Foundation for Better Government

The goal of this non-partisan Foundation is to present and invite ideas for improving the structure and the quality of government performance on a continuous basis. Every government must be responsive, responsible, efficient, economical, and free of corruption.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

POLITICAL LOYALTY OF AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS By T.S. Khanna

 

Political Loyalty of American Immigrants

By T.S. Khanna, July20, 2022.

Foundation For Better Government.

 

               Issue: Immigrants’ loyalty, when their Homeland is at odds with America.

America (USA) is a nation of immigrants from all over the world.  What transforms a country to a nation is the bonding of citizens by common values (Individual liberty), common purpose (economic welfare), common faith (struggle for success), common conviction (can-do-self-confidence), common dream (better life), and common devotion (pursuit of happiness).  This bonding has created a nation of “American Exceptionalism”.

 

One of the hardest decisions in life is to leave one’s home, family and the familiar society, breaking ties to plunge into unchartered waters, no matter how glamorous from a distance.  Legal immigrants take courageous decision, leaving the country of their birth and come to the country of their choice----America.  They are noted for their courage to brave the risks of living in a social vacuum of a strange society with powerlessness and loneliness, while trying to establish their new home.

 

What motivates them to make America their new home?  It is the opportunities that become available only in a free society of America.  Here the culture of freedom with risks and rewards prevails with individual liberty and personal responsibility.  Here the government encourages innovation, not obstruct it.

 

The emphasis on individual liberty is to facilitate full growth of the individual potential to improve his/her lot, thereby of the society.  The spirit of individual liberty is to encourage faith in one’s-self; the practice of such liberty demands not to obstruct others’.  It is this spirit and practice of liberty that eventually percolates in every immigrant’s mind and becomes his conscience and courage, a part of the “American Exceptionalism”.

 

Successful immigrants give full credit of their success to themselves, ignoring the opportunity this society and the U.S. Government provided.  They forget that much more struggle in their birthplace may have been fruitless.

 

This society and American Government have not occurred accidentally; they are the result of great efforts and thoughtful verbiage of Founding Fathers of this great nation.  Their experiences under a dictatorship had transformed their thinking for the benefit of the future generations and the humanity.  They regarded freedom of human beings as a God given right that cannot be taken away by any government.  They are still living in every word of the American Constitution; they are still resounding in every corner of America.

 

It was because of their supreme effort that a unique society and an exceptional form of government were established, never conceptualized before in history.  Part credit of immigrants’ success in America goes to the make-up of the society and the Constitution as the basis of governmental operations.

 

The brewing worldwide conflict may bring some immigrants homelands at odds with America.  Here the issue of political loyalty arises.  Logically speaking, the immigrants owe their political loyalty to the U.S. Government for two reasons: 1. Personal indebtedness to the society and the government (moral Obligation) and, 2. The defense of American society for the benefit of the future generations.

Saturday, July 09, 2022

RUSSIA-CHINA ILLUSION: WORLD DOMINATION By T.S. Khanna, July 10 2022.

 

Russia-China Illusion: World Domination

By T.S. Khanna, July 10, 2022


 

In the United States, technologically, we have advanced rapidly, but politically, we are still operating “Model A” of democracy.  As a result, today, from technical perspective, we have solutions to most problems, and from political perspective, we have a problem to every solution.

 

The spectrum of our political thought and choices is inadequate to meet new challenges.

 

In democracy, technological advances are harnessed for public benefit while dictators make their focused use to enhance their military power ; look at Russia and China.  Russia’s Putin is reckless in threatening the use of Nukes, China’s Xi Jinping has warned of the “Battle of Armageddon”.  Are these threats a coincidence or an indication of an alliance to move in a coordinated manner?

 

There is an innate human desire to dominate and exploit the weaker.  The weak, somehow, arouses the evil spirit in the strong to dominate.  Russia and China are feeling strong enough to dominate the energy-dependent Europe and the poverty-driven Asia, respectively.

 

If the war they envision starts, it will not decide who is right but who is left.  With an intoxicated vision of their own overestimated power, they assume they will survive thru the annihilation of the opponents.  There will be no encore once the Nukes are released.  There will be no victory in mutual annihilation.  What are Putin and Xi Jinping thinking?

 

Putin has still not realized the limitations of his power.  He believed he would capture Ukraine within a week.  It seems Putin’s failure in Ukraine delayed China’s plan to attack India and India to discover the impotence of Russian made defense weaponry at the war front, as noted in Ukraine.

 

The World War Putin-Xi Jinping are inducing is rooted in imperial ambitions, not in economic reasons.  In the 1940s, Russia took by force parts of Germany and Poland as Kaliningrad.  In 2014, Russia forcibly took over Crimea from Ukraine, and now Putin has pronounced that Alaska belong to Russia.  China has an eye on Taiwan and northern part of India, including Kashmir and other states.

 

Russia-China joint struggle is to establish a new World Order under their domination.  This would be an expansion of dictatorship at the expense of human rights and individual freedom recognized in democracy.

 

Now the only significant force of resistance to Russia-China illusion is the USA.  NATO has been only verbal but not reckless in language, so far.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

REFINING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY BY T.S. KHANNA

 

Refining American Democracy

By T.S. Khanna, June 15, 2022.


 

Under the euphoria of Democracy as the best form of government, we are not able to identify its weaknesses too dangerous to ignore.  Socrates and Machiavelli, at different times in history, pointed out that democracy would likely lead to chaos and tyranny.  In recent times, we saw “Hitlerism” out of German democracy; fascism in Italy; and, in America, it seems we are heading toward bankruptcy and the chaos of socio-political divide, in spite of the first President Washington’s warning in his farewell address.

 

Now, in the changing world order, if the inherited form of democracy is not refined, we run the risk of losing it all.  Respecting publisher’s space and reader’s time, detailed discussion is excluded.  To initiate a serious discourse on the subject we recommend:

1.     Redefine Natural Rights with attendant obligations, including the right to free speech, guns, and the media;

2.     Improve quality of elected public officials by adopting requisites for candidates and for voters;

3.     Adopt performance standards for public officials to evaluate them periodically;

4.     Make all elected positions a single 6-year term in life-time;

5.     Phase out the current political economy and adopt safeguards against political economy for political expediency;

6.     Establish a non-partisan National Election Commission with adequate powers to eliminate fraud, falsehood, and enforce civility;

7.     Adopt measures disallowing strikes and protests at public places or disrupting economic activities and assign an area in every jurisdiction for protest

participants;

8.     Establish a National Commission on Wages to judiciously evaluate the Unions’ demands, keeping in view the sustainability of local markets and competition in world markets;

9.     Abolish the Senate and establish a non-partisan, 15-member Supreme Council to be elected by the American citizens to take over the Senate responsibilities as well as the President-Vice Presidents offices.  The highest two vote getters may be the President and Vice-President for the 6-year term.

10.  The Supreme Council, in consultation with available resources, may adopt National Goals to be met in their 6-year term, with powers to amend the Constitution;

11.  Political parties, through their elected officials in the House of Reps, may act as advisers to the Supreme Council in pursuit of the adopted goals; and,

12.  Establish an Institute of Political Learning to train voters, candidates, and observe democratic operations for testing the assumptions in Democratic Ideology.

 

America is certainly the greatest nation in history

And the biggest hope for humanity.

SHE MUST BE SAVED.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

POST PUTIN ERA By T.S. Khanna

 

POST PUTIN ERA

By T.S.Khanna, May 29, 2022.

Foundation For Better Government,


 

Russia’s political culture has been shaped by its past Czars and Dictators.  They turned Ukraine into the crucible of cataclysms: Ukrainian language banned, books confiscated, intellectuals and patriots murdered, peasants starved to break their resistance during the Stalin rule in the 1930s---a persistent effort to eradicate Ukrainian identity to submerge it into Russia.

 

Putin is the product of that culture and is repeating the same evil.  The stock of reasoning and possibilities of resolving public issues under dictators is limited to the use of force.  People under dictators become cult-oriented and believe in them and obey them without questioning.  They are not familiar with the range of possibilities in resolving public issues peacefully in a system-oriented democratic society.  That is why perception of the same facts is different by dictators and, unfortunately, perception is reality in politics.

 

Putin’s perception of “self-defense” as the cause of this war is contrary to the world’s perception of Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.  Putin’s perception of reality is that Ukrainians do not have a right to exist and their genocide is moralized, whereas American perception of reality is that “…all men are created equal”.

 

Collectively, people have a limited rational capacity.  To make up for this deficiency, persons in governing positions in a democracy are trained in using prudence displacing pride and prurience.  They imbibe characteristics of Aristotle’s “temperate man”.  Putin never had that benefit.  He frequently threatens the use of Nukes while others, even better equipped with Nukes, exercise prudence in their choice of words and actions.

 

Putin has cleared his mind of the sins of atheism by rehabilitating Orthodox Christian Churches demolished under the USSR era.  However, he still seems unfamiliar with the basic tenet:

“Do unto others as you would be done by”.

 

Putin is not aware that this war is epoch changing and having an effect reverse of what he intended.  Ukraine has been consecrated by the brave Ukrainians who sacrificed their lives for the country’s sovereignty and by those innocent defenseless civilians mercilessly massacred by Putin’s forces and buried in mass graves.

 

Now there is no going back.  The world bestows an honorable remembrance to the resolute Ukrainians whose valor against Putin’s outnumbered forces made them immortal in public memory.  They have enshrined Ukraine as the citadel of European democracy------a pilgrimage for freedom lovers.

 

For sight, we need eyes; for insight, we need factual knowledge and rational analysis of facts with cause and effect.  With our limited knowledge of facts about the secretive-opaque Putin’s government, it seems next few weeks are critical for Putin.

 

It is time to start planning for rebuilding of Ukraine by using the personal assets of Putin, his cohorts, and his oligarchs, estimate at $ 300 billion.  They possess these assets illegally by denying the benefits to the Russian citizens. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

TOWARD A PEACEFUL WORLD ORDER By T.S. Khanna, April 16, 2022.

 

Toward A Peaceful World Order

By T.S. Khanna, April 16, 2022,

Foundation For better Government.

 

We are living in a time when the human intelligence has outstripped human wisdom.  One need not be a Cassandra to recognize the danger of nuclear war, “the Battle of Armageddon”, ahead.  The Nuclear War threat from Putin is a blackmailing technique to leverage the power of his incompetent military. 

 

Direct intervention by the NATO forces and no-fly zone in Ukraine will decide the matter much faster.  NATO may respond to next nuclear threat from Putin with actual use of nuclear weapon against him, without harming the general public.  To contain Putin’s idiosyncrasies, NATO has to make sure that Putin does not win the Ukraine war he started. At the most, he may be given some face saving compromise.

 

The bone chilling observation of the Putin-War on Ukraine compels us to examine our weaknesses in establishing a peaceful world order.  Hereunder, a few words as a mind teaser:

 

Before the invention of a measuring tape, tailors stitched unfitting clothes: too tight or too loose.  Ever since Plato’s book, “Republic”, political Pundits, engaged in designing government organization, have served as “tailors without a measuring tape”.  As a result, various governments in place are either too tight (strong dictatorship) or too loose (liberal democracy).

 

In Russia, at a pivotal time of the USSR dissolution in the 1990s, as a reaction to the loose grip of government, the constitution was adopted with a locus of power in a few hands for greater efficiency in decision and action.  It was modeled on the US system of executive presidency but without any checks, guardrails, or direction to the use of power.  The purpose or goal of government was also not clarified, as it is also missing in most other adopted constitutions.

 

Under the Russian Constitution, drafted by President Boris Yeltsin and adopted on December 12, 1993, the president is elected on a national level and may serve for two terms, with significant powers.  The president appoints the prime minister as the chairman of the Lower House of 450 elected members (Duma).  The president appoints key judges, and his cabinet members, leads the military as the Commander-in-chief.  He also has the powers to declare emergency and impose martial law.

 

Putin, a KGB employee, was the favorite son of Yeltsin and was elected President.  After being placed into presidency, Putin focused on empowering his military with nuclear weapons, ignoring the public welfare.

 

The US Constitution, on the other side, lays emphasis on power to the people: human rights without attendant obligations; rep democracy without obligation to the national interests.  Both these centrifugal social forces keep splitting the society.  Remember, the major cause of the fall of the USSR was that it did not make the needed timely changes in its Constitution.

 

Unless the Russian Constitution is amended, it will keep producing more “Putins”; and, unless the US Constitution is amended, it will keep splitting the American polity and keep rendering the US government dysfunctional with logjams created by the outdated checks/balance techniques.

 

In the past, United Nations power of compromise has been exercised only through goodwill and influence.   Now, for the sake of world peace, directed at improving the lot of humanity, the UN would need powers to

1.     Review and comment on the Constitution of each country re its positive and negative effects within and outside the country;

2.     Establish an authoritative International Court with full powers to decide on cases of conflicting countries (The existing International Court is very limited in jurisdiction and powers);and,

3.     Enforce the decisions of the International Court.

 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

VLADIMIR PUTIN: RAWAN ON STEROIDS

 

Vladimir Putin: Rawan on Steroids

By T.S. Khanna, March 31, 2022

Foundation For Better Government,



English language does not provide enough words to adequately describe Putin’s character.  In Indian mythology, there exists a character, Rawan, the enemy of Lord Rama, who comes close to Putin.  In satanic deeds, Putin easily excels Rawan.  Putin has proven that if “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, prolonged absolute power turns a person rabid.

 

Public personalities are usually shaped by the consequences of disputes arisen in public affairs.  Dissolution of the USSR in the 1990s shaped Putin’s personality.  He took to heart the loss of Russian power and prestige, as the member countries dropped out in disappointment with Socialism.  Another person in Putin’s place may have been constructively motivated, but Putin believes that power and prestige come from frightening and destroying the weaker countries.

 

Earlier, by his attacks on Georgia in 2008, and annexation of Crimea in 2014, without any opposition from the Western democracies, the emboldened, unprovoked, Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

 

During the last few weeks, Putin has been relentlessly destroying Ukraine with power bombs.  He has dislocated over ten million people; nearly four million have taken refuge in the neighboring countries; and, killed many innocent citizens including children.  Never before, so many people have been killed, injured, dislocated in so short a time at the command of one man as they have been by Putin.

 

Ukraine’s President Zellenskyy, in his appeals to stop the one-sided war, has used all the vocabulary and emotions; the reason has been fatigued in the world appeals; ideas have been exhausted in the peace negotiations; numerous homes, hospitals, and huge buildings have been destroyed in Ukraine; world conscience is distressed; and, watching the news gives nightmares to people around the world. But, Putin’s thirst for blood is still not quenched.

 

This is not merely a war on Ukraine; this is a war on human rights; on human freedom; on human morality; on human conscience; on human civilization. It is a war of sophistry, setting precedent to invade, loot, kill, or capture the weaker without restriction, compunction or compensation.  This is a great travesty of justice.

 

Man’s personality is tested either under a great stress or when vested with great power.  Both types are in sight: perseverance, determination, bravery of the Ukrainians, and, the rabid madness of Putin.

 

We urge the U.S. Government to stop the war by direct intervention.  Enough words have been exchanged.  Now the time is for the language that Putin would understand.  What good is the great American power if it does not save the innocent and protect the weak?

Sunday, March 20, 2022

PERPETUAL WAR TO PERMANENT PEACE By T.S. Khanna, March 20,2022.



Perpetual War To Permanent Peace

T.S. Khanna, March 20, 2022,


 

After WWI, 1914-18 era, President Wilson at the time, reviewing the enormity of the war atrocities, thought the human experience of that war would be a great deterrent to future wars. 

 

In 1917, Bolshevik Revolution assassinated the Russian Tsar and a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established in 1922, with a great hope for economic progress to improve the lot of the common man.  Russia placed itself in the commanding position, with some countries in the Eastern Europe and the Central Asia as members of the USSR.  WWII, 1939-45, proved Woodrow Wilson otherwise.

 

WWII was followed by a cold war between the power blocs of the Western democracies and the Russian dictatorship, giving rise to The NATO in 1949 and The Warsaw Pact in 1955.  Due to the economic failures and unmet promises, the USSR was dissolved in the 1990s.  The world took a sigh of relief believing that with the end of cold war the resources and efforts would be diverted for the welfare of humanity.

 

But the Russian dictator, Putin has proven otherwise.  He is desperate to recover the lost prestige of Russia due to the dissolution of the USSR.

 

Some historians believe that WWI set the stage for more wars (hot or cold) by inflaming ethnic and nationalist impulses.  In an effort to avert wars, a worldwide institution, United Nations, was established to resolve differences peacefully.  The UN, with no legal force, has had a limited success in the past.

 

As Putin invades the less powerful democratic country of Ukraine, the UN has condemned the invasion, but showed the helplessness to stop it.  Putin has defied the conventional wisdom that it takes two to start a war.  He has proven that it takes only one dictator to make a war on a weaker Ukraine, while several democracies watch feverishly, fearful of escalation if they got involved in protecting Ukraine.  The whole world is sympathetically watching the atrocities being committed on Ukrainians but not doing anything to stop them.

 

Democracies are inherently slow in the decision-making process and much less willed to fight wars. This political culture gives a free hand to a dictator, like Putin, to invade weaker countries and bring them in his fold.  This process gradually keeps transferring more power to dictator who would continue to focus on enhancing their military power to invade the economic production of democratic regimes.

 

Now we are in great need of a new World Order that may be war-proof----a system that may have a legal force to resist human greed, arrogance and the innate human desire to dominate others.  We urge the intellectuals and political scientists to develop plans for discussion.