The Terror Blasts and Twiddling Thumbs

Once again, our country is facing terror attacks in Mumbai. And once again, I’m afraid we will fail to do anything. Once again, we will talk of the Spirit of Mumbai, shrug off, sleep, get up and go back to work. Once again, politicians will condemn the attacks, there will an enquiry, a committee, a review, a panel, a report – all to be lost in a filing cabinet in South Block. Once again, the world will cry afoul, issue travel advisories, cancel air tickets and hotel bookings, and then visit next year and get high on dope in Varanasi. Once again, the army will be called into action, after the intelligence system has failed, rescue people, save lives, and go back to training camps. Once again, we will fear the economy, FIIs drawing back money, FDI drying up, and everybody will forget in sometime. Once again, a tour will be called off, security concerns will arise, but they will come back in no time salivating for the money. Once again, lives will be lost, relatives will cry, friends will mourn, death certificates made, a compensation announced, and will be forgotten in history. Once again, the injured will pick up the pieces, perhaps with no leg, perhaps with no eyes, and live a life of despicable cruelty ever after. Once again, …

But for how long? For how long will this sceptre repeat, right in front of our eyes and we will fail to take any action. Hasn’t this list of events become an all too common phenomenon? Hasn’t it become so blaise that many times we hardly even notice — ignore the page 1 and turn straight to page 3? What have we done to improve the situation? Where is the Corrective and Preventive Action? Have we even prepared a document, let alone implement it? Where are the criminals of the past crimes? Have we punished enough? Has our political establishment the balls to hang the perpetrators of terror? Punish them such that nobody will try to repeat this mockery of India?

We can all keep talking. Will we ever do anything? Will we stand up for India?

I just wonder.

I hope we are a part of the solution – so just putting down some thoughts. Start a dialog. Let’s see if we can come up with a solution.

Vote – The biggest responsibility for Indians is to vote. That’s the way we can bring about a change in our country. That’s the way to show your country you actually care what the situation is. JaagoRe is a great effort – kudos to them – and let’s support them. And next time, let’s vote in a single party, whoever it be, so that we are not crippled by our slow democratic process. If we end up with a hung assembly again, in the cacophony of the Parliament, the terrorists will get away again.

Respect – I believe that we don’t respect the people who save us enough. Everytime, after the war situation, there is a flurry of patriotic films, saluting the soldiers, the commandos, but films are not enough. We need to give them more respect in real life. Perhaps a regular feature across TV channels on war heroes and those who laid down their lives for the country. Increase their salaries. For God’s sake – many of us work for foreigners, write code, analyze, sell, buy for MNCs – but these guys lay their lives for unknown men and women of India, who perhaps don’t even give back enough in return. They deserve to be paid more than most others. Give them more repect in social circles. Treat them as heroes. Only then will we want to join the Army, rather than using it as the last resort and career option.

Love – We can’t cure this ill with hate. If we started a revenge propaganda, things will never improve. We can only heal if we treat both Hindu and Muslims with love, and not get swayed by brainwashing. We need to be careful about identifying the perpetrators, and punish them with determination, but treat the others with love. If the retaliation is arbitrary and unreasonable, things will only get worse.

Spend – Let’s spend more money on intelligence. Let’s beef it up. The only way to fight these attacks is by fusing them early, since once a man who cares not for his own death has a gun in a room full of people there is very little anybody can do. We need to find the clues early, nab them and nip them in the bud. Repeating the earlier point, how many people do we hear of who are working in intelligence? For a nation of a billion people, a trillion whispers, a gazelleon hiding spaces, there is hardly enough intelligence personnel.

Revisit – Let’s revisit the past crimes, and keep track of whether we actually punished the guilty. Our media stumbles from story to story, and in 3-4 days we will forget everything that’s happened today. Let’s keep track of these, keep checking what’s being done, and make sure the guilty are given exemplary punishment, and the good given reward.

Reward – Let’s reward the brave. Citizens who have saved the lives of others. Both monetarily and socially. Let people feel that our society actually rewards those who serve others.

Educate – Let’s spend more on education. Typically, the people most succeptible to brainwashing are those who are not so educated – and unable to think and understand themselves.

I think I’m coming to the end of my ideas. Will look forward to receiving more in the comments section.

Getting Flash Audio to work in Intrepid

I had a lot of problem to get this working, and for a while I was missing all the audio action on Youtube (too bad!) — so, here’s the solution that worked for me – Install “flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound”. It could be as easy as typing the following in a terminal and hitting ENTER:

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound

UPDATE: To get Skype to work, verify that sound is working, and then open Skype / Options / Sound Devices, and update the settings as follows:

* Sound in – HDA intel
* Sound out – Pulse
* Ringing – Default device.
Any other settings caused Skype to fail when trying to make a call. (2.0.0.72-0medibuntu3) [Found this info here]

Viola!

[This worked for me. Might not for you. Use Google to find more references]

First attempt at a haiku

Attempting to write a haiku — for the first time ever! Let’s see how it sounds.

Mad people in autumn

Going around the city – as clowns

Rejoicing thoroughly

It’s wonderful how haiku’s convey so much, yet conceal so much!

Corporate Jets and Tin Cups

Found this piece in the Washington Post, quite hilarious since it talks about execs leading companies at the brink of bankruptcies and taking home over 20 mil in annual salaries. Preposterous. The big 3 of the Auto industry are going to Washington to beg for a lifeline (worth $20b) in a corporate jet spending millions of dollars per trip. And they insist that have have done all that could be done to rectify the problems with their companies. Cynical. And Hilarious! [link]

“There’s a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands,” Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) advised the pampered executives at a hearing yesterday. “It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high-hat and tuxedo. . . . I mean, couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here?”

The Big Three said nothing, which prompted Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) to rub it in. “I’m going to ask the three executives here to raise their hand if they flew here commercial,” he said. All still at the witness table. “Second,” he continued, “I’m going ask you to raise your hand if you’re planning to sell your jet . . . and fly back commercial.” More stillness. “Let the record show no hands went up,” Sherman grandstanded.

[Thanks to Lokesh for the link - via his Gtalk Status]

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