Society and The Need For Political Change

Sunday, August 12, 2012
With the current economic climate and the 'election worries' in the air, it is clear that what our political leaders are worried about is a lot more than an impending election but what is it going to take to make it for the long haul.

You see, with the whole world now changed from a structure that 'used to work' now into a social, economic, demographic, gender and race stratus that now screams for equilibrium we're need to all take careful and wise action for the change we need, which will only really take place once our leaders step in line with what is necessary to lead us all, world wide, through the new political world climate we're facing.

Economic upheaval is peaking as tensions rise all over the world in this current writing. And their doesn't seem to be an end to it all or least the light at the end of the tunnel is a long way off, but not necessarily the 'oncoming train'. We all hope that the train would go by, however, and we could get on with a more normal life.

None of the 'good stuff of life' is going to happen, however, unless we show some fortitude and find a way to start doing something intelligent about our situation.

The key: with a very low popularity and approval rate, it is unlikely that our governmental leaders (here in the U.S.A.) have, nor are they doing something about the issues. So as things go, the next thing we all need to be aware of what is between us and the chair we're sitting on. We have to act if things are going to change.

Let me explain. One 'set of actions' led the voters in one state to give a felon (still incarcerated) about 40% favorable votes versus the current sitting President. A number of incidences I have run into would prove Americans to be lazy, unhelpful or otherwise self-involved. This all is so much that it is surprising that things are not worse in the U.S.A.

We need to get involved with grass roots politics. We need to vote before the election 'due date' comes upon us. This means commenting on blogs, tweeting that tweet, clicking on a social link, writing that email or letter, and frankly anything else on an issue of concern that will get your representative(s) to pay attention. We all did this with SOPA and yes; they threw more on to the fire of Internet freedoms shortly thereafter. We were then called 'Cyber Bullies'. Well? What is it going to take to get the government and our leaders to listen? Some have resorted to greater extremes (NOT CONDONED) in the occupy movements.

When things are heading toward 'serious' then serious things need to be done. A call to action, indolent in a political movement, an active place in government, getting involved in political action committees, communicate but what ever you do get educated, understand the issues affecting your world and life today, develop a plan then implement it. Before it is too late.

By Joshua A Sinclair

Politics in India - What Is There for Common Men?

Saturday, August 11, 2012
India is the World's largest democracy with the largest number of political parties. Here every Indian has a right to vote but does everyone get a fair chance to stand for Parliament? Moreover how many young men and women want to make a career in politics? The current situation of politics in India is beyond understanding. Every political party anyhow wants to come to power.

If we look at the current scenario of politics we will realize that Indian politics is facing a lot of burning issues. Whether it is the popular Jan Lokpal Bill or the 2G scam, helplessness of Government on inflation or to cope with Naxalism, the list is endless. Politics and politicians have lost all respect to the common man. Slapping and hitting the shoe has become a common practice which clearly shows the disrespect for politicians today. Now politics is full of scams, controversy and allegations.

Recently, agriculture minister of India and President of International Cricket Council Sharad Pawar was slapped by one Harvinder Singh, and senior advocate Prashant Bhushan was not only slapped but kicked also in his chest and dragged by his feet in his own chamber near the Supreme Court. You can buy latest images and videos of these powerful slaps from big media houses. The popular Jan Lokpal Bill is making headlines even today and Anna Hazare is still in the battle against corruption, an important question which needs immediate solution.

When we talk about politics how we could forget Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, daughter of former Chief Minister Karunanidhi, who was arrested on charges of involvement in 2G spectrum scam. However, she was finally bailed out on 28 November 2011. To deal with inflation is another challenging task for the Government but the government seems to find no way to solve the problem. You too can buy content for these political movements. The possible Russian ban on Bhagawad Gita, the holy book of Hindus rocked the political aisle recently. Whether it is Telangana movement to create a new state of Telangana; the various militant communist groups known as Naxalite; extremists terrifying the common man or the corruption spreading all over India, these are just some of the issues that Indian Government is finding the solutions for.

The current political scenario of India clearly shows a worse picture that nobody wants to see. But this is the truth. You can also witness these incidents as you can buy latest news images about these from reputed media houses.

Every political party is trying its best to come to power by degrading one another irrespective of the fact that they too are the part of same dirt. Do they have some better plans for the growth and prosperity of the nation? Finally it is the poor common man who suffers the most without harming anyone.

Although the movements such as Jan Lokpal Bill against corruption are quite relieving still it is not enough. We need some young, educated but responsible leaders who can give a new direction to the nation and can do something good for the betterment of our motherland.

By Joanne Elizabeth

US Federal Government - It's Not Perfect, But Should We Expect More?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
There sure are a lot of people criticizing the United State's Federal Government. They say things such as; the Federal Government is wasteful, corrupt, incompetent, and inefficient. And whereas, one could say with such a huge blob of bureaucracy one is bound to find some inefficiencies, waste, corruption, and incompetence right? Sure that makes sense, nothing is perfect, not you, your family, not your company, and not your closest friends either.

Not long ago, I was debating this with an acquaintance who stated; "There are holes in the system." Well, indeed, there always will be, it is the nature of complex systems and Murphy will always exploit the weaknesses. My acquaintance also noted; "There are both right and wrong policies. Good and bad policies." Yes, and it would be hard to argue with that either. And when it comes to incompetence, yes, there are "Competent officials and incompetent officials."

Surely, I think we all accept that, or should at least be honest with ourselves on those points. Likewise there are corrupted and less-than-corrupt officials, at all levels of the bureaucracy. Now, my acquaintance asks a most dubious question, one not often asked; "The question is; are the scales tipped in the wrong direction?"

Okay so, that is one way consider it, however, I'd like to form a different question, as I am not so comfortable with where the answers to this question takes us. You see, since historically political decisions lead to unintended consequences, shouldn't government be smaller, making fewer decisions, therefore they'd have fewer messes to clean-up. Further, if government makes a mess, why would we put our faith in their ability to fix it?

Let's discuss one more inquiry in this thought of the day, shall we? "Is there more wrong, bad and incompetence than right, good and competence?"

Once again, I'd like to state that maybe that is the wrong question to ask as well, because, maybe the system is not working because it's gotten off track;

1.) Revolving Door of Politicians, Bureaucrats, regulators, government lawyers going to work for those who work to abuse the system, using those insider connections.

2.) Abuses of privileges of all three branches of government, over stepping their checks and balances. Legislating from the bench, obscure executive orders, DOJ witch hunts of other branches, legislators interfering in regulatory investigations, etc. etc.

3.) A pay-to-play government, for lobbyists, corporations, unions - without the ability for a citizen or small businesses to express their concerns.

If the system of checks-and-balances has been corrupted, then in reality it does not exist, without it, the natural human tendencies will rear their ugly heads early and often. Some might say that it's because "democracy is messy" as Obama said in his State of the Union Address. No, I'd say that Chicago Mafia style dirty politics is messy, and it's no way to run the greatest nation in the history of mankind.

"This is not a perfect world we live in!"

No, it's not, but that doesn't mean it can't be, or that we can't do better with our Federal Government than we have in past periods. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this.

By Lance Winslow

Government, Politics and Spirituality

Monday, August 6, 2012
Origins of Nationhood and Government

All life emanates from the single source (God, Spirit...). On taking physical form we become distant from that unity and adopt a distinct individuality. The purpose of physical incarnation is to experience that disconnection from source and those things that can only be experienced through interaction with other incarnate entities. As such the knowledge of our origin is hidden.

In the beginning, incarnate entities existed independently. However, the mechanics of evolution demonstrated the benefits of co-operation. Working together each member achieves more than it could in isolation. Thus groups, tribes, nations, societies... were formed. To be effective each group needs rules, and a means of enforcing those rules (laws). Hence the need for leadership (government). At essence laws encourage selflessness by curtailing selfish behavior.

Governments have enabled enormous human progress on the material plane by providing the infrastructures that promote enterprise and creativity, eg who would bother to make an effort if his neighbor could simply come along and snatch the fruits of his labor? Government-provided health, education and welfare services underline the sanctity of life, a very Spiritual ideal. Without the benefits of formal government humanity probably couldn't have reached its current heights.

But there is a negative side to government. Most notably the wars perpetrated in "national" interest. Such behavior indicates Spiritual immaturity. Unfortunately the technological progress that created a whole a host of weapons of mass destruction outstrips our Spiritual growth, hence the tragic devastation caused by warfare. More subtly, all governments curtail individual liberty and freedom of expression to some degree.

Many forms of government have existed and continue to exist, ranging from the jungle-like dictatorship where the strongest holds dominion over all else, through to democracy in which everyone has a say on who leads, can lobby the leadership, and even run for the job themselves. Though democracy appears, and probably is, the most agreeable form of government, consider that most democratic governments enjoy (sometimes substantially) less than 50% of the possible votes, and are not the choice of the majority. Furthermore, even their supporters probably don't support every single policy and detail.

Politics and Spirituality

Politics is the process of proposing governmental policies and arguing the merits of those policies over others. That wild differences of political opinion have always existed and continue to do so proves only that there is no single best way. Indeed there is not even common agreement as to the role of government, never mind how it should be achieved.

Elections are a barometer of the current state of society's Spiritual progress. If one happens to live in a democracy should one participate, and if so, how? While on earth our Spiritual duty is to engage with earthly affairs (else we wouldn't be here). As election time approaches we ought to familiarize ourselves with the available options. You might find one choice better for you personally, while another favors society as a whole. If so, it becomes a question of degree, eg can you sacrifice a little extra tax in return for vastly improved public health services? Remember, abstention is also a valid option, though ideally it should come from a considered decision rather than apathy. In the final reckoning, be guided by your inner instinct.

By J Finnis

Karnataka Government

Saturday, August 4, 2012
Karnataka political system characterizes several regional parties like any other south Indian state. The political scenario of Karnataka is always full of gossips and the state has to handle creed, language and case issues frequently. In totality there are 7 regional parties apart from the Congress and BJP who form the main competitors. Karnataka is the IT hub of the nation and thus forms a major part of the economic scenario. With so much importance, Karnataka is a major topic of discussion among the masses and the media.

There are 225 major constituencies in the state, major among them being Bhatkal, Jagalur, Aurad, Hanur, Channagiri, Kushtagi, Puttur, Karwar, Malur, Mandya, and Vemgal. Koppal, Shimoga, Kolar, Chikmagalur, and Udupi form the Lok Sabha constituencies. While the bills need to passed and discussed by the two major political parties, it is the regional ones that play a greater role in the move.

The regional parties in Karnataka that determine the elections in a big way are Coorg National Council (Mr. N. U. Nachappa as the general secy), Kannad Chalavali Vatal Paksha (Mr. Vatal Nagaraj), Karnataka Congress Party, Karnataka Kranti Ranga, Karnataka Vikas Party, Maharastra Ekikaran Samithi, and URS Samyuktha Paksha. These form a major role in the coalition.

What has haunted the Karnataka political scenario since long has been the inter caste rivalries. Anti - Hindu and anti - Tamil rivalries have been issues since the '60 and still not solved. Vokkaligas and Lingayats are primary case divisions. For long in the 2000, the Kaveri water dispute was a major agenda and the parties made it their triumph card in the elections.

By Madhumay Mallik

India: Bizarre Happenings and Politics of Turmoil!

Thursday, August 2, 2012
From ancient times it has been a proven war strategy to try to strike the enemy at it weakest point. At the moment the ruling coalition of India seems to be the common enemy thanks to all sorts of campaigns and bizarre happenings. And of course, the coalition has been at its weakest due to the number game and a series of unending scams.

If a few crucial allies withdraw support the ruling coalition of India will be reduced to minority and these allies got emboldened by the recent election results in five states of the country where Congress-the main part of the coalition-did poorly including at the most politically strategic state of Uttar Pradesh.

Opposition political parties saw another opportunity to corner the government and joined hands with the allies directly or indirectly. The state election results also indicated a possible reemergence of regional forces at the cost of the national opposition parties. The debate on centre-state power equation in the federal structure of the country heated up questioning the Govt. of India on its proposals to enact central laws regarding the anti-corruption ombudsman and a national counter-terrorism centre. And, bizarre happenings have become the order of the day.

Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party came back to power in Uttar Pradesh with thundering majority and dad Mulayam ruled for his son Akhilesh to become the new Chief Minister. A major constituent of the central coalition Samajwadi Party's continued support was reiterated by Mulayam. But suddenly he began to dream about becoming the next Prime Minister of India! Why now...obviously!

The regional party in the southern state of Tamil Nadu-another strong constituent of the coalition-forced the government to vote against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A decision which the government of India would have examined intensively otherwise. Why now....obviously!

The regional party in the eastern state of West Bengal-another troublesome ally of the coalition-sacked its own railway minister at the centre for presenting a healthy railway budget for 2012-13. The party feigned ignorance about the proposal to hike railway fares after almost a decade and created havoc just after the budget was presented. A new leader from the party was appointed as the railway minister and he immediately announced a rollback. While common people never objected to this most-urgent fare hike the party stuck to its populist propaganda or blackmail. Why now...obviously!

In a sinister move the newly elected regional government in the northern state of Punjab decided to ask clemency for an assassin on death row who killed a former chief minister of the same state and who had been prosecuted by the same state government since 1995. Why and why now? For regional or religious support? It is hazardous and extremely harmful to try guess any further. But obvious from our line of argument.

The Chief of Indian Army General V K Singh chose his time to deliver a bombshell. He alleged that a huge bribe was offered to him by a retired General in 2010 to get a deal for sub-standard equipments passed. He refused of course, but waited for nearly two years to disclose the facts. General Singh had already been engaged in a bitter row with the government of India concerning his age and date of birth. Two sets of documents reveal two separate dates of births and years. He fought against the government in the Supreme Court, but lost the legal battle. So, as per his official date of birth he was to retire in May, 2012 and if the other date was proved he would have retired after nine months from this. General Singh also alleged of rampant corruption in army making it obsolete and thus compromising the security of the country in a letter written to the Prime Minister. Why this particular timing...well not that obvious, but giving ample opportunities for the interested parties to intensify attack on the 'common enemy'.

The largest democracy of the world looks set on a course of bitter 'democratic' fights and politics of turmoil. Things are set at the moment to get murkier and more bizarre as time progresses.

For the citizens of the country identifying the 'common enemy' seems to be the most urgent task of the hour. Goddamned difficult it is going to be indeed!

By Chinmay Chakravarty

The Big Government Virus

Monday, July 30, 2012
A biological virus is defined, according to as: "an ultramicroscopic metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacterial, plants, and animals composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope." A computer virus is defined as "a segment of self-replicating code planted illegally in a computer program, often to damage or shut down a system or network."

There is a new type of virus known as BGV (The Big Government Virus). This is a virus that combines the maliciousness of a computer virus with the heartbreaking reality of a biological virus. BGV is similar to a computer virus in that it is caused by people and planted in hosts with purposeful intent. It is similar to a biological virus in the way it replicates itself in the body politic.

There is no cure for BGV. There is no treatment, antibiotic, or anti-virus software that will remove it once it takes hold. The virus reproduces itself on a geometric scale. The best way of dealing with this treacherous disease is to prevent it from infecting the host in the first place. Like all viruses, BGV is a parasite that needs to feed off of a living host in order to survive and spread.

The good news is that BGV is completely preventable. It requires education from a young age and continuing vigilance throughout a person's life but as long as people are aware of the warning signs, they can prevent the infection from contaminating them and their neighbors.

Schools have started many education programs for the prevention of viruses such as AIDS. They have handed out condoms to young children and explained to these young kids how to have sex so that it is less risky. Now with this new wicked virus, young children will need to be educated to how BGV works, how it spreads and how it can be prevented.

Like many viruses, at first BGV seems harmless. Its danger is in its deceptive nature. It often fools people into thinking that it is beneficial. This is why education of BGV is so important. People first need to identify carriers of the virus. There are people who knowingly carry this virus and purposely spread it to others. Most of these people are democrat politicians. The virus works thusly:

A democrat politician such as Barack Obama will say something such as "The rich need to pay their fair share". This is the entry point of BGV. Taxes then get raised. At this point the BGV bug takes hold. People will naturally try to prevent giving their hard earned money to the government. They may try to put it in tax shelters. So, a new government agency needs to be created in order to monitor the economic activity of citizens. A certain amount of freedom is lost as this new agency tells people how and where they can invest their money.

This new agency costs money as well. Hundreds of new IRS agents need to be hired. Therefore, the raising of taxes has an expense associated with it as a portion of the new taxes has to go into paying for the new agency.

Then the people who have to pay the extra taxes have to change their plans. Not having the money to invest the way they want, they have to cancel certain expenditures. A person planning to buy a BMW puts those plans off until the economic situation is better. Other people do the same. Soon there is extra inventory at BMW. Sales people are let go as cars are not selling.

The sales people who are let go from BMW file for unemployment. Now, instead of the government receiving taxes from all those BMW sales people, the government has to pay them unemployment checks. So the extra revenue from raising taxes now has another bill associated with it. There are less people paying taxes because less people are working and not only are there less tax payers, but the government goes from receiving money from those people to PAYING money to those people.

The trucking companies that deliver BMW cars, the mechanics that repair them, the suppliers who supply the steel, computer components, electrical equipment, and leather for the seats all let people go because demand is so low. Now the unemployment rate is really starting to rise and in an act of compassion, the unemployment insurance period is increased by six months which causes government to pay out even more money.

Now the BGV illness has completely infected the body politic. People have less money because the government is confiscating more and more. In addition, the government is telling them how and where they can invest the money they are allowed to keep. This loss of freedom and individual wealth is not offset by any gains in government revenue because whatever new money the government hoped to obtain is paid out in new expenses that didn't exist before the tax increase.

This is only the beginning of the damage caused by the BGV virus. Not only is there a bunch of new expenses, but there isn't any new economic growth. A person who was planning to create an extra room in his home puts those plans off because after paying the extra taxes, he doesn't have enough money left. The construction firm that would have gotten the job and would have paid taxes on it now pays no taxes and goes out of business because no one else is adding rooms to their homes either.

The insidious virus is now in full replication mode. Politicians see the infection spreading but instead of trying to treat it, they perpetuate it with more of the same. With unemployment levels skyrocketing and debt growing, the politicians decide to create new government jobs. The people who do these jobs go off of unemployment but their very salary is still paid by other tax payers! These jobs cost money and produce little. In addition, the people who do these jobs become dependent on the very system that gave them the jobs in the first place. A vicious cycle begins as the people who work for the government become permanent perpetuators of the BGV disease!

With all the new government jobs, there is no innovation by individuals. People who may have come up with inventions and ideas that could improve the lives of others don't have the money to invest. There is no entrepreneurialism because not only do people lack the money to invest but they also know that even if they manage to scrape up the money, come up with a great idea, work hard and have success, they still won't get to keep the fruits of their hard work! Soon people become dependent on other countries for products because the cost of producing them here and taking risks versus the potential rewards becomes prohibitive.

At this point the BGV germs are circulating all through the body politic. The infection is severe. Debt and unemployment are high. Individual freedom is in danger. There is no growth in the economy. Opportunities are few and innovation is null. So what do the politicians do? They ask to raise taxes again! This is similar to an endless loop in the worst computer virus. A loop is a piece of computer code that repeats itself over and over until some condition is finally met to stop it. But with another rise in taxes, there is no exit to the loop as it repeats again and again while doing more damage each time it runs through. The patient, already infected with a severe case of BGV, will not survive if the loop continues to run.

Awareness of diseases is important. People have cancer walks and AIDS walks in order to prevent the spread of diseases and raise consciousness. They remind people to see doctors and get checked for breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. The time has come for a BGV walk to create awareness and to put a definitive end to this horrific epidemic. It is now time to educate the public to the scourge known as the BGV (Big Government) virus. This self perpetuating disease has always been around in one form or another. It can be reasonably argued that this disease has caused more death and destruction than any other. The infection rate has, hitherto, been kept in check in the United States. Now the country is in danger of a BGV epidemic. It must be stopped.

By Howard Jacobs