Wednesday, June 08, 2022

How many Indians really died due to coronavirus - collection of facts and information that the Indian government is carefully hiding [RAWDUMP]


  • 54 Gujarat municipalities had 16,000 excess deaths during pandemic, US scientists report
  • Indian state sharply raises COVID-19 death toll prompting call for wide review
  • India has seen 1 million Covid deaths so far, The Economist’s model estimates
  • Q

Monday, March 28, 2022

A stream of thoughts on the Ukraine war, Russia in general, the West, NATO, America, Europe, geopolitics, etc.

  1. 20.3.22. Russia's Syrian intervention must've really angered the West, particularly Americans. Their "Project Syria" was turned into a failure by Russian military power. After Iraq and then Libya, West must've thought that they could pick any country and destroy/tame it, but Syria marked an end to this. Not being free to invade and obliterate any country of choice due to Russia - this must've been too much for Americans to swallow.
  2. 21.3.22. Crash of China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735. Was it an unusual crash? Or could it somehow be linked to the US? Maybe indirect, almost-deniable "punishment" as well as warning to China for China's stance in the Russia-Ukraine war ["not condemning Russia's invasion"]? I've always believed that the US, and likely Europe, possess covert abilities to remotely and deniably disable/down any Boeing/Airbus passenger aircraft, should it become absolutely necessary to do so. This might sound extreme, but it's very much within the realm of possibility.
  3. 6.4.22. "China is watching for Taiwan" factor has resulted in much more severe Western response than it would've been otherwise. Unfortunately for Russia, Western response calculations included one critical factor - that China is keenly watching West's collective resolve / response to this Ukraine situation, to understand how the West will behave if/when China takes back Taiwan. The compulsion and urgency to show a very harsh response - to China - has resulted in Russia suffering this more severe response than it would've suffered had this China factor not existed in Western calculations.
  4. 24.3.22. Best time for China to take Taiwan back? Seems so. West / NATO / US / Europe is politically, militarily and financially busy with Russia / Ukraine. Stockpiles are dwindling by the day. Prices going up. Can they wage a two-front war? Are they willing to take on mighty China the way they have taken on Russia? Are they willing to bear the massive disruptions from sanctioning both Russia and China at the same time? Less likely, particularly if China is able to take control of [an intact] TSMC. Further, US will now aggressively, hastily and heavily arm / equip and train Taiwan in the months/years ahead, drawing on invaluable lessons from the ongoing Ukraine war. China should act right now before Taiwan becomes too strong to take easily, or too costly to take.
    1. 12.6.22. American and European weapons stockpiles are running low. The right time to take Taiwan back is now. The West won't be able to arm Taiwan - they've exhausted their supplies in Ukraine. They don't have any more appetite for inflation, shortages, etc.
    2. 14.6.22. If China captures TSMC now, China can put crippling semiconductor sanctions on the US and Europe. Such is the power of TSMC, hence the importance of China taking Taiwan now, when the West is occupied, weakened, and drained.
  5. 26.3.22. Weaknesses and limitations of Russian military have been exposed. Who is to be blamed the most now that Russia is not only facing very heavy losses in men and equipment in Ukraine, but is also looking at an overall stalled operation? Russia itself. Of course, one should acknowledge that Russia isn't actually fighting only "Ukraine", but instead fighting heavy Western weapons combined with round-the-clock Western financial support / imagery / intelligence / planning / strategy /tactics carried out on the ground by Ukrainian blood. Billions in high-end military hardware have been given to Ukraine for free, so Russia was of course going to face huge losses, but still, all that reputation of Russia as an unbeatable military force, kind of shattered. Western news media is openly writing articles that Russian military is incompetent, inept, overrated, etc., and while such articles are a part of West's psychological warfare against Russia, the global reputational damage from such articles will be significant.
    1. 26.3.22. The weaknesses / limitations that have been exposed include hardware quality, personnel training, integration, planning / strategy [including defences against Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, for example - especially when Russia had clearly witnessed the TB2's game-changing power in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict], glaring lack of Russia's own drones similar to the TB2, underestimation of opponent capabilities / equipment / morale, insufficient stockpiles of modern precision weapons, etc.
      1. 27.3.22. This war has given the Bayraktar TB2 more free publicity than it would've ever gotten otherwise. A sales boom will follow.
      2. 27.3.22. That Russia, one of the few countries in the world that can design and manufacture end-to-end an aircraft of virtually any size doesn't have any "proper" production military drones as capable as the TB2 in 2022 is inexcusable.
      3. 27.7.22. If Russia is really looking to / forced to buy hundreds of drones from Iran, it's not a good sign for Russia's defence-industrial sector. [link]
    2. 27.3.22. Russia was unnecessarily "kind" to Ukraine in the initial days of the war. It should've gone deep in right away - it should've conducted a nonstop bombing blitz, blowing up both infrastructure / equipment of Ukraine as well as their morale, forcing an early surrender. Instead, Western supplies started flowing in due to the delay, raising the odds for Ukraine.
  6. 22.6.22. Weaknesses / deficiencies in Russia's industrial / manufacturing base have been fully exposed. Look at Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, etc. Little land, little natural resources, less number of people. Yet they all have world-level companies and lots of innovation - they're brimming with talent and economic activity. There are no equivalent Russian companies operating globally, and that says a lot about Russia. Only exporting energy, grain, raw materials and weapons isn't a good sign for this large country. Russia's dependence on imports from the West is a major fundamental weakness, and is unusual among the major countries [link].
  7. 24.6.22. On Russia's civil aircraft / aviation industry, passenger planes, Aeroflot, etc.
    1. It's clear now that rooting-out Soviet / Russian airliners and replacing these with Western - Airbus / Boeing - airplanes was a big mistake, even if the switch had enabled Aeroflot to grow into a large, influential and respected global airline. Russia should have mandatorily kept a certain minimum quota of Russian-made planes, both in order to maintain the health of its aviation industrial base and also as a hedge against the kind of sanctions that have been put on Russia now.
    2. All-Russian planes - even if these guzzle more fuel - should've been kept alive in decent numbers - especially those models which have had a good safety record. When you're hit with these huge sanctions, extra fuel consumption or less comfortable cabin matters far less than your nation's ability to continue international transportation. Tu-204 / Tu-214, Il-86, Il-96. If manufactured, maintained and operated well, these are pretty safe.
  8. 27.3.22. Russia's military prowess will take a huge hit to its reputation and respect. It'll take a long time for the reputation to build up, if at all. Of course, the West is making sure to damage the reputation of Russian military as much as it can - using the propaganda power of its vast worldwide news-media complex [link].
  9. 14.6.22. West is trying to cause maximum damage to the image and global reputation of Vladimir Putin. Western news media and politicians are both using the Ukraine war to smear Putin, and to hurl insults at him with impunity. From spreading rumors about his health [link], to questioning his sanity, to painting him as a brutal despot / an autocrat / a tyrant / a dictator, they're leaving no stone unturned. It's almost as if they feel some sort of personal gratification when they abuse Putin.
  10. 15.7.22. On West's frequent claims that Russia is running low on its advanced / precision weapons [link]. Russia is likely preparing [and saving] for the scenario in which this war escalates into a full blown war with Ukraine, or even into a regional or a world war. This is the likely reason why Russia would want to preserve a healthy number of its advanced / precision weapons - there aren't any real shortages, yet. Russia knows that if this war escalates, it'll need all those stockpiled weapons.
  11. 15.6.22. China's many limitations and weaknesses have been laid bare for the world to see. There was much hype in the world about China's growing power before the Ukraine war had started. But this war has actually exposed China's several weaknesses. China hasn't been able to support Russia in this war - whether it be militarily, or in terms of currency / SWIFT bans, or in terms of filling the gaps left by the mass-exodus of Western companies, or by providing Russia with high-technology products. China has been able to do nothing. This shows that China doesn't possess many global strengths like the SWIFT network, a reserve currency, technological independence, etc. It's so dependent on the West that it hasn't been able to do much for Russia.
    1. 15.6.22. Despite these limitations, China's alternatives to West's products / services will grow. Even though China's hasn't been able to help Russia in this war, China's alternatives to Western products / services - such as CIPS, UnionPay, etc., will grow in usage. Some will use these because they're banned from using Western stuff, while others will use these to reduce their dependence on Western stuff.
    2. 28.7.22. West is able to arm Ukraine, but China / Iran are not able to support Russia. This shows the present power of the West. Western sanctions are so crippling that even mighty China cannot dare to supply drones / missiles / weapons to Russia. If not during a war, when else will China or Iran support Russia?
  12. 27.3.22. What kind of an ally or friend is Turkey for Russia? It's fine if previously supplied TB2 drones were used by Ukraine against Russian forces. But Turkey kept supplying more TB2 drones even after the ar began, causing Russia significant losses. Russia needs to ask itself what its relation with Turkey is.
  13. 27.3.22. There's no doubt that Russian military can learn a lot from this war. And if they really learn from their [many] mistakes / failures, then in the long run Russia's military can become a much better force than it is today. But if Russia is really going to learn from its mistakes in this war, why aren't previous supposed Russian learnings from Russia's military experiences in Georgia, Syria and Armenia-Azerbaijan visible in the current war?
    1. 4.6.22. China too will learn a lot from this war. This war will make China's military a better-equipped and better-trained force. Not only will China develop advanced, AI-facilitated drones containing advanced facial recognition and advanced cameras / sensors [realizing the role played by TB2 and other drones], China will also take note of the role of Starlink satellite constellation in modern warfare.
  14. 22.6.22. The way a modern war is fought has changed. The usefulness of tanks has reduced. It's about drones, satellite intelligence, precision missile strikes, etc., now. Russia has seen first-hand how its old relics have been slaughtered by smaller, cheaper but precise modern drones / portable missiles or rockets, aided by satellite-based communication and real-time intelligence. A reorientation of Russian weapons inventory is needed. More precise weapons such as 3M-54 Kalibr, 9K720 Iskander, Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, Avangard, RS-28 Sarmat, etc.
  15. 28.3.22. Western reaction to Ukraine versus their reactions to and role in the wars in Yemen, Iraq, Libya, etc. No words can describe Western hypocrisy and Western brutality if we compare the role that West played in their destruction of Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Serbia, etc., versus how they're acting and reacting today in the case of Ukraine. This doesn't apply to Western politicians or militaries alone - this applies equally to Western public, their companies, their cultural sectors, their global institutions and especially to their news media. Entire libraries can be filled on this topic but it won't be adequate to sufficiently detail West's stunning double-standards.
    1. 14.6.22. Racist media coverage of Ukraine war [link 1] [link 2]. Everyone knows, though not everyone will admit, that Western public, news media, and politicians have racism running through their blood. West is far, far more concerned about Ukrainian lives than Arab / Muslim lives, and inherent racism underpins this. The same Western news media that howls for and humanizes Ukrainians every hour dehumanizes Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Syrians, Palestinians, Africans and Yemenese as tribal, backward, uncivilized, unworthy and medieval people worthy of being corrected by force.
  16. 15.7.22. Western public has been completely brainwashed by their domestic news media propaganda complex. This warmongering by Western public is obviously not the first time. West's military-industrial complex rallies Western public opinion by deploying the vast domestic propaganda complex - the so-called free and independent news media outlets. The result is that top comments on popular Western websites such as WSJ, FT, and others - written by armchair generals - call for more war, for more weapons to Ukraine, and even for nuclear escalation and pre-emptive strikes on Russia, with no regard to global consequences [link].
  17. 28.3.22. On Russia requiring rouble / ruble payments for energy exports from hostile / unfriendly countries. Now this step seems so obvious, like Russia should've done this years ago. Still, it's a strong counterattack by Russia - they've frozen Russia's assets, and Russia has in turn put them in a peculiar position where they must either annul / dilute their sanctions, or else suffer seriously from energy shortages. Western politicians are barking that this announcement / requirement by Russia is a "breach of contract", to which Russia might ask - how many contracts have Western countries and companies illegally and unilaterally destroyed in the last month.
    1. 28.3.22. In general this is a good [though initially hard] step by Russia, and shouldn't ever be rolled back [although will Russia roll it back eventually is not sure at this point], no matter how many sanctions are reversed and how many carrots are given. Hitherto, Russia hasn't correctly realized / utilized the vast power that can come from its huge energy and commodities exports. These recent events might be a blessing in disguise. Petrorouble / petroruble might actually take some shape or form in the medium to long terms, indirectly helping to accelerate the world's shift away from the US dollar, etc. Also, the more Russia asks for rubles for its exports and insists on paying for its imports in ruble, the more ruble's role in international trade increase.
    2. 28.3.22. How long will dependence on Russian energy last? Russia has only been able to announce this roubles-for-energy requirement because at present many European countries are utterly dependent on Russia for energy. But what will happen to Russia when [not if] Europeans reduce their dependence on Russia to an extent that Russia can no longer take bold steps? Russia must think about how can it create long-term dependence of Europeans and the rest of the world on Russia - not merely via energy exports, but also via high-tech products and services.
    3. 29.3.22. Paying in rubles strikes at the heart of petrodollar and petroeuro, so expect huge resistance. America's military and its riches are built on the global supremacy of the US dollar. Unlimited "printing" of money. Whereas other nations have to beg for a few millions, America can, with the stroke of a pen, create hundreds of billions. Who can compete? Anyone who has ever tried to dethrone the dollar has been murdered by America. Hence expect full-fledged overt and covert opposition to any attempts to reduce the usage of / importance of dollar and euro. After all, their so-called "way of life" depends on it.
  18. 1.4.22. West tried hard / is trying hard to devalue the ruble / rouble, to damage Russia's economy. It's all too familiar. When targeting nations which don't have a global reserve currency in their hands [and thus can't print their way to prosperity], West always attacks the target nation's local currency. West knows that except them, the entire rest of the world has to work hard to earn money, whereas the West can simply print money out of nowhere to purchase goods and services. West is trying hard to hurt the Russian ruble, so that not only do the rubles in the hands of Russian people, companies, etc., become worth far less, but also so that inflation and unrest is stirred within Russia.
  19. 3.4.22. On VISA/Mastercard again cutting off services in Russia, and the Mir payment system. These card companies haven't cut Russia services for the first time - this has happened before. Yet Russia still isn't properly ready with its own card network. Yes, Mir exists and works, but it's supported in only a handful of countries. Why didn't Russia use its full force to establish Mir in a much larger number of countries in all these years? Even India, with whom Russia enjoys good relations doesn't support Mir. China, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, etc., are all missing from the list. The impact of Western/Japanese card networks' restrictions would've been much less had Russia embraced UnionPay, RuPay, etc., and had it spread Mir elsewhere.
  20. 5.4.22. West has engineered a debt default by Russia by blocking its reserves and payment mechanisms. This is interesting. West has blocked Russia's foreign currency reserves, and now it's crying out loud that Russia is on the verge of a "default". Russia does have more than enough reserves, but the West has blocked Russia from being able to meet its financial obligations.
  21. 5.4.22. "EU warns China against 'interfering with Russian sanctions'" [link]. Look at their superiority complex, their high-headedness, as if they're the rulers of the world, and as if whatever path they've chosen is the absolutely, godly correct one, and anyone else choosing a different path is "interference".
  22. 5.4.22. Provocative statements continuously coming from Ukraine imply that Russia hasn't won. Highly insulting and highly provocative anti-Russia statements have continued to come from various quarters of Ukraine in all these weeks. This shows their self-confidence as well as their belief in the West's full support to them. This also shows that Russia's on-ground military position isn't good, or is at least far from what they might have hoped before the invasion started.
    1. 21.6.22. Humiliating / mocking / provocative statements, actions and policies continue to come from Ukraine [link]. What does this imply about the on-ground war situation? Is Ukraine confident? Or are these information operations orchestrated by the US?
  23. 21.4.22. It's both interesting and kind of hilarious to see how Western oil companies, especially European, are continuing to buy truckloads of Russian refined oils despite the so-called embargoes / sanctions, using various tricks such as if the newly-available "blend" contains <50% Russian oil [say 49.9%], then it isn't really "Russian" and hence can be bought. These White capitalists never change.
    1. 14.6.22. "US Quietly Urges Russia Fertilizer Deals to Unlock Grain Trade" [link]. Similar. Publicly something else, privately something else. Image and optics take precedence over practicality.
  24. 12.5.22. US is aggressively using the Ukraine war to sell its own energy / LNG. The US is very, very aggressive in every imaginable area. They're using the Ukraine war to sell their own [more expensive] LNG to European nations, under various pretexts. In effect, it'll be a triple geopolitical gain for the US - massive new revenues/profits to US, reduced revenues to US' enemy Russia, and even further European dependence on the US [reduce European independence].
  25. 7.6.22. US and Europe are using Ukraine war as pretext to covertly conduct protectionism by blocking products and competition from Russia. Q
  26. 21.4.22. Russia, China, and other non-Western countries should create a new, larger group of nations as an answer to West's efforts to remove Russia from G20. It appears that a separate, only-developing nations group - perhaps a G30 or G40 - is needed, where no Western / pro-Western nation is a member. That way West's theatrics such as the recent G20 walkout can be avoided for good. Such a group will be more representative of the world, by including Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Egypt, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, Kenya, Iraq, Morocco, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, UAE, Serbia, Singapore, Qatar, etc.
  27. 19.5.22. Ukraine war is as much an opportunity for Russian weapon sales as much it is a threat. Q
  28. 29.5.22. Surprising aggression from Boris Johnson and England / Britain / UK in support of Ukraine. Britain as a nation and Boris Johnson as a leader have been curiously and unusually aggressive in support of Ukraine - maybe even more than America and Europe. The obvious question is why - what does Britain have to do with Russia and Ukraine. Is Johnson trying to repair his domestic political situation by whitewashing his image via support to Ukraine? Does Ukraine serve as a useful distraction for the British public? If Britain as a nation trying to make itself globally relevant? Is there money to be made somehow? Perhaps the money and weapons being sent to Ukraine somehow involve someone getting rich.
  29. 11.7.22. West's extraordinary love / support for Ukraine isn't about Ukraine itself but about their innate hate for Russia. The staggering extent of diplomatic, financial, military, moral, propaganda, and political support given by the West to Ukraine is eyebrow-raising - billions of dollars / euros / pounds, making their own people suffer [link], unlimited supply of weapons, and so on. But it isn't that they love Ukraine so greatly. Had Ukraine been attacked by, for example, Hungary, you would've seen only a tiny fraction of the support that Ukraine is getting now. It's all really about West's deep, deep hatred for Russia. That's what's driving them madly to do whatever they can, and the fear / prospect that Russia might win - even partially - is driving them crazy.
  30. 15.6.22. West is using Ukraine war to demonstrate its weapons to the world, for future sales. West - and especially US and UK - had bet that Ukraine was prevailing in this war, and the flood of Javelins, Stingers and other stuff that it was "donating" to Ukraine weren't only to damage and harm Russia - these deliveries were very much also a weapons showcase for potential future sale orders.
    1. 15.6.22. West had also hoped that a defeat / retreat of Russia from Ukraine would badly damage the reputation of Russian bombs, missiles, rockets and tanks, thus weaning Russia's traditional weapons clients off from future sales. Western news media complex is trying its best to sully the image of Russian weapons [link].
  31. 5.6.22. Can Russia use these 2022 Western sanctions to its benefit? It's largely agreed now that the 2014 Crimea-related Western sanctions on Russia actually strengthened Russia overall. Russia's economy, albeit only partially, became resilient to those and subsequent sanctions. Can Russia similarly make these 2022 sanctions eventually look like a blessing in disguise? Is it actually good that these massive sanctions have acted like a wake-up call to Russia to further and dramatically reduce its economic / financial and technological dependence on Western nations?
    1. 12.6.22. Inadequate preparation for crushing future sanctions after 2014 Crimea episode [link]. It has to be said - Russia didn't prepare enough for Western sanctions after the 2014 Crimea episode. Russia, over the years, saw it all - Iran sanctions, Venezuela sanctions, the crippling of ZTE / Huawei, and so on. Why wasn't there sufficient preparation from 2014 to now? Especially in the semiconductor / microelectronics / microchips manufacturing area, why didn't Russia prepare? There's no excuse. Russia could've acquired dozens of first-hand DUV as well as second-hand machines, could've hoarded critical chemicals / materials, and could've stockpiled huge numbers of chips / processors and other Western electronics.
  32. 11.6.22. Sanctioned countries should band together to create an unsanctionable part of the world. Russia [+ Crimea + DPR + LPR], Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Belarus, Venezuela, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Sudan, DR Congo, Myanmar, Eritrea, and maybe Iraq too. Maybe a few other countries as well. Many of these nations have some individual strengths - Venezuela's stratetic location / oil wealth, Iran's drones / missiles / oil, and Cuba's location / medicines for example - which can prove complementary to the others. To the extent that's possible, this group shouldn't rely on Western products, services, financing, currencies, institutions, technologies, culture, etc. This group will thus become unsanctionable, and as the West adds sanctions on any new nation, that nation can be admitted to this bloc. This group can also align with other, non-aligned, non-Western, multipolar-friendly nations such as China [+ HK, + Macau], India, Turkey, South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Pakistan, Hungary, Serbia, Brazil, Argentina, Cambodia, etc.
  33. 5.6.22. Has Europe sanctioned itself too, apart from sanctioning Russia? Not much analysis has been done on this idea, likely because the entire Western news media complex has orders to work overtime to push a particular narrative out to the world. But this needs to be asked - has Europe [unknowingly] put sanctions on its own self? Who in their right mind would stop themselves from buying energy from their most reliable supplier? Europe has done just that. It has itself cut off its own energy supplies in the name of harming Russia. Russia might find buyers elsewhere, but where will Europe find an energy supplier as large as Russia? Add skyrocketing inflation in Western nations to this idea, and also add shortages of food and fuel, plus lowering standards of living.
    1. 5.6.22. Europe is being played by Ukraine [and the US]. Ukraine is almost dictating European foreign policy at this point. Ukraine keeps asking for more sanctions and more weapons, the Europe does just that, thus also shooting itself in the foot. Europe is not thinking about its own interests when it keeps adding sanctions on Russia.
    2. 7.6.22. US and Europe have elevated Ukraine so much that Ukraine has even started to foul-mouth against Europeans. Europe especially is now in a box - it has given so much public support to Ukraine that Europe's hands are now kind of tied - no matter how many challenging / insulting / rude / threatening comments come from Ukrainian lawmakers and from Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself, Europe cannot now reduce or remove its support for Ukraine, nor can it rebuke Ukraine. Ukraine knows this and is making use of Europe's self-handcuffing - Ukraine has already publicly spoken against Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Israel, France and even Macron himself. Ukraine was a nobody before this war - what Ukraine thought or said wasn't reported anywhere, and no one cared. Now Ukraine speaks loudly to everyone, everyday - it gets round-the-clock airtime. Ukraine tells others what leadership is. Europe has allowed and enabled this.
  34. 12.6.22. Once-in-a-century opportunity for Asian companies to establish themselves in Russia [link]. Russia is a fairly wealthy and developed / prosperous country, and also a pretty large market. The mass-exodus of hundreds of Western companies [perhaps in excess of a thousand] can be viewed as a form of self-sanctioning, shooting-yourself-in-the-foot by Western nations. The huge gap that this exodus has created is a god-sent, once-in-a-hundred-years opportunity for companies from China, India, Turkey, UAE, Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, Brazil, Hungary, Serbia and elsewhere. Not only has competition from Western firms evaporated in Russia, thus increasing the prospects of business success, establishing themselves in Russia will give these companies additional critical mass which can help with their growth into global giants. Also, as Russian consumers are used to the quality of Western products, these companies can actually evolve and refine themselves by learning from the Russian market.
    1. 12.6.22. It can only be good for global multipolarity if the incomes of Russian people go to companies from friendly Asian nations rather than to prop-up companies of adversary nations. Plus, this realignment towards Asian companies will reduce Russia's overall dependency on the West and reduce the chances of any future mass-exodus.
    2. 12.6.22. As an example, if a Western luxury hotel chain exits Russia, it's an opportunity for India's ITC or Taj. There's no reason why highly-experienced Indian chains such as ITC or Taj cannot run luxury hotels in Russia with a similar level of quality as a Western hotel chain. There's no need for profits to be sent to Western hotel chains. Same applies to medicines [especially for India], FMCG products, and everything else. Even Western movies can be replaced by, for example, Indian cinema and others. [link].
  35. 5.6.22. As retaliation, why isn't Russia arming or threatening to arm America's enemies? The US and Europe are heavily arming Ukraine with sophisticated weapons. Why doesn't Russia publicly threaten American soldiers in Syria by at least threatening to arm Syrian forces with deadly weapons [to drive out occupying American forces]? Even if Russia isn't really going to arm Syrian military, Russia could at least cause a colorful discussion in Western news media - and thus Western public - about the illegal presence of "occupying" American forces in Syria, thus weakening the West's moral standing on the Ukraine issue.
    1. 22.6.22. Why hasn't Russia opened military bases in Cuba and Venezuela? Russia has been attacked, provoked, harmed and humiliated in vicious ways by the West over the years. Yet Russia hasn't taken a single step to directly threaten US mainland and bring those "war hawks" in the US to their senses. Perplexing [link].
  36. 5.6.22. US pushing for supplies of Soviet weapons to Ukraine to remove these from the world. The US is constantly pushing for Soviet-made weapons to be supplied to Ukraine from countries such as Poland. There could be many reasons for this push - remove these weapons from Western-allied countries still holding them and thus reduce their influence. Create demand / hunger in Poland, etc., for new weapons and thus supply fresh Western weapons.
  37. 6.6.22. Western unity has become the primary goal in itself, rather than as a means to an end. The way America, Europe and their Asian allies portrayed unity when this war began, that way has resulted in this unity now having become a key goal in itself. It's like US and Europe just have to publicly and overtly display this unity, this resolve, no matter whether it's tactically or strategically harmful to them or not. The war and the situation in Ukraine seem to have become secondary, and this very public display of a unified response seems to have taken the front seat.
  38. 7.6.22. The US is a full-fledged party to this war, yet it's pretending like it isn't. In typical US fashion, the US is drawing its own conclusions about whether or not it's a party to this war, and it is portraying things as if it isn't. There is round-the-clock supply of advanced weapons, intelligence, satellite imagery, communications, propaganda, daily press statements, sanctions against Russia, and so on from the US, yet US is trying to make it look like - using various types of lawyerly arguments - it isn't a part of this war. In reality, the US is directly involved in the killing of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces, and the US knows this, yet it's crafting legal arguments in its own favor. [link 1] [link 2]
  39. 12.6.22. US is making other Western nations supply weapons to Ukraine that it itself cannot be seen supplying. So sometimes you see Denmark or Norway supplying missiles. At other times UK supplies rocket systems. Sometimes it's Poland, at other times it's Spain or Canada. None of these American colonies is sending this stuff out of their own will or wisdom - it's all coordinated by America, it's all calculated.
    1. 19.6.22. Lithunia's blockading of Kaliningrad is similarly a basically US-designed action with Lithuania merely as the face, to give the impression that 'everyone is involved in this'.
  40. 7.6.22. Open calls by Western politicians and policymakers to confiscate / expropriate / seize Russia's assets. Q
  41. 7.6.22. West is attempting to damage Russia's superpower image by emphasizing that tiny Ukraine is defeating Russia. The critical context that the West is carefully hiding is that it's not just "Ukraine" that Russia is fighting. It's Ukraine + almost the entire West's resources combined [link]. Even if Western soldiers aren't involved, West is still very deeply involved in this war, so any suggestions that mighty Russia is being overwhelmed by tiny Ukraine is malicious propaganda designed to damage and harm Russia's powerful global standing.
  42. 12.6.22. West is repeatedly trying to portray this war as an unprovoked attack by Russia. If you repeat a lie enough number of times, that's what they're trying to do. They're able to take the moral high ground - at least in their own minds - by invoking the word unprovoked repeatedly. No mention of NATO's continued eastward expansion, America's and NATO's deep incursions into Ukraine, several biolabs, the conflict in Donbass, the war of Ukraine against its own citizens in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine taking orders from the US, Ukraine's severing of cultural / economic / trade / transport ties with Russia at the behest of the US, and so on - the list is long.
  43. 18.6.22. If Russia doesn't bring Ukraine back into its orbit / sphere of influence now, Ukraine will be gone forever. War is the most extreme step that can be taken. There's no higher action available than war [save for a nuclear bomb]. If Ukraine doesn't come back now, then Russia's gains in this war will become at best tactical and modest, and Ukraine will be lost forever to the West the way Poland has been lost - and that will be a major strategic defeat for Russia. If, however, Russia can bring Ukraine to its knees once, it can permanently bind Ukraine to itself by quickly rewriting Ukraine's constitution and making it a part of EAEU, CSTO, SCO, Joint CIS Air Defense System, etc., and by opening military bases inside Ukraine.
  44. 24.6.22. If Russia gets permanently tethered to China, it'll be a huge strategic loss for the West [link]. West is displaying almost madness with the way it's putting sanctions on Russia. But does it realize that these could lead to Russia leaving the sphere of influence of the West / Europe - perhaps permanently - and to embrace China and other Asian nations? Will getting Ukraine into the Western orbit be worth it then?
    1. 24.6.22. If BRICS gets strengthened, expanded, it'll cause meaningful long-term damage to West's hegemony. For example if a BRICS free-trade deal can be actually realized, or if BRICS onboards, say Indonesia, Mexico, Iran, and possibly Turkey and Vietnam, it'll reduce the power of Western blocs and institutions. The most crushing blow to the West can be realized if the BRICS can actually develop and popularize a new, non-Western global reserve currency, along with an alternative to SWIFT. These developments can neutralize the effect of West's sanctions, allowing the rest of the world to freely conduct trade without being dependent on Western systems.
  45. 28.7.22. If Ukraine gets absorbed / annexed into Russia, Russia's power across the full spectrum will increase tremendously. This is one of the things that keeps the West awake at night, and is driving them mad. Ukraine might be a corrupt and relatively poor nation, but it is strong in several areas - agriculture, traditional industry, landmass, sizeable population, location, defence-industrial base, and so on. Imagine the combination of Russia's and Ukraine's agriculture output. Or the combination of Ukraine's military-industrial base [link] with Russia's.
  46. Q

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Good to see Huawei AppGallery logo on a marketing pamphlet alongside Apple and Google store logos [COMPACTIDEA]

Obviously it's only symbolic - there are hardly any Huawei phones in India. Practically no one in India uses Huawei AppGallery. Still, it's good to see Huawei's logo alongside the Apple/Google logos. The world desperately needs a third, non-Western option.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Why is Australia literally begging to become yet another Special Administrative Region of China? [COMPACTIDEA]

Australia's behavior these days is hard to understand. It's poking China again and again and again - it just isn't stopping. First with Huawei, then with the whole "origins of coronavirus" thing, then AUKUS, then joining US for Taiwan, and in numerous other ways. What does Australia get out of all this? What's the benefit to ordinary Australians in making an enemy out of China? Tough to understand.

But one thing is more clear now than before - if Australia continues down this path for the next few/many years, the chances of it eventually being absorbed into the PRC as yet another SAR ["Australia Special Administrative Region" - ASAR] start to look non-zero. Does Australia want to become a SAR of China, like Taiwan looks set to become one day ["Taiwan Special Administrative Region" - TSAR]? Does the Australian government want to see future White Australians cleaning toilets of wealthy Chinese families? Does the Australian society want to see Australian women employed as maids and nannies in the homes and offices of affluent Chinese? Does the larger Western world want young Australian females selling themselves to rich Chinese men in bars and clubs?

Hard to understand why Australia is unnecessarily irritating China repeatedly.

Friday, September 03, 2021

MG Motor India's raw August 2021 unit numbers sold might look relatively low, but consider the average per-unit selling price also

It ain't right to just look at the headline 4,315 units sold sales number and think that Kia is selling a lot more, Tata is selling a lot more, Hyundai is selling a lot more, etc. Deeper analysis is needed, taking into account the much higher average per-car-sold price in the case of MG India:

  • Hector / Hector Plus= Roughly INR 19 lakh per unit, on average.
  • Gloster= Roughly INR 39 lakh per unit.
  • ZS EV=  Roughly INR 25 lakh per unit.

These are on-road prices.

Average per car= about 21.6 lakh rupees. If you [unscientifically] "extrapolate" the 4,315 units figure to if the average per-unit price had been say 9 lakh rupees [to more properly compare MG to the likes of Hyundai, for example], MG India's unit sales start to look about 10,000 units a month. Of course this is highly unscientific as the growth in unit numbers as price decreases cannot be assumed to be linear, and price elasticity must be taken into account, among other factors.

Still. Point being that MG India's "real sales" when compared properly are much higher, and thus the threat to incumbent Korean, Japanese and Indian carmakers is far higher from this Chinese / British challenger company than what auto pundits might say and the public might feel.


Thursday, September 02, 2021

Do we want this type of world order where a single rogue country A can unilaterally prevent countries B and C from doing business with each other [COMPACTIDEA]

Iranian fuel tanker heading for Syria poses test for US sanctions

The United States of Sanctions


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Recently started liking the Mahindra Bolero - underappreciated among urban Indians [COMPACTIDEA]

  • If you momentarily forget about the newly-launched, more-chic Bolero Neo [and many or most of the points in this post will also apply to the Neo], then there's no car except Mahindra Bolero which allows an Indian car-buyer to own a large, rugged, spacious [7 seater], powerful car in the INR 9-11 lakh bracket. Everything else that's available is smaller and lighter, with less number of seats, and visibly smaller road presence.
    • Yes it isn't as chic as the others, but think about kerb weight - it's 1600+ kg. Bolero gives you more meat than the rivals.
    • In a way, the Bolero is like the samosa - old, yummy and reliable, but unnecessarily made to look cheap and downmarket by the urbans.
  • A good thing about Bolero is that it isn't as "advanced" as other cars - no irritating touch controls, no fancy chips and software that spies on you, no complicated "features". Simple like the cars of yesterday. With all the essentials.
  • A few improvements needed [or at least an optional higher variant with some/all of the below improvements]:
    • Less vibration in the cabin.
    • Slightly smoother ride.
    • More refinement here and there.
    • Improvements in ergonomics - like correcting the weird placement of some things in the cabin [rear speakers, power windows buttons, etc.].
    • At least a 4-star NCAP rating [engineering improvements needed so that same total weight - hence same cost - provides higher structural safety and also more stability].
    • Second front airbag.
    • Rear disc brakes.
    • Reverse parking camera.
    • Rear defogger.
    • Option of dual-tone colors.
    • Floor carpets.
    • Gear-change with less movement of the gear stick.
    • Bolero should now be given the Neo's engine, since that's more powerful.
    • 5-seater version should be offered in which space on rear seats is much higher, yet usable boot space will not be lesser because two seats will have been removed [plus car cost also might come down somewhat due to this].
  • Mahindra might be worried that a too refined and feature-rich Bolero might cannibalize its Thar sales somewhat, especially if someone creates a great modification kit for say 1-1.5 lakh rupees which makes your top-model Bolero look far better than the Thar for a lower total price.
  • All said and done, the Bolero is a good car overall and it can be made better without increasing its cost, and these improvements can have additional appeal for the urban folks.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Ideas for Huawei and China - to acquire microchips for smartphones and for more [COMPACTIDEA]

  1. Create a new mobile phone company that places a large order for various microprocessors and other chips used in smartphones - camera sensors, NAND flash memory chips, DRAM modules, camera sensors, etc. Once supplies have been received, the company is acquired by Huawei, along with all its hardware supplies. How tough is this if the Chinese government throws its weight behind?
  2. Could Chinese government mandate centralized [special single intermediary buyer] procurement of all smartphone-related chips from all Western / risky sellers, and resell these chips to individual mobile phone makers from this intermediary firm?
  3. Could Chinese government secretly or overtly force other phonemakers to share a certain portion of their supplies with Huawei? Or with the Chinese government itself?
  4. Bigger batteries and liquid / vapor cooling will somewhat compensate for the higher energy consumption of Huawei's Kirin 710A. Samsung's M21 weighs less despite a big battery - so bigger battery doesn't necessarily mean more weight.
  5. Safe overclocking?
  6. Use multiple lower-performance processors per phone? Not just multiple cores but multiple processors?
  7. Shift some workloads to the Cloud, to reduce local processing requirements? Huawei will have to be clever in this area.
  8. Huawei must innovate on power-management techniques. Reduce hardware power usage. Smartly monitor and control power usage of apps. Turn off individual chips in the phone when not in use. And so on. Huawei must become a leader in power-management.
  9. Innovations in transistor design, packaging and materials to overcome lithography / EUV limitations.
  10. Start to use RISC-V to reduce dependence on ARM. Like mixed-ISA processors with some ARM cores and some RISC-V cores.
  11. Cars can easily use microchips that consume more energy {inferior process node}, so all products where battery life, size, weight aren't as crucial as in smartphones are open for disruption by Huawei - cars, home appliances, power backup solutions, TVs, etc.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Tata Sky DTH - my A4 sized cheat sheet for the TV channels that I want to watch [COMPACTIDEA]

I realized that the user interface of both Airtel and Tata Sky DTH boxes are horrible, so I needed to make my own sheet to be able to know where are all the channels that I want to watch. This simple sheet is worth far more than the useless user interfaces in the boxes.

Friday, April 23, 2021

It's sad to see tiny Czech Republic publicly slapping and humiliating mighty Russia

Czechia expelled 18 Russia diplomats over a 2014 incident. Like they suddenly remembered the 2014 incident and had convulsions about it. Russia retaliated by expelling 20 Czech diplomats. Czech responded by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats + staff by May-end unless Russia cancels its order to expel 20 Czech diplomats.

This looks like a trap setup by Czechia, most likely with the American demon backing it. Otherwise why would the Czechs spoil their relations with Russia in such a bitter and public manner? Obviously the Czechs had pre-calculated the Russian response [20 Czechs expelled], and had already pre-calculated that they would respond to Russia's response by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats + staff to match the total Russian number to the total Czech number.

Three things to note here:
  1. What bribe / carrot have the Americans given to the Czechs to convince them to make such a move?
  2. What bribe / carrot have the Americans given to Slovakia to convince them to expel 3 Russian diplomats in "solidarity" with Czechia, essentially stirring trouble for no reason?
  3. This "Czech" move looks like a belated American response to Russia, to the massive Jul'17 expulsion of 755 American diplomats + staff ordered by Putin, to match the Russian and American numbers, essentially setting a precedent for this move by the Czechs.
More than anything else though, it's sad to see Russia being such openly and publicly challenged and humiliated by tiny Czechia and Slovakia. America's dollar-printing machine is the foundation on which all such moves rest, and it's vital that the machine be destroyed.