Friday, December 28, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Beginning of End Game

The Americans face a daunting dilemma as the year approaches end. At the end of year 2012, the spring that was holding uneasy equilibrium will snap, all the tax breaks in force will disappear coupled with spending cuts, will most certainly lead to another bout of depression. A depression will be bad for people, jobs will disappear therefore buyers will disappear kick starting a vicious cycle of surplus inventory leading to shutting down of part production therefore more jobs. But it will not be good for the debt laden country either; depression doesn't create wealth growth does therefore a lose lose situation much like situation in Europe  where unbridled borrowing saw collapse of several economies.  America is sitting on a mountain of debt and the exigency of a Democracy is such that leaders seek soft solutions, are partisan to their constituency having one focus that is to get reelected. Only a true leader with staggering confidence in his ability to convince the people can swim against the current and impose harsh policies.
We know what goes up will come down, America has been on top for a while the signs of fatigue are clearly visible. Predictably ‘Fiscal cliff’ will be dealt with in easy way out solution; the sense of well being would be extended for some more time but the doom will be brought so much nearer home. Whoever thought Soviet Union will collapse so dramatically, it wasn't the military weakness that led to its downfall, it was their bankrupt economy. I guess we have reached a state where all wars will be stalemates and we see it all around us, the Iraq, the Afghanistan. Even though these nations stood no chance at all against the might of the axis of coalition yet there has been no emphatic win, you can well imagine how the war would have played out if these nations had been more stubborn and endowed with, let us say, a perceived lethality of North Korea. It will be economy that will be the new paradigm of drift a nation takes. I don’t see any capable leader, least Obama, who will set in motion policies that will rectify flaws in its economy of living off borrowing. The economy will sink this Goliath. Unfortunately there is no reason for the enemy of US to celebrate, when Goliath falls it will shake the earth and with that the whole world will suffer.        

Friday, December 21, 2012

Joy Shooting in Newton and Gang Rape in Delhi

The repetition of history has gone much beyond farcical; it is now a combination of directionless anger and dumb bewilderment. The multitude is venting their frustration coming out in numbers and protesting at a formless monster. This time there is no convenient dartboard in sight for them to shoot their darts; not the government, not the police and not the leaders. They are dumbstruck, deep down they know they are themselves responsible for this tragic state. For too long this has gone on desensitized, it happens to people in TV, or fellows shown in newspapers; remote and faraway. Now it appears that the horror is staring them a little closer for comfort.

Once I was engaged in a spirited debate over cooperative living. My contention was, “Ethical behavior is hardwired into us else cooperative living would not be possible and the cases of lapse were aberrations’. An expert on evolution intervened and suggested, ‘We are likely to be opportunistic if there is little chance of getting caught and the reward substantial’

I can’t say about the play of psychology in the case of joy shooter but the rape is significantly a case of chance that they will not get caught and if they did even then they will get away scot free. The perpetrators acted in complete disregard of fear of law, the staggering sense confidence committing crime in a moving bus in a city crawling with policemen all over tells a nasty story. It is time harsh punishment is meted out to individual and made example of. It will be unfortunate for these fellows to but who said world is fair, they took their chance and got caught in a whirlpool of emotions running very high so they have to pay the price for their felony, albeit a very high price.  

We can’t discuss capital punishment in isolation, the moral pressure of society, state of safety apparatus and how primed a society is; all contribute to behavior of the criminal. The enormity of capital punishment in an evolved society and a society seeped in medieval morality is not the same. If the right to redeem one belongs to criminal then an honest citizen also has right to life and dignity. Is India primed for this? Why is a rape considered such a heinous crime, largely due to moral repercussion heaped upon the victim by the society. These are conflicting paradoxes that confront Indians. Yes incarcerate them for life but it is not enough, something more graphic and macabre to jolt the psyche of criminal minded is needed, chop their hand too; bad luck if they happen to be the ones to be made example of. A permanent reminder for those who throw acid on hapless victim is necessary.   

If the gun is holy cow for the Americans then rein in the bullets. Without bullets the Gun would be toothless tiger. In addition make the person owing Gun equally responsible of crime for letting it fall in the hands of minor.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Deadly Game: Euthanasia

We all know death is finality of life and the prospect of facing it, the biggest fear of our life, yet we don’t spend sleepless nights mulling over its eventuality. For death is something that occurs to others; to people in TV and newspapers. Even on rare occasions when someone close is stricken we are shocked momentarily, rue loss of close one but never fear death striking ourselves, it still is somewhere far away…..... . As a little boy I used to think that fellows in sixties would be living in mortal fear of dying but as I approach sixties I see no sign of fear, only the death looks as fudgy and pushed further away. Yet specter of dying overwhelms us.   

But there are people who wish to die. The ones stricken with crippling illness, people who have lost all hope and people who find living an impossible chore. There is something hardwired into us to fear death and defend life, even a terminally ill person, who may not live another day, if suddenly assaulted will defend himself with all available means at his disposable even though in leisure he may contemplate dying all the time. So in nutshell death frightens us only when we see it coming now. Most convicts in death row may experience its debilitating horror. So is the first knowledge of incurable disease like cancer or Aids numbing to us. We sometimes secretly wish to die sitting in armchair without any warning ..

Euthanasia is a raging debate, I have nothing to say for or against it but I have a design that would be humane to the fellows who have become vegetables in life. The thing is if death comes unannounced and without pain then it is the most desirable option to have. Therefore if we can emulate death in controlled way as it comes in real life then it is the most acceptable form of euthanasia. Take for instance a terminally sick person who has six months to live; this fellow may live more than six months or may die in a few days therefore if we can implant a lethal capsule that activates on a randomized date between now and a time when the life becomes unbearable for this fellow then we give him an option to live a healthy life that emulates death’s unannounced nature. Every fellow who is not well or crippled or has reason to dislike life can be given this option and also he/she can dictate the period over which a randomized date occurs. .. Surely this is a better way to die than live languishing on an armchair.