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Tuesday, November 15, 2016


America, America - The 2016 Presidential Election

We had blinders on

Thought that Trump would be defeated; and completely out of touch when it came to number, passion, and impact of Donald Trump's supporters. 


History books contain many instances of victorious armies on pillaging sprees. In today's world it takes a different form. There are clear signals about the goals and plans that Trump administration would take. 

List of  of likely Cabinet appointees reflects Trump is wasting no time in in rewarding those whose support made him the winner.   The list includes the usual suspects, extremists salivating at the prospect of beimg empowered to follow their agenda. 

With both Houses of Congress under Republican control, Trump administration would be in strong position to weaken or rescind legislations passed under previous administrations.  And new legislations would be pushed to enable special interest groups to achieve their goals. There is nothing to stop them. The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in 2010 lifted restrictions on financing of political campaigns.  

We can only wait for actions of the Trump administration. At the end of 4 years, if the voters remain supportive then we must face the fact that the 2016 election was not an aberration.  

"The will of the mass of the people must prevail."
----Alcuin (735-804),in a letter to Charlemagne

 It was a fair election. Trump won under existing rules for Electoral College although he failed to secure majority in popular vote count.   



Friday, September 18, 2015


Corte Madera, CA, - Budget Inn

A Motel Infested with Bed Bugs

Truly, a motel from hell.

On Friday (September 11, 2015), a friend and I decided on booking a room at Budget Inn because of the location -- nearness to Muir Woods where we wanted to hike the next day.

As the saying goes: Caveat Emptor

The fact that Budget Inn is not listed in CSAA Tour Book should have triggered an alarm. To our regret, we ignored the fact;  Thought that all we needed was a clean room for one night.

It was a mistake for which we have badly suffered.
  • The room (No.114) had broken furniture, and not very clean. 
  • Bed bug bites began to manifest themselves next morning. 
  • Itchy, red spots became noticeable and became progressively worse. 
  • After returning home, a google search revealed many previous reports about this particular establishment. 
Budget Inn, Corte Madera, California 

Check the comments.

What is surprising is that despite the reports, no action is taken by the local authorities. Surely, they are not
unaware of the situation.

Marin County Health and Human Services Department. 
Is responsible for enforcing health codes.

One gets the impression that the Marin County authorities are either:

1) Incompetent

2) Understaffed; do not have time to deal with such situations

3) Are aware but do not take any action.  Influenced by other factors.  

Something is wrong and owners  of Budget Inn continue to operate the bed-bug infested, dirty motel with impunity because they are protected from enforcement of health code. 

What is the secret ?

What protects them ?  


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Thursday, August 06, 2015


America, America - A Country Awash in Guns

Sorrowing Lies My Land

Headlines about gun violence -- deaths and injuries from gunshots -- have become regular features.  Inescapable.

In US, 204 mass shootings in 203 days 

  • NEWSER) – It's the worst kind of synchronicity: A websitethat tracks mass shootings in the US had logged 203 through Wednesday. It hasn't caught up with last night's rampage in a Louisiana theater, but when it does, that will be No. 204—and yesterday was the 204th day of the year, notes the Washington Post. The Mass Shooting Tracker is a crowd-sourced tool from an anti-gun forum at Reddit calledGuns Are Cool, and it defines "mass shooting" as incident in which at least four people were shot. Not all of the incidents resulted in deaths.

DC's Summer of Gun Violence


What they do in the name of Second Amendment !

NRA: "Guns don't kill people, People Do".


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Go Charlie, Go

Vive la France !

The news that Charlie Hebdo has decided to publish a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad on the cover  of its first issue after the attack and killings by lunatic followers of Islam is to be applauded.  A right decision; a bold decision. 

charlie hebdo cover

   © National Post.com

"Bigotry is the sacred disease" - Heraclitus

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Friday, July 18, 2014


Young Men With Horns and Guitar

Victoria BC - July 3-6, 2014

Highlight of the trip to Victoria BC was to listen to music being made by a group of talented budding artists. 

Nikhil Ghosh, Palo Alto, CA, trombone, tenor 
Cyrus Bhiladvala, Victoria BC, alto sax
Simon Farintosh, Victoria BC, guitar
Rowan Farintosh, Victoria BC, tenor sax

We were fortunate to stay with Rustom and Kamal Bhiladvala, parents of Cyrus. 

On July 4th we drove to Bastion Square, downtown Victoria.  The boys took out their instruments and began busking to the pleasure of passers by.  It was a bright afternoon, full of shoppers and sightseers. 

Jazz on July 4th at Bastion Square, Victoria BC © Musafir

Buskers warming up  © Musafir
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” 
― Bob Marley  

From the left: Nikhil Ghosh, Cyrus Bhiladvala, Simon Farintosh, Rowan Farintosh  
                                                                                                      © Musafir
Admiring dad Rustom Bhiladvala  © Musafir
Beaming Bhaskar Ghosh, a mean tabla player himself  © Musafir

Across from Empress Hotel © Musafir

We were not far from the venerable Empress Hotel, now a part of the Fairmont Group.

The afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel continues to be popular with visitors. Not many locals go to have tea at close to $60.00 (Canadian) per person. 

Meantime, the young musicians had warmed up and the sound of jazz filled the air.  They were rewarded fairly well.  But more than the collection it was the pleasure of performing in public that energized them.  Good vibrations. More power to them.

Simon Farintosh, who graduated from high school, is going to pursue musical studies in college.

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Why Do People Who Fish Have a Tendency to Despoil the Environment ?

A recent day at Henry Hagg Lake, about 25 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon, drove home the point that when it comes to leaving a mess behind the Oregonians are no better than those who fish in California.

Found discarded water and beer bottles, food containers, plastic bags, and fishing tackles. You wonder about the state of their homes.  But perhaps they believe in the right to leave garbage in public places and keep their homes clean. 

Scumbags, I

Scumbags, II

Scumbags, III

What makes them turn a nice cove into a garbage dump and go home at the end of the day without giving a damn about others is a mystery.  Posted signs "Pack It In - Pack It Out" are very visible.  Perhaps they cannot read.

Hikers and backpackers don't do it.  Bicyclists don't do it. Some picnic grounds show the effects of piggish behavior but not as much as fishing spots.

In California, apart from those who fish, commercial mushroom pickers are the only ones that leave a lot of detritus behind them.  


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


A Hike Up to Monument Peak (Ed R. Levin County Park, Milpitas, CA)

Easily accessible to residents of South Bay, Ed R. Levin Park offers a lot of activities for adults and children.

Great views, especially for those who walk up the trail. Sandy Wool Lake is stocked with trouts. Play area for kids.

Lack of shade trees on the trails makes hiking unattractive in the warm weather.  For hikers, Spring is the best time to explore the trails.  Wild flowers in abundance add to the pleasure.

On Sunday, April 27th, a friend and I decided to hike up to Monument Peak (elev. 2594').  We had been to the park a few times in the past but never attempted going all the way up.  Sunday was a great day for it. Mild temperature;  sunny and clear sky.  The landscape a lush green after recent rains.  Not a switchback trail, so going up felt strenuous at times.  Encountered few other hikers. We found no marker (signage) at the top!  

Before entering the park, we drove on the winding Calaveras Road (popular with bicyclists) for a few miles to look at Calaveras Reservoir.

Distant view of the trail from Calaveras Road © Musafir

Calaveras Reservoir © Musafir

The yellow patches are fields of wild mustard  © Musafir

Beginning of the trail © Musafir

                              Wild California Poppies © Musafir
Old farm and stable © Musafir

Blue Dick © Musafir

Picnic lunch off the trail © Musafir

Venus Lilly (also known as Thorny Lilly) © Musafir

Poppies and Chia (Salvia columbariae) © Musafir
Trudging up Monument Peak Trail © Musafir
Trail marker -- 2 miles before Monument Peak © Musafir

          A hang glider. At times there are many of them up in the air © Musafir
The park is popular with hang glider pilots who use the service road to access launching pads. © Musafir

Looking down from Monument Peak © Musafir
Sandy Wool Lake © Musafir

Lupines and Blue Dick © Musafir
Blazing Star © Musafir

Close up of Blazing Star, II © Musafir

Grazing area © Musafir


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