Monthly Archives: November 2022

Submerged mosque in Phulwaria Dam resurfaced for a short while due to drought

This is a poignant read of a little peaceful and quiet village of Chiraila, Bihar, India that was displaced to build a dam about 30 years ago. Its mosque Noori Masjid resurfaced this year.

Excerpts from

Rifat Fareed wrote this fascinating report on so many levels. But I find these excerpts most poignant:

‘No one would go hungry’

Chiraila was a quiet village where Muslims and Hindus lived side by side. Some villagers owned land while others made a living by farming it, cultivating mostly maize and rice paddy, recalled Hussain. Chiraila was surrounded by low mountains and at the stream nearby, people would fetch water and perform ablution before prayers.

“People were able to earn and eat, as well. That was the speciality of the village. No one would go hungry. People did not care about your religion,” said Hanief, referring to the interfaith tension seen in parts of India in recent years.

Chiraila consisted mostly of mud huts with thatched roofs but the small mosque at the centre of the village stood apart with its plastered surface, which was cool in the summer, cemented courtyard and arched gates.

Former Chiraila residents believed the structure to be more than 100 years old.

“The mosque was there when I was born. It was there even when my father was born,” said Hanief, who has a soft voice and a flowing white beard.

“The masons who designed it knew the work of ‘surkhi chuna’ [made from burned ground bricks mixed with lime mortar to use in construction] to make them [structures] resilient, and last long. It was hard work and required special skill,” said Hussain, who works as a daily wage labourer including on building sites.

Theranos Scammer Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11.25 years

This high profile case represents the best and the worst in corporate America. The integrity and courage of whistle blower heroes Tyler Schultz and Erika Cheung are inspirational and remarkable. These two young whistle-blowers were challenged, intimidated, threatened, and endangered by the powerful villains but they did not cave in.

On the other hand, the start-up Silicon Valley scam of Elizabeth Holmes and her associates are ruthless and unconscionable.

I didn’t follow this case closely but the fact that Holmes was found NOT GUILTY of defrauding patients is despicable. I thought that was her worst crime – her faulty testing could cause havoc in a patient’s life. Instead, Holmes crime was related to defrauding her rich investors.

Excerpt from The Straits Times:

SAN JOSE – A California judge sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood testing startup that was once valued at US$9 billion (S$12.38 billion).

US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, Calif., sentenced Holmes on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January following a trial that spanned three months.

The judge set Holmes’ surrender date for April. Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her appeal.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before he handed down the sentence that a 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means.”

But Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey urged leniency for Holmes at the hearing, saying that unlike someone who committed a “great crime” she was not motivated by greed.

Holmes had asked in court papers for a more lenient sentence of 18 months of home confinement, followed by community service, urging the judge not to make her a “martyr to public passion.”

UPDATE: December 7, 2022

From NPR:

” A federal judge in California sentenced former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar fraud involving Theranos and its now-disgraced CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, who received an 11-year sentence in a separate trial.

In July, a jury found Balwani guilty on all 12 felony counts of defrauding Theranos investors and the patients that used the company’s unreliable blood tests.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila’s sentence for Balwani is less than federal prosecutors’ demand for at least 15 years in prison, but far more than Balwani’s attorney’s request for a few months in prison, sentencing memos sent to the court last month show.

In comparison, Holmes was convicted of four wire-fraud related counts and sentenced to a little over 11 years in prison last month.

His attorneys said in court Wednesday, as well as in court documents, that Balwani should be judged differently from Holmes. Balwani invested nearly $5 million of his own money into Theranos and lost it all.”

Elections 2022 November 8, Tuesday

It appears like status quo will continue.

The local TV News Station reported about 33% of ballots collected as of yesterday. This is a bad sign. I don’t think 63% of our registered voters is going to show up today. Do you?

This has been an awful election season.

Candidates with huge campaign chests prefer to bombard the airwaves and social media rather than participate in debates in the town square.