Friday Fun: ‘It’s Mueller Time in America’ Musafir

Vladimir Putin finally finished his redaction of Mueller Report and handed the same to AG Barr for release to us Americans. Putin worked so hard redacting the report (after consuming two bottles of Vodka) that the report is rendered meaningless.

President Trump is so frustrated that he is dropping thousands of his fired employees in sanctuary cities. Someone spotted a dangerous looking man walking inside Starbucks in San Francisco. For a moment he thought that it was Steve Bannon. Then he realized that he was mistaken. However, other customers started leaving the establishment in panic. Now he knows that he was not mistaken the first time.

London Breed, the Mayor of San Francisco has asked Mr. Trump not to dump his fired employees in SF anymore as the city was full.

Barr who was not satisfied with Putin’s redaction, used markers in a closed room to redact more entries. Since he used those markers without proper ventilation, he became seriously sick and was rushed to the nearest hospital.

Meanwhile, in America it’s Mueller time. Everyone is expressing his or her opinion on Mueller Report. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, without naming names, said that this was an attack on liars. In this country everyone had a right to lie. She also added that attack on one liar was an attack on all liars.

Democrats are having too much fun with Mueller time. So much so, that they will be busy for the next two years trying to impeach Trump. They are too intoxicated to do any secondary work such as running this country.

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Humor: “Faute de Mieux” (For Lack of Something Better) By Anil Shrivastava “Musafir”

The party was in full swing. Everyone seemed like an expert in economics. At least they tried to give that impression.

“Ours is the richest country in the world,” Tyrion shouted at the top of his lungs with a scotch in his hand.

Tyrion became a consultant as he got fired by every employer he worked for. Half the time I can’t figure out what he talks about. For some reason I always want to scratch his mouth.

““Not with 22 trillion dollars national debt,” I was getting tired of these phonies, so I decided to intervene.

“Do you know that we are the most productive nation in the world?” Teo, who looks like a Tasmanian devil, tried to impress the crowd and especially me.

“Pretty good Teo, but do you know that the US dollar is overpriced? Consequently what we pay for goods and services have a greater value in terms of dollars. For example, in India a barber may be earning 50 cents for a haircut which would cost fifteen dollars plus tip in this country. So don’t you think our productivity is inflated?” I retorted.

Teo started murmuring something unintelligible. I didn’t press him any further on this topic to save him humiliation in front of his wife.

“Come on who are you trying to fool? I work for a bank. I deal with these topics day in and day out. I can say that you are full of you know what. If our dollar were really overvalued, why would China and the rest of the world buy our debt?” Mr. Tu Morrow fielded this challenge to me with his eyes closed and face lifted as if he expected a kiss from me instead of an answer.

“Listen Mr. Yesterday”

“I am not Mr. Yesterday. My name is Mr. Tu Morrow and you may call me Tu.”

“OK Tu, if someone is stupid enough to buy our debt, they deserve whatever the outcome,” I concluded.

“To what level we shall devalue the dollar?” asked Teo’s wife, Allegra who seemed more sensible than her hubby.

“To a level no country can export their cheap goods and services to America,” I answered her.

“Then manufacturing becomes profitable again here,” remarked Tyrion’s wife, Nivea.

“You got that right. You ladies are smarter than your husbands who are hollow and flatty,” I tried to boost her confidence.

“Well, they are here because of Faute de mieux ,” Nivea winked as she made that remark.

All the men in the party shouted in a chorus, “Yes we do,” to show that they were hibrowed.

.july 19 humor 2

I am for Single-payer Health Insurance (aka “Medicare for All”) By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

July 19 medicare for allAccording to my understanding a single-payer health insurance system is the best for most Americans. My view is not based on any kind of bias or political agenda. You may differ from my point of view. If so, I am open to an honest discussion on the subject. Here is what I found.

At the outset, we must be clear about what does a Single-payer health insurance (aka “Medicare for All”) mean. It is a health insurance system that is financed by taxes and is managed by one entity, such as our government. This also means that a U.S resident will not incur extra costs when seeking out essential care. It will also cover vision and dental expenditures.

According to my findings, “Medicare for All” will reduce health care spending. Of course, we’ll be paying additional taxes (nothing is free), but most of us will not pay more than what we are paying now. Take my case. My wife and I jointly pay more than $12,000 per year in premium for health, dental and vision coverage. We are retired. We are on Medicare and collect Social Security. Still Social Security takes a big chunk of money from our benefits to cover our basic medical benefits. We have taken supplemental insurance for health and prescription drugs. We also have to pay additional premia for dental and vision that hardly cover half the cost.

Looking at the above, we’ll (my wife and I) be better off paying an additional tax of $12,00 per year which will come to us with peace of mind.

“Medicare for All” will reduce the ballooning health care cost inasmuch as it will drastically reduce the administrative cost by billions of dollars. It will also eliminate the burden of paying emergency room (ER) costs that the taxpayers have to bear for uninsured folks. In the USA, 86 million people, are underinsured. Additionally, millions belonging to the middle class have insurance but they are unable to access medical care because their deductibles or copays are prohibitively high. One of my close friends was in this dilemma for years.

Another major saving will come from the government negotiating down prescription-drug prices, which would save billions. Prescription-drug prices in the U.S. are about twice as high as in other advanced economies. Under “Medicare for All” these prices will fall.

“People can stop worrying about medical bills and having to choose between their health and medical debt which is a major problem in America today. In 2017, a Bankrate survey found that 25 percent of Americans or someone in their family, have foregone medical treatment due to the cost. This included 31 percent of millennials, 25 percent GenX and 23 percent in the Boomer category” (Source: the Physicians for a National Health Program). Add it all up and “Medicare for All” starts making more sense.

I must admit that there are caveats in “Medicare for All” option. Pressuring drug makers in reducing cost of drugs will be demotivating for them to do research and find new cures for the diseases.

The government administered programs have a history of mismanagement. This may add to additional bureaucracy and tax increases every year. Eventually the system may go bankrupt similar to the sword hanging over present Medicare and Social Security systems. To save the system the Congress may pass laws to limit the benefits and the choices of providers.

I recommend the option for private insurance for those who don’t want to participate in “Medicare for All”. That should make everyone happy.

Short Story: “Road Less Traveled” Anil Shrivastava “Musafir”

Short Story: “Road Less Traveled” Anil Shrivastava “Musafir”

Just because someone drives a Porsche doesn’t necessarily mean that he deserves one. Chirkut was my school buddy (in ancient times) who was going to bring peace to the world in the sixties. Now he worships money. So, he invited me to his house in a new neighborhood – one of those high security gated communities. As I was patted by the guard, I was preparing myself for a strip search. Fortunately that didn’t happen.

“Imported Italian granite,” Chirkut bragged as he ran his hand over his bar. “From the same mine as Mussolini’s mausoleum,” he further added.

Chirkut now talks in monotones that makes even Siri more interesting to talk to. I also noticed that Chirkut has now acquired a British accent. I remembered, back in the old country his parents couldn’t speak English, let alone the British accent.

I asked him where the accent came from. “I dated a British chic for seven years before we parted our ways,” replied Chirkut.

“Found my bathtub in an old palace in France,” Chirkut said proudly as he licked an olive like lollipop.

“So, do you still live in that old Pulty home?” Chirkut asked me as he clinked ice cubes into the glasses.

“Yes, I still live on the road less traveled and still under construction,” I answered.

Chirkut pressed a button and the curtains automatically opened to a panoramic view. “My nearest neighbor lives a mile down the road from me,” Chirkut said.

“Well in my neighborhood the houses are so close together that I can count my neighbors’ nose hairs,” I replied.

“Clearing his throat Chirkut said, “I’d love to see your pathetic neighborhood.”

“I am very good at direction, but buddy you cannot get there from here anymore.”

Slowly, licking his lacquered lips, Chirkut said, “Yes we have come too far apart in our thinking and lifestyle.”

Ultimately, he grabbed my arm and headed me to his driveway.

Two roads diverged. I glanced back over my shoulder. Chirkut blew me a kiss.july 19 short story

Current Affairs: “How to Brainwash People and Paralyze A Nation” By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

MSNBC-Anchors-2-1024x546The Mueller report concluded yesterday (March 24, 2019) that neither Donald Trump nor anyone from his presidential campaign team conspired or coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The liberal media have been spreading all kinds of possible fake news (really) and been attempting to brainwash people insatiably and continuously to the contrary. If there is no liberal media reckoning for what they did, we can justify freeway robbery as its moral equivalent.

The radical Democrats put all their energy behind declaring Trump guilty of colluding with Russia and in planning for Trump’s impeachment instead of running the country, the task for which they were elected. If people don’t make them accountable for paralyzing a nation in the upcoming elections, shame on us.

The Democrats had hoped special counsel Robert Mueller would identify illicit Trump ties to Russia, plus presidential obstruction of justice. “But after 675 days of investigation, more than 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 executed search warrants and some 500 witness interviews and after spending approximately 30 million dollars , Mueller’s team of lawyers and FBI agents did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”

Yes, the Russians tried to lure Mr. Trump and his campaign team, but no one took the Russian bait.

The probe weakened Mr. Trump’s foreign policy as China, North Korea, Iran and, Russia factored into their relations with us the possibility that Trump might not stay long in the Oval Office.
Let’s not forget the false dossier and how Mrs. Clinton’s campaign actually did work with Russians, through FusionGPS and British agent Christopher Steele, to create a fictional scenario about Trump being compromised. Both liberal media and radical Democrats bought into Mrs. Clinton’s Big Lie and built a house of cards on smoke and mirrors.

I voted for Mr. Trump because our nation needed him at the time to clear the smoke from political correctness, create manufacturing jobs, punish ISIS and stop illegal immigrants from pouring in as vote banks of radical Democrats. I live in the present. Our country may need a different kind of candidate in 2020 to solve new problems. For now, give our elected president the room to breathe and complete his campaign promises.

Spring 2019 Issue of TheThinkClub Quarterly

Dear Readers:
The Spring 2019 issue of #TheThinkClub Quarterly is ready for your reading pleasure. Please click on www.TheThinkClub.com. Once there, you may read individual articles or the entire Quarterly by clicking on TheThinkClub cover picture.
Please go to Archive for old issues. Send your feedback to letters@TheThinkClub.com or by clicking on ‘Submit Comment.’ Regards!
Click below:

Anil ShrivastavaApril 19 Cover

Partner and Managing Editor

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Friday Fun: No More Musophobia” by Anil Shrivastava “Musafir”

Friday Fun: No More Musophobia” by Anil Shrivastava “Musafir”
We have been trying to april 19 mouseget rid of a few stubborn mice from our home for years. It was 2012 when my wife first spotted them and shouted, “There is mouse in the house.” Then she found one more then one more then one more. We had to replace our freeze, throw all the groceries from the pantry and get the entire house including the basement professionally cleaned. We called several reputed rodent removal companies such as MiceRUs, Micesorous, MiceNotNice, MouseArrest, MicemanCometh and NoMoreMrMiceGuy.
Getting no results, I finally hung a note on the community board of my neighborhood supermarket:
“We have several mice living in our house that need to be removed. If you are an expert at trapping/removing mice, please contact us at ##%#@5744.com”
I received an email the next day, “Hi! I am responding to your ad in the supermarket looking for help in disposing off some mice. I think I can do the job. If interested, please let me know. –Arnold S”
Me to Arnold S: “I still am looking for someone to do this. You are the only person who responded. I have seen 3 mice already, but there may be even more. What will it cost to get rid of them?”
Arnold S to me: “It will depend on method that you would like to use. Generally for this situation I’d like to use the Exterminator option. This will cost you $100 an hour to neutralize all the targets. – Arnold S”
Me to Arnold S: “What is Terminator? Is it something like Arnold Schwarzenegger used in the movie, Terminator?”
Arnold to me: “I meant terminator mines. They are directional mines that have small plastic explosives and contain steel ball bearings that are sent flying toward mice. I’d set a trip-wire by the entrance to mice holes. Any mouse coming out of the hole will be shredded in thousand pieces. If you have children or pets, I recommend that you outsource them to your parents or in-laws. –Arnold S”
Me to Arnold S: “Um, is not that a little extreme? I don’t think our neighbors would like someone setting explosives in their neighborhood.”
Arnold to me: “My methods are extreme, but effective. From what you describe, we are dealing with veteran mice that would stop at nothing but Exterminator. I just want to bring the right tool for the job. I understand that you don’t want to use Exterminator.
The next option is to set a sniper position inside your home and wait until the mice come out to shoot them. I will bring another person with me called spotter. My spotter and I will wait as long as it takes to get the perfect shot on each mouse. Some jobs like this may take a week at $100/hour. My spotter and I will not sleep until we get rid of mice in your house. During that period please do not come near us or talk to us. We’d bring a 0.50-caliber M82 sniper rifle to ensure that mice really die. Since you have problem with noise, we’ll bring silencers so that your neighbors won’t know what is happening inside. –Arnold S”
Me to Arnold S: “Are you ex-military? I think I’ll need at least one reference before I give you the job”
Next day, I got a reference from someone called Nicholson.
Nicholson to me: “I am an old client of Arnold. He told me that you wanted a reference for a job. Let me start off by saying that you couldn’t have made a finer choice. Arnold is the best there is. He literally saved my life countless times in Afghanistan.
Back in 2015, I was posted to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. Arnold was hired to escort me during the war. Everything was going fine until our convoy was hit by the enemies. Next I knew that I woke up in a prison camp with Arnold. They took Arnold and me in a hut where at least eight Taliban were planning to kill us. Arnold managed to kill all eight Taliban only using pepper spray. He not only killed the eight, he managed to capture five more who served us as butlers. This happened because Arnold scared them.
This just goes to show you that if Arnold can take care of men, he can certainly annihilate mice in your house. – Nicholson”
Arnold S to me: “You may have received a recommendation from Nicholson. I am going to ask Joe to send another recommendation. –Arnold S”
Me to Arnold: “Please stop telling your references to email me! We have already decided to live with mice. After 7 years we are used to them. We no longer suffer from musophobia.”

“Truth about US Immigration” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

Let the truth be told. I haven’t found any presidential action on part of Mr. Trump that can label him as anti-immigrant. He has stated over and over again that he wants many more immigrants to come to the U.S., but they have to come here legally. Watch the clip attached here. https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1092976283254812672

Unlike European countries where immigrants are often alienated, the U.S welcomes legal immigrants to come here and assimilate with the mainstream. They are given the chance to become part of the American story and are encouraged to accept citizenship. You, I and our children and grandchildren are the proof of this fact. We cannot get this opportunity anywhere else, be that Russia, China, Europe, Latin America, Arabia or Africa.

In 2017 after Mr. Trump took office, 1.49 million legal immigrants moved to the United States, a 7 percent increase from the 1.38 million a year before. India was the leading country of origin, with 175,100 arriving in 2017, followed by 160,200 from China/Hong Kong, 150,400 from Mexico, 54,700 from Cuba, and 46,600 from the Philippines. Immigration from European countries were negligent. Mr. Trump has also proposed to give citizenship to millions of dreamers.

I being of Asian-Indian origin can count number of people in Trump’s cabinet belonging to my ethnicity which is unprecedented. They are 1. Raj Shah, Deputy Press Secretary 2. Nikki Haley, former UN Ambassador 3. Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commissioner, 4. Neomi Rao, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), 5. Seema Varma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 6, Vishal Amin, Intellectual Property Czar, 7. Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) 8. Manisha Singh, Secretary of state for economic and business affairs.

I meet folks who are vehemently opposed to India opening its borders to Bangladesh and Pakistan, but when it comes to the United States, they side with open borders and uncontrolled influx of masses pouring over illegally just because Mr. Trump opposes that.

I find nothing wrong in Trump saying that the immigration system is broken and we need to fix them. United States is the only country which is obligated to take care of men, women and children entering here. So, there is nothing wrong in stopping them from entering the border. If wall is the solution, let it be.
We often hear critics argue that we are not a benevolent nation when it comes to immigrants. The fact is that we let in more immigrants than any country in the world and therefore are already more generous than anyone else. The U.S. ranks highest in immigrants moving here each year. Here is the ranking:
1. United States 2. Germany 3. Spain 4. United Kingdom 5. Japan 6. Italy 7. Canada 8. Australia 9. France 10. Switzerland

Contrary to the popular belief, the U.S.A doesn’t give any preference to Europeans. You may be hearing that the Whites will become less than 50% of the U.S. soon. So, what are we upset about? I may not agree with Mr. Trump on many issues. This may not be one of them.
april 19 trump
(Please write to the author with your point of view)

Book Review: “Avarana – The Veil”​ by S. L. Bhyrappa

Avarana – The Veil is a very provocative novel by the famous Kannada writer, S.L. Bhyrappa. Avarana, the veil is referred here as hiding the truth. The entire novel depicts a forceful struggle between hiding the truth for political correctness and creativity vs. presenting the truth as it is. What should a writer or an artist choose?

In this novel, Bhyrappa has shown courage to remove the veil from inhuman Islamic practices which may not go over well with intellectuals and politicians who try to put a veil over those practices in the name of secularism and inclusiveness.

The story in Aavarana revolves around its protagonist, Lakshmi who was renamed Razia after her conversion to Islam as a precondition to marrying Amir who is a Muslim. Razia is forced to eat beef and follow orthodox Muslim practices by Amir’s parents. Amir, who came across as a liberal and secular person first, wants Razia to follow his parents’ wishes. Eventually she returns to her ancestral village and to her Hindu cultural roots following estr¬angement with Amir (who remarries without divorcing her). Razia reads the writings of her father’s excerpts and realizes the historical atrocities of Muslims towards the Hindus. She refuses to work on a government sponsored program that intends to hide those facts.

This was my first introduction to Bhyrappa’s style. I was deeply impressed by his art of storytelling and the ability to vividly describe situations. I can equate his style to two greatest novelists that I have come across, Premchand (Hindi) and Charles Dickens (English).

However, while Bhyrappa has exposed the fact about Islamic rulers being iconoclastic (the breaking of Hindu temples and idols), he has mentioned nothing positive about their contribution to India such as iconic architectural structures, literature or intellect (Sufis for example). His depiction of the Muslim life in India is entirely negative. All the Muslim characters in the novel are conservative and closed-¬minded.

The novel’s English translation is lucid and pleasing to read. Overall, Bhyrappa is convincing in his argument that an artist should not hide truth in search of beauty. –Reviewed by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’avarana

Friday Fun: “Google Has It” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

april 19 google“Blessed are the ignorant fools of the world, for they know not the unspeakable horrors that await us all.” -Dorky

“Do you know the difference between mesosphere troposphere?” Asked Nari.

“I don’t want to know a thing. Leave me alone. “I am suffering from an overload of knowledge up to my amygdala.

“That’s easily said. Do you know that we only use 10% of our brain capacity? So, how can your hippocampus be saturated?” Nari argued.

And hardly had he said it, when the telephone began to ring.
And rather than ripping the wire out of the wall, which is what I should have done as I no longer wanted to know anything, I picked up the receiver and said, “Hello’”

“Hello Sir! Do you know that warranty on your 1996 Bonneville has expired?”

‘I got rid of Bonneville five years ago and I don’t want to know anything about it anymore,” I answered in disgust hanging up on the call.

“My wife returned from her dentist appointment and announced, “Nice weather today”

“I don’t want to know.” I snapped. I controlled myself and replied, “Yes, you’re right, the weather’s very nice today.”
“How do you know? You have been sitting inside all day,” my wife asked.

“Because the sun is shining through the window, and when the sun shines through the window, you know the weather is nice” I answered.

“What do you have against nice weather? Nice weather should make you happy,” my wife wondered.

“I’ve nothing against nice weather,” I said, “I’ve nothing at all against the weather. But I don’t want to know what it’s like. The thing is, you see, I no longer want to know anything.”

My wife was so disturbed that she called Nari and said, “He’s sitting in the room and no longer wants to know anything.”

“What doesn’t he want to know?” asked Nari.

My wife said, “Nothing. He no longer wants to know anything at all. He no longer wants to know what he sees, such as what the weather’s like. He no longer wants to know what he hears, such as what people say. And he no longer wants to know what he knows, such as ways to obtain moksha or fruits of karma.”

After she hung up, she looked at me and asked, “Tell me something you don’t know anymore and ought to know.”

I said “I know a lot but the sad thing is that most of the knowledge is of no use to me. They are unnecessarily clogging my space under medial temporal lobe”

When my wife heard that, she tried to comfort me and said, “But you don’t know what the weather’s going to be like tomorrow.”

‘Yes, I don’t know what it’s going to be like,’ I replied, “but I still know what it can be like. I remember rainy days and sunny days.”

I stayed in my room, and every day my wife brought me food, I looked on my plate and said, “I know they’re potatoes, I know that’s meat, and I know that’s cauliflower – and it’s all no use.”

The next day my wife came and said, “You don’t know how to say “nice weather” in Chinese,”’ and she went out, closing the door behind her.

When I heard that, I began to think. It was true I knew no Chinese, and it was no good saying “I no longer want to know that either, because I hadn’t learned any Chinese yet.”

I called Nari and apologized to him, “Nari, I am sorry, I was rude to you, but I want to know how to say ‘nice weather’ in Chinese. How can I learn to say that?”

“Have you heard about a thing called the Internet?” Snapped Nari.

I replied, “Yes, what a great idea! Thanks.”

I looked for the answer on a thing called Google. It gave me an immediate answer. Next time when my wife brought food for me I told her, “Hǎo tiānqì.”

“What’s that?” She asked.

“That’s how you say ‘Nice weather’ in Chinese.

Thanks Google! I really don’t need to know anything anymore.