Posted in Poem

Vernal Diarrhea

Vernal Diarrhea

The bloom is around the corner. But where?
 The frost must've bitten it to dust.
 The brown hasn't given way to green. But why?
 The ghost of winter must continue to haunt it.
The dawn shan't feel this cold,
 And the dusk mustn't feel this crisp.
 The brawn of the conventional wisdom lies exposed,
 And the husk mustn't feel this taut.
Every year, every month, and every week,
 Every day, every hour, and every minute.
 The ghastly cycles of these seasonal changes,
 Do only bring upon vertigo to the weak.
The sensible and the sensitive churn through in pain,
 While the vile human disregard does the damage.
 This ain't how spring arrives my fellow species,
 This is exactly how a vernal diarrhea flushes in!

March 21 is World Poetry Day as declared by the UN. So here is a poem.
To be precise, that’s just an excuse to write a poem after a long time.

Posted in Poem, Thamizh (தமிழ்)

முரண்நகை

[March 21 is World Poetry Day]
முரண்நகை

அறியாமைக்கும் முட்டாள்தனத்திற்கும் இடையேயுள்ள
தூரம் எவ்வளவென அளக்க முற்பட்டேன்.
எல்லோரும் என்னை இப்பொழுது முட்டாள்
என்றழைக் கிறார்கள்.
ஏனோ?

பேராசைக்கும் பொறாமைக்கும் இடையேயுள்ள
தூரம் எவ்வளவென அளக்க முற்பட்டேன்.
பேராசை இல்லாதவர்களப் பார்த்தால்
பொறாமையாக இருக்கிறது இப்பொழுது.
ஏனோ?

நம்பிக்கைக்கும் நப்பாசைக்கும் இடையேயுள்ள
தூரம் எவ்வளவென அளக்க முற்பட்டேன்.
நம்பிக்கை இருந்தால் நன்றாக இருக்கும்
என்றொரு நப்பாசை வந்து விட்டது எனக்கு இப்பொழுது.
ஏனோ?

வெற்றிக்கும் தோல்விக்கும் இடையே உள்ள
தூரம் எவ்வளவென அளக்க முற்பட்டேன்.
அது புலனுணர்வு மட்டுமே என்ற றிந்தபட்சத்தில்
அவ்வெற்றியைக் கொண்டாடுகிறேன் இப்பொழுது
என்னை முட்டாளென்றழைத் தவர்களோடு.

Translation (Loose)

Irony
——
I sought out to find the difference between Ignorance and Stupidity.
They call me stupid these days. I wonder why!

I sought out to find the difference between Greed and Jealousy.
I am now jealous of those who don’t have any greed. I wonder why!

I sought out to find the difference between Faith and Illusion.
Now, I have an illusion that having faith may be good. I wonder why!

I sought out to find the difference between Success and Failure.
Once I found out that it’s just Perception,
I have decided to celebrate my success of attaining that wisdom
with those who called me stupid.

Posted in Obama, Politics - General, Uncategorized

Outmaneuvering the Opposition for a SCOTUS nomination

Some folks call President Obama’s move to nominate appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia’s sudden passing, a master stroke or a “gangster” move – legally speaking.

Why?

And by no means, I am a judicial expert or someone whom claims to have any remote legal expertise. So what I am collating here is simply an analysis of the current situation juxtaposed with what I see as possible distribution of powers after the elections this year in November, all viewed through a thin prism of my political understanding.

Merrick Garland is a widely liked judge. Someone whose record has been praised multiple times by many GOP senators in the past. Apparently, his name has always come up in the shortlist of potential future nominees put together by Senate Republicans. Even though he is considered a moderate (not a liberal or a progressive), his reputation has been spotless so far. So, when it comes to voting up or down, many Republicans simply can’t come to terms with voting a “No” to Judge Garland.

Obama 1 : Senate GOP – 0.

Now, we all know the real issue here is Mitch McConnell’s obfuscating obstructionism. Not just McConnell, the entire lot has been caught in the grip. It is very understandable. The GOP senators fear losing their majority status come November. 34 senate seats are up for grabs this November and 24 of them are currently GOP seats. All Democrats need is to win 4-5 of them to take control of the senate in 2016. So, with the majority of the country (close to 70%) not being on the side of Mitch McConnell and his SCOTUS nomination obstructionist actions, there are these vulnerable senators from this basket of 24, who are worried about retaining their seats. I mean they arboreally worried because this is a real issue for their constituents.

And Obama’s tactics of throwing Merrick Garland at them is really like telling them “Hey, you know what’s going to happen in November. You are not going to win the Presidency. At least, try to keep your senate majority…and believe me you are not going to get anyone better than Judge Garland..”. This is not a high risk strategy. A calculated strategy. As it turns out, it is already working. Senator Kirk (IL) was the first one to agree to meet with Garland earlier today (breaking away from McConnell). As I type this post, the number of Republican senators likely to agree to meet with Garland is anywhere between 6 to 8.

Wow! That’s progress. Don’t you think?

Obama 2 : Senate GOP – 0.

Now, what if Obama’s calculated risk doesn’t pay off? What if the obstructionists prevail till November somehow and Garland’s nomination doesn’t come up for vote at all?
This is where it gets interesting.

This election has been like nothing we have seen before.

If Trump becomes the GOP nominee, going by the love we all know the GOP senators have for him, it will be a lose – lose situation for the senators, because everyone agrees (implicitly in some cases) that a Trump (or even a Cruz) nomination guarantees a Democratic Presidency. Most likely a Hillary Presidency. If that happens, no matter what happens in the senate races, Obama could simply withdraw the nomination and let Hillary take control of the nomination process come January 2017.  Then Hillary has all the freedom in the world to push the GOP senators in her first year to get her pick processed. If anyone were to guess, it would be one of those progressive nominees.

(Please see the attached picture for all the possible scenarios that I am predicting).

SCOTUS Scenarios
SCOTUS Scenarios

Obama 3 : Senate GOP – 0.

If GOP breaks into two before November and we have a three way tie to Presidency, it is bad news for the 24 Republican senators. There is every chance that the Democrats will take control of the senate. In addition, a three way tie is the equivalent of serving the Presidency on a gold platter, elegantly gift wrapped to Hillary Clinton. So, Hillary will get to do whatever she wants with the nomination in the shortest possible time after she takes office.

Obama 4 : Senate GOP – 0.

Now, I really think President Obama is prepared to play the long game. He is not too concerned if his legacy should necessarily include one more SCOTUS Justice nomination or not. Yes, it would not be a bad thing to add 3 justices to his legacy, but the pragmatic leader he is (btw, have you read the Obama Doctrine? If not, do read it..), he is absolutely comfortable to hand it over to the next Democratic President and have him/her take that credit.

By choosing Judge Merrick Garland (and not Loretta Lynch or Sri Srinivasan or a few others as I have listed in the picture attached), Obama has carefully avoided falling into the trap of his critics who could have gone on the record claiming..”There he is! A nominee who was selected not so much for his/her jurisprudence but more as a way to balance out the diversity in the courtroom because Obama is black..”. And by choosing a relatively moderate nominee, the POTUS is also playing it safe to his own base, even though his own base would much rather have preferred a progressive woman nominee or someone with a minority background with progressive leanings. He realizes that there is a good chance that Merrick Garland may not get confirmed till November, which means he could turn it over to Hillary and simply withdraw Judge Garland from the race. That is not good news for Garland (after seeing him get a bit emotional today, I would feel really bad for him should this situation arise), but this is part of the political game and he shouldn’t be surprised one bit that he could become a pawn in that play. An experienced scholar law he is, I am sure he is fully aware of what he is getting into.

Final thoughts: I am a learner of politics. I am fascinated by political negotiations  in general and strategies that politicians resort to outsmart their opponents. But at the end of the day, it is intelligent, smart and socially conscious politicians whom I admire the most. Politicians and leaders who think, articulate their thoughts clearly and are genuinely intelligent & humble are characteristics that I respect the most. Barack Obama is one such politician whom I have had the opportunity to follow & learn from. I respect him because he possesses most of what I admire in politicians.

His political acumen is often overshadowed by his oratory skills. His shrewd understanding of the world and a realistic assertion of where United States should be in the world map are often overshadowed by a perceived foreign policy weakness, as ably projected by his critics. His flamboyance is given more media coverage than his thorough scholarly approach he takes to governance.

I believe he truly believes in the goodness of people and genuinely thinks negativity can be wiped out by positivity. Some may call it naive and some may call it arrogance. But as far as I am concerned, it is simply his political smartness. He has used this as a weapon of sorts often during his past seven years to outmaneuver his opponents, every time he has run into a situation like what he is in now with the SCOTUS nomination.

Interesting times ahead.

Postscript: By the way, President Obama’s decision to announce his nomination today is a stroke of genius as well. A day after March 15. On 03/15, Trump won 4 primaries and kicked the establishment favorite Rubio out of the race. Even though he is a presumptive nominee right now, the establishment doesn’t want to make it easy for him. So, there are already discussions on a potential contested convention, with Trump threatening of riots should he be denied the nomination. All this makes the GOP presidential field a live wire and what better day to throw a match stick into the field than today?

Posted in Politics - General, Uncategorized

The crisis that shouldn’t have been – Part 2

Should Rick Snyder go?

Here is the first part I wrote about 2 months back. And no, I didn’t think I would have to write Part 2 then.

Several things have happened since my last post. To be precise, several facts have come out (which were not known then or not disclosed to public then). My general goal for the last post was to highlight three things –

  1. This crisis could have been avoided and such things shouldn’t happen in a developed nation
  2. Don’t politicize this issue
  3. Calling for Rick Snyder’s resignation is the easiest thing to do

In this post, I really want to revisit the third point, i.e. Rick Snyder’s resignation. And why do I want to do that?

Here are some quick facts that I know now and didn’t know then.

  1. Rick Snyder had been aware of the crisis much much longer than he made us believe originally. He is the governor of the state and the buck stops with him. His office releasing 1000s of emails voluntarily is certainly commendable but the uncomfortable truth is that he himself was made aware of the magnitude of the problem as early as October 2015 (In November 2015, his advisor was advised by a deputy director of MSP emergency management to declare emergency right away).
  2. Rick Snyder knew of the spread/increase in the Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee county as early as March 2015.
  3. Since Jan 5, 2016, after declaring emergency, Rick Snyder has been more focused on working on repairing his reputation than any real interest in taking responsibility for what happened. His attempts to take ownership so far have been short of genuine in my opinion and have been superfluous with the focus being mostly around his PR.
  4. Finally, the legal cost that he and his office is incurring are being very cleverly billed back to the state, which means, we the Michigan tax payers will be paying for that. In other words, we are being punished twice by Gov. Rick Snyder and his office. That’s just not acceptable.

Based on what I know now, I think it is time for the responsible citizens of Michigan to put pressure on Gov. Snyder to do the right thing.

1) Take complete ownership, by which I mean he should come out in the open and say that it was a blunder and that he knew of the problem since March, 2015, but he didn’t do squat.

2) Pay for the legal fees from his pocket or make his lobbying friends from the million dollar club pay for it.

3) Stop worrying about his PR and his reputation and instead work on fixing the problem by being cooperative with the Federal government.

If he fails to do any of the above by a certain time, it’s time for us to push for his resignation.

Side note: The GOP political field successfully stayed away from talking about this for so long..till they had no choice. That was when they had to get ready for the Michigan Primaries on March 8, 2016. And in that one debate, I think the candidates must have spent something like 5 minutes put together talking about the crisis. I don’t know about you. This is not just amusing but completely pathetic & unacceptable to me.

 

Posted in Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

Hello America, This is 2016!

This is 2016. And we are talking about United States of America, the self proclaimed “most advanced country” in the world and unquestionably the center of all economic power & the most critical global influencer.

And yet, we have states like Texas, who have systematically fought the abortion laws by making it harder and harder for women to get abortions. Texas, the most populated state in the country has only about 10 abortion clinics in the whole state (down from 40 a few years ago), making the average distance per county to be 111 miles for the nearest clinic, if a woman needs it.

If this is not a systematic display of state’s misogyny, what else is?

I really can’t fathom how in 2016, in the most advanced country in the world, would men get to dictate what women should do to their bodies, that too in the most cruel and inhuman ways.  Now, “It’s more complicated than a simple women’s choice” argument is complete b***sh*** and you know that, if you ever want to bring that up. So, please shut up and accept is it a simple case of men exercising their authority over women. Period.

Also, if you start claiming that these laws are about “women’s safety”, again, I would say “Please stop spitting crap and shut your t**p, because you have no idea what you are talking about.”

And it angers me once again, that the Supreme Court has been roped into opine on a case, while in my opinion there is really no case to begin with, as it is a case of violation on the part of states like Texas to deny abortion to anyone – Violation of the original Row vs Wade ruling, which incidentally is the law of the land.

Here is John Lever’s take on this.

Meanwhile, I really hope that the huge vacuum left by the evil justice Scalia actually works in this case’s favor as it is being heard in the Supreme Court this week.

Posted in Humor - General, Miscellaneous, Politics - General, Uncategorized

Mr. Trump – Dr. Seuss Edition

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday..
So, How would Dr. Seuss decribe Mr. Trump?
Just a little imagination…

Dr. Seuss Clipart.jpg

Bump, Bump, Bump..

Did you check the latest polls that gave a jump?

He is no wump with a single slump. He is a man called Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump just got a Super Tuesday jump, after one bump after another bump.

When he takes a dump through his mouth, Mr. Trump gets a seven point jump over every single wump who is running against Mr. Trump.

So, if Mr. Trump wants a bump, he just takes a clump of a dump on the rump of the chump, while he is on the campaign stump.