Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Cruz’s caricature was an insult to all the federal employees who are temporarily laid off and have no money to pay their bills. But the heartless Republicans have no concern for the distress of the nation. Remember, when the Sequester was creating long delays at the airport, the affected congressmen brought a quick resolution to bring back the air traffic controllers? Even the Democrats joined the Republicans to pass the bill, and the President signed it hurriedly!
Cruz had begun his grand standing with a 21-hour filibuster to nullify Obamacare—a law of the land passed nearly three years ago. He vowed to stop the law single handedly, in part of his marathon speech he had read from Dr Seuss. The British would have appropriately called him – what a rascal!
Ted Cruz does not think much of anyone who did not go to an Ivy League school; yet, it is he who proves once more at the Voter Values Summit that his Princeton-Harvard education did not do much to make a man of him. T-party dominated House Republicans, who take cues from Cruz, had passed resolutions to repeal Obamacare 42 times only to be thwarted by the Senate. Einstein had said, “Insanity is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Republican Party’s poll numbers are tanking faster than the stock of the Greek politicians, but Cruz is oblivious to all that. In his latest speech to social conservatives, he again delivered tirades against President Barack Obama. At a time when even his GOP colleagues have long dropped the demand of repealing Obamacare, Cruz suggested that the very fate of the United States is on the line in the next few years if Obamacare is not repealed
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling found that only 24% of Americans had a favorable view of Republicans, the lowest figure in the poll’s multi-year history. Alarmingly, this new figure is four percentage points lower than last month. In contrast, President Obama’s standing was relatively stable, at 45% and Democrats overall rating were at 39% positive, with congressional Democrats at 36%.
Notwithstanding the polls, Cruz thinks, Democrats “are feeling the heat” right now, admitting that “none of us knows what's going to happen in this Obamacare fight right now.” This is what I have to tell Cruz: “The rest of America knows Obamacare is the law of the land, and it is going to stay, and grow, get over it, dummy. Look at the state of Vermont—the state of the America’s Senator Bernie Sanders—they are going full ahead with the Single Payer option, using a provision facilitated by the very health care reform called Obamacare.
During his speech at the Voter Values Summit, the T-party darling, Canada-born Cruz was repeatedly interrupted by activists who demanded why he would not support immigration reform that included a way to citizenship for immigrants without documentation. He kept on repeating that the hecklers were planted at the orders of Obama.
At the orders of Obama?
Obama, who is at the top of the world now, with Republican credibility lowest in the history of this nation—what has he to fear from a Texan Senator who is viewed negatively by 28 percent of Americans?
Ted’s narcissism has cast such a spell on him that he dreams White House fears for his influence. Nice, Cowboy, keep on dreaming.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
The storm that caused 1,833 deaths and damaged an estimated $81 billion in property happened in the early part of Bush’s 2nd term. He was in vacation in Texas as when the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast, and he continued to stay in his ranch. A photo of Bush looking out the window of Air Force One at the wreckage was so insensitive that in a 2010 interview Bush himself acknowledged that the photo was a “huge mistake.” The pathetic government response had raised so much commotion at that time that it was all over the media for a considerable time. Bush's approval ratings tanked after the disaster, and his administration was accused of playing race card. Yet, 29 percent of the Louisiana Republicans think that Obama was to blame.
God save the Republicans!
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Why pass a resolution 40 times when they fully know that their vote doesn’t mean a thing? Why is this childish behavior from grown up people who are aware that there is absolutely no way they can undo ObamaCare which is now Law of the Land?
Because, the republicans are afraid that ObamaCare will work.
They have called it a “train wreck,” an utter disaster that would cripple the US economy. So why not wait for it to fail and reap the benefit from it as the public wrath will engulf the Democrats? The answer is simple. GOP is afraid that the Affordable Care Act will work and with that the Democrats’ stock will rise.
Obama administration had been terrible selling this healthcare reform to public, but when fully implemented people will see the benefit of the Act themselves. Many have received checks back from their insurance companies. More than 3 million young adults have already enjoyed an additional year on their parent’s healthcare policy until age 26. The states that have implemented insurance exchanges, such as California and New York have already seen premiums going down significantly contrary to the Republican’s predictions.
No wonder, the Republicans are getting nervous and frenzied! And that’s the reason for their juvenile tantrums!
Dump GOP in the dustbin of history.
Monday, July 15, 2013
So why is Charles forwarding this deceptive information on the TV? He wants to tell the US taxpayers that Americans don't need things like food stamps, and the minimum wage limits. Charles Koch told the Wichita Eagle of Kansas last week that the “minimum wage is just one of the items that need to be removed.” Earning the $7.25 national minimum wage, a family of two earners can make only $30,000 a year.
According to Bloomberg Charles Koch's wealth is about $43.4 billion. My question to Charles is when is he going to give away his $43 billion? The remaining half a billion will keep him among the 1% for rest of his life.
The greed of a few Kochs has made rest of this country poor. They have twisted the rule books bribing corrupt politicians, but they are not happy. Now they want to snatch food from the children and the elderly who can’t fight back. 400 of them own half of the US and they will not stop till they own the other half, turning the rest into serbs and peons.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Conservative activist Grover Norquist pronounced: Obama administration’s decision to delay implementation of penalty on employers who fail to comply with the requirement to purchase healthcare for their employee’s amounts to an acknowledgement of failure. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax, the ace lobbyist, to whom the Republican politicians en mass signed a no tax hike pledge, said, “Ouch. This is not the president’s critics saying his plan sucks; this is the president saying ‘my plan sucks’. If you knew what was in it you wouldn’t like it. So I’m going to delay pieces of what’s in it.’” This is an unadulterated lie, the hallmark of current Republicans who are not worthy torch bearers for the party of Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt.
It is no secret that the mantra of the present-day Republicans is modeled after third world politicians’ hymn—makes Obama a failure by any means. They are ready to destroy the country in the process in a heartbeat, and of course they have no sympathy for the 47% of Americans, so clearly demonstrated by their passing of the farmer’s bill removing the food stamps provision for the poorest of the poor.
The House Republicans have voted 37 times to dismantle ObamaCare unsuccessfully; such is their hatred for the President’s healthcare plan. Even a child stops after a few times when he realizes that his action is not going to make any difference, but not this House Republicans, they are worse than kids in intelligence, and foolhardy in their vainglory. These wayward politicians believe if they keep on throwing their tantrums the Senate would finally relent and come their way.
The truth is Obama administration has no money to implement this provision of the healthcare plan as the rowdy T-party driven House has cut off all funding for this administration. The 2013 investment guide issue of Forbes reveals this truth in an op-ed under a scathing twisted attack on the Obama administration, calling it Chicago-style politics. What it discloses though is that the department of Health & Human Services had asked health care companies for “voluntary” donations to help implement ObamaCare. It writes, “There isn’t enough money to get the program going, so these ‘gifts’ would be used to hire so-called navigators to help people fill out” the required application forms. So folks it is lack of money that forced Obama’s hands.
The GOP is master of deception; it is no wonder ordinary people are misled when talk show hosts such as Ed Schultz and Bill Press are hoodwinked.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Furthermore, I’m directing the Palast Investigative Team to drop all other work for a ‘round-the-clock investigation of the Theft of 2014 and 2016 elections that the Supreme Court’s ruling sets in motion. Help us, join us. What was the logic of the five kings fro stripping this provision of the law? In their protected world— “Blatantly discriminatory evasions [of minority voting rights] are rare.” Who are they kidding?
Any American with a trace of grey matter know that George W was an illegal President, selected by the five kings against the will of the people, and they stole Ohio again to reelect him in 2008. P wrote, “Only last year, the GOP Secretary of State of Florida Ken Detzner tried to purge 180,000 Americans, mostly Hispanic Democrats, from the voter rolls. He was attempting to break Katherine Harris’ record. Detzner claimed that all these Brown folk were illegal ‘aliens.’”
The Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act required that 16 states with a bad history of blocking Black and Brown voters must “pre-clear” with the US Justice Department any messing around with voter rolls or voting rules. And so Section 4 stopped Detzner from the racist Brown-out.
Palast described, “I’ll admit there were illegal aliens on Florida's voter rolls – two of them. Let me repeat that: TWO aliens–One a US Marine serving in Iraq (not yet a citizen); the other an Austrian who registered as a Republican.
We can go from state to state in Dixie and see variations of the Florida purge game. It quickly adds up to millions of voters at risk. Yet the 5-to-4 Court majority ruled, against all evidence, that, “Blatantly discriminatory evasions [of minority voting rights] are rare.” Since there are no more racially bent voting games, the right-wing Robed Ones conclude there’s no more reason for “pre-clearance.”
Whom do they think they’re fooling? The Court itself, just last week, ruled that Arizona’s law requiring the showing of citizenship papers was an unconstitutional attack on Hispanic voters. Well, Arizona’s a Section 4 state. You’ll love this line from the Ku Klux Court majority. They wrote that the “coverage” of Section 4 applies to states where racially bent voting systems are now “eradicated practices.” “Eradicated?” I assume they didn’t see the lines of Black folk in Florida last November. That was the result of the deliberate reducing of the number of polling places and early voting hours in minority areas. Indeed, if the Justice Department, wielding Section 4, hadn't blocked Florida from half its ballot-box trickery, Obama would have lost that state’s electoral votes.
And that’s really what’s going on here: The problem is not that the Court majority is racist. They’re worse: they’re Republicans.”
As the Republicans realize they have no chance of getting back to power by legitimate means they are increasingly resorting to underhand measures by using the unelected branch of government more and more. They arrogated corporations to have the right of people while robbing real people of any power. And where are American people? A silent minority has become mum with frustration and disillusion while the majority turned into sheep, serfs and robots.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Forty two years after liberation, Bangladesh is at a crossroad—the nation is literally on the verge of a civil war because of Islamic extremism. On 14th August, 1947, Pakistan was created in two distinct regions, East and West, separated by India, on the basis of religious divide. Only a few months later, Pakistan's Father of the Nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah addressed a huge public rally at the Ramna Race Course Maidan, currently known as Suhrawardy Uddyanon. On 21st March 1948, Jinnah emphatically declared, “Let me make it very clear to you that the state language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language.” In his arrogance, Jinnah was totally insensible that Urdu was spoken by only about 3% of the Pakistanis, while Bangla was the vernacular of over 52% of the populace.
Two days later, Jinnah repeated his assertion of Urdu as the language of Pakistan at convocation of Dhaka University at Curzon Hall, and there was immediate protest from the attending students, astounding Jinnah. The commotion created from Jinnah’s proclamation incited spontaneous protests that later turned into language movement, popularly known as bhasa andolon. By 1952, the movement grew strength. On 21st February of that year police fired on a protest rally at the heart of Dhaka city, four students died, and the language movement spread to all corners of the country.
Two things happened on that day: it was clearly established that a country could not be founded on the basis of a religion and a strong national identity on the basis of language and culture took wings that would ultimately result in the birth of a new nation nearly two decades later.
Bangladesh became a free country in 1971, but its birth was bloody. Some Bangalees blinded with religious zeal collaborated with the Pakistanis, and together with Urdu-speaking migrants from Bihar, India, formed rajakar forces and participated in raping and killing of ordinary Bangladeshis. Pakistani army guided and protected the rajakars. Most heinous of their crime was participating in the murder of prominent Bangalee intellectuals on the eve of surrender of Pakistan army, 16th December, 1971. The very first government of Bangladesh had set up a tribunal for the trial of war criminals, but that tribunal was disbanded when Sheikh Mujib, the Father of the Nation was killed, and his government overturned by a military coup.
A new tribunal was constituted under the present government, and the first verdict of that tribunal came out only recently, when Abdul Kader Molla , a notorious rajakar was awarded life imprisonment. A spontaneous protest by young Bangladeshis soon mushroomed into a grassroots movement called projonmo, at projonmo chottor, at Shahbag in Dhaka. The movement initially spread through active participation of a few bloggers, who built a network of young activists primarily through the internet media. The political wing of the Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh, the Jamat-e-Islam party and its student front Chatra Shibir sensed immediate danger, and began anti-projonmo activities almost right away, by spreading rumors. They labeled the projonmo activists as anti-Islam and falsely accused them of hurling insults on Prophet Mohammad. They literally began a campaign of mendacity, hacked web-site of prominent bloggers to discredit them and blame them for sacrilege of Islam. The Islamic fundamentalists killed Rajib Haidar, a young architect and Shahbagh protest activist, accusing him of blasphemy. Jamat began inciting nation-wide violence against the Hindu minorities, destroying their properties, attacking their temples, and killing them. Jamat and other rightwing Islamic fronts receive strong support from, Saudi Arabia Turkey, and other Muslim countries, and they are awash with funds and arms.
When Delawar Hossain Sayedee, a grocer turned Islamic scholar, who had personally taken part in atrocities committed against common people in 1971, was awarded death sentence, Jamat was joined by the other pro-Pakistani party, BNP, and the violence spread all over the nation. Bangladesh’s Opposition leader Khaleda Zia, a former collaborator who spent the whole duration of Bangladesh liberation war under the protection of Pakistan army, revealed her true character lately by coming out openly in support of the Islamic fundamentalists and demanding a shutdown of the Shahbag protest against Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals. She branded the protest, a platform of “atheists and spoilt people,” which was a plain broadside against the national spirit and forces of freedom in Bangladesh.
Over hundred people have died so far from the ensuing violence and there is no end in sight of the hartals and bloodshed. On one side there are fanatic Muslims bent upon carrying out Islamic jihad, on the other there are moderate Muslims, who are nationalists and want to see their country as secular. Jamat's main assault has turned against the minority Hindus and their places of worship, making their safety at stake. Condition of the minority groups in Bangladesh is getting worse by the day, they are living under trepidation, as religious fundamentalism is threatening to consume their religious freedom, in line with the philosophy of the Taliban's and the Al Qaeda's.
Previously published on Technorati
Sunday, March 3, 2013
On Friday, the President signed $85 billion spending cut that will phase in different stages, starting in a few weeks. The fledgling economy which barely grew out of recession is now looking at it once again, but the most serious impact of the sequestration is going to be on the unemployment numbers, which is bound to rise.
Only yesterday I wrote , “At one side is the T-party led Republicans who are totally bent upon preserving the interest of the superrich, on the other side is Wall Street led Democrats who pretend to be the savior of the little guys.”
Some of you who read my article were unhappy that I had branded the Democrats in the same breath as the Republicans. Because the mindset, “Democrats as the savior of the little guys” is too deep rooted in many of you and those of you are unable to get out of the groove.
In contrast one reader responding to Robert Reich’s The Sequester and the Tea Party Plot saw through the charade, and commented, “Don't be fooled. The President is in on the plot. Democrats and Republicans, most of them in on it too, are playing good cop - bad cop so as to keep us people against each other, and for us not to realize the U.S.A. is not a democracy, but all Washington answers to a couple hundred psycho billionaires who rule over us, and these psycho billionaires have decided us common folk here in America have been having too good for too long and it’s time to put us in our place along with the rest of the common folk living on five bucks a day in third world countries. Yes we are utterly screwed.”
The problem is, this reader is still in minority, and the vast majority of sheeple is unable to see through the sham game the politicians play to keep their control. You want proof?
For several weeks Obama traveled the country declaring that all hells are going to break loose if the sequester comes into play. His base, the progressives were in the seventh heaven—they got their revolutionary leader back! They never even realized that all Obama was doing was pandering to his base, throwing a few bones to chew.
On Friday, the very first day of the evil sequester, the President said , “Jedi mind meld could prod the GOP into compromise, and the dumb automatic across-the-board cuts taking effect Friday are the fault of Republican resistance to a reasonable deal to avert the sequestration's budget reductions(throwing another bone to his dimwit base).
Now mark this, his (Obama) profound observation, “We will get through this. This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think, as some people have said. It’s just dumb. And it's going to hurt.” This is the codeword—get used to it people—this is going to be your future.
Reich compared the impact of sequester with “Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population.”
Reich further maintains, “Sequestration is only the start. What they set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government — ‘drown it in the bathtub,’ in the words of their guru Grover Norquist – slashing Social Security and Medicare, ending worker protections we’ve had since the 1930s, eroding civil rights and voting rights, terminating programs that have helped the poor for generations, and making it impossible for the government to invest in our future.”
The sequester will slow the economic growth by 1.5 percentage points this year, at a time when it was barely growing at the rate of 2 percent. The Republicans paint a dooms day scenario if the deficit is not brought under control whereas the deficit is now down to about 5 percent of GDP, the same rate where it was when Bill Clinton became president.
So why is this sudden hue and cry?
Talk show host Thom Hartmann calls this “Double Santa Claus theory;” when in power Republicans give it to the rich in the form of tax cuts to the superrich and when out of power they force the Democrats to cut spending, again to benefit the rich.
Friday, March 1, 2013
As the much-hyped “sequester” is upon us, and the two apparent wayward political fronts are deeply entrenched against each other, the question is, who is going to blink first?
At one side is the T-party led Republicans who are totally bent upon preserving the interest of the superrich, on the other side is Wall Street led Democrats who pretend to be the savior of the little guys.
So why is this showdown?
Does it matter who wins?
To be honest, it does. Truth is, today’s Democratic Party is well on the right of our father’s Republican Party—the party of Eisenhower was more progressive in comparison. The other day Obama himself admitted on a Spanish language TV that he would be called a moderate Republican only a few decades ago. And as a good moderate Republican, he is making efforts to arrive at a compromise.
This morning’s White House meeting lasted less than an hour, making sure that no new deal is happening before the government shutdowns start in less than four weeks. The anti-tax conservatives make it sound like there is no revenue problem and the solution lies in cutting spendings that benefit the middle class and the poor.
So far Obama has acted very credibly. Describing the Republican efforts in the Senate, he said, “They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.”
The strange thing is that polls show Obama has lost some public support in his handling of the economy. People have short memory, the self-destruction that the nation has embarked upon only began with Reagan tax cuts. Of course, to redress the shortfall of revenues from the reduction of top tax brackets Regan raised taxes on the middle class eight times or so.
Bill Clinton had shown that with only a nominal rise of few percentage points on the top tax brackets the nations’ economic health could be restored in a short time, but it seems ever body has forgotten that lesson and no one is making that case.
Obama forwarded a plan to raise $580 billion in new revenue over 10 years by eliminating the tax loop holes, the idea that was much touted by Mitt Romney in the last Presidential election. In exchange for the new tax revenues, Obama offered to reduce spending in health care programs such as Medicare by $400 billion over 10 years, change an inflation formula for government benefits by accepting the concept of chained CPI index that would result in lower cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and other programs, but the GOP stood ground to save their masters, the 1% whom the serve, and rejected the idea.
Yet, the media is portraying Obama as the recalcitrant one!
So much for the liberal media!!!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Let’s examine the Koranic verses in regard to violence:
You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors. [2:190]
You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. [2:191]
If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [2:192]
You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors. [2:193]
During the Sacred Months, aggression may be met by an equivalent response. If they attack you, you may retaliate by inflicting an equitable retribution. You shall observe GOD and know that GOD is with the righteous. [2:194] And in a wonderfully compact expression Koran defines what shall be the true characteristic of a Muslim. Indeed this one sentence captures the whole spirit of the religion, and most followers found wanting measured with this simple yardstick:
You shall spend in the cause of GOD; do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction. You shall be charitable; GOD loves the charitable. [2:195]
In politics the goal is to achieve power in any manner, questionable techniques are no bars, that is why I reject the role of Jamat in Bangladeshi politics. Politics seeks power, the end justifying the means. Undoubtedly, power corrupts.
Politics gets dirty, down and dirty where nothing is unfair, however nefarious the means may be. That urge to succeed motivated Jamat to conduct unprovoked carnage of Bangladeshi intelligentia in the end days of Pakistani reign in Bangladesh.
Islamic history is bloody, even before Prophet Mohammed’s body had turned cold; his followers were shedding blood over who should be the next leader. In a beautiful renderation, Hasan Mahmud had captured this scenario in a book called Sharia Ki Bole Amra Ki Kori, which is freely downloadable from his site . I wish, He had published it in English.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
People, who kill God’s creation in the name of religion, neither serve God nor religion. Forty two years after independence Bangladesh is in search of its soul once again. When in 1971 Bangladesh achieved its freedom, for many it was a definitive proof that a country formed on the basis of religious affinity could not sustain in the civilized world. At that moment, it was natural that the US, the greatest democracy on earth, established with the promise to give its citizens freedom from religious persecution, would side with the new nation. Unfortunately, America was found on the wrong side of history in that seminal moment.
The freedom movement, ignited by the fiery speech of Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was spontaneous. Only a handful minority of Muslim fundamentalists, blinded with their religious zeal betrayed the spirit of freedom and collaborated with the oppressive Pakistani forces, abetting them in their heinous crimes against Bangladeshi people. The most vicious of those native collaborators, known as rajakars and albadrs, competed with the occupying army in pillaging, raping, setting arsons, and murdering innocent people to intimidate the freedom fighters. The most notorious of those rajakars killed hundreds of people, and they were well known and marked.
It was expected that those collaborators would be brought to justice for their atrocious actions in the new nation. But for the rulers of the war-ravaged country, which was facing a major famine and scores of other problems, ‘ the other priorities’ took precedence, and the lion-hearted Sheikh declared general amnesty for all those rajakars, which later proved to be a blunder that he had to atone with his own life .
Only in four years the country was ravaged in bloodbath, the Father of the Nation was killed along with most of his family members, and the political power was captured by a former Pakistani spy, Ziaur Rahman. By that time Sheikh Mujib was a much despised man, an unprecedented fall from grace for a venerated leader, only for his nepotism and wide spread corruption. Zia, a man of many virtues, principled and financially honest in a country of abundant corruption was seen as a savior, as life had turned very hard for great many people, and the rampant corruption of Sheikh Mujib’s government didn’t help it at all. However, the minority religious extremist groups got a new lease of life with the reign of Zia, and the course of the new nation reversed from progressive, secular to conservative, religious.
Zia also resumed the unfinished work of the rajakars and albadrs, decimating the freedom fighters with merciless killings, and promoting the elements of anti-freedom forces, which came to an end with his assassination. The legacy of bloodbath did not stop with the demise of Ziaur Rahman, the assault of the religious fundamentalist groups on the forces of freedom lovers continued unabated through various successive administrations with support from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey and other Muslim countries. It took nearly four decades for a Bangladeshi Administration to form a special tribunal to prosecute people accused of committing atrocities during the country’s 1971 independence war.
The first verdict of the special tribunal awarded life imprisonment to Kader Mollah, a man who personally had been responsible for executing hundreds of killings, in a country where death penalty is awarded for committing a single murder. On Feb. 5, a movement began, led by a coalition of bloggers demanding death penalty for Kader Mollah. The movement has now turned into a nationwide grassroots movement.
Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating everyday in Shahbagh, which has been named Projonmo Chottor, in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. The movement has been further intensified after Rajib Haider, a leading activist and avid blogger had been murdered in a fashion that carries telltale sign of the Jamate-e- Islami (major Islamic fundamentalist party) cadres. When the coffin bearing the body of Rajib Haider was brought out for a public funeral at Shahbagh, a crowd of more than 100,000 people assembled there. Bangladeshi television showed mass of people kneeling in prayer, chanting slogans and waving banners bearing Haider’s image.
Bangladesh is at a crossroad, at the forefront of a major turn of history. The question is will the USA and its people be at the right side of history this time? We all have a role to play. The stakes are too high. We must choose between the religious fundamentalist and secular progressive forces. The memory of the 9/11 is still too vivid in our nation’s psyche. We must not let the lives of over three thousand people go in vain.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Commenting on full Senate vote for Chuck Hagel’s nomination for US defense secretary, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Thursday morning, “It is tragic that they have decided to filibuster this qualified nominee. This isn’t high school getting ready for a football game, or some play being produced at a high school, in less than two hours, our country will be without a secretary of defense.”
Last time a senator was rejected for defense secretary was in 1989, when the Texas Senator John Towers’ nomination was stopped by a vote of 53 (against) and 47 (in favor); the difference was—it was not a filibuster but straight party line vote.
There were grueling five weeks of testimony and debate amidst strong accusations of extensive womanizing, heavy drinking, and substantial charges of conflict-of-interest for the ex-senator. In contrast Chuck Hagel came out like a perfectly deserving candidate after his testimony. The reason Republicans are holding up Hagle’s nomination is that they want to receive specific intelligence about the Benghazi attack, intelligence that Harry Reid claims he has already provided, and of course which has no relevance with Hagel’s nomination.
Now, going back to Reid’s school game comment—he didn’t really think that the Republicans should have treated it as high school football game—I ask, really?
I thought this Mitch McConnell-led Senate had always treated affairs of congress as high school football game! If not, how is it that the first term of Obama had seen nearly 400 filibusters?
And just think of it—Chuck Hagel—a former Republican Senator received only four votes from the Republicans while all Democrats supported him. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? To me this tells all about the current US politics. It tells what is wrong with our politics. Morals, scruples, principles have no values, it’s all matter of posturing for the benefit of the vested interest groups.
But if the Democrats are in this situation today, they have none but themselves to blame for it. At the beginning of this new senate session they had the opportunity to do away with the archaic filibuster rule and establish a policy of majority rule, which is the fundamental bedrock of modern democracy, but they did not.
The US never had democracy, what it has is plutocracy, where minority nobility wields overwhelming power over the commoners, the class of the peasants. The Electoral College, the filibuster rule, the highly politicized judiciary, they all are to protect the interest of the royal class.
The two-party system in the US presents a sham democracy where the political circus is only to con the ordinary masses, giving them false hope that the political power could be changed through regular elections. Failure to reform the filibuster process clearly demonstrates that both the Democratic and the Republican party are beholden to this two-party system and they do not want any major reform. They want to perpetuate their benefit from the rigged current system. If 99 percent of present Republican politicians are servants of the military-industrial complex, of which the great Republican president Eisenhower had warned us many years ago, the overwhelming number of Democratic politicians are the same.
Until money is removed from US elections through electoral reforms, things will not get better.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
When the gentle fairies; knights with shiny armors of bygone days
On majestic white horses, all watched over me.
Only to protect me, that was their task, a solemn duty.
And people were all good, all around me, mostly that is.
The evil ones, being rare, didn’t count, they didn’t
Have a chance in God’s good old earth.
Growing up, the prophets awed me, all of them
The King who left his kingdom, the Sheppard man, the Carpenter
The Warrior of the desert, their teachings, the Almighty in heaven
And their discourses, like volume of seas and mountains majestic
The beautiful flowery words, and their magical specter.
Oh, how serene were those days, the evil didn’t
Have a chance in God’s good old earth.
Now it’s my own autumn, sages are all gone
Fairies in heaven, Alice in Wonderland—smoke mirror, nothing more,
Sycophants all around, and how I see through them!
How it broke my heart, the hurt and the anguish.
But I’ve my own shield, the universe within me
And my Father, not in heaven, not on a throne
Lives within me, and without, and I’ve my peace.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The Senate filibuster rule that allows a lone senator to hold up a bill unless 60 senators vote to end the debate was instituted by the founder fathers to entice the small states to join the union. In the past the rule was used judiciously, about once in a year, until the last senate in which minority leader Mitch McConnell made a mockery of the rule by using it nearly 400 time in four years. This stopped every major legislation the Democrats proposed.
It was up to Harry Reid to institute a major filibuster reform, which could be done only at the beginning of a new session, but he failed miserably. And with that failure we can be sure that no meaningful achievement will be made in this presidency. No greater heights will be scaled in social reforms, and no signature accomplishment will be accomplished. This presidency will not even succeed in arresting the horrible downward trend the nation is going through. Obama will occupy a position as an insignificant president in the history of this nation, who came at a seminal time, had unbound potential, but at the end was a colossal failure.
Talk show host Ed Schultz called it “a massive failure for the leader of the Democrats.” He said, “Harry Reid is letting the minority party run the country. He’s giving Republicans all the ammunition they need to block President Obama’s second-term agenda. And you know what? He’s going to regret it.”
Just the other day—all the progressives talk show hosts were so impressed over the 2nd inaugural address that they were calling it the most progressive agenda after President Kennedy. The liberal columnists were breaking their pens writing praise for his speech. Only in a week time—the reality struck hard, and proved one more time, speech-doesn’t-melt the ice. The idiom—empty vessels sound much, after all has passed the test of time.Obama was forewarned by the junior senator of Iowa, Sen. Tom Harkin. In Harkin’s own words: I said to President Obama back in August ... and I said to him the night before the election, Look, if you get reelected, if we don’t do something significant about filibuster reform, you might as well take a four-year vacation.
Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said, “This is a bad decision based on fear—a decision that will ultimately hurt millions of people who would have been helped by progressive bills that Republicans are sure to filibuster.”
Harkin further stated, “He (president) can go out and give wonderful speeches and things like that, but with the House in the hands it's in and the fact that in the Senate now you have to have 60 votes to pass anything, well, I dare say that Obama’s package—his very aggressive proposals—will not get very far.”
The political director of CREDO, Becky Bond, said, “It was George Bush who said, ‘Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again,' but sadly it's the American people who are going to pay the price.”
But I want the Democrats to pay a price too. Vote the enemies of the American people out next election. I believe, even a GOP control in all three branches will be better than what we have now—a totally dysfunctional government.
A rule of the gutless brain-dead politicians beholden to corporate interests is the worst possible thing that can happen in a nation’s life, yet desperate time calls for desperate actions!
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Only fools travel faraway lands to find what is within themselves, they don’t get what they want, they merely lose themselves.
Divide and mislead is the way of the false prophets, be warned; they only deceive and waste away the precious souls, the loving gifts of the Master.
If you want to see God, close your eyes, and delve deep down. When you drive away the little ego-the lone Satan within you, the universe within reveals all its myriad grandeur, and only then you receive grace that blows away the darkness of ignorance; the daylight dawns. You see God, and God only, everything else disappears, on this very earth.
Monday, January 14, 2013
If you were in Mr. or Mrs. Riphagen's shoes how would you react? Of course you would be happy finding the long-lost rings for which you would have given up all hopes, but how would you react to the person who had stolen it?
Just think of it, you could not find four of your gold rings on the morning following a party that you hosted the previous night. There were only invited guests, so the idea that someone might have stolen it would probably not even enter your mind. You would naturally think that you must have misplaced them, and since you probably had some sweet memories attached to the rings, you would have looked for them all over. And not finding them you would be pretty upset on yourself for being careless in placing them in some strange location.
Then you would rethink in your mind tracing the steps from the moment you last had possession of them. You would come up with some probable alternatives, your hopes of finding them would rise, you would rush to look for them, only to be disheartened again. Then you would repeat this umpteenth time, getting more and more discouraged with each failure, until you would sadly resign to the fact that you would never find them. The process would leave a vacuum in you.
Then one day, fifteen years later you find those rings with the letter of apology from the person who had stolen it—what would transpire in your mind? After the initial joy slowly fades over the next few days, what would you think? Would you start thinking, who could it be? Would you try to remember who were the people that had gathered at your home fifteen years ago, on that fateful night? Would you try to scrutinize each face, and think who could be the thief? Would you be shocked that the thief was one of your invited guests, a trusted friend? A relative?
Would that thought disturb you? Would you start suspecting someone? Would that force you to speculate? And, would you at one moment think that perhaps it would have been better not to get those rings back at all? For fifteen years you had a vacuum, but that vacuum had almost shrunk to a nearly nonexistent dimension. You had learnt to live without them. Now would their return perturb you so much, since you were afraid of accusing someone innocent in your mind, it would have been better, if the person would not have returned them to you? And most importantly, would you truly be able to forgive the person?
But for the thief, why this change of mind after 15 years? Why did it take the person such a long time for change-of-heart? Was it the sense of embarrassment that kept the person from returning the objects all these years? What did finally catapult the person to gather the courage to return the items? What was it that gave the person remorse, strong enough to act?
Previously published on Technorati.
Friday, January 4, 2013
You ask me how to live a life my child
Life that is envy of the gods
And I tell you of the life that is eternal.
This is the truth and the only Truth
That I ask you to remember, all else
Of no significance in particular.
Give your last bread to the hungry
Give your last seep of drink to the thirsty
Give your only shelter to the homeless
On the night of cold and blizzard
And walk away with a smile on your face.
You’ll live your life in that moment.
Bring smile on the face of a child in grief
Plant a sapling that will shade
Weary travelers long after you’re gone
Save a creature from ruin
Be it the least among creation.
You’ll live your life in that moment.