Vivek Narain on Life

The musings of a man preparing for a mission

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Obama Money aint Funny

Posted by viveknarain on August 1, 2008

We all know Republicans are racist, so why does Barack Obama waste his breath trying to prove this fact during his campaign. Obama thinks Republicans will use his race to scare voters because he, “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

Could Obama’s statement be any more misguided? He’s a natural!

The only fear mongering in this campaign is how scary-good he looks in my wallet.

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Los Angeles City Council Fights Fast Food – Completely Misses the Point

Posted by viveknarain on July 30, 2008

For most people, the choice between eating at McDonald’s or a sit down restaurant that features delicious and full meals is a no brainier. Fast food is a tantalizing treat, but you’d be a fool to deprive yourself of fresh food, nutrients and a great atmosphere to enjoy your meal in.

But do only fools choose fast food? Maybe not. Fast food relies on consumers that only have two dollars in their pockets and realize that with a few more nickels they could buy some cheeseburgers. Fast food relies on the hardworking individuals located at the bottom of America’s steep economic ladder, people who may have to skimp on food for a few months because of an unexpected increase in gas prices.

So rather than address the issue of poverty and why people choose fast food for their meal options, The Los Angeles City Council has approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a low-income area of the city. The fear of using the word “poverty” has led to an ignorant state within the city council. It is easy to blame the byproducts of poverty, rather than address the true culprit.

What happens next? Does L.A. close down Marshall’s and Ross because they generally sell sizes larger than XL, which clearly promote obesity? Does L.A. also shut down used car dealerships that are flowing with SUVs because their size is perfect for low-income obese individuals?

If the restaurant industry can figure it out, why can’t our politicians?

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Bush lifts executive ban on offshore drilling, assumes America hates the ocean

Posted by viveknarain on July 16, 2008

Yesterday, President George Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling, a decision that is less about oil output and more about politics. Bush said, “The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress,” which coincidently is composed of a Democratic majority.

The executive order Bush decided to remove is the same ban that his father enforced to ensure the growth and preservation of American coastal waters and tourist economies. The present day Bush is looking for relief from high gas prices, but drilling in ocean waters wouldn’t bring us what we need. Even White House officials have said, “There is no quick fix,” in regards to the gas situation. This begs the question, whose interests are being served by Bush’s latest environment murdering decision?

So what happens if congress agrees with Bush and the ban is removed? It might knock off a few bucks from the price of gas barrels, but at what expense? We all saw the precedence that the Valdez case set. We saw how tax-abiding citizens lost their livelihoods because of the damage caused by an oil spill off the Alaskan coast, only to be awarded $55,000. Now is your livelihood worth more than $55,000 (the payout victims received) after 19 years? It better be, or you’re getting royally screwed (by that oil drill of course). You can bet oil drilling off of our coastline will do a lot more damage than the Valdez spill.

If oil prices go down, it won’t be due to offshore drilling, but because of key market factors like a strengthening dollar and a reformed American financial system. Combine this with continued development of alternative energy sources (Tesla and Chevy Volt!) and we end up with an unnecessary and disgusting permanent decoration gracing American coasts like a puss-filled zit exploding during a high school senior portrait.

When was the last time you heard about anyone drilling out of a problem? That sounds like Shredder from the Ninja Turtles… and we all know the outcome of that.

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Exxon Pwns Alaska

Posted by viveknarain on June 26, 2008

On Wednesday the Supreme Court decide to throw out $2.5 Billion in punitive damages that Exxon Mobil Corp was supposed to pay for the 1989 Exxon Valdez Alaskan oil spill. Now, this was the worst oil spill in our country’s history, it ruined over 1,200 miles of Alaskan coastline by spreading 11 million gallons of crude oil across the area, annihilating thousands of marine animals and sea birds while decimating local fishing industries.

So as oil prices climb, an oil company finds yet another way to take money from American people by not even paying for the mess that it caused. Exxon posted a record year of revenue in 2007, making more than it ever had before. In fact, in the first quarter of 2007, it would have taken Exxon only two days to raise the $2.5 billion in revenue needed to pay for the disaster it created.

Exxon Valdez Vivek Narain Oil Spill

If I break my arm while I’m at work, my company has to compensate me heavily, even if it’s not their fault. Do you know why normal companies have to pay for things like workers comp? Because it’s their responsibility. For some reason, it seems that oil companies get to exist outside the rules, outside any sense of responsibility.

Maybe this is because the U.S. government feels if they let big oil exist outside the rules they can perform better and give America better fuel prices. However, I think it’s become clear that helping out the oil companies is not helping out average Americans, because even with record profits, we are still getting screwed at the pump. So maybe, instead of helping out oil companies and hoping that it will trickle down to the common man, we should start holding them responsible for their actions.

Exxon might as well have flown a cargo plane over America dumping oil on school children and throwing tax money into the ocean because they know the government will always be there to bail them out, no matter how much it hurts the country.

The livelihood’s of these Alaskan fisherman were completely ruined by the oil spill, and all they asked for was that the company responsible pay for what they did. What kind of message does this send when the Supreme Court says they don’t have too?

Exxon originally was charged with paying $5 Billion for the spill, which was slashed to $4.5 and then to $2.5 billion. Finally, as our nation struggles with exorbitant gas prices and Alaska still reels from an oil spill that ruined countless communities and anhilated entire ecosystems, the U.S. Supreme Court has told us they are only making Exxon pay $507.5 Million, which when it comes to the billions in revenue that Exxon yields each year, is an amount that is simply, “Lost in rounding.”

Our political system is firmly entrenched in the pockets of big oil, and I have no idea how we will ever get it out. This is just the latest case in a long history of average American lives being dumped on by a government that’s more sympathetic to big oil than to its own populace.

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Gas Tax Holiday, Iraq Death Toll, Mission Accomplished, and the allure of GTA IV

Posted by viveknarain on April 30, 2008

Occasionally, a nice little package of misery and despair is delivered directly on my digital doorstep as our country’s major problems coincide in remarkably timely ways. The American death toll in Iraq reached a 7-month record high today, and tomorrow marks the five year anniversary of President Bush’s dramatic “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier proclamation, while Hillary Clinton and John McCain recently made their support for an absolutely idiotic gas tax cut public, highlighting the dire necessity of an informed and attentive American population to stop these scoundrels before our county falls into oblivion. But what do all my friends care about? Grand Theft Auto IV!!! (Actually, the only reason I’m not playing right now is my Xbox’s recent acquisition of the Red Ring of Death)

Clinton and McCain’s desire to cut the federal gas tax (18.4 cents a gallon) for three months is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to trick consumers and gather uninformed votes, much like Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” debacle tricked the American people into thinking that the Iraq War was about to end.

Not only will the removal of the federal gas tax fail to lower gas prices, it will siphon away important tax dollars from other programs that desperately need money. Suspending the tax will take $8.5 billion from the Highway Trust Fund, which is already reeling from a $3 billion loss. The Highway Trust fund helps maintain our nation’s roads and bridges, and is a necessary part of America’s infrastructure upkeep. Cutting such a wide monetary hole into this fund will not only endanger the condition of our roads and bridges, it will threaten the hundreds of thousand of jobs that are necessary to maintain these projects.

The tax cut is designed to offer extra support to oil companies, who will in turn decrease prices at the pump. However, there is little chance that this extra boost to oil company profits would help lower gas prices. Shell and BP have already reported record profits for this quarter, so why do they need government help to make even more money? The removal of the gas tax would only give more money to oil companies that are already swimming in it. If, by some stroke of luck, oil prices dramatically decreased because of this tax cut, lowering prices would increase oil demand, but many refineries are already working at their highest possible production level so they wouldn’t be able to keep up, and would inevitably be forced to drive prices back up.

There is absolutely no way this tax cut would help lower gas prices, but it is the type of proposal that makes Clinton and McCain look like superheroes in the eyes of uniformed Americans.

The omnipotent Obama called this gas tax cut “a gimmick,” which is exactly right, but that doesn’t make him any better than Hillary or McCain because he’s made the same mistake before. Obama has voted for a similar gas tax cut on three different occasions. Unsurprisingly, these proposals failed to provide any substantial drop in gas prices.

When President Bush landed like a soldier of fortune on the USS Abraham Lincoln five years ago, he proudly proclaimed that major combat operations in Iraq were over and that Iraq was a victory, while a “Mission Accomplished” banner brazenly shown behind him, illustrating how easy it is for our government to trick us with publicity stunts and flashy words. These gas tax proposals are an insult to American intelligence; just like the “Mission Accomplished” banner is an insult to all the American soldiers who have died in Iraq in the last half decade.

We’re already throwing mind-boggling sums of money into the war effort, so why throw away more for a pointless oil holiday? If the oil companies were struggling and needed help I might see the point of this tax removal, but with the current state of affairs in the oil business world, it just seems foolish.

That saddest thing about this skewed gas proposal is that it’s supposed to be part of a grandiose plan to fix the American energy crisis. However, I don’t think giving more money to oil companies and trying to get people to use more gas is a solution to our problem. Congress has spent years bickering over America’s clean energy strategy, effectively stamping it into the ground. Why is it so difficult for politicians to unite behind wind and solar energy production? Without Congress giving the proper backing to clean energy, our country remains a slave to oil. We are failing to do simple things that could solve our problems, and instead we decide to rely on foolish tax proposals that help the very industry who needs it the least. American clean energy companies are moving to other countries because of the failure of our government to protect them. How much longer will our government neglect the real energy issue and continue to frolic in the pockets of oil lobbyists… will it take another war? Will it take eight dollar a gallon gas prices? Maybe I should just cool down and pick up a copy of GTA IV – that would definitely keep me quiet.

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America’s Next Top Dictator

Posted by viveknarain on March 7, 2008

The once unpredictable and exciting world of reality television has stagnated in a pit of formulaic monotony. The American people are tired of seeing the same petty cat fights and drunken emotional break downs that occur with uneventful regularity in every show. It used to be exciting to see someone get slapped on MTV’s the Real World, but now I’ve become so desensitized that I barely bat an eye when two half-naked women body slam each other in another pointless reality challenge.

To improve ratings and maintain viewers, the major television networks must take the reality show formula to a new global level of pain and humiliation. The answer to the reality show slump can be found by taking one of the most popular reality shows of all time to an entirely new level of disaster.

My pitch to the major television networks is simple: Take the recipe for America’s Next Top Model, but replace the beautiful women with a group of world dictators and call it America’s Next Top Dictator. From Guatemala to Uzbekistan, America has a long history of aiding ruthless third world dictators, and the current international stage is ripe with some truly sexy totalitarian oppressors. With many of our old international buddies turning against us, it’s time for America to pick a new dictator lapdog. What better way for America to decide if they want to favor Abdullah over Musharraf than through weekly televised events? The torture, murder, and general oppression of an entire culture is far more exciting to watch than people eating egg brains or going on blind dates. America’s Next Top Dictator would be a ratings giant!

So here is my pitch for America’s Next Top Dictator, I figured out an excellent judge’s panel, the perfect weekly contests, and even recommendations for contestants to choose. I don’t think the networks can afford to let this go.

America’s Next Top Dictator: Judges Panel

There is only one man who can host America’s Next Top Dictator. This monolith of tyranny wrote the book on dictatorship himself. This communism-loving bearded bad ass brought style and innovation into the authoritarian world; I’m talking about none other than the freshly retired Fidel Castro.

Castro knows what it takes to please America, because he knows how to survive longer than anyone else as America’s number one enemy. Castro can suppress individual freedoms with the best of them, and despite the production crew’s complaints after editing his nine hour speeches each week, Castro is perfectly positioned to take on the role that fellow diva dictator Tyra Banks perfected. Castro’s infinite knowledge of dictator life will prove invaluable as the fledgling dictators look for their chance to shine on network television.

The Judges panel will feature Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and CIA director Michael Hayden. Gates is a perfect dictator judge, he has already proven his love for autocratic regimes through his involvement with the Iran-contra affair, and his skill at skewing Russian intelligence reports while serving as CIA director would impress any of our top dictator hopefuls.

Dictator Weekly Challenges

Much like its highly successful predecessor, America’s Next Top Dictator will force contestants to overcome a gauntlet of difficult challenges for our viewing pleasure. These challenges are carefully designed to test the true skills of a Top Dictator and ensure each contestant’s commitment to wield supreme authoritarian power over their helpless country.

The expert judges will vote on the best dictator performance after each challenge, removing the lowest performing tyrant each week. Weekly challenges will force the contestants to elude coup attempts and see which dictator can find and torture spies in a group of innocents the fastest.

Other challenges will include who can manipulate newspapers and journalists in the most effective manner, who can allow America to build a military base inside their country the quickest, and who can torture members of their own party with the most creative flair after becoming paranoid that their closest allies are plotting against them.

A special event will be hosted by guest judge and fellow lunatic rambling speech expert Tyra Banks, who will help the panel choose which dictator can give the most hysterical and hate-filled ignorant speech to a square full of frightened minions.

Tyra Banks will return for The Sexy Space Suit Dictator Photo Shoot, a surprise final challenge where remaining dictator contestants dress up in man-thongs and space helmets and see who can strike the best moon conquering pose next to their respective national flags.

Contestant Strategies

King Abdullah is the heavy favorite to win Top Dictator; he already enjoys the golden spoon of American favor courtesy of the Saudi Oil that our country laps up like breast milk. With his rich history as an American lapdog, this Saudi King will be hard to beat in the eyes of the Americans who love him and ignore his anti-Semitic, freedom squashing leadership methods.

China’s supreme leader Hu Jintao is another good candidate, the sheer economic power he wields with China and the upcoming Olympic Games puts him ahead of the competition, but Jintao’s utter disregard for human rights violations is no joke, and the forced abortions and religious detainments he sponsors may outweigh China’s global economic persuasiveness.

Kim Jong-Il is the Top Dictator rebel, and like the classic reality show villains before him, Jon-Il will continually remind the other dictators that he is not in this show to make “friends,” and will use disturbing nuclear antics to try and coerce a top spot in the finals.

Robert Mugabe has helped Zimbabwe’s citizens capture the awards for world’s shortest life expectancy, highest percentage of orphans, and worst inflation rate, so he has a lot of sucking up to do, but his charismatic speeches may just make him a contender.

The lack of American response to the extreme amounts of death that Omar al-Bashir has caused in Darfur means that he must be doing something phenomenal behind the scenes, so this mass murderer masquerading as a respectable leader might just be the dark horse of Top Dictator.

Pervez Musharraf uses the war on terror to gain American favor and hide his oppression of the Pakistani people. The amount of aid given to Musharraf by America must mean he has a good chance to win.

After the final challenge, the remaining contestants will be chosen via text message vote by the American people, thus assuring public approval of America’s new Top Dictator. The winner will immediately pledge to do arms dealing only with America, as well as restricting trade to only countries we approve of. In return, they will be allowed to do whatever their twisted minds desire to their people without fear of overt American intervention. The winner would retain their Top American Dictator title until a new winner is chosen on the next season’s show.

I think America’s Next Top Dictator has a lot of potential to receive stellar ratings, and help improve American foreign relations. It’s a win, win situation. I’ll keep you posted as the offers come streaming in.

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Presidential Prediction Post and The Inevitable Future of America

Posted by viveknarain on February 21, 2008

With the 2008 presidential nomination race approaching the final stretch, I think it’s important for the American people to start thinking about what would happen if any of the four major presidential hopefuls actually made it to the nation’s highest office.

Barack Obama

It will take two weeks for Barack Obama to realize there is more to an American presidency than just being a charismatic speaker. When faced with issues of immigration and Iraqi occupation, President Obama will be shocked to discover that vague generalities and promises of bringing “change” are not actually ways to formulate American policy. When Iran’s nuclear weapons program starts to get frisky and the economy begins to spiral out of control faster than Brittany Spears’s sanity, Obama will fall back on his political experience for inspiration, only to realize that he has none, and like an excited child flaunting the fresh Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cup his mother just bought him, only to get his face smashed in and delicious treat stolen by the neighborhood bully, Obama will feel the full weight of a failed presidency crashing upon him like a sledgehammer of political reality. As our country crumbles on the back of liberal inexperience, Americans will truly get a dose of “change,” also known as “impeachment.”

John McCain

John McCain will turn the White House into the world’s most powerful convalescent home. After whacky old-man executive orders start filtering out of Washington that confuse waterboarding with skateboarding, Congress will realize the American people have once again made a major presidential election mistake. Luckily, McCain will be too old to remember his P.O.W flashbacks, so his advisor’s can quietly guide him into the Lincoln bedroom and deliver a Heath Ledger approved prescription cocktail while the country continues to run under the clandestine authority of Republican appointed cabinet members and senior officials. Come to think of it, a McCain presidency wouldn’t be much of a change from how the country is run now, except the State of the Union will be given by a delusional grandfather instead of an inept moron.

Hillary Clinton

After becoming the first female president in American history, Hillary Clinton will fix our nations healthcare system, end the war in Iraq, rejuvenate the lagging economy, and whip America into shape like a once athletic (now alcoholic) gym teacher going through a mid-life crisis. However, as we ascend to prominence and regain our spotless international diplomatic reputation, the truth behind Hillary’s success will be leaked to the public after Bill’s pillow talk with a group of promiscuous female interns spreads to the White House press, who will discover that Hillary created an unstoppable fleet of gender unspecific unisex bots that she has secretly used to manipulate foreign affairs. The American public will consider impeachment, but with the Jihadists defeated and China firmly set at number two on the world’s economic leader board, our nation will do what it does best, look the other way and enjoy Democratic prosperity at any cost. Hillary’s blissful regime will go on pleasantly through her reelection, until she reveals at the end of a second term that she is also a member of the unisex robot race, a fact that Bill knew for years, which explains his sexual deviance. Once Hillary’s true robot form is exposed, she will refuse to relinquish the American throne and after several unsuccessful coup attempts by aging Republican’s and Michigan militias, America will have to resign itself to the fact that instead of the country’s first woman president, Hillary was actually the first robot president, brutally enslaving us all until the great Hillary uprising of 2089.

Mike Huckabee thinks the earth is only 9,000 years old…

When Huckabee takes office our country will falter under a system of inseparable religion and politics, and with mandatory public school prayer and creationism classes shoved down the educational system’s collective throat, the American youth will become even dumber than they are now, sparking our society’s path of devolution into a mindless subhuman ape-race. It’s interesting to note that the only nominee hopeful who doesn’t believe in evolution will initiate its perverted amplification. As America slides back down the evolutionary ladder with Huckabee at the helm, the constitution and Bill of Rights will seamlessly merge into the Ten Commandments and our country will make the world of Idiocracy look like a Harvard physics lecture.

Each candidate spells certain doom for our nation’s future, so what is an informed, democracy-loving voter to do?

Kevin Costner

The real candidate of the people, the real patriot, the real crusader of freedom, has long been on our minds and in our hearts, but only now is he ready to take on the country’s highest office. Vote Kevin Costner on the independent ticket for 2008. Confused about Costner’s ability to lead our country? (I assure you he has about as much experience as Obama) Check out my Vivek Narain Official Costner for President Site and discover the true power of our country’s best kept political secret.

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