Welcome to Saturday's Potluck 3-18-2023
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
I have re-wrote the opening of today's diaries many times mentally and on the keyboard. Normal frustration of trying to sort and organize an uncomfortable subject. It is similar to the one many families face with an older generation - are they still competent to drive on public roads or take care of their own finances. Is it time for an intervention or at least a discussion?
Only the family is our collective population of the United States and the elder is the President of the United States.
One danger of not acknowledging a problem is the deliberate avoidance of not noticing who is taking advantage of the situation to promote their own agendas, vendettas and pet projects.
First step is recognizing there is a problem. Then potential solutions can start to be created.
SY HERSH Meets the Press - Live from the National Press Club, Washington DC (125.10) presentation to his peers covering a range of subjects and stories.
Seattle ban takes on stubborn caste discrimination Asia Times March 15, 2023
Seattle became the first city in the United States to outlaw caste-based discrimination against immigrants from stigmatized groups in South Asia’s traditional social hierarchy.
The ordinance, adding caste to Seattle’s existing anti-discrimination policies, was proposed by Kshama Sawant, the only Indian American councilwoman in the city, which is home to an estimated 75,000 Indian Americans. Sawant, herself from a privileged caste background, has been a vocal critic of the discriminatory caste system. Sawant said the ordinance – which was approved on Feb. 21, 2023 – would help put an end to an “invisible and unaddressed” form of discrimination in Seattle.
A year ago, in January 2022, the California State University, America’s largest public higher education system, also added caste to its anti-discrimination policy, allowing students, staff and faculty across its 23 campuses to report caste bias and discrimination.
While the caste system is often conflated in Western media with the Hindu religion and India alone, that is far from the truth. As social scientists specializing in South Asian studies, we assert that the caste system neither is exclusive to the Hindu religion nor is it restricted to India and Indians.
Caste in South Asia
While the caste system originated in Hindu scriptures, it crystallized in its current form during British colonial rule and has stratified society in every South Asian religious community. In addition to India, it is present in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan.
Social, economic and political status in this pernicious system is tied to traditional occupations fixed by birth.
Caste organizes social life not only among Hindus but also in Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Buddhist communities in the region. It is an intergenerational system based on birth into a caste group. Caste identities stay even generations after someone converts out of Hinduism and into any of these faiths.
Caste in the diaspora
Scholars have documented similar discriminatory practices in the diaspora in the UK, Australia and Canada and on the African continent.
Caste has started getting recognition as a discriminatory category, especially in the US, in recent years. A 2016 survey, “Caste in the USA,” the first formal documentation of caste discrimination within the US diaspora, found that caste discrimination is pervasive across workplaces, educational institutions, places of worship and even in romantic partnerships.
Seattle’s new ordinance may trigger similar moves across other US cities where South Asian Americans from nonelite caste backgrounds are settling down. It may address caste-based discrimination among other South Asian faith communities, as well. For now, this ordinance will help put the spotlight on this centuries-old system that denies equality to a substantive section of the population on the basis of an oppressive ideology.
War for Taiwan? It Would Be Our Craziest Conflict Ever Sputnik March 16, 2023
According to the US, the UN and most of the world—including Taiwan itself—Taiwan is part of China. Can the US invade Ohio?
Like many other nations places, Taiwan is in a tough spot caused by decisions previously made by US policymakers many years ago.
Until 1945, Taiwan was a Japanese colony. The birth certificate of my former father-in-law, an ethnic Taiwanese, read “Taipei, Japan.” The end of World War II brought a breather. Occupation forces withdrew. The Taiwanese expected independence as part of post-war decolonization, but America had other plans.
Across the Taiwan Strait, the Chinese civil war was drawing to a close. Mao Tse-Tung’s Communists were beating the far-right Nationalists (KMT) led by Chiang Kai-shek. The Nationalists, looting everything they could carry including China’s gold reserves, jumped aboard US ships helpfully provided by former US President Harry Truman and fled to Taiwan.
Every now and then some Taiwanese political theorist gins up a farfetched workaround that promises to deliver independence without the risk of Chinese tanks rolling through Taipei. The 51 Club, founded in 1994 with 51 members, is a Taiwanese organization dedicated to the goal of turning the island into the 51st state of the United States. Presto! War with Taiwan is war against the United States—something the Chinese would never want.
Annette Lu, former vice president of Taiwan under the KMT, promotes One Zhonghua, a scheme under which Taiwan and China would form an economic commonwealth like the European Union, with economic integration and political independence. Neither the Chinese nor the Taiwanese are on board.
There’s also a theory that the US is, under international law, has been—and still is—the administrator of Taiwan since World War II. In 1945, the US appointed Chiang’s Republic of China (KMT) to administer Taiwan—think of it like a sublet. The San Francisco Peace Treaty didn’t go into effect until seven years later, in 1952.
“The treaty never mentioned who would receive Taiwan. Japan surrendered its former colony, but it never said to whom,” writes The Taipei Times. So who gets it? “Regarding Taiwan, the official US position was, is and continues to be that it is ‘undecided.’”
Biden may be hanging his hat on this bit of unfinished business.
From a domestic US political perspective, however, whatever enthusiasm Americans have for defending Taiwan would vanish as soon as they learn that we would be risking World War III over a “country” that isn’t even a country—and doesn’t claim to be. The United States has gotten itself into a lot of stupid wars, but this would be the craziest one ever.
Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current Ukraine/Russia conflict from different perspectives. I have only included part of the various guests. Col Doug Macgregor and Scott Ritter videos have been featured in diaries and comments earlier this week.
Ukraine latest w/ Ray McGovern fmr CIA analyst (17:44 min) March 13, 2023
Following discussions were after the US Drone was destroyed by Russian Airplane. The reactions were very dependent upon the type of career in the government.
US Insane to Fight Wars in Ukraine and Taiwan - Larry Johnson (25:09 min) March 14, 2023
Ukraine & the CIA, What Games are Being Played w/ Tony Shaffer (21:08 min) March 14, 2023
Weakening Russia still a Good Idea? Col Doug Macgregor (21:10 min) March 15, 2023
An interesting prediction at the end of the interview - he expects changes in the Presidency in the next 3 months. The last few weeks he has been openly acknowledging Biden is not mentally present and responsible for decisions coming from the White House.
Drone Incident: Biden's Dangerous Escalation - Scott Ritter (25:14 min) March 16, 2023
A Sargent Major with extensive explosive experience in the Army. (15:03 min)
What is on your mind today?