Rhetorical question

Bollywood dances usually follow or are choreog...

Bollywood dances usually follow or are choreographed to filmi songs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is an Indian restaurant in Ventura, California named Bollywood after the film capital of India located in Bombay, combined with Hollywood. Since Bombay is now named Mumbai, shouldn’t the Indian film industry be now referred to as Mollywood?

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Where are the good jobs?

English: Michigan Avenue, outside the Art Inst...

English: Michigan Avenue, outside the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The June jobs report showed the economy gained 195,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate was unchanged. Many of those jobs however, were low paying or entry level jobs that make earning a decent living difficult. Where have the good jobs gone?

Where have all the good jobs gone?
Where have all the good jobs gone?
Gone, gone away.
Where have all the good jobs gone?
India, China and Bangladesh
That’s where all the good jobs have gone.
Gone, gone away, for good
They aren’t coming back.
Who benefits when all the good jobs go away?
Not you, not me, not that group of three
Or three hundred standing in the unemployment line.
Who benefits when all the jobs go South of the border
Down Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador way?
NAFTA, CAFTA, SAFTA and all that jazz.
Who benefits? CEO’s, members of Congress
Retailers of luxury goods on
Fifth Avenue, Michigan Avenue and Rodeo Drive.
Outsource their jobs: CEO’s, members of Congress
And sellers of luxe goods and then
Outsourcing of good jobs will cease today
The outsourcing of good jobs will cease TODAY.

India, Pakistan and Kashmir

Import from 26 July 2008 English:

Import from 26 July 2008 English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pakistan, A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven is an excellent introduction to the subject, and I recommend it highly. But no one book is adequate to explain the complexities of the Indian subcontinent, so don’t stop there.

Some experts believe that the border between India and Pakistan is the most dangerous place on the planet because of the dispute over Kashmir where both sides have nuclear weapons. Since the partition in 1947, the question of who owns Kashmir has been an intractable one and three wars have already been fought over the question. I cannot offer a step-by-step solution, but I do think that the ultimate solution or goal must be reunification of Pakistan and India, undoing the partition, and subsuming the Kashmir question. If Pakistan and India are reunited in one country, the ownership of Kashmir becomes a moot question.

Bangladesh is not part of the Kashmir problem, but I believe that it too should reunite with India to form one nation on the Indian subcontinent, not two or three as exist now. With global warming raising ocean levels during the present century, I believe that Bangladesh will be better able to cope with flooding from the Bay of Bengal as part of India than it would by itself. The victims of flooding in Bangladesh will need somewhere to go, and Bengal seems to be the most logical place.

I am not suggesting that the process of undoing partition and reunification will be easy, but I am suggesting that it is the only viable long-term goal.

Call centers

President Barack Obamaa talks on the telephone...

President Barack Obamaa talks on the telephone to the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis from the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The US has lost many call center jobs to India and elsewhere. I was reminded of that fact by the Marigold Hotel movie. I have a hearing loss and I find it hard to understand call center callers if they speak rapidly and/or have a foreign accent. I also resent robocalls or someone speaking rapidly to get through as much of a script as possible in a short time giving me no chance to speak.

I mention my reactions to explain how I approach making calls in support of Barack Obama or others. I introduce myself by name as a live human caller and I deliberately speak slowly, in a normal voice. I seek to gain the confidence of the person on the other end of the line, rather than overwhelm with words from a script. I would rather gain the support of a few than make a large number of calls that do not convince.

I approached calling strangers on Barack’s behalf with trepidation. After I had made several calls, I found that talking about Barack was fun. If you are thinking about ways of supporting his campaign, I suggest that you consideration placing calls on his behalf. Not only can it be fun, it costs little or nothing.

Marigold Hotel

Jaipur - Jantar Mantar - Laghu Samrat Yantra

Jaipur – Jantar Mantar – Laghu Samrat Yantra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday evening my wife and I joined about two dozen others to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie. Seven English retirees travel to Jaipur, India to live in the Marigold Hotel to ease their retirement finances or for other reasons. The seven are not acquainted until they meet on the trip to India. When they arrive, they are disappointed to find that the brochures on which they relied were grossly misleading. Six of the group struggle to make the best of the situation while one woman deserts her husband to return to England because she cannot cope.

The character played by Judi Dench seeks employment in an Indian call center. She is hired to teach the call center employees about how the calls are received in England and how to improvise on their scripts. The movie ia a comedy and a heart-warming story of humanity. At the end, there was scattered applause from some in the audience. I find that applause for a movie is rare, and I joined in.