Friday, February 9, 2018

Science of God



Science is not God
Born of human quest, of curiosity, it is mere rationalization of thoughts
With persevering observation; all powerful at the hand of ignorant.
Human laws, theories, and hypothesis nothing permanent, none whatsoever.
Long live they may be, so long the learned believe in them.
What is true today, may not be tomorrow, the Truth is imperceptible.

God is unknowable, not with finite human brain.
God does not die the day we stop believing, we become inconsequential.
God doesn’t need us, we need God, to keep alive hope and our sanity
A little comfort, a little make-belief, from the wise to the unwise.
Time is illusion, life is surreal; dream is real, part we grasp, part we don’t.
There is but One God in you and me and the rest, our belief notwithstanding!

Science is the discovery of God
Peeling layers of onion, the layers of ignorance larger than ocean.
It’s the journey all encompassing, with ears open, mouth shut
And eyes all wide, the journey never ending, never resting.
Science is God at the end of journey, not to be seen, but experienced
Not to be described but embraced, not with brain, but heart.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bengali Beauty

From the Kings of Devon to Bengali Beauty, Rahsaan Noor has trekked a long cinematic journey that clearly has taken a young tentative adventurous explorer to the world of serious film making. With each step, graduating through Simanaheen and The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim, Rahsaan was announcing his blossoming to a tantalizing storyteller with magical camera lenses.

Bengali Beauty tells the story of a demure Moyna, a medical student who falls in love with Afzal, a striking Radio deejay, while listening to his World Music show during the era of the 70s in Bangladesh. It was an interesting time when a new nation was taking birth, cultural boundaries were being redefined, and young people were rediscovering themselves, enjoying the spirit of new freedom and meanings of life. It is a nostalgic time for the people who were young at the time and will relive themselves through this captivating romance.

Mumtaheena Toya plays an enchanting role in the character of Moyna, and Rahsaan Noor is self-assured and notable in the lead role of the radio deejay. The riveting story spans through interesting sequences ably supported by Mita Rahman played by Sarah Alam, and Ashfique Rizwan in the role of Rafel. The movie is a treat for the eyes and souls of the spectators.

Bangladesh film world has never recovered the loss of the great stalwarts of yester years, and is still looking for bold film makers to fill their vacuum. The movie industry is in desperate search of personalities who can tread a happy medium between art and commercial movies. With Bengali Beauty Rahsaan Noor raises the hope that we are witnessing the bold arrival of a major creator in the Bangladesh movie arena.

The movie is soon to be released in Bangladesh, and in the USA by MovieMax Cinemas in Niles. The movie is also being released in NYC, Dallas, LA, Bay Area, and Virginia, the February 16th weekend.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Waiting For a New Dawn?

If you’re a political junkie you must be having the best time of your life. Never a dull moment, the fight between the Tea Party and the Republican establishment and in its shadow the dance of the Democratic Party where the Corporate Democrats fight to keep the progressives at bay, has given a new meaning to political drama.

Republican Party is the wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate America and Trump’s election victory has given the owners of the Republican Party the trophy that they had dreamt for ages in the shape of the Tax Scum of 2017.

But like everything else even the Corporate America is not monolithic, there are George Soros and the likes of him who realize the pitfalls of drastic wealth gap between the rich and poor can kill the golden goose.

Mankind has gone through these stages, king had all the gold and his rules were golden rules. We now have a couple of hundred kings who rule the world under the guise of democracy and capitalism. The feudal society of the middle ages is in its new incarnation and threatening to wipe out all economic progresses the world has made.

Tom Hartmann, the wisest of radio talk show hosts of America asserts that in every ages there are a group of people who love authoritarian leaders, these people need to be led and they find comfort in being told what to do. In time like this, when all experimental systems are failing, when communism has failed and capitalism is on the wane, when democracy has demonstrated its obvious weakness to maintain balance in large nation states, the extreme right has regained its popularity. It is the nineteenth and twentieth century all over again; it is Hitler and Mussolini in new garbs, just watch the trend in Europe again.

Unjust economic systems lead to violent social upheaval; this is the history of mankind. Ben Cohen understands this, Jerry Greenfield understands this and that is why they join hundreds of other wealth Americans to plead, “We urge you to oppose any legislation that further exacerbates inequality.” The letter further stated. “Tax reform should be, at a minimum, revenue neutral — without using gimmicks like dynamic scoring. We are deeply concerned that revenue loss would lead to deep cuts in critical services such as education, Medicare and Medicaid, and would hamper our nation’s ability to restore investments in our people and communities.”

Will anyone listen?

Not the current administration, the Koch brothers’ controlled Republicans are not smart enough to understand the long term dynamics, they can’t see anything beyond the next quarter. The current Administration sees this opportunity as their lifetime dream fulfillment. They are going to stack the high courts with extreme reactionary political hacks, they are dismantling every safety nets, they call social security and Medicare, in which every American pays into, as entitlements, and they want to destroy all entitlements.

This Administration is against every institution that protects people, they are destroying EPA, repealed water safety regulation, passed law against constitutional rights to sue, dismantling all regulations such as Dodd-Frank, opening up pristine lands to drilling for gas and oil, snatching lands from national parks and giving to their masters. In the short span of four years they are going to set back the nation decades and decades.

The extreme weather, snow storms in the east coast and south is a result of global warming, nevertheless, the current Republican led congress does not have the intelligence to understand this, their Leader openly mocked – we could do with some global warming! How much further damage will they do in the next four years? I shudder with that thought but Americans are in slumber, no one appears to be worried enough except for a few conscious persons such as Tom Hartmann.

I know this will pass, we will see a Democratic-led government in 2020, however, that is no guarantee of a bright future. If the corporate Democrats retain the control of the party, and they run the administration in 2020, we will only be on the fire pan in place of direct fire.

Friday, December 29, 2017

At the Gate of the Heaven

At the gate of the heaven, the Lord Commands: “Stop. Answer a question before you step further.”

“Yes, my Lord?”

“Did you fight in the name of your Creator, when you saw injustice around you?”

“No, I did not. I was afraid. They were too strong.”

“Did you protest? Did you go out in the open and speak out?”

“No, I did not. I was afraid. Their army was everywhere.”

“Did you talk to your friends; did you tell them what you felt in your heart?”

“No, I did not. I was afraid. The walls had ears.”

“Then what did you do my child that you shall enter heaven?”

“For every oppressed brother, I went out in the wilderness, shed a drop of tear, and cried aloud, “I am too weak to speak out but my Lord, please give Your Power to them who are strong to do your work.”

The Lord Smiles, “Come, my child, Enter.”

Friday, December 22, 2017

Whence American Values?

When I wrote on the United Nations General Assembly vote on Jerusalem resolution yesterday, I knew that my adopted home country is better than what Donald Trumps and Nikki Haleys of the day portray it to be. Politicians such as them come and go but the deep-rooted values this country espouses remain integral, only to exhibit it even more strongly to restore our faith in the sublime principles. This morning, John Brennan did that for me in his Tweet to Trump’s threat yesterday.

Former CIA chief John Brennan blasted the President’s warning to cut off financial aid to countries that voted against the US as, “qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats.” Brennan called that behavior, “beyond outrageous.”

We are going through the worst period in the life of the nation when moral rectitude has taken a back seat and the base villainous traits have come to surface predominantly, and it’s not the fault of the current Administration alone. This nation has long forsaken the principles of democracy since the time money in politics have began playing lop sided role. For today’s situation Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama are as much responsible as the two Bushes and Reagan were. L B Johnson, despite his eccentricity and bizarre modus operandi was the last President who served American people, others served the aristocratic class.

Each subsequent President was worse than the other – just think of the financial crisis of 2008, the consequence of unbridled grid of the Wall Street, and not a single bankster went to jail! If you compare the S&L debacle at the time of Ronald Reagan, you have to accept that history shall accord more credit to him than the hero of the liberals, Barrack Obama.

We are so much enamored in the politics of left and right, argument over Democrats and Republicans, we have totally been blindsided to the reality that the Military Industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about has totally taken over and we didn’t even realize. Nevertheless, we have the power to throw the scum bugs and bring people’s representatives to power.

When three hundred Republican Senators and Congressmen voted for the tax scam that would transfer $3 trillion from the poor to the rich, it is no longer sufficient to vote for the Democrats but what kind of Democrat. We may not like politics but politics likes us, envelops us, and all of us are affected. We need to open our eyes, be involved, recognize what and who serve our interest and bring change to the system with our conscious choice, peacefully, intelligently, and with empathy to other.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Trump Shames the Nation

Trump has no sense of honor and now with his mafia style diplomacy he has brought unprecedented disgrace to the nation. Trump fits the mold of third world street politicians who understand nothing else but brute force, in international arena that doesn’t always work.

Following an earlier Security Council resolution vetoed by the US, which stated that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations; the United Nations General Assembly today passed a similar measure critical of President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Prior to today’s United Nations General Assembly vote, Trump’s hand-picked US Ambassador Nikki Haley relayed President’s warning to cutoff aide to any country if they voted for the measure. The resolution passed by a vote of 128-9, notwithstanding.

Nikki Haley was blunt, “The United States will remember this day when it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly,” adding forcefully, “We will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they often do, to pay even more. This vote will be remembered.”

One hundred and twenty eight countries slapped Nikki and Donald on both cheeks, and thirty five other nations shared the fun by abstaining.

Before the voting began, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey said, “We were all asked to vote no or face the consequences. Some even threatened to cut development aid. This is bullying. It is unethical to think that the votes and dignity of member states are for sale.”

What does a bully do when his bluff is called?

He stops bullying, that’s what is expected from a reasonable person, though.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Experience with ViaSat-Exede: Part 2

Apples are apples, aren’t they? Not so fast.

We love to hate the corporate world; grudgingly accept them as necessary evils with whom we must coexist, but never to love them – right? Not always. Not all corporations are the same, just like our own fingers are not, even in the same hand.

You had read part one of my experience with ViaSat and perhaps had thought, so that’s one of the gotcha company to stay away from. Yet, I am here to give you a complete contrary experience with this part two of my story.

When an officer of ViaSat unexpectedly contacted me learning my unpleasant experience and extended an apology, I took that as mere words and did not expect anything out of it. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised when the company returned my money, unasked.

A company returning a charge that they were entitled to according to terms of the contract? And without any due pressure from any regulatory quarter? It made me rethink, did I prejudge this company? Am I the one here, with bias?

When we question ourselves unprovoked, when we are not defending against anyone, when all arguments are emanating from deep down, our visions are opened to a new horizon, not previously on our radar.

Satellite internet industry is in its nascent state. The signal travels from 22,000 miles above earth, technology is still evolving, research money is still being poured in, the young companies are still struggling to survive, yet they must compete with giants with cash cows such as Comcast and AT&T. Shall we look at this from a different perspective?

Should I have given a chance to ViaSat just because it was providing me with an alternative where there was none? Was I too harsh in criticizing ViaSat? Should I have reached out to their higher management with my complaint - instead of blurting out all that negativity in public?

A company that reaches out voluntarily to an irate customer to ameliorate, perhaps shall be treated differently?

The more I thought the more it seemed satellite companies such as ViaSat need our support to survive.

The DSL and Cable internet only provide service in the big cities, what about the people in rural areas? The satellite internet is the only option for those people. Granted, today the satellite internet has a finite bandwidth, and to become viable they must employ data restrictions, but with time the technology will improve and the cost will go down, only if we give them a chance. If we support the industry in its early stages of development, we will reap benefit at the end.

When solar cells were introduced, the cost was prohibitive, only with our tax money solar power has come to a stage where it is driving the coal power generation out of oblivion, and helping the planet reduce global warming. Shall satellite industry get similar support?

In a desperate attempt to save the coal industry Trump administration now is attempting to subsidize coal power, what a topsy turvy world we live in!

The satellite internet can become a viable option one day only if we give it a chance. We need this technology to survive in our own interest. Wasn’t I complaining of highhandedness of Comcast? That was the very reason I wanted another option, didn’t I?

Will I give ViaSat another chance? You bet. If the management of a corporation shows humane behavior, that company deserves a second chance.

It’s more than likely, I will try ViaSat again after my present contract with Comcast expires, and it will be in my own interest and yours as well.

My experience with Viasat-Exede – Part 1

Considering satellite internet? Or, plain inquisitive? Then, read on.

After being a loyal Comcast customer for over five years I got frustrated with their habit of raising fees every year, so when I saw an offer from Direct TV bundling with ATT for internet service at half the price, I decided to take the bait.

There was a catch however, when I called Direct TV, they said, ATT uverse high-speed internet service was not available at my address, nevertheless, they offered 25 mbps download speed, Viasat-Exede service in lieu.

Satellite internet? Wow! Don’t you love technology?

I am a heavy user of Internet, my phone and other entertainment devices run on it. With some deliberation I swallowed Direct TV’s persuasive sales pitch. They assured me that my devices shall run fine with that internet speed. Thus began my very first experience with satellite internet.

The first day was event free; a transition from 100 mbps to 25 mbps did not seem that bad. Sure the internet was slower, but only a tad, not earth shattering. The magic jack phones were still working, and Jadu was performing without any hiccups; life seemed good.

The next day was very different. Storm began building from the late morning and intensified as evening ensued. By early evening, we lost internet. Winter night brought darkness early, and that being a weekend night the gloom and doom multiplied many fold as the TV and phone took leave too.

Have you noticed how life comes to a standstill when internet stops? Anyone remembers how we lived before the age of internet?

I called Viasat customer service with my cell phone. After a long conversation with the Agent my despair deepened. I learnt that this was the nature of the satellite internet, and I better get used to it. When sky is clear and the sun is up, the satellite internet works fine, nonetheless, on a day wind blows hard, or sky pours snow, service interruption is the norm. That became my first disenchantment with satellite internet, albeit, I was not even slightly prepared for what would follow.

After a week of service I noticed that my moody internet, which ran anywhere between speed 10 and 23 mbps, was running extremely slow and the phone lost all civility, dropping calls at whim in the middle of conversations. I checked my internet speed and Walla (!) it was whopping 0.5 mbps! I called Exede customer service again and they investigated, placing me on a brief hold.

After what seemed like a good lunch break, they told me that my contract for a fee of $60 entitled me to receive 25 mbps download speed only up to 12 Gbits of data, since I had already reached that limit in the first four and ½ days they had slowed down my internet speed.

“When I placed service order the sales person didn’t tell me about data limit,” I protested.

“I am sorry to hear that,” the tone did not sound a bit sorry, “but the contract you signed had clearly stated the terms,” the Agent told me.

Hum.. the contract.. the signature that I placed on the dotted line on that tablet, in the fading light of the day! Of course! Of course!

Should we not read all contracts before we sign? And once we sign, shall we not bear the consequences of that give-life-away signature?

With that signature I had also given away the right to sue the company, and accept arbitration for any breach of contract. That’s the way all service contracts are written in the land of the brave, these days, if you noticed. The US constitution gives us the right to sue where dispute involves more than $15 worth, but who cares? What Santa giveth, Uncle Sam taketh away. The US Congress had just ended our right to sue, only last month or so. Ever wonder, who do these politicians work for?

“So, what’s my alternative?” I asked the Rep.

“Well, you can upgrade your service for $150, your speed will remain the same but your data will be unlimited, what you really need,” he emphasized the words “really need.”

“You want me to pay $150 for a service that does not work half the time?” I sounded distressed, “What other option do I have?”

“That’s pretty much it, in your case,” the voice was unruffled.

“I want to cancel my service.”

“You have to pay penalty for early termination.”

“How much is that?”

“You have a two-year contract, used it for one week, so if you terminate now it would be $330.”

$330 for not using your service?

As I heard him calculating, I run the figures in my head and the idea of $150 a month, with stormy days, snowy days, rainy days, and what-not days, didn’t seem really palatable, “Go ahead, disconnect my service, I will pay for my sin,” I said.

Thus I ended up paying $300 for a 4 and ½ days of satellite service at 25 mbps.

Aren’t we always wiser after the event? Hope my experience helps.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Night is Dark, Indeed!

The night is so dark that we all live in a black hole now. Thanks heaven, the RED and BLUE strategy is working so fine in the paradise of capitalism, the carpetbaggers can sleep again in peace!

The control is now final, airtight, at least for some foreseeable future. What Jimmy Carter started and Bill Clinton so successfully implemented in the US, then effectively pursued by Tony Blair in the UK is now completed by another turncoat, Alexis Tsipras in Greece. The left is totally annihilated and progressives dumped unceremoniously out of political mainstream.  

Although the Labor Party is squirming under Jeremy Corbyn, the Democratic Party in the USA is under no such illusion; they are totally sold, lock, stock and barrel to the Elite and pose no threat at all. Politics is a profitable business and everyone plays by the Elite’s rule book to create the semblance of popular Democracy.

The two instruments of the Military Industrial Complex, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Power, the Republican Party, and the few rebel-infested the ‘other’ party, the Democratic Party, is apt in their own games and the sheeple is in slumber.

Greed is now institutional; money is the only virtue, morals, scruples and spirituality shunned by the majority, and escape for the weak and the losers. The world is the oyster for the master players and the playing field is so tilted towards them, others have no chance. It takes a brilliant individual to break though this absolute control, notwithstanding, as soon as one of them comes out of the ruts to join the masters, the person is embraced and integrated in the nobility so that no seeds of rebellion ever germinate.  

Divide and rule, spew hatred, make education out of reach of the people, fill TV with soap operas and Bachelorette shows, keep the mass busy with Sunday Football, saturate air waves in false propaganda, create wars and terrorize people with ISIS attacks, bend their will with TSA in the Airports, the plans of the Elite are working very well, thanks goodness.

A few intelligent die-herd moralists are so demoralized that they keep their activity limited, vent through writing in alternate mediums in the internet, without any effectiveness at all. The Elite smiles, for he knows the vast sheeple population see that as expression of Democracy and are content.

The elite tightens the belt of the sheeple ever more gradually; increases their taxes, decrease their earnings, binds them more effectively in the rote of mortgages and debts, the sheeple have no time for independent thinking, they absorb the propaganda from the air waves as the TRUTH and the only truth. They behave like the proverbial frog that jumps in the Luke-warm water pot whose temperature is so slowly being raised. The lazy frog gets accustomed to the higher temperature and sits there till the water is boiling, but the frog has no energy left to jump out of the boiling water.

All things are quiet in the heaven and the earth.



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Let not the Elephants and Donkeys Deceive You Anymore


The world is no longer the same after Margaret Thatcher, who had totally decimated the progressive politics single handedly. She had deregulated financial sector, broken the back of the labor unions, and privatized state-owned companies. Thatcher's popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, and she only survived because of her victory in the 1982 Falklands War. However, by the time she was forced to resign in 1990 she had forever changed the political landscape of modern era.

In the United States, Ronald Reagan borrowed from Thatcher’s book and implemented similar policies to kill the people oriented politics, and the United States politics too changed. Reagan had broken the unions and reduced their membership so much that they were no longer the countervailing power against the Wall Street big banks and the military industrial complex. To counter the reduction of funding from the unions, Bill Clinton approached the financial sector in the Wall Street and the trial lawyers, and the Democratic Party changed forever. The left politics was destroyed.

Yet, more than two decades later, vast number of low information professional people still try to explain politics in terms of left and right politics, and talk in terms of swinging pendulum. The fact is the progressive politics is dead since the time of Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party is equally beholden to the big money, varying only in degrees. Today the Republican Party, which was the real progressive party at the time of its inception, has become totally bound to the corporate America, and the one racist Democratic Party has become the second fiddle to the same master. Today’s politics is between extreme right and right, the left is dead.

Bill Clinton was a Republican disguised as a progressive, and so was Barrack Obama. The unprecedented outrage of the GOP against both of them was simply a ploy by the crook politicians to deceive common mass, and give the semblance of democracy.

Consider the Presidency of Bill Clinton. He signed on to NAFTA, the Tele Communication Act, Welfare Reform, dismantling of Glass-Steagal Act, among other anti-people measures. Each of these was passed with more Republican votes than Democratic, as the rank and file Democratic Party members were still pro-people.

Remember Ross Perot? Despite being a business man he had warned America against the NAFTA. He had made a sucking sound to demonstrate how jobs would be sucked out of America, and he was so right. So my Bill-loving friends consider once more – was Bill Clinton a stupid man not to understand implication of his fore-mentioned policies? Or, was he was wrong on each of those? Obviously, he cannot be both, so chose one.

Barrack Obama followed the foot steps of Bill Clinton, and carried on where George W Bush had left. He presided over the biggest financial missteps since 1929, and his action only benefited the very people who brought that financial ruin. Not a singe Wall Street executive went to jail, yet, millions of homeowners lost their homes. Obama came with the promise of stopping wars, notwithstanding, he not only sent more troops to Afghanistan, and he invaded Libya, and encouraged Saudi Arabia to destroy Yemen. He create ACA with so much loopholes that Insurance companies drove trucks through it and gave opportunity to the Republicans to destroy all so-called entitlement programs.


Wake up Americans, understand the new political games. Do not hold on to your age-old views of left-right division of politics. Understand your own rights and help yourself to get what you deserve. You have the ultimate power to change your fate, but only when you understand the game and stand for your rights. Be active, join the grassroots movement, and take over the party offices. Start at the local level, drive the bums out. You have the power. You can do it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Palace Coup Has Succeeded, For Now

After eight years of destruction of the progressive movement Barrack Obama is still at it. Barrack who on his own admission on a Spanish language channel, is a Republican in ideology, has delivered Donald Trump the US Presidency. It was expected that he would move out of the national politics, yet, he is becoming more active under the disguise that he would be the countervailing weight for President Donald Trump.

Today, the Democratic Party has lost about 1,000 elected posts counting the White House to Congress and the 50 statehouses, directly as the result of Wall Street appeasing by Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, clearly a nadir of their political history in the last century, yet, they lost the opportunity of reforming them in the just concluded DNC chairman race yesterday.

Originally the DNC election was supposed to be held at the beginning of the year. After the defeat of “corrupt” Hillary by the most unqualified man in the race of American Presidential election, it was time for a wholesale reform of the Democratic Party. The liberal wing of the Party led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had thrown their weight behind Keith Ellison for the DNC Chairman position, and he was a sure shoo-in. But the Corporate Democrats began conspiring and the postponed the election to buy time. They fell upon Obama to lead their cause and Obama picked his own Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

After the debacle of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose nefarious intervention killed Bernie Sanders’ cause and tilted the Democratic Party’s nomination to the most unelectable person, Hillary Clinton the situation was too hot to handle by the corporate Democrats, and they needed time to go behind and buy off the DNC members with big money politics. So the election was deferred to the last Saturday of February.

So the job is now at the hand of Obama’s Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, to rebuild the party that is at its lowest point since the era of the1920s. The ban was first implemented by president-elect Barrack Obama in 2008, but had been dropped last year by the corrupt erstwhile party chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Ellison supported the reinstatement of the ban and envisaged to have fundraising model in the mold of Bernie’s small-dollar campaign. Perez never committed to reinstating the contribution ban.

Bob Mulholland of California argued strongly against the ban leading to the casting of the votes. His point was that the corporate opposition to oust North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory was proof that corporations aren't all evil as they are cast out to be. Jessica Sell Chambers was equally passionate in her opposition commenting, “I belong to the party of the people and the last time I checked corporations aren't people.”


Yet, big money finally own, thanks to Obama and the other conservative Dems. To avoid the immediate bloodbath, on his election to the chair Tom proposed Ellison as his deputy, and Keith did accept the position. The question is for how long the battle will be avoided?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Second Gilded Age


For a great number of people life is a continuous struggle in the USA, working multiple jobs, spending long hours at the workplace, and yet no sign of upward mobility. Things look so bleak that there seems to be no future, however, this is not the first time the helplessness has prevailed over this country. Actually, we are now at the second gilded age. The first was at the turn of the nineteenth century, it was the time of the robber barons, when Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt reigned supreme.

“What do I care for the law”? Vanderbilt had quipped, “Hain’t I got the power?” Indeed, 48 of the 73 men holding cabinet posts between 1868 and 1896 either lobbied for the rail road, worked for them, presided over their boards, or, had relatives connected to that business. Things were actually even worse than today. In 1873, the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, Edward G. Ryan warned the graduating class of the state university, “The question will arise, and arise in your day, … which shall rule—wealth, or man; which shall lead—money or intellect; who shall fill public stations—educated and patriotic men, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital?”

Speaking in 1890, populist reformer, Mary Lease declared, “Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but Government of Wall Street, by Wall Street and for Wall Street.” Ohio Republican Senator John Sherman pushed his colleagues to act against the corporate power and was instrumental in getting the Sherman’s Antitrust Act passed in the Senate by 52 to 1 vote on July 2nd, 1890.

Initially Antitrust law was used against organized labor, but since President Teddy Roosevelt things started changing. The Republican president used the act against Harriman’s giant conglomerate Northern Securities Company that controlled transportation sector in the Northwest. President William Howard Taft, another Republican stalwart broke up Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company in 1911. The gigantic Bell System, AT&T was broken up under President Roland Reagan.

It is a tragedy that today’s Republican Party has become a corporate poodle breaking away from the tradition of their great leaders, and the Democratic Party serves as the poor second fiddle to the same master! Truly speaking the GOP started changing in the 1920s when increasingly the party began depending on the dole out from the corporations. Even after the great depression of 1929, the Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt encouraged cooperation between businesses, until he appointed Thurman Arnold in charge of the antitrust division of the Justice Department in 1938.

We are now at the peak of the second gilded edge, where power has been totally concentrated at the hand of the new robber barons. The situation is probably much worse now since the rich has nearly total control of the Media, thanks to Bill Clinton. The only ray of hope is coming from the internet where the playing field is nearly even. The young educated mass is increasingly becoming alert and conscious of their situation. Will they be able to bring a new revolution to restore the people power? Will they be able to bring the freedom of the little people back?

The youth say, yes. I say, I hope.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

The United States is a Failed Democracy


What is a failed democracy?

When a handful rich groups of people set the rules to enhance the wealth of comparatively few at the top, while a vast majority of people remain in poverty and financially unsecured, and the bottom of the society feel totally helpless to change their lot then it can be said that the democratic system has failed in that society. The rich wield sufficient power and have resources to control the politicians, regulatory heads, and the judicial system to ensure that the “free market” works for them.

The US is controlled by the Military-Industrial complex for the benefit of the very rich. The two political parties, Republican and Democratic, both serve the same master. There is a slight difference between the two parties, while the Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate America, the tool of the rich; the Democratic Party is the 2nd fiddle to them only to create the impression of sham democracy. There are handful leaders in the Democratic Party who are still fighting for the poor, but they can be counted in one hand.

It would naturally follow that poor would elect the Democrats who are marginally better for the interest of the vast majority, however, through the control of the overwhelming media the Republicans are able to deceive the people and poison their mind against the Democratic Party. The relentless air waves in the United States create multiple wages to deceive and divide people. In addition, the Republican Party uses voter Suppression, Gerrymandering, and other illegal means to win elections and keep their control. Today the Republican Party has a total grid lock on Power with the control of Presidency, Senate, House, Governorship, and the soon to be majority again in the Supreme Court.

We should not blame the mass for this situation. Hillary Clinton had famously called the Republican voters “deplorable.” Nevertheless, it is the subsequent Democratic Presidents who are responsible for this situation today. The Democratic icon Bill Clinton was the first modern President who campaigned as a progressive leader but ruled as a Republican. Among his greatest crime against people were signing of the Telecommunication Act, dismantling of Glass-Steagall Act, signing of Trade agreement NAFTA, Welfare Reform etc.

If Bill Clinton was incidental in harming interest of the poor, his Democratic successor Barrack Obama was no better. Obama presided over the 2007-8 depression which was caused by the biggest financial irregularity by the big banks and the Wall Street investment farms, yet his Justice Department did not prosecute a single Wall Street official. He provided huge subsidy to the big banks while allowed millions of people to lose their houses because of their inability to pay their mortgages.

Barrack Obama campaigned with the promise to stop wars but once elected he sent more troops to Afghanistan, started new wars in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. He created an Affordable Care Act, only to serve the interest of the big insurance company. He had control of both the Senate and the house, yet, he declared he would not support a single payer option even before any negotiation started.

With the election of Donald Trump the rich had acquired total control of political machinery and the situation looks very bleak. They did not waste any time in proclaiming removal of regulations that keep the rich from totally going berserk, and started signing executive orders one after another. The Democratic leadership is appeasing the Republicans. Only a handful rebels from the Democratic Party are still fighting for the common people against all odds. Nevertheless, the future does not look promising, at least, not in the near future.









Saturday, January 14, 2017

Shall American Muslims be Naturally Aligned with the Republican Party?




A statement is oft-repeated in pseudo intellectual discussions - in the United States the Muslims find their natural allies among the Republicans since both share conservative values. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Pseudo conservatism
Today’s Republicans do not practice conservatism; they routinely use that word to deceive unsuspecting masses. Mere attaching label of conservatism doesn’t make one conservative if it is not followed by action. Conservatism is a philosophy that urges one to conserve nature, tradition, values and culture. Modern Republicans are totally at odd with these principles. In practice, they don’t even pay lip service to preserving nature, anymore. They want to give free reign to industries to pollute. They want to disband EPA and do away with all regulations. They want to promote extreme right wing values totally in opposition to the core Christian teachings. Just last week the GOP House members met and conspired to abolish the independent ethics committee, so that no charge could be brought against them for unethical behavior. So much for principles! 

Environment and Community
GOP is the only political party in the developed world that does not believe in climate change. They have made it their sole objective to serve at the feet of the oligarchs in violation of all morals and scruples. Greed is their driving force and deception is their tool. They have no concern for the greater good of the community. Self-promotion and ‘profit making at any cost’ is their mantra.

Muslims on the other hand have community service ingrained in their religious diktat. Their religion encourages them to offer obligatory Friday prayer in a mosque. Purpose of this is to strengthen communal harmony, and extend bonding between members. After the prayer they are encouraged to mingle with their neighbors, find out if there are poor and needy among them, and then help those. 

The word ‘prayer’ is found 90 times in Quran; in most instances the word ‘prayer’ is accompanied by the word ‘charity’ in the same breadth, 71 times in total – such is the importance on charity the holy book reposes. A  Muslim’s duty to God is never complete unless the person practices generous charity; it is one of the fundamental pillars of his religion. Service to humanity and preservation of nature is his basic duty. 

Prophet Mohammad led by example, he was the supreme leader and had unbound power to control the wealth of his nation, yet, he lived practically a pauper. In life there were days when he remained hungry because he had given his last piece of bread away. In death he left practically no possession. 

Republican politicians (count 70% Democrats in the same bracket) live to usurp wealth of the middle class and other low income people at any cost; they want to take away the safety nets for the lowest of the lows. They dodge taxes, cut tax rates for the richest at every opportunity. They preach pulling oneself by one’s bootstraps, and then take the bootstraps away. They want to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP (food stamp) programs. They strive continually to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. This type of behavior is against the essential teachings of Islam. 

Education
Prophet Mohammed had said – if needed one should travel to faraway China for learning (China was a distant land from Arabia in the 7th century). Following his instruction the Muslims invested in public education and ruled the world of science for the next few centuries. The Republicans on the other hand want to remove all government support for education; the GOP stalwart Reagan began defunding education and now it has reached its peak where the basic public education system has been weakened so much that the Asian countries lead in that field. 

Social values
Muslims erroneously think the Republicans’ religious stand on right to life, gay rights, transgender, and other minority folks make them conservative. They fail to understand that it’s the facade the Republicans hide under; there is no dearth of people among them who are practicing gays, or lesbians, and sex offenders. It is sad that great numbers of Muslim are misled by their spectacle, and lack the ability to dig deeper and examine the reality. 

Matthew 25 sums up the teaching of the New Testament: 

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,  naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’…

…He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ “

This teaching is shared by Islam as well, and a true Muslim must use this principle as his yard-stick and be guided by it.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Difference between a progressive, and a conservative in fewer than 600 words

Progressive, which is interchangeably used as liberal, is a dirty word in the US politics, thanks to the rightwing media that controls 99% of the air waves.

But what does the word progressive actually mean, and what differentiates him from a conservative?

A progressive is the one who is naturally inclined towards progress. He is open minded, ready to consider new ideas; he explores innovative solutions, and probes the unknown for the betterment of the society. A conservative on the other hand has closed mind towards anything novel and wants to hold on to the age-old practices, antiquated systems and traditions, and existing ways and means.

A progressive believes in the good of the society, and considers wellbeing of each and every member of the society as the paramount requisite for the wellbeing of the community at large. A progressive is a person whose central thought is uplifting the lot of the least member of the community, because he believes happiness doesn’t come from self achievement only if rest of the society is in deprivation. In one word a progressive is a selfless person.

A conservative’s basic thought process rotates around pushing personal agendas at the cost of the rest of the society. He does not care for other’s suffering so long he is successful. He believes triumph at any cost; to him end justifies the means, and his slogan is greed is good. He preaches – one shall lift up oneself with his own shoestrings, as long as it applies to others. In one word a conservative is a selfish person.

From the fundamental mindset of the progressive comes the idea of tolerance towards the minorities. The progressive believes in the right of the minorities, freedom of choice for the women, the transgender people, gays, lesbians and other people of difference. He wants to make the society inclusive of all the diverse group of people. He believes in welfare for the lowest of the lows, and social security for everyone. He wants Medicare and Medicaid to flourish. He believes healthcare is a right and so is education.

The conservative is intolerant of minority opinions. He doesn’t believe in the right of anyone who is different from him. He will force others to his views, using whatever force is necessary to subdue others. He is for exclusivity, and is willing to do whatever necessary to preserve his self-interest. The conservative wants to do away with the welfare and privatize the social security to kill it. He wants to put hole through Medicare and Medicaid to destroy them. He wants healthcare to become a business for profit and destroy free education.

A progressive wants regulations for he knows without those rules the industries will pollute, the corporations will devour each other and will end up in monopoly and fascism. Five media companies control America today. In most places there is one, or, two choices for the internet hosting companies, a handful of insurance companies play with the health of 350 million people. A progressive wants socialism for the people.

A conservative doesn’t want any regulation; he is for the deregulation of the existing businesses, so that profit can be maximized. The conservative wants to destroy EPA although it was created by a Republican President. He wants the Wall Street and Fed to control the finance of this country. He props up the Banksters and uses Lobbyists to do his bidding. A conservative wants socialism for the capital.