Monday, October 31, 2016

The Right Frame of Mind

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Cubs.  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
vasureddy@aol.com

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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Cubs.  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
vasureddy@aol.com

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.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Electoral College

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The presidential election is a system of each state with specific number of delegates, who eventually electing the president of the United States is simply referred to as Electoral College. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States).

The USA Electoral College (EC) was framed to keep the average voter from being able to elect the president directly. They probably had people like Donald Trump in mind when they created the EC and the rules that govern it.  It is doubtful that EC will elect Donald Trump as the next president.  The states that control EC votes are probably 80% to 90% decided on they will vote democrat or republican.  The state wise electoral maps assure the candidates of a GPS on what is assured and what they really need to work on.  There is no blaming the preconceived notions of people.  We are by birth prejudiced to something or the other, and politics are a major part of prejudices in a democratic life.

Donald Trump has his supporters and those supporters will translate into voters.  To start with he is running as a candidate representing the Republican Party.  There will be a fair share of registered Republicans who will vote for the Republican Party ticket, irrespective of the candidate.  This is no different for Democrats.  First and foremost a voter is aligned to the party’s agenda and not the candidate.  For sure we have not had a candidate with Trump’s profile in the USA presidential campaigns, but this is of no consequence to the voter that is beholding to the party.

Personally I am one of those voters who believe the allegiance to the party and its long-term manifesto is a way leading in to an election booth.  First priority is for every person who has the right to vote must exercise the democratic right, and then choose the party that best promotes the principles and philosophy every voter prefers.

The Electoral College has theirs too.  The system is not really complicated.  Each state has a set number of delegates (set number of EC that will vote to elect the president).  At the end of the night the EC votes matter and how the states have voted and the total votes and all other election matrices will not be of any consequence.  On the Election Day, whichever candidate gets 270 Electoral Votes, that’s our next president.

The nation's well being, future and its place in the world are driven by the larger scheme of what was done by prior administrations.  The new administration will set its priorities in motion, provided it has the overall support of Congress, which again has its own Electoral College, and local demographics driving the agenda.

Trump's supporters in this election are primarily republicans, and perhaps people who simply say he is just like me.  They are willing to accept Trump for what he is.  Their reasoning to vote for Trump is that everyone makes mistakes and every makes absurd comments and he is no different.  He is not a politician.

Every dangerous and disgusting thing Trump says proves he's not fit -- and that's the point. He's not fit for the current "system." And that is exactly his appeal. When he opened his apology by saying, "I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not," he was making it clear:

I'm not "pretending to be perfect," like "Hillary Clinton and her kind."

Obama won his first election thanks to the emotions of hope and enthusiasm. Trump could win this election on the emotions of frustration and resentment. Feelings are powerful. According to research, 95% of our decisions are based on subconscious factors -- like how we feel. Not logic. Not what you "know" is right. We make decisions based on what we feel in the moment.

This election is by far going to be any more civil (from what we have already gone thru), but the voter will have preconceived notions dictating the final decision to cast a vote.  What will dictate the outcome of this or any election is primarily the allegiance to the political party and to a small group of voters aligning with the subtle and unconscious human attachment to personality and traits.

While we all crave for change in politics, we simply like our life to be the same.  It is the true Irony of human beings, always looking for something outside of what we already have.

The math for 2016 elections is quite simple.  Focus on swing states and get your voters to the voting booth.  The already decided states need simple advertisement but the swing states need voter participation.  The candidate that gets most voters to show up at a polling place in swing sates, have this job for the next four years.  Rest of the rhetoric and fist fighting, is simply to convince a small potion of the electorate and demeaning the election process.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Aversion to Peace

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

Historically peace has always been the hallmark of prosperity and human development.  Whatever world history we can trace, the correlation to human excellence and peace is direct and irrefutable.  Perhaps the most sought after word in human life is peace.  “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men.”  While our history of thousands of years clearly correlates living in peace with living in harmony, the last 100 hundred years have really become human beings becoming more and more averse to peace.

A major portion of our documented history points to illegal or forced occupation, pillage, looting and things that typically are associated with the strong throwing their weight around the weak or disorganized.  Then came religious conversion as a by product of occupation and after effects of war.  The British along with the French, Portuguese and Spanish largely exploited with trade and divide and for a good three hundred years, along with throwing religious conversions, the 1900 century and beyond has become increasing more violent with intolerance.  When you even interject a small group of people with religious intolerance, the room for peace becomes non-existent.  Although religion is a new phenomenon with most of the religions on earth, the affinity to religion is paramount to most humans.

1900’s and on have had communism, dictatorship, fundamental societies, religious bigotry, fanaticism and all variations of influences on religious and regional groups have made it impossible for societies to live in peace.  There is some propaganda or diversion to life that infuriates that particular section of the society by simply injecting religion into it.  For some reason or the other religion gets the color of violence and the aspect of coexistence and peace get relegated to the past.

In the name of god there is more killing, there is more destruction and more suffering that any other earthly factor.  Volcanoes, typhoons, earth quakes, floods and natural disasters used to be major factors in loss of life, but they no longer major contributors to loss of life.  The technology and science is helping to deal with these issues and constantly improve the means to stave off natural disasters.

But religious fanatics has been growing by leaps and bounds and has over taken societies and countries and destroying the entire nation, its people, its infrastructure, and simply their way of life.  There are dozens of nations that have been devastated just because of factional and religious fanatics.  The very people that are of the same religion pay the heaviest price with life and their way of living.  It has become normal way of life to destroy everything around the world in the name of religion and comes with no ideological or historical logic.    The human life and its value have very little meaning in religious fanatics, in whatever form it exists.  At birth and at death, all are equal and choosing to live in peace is also something everyone strives for, and injecting any forced aspect of life simply doesn’t allow for the entire society to live the way it should.



It is simple to destroy civilization.  The vast majority of human civilization is in the open and unprotected.  These important parts of human existence and their past are every where on earth, and are of great significance in imparting the value of history and the past.  The religions that have constantly sprung into existence really don’t have to appreciate the significance of the history and past, but making them targets of destruction is simply destroying who we were and who we came from.  It has nothing to do with religion and propagating something specific.  Its vandalism and showing force against the history and people who are defenseless.



Somehow the very definition of societies and peace has become a distant concept for many parts of the world.  It is not that the propagation of violence and religion is bringing any kind of response from the rest of the society.  Outside of war, destruction and killing nothing good has come from these areas of conflict.  The only byproduct is that the spilling of the fanatics into disrupting the rest of the society that lives in peace, while gaining nothing in respect from the world.