United States – Congressional and State Elections 2011

May 21, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

Special election scheduled on May 24, 2011 in New York 26th Congressional district is on spotlight with the race between the Republican candidate Jane Corwin and the Democrat Kathy Hochul reportedly in dead heat predominantly due to GOP plan to overhaul Medicare and Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial budget.

Democrat contender Kathy Hochul is presumably neither self nor special interests-funded and projected to be a fierce fighter for working class given her impressive track record as the Erie County Clerk and having previously worked for Congressional members John LaFalce and the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan distinctively confirming Washington experience compared with her opponents in the election.

In semblance with the dilemma experienced by mainstream representatives against lobbyists’ funded political opponents in any election,

The disproportionate money factor is a major challenge for the determined and dedicated political aspirant, Kathy Hochul.

Unless the tradition is broken with massive voter interjection rejecting such candidacies, it would be extremely difficult for any genuine leadership to emerge at the local and national level.

As stated earlier on numerous occasions, politics run by corporate power and multinational influence is formidable with the political mandate easily swayed through smear campaigns distracting public from electorate-concerned issues.

Reiterating the previous statement in this regard, people have the power to enforce the change necessary beginning with invalidating the money power right from the campaign trail to the Congressional halls and chambers that has successfully undermined democracy rendering the electoral process a mere formality.

Democrat nominee Kathy Hochul is favored to counteract the multi-faceted representation in Congress on various issues and apparently committed to her constituents in NY-26 district including the people across the state and the nation.

The voters in New York 26 Congressional district are requested and urged to pay attention to the prevalent trend with campaign promises made to the people remaining a political rhetoric,

While the pledge to campaign contributors fulfilled in legislation prepared and drafted by none other than the relevant industry and foreign interests.

Please come forward and contribute to Democrat Kathy Hochul campaign for meaningful democratic voice in Congress conspicuously missing among the majority responsible for the status quo.

The democrat Kathy Hochul’s triumph in the red district could make history given the election in the constituency won by republican candidates with the exception of three democrats’ success in the past century.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike have a unique opportunity to elect the democrat Kathy Hochul in promoting the average American cause.

Please extend your generous support with affordable donations to democrat Kathy Hochul’s campaign for a landslide victory on May 24, 2011.

Similarly the state of Wisconsin is set for recall elections in July 2011 with six Republican members failure to address the state problems and,

Instead launched attacks on workers and middle class families – the contemporary political scapegoat for lawmakers sworn allegiance to campaign financiers.

Wisconsin Republican candidates against ordinary citizens are endowed with political cash machine operated by veteran election maneuverers like former political adviser to Bush-Cheney administration, Karl Rove and Koch Brothers in addition to corporate money supply.

Their agenda has been to eliminate middle class and push the lower income families to the lowest economic strata.

Sadly, they have achieved their goals widening the gap between the haves and have-nots.

Republic rule has been systematically replaced with corporate and finance sector dominance buying elections through investment in political campaigns ensuring phenomenal returns on specific industry oriented matter much to the population detriment.

The question is directed to the victims – the people in the state of Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey…and across the nation.

The top 1 percent deriving economic prospects at the remaining population expense having become the norm,

What would it require to energize the voters with real power in restoring the government of the people, for the people and by the people?

Indeed there is greater urgency to reverse the process – only possible through active voter participation to reclaim fair income distribution and equality in many aspects.

Electorates can no longer be complacent to the systemic abuse of democratic system increasingly exploited by various business and political factions focused on self-interest than citizens’ or national interest.

Therefore, the electorates in New York 26th Congressional district could potentially alter the course in a positive direction by casting their vote for democrat Kathy Hochul and,

Likewise electing Progressives against Republican lawmakers recognized for their crusade to protect the wealthiest and disenfranchise the rest is paramount to revive economic and political viability.

Please exercise diligence in the democratic right by electing leadership loyal to voters and not sponsors of the individual political career with vested interests.

Best Wishes and Good Luck to Democrat Kathy Hochul of New York 26th Congressional district, Progressives in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire and other parts of the nation for a glorious electoral outcome.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant
























Tribute to September 11 Victims and Families

September 11, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Nine years after the catastrophic terror attack on American soil, the nation pays tribute to the victims and the families. Since the horrific event, the entire population has been subject to the ordeal in one way or another.

The citizens’ resilience to overcome personal tragedies is seen throughout the decade.

Many still silently suffering from the personal loss are coping with inner and external source of strength.

Life cannot be resurrected but the memories continue to provide the necessary comfort and solace to the survivors. The departed members’ dreams and aspirations sometimes fulfilled by those they leave behind.

The brave rescue workers during 9/11 deserve special remembrance and gratitude for a great number of fire fighters are now dealing with chronic illnesses that is exacerbated with the recent Senate legislation blockade on medical assistance to them.

It’s important to highlight the social setbacks following September 11, 2001.

Although the nation rallied behind the then President George W. Bush, soon after the society had become polarized giving birth to Islamaphobia. The anti-Muslim sentiments emboldened the fragmented terror groups to retaliate against western and other democracies around the world.

As a result, the civilian population with the peaceful Muslim majority among them continue to pay the price and subject to constant denigration including the extreme motives expressed lately.

There are many players responsible for the tensions prevalent within society. As stated earlier certain political factions eager to gain traction in the election year along with religious ethos devoted to divisiveness and selective media partnership enable the persistent discord.

At the same time, there is hope to revive genuine trust, mutual respect and understanding in the secular democracy. Unfortunately, controversies easily win media attention than peaceful activities.

Nonetheless, there is tremendous opportunity for the society to thrive on the individual uniqueness to serve greater good. It’s a matter of choice between harmony and acrimony.

The 9/11 aftermath has been complex and challenging for the people in New York and the international community. Yet the human spirit is not lost and that remains the beauty in the face of reality.

Peace to all New Yorkers and other citizens around the globe in their solemn moment on this day about their loved ones, friends and neighbors they parted with nine years ago.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Lower Manhattan Mosque Controversy

August 19, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Sometime back, the Lower Manhattan residents had approved the community center construction with a religious mosque in New York City.

Subsequently, the city granted permission for the project in accordance with the civil ordinance. The process would have clearly involved a thorough review of the construction site, the local convenience or the lack thereof and the majority consensus in this issue.

Reportedly, after much deliberation and survey the final decision was made favoring the community center project with the mosque, a worship place for the people of Islamic faith.

The community center with recreational facilities is meant for all within and outside the community including a peaceful gathering by the people to pray at the proposed mosque.

Although, it was a widely known public project with an overwhelming support from the people in the neighborhood and around until now, the mosque site is the contentious issue and currently turned into a sensitive debate.

The opposition to the project is based on the location and the proximity i.e. two blocks from Ground Zero suggesting that it adds “insult to injury.”

First and foremost, the 9/11 terror attack is and will always remain an insurmountable human tragedy with an estimated three thousand lives lost in the horrendous crime against humanity.

It also set precedence for a spate of similar attacks around the world.

The 9/11 victims were from New York City and many different parts of the world.

More appropriately the human lives without any distinction were compromised for the perpetrators’ self-fulfilling purpose deserving worldwide condemnation.

No eloquent consolation can replace the loss of precious lives. The pain and suffering still experienced by the victims’ families is natural and one could pray as well as hope for the healing to begin in helping the grieving families recover from the sadness surrounding their life.

Nonetheless, the extraordinary global reaction to the 9/11 victims was pervasive and people from all walks of life especially the followers of peaceful Islam i.e. the significant majority Muslim population across the globe were deeply disappointed and sincerely expressed their sorrow for the inhumane act against innocent civilians.

The outpouring humanitarian aid in the 9/11 aftermath included the good Samaritans of Islamic religion in an outreach to their fellow human beings and rebuilding the vibrant New York City.

That being the fact, the mosque in Islam is equivalent to the Church, Synagogue and Temples… a shrine where people come together seeking solace and peace for them and others.

Islam is not alienated in the worship by pious minds congregating to redeem themselves and those responsible for any harm to other human beings.

Therefore, the mosque is ideal since several worshippers’ prayers would absolve the attackers’ incarcerated negativities bringing the desirable harmony and serenity to the environment with a violent past.

The humanitarian service anticipated in the community center and the mosque would enhance the opportunity for a new beginning through forgiveness and charitable activities.

Such noble deeds will purify the site, inevitably contributing to the 9/11 souls’ eternal peace and the survivors well-being.

Further, the community center has job potential for the Lower Manhattan unemployed citizens adding to the economic benefit.

Perhaps, the 9/11 families’ solidarity and positive perspective could broaden the prospects for a stronger America undeterred against the destructive and divisive forces.

The opponents misinterpret the Mosque site as provocation and demand the permit withdrawal for the project.

Contrary to the claims, rejecting the mosque in Lower Manhattan is a willful surrender to the 9/11 masterminds determined to polarize the nation and mislead the political faction behind the controversy towards their school of thoughts.

The terror organizations have invariably indoctrinated other religions as irrelevant with a reference to the society as ‘infidels,’ and were never inhibited from exploiting religion for personal ideology.

Unfortunately, the leading proponents against the mosque are echoing the sentiments that are detrimental to the secular democratic society founded on solid constitution granting equal rights to all citizens of this great nation.

The evolving situation on the subject is counterproductive if not a major political distraction.

The U.S. Constitution, Islam religion and most importantly the 9/11 victims’ families i.e. the survivors are being used as political tools to propagate ideas that are not representative of the American democratic values.

President Barack Obama’s thoughtful statements in this context have been distorted for political reasons with midterm elections around the corner.

It’s not uncommon for politics to suffer from selective amnesia.

If the political opposition is truly concerned about the 9/11 survivors and their welfare, it’s time to exemplify them beginning with the passage of the –

“H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Rejected by House Vote.” Please refer to the AP article below.

Which, the majority Republican Congress rejected to protect the multinational corporations’ interest against the 9/11 workers and their families.

The devastated 9/11 workers were not surprised considering the Republican members’ record on the ‘Nay’ votes against every Democrat’s bill introduced to improve American lives.

President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress have been consistently denied the majority Republican votes on all issues throughout Obama Presidency.

The mosque project is politicized to deflect public attention from the lack of Republican cooperation on legislations concerning the American electorate.

Republican minority performance predominantly focused on filibuster threats and voting against Democrats’ bills designed to promote average American lives and their future.

So the mosque issue is a convenient political fall back to gain momentum against the Democrat lawmakers dedicated to move the nation forward upon inheriting the bad economy, simultaneous wars with no strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, tumbling financial sector, bankrupt auto industry…to list a few in the profile.

Ironically, the prominent opposition members / 2012 Republican Presidential hopefuls denigrating President Barack Obama and others on the mosque issue fail to recognize the fact,

The 9/11 would not be discussed today, had the previous administration proactively prevented the attacks upon several ominous warnings and memos on 9/11 attack in American soil that were ignored.

Pictures are worth a thousand words and they often reveal the sensitivity or the conspicuous absence.

President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority achievements thus far are phenomenal.

American people are tired of partisan politics and scapegoat tactics nearing election for they prefer to see result oriented actions.

While the Democrats have it, the Republican minority continues to conceal their poor record by using politics to win elections rather than extending bipartisanship to assist the President in all national issues.

Empathy towards 9/11 survivors are best displayed through legislations like the 9/11 health and compensation act, extending unemployment benefits or the economic stimulus bill creating jobs to enable them in providing for their living dependents.

United States is an egalitarian society and a model democracy with constitutional rights to practice religion in any part of the nation.

The status quo is a political and social infringement on the religious right guaranteed to all citizens in the U.S. constitution.

Islam is the religion of peace. The people of Islamic faith as the American citizens share equal rights and privileges regardless of the political view.

The mosque construction in Lower Manhattan will be symbolic of the United States’ religious tolerance and resolve against the terror networks.

Wishing long lasting peace between 9/11 survivors and their American Islamic neighbors in the culturally diverse, tolerant and exuberant New York City.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Source: Associated Press – July 29, 2010 – Thank you.

“H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Rejected by House Vote.”

“A bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust fell short in the House on Thursday, raising the possibility that the bulk of compensation for the ill will come from a legal settlement hammered out in the federal courts.

The bill would have provided free health care and compensation payments to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the trade center ruins.

It failed to win the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159. The vote was largely along party lines, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats supporting the measure.

For weeks, a judge and teams of lawyers have been urging 10,000 former ground zero workers to sign on to a court-supervised settlement that would split $713 million among people who developed respiratory problems and other illnesses after inhaling trade center ash.

GOP critics branded the bill as yet another big-government “massive new entitlement program” that would have increased taxes and possibly kill jobs.

To pay the bill’s estimated $7.4 billion cost over 10 years, the legislation would have prevented foreign multinational corporations incorporated in tax haven countries from avoiding tax on income earned in the U.S.

Bill supporters said that would close a tax loophole. Republicans branded it a corporate tax increase.

John Feal, a ground zero demolition worker who has lobbied extensively for the legislation, expressed disgust.

“They pulled the rug out from beneath our feet,” Feal said. “Whatever member of Congress vote against this bill, whether Republican or Democrat, should go to jail for manslaughter.”

The bill would have provided up to $3.2 billion to cover the medical treatment of people sickened by trade center dust and an additional $4.2 billion for a new fund that would have compensated them for their suffering and lost wages.”

Read more

Gubernatorial and Congressional Race – 2009

November 5, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Congratulations! To the winners in the recent election that has revitalized the Republican Party grabbing the gubernatorial race in Virginia and New Jersey, similarly reassured the Democratic side with the historic win in upstate New York and anticipated victory in California that anything is possible in general.

Since the election outcome, the Republican members’ rhetoric is directed towards the Democrats’ domestic policies particularly the health care reform and the ‘cap and trade’ bill. As usual, some pundits targeted the ruling majority’s agenda and concluded that the electorate’s verdict on Tuesday’s election was the quid pro quo to the Republican minority.

Politics is convenient. Naturally, the wind is not meant to blow in one direction and more so in a democratic environment. The Republican base and members have all the reasons to be jubilant considering the consecutive defeats in 2006 and 2008. However, interpreting the current two- states election results, as national representation is optimistic and often witnessed in the partisan political arena.

Synonymously, California would have enthusiastically bid farewell to the incumbent administration given the disastrous performance by the head of the state and the legislature.

Two common factors were prominent in the electoral results – poor voter turnout and the electorate dissatisfaction.

Like stated earlier in my letter – ‘2010 Elections – Response to President Bill Clinton’ published on this website, October 15, 2009, category – Politics – United States.

“The burden is on the elected officials to honor the pledge made on the campaign trails and not become habitual of post-election betrayal during their term in the office. The conventional political trend that maintains a campaign policy and then adapt to the elected term policy to appease all except the ‘average’ electorate has to change to energize the voter turnout.

Therefore, the voter frustration often leads to abstinence enabling the opposition gain majority by default. It’s typical of every democracy.”

It’s rather interesting to note the exuberance displayed subsequent to the electoral process, claiming that “conservative resurrection,” is a national warning to the ‘liberal’ or ‘far-left’ policies in Washington.

Amid confused celebratory moments, it’s essential for a reality check to enlighten the critics’ minds anchored on the ‘progressive’ movement dedicated to bring about the long overdue ‘change’ in Washington and shift focus on the issues demanding urgent action.

First, the Republican legislators in Washington until date have remarkably protested national progress in every step of the way in line with the conservative ideology to blockade economic opportunity and social equality to the American public regardless of political affiliations.

Sadly, the political ambition overrides the rationale that poverty, hunger, disease, joblessness…the economic woes are non-discriminatory and affects the people at large.

When the Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally vowed to derail legislations purely on partisanship, the political characteristics define the elected officials’ individual goal. The standard pretext to vote against public cause is “Big Government” and “Out-of-control” spending.

At the same time, the fiscal conservatives have absolutely no qualms voting for the disproportionate defense budget producing casualties at an alarming rate, while holding reservations for life saving legislations such as health care and environment.

Although, the noise is deafening in terms of vehement opposition to the economic stimulus, health care debate, environment etc., the conservatives’ crafty maneuvering of the political discourse without a viable and guaranteed solutions to any national issues confronting the country thus far signifies political ingenuity.

Having been responsible for the crises – economic, social and international, one would expect the driver driving the bus into the ditch to apply the necessary skills and save lives instead of planning further sabotage. Unfortunately, it’s an unacceptable strategy for the conservatives on both sides of the aisles determined to grandstand the people in a democracy.

American democracy is viewed as excessively tolerant to inaction in legislative matters that has emboldened the special interest to issue ultimatums through their paid representatives in the Senate and Congress on health care and other public concerns, rendering the government of the people, by the people and for the people a mere political formality.

Another extremely distressing social topic is –

‘The Maine voters’ repealing the Gay rights to ‘Same Sex Marriage.’

Ironically, nationwide the opposing majority classify them as ‘fervently religious’ and yet conveniently disregard the Universal Gospel that ‘All are created equal.’ The antipathy towards the civil and constitutional right seeking legalization of the marriage is regressive for a modern culture that takes enormous pride as an egalitarian society.

Reverting to the electoral success, it’s for the Republican governors in the states of Virginia and New Jersey to be the rainmakers with the political capital at their disposal now. Perhaps, they could share the secret formula or ‘mantra’ with their counterparts in other states like California and Capitol Hill to expedite the economic recovery.

I convey my best wishes to the Governors-elect Robert McDonnell of Virginia and Chris Christie of New Jersey and Congressmen Bill Owens, New York and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi of California in their new challenging roles serving the respective states and constituency.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Home is Where the Heart Is!

December 5, 2008

Please click on OP-Ed on the Home Page for an exciting adventure to the most vibrant city on earth,

none other than New York .

Thank you.


Culinary Delight

November 2, 2008

Throughout my life, I’ve had the opportunity to dine on several different types of cuisines from all around the world.

I’ve dined everywhere from modern Manhattan, to native India, to searing hot Venice, and even Australia!

And although I’ve eaten around the world, I have to say my favorite dishes are served right here in San Jose.

The dish I absolutely relish the most is ‘Sweet and Sour Chicken’ from P.F. Chang’s.

The chicken is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy at first bite.

The vegetables are perfectly sautéed to be crisp, but not burnt.

The most tantalizing aspect of the dish, however, is the sauce.

This succulent sweet and sour sauce is a wondrous journey for your taste buds, harnessing the perfect combination of sweet and sour flavors, with a tangy after-taste that will leave you craving more.

This is, without a doubt, my favorite dish in the entire world.

However, no region is without its culinary delights.

One dish that is etched firmly into my mind is Chicago-style pizza.

Despite most of my favorite foods being served in San Jose, this one is an original, found only in the ‘Windy City’.

More resembling a cake than a pizza, this five inch deep gargantuan entrée will not spare your tongue, or your stomach.

With over four inches of pure cheese, one slice of this dough-based monster would barely fit in my mouth.

The toppings, although present, are more like tiny sailors drowning in a sea of cheese.

Barely visible from the exterior of the pizza, one must take a ‘Herculean’ bite to discover their topping of choice hidden within the flowing interior.

Despite its massive size, this is a dish I highly recommend to any food connoisseur, pizza-lover, or anyone who eats, in general.

Another example of an excellent dish is a Greek entrée known as a ‘Gyro’. Pronounced ‘hee-ROH’, this Grecian wrap is typically served with a delectable yogurt sauce called ‘Tzatziki’.

Resembling a burrito, the dish is a simple combination of strips of beef, spinach leaves, diced tomatoes, and tiny cubes of potatoes;

All of which are wrapped in a slice of pita bread. However, each ingredient has a unique method of preparation, and, when combined, resonates with the appeal and harmony of an orchestra in full swing.

The outermost portion, the pita bread, is lightly toasted in a brick oven, and smothered with butter when warm.

The butter melts flawlessly onto the bread, giving it a soft, pleasing texture on the inside; and a coarse, rough outer texture.

The leaves of spinach are bathed in a seasoned vegetable oil, and then dried in such a way that the leaf can soak up the oil and provide an equal taste with every bite.

The tomatoes are carefully diced and peppered, similar to salsa, but with a Grecian twist.

The most savory aspect, however, is the meat.

Each strip is individually cut and marinated, giving every bite an exquisite taste. When put together, the Gyro becomes a delectable and mouthwatering dish, capable of attracting even the most finicky eaters.

Although I have only described two of my favorite dishes, the world is full of other tantalizing courses just waiting to be discovered. Who knows, I might even be the one to formulate the next one!

Thank you.

Kanish Arhant-Sudhir

Contribution: Author – Kanish Arhant-Sudhir

P.S. Our Mom writes more serious stuff while we write about fun stuff like food and entertainment.

Hope you like it!

Kanish Arhant-Sudhir and Rish Arhant-Sudhir