Monday, December 26, 2016

We Believe In Fables

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

It is perhaps sub-conscious, but all human beings have heard, read, dreamt and thought of Arabian Nights, mythology and Disney Land.  From early childhood we are trained to believe in a land that is far away, full of fulfilled aspirations and desires.  Our religion, our literature, our societies, our families, our friends, our teachers, our surroundings, and in general everything around us allow us to look at things (both material and spiritual) that are at some point of time in the past described as what we should aspire for. It is with time and opportunity the individual aspirational attitude is driven.  Gone are the days when people aspired to join the independence movement and becoming a public servant. Now becoming a doctor or engineer (still in some communities), or a software engineer is probably in thoughts of most young ones, and also perhaps the last days of aspiring to travel or move to the USA for work.

There is no doubt that every generation will aspire to become more financially independent than the past generation.  Being financially independent and taking care of the family is the paramount aspiration for every one, and finding a place where that is afforded is the preferred destination.  Perhaps the definition of what is right/wrong might not differ with generations, but certainly our aspirations will be driven by what the rest of the world is doing and what opportunities exist for financial security at any given time.

After the World War II, and the Indian independence, pretty much wiped out the British, Spanish and Portuguese dominance with colonization of vast territories.  The initial days of the world exploiting the internal combustible engine fostering easy travel, societies and people have become mobile and willing to move from place to place seeking work and freedom.  The advances in telecommunications, internet and mobile communications have certainly created a new environment to work from where ever you are, while automation and internet have been combining to create a new work place.  As the old saying goes, expect change, it is constant.

For over a hundred years of internal combustible engine, the world (especially the western countries) have gotten used to high rates of employment, high wages along with great mobility.  As all good things begin and end, the manufacturing, farming and heavy industry have seen the transformation to more automation and information technology jobs, along with globalization and cost effective business management.  The large public enterprises continue to look for efficiencies and profitable balance sheet, and the work force changes are as drastic as the technology changes.

The last 30 years of television, telecommunications and Internet have heavily influenced the new age employment.  The global population explosion constantly puts pressure on employment and opportunities, while the transformation of work force is not in parallel.  There is pressure on job and wage growth from exponential population growth.

The comfort factor that had set in with the jet age, all of a sudden is faced with wage stagnation and employment displacement for the developed societies, while the poor nations look for opportunities to jump on the employment band wagon offering cheap labor.  Although the Chinese flourished for a generation of cheap labor, they have come under increasing pressure on economic tactics and exploited opportunity.  The western societies have seen heavy industry disappear, and wages stagnant while facing increasing global competition to their production plants.

The fable of perfect societies is really that.  Things constantly change with life and industry and economies.  The mindset of the western/developed societies has suddenly been put to danger with cost/opportunity for business and employment. A combination of globalization, cost and benefit to the industry, the shift to a technology industry from heavy manufacturing, automation and available work force; all factors make industry reposition and reshape.

While the developing nations vie for more opportunities to participate, the developed nations struggle to find the opportunity for their heavy industry and high wages.  The struggle for opportunity and cost management is more than ever as there are internal pressures within the nations to protect and preserve the economies of the last generation, while the opportunities are in a very different landscape.
The fables will remain the same and opportunities ever changing.  For a way to better and more comfortable place/s the changes and adoption to the changes is the only way to participate.  If we don’t choose learn the new world dynamics and to participate in the rapid advancements, we will still speak of the fables but will not participate in their outcome.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Up Side Down

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

2016 holiday season is here.  Christmas is coming this weekend, and Santa for sure is coming.  Chicago is once again under polar vortex, really freezing and lots of snow on the ground.  Chicago Bears Keep loosing every week, and all Bears gear already in storage for this year, and Cutler is still with the bears, but injured and on the sidelines The Chicago cubs in 2016 won a World Series championship after 108 years and probably the right spot for the year for Chicagoans, and die-hard fans world over  Illinois has been going into the second year without a budget and no one seems to care (for those of you who care Illinois is our state), and actually people don’t see any reason to worry about the state budget, local services and whatever the government was supposed to be doing.

The country has a new president elect in Trump, president Obama is just about packing his bags and moving out of the white house, Hillary is enjoying her nationhood and her couch.  The Obama presidency if nothing else has been a good one for families with children, and full of personal and social meaning, along with being hassle and corruption free.  We Chicagoans are proud that the Obama’s are one of our won.

Trump and his supporters (even after the election, and winning the presidency) continue to tweet and air fascinating theories.  Trump’s selection of his support staff at the white house, really supports his election and thereafter tweets.  He really tweets.  Trump is a master of throwing things to the wall and let someone agree with him or something stick.  What facts and who needs them?  He has an abundance of material that no one else can think of tweeting, so the daily (nightly) soap opera continues, and for another four years it is certain we will either be entertained with conspiracy theories or can watch reruns on the television, and stop using twitter, may be the internet itself.  But as it has been for more than a year and half, the television has been one place to keep the remote handy, to keep flipping channels to escape the barrage of conspiracy theories.

Putin and Russia have all of a sudden become Trump’s favorite pals.  As the world watches in amazement, and while Russia continues to support the carnage in Syria, and has annexed Crimea and just about everywhere Russia fingers in dismantling democracies, Trump and his actions think otherwise.  His latest appointment of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, clearly points to his reaching out to Putin.  He is a very accomplished CEO of Exxon Mobil now leaving the job to become secretary of state.  While an extremely successful oil executive, he is closely tied to Putin, perhaps can be viewed as his biggest asset according to Trump.

Despite the cyber attacks on the USA and its election process, specially targeting Democratic Party, Trump doesn’t publicly accept Russian actions against the USA, and keeps pushing his Russian agenda with every action that he has taken, fully contradicting global posturing towards Russian atrocities internationally.  The atrocities in Syria, Crimea, cyber attacks on the USA, and whatever else that have attracted global sanctions against Russia seem to be same as any other global reality for Trump.  There is nothing here to figure out as Russians wanted Trump to be in the white house, and he is now getting ready to move in.  Neither Russia nor the USA can spin their politics by 100 degrees without causing massive global disruption, but Trump is capable of doing what he feels (tweet) at any given time of the day, and it will not be anything close to conventional for at least next four years.

The largest trading partner of the USA, China is at odds with Trump, and this is a twist that probably unplanned for anyone in the political or diplomatic circles. New game show as Trump embracing Russia, and constantly tweeting (tweaking) against China, as China is the largest trading partner with USA.  Since President Nixon started diplomatic channels with China, each USA administration has threaded very carefully with China, both politically and diplomatically, but Trump tweets otherwise.  China is a powerhouse by itself, and doesn’t follow anyone else’s rules but it’s won, and even before Trump gets into the White House, he has been tweeting perhaps about revisiting pre-Nixon times.  But, there is nothing to figure out as China remains what it is and USA has come to the time of Trump.

We have yet to see the real political, diplomatic, economic, international and domestic turbulence.  The USA can certainly become isolationist and redraw its priorities as simply USA.  There is nothing wrong with domestic policy making to simply be a stand alone nation.  The funny part of Trump’s domestic agenda will force him to shut down all his dealings out side of the USA, and it is a good bet to make that he will never put anything first, but his own name.  When Trump says America first, we have to believe him as he is right, all his assets are American.  Unless he will standup and show us his taxes, and then whatever his interests are will certainly tie with his national interests.

There is some sensibility in his choice of support staff.  Christie, Gingrich and Giuliani are no longer going to be in his cabinet, and new players have come in their place, but conspiracy theories are still abundant and will be huge material for writers and commentators and story tellers for years to come.

God Bless the USA.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Wasting Time

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

The Indian movie makers have run out of ideas for quite a while.  They willfully ignore (all most all the time as they have not made a movie that is worth watching in many years) the audience and ticket purchasing innocents, and keep throwing the same stuff (being very kind with my words) at the audience each week.  Granted that some movies are minor exceptions which deviate from the glory of a few men on screen, but even the exceptions really don’t stop from the clich├ęs of the age old story line.

Barring a few exceptions, most movies fall into two categories; dishoom and dishoom, and the new trend of showing western style relationships in an Indianised context.  There is really no nativity to displaying what happens in New York or London or cities outside of India, and people fake speaking in funny accents and show casing life that is not a normal to the Indian way of life.  Granted that many Indians ape on western societies, but life of a movie going Indian really has not changed in generations, irrespective of where they live.

The regional movies have continued to glorify the really short guys, with heavy make-up as super humans, and super smart guys who in every movie do the unthinkable, unimaginable and unbelievable stuff in just about every movie.  Common man watches the movie of uncommon gory and glory.  With each passing movie the production costs and payments to heroes has continued to shoot-up, irrespective of their box-office outcome.  The vast majority of the Indian movies end-up being a flop or disaster, but we keep churning out boat loads of movies every week.

We can perhaps ignore the wafer think storyline, which continues to become thinner with each week.  The heroes and generational attitudes have continued to bank of the same logic, fight, beauty, locations and illogical two and half hours.  Lucky for the audience the so called big heroes in all languages don’t make many movies these days, and the moviegoers are spared the experience mostly to one or twice a year.  If the today's stars release movies as did the the yesteryears heroes, we might have simply stopped going to the theater.  By limiting the number of releases the big stars are really sparing the audience and also the producers the distress of lost money and aspirin.

The love for movies is really escapism.  Fortunately the fantasy, action, thematic, potter, Disney, Star Wars, and many variations of English and foreign language movie take the viewing space (now a days in many of regional languages), and you can just throw in a local language movie in the middle.  But what is still missing is the fell good movies that probably were the staple of life a generation ago.  The experience of watching a movie with 500 or more people in a theater, and enjoying the simple melodrama for almost 3 hours has become a difficult commodity.

But the logic of a moviegoer has never been too good.  We still want to see the movies, and we still want to see the song and dance, and action with a few tears thrown in.

The old saying goes “Time is Money”.  I did not want to emphasize that I was wasting money, just whiling my time away watching movies.  Enjoy the show and for a few months really cold weather in Chicago.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Right to Steal

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

The process of demonetization by Modi government in India is first commendable.  Trying to bring the society to be honest (at least try to be civil to each other and to the country) is a promise that Modi spoke of while canvassing to become the PM of the largest democracy in the world.  To force the cheater’s to stop hoarding ill gotten wealth, and also stop the terror and antinational activities from faking the currency and funding atrocities on Indians on Indian soil, all of this is effort that should have been national priority from 1947, but now it is becoming a reality.  Just demonetizing currency might not be the only way to stop tax cheaters and anti-nationals, but it certainly is one of the effective ways to curb the actions that hurt the country.

The effects of demonetization are immediate in brining all the 500 and 1000 notes back into the accounting, and weather the money is white or black, the Indian banking system can now account for how much of the money legally in circulation is exchanged, and also identifying and destroying fake currency that essentially funds terror in the country.  Both accounting all the legally issued notes and eliminating the fake notes, in one go is necessary for the national security.

If even a small portion of the existing currency is not returned into the banking system (which is being destroyed in many ways) the country benefits from the liability.  The country essentially eliminates the terror funding by demonitizing the fake currency.  Both add to the positive balance sheet of the nation.  At the time of writing this column, the terror funding has completely stopped, and at least a 10% to 30% of all 500 and 1000 notes might never be back into the system from the cheaters and hoarders, adding a big positive to the national treasury.  Also, all the declared currency, and the income tax and penalties that are derived, definitely adds to the positive national balance sheet, and also millions of accounts all of a sudden have money in them instead of zero balances.  However you look at it the demonetizing flushes out a lot of back money, completely eradicates fake currency and wind fall for income tax authorities, and new money in the banking system.  Irrespective of the political hoopla by the opposition parties, this is an economic maneuver that was long overdue by India.

The long lines in front of the banks to exchange and the difficulties faced by common man in doing daily chores are real.  The government did not plan well to tackle the demonetization and exchange of notes.  But announcing the demonetization ahead of time would have simply defeated the very purpose of eliminating black money and fake money from the economic cycle.  For politicians in opposition this is a short term political opportunity, but for general public it’s a nuisance that is temporary, and for people who don’t use banking it is of non consequence.  For middle income families the demonetization has become a daily soap opera, watching and wondering about why India is still with poor people ad shanty towns, and without toilets.  The ill gotten wealth is thrown into rivers, burnt, dumped in garbage or on roads, flush down the toilets, and every which way it can be thrown away, but not given to some cause that really needs help.  While the public watches the destruction of money with irony, the attitude towards the ill-gotten wealth.  The money could be declared with a fine, given to charity, given to armed forces, given to places of worship, and many a worthy causes, but the persons/s who obtain wealth illegally seldom think of society and others around them.  The money was and is still being destroyed, the very fabric of the people who accumulate massive and ill gotten wealth.

India for several centuries has seen looted and the looting is engrained into the fabric of life of both people in power and the common man.  No matter at what level of life, society just steal is the motto, and corruption is a way of life.  India is a country with millions of places of worship, holy men and women in every corner and religion as a way of life, but stealing without abandon is a part of routine; such irony.

Even with a few weeks into demonetization, the intelligence bureaus are still unearthing vast amounts of old notes, and also freshly minted notes.  How is it possible to already stash new notes in such short order, with restrictions imposed on individuals?  Is the banking system itself engaged in corruption, how is Modi going to watch the keeper’s who are supposed to stop the corruption?  Modi certainly needs the next level of controls to stop the banker’s from engaging in the continued looting.

While the country goes thru the drama of demonetization, the NRI folks were offered clear directions on how to exchange their INR.  First and foremost the US Banks and currency exchanges were less than welcoming to take the INR.  There are very few Indian bank locations in the USA for most Indians to drive and exchange their INR.  The idea to send the INR to India with proof of residency, and authorization letter to someone who can deposit of exchange money in India was also a good proposal, considering most NRI will have some money in INR with them.  Sending money to India with authorization for a local person to transact them was a affording the folks to not to throw their money away, rather get it back into the banking system.

A personal story here; I did follow the instructions on sending money to India.  I prepared an affidavit to the bank, attached a copy of passport and drivers license, provided the Indian bank details and also included in my communications the local persons contact details and included the INR by airmail, and sent it to India.  I double checked the process with my contact in India, and sent it off.  Did not think of the mail and money for about four weeks, and I got a message from India.  Everything I sent to India was received but the currency was missing.  I was shocked, and now have no way of tracking the money lost in sending it to India.  Here I am, followed every instructions given by Indian authorities to account for my money to India, but someone simply decided to take my money, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  I just wasted a lot of time, effort and my money in the process.  I wanted to do the right thing, but with India nothing right is really the right thing.

Indian systems are built to steal.  I simply can’t imagine how many people went thru the same process as I did, and wanted to follow the guidelines but got their money stolen.  With India and Indian systems, you really can’t win by following the rules.  Modi is no messiah to make people respect other people’s space and resources.  The country is so used to stealing at every stage and every place, and no amount of government regulations will take the cheating out of their system.  I am not venting here, but in every instance in dealing with India, this experience of people stealing is a norm.  It’s sad, but it is very real.

While I wholeheartedly support the demonetization which has eliminated the fake notes, and support to terrorism, and to a good degree brought a majority of money back into circulation, Modi can’t affect the mentality of India from stealing.  Indian’s believe that it is their right to steal, and at every chance they get.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Modified or Tughluq

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

It has been a couple of years since BJP and Modi took over the governance of India from INC.  As with most NRI population, I too voiced great opportunism with the election of Modi to lead India.  Not withstanding his managerial abilities, his public persona, his pronouncements, his attitude, his work ethic, and whole lot of qualities and mostly his stance on cleaning-up India’s entrenched political and bureaucratic looting, was all in his favor.  I wrote many times that Modi did not need money for himself (I still strongly believe this) and thus makes him the best candidate to root out corruption.

Modi constantly spoke against corruption and black money in Indian political and commercial system.  The country is 100% dependent on baksheesh.  Everyone has a handout to do anything.  From very simple thing to complicated decisions are based on paying for the services, and Modi rallying against this was perhaps the most politically attractive rallying cry against the incumbent government, and rightfully so.  I fully supported the initiative to root out and stop public and political corruption.  Even our temples encouraged the people who gave money get preferential viewing of the good lord.  Once again Modi had no one at his side, and his family and friends were kept away from his circle of governance, thus eliminating the need for graft.

Since 2014, the initiatives with the international agencies, aligning with receptive governments with constant emphasis on rooting out the black money have certainly yielded results.  Public might not see the daily activity, but Modi’s government have been proactive to find and expose the unaccounted money, and bring some semblance of accountability to international hoarders.  It is unlikely that we can catch everyone in the world and expose or make them account for hoarding the money overseas, as many options are available to legally hold money overseas.  However Modi’s government has been putting pressure and getting people to fess up.  The most glaring of the ineffectiveness can be identified with at least a couple of individual instances, where the Indian government has not been able to bring the British to send back Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi, who are both enjoying their time in the UK.  But there is steady progress with the Panama papers and Swiss and other off shore havens exposing the hoarders.

Within India, many steps have been taken to allow people to declare their horded assets, and also ill gotten assets by declaring and paying appropriate income tax.  The initial opportunity was simple and straight forward, there were no questions asked, just declare everything and pay taxes, and that’s it.  You had a clean slate.  There were clear guidelines and various schemes announced so that people did not nee to fear the authorities, simply show the money and pay the tax.  This also yielded some fairly large declarations of wealth, which again added to the international pressure to bring back the black money.  Modi’s government took various steps, prior to the latest November 8, 2016 demonetization of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes.

We could see further measures to get majority of the economy into a transactional process rather than hording, and Modi might still have a lot of measures that might be forthcoming.

But the problem with India is that the whole national wealth could be vastly under reported simply because of historical way of life in India.  Indians hold wealth in land, property, gold and silver and immovable assets, while many hold cash as the transactional way of life.  Banking, credit, debit, ATM, internet commerce and many of the last 20 years of global commercial developments while being introduced and accepted in India, the country still has its holdings outside of the banking/commercial systems.  So, while the looters and hoarders might use cash only as the way to stash their ill gotten wealth, 99% of Indians who are genuine keep their assets and cash the way they are used to, and are not guilty of any financial crimes.

The demonetization certainly added to the woes of ill gotten wealth.  People destroying, dumping, burning and simply throwing their money away are a reflection of ill gotten wealth and disregard for how it was acquired.  These guys could have simply given the money to temples and charities instead of destroying the money, even better they could have simply given the ill gotten money to army or other government organizations without destroying, but again looters really don’t think about anything positive.

While we applaud Modi’s continuous initiatives to curb corruption, the value of the way of life of Indian society and how 99% plus of Indians have their set ways of life.  Why do I, a tax payer and a law abiding citizen have to wait for hours to get my money, and also why do I have to even exchange or identify the money that I already accounted for?  Why not find the looters and tax dodgers, with ways and means available to the intelligence agencies?  Is the government playing ignorance about who is looting or are they simply still holding out for contributions?

The inconvenience to the public could have been avoided with many measures, but the intent is being widely accepted.  For NRI, this is simply a most difficult process, but again the government is allowing measures to make amends to legitimate currency holders.  What amounts to a managed society is limiting someone to a certain amount of money that can be cashed or help, as this is not the way economies should work, and democracies should flourish.  If I choose to only deal with cash, I should be able to, and the government should no tell me how much to spend or keep with me.  If I am a law abiding and tax paying citizen, then it is my choice on how I conduct my life and business.  As long as Modi and the government doesn’t reach into personal life of Indians who don’t need help with how to live it, they can and should keep finding ways to curb corruption.  But let the common man be just that; a law abiding common man.

Monday, November 21, 2016

What If?

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Donald Trump winning the presidential election in 2016 was in line with the US Populations current frame of mind.  If you look at 70's thru 2000’s there was little issues of race and religion, people were into globalization, mobility, technology and telecommunications, and definitely the Internet added the elimination of distance between people.

First, personally I really don’t like confrontation.  I really don’t like public display of acrimony and strife.  Especially after a certain age, people should respect each other, and if they don’t just keep quiet.  I really did not like the tome of the 2016 US presidential elections.  The election cycle was simply distasteful and disrespectful to the entire viewing and listening population.  I am glad the election is over, and also the general disbelief that Trump is going to be our next president.

Hillary Clinton’s defeat was not unprecedented.  But certainly Trump winning the Electoral College was a definite surprise to him and his team, and also to the rest of the population and pundits.  It should not have been to anyone as the common knowledge of the populations feelings on race relations.  No matter what anyone says, race and color remain in the fore front of how Americans deal with each other.  In this year there is no abundance of wealth or job creation as in the Regan thru Clinton eras, its hard times with little opportunity for the nation.  Race always is the easiest emotion to bring out the camaraderie for electorates.  Trump certainly knew the hot button issues to get enough people to listen to him, and Hillary did not play to the galleries.  The reality is that rhetoric to wake the racial issue is quite simple and quite effective.  Trump did not need to do much except sow the seeds of doubt about his opponents, the administration, Washington and almost all the rest of the world.  I doubt if he try to cast doubts on everyone on earth to make his point, and if you are the audience listening, there must be at least a small section that was listening to how their particular group was being let down/abused/ignored and whatever choice of words that was of absurdly pitted against them.  If you pick and choose the individual group, race, religion, country, and whatever that separates people (which is not noticeable or of importance until someone keeps reminding you of how you are getting screwed daily) and if you keep repeating the same negative and outrageous utterances, you will at least create a doubt.  Trump also might be using his real estate acumen of constant pitting and negotiation techniques with general public, and we did not know how he was manipulating our thoughts simply by raising issues that did not exist and thongs that have been dormant for more than a generation.  For anyone who opposed him or spoke against Trump, there was something that he could find that suited his purpose for getting elected.  No one stood a chance for countering, as his range of attacks was not just unusual but simply was not a part of standard politics.  Sixteen months is a long time to run for the office, but from a tactical perspective Trump could find enough people’s inner insecurities that are not a daily worry, to become a worry.  Trump instigated the decades of intolerance that was dormant in today’s world, and just enough of the population was willing to listen and believe that there was more than just man and women.

Now that Trump is going to be the next President, we should heed to President Obama’s directive.  Let’s not assume the worst as the country simply will not work on one person’s whims, and we actually should not forecast the worst, but give Trump a chance.  In reality there is no such thing as “Utopia”, and democrats and republicans have a 100% different view of the world.

What if Trump does all of what he said he will do in the election cycle?  All of his talking points some appeal to the republicans and some to the democrats.  Everyone says Trump is not a conventional politician, but he has said things that are offensive to all and appealing to all.  It’s 50/50.  Essentially meaning half of the population likes or dislikes every single thing he has said, and that’s just about the way electorate has behaved.  It is conceivable Trump is smart enough to realize that he can get what he said by simply throwing it back at the country, and achieve his political agenda.

The What if? Scenario is not impossible.  As from his “Building The Wall” to “Make America Great Again” to everything else requires a simple majority to move forward, or the Presidential pen in case if he gets resistance.  I would let him do everything he said he would do for Americans, and as at least 50% of us agree on everything he propagated, there is a possibility of seeing things that were said u Trump get implemented.  There is really no What if?  Trump simply pitted us against each other, and said everything that everyone wanted to say and could not.  If we ignore the hypocrisy and look into the foreseeable future Trump promises what everyone wants, and they will get what they deserve.  Each time the other 50% will complain, but nothing will be gained by companioning as only 50% will listen.  In reality Trump might just do what he said, as there is enough support fro every so called radical idea he has pitched, and enough people who believe that this is not a perfect state of the union.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It Would Have Been Kryptonite For Anyone Else

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Last Tuesday’s US Presidential election and Donald Trump acquiring the majority of the Electoral College needed to be elected President, was nothing but a fascinating political drama perhaps will be studied by political scientists and pundits for generations to come.  I have to admit that Trump’s victory was surprising and quite quick towards the unfolding evening, and probably fooled everyone on the planet.  The only thing that was clear was the racial and economic divide in states that constantly voted democratic, and in 2016 simply either did not care for what the democrats represented or simply did not vote, or even so split on racial lines.  It is easy to be a Monday morning quarter back, as we already know what happened.  Hillary although won the majority of the votes, fell short with the Electoral College.  Hillary Clinton still has a lot to offer to all the people of the USA with her long service to the communities and her fight to the finish to the presidency.  Simply, fell short just by a little, and could not garner a little more voter interest to go and VOTE.

It is simply amazing that Trump is the president elect.  After everything he said about his own party, Washington, women, immigrants and just about everything on earth, he still won.  Anyone else in his shoes would have faced what superman did with Kryptonite.  Again, every vote counts and every mind counts, and in Trump’s case and point the old adage of the “Ugly American”, once again came up the win.  For those who worked in business development before the time of the Mobile and Internet, the term ugly American in very familiar, and in 2015/2016 Trump has been true to this, and the Americans in enough number seems to like it.

In the astonishing result of 2016 election, Clinton did not do anything wrong, but two things that really cost her;

-         FBI announcing that they had more emails from her closest associate Huma Abedon’s estranged husband.  That was her Kryptonite.  It was probably the most damaging event just before a few days of the election, and perhaps the worst thing thrown in any democratic election on earth, ever.  People are not discussing much this action by Tomey, but the history books will show that this was the single biggest factor for the first women to lose the presidency in the last week of the election.

-         The smaller contributor to the Clinton loss is to underestimate the UGLY AMERICAN phenomenon that Trump has harbored all thru the campaign.  It is very appealing to Americans (who are really a few generational old immigrants) of their superiority over the rest of the world.  It is true as a nation America is a great democracy, but it is because of the fabric of the entire population, not one group or the other.  Hillary Clinton nor the Democratic Party never appreciated the hidden psychology of the Americans, and never could speak, act, behave and do what Trump did.  They were too civil to even come close to Trump.

Hillary lost, and was gracious in her defeat.  Once again a trait that is not of an Ugly American and Bill was also very gracious, along with much of the democratic leadership.  It was unexpected in 2016, but it is what it is.  There is nothing a human being can do with individual prejudices, as they are there and there is nothing that will stop them from coming out when in private.

Trump doesn’t really have a tall order to govern.  His four years can be like the Senior Bush or can extend to eight like the Junior Bush.  All he has to do is become a republican and he will survive his presidency.  But again its Donald Trump, and he can really build the wall (this should be an easy construction project with his back ground), crap on NATO, ban Muslim immigration, make huge tax cuts and balloon the deficit, declare bankruptcy, and whatever he has said in getting elected.  Many of these things can be done with executive orders and Trump only listens to Trump.  It might not be all that bad to put America First.  God bless America.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Is it the End of the Season of Acrimony?
Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Whosoever is the winner of the 2016 Presidential election should not simply let go of the campaign rhetoric.  The winner should go on to establish their individual and unique credentials worthy of the American people’s confidence in electing to the highest office of the nation.  The winner should make every effort to address the negativity that came from the opponent to minute detail and let people know the truth behind each acquisition.  It is not to suggest look for revenge or getting even, but setting record straight.  For once, when such an acrimonious election ends, it also needs closure.  Closure only comes with closing the obvious and obnoxious accusations of the acrimonious campaign.

Clinton and/or Trump should save exchanging niceties of election night and focus on the people of the nation, and also one each other to bring a closure to what was said for 16 months or more of campaigning.  There is no need to call and offer any kind of consolation or acceptance with an after election phone call, but get to the bottom of each of the accusation that has been thrown at each other, and what was promised in the long electoral process.  Do what you said to get elected, and make sure whatever was thrown at you is responded in kind.  When the next election comes and same thing happens the, next president will have a precedent to make sure that SOS is not the way to run a nation like the USA.

Democracy and freedom of speech are being really tested to the extreme in 2016.  With each presidential election, the acquisitions mostly unsubstantiated have become the norm, and nothing of substance except negativity is coming from spending billions of dollars.  The republicans started out with a large scale invasion of candidates, and somehow Trump engineered his way as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.  There was nothing conventional with the Republicans primary process and Trump emerged as the last man standing to represent them.

Enough has been said and written about his style, mostly self proclaimed on how Trump got to be the Republican nominee, and amazingly how he continues to keep being close in the polls as we come to the last day before the 2016 elections.  Luckily tomorrow is 11/8/2016, Election Day.

For a fairly wealthy Trump, who is a man of his own style, behavior and speech?  Unfortunately for the American public, we have to listen to the gloating, and constantly.

Hillary Clinton has been in politics and public eye, just about all her adult life.  (I like Bill Clinton our past president and her husband).  Hillary is no saint, and not much can be done in covering anything that she has been involved with.  The major bone of contention in this election cycle has been her use of a private email server to conduct government business.  Hillary could have simply admitted to using it and accept the political outcry with an apology.  Being what she is and her history with politics and experiences with life, she waffled for a while and now her turn to defend the email server, and a tough election.  If the email business was not an issue in this election, Hillary would be in a non-contest in this election.

Now that the election is coming to an end, and we will have a winner declared tomorrow (11/8/2016), the winning candidate should make every effort to remove the stigma of the election immediately.  To start with take every allegation that were made and either disprove it or defend it.  The resolutions to the allegations made in the election cycle will put to bed the dirt, and also will make the next set of candidates be more aware of making same acrimony a part of the elections.

The two things the winner should do immediately;

-         Completely defend any acquisitions made by the opponent.  Highlight the inaccuracies/inappropriate and present appropriate response to put each such issue to rest to the public.

-          Find responsible positions to the opponent’s inaccuracies, promises, innuendos and all personal attacks and respond to each of them in kind.  Disprove the allegations with facts and responsible counters.

After all the new president of the USA doesn’t need a lot of time or resources to counter anything that is not accurate.  (Remember the Obama birth certificate issue?).  This was also started by Trump.  The opponents accusations should be dealt with a response befitting the allegations, and also establish a precedent for future elections and candidates that you simply can’t keep throwing dirt at someone who is going to be the leader of the free world.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Right Frame of Mind

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Chicago Cubs are in the American MLB World Series in 2016, and we are thru 5 games as this article is written.  Nothing beats the devotion that a cub fan has.  Although I was not born a “Cub Fan”, I have been devoted all my adult life to follow them, watch them and have the right frame of mind to say tomorrow is another day.  Always willing to wait for the next day and next win, and looking forward to the improbable World Series win, and perhaps this year.  Being an Indian with eternal optimism perhaps adds to the belief in a better tomorrow, but for the last couple of years the Cubs has been so good, it is time to look forward to buying the World Series winner’s shirt with the beloved Cubs logo on it.  Is it time yet? And we are 2 games away from just that.

Today is 31 October 2016.

The series is at with Cubs 2 wins and Cleveland Indians 3 wins, in a best of 7 series, and the last 2 games coming up in Cleveland and 3 days from now, it is now or next year.

There is probably no professional team in any sports that parallels the cubs in their fan following.  Following them is really just being a part of Chicago, and also being an optimist.

The wonderful history of Chicago and the Chicago cubs is full of chapters of a storied sports franchise.  The Cubs have involved in a MLB World Series since 1945, and they have not one a World Series Championship since 1908.

Cleveland Indians are way behind in history compared to the Chicago Cubs, as they have not won a World Series Championship since 1948.  Rookies, really!

Chicago is full of great sports teams, with Bulls, White Sox, Blackhawk’s and Fire and huge fan following to every one of the sports teams.  We have storied superstars with all the teams leading with Michael Jordan and a galaxy of superstars who played in Chicago.  If we really look at the 2016 Cubs, most of these guys re really young and new to us fans.  They are definitely in a league of their own, and one World Series win, and we have a full team of super stars, probably unlike anything that we have seen in Chicago, since MJ was winning with the rest of the gang for the Chicago Bulls.  Although we are eternally optimistic, its time for the Cubs to bring in the championship to us fans and to the city of Chicago.

For those who listen and follow the Cubs on Radio and TV, you have to remember the late Harry Carry.  He was and will always be the voice of the Cubs.  I am sure Harry is looking down with his wide rimmed glasses and holding his crossed fingers, just saying, two more wins and 2016 is the year of the Cubs.

But you know what, there is really no team in baseball as good as the Cubs in 2016, and more so there are no fans in the world that even come close to being a Chicago Cubs fan.  I am one, and I know we are the best in the world.  Win or lose we love the Cubs, but a big “W” will not be a bad way to be a part of the 2016 journey. “GO CUBS GO”.  We deserve the World Series trophy and we would love to have it in Chicago in the beginning of November 2016.

The Right Frame of Mind

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Chicago Cubs are in the American MLB World Series in 2016, and we are thru 5 games as this article is written.  Nothing beats the devotion that a cub fan has.  Although I was not born a “Cub Fan”, I have been devoted all my adult life to follow them, watch them and have the right frame of mind to say tomorrow is another day.  Always willing to wait for the next day and next win, and looking forward to the improbable World Series win, and perhaps this year.  Being an Indian with eternal optimism perhaps adds to the belief in a better tomorrow, but for the last couple of years the Cubs has been so good, it is time to look forward to buying the World Series winner’s shirt with the beloved Cubs logo on it.  Is it time yet? And we are 2 games away from just that.

Today is 31 October 2016.

The series is at with Cubs 2 wins and Cleveland Indians 3 wins, in a best of 7 series, and the last 2 games coming up in Cleveland and 3 days from now, it is now or next year.

There is probably no professional team in any sports that parallels the cubs in their fan following.  Following them is really just being a part of Chicago, and also being an optimist.

The wonderful history of Chicago and the Chicago cubs is full of chapters of a storied sports franchise.  The Cubs have involved in a MLB World Series since 1945, and they have not one a World Series Championship since 1908.

Cleveland Indians are way behind in history compared to the Chicago Cubs, as they have not won a World Series Championship since 1948.  Rookies, really!

Chicago is full of great sports teams, with Bulls, White Sox, Blackhawk’s and Fire and huge fan following to every one of the sports teams.  We have storied superstars with all the teams leading with Michael Jordan and a galaxy of superstars who played in Chicago.  If we really look at the 2016 Cubs, most of these guys re really young and new to us fans.  They are definitely in a league of their own, and one World Series win, and we have a full team of super stars, probably unlike anything that we have seen in Chicago, since MJ was winning with the rest of the gang for the Chicago Bulls.  Although we are eternally optimistic, its time for the Cubs to bring in the championship to us fans and to the city of Chicago.

For those who listen and follow the Cubs on Radio and TV, you have to remember the late Harry Carry.  He was and will always be the voice of the Cubs.  I am sure Harry is looking down with his wide rimmed glasses and holding his crossed fingers, just saying, two more wins and 2016 is the year of the Cubs.

But you know what, there is really no team in baseball as good as the Cubs in 2016, and more so there are no fans in the world that even come close to being a Chicago Cubs fan.  I am one, and I know we are the best in the world.  Win or lose we love the Cubs, but a big “W” will not be a bad way to be a part of the 2016 journey. “GO CUBS GO”.  We deserve the World Series trophy and we would love to have it in Chicago in October 2016.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Landslide Prediction

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Election Day for the United States is November 8, 2016 which is the final day to choose the next president of the USA along with a new congress and a third of the senate.  Many states have already in the process of pre-polling which is also on a brisk pace this year.  For those who are in the USA this day may not come soon enough.  The acrimony and bitterness will come to an end soon. And one of the two last standing candidates will become our president.  Its Clinton or Trump; one of them will be the leader of the free world for at least four years.

The three presidential debates are done, and little has changed in the direction of the election.  People who watched the debates must wonder 70 years of life and no grace, especially between a man and women.  There is little policy discussion amongst the candidates (they have little time to discuss policy), and nothing to present to the citizens on future direction.  At this time and until the election, only winning the undecided is what is left.  The American electoral process is fairly easy to forecast; blue states will be blue (Democrat) and red states will be red (Republican) and the swing states will drive the winner with the battle ground state’s Electoral College.  Now the final push is on for the swing (battle ground) states, and the exit polls are pointing to a landslide.

Unless something gets really screwed up with the process, we can predict a landslide.

Some of the battleground states have population dynamics change in the last few years, and could play well for democrats.  This is not just pushing the politics of the population groups, but also the antagonized groups of population.  If the daily polling is to be believed, very little can change for the current predictors in the next couple of weeks.

Trump has continued to project himself as the greatest jobs president.  Although the president gets credit for employment, it’s really a whole lot of intermingled dynamics that foster continued employment, although the president has a great degree of influence on the direction of the jobs market.  The trouble with Trump is he constantly and continuously takes swipes at the media (dishonest) and at minorities and just about every group of citizens (probably barring the white men who support his candidacy).  The free publicity Trump was accorded all his life by the media, has now become a dishonest media.  As it is after watching him for a little over a year, it is difficult to imagine why he is only 12 points down in some polls.

Perhaps the American way of bullying still gets you far enough even these days and even for 70 year olds.  He did knock out a bunch of Republicans while winning the nomination.

Trump has left very little to be degraded.  He has antagonized the media (which still covers him), democrats (no one from this group will vote for him), all of Washington (still has some support from here), women (some still support him), minorities (nothing from these folks), immigrants (very little from these folks), and throw in all trade agreements signed by past presidents, and all alliances made by the past presidents.  I might not be able to list everything Trump has antagonized.  This should have been about 90% of the population, but for some reason he is not down by that mush.  It’s really hard to figure out the human thinking.  In 2016, Hillary is the opponent and that’s probably the only reason that Trump is still in the race.

One can’t blame the party affiliation of the Republicans.  You subscribe to the party manifesto and who is representing might not be important, even is Trump is the party’s main man.

If one tales into account that his wife calls his discussion on Women’s anatomy and what he can do with any women as “Boy Talk”, she probably needs to get out of the tower a little more to be with the Americans.  The irony with the episode is that neither Trump nor his wife really cares about the man who lost his job, while Trump and his cohorts dismiss this as locker room talk.  A dozen women have come forward with the instances of Trump’s unwanted advances and abuses against them (its likely there are more), and Trump dismisses them as liars and he has just said he will sue all of them after the elections.

Going back to the title of the column, landslide prediction; if democrats, women, immigrants, politicians, Washington and media; all of which are useless to Trump, they simply have not endorsed him.  But still his poll numbers are down only by 12%.

The reason for Trump to be still standing is Hillary.  Hillary is no saint.  She has her own excess baggage, and her being in politics and public eye for so long adds to the baggage.  One thing she is right about is that there is give and take in politics and diplomacy.  But everyone who opposes her point to as her failure, rather than politics.  You can’t define politics without compromise, except when it applies to Hillary.  For anyone in politics as long as she has been, it is unavoidable to compromise.  Hillary is on the verge of making history and become the first women president of the USA.  There are no more debates, only looking forward to Election Day.  All she has to do is hold her ground and not do or say anything detrimental.  Simply put if all democrats and everyone that was antagonized by Trump show-up and vote it will be the largest electoral victory for Hillary in USA history.  It should be.  2016 looks like a landslide and going forward we will also begin civility in presidential politics.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Teflon Trump

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

In a country where the majority of the population is concerned about the state of the economy, finding meaningful jobs, threat of terror and combining the broad socio-political issues, the status quo politics; all combined 2016 has become the year of the Teflon candidate.  Not too long ago the Americans went thru Gary Hart and John Edwards; both very attractive and seasoned politicians running for the office of the president, both burned to oblivion because of the affairs of the heart.  Mitt Romney was sidelined for simply delayed tax returns.  We have had a history of a single mishap by a candidate which destroyed the bid for the presidential office.  The failed presidential bids of the most promising candidates running for office really pale in comparison to Trump and his well documented career and life choices.

Nothing seems to deter the support base Trump has in the current election cycle.  His comments on race, women, immigrants and everything under the sun would have put anyone else to political oblivion.  But for some reason that is unexplained Trump was nominated as the Republican Party’s candidate for president.  Since his nomination and whatever comes out into to public domain as Trump’s back ground, has not affected his support base.

When Trump started to address and display President Bill Clinton’s women’s woes and attaching Hillary Clinton as the enabler every republican in the country said it was a fair game to bring back the old stories and attribute them to Hillary as the enabler.  Since then many women (more in number than Bill’s) have come to name Trump as the abuser, but the Candidate himself, his political supporters and the public who supports him want to deny everyone of them as phony, made-up and total fabrication.

In 2016 when information is readily available and easy to access, Trump’s taxes, scandals, policies and conduct have not affected the voter block that continues to support him.  Have we turned into a polarized nation rather than a melting pot of cultures and traditions?

What is stunning to watch on TV is that the really old politicians (idiots) keep coming on with support statements on Trump denying the allegations (whatever that might be) despite the clear evidence to the contrary.  The 30% or so public that supports Trump seems to brush off anything that comes out about the candidate as something that is acceptable and everyone just deny and deny until the moderator’s get frustrated and moves on.  Incredible bigotry is displayed publicly.  Every word Trump can imagine (not positive) at president Clinton is supported with glee by the old geezers who are supporting him, and they keep doubling down on their analogies for a couple of days with each.  The electorate is also divided. Once again about 30% or so who back Trump don’t really care about truth or fiction, and their candidate just throwing everything at them from under the sun, all of innuendo.  For most of the people who want to think, the real story is that President Clinton was the president some 16 years ago, when his term ended and he was not only a successful two term president (just like the current President Obama), and more so he is not the one running for president in 2016, his wife Hillary Clinton is.  So, throwing the past president under the bus now and attributing his wife as an enabler is something that is appealing to Trump’s followers.  In fact until the 2016 elections, Trump had nothing but good things to say about the Clinton’s.

What followed the second presidential debate, and Trump displaying president Clinton’s women; who were sexually harassed and in Trump and his surrogates words, enabled by Hillary Clinton.  All of a sudden we have a multitude of women who have come forward to say the same of Trump, and each day the number of women keeps adding up, accusing Trump of improprieties. Now we have the same old geezers putting President Clinton under the bus, justifying that Trump is innocent of all charges and there is nothing there to discuss.  Trump has repeatedly apologized for his now available video which shows him bragging about how he wants to handle women.  Granted that Trump was a rich and was not into politics and a dozen or so women have come out to speak about his past behavior, his supporters seem to simply say he has apologized for his actions, or he never did it.  It is amazing that the standards that are displayed are so different for Clinton and Trump.

The worst defense s offered by Pence who is Trump’s running mate.  Mike Pence defends Trump by simply saying that he has apologized or there is no evidence of Trump’s escapades.  Really how many women can produce evidence of harassment?  Just the fact that this many women have come forward and tell their stories is not good enough for Trump’s stooges.  Mike Pence is the same guy who was opposing Trump until he was nominated as VP candidate, and the man looks more squirming than confident when ever he is asked a question.

A number of republicans have rescinded their support for Trump since his tapes (bragging about how he treats women has become public), but Trump’s candidacy remain as vocal and as divisive as it was from the beginning.  President Obama aptly said those walking away from Trump now is a little too late for those who supported and retracted from Trump.

The biggest Joke in the whole Trump candidacy is perhaps the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.  He preaches a great amount of worthless words and pretends to object to Trump’s every action but continues to endorse Trump.  It’s the worst political theater that the nation has seen. Republicans either are with their party or they vote cross party.  All the clowning down by Republicans saying they don’t agree with Trump but they support him against Hillary Clinton is just pure hog wash.  Whenever Trump comes up, they will immediately start to deflect to Bill Clinton.

Trump’s core supporters don’t really care about who he is.  They continue to folk to his campaign.  There is a decent percentage of now dissatisfied electorate and they want changes to the political system as it is now, and Trump is one of the alternatives.  The electorate should really throw our all the congressmen and senators and focus on making laws that the president can sign, and not just focus on the presidential candidate.
The public scrutiny that is accorded to presidential candidates has never been accorded to Trump.  Only in the last few weeks he is being asked the question of any presidential candidate and things are tumbling in.  Each of the two presidential debates (third pending) have brought out the issues of professional and personal issues out into the open, with something popping up daily.  We also see the brash responses from Trump and his surrogates, simply doubling down on their problems.  His core group supporters also don’t seem to care, at least publicly.

There is no policy discussion, no room for negotiations, nothing positive, and nothing good in Trump’s pitches.  It’s all “trust me” and there is no one else to solve the countries owes.  And I am sure we have heard all this before.  Everyone who can and should, just go and vote, and let us see what the country does in November.

Pulse of the People Vasu Reddy From Chicago In the last couple of weeks I did predict that Modi will come back to be the prime ministe...