Tag Archive: President Obama

28india04-master675President Obama attended India’s Republic Day parade Monday, a stunning display of military might, including lavish floats, dance performances, and daredevil feats on motorcycles. Helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead. Military equipment rolled down Rajpath, complete with tanks, rocket launchers and regiments of Indian armed forces marching in formation.

Yet there’s a hidden side to the India political landscape. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a savvy politician, with more than 6 million Twitter followers and ranked by Forbes as the 15th most powerful person.

In the real world, Modi would be labeled as a “dick.” During his political ascent, he kept his marriage a secret for decades, admitting only last year that his wife existed. Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi is a retired teacher living in a small town in Modi’s Gujarat home state. And although she’s not heard from Modi in years, she still hopes to join him one day in the capital as his spouse. After their marriage, Modi never returned. He never divorced either, even after becoming the high-profile chief minister of Gujarat and then Prime Minister.

Modi seems too self-absorbed. From afar, the suit Modi wore to meet President Obama appears to be navy blue with wide gold stripes. Yet the stripes were actually embroidered letters that spelling out Modi’s name. I don’t know, maybe he forgets who he is and requires such constant reminder.

Still, with all the pomp and circumstance, one would figure India could display something more than modern day weaponry. How about living wages, jobs and women’s rights? In the backdrop of Obama’s visit, there is no easy explanation of a woman’s life in modern day India. Depending upon where you live, whether you are rich or poor, almost every Indian woman has one thing in common: they have most certainly experienced some form of sexual harassment.

As traditional values dissolve, modern values are not widely accepted.

As the New York Times reported, “… in a pointed message, President Obama said India needed to combat human trafficking and slavery, elevate the status of girls and women in society, promote religious and racial tolerance and empower young people. He also argued that India had an obligation to curb greenhouse gases despite its economic challenges.”

Every girl’s life matters,” he said, as his wife, Michelle Obama, watched from the audience. “Every daughter deserves the same chance as our sons. Every woman should be able to go about her day, to walk the street or ride the bus, and be safe and be treated with respect and dignity. She deserves that.”

Just before the speech, Obama met with Kailash Satyarthi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has long fought child slavery in India. Mr. Satyarthi told him there were still five million children living as slaves worldwide.

What if Pranab and Modi dedicated Obama’s entire visit to the referendum of social reform required for modernizing India. By focusing on education, social justice for women, healthcare, quality living away from slums, they could start dealing a severe blow to the prevalent caste system. Instead of a military procession, what if Pranab and Modi opened a chain of schools, hospitals, orphanages and libraries throughout the country? What if India provided relief during famines, earthquakes and epidemics?

That would be very Buddhist, very Christian. What if Pranab and Modi created positive karma for others and not for themselves? Should they have done so, they could transform the law of cause and effect by helping others create their own destiny.

Maybe all of us should do as much.

palin-impeach-obama-hannityAs you may know, a few political conservatives have called for President Obama’s impeachment. Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin indicated the spike in illegal border crossings was another reason to impeach Obama.

Palin, writing on the Brietbart website, stated:

His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas,’” she wrote. “President Obama’s rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, is the foundational problem here.

First of all, trying to link illegal immigration to a battered wife is stupid. And I apologize to all those women who’ve suffered accordingly. The opening lines of Palin’s editorial are a gesture that all rational thought should be tossed aside.

As blogger Blackeyedbeaver noted on ‘Politico,’ “ What’s frightening is someone “published” an op-ed by her [Palin] as if she has any credibility on ANY subject,” and “… some people may actually read it and change their previously held opinion …

Palin posed two arguments for Obama’s impeachment:

  • Untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services.
  • It’s the American worker who is forced to deal with Obama’s latest crisis with our hard-earned tax dollars while middle class wages decrease, sustainable jobs get more scarce, and communities become unrecognizable and bankrupted due to Obama’s flood of illegal immigration.

What she neglects to clarify is that during the 2000s, U.S. multinational companies cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million while increasing overseas employment by 2.4 million [Wall Street Journal, 4/19/11]. Republicans also voted against efforts preventing or discouraging of shipping American jobs overseas, cracking down on offshore tax havens and while simultaneously increasing pro-outsourcing measures. And Republicans fought to keep and expand corporate tax loopholes, rewarding outsourcing of American jobs (fully detailed here)

However, without learning a specialized skill, immigrants would never be able to move up the income ladder. As long as there are thousands of undocumented workers competing for low-end jobs, salaries are more likely to fall than to rise. Additionally, Of the 472 civilian occupations, only six are majority immigrant (legal and illegal). These six occupations account for 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce.

What’s scary is that Sarah Palin could have been President of the United States. We shouldn’t forget that. Remember, this is the same Palin who babbled, “… you can actually see Russia, from land, here in Alaska.”

Whether or not President Obama violated some oath of office worthy of impeachment is not my call. But Palin’s evidence for impeachment appear devoid of factual reality. And truthfully, we should never consider Palin’s opine worthy of anything.

maxresdefaultCosmos’ final hour revealed the final message embedded in the space probe Voyager’s Interstellar Golden Record. It was a recording of life on Earth, ending with Carl Sagan’s life-summing meditation on this “pale blue dot.”

So was the show worth it? Cosmos was television on an ambitious scale, a full-blown science program in prime time on a mainstream broadcast network, on the most crowded, and competitive night of the TV week.

Throughout the show, there were those who sought to deny the scientific evidence presented. The opening episode featured an introduction by President Obama and stirred controversy with a lengthy segment that deliberately pitted religion against science, providing an animated story about the Catholic Church’s persecution of the 16th-century monk and astronomer Giordano Bruno.

To the creationist viewpoint, there was no opportunity for rebuttal. But that wasn’t the show’s premise either. With that being said, one can believe in religion all they want, but when an asteroid falls from space at about 22,000 miles per hour and crashes into earth, I’m presuming God won’t be there to stop it. Remember, I didn’t say “if.”

Tyson said if he reached just one viewer deeply enough to get them interested in science, Cosmos will have succeeded. Cosmos began and ended with Carl Sagan:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Dr. Tyson, regardless of my faith … you reached me. I loved the show.

obama-governmentshutdownThe rift between the House of Representatives and the White House mimic the common parental nightmare: “Ain’t my fault, it’s his.” “Is not!” “Is too.”

Reaching to an eighth (8) day, the government shutdown has cost me a job.  So like many many others, sequester included, I lost my job this past Thursday, twenty-two days into a five year project.  As a contractor, you are accustomed to sitting and listening to bad news. In this new marketplace of being a “one-off,” “one-man” company, there are many times when you have to face the bad news. Oftentimes, someone doesn’t like the way you parted your hair or for having no hair. Sometimes, you brought Starbucks, so therefore you must make way too much money. Other times, you simply screwed up. You performed an incorrect calculation, went one way on the project, but management wanted another.

Other days, like last Thursday, management cuts you afloat simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As you listen to Human Resources parcel words, you realize you just joined an elite crowd, one that’s filled with the best of the best. There are those who will claim, “No problem. I will pick-up something quick,” “There’s another job right around the corner” and “Keep the faith.”  You grab your things, pass security, receive a reluctant handshake, watch your identification badge shred as you are cast from the dock like a boat set adrift from port.

In truth, that badge represented your life. It was you, helped make you and your spouse. That small thing … that badge was food, a home, a live, meant times spent with friends, meant Thanksgiving, Christmas and life. That badge meant your child had a future and meant meaning and nourishment of the soul. And because Washington, D.C. bureaucrats act like playground bullies, your life gets shredded. There is little decency, no denunciations to be heard. Speaker Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid and President Obama are a thousand miles away. Like millions before me, I am herded through unemployment and watch our legislature play sandlot bullies with a cast of millions.

In truth, regardless of what is said, faith will not help you. Jesus will not get the next meal, pay the mortgage, feed the children or buy gasoline. I’ve never heard an employed politician pay for diapers, baby formula, make an offer to pay the car note, buy a tank of gas, fill a shopping cart or God forbid …. even create a job. I’ve never heard of a professional politician pay for a doctor’s visit, console someone who has cancer with no insurance or tell a child the family pet was given away because they couldn’t afford pet food. I’ve never seen a professional politician freely babysit a couple in low income housing while parents work.

If you think any of that’s true, then I request any of the Washington intellectuals to come to nowhere America for validation. Tell a homeless mother that Obamacare is the cause of all their misery. Likewise, tell an unemployed man the House GOP is the cause of all your problems. Tell them how you saved the auto industry and what that meant for the poor dirt farmer in North Dakota. Show them how that bridge to nowhere helped that underfed child in Iowa. Show them how stripping food stamps positively impacted their soul and made them a better person.

Come on Speaker Boehner, tell them. For God’s fricking sake Mr. Reid, have someone tell them. Tell me Mr. President. Tell me Senator McConnell, so I can tell them. Because here in nowhere America, where I live, all of you look pretty damn disgusting. On second thought, I’ll place my faith in my neighbor. On this street, in this dirt road, real life lives. Your lives’ are surreal.

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