Friday, April 08, 2016

Why I Support Donald J Trump

Support for politicians is rarely because of their policy positions. It is about affinity of temperament, the force of personality and a feeling that the politician is on "my side". It is also usually about who that politician is up against.

I have not been interested in US politics till this year's cycle. I believe this election cycle is a watershed event in the history of the United States because of the widespread appeal of two candidates who are not supported by their parties.

Bernie Sanders (Democrat) and Donald J Trump (Republican) are running for office, and running against the behemoth of political establishment, the avalanche of biased media, and immense money power.

They are the leaders of the new age. Today traditional media is failing to sway people and social media is the new democratic reality. People clearly perceive the corruption inherent in the political process and are making up their own minds about their nominee. This is fearsome to the power fraternity in the country and beyond. The elite want the system to continue to serve them, and democracy is all fine and good as long as the elite get to choose their government.

The elite are unable to control Bernie Sanders and Donald J Trump and their supporters. These two leaders are not yet sold out to special interests and those who want to continue to subjugate the American people as well as the rest of the world.

From an essay titled American Spring:
Throughout history, elites and plutocrats have feared direct democracy. One-person, one-vote logically leads towards mob rule. Socialism. Tribalism. The masses are always “crazier” than the elites. The elites like the status quo, so they pull policy towards the center. It’s the masses that want real change.
YouTube killed TV and Twitter ate the news. Donald’s tweeting from his jet and Bernie’s kickstarter went viral. Software is eating politics and the elites have lost control.
Now we see “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The neatly labeled bundles of “Democrat” and “Republican” are going to get re-assembled by the voters, one vote at a time instead of one dollar at a time.
I like many of the positions taken by DJT and Bernie Sanders, but my admiration for them goes beyond the policy positions. I am enthralled that in the most powerful country on the planet, there is finally a popular uprising against the kleptocracy of power.

And the powers-that-be are in danger of losing their gravy train.  They are not taking this lightly.

The mass media is relentless in its vilification of DJT. All stops are being pulled to have negative headlines about him, to mock him, to provide misleading statistics about him, to portray his supporters as illiterate buffoons who should know better than to support someone who finally is on their side, and to stop him from becoming the Republican nominee or the US President.

I hope and believe Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2016, and go on to become the President of USA.

I am usually on the side of the person who I see being treated unfairly. And from very early in this election cycle, I noticed the brutal media coverage of DJT. I recognized the ideological positions and the financial interests against his candidacy. That was when I decided to be on his side.

I have no affection for social justice warriors, for a media system that is corrupt and sold out for ratings, for third wave feminism, for "black lives matter" and their intolerance for any dialog, for "safe spaces", for welfare without accountability, for the leftist hatred of wealth and success and beauty, for the shrill abuse of men and their imaginary "privilege", for the politically correct discourse in which to talk meaningfully about race or gender or religion is forbidden, and for the slow curtailment of the United States Bill of Rights (which I consider probably the greatest constitutional document in human history).

When I perceived all my ideological opponents railing against a specific candidate, I knew he was my candidate. And his campaign has not disappointed me.

He has taken strong positions against Islamic terrorism, against illegal immigration, against open borders, against the shift of manufacturing and services jobs to outside United States, for protecting the second amendment, and so on. Someone who is a traditional conservative will be glad to support such a candidate.

Apart from his policy positions, what is even more admirable in him is his independence, his freshness and his rejection of the Republican establishment positions even when these puts him at risk of immense criticism. I admire his doctrine of deterrence rather than intervention, his critique of the Iraq war, his wanting to have peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine, his desire to support Planned Parenthood for non-abortion-related activities, his desire to help those who cannot afford healthcare at all, and his skill in deal-making...

By uttering a single sentence during his relentless trap-questioning about abortion, he exposed the hollowness and the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement that equates abortion with murder but refuses to recognize the agency of the mother in this murder. He was forced to issue a clarification, sure, but that just goes to show the intense corruption of the cultural landscape in which even DJT has to pander to hypocrisy or be ruled out as unviable.
From a comment on Dalrock:
Those ‘pro-life’ people who disagree with that statement are not committed to ending abortion- they are committed to having a political issue to either run on or make a living with.
...

I believe that US Presidents can be hobbled if they cannot get the Congress or the Senate to get along with them, and a man who is skilled in negotiation and persuasion will be far more effective than a mere ideologue who cannot compromise and be flexible.

I know many people do not like his persona, but I want them to take a re-look at this man. Many have already decided to support Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, and to them Trump is perhaps unsupportable.  Some of them will support him in the coming months.  Some will support him because they do not want the establishment to win.

But for those who are still undecided, I ask them to consider which candidate will do the best job at protecting America, which candidate will do the best job at shaking things up in Washington DC, which candidate wants the rule of law to be upheld, and which candidate seems to want the government to be run as an efficient business.

Many people have many misconceptions about him.  Those misconceptions have been peddled for months by the mass media. But repeating a lie does not make it true.  For example, that he is a "misogynist", "racist", "fascist", etc. The media likes to portray any insult or criticism of a woman as "sexism" or "misogyny", any criticism of immigration as "racism", and so on. Don't be spoon-fed by the media. The media cannot be trusted. Find out for yourself.

And ask yourself if his coverage in the media is fair and balanced, or does it seem unduly negative and full of abuse toward him.  If you compare the constant barrage of insults hurled at him by the mass media and by other politicians versus his counter-punches, there is no doubt who is being the gentleman in this election cycle.

As an example of dismantling just the misconception of him being a "fascist", read this:
Trump’s policies lean pro-minority:
1. Veterans are disproportionately minorities.
2. Aborted babies are often minorities.
3. Trump wants to avoid people “dying in the streets” with no healthcare, and that benefit is good for minorities.
4. Trump wants to keep Social Security strong, which helps everyone, but mostly people at lower incomes.
5. Trump’s spokesperson is half African-American. Trump’s daughter converted to Judaism. And so on, and so on.
6. Stopping illegal immigration reduces job competition for lower-income families. Some say it also reduces violence to women of all ethnicities.
7. Trump wants citizens to be armed. Hitler didn’t want that.
I could go on. The point is that Trump’s policies are nearly the opposite of Hitler. 
Of course most people will make their decision on emotional grounds.  But that is encouraging to me. Because only one candidate in this election has the skills to persuade emotionally.  Because he is the only candidate who can win voters who are not yet convinced about him.

Wait and watch what happens. You will be surprised.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

On Change

A previous essay on this.

The whole of eastern spirituality is about renouncing any interest in changing outward conditions to achieve happiness.  The focus, instead, is supposed to be on the "inner".

According to spiritualists, to focus on changing the outer is to miss the point.  It is proclaimed that favorable outer conditions can never provide "lasting happiness" (whatever that may be).  That only detachment from the outer can lead to "bliss".

On the other hand, an ideology like communism regards any focus on inner as complete bullshit, and states that only by changing the living conditions and the society can individuals ever hope to evolve.

The dichotomy is straightforward: in the face of unhappiness, should one attempt to change the conditions, or oneself?
What is the relationship between yourself and the misery, the confusion, in and around you? Surely this confusion, this misery, did not come into being by itself. You and I have created it, not a capitalist nor a communist nor a fascist society, but you and I have created it in our relationship with each other. What you are within has been projected without, on to the world; what you are, what you think and what you feel, what you do in your everyday existence, is projected outwardly, and that constitutes the world. If we are miserable, confused, chaotic within, by projection that becomes the world, that becomes society, because the relationship between yourself and myself between myself and another is society - society is the product of our relationship - and if our relationship is confused, egocentric, narrow, limited, national, we project that and bring chaos into the world. (J Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom).
Does the individual create the social conditions, or vice versa?  To have change, should one direct one's efforts outwardly, or inwardly?

...

Both the "individual" and "society" are sets of patterns of thought and behavior.  They influence each other.  An individual born into a society is shaped by it, whether to become conformant or to rebel.  A society made of certain individuals is nothing but the collection of their individual patterns.

If an individual is suffering, in most cases it will be found that his conditions have deteriorated to the point where he can no longer afford to have joy or pleasure.  If those conditions cannot be improved, then the least stressful course is for the man to accept his situation. 

Suffering is easier to endure if one accepts one's fate.  A prisoner on death row might have an easier time if he accepts his punishment and stops praying or pleading for relief.  This ease is squarely that of giving up the desire to change the situation, since that desire is bound to result in frustration.  The suffering of the situation still remains.

This "acceptance" of one's fate is a last resort, when all efforts have failed.  But spiritualists, instead of coming to this resignation after strenuous action, start from this acceptance.

Spiritualists are fond of the hoary but false adage that a problem exists only if you want to solve it.  No, the problem of poverty is still there even if you disregard it, because very soon you will find yourself evicted from your premises and hungry and cold.  The problem of an unhappy spouse is usually because one is not paying attention to the problem.

On the other hand, while the problem will still exist, giving up on solving the problem can lead to a curious sense of relief.  It is akin to filing for bankruptcy because one no longer believes one can discharge one's loans.

A wise individual will look at a situation holistically: he will evaluate his circumstances, and also one's reaction to them.  And he will seek to change the circumstances to the best of his ability, and also improve the way he reacts so that he is not hindered or debilitated by himself.

Spirituality, as a retreat from life, is a philosophy for losers.  And eastern spirituality is all about retreat.  The "karma yoga" described in Bhagwad Gita is not about creating circumstances for happiness, in fact it is the exact reverse: to not worry about the outcome of one's actions.  Even in Sikhism, there is no verse exhorting people to change their circumstances for the better.  A famous verse purporting to ask Sikhs to work hard actually means that after reaching the Lord there is no more work:
ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਮੁਖ ਉਜਲੇ ਕੇਤੀ ਛੁਟੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
The brave face their predicament head-on and try to change the world.  Yes, there will always be suffering.  No change will lead to lasting happiness.  But the very goal of "lasting happiness" is a chimera created by the spiritualists as a rationalization for losers to look down upon those who are engaged in worldly change.

...

To attempt change in one's psyche is admirable but just a start.  To attempt change in one's fortunes is a worthy effort.  A change in society and its structures is a political movement.

A well-rounded individual is engaged in all three.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Warrant-Less State

In India the police routinely barges into private property, looks into phone records happily provided by the phone companies, detains people for "questioning", stops people from entering a city, asks people to open their bags, snatches vehicle keys from people stopped for a traffic violation, and so on.

All this without any judicial oversight, without any warrant, and without any repercussions.

The police is a law unto itself.

Where to start?
  1. The laws are outdated and colonial.
  2. The laws are ambiguous, contradictory, too sweeping, and badly-drafted.
  3. The case law is horribly contradictory and offers precedents for every kind of judicial order.
  4. The courts are overburdened and mundane matters (tenant eviction, child custody, anticipatory bail, etc.) are pending before the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land.
In this deeply distressing state of affairs, how do we get police to be more accountable to the people who ultimately pay the taxes which pay the police's salaries?

How do we make the police respect the people that it is supposed to serve?

I don't know the way to restrain this lawless police force.  There is untold suffering in India due to the failure of law-enforcement and judicial processes.  So many committes have given empty suggestions.  Supreme Court throws up its hands when it cannot contain this lawlessness by the law-enforcers.

Supreme Court has repeatedly begged the states to implement police reforms.

What has been the result: Naught.

From this report:
Not a single state government is willing to cooperate. What can we do?
My recommendation to the Supreme Court justices: resign, and refuse to participate in this charade.

The Indian public have become hopeless about justice and thereby corrupt.

Maybe special courts ought to be set up to monitor police behavior and to swiftly and strictly punish the police both for exceeding their brief, and for dereliction of duty.

The police is the institution in India having a monopoly on violence.  This monopoly MUST be very strongly regulated.

The pervasiveness of corruption and crime in India is because the police has been exploited by the state for its ends, and not offered to the nation for its citizens.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Indian Religious Aversion of Desire

The four major Indian religions (Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Jainism) are against desire, love, sex and attachment.

Sikhs may claim that their gurus exalt householder status, but consider the following verses:

ਤਜਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਕਾਮਿਨੀ ਮੋਹੁ ਤਜੈ ਤਾ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
(Renounce desire and your beloved, and give up emotional attachment. Only then shall you obtain the Immaculate Lord amidst the darkness of the world.)

ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਾਮਿ ਵਿਆਪੀ ਮੋਹਿ ਸੰਤਾਪੀ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਜਾਇ ਪੁਕਾਰੇ ॥
The self-willed manmukh is engrossed in sexual desire, and tormented by emotional attachment. With whom should she lodge her complaints?

It is a misconception that Sikh gurus exalted a householder's life. At most, they proclaimed that one does not need to renounce one's family and go to the forest to attain "enlightenment", but could do so in whatever situation they found themselves if only they surrendered to the Guru.

The question then arises, why do Indian religions condemn earthly love and attachment? And how come the followers of these religions reconcile this condemnation with their daily life?

I think the answer is simple.

Religions create an ideal which is unattainable. And people, finding themselves short of that ideal, feel guilty. And the religious institutions manipulate and exploit that guilt to extract wealth from people by promising them forgiveness and redemption.

The modus operandi is:

1. Set unrealistic standards.
2. Encourage guilt and feelings of sinfulness.
3. Offer people a way out from their guilt.
4. Couple that offer with supporting the religious establishment.
5. Repeat for 2000 years.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Aphorisms on Sedition

The right to protest against the state, and even against the constitution, is a fundamental human right.

It is a human right to even speak about dividing the "country (i.e. proposing a new geographic division for governance).

It is a human right to speak against the government, the court, and other gods.

The state is an institution, frequently despotic.  The state is not equivalent to the "nation".  The nation is its people.  The state is the ruling class and its institutions.

The state confounds people by confusing an attack on itself as against an attack on the nation and its people.  This confusion is particularly egregious when the state does not represent the people but has appropriated their consent.

One can be patriotic in an act of sedition.

Was the Indian Freedom Struggle seditious?  It obviously was.  But it was not thereby wrong.

The protest might lead to crimes, but the protest itself is not a crime. 

Thought, speech and publication must be protected even at the cost of displeasing the majority.  Otherwise there is no freedom worth its name.

The state in India is deeply criminal, unjust and corrupt.  To protest against the state is not just a right, it is the duty of every right-thinking Indian.

The state continues to bloviate about "Tolerance".  The Intelligentsia continues to protest against "Intolerance".  But nobody talks about the intolerance enshrined in the Constitution of India: blasphemy, sedition, criticism of the court, nudity, offensive speech, "hurting of sentiments" are all intolerable by Indian law.

Those who say that anti-nationals must be done to death are the real anti-nationals.

The nation and what is or is not "patriotic" is not to be defined by the state.

The state's function is to serve the nation.  The nation is not to be servile to the state and its dealers.