Learning by Proxy | The States of America

America continues to be leader ONLY when it comes to COVID, losing legitimacy as a super-power every moment that passes; COVID on the other hand is the leader of the world!

India held elections in the state of Bihar. Bihar happens to be one of the poorer states in India and many of them migrate to other cities and work hard to make money. It is also considered to be lawless in places. The election was called, despite misgivings, results were accepted and democracy moves forward.

Unlike, of course, the American elections.

The States of America

Imagine you have a friend who is close to you. So close you depend on that friend for financial advice. Whose suggestions you take to make critical decisions. Now, say you discover this friend has bipolar disorder. Would you depend on that friend just as much?

Pretty much what the whole world thinks about America.

After a lot of drama, befitting of the man in the office, the Presidential race finally came to an end with MSNBC calling the elections in favour of Joe Biden. Soon all of the other networks followed. America broke into a nationwide music festival to celebrate the victory. Everyone was dancing to the YMCA. 

It is another thing that the same day 126,000 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in America but let us come to that later.

Credit where credit is due. Donald Trump has irreparably damaged America’s standing internationally. His insistence to prolong the drama is only furthering the hurt.

Biden gave an acceptance speech filled with the same glorification of America that has suckered so many immigrants to go there in the first place. 

America is the beacon of hope, a land of opportunity, where hard work pays off, which makes it the greatest nation in the world.

It is important to consider that despite all of those words, the truth remains that a few thousand votes in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona could have made this another decisive victory for Trump. About a 100,000 votes across the four states. That is the real margin of victory, not the 4 or 5 million total votes.

Four years ago, Trump won the presidency. A person who has been accused of sexual harassment by no less than 26 women, who has used his university to swindle Millions out of students, who has no respect for women or humans in general, who cannot even construct a proper sentence; a person who you would probably not hire as your office boy became the President.

When Hillary Clinton lost the elections and Trump won in 2016, many theories were floated : 

  • There was not enough participation from the Democratic voters. The democrats were suppressed, especially people of colour for whom it was made unduly hard to vote. 

  • Further, the fact that Bernie Sanders was dropped also caused many of the Democrats to shun the elections as a sort of revenge on the party.

  • Democratic voters were targeted online with misinformation campaigns. 

And then the 2020 elections took place :

  • Highest early voter turnout with over 100 Million voted before the election day.

  • Highest participation in any American elections. Period.

  • Most of the things going around social media, hell the social medial companies themselves had been discredited, sued and nobody trusted a word.

  • The grassroots movement was so strong that suppression was near impossible. 

  • Even Bernie got behind Biden. Also, for the democrats, the alternative universe had been visible in painful detail.

So what happened? One would have to go back 20 years to even think of an election this close.

This election has made it obvious that America is nothing like it is made out to be. A large portion of the population continues to live in the dark ages and would prefer that people are treated as such; quite fervently. Rather than a shining beacon of freedom and forward-looking thought, the country is filled with just as many backwards-looking people. 

In the south of India, I have heard America being colloquially be referred to as The States. It is normal to hear - He is left to The States. The inherent wisdom just became apparent to me. It should be called The States of America. United they are not. 

When Americans talk about being conservative it can quite easily be compared to Saudi. It is quite an extreme variety. In fact, it makes the Saudis look liberal now. This veneer behind which America has been hiding for centuries has been unveiled. 

If you want to see what that veneer looked like, look no further than the video below:

For all the words spoken, that same man supported the Trump presidency. Although he may have spoken up against him on one of two issues, he was just as complicit as any other Republican. Despite being called a loser! By Trump.

If you want to see what Trump supporters think like, here is a peek into their minds.

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71 million people in America think like this. So while Biden may have won by 4 million votes, that represents 2% of the ballots cast. So the difference is between 49% of the people being racist and misogynists as opposed to 51%. With that veil gone, would they ever be able to project a moral high ground, act as the policeman for the world? Even though Biden has won, I believe their ability project that position has been lost for the foreseeable future.

What was earned in 75 years since World War II, Trump squandered in a matter of 4 years. Each day that he prolongs conceding the race, is one more day spent tarnishing the image of America. On the global stage, the only leverage that remains for America is capital. That capital is being threatened by COVID.

Here is a flavour of how wealth disappears

The number of F-1 student visas granted to applicants in mainland China came to just 808 in the six months through September, down 99% from 90,410 in the same period a year earlier, according to data released by the U.S. Department of State. Chinese students make up the largest share of international students in the U.S., at roughly 30%.

The sharp plunge suggests that tensions between Washington and Beijing are affecting the career plans of Chinese students as well as academic exchanges between the two countries. Difficulty in obtaining American visas could steer some Chinese students toward other destinations, such as Australia, Canada and Japan.

Source: Nikkei

Students are free money to any economy. They take nothing and effectively funnel foreign investment into small businesses. It is money that comes into the economy with zero expectation (ok maybe they want to get jobs at times). But at the time that the money comes in, it is free. Imagine 90,000 students spending 5000 dollars each month. USD 450 Million each month; vanished! That is all of Trump’s debt. AND this is just China. 

COVID Reloaded

This year began with the news of COVID outbreak in China which was beginning to move into Europe. The year will end with the disease continuing to dominate the headline. Many economies across the world went into lockdown in spring; almost all of the western European economies are looking at a repeat as COVID tears through Europe.

New lockdowns have not yet stemmed the current influx of patients, which has only accelerated since it began growing in September, according to official counts of current patients collected by The New York Times. More than twice as many people in Europe are hospitalized with Covid-19 as in the United States, adjusted for population.

In the Czech Republic, the worst-hit nation in recent weeks, one in 1,300 people is currently hospitalized with Covid-19. And in Belgium, France, Italy and other countries in Western Europe, a new swell of patients has packed hospitals to levels last seen in March and April.

Source: New York Times

Many European nations are closed for business for the entire month of November seeking to re-evaluate in December. Might I add, there is a man-made calamity called BREXIT which will also arrive by the end of December. Europe is staring at some very hard months.

All the countries that face cold winters are going to be at the receiving end of this pandemic. The US went through a bruising election and the President was intent on bringing out his base. Just overlay the map below with the states where Trump won.

Source: New York Times

Source: New York Times

While the bubbles in the mid-west might seem small, part of the reason is that this region is sparsely populated. The case counts have been shooting up! This does not augur well for the economy. A country that is perhaps not going to be able to go into lockdown because 71 Million people would like to keep schools and businesses open. A senate that is unwilling to provide financial support and a vast majority of people who don’t believe in science. This is the perfect storm! Maybe this is what Trump meant when he spoke about the Red Wave that was coming.

In the northern part of India which is usually swamped in pollution, COVID is starting to have a wild run as well. Delhi has seen record-setting case counts again. 

Delhi has hit the peak of the third wave of the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said. He further added that cases will come down soon in the national capital.

"The third wave of COVID-19 is at its peak in Delhi. The number of cases suggests it is the worst wave so far. But the cases will come down soon," Jain said, PTI reported.

Source: Livemint

He is stating as fact what is opinion. This is not good for a city that is already suffering from low bed capacity. Also, winter is just starting! India is opening up almost all of itself, I feel some restriction on movement might be needed but with the state of the current economy, it may not be a feasible option.  

Also, it seems to be that CoV-SARS-2 has an insidious long term effect. It takes a toll on the testosterone levels in the male body.

In some cases, the virus is causing the sexual hormones to go for a toss. Since the pandemic hit, the said doctor received cases of at least 17 men including youngsters who had been infected with SARS-CoV2 and now have zero sperm count. “Their testosterone levels have dropped drastically,” the doctor noted.

Two months ago, Turkish doctors published a study which confirmed findings that testosterone levels in men infected with Covid-19 reduce substantially. Of 232 males hospitalised with Covid in two centres in Turkey, up to 113 (up to 51%) reported hypogonadism, a condition in males characterised with lower than normal testosterone levels. Even in those that did not have any symptoms, out of 46, 30 reported a loss of libido.

Source: The Ken

The only country that seems not at all concerned despite being in a very cold region - China. I don’t know if they are lying (amazingly capable of + censor) or if they have found a solution which they are keeping from the rest of the world (sounds like a conspiracy theory) but something does not add up here.

Sanskari Streaming

All of the online news, content and streaming services have been brought under the purview of the Information and Broadcasting ministry of India. The streamers had lobbied the government hard to keep themselves independent. Those activities have bitten the dust. 

The notification, signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, said the decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution, by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and it will come into effect immediately.

With this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has the power to regulate policies related to news, audio, visual contents and films available on online platforms.

Source: Hindu

Streamers have had a good run. Now, they will have to deal with the weight of the expectation of the government and the censor board. That is the easy part. The online news blogs coming under regulation is going to pose challenges to many of the popular online blogs. Remains to be seen how tightly or loosely they are monitored. 


Amongst other things Pompeo said Taiwan is not a part of China


Armenia lost the war to Azerbaijan. Their parliament

Coal is surely dying

I used to think being an air-hostess is a tough job, you need to put your emotions aside and slap on a smile every day. Apparently being an anchor on Fox is just as difficult!

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What we think, we become ~ Buddha