table that will hurt non Muslim in the future. I am talking about the H-1B visa for highly skilled applicants that most Indian outsourcing companies use to send their employees to the U.S. for a couple of years to work in the IT industry. They are getting worried that President Trump will make adjustments to this program which they will be a big loser. Now I don’t really have a problem with outsourcing but when it starts to hurt the American people who are more than willing to work but are laid off only to be replaced by cheap third world labor, then I have an issue with it. Despite the Tech industry outcry of shortage of skilled workers, it is hard to see why there is a shortage of American workers. If the companies are willing to train workers who are out of work, I don’t think that there can be any shortage of workers. I just believe and I may or may not be wrong that the U.S. companies have gotten used to the idea of cheap labor and getting it that they are unable to come to terms with the fact that there are indeed no shortage of people and the reason is the companies are unwilling to pay better salaries and deal with all the benefits that come with hiring full time employees.

Terror attack in Quebec, Canada

Just two days ago, a perfectly healthy and with sound mind guy opened fire in a mosque in of all places Quebec, Canada and killed seven people who were peacefully gathered there for praying. As details are emerging about the shooter, it seems that he was a right wing white supremacist extremist who hated as obviously thought Muslims. I was shocked and taken aback by the violence because it happened in a very unlikely place in Quebec, Canada, the French speaking province. Canada has stricter gun control laws than the U.S. and they have a very vibrant minority and many immigrants are more welcomed there and are easily assimilated than in European Countries. I have been to Canada two times and have not encountered any hostility towards any minority. As with the U.S. shooting for which no active terrorist organizations are involved directly, this also seems a case of lone wolf activity. Obviously this guy might have been inspired by the recent election in the U.S. alongside the millions on hate articles easily available on the internet for anybody consumption. I wrote an article on my blog long time ago about lone wolf terrorists and some of the suggestions to handle them including community support and cooperation of the police. I sympathize with the loved ones who were killed in this terrorist attack but it should not mean that Canada is any more violent than other western societies. One can only hope that it does not inspire copy cat activities by people who are at the fringe of society.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The salaries out there

I have started to search for jobs in my field of expertise and most of the time the type of jobs do not mention salaries in great detail and for some temporary jobs they do mention it sometimes and the amount of salary that I have seen surprises me as it mentions from $14.00 and above and still they want a college degree and most of the jobs which require a college degree does not go beyond $28.00 unless you have specialization in that field which will take you above thirty plus. My point here is that all the people out there protesting a minimum wage of $15.00, how they can justify this salary when more jobs are offering comparable amount of salary with much more knowledge required. I mean I can understand that most of minimum wage employees deserve a living wage in order to provide for their families but is $15.00 really justified in the case of fast food workers or across the board raises. I will talk about this minimum wage in another of my posts but for now I am seeing that the companies are either unable to afford a $15.00 wage or unwilling to give this huge amount even for temporary employees as they feel that it is not justified by the amount of work being rendered in return. But just to let you know that it is hard to justify offering $15.00 to an employee when you will be offering the same to a college graduate who is willing to work as a temp.

Bonuses and Raises

When I was getting hired for my previous job, the rosy picture that was presented to me by my recruiter that there is a bonus of twenty percent and I was not a least bit excited by it as I have been through this ritual several times before. Twenty percent bonus does not mean you would twenty percent or even any percent since it all depends upon your performance, your interaction with your bosses, how well your place of work is doing in terms of profitability. The same holds true for the raises that are presented to you when you are offered a job. All these Bonuses and raises are at the discretion of the management of the company and are not in any way obligatory on them to pay by law. It is just a gimmick by the recruiters and employers to get you excited about your job and once you are in, you have to wait for the whole year to find out if there is any extra cash available to include in your regular salary. My advice is that when you are negotiating your salary, try to get as much out of your potential employer as possible and ignore all the bonuses and raised promised to you while you contemplate accepting the offer. Because this is the only time you are in the driver’s seat in terms of how much salary you can get and once it is done, there is no turning back. Bonuses and raises are nice to entice you but it is just a promise which can be revoked based on the above conditions. Appeal for donation: Please donate to this site so that I can provide you with views on current events and great movies. Your ongoing monthly contribution of 95 cents will help me in improving and maintaining this site. Thank you

The Compliance training in corporations

I am sure every corporation has its share of compliance related training but since I was previously related to the banking sector, I will rely on the information I have and talk about it. The banking industry as you all know is heavily regulated and as such every employee who joins them have to undergo a lot of compliance related training that may seem out of place for some individual but since it is federally mandated, it has to be carried out ritually for everyone. Not only this but every year, new compliance guidelines are issued by the U.S. government and then you have your updated compliance training which everybody has to take following blindly. Even if it is not related to your department of hiring, most the training has to be completed by everyone. Some of the training that I have to undergo is not even remotely related to my department and it is very easy to skip through them without even knowing what all is about and how it is related to you. Although I understand that compliance is necessary but despite all this training, you may have noticed that even a heavily regulated industry like banking, the compliance training means nothing when it comes time to make money as seen in numerous fines and penalties given to the banks over the years. There is so much pressure and temptation to make money that even with the entire compliance training, bankers do cut corners to make money now and face the consequences later on. Compliance training means nothing if your job is on the line and you are coerced or better yet ordered by your bosses to ignore the obvious and do whatever you are told. It just seems that money temptation is so much that no amount of compliance training will deter people working in the financial industry to do unethical things. Appeal for donation: Please donate to this site so that I can provide you with views on current events and great movies. Your ongoing monthly contribution of 95 cents will help me in improving and maintaining this site. Thank you

Sunday, February 5, 2017

On the lighter side-Movies-Inferno (2016) - Tom Hanks

A Symbologist wakes up with amnesia in an Italian hospital and teams up with a doctor to foil a plot to destroy the world. Exciting and enjoyable. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

A girl enters into the weird lifestyle of a billionaire in this blockbuster movie based on a best seller. I did not see a point in this movie, just fantasies which not every women want to enjoy. Maybe something was lost in translation. Not Recommended

Are companies obligated to outside stakeholders?-2

I have also seen corporations allow their employees to wear jeans to work on Friday in return for their twenty five dollar contribution towards some charitable goal. And now we corporations sponsoring ads and actively participating in LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bi Sexual and Trans-sexual) parades and causes and proudly display that on the websites and other bulletin boards. Are these corporations doing this to show that they care about community they serve and show that whatever they are earning, they are also contributing somewhat to the community? I feel like if it helps their bottom line, they do this; otherwise not all corporations really care about what is happening in their communities. If it were the case, then the poverty would not increase and social injustice would not prevail. I agree that it helps communities but charitable work need not be blatantly advertised with logos and slogans of corporations. Despite having so much so programs and goodwill being generated by the corporations, they are still not seen favorably by corporations especially in the light of all the dubious dealings done which led to the financial crisis and it still lingers on with fines and penalties being levied on them. Occupy Wall Street movement was a prime example that despite spending millions of dollars on charitable work, the corporations are seen as greedy as it has not helped the common people achieve meaningful employment or equitable distribution of wealth. As long as corporations are engaging in tactics which remain unethical and dubious, they will not be able to convince the society of their good intentions.

Are companies obligated to outside stakeholders?

When I was studying in college, I read that a corporation has internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. Stakeholders mean that entities and individuals have some interest in the business of corporations. Internal Stakeholders are obvious to everyone like the employees working for the company, their shareholders, their investors and anybody involved in doing business with them. Outside stakeholders are the general public at large; the regulators who make sure the corporations are following the rules and laws laid down by them so that they don’t screw up their corporations and other outside entities that have an indirect connection with the corporation. Now I will not talk about the internal stakeholders as it is obvious they are the direct beneficiaries of whatever happens to the corporations. I will only talk about general public at large who have a stake in the well being of the corporation and vice versa. In an effort to gain favorable views of their corporate activities, my previous places of employment use to advertise that how they are helping communities by their contribution monetary or otherwise in the growth of neighborhoods of which they are part of. I used to get email messages like volunteer for mentoring disadvantaged kids or contribute in the improvement of playgrounds and build houses for the homeless. During Christmas time, they use to collect toys for the kids (for which there was sometimes an extensive and expensive wish list which I did not agree). Then there was mini marathon running to promote healthy habits in employees.

On the lighter side-Movies-Lady Bloodfight (2016)

A kind of female version of Bloodsport as a girl enters into a small illegal tournament to try to find out what happened to her father. Action and blood galore. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-The autopsy of Jane Doe (2015)

A father and son team tries to uncover the reason behind the death of a girl in this weird and gory horror movie. Recommended with caution

How to pay for the wall

Now that the wall is coming if it all, the point now before even getting into the technicalities of how and why of building it, who is going to pay for it and how. There has been proposal that if Mexico is not going to pay for it, then the U.S. should put in twenty percent tax on all goods that is entering the U.S. But here the irony is that it will hurt the U.S. consumers in the form of expensive imports. My suggestion would be that twenty percent tax on goods is a bad idea, instead a flat tax of ten dollars on the millions of Mexicans coming through the land crossing who possess the Mexican passport should be assessed and even the one who are entering through the airport, they should be charged ten dollars each time they enter the U.S. I am sure that the Mexicans who come to the U.S. are mostly rich enough that they would be willing to pay this nominal tax (or fees) on their entry to fund the wall, just like we use it to cross the bridges and tunnels between New York City and New Jersey and outer suburbs. And if it seems too low, you can adjust it from time to time to fifteen or twenty dollars and I am sure in a few years, the wall, if it gets build would pay for itself by this means. I believe that it is by far the most efficient and most economical way to pay for the privilege of entering the U.S. Although I also think that there will be more suggestions coming on this front. But the one I have suggested is going to be not that controversial and implemented immediately.

The new immigration ban

So the wave of immigration ban has started, no surprise here since it was all laid out in the presidential campaign to first ban Muslims completely and then amended to say that countries most prone to terror, their citizens will be banned from entry and extreme vetting will be implemented to make sure Muslim terrorists don’t sneak in the guise of immigrants. So the first ban is on the seven Muslim majority countries citizens: Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. All refugee resettlement programs have been halted and immigration from Syria has been suspended immediately unless of course if you are Syrian Christian then you would have the first priority. I was not surprised at all by this ban as it was long time in the making. There have been chaotic scenes at the airport as the people who had been vetted and granted immigrant visas have been stopped from boarding flights to U.S. in the wake of this ban. What has really surprised me was the name of the countries that were omitted and that have been the epicenter of terror related activities like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. But it would be premature to say that they would not be included in later list but this is for certain that an already hard to get American Visa will become even harder to get in the future. Although I do not agree with this ban but at least the President has gone through with this election pledge and implemented it without any hesitant despite the hardship endured by millions of people.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

My Life Partner

As long as I have been married, my wife has been very supportive of during my tumultuous time out of work and it has happened three times since marriage. She has been through a lot with me as I try to get a steady job while she manages the house and being supportive of my difficult time looking for a job which is not easy in any circumstances especially if you don’t know it is coming. She has been constantly on my case and pushing me to look for work since we need insurance. Initially the shock of being out of work is scary since the biggest expense of paying the mortgage is there. Thank GOD we don’t have any car payment this time as compared to last one but day to day expenses and other bills pile up too which does not stop while you are out of work. So this post is in her honor that she has stood by me through thick and thin whether I have a job or not as her patience has been a solid foundation for me to continue to push myself to find a new job as soon as possible before the insurance runs out. So in this current crisis she is again standing by me as we go through the rituals of finding another steady job.

More illegal immigrants are heading towards U.S.

Just finished reading the latest article about migrants from south America stuck in Mexico with no place to as they try to enter the U.S. one way or the other now that it is becoming increasingly difficult to cross it. Most of them are Haitians but there is no shortage of citizens from other Central American countries who are staying in small areas. They are mostly trying to escape poverty and violence that is plaguing their countries. Haitians were the favored ones since the earthquake that devastated their country and they were allowed to enter the U.S. without any visa but even before the election that policy had stopped and now with the new U.S. administration, it will be very difficult for them to enter the U.S. Since most of the migrants main point of entry is near the U.S- Mexico border, they are stuck in places wishing and waiting to enter as soon as the opportunity arises. Now here is my question, how many people can the U.S. take in even with poverty and violence spreading in Central and South America? Is it really feasible that the U.S. keeps on taking these migrants and another wave also start coming in thinking that the U.S. will keep on absorbing these migrants. I have sympathy but there should be some sort of legal way these migrants should be allowed to enter. It is no wonder that there is anger in America regarding the pace of immigration legal or otherwise that is overwhelming and altering the spirit of welcome that the U.S. is so famous for. In this instance, the U.S. is right to start pick and chose which migrants it will take and which will be left behind. Like in a war, the migrant situation will have its winners and losers.

Free Trade?!

If you have been reading the news, the term free trade has come up a lot of times and many people never seem to stop praising free trade as it is good for America. Many regional free trade alliances have been signed giving access to each other countries without any taxes or tariffs and this is seen as boosting jobs in both countries. For the most part, it has been a boon for the U.S. workers for free trade but as I look at the free trade, it seems that Free Trade is only for countries to export as much of their stuff to the U.S. and buy as little as possible from them. This free trade has always been one sided. I get it that the U.S. does not produce lower skilled items and the higher ones are more expensive due to labor costs and regulations but despite this, the U.S. does import way more stuff from other countries than export it to them. There are more protectionist tendencies in other countries than in the U.S. and also limited incomes to splurge around things and whatever spare items the other countries produce they send it to the U.S. In this case the U.S. is always on the wrong end of the stick and it has been most of the time a loser in this free trade battle. I agree that Free Trade is good but if it is free than it should also be equitable and not one sided.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ready or not, the Great wall of Mexico is coming

Although I have already mentioned about the wall in my previous post, but it was before the election, now that the elections are over, the new reality has set in and as promised (don’t say it was not forewarned), the President has decided to go ahead and start the process of actually building the wall. Before the election it was Mexico is going to pay for the wall and now it is the U.S. is going to pay for the wall and Mexico is going to pay for it via border tax on goods shipped from Mexico or some other means. Although, the President has signed the executive order to start the process so that illegal immigrants should not come in, I don’t know if the Congress of the United States will have the stomach to actually go through with the funding as it is going to cost upwards of 14 billion dollars and it is just an estimate. As you know estimate can and do change but there is considerable outrage with this issue along with his decision to ban Muslims from certain terror prone countries to seek immigration to the U.S. I have read some heart wrenching stories regarding some of the people whose families are here from terror prone countries and who were at the end of their process to get to the U.S., but all this will end now at least until the law changes which I don’t think it will considering the hostility that the new administration have against Muslims. It is sad but at least he is trying to balance his hostility towards Muslims by being hostile towards Mexicans. Stay tuned.

Outsourcing jobs-2

If you have seen some of the studies suggesting that more and more jobs will be outsourced and can be outsourced to cheaper locations without minimal of disruptions to the corporations’ bottom line but what about the people perspective. Do human resources not mean that you harness the power of the human and not treat them as just a dollar sign (which most of the companies now see). The excuse for the corporations is that they cannot find enough people in the U.S. to do their work, hence they need more people coming to the U.S. or outsource their work. But you know there are millions of people in the Midwest who are willing to do the work if only you can train them to do so and you can still find many computer experts willing to do free lance work if given a chance. Although the corporations would be paying more, but at least they would be employing American workers who are their main target to sell their products. I believe you can easily find people who are in need of jobs in places like West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Kansas and other Midwest and southern states that are, although expensive than India, but are located in the United States. It is the will of the corporation along with pressure of their shareholders and common voters who would have to make the change, otherwise, jobs will keep on being outsourced to other countries with no one challenge them. Hopefully with the new administration in place, corporations will start to treat American workers with the respect they deserve before putting profits ahead of their human resources.

Outsourcing jobs

As a recently unemployed American Individual with a master’s degree in Finance, I can vouch that outsourcing can be good but it becomes really burdensome when you have to spend more money in order to correct the mistake that is done in the first place. I have been a witness of this outsourcing trend in my previous job and I can say that it has been a disaster although a cheap one at that. In order to say some money and avoid paying American workers, corporations have been outsourcing their work to other countries especially in case of manufacturing to China and in case of services to India. Although corporations have been reaping rewards at the expense of the American workers but sometimes if not managed properly, can be a disaster for the American workers even if the companies spend more money to explain to the outsourcers how to make things work their way. I was just speaking to my friend and his company has also outsourced their IT functions to an outsourcing company in India. I will bet that many of these jobs can be in sourced in the United States but for want of cost cutting, the companies want to outsource their work to cheaper and more loosely regulated countries. In the case of my now former company, I have seen how outsourcing has been a disaster as I have seen the senior management constantly on the phone explaining to people in India what they should be doing and why they did not do this or that in the first place or why there has been no follow up despite constant reminders from the U.S. side.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Back to Job Searching

Right now with the shock of being laid off still fresh, I have started to get my thoughts straight and getting into being organized in finding a new Job. It is now in the very initial stages since it is in the early hours of my being laid off but surely and steadily it will increase in the days ahead as I have to contact the recruiters and also the contacts that I have developed in my network so that I can get job postings a little faster. As for my former employer, I have no desire to seek any hints from my so called “office Friends” as I did not see them after office and they were not in any mood to even sympathize for my plight. I guess it is the fear of losing your own job that you are reluctant to even show any kind of sympathy for the person being laid off, but it shows how well your supposedly colleagues are when you are working with them and when you are laid off. But anyway if you see that I am bitter about my treatment, you bet I am but as they say every dog has its day. Whatever, now it is time to concentrate on my getting a job and not think about negative things about the previous one as the former life has now end and a new beginning has started for the better. I will continue to give you my search progress and more topics as now I am a little free to write more about things that I think demands my attention and yours.

Status: Unemployed

As you see the title, some of you may realize that as in some social media sites, you state your status as either single, or married or looking, here I have put my status as unemployed. Although not happy about it, but as people like to update their status constantly in order to inform the outside world how things are going with their social life, I have decided to put this status as here in America, there is no shame in posting such a status as most of us have been through one or more times in their working like being laid off from work for various reasons. Nowadays the reason is outsourcing to cheap locations. Every corporation is under such a tremendous pressure to compete and cut costs that the only solution it seems to them is to cut American jobs and outsource it and then sell your outsourced products to your clientele in the U.S. at inflated costs. As I said before, if you treat your employees good, they will no excuse to leave you to find other jobs and they will stay loyal to you and provide your new ideas but if you treat them like a dollar sign ready to lay them off to cut some frivolous costs then the individual have all the right to look around and keep the ideas of improving your office to yourselves and there will be hostile or subtle forms of anger in their work. I will let you know you when my working status changes, in the meanwhile, I will keep on posting as much as possible.

Laid off once again

Today I got the news that I have been laid off from my banking job unceremoniously (I don’t know what that means but still had to write it). The official version is that my former bank was cutting costs and my job as usual was being sent to an outsourcing hub in India (what else is new). This is my fourth lay off in my working life (I would not call it a career because in a career you move ahead not freeze and with layoffs so many items it just seems like working to pay your bills). I was completely calm (what else could I have done) as the human resources (a joke to call it that) person explained to me my package deal and how I will benefit from it. I could just nod my head since I knew this ritual many times before. As I gathered my belongings (which I had none) I did not bother to say anything to my colleagues (since they are just that) as I started to depart from my now former employer and off to home. When I was about to leave, a plain simple good luck was what I got. I did not get any sympathy from any of my colleagues unlike my regular off work friends and it just shows how much so called friends you have when you need them. The work was just going on routine as if nothing has happened, nobody came to console me or even announce my leaving the bank. This is how the corporate truth is when are laid off. But you know, better opportunities are out there and I will explore them. And I have just one parting thought to say. Corporate world is brutal and it is just after making profits, there is no consideration for individual feelings and well being. That is why there is no loyalty on the part of either a corporation or the individual person. Don’t ever rely on corporation to feed your family, always have a back up side business so that in case you get laid off for whatever reason, you are not worried about where the next meal is going to come from.