Category Archives: Current Events

A Question of Fairness and Wells Fargo

The President’s UN speech, 2016

I listened to President Obama’s speech at the UN. There, he talked about a liberal political order, respect for human rights and the rule of law. These are essential for solving many of the problems we see in the world today.

But here is my problem with that assertion. How can we ask others to follow the rule of law if we are incapable of doing so ourselves? Many have correctly pointed out the huge income disparity in the US. The 99% of those left behind believe the 1% is above the law. Some current events reinforce this perception.

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Intrigue in the Arabian Sea: Gwadar, Chabahar, and the associated Realpolitik

We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors: Sun Tzu, The Art of War

A little history

Chabahar and Gwadar are two ports separated by just 72 kilometers, but worlds away in terms of geo-strategy. But let us go back a few decades when India and Pakistan won independence from Great Britain. In the immediate aftermath, Pakistan grabbed a large slice of western Kashmir from India. Three wars were fought between these two countries where India got the upper hand including the liberation of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. This left a deep distrust and a desire for revenge in the Pakistani psyche. In 1962, India and China went to war over disputed borders in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. China got the upper hand.

The Old Order Changeth

From the 90s, improved economic policies and the desire to do better saw an explosion in the economies and living standards of the citizens of China and India. And with an improved economy and living standards, came the desire for more, hence the need to look for more resources, including energy resources (read oil), raw materials and safe shipping lanes to get these resources to the homeland.

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The Wall of Kindness, Migrants and Us

The agreement between the EU and Turkey regarding refugees has gone into effect and the first boatload of 202 deportees has made its way from Greece to Turkey. Europe has sent a signal, loud and clear, that it is using stricter criteria for granting asylum to refugees. This has succeeded in arresting the flow of migrants towards Greece. But Greece still has to care for the thousands already there and it is ill equipped to do so. Here is a simple humanitarian way to help them, with a wall. Sounds paradoxical? This is not a wall that divides but a wall of kindness.

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The European Refugee Crisis: In search of the real Solution

Pictures of women and children huddled together in crowded boats or in pup tents in a stinking muddy field in Indomeni, Greece or pressing againt razor topped fences are routinely seen on television and social media. So what have we achieved since the picture of Alan Kurdi who drowned in the Mediterranean trying to cross from Turkey to Greece galvanized the world and prodded the heads of state in Europe to wake up and belatedly act?

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My Experience with the Affordable Care Act: the Good, the Bad and the Doable

 

Mid-November 2015. It was time to negotiate the maze for signing up for health insurance through the health insurance marketplace (www.healthcare.gov). Am I a fan of the system? No and yes. Last year I had to sign up via phone (the website could not verify my identity). That was in Nov. 2014. My identity is now verified but I still cannot, a year later, access my 2015 application on the website. There is no explanation. So, imagine my angst when I went to sign up for my 2016 enrollment online. But, the system was merciful (or my karma was good this time, never question good fortune). My application went through smoothly. I heaved a sigh of relief.

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