Thursday, June 25, 2009

MJ - King of Pop DIES --

MJ - Sad day
Michael Jackson suffers a servere cardiac arrest , LA times and TMZ reports he is dead
We grew up listening to Michael's music, in a way his music was gateway to english music as a young kid to me
Age 50 and severe prescription drug abuse suspected
Amidst all controversies he is a great a entertainer and great person
A great loss ---
I guess the nation and all prime time TV is mourning in Michael's memories

Moral Highground of US Politics

Election stump on moral high ground

From time and again, i have always witnessed US politicians portraying their picture perfect family on TV ads, national conventions, party speeches, fund raisers, rallies etc.

What are they trying to tell us, that they have a perfect family they uphold family values and they stand as an example to the community they try to serve



I guess they are getting busy with their campaign staff, secretary or wifes of administration officials or staff members.

Well what is that with moral high ground that these politicians like to drum beat so much that people really care to vote for them ANYWAYS ????

I just dont get it

Politicians like

John edwards

Newt Gingrich

John Ensign

Larry Craig

Gary Condit

David Vitter

and a long list .....

most of them had a great issue with my FAV - Bill Clinton wanted to impeach him , drag him to trial and what not.

Well im not defending Bill, he has his own share of issues, but we vote or select a candidate to run in public office due to his quals not because if he is a model husband, father and family person.

Does not mean he can cheat and be a smart person, but being a moral upholder BUYS me nothing to chose a candidate

So all this HYPE over SHOWCASING the wife, the kids, the dog, has to STOP because its a waste of time

I come from a state in INDIA where my current chief executive of the state has 3 wives, ( 2 alive) and the previous exec was a never married , one time mistress and now turned a GAY women.

But you know what they do a KICK ASS job in running the government in the state, no body cares about their personal lives we just want good things to be done by the government to the state.




Monday, June 22, 2009

Metro Collision in DC

Metro Collision
Today a very unfortunate accident happened in red line metro line in DC metro area. Normal citizens who were tired of daily rains and shower decide to leave a bit early from their normal routines to get back to kids who were off from school for summer.
Boom, the train they travel ran into a stationary training waiting to get into a station.
7 passengers feared dead and many injured. This is an issue, lets look back and see how many times this has happened
See list below
Train collisions

The thought i cannot comprehend is there are numerous planes in the air, taking off and landing from runways across the country, large airports like Chicago, Atlanta, LA and SFO running very smooth.
Why does so little air head on collisions have occurred and so many train head on collisions happen
Check the list of Airline head on collisions

I don't get it , when we can manage air traffic over satellites and wireless and other technologies how hard is it to manage train lines that run through all our infrastructure on a daily basis
Where are we slipping ????

Post your thoughts

Summer Movies in Regal

Summer ---

School is out and kids are bored if you are planning to take them out for a movie day
check this out --



Friday, June 19, 2009

US opinion on international elections

Passing judgement on international elections
Recently IRAN had its general elections and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared a landslide winner. Protests followed and world drew its attention.
Every body looked up to President Obama to pass a judgement on his view of the election results
I have a fundamental problem, what does US opinion on General elections on other countries matter ? I know we have a vested interest - no doubt,
But if India or Pakistan or Iran elects an official or a party for office the fact of the matter is no one can do any thing about it. To dispute it there are courts and judicial system much similar to US federal courts and supreme courts that certified George W Bush as the winner in 2000.
Looking back the election results certification in US so biased and carried out by officials who are all party biased and appointed by administrations from either side of the aisle
Where is really the independent election body that you can point to in US election system
There is NONE
I take a lot of pride to showcase the election machinery in India because the election commission and officials are non political party based Administrative officials.
They are very independent and represent the WILL OF THE VOTING PEOPLE
In the past 60+ years of elections in India, there has been many many times when powerful leaders may it be Indira gandhi, Rajiv, Advani, or any other leaders in south and west have either been overwhelmingly approved or rooted and thrown away from the legislative body.
What matters ???
In a democracy that reperesents about 600 to 750Million voters twice the size of the population of USA, the results this election was a testimony to demonstrate how common public issues mandates to administration.
The problem lies in the fact if the elections are not a fair process then an outside country cannot really do any thing about, the WILL of the PEOPLE must raise above and beyond the suppressing power of the VIOLATORS to establish the mandate
Whatever be the outcome of the Iran elections and people protesting it, no external nation can influence or change the way elections operate in that country unless change happens from WITHIN.

Cash for Clunkers

Cash for Clunkers - boosting car sales
Is this a good idea ?????
i think it is
Essence of the bill
If you have a old car or a truck that gives less than 18mpg and is worth less than 3000$ in value then you basically need to get off the car.
In times of tough economy we tend to fix the car for fear of a new car payment monthly and fix and run existing car, what we do here is delay the problem and cause excess gas consumption and affect environment
The govt has a right step to give away this voucher so that it allows people to motivate themselves to get out and buy
In EUROPE this was a huge hit in germany
How do you qualify
Following are the conditions
1. Trade in a car that has been registered and in use for at least a year, and has a federal combined city/highway fuel-economy rating of 18 or fewer miles per gallon.
2. Buy a new car, priced at $45,000 or less and rated at least 4 mpg better than the old one (gets a $3,500 voucher). If the new one gets at least 10 mpg better, you get the full $4,500.
How do you find what is your current fuel economy of your car

Post your thoughts

Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Time Home Buyers - is 2009 the year for you to get in ?

First Time Home Buyers
We know the story behind depressing real estate market, in every market correction there are significant oppurtunties for tremendous wealth to be made, may it be stock or real estate, commodities, precious metals etc.
Gold is a classic example i beleive when i came to this country we started buying an ounce of gold for 300+ dollars, following our hindu tradition we have been buying it every year during the auspicious buying occasion till this year at 936$ an ounce.
Every correction of a market presents great oppurtunities
So turning to real estate -
First time home buyers have the best time to enter
1- Active markets are having prices stabilized
2- Tax incentives still available
3 - Interest rates are around Low 5% even though it has shot from 4.5 to 5+ i forsee it coming down in in the 3-6 month period
4- Fall of 2009 is going to present some strong buying oppurtunities for first time home buyers
5 - Short sale inventory is selling fairly very quickly in market now
6 - Foreclosures are being picked up by investors very very quickly
Generally this is a good sign for the market to turn a corner
Now looking at DC metro market the overall activity has picked up
Open houses are attracting crowds, New house in the market - priced right attracts about 10-20 visitors in first 2 weeks, Contracts in about 30 to 60 days
Generally these are good indicators for people who are on the fence to get into the market
Now if you are going to ask me the prediction question, will the prices go up 10% a year
My cautious answer is going to be may be not
I forsee year 1 - 2010 to get around 3-6% growth, Year 2 -2011 around 4-5% growth
Generally the indicators in the economy has not changed a lot so getting double digit price growths is not looking to be true in my view
What is the RISK ????
I see lenders still giving FHA financing at 97% ltv 3% down, but protection gurantee via a FHA insurance for whcih the buyer pays fees upfront,
This to me does not sound or feel right, i dont get why banks like Wells or BAC is going in to this business, but this time the stop loss they have is the FHA insurance
Sitll a risk IMO
Post your thoughts

Monday, June 8, 2009

Horses and Racing

Horses and Racing

While growing up Horses, Racing meant or equated to gambling problem, addiction a very bad thing in India. I think the perception behind horses has nothing to do with addiction, they are beautiful animals i appreciated them all along. I was always fascinated to see the huge horses, strong legs and giant leaps they make in the Budweiser commercials. I saw one of those horses in San Antonio in Sea World few years back, up close, Magnificient and amazing.I think SEABISCUIT was a great story that turned the corner in appreciation around horses and started a lot of attention in that subject. Ever since i have been watching the Kentucky Derby and always rooted for the underdogs.

This year ofcourse the story is about MINE THAT BIRD

What an underdog story!!! In America its all about the underdog winning the glory, may it be KRIS Allen or David Cooke in American Idol or cursed teams like Boston Red Sox or Chicago cubs, people always want the Hollywood ending of the underdog story.

Is that why candidates running for election / offices always pitch them as the underdogs. In a way the underdogs are the favorites always, Remember the NEW England Patriots and St.Louis RAMS in 2001 - there you go thats an underdog story you will never forget.
So turning back to horses .....Mine that Bird and Calvin Borel were an amazing package, this horse blew my mind away. It starts last and then picks up midway in the race and has a compelling finish, its unbeleivable. Watch the videos and you be the judge
Kentucky Derby 2009

Belmont Stakes



There was one thing to be proud of, the SUMMER BIRD that won the BELMONT was owned byDR KK and Vilasini Jayaraman, Indian Doctors who have been breeding horses for 25 years.


Congratulations to KK and Vilasini Jayaraman

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spelling Bee and Indian Americans

Spelling bee and Indian kids - A History
Ever watched the Scripps spelling bee and wonder why is this competition crowded with Indian kids,where did this obsession around competitive spelling orginate among indian kids ???
So a little digging deep into the history and seeing what has been going on for the past 2 or 3 decades
The first Indian American to win a spelling bee was Balu Natarajan in 1985
Balu inspired others, who in turn became role models for more would-be champions. Since then 8 indian kids have won the championship in the last 25 years. Last Year Bee Champion was Sameer Mishra and runner up another Indian kid - Siddarth Chand
Sameer was motivated when his friend Anurag Kashyap won in 2005 and was coached by older sister Shruti, a three-time national bee participant.
Siddarth was a huge favorite going in this year though he finished in final 6.
This year winner Kavya appeared the 4th time and this was her last chance to win.
Her role model was Nupur Lala, who won the bee in 1999 and was featured in the documentary “Spellbound.”
Altogether there have been eight Indian-American champions, including six of the past 10.
Apart from winning there have been some child prodigy/ celeberity like Samir J Patil who finished 3rd when he was 8 years old, Samir unfortunately never won but finished second when he was 11 years old
He then went on to gaming shows in TV as a a celeberity,
He by far is my favorite in the competition
Check this videoand you would know why