Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #174 - Tantalean punishment

"Tantalean punishments" comes from the name of Tantalus, a Greek mythological figure.  It is used in reference to those who have good things but are not permitted to enjoy them.  Tantalus was the son of Zeus and the nymph Plouto.  In Greek mythology, Tantalus has been known for cannibalism and filicide apart from other crimes.  His punishment was “was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any.”  And that is where the word ‘tantalize’ - temptation without satisfaction - comes from.

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


The US has been compromised for a long time. From the time when Richard Barlow found out how the Reagan State Department was betraying its own central agencies like Customs to allow Pakistan to steal the Nuke plants (Source) to the funding of 9-11 hijackers by Pakistan’s ISI Chief Lt. Gen Mahmud (Source) to how Russia kept a tab on the last elections to the complete infiltration by the Islamists and Leftist forces.

A battle is afoot in the world with an almost harakiri like suicide mission for complete dominance.

Black activists had real issues with White supremacy, but that entire movement was hijacked and a complete mockery was made of a national tragedy that racism has been.

Everyone knows by whom and how the current COVID-19 disaster unfolded. Yet, no one can speak. Tip-toeing around the real culprits and clues. To stay in power and remain relevant, everyone has thrown the care aside.

Those who betray their land for a power arrangement are usually the first ones to be targeted by the very criminal they helped. It is a common fate of everyone who threw the good of his or her land under the bus.

The Democrats may think the long battle for them ends with the victory, somehow achieved, of their candidate. But in reality, they will be presiding over the very quicksand they put in place.

Divisions were Trump’s forte, they said.

Now, wait for the abyss his adversaries have put in place!


Tantalean punishment?

We have been talking about how despite all the censorship and narrative-building muscle via fake or questionable analysis and opinion-sharing, the private networks that backed Trump have held their own.

Do we understand how deep the dichotomy is between the sources and audience for the consumption of data and information in the United States?

That is why it was imperative and absolutely critical that every allegation of voter fraud was credibly investigated by neutral observers and not by any of these sides - MSM (mainstream media) or the Private networks.  For, they would continue on their own ideological spin to things.  If the Trump supporters’ allegations don't seem to have a whole lot of actual official data sets to prove things conclusively, then even the mainstream media’s “fact-checking” is quite a sham work at best.

This will not improve things.  It will destroy things even more.  If Biden actually wins, then the not-so-above-board ‘fact-checking’ with an arrogant attitude of ‘you are liars because we say so’ when these media houses are one of the parties to the whole debate around lack of media credibility, will completely and foundational destroy every claim to leadership for Biden.

Trump had to deal with the same lack of respect.  But Trump is Trump.  He can work with complete chutzpah and in-your-face argument and go on with his work.  Biden is a protected puppy.  He has been protected and saved by media, anchors, election machinery, and even debate officials.  This was not a test of his endurance at what can happen when the full weight of nay-sayers and cynical adversaries comes down heavily on you.  The Presidency will be.

He will be without any claim to respect from exactly half the population.  For, in absence of neutral observers, they believe that mainstream media and professional electoral criminals stole the election from Trump.  That mainstream media is not even showing an iota of curious skepticism to even enquire with an open mind makes things worse for Trump voters.  Which is half the US population!

If say neutral observers consisting of European, Indian, Japanese election officials had come and investigated the election process and still said that it worked fine, one could have had some faith.  But with people Anderson Cooper saying that the allegations are fake while he calls Trump “obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun”, then you have known that we have one side making pronouncements while they are heavily intoxicated in their ideological juice and a party to the whole mess.

In this whole drama, the ironic thing is that the Biden presidency, if that indeed comes to pass, will have been sabotaged by his own supporters and those who pulled out all the stops to make him win.

They just don’t have the capital of integrity to create claims of being above board after what has become so obvious.

And, this will be the downfall of American democracy.  The tearing of polity through its center, leaving no place for any centrist to exist.  A hotbed of ideologically charged enemies, as opposed to political opponents.

This time, even Obama’s great oratorical skills cannot help ‘soothe’ the situation.  Actions have made words meaningless and absurd!

Democrats could easily have won this after Trump, the way he would sabotage himself. They did not have to sell themselves to the Leftist/Islamist cabal and then forcibly silence whoever wanted to criticize them.

With Trump in office, the Democrats had the Republicans on the mat and the 2020 elections all wrapped up with a bow. And, then they lost their soul, their humanity, and their future.

Now they may have the Oval office and even have the House and a large part of the Senate. But they won’t have the trust of the public. Half of it at least.

Enough to wreck any presidency. Any.

Least of all, one which seems straight out of Robert Mugabe’s handbook!

Tantalean punishment!

who runs the /India subreddit?

Reddit is a major social media platform where conversations and interactions are followed by millions.  The platform gets billions of visits with a very good bounce rate indicating robust engagement by its readers.

Over the past few months, and years, the engagement in India has increased quite a bit.

So, every country has a subreddit on the platform for engagement about the issues and information relating to that country and culture.  India has one as well.  One person did an interesting analysis of who is the real audience and posters in that group.  

Note: it is a rabidly anti-Modi, anti-Government, and anti-Hindu group.

What this guy found out based on the numbers he ran was shocking!

52% of the audience is from the US.  The UK is the second-largest source.  Indian audience from India accounts for only 18%!

If we look at the UK subreddit, on the other hand, the situation is very different.  Brits from the UK are the main audience.

So, the question to ask is who in the US wants to be on the India group.  This is not true of any other social media group.  Who is trying to set the narrative on this platform for India in a certain way?

Even more important question is - why?

no violation, but suspended anyhow

In continuing to target anyone who says anything about Islamic radicalization, Twitter suspended the Twitter account of Ajeet Bharti of Opindia.

Interestingly, the suspension is rather bizarre and exposes the bigoted underbelly of Twitter’s dark world of terror-sympathizing. First Twitter sent a message saying that someone had filed a complaint against Ajeet Bharti’s message but Twitter did not find it as a violation of any Twitter rule. So no action was needed. Then, came another message saying that the message had violated the rules and the account would be suspended.

If you are so bigoted that you have to over-rule even your gamed and loaded algorithms, then you shouldn’t be pretending to be a mass platform.

Different governments around the world need to wake up and check the rise and spread of these social media platforms.

nota bene

War is coming: Amid the ongoing military talks between India and China at Chushul over the disengagement at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, India's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Friday claimed that situation at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh remains tense and the possibility of a war with China cannot be ruled out. Rawat also said that the Chinese army is facing unanticipated consequences for its misadventure into Ladakh because of firm responses by Indian forces. "The situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh remains tense and the People's Liberation Army is facing unanticipated consequences for its misadventure in Ladakh because of the firm and strong responses by Indian forces," Gen Rawat informed. (Source)

WhatsApp payment system: WhatsApp on Friday started its payment services in India after the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) nod. NPCI, which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), had on Thursday allowed WhatsApp to start its payments service in the country in a “graded” manner, starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI, which is used for real-time payments between peers or at merchants’ end while making purchases. “Starting today, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp. This secure payment experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message. People can safely send money to a family member or share the cost of goods from a distance without having to exchange cash in person or going to a local bank,” the Facebook-owned company said in a blogpost. (Source)

Huge haul in 2019: Over 3,000 kg of heroin and 4,400 kg of opium seized by agencies in 2019 seem to add up to an impressive haul. But it might reflect just a fraction of the supply and consumption of the narcotics — around 5-8% of drugs — that are being used in India. The Narcotics Control Bureau data in the recently published Crime in India report is being read by professionals involved in the treatment of drug abuse in conjunction with the findings of the first comprehensive national survey on “Magnitude of Substance Use” carried out between 2017-18 and released in 2019, which said about 2.1% of the country’s population (2.2 crore individuals) uses opioids (Source)

Strong stars: The crust of neutron stars is 10 billion times stronger than steel, according to new simulations. That makes the surface of these ultra-dense stars tough enough to support long-lived bulges that could produce gravitational waves detectable by experiments on Earth. Neutron stars are the cores left behind when relatively massive stars explode in supernovae. They are incredibly dense, packing about as much mass as the sun into a sphere just 20 kilometers or so across, and some rotate hundreds of times per second.  Because of their extreme gravity and rotational speed, neutron stars could potentially make large ripples in the fabric of space – but only if their surfaces contain bumps or other imperfections that would make them asymmetrical. (Source)

Saudis dissolve the Kafala system: In a big move in the interest of workers, Saudi Arabia has abolished the controversial 'Kafala system' which will enable the laborers working in the country to change the contracts and will not be forced to work on low wages. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced this on Wednesday. The new system will come into effect from March 2021. As per the ministry, all those restrictions will be removed due to which migrant workers had to be tied up in a contract with their employer even at low wages. The new labor reform reforms will come into force in March 2021. (Source)

Who are you?

Sometimes we forget how ‘lucky’ we are. It is always great to see something out of the ordinary and creative. That is what this short film is. It goes into the questions of life that we all need to explore sometimes. It has been made by the creators of ‘The Gift’.

"The Gift" is a short film produced by Cecilia Baeriswyl and directed by Julio Pot.

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