Saturday, May 17, 2014

The VA Scandal ~ Should Shineski be made an example of incompetence?

Incompetence at the highest level...
Ref: ""Unless Shinseki makes an example of those VA medical mangers responsible for the death of at least 40 service members he will be known forever as a dismal four star failure.”
In my humble opinion... Its Shinseki that should be made an example of…he wasn’t picked for the job because he was a general, he was picked because he can follow the orders of his boss." ~ Norman E. Hooben  ~ Afterthought ~ He didn't do anything until it went public. He should be known as a five star failure!
Jim Emerson's Plain White Envelope ~ Source: Coach Is Right
The VA Scandal: it’s here to stay
By Jim Emerson, staff writer
The Veteran’s Administration (VA) “waiting list” scandal and allegations of a cover-up have tarnished the reputation of an agency that was created to help America’s veterans. The Phoenix VA hospital is at the eye of the storm, engaging in a behavior pattern of falsifying medical records in order to conceal lengthy delays in the keeping of patient appointments. To date four other VA facilities are also under investigation. Around the country numerous whistle-blowers are speaking up exposing an institutional behavior of hospital mangers putting bonuses before health care. (1)
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a nationwide review of clinics at VA Medical Centers across the country in order to assess veterans’ access to care. Of course, Shinseki ordered the review only because the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee had grown tired of being stonewalled by VA leadership and issued a subpoena in an attempt to force the VA into providing information relating to the wait list scandal. Clearly, VA senior leadership was playing a “wait list” game with Congress just as their clinics had been with patients. Being an election year this scandal is here to stay so both sides of the aisle are calling for action. After all, the American people sympathize with victims of bureaucratic abuse, especially when those victims have served in the military.
VA acting Inspector General Richard J. Griffin testified before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee this week, promising to complete an “exhaustive review” of VA practices by August. The review will be performed by Office of the Inspector General (OIG) criminal investigators, federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona and officials from the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department in Washington. The purpose of the review is to determine if criminal activity took place in VA hospitals, clinics or in the VA itself. (2) Involvement of the OIG became necessary when Griffin announced that “The Department of Justice does not intend to investigate the deaths of 40 veterans who were placed on a secret waiting list at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Arizona any time soon.” (3)
Testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, Secretary Shinseki told Committee members that the VA health care system is “a good system.” For many it may be, but the mistreatment of service members by VA hospitals and clinics has begun to snowball into a massive scandal.
Former 4 star general Shinseki should be “mad as hell.” The American public is once again witness to what can occur when the head of the Army is a social engineer rather than a warrior. Unless Shinseki makes an example of those VA medical mangers responsible for the death of at least 40 service members he will be known forever as a dismal four star failure.

Musings From A Cape Cod that a redundant heading?

There is only one comment...but feel free to add more.
Cape Cod Today
Seasons End to Clamming; Sweet Potato Fluff
from Cape Cod Rock Hopper Blog
I am beginning to dread the end of May here in my area of the Cape known as Dennis. Why? Well by the end of this month our clamming season will come to a complete standstill. Yes I understand the reasons, I know all the conservation issues and the ability to reload for the next season. I get needing to allow the beds to recoup and all that stuff and I also know that I could (and I do) get a license in another town, but I have found over the past couple of years I don't go to other towns. I like my town, I know my spots, I am even getting to know several of the other clammers that come on a regular basis. Soft shell (steamers) are already done, boo hoo, I did pretty well this year, after my shellfish constable took the time at the end of last year to show me what I really needed to be looking for, Thank you Chris. But at least I will still have my mussels I can pick for, and if I get lucky I might find a few razor clams and or sea clams to keep me tied over although I am limited to what I can take and when and those are fewer and farther between in finding. But we will give those a try this year and when I do I will give a report on them.
This year I am totally set on getting out for some fishing, last year I bought my license for both salt and fresh water, them ended up not getting a chance to go out. Ok so it does not help that I do not have a boat, motor or otherwise. That would be of great help especially for trying to go for Blue Fish and Striper, although I have heard that Stripers can be gotten from the shore line or in the canal but that is a haul and a half for me and working 6 days a week, one just runs out of time to do everything. But I would like to go try, even go back out for Flounder like Guy Askers used to take us for off Chatham. I love Flounder, baked, broiled, sauteed, poached, grilled, ok what way don't I like it, LOL. So that will be my goal for this summer season is to get my poles out of the garage, maybe get another 1 or 2 heavier duty ones and get them wet and maybe even hook a few that I can do some fun cooking with as well as put up for later on. Here's to all you guys out there that do it regularly and do it well, enjoy and eat heartily.
Now time for small business updates, this week I have 3 I want to mention, first) Sundae School Ice Cream Parlor, especially the original on Lower County Road in DennisPort. This is one of my top 3 ice cream spots on the Cape. Don't ask me to list in order cause I can not, all are equal. But Sundae Schools I have been able to enjoy their offerings since their beginning in 1976, my family was spending our August days along Old Wharf Road in Camper's Haven. From the mouth of the owner himself, starting next week they will be ready to go 7 days a week, but don't pass up this weekend if you are here, they are open and dishing it up. Second) are my friends of the Spice Merchant in Mashpee Commons. May 24 - 26 the Commons will be doing their annual Memorial Day Sidewalk Sale and the Spice Merchant definitely will be on display. I can not speak enough for the use of fine fresh spices and herbs in your cooking. You can buy as little as you need or as much as you want, you name it she has it. And let's not forget her selection of loose teas, it is getting to be ice tea season and what better way than to spice up (pun here) or fruit-en up your favorite summer tea brew with teas that have a different twist to them, or how about a nice relaxing tea for those cool New England evenings to site out on the deck on beach and enjoy some hot tea while gazing at the stars, yum. She also has flavored sugars to go along with your teas to add that extra sweetness if that is your enjoyment. Ask about some of her popcorn topping blends, low calorie snack that packs a wicked punch of flavor, now we're talking. Check them out, I promise you, you won't go wrong with the Spice Merchant in Mashpee Commons. Third and final biz for this week) Glass Studio of Cape Cod on 6A in East Sandwich. I should have added this last week, but I think this does work. After a morning at Mashpee commons, you hope on 130 or 149 and buzz over to the North side and do East Sandwich, a nice way to spend your afternoon, or vis versa. Anyway the Glass Studio is presently open Thursday through Saturday and expand to Wednesday through Saturday from Memorial Day to July 4h. After July 4th they are open 7 days a week till Labor Day weekend. You can either check their web sight for directions or call for any time changes. These folks are wonderful and is a place the whole family can enjoy going down to the Studio and watch them blow glass. They explain the process of what they are making that day and love answering questions about what they are doing. Can not recommend these folk enough and on top of it all, it's free. Have a great time then go upstair and get something to take home with you from their shop.
Ok I think I have covered my bases for today, hope you all have a great upcoming warmer weather and time with family and friends. I will check on ye ole lighthouse, make sure the tanks are filled with oil, the wicked has been trimmed and the lens polished till spotless. Keep an eye out for the beacon and follow it all the way across the ditch, to your small haven on our peninsula of sand. Be safe and enjoy every moment you can of every day, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. Until we meet again.
This weeks recipe is back to the Carolina Baptist recipe collection. I love good old recipes that stand the test of time, few ingredients, and is easy to make. Seriously, if you are a fan of sweet potatoes you have got to try this, and for the calorie watchers this one is good as it is not laded with a ton of butter or sugar. So whip this one up for an enjoyable light side dish. Yum, this is making me hungry just talking about it, hope you enjoy it. Now on with the show,
This week's recipe: Sweet Potato Fluff
  • 2 tsp melted butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups mashed cooked or canned sweet potatoes (bake and smash, much better taste then canned)
  • salt and pepper
Combine butter, milk and sweet potatoes. Beat egg then add to sweet potatoes. Beat until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Pile lightly by large spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven until brown. Serve while hot.
The only Comment (at least it was the only one after 24 hours):
Well if I lived here the year around I'd take up your pastime...not so much the clamming, but the fishing and stuff. The last time I fished anywhere on the Cape was when you didn't need a license...I always thought that putting a fee to catch a few fish was the gravest of all mortal sins committed by politicians (by the way, what do they do with the revenue...I know they don't re-stock the ocean). Meanwhile, I've just returned from our other place down south just in time to repeat the second spring (ya see, I've already seen the flowers bloom and now I get to see them again). The back and forth trips from snow to grass has become a ritual but not always with the same timing...we often have to look for a weather break like we had to do this past winter (we got snowed in for a day or two before we made our great escape).
Now I was raised in Massachusetts where I learned the yankee language but I think the state wants to remind folks like me that its the 'only' language. Spending too much time in the land down yonder where one or more persons can be beckoned by, "Ya,all." can rub off the 'havad yad' ... So I was amused by the recent (I guess they're recent, they were not there when I departed) posting along the Mid-Cape hiway of that reminder from the state, "Use yah blinkah". Well that was enough to start using my native tongue once again.
So you ended your blog with a recipe and so will I...not the actual recipe, just a war story. A couple of years back we (my wife and I) stumbled upon the best bread pudding on the Cape...the closest I'll tell you of its location is that it is in Orleans. We formed our opinion after trying the tasty dessert at various locations on the Cape. But that's not the end of the story. Ya see, I began to experiment with the recipe after we found out (from the place in Orleans) what one of the taste enhancing ingredients was. With that said and many trials with no errors, I now make the best bread pudding on the Cape (verification of that statement can come from my ninety-three year old in-laws.) ~ Norm

Friday, May 16, 2014

Common Core: The Dumbing Down Of America Has Reached New Highs

If you think for a moment that Common Core is the way of the future then you must be part of the problem.  This is certainly not a solution for present day deficit disorders...of which we have some unbeknown to me when I was a student.  There's ADD, ADHD, and probably a host of others that I cannot think of at the moment.  Probably the most absurd is one called, "Nature Deficit Disorder" but I'll most likely be chastised for thinking absurdly.  Of course most everyone has heard of the expression, "The dumbing down of America." so we can lump all of the D's (deficits) into that curriculum we call public education; the genesis of the dumbness.  Apparently the lack of smarts has reached those self-proclaimed intellectuals who now make the rules for rest of the dumbing down has reached new highs!  Whoever thought up the Common Core program had to have Communist leanings of the highest level for whatever reason it doesn't seem to allow for individual thought...the essence of a free person.  And within any Communist system there are the haves and the have-nots.  The 'haves' are the rulers and the 'have-nots' are you and me who must fall in line with whatever the rule maker says and the only way to do that is to have a common core of beliefs.  And the only way to have a common set of beliefs is to set up a Common Core program to make us all the slaves they want us to be.  I don't know if any of this makes any sense to the reader but I hope it does because the following math and word problems make no sense at all... At a quick glance I can see that 53 + 19 equals 72 and I didn't need any number disks to figure it out.  I get the distinct feeling that someone is trying awful hard to make me feel real dumb.  Why is that?  OK, OK, its Common Core, the dumbest thing that ever came down the pike! ~ Norman E. Hooben

Source for the following: Cape Cod Online
Parents finding Common Core math doesn't add up
Under Common Core, parents are likely to see some unfamiliar terms on their children’s elementary-school math homework. Here are some examples drawn from New York state’s math curriculum:
—Grade 2 addition:
Solve using your place value chart and number disks, composing a 10 when necessary: 53 + 19
—Grade 2 subtraction:
Craig checked out 28 books at the library. He read and returned some books. He still has 19 books checked out. How many books did Craig return? Draw a tape diagram or number bond to solve.
—Grade 4 multiplication:
Represent the following expressions with disks, regrouping as necessary, writing a matching expression, and recording the partial products vertically: 3 x 24
—Grade 4 word problem:
Cindy says she found a shortcut for doing multiplication problems. When she multiplies 3 W 24, she says, “3 W 4 is 12 ones, or 1 ten and 2 ones. Then there’s just 2 tens left in 24, so add it up and you get 3 tens and 2 ones.” Do you think Cindy’s shortcut works? Explain your thinking in words and justify your response using a model or partial products.

Source: EngageNY, New York’s Common Core curriculum

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Facing Reality: No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms

The debate over gun control should be over... And why isn't it?  Perhaps those in favor of gun control have distanced themselves from reality.  Thomas Jefferson was more of a realist when he said, "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."  Whether or not Jefferson said, "When governments fear the people, there is liberty, when the people fear the government, there is tyranny and the strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is to protect themselves against tyranny in government." is still in dispute but the words should be embedded in the minds of all free people else a tyrannical government may emerge.  ...Wait!  What did I just say?  "...a tyrannical government may emerge."  Its already here folks.  The tyrant, Barack Obama, has taken control of the government and it appears there's not a soul in Congress (or elsewhere) with the intestinal fortitude to give control back to the people where it was intended by our Founding Fathers.  Obama and his clan are doing everything just short of an all out civil war to remove all means of self-protection from the populace...but by doing so, he may very well incite the few free men available to that all out war. Perhaps we should all take note and never forget what happened in Nazi Germany.  ~ Norman E. Hooben

Source for the following: Ludwig Von Mises Institute
Gun Control in Nazi Germany

Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State” by Stephen P. Halbrook, Independent Institute, 2014, 364 pp.
There is no shortage of theories or writings related to the rise of the Third Reich and the subsequent Holocaust. Stephen Halbrook’s 2013 book, Gun Control in the Third Reich offers a compelling and important account of the role of gun prohibition in aiding Hitler’s goals of exterminating the Jews and other “enemies of the state.” While much of the early gun prohibition was created with supposedly good intent, Halbrook carefully and meticulously details how a change in political regime facilitated manipulating some well-intentioned gun registration laws and other gun prohibition to be used in inconceivable ways.
Students of history as well as Second Amendment enthusiasts will find this a fascinating book and will find parallels between gun prohibition in pre-Nazi and Nazi Germany, and attempts to prohibit types of gun ownership and implement other forms of gun prohibition in the United States today. The current climate in the United States surrounding gun prohibition combined with a president who uses his office to impose executive order in ways not historically common gives many citizens pause, especially when looking at the era of the Third Reich. While certain states have imposed gun registration laws recently, enforcement of the laws remains unclear.
While Halbrook is careful to point out that a combination of factors led to the events of the Holocaust, there is no denying that many of the pre-war activities contributed to Hitler’s ability to disarm targeted groups, particularly the Jews. The rapid pace with which Hitler disarmed the populace in Germany is startling. Halbrook’s account is gripping, thorough, and full of legal documentation, leading the reader through the sometimes-daily changes in gun prohibitions that furthered Hitler’s agenda. Ultimately, the prohibitions enacted by the Nazi regime led to monopoly control of firearms by the Nazis and eliminated the ability of many groups in society to defend themselves. A similar progression in contemporary society related to government control of firearms and the firearms industry is a concern of many gun owners in the United States today.
In Part I of the book, a chaotic post-WWI Germany is the backdrop, a time when there were no established policies or laws pertaining to firearm ownership. Concern about firearms not being turned in after the war and conflict between extremist groups and the government led to the implementation of gun control laws. However, well-meaning clauses in the laws were subsequently used to provide the government with complete control over gun ownership, creating registries of gun and ammunition ownership, which ultimately fell into the hands of the Nazis. These lists were methodically used to disarm citizens. Through the first three chapters of the book, Halbrook does a masterful job of detailing the ever-changing gun control policies, ranging from the most extreme (execution on the spot) to the postured ‘relaxation’ of gun control laws that allowed possession of very expensive long arms that would not be affordable for the majority of the population.
Part II of the book opens with the naming of Hitler as chancellor of Germany at the end of January 1933, and the immediate utilization of the Weimar gun control policies to begin the Nazi campaign to seize arms and eradicate the so-called “enemies of the state” (all of whom were tagged as Communists). As a result, less than a month later, Hitler and Göring convinced President Hindenburg that an emergency decree was needed, which ultimately gave the Nazis the ability to eliminate constitutional assurances of liberty and free speech, a free press, the ability to assemble, and the right to privacy in personal communications. Furthermore, search and seizure of homes was authorized. This carte blanche for search and seizure essentially became the modus operandi of the Third Reich.
By the end of March, Hitler had succeeded in passing the “Enabling Law” which gave him the ability to create laws as he wished, with no requirement for consultation. Following this, the confiscation of weapons escalated. Municipal governments were informed that military weapons and ammunition had to be surrendered by the end of March. The Jews were targeted next, with a large raid in East Berlin on April 4, 1933. Jews were not forbidden to own firearms until 1938, but the raid led to confiscations and arrests. The 1928 Firearms Law was utilized to identify the so-called enemies of the state, locate them, interview them, and subsequently confiscate their weapons, thereby increasing Nazi control and eliminating private ownership of firearms from the majority of society.
Part III of the book details episodes of enforcement and expansion of gun prohibition by Hitler’s regime. To mark the one-year anniversary of Hitler’s power, the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich was passed in January 1934, which centralized control over police and led to the replacement of the SA (Sturm Abteilung or Brownshirts) with the SS. Upon President Hindenburg’s death, Hitler assumed the presidency as well, allowing him the ability to rule by decree. Hitler could now declare laws at will and there was no right of appeal for those arrested. The military pledged allegiance to Hitler and the citizenry was instructed to follow Hitler’s decrees.
Confiscated firearms were redistributed to the police and concentration camp guards. The number of searches and arrests continued to escalate, and with the adoption of the Nürnberg Laws in September 1935, Germans or those with ‘kindred blood’ were decreed as citizens, leaving the Jews without citizenship and consequently, without civil rights. A new weapons law was drafted in November that would also forbid Jews from operating in the firearms industry. Though not yet enacted, the draft opened the door for the stealing of the gun manufacturing company, Simson & Co., by Hitler, who claimed that the Jewish owners were guilty of fraud. Additional accounts are given of exploitation of various incidents to further the Nazi campaign against the Jews.
Nazi Party control of the use and ownership of firearms was quickly implemented and far-reaching, with refinements to the Weapons Law continuing over the next few years. Eventually, in April 1938, Jews were required to register their personal assets if valued at over 5,000 marks. Just a few months later, Jews were required to register at local police stations to receive identification cards. Jews began to flee Berlin and other parts of Germany, as they were able.
In the concluding section of the book,Reichskristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) is detailed. Jews had been systematically disarmed, and their identity and locations were now on file with local police. It was simply a matter of time before the full shift into deportation and extermination of the Jews would begin. Records support that a campaign to arrest legally registered Jewish owners of firearms was now underway, along with the push by the Nazis to pressure Jews to flee Germany.
The complete confiscation of weapons held by Jews at this point was sparked by the November 7, 1938 assassination attempt of a German diplomat, supposedly by a Polish-Jewish teenager at the embassy in Paris. The Night of the Broken Glass came in the following few days. All Jewish weapons (including such things as letter openers) were confiscated, and all Jewish organizations were deemed illegal. With the Jews disarmed, Hitler’s plans could proceed with a defenseless populace. The majority of the non-Jewish German population was stunned by what had transpired but too afraid to protest. Isolated cases of resistance remained, such as the now well-known case of Oskar Schindler. When deportations commenced in October 1941, the possessions of the Jews were searched by the Gestapo for anything of value, and completed the disarming of the Jews. The dangers of silent witness are now well known.
As has been well documented, Jews were methodically attacked, their homes, businesses, and synagogues ransacked and burned. Upward of 30,000 Jews were arrested. Any Jews resisting arrest were ordered shot on the spot. Attacks on the Jews were to be carried out by the SA, with no interference by police. Jews arrested were to be sent to concentration camps for up to 20 years. The pogrom was so thorough that nearly all age appropriate, Jewish adult males in Stuttgart had been arrested. With the population afraid and disarmed, Hitler could proceed with little worry about resistance. The Court reinforced that there was no judicial review needed for activities of the Gestapo.
Halbrook concludes by noting that less government regulation and a tradition of rejecting tyranny could have led to a different outcome in Germany. Instead, systematic creation and manipulation of firearms registration and regulations, coupled with the decimation of individual citizen’s rights, enabled Hitler’s dictatorship and the slaughter of millions of innocent Jews and citizens of Nazi-occupied countries, as well as tens of thousands of Germans. It remains for all of us to wonder what might have been had people refused to register their firearms. Indeed, we should all take note and never forget.
Audrey D. Kline, Ph.D., is associate professor of economics at the University of Louisville, College of Business. You can email her at See Audrey D. Kline's article archives. You can subscribe to future articles by Audrey D. Kline via this RSS feed.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Obama: The Most Destructive Business Policies In American History...shall we look to India for a better way?

When former Prime Minister of England, Gordon Brown, announced that the New World Order (NWO) is emerging after one of those infamous G20 (or was it G8) Summit meetings nothing positive of economic importance followed the tyrannical remark. In fact, the economy of most capitalistic societies began a downhill slide and continues to do so today (with some exceptions).  You may remember that Barack Obama attended that particular summit meeting (I believe it was his first such meeting) and his policies that followed affected the American economy was some of the most destructive in American history.  Of course we also know that Obama-nomics is just a step increase of the Clinton-nomics, and Carter-nomics of the previous NWO policy makers.  The more the politic elite get closer to reaching their NWO goals by destroying the sovereignty of the individual nations, the more we see other nations opting out by suggesting capitalistic policies to boost their economies.  One such nation is India.  Internationally, India is the emerging Asian economic giant.  Why is that?
If you look at some of their suggestions for improving their economy they come right out of the American conservative/capitalistic playbook.  Get rid of over-regulating rules that hamper business development and get government out of the way.  
Just a reminder of how destructive Obama's policies have been (I call it the worst in American history) lets quote the Washington Post:
The American economy is less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades. That's the conclusion of a new study out from the Brookings Institution, which looks at the rates of new business creation and destruction since 1978.
Not only that, but during the most recent three years of the study -- 2009, 2010 and 2011 -- businesses were collapsing faster than they were being formed, a first. Overall, new businesses creation (measured as the share of all businesses less than one year old) declined by about half from 1978 to 2011.
Please note those years...the first three years of Obama's policies.  It is the first time in Amercan history that more businesses were collapsing faster than they were being formed.  Wow!  That is a major, major destructive accomplishment... And Obama is proud?  Give me a break!  Amercans ought now to be listening to India rather than Washington.  In the editorial below, Mr. Agarwal lays out some of the basics; something the Obama and the NWO crowd have omitted in their quest to destroy a once prosperous nation. ~ Norman E. Hooben

Source for the following: Economic Times
How new government can generate additional revenue of $1 trillion for the economy
by Anil Agarwal 

Chanakya said about 2,300 years ago, "In the absence of fruitful economic activity, both current prosperity and future growth are in danger of destruction".  India is the world's third largest economy.
But uncertainty prevails towards large national projects. We have a rising import bill of about $500 billion and are losing opportunities to explore, produce and utilise our natural resources.
Here is what the new government should do.
India's falling GDP is primarily a function of manufacturing slowdown. Though India has abundant reserves of bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper and gold, it is spending billions of dollars on imports.
Hundreds and thousands of large, medium and small scale industries can be set up across the nation to process our raw material and further manufacturing, which can create 10-15 crore* jobs and infrastructure. Energy security is a key priority. We need another 20 large companies to enter the energy sector to unlock its potential. The supply of coal through a single company is hampering power generation.

Auctions The Only Way

We must auction natural resources in the most sustainable and transparent manner, on a revenue sharing basis or highest royalty. Also, encourage Indian entrepreneurs who will bring world-class technology, build modern plants and big investments in our country.
Only this will ensure the highest standards of environment, health and safety. Unleash the hidden potential of public sector units (PSUs) by divesting 51% stake in each of them. In most democratic countries, the government does not run businesses. In India public sector companies can grow 10 times bigger if we divest at least 51% of their stake and sell them to the public at large.
Divestment should be such that no institution or individual can hold more than 10% of equity. Employees must be guaranteed their jobs and stock options to participate in the upside of the company's performance. We can find many successful examples like Larsen & Toubro, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and ITC, which are not owner driven but CEO driven companies. ONGC can become another Exxon, and SAIL can become another Vale.

Dig Deeper

The government should form a new ministry of natural resource development. To strengthen the country's economy, we must form a single large ministry to deal with development of all natural resources, and bring oil and gas, mines, coal and steel under a single umbrella and under a strong visionary leader. This new ministry of natural resources would look into the optimum development of our precious mineral resourc.
The government should end discrimination between the public and private sectors. In recent incidents, ONGC has been allowed to explore shale gas while the private sector companies are awaiting approvals.
Despite the iron ore mining ban in Goa and Karnataka (now lifted), NMDC has been continuing mining of iron ore. Similarly, Power Grid Corporation of India is reaping the benefits of being a public sector firm in the transmission business while private players are struggling.
Nalco is exporting alumina at much lower rate than being offered by domestic companies. Discrimination only hurts business sentiments and sends a wrong signal to the community of global investors.

Simplify The Rules

The government should reinforce its focus on women and child development. Two thirds of our population are children and women and their priorities like education, nutrition and health have to be addressed.
Rural women have immense potential to adopt and develop the liberal arts and make that a regular source of livelihood. Our women must become socially and economically empowered. For the dignity of our rural women, it is also important to construct household toilets in each rural house.
India has the largest number of children in the world, with 160 million children of less than six years of age. Around 50% of them are malnourished. The 14 lakh governmentrun Anganwadis need a transformation.
Infrastructure, education, water and sanitation, sufficient nutrition, and regular health checkups are necessary. We need a visionary minister to achieve all this. Bring in public-private partnerships ( PPP) in this area.
The country needs a simpler regulatory framework, based on transparent policies and processes with emphasis on self-declaration and strong deterrents and penalties for non compliance.
India is well positioned to become a powerhouse, and over a period of time the above measures can generate additional revenue of $1 trillion for the economy. People have high hopes from the new government, and so has every section of industry.

The author is Executive Chairman, Vedanta Group.
*A crore is a measurement which is equal to ten million. The term crore is most commonly used in India.