We are resilient by Force, not by Choice - A Wednesday.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

'Pay-to-Play !', The Blagojevich Scandal, The Voice of American Citizens and Me.

Today I came to know about the Blagojevich Scandal in America and then I realized how complex yet how similar our world is. The more I read the more I got fascinated. So here is my opinion on the issue.

I wanted to list my thoughts but that would not make any sense, so I have copied a number of points and comments from various websites, proper citation would be difficult so kindly bear with the links provided.

1. The Case: Barak Obama was elected President of the US, thus his seat (as a senator) got vacant. The Governor has the power to nominate someone as a replacement for the post, Gov. Blagojevich thought of making some fast money by (mis)using this power, on one side and on the other the fundraisers (the [American] Indian Businessmen) tried to bribe him so he nominates that Jesse Jackson Jr. for the post. All the parties are under the scanner and the investigations are going on.

2. My Views:
a. The Bloddy Indians:
Soon we will see an American Raj Thackray emerge to deal with the bloody Indians, who are bent upon spoiling their value system. This person or rather group won't understand that the problem involves both the parties. The person accepting the graft was a WHITE American and the dollars were being raised and rained for a BLACK American. As I have said earlier, A corrupt person has no ideology apart from greed and selfishness, nor does he have a nationality, religion or ethnicity.

b. Corruption and the Value Sytem in India and beyond: I accept that we have corruption at chronic levels in our country and we have learnt to live in this but we must also accept the truth, the reality. The truth is, the Value System that is being talked about is fast fading all around the world thanks to our unabashed support to Individualism. Each person is a competitor of other, the enemy of enemy is friend, and the only thing that matters is success guided by greed and selfishness.
We have long bid goodbye to the philosophical aspect of the religion and have tried to bribe even gods in one way or other to forgive our wrongdoings. Society is only a concept nowadays, people don't even know people in their neighbourhood. But the frustration, the guilt, the anger inside us don't pour out, we don't rebel because many things are at stake, we don't kick these people who are bent to spoil the whole world because of either our guilty conscience or uf plain laziness. (call it apathy, inaction, indifference anything but it is failure to accept responsibilities that come our way simply for a day's comfort.)
To deal with the situation,we have to completely reform our education system as soon as possible, the human values, the trust, the friendship, the compassion, all need to be a part of our existence and we must strive to make it possible. As I have said earlier, Moral Science should be made a compulsory subject with double the marks allotted to Mathematics.

c. The US of A and India:
it's very easy to say you people are corrupting my country. The right wingers in India say that Americans are spoiling our culture, their leftist counterparts say America is after our sovereignty. Think for a moment the right-wingers all ape westerners especially Americans, they wear Denim Jeans and T-shirts, watch English movies, yet criticize Americans. The Left, what to talk of them, first, at the personal level, the children of most of the Leftist leaders are studying/living abroad. Leaving that apart, given the current state of our polity America need not cut deals with UPA, Soniaji and Mannu Uncle, it has the resources to buy off most of the Member of Parliaments and nobody would know. I know CIA can do that and all that crap talk of sovereignty. I say to hell with a sovereignty like China. The point is they all are doing politics, POLITICS IS POLITICS AND POLITICS IS DIRTY EVERYWHERE. (till good people don't come in to clean the dirt.)

d. The Bloody Indians revisited:
Thinking of Politics, I see these professionals, Engineers, Doctors, MBAs, Entrepreneurs and Businessmen are very active in American Politics, but these people don't give a damn about politics in India. Is it due to the insecurity stemming from lack of power and influence over matters or some genuine interest in changing the American society (for good). Only time can tell. If we can find this trigger, what makes them not only participate but actively participate in the politics we will be able to change India for sure.

e. Lessons to learn: apart from the obvious, the first point is America is not a picture perfect story, the romanticized America can fool you, many of the admirers want to emulate everything America does must now wake up. We must aim at a better and caring society. Second, Corruption can be dealt with successfully only by focusing on it in the entirety (and to define entirety here requires imagination and creativity, and reforms start with oneself) , the terms Political Corruption, so and so are all jargon, in this world everything is connected to everything. Third, we cannot avoid the involvement in politics, we can't leave voids in our systems for the corrupt to come, sit at the top and decide our futures. Everybody must participate in politics. Last and the most important point, we all are facing same or similar problems and we can help each other in it. We must help each other in this great cause.

3. The Solution:
New state ethics law targets 'pay to play':
Key provisions of this law include:
• Businesses with contracts or pending bids must register with state election officials naming their owners, affiliates and key executives.

• The Illinois State Board of Elections will create a searchable database with contractor information.

• Contractors must tell lawmakers when making a donation to their campaigns that they're registered with the state.

• Donations are prohibited to the state officeholder controlling the contract or any candidate for that office.

• Violations can result in contracts being voided.

4. Role of Indians/Indian Americans: Some Comments from here,

With the xenophobia fueled by the current US recession and fears of outsourcing, there have been public accusations that Indians were good at "subverting" the system in the US.

"It is amazing how people come (to the US) and think we should change our entire value system to suit themselves," said one reader on the web site of the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper.

Another added, "Indians are very sneaky. He is getting back something from donating to these politicians."

A third reader wrote, "You need to go to a different gated community, buddy," referring to a prison.

In a segment, "Indian-Americans play politics in Chicago" broadcast nationwide over National Public Radio, Chicago-based journalist Ashok Easwaran said "there was a certain degree of embarrassment" in Illinois's Indian community which was recently excited over the ascension to power of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom had the vigorous support of the community

Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who was the other speaker in the programme, said the Indian community had a greater impact in politics compared to larger minority groups like Latinos and African Americans.

"They use money rather than numbers to break into the political process," he said, adding, "It could take more time for the Indian community to build sufficient power to get (their own) candidate elected to a major position. Their best hope in the meantime is to become key allies to major politicians."

5. Some More Comments: from here ,

*'The election was about the lesser of two evils.'
*'The lesser of two evils? We'd elect a monkey if he ran as a democrat.'

*'People are swayed by Advertising(Positive or Negative). We need Election Campaign Spending Limits and Term Limits on the amount of time spent in public office( 6 years or less).'

*'Tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee, makes no difference who would have won -- both are owned by the "Bi-partisan Combine."
And that's just the way they like it, they pick the candidates in each party and no matter who wins -- they win!'

*'Hey, quit your complaining. You fools deserve this.'

*'it is politics. they ALL do it, because they have to raise money to keep their job. I don't see a problem to try to get some campaign cash out of the power...If we don't like it, change the constitution...it is up to the people.'

*'If we want to have leaders who work only for us, then it will cost us. Until there is public financing of elections, the politicians will need to spend all their time raising money for their campaigns.'

*'Let's face it; character means nothing. Platform means nothing. Ideas mean nothing.
The only thing that matters is how well you can work the middle for the GOP. For the donkeys it's how many special interest groups you can accumulate.
That's not leadership; that's politics.'

*'The voters get what they vote for, and deserve whatever happens. The majority of voters are pretty mindless, not having the ability to see beyond the media hype and bias, or the unending torrent of BS coming from the speechwriters, via politician's mouths...If the voters of Illinois want something different, then they can vote for it. Unfortunately, the democrat party has nurtured an ever-expanding group of dependent welfare suckers who will keep voting their way as long as the freebies keep coming. These "voters" are the problem, and the main reason the corruption of the Chicago machine remains strong.'

*'It has been a long time since we weren't voting for the lesser of two weasels.
We used to blame it on the Irish politicians but it seems to be rather widespread.
Must be the gene pool.'
[The Most Innovative Explanation for Corruption I have ever heard or read.]

*'The reality is depressing. The fact is BOTH parties are tainted with corruption, and BOTH parties have demonstrated terrible judgement. The underlying culture and system of fundraising in this state make it almost impossible for a politician to avoid scandal. . .
What is even worse? Because of the connection with the President-Elect our states inept politics are now on display for the whole world to see. It tarnishes our reputation abroad and more importantly distracts the national discussion away from the issues that are so vital if we are going to get the country back on track.
If ever there was a time to straighten out Illinois this is it. We need to get our political offices out of the hands of these annointed families who aren't really serving the public good. We need to rethink campaign financing rules. Finally, there needs to be continued federal investigation to unravel the aweful network of influence and bosses that permeates every niche of our state government.'

*'Wouldn't it be cool if we just elected ethical people and didn't need the laws. A girl can dream.'

*'Pay to play has been a part of Illinois' problems for decades. The massive problem is nothing new. What's pathetic is law makers in control are just now taking steps to try and remedy the problem.
Far too many political hacks in control have been focussing everyone's attention on regulating the citizens of Illinois, when they should have been focussing on regulating the real crooks, the crooked politicians running amuck in Illinois. There's a reason why they haven't focussed correctly. (Who wants themselves scrutinized?)'

Is it not something we all feel, think and say.



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