Categories
Current Affairs Politics

Jan 20 2021

While the excitement of our Wedding Anniversary was in the air, the Inauguration of Joe Biden totally occupied our mental bandwidth today. Between watching Biden speak, Gaga and JLo sing and Amanda Gorman figuratively levitate with words, we managed to wish ourselves more happy anniversaries.

The relief is palpable. Relief that this Wednesday in January went off without a hitch. Relief that we won’t be whiplashed everyday with inflammatory pronouncements from a deranged person sitting in the most powerful house in the country. Relief that despite the persistent divisive challenges that this society faces, the person leading the nation now is the best man for the job and has an excellent team surrounding him.

The virtual cross country and cross space evening entertainment was brilliant. It suggested the smell of fresh earth after a downpour. We hope today marks the beginning of happier times for our nation and the world.

Over the last few days National Guard troops protected the magnificent Capitol and surrounding areas. They slept on stone floors at night and walked about all day. We owe them our gratitude for securing the fabric of society.

All the best to us and the Biden Administration.

Categories
Life

Uttarayana

It’s hard to be interesting every day. I have been staring at this screen for 10 minutes now and surfing between various topics that I can write about today.

My mind naturally went to politics and current affairs. The signal to noise ratio is too high and nothing special for me to say. I like that insurrectionists are being tracked down using their own digital breadcrumbs. I do want to see accountability at the highest levels. The second impeachment was a good start.

Whatsapp and Facebook’s disastrous week comes to mind, but nothing insightful there. Lots of Signal however. That new download graph of Signal is astounding. India and Elon Musk have done unto Facebook that Congressmen couldn’t do despite so many hearings.

Well, today is also Pongal, an important festival in South India. It is called by various other names in India. This day marks the end of the Southern journey of the Sun (Dakshinayana) and the beginning of it’s northward movement (Uttarayana). It’s time for the traditional post harvest celebration in every household. I practice max carb and sugar load by consuming Sakkara Pongal made with copious amounts of Ghee.

Last few days, I read the book Becoming by Michelle Obama. It was absolutely a fascinating story of a woman and family catapulted into the highest office of the land by sheer hard work, talent and guts. That we reached a Zenith in that office and the Nadir we have reached now is a telling story of what a nation can do to itself.

As the Sun begins it’s northward journey, let’s wish for brighter times ahead.

Categories
Current Affairs Regulation

Online Rumble

Last Friday, Twitter permanently banned DJT due to further risk of incitement of violence until Inauguration Day. A few days before that, Facebook did a temporary suspension that would last for 20-30 days or so.

FWIW, I fully support that move by both the companies.

Apple, Google and Amazon effectively decapitated the right leaning app Parler by cutting off it’s distribution and hosting. I am ambivalent on that one as I believe its not in their scope to do so.

A lot of angst is being expressed that this violates First Amendment (freedom of speech and assembly) rights guaranteed by the US constitution.

Perhaps, it’s a violation. However, these companies do not represent the government and technically don’t have to guarantee free speech and can be governed by their Terms of Service.

Biden should appoint a highly capable FCC commissioner, whose mission for 2021 would be to craft a series of regulations governing speech online. And it could be done in collaboration with the United Nations so it can be applied across the globe. Why? There is so much whataboutism. What about this other leader, they ask, who said this and he/she is still on the platform. How come?

Until that happens, we will have a series of ad hoc situations and no one will be happy.

Probably a good time to be a lawyer in D.C.

Categories
Catalyst Current Events Thinking

My predictions for 2021

I had written these down on Jan 1 and forgot to share it. Here are my predictions. The terror attack has already panned out unfortunately

  • COVID daily stats stop being displayed on TV starting in September
  • The stock market corrects by 10% during the year and finishes the year more or less flat
  • Bitcoin goes to a high of $60,000 and stays rest of year range bound between $50-60K
  • DJT is indicted on tax and wire fraud but avoids prison in 2021
  • A medium-large scale domestic terror attack happens in the USA
  • USA and Russia exchange brief military hostilities
  • A third party is formed from a split up in the Republican party
  • Silicon Valley as we know it shrinks significantly due to migration out
  • Electric Vehicles (hybrid + all electric) reach 20% of market share of new automobiles sold in USA
Categories
Personal

Sad and dangerous day

Jan 06 2021

Today we saw a mob surge on the US Capitol Building. They overcame weak and sometimes supportive Police barriers. The unruly crowd managed to disrupt a joint session of Congress to certify the electoral college vote count. Lots of furniture was damaged and powerful offices were ransacked. Surprisingly, members were able to evacuate to a safe place where the mob couldn’t reach them.

The day had a 9/11 feel to it. The scenes on TV was riveting and stunning.

It’s obvious that a segment of America has been brainwashed and has also not realized it’s exploitation. It’s not obvious how the country can heal from this explosive and incendiary situation. The people that have started and flamed this situation need to have the full extent of the law unleashed on them.

It’s an anxious time for all this early in the New Year. Stay safe and let this not paralyze your life.