Friday Fun: “Sweet Dreams Mr. Pence!”- A Caricature by ‘Musafir’


Last night Mr. Pence, our dreamy-eyed VP had a strange dream: President Trump was considering America pulling out of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He called it the worst deal ever made. “I’ve seen a lot of bad deals in my life, but this is a total mess,” Mr. Trump said. “We need to tear it up and start over.”

He further added,”This Declaration is against American values and is bad for America. It’s bad, really bad. Believe me.”

Trump was scathing in his remarks about the Declaration proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

Trump denounced the agreement by saying, “It was agreed upon by a Democrat named Harry S Truman and it was signed in Paris just like the Paris Environmental Accord. Both were totally unexpected things. Terrible. Honestly, terrible.”

“No one in his right mind would force it upon the Americans,” he said. “Our newly acquired friend, Kim Jong-un and my long time idol Putin don’t have it. Both of them are watching us like they never watched anybody before. That I can tell you.”

He stopped short of accusing his predecessor, Barack Obama, of imposing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on our people. “Unfortunately Obama is still working behind the scene to keep this bad

Deal because he knows that it’s bad for America. I mean bad, bad, bad. “This should have been handled eight years ago and four years ago and, honestly, 70 years ago. Something like that, right?”

Mr. Trump’s another newly acquired friend, Kenney West supported him issuing the following statement, “Emancipation of slavery was bad enough for our nation and now we have to tolerate the tyranny of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We don’t need human rights because we chose not to have it.”

Kim Kardashian endorsed the above statement by adding her own, “Kenney and I discussed this serious matter in the bath tub last night while smoking weeds together. I absolutely agree with Kenny. We will not be dictated to by the European Union and Syria or Bhutan. What have they done for us lately?”

Mr. Trump’s newly chosen member on his law team, Mr. Giuliani, said this on the Hannity Show, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a ploy to thrust refugees and illegal immigrants on us. And you know how much Mr. Trump hates refugees and Mexicans.”

The next morning Mr. Trump twitted, “Giuliani is a good man. He’s a brilliant man, but sometimes his frustration for losing a chance to become the Secretary of State comes haunting him. “He’s doing a good job. He is doing a good job. He’s only been there for, what, one month or something like that, right?”

Mr. Trump called on the European Union and other participants to examine and revise the Declaration on Human Rights within 90 days. If they didn’t change the declaration to America’s advantage, he would pull America from participating in that bad deal.

He said, “They are ruining the game, right? They are ruining the game. Look, that’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit. I told them to revise the declaration to limit the refugees coming to America only from Norway, Sweden and Finland and we’ll admit immigrants only from Australia, Poland and Ireland. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it’s literally going to cease to exist. Believe me, I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent.”

He repeated “We’ll be winning so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘please, please we can’t win anymore, we beg you, and we don’t want to win anymore”

Mr. Pence woke up from his dream in the morning and asked, “How is Mr. President today? Is he impeached yet?”


‘Soul Searching’ by Musafir

Carl Sagan, “Your Holiness, what if we were to prove, scientifically, that there is no such thing as reincarnation?”

     The Dalai Lama, “How would one disprove reincarnation?”

Call me an agnostic or call me confused, but I have always beheld the concept of reincarnation with cynicism. According to Hinduism, the soul is indestructible and it may return in a new body after death based on one’s karma in the past life. The cycle of rebirth continues until the soul is liberated (moksha).

The problem with reincarnation is twofold: 1) we have, as of yet, no way to verify it prospectively in an objective manner, 2) we have no mechanism to explain how reincarnation might occur. I have had discussion on this topic with several local scholars. They couldn’t satisfy me with their answers. Suddenly, I came across a story last week that made me sublimate to a different rationale. What if the concept of reincarnation were true? After all, we don’t know everything!

The story goes as follows: Once there was a set of twins in a mother’s womb. One of them was agnostic and the other was a theist. The agnostic didn’t believe in the concept of Divine Mother. He thought that delivery was the end of life. After that there was nothing but darkness and void.

The other twin believed in the benevolent Mother whom he would meet after delivery and she would take care of him. He thought that the world outside the womb would be brighter and there was certainly something out there that would release them from the constraints of the umbilical cord.

This story got me thinking. Yes we are infinitely lesser than miniscule in big schemes of things. Our universe is miniscule compared to multiverse and I don’t want to go beyond that. According to the German mathematician, Philipp Cantor, no matter how large a set you have (infinity), it is always possible to produce a set bigger than that. I don’t want to go there either. That shows the limit of my comprehension.

A theologian who was also a scientist explained the concept to me this way: According to the Newton’s law of motion and quantum theory of fields, all matters interact with each other via the fundamental forces of nature, and are constantly moving and changing following the field equations. All matters are, therefore, impermanent but indestructible.  Similarly, when we die we become building blocks of another life.

He even went further in explaining that the information of an object is encoded in its wave-function, and it evolves in such a way that the total information is never lost. This implies that when we die, all the information about “self” is permanently preserved. It merely gets scrambled up with other information and transferred elsewhere. It could likely becomes contained inside the consciousness of another living.

One scholar explained to me the concept this way. Death is similar to the malfunctioning of a television set or radio. The fact that a TV or radio is broken does not mean television and radio stations have ceased to broadcast. In other words, energy that runs TV and radio is similar to soul that lives in human body. It doesn’t cease to exist. It only gets transferred to another device (body).

There is one difference though. Energy that we use for devices is continual whereas a soul gets liberated. The Hindus call this Moksha. The Buddhists call it Nirvana. Moksha, from a salvation perspective, means liberation, emancipation, and release from the death-rebirth cycle of reincarnation. I take the liberty to look at Moksha from a philosophical point of view. To me, it means reaching self-realization, or fullness of life.

That’s all I understand with my limited intellect. All the above may be true but it’s too profound for me. “There will be an answer, let it be, let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.” –The Beatlesreincarnation

Commentary: ‘Finding Happiness in the Little Things’ by Musafir


My pair of sunglasses is a source of joy in my life. It has been with me for the last thirty-two years. It has a perfect tint to soothe my eyes; its lenses are scratch-free, anti-glaze and progressive. It is light; rests gently on my nose and never gets out of style. Above all, it’s very faithful to me. I have lost the pair several times, sometimes for months, but it has always found a way to return to me.

I remember, it was the summer of 1987 when I accidently dropped it from the inside pocket of my jacket in the plane while removing the jacket from the overhead compartment on my arrival at New York. It was quite an expensive pair considering my income at that time. I felt distraught and miserable without it. I always missed it especially when driving.

It so happened that I visited New York again on a business trip a month later. On my way back at the LaGuardia airport, I had more than an hour at my disposal. I decided to go to ‘lost and found’ since I had nothing better to do at the time. Cell phones and the Internet didn’t exist then. Reaching the desk, I asked the attendant if he had seen my sunglasses. The gentleman just went inside without saying a word to me and returned with two boxes full of blinkers and said to me, “Choose one!”

Lo and behold, my pair was sitting right on the top of one of the boxes looking at my bare eyes and screaming, “Where have you been? Take me with you now.” At least, that’s how it appeared to me.

The joy that I felt from our reunion can’t be described in words. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Later I lost the same glasses for a year in a company car that I was driving. When the car was sold to a dealership as a company owned vehicle, the dealer found it underneath the seat. After tracing the origin of the car, they sent the glasses back to me. It was certainly a pow-ow moment.

I lost it once again in India in a jewelry shop. The jeweler sent the glasses back to me COD (cash on delivery). Though it cost me a lot in postage, it was worth “like an endless fountain of immortal drink.” (Keats).

One time a friend invited me to dinner and asked if I knew someone who might be looking for a pair of sunglasses that was left at his home last year. Of course, it was none other than my own pair of specs that I had lost earlier. As usual, getting it back was like finding a long lost friend.

If I wanted I could have found reasons to hate my sunglasses too. First of all, it gets lost so often. Secondly, I have poured a lot of money to keep the pair- $2,000 (U.S.) to be exact after the allowable insurance amount. I initially bought it (including lenses and frame) for $800. In the last 32 years, the lenses have been changed three times due to new prescriptions costing me additional $1,350 (approximately $450 each time) on top of my vision insurance eligibility.

Tomorrow I’ll spend another $450 on my favorite pair as my prescription changed again last October. I waited six months for my insurance to kick in again in April. I have lived without my dear friend long enough.

I cannot wait to wake up tomorrow morning when I’ll go to the optometrist to get my glasses back. After all, there is something to look forward to in life, to love and be loved.

Current Affairs: ‘What’s the Fuss about Facebook?’ by Musafir

july 18 current

In the past, before the social media companies such as Facebook emerged, companies used to have tangible assets. Social media companies mostly have intangible assets. In the past companies used to produce products and services that were value added. In contrast, the products of social media are nonvalue added. Value added in reference to products means the amount by which the value of an article is increased at each stage of its production, exclusive of initial costs. Value added in service industries means having features added to a basic line or model for which the buyer is prepared to pay extra.

In the past companies including Microsoft and Apple were started with a definite idea, software and hardware. Facebook was started as fun and tease. In 2003, Mark Zuckerberg, a second-year student at Harvard at the time, wrote the software for a website called Facemash. He put his computer science skills to good use by hacking into Harvard’s security network, where he copied the student ID images used by the dormitories and used them to populate his new website.

Interestingly enough, he had initially created the site as a type of “hot or not” game for fellow students. Website visitors could use the site to compare two student photos side-by-side and decide who was “hot” and who was “not.”

Zuckerberg, who is still in his early thirties had no idea that someday he would create a company that would grow into eighty billion dollars market value and that his own worth would reach 66 billion US dollars so fast. So, it is not fair to judge his mistakes by a traditional standards. None of the Senators who grilled this young man could get hired by Facebook. They are not smart enough. It’s not entirely Mr. Zuckerberg’s fault, if the lawmakers didn’t foresee the need for any kind of regulations for social media companies. It has been close to 14 years now. One wonders what were they (Senators) doing other than playing dirty politics?

Facebook didn’t ask for any government subsidy or bailout. Some tech companies, such as Tesla is partially funded by the U.S. government. Many sick manufacturing and environmental companies were propped up with tax payers’ money.

Yes, Facebook made some mistakes. In 2007, for instance, it launched a program called Beacon that tracked people’s habits on the Web outside of Facebook and then provided the data to Facebook advertisers. In 2010, the company was caught selling data that could be used to uncover the real world identity of Facebook users.

Congress still doesn’t get it. The Senators gave little indication last week that they knew what form those laws and regulations would take, or whether they could even be enacted without becoming overly burdensome. In the end, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged Facebook will have to make changes but Congress appeared uncertain over how and if the government should step in.

Watching Senate hearing produced lots of levity though. Here are some excerpts:

Sen. Orrin Hatch asked how Facebook is able to sustain a business model while running as a free service, and Zuckerberg was barely able to keep a straight face when he responded, “Senator, we run ads.”

Sen. Brian Schatz asked Zuckerberg if Facebook would be able to see if he “emailed” someone over WhatsApp. When Zuckerberg said that WhatsApp is encrypted, and that other companies are not able to read encrypted messages, Schatz asked if he would get Black Panther ads on Facebook if he messaged someone about the movie through.

Sen. Chuck Grassley: “Mr. Zuckerberg, can you change Snapchat back? My granddaughter won’t stop complaining about it. Also, what is a Snapchat?”

ZUCKERBERG:”I am ready to answer any questions you might have about Facebook
SENATOR: “Excellent. Mark Zuckerberg my Farmville farm needs more pigs but I cannot figure out where to purchase them.”

USA Today’s editorial on April 10, 2018 summed it up nicely, “Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before a Senate panel on Tuesday could be summed up in two sentences: “I’m sorry.” And “we’re working on this.”

Humor: “The Anonymous Shredder by” Musafir

It took me years to comprehend and digest why people function so differently in the corporate world as compared to where I was coming from. Whether we like it or not, corporate world is not the real world. In order to ensure you don’t take too much time in finding your footing in this space, I’m sharing with you some insider unwritten rules of the game. This comes from my experience of working with top ten fortune 500 companies for nearly fifty years.

Those who have worked in the corporate world know that it is a kind of jungle, where there are only two ways to survive. First, take risk and get yourself noticed and secondly, hide in anonymity. The first option is easy, therefore, most of us follow that. They either survive; get to the top, or become road kills in the race of unachievable. After all, it is not easy to keep on the right side of one’s boss. It is very uncomfortable to anticipate their every whim, and laugh at their pathetic jokes.

The second route of survival is being anonymous which is not easy either. You have to be a cockroach like Shreedher to do that.

During a routine reorganization at our workplace, my boss and I were going through the org chart. My boss stopped me and asked, “Who is this Shreedher guy? He is supposed to be an employee here, but I don’t see any phone number or cube number assigned to him. Go and find him.”

Not finding a trace of Shreedher in our office area, I decided to take the help of the Personnel Manager, Miss Heart Warmers.

“Do we have any employee working for us named Shreedher?” I asked her.

After looking through the names she asked me, “You mean Shreedher Supersad?”

“Sounds like him.”

“Well, he is a male and was employed five years ago as a manufacturing engineer. Why? Did he die or something?”

“I don’t know Miss Heart Warmers? We are just trying to locate him.”

Exhausting our search, we decided to look in the basement. Suddenly, I heard a sneeze coming from behind a pile of cardboard boxes. I went there and found a man sitting at a desk holding a shredder.

“Who are you?” I asked

“Oh I am Shreedher Supersad,” he answered.

“How long have you been hiding here?” I asked.

“Not hiding. I work here since the day I was hired,” he chirped.

I took him to my boss. My boss asked him, “What do you do?”

“I shred papers,” Shreedher replied.

“You are a manufacturing engineer. Why do you shred papers?”

“My first boss called me Shredder instead of Shreedher and assigned me the task of shredding all the old reports and documents. That’s why.”

“Why didn’t you correct him?”

“If the boss keeps calling you by the wrong name, you should change your name to match the one he is using. One should never attempt to correct his boss.”

“What do you shred now?”

“Whatever I find around me”

My boss was so confused that he assigned him to work under me.

Next morning, I brought him into my office and said, “I want to bring you to the regular work life where you’ll find windows and sunshine. You have been suffering in a claustrophobic environment for too long,” I suggested.

“No, I like the basement. I want to stay there,” pleaded Shreedher.

“But why?” I asked

“I am afraid that some guy in a three-piece suit is going to walk in, slap an anniversary pin on me, and tell me that I am fired. That’s why.”

“Listen Shreedher, You’ve been warming the bench too long. You are an engineer. I am going to assign you a real job. Our plant in Kokomo, Indian is having frequent machinery and equipment breakdowns. I want you to go there and do a reliability and maintainability study.”

Shreedher started trembling and said, “I am afraid of walking into a manufacturing plant.”

“Listen Shreedher, you have to do some real work. If you don’t, I’ll have to take some action.”

The next day Shreedher came to work, but was not speaking a word. I knew that he used to have vocal cords, but they suddenly died.

So, I took him to Miss Heart Warmers. She put Viral on disability leave.

“We value the wellbeing of our employees. You gave him too much stress that is not right. You need to create a congenial work environment for our employees,” Miss Heart Warmers lectured me.

On Shreedher’s return from disability after three months, I decided to leave him alone and assigned him his old job of shredding papers.

Soon after that I accepted another assignment in the corporation. About fifteen years later after my retirement, the company hired me as a consultant in my old facility. Meanwhile, the company went through bankruptcy and restructure. Thousands of employees were let go.

One day I went to the basement of my old office for nostalgia sake. I heard someone breathing under the piles of cardboard boxes. On my approach, Shreedher jumped out of the pile.

“Shreedher, are you still here?” I asked in shock and amazement.

“Yes, he squeaked.”

“So, you survived all the turmoil and bankruptcy of the company?”

“Yes, when you lay low, the storms pass over you.”

“What do you do now?”

“Same old, I shred papers. After all, they call me the Shredder for nothing.”

“Yes, you do your work and do the best shredding anyone can do. I’ve learned a lot about the art of anonymity from you. When I’ll write my next book on corporate survival, I’ll have a chapter on anonymity dedicated to you.”

We hugged and parted our way.
July 18 humor 2

Book Review: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Author: Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan Peterson says nothing in his book, “12 Rules for Life” that has not been told before. His maxims can be summed as: “Pursue what is meaningful, not merely what is immediately expedient. Stand up straight and face the world with courage and confidence. Get your own life in order before you go out and try to save the world. Treat yourself like a person whom you are responsible for. Tell the truth.”

The very fact that the book is the best seller currently, tells us that we all needed to hear them again as a refresher course in life. Peterson expounds on those 12 rules in twelve different chapters. He weaves nice stories to establish premises before coming to the conclusion. Though an interesting read, many a time his stories do not relate to the conclusions he draws.
I particularly like the first chapter of the book where he compares human neurophysiology to that of the lobster, while making the point that we exist in hierarchies that are at least partly explicable as evolutionary patterns. His advice is then to “stand up straight”, following the example of the body language of dominant lobsters.

In this era when women’s rights and issues are dominant, Peterson draws attention to society shaming males and looking at masculinity only in pathological sense. He speaks against the movement of devaluing fatherhood and other male paternal qualities.

His message can be summarized as realizing personal responsibility, meaning and purpose should be a central part of life’s journey regardless of the outcome.

-Reviewed by Musafir
12 rules




Perspective: Being Wealthy by Musafir

‘If you’re so smart, why aren’t you wealthy? A friend asked me a long time ago.

What do you mean by being wealthy? I questioned.

After some thought, he answered, “Being wealthy means able to afford flying in the first class, owning a yacht and a private jet, having a mansion in the most affluent neighborhood, affording membership in a country club and never having to worry about money.

That’s quite a lofty standard to be called wealthy, so I did my own research on the subject. I found out that defining ‘wealthy’ was as esoteric as defining ‘God’ or say, finding ‘meaning of life.’ Everyone has his/her own definition of “wealthy.” Some say it’s $1 million, others say $100 million. Some say it means making more than your brother-in-law. Others say it means not having to work without robbing a bank.

A survey from UBS shows that most investors say “wealthy” means $5 million—with at least $1 million of that in cold, hard cash. And yet almost half also said that being wealthy was about enjoying life’s experiences and being able to afford what you want.

According to The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of American’s Wealthy, a book by Stanley and Danko, it’s a simple calculation based on one’s net worth.
1. Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by ten. This, less any inherited wealth, is what your net worth should be.
2. For example, if you are forty-one years old, make $143,000 a year, and have investments that return another $12,000, you would multiply $155,000 by forty-one. That equals $6,355,000. Dividing by ten, your net worth should be $635,500. If you are in the top quartile for wealth accumulation, you are wealthy. That is, if you exceed $630,754.

The above formula is not very convincing to me. I think it’s more a matter of perspective. It depends on whether you’re judging yourself against your neighbors, your fellow citizens, or the entire world’s population. Just imagine this, just 62 people in the world have the same wealth as the poorer half of humanity. These 62 people are very, very wealthy, to be sure, but it’s also true that the global bottom half is desperately poor. And for that reason, who really counts among the wealthy — the top 100, the top 1 percent, the top 10 percent? It gets very complex.

According to Newsweek survey it was once the case that with $1 million in the bank, you’d be considered wealthy by most. But no longer. According to research by American bank Charles Schwab, that benchmark has risen, and you now need at least $2.4 million to be considered wealthy. The $2.4 million required to be considered wealthy is 30 times the $80,000 net worth of the average American household, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

As I said earlier, it’s a matter of perspective. Simple sign of a wealthy person should be those who don’t have to worry about money or those who will never run out of money for his/her needs. So, being wealthy is also related to one’s needs.

In Hinduism Wealth is considered God’s eternal force. All the wealth of the universe arises from God through her actions only (Goddess of wealth is Luxmi). Wealth has numerous forms. Some of them are gross and some very subtle. The wealth of God manifests in creation in diverse ways as beauty, name, fame, status, light, success, victory, peace, happiness, strength, knowledge, wisdom, harmony, vigor, virtue and so on. All divine qualities such as truthfulness, non-injury, absence of anger, renunciation, compassion, etc., are collectively called divine wealth (daiva sampatti).

From a standpoint of life, wealth can certainly be measured in a much more profound ways than just how much money someone has made. So, my friend was right in questioning, ‘If you’re so smart, why aren’t you wealthy?wealth

Observation: “Missing the Forest for the Trees” By Musafir

 There seems to be an insatiable urge in our contemporary society to bask in five minutes of fame. This social disease compels us to record everything that’s going on around us. One can go to the Grand Canyon and find more people taking pictures than observing the grandeur of the gorge. You can join the crowd and visit the Eiffel Tower, and you will see hundreds furiously photographing the tower from every angle rather than taking a good look at it. At the zoos we seem more interested to record the animals than notice their beauty or behavior.

It gets worse during marriage receptions at least the one that I attended recently. The wedding ceremony concluded with the groom kissing the bride, nervously and awkwardly, but at the multiple photographers’ insistence they had to reenact the scene a few times more. Toasts had to be repeated, as were some witty remarks by the groom’s cousin, all at the behest of the avid photographers. I thought I detected a slight look of relief on the couple’s face as their car finally took them away from the guests – and the photographers.

No doubt the popularity of social media has heightened the trend. No private or social event goes unrecorded and then promptly reported in Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or SnapChat. Every birthday cake, wedding dress and reunion buffet is duly splashed in serial photographs of dubious focus and dismal composition. Probably bakers are baking cakes, designers are sketching dresses and hosts are planning parties with the resulting photos firmly in mind.

Why does one take photos? You take a photo to aid your recall. You take a photo of your child so that you can look at it years later and remember how she looked as a baby. You take photos of your sunset gondola ride, for you love to think of your glorious summer in Venice even while you are freezing in Duluth, Minnesota. The album brings back charming memories.

The other reason one takes photos is to share experiences. We send photos of a wedding or birthday to your cousin who couldn’t attend either. You make sure that Grandma gets to see snapshots of the reunion her gout did not let her attend. Were you to get to the peak of Everest, you may share with the world the unique view you beheld. But those have a purpose. The purpose should not be instant fame by displaying them on social media.

Is this what is spurring the tendency to shoot and publish virtually everything? It seems so. Aside from the scourge of selfies, which are nearly always an eyesore, many pictures are of I-and-the-Whitehouse variety that leave us in little doubt which of the two objects is truly important. Perhaps we all crave a measure of immortality, and leaving a visual imprint on Facebook pages is some people’s way to grope for it.

A few years ago, I visited Louver in France. Looked like most of the visitors wanted to see Mona Lisa.  I stood mesmerized for a long time, watching and wondering: What is she thinking? When I came out of trance, I took a shot of the painting, and meditated on it on my way back home. Seeing and snapping photos were discrete actions, distinct in time and purpose. Shooting did not take away from a ‘mindful’ immersion in the painting itself.

But there is a price for this. Looking back, it makes me conscious of what we lose when we start snapping photos the moment we see something interesting: we really don’t see what is important. We care more about how the photograph will make us more important in eyes of our friends and acquaintances.






Searching for God By Musafir

When I was younger I often used to debate in my mind whether God created us or we created the concept of God. After maturing I came to the conclusion that whoever or whatever created all of us is God because it’s beyond anyone else’s ability to create, maintain and destroy the entire universe and beyond. I didn’t need to be a theologian or a savant to know that.
I also spent some time reading about the concept of God as described in three most populous religions in the world, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. I found stark similarities in the concept of God in all those religions. However, I also found that those beliefs were not above contentions and contradictions.
God in Christianity is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. There is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, the messenger who is considered the son of God.
However, the above statement has always been debated by different scholars, branches of Christianity and schools of thoughts. The concept of God is different in the Old Testament versus the New Testament. Later, the religious scholars put their heads together to abate and reconcile the differences.
Another controversy (that was later reconciled by the scholars and religious councils) was about the concept of trinity, Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Some followers of Christianity considered them as three different entities. Later it was decided that it was the same God in three persons.
The differences about the concept of God still exist. For example, Mormons believe (According to Joseph Smith) that God was once a man on another planet before being exalted to Godhood. Many Christians cite The Bible in claiming that Jesus was God.
In the religion of Islam, belief in Allah is the single most important tenet. The Muslim name for God is “Allah,” which is simply Arabic for “the (al) God (Ilah).” Muslims believe that Muhammad was Allah’s chief servant and messenger.
I find Islam (submission) easy to comprehend. The concept of Allah never changes in Islam. Every Muslim child and adult clearly understands the concept of one God no matter where on earth that person resides. There has been no deviation or reconciliation in God’s concept in Islam. According to one Islamic scholar, Allah’s will “is all we have, and we have it in perfection in the Quran
I am a Hindu. According to Hinduism there is one God, the supreme spirit, called Brahman. Brahman has many forms permeating in the entire universe. Most Hindus believe that Brahman is present in every person as soul. It is also called the atman. Brahman encompasses everything and all phenomena. Brahman is one, without a second (Ekam evadvitiyam).
The Vedas are the earliest Holy book of the Hindus. The Vedas conceptualize Brahman as supreme. In the Upanishads (appendices to Vedas), God has been described as Sat-cit-ānanda (truth-consciousness-bliss) and as permanent and of highest reality.
Hinduism allows its followers to worship God in many forms such as nature (wind, fire, etc.) and devas (divinities), thus it is misconstrued as polytheistic.
All religions believe in the existence of only one God who created the world; who is all-powerful and sustains everything. All religions including Christianity, Islam and Hinduism worship the same God in different names such as God, Allah and Brahman. They are different but similar.

(The writer is not a theologian. If you want to contradict, correct and/or educate him, you are very welcome to do so.)

“Trade War: The Sky Is Falling Down, Again” By Musafir


The sky is falling down again and Chicken Little is running for cover. This time it is the Trade War. The American industry will be destroyed and the Americans will suffocate under the burden of indirect taxes because the Chinese and the European gods are furious and breathing fire on us wanting to retaliate and impute us. Oh Boy! Didn’t I hear this before?

On Thursday, March 1, 2018, President Trump announced tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, promising that they would protect U.S. producers “for a long time.” The media pundits have been busy predicting grave economic consequences for the US economy as a result of Mr. Trump’s announcement. The news channels can’t get over their indefatigable coverage of retaliation from China and Eurozone. The economists are insatiably predicting apocalypse now (as usual). The Wall Street indices plunged by 1,100 points in days following the above announcement.

Relax! Don’t panic yet. Think for yourself; do some research. I did. What happened when Mr. Trump slapped hefty tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines from China on January 24, 2018? Despite the doomsday predictions by the media and economists alike, China lowered the price of washing machines to compete in the U.S. market and decided to build the solar panels here on the U.S soil. How soon do we forget!

First of all, China and Eurozone are no Mother Teresa. They have been taking advantage of the USA’s generosity for years without reciprocating despite America’s cry in wilderness and now they are crying foul again. Let’s examine the facts:

USA normally sets import duties between 5 to 12% which includes imports from China. In contrast China levies 13% tariff on food and 18 to 30% on industrial goods and electronics imported from the U.S. Eurozone places 6.4% tariff on industrial and 16.1% on food items coming from the U.S. India has put 100% duty on Harley Davidson exported from Wisconsin and charges 60% duty on auto parts. USA charges 0% on motorbike imports from India. The maximum import fee charged on all Indian goods doesn’t exceed 6%. Brazil and Japan have similar stories. That’s a topic for another day. (Sources:

Fear mongers have been spreading the rumor that import duties proposed by Mr. Trump will add indirect tax to the U.S. consumers. Yes, to some extent! Soda and beer cans will cost one cent more and automobile will cost on average $45 to $145 more depending on the model. That’s peanuts compared to how many steel and aluminum industry jobs it will save. Nothing is totally free in this world.

If China and the Eurozone decide to go on trade war with the USA, they can’t win. The U.S. economy remains the largest in the world in terms of GDP. The $19.42 trillion U.S. economy is 25% of the gross world product. USA is the greatest spender in the world outpacing the rest by a wide margin. USA’s GDP per capita is $57,638 compared to Eurozone’s per capita of $39,100 and China’s $6,333. Who’d the world like to do business with without affecting their own economy? Go figure!

The Eurozone unemployment rate is 9.4% while the USA is inching towards full employment. China being a communist country, their figures are always dubious. Additionally, China is losing its competitive advantage quite fast. Chinese labor is getting more expensive. Consulting firm Oxford Economics estimated recently that China’s unit labor costs were just 4% lower than those in the U.S. It’s now cheaper to pay factory workers in Japan than in China, per unit of output (Source: In case you have not been paying attention, Mr. Xi Jinping just became a lifelong dictator of the Chinese people so that he can avoid the wrath of his countrymen in coming days. Just the other day, the Europeans were going gaga on the prospects of China replacing the USA as the new moral leader of the world. “Lord, what fools these mortals be.” (Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

The US Commerce Secretary, Mr. Wilbur Ross summed it up succinctly, “American employees have borne the brunt of all the imported steel and aluminum that’s been coming in. Corporate America might complain, but the president is taking up the banner of Mr. and Mrs. America.”

(The writer is not an economist. If you want to contradict, correct and/or educate him, you are very welcome to do so.)