Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Canceling the NSA Meet is stupid.

tl;dr summary: You can't cancel the NSA meeting because some ISI official is afraid of being named in a dossier! It is simply absurd...

tweet: The planned NSA level meeting between India and Pakistan has been cancelled, because the Pakistanis wanted to put some Kashmir icing on the terrorism shitcake they were going to be served at the meeting. India is in a strong position it can afford to put a little icing on the cake, and Pakistanis need to stop whining and eat their damn cake. That is what you get for orchestrating provocations ahead of major talks.

Full Post: 

The NSA level meet between Sartaj Aziz and Ajit Doval has been cancelled because the Pakistanis didn't like the tone of statements coming from MEA Sushma Swaraj.  Minister Swaraj made it clear that terrorism would remain the big focus of the meeting. This was something Pakistan could not stomach.

After the capture of LeT fidayeen Naveed Khan in Kashmir by India, the Indian NSA's position in the talks has become very strong. With a live fidayeen offering up phone numbers, addresses and names of his relatives in Pakistan. The Indian dossier is just too detailed for Pakistan (or anyone else) to turn away from.

By contrast the Pakistani dossier on RAW involvement in Pakistani terrorism lacks any credibility whatsoever. The ISI leadership has used the term "RAW sponsored terror" to deflect attention from its own mishandling of Jihadi groups inside Pakistan too many times. Not even the Pakistani people find this term very credible.

There is no equivalence between the Indian dossier and the Pakistani dossier. Given what the international community knows about India and Pakistan, there is little Pakistan can hope to achieve by giving the dossier to anyone.

The situation before Pakistan can now only be described as a shitcake of their own making. The idea of using expendable proxies to wage a sub-conventional war against India for over three decades has severely limited Pakistan's options to conduct deniable operations on Indian soil.

Most of these sub-conventional warfare operations were carried out on account of Pakistan's unhealthy and overpowering national fascination with Kashmir. The reality of the ineffectiveness of Pakistani measures in Kashmir is so abrupt a departure from the fantasy Pakistanis peddle to themselves that it is emotionally unacceptable to grasp this reality.

By cancelling the NSA level talks for this Kashmir fantasy, Pakistan is giving off the airs of insanity. And then by making nuclear references in this context - Pakistan is inviting nations of the world to question its rationality as nuclear state. It is senseless to make Kashmir the raison d'tra of Pakistan!

As thing stand - India's hand is strong, it can afford to give a little and Pakistan's behavior is ridiculous - it needs to stop this Kashmir crap right now if it ever wants to have a seat at any table with India.

It is best if this entire madness does not repeat. If the ISI is more comfortable talking mano-a-mano with the Indian Army - then so be it, but pissing up the upcoming DGMOs conference will be an open invitation to war. The DGMOs line between India and Pakistan is one of the most critical escalation control measures that remain effective. Without the face to face contact and confidence building - there is no way for the Indian party on the telephone line to know if they should take their Pakistani caller seriously.

No more bullshit Pakistan. Enough is enough.


At 4:50 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I have always had a deep respect for US pollsters. I think they have some of the most marvelous analytical tools in the world.

The NYT has an article that brings out a major analytical issue with the current GOP race.

the other predictors for the G.O.P nomination appear to be misaligned with the data from the Iowa and New Hampshire polls.

There are two possible explanations for this

1) The other predictors are lagging the Iowa and NH polls in capturing the full effect of the Trump phenomena.


2) The Iowa and NH poll data is skewed by a trend that will not reflect in the national level elections (

I wish more data from the Civis survey was made available. It would educate a lot of people about the strength of sampling and any associated demographics.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Donald Trump stands little chance of being elected US president. He is shaking up the establishment though, concerning illegal immigrants and their crime, use of anchor babies, and the liberal media's attempt to use political correctness and charges of racism in order to stop his candidacy and cut off debate concerning these problems.

As I have stated before, I abhor dynasty politics e.g. Clinton and Bush. But I am no fan of Trump either. So it will be another stay-at-home-election for me. Probably another Bush presidency. sigh......

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

A Bank of America spokesman predicts China will soon run out of stock market intervention options and their market will continue to crash.....

mean while the Hindutvas are licking their chops in anticipation of a US crash.

At 5:12 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I feel the Trump phenomena is interesting - a candidate who embraces divisive issues and uses notoriety and negative emphasis to get political traction against established political forces. This has been done before in other contexts, but it is interesting to see it pulled off in the US today.

Anti-immigration sentiments and racial tensions are hardly new to the US, but over the years a certain resistance has emerged to the proliferation such feelings by political forces. Trump is unwittingly degrading that resistance with his campaign.

It is difficult to estimate what impact that will have on the US political system.

It would be nice if the leading candidates from both parties could have an adult discussion over the critical issues plaguing the US, i.e.

1) Declining productivity levels due to population aging.
2) The debt proliferation due to overprinting of the dollar.
3) Catastrophic situation facing entitlement expenditures.

This adult discussion (regardless of who wins in the election) will set the tone for the next fifty years of world history. Unless agreement can be reached on viable options (not which options to action - but merely a list of what is possibly viable) to cope with these problems, the world may spiral into a another massive conflict.

Right now - given the things that have come out of his mouth, it is difficult to see Trump participating in a discussion of that maturity, but who knows maybe he will change his tune. Hope springs eternal...

At 5:22 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I have been reading about the Japanese decline that began in the late 80s. I feel it is related to similar issues as those confronting the US. The post war baby boom in Japan provided a core of disciplined and aggressive industrial labor for a massive expansion of Japanese productivity.

All the energy that the war generation in Japan threw into machines of destruction, the baby boomers of Japan threw into a society that led the world in peaceful productivity.

Unfortunately as these workers aged, and Japan became prosperous, a certain something was lost. Descendants of Japanese baby boomers grew up in a rich first world nation, and never saw the ashes of hiroshima and nagasaki with their own eyes. These younger Japanese lacked the drive of their forefathers and could not achieve the levels of productivity needed to support the vast numbers of older Japanese. Productivity gradually declined and economic vitality seeped away.

Absent a immigration of fresh labor from other parts of the world, Japanese debt and entitlements overwhelmed what little productivity there was in the society and over time the grand economic ponzi scheme collapsed on itself resulting in a very long depression.

Without a steady for flow of willing and able-bodied immigrant labor, the US will suffer a similar fate.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

India economic growth slows.....

an interview with Rajan is included.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

I think that regardless of Japan's stagnant economy, they have held together because of their strong culture. Now I will admit that their culture has had some ugly, mean streak aspects. some of my relatives fought them to the death on god forsaken locations in the Pacific because of their Bushido culture. But they've held together. They are quite technical and about capable as anybody in whatever they choose to do. I would not write them off. They are one of the few Asian countries that have let their currency be as marketable globally as the dollar. In fact, they may be the only country.

In my view view, *any* country that reaches the economic development level of Japan will have the same problems, eventually. Children will become an ultimate act of love and not means of survival. And as we all know, ultimate love is few and far between.

The problem with the US is that unlike Japan, we have sub cultures that do not identify with the white educated culture for whatever reason, and they have lots of children. By some statistics, half of the US is functionally illiterate. This does not bode well for the long term.

For all I know India may have some of the same problems that the US is currently experiencing.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ralphy,

I completely agree, the Japanese will continue to punch above their population size in Asia due to their dominance in key areas of intellectual property and high technology. It remains to be seen how Japanese dominance in these areas will grow without significant shifts in the recessive behavior of their internal market.

I feel the recessive economy in Japan will persist until the entitlement situation is remedied either by a decline in the population of older citizens. This in turn will likely affect cultural matters also.

I suspect the fine grain of Japanese culture is already changing quite a bit - we just don't see it because we are not directly exposed to the details.

One interesting flag of changing economic dominance in a country is shifts in the same sex rights and protection available in a country. Older citizens tend to cling to ideas of inappropriateness of same sex relationships that not sustainable in the minds of younger citizens. As the older citizens decline in economic productive power and entitlement spending becomes more onerous on the young, the legal attitudes towards same sex relationships depart from conservative moorings and move towards more liberal perspective.

I feel it is this effect that we must track in the US (and elsewhere) as a mile marker of deeper economic shifts between age groups.

In India - the economic change of guard between the Great Generation and the Baby Boomers was marked by shift in the attitude towards caste barriers. Specifically the Great Generation in India was unable to really breach caste barriers and all the legislative measures to remove these barriers were self-limiting. The big shift occurred in the mid 80s, and there was a massive decline in the resistance to inter-caste marriages. Today opposition to these marriages are limited to areas of the country where economic progress is limited and a parochial system rooted in agriculture sustains. The shift between the Gen X/Y/Z and the Baby Boomers in India will come in the form of shifting attitudes on the institution of marriage itself. A gradual acceptance of divorce, same-sex relationships etc... will grow as the Baby Boomers of India age and pass on.

At 8:44 AM, Blogger maverick said...

One solution that the Emiraatis have explored with some success is to offer economic citizenships (i.e. work visas) and then exclude the recipients from bearing children with birthright citizenship. While the Emiraati way of doing things is about closing the path to citizenship for non-natives, the US version of this could include other avenues for citizenship for people who actually want it.

At 6:38 AM, Blogger maverick said...

One interesting point on immigration is that while there is some legal ground to economic migration, there is no legal ground to control refugee displacement.

This issue caught my interest after the UN noted that the European states were turning away refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan by labeling them economic migrants.

It seems to me that the rich countries have a choice, they can either admit people from poorer countries into their regime of prosperity as economically productive migrants, or they can deny admission to the people for economic productivity reasons and then face the prospect of having to admit the same people as refugees from a conflict created by the very same disparity that provoked economic migration in the first place!

Talk about a zero sum game.

In India you can either admit Bangaldeshi immigrants via an "Akhand-Bharat-Work-Visa" or deny them such facilities and have them cross over illegally as refugees from conflict in region.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Oh... my dear lord...

"A Na­tion­al Journ­al re­view of that 92-page doc­u­ment found as­sets total­ing at least $1.37 bil­lion and li­ab­il­it­ies total­ing at least $265 mil­lion. But Trump claims 22 as­sets he says are worth more than $50 mil­lion each and four loans also ex­ceed­ing $50 mil­lion. Which means that based solely on that doc­u­ment, Trump could the­or­et­ic­ally be worth $100 bil­lion—or be $100 bil­lion in debt."

I suspected this for a while now that he was doing this campaign because he was over his head in debt.

S V Date is a very respected voice in the journalism community. He has written an unflattering biography of Jeb too.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger maverick said...

older article... same pattern reported in his own judicial deposition.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

An interesting conundrum the euros are facing. the immigrants are demanding entry because their country is so screwed up they can't exist there anymore but they want to bring their cultural practices with them to europe. the very same cultural practices that helped destroy the country they came from!

they want what the democratic, developed/developing nations have, but they don't want to change their culture to get it. cognitive/cultural dissonance at at its finest definition.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

NASA to develop space tractor beam kind of.......

rather odd.....

At 7:59 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Ralphy,

A outflow of refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria has been going on for a while now. In the past there used to be concerns about the import of cultural contamination, from such places into Europe, but the general data supported the notion that the refugees were a net positive economic contribution. This enabled European governments to over-ride the "bringing their bad culture" arguments and say that refugees were a very good investment. The refugees for their part embraced the culture of their adopted home and became good citizens for the most part.

Now Europe is struggling to keep up its productivity and cope with its entitlement obligations. Even if the refugee influx is a good thing in the long term economically, they don't have the money to make the investment at all.

It can't afford a massive refugee influx at this point - it will sink the national health system in European countries.

Germany has a little leeway in terms of accepting immigration, Britain has so many people drawing on the NHS right now - they can barely keep it afloat. With national debts hovering at 100% or more of GDP, there is a strong disincentive to racking up more expenses.

This simple economic argument is at the root of David Cameron's position on the refugee situation.

On an unrelated level, the "cultural contamination" counter-argument can easily offset by a PR campaign that emphasizes the hotness of the women refugees. Most times I find that it is just a bunch of horny dudes who can't get laid that make this "cultural contamination" arguments, if you assure them that they are finally going to get some, they calm down and become all about getting more "contamination" going...

At 8:04 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Seriously I am not joking - if you flood the destination country with porn from the refugees point of origin, you can pretty much wipe out all the opposition to allowing the refugees in.

I would say more than half the bitching about "Mooselims" from the Middle East coming is that they have cultural values that emphasize sexual repression and cloister. If you just took the trouble to make the refugee men and women appear sexually attractive - I guarantee it that the opposition would disappear.

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

I really don't think sex has anything to do with it other than minor interactions. We have had honor killings from recent immigrants to the US over losing control of their women. I am more concerned about their subversion through jihad.

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

there are many instances of the children of the recent immigrants becoming more radical than their parents due mainly o cultural dissonance.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Ralphy,

In the native population, the opposition to immigration can be moderated by making the immigrant population seem more attractive physically and economically.

Regarding honor killings and other inward looking behavior, the immigrants all feel a certain pressure to assimilate, and when faced with such pressure people get worried about losing themselves in the new culture. People who carry a low level of self awareness then try to compensate this loss of control by bullying those around them. Tragically women, children and older people are the victims of such bullying. Regrettably there does not appear to be a fix for this problem. Immigrants come in with a variety of psychosis, it is not feasible to always apportion the right psychiatric tools for all them.

The children of immigrants often find themselves confused and conflicted over their identity. This confusion exists among all teenagers, and there is a relative minor extra edge for teenage children of immigrants (as opposed to native descendants). This leads to the usual problems.

Teenagers with a propensity for violent acts are being channeled towards an exhibitionist behavior by a variety of media. The Jihad segment of this is just one small sliver of the problem. I feel as worried about the problem as I do about kids being drawn to the Columbine shooters, or gangs or Dylan Roof type ideologies. It is a persistent risk, Jihad is one of the many names of this problem.

As with any acts of violence by someone so young, it is difficult to pin point the root of the psychosis. In Pakistan, the state and the parents must bear responsibility for this as they made Jihad indoctrination as part of their children's lives. But there is a parallel responsibility for the parents of kids like Dylan or the Newtown shooter.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger maverick said...

If there is anything I worry about, it is the spread of the internet based extremists, the spread of high rate of fire weapons, and the proliferation of psychotropic substances. The access to prescription drugs, guns and internet networking tools is going to make the reach of the sociopathic segments of all populations quite high.

It is this reason that causes me to worry about places like Pakistan and India. The number of people in both places that are pouring vitriol into the internet about perceived adversaries is so high, that I think the minds of the young people are being bent towards unreality.

At 6:46 AM, Blogger maverick said...

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

while there is indeed political disagreement in the US about climate change, we are not sitting still.......

At 8:31 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I think raising the CAFE to 40mpg, demanding that home insulation be a DOE recommended R value, alone should bring the emissions down.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Trump phenomena is very interesting. It is a how-to as far as running the campaign on the cheap is concerned.

The manner in which he has bypassed traditional political messaging channels to new media is amazing. Very reminiscent of Prime Minister Modi's success with alternative media.

It seems voters are open to communications via alternative media like twitter and facebook and have not yet figured out that these channels can be used/modulated just like the traditional messages. Words like "authentic" and "real world" are being used in the context of social media which psy-war types like myself find laughable.

I wonder if Trump will actually secure the nomination and win the election.

My understanding of the US election is that the population at large is beset with a severe anger over lost productivity. Whether one claims that this loss is due to immigrants or jobs to China, too much pay to women, whatever... whoever becomes president next will have to do something about making up lost productivity. The old way of writing yourself a check and getting your friend at the Fed to cash it in will not work going forward.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

It's not lost productivity, it's the fact that wages are stagnant while business profits are rising. the workers are being bypassed in the economic chain.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

here is a bar chart of productivity gains:

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

and here is a contrarian view,

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

real median income growth in the us.....

At 11:54 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ralphy,

I am sorry I was using the word productivity in a different sense.

To me the "productivity" is how much further the worker finds themselves as a result of honest labor.

I think neither the income nor the productivity numbers adequately capture this, the only way that most US voters relate to this in highly ambiguous terms like "loss of potency" and the "loss of the American Dream".

I suspect that my definition is a lot closer to your "stagnant wages but rising corporate profits" viewpoint than I realize.

One of the valid criticisms of the Obama regime's way of coping with the 2008-9 crisis was that it didn't bring Wall Street to book for creating essentially unproductive financial loops. The way the crisis was managed, the Banks acted like bad debt could be passed on to the national debt, and more dollars could be funneled into loopy transactions that did little more than bring commissions to the financial professionals. No new industries opened, no existing industries were really restructured, the Wall Street types paid themselves big bonuses and that was that. The money went somewhere else - not into the US economy. A failure of the trickle down economics popularized by Reagan.

US public anger is directed toward perceived sources of the "drain" - corporations who outsource and "illegal immigrants" who "suck up all the benefits"...

Somehow the true sources of unproductivity - i.e. aging baby boomers who draw big paychecks and do nothing productive in corporations and aging baby boomers who continue to draw social security far beyond what the system was intended to provide... are never in the frame for what they have done. I guess they are the holy cows of the American nations (unlike India where the holy cows are the holy cows of the nation...)

I find this baby boomer generation in the US quite interesting. Barring the handful that went to Vietnam, the baby boomers as kids reaped the benefits of the suffering of the great generation and will now live off the bones of their Gen X children as they age gracefully into their mid 90s. All the while pissing on blacks, illegal mexicans, anchor-baby Asians etc...

Trump seems to have at least found a way to get them to start thinking about voting for him.

It will be interesting to see if that turns into an actual electoral outcome or if Trump will simply split with the cash before the crash as he has in the past.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

the fed in the QE program, purchased gazillions in treasuries and mortgaged backed bonds from its member banks. the member banks which included the investment banks/brokers, promptly put the money into the stock market and high grade corporate bonds. the money never got down to the average person unless the average person was participating in a retirement plan such as a 401K, etc. which invested in the stock market. the lower middle class and the working poor can't afford to deduct a portion of their wages to put into their employer's 401K plan. So they were bypassed in the greatest 6 year bull market in history.

what needs to be done?

very simple, the working poor and the lower middle class must be put into a 401k style retirement program. I advocate a negative income tax in order to accomplish this. I think it can be worked out if the rich and the oligarchs would quit thinking of these people "takers" and "government entitlements" and instead think of remedies for a huge portion of the population who are being bypassed in the economic chain. just my thoughts.....

At 9:13 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Yes that is my analysis as well.

Everything going into the stock markets is only benefiting the first cohort babyboomers who delayed their retirements until the 2009 crash and its after effects.

Unless these babyboomers start retiring and spending their IRAs on things made in the US, there is unlikely to be any real growth in the US economy.

At 10:41 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Apparently there is a spike in RV sales due to down-sizing babyboomers and failure-to-launch millenials having to find a way to live and travel.

I would never have expected that as a potential growth industry, but the diversification of RV models is a pointer to a significant economic shift in the US.


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