Saturday, August 31, 2019

Delhi Must Restore Normalcy In Kashmir

Pakistan brought to a standstill for 'Kashmir hour' demonstrations
'Normalcy' vs reality: Conflicting narratives about Kashmir
Kashmir Live Updates: Pak ready for conditional bilateral talks with India, says Qureshi
Restrictions on movement of people lifted in most parts of Kashmir normal life remained affected across the valley for the 27th consecutive day on Saturday...... The markets continued to remain shut, while public transport was off the roads, the officials said, adding schools also remained closed. ..... landline telephone services have been restored in most places across the valley in view of the improving situation

Meet Kashmiri girl whose video is creating sensation she lives in Mumbai and works for a Hong Kong-based company..... According to Mirchandani, her ancestors migrated to Kashmir from Sindh a decade before partition. She claims that she comes from a Muslim family, but later embraced Sanatana Dharma.

The Road to 'Naya Kashmir' more than half the police stations in the Valley have relaxed curbs on day-time movement. People have withdrawn over Rs 800 crore from ATMs over the past fortnight, indicating that "the wheels of the economy continue to grind" for the common man ...... Article 370 permitted J&K to have its own constitution, its own flag and full autonomy in its internal administration, except for defence, foreign policy and communications, which were left for the Union government to control. ..... Once these leaders emerge from the silence of arrest, they may be reduced to pleading for the restoration of statehood at the earliest, which the central government has said it will consider. ...... Modi has signalled that he will render the current lot of political leaders irrelevant in the state by handing over the reins of the new Union territory to a new crop of grassroots leaders to build a 'Naya Kashmir'. ....... The BJP and the RSS have for decades made their intention clear on the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A (according to which non-permanent residents of J&K could not purchase or own land in the state). But the gameplan to achieve this was set in motion only in the final year of the first term of the Modi government....... "The problem in Kashmir is largely due to 50-odd political families there. They have been milking the issue. They don't want any benefit to be given to ordinary Kashmiris. People want freedom from such political families who have been preying on their emotions for 50 years. ..... "It was a corrupt edifice built on patronage-there were scams in recruitment for government posts, separatists were being bankrolled by many of those who had earlier run the government and there were only a few institutions where the rule of law prevailed. It was a sham democracy and the state was on the verge of collapse." ...... There was also deep concern over the growing radicalisation of the Kashmiri youth, especially after mosques and madrassas funded by more extreme sects had doubled in the past 15 years. ..... "The game in the past decade was an unethical compact between Delhi and the state that allowed the system to flourish as long as each got what they wanted. Delhi's approach was to manage Kashmir and ally with mainstream parties like the NC and PDP to run the government as long as they made the right noises about swearing allegiance to India. Never mind if only a few leaders and their families flourished, to the detriment of the state." ..... a five-pronged strategy: speed up development, hold panchayat elections, curb corruption, crack down on militants and prevent infiltration. ...... panchayat elections in October 2018 ..... unlike in the past, the sarpanches could disburse funds varying fromRs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore each for local projects. While both the NC and PDP boycotted the elections, voter turnout in the Valley was a decent 40 per cent. What shook these parties after the elections was that people started flocking to the newly elected sarpanches for development assistance, bypassing the local MLAs who had so far held sway. ...... we eliminated close to 250 terrorists last year ...... went after prominent Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and attached his property for allegedly being involved in terror financing and money-laundering for Hurriyat leaders...... a masterful legal strategy had been worked out in secret to dilute the provisions of Article 370 without having to get the state assembly's consent..... if there was an Afghan settlement, it would enable Pakistan to push all the Afghan radicals freed from civil strife towards the Indian border, as in the late '90s when the Taliban captured power in Afghanistan. ...... Top officials in J&K sensed something big was about to happen but were not sure exactly what. ...... In the past year, we mapped areas that needed more attention and forces, areas that were hard-core zones for stone-pelters and who the biggest trouble-makers were. ..... We also knew a communication lockdown would become necessary, which is why we equipped the entire police force with an alternative wireless system." ....... "Trying to pre-empt large-scale violence is not immoral; rather, it is the duty of a responsible government. There is inconvenience, but it is better than having body bags pile up if violence breaks out. The restrictions in place are quite sensitive to ground realities. As and when the situation improves, they will be eased." ....... All senior leaders of political parties were either put under house arrest or taken into custody and housed in hotels in the Valley or elsewhere in the state. All those listed as potential trouble-makers were also arrested. Meanwhile, the government cut off all telecommunications-landlines, cell phones and internet-ensuring a complete communication blackout. ...... Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the assembly of five or more people in an area and also restricts carrying any sort of weapon, was imposed. ...... As also curfews, wherever necessary. The government claimed it had made provisions to keep hospitals running as well as ensure supply of food and other essentials. ...... NSA Doval spent 10 days in the state, chairing meetings on many occasions and also meeting people to fine-tune government strategy. ...... Among the big challenges is to ensure that the upcoming apple-plucking season, which is in September and October, is not disrupted. In Shopian, apple capital of the state, Sandeep Chaudhary, the superintendent of police, said that in his recent meeting with growers, rather than anger over Article 370, the bigger concern was to get the plucking and packing of apples going and have trucks move them out of the district for distribution and sale across the country. ..... the administration has announced that it will hold elections for block development councils in October. Along with panchayat leaders, these elections would throw up another rung of leadership invested in development. ...... 50,000 vacancies for government posts will be filled up soon ..... for the long term, the government is drawing up massive plans to build tourism infrastructure and develop Kashmir as an international destination that can compete with the best. ...... plans to set up sufficient processing and cold storage units for apples, peaches, pears as well as dry fruits to make the state an export hub. ...... a major investment summit it is planning in November gets the country's top industrialists to commit to setting up employment-generating projects in the state. ....... The Modi government is keen to bring in a whole new leadership from the grassroots while simultaneously correcting the institutional maladies that have afflicted the state in the past. This means the central government is in no hurry to restore statehood to J&K, and the process may take years. Having discredited the existing state leaders and their parties, the BJP would ideally like J&K to be ruled by a national party like itself rather than a regional satrap. ........ "After the abrogation of Article 370, all launch pads in PoK are full of terrorists and we have to thwart attempts to infiltrate practically every day. On the conventional front, Pakistan has made certain movement of forces of which we are aware and taking corrective action. If Pakistan indulges in any misadventure, I can assure you, it will get a befitting reply." Till winter sets in and makes crossing the border from the mountains difficult, the Indian armed forces have to be on their guard...... If Pakistan instigates a terror strike against India, it will further turn international opinion against it. ....... Pakistan can hardly complain. It has integrated PoK and the Northern Areas as two provinces leaving them with little independence to operate. ......

The only thing India should watch out for is violation of human rights, particularly if major violence breaks out in the state and the security forces use an iron fist to put it down.

In Jammu, which has a Hindu majority, there is already concern that those from Punjab will buy up their lands and dominate them. ..... Some now call for restrictions on land ownership as in Himachal.

Khan: Pakistan Will Stand With Kashmir Traffic around the country stopped for several minutes as the anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir were played on state media at noon....... India's Kashmir-related moves have prompted Khan to repeatedly describe the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as fascist and supremacist. Khan has also compared the Modi government with Nazi Germany and has alleged that Modi's actions pose a threat to both Pakistan and religious minorities in India.
Kashmir situation contrary to Centre’s claims: Yechury The ground situation in Kashmir is “completely contrary” to what the Narendra Modi government has been saying, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said after returning from Srinagar where he met his ailing party colleague Yusuf Tarigami.

Bernie Picked The Wrong Fight With Andrew Yang

Obviously, the Democrats can't have both Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang. So who is it gonna be?

To Bernie's credit, the idea of a shorter work week is not that bad. How about you work four days a week, not five? But a reduced work week is not an argument against the UBI. They are apples and oranges.

Andrew keeps coming at Universal Basic Income from the technology angle, the artificial intelligence, and robotics angle. And I believe his projections are valid. But projections are projections. Many of those things have not happened yet. The retail jobs are mostly still here. Truck drivers are still driving their rigs.

But what is already here is inequality. I like Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax idea. Marry that to the UBI idea. The inequality that already exists and keeps getting wider every year is extremely harmful not only to democracy but also capitalism. And the best way to narrow the gap is by applying a wealth tax to fund a UBI.

And if the technology arguments come to be, we will also use that Value Added Tax (VAT) to expand the UBI. I can see the UBI going up to $2,000 a month down the line. Technology could give economic growth rates of 50% in future years. You don't want all of that to end up with the top 1%. They will just end up fat and lazy.

This is a fight Andrew must relish. That is the only way for him to go into the double digits.

Unless he wins either Iowa or New Hampshire, he is toast. He is perhaps Secretary of Labor and not the president. More likely speaker and author and CNN talking head in 2021.

Universal basic income, and universal health care are two ideas that belong together. Andrew Yang does need to own Medicare For All if he has a fighting chance.

Electoral College Idiocy

Friday, August 30, 2019

Andrew Yang: A Contender

Andrew-Pete Ticket
Steve Bannon, Hong Kong, 1989, And The CCP
Biden's Resilience: Health Care?
Blatant Racial Bias Against Andrew Yang In The Mainstream Media
Andrew Yang Clocking At 4% And Fifth Position
Could Andrew Yang Become President?
Andrew Yang's Eureka Moment And The Political Work That Remains Doing

Andrew Yang's Eureka Moment And The Political Work That Remains Doing

You don't get to become president for having a eureka moment on the Universal Basic Income (UBI) idea. The concept has been talked about in the tech circles for much of this decade. Just check out the tech blogs. You do the math. You crunch the numbers. You extrapolate. There is no escaping it.

Andrew Yang might look like a rocket scientist on the campaign trail, but to the techies it might come across as, well, looks like he has been reading the tech blogs.

I like his rebranding of it. Freedom Dividend, or tech check. They sound better than UBI. Whatever works.

The implementation could happen in phases. Phase one, let's just cover the bottom 50%. Phase two, lets' put Elizabeth Warren's two cents to use and cover 100%. Step three, let's get those two cents from everybody on the planet and make UBI truly universal. Americans are merely 300 million out of more than seven billion. Tell everyone at the Mexico border, you can get $100 per month per person, or you can come to the US. Nobody will want to come to the US.

You don't get to become president for "getting" the idea. You get to become president for selling it. That is the political work that needs to be done.

The racial bias in mainstream media against Andrew Yang is palpable. CNN and MSNBC might as well be Breitbart News when it comes to Andrew Yang, who is not even Chinese, by the way.

Yang 2020 should go deeply digital and global. Micro target with video. Involve people. If the people want him bad enough, they will google him up. But mainstream media is still how most voters in the US get their news. That glass prism has to be broken.

Andrew Yang can't be window-shopping for president. He needs to get inside the store. He needs to break the glass, if necessary. Or, better, dissolve it.

Andrew-Pete Ticket
Steve Bannon, Hong Kong, 1989, And The CCP
Biden's Resilience: Health Care?
Blatant Racial Bias Against Andrew Yang In The Mainstream Media
Andrew Yang Clocking At 4% And Fifth Position
Could Andrew Yang Become President?

Create an online game. What will you do with an additional one thousand dollars per month? Let ordinary people answer that question. Regularly curate and release the best answers.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Andrew-Pete Ticket

Steve Bannon, Hong Kong, 1989, And The CCP

This is the one time, the very first time I find myself agreeing with Steve Bannon. This is not saying he thinks the CCP should collapse, although he might feel that way. This is analysis. Should Beijing make the mistake of trying to pull a 1989 on Hong Kong, the CCP will collapse inside of China.

That is also my analysis that I posted a while ago. On August 13, precisely. And I tweeted at him.

Although I disagree with those who think Beijing is itching to send troops into Hong Kong to put down the protests. That would be stupid. I don't think they are stupid. I don't think Beijing cares about the protests or the extradition bill. The only thing that would bother Beijing is if the Hong Kong protests were to declare independence. At that point, Beijing will very likely send in troops. And if they do, it is my analysis, that would start a chain reaction that will lead to a collapse of the CCP inside China. What happened in Eastern Europe in 1989 will happen in China in 2019.

That is why it has been puzzling to me as to why the Hong Kong leadership is in no hurry to meet the five basic demands, all of which keep the one country, two systems intact.

13 weeks of protests participated by millions in a city the size of Hong Kong. It is not that big, geographically speaking. When was the last time something like this happened? It has not happened anywhere in my living memory. This is tectonic. This is huge.

90% of Hong Kong is out in the streets, and Carrie Lam will not budge! Da what now!? Well, it's called not democracy. When you are appointed by Beijing, which might be 10,000 miles away, and not directly elected by your citizens, you can be, not tone-deaf, but deaf.

Hong Kong Protests: The World Should Not Watch A Possible Massacre
Why Hong Kong Needs A Directly Elected Chief Executive
The Hong Kong Protest Lacks Political Sophistication
Hong Kong: The Shenzen Angle
Could Andrew Yang Become President?


Understanding Kashmir

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Biden's Resilience: Health Care?

Joe Biden has been surprisingly resilient in the polls over the months. That might explain the senior citizen grip on the poll outcome. Young people don't vote. The seniors are the greatest beneficiary of the US federal government. They want to retain the gift that keeps giving.

I think there is unaddressed anxiety about Medicare For All. When Bernie and Warren say Medicare For All, they don't connect the dots. You describe a finished product. You don't explain how it will work and if it will work. You don't explain how you will go from the current arrangement to Medicare For All. What will happen during the transition?

People associate Biden with Obamacare, which by now is status quo. They like the status quo. That is how they get health insurance. Instead of thinking Medicare For All will take health insurance to everyone, most people think, Medicare For All means I will lose mine.

The political work has not been done. The explaining has not been done. So far Medicare For All has been a slogan, not a fleshed-out program.

I believe that explains Biden's resilient numbers in the polls. Biden does not shake the boat too much. You get one old white guy to replace another old white guy. If old white guy is your thing. For a lot of seniors, that seems to be make or break. There are seniors who say they "suffered" while Obama was president. The suffering came from merely having to watch him on TV. Not having an old white guy in the Oval Office caused discomfort. Or at least that seems to be the suggestion.

That "suffering" is a strange kind of suffering, if you ask me. Some call it white nationalism. By now white nationalist terrorism is officially in the Oxford Dictionary.

Whether America is ready to jump from Trump/Biden to an Andrew Yang is hard to tell right now. It is amazing how young people don't vote.

How Much Of A Threat Is Elizabeth Warren To Joe Biden’s Front-Runner Status? the pollster found him, at 19 percent support, in a three-way tie for first with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, both at 20 percent. ..... with Biden on the decline and Warren and Sanders on the upswing.

Kashmir: Restore Normalcy

Blatant Racial Bias Against Andrew Yang In The Mainstream Media

And this is supposed to be the "liberal" media.

Could Andrew Yang Become President?
Andrew Yang Clocking At 4% And Fifth Position