Friday, January 20, 2017

Obama's Final Legacy

As we are bidding farewell to the first-ever African American president in US history, Barack Obama, it begets us to look back at his legacy. While most of the things that he promised to do during his campaign trail, he was unsuccessful to complete them, it is very interesting to look at the things that he is doing just before leaving Oval Office. 

One of those campaign promises of his was shutting down Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) prison. While the use of extreme torture may violate human rights, it ought to be asked whether or not those terrorists who were involved in terrible terrorist activities could be considered human beings like any other of us. But that's a different question for a different day. What got attention for many people like me was the fact that Obama is releasing those Gitmo prisoners to the world just before leaving office. Right after getting out of the prison, they are heading back to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE etc).
Now ask yourself, if you were imprisoned for years for terrorism regardless of your innocence or guilt, once you're released, would you not be attempting to take revenge for what you have gone through? Wouldn't it be fair to say that those released individuals might go back to al-Qaeda or ISIS to carry out the next terrorist plot? Who would take the blame for that? Rather, who would be responsible for the deaths or injuries that might ensue because of these releases? 

On top of that Obama commuted the sentence of one of the modern-day traitors (Chelsea Manning) for the country in the last week of his presidency. What does that show for the country? Well, it presents a picture to other future leakers of confidential information that they can do away with releasing sensitive governmental information with no possibility of full punishment. If that is not encouraging more engagement from countries like Russia to hack into American governmental systems, then what is? If that is not an inspiration for other traitors out there who are afraid to come back to the US, then what is? 

I hope to be proved wrong for my prediction. But this prediction does happen, remember you heard it from here first. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Flag burning: A moral degradation of America

American freedom is one of the notable features that grasped me during my first few years in the United States. While many of the immigrants settling in the U.S. are coming for economic advancement, there are some that come here to enjoy free expression, escape religious persecution and much more. In the past few months over the course of 2016 election, some instances of practicing that freedom really gave a blow to my belief of abusing that right of free expression. It also brought back some disturbing memories & parallelisms to eastern nations' political cultures.

A national flag is a representation of a sovereign country's identity. It represents the people of all colors, ethnicities, races, religions in a nation. It encompasses the nation's pride with historical legacies. It symbolizes the soldiers who would fight till death to protect the flag from falling to the ground. It stands for the country's proud moments in the world arena (i.e. Olympic events), while also acknowledging the dark past (i.e. slave trade). But ultimately no matter what, it is a symbol that transcends all controversies, rumors, disputes. It is above any individual, organization, or even a particular society. It is a whole that represents everyone, good, bad & ugly.

But in the recent time, burning a flag has become a common thing among some Americans. Ever since the 2016 election result has been declared, some anti-Trump citizens have taken it to the streets to burn American flags. Do they really know the value of this flag? Have they lost anyone who fought for that flag? Did they not feel proud when Michael Phelps won gold medals in Olympics & he was singing the national anthem in front of the flag flying above everything else? What sacrifice have they had for this country that makes these people eligible to denigrate something that constitutes even them? What message is this sending to the wounded soldier who is without a leg while on duty to protect this flag & its values? What does it tell for the future Navy Seal who is growing up idolizing his father killed in the battlefield as a marine? If this is not a middle finger for those fallen warriors' families, then what is? Are these flag burners not part of America which that flag belongs to? Are they declaring not to be Americans?

When you have such anti-American sentiments in American citizens why would the al-Qaeda or ISIS need recruitments from Middle Eastern countries to carry out terrorist acts? They can simply brainwash these anarchist-type Americans little more to be able to successfully execute terrorism in the homeland. Do these flag burners realize this?

Over the past few years we have seen so many mass shooting incidents in American homeland that it has become a normal thing for many of us nowadays. Still our lawmakers are hesitant to touch 2nd Amendment of the Constitution which gives citizens the right to bear arms. The argument can be made on both sides. While taking away guns would ensure lesser mass shooting incidents, it would also deprive lawful citizens who might need guns for their protection against certain dangers that other Americans would not have to worry about. What mistake did those lawful citizens commit that their right would be taken away for the crimes committed by few individuals? Wouldn't a full background check enable those lawful citizens to carry their own guns? That way, those who deserve to own guns would be able to have guns while those who don't deserve it would be left out. Similarly, the frustration that these flag burners are exhibiting by burning flags are directed at some individuals of the system. Certainly it cannot be for the whole country because they themselves are a part of it, otherwise they could just burn themselves, simple logic would suggest. So, if the anger is towards a few, why desecrate the national symbol that encompasses both those Trump lovers & Trump haters. Why not burn effigies of individuals or organizations if that is what these anti-Trump citizens are so tormented for? But then again, Americans don't generally have a positive notion when it comes to effigy burning, i.e. Syrians burning Asad's effigy would be depicted as rebels against the state. So why would they want to contradict themselves?

Along with these points, I also found some parallelism between some recent events in Bangladesh with flag burning in America. There has been several incidents of destruction of Hindu temples, houses & businesses after some fake Facebook posts by a Hindu man insulting Islam or its symbols surfaced on the internet which were later found to be originated from accounts of Muslim individuals. But the locals of those villages or communities just base their knowledge to the fake trending posts on Facebook rather than actually finding out the details before going on a rampage to desolate Hindu neighborhoods. Sometimes even the local police would stand silently while the havoc continues. There are also instances when several Muslims from other villages would join the frenzy with just the rumors of such Facebook posts. To me, this is nothing different for many of the flag burners post-2016 election in America. Some of these individuals or groups of people who are shouting against the election result did not even take the step to vote to bring Hillary Clinton to Oval Office. So the following action to burn the American flag is just based on their peer influence that brought them to the streets for protest. Some would even not be able to name all of the presidential candidates. They sometimes are just going as a domino effect, because others are doing it, they are doing it too. They don't filter out the real news from fake news from their Facebook feed & participate in such events of flag burning.

Now the U.S. Constitution protects the citizens rights to free expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear before that as long as the act of flag burning does not cause or threaten peace in the country, it is allowable. Do these events in several American cities where flag burning has taken place not disturb peace? When these protesters are taking their protest to the streets, is it not hurting the traffic in the roads? Are the businesses of taxi drivers not get affected when roads are blocked during these protests? Don't get it wrong. I'm not saying protests should be made illegal. But when that protest is not coming from the whole (i.e. the taxi driver not joining the protest) or it creates obstruction in other lawful citizens daily routines who live on a daily budget, this is quite substantial.

It is okay to disagree with something or someone. But what right does our Constitution give to cause harm to a 3rd party's regular living? You may have your own beliefs, but that should not be forced upon someone. This is the exact thing that brought this country into existence. The Puritans emigrated to this 'land of the free' to escape from religious persecution. Many Hindus who do not want to be forcefully converted to Islam in eastern hemisphere come to America to gain religious freedom. Many Muslims who do not want to be persecuted for their political views or sexual orientation come to America to evade from their countries to practice whatever they believe in. Now if an atheist goes to a mosque with pork or Hindu temple with beef, would that be considered freedom of expression? While the atheist has the right to practice his or her beliefs, but that does not mean he or she can insult others sentiments who also want to practice their beliefs. Just like the atheist can go into a mosque to have lunch with pork or a Hindu temple to have dinner with beef, but he or she can do the same elsewhere without hurting the sentiments of others (devout Muslims or Hindus).

By a similar token, just like the U.S. Constitution gives those anti-Trump citizens the right to display their free expression by burning American flag, they should not do it for the sake of hurting other patriotic Americans. Just like those atheists can eat the forbidden meats elsewhere besides those religious institutions, the anti-Trump citizens can also demonstrate their discomfort by other means instead of burning the flag. Just like the mosque or temple is a sacred place for Muslims or Hindus, the American flag is also quite sacred & close to their heart for some Americans. When demolishing the idols in a temple can hurt the sentiments of devout Hindus living in Bangladesh, burning the American flag is also quite sentimental to the soldier who is living the rest of his life paralyzed to save that flag.

During my initial few years in this country, I regularly stood up during the national Pledge of Allegiance in school. That practice is not implemented in colleges, but whenever the national anthem or Pledge of Allegiance takes place, I have always tried to show my respect toward the flag, the country as a whole. I may not have obtained citizenship during those school days, but as a law-abiding person, I felt it my duty to respect the land I currently live in. I may not have agreement with all the positions that the country's lawmakers make, but the land that is sustaining me is above any lawmakers or individuals. The culture that our current generation is growing up where NFL idols like Colin Kaepernick are not standing up during national anthem is a wrong lesson that our kids are learning. I mean even opposition team's fans also show respect to each other's anthems in World Cup matches in soccer by standing up. The refusal to fly American flag in a university display a kind of disrespect that we often see when deans would punish students for not listening to teachers in a high school setting. But when the same educational institution obtains monetary funding from the same governmental sources that represents the flag (or the country as a whole) is just mind-boggling to me. Don't be surprised if this disrespectful culture eventually ingrains in the future American generations which could lead to many unspeakable crimes for the days to come.

Spiderman was rightly instructed: "with great power comes great responsibility". American citizens have great power to control who gets to make decisions, not just for their country, but alter the future of the world. So this great power of citizenship must be nurtured with great accountability.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Is Hillary Rodham Clinton really worthy to be President?

First of all, let me make this clear. I'm not a Trump supporter. Since the primaries, I've sided with Bernie Sanders. But between Clinton & Trump, my conscience won't let me choose any of the two. I'd like to play devil's advocate in favor of Trump to shed lights on the other side of the spectra that media is discreetly avoiding. 
If you ask a Republican, where do you get your news from? Most would say FOX. Same question to a Democrat would probably give you NBC, ABC or something. So if you are finding sources which only reinforces your point of view, then you are simply not looking at the overall picture. With that, I can present to you some media outlets where Wikileaks have been said to be accurate until proven false. 
Now on top of that, Julian Assange has been attempted to be silenced following the recent email dumps.
Hillary Clinton even suggested droning this guy during her time as Secy. of State.
Tell me, if the Clinton campaign & DNC are really not corrupt, why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign from her chairman post of the party? You may deny it too. But in one of the John Podesta email, it has been revealed that Clinton campaign pressurized Sanders to endorse Her (email correspondence between Podesta & Jane Sanders).
I understand that what Wikileaks is doing is totally wrong. But had it not been for Wikileaks, would we have seen the decline of Schultz or something? If we go by your argument that Russia is behind the cyber attacks & helping Wikileaks, then who stole Trump's tax information & gave it to NYTimes? If they can't steal, can we? What kind of double standard is this?
Now let's step aside from Wikileaks & emails. Center for Public Integrity tells us that 96% of media personalities (news anchors, journalists, editors etc) donated to Her campaign this election cycle compared to His 4%. If that is not disparity, bias in the name of journalism, then what is? Shouldn't the people have a right to unbiased information? If you are already bought or you have given your loyalty to someone, how can you be unbiased to your beneficiary?
This goes for the numerous speeches that Clinton has given over the last few years in various countries, corporate dinners etc. When asked about the Goldman Sachs speech transcript during a primary debate, why did she refuse to release it? If there is nothing to hide that may jeopardize her candidacy or her position on different issues, then why not release them once & for all? Let the media, American people decide afterwards.
I don't want to bring up the deleted emails. Bernie has said that before: "enough is enough". But the question still remains: why did she delete those emails if there is nothing that Americans will find which may contradict her positions on various issues (public vs. private image).
In lieu of this discussion, a good analogy that comes to my mind: you are dating this girl, but secretly you are also sleeping with her best friend. Now one day, your girlfriend gets hold of your cell phone & goes through your call history, chat log & finds out about your cheating case. Now as an outsider, you would say that no, she has no right to go through his phone. It's his personal thing. Privacy should be maintained. But if it were not for her breaking the privacy policy, would she have even known about her boyfriend's cheating nature?
Why does Hillary want to expand on Obamacare when her husband himself calls it "the craziest system of the world"?
Even Obama himself recognizes that it's a failed system. "It’s like buying a starter home. It’s a lot better than not having a home. But over time, you hope you can make some improvements."
He even compared it with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones which we know are blowing up, but we can't be going back to "rotary phones" (as he calls it).
Voter fraud is real. Obama (before he became President), back in 2008, during the campaign admitted to Democrats controlling the polling stations [watch first 2 mins:]
Tell me please, how can dead people be registered to vote & actually cast their ballot?
And I'm talking not just of 2016 election cycle, but also 2012. At that time, bipartisan agreement was possible between the parties that voter fraud is real.
If the liberal, leftists are really 'liberal' in their mindset, why did they firebomb North Carolina's GOP office? Why the hateful message of "Nazi Republicans" after vandalism?
And that's not it. Indiana's GOP office was also attacked.
How much media coverage did you see in the mainstream media about these stories? In fact, if you look, the Indiana story wasn't even covered anywhere except FOX. Do you really think the same treatment would be received if it were the other way around?
I can go on & on with NAFTA, TPP and many more. If you want, I can go through those on another day.
Overall, the thing that detracts me from Her is the fact that Hillary Clinton thinks she is over everything: rules, laws, regulations, you name it. When a 4-star retired general can face punishment for lying in front of FBI [], what about her lies? If you don't consider her to be a liar, then consider this: 67% Americans consider her trustworthy []. Only 12% Democrats see her as 'honest & trustworthy' []. No wonder she still can't get past 50% on all the national polls even 2 weeks before election day.
The very corruption that deteriorates democracy in many countries around the world, especially South Asia (since I know of it due to my heritage) has now entered American democracy. Money, Wall Street donors are ruling the political system in the nation. In our countries (Bangladesh, India & many others), if you become a MP (member of the parliament), you come out of your term as a rich man: nice bungalow, new businesses, fancy cars, ornaments for your wife, daughters, sisters etc. Citizens know that corruption is the factor that made them this filthy rich. Yet no one can say anything. Because if you do, you would be shut up forever, maybe along with your family altogether. So you endure this injustice silently. Similarly, in Washington political system, if you look at both Democrats & Republicans, how do these Congressmen, Senators become so rich after their term? Sometimes they become so greedy of power, that they just don't want to break off from it. You have to ask that these lobbying systems have made Washington democracy a nasty corruption machine. Bernie wanted to touch on it. But he was shut down by Clintonites. The very nasty politics that South Asians want to avoid by coming to this country is now colluding the swamps of DC. Now in the Gettysburg speech, Trump also pointed these things out. We need to limit our Congressmen, Senators to term limits. We need to stop foreign lobbyists influencing political decisions of American people. There's many more that Hillary Clinton would not even utter even in her dreams. Because she is already bought by those Wall Street money machines that want to keep things just exactly as it is. She is part of the problem that created this mess. How can you expect her to fix it? Next time you hear about Bangladesh being #1 in most corrupt nation of the world, think again.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Just another way to rig the election

We all know Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in the NY primary earlier this week. What we all may not know is that many independents who wanted to vote for Sanders were denied the opportunity to cast vote in Democratic primary. I've talked about the rigged election system of America before. This just goes to show my claim even further.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

History repeats itself...

Then Barack Obama...Now Bernie Sanders........Opponent still Hillary Clinton