Immigrants Improve US Productivity

Is Immigration Good for America?

Depending on their ideology and incomplete data, politicians, media, unions, and technology companies espouse disparate views. A recently published, detailed economic impact study, sheds a clarifying light on the productivity of immigrants compared to the native American population.
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Surgeon falsifies research on soldiers injured in Iraq war

Update: May 22, 2009
Dr Kuklo has taken a leave of absence from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis


Update: May 19, 2009
US Senator Charles Grassley has opened an inquiry into Dr T Kuklo and his financial relations with Medtronic.



It is depressing to see medical doctors, who are also paid consultants to drug companies falsifying research data. From a NYTimes article Army Disputes Doctor’s Claim in Study of Injured.

A former Army, Orthopaedic surgeon, operating at the reputed Walter Reed Army Medical Center, created a ghost population of soldiers wounded in Iraq. Then fabricated data on their treatment with rhBMP-2 (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein – 2). The doctor forged signatures of co-authors and published the manuscript in a reputed peer-reviewed journal (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery – Br Edition). The surgeon was a paid consultant for Medtronic, which also makes and markets the rhBMP-2.
Continue reading “Surgeon falsifies research on soldiers injured in Iraq war”

Charlie Chaplin in Rural India

Movie directors will go to any ‘height’ to seek publicity. One Hemnath Hegde wants to install a 62-foot statue of Charlie Chaplin as the backdrop for two Kannada movie song sequences. He wants to offer that as a permanent contribution to rural Karnataka and hopefully get into the Guiness Book of World Records.

When locals complain they don’t want this 62-ft statue of someone who they don’t even know in their town, the director stokes fires of Hindu-Christian antagonism. Get real, Mr Movie Director!

Has the director considered disposable materials to make his statue and dismantling it just like he’d any studio set? And really, just because he wants to get in the Guiness Book of World Records, doesn’t mean he can run roughshod over local community sentiments.

Would you want your rural landscape marred by a 62-ft Charlie Chaplin ogling down at you every morning? (Please take poll below.) This is approximately the height of a 5-storey building in an area where the average houses are single storeys. Ooops, he wants to place this statue on a popular beach, near the entrance to a temple! This is about common sense and nothing to do with religion.

The equivalent would be if a movie director wanted to place a 62-ft statue of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina! Not going to happen!

Mr Movie director, please take your statue somewhere else, and really, we are NOT going to watch your movie either! 🙂



Changing topics.
Wish more Indians will focus on important issues facing our children. A recent article in the NYTimes, reports that child malnutrition rates in India are worse than in some sub-saharan African countries.

“In China, … just 7 percent of its children under 5 are underweight, a critical gauge of malnutrition. In India, by contrast, despite robust growth and good government intentions, the comparable number is 42.5 percent. Malnutrition makes children more prone to illness and stunts physical and intellectual growth for a lifetime.”

Sadly, the elite Indian media and bloggers are silent on this travesty and wasting ink on the statue!

Mumbai Blasts: One Month On

Its been a month, but seems like only yesterday that I woke to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai! So many vigils, memorials, speeches and even some saber rattling! But really, what is different?

Other than a few cosmetic changes, the same incompetent and corrupt politicians are running the show. Condi Rice made a trip and gave some stern warnings. Pakistan blows smoke! India, the supposedly emerging super power, appears impotent! Folks are getting back to their daily grind. The traffic is still horrible and Chalta Hai rules!

Just returned to winter in Boston, after an all consuming trip to India. Still catching up on my emails, but the snow has been cleared from the driveway! Organizing my pics is a big chore, made easier by munching on delicious mithai (sweets) we brought back.

Created a summary of my Mumbai Blast posts and it is now a top-level TAB: Mumbai Blasts! on my home page. Was surprised at the attention the blog got during the Mumbai blasts. Thanks to all my friends and you readers who directed my attention to the various mentions in the main-stream media. I have listed (and linked) to all media at the Mumbai Blasts! TAB. If you know of others, kindly send me a link.

Appreciate the kinds words that many friends and even complete strangers shared via comments and emails over the last month. I treasure them all and as I reread many comments, I am overwhelmed by the kindness of so many. We humans have such a magnificent capacity for love and compassion. Yet, some humans, inhumans actually, can be so cruel. Verily, tragedy brings us closer; but does it require a tragedy?

Soon I hope to get back to my regular postings on delicious foods, exotic travels and beautiful people. And soon too, I will start to visit your blogs and read your latest happenings.

Hope your Holidays have been as blessedly beautiful as ours has been!

And since you have made it so far: This is my 400th post! Yaay!

Comment: Justifying Citizen Journalists

Columbia Journalism posted a discussion: How Should Journalists use Twitter?

Their Staff Writer Megan Garber critiqued a few of my tweets. Some of the criticisms were justified, others were, in my opinion, unstudied. Below, I have transcribed Ms Garber’s comments and my response.
Continue reading “Comment: Justifying Citizen Journalists”

New President Elect Obama

We woke up to a new President Elect! An historic step, all the more in contrast to the disastrous, preceding eight years.

This is a time of two ongoing wars and terrorists are still out there waiting for a softening. The economy is in tatters and the country in at least 10 trillion dollars in debt. The hard part of governing now begins.

Negative attacks are common place on both sides leading up to the election. And Rudy Giuliani said it well last night. Before the elections we are Republicans or Democrats, but “after the elections we are all Americans!” The people have spoken! It is time to be an American!

We are all Americans!


Added in Revision:
It was heartening to see sooo many Indians, Canadians, Europeans, Kenyans, Latinos and everyone the world over, hoping for an American Victory! To me this proves that America is still the beacon, leading the way. And disproves what the declinist Zakharia and his ilk refer to as the post-american world. Prolly, they confused America with the “Bush America!”


Sacred Places

pic of Dev Bara Karo at the Madgaon Train Station by Arun Shanbhag

It is sad that in India, places of worship are being targeted to achieve political ends, or vent frustrations. This is absolutely wrong! Temples, churches, mosques, and all other places of worship are sacred and should not be pawns in political movements. People should feel empowered to use objective fora to address grievances. Politicians! Make it happen and stop using these incidents to advance narrow political gains!

In an attempt to address the grievances, the Karnataka state government blames “the flow of foreign funds,” for conversion of Hindus into Christianity.
Continue reading “Sacred Places”

Reading: Wide Angle Lens

A few interesting things. Lets start with wine!


  • An eco-smart alternative to the wine bottle.
  • Slideshow: “Making French Rabbit’s New Eco-Smart Wine Bottle,” Fast Company.

    Seeing this feature in Fast Company, I tried French Rabbit’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Fantastic and it goes superbly well with my grilled salmon. Importantly, a tetra pack has 1 L wine compared to 750 ml of a regular bottle and it was inexpensive ~ $7.99! Our guests loved it too!

    See more reviews here.

  • Plain vanilla gets you to your retirement goals faster!
  • Made to Stick: The Myth of Mutual Funds | Fast Company.

    These authors of the bestseller, Made to Stick, remind us why investing in Vanguard’s S&P 500 Index fund is the way to go! And don’t be mesmerized by the glib talking financial advisers, who are looking after their own retirement! Make money for yourself, not for the financial adviser!

  • AdventNet’s Sridhar Vembu: Deflating IT
  • So fabulous to see Sridhar Vembu featured in The Economist.
    AdventNet’s Sridhar Vembu | The Economist.

    “SRIDHAR VEMBU is a dangerous man. If he succeeds, a lot of people will lose a lot of money: software developers, consultants, shareholders and others. The chief executive of AdventNet does not have fraud in mind. Instead, he wants to remove what he calls the “value-pad” from corporate IT in general and business software in particular: all those millions of dollars he thinks are wasted on inefficient production structures, marketing and, not least, proprietary standards. “In the world of corporate IT”, he says, “the low-cost revolution is very much unfinished business.”

  • Racist policies of the LPGA
  • The recent policy of the LPGA, that all players pass an oral english test was rightly criticized. From the New York Times: Editorial – A Bad Idea From the LPGA.

    The LPGA has since revised its policy: L.P.G.A. Will Revise Its Policy on English – NYTimes.com, but as the following quote from their Deputy Commissioner suggests, they just don’t get it!

    “In an interview with The New York Times last week, Libba Galloway, the deputy commissioner of the L.P.G.A., defended the policy and said the suspension penalty was fundamental to it.

    “…, this is puzzling to us because we think we are ensuring that our membership is better equipped to succeed by having them effectively communicate in English,” she said. “We are equipping them with the necessary tools for maximizing their potential off-course earning opportunities. The suspension demonstrates the importance we are placing on effective communication in English.”

    Nearly half a millennia ago, when the Portuguese butchered and forcibly converted the Konkanis in Goa, their rationale was similar: “They don’t know it yet, we are just saving their souls!”

    Centuries later when the British colonized India, their rationale was similar, “we are bringing culture and civilization to these savages.”

    And similarly in Iraq: We have to destroy them to save them!


Reclaiming India

An interesting Editorial in the Times of India, by Tarun Vijay. I particularly liked his rebuttal to Omar Abdullah,

But he must stop to think why he can own a bungalow in Delhi or Bangalore and at the same time deny that privilege to a fellow Indian in Kashmir?

Do you think our elite, secular fundamentalists will brand him a patriot?

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