Category Archives: Politics/Diplomacy

SHAME ON YOU, INDIA

via indiatoday.in

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

This New Year’s Eve rages an inauspicious knife fight for the very soul of India. Amidst the fog of this complicated war lies a simple question: is India a secular democracy or a Hindu dictatorship?

On the secularist side is a clown car alliance led by the pathetic and corrupt opposition party, Congress. Meanwhile, the Hindu nationalist camp is led by a strongman and wannabe dictator, Narendra Modi of the BJP. And so those of us who care about India are left with a terrible choice to make: dysentery diarrhea democracy or cancerous constipation Caesar salad?

2019 saw India go full rogue against the founding fathers of India, the constitution, and the very concept of basic human decency with two dramatic acts. At Modi’s direction the Indian Army has illegally taken over most of Indian-held Kashmir using martial law tactics such as the wholesale torture of Kashmiri teenagers and a total, months-long blackout of the Internet, phones, and other media for millions of Kashmiris. Reporters are officially banned from entering and human rights have become a joke. The legs of commerce and education have been broken in an already-struggling region.

Terrorism was thrown out as the excuse for this power play, which has been condemned by civilized nations around the world. The blackout in particular is the largest ever committed by any country in history, and wholly unbecoming of a democracy. Let’s forget for a second the legality and human decency angles; does anyone honestly think this will make India’s prospects for peace in the future any better or will it predictably inflame a minority’s worst impulses for a generation to come?

In December the Indian government took the new brain-dead position that Muslim migrants would not be granted citizenship, but non-Muslims would. The country has erupted in protests, riots, and violence over this new policy, called the Citizenship Act. This act is laughably obvious as a violation of India’s constitution- just like Trump’s attempts at instituting Muslim bans in America violate the enshrined separation of church and state.

via catchnews.com

Modi to his credit recognized that the latter half of 2019 was the right time to strike. American democracy is on its knees, and strongmen the world over are rejoicing over their free rein to abuse citizens, especially Muslim ones. It’s now open season the world over on dissidents, who lie bleeding on dungeon floors in most of the world’s nations today including in “democratic” India. Modi is drawing unflattering comparisons to Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party are taking advantage of this opportunity to keep robbing people blind while the distractions go on on the streets.

We are witnessing the cancelation of the world’s largest democracy. Shame on you, India. As the birthplace of Karma, you know better than anyone that it can be a bitch.

Steve Bannon & the Bhagavad Gita

photo via Daily Beast, dailybeast.com

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

On cue America is at bitter war with itself, per Putin’s grand plans. The 2020 election cycle is bringing out all the vitriol and pageantry one might expect from a spectacle financed by gushing spigots of the almighty dollar, ruble, and riyal. Throw into the mix an impending impeachment trial pitting Democrats and Republicans against each other, fangs out, add active foreign intervention, and we have brewing this powder keg of uncivil war on guaranteed burn through late 2020.

On the front lines of the right wing we have mostly corrupt clowns such as Sean Hannity, Devin Nunes, #GymJordan, and Donald Trump, Jr fighting for their Dear Leader. Not to be outdone, the Democrats have rolled out a breathtakingly sad clown car of 17 (or whatever) candidates for president now hurtling America’s left wing into 2020, with nary a one inspiring Democratic voters and donors with unifying vision. One bright spot in all of this is Representative Adam Schiff, methodically navigating the impeachment inquiry landmine on behalf of the House majority with integrity.

Quietly leading a formidable formation on the other side of the aisle with poise and purpose is an American figure who is no clown, despite a disheveled, unhealthy appearance that draws lefty guffaws. Rare for the right, he is a well-read intellectual, a crack strategist, and a global puppet master running a clear-eyed anti-impeachment “war room.” Say what you will about Steve Bannon, but he is largely responsible for winning 2016, and if impeachment fails and 2020 goes the same way his fingerprints will be all over those victories too. SNL appropriately and simply portrayed him as the Grim Reaper in 2017.

His power endures, despite being unceremoniously thrown to the wolves by the White House in 2017 (maybe a ruse to be freed of government constraint). usindiamonitor intends to do a little study of Steve Bannon here. And in understanding the life of Steve Bannon one cannot separate an unexpected thread to a holy Hindu text that keeps cropping up: the Bhagavad Gita. This is appropriate as meta-metaphor, because the world’s oldest religion’s seminal text pointedly uses war and doom as metaphors.

And in understanding the life of Steve Bannon one cannot separate an unexpected but unhidden thread to a holy Hindu text that keeps cropping up: the Bhagavad Gita.

Agree or disagree with his views, but ignore him at your peril. For those who would question the shadowy Steve Bannon’s influence, agency, or intellect, slivers are on open display. Viceland recently published an interview with reporter Liz Sanders that is must-see for anyone interested in our current affairs. He has a more superior grasp of what is unfolding in Washington than most of us.

A Brief Bhagavad Primer. The holy text is in essence a complex battlefield lecture by a supreme avatar of the Hindu God Krishna to mighty, brooding human warrior Arjuna at the outset of a terrible world war, reminding Arjuna of his duty or dharma to enjoin the impending fight despite unspeakable pitfalls and consequences such as having to kill, or be killed by, his relatives and even mentors as millions suffer. From my own personal readings and collegiate academic studies of the Bhagavad Gita, akin to any religion’s scriptures it is not an easy read due to its dense maze of contradictions, philosophies, codes, symbolism, and allegory. On the other hand, for millions of people over thousands of years the text has uplifted those patient and thoughtful enough to engage with it. That one of these souls is supposedly Bannon has piqued the interest of usindiamonitor.

Bannon’s Bhagavad Beginnings. We must begin by setting some parameters on sensitive matters. First of all, I am not one of those Hindus that believe Westerners who dabble in Hinduism are participating in “cultural appropriation” and deserve ridicule or scorn. Religion at its best is a personal journey. I wrote extensively on this topic as a guest blogger of Ambaa Choate’s The White Hindu. On the other hand, I do not automatically support the missionary strand of Hindus that believe Hinduism is perfect for everyone from everywhere. Finally, I neither endorse nor denigrate the Bhagavad Gita in any context nor judge those who believe in it- or don’t.

It may be hard to square the circle in which Steve Bannon promotes what appear to be white supremacist or Judeo-Christian chauvinist tendencies, yet is simultaneously influenced by scripture written down by brown men some 2,400 years ago. It seems almost impossible that a Trump lieutenant could be such- or that the MAGA movement has Hinduism in its DNA. This is the string we will try and pull on.

Let’s start with a few direct quotes related to Bannon and the Bhagavad Gita. From what we can gather, the Catholic Bannon was influenced by the Bhagavad Gita at an early age. In a June 2019 interview question about the text Bannon said, “Yes that’s true I have read one of the most powerful books. I am a Roman Catholic and I try to be as devoted as I can be practicing Catholic but one of the most powerful books as a young person I read was a book by a Frenchman called “Man and his Becoming According to Vedanta” and that got me very interested in Hindu spirituality, in the study of Hindu religions there’s another book by a German professor called “The Philosophies of India” professor name Heinrich Zimmer who wrote this book in the 1930s or 1940s, had a very powerful impact on me so I have studied and taken a lot of time of my life to study Hindu spirituality.”

OK…

Said his 1990s Hollywood days colleague, Julia Jones during the 2016 election: “Steve is a strong militarist, he’s in love with war—it’s almost poetry to him … [He] used to talk a lot about dharma — he felt very strongly about dharma … one of the strongest principles throughout the Bhagavad Gita.”

“He is firm in his views. He is an avid reader of Gita, dharma, Hindu philosophy, India and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi,” Shalabh ‘Shalli’ Kumar, founder and head of the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), told Indian reporters in 2017 (per Hinduism Now).

Several things to unpack here. Bannon is no doubt combative in word and deed and perhaps even considers this posture to be his duty. He was in the US Navy for 7 years in the late 70s and early 80s- acting as soldier in the literal sense. From all indications in his endeavors since- Hollywood, Wall Street, Breitbart, and both US and international politics, Bannon likes to fancy himself a fighter. He is no doubt unapologetically abrasive. And if the current climate is really a war, he is surely in the middle of it and he is absolutely right about that.

Meanwhile, Bannon is an unabashed supporter of Prime Minister Modi, and even tried to start a Breitbart India media site to support Modi and the right wing Hindu nationalist BJP party. This effort failed. But it proves his willingness to support a right-wing and nationalist religious movement far out of the Judeo-Christian and his own Catholic mainstream- as long as it’s somewhere else far away from America and loosely in alignment with his side of the global battlefield.

Indeed just such an alliance between the U.S. White House and the Modi administration is a natural one. Both sides are fueled by strongman tendencies, religion, nationalism and populism, and have common perceived enemies in secularists, Islamic terrorists and a rising China. Modi supports Trump despite his white nationalist rhetoric, while Trump backs Modi in spite of undemocratic tendencies in Kashmir. In fact support for Modi and India is strangely one of the few bipartisan phenomena in Washington today as both Republicans and Democrats have worked hard on nurturing ties with Indian-Americans, India and the Indian government regardless of Indian behavior.

So while Bannon is as alt right as he admits, he is capable of seeing the bigger picture and that the alt right needs foreign allies even with a different Hindu agenda.

A Deeper Dharmic Dive. Knowledgeable Hindus have debated what Bannon’s proclivity for Hinduism, and specifically the Bhagavad Gita, means on a deeper level. Said an Indian-American New York venture capitalist, “I was in a Gita class here in NYC when the story first came out about his regard for the holy book, etc. Some argue that he stood against all of Gita’s basic satvic values. Others, that he was fighting for his beliefs, and that it was his dharma to fight.

I will be the first to admit that it’s difficult to discern the personal religious thoughts in the mind of any particular individual, especially with limited available information. So these variant interpretations can likely be attributed to whether a Hindu observer is pro-Trump, or anti-Trump. As far as Hindus around the world are concerned, there are very strong strains of both.

At first blush, it seems obvious that Bannon’s career doesn’t scream Bhagavad Gita philosophy taken in whole. But the Bhagavad Gita is not Bannon’s only non-Catholic spiritual influence. He is also famously enamored with the power of various princes of darkness, such as Darth Vader and Satan. “Darkness is good,” Bannon has said, referring to its usefulness in the opponents’ constant underestimation of the dark side. His work at Breitbart, which reveled in its hatred and divisiveness during his time there, only bolsters a conclusion that his views on the Bhagavad Gita may be deeper than what meets the eye.

What if Bannon isn’t as drawn to the protagonists of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna and Krishna, but rather more closely identifies with the villains of the story? For example, Bheeshma and Dronacharya are two of the greatest and most honorable warrior-scholars to participate in the massive Kurukshetra War, yet they aligned with the lead bad guys, the Kaurava family. They did so because they felt in their hearts it was their moral duty to honor sworn oaths of allegiance at any cost. This too involved following dharma of a different kind, which lends gravitas and respect to these two complex characters. And if we were to draw parallels between today’s America and the world of the Bhagavad Gita, many Hindus would portray Bannon as a Kaurava, even while following his own dharma and moral code. There is in fact a long tradition of scholars debating who were really the good guys and bad guys in the Bhagavad Gita, and what the intentions of the writers and patrons of the text may have been for the general public of the time.

Also in Bannon’s wheelhouse is the ancient Chinese text, Sun Tzu’s Art of War. This points further to aspects of Bannon’s personality that make sense: that he fancies himself a foot soldier in a broad cosmic war, that victory should be achieved by any means necessary, and outsmarting opponents is of paramount importance. These are lessons that many people of all stripes have internalized from Sun Tzu’s evergreen words.

We have quite obviously glazed over so many aspects of two ancient texts that are far more complex than they seem. Unfortunately this is a necessity for an examination of this caliber. But we are able to draw some high level conclusions from it all.

Bannon Today and Future. When studying Bannon’s actions, it may seem irrelevant to also want to understand his beliefs. However, there may be some stabs at insight which observers can make.

As noted earlier, Bannon is a more formidable opponent during this time of conflict than most of the other lieutenants of the right wing. He isn’t bumbling and senile like Rudy Giuiliani. He hasn’t gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar, like Manafort, Cohen, or Roger Stone. He reads, unlike Trump. He is no fool, like Devin Nunes. And most dangerously, Bannon does not seem to be in it entirely for himself like a Mitch McConnell. Or most of the rest. He does not appear to seek power for its own sake, but rather, to shape the new world order that he views in apocalyptic terms. He endures as a soldier seemingly regardless of national boundary, or whether the White House officially fired him or not. Frighteningly, he is a true believer, a student of history who undoubtedly wants to leave a legacy for future generations.

The Bhagavad Gita can be an attractive script for such a person. It is definitely a text for thinkers and those who believe they are being summoned to a higher calling. I may be one of the few to have discovered the possibility that it’s in fact the substantial and attractive dark side of the Bhagavad Gita which may be animating the subject of this article. But it’s equally possible that Bannon thinks of himself as Arjuna somehow in an epic wide-ranging battle between good vs. evil despite knowing full well how the optics look.

via NBC SNL

Regardless of the philosophies at play, it should be abundantly clear that Bannon is not going anywhere, and any victory for the Democrats on either impeachment or the 2020 election, both are going to be hard slogs and both will necessarily have to go through Steve Bannon.

The Senseless Murder of Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

photo: Officer Down Memorial Page, odmp.org

Like many in Texas and around the world, I was deeply pained by the slaying of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Dhaliwal in Texas a week ago. The cold-blooded murder of an all-around good guy by all accounts, should be mourned by us all.

Hanging over the murder of this Sikh-American cop is the specter of hate crime in Houston, close on the heels of the El Paso slaughter and other Texas rampages, and whether the Deputy’s turban is what inspired the shooter (who we won’t deign to name) to commit this heinous, senseless crime. Too many times the Sikh turban has been viewed as a threat by other Americans, including here in my home state of Wisconsin which witnessed a brutal mass massacre of Sikhs at their place of worship. Back then I wrote:

The post-9/11 period has been a bad one for American Sikhs, who were targeted and even killed because some are too ignorant to know the difference, and so zealous with hate that they would take the law into their own hands.   Sikhism is of course a completely different religion than Islam, and the two have very separate histories though they share a legacy of wearing turbans- along with many other groups among the world’s people.  

What would make us think that Dhaliwal may have been targeted due to his specific background? All the facts are not out, and it’s impossible to know the motive, if any, yet. However, it is telling that there was no altercation that led to his getting shot from behind. Dhaliwal was widely beloved by his community and fellow officers, and he just happened to be wearing a turban. And nobody wearing a turban, of any faith or race, should be singled out in 2019 America. It is unfair to pay the price for the actions of ISIS, Taliban, or Al-Qaeda in distant lands with no connections to those bastards whatsoever.

These hate crimes must stop at once. The Sikh Americans deserve to have all of us standing behind them in solidarity, especially considering their stellar record of service in US law enforcement and US military ranks. Their loyalty to America has been set in stone, and written in blood.

We must state the obvious and follow logic. The irresponsible and unacceptable rhetoric emanating from the White House, Christian Right, and GOP circles against minority faith groups for political favor most certainly contributed to the murder of an innocent man. Shame on each and every one of you.

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

Why Was Hasan Minhaj BANNED from #HowdyModi in Houston?

In a bizarre twist of events, Hasan Minhaj was actually featured on the Jumbotron at the #HowdyModi rally in Houston last week attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Trump, and numerous other dignitaries… but physically banned from attending the Indian-American love fest at NRG stadium. How did this gross injustice occur?

Because Minhaj had criticized Modi on his show previously. Find out more from this hilarious video clip on the Seth Meyers Late Night show. The organizers of this event were clearly petty and small people. At least Seth Meyers gave the man some love- and didn’t leave him out of the studio. Much better venue anyway!

Trump Should Spend a Lifelong Exile in India

OH NARRUNDER… THAT FEELS SOOO GOOD…via breitbart.com

No sooner did I sit down to write about the #HowdyModi event in Houston, where Trump and Modi expressed their flattery for one another last week in an embarrassing display by two wannabe strongmen in a sold-out NRG stadium of 50,000 writhing brown bodies, we were all distracted by the exploding prospects of impeachment.

usindiamonitor had previously witnessed up close Modi’s previous US addresses at Madison Square Garden and the US House of Representatives. In Congress I had enough insider access to even shake Modi’s hand briefly after his address as Speaker Paul Ryan escorted him- something I wouldn’t do again. And in Houston, we witnessed a full-on hand holding beyond the handshake.

This event was different, as Trump showed up to bask in some of Modi’s adulation by an Indian-American crowd that was visibly conflicted on the day. Most Indian-Americans are more Democrat than #MAGAt crowd, but they politely listened and clapped. The main takeaway of the event is that the two leaders would agree to leave each other alone as they continued to conduct vast criminal conspiracies against humanity in their respective countries.

Due to the upcoming impeachment, it is unlikely that Trump will ever appear as president in front of an Indian-American crowd again. So let’s hope it was enjoyed by all. Let’s think of the perfect outcome, which could come next.

The drastic change in events of the last week gave me an idea. Why not let Trump spend the rest of his years in comfortable exile, in India? It’s the perfect retirement plan for him and his grifter family. India is even more corrupt and influence-peddling than he could ever hope to be, there is plenty of money to be made in real estate, and he can surround himself with elephants and psychophants, apologists and lackeys to a level unrivaled anywhere else in the world. India has taken corruption to the level of art form. Trump’s crimes could go on unpunished in luxury, and even applauded and feted. India is still legendarily a feudal society, and Trump would love living there and becoming a modern day nabob of the British Raj.

A land of bribery and extortion is to Trump and his minions, the Land of Milk and Honey. Can you imagine the red carpet that India would roll out for this gangster? He could live atop the Trump Tower in Mumbai instead of New York, looking down in self-satisfaction on the slums of suffering people instead of Central Park and Fifth Avenue. He could shoot someone in the head in Dharawi, and receive a medal for it from Narendra Modi (as long as the poor chap was Muslim). He could swim in a rooftop cesspool full of black money with his daughter Ivanka in a string bikini, laughing as happy as a shark. He could ride around in a motorcade of Marutis, shutting down traffic for long periods of time everywhere he went like all the other baabus trying to flex their small nuts and feel good about themselves.

Trump was born in the wrong era in America to fit in. But today, he would fit in quite snugly in the confines of Indian society. It would be a win-win; America could rid itself of the scourge, and Modi would even pay the cheapskate’s one-way ticket on Air India for him to bolster his own image. These two were meant to be together in an embrace of ass-kissing.

Shared Dreams, Bright Futures, indeed.

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

The Democrats are TRYING to Lose

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor. For now. What’s the point.

It all came to me recently like an epiphany of psychopathy. When I see what House Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, and the Squad are doing, or waste my time on the Democratic presidential primary debates, the crystal ball actually becomes clear for brief glimpses. The Democrats are TRYING to lose. Ah, it all makes sense now!

(Getty)

There can be no other explanation. They just don’t want to win.

They want to look weak.

They have zero charisma.

They have no moral courage- only moral outrage.

They present no vision for the future.

They do not want lead.

They LOVE to follow.

Their vague slogans suck.

They are enslaved by a rabid minority of “woke” social justice warriors on social media who lead them down rabbit holes that don’t matter to most Americans.

They react instead of act.

Don’t take my word for it. Not a one of them seems to be capable of taking on the criminally insane neanderthal whose brain is quickly descending into little more than a slurry of mush, emitting brain farts and verbal diarrhea from his toilet seat Twitter account. This pervert orangutan just might win again despite presenting the easiest possible cakewalk for Democrats to either impeach him or defeat him in 2020’s election.

Democrats are such a pathetic joke. There is not a mountain but a mountain range of evidence of criminal misbehavior to impeach this twat and his lackeys like the hack Barr and the crook Pence 100 times over. Take your pick: lowering America’s shield to let the Russians attack us. Purposely eroding the protection of election infrastructure. Abusing his office as a walking emoluments clause violation. Tax fraud. Insurance fraud. Bribery by foreign governments. Attacking our own FBI, CIA, and press. Embezzling campaign, charity, presidential transition, GOP, and inauguration dollars. Dozens of counts of obstructing justice. Covering up obstruction of justice. Conspiracy with foreign intelligence agencies. Collusion with foreign business partners. Illegal election payments to porn stars and Playboy bunnies. Hacking Facebook accounts, probably yours included. Breaking laws to freely and openly pollute our land, air, sea, lakes, and rivers. Praising the dictators that chop American resident journalists to pieces. Locking children in cages. Giving cruel dictators around the world like Modi, Xi, Kim, Putin, and MBS succor and free reign to butcher people. The economy is obviously tanking, the deficits are exploding, the Russians are hacking, and current policies are leading us straight into the next recession- like every goddam Republican president does without fail over and over again in a predictable horror movie we’ve seen before.

While Trump and McConnell piss on the US Constitution like Russian hookers in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton bed, what are the Democrats, the opposition party and so-called resistance, the only thing standing between us and the death of democracy doing?

Muddling through an impeachment inquiry while they can’t even agree on what to call it. Arguing about who is better on racism and reparations. Debating about an unpopular, half-baked health care plan that has no strategy and isn’t funded. Shouting about whether there should be a Q in LGBTQ. Arguing about which bathrooms people can use and who had a more difficult childhood and what percentage of your DNA is Native American. The Democrats are entirely tone deaf and completely disassociated from what most Americans care about. They want to lose. Let’s just accept it. Political correctness is more important to them. The world makes sense now.

The solution is easy. File the damn Articles of Impeachment already. Repeat after me. Every other word out of the mouths of every Democrat should be impeachment. Every other action by every Democrat should be impeachment. Lead! Take a stand! Have a spine! Whatever the faults of the cheating, corporation-owned Republicans leading America off the cliff fast, to their benefit the other side has no compunctions; they impeached a dude over a dick-sucking in the Oval Office, and then went on to romp to victory in 2000 anyway, because at least they have the balls if not a beating heart.

Even a shred less than my solution is utter failure, which is exactly where this train wreck is headed as these cowards on the left shirk their constitutional duty to the American people. It appears this is exactly what they want anyway, because they are afraid of taking power, responsibility, and accountability.

THIS MUMBAI BILLBOARD IS WORTH A (MINUS) BILLION WORDS

via snopes.com

This is a real billboard advertising the Trump Tower in the Worli neighborhood of Mumbai. Read this previous article on our site to learn more about Trump’s various connections to India and Indian-Americans.

IMPEACH NOW. BECAUSE HE IS AN UN-AMERICAN CONFEDERATE.

“You know, ‘It’s in the rules,’ is not an argument that works on Donald Trump. You’re playing Monopoly with a hyena. When it bites you and shits on the board, saying ‘It’s not your turn’ really doesn’t work.”

— Bill Maher, 5/3/2019

via forum.goregrish.com

***

America is not just a country. America is an idea. Americans are part of an earnest if imperfect experiment with self-evident truths that has shaped the global order for generations.

There are things that make the American idea. America has an unrivaled, unique place in the histories of mankind and nation-states as the only one not founded and ruled by kings, queens, sultans, dictators, pharaohs, emperors, chiefs, chieftains, princes, caesars, overlords, or maharajas enforcing the law by family birthright from above on their subjects by the whip and sword. For many millennia before America arrived in the late 1700s, the best anybody could hope for was to live beneath a “benevolent” dictator who cared about the subjects whose necks were under his boot. Most of the world followed America’s suit by overthrowing the yokes of colonialism, fascism, communism, imperialism, slavery, and royalty since then thanks to American leadership.

None of this progress should be taken for granted. The idea of America is this day under ferocious attack from within. There is a Confederate hyena eating a cheeseburger in bed right now in the White House against the idea of America. This makes the hyena un-American. It would drag us by the claws back into the good old days of tyrannical monarchy. The hyena is working on it with its family and other minions today even as you read this. For this simple reason, it must be stopped. The only way to stop this hyena is to impeach it in Congress, where Democrats won a historic House gain in 2018, a blue wave repudiation of the hyena by the American people.

Hand-wringing arguments abound for why Congress shouldn’t fulfill its constitutional duty to the American idea and impeach, foremost among them that the proceedings would certainly fail at the hands of a complicit Republican-controlled Senate, leading to the inevitable landslide victory for the hyena laughing all the way into 2020. This hypothesis is based on three assumptions I consider premature: (1) 20 Senate Republicans won’t defect no matter what evidence is presented; (2) The hyena’s weak poll numbers will jump significantly enough to win after surviving an impeachment; and (3) The American people aren’t to be trusted. While we have no crystal ball, these flawed assumptions hold a cynical view of the ability of Americans to assess evidence once it has been presented to them. But we haven’t even seen large reams of relevant evidence yet, due to the significant obstruction. We still don’t know everything that happened. We still haven’t heard Mueller speak. These charges, if brought, might make for a slam-dunk case.

Bring the impeachment battle into the only arena which matters, the United States Congress. Republicans appear to be itching for this fight by obstructing the Russia and obstruction investigations, then mischaracterizing the obstructed and heavily redacted Mueller Report, and now trying to shut down all relevant cooperation. These are naked attempts to illegally hide and whitewash the truth.

There is only one remedy left.

Predictions on winning or losing should not be the only calculation in any given fight, least of all when democracy and the Constitution are at stake. The overarching need to impeach now is not just a political problem, but a moral one. Worse than the high crimes and misdemeanors already committed and which continue on an ongoing basis, are the nature of them that can only be described as un-American. We will cease to be recognizable as Americans if we allow the head of our government to be a Confederate owned by foreigners without our nation’s interests at heart, but only his own.

We should have heeded the warning signs during the 2012 election cycle, when the hyena began testing the political waters with a false narrative about President Obama’s birthplace. This sickening rant unworthy of the KKK wasn’t just racist and xenophobic. The birther movement birthed the current Confederate’s political career. It was based on a lie, just one of 10,000 documented lies we have heard uttered in public as if insulting our intelligence doesn’t matter.

But it’s not just the constant conning of Americans at stake. The policies are downright sinful. Banning people from countries because of religion is un-American and contradicts the separation of church and state. Border walls, prying crying babes from their mothers’ arms, falsely accusing the previous president of spying, calling the press the enemy of the people, bullying private citizens on Twitter, encouraging violence against political opponents and rally protesters, firing FBI Directors, Attorneys General, Generals, and White House lawyers for not taking a personal loyalty oath, calling Neo-Nazis fine people, insulting war heroes like McCain and Mueller and Gold Star families while giving succor to rogue dictators, this is all every bit un-American as pissing on the flag.

Most un-American and damning of all is gleefully watching the Russians interfere in the 2016 US election and doing nothing about it, ever, because you welcomed that interference publicly, and it helped you win a razor-thin victory. Denying that proven interference since, because the cheating makes you look bad. But it gets worse. Forbidding your government from doing anything about it? Ignoring US military and intelligence agencies’ dire warnings? Instead to tout Putin’s lines for him as his ventriloquist’s dummy?

There is nothing more sacred to democracy than free and fair elections. Without them, there is no democracy, and no America. When Mueller and Congress have attempted to honestly investigate that attack on our democracy, the hyena has obstructed and denied at every turn. What are they hiding? What is being covered up? Why are they so afraid of us learning? Why haven’t we seen the tax returns, financial records, or heard from Don McGahn? Why did the hyena’s kith and kin such as Donald, Jr., Kushner, Papadopoulos, Sessions, Manafort, Cohen, Flynn, Stone, and Gates all lie about their extensive Russia contacts?

We know why.

No president has ever been as perfect a candidate for impeachment. Impeachment inquiries and testimony would uncover at least some of that which is hidden. It’s well within the rights of Congress as a co-equal branch of government to shine the light. Thankfully the current Congress is going about it the right way by calling in witnesses and records as the first step. Much has come out just since January that was being hidden by the previous epically corrupt Congress. Just one single day of testimony by Michael Cohen exposed a multitude of new crimes, new lies, and obstruction worthy of further investigation that the American people didn’t even know about. Expose enough of these in public, and the necessary next step can be taken, and subsequently the American people will give 20 Senate Republicans the cover they need to finally do the right thing.

Americans will come to know we are still today under attack by foreign powers being assisted by a Confederate hyena of a ventriloquist’s dummy, and if we do nothing 2020 will be targeted by the same or additional forces with even more at stake than last time. Impeachment is the only way we will ever arrive at the truth. This behavior must be punished. It is the only way that the American idea will endure this dark period where democracy hangs by a thread.

Mahanth S. Joishy

FROM THE VAULT: A Primer on WikiLeaks

Editor’s Note: This piece was written in 2012 when WikiLeaks and Julian Assange first became famous. Now that Assange has finally been arrested after all these years, I thought it was worth pulling this up now as a primer. This is all a bit complicated and doesn’t fit a neat narrative, including a left/right one…

via hiptoro.com

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Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

With the recent document dump by the website Wikileaks.org, 25,000 State Department cables that had been previously classified were released into the public domain in one fell swoop. As with most controversial political issues of the day, pundits and public leaders around the world came out by the thousands to comment on this unprecedented event. The latest episode came on the heals of the previous big Wikileaks story: the release of thousands of secret documents regarding the conduct of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, including a military video of a tragic killing in an Iraqi neighborhood by American troops from an Apache helicopter. As with the embassy cables, the war diaries run the gamut from the mundane, which is mostly the case, to quite serious and disturbing. I recommend for all of you to read the fascinating New Yorker account of how this came to pass. 

The Wikileaks exposures of sensitive government documents that were not meant for public consumption represent societal conundrums that are yet to be judged in either a court of law, or of public opinion. Is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a hero, a whistle blower, a criminal, or a terrorist? Is he a force for good or evil? He has been called all of these things. And in an exceedingly rare case of a person entering the world stage in so dramatic and important a way, he cannot be pigeonholed as any one of these. This would be a gross and unjust oversimplification. For Mr. Assange, ladies and gentlemen, is all of these things at once- defying definitions and straining our moral assumptions. 

Whatever the outcome of all this, and whatever your opinion of it might be, Wikileaks has helped alter the course of human history by catalyzing a form of rogue journalism that is impossible for governments to prevent or stop. For a change we have someone throwing caution to the wind instead of erring on the side of caution. 

Technology has made it possible to run your website piecemeal on servers all over the world in countries with varying laws about censorship and cyber security. Once Wikileaks documents are published on the web, they cannot be easily taken down, and will never disappear from the public eye once documents have gone viral. The documents are already out there, and the backups of the backups have backups. Finances and operations are decentralized and run by shadowy members around the globe. What’s been done can never be undone. This is the largest shift from how secrets were stolen before- a tape, a person, a room, a computer, a camera, or a notebook with sensitive information can be stolen or destroyed even if there are multiples. Document dumps onto the web cannot. 

So what now? The future of the website or the copycat movement it will spawn are hard to fathom. We can only conjecture on what has already happened. It’s time for the good, the bad, and the… highly entertaining.

No Page-Turner. After skimming the site and reading numerous accounts of the supposedly juiciest tidbits that Wikileaks has published, I was disappointed by the lack of truly interesting documents. Far from earth-shattering, most exposed documents describe routine matters and few surprises. So diplomats send cables about Libya’s dictator traveling around with a “voluptuous blonde” nurse, or Putin likes to get drunk with Berlusconi? Less interesting than a single page of any Nelson DeMille novel. I was actually pleased to see that diplomats played hardball when trying to convince foreign countries to accept Guantanamo detainees- offering aid here and a meeting with Obama there. That’s awesome- that’s what they’re supposed to be doing, it’s what we pay them for! Reading any given cable to the extent it’s worth it, is less a surprise than an affirmation that many at State were pushing US interests hard. Good. 

Public Service?. Government agencies got a horrific wakeup call that was desperately needed- and of little surprise to most astute observers. For this reason, and the fact that little if anything truly dangerous leaked out yet, Americans should be highly grateful to Wikileaks. If the US Army or the State Department could allow disgruntled runts to simply waltz out of the office with thousands of sensitive documents capable of causing such an international stir, security measures are woefully lacking. There are far too many people with high-level clearances, too many sensitive documents floating around, and too little control of the flow of information we are told is so goddam critical to national security. If this stuff was so critical, it should have been guarded far more jealously. The current situation is unacceptable. President Obama should call an immediate review of US government agencies’ information security practices. Governors and Mayors across the nation need to do the same. This isn’t just for the Pentagon or State; other agencies one wouldn’t usually expect to need worry about such as the Department of Agriculture, Social Security Administration, or the state DMV all harbor documents we wouldn’t want in the wrong hands and certainly not out in public.

The Danger Zone. This brings us to why Wikileaks is potentially a big threat. It demonstrates how a small group of determined individuals seeking to perform chaos can probably manage to do some serious harm, using a small network of inside informants and tech savvy hackers in key places. They could release documents that could get people killed if terrorists or foreign governments got a hold of them. This in itself should worry us. Although there is something fair and even democratic in the end product being seen by website visitors- government documents in their original form for one to judge for himself or herself, something traditional journalism does not give us- Wikileaks self-selects what documents get released and when. The site decides on the sources to use, and they are not made public. However socially responsible their goals may be, and however noble a goal it is to investigate how taxpayer money is really being spent, it is dangerous to wield this power to decide who and what makes the cut. You cannot shine a light from a dark place over a long period of time. It carries the type of potential for abuse of power that Wikileaks is supposed to be against.

Should it be Shut? There is much talk of shutting down the site, arresting its principals, and making an example of them. Clearly a number of U.S. laws have been broken regarding release of classified information. However, Assange and most of his team are not U.S. citizens, and in fact many of them are not known. The information was leaked from the inside of government first, and in the case of State it’s not clear which runt(s) were responsible. While the Wikileaks team could be considered accomplices to the initial crimes of stealing, the unique nature of what the website has done so far will never be stopped. In fact, imprisoning Assange could make him a sort of martyr, which could be exactly what he wants in order to accelerate the movement exponentially. 

Spreading Democracy? Although the American media is largely missing this point, closed and corrupt governments such as those in China, Russia, North Korea, Burma, and Iran are much less concerned with what US diplomats are saying about them than what Wikileaks could say about them. In this sense, Wikileaks has done Western governments and people the most important service of all. Autocrats trying to keep things close to the vest are probably pretty worried right now. 

At its best, Wikileaks could expose things to the global public that journalists, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement cannot or are unable to. It could even help bring down or alter regimes more easily than a superpower can. If it stays open, I hope Wikileaks does so. And if a byproduct of this is some more accountability at home, then so be it. Those who follow the rules generally have less to worry about.

The New Tan Commandments of Pervert Orangutan

It’s about time that we updated this hallowed document that has formed the basis for laws, constitutions, and general morality for centuries. Clearly the original one is pointedly outdated. Drafted here are the new (Spray) Tan Commandments in modern America thanks to Pervert Orangutan. Now THIS is the roadmap for how you MAGA.

MADE IN CHINA OF COURSE… via indiatimes.com
  1. Cheat on AND rape your first wife.
  2. Cheat on your second wife who you met while cheating on your first wife.
  3. Cheat on your third wife, especially during the childbirth of your son, with a porn star and Playboy bunny, then cover up and lie about the affairs with your mushroom shaped penis.
  4. Cheat on your taxes, take $415 million from Daddy, and tell your fans that he only gave you $1 million to explain how you lost it all.
  5. Create a charity and campaign for president just to embezzle even more money.
  6. Start a fake university and rob millions of dollars from poor people.
  7. Wherever possible, Grab Them by the Pu$$y.
  8. Rip off your contractors, hire illegal aliens, and have Daddy buy casino chips to keep your sinking casino afloat.
  9. Foment racism and white supremacy by claiming America’s first black president and last real president wasn’t born in America.
  10. Conspire with and aspire to join the league of dick taters.

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