Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
There is lot a of confusion during this corona virus pandemic, The California State Government is changing the rules on a daily basis. For example, they allowed restaurants to have patio seating and all of a sudden stopped it without any notice.
Something interesting happened yesterday when I went for cutting my hair. For many years I go for my hair cut with a national franchise. There are a few advantages. They have your details including what type of hair cut you want and which numbered machine they should use on you. This is useful no matter which city you go to. Give your phone number and they have the whole hair cutting history about you. They would even say "Sir, this is your 10th hair cut and therefore it is free" or "Sir, you are our 50th customer today and therefore it is free".
I looked in the Google and there are 5 national franchise branches in my area. 4 of them were closed. 1 mentioned it is open from 9 am to 6 pm and will not accept online check-in. I went there and it was closed. There was no one in that salon. I checked the next door food deli and he said the orders came this morning to close the hair cutting salons.
I came home. A friend called me for a different purpose. I told him what happened. He gave the name of a non-franchise independently owned barber shop and said they are open.
This time I wanted to make sure they are open. Therefore, I called them. A Vietnamese girl answered. She said they are open but it is by appointment only. I asked her to give me an appointment right now. It was 2:30 PM. She said she could give me an appointment at 4:30 pm. I agreed. I went to that shop at 4:30 pm. It was locked. I called and she answered. She asked me to come to the back alley door. I go to the backside and she opened the door to let me in.
I was wondering why she asked me to come thru the backdoor. Is she doing her business illegally when the Government has asked every hair cutting place to close? Or, she never got the message? I still don't know.
She did an excellent job, better than the national franchise. With my receding hairline, national franchise salons take only about 8 minutes to fix my hair. This girl took 20 minutes.
End of story.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
After all the drama, Joseph R. Biden Jr. elected 46th President of the United States of America. Kamala Harris elected Vice President of the United States of America. She has many firsts. First female Vice President, first African-American, first Indian origin, first from my home town Chennai, and first from my own area in Chennai, Besant Nagar.
Congratulations to both of them.
Potentially, some dramas yet to come.
Anytime in the next 25 years, Kamala Harris may contest for the President of USA and may even win.
Kamala Harris may become President in a few months or in a few years or a strong candidate in 2024.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
I went to the polling booth yesterday and cast my vote.
Trump and his supporters are daily complaining voter fraud. I did not believe that. But after yesterday's experience I am leaning toward believing them.
I go to the polling station. Asked my name and I told them my name. Asked for my address. I gave them my address. Asked am I a U.S. citizen. I said yes. Asked in which language I want the ballot. I said English. They gave me the ballot and asked me to vote and put it in a box that was there.
They never asked my ID. They never asked proof of my residency. They never asked proof of my citizenship. No wonder liberals want as many illegal immigrants as possible so they will vote for them telling the election people that they are US citizens.
A friend of mine told me when I registered to vote they would have asked all the information in writing. Yes. The only proof they ask is copy of driver's license. Driver license gives your date of birth and address only. It does not say whether you are legal resident or illegal resident. Whether you are US citizen or not.
Illegal immigrants cannot speak English? Don't worry. Ballots are printed in 12 languages in addition to English.
Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Hmong, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Armenian, Bengali, Farsi, Arabic.
Only US citizens can vote. There is an English test when one applies for naturalized citizenship. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) test is designed for people who are not native speakers of English. But the test questions assume that the people being tested for citizenship have a basic knowledge of English.
So what is the need for ballots in 12 different languages? Bring in millions of illegal immigrants (from non English speaking countries) and make them vote for their party?
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Some of my American voters asked me why Donald Trump is campaigning in States like California and New York where his sure to lose.
Trump is not a fool. Very intelligent.
He is campaigning there to get as much Republican House of Representatives as possible from these States in case there is a Contingent Election. I wrote last week describing what a Contingent Election is.
Only 2 days left. Stay tuned for the fun.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
U.S. Presidential election is on November 3. Electoral College votes on December 14.
This year, because of corona-virus , millions of citizens have requested for mail-in absentee ballot. The post office which is supposed to deliver to the homes these mail-in absentee ballots has said they will not be able to deliver them on time before the November 3 election day.
Therefore it is potentially difficult to declare a sure winner on November 3. The Electoral College may not be able to select the winner. Even if there is a winner, the loser will likely go to the Supreme Court.
What if there is a deadlock? There will be a Contingent Election.
The newly elected House of Representatives will vote for the President. Here is the tricky situation. Each State has one vote irrespective of number of congressman from each state*. Therefore 50 votes for 50 States. Whoever gets 26 votes will be declared winner. Right now Republicans have majority in 26 States. If this continues after the election also, Trump will be declared as a winner.
The Vice President will be elected by the Senate. Each Senator has one vote. There are 100 Senators. Who ever gets 51 votes will be declared as Vice President.
If the Democrats win the Senate, they will elect Kamala Harris as Vice President. It will be interesting, fun, and a big entertainment if Donald Trump becomes President and Kamala Harris becomes Vice President.
* California has 53 House of Representatives. Vermont has 1 House of Representative. But they both have 1 vote in the Contingent Election.
Friday, October 23, 2020
President Bill Clinton was impeached in December 1998 for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. He was later acquitted by the Senate. He was very angry at the Independent Counsel Ken Starr. He wanted to take revenge.
Clinton was supposed to leave office on January 20, 2001 at noon. You know what he did? One hour before he left office (at 11 am), he pardoned 145 criminals. These people have no connection with Clinton. Also, they never asked for pardon from the President. He selected criminals in jail at random across the nation.
Now coming to President Trump. Except Fox News, every television media and every newspaper have only bad words for him. If he did something good, it was in the 8th page of a newspaper. If there was a mistake, it was first page headline for several days. Same goes for the Democratic Party also. They were all limousine liberal media.
President Trump is now taking revenge on the entire liberal media including the Democratic Party. Lucky for him, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, less than 2 months before the November 3 election. Without wasting any time, Trump immediately nominated Amy Coney Barrett. Since Republicans have majority in the Senate, she is expected to be approved and become a Supreme Court Judge before November 3 election. The conservatives will then have a 6 to 3 majority.
President Trump will have achieved two main things. He packed the court with conservatives (3 were appointed by him out of the 6). This way, the liberals and Democrats will never win a single case in the Supreme Court for the next 20 years.
Second, in case there is a dispute on the November 3 election results and goes to Supreme Court, 6 judges (out of 9) are Trump supporters. They may say they are impartial. To quote President Abraham Lincoln, action will speak louder than words.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
I saw the Vice President debate just now.
I just saw Kamala Harris's disrespectful smirk on her face through out the debate with Vice President.
Vice President Pense was very respectful.
I like Joe Biden.
But because of Kamala Harris, I am going to abstain from voting.
Friday, October 2, 2020
There is news all over the world that President Trump has been tested positive for the coronavirus. The whole world is concerned. Some are happy and some are worried.
Here is my personal opinion
I want to use President Trump's favorite words. FAKE NEWS.
He is capable of doing anything to achieve his goal.
There are only three reasons I can think of for this news.
1. Either he is afraid to debate "Sleepy Joe" Biden again
2. He can say he recovered "proving" that covid is no big deal
3. He thinks he will lose the election and this is a graceful way to withdraw from the race.
PS: This blog post is a result of having a discussion with a friend of mine.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
The legendary SPB passed away 3 days ago in Chennai after contracting coronavirus. He sang 40,000 songs in many languages. He was a singer, actor, music director and producer. May he rest in peace.
My wife and I had a chance to meet him for a few minutes long long time ago. He was not that famous at that time. He and P. Susila came to Berkeley to give a musical performance. At the end of the performance, the organizer invited us to the backstage to meet with these 2 singers. We went there and spoke to these two singers for a few minutes. When we were about to leave, SPB said:
(The conversation was in Tamil. I will translate in English.)
SPB: Whenever you both visit Chennai, please come to our home.
I: Yeah. You will invite us here. But when we come to Chennai, the security gurkha guarding your home will not let us in.
SPB: I don’t have any security gurkha guarding my home. It is in all the movie actors homes. I am only an ordinary singer.
Such a simple and down to earth person.
Among the 40,000 songs sung by him, my favorite is the one song in Tamil where he sang without stopping for a single breath. He also acted in that film. The movie title is Keladi Kanmani (Listen My Sweetheart). Music by Ilaiyarajaa. Here is the song:
Friday, September 18, 2020
A liberal Supreme Court Judge, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, age 87, passed away today due to pancreatic cancer. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. U.S. Supreme Judges have no retirement age. They can serve as long as they want to.
President Trump was very lucky. In his first term, he was able to appoint two conservative judges, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The current position is 5 conservative judges and 4 liberal judges (with Ginsberg).
Here is the situation as of today. Within a few hours of Ginsberg’s death, President Trump is already considering about 5 people for replacing her. Two of them are Indian Origin. Amul Thapar and Neomi Rao.
Here is a tricky situation. 2016 was a year for Presidential election. President Obama, a few months before the election, had an opportunity to fill a vacancy. He nominated Merrick Garland. The Republicans controlled the senate. Therefore, the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate Mr. Mitch McConnell is the one to decide what business will be taken up by the Senate. In 2016, he refused to take up this matter for discussion. He said “voters should be able to express their views at the ballot box before the Senate votes in the final year of a president's term.”
Now the same situation in 2020. 2 months before the election there is a vacancy. Democrats are telling Mr. McConnell to go by the same rule he invoked in 2016. But Mr. McConnell says he is not going to abide by what he said in 2016. Today he said he will make sure Trump’s nominee is confirmed while Trump is still the president.
If the Republicans can do that, It will be 6 to 3 in favor of Conservatives in the U.S. Supreme Court. This will affect the American people and everything in the United States for many many years.
PS: I have no idea why the last 2 paragraphs came in this fashion.
Monday, September 7, 2020
Lot of my American readers may have forgotten this name. Almost all the non-American readers have never heard this name.
Anita Hill is an American lawyer and academic. She is a professor at Brandeis University. In 1991, every newspaper and TV media in USA were talking about her every day. Here is the background
In 1991, President Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. All Supreme Court nominees must be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats were in majority in the Senate at that time. Joe Biden was the Judiciary Committee Chairman.
Anita Hill came to testify against nominating Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Judge. She previously worked for Clarence Thomas. She alleged sexual harassment while she was working for him. The Republican Senators, who were in the minority in the Senate, asked Anita Hill lot of embarrassing questions. They even suggested that she has a loose character and is a slut.
Joe Biden, Chairman of the Committee, was in control of the testimony. He could have stopped the Republican Senators asking Anita Hill embarrassing questions. But he did not.
There were 4 other witnesses waiting to testify and support Anita Hill’s credibility. Joe Biden never called them to testify.
Finally, Clarence Thomas was confirmed by a margin of 52-48, the narrowest margin for any Supreme Court Judge.
A few years later, Joe Biden called Anita Hill to talk it over and express regret. He said Anita Hill did not get a fair hearing and was not treated well and he took full responsibility.
Did Anita Hill forgive Joe Biden. NO. She said she is ready to move on. Also, ready to hold Joe Biden accountable.
Latest News: Last week, Anita Hill announced she will be voting for Joe Biden in the coming Presidential election.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Finally, Joe Biden announced his running mate (for VP) - Kamala Harris.
This is really not a big surprise as she has been the front runner for the VP role. Indians can be happy because her mother is from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Kamala spent a lot of vacation time during her childhood in Besant Nagar, Chennai. Her mother and grandfather taught her carnatic music and bharathnatayam.
Top Left to Right: Kamala Harris, Her grandma Rajam Gopaln, Her grandpa
P.V. Gopalan, Her sister Maya Harris. The kids: Maya's daughter and a cousin
Here are some pros and cons regarding Kamala Harris.
She is highly educated.
She has held a solid number of public jobs - District Attorney in San Francisco, Attorney General for the State of California, U.S. Senator from California.
She is a great debater.
She comes across very well in front of the camera and on television.
She is also loved by the black community in America.
She is very ambitious. A little too ambitious and opportunistic.
She knows that Biden will be a one term president only (four years) and it's highly possible that he won’t even finish his one term due to his advanced age and mental capacity. Therefore, she will have her own agenda instead of implementing Biden’s agenda.
She implemented the 1994 Crime Bill to the fullest. The bill was written by Joe Biden and approved by President Bill Clinton. It resulted in mass incarceration and innocent people were put in prison..
She has a "sugar daddy", Willie Brown, Speaker of the California Assembly. He made sure she was moving up the political ladder but in return what did Kamala was doing the forbidden dance with Slick Willie.
She is a big proponent for medicare for all. Many Americans aren't supportive.
So what do I think of Biden's pick for VP?
I don't think Harris is a bad pick at all. However, I do not think she was the best choice.
I believe Susan Rice would have been a better running mate (also minority female). She was the National Security Advisor for Barrack Obama. Rice was also U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Rice is also highly educated and she graduated from Stanford University and Oxford.
Can Biden/Harris defeat Trump/Pence in November?
I'm not an R, or a D. I'm an I - for Independent.
When Biden became the candidate for the Democratic Party, I put his chance of winning at 70%. Now with Kamala Harris as his running mate, I put his chance of winning at 55%.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
See how fate plays in everyone’s life.
PS: Blogger.com has made some changes. I don't even know how to create a new post. I had a post that was in draft stage and wrote on that. May be I am not tech savvy.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020
I was an atheist.
But He was not afraid of me.
I became a believer.
But I cannot find Him.
I recently had a chance to read a poem in Tamil written by Late Kannadasan. I thought I would translate that. But, of course, we cannot convey the real meaning of the words from the original language into a translated language. OK, here is the translation of that poem.
Are you afraid? Are you agitated?
Is your mind distressed?
Turbulence in life?
Thousand things will happen in life.
Tragedy in almost all entrances.
Whatever may be the cause of suffering
Just worrying will not make them go away.
If you have a heart to bear anything.
You will have peace of mind until the end.
Make the poor mind a big mansion.
Compose poem day and night.
And Dedicate all days from tomorrow to God.
And find peace for the rest of your life.
There are millions of people suffer more than you.
Think of that and seek content.
I think Kannadasan covered almost the whole Bhagvat Geetha in this one poem. We all know Bhagvat Geetha says:
Stabilize your mind.
Do your duty with detachment.
Surrender to God.
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Hoarding, 50% of the shelves in any departmental store are empty.
Friday, May 29, 2020
But, of course, there are exceptions. I recently came across one.
I was looking for a steal wok ring.
The price at Walmart was $7.99 with free shipping charges. I looked at a store named Webstaurant. The price was $5.29. It was my mistake I did not check the shipping charges. I ordered the item at 11 pm a few days ago. Within 2 minutes of my sending the order I checked the order confirmation and it said the shiping charges are $18.53. I was shocked. Could not believe shipping charges of $18.53 on a $5.29 item.
I immediately called the company. Since it was almost midnight, no one was working. Therefore, I wrote an email canceling my order.
I received an email the next morning at 7 am informing me the order has been shipped. I could not believe it. They have a huge announcement that most of their employees are working from home due to Covid-19. Was wondering who went to their office before 7 am and shipped my purchase immediately on a priority basis.
I wrote them an email regarding that. They replied that since the order has been shipped, I have to pay the return postage charges. In addition, I have to pay 30% restocking fees.
I immediately called my credit card company and disputed the charges. Credit card companies are very customer friendly. They said they will make a stop payment on that.
I checked with Federal Express thru whom the company sent my item. They said I can refuse to accept that item and they will return it to the sender. Supposed to be delivered on June 1. Will wait and see.
I then checked with that Company’s customer reviews. Many of them have similar complaints. Exorbitant shipping charges. When called them, they were told the order has been shipped.
Lesson learned: If an item is very cheap, check the shipping charges. Read the customer reviews before ordering anything from a vendor.
Friday, May 22, 2020
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Schwarzenegger's battles with the state legislature are epic. But this just goes way beyond epic. While declining he wrote the following cover letter.
This is not a jovial fake letter. Please google it to find out.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Friday, April 10, 2020
Monday, April 6, 2020
PS: The above is only a general idea. People familiar with the local custom and behavior can device their own way how to distribute the donor receipts.