Monday, October 31, 2005

The new role of the Media in contemporary American politics

Here's an excerpt from Sunday's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz interviewing Dana Milbank of the Washington Post.

Howie is asking Milbank if he feels that Republican scandals like the CIA agent leak, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, etc are going to stay in the news for long, and if they will be a factor in the coming 2006 Congressional campaigns.
MILBANK: Well, a lot of it has to do with how the opposition party plays it. And as usual, the journalists are not really the crusaders here. We're following what's going on in Congress.

Now, for the 2006 elections, the Democrats intend to use this, along with Tom DeLay, Bill Frist and the whole thing...

KURTZ: ... I want to know how the journalists intend to use this, thanks to all these front page stories?

MILBANK: That's what I'm answering. If the Democrats are constantly going to beat the drums on this, that will keep it as a news story. Because we follow; we don't lead.

KURTZ: You say we're dependent on outside critics?

MILBANK: We are not leaders in campaigns. We are followers. And if the Democrats are going to make this the central 2006 issue, it stays alive.
So what Milbank is blatantly stating as a fact is that in recent years, the media has been delegated to the role of reporting whatever politicians decide is worthy of being reported. What he is implying is that the Press is not really going to engage in any fact-checking or investigative journalism of it's own, it is going to be content with regurgitating propaganda that politicians keep spewing out. And, it will not decide if a story is newsworthy based on it's own objective analysis of it, but on whether a politician deems it to be so.

How more pathetically lethargic can the media get? It is this same "follow the leader" attitude of the American media that led to the relentless sliming of Presidential hopeful John Kerry with outright lies perpetuated by the Republican smear machine. Never in that unending disgusting saga did any journalist make even a feeble attempt to find out whether even a single accusation the Swift boat veterans were making was true or not. And the non-story just kept on grabbing headlines because as Mr Milbank says, the media was just "following" the screechers. And this media apathy is at the root of most problems facing the nation now, including the misguided war in Iraq.

Kind of makes you wonder if Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were from another planet altogether.

Time for Kashmiri Muslims to wake up

What does it say about a Kashmiri militant outfit attacking India just after an earthquake hits Kashmir, when India is busy aiding those earthquake victims? What does it say when a terrorist outfit supposedly fighting on behalf of Kashmiris attacks a country that is trying to alleviate the suffering of those very same Kashmiris in their time of need? It means that all these outfits that claim to represent Kashmiri Muslims do not really do so. And they are not really concerned in any way about the plight of the average person in Kashmir. Kashmiri citizens need to recognize this. They need to recognize that these terrorist outfits need to be ostracized, not supported. And Kashmiris need to speak out against the immoral, callous people who are putting their lives into peril by supporting terrorist attacks when the thing they need the most right now, is relief aid from a trusting neighbour. Which country in it's right mind would continue it's relief efforts, when the people those relief efforts are targetted at turn out to be sympathetic towards terror attacks in that country?

But hopefully, this will be the turning point in the Kashmir issue. Maybe this is the time when Kashmiris, who right now, can see the Indian army helping them rebuild their lives, will begin to see terrorism for what it is, and renounce it altogether.

I also believe the Indian government needs to stop making financial contributions to the Pakistani government for earthquake relief efforts. I simply do not trust the Pakistani government not to misuse this money and channel it towards terrorist operations against India. In fact, it would be irresponsible and treasonous on the part of the Indian government to donate this money to Pakistan, with no strings attached, which they know could quite easily find itself in the hands of terrorist organizations. Instead, Indians, if they so desire, should contribute to international earthquake aid organizations who might be more scrupulous in their transactions than the Pakistani government.

Conservatives declare opposition to the celebration of birthdays

In wake of the nation mourning over the loss of the 2000th American life in Iraq, conservatives have decided to oppose the commemoration of all numeric symbolisms by asking the nation to stop celebrating birthdays and New Years Day.

Speaking on CNN's Reliable Sources, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, and a prominent pro-war blogger, said "It (The story of the 2000th American casualty) is a manufactured event by a press that has largely been anti-war from the beginning, and I think is dogpiling on the Bush administration for as many opportunities as it can find." He continued, "In fact, going forward, I find it preposterous to attach even the slightest bit of numerical significance to any event, including my birthday, wedding anniversary, Independence day, Christmas day and the day I lost my viriginity. They are all media manufactured events, which happen to occur annually on the same day and should be treated with the contempt they deserve. In fact, I now regret celebrating the new millenium, when it was nothing more special than the beginning of year number 2000."

Reynolds pointed out the discrepency between the Press' treatment of casualties during World War II and the Iraq war. "Ran Siemberg had an amusing parody from World War II of the media making a big deal out of another milestone, the 250,000th death", he said. "And my point is", he continued, "The press and the American people should only think about protesting the war after the 250,00th American gets blown up in Iraq and is laid to rest in his grave, and not a single soldier before that."

Other pro-war conservatives have joined in the denouncement of the media's reporting of the 2000th Iraq war victim. Commentator Ann Coulter remarked "Why should the 2000th black soldier to die in Iraq today steal any more sweet glory of martyrdom than the first white one to die there 3 years ago? Or the millionth beige one who will probably be killed there 20 years from now? All these people are equally dispensable and should not be singled out for selective appreciation."

Anti-war activists, however, have pointed out that that the 2000th American casualty is something more than just a significant numerical event. They say that the fact that the first 1000 fatalities took 18 months, while the next 1000 took a mere 14 months shows that the insurgency is exacerbating, and not in it's "last throes" as Vice President and resident White House ghoul, Dick Cheney declared in May.

In order to demonstrate their indifference to numbers, conservatives have vowed to solemnize every American casualty in Iraq from this point onwards by observing a moment of silence and sending two more soldiers to take his place.

Friday, October 28, 2005

European corporation files patent for Human Remote Control Technology

In a stunning development that could have a huge impact on humans and their behavioral patterns, a European corporation has discovered how to manipulate humans via remote control. The Center for Humanity and Underhanded Remote Control of Humanity, also known as the C.H.U.R.C.H, based in Vatican City, has announced that it is filing a patent for this groundbreaking discovery.

A spokesman for the corporation explained the origin and maturing of the theory behind this science. "The C.H.U.R.C.H has invested a lot of time and money in the development of this technology, right from the beginning of the first millenium to the present day", commented the spokesman. "In fact, one of the first pioneers in this field was an Israel-based businessman who discovered that under the proper socio-economic conditions, humans could be influenced quite easily to do whatever one would wish them to."

The technology itself is quite complex and treatment needs to be commenced early in the life of the controlee. Beginning in early childhood, the brain of the subject needs to undergo once a week programming sessions in any one of the thousands of C.H.U.R.C.H laboratories that are scattered throughout the world. In addition to these weekly programming sessions, the subject needs to be fed a diet of bigotry everyday by his parents and instructors. However, in case the subject begins to suffer from periodic bouts of "rationality", additional counselling is readily available from these same laboratories, or from television. Soon, the young boy or girl will grow up to be a fully programmed adult who can then be manipulated very easily through remote control devices operated by someone else, most commonly a high ranking official of the C.H.U.R.C.H, or the Republican Party of America.

This technology has a variety of applications. For one, it generates employment for millions of already pre-programmed humans to program other, more nascent subjects in order to help them achieve the same state of absolute mental helplessness they themselves exist in. In addition to monetary benefits, this remote controlled state of existence reportedly imparts a greater amount of happiness to life by absolving the subject of any material responsibilities and mentally allowing the subject to disassociate himself entirely from the effect of his actions on the rest of the world.

However, another more important application is in the military use of this technology. Humans that have been programmed using this technology can be more easily induced to inflict harm on fellow humans. The controller, by flipping a switch, is able to de-activate the rational portion of the brain, allowing the programmed section of the brain to take over. Currently, this application of the technology has the largest number of verifiable users in the world.

Celebrations in Vatican City to commemorate the filing of the patent were, however marred by patent infringement lawsuits from corporations in India and the Middle-East, who claimed to have independently developed similar technology on their own.

In other news, the White House has asked President Bush to quit using the official Presidential seal as a backdrop during his televised addresses to the nation, citing regulations that disallow the use of this seal while purveying fake information to the public.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Democrats celebrate the glorious fruits of inaction

President Bush's Supreme court nominee, Harriet Miers today withdrew her nomination for the position, saying "her nomination presented a 'burden for the White House.'" Democrats, who have shown absolutely no interest in either supporting or opposing her candidature celebrated the success of their inaction by organizing a massive rally in Times Square, New York.

Speaking at the rally, Colorado democratic Senator Ken Salazar, said "Harriet Miers was a nominee with absolutely no judicial experience. In addition, her nomination was a blatant example of cronyism by the administration, and that is why it was important to oppose it vehemently, by letting others do it for us. This is a huge victory for democrats and the country in general. It also proves that the best way to fight an issue is from the bleachers. We have been following this strategy for a number of years now, and it has finally been vindicated."

The senator then waited for applause, until being informed that there would be none, since most rally participants were attending it from within the comfort of their homes.

President Bush expressed his unhappiness at Harriet Mier's withdrawal. However, pointing out a bright spot in the proceedings, he said this meant that his practice of exchanging love notes with her could now continue unfettered, since there would be no conflict of interest issues.

The Family Research Council, a Christian right-wing organization, on learning of Miers' withdrawal, has immediately begun their search for other more suitable Supreme Court nominees to recommend to President Bush.

OJR on the IIPM fiasco

Mark Glaser of Online Journalism Review has an excellent article on the IIPM affair (via India Uncut). And really, it's not like I like to boast a lot but it's such goddamn fun to see your name in print.
In fact, the Indian blogosphere, cheered on by American counterparts such as InstaPundit, rallied to the defense of JAM magazine, Sabnis and Sriraman -- while also putting IIPM further under the microscope. With some ad hoc investigative work by bloggers such as Curious Gawker and Transmogrifier, the authenticity of IIPM's MBA degrees were called into question.
And the Transmogrifier should be happy with Mr Glaser's analysis of this Outlook India article he ranted about.
T.R. Vivek wrote an in-depth story for Outlook India on the IIPM flap, even finding that the bloggers were on the right side of the law. But when describing Indian bloggers, Vivek struck a low blow.

"The Indian blogging community (or blogosphere, as it likes to call itself) is essentially a bitchy, self-indulgent and an almost incestuous network comprising journalists, wannabe-writers and a massive army of geeks who give vent to their creative ambitions on the Internet," Vivek wrote. "Given that the average blogger-age is 25 years, it's clear bloggers love to indulge in hearty name-calling and taking college-style potshots at others. This is probably why some of them get into trouble."

Perhaps, but Vivek could be accused of taking the same type of potshot just within that paragraph. And in the final analysis, bloggers were the ones -- along with JAM magazine -- to stand up to a big institution without backing down.

Affair, fiasco, fracas, hullabaloo I'm running out of things to call this IIPM .... thing. Where's my thesaurus?

I get some fashion advice

I walked into G's cubicle.

Me : What's up man.
G : Hey whoah how many did you shoot?
Me : Shoot what?
G : Deer, I don't know, whatever it is that you like to hunt.
Me : I don't hunt. And it's 8:00 am. Are you drunk?
G : What are you wearing a hunting shirt for then?
Me : Am I wearing a hunting shirt?
G : Yes. You didn't know that?
Me : No. I am not from these parts.
G : Didn't you notice anything odd about this shirt?
Me : Not really. Apart from the fact that it appears to be two sizes too large for me, looks like a potato sack and is as thick as a winter blanket, that is. So no, not really.
G : Yes, those are all signs pointing to it being a hunting shirt.
Me : I got it at K-Mart for a couple of bucks and it looked warm. These are usually my only criteria for buying shirts.
G : Okay. You should have washed your jeans though.
Me : Those are new. That's what they look like.
G : They look like they are covered in mud.
Me : They are called workman's jeans. They are meant for people who want to look manly and cool without having to get dirty in the process. Thats what kids are wearing nowadays.
G : How old are you again?
Me : I guess it's lucky for me the boss isn't here today eh?
G : I would think so.

If you are eating pastries as you read this...

Then this post isn't for you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Halliburton insourcing Asians to be killed in Iraq

So Halliburton, our favorite corporation in the whole wide world is continuing it's descent into the farthest depths of hell. Democratic Underground points us to this story where it is reported that Halliburton, who is in charge of cleaning up all the shit in Iraq that was blown to bits by American bombs, has been indulging in borderline kidnapping tactics in order to corral manual labor for achieving it's task. See, the honchos of corporate America will put their asses on the line only so far. After that, it is up to third world rodentia to get the job done.
The Chicago Tribune produced an incredible story last week detailing how unsuspecting young men from poor countries are tricked into working in dangerous jobs for a Halliburton subsidiary in Iraq.

The two-part series retraced the journey of a group of Nepalese men who were lured to the Mideast with fraudulent paperwork that promised them jobs at a luxury hotel in Amman, Jordan, but instead wound up in Iraq working for the Halliburton subsidiary KBR, America's biggest private contractor there.

According to the Tribune, American tax dollars and the wartime needs of the U.S. military are fueling an illicit pipeline of cheap foreign labor into Iraq. Most of those falling for the fraudulent job offers are impoverished Asians who, the newspaper said, "often are deceived, exploited and put in harm's way with little protection."

So not only was America led to war by a bunch of greenish yellow thugs who were A-Okay with sending other people to fight it for them, now the people in charge of cleaning up their mess are in turn A-Okay with other people doing their job for them. So what if they have to forcibly drag in people from third world nations for that purpose? And fuck, if these workers fall into terrorist hands, so what? Lots more where they came from, eh?
The Tribune got on the story after 12 young civilians from Nepal were kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq and a few days later publicly slaughtered. The newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to Nepal, where they interviewed families and friends and soon discovered that thousands of men are routinely recruited for "good" Mideast jobs, but wind up in the most treacherous stretches of Iraq territory working in private jobs for the U.S. military.

A brother of one of the kidnapped men told Cam Simpson, the Trib reporter, that the last time he heard from his brother was when he called from his supposed job in Jordan. He was being sent against his will to Iraq, the brother said, and then blurted out, "I am done for." The phone then went dead. The next time the young Nepalese was seen was on a TV screen two weeks later, his hands tied behind his back and a gun pointed at his head.
You know, I hate to be the bearer of evil tidings, but I have a message for all my fellow Indians / Asians. If anyone in your circle of aquaintance is working in the Middle-East, you better keep a close eye on them.

Why creationism needs to be taught in schools

As readers might have realized, upto now I was not so keen on the juxtaposition of creationism along with evolutionary theory in schools. In fact, I spoke against it on a number of occasions. However, P.Z Myers of Pharyngula has helped me see the light and caused me to reverse my views on the topic.

P.Z Myers, who is a professor in the Science department of the University of Minnesota, Morris says he taught creationism in his introductory biology course for undergraduates, and the way he did it, I have no problems with it at all. In fact, I am now advocating compulsory teaching of creationism in all schools, especially those in so-called Bible-belt red states where people still persist in their belief that Hurricane Katrina was God's knuckle-sandwich in New Orleans' gut. And I would go one step further. In addition, I would also urge schools to have a special biblical course about Adam and Eve and barbequed ribs and the evil apple and the horny snake and people turning into pillars of salt and frogs falling down from the sky and fuck, whatever idiotic drivel anyone wants to believe in, whatever mindless delusions anyone's ever conjured up in their religion-addled brains, I am all for discussing it in classrooms. As long as the discussion focusses on how none of that is fact-based, and has no scientific validity.

So this is what I have to say to the good folks who infest the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania. Yes, I have flip flopped. I have changed my mind. I am now all in favor of teaching creationism. So lets end all this bullshit about court cases and what-not and get on with our lives. You want to be taught creationism, so now here are the facts. Now for the sake of the Almighty Creator, shut the hell up and stop whining about your asinine views not getting equal exposure.

Wal-mart pushes for increased Government funding for Necromancy

Wal-Mart, the US retail giant, has begun lobbying for increased government funding for the much-maligned and ignored science of necromancy. Necromancy is the age old time-honored practice of breathing back life into corpses in order to raise them from the dead.

Wal-Mart has always been in the forefront of the American Necromantic movement, having devoted a lot of resources and manpower to lobby Congress into providing monetary assistance for this ancient artform. In spite of being one of the most profitable corporations currently operating in America and possessing enough liquid assets to buy all of Sweden and give it to China as an anniversary present, Wal-Mart is under pressure from rising health care coverage costs for it's employees. Andy Ruben, Wal-Mart's vice president of corporate strategy, said "Wal-Mart can no longer afford to provide health insurance to it's employees. And so, our first reaction was to just stop hiring employees who might show any signs of falling sick in the future. Recruiting officers were given strict instructions that if the applicant so much as sneezed during the interview, his application had to be discarded."

However, after facing opposition from employee unions, Wal-Mart then came to the conclusion that the only way it could eliminate health care costs altogether was to hire an army of zombies, raised from corpses of dead Wal-Mart managers and cashiers, who would be able to resume work at their previous places of employment on less than minimum wages and with no health coverage whatsoever. "Dead people do not get sick. That is a fact of life. And in that sense, this is a revolutionary new concept", said Mr Ruben about this new plan. "It is expected to quadruple our earnings this quarter. If you own Wal-Mart stocks, you should be popping open champagne bottles. Unless of course, you are a zombie, in which case, you should be cracking open skulls."

President Bush has succumbed to Wal-Mart's unrelenting demands and announced a policy of government backing for a new Necromantic Research Institute, based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The first corpse to be revived, is reportedly going to be that of Robert Novak, the conservative anchor of CNN's Crossfire.

In unrelated news, Apple Computer reports that in it's unending quest to reduce everything down to the size of something able to fit in an ant's anus, the miniaturization of the Ipod might have led to a magnification of it's flaws.

Earthquake relief

DesiPundit is organizing a blog quake day, so please contribute to the Earthquake relief fund. A full list of charities is available on their site, but here's a partial one in case you are too lazy to click.


Please do the right thing and donate. And get other people to donate as well. For other quake related resources this is a good place to start.

As Desipundit said, Lets now use our powers for good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The teacher and the student

I entered the tiny unassuming Viet restaurant in Chinatown with an empty stomach. I was hoping to get a small table by myself, preferably in a corner, where I might be able to pass myself off as a potted plant and partake of sustenance, unnoticed and unmolested. Instead, I was given a table, a large one in the center of the dining room, that could probably have seated eight people. My palms began to sweat. But I was hungry and I needed food.

I flipped through the menu with strange exotically named Vietnamese dishes and found what I was looking for. "Seafood Satay rice noodle soup", I said to the deferential waiter. The picture of a chile adjacent to the menu item advertized it's spiciness. I began to take in the room.

It was filled to the brim with Oriental faces. And bodies, of course, attached to those faces. I felt out of place, like a fish out of soy sauce. I felt a tenuous urge to run out the door, but the mystical lure of satayed seafood kept me from acting on that urge. I glanced back at the table. A steaming bowl of rice noodle soup had materialized in front of me as if out of nowhere. A steaming bowl and a pair of chopsticks. My mouth went dry.

Now, I belong to that class of people who, if given a pair of chopsticks, would immediately use those to start drumming a rhythm on the table, while waiting for a knife and fork to appear. I have no experience of using chopsticks. Believe me, I have tried. And believe me when I say I have failed miserably.

So now, I looked at the bowl sitting before me with more than a bit of trepidation. I looked around it, I felt behind it. There was no sign of a fork or a spoon. Hunger and frustration arose inside me, each competing to be the dominant emotion. I had two choices. I could ask the waiter to bring me a fork and a spoon. But I could only imagine the scene that would follow. Faces until now, slurping busily inside soup bowls would emerge, bearing such scorn and loathing, that I would not be able to stay there and continue my meal. Humiliation would ensue. There was only one thing to be done. And that was to use the chopsticks.

I gingerly lifted the cursed things. As gingerly as the first time I had lifted a pair of scissors to snip off my nose hair. They felt comfortable to the touch. But the moment I immersed them in the hot liquid occupying the bowl in front of me, I lost all my brash confidence. I was lost. I looked around, broken and defeated.

And then, I saw him. He was young, probably five years younger than me and five times wider at the waist. He was industriously trying to surround what looked like a small tree trunk with what looked like his mouth, using nothing but a pair of chopsticks. I looked on, hypnotized. The tree trunk went down his throat as easily as a pet Pekinese inside a neighbour's boa constrictor. He started on his noodle soup. And then, something magical happened. He became my teacher, my Sensei. And I became his student. I began to observe his actions closely. In fact, he became me, his hands became my hands, his eyes became my eyes. I began to replicate his maneuvers inside my own soup bowl.

Here is how you eat rice noodle soup using chopsticks. You plunge your chopsticks inside the mush, swirl them around. Then, using a swift jerking motion, using the sticks as a base, pinching them together and holding them in parallel, you create a heap of tangled noodles on top. The tangledness of the heap prevents the noodles from succumbing to gravity and sliding down back into the goop. Continuing to pretend that gravity doesn't exist, you then gently raise the sticks along with the noodles out of the hellbrew. You put hot sauce on top of the heap, and slowly raise the heap into your mouth. Finally, creating a vacuum inside your mouth, you coax those tangled babies inside, making sure you generate an audible slurrrp. And that is it. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

I had it down to an art-form. I looked at Sensei with gratitude. Sometime within the past few minutes, Sensei, it seemed, had become aware of my intense scrutiny of his masticatory techniques. Sensei did not seem to be aggravated by the attention, in fact, he appeared to be mildly gratified. Giving him a smile, I continued on to the consumption of more difficult and dangerous things swimming in my bowl.

There was something flat and fried that I assumed was a slice of scallop. Piece of cake. Next, I found some kind of a twisted rubbery item which I assumed was kalamari. That too, was not too difficult. I carried on. Suddenly, with no warning, the music switched from Chinese to Italian. "Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano" yelled the singer. The kalamari dropped from my startled chopsticks into the soup, splashing it all around. I stole a glance at Sensei. Sensei met my glance with one of stern disapproval. He appeared to be displeased with my clumsiness. I returned what I hoped was a look of humble penitence and continued the battle.

But then, just as I was about to declare victory, I saw it. It was a ball of some kind. A big fat round ball nestling inside the soup. There was no way I would be able to lift it up and roll it into my mouth, using my chopsticks. It was a physical impossibility. I was confused. I looked to Sensei for counsel.

My gaze met with empty space. Sensei had disappeared. I felt alone and intimidated. I did not know what to do. And then, from within, I heard Sensei speaking to me. "Observe, Analyze, Eat", he seemed to be saying. "Are you sure, Sensei", I quavered, "It just seems impossible". "Do what I say. Let your mouth guide your heart, not your brain", commanded Sensei from his remote location. I complied obediently. I began to observe the ball, taking in all it's details as minutely as if it were a quarter I had just found on the men's room floor.

Suddenly, I noticed something I hadn't noticed before. The ball was slightly flattened at two opposite ends. Flattened in order to be lifted? It was worth a try. I cradled the ball inside the chopsticks, holding them so that they touched the ball at the flattened ends. I tested lifting it up. My technique seemed to be working. Slowly, oh so slowly, I raised the ball to my mouth and half a moment later, it was in my mouth. I had done it! Thank you, Sensei, I murmured under my breath. Thank you.

I finished my meal and walked out, victorious, into the bright crisp Pennsylvania sunlight, secure in the knowledge that I now possessed the skills necessary to duke it out with all the rice noodles in the world. Or sushi. Heck, with the training I had just undergone, the world was my soup bowl.

Monday, October 24, 2005

President Bush showing signs of giving a flying fuck about presidency

Sources close to the president have revealed that all signs point to the fact that he might have begun to give a flying fuck about his duties as the leader of the free world. (via Raw Story).

Aides of the President have reported that Bush has lately seemed to be more than a little dark, angry, bitter and somewhat less inebriated with the power of his position. Analysts point out that this change in the president's mood could have a lot to do with things not going his way in Iraq, as well as fervent in-party opposition to the president's Supreme Court nominee.

This is the first time since he was elected in 2000 that the president has hinted that he might be on the verge of giving more than half a syphillitic rat's ass about the position of commander-in-chief that about 50% of America voted him into. During previous crises that have taken place during the president's tenure, such as Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he had always maintained a cool, calm detached persona more in tune with the lackadaisical attitude of a bystander observing a car crash not involving members of his immediate family. However, recent reports of his behavior indicate that the president's view of his executive responsibilities might have become a tad less frivolous than before.

Historically, American presidents have been observed to take their presidency seriously during the initial few years, followed by a period of indifference and lethargy, which might or might not lead to illicit sexual activity in the oval office in order to counter the effects of second term atrophy. However, experts say, this is the first time in the history of America where a president has begun to show, for the first time, more than a few turds worth of interest in the functioning of his government at the tail end of his presidency.

"I've got a job to do," the president told reporters last week. "The American people expect me to do my job, and I'm going to. And the first order of business will be to find out precisely what doing that job entails.", added the president with a determined look on his face.

In related news, markets were down due to the pall of apprehension cast by news that the president would be taking over his presidential responsibilities.

Terrorist leader urges Muslims to aid terrorism victims

In a magnanimous gesture of compassion, notorious terrorist and Al-Qaida’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged all Muslims to help Iraqi victims of terrorism perpetrated by his followers.

Zawahiri made an appearance in a video aired on Al Jazeera television on Sunday in which he sat next to an assault rifle with a dove perched on it. "The infidel Zionists occupying Iraq deserve to be slaughtered without showing any mercy", declared Zawahiri, brandishing the weapon. "And in order to achieve this objective, if it is deemed necessary to martyr any innocent Muslim men, women or children along the way, then so be it. For that is Allah's wish."

"On a different note, terrorism is the biggest scourge of 21st century Pan-Arabia", continued the terrorist, showing the softer side of his persona. "And all Muslims affected by it deserve our sympathy and our whole-hearted support so that they can begin to collect the suicide-bombed shards of their lives and move on. May Allah bless their souls."

Following this speech, Zawahiri then released the dove into the air, as a symbol of peace, before immediately shooting it down with his rifle, as a symbol of the mercilessness with which Jihad needs to be implemented.

In other news, following widespread opposition to his proposed veto of the anti-torture bill introduced in Congress, President Bush has finally relented by announcing that the US will be abandoning it's borderline torture policy in Iraq, substituting it with a policy of brutal tickling.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

White House to celebrate Hindu frog-blowing festival

President Bush today announced that the White House would be marking recent advances in Indo-American relations by participating in the celebration of the Hindu festival of frog-blowing.

Scott McClellan, the White House spokesperson, when asked to comment, remarked, "As we all know, last year, the President could not make it to the festival because of digestive problems caused by a prior Iftar reception for a Pakistani delegation. However, this year, we will leave no frog unturned in order to celebrate this most exciting and raucous of Indian festivals."

President Bush, who has been a lifelong frog-blowing buff, is elated at this opportunity to indulge in his favorite pastime, and jumpstart diplomatic relations with India at the same time.

The President explained to reporters the significance of frog blowing in Hindu culture. "Frog-blowing, or as it is called in Indian-speak, "The festival of lights", is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil. This is what they call a Lakshmi atom bomb.", said the President, pointing to a firecracker. "It is exploded in order to invoke Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. And attaching a frog to it denotes American military might, symbolized by incinerated frog flesh."

Ronen Sen, the Indian ambassador to the US, on being informed of the President's decision to celebrate frog-blowing this year, inquired, "Frogs?"

In other news, "The hurricane that never was", the Hollywood movie based upon a real-life hurricane that never made it to landfall, has failed miserably at the box office.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Quoted on Outlook India

Outlook India quotes me on the IIPM fracas here from this article I wrote, along with a screenshot of the blog.

" has this to say, "This daisychain of institutes exist ambiguously on the net with no information other than the claim that they churn out large number of high quality MBAs"

It's beginning to look like the whole thing might actually escape out of the insulated bubble of the blogosphere and shake things up in the big picture.

My other stuff on the IIPM issue here, here and here.

Update : Outlook India gets fact-checked by the blogosphere. Here are Transmogrifier's views on some discrepencies and oddities in the Outlook piece, that I agree entirely with.

Friday, October 21, 2005

President vows to restore New Orleans blood alcohol to pre-hurricane levels

Speaking at an event organized to celebrate the re-population of the French quarter in New Orleans, President Bush declared that it was a primary goal of the federal government to raise the amount of alcohol flowing in the veins of the average New Orleans resident to reach pre-hurricane levels.

"Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was a bright shining beacon of decadence and debauchery in the vast bible belt wasteland that is the South", reminded the President. "It follows therefore, that the stricken city cannot be said to have been fully reconstructed to it's original self until everyone in New Orleans achieves the same state of inebriation as they were in before."

In order to speed up normalization of life in the city, the President has announced that he is in favor of rescinding the midnight curfew imposed on New Orleans bars, justifying his position by saying, "The tremendous loss of revenue suffered by the city has to be recovered somehow in order for New Orleans to flourish and prosper. This would only be possible by removing all restrictions, and allowing people to drink twice as much as they would under normal circumstances. Also, unemployment, which is a looming threat for the city could be avoided by allowing crack whores to do twice as much business, by continuing to cajole bar drinkers out of their money in return for sexual favors, even after midnight."

New Orleans businesses have responded in kind to the President's call, putting up banners throughout the city, encouraging residents to consume more alcohol. Signs like "Body tired of swimming? Let your head swim for a change" and "Drink bitch, it's what Jesus would do" have been spotted throughout the city, contributing to the atmosphere of gaiety and hopefulness. It is expected that the return of alcoholism to the city could prove to be a jumping board for other businesses to come back as well, like drug peddling and prostitution.

Reports from all over the country indicate that most Americans support New Orlean's brave attempt to regain it's lost glory by joining in the celebrations. Kildare's, a famous Irish pub and restaurant in Philadelphia, in a poignant display of patriotism, has called for Philadelphians to provide moral support to New Orleans by doing their bit and drinking themselves silly.

In unrelated news, Google shares soared on reports that the number of narcissistic losers who google themselves has doubled since last year.

Friday Lazy Fall Colors

I'm lazy, not the Fall. These are last year's pictures. Too lazy this year to go out, although if I don't do that this weekend I will be very disappointed in myself.


Wayne, Pennsylvania. Site of my previous residence. It's some kind of a golfing range opposite my apartment. I don't golf because I think golfing is retarded. Although, once, I did walk about on the green collecting golf balls people had left behind. What can I say, I just like free stuff.


Late Fall, Ridley Creek State Park, Pennsylvania. Nice place.


Stupid electrical wires. I wonder if Photoshop will help.


Extremely late Fall. Same place. Leaves are a cross between the color of Fall and the color of Hell. But, still pretty enough to take pictures.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Some more marketing slogans I don't much care about

Chevy trucks : Why do guys like trucks? Because trucks don't ask "why".

As opposed to what? Wives who ask why? So what are you saying? That instead of riding your wives you should be riding Chevy trucks? Gimme a fucking break.

GMC trucks : Even if you didn't build the superdome, your truck probably did.

Truck and SUV manufacturers have realized that even though they keep touting how manly and rugged their vehicles are, and how they can easily crunch through the steepest mountains and the densest rain forests, the average American isn't really going to use his vehicle to perform tasks more fraught with danger than getting milk from the neighbourhood store. So what's the next marketing gimmick? Make the prospective customer still want to own a vehicle that can do all those things, by telling him "See buddy, we know you are a pussy, you know you are a pussy, but if you buy this truck, at least you will be a pussy who owns a manly truck." Marketing 101 : Accuse a man of being a pussy and he'll buy anything just to prove he isn't one.

Accura MDX : Again, similar to the previous ad, they show this SUV being a bad-ass in the wilderness, trampling over foxes and other wildlife who are fleeing from it. But then it turns out, the SUV is just dreaming, and it's actually stuck in traffic on the interstate.

"At least it's heart's in the right place"

The message? Buy an SUV that is capable of going offroad, even though chances of it even getting off your driveway are slim. And while you are at it, why don't you get a fucking assault rifle to get rid of the roaches in your house?

Dunkin Donuts coffee : Not your every day coffee, your every single day coffee.

This is just retarded. No I refuse to spend any time at all discussing it.

The Chicago White Sox baseball franchise : "Win or die trying"

Ok, lets get some perspective here. What does this sentence mean? That they are gonna try hard to win. And they are gonna try harder because in their particular case, they have decided that if they lose, they would rather choose some fate which, if not literally death as such, would at least be worse than what would befall other baseball franchises if they lost. Because that's what the slogan says. If we lose, something will happen to us that's gonna be really really bad. But is that really true? No. then why the slogan? Just a bunch of words that sound cool.

Fake news in the mainstream

This is just sad. Just goes to show what the mainstream media's opinion of it's average viewer's intellect is, and what they would do to exaggerate things just to put the fear of God into them.

This was after the 2 weeks of constant rain we had here in the North-east.

From RealityTvWorld :

A TV news reporter got caught up a creek without a paddle while exaggerating the depth of flooding in New Jersey.

Michelle Kosinski appeared to be paddling a canoe while filing a report on the New Jersey floods for NBC's "Today" show Friday.

"It's really tough to control a canoe or a boat when you're out in it," she told New York hosts Matt Lauer and Katie Couric.

But while she was speaking, two men were seen in the camera shot walking in front of the reporter's canoe in ankle-deep water, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

Both Lauer and Couric burst out laughing.

Lauer asked: "Are these holy men, perhaps walking on top of the water?"

A concerned Couric added: "Gee, is your oar hitting ground, Michelle?"

Video here. Watch it, it's fucking hilarious and retarded at the same time. (courtesy The Political Teen)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Microsoft to build new operating system out of Windows XP spare parts

Microsoft has begun preparing the groundwork for the release of it's next-generation operating system, called Windows Vista by unleashing a series of Windows XP patches that will gradually dismantle the previous operating system. Windows Vista, the soon-to-be-released and highly anticipated operating system will then be built out of the detritus of orphan code the old operating system will leave behind.

Development engineers, when asked to comment replied, "Here at Microsoft, our company philosophy is 'Try not to make things worse'. And so, in light of this, we will be constructing the new operating system out of mostly recycled Windows XP code. This will make sure that the new operating system, if anything, won't be any worse than Windows XP."

A moment of glory

From Instapundit :

IT'S LIKE AN ARMY OF DAVIDS, OR SOMETHING: Here's more on India's IIPM scandal: "Bloggers have discovered in a week more than what a mainstream reporter may have in a month. They called up IIPM’s Toronto office and found it was not an IIPM office at all. Even Chaudhuri’s educational qualifications, along with IIPM’s sister concerns are under the scanner. Bloggers also dug out a scanned page of an affidavit on submitted by Malay Chaudhuri, IIPM founder and father of Arindam, as a Lok Sabha candidate from Balasore in Orissa in 2004 claiming.he did his MSc, PhD and DSc from Berlin School of Economics from 1962-1970. They found that the institute was founded in 1971!"

That's all our work right there, bitches!

Arzan's stuff
Arzan's, Mine and Transmogrifier's stuff
Thalassa_mikra's stuff

There were other bloggers too, whose work didn't get mentioned, but kudos to them as well. And of course, India Uncut and Desi Pundit's exemplary coverage of the issue.

Iraqi insurgents to defy US occupation by consuming pork

After slaughtering a number of Iraqi Muslims in a mosque on the first day of Ramzan, the Islamic religious holiday, Islamic insurgents in Iraq have declared their intention of continuing their religious war, or jihad, against American occupiers by consuming pork.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, an insurgent leader, Sheikh Osama bin Laden (not his real name) said "Since all our efforts at dislodging American troops from Iraq, such as blowing up our own people and suicide bombing our own places of worship have failed, we have no other option left than to eat pork, a meat reviled by our own religion. A nationwide consumption of pork would surely deal a major theological blow to the occupying infidels."

President Bush's response to this insurgent challenge has been swift and bold. "Bring it on", thundered the president from his podium in the White House press room. "Preferably slow roasted, with baked beans on the side", he added, smacking his lips.

The hard-right conservative Republican lobby in the senate has authorized the president to counter this challenge in the strongest possible terms. "We have to destroy all the pork here so that we don't have to fight the consumption of pork over there", said Sen. John Cornyn (R) Texas.

Democrats, however, have urged caution. "Before we make any hasty decisions, it is imperative that we make sure the meat has been hygienically handled and prepared following well-established cooking conventions, that is, roasted for at least an hour till the temperature at the center of the pork reaches 150 degrees.", said Sen. Joe Biden (D) Delaware. "That should get rid of all the salmonella", he added.

If this strategy of pork consumption fails to produce the desired results, as a backup plan, insurgents are planning to hold a massive Koran burning rally in Baghdad, which will then be immediately followed by another rally to protest the Koran burning.

In related news, in wake of the latest violence occurring in Iraq, President Bush's approval numbers have gone down another notch, thus forcing the President to invite Sylvester Stallone to co-star in his newest photo-op with American troops in Iraq. Stallone is expected to be stellar in his role as a disillusioned American marine in Iraq, who gives up his life of murder and sin when he finds Faith and God in the forgiving arms of his commander-in-chief (played by George W. Bush). The photo-op is set to be aired on NBC on November 24th, just in time for Thanksgiving. Also, in an attempt to highlight the progress being achieved in Iraq, President Bush has praised allegations of rigging and ballot stuffing in the recent Iraqi constitutional referendum, which he claims, could be interpreted as signs of that nation's march towards an American-style democracy.

In other news, Congressman Tom Delay (R) Texas, who is currently under indictment for misusing campaign contributions, has started a website which accepts campaign contributions from people in order to help fight the indictment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The president forgets his lines

Ok, we all know president George W Bush has already raised the comedy bar to previously unseen levels, but I think this one beats it.

So our president was on tv, having a video conference with Iraqi troops, asking them how their mission was going and how was the food in those parts, etc, etc. You know, the usual small talk. Except, this conference was scripted. And among those troops was actually a military PR agent, disguised as a soldier. This PR agent, who was a woman, was giving scripted responses to Bush's scripted questions, ultimately painting such a favorable picture of current conditions in Iraq that once the conference was over, airlines were swamped by ticket bookings from Americans who wanted to spend their Christmas vacation in Baghdad.

So anyways, Bush forgot about the agent who was implanted in the troops, the agent who was supposed to be helping him. He thought she looked a bit familiar. He then asked her :

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you something. Were you there when I came to New York?

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Yes, I was, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you looked familiar.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Well, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: I probably look familiar to you, too.

Shortly afterwards, President Bush recieved an invite to perform in the "Blue Collar Comedy Hour" on Comedy Central.

General Motors to strip customers of jobs, health coverage

Continuing with it's hugely successful advertisement campaign of treating customers like it would treat it's own employees ("You pay what we pay, not a cent more"), General Motors, the world's biggest automobile company, has announced that it will be laying off it's customers and divesting them of their health coverage.(via Raw Story)

In a press release, Paul Ballew, GM's executive director of market and industry analysis said, "GM's long term strategy has always been to treat our customers as if they were a part of our extended employee family. And now, with GM's decision of downgrading employee health benefits as well as laying off 25,000 employees by 2008, our customers would be eligible for those same benefits as well."

In order to ease GM's transition into a company with no customers, GM has stated that it's customers will be stripped of their jobs gradually in phases, those owning compact and sub-compact cars to be laid off first, followed by family sedans and finally finishing off with owners of large SUVs and sports cars.

In related news,
in order to assist the ailing American automobile industry, the US government has come up with a plan to attack rising gasoline prices by striking at the root of the problem, namely, oil trader anxiety. The Bush adminitration, showing a rare spark of brilliance, has submitted a proposal to Congress, whereby, oil traders will be eligible for free anxiety counselling sessions, which will aim at trying to reduce sudden urges to buy or sell oil based on an attack of the nerves.

"Most gas price fluctuations occur due to irrational exuberance or nervousness on the part of oil traders", commented a senior administration official. " In order to stabilize gasoline prices, it will therefore, be necessary for oil traders to stop acting like teenage girls hopped up on sweaty gym shorts and act like the grown men and women they are. Attending therapy sessions will help in that respect."

An oil trader on being asked to comment on this novel government scheme, replied "Woah you startled me, don't do that again."

In other unrelated news, the Catholic Church, in an extremely progressive move, has admitted that a number of biblical teachings might actually be untrue, such as the origin of Mankind from the first couple, Adam and Eve, as well as Eve being created out of Adam's rib. The church has also sent a reminder to Tom Friedman, telling him it is high time he quit claiming the world is flat.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A dilemma

So what the fuck do you do when you are in the gym locker room, and a guy enters, yelling at his wife on a cellphone, proceeds to strip in front of you, the intensity of his yelling increasing in direct proportion to his state of undress, until finally his argument reaches it's climax just as he is standing butt naked, facing you, glaring at you as if you were his wife?

You check how many times it swings and you take off.

New study suggests Bush might be smarter than previously believed

A new study suggests that smoking marijuana in an extremely potent form could lead to growth in brain cells (via RawStory), thus leading to the conclusion that President Bush might not be as dumb as previously believed.

Recently released tapes of President Bush's conversation with a former advisor revealed that the President might have smoked marijuana in the past, but did not admit it on the record in order to dissuade children from following the president's example and turning into potheads. However, in light of these new findings, the White House has now launched a full-fledged public awareness campaign to highlight President Bush's pot smoking history by buying time on all major networks.

"Chronic use of marijuana may actually improve learning memory when the new neurons in the hippocampus can mature in two or three months," said Xia Zhang, an associate professor with the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan. "In President Bush's case, it would mean that when he uses words like 'misunderestimate' and 'disassemble', he is not abusing the English language, just re-inventing it."

For the study, the researchers injected laboratory rats two times everyday for 10 days with a synthetic cannabinoid chemical, obtained from marijuana and evaluated them against a normal group. The rats that underwent the injections developed new nerve cells in the part of the brain that facilitates memory development. In addition, the rats also displayed a strong proclivity to sitting in groups around a campfire and discussing the various ways in which Jimi Hendrix's music rebelled against the establishment, specifically his version of the "Star-spangled Banner", whose extremely distorted guitar riff symbolized the distorted fabric of American society in the 60s.

"This just goes to prove that Americans were wrong about the president being a retarded sock puppet of corporate America who would sign anything into law as long as he didn't have to read the entire thing", said Scott McClellan, the White House spokesperson. "But now that these new findings prove that even though the president might still be a sock puppet of corporate America, he is probably not as retarded as originally feared, the American people need to know about it."

Plans are on for organizing a major presidential tour of America tentatively named "Pot-smoking is smart, and so am I", where the president will demonstrate the benefits of pot smoking by successfully reciting the first 3 digits of pi without faltering.

In other news, the capture of an Al Qaeda hair dresser in Iraq has prompted the Department of Homeland Security to raise the terror alert level to Blonde with Auburn highlights.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lord of all things that shiver uncontrollably

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and filled it up with so much water that it became a pool-pisser's wet dream, everyone blamed God for it. In fact, many of us raised our voices against God. What the fuck God, we argued in an elevated tone, what's with all the rage directed against poor old mankind who never did anyone any harm? In fact, I myself, did quite a bit of voice raising and God blaming, going so far as to challenge the Big Guy to a no-holds barred duel, no face-hitting allowed. Even Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, in his impeccably succinct way inquired, "God, dude, which part of 'God Bless America' don't you understand?"

But after all that yelling and cursing and table-thumping, this is what probably happened. We woke God up. And boy, is the Old Man cranky when you deprive him of his 8 solid hours. He looked down from his balcony, saw us tiny little humans all amped up and raring for a fight, and God bellowed, "Shut the fuck up you little turds. Jesus Christ, can't a God get some sleep around here? And take THAT for waking me up." And God took a big-ass bucket, filled it to the brim with water and emptied the entire fucking thing onto the Great Northeast. And no, he didn't quit once he was done, it's not like God to quit when he's having a ball, he kept on doing it. 'Cause, see, that's where most of the yelling, cursing crowds were. And so it began, the Great Deluge of October 2005.

It's been raining continuously for the past 2 weeks. It's been a cold, wet, windy, shitty rain. Maybe it's been raining 2 weeks, maybe a month, perhaps a year, who the fuck remembers when it began. 'Cause when it's raining non-stop, days turn into nights, nights turn into days, and it's the same dank dreary depressing dusky time of the day all day long, and you don't know whether it's night or day, all you know is goddamn, if you don't see the sun today, you are gonna have mushrooms sprouting from your armpits.

And you know what happens when it rains? It's time for all the shitty drivers in the world to come scurrying out of their homes and hit the road. All of them, no exceptions. In their red Dodge minivans, 1972 Ford Broncos, farm tractors, horse buggies, heck, slower the vehicle, greater is the possibility that it will be on the road in front of you in the rain, doing a comfortable 20 miles an hour, while you are jumping out of your seat-belt in impatience, wishing you could just drive through the bastard. And because they are shitty drivers, they don't drive on the slower lane. No sir, 'cause they know they don't really have a good judgement for the far side of the vehicle. So they stick to the faster lane, creating long fucking sprawls of traffic behind them. Oh yeah, that is time well spent.

My office building. The less I talk about it, the better. After it was erected in 1776 after the American revolution using cardboard, glue and animal hides (which probably account for the smell), it has seen many things, good and bad. Mostly bad. It has seen floods, it has seen construction, reconstruction, deconstruction, things have fallen off it, things have fallen on to it, causing other things to fall off it, heck, if there were anything disastrous that could have happened to it, it's probably happened already. So I don't really blame it for leaking. In fact, I almost welcome the leaking. See, the fact of the matter is, I share a room with another colleague. The room's divided into two separate cubicles, and only one with a window. And he owns the one with the window. And by God, was it biting into my very soul to see him enjoy sunshine and trees and water and birds laying eggs which other birds would come and devour and traffic on the expressway, when all I could do was stare in front of me at a hole in the wall, which I had to drill myself so I could have something to stare at.

But now, the tables had turned. The building was leaking. And water had seeped through the window, making my colleague's cubicle positively uninhabitable, thus forcing him to move to a different one, without a window I might add. And I was fine with it. Fine, I tell ya. And it was at that happy moment in my life that the building supervisor felt that he had to step in to make matters right. He decided unilaterally that the cubicle had started to smell because of all the moisture that had leaked inside. And thus began Operation Stink Kill. The Super began to throw all kinds of home made powders, sprays, voodoo curses and what-not at the moist patch in the cubicle in some kind of demented hope that it would stop the leaking. And this combination of powders and sprays now has stunk up the place so much that it is now worse than it was when the place used to simply smell like a couple of rats had died in the midst of passionate intercourse. Ah how I miss that smell.

But as of now, the rain continues. It still falls outside in the steady drip drip drip of an old man urinating with a swollen prostate. It will continue to rain throughout the weekend. And it will probably rain through all of next week as well. And the week after that. And the building will continue to leak, and shitty drivers will continue to drive and life will go on as usual for everyone, except me. I, on the other hand, will be harvesting mushrooms from my armpits.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday news roundup

Miers denies Klan membership, conservatives still hopeful
After denying having killed kittens during her youth, Harriet Miers, President Bush's latest Supreme Court pick has denied being a member of the Ku Klux Klan. However, conservative Republicans are still hopeful, adopting a wait and watch attitude. "It's unimagineable for someone to be as religious as she claims to be, and yet be free of bigotry. If not KKK, she must at least have bombed an abortion clinic. Lets just hope and pray that she has."

The American political scene has displayed a dramatic shift in loyalties since Bush announced his nomination for the Supreme court. Miers' lack of judicial background as well as her unwillingness to discuss her feelings about lynching negroes in public squares has Republicans befuddled. On the other hand, Democrats, content to let Republicans duke it out amongst themselves over the candidate, are willing to perform a collective impersonation of the common garden slug.

Bush : Karl Rove to be fired if he murdered Valerie Plame
President Bush, in a press release, has announced that if the current investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name were to conclude that Karl Rove had murdered the agent, then he wouldn't think twice about firing him.

This is the third time President Bush has changed his stance about the affair. Initially, after reports that someone in the White House had outed a covert agent, Valerie Plame's name to the press, he had issued the statement proclaiming :

"If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

After it was revealed that it was in fact, Karl Rove, the White House advisor, who had actually leaked the name of the agent, Bush changed his statement, saying :

"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

However, now, with Karl Rove's indictment of an actual crime being a realistic possibility, Bush has again changed his statement, saying :

"If Karl Rove is found to have murdered a CIA agent, we will waste no time in letting him go."

Republicans have applauded the President's stance as being fair and principled.

Online ignoring now easier with merger of Instant Messengers
Ignoring online chat pals will now be easier with the merger of Yahoo and MSN messengers. "This is truly a turning point for the IM (instant messaging) industry," Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel said in a statement. "This merger will enable IM users to consolidate all the people they hate, detest or are just plain bored of, into a single user interface. The days of juggling windows around, trying to ignore chat requests from multiple messengers at the same time are now over."

Only 2% of African Americans approve of Bush, cite job security as reason
In the latest NBC / WSJ poll, only 2% of African Americans claimed to be happy with President Bush's performance. When asked to justify the reasoning behind their approval of the president, Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State and all of the abovementioned 2%, replied, "Well, the reasons are mostly economic. President Bush's policies have had a tremendous impact on reducing the unemployment rate for me."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I am featured on India Uncut

India Uncut, the premier Indian blog by Amit Varma, has devoted an entire post to me. Let me say that again. An entire post. Not a "link via", not a "by the way", not a "So who else sucks in the blogosphere", but an entire post. Mom, Dad, it is doubtful that you will ever get to see my blog or come to know about it's existence because of the nature of it's content, but I gotta tell you this :

I have arrived.

Something fishy this way cometh

Continuing the investigative journalism being carried out by Arzan, some strange things began to emerge.

1.> IIPM's link to alliances points to an institute in Belgium, called IMI. This institute's website is curiously similar to IIPM's with an excess of ambiguity, no faculty lists, no campus pictures (instead of a campus picture they keep showing a picture of Central station, Antwerp, whatever that might be.)

2.> IMI has a link called "Distance Learning via Global Business Academy" at the bottom of it's web page. This directs you to another ambiguous website belonging to "Global Business Academy", also in Belgium. This website has a number of partner links pointing to the following :

The International Management Institute
Barcelona Business School
European Business and Management School (EBMS)

So there are these 5 institutes : IIPM, IMI, GBA, EBMS and BBS, all calling each other partners.
But here comes the fun part.

Many links on all these websites are exactly identical. For example,

a.] Research and publications :


Mostly Indian books, a couple by our man in blue Arindam Choudhry.

b.] Faculty page :

c.] Student forum :

Eerie? Hell yeah! I don't know about you, but I sure think this daisychain of interconnected institutes, each existing ambiguously on the internet with no information other than the fact that they claim to churn out a large number of high quality MBA graduates seems extremely suspicious to say the least.

Update : The Transmogrifier does some more digging of his own along the same lines.

My other IIPM related writing here, here and here.

New law decrees vaginas to be state property upto marriage

The Tamil Nadu legislature has passed a law decreeing that all vaginas, residing within Tamil Nadu state boundaries would be the property of the state of Tamil Nadu until such a time as they get married. The new law was passed in response to reports of rampant abuse of vagina privilege occurring in the state, said to be one of India's most progressive and literate.

Members of the Dalit Party in India, Dalit standing for "untouchable", have demanded that vaginas be afforded similar rights and restrictions granted to members of their own party, namely, that they never ever be touched for pleasure or for recreational purposes, and that some kind of a state-sponsored supervision should exist in order to oversee incidents of vagina violation. The Tamil Nadu State government, currently led by former Tamil actress Jayalalitha, has agreed, commenting "Since I have never been married and hence, never experienced any pleasures of the carnal kind, I hereby forbid any other unmarried woman from doing so either."

The PMK Party's women's wing, which one would expect to stand up for women's rights, has stepped up to the plate and demanded that the new law be strictly enforced, and in order to lead by example, has asked all it's unmarried members to begin wearing chastity belts.

The new law also specifies that following marriage, vagina ownership will be transferred to the husband, who will then have a choice to either liberate it or maintain it under his legal guardianship.

In other news, the Durga Puja festival was celebrated in large parts of the country to symbolize feminine strength and empowerment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The guy with no ideas

Today I saw a Honda Civic. It's license plate number was "CIVIC". What the hell, I wondered. This guy actually put in extra effort and money to get a personalized license plate with the same word that was already there on the back of his car. And it's not like the car was a Mercedes or a BMW or something fancy that you would want to show off, be an obnoxious prick about. It was a freaking Honda Civic, for Christ's sake. I'm sure if the guy ever has a son, he would probably name him "Boy". Or if he ever comes up with a cooking recipe involving rice and beans he would name his creation "Rice and beans". Yeah, he's probably that kind of a guy.

IIPM fine print division served legal notice by IIPM large print division

Some bitter infighting within the IIPM hierarchy has led to the IIPM fine print division being served with a legal notice by the IIPM large print division. These two divisions, which usually work hand-in-hand in close harmony to print out propaganda newsletters, also known colloquially as IIPM newspaper advertisements, are currently being torn apart due to opposing viewpoints on what each division perceives to be the Truth about the institute.

The entire furor arose when Fine Print (FP) management interrupted a steam sauna team bonding session, organized by Large Print (LP) management, in order to voice some concerns regarding a futuristic representation of IIPM campuses in Mumbai and New Delhi. To which, LP management replied "Well, just add the disclaimer that these pictures represent an artist's rendition of how Mr Arindam Choudhry would view his beloved creation under the influence of a hallucinogenic."

The matter took another ugly turn when LP management invaded a teammate-trust circle jerk session being attended by FP members to protest the fine print under IIPM's assertion of having an international faculty. "The disclaimer says 'International faculty restricted from existing anywhere except in Director's mind'.", ranted an irate LP team member. "And what about this note under the dean's mission statement that says "Disclaimer : Everything on this page is a hunk of horse feces'"?

Ultimately, getting frustrated with the Fine Print division's inexplicable insistence on telling the truth, the Large Print division finally had no option other than to serve it with an emailed legal notice to stop infringing on it's right to mislead the public. The matter is still awaiting a trial date, pending which, Mr Arindam Choudhry has been ordered by the Mumbai High Court to cease and desist his practice of wearing fluorescent blue shirts (via The Erudite Bong).

In other news, the IIPM legal team has just informed Mr Choudhry that the fact that he owns a pony-tail does not legally allow him to claim the existence of ponies on the campus.

Update : Fishy, fishy, fishy, fishy and fishy

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

IIPM to inaugurate new answering machine in Japan

The Indian Institute of Planning and Management, or IIPM, has announced the inauguration of it's latest campus in Osaka, Japan. This newest addition to IIPM's long list of campuses worldwide will consist of a state of the art answering machine, which will field calls from prospective IIPM applicants and redirect them back to their campus in New Delhi, India.

Arindam Choudhry, the dean of IIPM, issued a press release detailing the management institute's high-profile expansion into Japan. "This is the latest feather in IIPM's cap. We will now be able to offer a number of courses by voicemail, wherein students would be able to dial into our new campus in Japan and receive voicemail instructions in Japanese, regarding the textbooks they would need to purchase back in India. It is a novel approach, encompassing all the latest technologies currently available in message answering."

In related news, IIPM has commenced it's job placement process for the current academic year. Arindam Choudhry, on being asked for a comment, replied, "We have submitted an ultimatum to IBM that unless they hire new IIPM graduates by tomorrow, we will begin immolating our students on campus." On being asked whether IBM was the only company to be involved in the placement program, Choudhry replied, "Of course not, we have students threatening to self-flagellate on the Wipro campus, self-mutilate outside the Infosys building and self-fellate at the TCS office. We have an extremely diverse and successful placement program."

Mr Choudhry expressed optimism about a greater number of IIPM graduates being hired by IBM this year. "We know that they currently have at least one vacant job position . It was previously occupied by an IIM graduate, so in terms of knowledge equivalence, the same position would require a hundred IIPM graduates."

In other news, IIPM has announced the addition of an authentic imaginary Finnish sauna to it's New Delhi campus, which will complement the already existing fictional swimming pool.

Update : IIPM fine print division served legal notice by IIPM large print division

Monday, October 10, 2005

IIPM students to burn degree certificates to protest defamation of institute

Students of a popular management institute in India called IIPM (Indian Institude of Planning and Management) have decided to burn their degree certificates in order to voice their support for their institute, which is currently in the midst of a controversy.

IIPM, which is under fire for allegedly printing incorrect and exaggerated claims about their institution including campus facilities and job placements, is currently seeking to file lawsuits against a magazine as well as a number of bloggers who dared to expose it's false claims.

The controversy that arose encouraged a number of IIPM alumni to organize a show of solidarity behind their alma mater, by lighting stuff on fire. Initially, the plan was to burn down the IIPM campus in New Delhi, which was discarded due to vehement oppposition from IIPM management. The plan was later modified to burn IBM laptops belonging to the institute, since one of the bloggers who had allegedly defamed the institute was an employee of IBM. However, this plan was also scrapped when a search of the IIPM campus did not yield any laptops that could be burnt.

Luckily, some quick thinking on the part of an IIPM alumnus (quick thinking being a part of the IIPM curriculum), led to the idea of burning all degree certificates issued by IIPM. When asked by reporters if burning degree certificates would harm their future job prospects, the pyromaniacal students replied, "On the contrary, if anything, it should help us."

Arindam Choudhry, the IIPM dean, when asked about this protest tactic of the students, commented, "No we are not destroying evidence."

In other news, IIPM has applied for a federal grant that will allow it to purchase newly available $100 laptops , since it is unable to afford IBM laptops for burning purposes.

Editor's note : Fuck everything else, IIPM's actions of trying to get even with Gaurav Sabnis by blackmailing his employer are outrageous, unethical, and HAVE to be opposed by every right-thinking individual. This is simply put, a case of bullying by a well-moneyed corporation. Period. I would not be surprised if, in fact, IIPM's actions turn out to be illegal. Maybe someone should look into that possibility. I applaud Gaurav for his decision and wish him all the best.

Update : IIPM to inaugurate new answering machine in Japan.

Speaking of superheroes...

Now that's a superhero with the balls to fight crime.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's er.. what the fuck is it?

Every once in a while, the gratuitous punching of buttons, or as it's known colloquially, television channel-surfing, leads you to something so strange, so deliciously exotic, that you thank the Lord for blessing you with adult attention deficit disorder. This time, it was the channel I only know as channel 13. Or is it channel 18? Ah, it's not important. As I was watching it, a half-empty beer bottle in my hand, it dawned upon me that the narrative unfolding on the screen was some kind of a superhero series. I was thrilled. I fucking love superheroes. I began to watch it in earnest.

The opening scene began with the superhero, clad in a kind of purple / yellowish colored outfit with a face-half-covering mask and all, talking to a kid, who was working on a laptop. The kid, named Steven, appeared to be an artist of some kind, involved in creating a comic strip. The comic strip appeared to feature the superhero himself. Kind of an odd premise, but I watched on.

Superhero : You know Steven, I am not too happy with the way you have portrayed me in this picture. You've drawn me too well.
kid : But it makes me look good if I draw you well.
Superhero: But Steven, the comic should make kids focus on God, not me.

Like a punch in the gut, the superhero's words startled me and awoke me from my alcoholic stupor. What a strange thing to say, for a superhero. I became doubly attentive to what was happening.

kid : But if I don't make you look good, then it makes me look bad, because people will think I'm a lousy artist.

The kid and the superhero then had a big argument, which culminated with the kid leaving the room in a huff.

Suddenly, a green-costumed dude jumped out of the wall. Right out of the wall, I tell ya. His appearance and the fact that he had a menacing green monocle on his right eye led me to believe he might be the villain. I was right. The superhero and the green dude then proceeded to engage in hand-to-hand combat and some trash-talking.

Green Dude : You think you are humble dont you?


Green Dude : Or maybe you are just too proud?
Superhero : I'm not proud. The bible warns against pridefulness.

The *What* warns against *What*? I blinked in perplexity, as if someone had just slapped me in the face with a tunafish. What the fuck was it with this superhero?

The fight over, the green villain vanquished for the moment, the pious superhero stood alone, exhausted and panting. Enter a black dude who could have been the superhero's sidekick.

Superhero : How did your talk with Steven go?
Black Sidekick Dude : Good. He said something had messed with his head, but he's ok now.
Superhero : You know, I would like to spend some time alone in prayer.

Boy, this was an entirely different type of superhero from the kind I had been accustomed to. Then, apparently realizing that the narrative might have become a bit too complex for newer viewers to follow, Unseen Voiceover Guy began a narrative that would provide a glimpse into what the fuck was happening and why. Flashback to a suited gentleman, clutching a briefcase in the rain, seemingly frustrated and gazing up at the heavens apparently in agony.

Miles Peterson was a man who had it all: wealth, status, success. Still, something was lacking. Then, in his darkest hour, the words of a single book gave Miles Peterson the burning desire to know God. Now, transformed by the Word of the Lord and empowered by His strength, Miles Peterson lives out a pledge to fight evil in the name of God, under the identity of the mighty avenger of truth known as Bibleman.

Bibleman? Yes, Bibleman. The identity of the strange religious superhero was finally uncovered. Praise be to the Lord!

The narrative then fast-forwarded back to the present, where Bibleman was finishing his prayers, bible in hand. A word about the superhero's costume. It was noisy. And by noisy, I mean fucking deafening. It was made of some kind of thick polyethylene, you know, the kind most things at Toys-R-Us are made out of. And whenever Bibleman moved, even a bit, it brushed against itself and it creaked like a honeymooners' bed. But, back to the narrative.

Enter again the black dude from before. Bibleman was just finishing up his prayers.

Bibleman: Lord give me strength, Jesus.

Bibleman seemed to be a bit perturbed at this intrusion. The black dude and Bibleman both seemed unnaturally embarassed, as if the black dude had caught Bibleman masturbating to a picture of the virgin Mary.

Black Dude: Sorry to interrupt.
Bibleman:Thats ok, I've been praying on and off all morning.

Switch to the green villain's lair, where the villain and his sidekick were engaged in some kind of unidentified skullduggery, involving a computer.

Ludicrous : Something smells here, prince.
Green Villain : Gee Ludicrous, maybe it's because we live in a sewer.

Boy, I love those smart-alecky villains.

Green Villain (to his computer) : Luci, shut down Bibleman's computer by sending it an E-mail. That is, E for Ego. Ha ha ha.

My mind slowly began to comprehend what was happening. The Green Villain, known as the "Prince of Pride", was trying to incite people to be "prideful", and thus, going against God's will, by pelting them with some kind of a red pride-inducing ray. That was the reason why the kid Steven had gotten pissed off at Bibleman. He had been pelted with pride about his comic strip. And Bibleman was trying to stop the Prince from achieving his objective. It was a holy allegorical war. Awe-fucking-some!

But back to Bibleman's Bible-cave. The Prince of Pride reappeared.

Prince : How is the lovely couple?
Bibleman : Schnikies!

Schnikies? Thats a new one. I like it. I shall keep it.

The battle resumed, this time with the aid of lasers. A lot of creaking of heavy plastic costumes was involved as well. And man oh man, those were some pretty nifty mega-budget special effects. The fight was interspersed with conversation between the two combatants, mostly of a scriptural nature.

Bibleman : You've been voted villain least likely to succeed.
Prince : Says who?
Bibleman : Says in Proverbs 16:18. Pride comes before destruction.

Black Sidekick Dude was still busy, trying to resuscitate his computer, which had been Ego-fied by the villain's computer. Finally, he succeeded.

Black Sidekick Dude : Unice, run the anti-virus and delete all the data that isn't obedient to Christ.
Unice (the good computer) : Roger, Black Sidekick Dude.

Back in Superheroland, the fight still continued. During the course of the battle, Bibleman began asking the Prince of Pride some trivia questions. Probably to take both their minds off the ongoing super-violence.

Bibleman : Exodus, 15:7 : And in the greatness of thine excellency thou overthrowest them that rise up against thee: Thou sendest forth thy wrath, it consumeth them as stubble.
Prince : I give up. Who is it?
Bibleman: God.
Prince: I was never good at trivia.
Bibleman (enraged) : God isnt trivial!
Bibleman : Deuteronomy, 10:7 : For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.

God of Gods, thats a mouthful. The Prince, in order to pay attention to what Bibleman was saying, had momentarily ceased his assault and was pondering over this nugget of bibletalk. Taking advantage of this, Bibleman, in an extremely sneaky and unGodly manoeuver, threw the Prince over onto a bunch of electrical circuitry where he was fried, green shit splashing onto the surrounding walls. Yummy!

Facing the viewer, Bibleman then imparted his final words of wisdom.

Bibleman: Pride and destruction go together like liver and onions, like toenails and cheese.

Toenails and cheese? Mmkay....if you say so. Note to self : Quit eating cheese.

Bibleman : Its ok to be proud of your accomplishments but not prideful in your actions. But there is someone who will always be proud of you and that is Jesus Christ. If you want to have Jesus Christ in your life, speak to your parents or your pastor. It is then that you will possess the full armor of God.

Being pretty inebriated by this time, I quickly put through a call to my folks and talked to them about not having enough armor on my body. The next thing I know, they had purchased a plane ticket and were flying here to check what the fuck was wrong with me.