Sustenance versus everything else

57 - 1If we cease to exist as individuals or groups or countries, does it matter then, who was the great inventor of products or runner of the political regime? Probably it does, but for the historians alone. If we rise above the controversies, greed, ego and desires we will fail to distinguish between the people of one country, community or religion from the other. Country and customs borders will evaporate and we will see a universal level play field. And we will see a universal humanity, minus the race discrimination or religious brawls.

Is this the situation that you want to arrive at, or you have personal plans and agenda? If you discard your personal motives, you will emerge as the seeker of livability and sustainability of yourself and the universe. Otherwise you will hasten the degradation of the planet, in ways more than one. We can certainly not stop the design of the nature taking shape, as the earth cools down to the ice age, but as long as we live as individuals we should not hasten this process.

What is relevant and important is only the span of 100 odd years that we live. But this has tentacles of survivability of the poor and ultra poor. This requires maintaining the sources of natural fresh water and suitable breeze. Energy needs can wait in the wings. Simplify your lives. Being natural is the crux. Eat, drink and breathe normally. Lubricate your limbs and organs by internal exercises, and adore your thoughts by keeping them cool, free from controversies or conflicts. Discard those thoughts that waste your time, like nostalgia, future plans for risk covering, or even thinking about how to live life. Just live as it comes your way. No need to keep track of time; you know it does not stop anyway.

Just ensure that you have sufficient means to have three square meals, and a roof above your head …

Illusionary Governance

103480 A Citizen's Manifesto - Hard cover - Mike Rana-1

When I wrote these books, I thought they will go out of circulation as the times change and the politics matures. I am glad that this did not happen for the last 4 years, but I am not happy that the politics did not mature. Much more reading of these books is called for.

When Narendra Modi, the current Indian Prime Minister released his election manifesto in 2014, just a couple of months after my second book was released I was pleasantly enamored that his document was the elixir extract of these two books. I approached the support team of the political party; Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) to verify. And they thanked mMikeAWW3e for the ideas. Now we see a few implementations like the improvement in Indian villages and the cleanliness campaign.

Yet, I have to add that things are not going in the right direction. The campaign is shifting towards fake display of bringing in cleanliness. Propaganda that aspirant leaders are sweeping dirty locations. Are we Indians, going to have two faces forever, is the question that comes to my mind. Are we going to witness similar superficial displays for the other campaigns like bank accounts for the villages, or housing for all? Hundreds of thousands of badly constructed and highly priced flats are awaiting purchase, and we cry for lack of housing !

The questions that you and I should be asking are, whether the government plans to support the cleanliness campaign by building the infrastructure for garbage collection and disposal, or if the government will tackle the real estate mafia by suitably amending the law. We need to ask them, if the return of black money is held up for the removal of criminals and suspects from the parliament or ministries?

How will the PM cleanse his surroundings, and still remain in power. He is also threatened by the collusion of all the other political parties and political rumbling. Yes, he can if we all support him …

Buy AWW at Amazon

Read at Goodreads

Describe yourself – the best approach

 “Tell me about yourself” can be an overwhelming question to answer. “So, tell me about yourself.”

It’s one of the most ubiquitous interview questions, and often one of the most difficult. With such a wide breadth of possible answers, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Hint: If your go-to response includes a run-down of where you grew up or what you studied in college, you’ve probably already lost your interviewer.

While the hiring manager does want to get to know you, at this point they are only focused on figuring out if you’re the right person for the job — and your most critical task is showing them that you are, writes Skip Freeman, the CEO of executive search group Hire to Win, in a recent LinkedIn post.

To prevent hurting your chances before the interview even warms up,  Freeman breaks down this question into a simple three-part response that will hook the interviewer without inundating them with unnecessary details. Here’s his technique:

  • Part 1: Start with a condensed version of your career history. Try and keep it as concise as possible, Freeman suggests.
  • Part 2: Next, give a brief summary of a specific achievement to capture the interviewer’s interest. “It must be an accomplishment that can easily be explained and/or illustrated,” Freeman says. “Plus, it must also highlight a ‘bottom-line’ impact for the potential employer.”
  • Part 3: Conclude with a few definitive sentences about what you hope to accomplish next in your career — but make sure it’s relevant to the position you’re interviewing for, Freeman warns.

Here’s an example from Freeman of a good one-minute response:

“I am a five-year veteran of LAN/WAN administrflowers 1ation and systems engineering, with substantial experience using a variety of contemporary business software systems.

“Recently, as a long-term contract employee at a local regional bank, I learned that the bank was about to install a particular software system and was planning to use an outside firm for the project. I let them know that I had done a similar installation at my last assignment, outlined how we could get the job done with in-house staff, and successfully completed the installation for $55,000 to $65,000 less than it would have cost with outside consultants.

“For the next step in my career, I would like to move away from contract work and find myself as a direct employee of a large firm where I can join a substantial IT team and be involved with a group that focuses on email and network security applications, while having access to the knowledge base that would come with a large, diverse IT group.”

Instead of giving the hiring manager a broad overview of who you are, show why you’d be a great fit for the position. “Y ou will clearly and quickly brand yourself as a true professional, someone who knows the value of what you have to offer a potential employer,” Freeman says.

The #Election Tsunami

r4

Whatever might have been the criteria for choosing a candidate in the recently held elections, one cannot disregard the impact that the diversionary speeches of the leaders made on the electorate. The congress led government had amply softened the battlefield by their stagnated governance, policy paralysis and erosion of the law enforcement processes. Any pep talk could have turned the tide, so if Narendra Modi swung it in his favour, one need not be unduly impressed. They all thought that they were leading the country in the right directions, but what actually happened was that the country chose to be led. Continue reading

Elections – Not the only Solution

5f99a3d9df25b9b5ceabdd302bce1f5fOne certainly needs an answer for ‘why a potentially strong country like India continues to bear the tag of an emerging economy’. What stops it from acquiring the label of a developed country? If the country has abundance of natural resources, plethora of trained work force and blessings of a great weather, there should be no excuse for inertia. Nevertheless, if things continue to be in a wanting status, should we blame the outdated constitution, the ill-defined federal structure, an unsuitable governing system, the degenerated mindsets of people, the continually increasing population or deep rooted polarisation? Whatever may be the cause, solutions have to be found. In addition, if pleasing numbers are quoted about economic growth, number of people below poverty line, energy generation, or improvement in infrastructure then we must remember that numbers stated in absolute terms do not depict the reality on ground. Is it enough to build four bridges when actually one hundred were required? Unless realistic comparisons are made such as computing the numbers in percentages, or comparing the statistics with similar parameters of neighboring countries like China, Malaysia, and Singapore etc, inferences are unreal. Continue reading

Watering down the water crisis

The In-achievable Election Promise

Bhutan 2When AAP, the Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party) included the promise of 700 liters free water and cheap electricity in their election manifesto, little did they realize that this bugbear would start breathing down their neck very quickly? Who had thought that this budding party would end up dislodging the decades old political equations and take over the seat of power in Delhi; even they themselves did not? Nevertheless, these troubled waters are in their backyard now.

Water is the most vital resource in the lives of people, and it can become a very touchy point indeed. Nevertheless, when the opposition, the shocked and dumbfounded opposition, is at AAP’s throat demanding fulfillment of the election promise, it is obvious that the venom of jealousy is operating rather than the genuine concern for the people. Opposition and their cronies, the media, passed the diktat that free water must be made available within days; otherwise, the promise was as bad as broken; shamelessly disregarding the fact that they themselves could not accomplish this in decades of rule.

Leaving the politics aside, the issue is genuine and challenging. The water shortage is further handicapped because its transmission and distribution can only be as good or as bad as the infrastructure in Delhi is. Like in many other cities, successive governments in Delhi ignored water management while they were galloping towards prosperity, in haste. The challenges are much the same everywhere. Buildings already exist and the roads bind them together. There are no space margins for additional external services; be it water, floodwater disposal, sewerage, electricity feeders or even the wire line cables. The solution, a permanent one, expects re-fabrication of the infrastructure, to accommodate pipelines of all kinds. For water, ideally there should be at least two separate incoming pipelines, one for drinking water and the other for other uses. There should also be an explicit outlet for the disposal of the used water. All this can be done only as part of the bigger picture, the urban development; a topic that needs independent treatment. So how is AAP going to tackle the present day water predicament?

“Oops, did we miscalculate the challenge, should we have underplayed it, was there any need to be specific in numbers etc,” are the questions that hammer the AAP minds now. Arvind Kejriwal, the quickly maturing Chief Minister, clever as he is, being an IITian (an alumni of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur), gave a minor twist to the promise. He put a rider that only those who consume less than 700 liters of water per family per month would stay entitled to this promised benefit. All the others, even those who consume 701 liters, will pay for the entire quantity of 701 litres. He claimed that this embargo would enforce people to reduce consumption; an argument that stands to reason. He also took the stand that water control by this methodology would force the water thieves to get meters installed, and claim legitimate concessions. Because of these steps and arguments, the revenue for the government may increase in spite of supplying free water to people.

Citizens must understand that this promise could not have been more than conditional. Yet, all that can be done now is for the government to provide subsidy to cover the expense on water usage and reach out to far-flung areas by re-routing commissioned water tankers.

Having said all the above, the point is how can a government improve the water situation in cities that are in place for decades. Here is what the government needs to do, and every item listed here under has a dependency relationship with the others. A consolidated project plan is required to define task dependencies, and this plan must become a part of the overall urban development plan.

What needs to be achieved

Bus Stop - NYThe election promise may be moderated as follows:

• Minimal supply – Life sustaining quantities of water should be made available up to the last individual or family in the pipeline. The UNO defines drinking water as something that fosters life, and its denial is a violation of citizen’s birthright.

• Quantity required – The quantity should not have been specified in the promise. It was un-necessary. Having said that, Arvind Kejriwal need not stand perfect in this commitment, for citizens who have done without water for decades could do with minimal water that comes to them with ease in the future. The primary aim of the commitment should be to supply about 500 litres of water daily to all households that come under the jurisdiction of this scheme.

• Separate streams required – Drinking water should undergo sufficient processing before distributing. It may be supplied through pipelines, not very large in diameter, and at pressure that is low. Water for other uses, such as gardening, washing and kitchen, could be supplied from a separate reservoir. This water needs only filtration but no chemical treatment. It could be supplied in bulk in larger pipelines that may not terminate in individual metering devices, but only in common meters. The consumption should be averaged out for a given locality, and charged equally.

• Tariff – There is no justification or logic in the supply of free water. The tariff must be defined in blocks of usage per installed meter, provided the meters are installed, calibrated and are working in every residential or workplace unit.

• Finally, the time schedule for implementing these changes should not have been in days, but in years.

The Imponderables

• Humongous quantities required – To cater for the transmission and distribution losses, DJB – the Delhi Jal Board, an organisation established to take care of water management in Delhi, needs to pump about 1000 liters (drinking + other) water into every household every day. With millions of households, this is a steep requirement.

• Additional water required – It is obvious that additional water supply must come from other states. Inter-state water transfer is the subject matter for consideration by the Union government, which is presently a different political party than the Delhi state. The CM may twist the Union Government’s arms by reducing the water supply in the Lutyen area (a posh area in thousands of acres, in the centre of Delhi) and have it redistributed to the other areas.

• Water quality is deplorable – The standard drinking water quality in Delhi is so poor that filters and chemical processing devices need replacement rather too often. The government may think about installing heavy duty processing modular filters and plants in every tower of a condominium or in common location for a community.

• Disposal after usage – nearly all the water that comes to a household is returned as waste water. With streamlined and increased supply, additional sewerage capacity will have to be built. Delhi’s current waste water treatment is a national disgrace. How will it handle the extra waste water?

• Legal issues – For dwelling units in the settlement areas, or in squatter settlements, supply of regulated water may amount to giving legal rights to unauthorized colonies. Settlements should be regularized only after they have been give all the necessary basic amenities like sanitation, drinking water and electricity. This becomes a part of the urban development plan, and it is not a water management issue.

Routing and Distribution – Pipelines

High bridgeIn the city of Delhi, water does not reach the premises of many consumers or even to the community dispensing points. In the last 15 years of rule, the rulers could not or did not route water pipelines. Some even say that this letdown was not because of lack of project resources, planning or real estate availability for routing but it was probably intentional. Water shortage is an additional source of revenue through back doors. Crony businesses could be called in to supply water through water tankers, ensuring that water supply is differential; more to the affluent and scanty to the poor, practically negligible for those who live below poverty level. The rich can afford to pay a heavy price for this rare but vital commodity and enable sustenance of the water tankers business with hefty profits. In a way, such a situation is a blessing in disguise for re-organising the water distribution. Water tankers can be diverted and routed to areas where pipelines do not exist.

How this Commitment should be Handled

Usually complex projects are handled by splitting them into two categories, as follows:

Quick fix Options

• Ensuring regular water supply to areas where the pipelines already exist. This implies that all the pumping motors installed by the consumers must be removed, banned and erring individuals punished by cutting off their water connection. No digging of bore wells to be allowed inside the Delhi NCR region, and these machines must be banned entry into the Delhi NCR region. This way the entire water would become available for equitable distribution.

• Giving first priority for the tanker supply, for now and for always, to those areas where the government has not been able to install the distribution pipelines. As the pipelines become available, progressively the water tankers must be re-routed. In areas where the water pressure in the pipelines is low due to losses, the supply may be augmented using the tankers. The water must be pumped into the overhead tanks and billed like normal water supply. It should not be distributed to buckets.

• Making the tariff a bit stiff so that the water consumption gets normalized. Tariff should address blocks of consumption progressively; eg free supply for up to 10,000 liters per month per meter, medium rates for 10-20,000 liters, and stiff rates for consumption higher than 20,000 litres. These blocks include drinking and other water. No other parameter should influence the tariff, like the locality, minority predominance, un-regularized colonies, and satellite cities or areas lying inside the lal-dora (periphery of a village) etc.

Long Range Plans

• Augmenting the fresh water supply – Until concrete population control measures are introduced, for which the possibility is bleak, the government will be striving to provide water to more and more citizens. This requires more fresh water to be available. Measures that help increasing the supply of fresh water should be encouraged, and these should be well supported by budgetary provisions. For example, deforesting must be strictly stopped, additional trees should be planted, and the standard watershed management programme should be pursued diligently.

• Proximity to water bodies – Residences must be sited near the water bodies so that no extra water transmission becomes necessary. This reduces transmission losses and it saves on energy required for pumping.

• Splitting the water streams – Water is required in different purity levels. At least three distinctions are possible; drinking, home usage and gardening. In a country where even one pipeline is not established for the consumers, splitting the supply in two different streams will be an engineering marvel; yet this is desirable.

• Ascertaining the cause for shortage – It must be clearly ascertained for different localities, whether the shortage is due to rise in population (permanent, mobile or immigrant), scarcity of fresh water, mismanagement and neglect, or lack of vision; probably all these reasons apply.

• Water recycling – Recycling of water should be planned, and residences or offices must be designed and constructed accordingly. The sad part of the story is that even in newly constructed complexes water conservation ideas are not implemented. Then, how can we expect that the existing buildings would be modified?

• Consumer premises controls – Taps, showers, and faucets should be so installed that water is discharged at low volumes and pressures. In high-rise buildings, the taps must have a provision for discharge to vary in inverse proportion to the pressure. As we go down the levels, pressure-reducing valves must be installed at the inlets. When pressure increases due to any reason, the orifice of the tap should reduce, automatically. Builders should be given subsidies for installing these types of water discharge devices.

• Urban re-organization – Installation of pipelines and the localised elevated water tanks cannot be undertaken in isolation. They must become part of the master plan that considers all external services, roads etc in an integrated manner. ‘Will Green Buildings Help’, is a question that requires a separate analysis.

Pre-requisites for long range plans

Hand Shake• The jurisdiction of this water management scheme should be clearly defined on the detailed map of the Delhi NCR region. Adjoining areas that are not covered under the scheme should be listed separately.

• Households that will be affected or dislodged temporarily during the execution of the plan for more than a month must be notified at least three months in advance. If required suitable compensation or subsidies may be provided for this inconvenience.

• NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) and other bodies must provide drawings and layout diagrams of the existing and proposed pipelines for water and sewerage, electricity feeders and transformer locations, highways, flyovers, roads and streets, and communication towers for wireless operations.

• Short term (fire fighting) and long-term plans must be formulated in a way that hindrances like land acquisition or evacuations are not thrown up when the project starts.

• Every item of the project plan must be cost with 10 percent prorate (unfinished items) cost escalations and the budget plan should be prepared for the three years of execution period. In addition, budget should be planned for the future maintenance.

Organisation of the task force

• A task force must be established for an initial period of three years with a provision to merge it later with an appropriate establishment

• Corrupt officials must be replaced with honest but knowledgeable individuals. If the recently proposed paradigm of Remodeled Socialism is adopted, knowledgeable and experienced people from the society could be roped in to assist in the execution of the task. For this purpose, engineers and experienced administers will be suitable. The citizens deployed, from the outside, on this project should not act like spies, snoopers, or auditors but as champions and advisers to solve the impending issues.

• Legal experts must give opinion on how the imponderables of the law can be avoided. If required suitable ordinances may be promulgated.

Project Budget and Funding

The AAP’s water promise, in its present form, could prove to be a disaster for Delhi. Yet if this vote bank policy or the communist paradigm is to be supported, the government will have to arrange for funds.

Multiple departments appear to be getting involved in the pursuit of the water commitment. Although privatization of services has not generally shown any remarkable success, there is still a case for privatising the Delhi Jal Board. This might be the best way to usher in accountability.

Under the PPP model of funding, open tenders should be floated to appoint at least three different financiers for the task and all should furnish a bank guarantee for the contract. It should be ensured that the contract would not extend beyond three years and the maintenance (revenue funded) activities will be retained by the government departments. If maintenance is to be outsourced, the tenure of this activity should not be more than 5 years per contract and service tax should not be more than 5 percent.

Allied Hopes for the Citizens

MikeAWW4Arvind Kejriwal may like to turn attention to the fact that almost 160000 Crores are consumed by the central government as subsidy for just three welfare schemes (Mid-day Meals, MNREGA and Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan). How much of this amount trickles down to the end-user has been criticized by the leaders of the ruling party itself. If the share of the Delhi state for these schemes is placed directly at the disposal of the CM, substantial funds will become available for deployment in water management projects.

The golf club, housed in 250 acres of prime land, the posh Lutyen area, is valued at about Rs 60,000 Crores. The government is charging rental from the members at a very meager rate amounting to only about Rs 15 Lacs per year. Should this rental value not be in the range of Rs 6,000 Crores per year? Something similar can be stated about the Gymkhana Club. The club receives a subsidy of Rs 1.5 Crores every year. According to an RBI (Reserve Bank of India) assessment the total non-performing assets of the Banks in India are in the range of Rs 1.6 Lac Crores, a really mind boggling figure. A prudent mind will consider re-allocating of these funds to life critical projects like the water management.

Open Letter 2 to Arvind Kejriwal – To Do List

thDear Arvind Ji,

The social media is overflowing with the advice that you must quickly execute your election promises, and show concrete results. Unlike the others, I do not feel that you are ignoring those commitments.

While pressures may come on you from the Congress and BJP that this is the aspect of utmost importance, the fundamental question in my mind is, ‘why does the congress spend sleepless nights, to ensure that YOU will meet success, as they state’. ‘We are not withdrawing support, even though you are doing everything wrong, and doing it illegally and foolishly, because we want you to succeed.’ What a noble gesture indeed …And they want the public to be taken in by that argument.

Sir, these are all hot and cold techniques to un-nerve you and distract you from your mission, which is certainly the fulfillment of your promises. They want to consume your quality time is spent in red herrings. And the media, I do not know from where they dig out the so called experts, who will go miles to find arguments against whatever you might be doing or saying, or in whatever manner you may be so doing. How I wish the anchor could tone down his voice and make the discussions audible.

Here is the strategy of how I think you should be proceeding

  • Split your thoughts in two categories, the fire-fighting actions that will show results in about a month, and the long term ones for which you must initiate irretrievable steps, for example plan approvals, allocations of funds and resources, and establishing monitoring mechanisms. Formalize these executive actions by putting signatures on files. Carry the executive with you on these aspects.
  • Establish a communication mechanism. Set up a group that works on the content, and another one that ensures that communications are taking place both ways; between the public and the government. If required a large customer relationship management (CRM) software may be procured and implemented quickly. The system must be capable of broadcasting on the social media, as well as capturing the information that people are contributing; of course acknowledging whatever they submit.
  • Currently a large number of AAP Facebook pages are in the air. No one knows which one of them is the official one, and where we can get the most authentic information about your thoughts and actions. It is necessary to clear out this mess and come out with an official site, or two. As example, please see the sites operated by the newspaper companies, where news and opinions are clearly separated and people need to login with authenticity to make comments. Only a few trustworthy ones are allowed to write blogs.
  • In line with the concept of Remodelled Socialism, elaborated in my book ‘A wonderful world – Dreams & Reality 325 pages’, please establish civil societies and groups that will participate actively in governance. Please note that I am not referring to the think tanks that help you drafting white papers but those who will lend execution support to the governance. This must be done formally; if required by executing an ordinance. These are mentors and helpers, probably given a share from the profits they bring in, but they are not auditors, snoopers or spies. A viable group, as an example, can be that handles your communication systems.
  • A crash course is required for all the MLA, including the ministers, and the party spokespersons, about how to conduct themselves in the public or in front of the media. The same applies to election speeches. Mannerisms, body language and facial expressions must be rehearsed.
  • What needs to be highlighted in the talks and speeches is what the party proposes to do, without making explicit commitments and without speaking much against the opposition. AAP must appear to the public as a party that is not distracted by the opposition and it focuses on its own agenda, which is of course adequately modulated by the citizens. The people participation should be evident and lucid in your thoughts, proposals and actions on the election podiums.

Arvind Ji, we will never get another chance to have an honest person like you, on the horizon of politics. This is our only chance to make it happen, and we should not fritter it away by irresponsible muttering or actions. We need to hold the current downtrend in popularity that is seeping in due to enhanced propaganda by the others. No one denies that your team is a great collection, but we need perhaps more people and more wisdom. And we request you to listen to the suggestions of people whom you trust.

Here is a form that can be used for collection of data on experts

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OifjrQ7ArPeIbzq3SdL0BHMUzOSaDSCCcPRbxUzISuY/viewform

Hand Shake

Open Letter 1 to #Arvind Kejriwal from #Mike Rana

Mr Arvind Kejriwal (AK), the new CM of Delhi, do you have the time to read an open letter?Hand Shake

Wow

You took Delhi by storm. You presented to the people a facade of direct participation and named your party as “Aam Aadmi Party” (ordinary people party). The party was formed with people with no no specific attributes or background. Ordinary person was defined as an individual with honest and non-criminal record, regardless of how much wealth he might have held. You Sir, cleverly used the props like bringing in a welfare state, eradicating the VIP culture in the country, supplying free water, reducing the cost of electricity, enacting anti corruption bill, improving education (500 schools in the city), increasing medical care (500 hospitals), subsidizing the farmers and the like. These were precisely the attractions that communist leaders had been giving to the citizens. Sadly, though, this form of politics has failed to survive in spite of its noble intentions. Stalin, went ahead to even demolish people in order to create a new humanity. If at all, the welfare paradigm has survived only in capitalistic countries like Canada or Australia etc. People there seem to be happy and prosperous. It obviously means a country cannot hold itself without the backing of the capitalists. Almost naturally, and by compulsion, India chose the paradigm of crony capitalism. So far, it is working, though with jolts and hiccups.

  • You differed from the textbook communists, and we accepted this approach.
  • You flashed a dream of a semi-welfare state
  • You did not oppose the capitalists except for those who acquired richness by illegal means
  • You promised eradicating the menace of corruption that troubled a common man in daily life
  • You did not propose formation of a vanguard party to take care of the labor,,Instead you broke the impregnable wall that separates the rulers from the ruled

You caught the fancy of the people, particularly those who were concerned about the social and political situation in the country. Amazingly, the youth noticed your crusade and you succeeded to become an unprecedented Indian Chief Minister who refused to be anyone other than an ordinary man. You refused security, dispensed with the vanity lights on the car, the traditionally assigned large bungalow and other perks. You will be remembered in history as an icon of a perfect leader.

Isn’t it amazing that this had to happen in the capital city of India, which is presently the hub of activities for the general elections in May-2014. It made waves in the minds of people but created turmoil in the political think tanks of the other parties They are all pondering over the paradigm they must adopt to appease the people who have experienced the good side of politics.cropped-frontcover-12.jpg

Oops

Mr Chief Minister, governance is not be a bed of roses; this is well known, but the fear is that you may turn it into a fireplace. By the way, why are the traditional communist factions in the country not supporting you? Are they jealous, fearful of their own standing or they are unconvinced about your approach? Do they sense failure?

Even if we grant you the miraculous win that you administered, here are some blunders that you made and prudence suggests that these must be mended:

  • There was absolutely no need to commit on numbers like 700 litres of free water, or dates that within 15 days the anti-corruption “Lokpal” bill for the Delhi state would be enacted. People would have sensed your initiatives and granted you at least 65 days; they accommodated the previous governments for 65 years. They suffered but they did not question them at all. So why would they have questioned you?
  • The removal of vanity lights or flags is a decent step but you should have highlighted that this is being done to ease the city traffic woes, and to reduce government expenditure on mobile security
  • There is no logic in refusing the security of the z-class, which all other VIPs, including some corporate magnates, enjoy. You or your colleagues’ lives are no longer personal. They are owned by the citizens now, and you have no right to betray them by falling prey to a crafted accident or a terror attack. In addition, you have a mission to complete.
  • By delving into unnecessary detail about the residential accommodation, you have opened a Pandora box of conflicts. The opposition will twist and turn your statements in the direction that suits them. No one on earth expects the ministers and the Chief Minister, to live in a two or 3-room apartment when they are expected to conduct public meetings at home. They have to hold protocol governed functions and events in their offices or even homes. Please do not take it as VIP culture; it is mandatory to hold these meetings.
  • The free flowing statements and commitments that come from the CM or the ministers are no doubt reassuring but too many of them and too frequently, are counterproductive. They raise a suspicion that the whole act is a drama, enacted to foster public support for the national election, which is of a much bigger volume and effort.
  • There was no need to tell the voters that you will not take support from the others. You should have used the word “other”, without naming a party. Is the country not accustomed to coalition, alliance and the changing fidelity? Moreover, when others ridicule you on the alliance that you entered into, probably necessitated by the needs of the others, the simple answer is, “the time is here for coalition government”. This is what all the others say.

These are petty and mundane issues unworthy of your personal attention, except that your generals must be cautioned for not repeating these mistakes for the future elections.

An articulate spokesperson or two must be appointed to stop the buck. They should be drenched in your core policies so that they neither falter nor contradict, while making statements or answering media questions. They would be the protecting wall between your ministers who are still in the learning process, and the seasoned opposition who is well versed in playing the blame game. They should be exposed to the media only progressively, only as they gain confidence.

We all sense the deficit of professionals in your core team, particularly for the larger perspective of the national politics and elections. You have a few but you need at least 30 or 40 party positions more. People are required for selecting the candidates, managing the project management office, preparing manifestos, managing the databases of people, establishing systems and procedures that are efficient and error proof, etc. In addition, seasoned mentors are required for training the new entrants on the party policies. Mesers Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Kumar Vishwash and Sanjay Singh will have to think. Sir, you need both thinkers, and executors.

AAP can certainly bid for the Lok Sabha

Should AAP go in with full throttle for the national elections or not, is a question for another discussion, but certainly, it should obtain dominance in a few states. Should Arvind Kejriwal pit himself directly against Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi, is probably a premature debate. The main worry is of being complacent that Delhi results would be repeated in other states. However the golden rule here is, to show your work in Delhi, before the month of May-2014 by prioritizing the activities that will show an impact on the daily life of the citizens of Delhi. Then, there will be a chance.103480 A Citizen's Manifesto - Hard cover - Mike Rana-1

Remodeled Socialism

Here is a suggestion about how execution of tasks must be conducted and what political paradigm goes with it. In my second book, “A wonderful world – Dreams and Reality (2014-325 pages),” the concept of remodeled socialism has been defined and elaborated. This is a prudent concept that lies somewhere between socialism and crony-capitalism.

Remodeled socialism is a proposal that allows the present day crony-capitalism to co-exist officially with democracy. It is a clever technique of preventing crony-capitalism to flourish into comprehensive capitalism or letting it consume democracy. It acknowledges the fact that no form of governance can be sustained without the active and willing participation of the capitalists.

Remodeled Socialism entails reorientation of power circles of cronies, i.e. the nexus between politicians and capitalists, by incorporating a third collaborator, the citizens in that framework. At different levels of decision-making and work execution, capable and transparent citizens join in as partners, facilitators and counselors but not as spies, auditors or whistle blowers. The golden rule that we lay down here is that no violence should take place.

Remodeled Socialism is a revamped version of socialism, which is devoid of the ills that plagued socialism in the past. It is a mechanism, which restores the eroded communication between the people and their leaders. And it provides additional people resources for governance. But its implementation is not as easy as can be written in words. In the ideal format, an aura should be created so that the appointed executives and enshrined leaders are motivated to call in the citizen expertise and experience for the government establishments, rather than the public making this demand through demonstrations, agitations or hostile representations.

Good Luck

It is no wonder that, bewitched by the Arvind Kejriwal success, other parties have started bringing down the impregnable wall between themselves and the people; a wall that they painstakingly raised over the years. But there is a difference between what is done from the heart like the AAP, and what is motivated by fabricated flaunting as is done by the others. For example, the Citizen Durbars (gatherings) started by the others are dominated by one-way speeches, instead of the free flowing dialogue. It appears that the comparatively smaller audience is carefully picked to ensure that awkward questions are not asked; only planted questions are allowed, and the justification for the scanty attendances is security. The z-category security ensures the leader does not come in contact with the people, which is its original purpose. When the leaders visit the poor at night, the camera is not on the people but on the leader. AK’s words amply explain this difference. “Hamari Niyat Theek hai, ” our intentions are noble and theirs are not. Undoubtedly, AK is on a mission, ‘catch me if you can’.

We have to wait and watch how AK converts his present strategy of leftist participatory democracy, towards remodeled socialism. Will the capitalists of the country or the world, permit him realization of this dream? AK will be well advised to shift the gears from direct participation of Aam Aadmi to formalized participation of honest and diligent experts in governance. The middle class of the urban areas will follow you if you demonstrate quality governance. The rural areas will flock behind you if show allegiance to their cause as an Aam Aadmi.

Hand Shake

Politicians are the same everywhere

images (16)READ, WEEP, PRINT AND KEEP! This should be on the front page of every newspaper.

Charley Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel… He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day.

545 vs. 300,000,000 People – By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

  1. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
  2. Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

  • If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.
  • If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.
  • If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …
  • If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.
  • There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table, At which he’s fed.
 
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,

Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’