Friday, March 24, 2017

Quick notes: Air drill, Kerala model...

Chinese & Pakistani Troops March Together in Islamabad

For the first time, Chinese and Pakistani troops are marching together in a parade in Islamabad, highlighting the sudden new deepening of cooperation between the 2 countries in support of the new China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

China is also quadrupling the size of its amphibious assault troops - India's Andaman Islands would be an obvious target, since they're at the mouth of the strategic Straits of Malacca:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

London Attacker Identified as Khalid Masood (born Adrian Russell Ajao)

Police have announced the name of the London terrorist attack perpetrator - he was 52-year old British-born Khalid Masood of Birmingham, and a former schoolteacher. Apparently, he was born non-Muslim and became a convert to Islam.


Scotland Yard's top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley says the suspects were held overnight and he revealed the killer's birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao. Also known as Adrian Elms, he was using the name Khalid Masood at the time of the attack.
A name like that might suggest Indo-Caribbean descent, later converted to Islam.

London Terror Attack: 5 Dead, 40 Injured

There's been another terrorist attack in London, apparently carried out by an 'Asian' man who started by mowing down multiple people on London bridge, subsequently running from his vehicle towards the British parliament to stab some policemen, at least 1 fatally, before being shot dead. Including the attacker, 5 people have dieand 40 injured in this incident, which happens on the 1-year anniversary of the Brussels terrorist attack.

Attacker being treated before he died

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Electronics Banned from US-Bound Middle Eastern Flights

US-bound flight from certain Middle Eastern airports are banning travelers from bringing personal electronics items with them on flights:
The ban will apply to nonstop inbound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa. “It appears to be a Muslim ban by a thousand cuts,” a former US official said.
So some are implying that the Trump admin is achieving their Muslim ban by other means - ie. by throwing up other obstacles/impediments that will reduce the number of Muslim travelers anyway.

ISRO's New Hypersonic Wind Tunnel

ISRO has commissioned the 3rd-largest wind tunnel in the world, to do hypersonic testing at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre:

The testing at this facility will be used to develop future hypersonic aerospace vehicles.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

No Political Future for Bharara

The US Democratic Party would love to offer some slot to Preet Bharara, but they have nothing to offer him - NYC mayor position is occupied by DeBlasio, and there's not enough time for Bharara to gain residency there to run. Governor's position is occupied by Cuomo, and the Congressional slots are occupied by Schumer and Gillebrand. These are all Democrats. Since Bharara is born in India, he can't be used to run for the US Presidency, although likely wouldn't be popular enough to succeed there anyway. (Perhaps billionaire Bloomberg may try in 2020, since he floated his name in 2016)

After the famously tough US General MacArthur was fired by President Truman, he said that "old soldiers never die, they just fade away" - perhaps Bharara will simply have to fade away. Like many sepoys, he'll likely just end up as a fat pensioner.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Yogi Adityanath is New CM of Uttar Pradesh

Yogi Adityanath has been appointed the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. The media are already up in arms about it:

Making him CM is a high-risk strategy. Scrupulous attention must be paid toward avoiding any riots in the state, which the opposition/media will seize upon to revive their "Bharat Jalao Party" rhetoric to create electoral backlash. If riots and other trigger events can be avoided, then he has a chance to both rehabilitate the state by rooting out corruption and radically reforming its bloated bureaucracy while improving services, as well as intimately tying such improvements to the Hindutva brand in the public perception. Just like the famous Protestant Work Ethic or Confucian Work Ethic, there may be an opportunity to demonstrate a Hindu Work Ethic to the investment markets. Risks are of course things like riots - we now have not only ISI but also ISIS who would be fishing for trouble in the state to boost their own agenda.

The strategy may pay off - but only if trigger-events for conflagrations can be avoided. As General Zia-ul-Haq used to say, "the water must boil, but not too hot." If Adityanath moves too crudely or in a headstrong way on the Ram Temple issue, then it could create a serious trigger-event that would reward the opposition with electoral backlash. Hopefully Adityanath is a team player, and won't try to win one battle at the cost of losing the wider war. He needs to be proactive in pursuing outreach to Muslims.

The media are putting out their own theories on why Yogi Adityanath has been appointed, claiming that he's being brought in as a foil to allow Modi to look more "moderate":

Oh well, at least it's a step up from "Indira is Secular, Indira is Communal"

China Behind Pak's Gilgit-Baltistan Land Grab?

Pakistan's sudden new move to carve out Gilgit-Baltistan away from Kashmir to annex it as Pakistan's "5th province" may be due to Chinese pressure to help facilitate the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor)

It now remains to be seen how the great "freedom fighters" of the Valley should show how they feel about this development.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quick notes: Rupee ride, International students...

  • The Rupee is on a tear: A strong rupee is good news for corporate India. Many firms hold debt in foreign currencies, so a fall in the exchange rate means their interest outgo will reduce.

  • Counter-offensive: India trains Vietnamese soldiers in jungle warfare. Vietnamese sailors are also being trained to operate Russian Kilo class diesel electric submarines at the Navy's submarine training school. 

  • Importing international student = exports: American colleges and universities constitute an enormous economic engine. More international students equals stronger colleges and universities, more productive workers, more American jobs, and higher GDP — ad infinitum, in a virtuous cycle.

  • Theft and damage: The Dark Secret Behind India's Solar Plan.

  • Deep Work: How to double your productivity and work less (really)

  • Smartscooter: The 'Tesla of scooters' is about to rapidly expand in Berlin

  • Nation of Arab worshipers: In Pakistani pulp fiction, the scariest villian is always the Hindu 

  • IIT Madras RISC-V International Conference April 2017: Under the auspices of the IIT Madras Computer Architecture Initiative and the SHAKTI Processor Project, the team at IIT Madras will host RIC2017 this coming April 2nd and 3rd, 2017 in Chennai India.

  • Dead zones: Large Sections of Australia’s Great Reef Are Now Dead, Scientists Find. Australians ask Adani to abandon project: The project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed off on land. 

Why India is Investing in Space

Article about why India is increasingly investing in space, by left-tilting

US SecState Warns of Possible Military Strike on North Korea

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is warning of a possible military strike on North Korea in the future, saying that US patience towards Pyongyang has ended:

Simultaneously, the Trump Whitehouse is putting together a huge new arms deal package for Taiwan:

Kashmir Moves: India Fast-Tracks 3 Dams, Pak Carving POK

India has fast-tracked 3 hydro-electric projects in Kashmir. Predictably, the NGOs are squawking against it:

Meanwhile, Pakistan is trying to unilaterally strip Gilgit & Baltistan away from POK in order to facilitate the CPEC corridor:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

SriLanka-NorthKorea Arms Connection Exposed

China already has North Korea and Pak as clients, and has promoted illicit weapons trade between them. Now China's more recent arms client Sri Lanka may also be joining that trade:

Meanwhile, the US SecState Tillerson is calling for a "new approach" on dealing with NorthKorea, whose progress in development of nuclear weapons and missiles have gone past all thresholds of US tolerance.

Wonder Woman Trailer

The trailer is out for Wonder Woman, the superheroine from DC Comics who comes from a Spartan-like tribe of fierce female warriors. The DC Comics mythos apocryphally inserts her into Greek mythology as a demi-goddess secretly born to Zeus and a human mother. In contrast to the original origin story which dates back to WW2, the movie sets her origin story during WW1.

Wonder Woman is played by the Israeli actress Gal Godot, whose other acting credits are mainly just the Fast & Furious racing-action movies. The movie will come out this summer.

Trailer for Bahubali 2: The Conclusion

The trailer is out for Bahubali 2 - The Conclusion:

China Takes Note of Modi Election Victory

China has taken note of Modi's election victory in UP, with an Op-Ed piece saying that it will present China with challenges and maybe some opportunities:

With allegations of foreign interference in various elections dominating headlines these days, it would be best for Indian authorities to be on guard against electoral meddling attempts by China, including hacking of servers or other actions against political parties. The Chinese are quite bold and ruthless - look at the way they've interfered in the politics of Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, among others. Given their derisive opinions towards India, there needs to be vigilance against any interference by them.

#evmfraud cannot be explained away easily; tho i think there was no systematic tampering now, as that's a congress specialty

this is what i wrote years ago about the then-existing EVMs, which i thought were a crock. things have improved with VVPATs, but still have grave doubts about them. i still don't trust computers.

the election commissioner's letter is hardly reassuring, and i don't think this is the last word on the matter. what indiresan et al said earlier was total bullshit, and i hope things have improved since then. but i have my doubts about the chips involved, the firmware, and the processes. the whole thing needs a thorough security audit.

now that everybody and his brother is talking #deepstate, remember you heard it here first :-)

see my two part essay from 2015, exactly two years ago:
this was (afaik) the first instance of anyone in india talking explicitly about america's omnipresent #deepstate and its baleful influence on india. i take due pride in that :-)
however, there *was* an earlier use of the term (in 2013) for the congress and its ecosystem, and so here's due credit to centerrightindia. good guys, the folks behind the indian #deepstate is partly a creation of the US #deepstate, as seen in the obvious funding of various anti nationals and think tanks. much like a godman named caldwell invented 'dravidianism' as part of divide-and-rule.

next up, #IoI gang sets up 'anti-discrimination' meaning 'more discrimination against hindus'

shashi tharoor with yet another instance of #breakingindia with a new bill, based on crap from some leftie desi prof at oxford

the real problem with india is the constitution that's blatantly biased, based on extraordinary privileges to semites.