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Life/Philosophy

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Sad Sameness Source

  “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s in ability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal “I feel monotony and death to be almost the same.” — Charlotte Bronte Self-discipline and self-mastery can be considered — for all practical purposes — the sole basis of true freedom. True good — compassion and each of its lovely[Read More…]

The Woman Behind Gandhi – Kasturiba

The Woman Behind Gandhi – Kasturiba

  Life of Gandhi and his contribution to human empowerment has been discussed a lot but the sufferings of his wife – Kasturiba – has not been given the same importance. She bore all the burdeeen of the house as a typical traditional housewife and her contribution towards the family and society should not be under- estimated. On the 74[Read More…]

Understanding The Right Wingers

Understanding The Right Wingers

  ” Except in the desserts, at every place of human habitation, there is the left, the centre and the right. This will continue to be 10,000 years hence” Mao (22-4- 68) Last few years, the right wing atrocities have increased all over the world in general and India in particular. Many people belonging to subaltern communities suffered due to[Read More…]

Urdu, What Did I Do?

Urdu, What Did I Do?

A language, any language, is not simply sounds and script characters which represent thoughts. A language is the soul of the people. It is the vehicle which connects their past to their present, their present to their dreams. It is the means by which one generation leaves its legacy for the next. In my view the single most significant event[Read More…]

Scenario of Poor Elderly in Rural India

Scenario of Poor Elderly in Rural India

According to the World Bank Report(1994), poor elderly population of India usually faces the problems of earning from assets in old age, because of poor credit and insurance markets and also absence of  traditionally  extra familial welfare institutions. Traditionally, their offspring bears the burden of caring for the elderly parents. The family maintains basic safety and security of its members[Read More…]

Photo Credit: Dsource.in

Himroo: A Dying Art

  A dignified aura of its rich past cloaks every corner of Aurangabad, a bustling city in Maharashtra. The crowning minarets that dot the city landscape and the villages around it, dissolve into the mist of history as the lavender of the evening glow envelopes the monuments from which writers extract magical romances for their books. Legends abound of the[Read More…]

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 8: Struggle And Creation

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 8: Struggle And Creation

Before 28th September 1991, very few people outside Chhattisgarh or Madhya Pradesh knew the name of Shankar GuhaNiyogi.  On this day, along with Niyogi’s name, people also learned the phrase, “sangharsh aur nirman”, i.e. “struggle and creation”. What is ‘struggle and creation’? In the context of a fight for rights, struggle is easy to understand – it’s striving. What about[Read More…]

What Can Be Done About Ever Increasing Human Overpopulation?

What Can Be Done About Ever Increasing Human Overpopulation?

Picture two parents (couple A) living in a cave eons ago. They don’t have much of a sexual drive and so they only have two children. One of the two gets eaten by a tiger and the other drowns in a river flood. Couple B has a strong sexual drive. So they wind up having ten children. Two die from[Read More…]

Lessons From Ed Herman’s Lifelong War Against Lies

Lessons From Ed Herman’s Lifelong War Against Lies

  The story goes that Einstein’s theory of relativity began with a simple question: What if a person could sit on a beam of light? A single inquiry led to an entire field of study, and perhaps the world’s most famous scientific breakthrough. The late Ed Herman’s questions were less playful. They were about war and death, lies and power[Read More…]

Listening To The Unheard Voices Of India

Listening To The Unheard Voices Of India

(CNS): It is a common practice to interview celebrities and share their success stories. But the real grass roots heroines and heroes rarely get heard. So, for a change, let us listen to what our 13 year old Raveena has to say on girls’ education. It is high time our policy makers paid heed to the experiential knowledge of people[Read More…]

 And the Angels Will Sing….

 And the Angels Will Sing….

  “Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’ hierarchies?” — Rainer Maria Rilke The first time I was in Savannah, Georgia — which was around the time Ruby Bridges was having difficulties in New Orleans — my parents drove along the streets that James Oglethorpe laid out in squares when he founded the colony of Georgia[Read More…]

Black Panther vs. Black Panthers

Black Panther vs. Black Panthers

  “A few of the major textbooks don’t even mention the Black Panthers, while most give the organization only a sentence or two. Even the small number that do devote a few paragraphs to the party, give little context for their actions and distort their ideology. “ — Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian of the Zinn Education Project Black Panther, its[Read More…]

 The Gang and  Homeless College: Miracle in the Works

 The Gang and  Homeless College: Miracle in the Works

Dedicated to my new community… with the intention of providing a model for many communities across the globe. One way I can contribute to reducing gang violence, securing shelter for the homeless and/or helping local citizens to provide better for themselves is to open a Free Gang and Homeless College that would include tutoring and other socially-conscious services gratis. I could secure[Read More…]

Providing Protection

Providing Protection

My daughter is a guidance counselor, a position like being a school psychologist. She, all by herself, handles a school with 350 children in her role. It is a lot of heavy work with such a huge load of children to which to attend. So you streamline and teach classes to groups and only attend to the individuals worst in[Read More…]

Infantilization And Degeneration of the Politics in the Recent Times

Infantilization And Degeneration of the Politics in the Recent Times

  Across the world, many democracies are in crisis and the civilization is crumbling. The crisis erupts because there is an impoverishment of political life where intolerance, greed, ignorance and rageare growing recklessly. The vibrancy of the democracies is diminishing as the public sphere of informed democratic dialogue is shrinking. Blatant lies, infantile emotionalism, absolute disrespect, open display of religious[Read More…]

Human Nature And Human Destiny

Human Nature And Human Destiny

When he was between the ages of 11 and 16, Paul Gauguin attended a Catholic boarding school in France. At the school, the Bishop of Orléalns himself taught the class in liturgy. The bishop had devised a catechism in which three main questions were asked: “Where does humanity come from? Where is it going? How do we proceed?” It is[Read More…]

Aruna and Bunker Roy.

The Marquee Harbingers Of India’s Development Spring

Historians will tell you that an explosion of creativity occurs the moment the world starts complaining that there is nothing left to invent or that the search for solutions to complex problems has come to an end. This explosion is fate’s way of reminding us that there is always something just over the horizon of knowledge. Social entrepreneurs are now[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 7:  Bhilai Workers Movement

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 7:  Bhilai Workers Movement

Asim Das, Indradeb Choudhury, Kishori Choudhury, Kumar Verma, K. N. Pradip Kutty, Keshav Prasad Gupta, Joga Jadav, Dhirpal Sinha, Puranik Pal, Prem Narayan, Madhukar Choudhury, Manoharan Verma, Ramkripal Misra, Ramajna Chauhan, Lashman Verma, Hiru Ram   “The butchers that murdered you will be judged in the tribunal of today. We will not let the killers be the arbiters of justice[Read More…]

Representation Image/ Photo by Derek Mindler

 How Falling Down Can Lead to Waking Up: Learning from Loss and Pain

  Sonoma County, California: The organic Kokopelli Farm has been my home, as well as my main work, identity, and love, for the last two-dozen years. Then I fell into a badger hole in the ground, covered by grass, on Jan. 15 this year. I crawled painfully uphill back into the house, as if I were a baby. This unwelcome[Read More…]

More About Dealing With Trauma

More About Dealing With Trauma

Last night, my last dream had me sitting all of a sudden bolt upright in bed. It was of an event that happened recently (this week) in New England, USA concerning a parent murdering his child and committing suicide. Derry, NH, father killed himself and 6-year-old son by carbon monoxide poisoning It is happening all of the time, too, since[Read More…]

Dostoevsky Does Dissidents: Treason Of The Soul

Dostoevsky Does Dissidents: Treason Of The Soul

“Activists would benefit immeasurably by reading Dostoevsky.”  — Howard Zinn While U.S. citizens — “Americans” — were engaging in the unnecessary bloody Civil War and its horrific aftermath, Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was producing three of his greatest novels and two  of his best novellas more than half a world away. Life didn’t meet Dostoevsky half way, though. During the period[Read More…]

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS ) Is A Phenomenon That Is Worldwide And Heart-Breaking

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS ) Is A Phenomenon That Is Worldwide And Heart-Breaking

“ We do not put new-born babies to sleep on their tummies,” said the lady in the day care centre we had visited in the US. “We rule out the possibility of obstruction of the upper airways and suffocation due to a roll up of the sheet in the crib. Plus today it’s a mandatory rule enforced by the government.”[Read More…]

Transhumanism, A Final Corporate Takeover of Humanity

Transhumanism, A Final Corporate Takeover of Humanity

Transhumanism is knocking at the door. Dubbed as Humanity+ or H+, the idea to radically revolutionize humanity has emerged in the last decades as a global intellectual movement. With a slogan of melding humans with the machine, it aims to radically alter human nature by means of technological advancement. Proponents of transhumanism envision a human that goes beyond its current[Read More…]

Handling Trauma

Handling Trauma

  The older that you become — the more trauma that you will have experienced in life. It’s a given fact of life. Trauma can start very young. It did for the thousands of orphans, little children whose parents and other relatives were killed in wars. The loved ones died without being combatants, but were collateral damage as civilians. It[Read More…]

How Herman Can Help With Horizons

How Herman Can Help With Horizons

“Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches I’ll recruit my army from the orphanages” — from Bob Dylan’s Thunder on the Mountain “All trustworthy souls are orphans.” — Herman Melville “The whole purpose of life is to learn, teach and love,” Douglas Schifter wrote in his final Facebook post. In addition to driving for four decades, he[Read More…]

Nothing’s Changed For Me

Nothing’s Changed For Me

Standing on the gallows with my head in a noose.  Any minute now I’m expecting all hell to break loose. Troy was in trouble in 2011. Innocent, but on Death Row… so we circulated a petition. Lots of heartbeats spent, but it was worth all the time and energy and money that went into gathering those signatures. For we got[Read More…]

 Without Shakespeare In The Social Sphere….

 Without Shakespeare In The Social Sphere….

“We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.” — Oliver Sacks According to Talk Talk Mobile (London), the percentage of Britons aged 18 to 25 who find it easier to express themselves in emoji than in words is 72. Let’s say that they’re off by[Read More…]

If Teachers Taught The Truth….

If Teachers Taught The Truth….

The haunting works made by the painter Ahmed Alsoudani are born out of extreme states of violence. The artist grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, during the Iran-Iraq War and the First Gulf War, but he was forced to leave the country as a teenager after vandalizing a mural depicting Saddam Hussein. His paintings, drawings and prints are laden with elements[Read More…]

Getting Above Racial And Religious Profiling

Getting Above Racial And Religious Profiling

  I have a friend in India. His father never made much money, although he was an MD, who worked around ten hours a day for five or six days a week in his profession. Now, why is that? Why paltry wages? Often the people, who came to him, were financially poor. They could not pay for his medical services,[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 6: Worker-Artist Faguram Yadav

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 6: Worker-Artist Faguram Yadav

On May 6th, 2015 Faguram Yadav, my one time fellow-warrior, breathed his last. The history of the labour movement in modern India cannot be told without the story of Chhattisgarh Mines ShramikSangh, its main organizer Shankar GuhaNiyogi, and the tales of struggle, sacrifice and victory of the brave iron mine workers of Dalli-Rajhara. An account of the movement for the[Read More…]

Other Animals And Humans Aren’t So Different!

Other Animals And Humans Aren’t So Different!

My cat likes to watch some YouTube videos. So we spend around a half hour a day watching them together. Here are two of her favorites. (They are somewhat boring to me.) CAT GAMES – SUPER STRING THING (FOR CATS ONLY) – YouTube ▶ 3:41 Jun 10, 2017 – Uploaded by Gaming Palooza Empire Gaming Palooza Empire. … Thanks for supporting[Read More…]

The Second Watershed Dishonorably Denied

The Second Watershed Dishonorably Denied

People are crazy and times are strange I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range I used to care, but things have changed  — from Bob Dylan’s Things Have Changed The year 1966 brought an unwelcome hiatus from Bob Dylan’s ceaseless productivity; he was in a terrible motorcycle accident, and took some time off to recover. To fill the void, Columbia Records[Read More…]

Activist Being Through A Glass Darkly

Activist Being Through A Glass Darkly

“Dawkins… seems to suffer from a ‘god in the sky’ childhood Bible indoctrination. “ — excerpt from a colleague referring to Richard Dawkins “From the oscillating universe beating like a gigantic heart to the puzzling existence of antimatter, order — in a human sense — is at least partially an illusion. Ours — in reality — is the order of a time, and[Read More…]

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Pain, Love And Hope

Pain, Love And Hope

  I was sad to read that Binu, editor at Countercurrents, has been recently suffering. I, actually, have genuinely loved Binu and his family for more than ten years while following their personal and professional affairs. So I was sad to read his words: “I was walking through a desolation row for the last few days. I felt burnt out,[Read More…]

Vastu, Ecology, Stories & Folk-Expressions – A Story of the Great Loot

Vastu, Ecology, Stories & Folk-Expressions – A Story of the Great Loot

This is a real story. An ancient continuum – like a play that’s been unfolding itself since times beyond recorded or remembered history. Before getting familiar with the main characters of this play, let us know of the great teller – the folk. Roughly sixty thousand years ago[i], the folk, who are the people of the world, moved out of[Read More…]

Try Learning Not to Ride a Bicycle So We Can Save the World

Try Learning Not to Ride a Bicycle So We Can Save the World

  “Who would study and describe the living, starts /By driving the spirits out of the parts: /In the palm of his hand he holds all the sections, /Lacks nothing, except the spirit’s connections.” Mephistopheles warning to the student in Goethe’s Faust   “And how far would you like to go in?” he asked and the three kings all looked[Read More…]

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“A Critical Insider In Expat Journalism: VM Sathish Remembered”  

“A Critical Insider In Expat Journalism: VM Sathish Remembered”  

The unexpected demise of V.M. Sathish—a veteran Expat-journalist who spent a quarter century of reporting in the GCC countries—has left a deep vacuum in the domain of ‘human interest’ writings in the world of media. Sathish has a reputed track-record in Expat-journalism.  Beginning with the Indian Express  Group of newspapers in Mumbai, he held many positions over the next  two[Read More…]

Hit And Run

Hit And Run

“…truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long….” — Act II, Scene ii, The Merchant of Venice Police chases are a top cause of auto accidents, but at least law enforcement officials don’t leave the scene of horror on the road. That’s not to excuse cops for what I personally consider — most of the time — totally[Read More…]

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“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 5: The Sharab Bandi Movement

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 5: The Sharab Bandi Movement

The large majority of the contract workers of Dalli-Rajhara were adivasi or tribal people. For adivasis, consuming alcohol is part of their cultural tradition. They collect mahua flowers from the forest and brew their own liquor at home. Alcohol is an inseparable part of any family event or social celebration. Men and women, young and old, drink together at festivals[Read More…]

Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck

Of Rats & Men

John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men midway through the 1930s, the most creative decade of his career. During that time he was becoming increasingly concerned, it seems, about social and economic problems in California, what Upton Sinclair was focusing on in his End Poverty in California movement. In fact, he published three successive novels about farm workers during that[Read More…]

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The Four Most Important Things To Avoid In Activism

The Four Most Important Things To Avoid In Activism

  Recently, an article of mine was posted which received a record number of responses (for my pieces). I’m using that work as a point of departure here for providing another submission which I hope will generate as much interaction, feedback. If you glance at the short previous work first (link above), the ten points below might resonate better than[Read More…]

 Learning Limits

 Learning Limits

One of my friends sent me this email. Let’s call him P.: Probably most of you have seen seemingly outlandish allegations about powerful Washington figures involved in pedophilia. They seem so outrageous that there is a tendency to reject them out of hand. However, there are a couple of corroborating facts. First there is Epstein’s island in the Caribbean and[Read More…]

 Commonsense College

 Commonsense College

“Who trusted God was love indeed And love Creation’s final law Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw With ravine, shriek’d against his creed”  — Tennyson Most college professors of literature — most readers of Flaubert across the board — will tell you that the characters in Madame Bovary are bourgeois. But one thing that should be called attention to[Read More…]

 The Four Most Important Activist Qualities

 The Four Most Important Activist Qualities

  A week after the U.S. 9/11 I was in France conducting an art workshop for painters from various parts of the globe, and I was thinking about the Chilean 9/11. I suggested a little quiz — ten definitions of an activist, and from those ten those engaged in plein aire painting had to choose four definitions that would combine[Read More…]

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Lovely Leitmotif For Collective Optimism

Lovely Leitmotif For Collective Optimism

  “Against Nature’s silence I use action In the vast indifference I invent a meaning I don’t watch unmoved I intervene and say that this and this are wrong and I work to alter them and improve them The important thing is to pull yourself up by your own hair to turn yourself inside out and see the whole world[Read More…]

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Dreams, Stories And Facts

Dreams, Stories And Facts

  Last night I dreamt of an organic farm collective related to cows . On the collective’s milk containers were the words: “By rule and law, this milk is not to be used to kill, trap or poach.” In response, I thought in the dream that it was admirable, but foolish to make such a claim or legal demand. For[Read More…]

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 4: The Women’s Movement Of Chhattisgarh

 “Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 4: The Women’s Movement Of Chhattisgarh

Of the eleven martyrs of the agitation on June 2-3, 1977, one was a woman – Anasuya Bai. The Chhattisgarh Mines ShramikSangh (CMSS), the first union under the red-green banner, set up seventeen departments in order to bring the entirety of a mine worker’s life under its umbrella. One of these was the women’s department that later took the form[Read More…]

 The Importance of the Uncertainty Principle

 The Importance of the Uncertainty Principle

Special note: The author is not addressing Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle here. “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination – What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth….” — John Keats Activists — in part, because their prose has become mostly soooooo boring and repetitive and ineffectual — need to[Read More…]

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What Rhymes With “Educate! Organize! Activate!”?

What Rhymes With “Educate! Organize! Activate!”?

  “Howard Zinn once wrote a book titled, You Can’t Stay Neutral on a Moving Train, and that’s especially true when you’re headed for a precipice. Right now, activists need to be bonded with the owner of the train or be the engineer.” — Richard Martin Oxman The answer to the title of this article shouldn’t be attempted with a[Read More…]

Photo by flickrPrince

Life Lessons From Tea

I started working in India in the Anamallai Hills, part of the Western Ghats as they tapered down all the way into the tip of the subcontinent. Before that I had worked for five years in bauxite mining in Guyana, South America and lived on the bank of Rio Berbice, in the middle of the Amazonian rain forest. But that[Read More…]

5 Ways Capitalist Logic Has Sabotaged The Scientific Community

5 Ways Capitalist Logic Has Sabotaged The Scientific Community

Academics should be collaborating, not competing for pseudoscientific rankings. At a time when federal employees are prohibited from uttering the phrase “climate change,” the right routinely attempts to undermine universities’ legitimacy, and tuitions have skyrocketed alongside student debt, it seems perverse that academics would further endanger their mission to educate and enlighten. Yet by embracing a malignant form of pseudoscience,[Read More…]

 To Stop Wasting Heartbeats

 To Stop Wasting Heartbeats

“At present, virtually all schools are preparing students for a future which will be unrecognizable, not acknowledging the social or environmental ‘deadlines’ that will dominate their lives.” — One of the author’s home schooled teens Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds, about 3000 children every day. Over one million people die from malaria each year, mostly children under five years of[Read More…]

Too Much Food, Too Many People On A Finite Planet

Too Much Food, Too Many People On A Finite Planet

  Perhaps Pogo is correct after all: We have found the enemy and we are it. Pogo understands what is real. In taking account of what is real, human, environmental and planetary health could be increasingly at risk because humankind denies scientific knowledge regarding the root cause of human population growth. Earth is finite; its ecology is frangible. Natural resources[Read More…]

Can We Give The World And Future Generations A Break?

Can We Give The World And Future Generations A Break?

In the end, we, all of us, have to ask ourselves whether we wish to have more of everything (manufactured goods, vacation homes, holidays in far away locations and so on) in the short term or do we want to stretch out our use of resources to give the Earth a break to heal and to try to help ensure[Read More…]

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Real Resistance Has Consequences

Real Resistance Has Consequences

“The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in.” — Arundhati Roy What Arundhati Roy says about NGOs worldwide applies to community-centered radio stations throughout the U.S. In short, those “alternative” media outlets diffuse dissent, calm citizens into accepting a “fighting the good fight” in a form that’s[Read More…]

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High Bred For Goodness

High Bred For Goodness

I had a dog once, Olivia. She came out of championship ancestors in Brazil. Her ultimate ancestry came out of Newfoundlands and she was gorgeous looking and acting, a lab. Her genetically connected ancestors would swim like hell with all of their muster and all that they could expend out to a cruise, merchant ship, wrecks and drag people out[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 3: The Anti-Mechanisation Campaign In Dalli-Rajhara

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 3: The Anti-Mechanisation Campaign In Dalli-Rajhara

The anti-mechanisation campaign in Dalli-Rajhar The anti-mechanisation movement in the iron mines was one of the distinctive campaigns for which Dalli-Rajhara became known as the nerve centre of the workers’ struggle. I was there during the intense last phase of this movement. At the time these events occurred, Chhattisgarh was a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It was[Read More…]

Successful Anti-Bullying Measures!

Successful Anti-Bullying Measures!

I felt impelled to write the following essay after reading this evaluation: The ‘ Ogre ‘ Of Violence – Rooted In Childhood  by Sheshu Babu … In the USA, we have guidance counselors in schools to help stop violence. One of my relatives, a guidance counselor, runs groups for bullies and for victims of violence. Other means than group sessions[Read More…]

Development Landscape Needs A Fresh Lens

Development Landscape Needs A Fresh Lens

One of the most dispiriting features of modern development discourse is the strong influence of elitism. One of the pitfalls of elitism is that it places a disproportionate value on the style rather than the content of the approach. There are authors and writers on rural development who arrogate to themselves the right to hand out certificates for best practices.[Read More…]

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Participation Is Good Citizenship: The Pledge – Kicking Off 2018

Participation Is Good Citizenship: The Pledge – Kicking Off 2018

Most of us have been brought up to believe that we’d be damn fools to think any differently from the way everybody else thinks. We are brought up to conform and not call attention to ourselves or our views. Independent thinking is considered neither good for our own welfare, nor for anybody else. We are consciously taught that our course[Read More…]

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Smartphone, Smartness And Stupidity

Smartphone, Smartness And Stupidity

A new research by scientists at the San Diego State University finds, to put it briefly, a correlation between over-use of Smartphone and teens’ increased unhappiness. All major news providers have prominently presented the news of the study. Overall finding of the study annoys all parents, guardians and responsible citizens. It’s not the only study that finds such annoying facts[Read More…]

Immanuel Kunt’s Vision Of Life Beyond Guns And God

Immanuel Kunt’s Vision Of Life Beyond Guns And God

(A tributeto a great idea; ‘The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases’@ University of Baltimore) Immanuel Kunt…living in Ballarat, a provincial Australian city with a population of 100,000 plus…felt inspired when readingabout the activities of a new organisation of concerned world-wide citizens called The Coalition Against U.S. Military Bases.From the hidden cryptographic depths of his mind, a valued item of[Read More…]

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Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart

Watch Your Language, Honor The Heart

  “Foul, coarse language is a first cousin to apocalyptic talk, and nihilism aligns easily — finds a home  –with writers who have a limited and hard-edged vocabulary. Where is delicacy today?” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges I basically like Street’s writing very much, although I’ve always had some reservations about his work and his activism.[Read More…]

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Much Too Far Away From The Spirit Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux

Much Too Far Away From The Spirit Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux

  “She was the greatest healer of modern times.” — The Venerable Pope Pius XII “She was the greatest saint of modern times.” — Pope Saint Pius X “The Little Flower demonstrated the power of love.” — Flannery O’Connor Why can’t U.S. third parties fly? How do they manage to not take off during these times? With more than two million visitors a[Read More…]

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Livin’ The Screen Life: #productsmakemehappy

Livin’ The Screen Life: #productsmakemehappy

  Important official legal disclaimer: This is a short work of fiction. Any resemblances to real people, people you may know, people you think you may know, etc., is entirely deliberate. When I’m at work I’m staring at a screen. When I’m not at work I’m staring at screens. Checking social media. Scrolling through updates. Scrolling through friends. Scrolling through[Read More…]

A Genuine Actor: Francesco Serpico

A Genuine Actor: Francesco Serpico

“There are unconscious actors among them and involuntary actors; the genuine are always rare, especially genuine actors.” – Friedrick Nietzche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra “Any artist [person] who goes in for being famous in our society must know that it is not he who will become famous, but someone else under his name, someone who will eventually escape him and perhaps[Read More…]

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Grand Silence About Things That Matter

Grand Silence About Things That Matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. I trust that the thrust of this article will resonate with the readers of the Asian-based alternative media outlet which I write exclusively for these days. Building “a strong and robust public school system” along the lines delineated in Satvinderpal Kaur’s recent[Read More…]

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The Exsanguination of Medical Ethics

The Exsanguination of Medical Ethics

For thousands of years physicians took oaths to always act in the patient’s best interest when providing care. At the heart of medical ethics, this moral code was passed down through the centuries and reaffirmed by The World Medical Association (WMA) in 1949 and again in 2006.   Additionally they specified:”A physician shall not allow his/her judgment to be influenced by[Read More…]

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Photo by Kelly Sue

Why Fear And Self-Hatred Destroy Human Sharing And Solidarity

As our world spirals deeper into an abyss from which it is becoming increasingly difficult to extricate ourselves, some very prominent activists have lamented the lack of human solidarity in the face of the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya. See ‘The Rohingya tragedy shows human solidarity is a lie’ and ‘Wrongs of rights activism around Rohingyas’. While I share the[Read More…]

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Humans And Evolution

Humans And Evolution

The Theory of Evolution appears to suggest that, unlike many lower order species, humans are actually less evolved for failing to  carry forward its learning through its genes. May be there is something more to life than what evolutionary biologists and other scientists have been feeding us.  The text book responses are neither appear logical nor consistent with evolution theory.[Read More…]

Constructions of the Shaheed Hospital

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” – Chapter 2: The Story of Shaheed Hospital

Six prosperous doctors of different generations in my family inspired me to be a doctor. After I entered Medical College, the Medical College Democratic Students’ Association taught me to dream anew of being a very different kind of doctor…a doctor like Dr. Norman Bethune, like Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis. But where would I go? There was no anti-Franco resistance in Spain[Read More…]

Mumbai: Ambedkar Students Association members protest outside the Bombay High Court to condemn the murder of Ryan International School student Pradyumna, in Mumbai on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade  (PTI9_13_2017_000142B)

The ‘ Ogre ‘ Of Violence – Rooted In Childhood

  From ancient times, violence in society has been an integral part. There were killings and brutal murders. But, now-a-days, we are witnessing extreme form of ‘sadistic’ and gruesome violence that is chilling and heart- wrenching to say the least. For instance, Haryana singer Mamta Sharma found dead with throat slit ( published 18 -1- 2018 hindustantimes.com). In another incident,[Read More…]

Warning: Hang Out With The Kind People. Avoid the Monsters!

Warning: Hang Out With The Kind People. Avoid the Monsters!

I heard a very touching account yesterday. It involved a house for which a whole home burned practically to the ground in a town near mine. So a local Go-Fund site was set up to help the family living there. Then $60,000 USD was raised for the family to restart their lives. Anyone who thinks that this money for a[Read More…]

MLK’s Political Evolution Through The 1960s

MLK’s Political Evolution Through The 1960s

Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we just have to give up and let violence take its course.  The nation won’t listen to our voice – maybe it’ll heed the voice of violence. – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1) In “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Cold War”, Thomas Noer describes[Read More…]

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Proud And Dismayed

Proud And Dismayed

I used to be proud of my town. It spend close to $280,000 in legal fees (derived largely from my and others’ tax fees) to stop a propane facility directly above the aquifer water source that serves my part of town. The lawsuit for this happening went from state level wherein protection of community, our water supply, our neighborhoods, our[Read More…]

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Ten Times a Day or We Don’t Have a Prayer

Ten Times a Day or We Don’t Have a Prayer

  “Our faith in technology consumes resources and begets complacency. “ — from Jennifer L. Lieberman’s “Why Technology Will Not Solve Our Criminal Justice Problems” To lay oneself out in respect or obedience does not require that one believe in a Supreme Being of any particular kind, does not demand that one assert anything except acknowledgement of there being inscrutable[Read More…]

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Deconstructing The “Education – Industry Interface”

Deconstructing The “Education – Industry Interface”

With the instrumental value of education acquiring center-stage in today’s world, it is being increasingly and more and more vociferously argued that forging and fostering strong education-industry linkages is the need of the hour. Two reports that I read in the Indian Express (http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/digitisation-partnership-of-ideas-4951582/) and (http://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/bharti-airtel-foundation-artificial-intelligence-4952074/), encouraged me to articulate my thoughts on this growing trend, which is generally portrayed[Read More…]

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” : Chapter 1- Niyogi And His Mission

“Struggle And Create: My Days With Com. Shankar Guha Niyogi” : Chapter 1- Niyogi And His Mission

CHAPTER ONE  – NIYOGI AND HIS MISSION[1] I used to say, somewhat in amusement and somewhat grievingly, “I belong to the B-team of Niyogi”. The A-team consisted of Binayak da (Dr Binayak Sen)  and Ashish da (Dr Ashish Kumar Kundu). Saibal da (Dr Saibal Jana), Chanchala di ( Dr Chanchala Samajdar) and I used to manage the affairs of the[Read More…]

Above, two characters of the Earthsea world: Ged and Vetch (Ged is the one with the scars on his face). Behind Ged, the Shadow. A wonderful image by Paul Duffield.

Epistemology of Earthsea: Is The Universe A Machine?

I propose here a modified version of a post that I published last year on “Chimeras“.  I argue here that all our troubles are epistemological in nature: we don’t know how to find the truth. In the Earthsea series, Ursula Le Guin gave us some hints – although no solution – about this dilemma.  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable[Read More…]

The Departure Of Anand Prakash, An Extra-Ordinary Crusader Who Stood Up For Justice

The Departure Of Anand Prakash, An Extra-Ordinary Crusader Who Stood Up For Justice

The news of the demise of the unassuming, down-to-earth Anand Prakash, who led the struggle for justice for Ruchika Girhotra tirelessly for 26 long years once again brought to my mind the words of a young woman relating the story of her fight for justice to me – “Power and pelf hold sway and ordinary folk like me stand no[Read More…]

 Being Too Principled….

 Being Too Principled….

  “You can indulge your righteous rage, but the things it comes out of are pretty cheap. The trick is to make yourself an instrument of your own policy. Whether you like it or not, that’s the highest effectiveness man has achieved.” — Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead Principles invite us to do something about the morass of[Read More…]

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 Considering Absolute Numbers

 Considering Absolute Numbers

  On October 12, 1961 Eugene Jacques Bullard, the first African-American fighter pilot died. I went to his funeral in the French War Veterans section of the Flushing Cemetery in Queens, New York because I had only been a few feet away from him In Peekskill, New York in 1949 (as a six-year-old) when a racist, “patriotic” crowd almost beat[Read More…]

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It’s What They Do

It’s What They Do

  The percentage of moisturizers sold in the United States as “fragrance free” that contain a fragrance is 45. Of moisturizers sold as “hypoallergenic” that contain a common allergen it’s 83. But the misrepresentation of a lotion or cream used to prevent dryness in the skin, though wrong and deserving of consequences, is nothing when it comes to disingenuous organic[Read More…]

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 Smashing The Box To Bits Nonviolently

 Smashing The Box To Bits Nonviolently

An act of creation is only half the story: the other half is the community into which that creation lands. The realm of blending is all-important. Novelty is insufficient — what’s also required is resonance with one’s society. That should be obvious, but it’s not. For instance, the “creativity” involved in the Occupy hey day in New York sparked a[Read More…]

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Does It Come Down To People Vs the Natural World?

Does It Come Down To People Vs the Natural World?

Letter to a friend: My region of the USA is starting to collapse in some places due to too many people using up too many resources. Eventually the overall economy will collapse since we will run out of fossil fuels and certain other critical resources. … My local water is garbage (fecal material, other potentially poisonous materials, and road chemicals[Read More…]

Aaron Swartz: A Man Who “Rocked The Boat”

Aaron Swartz: A Man Who “Rocked The Boat”

 I knew Aaron Swartz. Aaron was an internet leader and free-speech advocate who helped organize the worldwide movement to keep the internet free from censorship and corporate control. Now more than ever, we should listen to his story and what he fought for. Aaron committed suicide at the young age of 26 after downloading JSTOR articles without JSTOR’s permission. He[Read More…]

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Stephen Hawking – Struggle Against Disability And Superstition

Stephen Hawking – Struggle Against Disability And Superstition

  ‘I have noticed that even people who claim that everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, lok before they cross the road ‘ From Black Holes and Baby Universes and other Essays ‘If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault , but it is no good to blame the world or expecting[Read More…]

 If Anything….

 If Anything….

  “Why do men then now not reck his rod?” — a line from God’s Grandeur “Progressives, generally, are not at home with controversial religious issues, in part because they cannot deal with phenomena which they’ve only encountered in the telegraphic sound bites offered by political debate. It is characteristic of the narrow logic of left-of-center citizens that when they[Read More…]

How The First Lady Of Islam Set An Example For The Generations To Come

How The First Lady Of Islam Set An Example For The Generations To Come

The public perception of Muslim women is one of stubborn stereotypes: supposedly powerless and oppressed, behind walls and veils, demure, voiceless and silent figures, discriminated and bereft of even basic rights. Contrary to this general belief, Muslim women have held the flag of enlightenment throughout history. The early Muslim community recognised and honoured a wide spectrum of female roles and[Read More…]

Here’s Hoping You Do The Same On Some Level In Your Community

Here’s Hoping You Do The Same On Some Level In Your Community

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” — Jorge Luis Borges “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx “So many books, so little time.” — Frank Zappa Lest you think — looking at the quotes above —[Read More…]

Photo Credit: http://deathcafe.com

What Happens At A Death Café?

  Sonoma County, Northern California: Putting the words “death” and “café” together may seem unusual. In the United States, many of us ignore our own pending, inevitable mortality. Many Americans do not accept that they will surely die, much less talk openly about it with others, especially strangers. On the other hand going to one’s favorite café is something that[Read More…]

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Photo by ahisgett

 Expose Our Guernicas

“I know I am going to have terrible problems with this painting, but I am determined to do it….” Picasso to Dora Maar in anticipation of creating his now world famous mural-sized oil painting, one of the most moving anti-war artworks in history… not well-received initially, and not appreciated in many quarters for a very long time. In 1962 John[Read More…]

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The Condition

The Condition

Love, let us never forget that there are people in this troubled world, men especially, who are very different from you and I—who think abstractly and pride themselves on the suppression of emotion and the will with which they hold clearly, if ever so grimly, to their goals—men of unwavering principle, if not obsessive and infernal ideologies. Strong men, men[Read More…]

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 It Involves More

 It Involves More

  “…creation can only be understood as a gift….” — Pope Francis underscoring that faith tells us that the earth is not a possession to be used and destroyed… very much in the spirit of indigenous beliefs Pope Francis sees the cause of the collective crises in what he calls a “technocratic” mentality, one that considers “the rise of a[Read More…]

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How Does One Process That?

How Does One Process That?

  The decision to try the leading Nazis at Nuremberg meant developing a system of due process, providing them with defense attorneys and, it has often been forgotten, with access to spiritual counsel. To Heinrich “Henry” Gerecke, an American Lutheran from the Midwest, fell the strange and theologically complex duty of providing succor to men marked, if any ever have[Read More…]

I Don’t Recall Witnessing Such A Blending

I Don’t Recall Witnessing Such A Blending

  In No Country for Old Men, Sheriff Bell recounts his conversation with a woman who complains about “right-wing” politics: “She kept on, kept on. Finally told me, said: I dont like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion. And I said well mam I dont think you got any[Read More…]

To Honor Albert Camus On The Day He Died: January 4, 1960

To Honor Albert Camus On The Day He Died: January 4, 1960

  Because he was not a partisan in the Cold War between the U.S./NATO and the U.S.S.R, Albert Camus was an odd ball.  As a result, he was criticized by the right, left, and center.  His allegiance was to truth, not ideologies.  He opposed state murder, terrorism, and warfare from all quarters.  An artistic anarchist with a passionate spiritual hunger,[Read More…]

The Slug Factor

The Slug Factor

  “You don’t want to be a spiritual slug.” — Howard Zinn, speaking at the University of California-Santa Cruz, 2004 “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — from Shakespeare’s Hamlet Right after my partner and I put on a free three-day cultural/social/political event in Santa Cruz, California in 2004, which[Read More…]

Ambrose Pinto: A God’s Man Who Walked The Talk

Ambrose Pinto: A God’s Man Who Walked The Talk

  Ambrose pinto’s death after struggling with treacherous cancer for about Six months on 3 January of 2018 made me feel that this year would be bad for Dalits. His smiling face, hopeful of change, keeps flashing through my mind. I last met him when I gave a special lecture at Indian Social Institute Benuluru on January 20, 2017, in[Read More…]

Humanitarianism: The Greatest Art

Humanitarianism: The Greatest Art

Henry Thoreau, the 19th century American poet, naturalist and philosopher once remarked: “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look to affect the quality of the[Read More…]

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Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

  A saying from the Bible’s story of Cain and Abel. After Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God asked him where his brother was. Cain answered, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” Note : Cain’s words have come to symbolize people’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows — their “brothers” in the extended[Read More…]

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The Importance Of ‘ Braille’ In The Lives Of Visually Impaired

The Importance Of ‘ Braille’ In The Lives Of Visually Impaired

  ‘Braille is knowledge , and knowledge is power’ – Louis Braille For many years, visually disabled and blind had to depend on Braille script as the main form of communication. Even now, when modern tools like cassette recordings, voice synthesizers, computer compatible speech softwares are available, braille continues to be a major form of reading and writing source for[Read More…]

Photo by John Vetterli

Kicking Off 2018 With A Pledge

Dear Countercurrents family (present and future)— 2017 was a tough year all around. Hot and cold wars continue, the environment further degrades and Trumpism/Putinism/Modiism reigns. One can get depressed- forlorn even- by the array of monsters to fight. Humanity in many ways appears to be stepping backwards, embracing narrow and racist nationalism, further eroding the rights of women, reveling in[Read More…]

Photo courtesy of PIX11 News

The Healing Touch Of Love

  Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. -Thomas Merton, Love and Living Henry Thoreau, the 19th century writer, naturalist and philosopher once remarked: “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few[Read More…]

No Selfies This New Year

No Selfies This New Year

  It has been a deeply ingrained habit to wish everyone ‘Happy New Year’ and I confess to enthusiastic participation in this annual ritual for a long time. Increasingly though, I am beginning to suspect I really don’t understand the phrase or the words it is made up of at all. I get the point that,this greeting,is basically a nice[Read More…]

The Poor Can Teach Us

The Poor Can Teach Us

  “He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put[Read More…]

Systemic Maladies Demand Systemic Remedies: In The Context Of Indian University Education System

Systemic Maladies Demand Systemic Remedies: In The Context Of Indian University Education System

  ( Following is the Text of  Presidential Address Delivered By Dr.K.S. Sharma, President, Indian Academy of Social Sciences, ISSA, Allahabad, at the 41st  Indian Social Science Congress, held in Salem, Tamilnadu. The Annual event , held for five days from December 18 to 22, 2017, was attended by a few hundred academicians, educationists, and research scholars.   Sharma  is  Joint  Director,[Read More…]

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The Pacifist Cat

The Pacifist Cat

I know. I sound anthropomorphic. I am assigning human traits to a cat. However, how would you pose it? Last night, I heard a racket outside of my closed bedroom door. It woke me up from a deep sleep. So I went outside to look and couldn’t believe my eyes. Here she was, my female Siamese in a sitting position[Read More…]

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A Different Screaming Must Come Across the Sky Now

A Different Screaming Must Come Across the Sky Now

  “A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.” — the first line of Thomas Pynchon’s incomparable Gravity’s Rainbow (describing a rocket portending apocalypse during the Second World War) I was reading Harold G. Vatter’s The US Economy in World War II  while riding through San Joaquin County, California yesterday, and I[Read More…]

Thrusting Forward With Fencing Foil And Else-Wise

Thrusting Forward With Fencing Foil And Else-Wise

 We all learn to live with our flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings regardless of whatever they are, especially if they seem to not be changeable. These could include blindness, a limb that does not work right, a temperament prone to anger or, in my case, a sanctimonious nature. I think that I was born with it as part of my genetic[Read More…]

Code

Code

To fall in love outward (Robinson Jeffers) is a major accomplishment in the Great Work of planetary renewal. This is especially significant (and challenging) in a commercialized society possessively enforcing estrangement from natural reality. Capitalism works to replace nature with market value. To fall in love outward means to embrace, fully, the implications of a radical awakening, namely that each[Read More…]

Photo courtesy of PIX11 News

The Season Of Giving: A New Year Resolution

    You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you -John Bunyan When I   got my first job   in a small town, I was lucky to get wonderful neighbors.  A lady whom I regularly encountered was Samina, a devout and demure housewife who struggled to feed the family. For several reasons,[Read More…]

Reiterating Mao On December 26, His Birth Anniversary

Reiterating Mao On December 26, His Birth Anniversary

Reiterating Mao’s teachings is one of the essentials in the area of political education as a new generation is joining people’s struggle. The class struggle question is one of the areas to learn from Mao Tse-tung [also spelled Mao Zedong] [b. December 26, 1893] as now-a-days confusion dominates political position of a group of “progressives” and “anti-imperialists” engaged with mongering[Read More…]

Ending Hatred

Ending Hatred

  One of my older friends in India had a now dead father, who was an MD and who worked around twelve hours a day. He saw many patients, but his family never got ahead financially. Why? It was because he often gave his services away for no charge to financially poor people (including lower caste Hindu people) and paid[Read More…]

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Commensalism

Commensalism

  Thomas Paine’s pamphlet of January 10, 1776 was, as everyone knows, an important factor in bringing about the issuance of the Declaration of Independence. Common Sense pointed out that the colonies received no advantage from their connection with the mother country, which was intent on exploiting them; a firm and final and violent break from the mother country was[Read More…]

Freedom Is Still The Name For A Thing Which Is Not Freedom

Freedom Is Still The Name For A Thing Which Is Not Freedom

Co-Written by Rachel Oxman and C.Russell “In July 1952, in a cell block on Ellis Island, C.L.R. James began writing a book about Herman Melville. The Triinidadian journalist, historian and social theorist was awaiting deportation under the McCarran Act. Caught in an administration limbo of the “detainee,” James built his book, Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways on Melville’s abidingly pertinent observation that, in the United States,[Read More…]

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People waiting to get registered at Motihari District Government Hospital in East Champaran, Bihar. With so few doctors employed to work in the public sector of healthcare in India, this scene is typical.

India’s Sick Health Care

  India’s economy is soaring but its healthcare system remains an Achilles’ heel. For millions of people, the high cost of treating illness continues to undermine economic progress. This is largely on account of the abysmal and chaotic healthcare system owing to the declining budgetary healthcare support by the government. India now ranks close to the bottom of the pile[Read More…]

Photo by karen H. nickname.{ pooh}

Peace And justice On Earth And Goodwill To All

Unfortunately, the hope for peace and justice on earth and goodwill to all seems to be receding with each passing year. US politicians, particularly the neo-cons and neo-libs in Washington DC, seem to respond with a bah, humbug to this desire. These neo-folks, like other Americans, are people who have not directly experienced the ravages, destruction and killing of war[Read More…]

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Santa Situation

Santa Situation

Recently I saw a two year old or so in age on Santa’s lap on a Boston television news program. He was deaf-person signing to his parents the word “help.” Toddler signs for ‘help’ while sitting on Santa’s lap | Daily Mail Online www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5168465/Toddler-signs-help-sitting-Santas-lap.html 6 days ago – Mother shares a photo of her adorable toddler signing for ‘help‘ while[Read More…]

An Advent Calendar To Beat The Devil

An Advent Calendar To Beat The Devil

  “The task of setting free one’s gifts was a recognized labor in the ancient world….the spirit that brings us our gifts finds its eventual freedom only through our sacrifice, and those who do not reciprocate the gifts of their genius [daemon, personal spirit that comes to us at birth] will leave it in bondage when they die.” – Lewis[Read More…]

Not Much Of A Choice

Not Much Of A Choice

  “Teaching children to acclimate is necessary to some degree, of course, but that currently comprises well over ninety per cent of educational effort ‘cross the country, ‘cross the board. And very little energy is devoted to how youngsters can alter society radically, which is what will be necessary, of course, if they are to inherit a world worth living[Read More…]

What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments Of A Memoir Set To A Musical Soundtrack

What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments Of A Memoir Set To A Musical Soundtrack

  Having been born in a coal and steel company town but destiny delivered, as an adult, to reside, during extended intervals, in the East and West Coast cities of Los Angeles and New York City, and, at present, the continent of Europe, I have come to conclude, people born into situations providing economic advantage, both liberals and conservatives alike,[Read More…]

Rebellion in Munich: Sophie Scholl- The Final Days

Rebellion in Munich: Sophie Scholl- The Final Days

My generation has seen that history does repeat itself. We know world wars I and II and we have seen “regime change” in action from country to country, from Libya to Iraq. Those who think that history does not repeat itself might read some of these lines about what once happened and what is happening today. Sophie with soldiers. After[Read More…]

The Coming Crash

The Coming Crash

Binu, editor at Countercurrents.org, wrote: The bitcoin bubble could take the world into another economic crash. Writing in the Financial Times and Washington Post, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the US economy was on a “sugar high”. He noted that economic growth this year had been driven by a stock market rally that has seen an increase of[Read More…]

Pseudo Science And The Need For Scientific Temper In India

Pseudo Science And The Need For Scientific Temper In India

  Vineeta Bal, a former member of the Prime Minister’s task force for science, narrated a humorous poem by the Marathi poet Sopandev Chaudhari last week to underscore the importance of scientific temper. The poem points out that Newton could think of the law of gravity when he saw the apple fall to the ground while some of us can[Read More…]

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Being True Unto Your Heartfelt Beliefs!

Being True Unto Your Heartfelt Beliefs!

If you are not true to your professed position in life, then you are false to everyone, including yourself. If you take up a religious or ideological position, then there are no half-measures in terms of support for the position presumed to be undertaken. I was raised in a Christian family. While I am no paradigm of virtue, I did[Read More…]

New Horse And Words For An Emergency Room Operation Needed

New Horse And Words For An Emergency Room Operation Needed

  “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.” — from an article centered on a former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya[Read More…]

 Because Well-Meaning Folks Are Not Making The Causal Connections

 Because Well-Meaning Folks Are Not Making The Causal Connections

  “What if violence against women is not a by-product of war, but rather a major cause of it?” — a question posed by Leith Greenslade in a 2014 article Hearing sexual assault victims recount their attacks is heartbreaking. Hearing story after story from U.S. soldiers like Kori Cioca, who was beaten and raped by her Coast Guard supervisor, or[Read More…]

The confirmation comes soon after a report from the U.K. Met Office in June warned that the planet was well on its way toward that grim milestone. (Photo: Kevin Gill/flickr/cc)

 Not Just Railing Against Railey’s: A U.S. School-Based Plan To Rally The World

  “Consumer Reports surveys rank Raley’s among the top U.S. supermarket chains, in particular for customer service, and that fact can be used as a point of departure for changing a great deal about our collective crises.” — one of the author’s home schooled youngsters. We are now heading, eyes narrowed and shut, towards an environmental catastrophe that might end the[Read More…]

The Man Behind India’s Rural Housing Spring

The Man Behind India’s Rural Housing Spring

Historians will say that an explosion of creativity occurs the moment the world starts complaining that there is nothing left to invent, or that the search for solutions to complex problems has come to an end. This explosion is fate’s way of reminding us that there is always something just over the horizon of knowledge. Social entrepreneurs are now using[Read More…]

We are Heading Down a Dangerous Path

We are Heading Down a Dangerous Path

  What Trump stands for is not “America First”, but unbridled capitalism, growing inequality, increasing racism, white supremacy, hatred of women, protectionism and constant provocation. He is purposely creating a crisis, as Trump’s administration thrives by chaos. One man’s loss is, after all, another man’s gain. The Trump Family is characterized by lawlessness, megalomania, and a general sense of superiority[Read More…]

Each Adversity Has A Seed Of Triumph

Each Adversity Has A Seed Of Triumph

These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them. — Rumi, Essential Rumi “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Everyone knows the cliché, of course, and   brave people often rise above adversity to climb great heights. Given that life hands lemons to everyone from time to time, the bravest approach is to turn those “lemons” into   lemonade. I put[Read More…]

Capitalism’s Failure Of The Flesh: The Rise Of The Robots

Capitalism’s Failure Of The Flesh: The Rise Of The Robots

  Humankind, being an inherently tool-making species, has always been in a relationship with technology. Our tools, weapons, machines, and appliances are crucial to forging the cultural criteria of human life. At present, amid the technology created phantomscape of mass media’s lurid — yet somehow sterile — imagery, one can feel as if one’s mind is in danger of being[Read More…]

Is Dissent Necessary?

Is Dissent Necessary?

                                 By Sheikh Attar & Palvi Singh Ghokrokta Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) said Descartes stating that the very act of doubting one’s existence served as proof of one’s mind,  supporting the assertion of an underlying  thinking entity i.e. one’s self. Perfection per se is a utopian concept. From a person to an ideology to a society[Read More…]

Can We Solve Corruption?

Can We Solve Corruption?

  (International Anti-Corruption Day-9 December, 2017) Corruption is amongst the most debilitating economic illnesses that afflicts large parts of the world. It erodes the quality of life for ordinary citizens, devastates the moral fabric of society, and impedes growth. In the last four decades, despite several government programmes for the welfare of the rural poor, poverty remains endemic. Either the nets were[Read More…]

Bapu Kuti: The Nursery Of Gandhian Revolution

Bapu Kuti: The Nursery Of Gandhian Revolution

  Eighty kilometres to the east of Nagpur in central India lies Bapu Kuti, a historic site in Sewagram, the ‘village of service’, which is nestled in the serene rustic surroundings of the Wardha district. This dwelling was the residential abode of Mahatma Gandhi from 1936 to 1948 and was the epicentre of the Indian freedom movement. During the 12[Read More…]

Social Work : How Much Is Fine And Where To Draw The Line – And What Its Different ‘Avatars’?

Social Work : How Much Is Fine And Where To Draw The Line – And What Its Different ‘Avatars’?

A thoughtful, sensitive and sensible, socially aware youngster raised this question during the course of one of our conversations. It set me thinking, for I had seen all sorts of people involved in social work – those whose families got neglected, others who were able to strike a balance, still others whose relations with friends and family tottered on the[Read More…]

 The End Of American Exceptionalism

 The End Of American Exceptionalism

The battle for the planet has now become a battle between two systems of human thought and governance; one based on the vestiges of Western Neo-Liberalism and the other based on a restating of Marxist Socialism. The implications are profound. One system offers the possibility of the continuation of the human species on this planet, the other negates that possibility.[Read More…]

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 What Would Charles Darwin Say Today?

 What Would Charles Darwin Say Today?

  What would Charles Darwin say, today, if he could? About the legacy that he left behind? Has it evolved? Evolution, after all, is an ongoing ‘creative’ process. In Darwin Online, Darwin’s Origin of Species, first edition 1859 page 484 it says: “Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this[Read More…]

Photo Credit/lumbiniinteractive.org.np

Twilight Of The Buddha: Tantra As It Had Risen Against Brahminism

History has it that, a good eighteen centuries ago, there flourished in the Indian subcontinent a Buddhist philosopher named Nagarjuna. He is credited with having introduced a vital ingredient in subsequent subcontinental mystical concept – that of ‘Shunya’ or emptiness. A rather simplified understanding would be a realization of the emptiness or void (‘a-bhava’) – one  that would stretch beyond[Read More…]

The Coming Travails — Big Time Ones!

The Coming Travails — Big Time Ones!

One of my friends, who is a political conservative/constitutionalist in the USA, wrote me concerning starvation in South Sudan: Then, maybe they should be taught about birth control, and enforce it. Otherwise they are gonna f*ck us all. So no food for idiots who have been living like this for centuries. And now, we feed them so they can procreate.[Read More…]

Renewal

Renewal

Look! There at the corner, the old man is crossing the children. All the saints and gods and goddesses of India are dancing around them. Pan is dancing. Nymphs and flowing hair maenads. Dervishes whirl around, like star-ribbons circling an astrolabe. Baal Shem Tov and the martyred, prayer-dance Hasidim. Jesus in cosmic circle dance. Sun smiles. Moon overflows with the[Read More…]

God’s Imagination

God’s Imagination

  “A nuclear weapon can be placed in a shipping container or on a small cabin cruiser, transported by sea, and set off remotely by cellular phone.” — from “Haywire” by Eric Schlosser in Harper’s Magazine/December 2017 This MUST be addressed in classrooms across the United States ASAP. The message here will go in and out of the ears of most[Read More…]

Rice threshing near Sangrur, SE Punjab, India. (Photo:  Neil Palmer (CIAT)/flickr/cc)

The Indian Village: A Window Into Indian Society

The inertia of a jungle village is a dangerous thing. Before you know it your whole life has slipped by and you are still waiting there. ― Tahir Shah, House of the Tiger Kin The Indian village has been celebrated by every poet who has admitted to having been touched by India including Rudyard Kipling and Rabindranath Tagore. Social scientists[Read More…]

 Spinning The Ricochet: Brief Commentary On The Steinle Verdict For Teachers

 Spinning The Ricochet: Brief Commentary On The Steinle Verdict For Teachers

  “Trump campaigned significantly using Garcia Zarate as a scapegoat in 2016.” — one of the author’s home schooled teens This article is important because it underscores what’s wrong with teachers using the usual news sources that respected academics recommend for classrooms throughout the United States. The dynamics related to all that impact on the entire world when it comes to[Read More…]

Preparing For The Future

Preparing For The Future

Recently a friend sent me the following article. It covers lots of excellent and salient points concerning where humanity and the world as a whole are heading into the future. It is “Genetic Feedback and Human Population Regulation” at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225581823_Genetic_Feedback_and_Human_Population_Regulation and by Russell Hopfenber, apparently from Duke University. Abstract Human population growth has been identified as a primary cause of[Read More…]

Persons With ‘ Different’ Abilities  – Social Discrimination

Persons With ‘ Different’ Abilities  – Social Discrimination

  Since 1992, after the end of observing a decade for disabled persons(1983 -1992) , every year, December 3 is being celebrated as ‘ international day of disabled persons’ and many events felicitating disabled persons has become common in India as in other countries. According to disability statistics, around 10% of total world population or around 650 million suffer some[Read More…]

Photo by Ian Sane

Waiting For The American Dream

  “All good things arrive for them that wait – and don’t die in the meantime.” – Mark Twain It is damp, drizzly November once again, the grim grey in-between month, a time for dying and a time, above all, for waiting.  Waiting for the fallen dead foliage to be buried in snow, waiting for the shortest day to come[Read More…]

Mauritania And Much More Undimmed For The Damned

Mauritania And Much More Undimmed For The Damned

  “In Arab mythology, the al-Sada bird, or death owl, emerges from the body of a murdered man and shrieks until someone takes revenge.” — Lindsey Hilsum “I’m good at killing.” — Barack Obama The one thing most people know about the Islamic Republic of Mauritania — if they know anything at all about that mysterious country in the Maghreb[Read More…]

Bad Cop And Bad Judge? You Decide

Bad Cop And Bad Judge? You Decide

Many years ago, a friend of mine was hitchhiking with a knapsack filled with his meager belongings, indeed all that he had, in the rain. He was hitching a ride to a summer resort where he was employed to work and it was around fifteen miles from where the bus depot left him off in a nearby town where he[Read More…]

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Give Some Place In Your Heart For Kidneys! Please!

Give Some Place In Your Heart For Kidneys! Please!

  Heard so much about the heart, but so less about kidneys, right? Our kidneys don’t get a lot of love, and definitely don’t get the attention or concern associated with other major organs like our heart, liver, and lungs. Kidneys are the unsung organs of public health campaigns. We know how to care for our hearts (exercise and eating well)[Read More…]

Is Mainstream Media Becoming A Threa To Democracy ?

Is Mainstream Media Becoming A Threa To Democracy ?

I had long left watching the PR agents on the TV studios discussing nationalism or pushing the particular agendas of their political parties. It is over 5 years that I stopped buying newspapers or magazines. I do go through the news through my twitter handle as well as some other forwarded material but that too I am quite selective. In[Read More…]

PKT3207 - 225418

PETROGRAD: Soldiers of the Keksgolm Regiment in 1917.

The Great October Revolution: Prison And Punishment

Russia’s tsar regent Boris Godunov exiled, as punishment, a 300-kilogram copper bell to the Siberian town of Tobolsk, in the east, from Uglich in 1591. The exiled bell had to cover a distance of 2,200 kilometers. The bell’s crime: to the tsar regent, the bell appeared as a symbol of political unity of the rebel residents of Uglich. The bell,[Read More…]

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 The Third That’s Needed

 The Third That’s Needed

  “We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.” — from The Tempest In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, it is characteristic of Prospero that he has learned to view political life in light of the transitoriness of human achievement in general. Though his initial error was to neglect political life entirely, he[Read More…]

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Silicon Valley As Richard II: Setting The Stage For Teachers

Silicon Valley As Richard II: Setting The Stage For Teachers

  Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm from an anointed king. (King Richard, Act 3 Scene 2) The ability of scientists to not only record and analyze brain activity but also influence it is growing, and those in academic circles on all levels — I humbly and respectfully submit — are obliged to[Read More…]

Relationship Between Our Nightmares And Dreams

Relationship Between Our Nightmares And Dreams

  “Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today?”  — Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot Arguably, the most haunting passage in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ classic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, describes the army arriving to quell striking banana workers in the mythical town of[Read More…]

Supporting Truth Or Spouting Lies

Supporting Truth Or Spouting Lies

Private companies — i.e., Fox News, CBS, “New York Times,” Twitter,Facebook, etc. — can and will slant, shape and selectively share news, and other information in any perspective that their corporate management pleases. This has always been the case since the beginning of writing, talking and creating periodicals, and it’s not stopping now. noun. an employee whose allegiance to his[Read More…]

No New Mass Shootings In The Last Five Minutes?

No New Mass Shootings In The Last Five Minutes?

  The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it….[Read More…]

Financial Literacy: Key To Economic Freedom

Financial Literacy: Key To Economic Freedom

  Financial services are like clean water and electricity. They are made possible though ideal financial societies that provide safe and convenient ways of managing their everyday simple monetary affairs. This philosophy is known as financial inclusion. It includes providing affordable, safe and properly regulated financial tools to people. These tools enable them to save and to responsibly borrow—allowing them[Read More…]

Overseeing The Slaughter Overseas

Overseeing The Slaughter Overseas

  Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches I’ll recruit my army from the orphanages — Bob Dylan, Thunder on the Mountain The Southeast corridor of the U.S. — particularly, Georgia and Florida — have a  higher per capita representation among the military than any other region. The South, in general, boasts 40% of the total number of military[Read More…]

The Roots Of Violence And Carnage

The Roots Of Violence And Carnage

When I was a young adult, I told my Mohawk friend, Ray Fadden, that I was disturbed by the brutality that lays at the base of life and told him that I had observed that all life proceeds by wreckage of other life. How could it be otherwise in a closed energy system such as we have on Earth? Thus,[Read More…]

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State Hospitals’ Neglect Aggravate The Crisis In AIIMS

State Hospitals’ Neglect Aggravate The Crisis In AIIMS

The number of people sitting outside AIIMS, waiting to be treated, reflects the grim reality of health sector in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, etc. “I am counting the last days of my life, along with waiting to get operated; whichever comes soon will end my ordeal,” said attendance Mishra from West Champaran district of Bihar. He visited countless[Read More…]

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A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of Death

A Partisanship Of The Heart: Interior Measures Towards A Re-Visioning Of Capitalism’s Imperium Of Death

  According to a nationwide study [[https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm] conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a greater number of U.S. Americans died (approximately 65,000) from drug overdoses last year than were killed during the course of the Vietnam War. All part and parcel of capitalism’s war against life itself. The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the[Read More…]

Hot Chocolate, Anyone?

Hot Chocolate, Anyone?

  “All those sociological ingredients, the endless articles and insightful interviews, the official reports and incessant pontificating tomes don’t warm the body, let alone the soul. Privileged people aren’t just letting souls waste away, they continue to stir up the coldest, sickest brew imaginable for the immserated, not acknowledging that all souls are the same, deserve the same.” — one[Read More…]

War’s Carnage Demands Empathy

War’s Carnage Demands Empathy

Co-Written by Dave Lannen and Laura Franseen My friend Laura and I recently contemplated the mental strain that combatants, civilians and non-combatants — such as medics — face. Battlefield medicine is a remarkable success story; however, frontline soldiers and civilians are subject to increasingly deadly weapons. More survive to reach combat hospitals, but they suffer a more complex degree of[Read More…]

Prophesy; How Not To Find Your Voice

Prophesy; How Not To Find Your Voice

                         Frederick Nietzsche spent his fortieth-birthday reflecting on how the Middle East had provided three major exportations of prophetic doctrinal interpretations of god-speak.  He poured over the four etchings of Muhammad, Moses, Isaiah and Jesus he had in his possession, beholding a formidable gallery of conscionable males expressing passion for what they believed werethe indisputably correct paths toward salvation, revealed[Read More…]

The Great October Revolution: The Peasants Perish

The Great October Revolution: The Peasants Perish

  “[I]n this open step the sheep wander from Asia into Europe, and the Kirgiz shepherd drives them back again into Asia without knowing that he has crossed a geographer’s frontier.” Thus describes Geroid Tanquary Robinson a part of Russia in Rural Russia under the Old Regime, a History of the Landlord-Peasant World and a Prologue to the Peasant Revolution[Read More…]

Response To Hate Speech

Response To Hate Speech

I am so used to hate speech and sometimes hate crimes carried out for any number of reasons that it is now in my blood. I’ve been trying to stop them since I was five years old and saw Hiroshima Maidens, civilians, in NYC for reconstructive surgery for missing body parts. The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who[Read More…]

Red Is The Color Of The Poor: Sumanta Banerjee Looks Into The Naxalbari Uprising In India

Red Is The Color Of The Poor: Sumanta Banerjee Looks Into The Naxalbari Uprising In India

Sumanta Banerjee (b. 1936), political and civil rights activist and social scientist, moved to the revolutionary position of the Naxalbari peasants’ upsurge in the north-eastern India while working as a journalist for The Statesman in the late sixties, and joined the movement in 1973. He had to resort to underground life while carrying on his revolutionary tasks in rural and[Read More…]

The Democratic Socialist Alternative—What Is It?

The Democratic Socialist Alternative—What Is It?

American Capitalism in Crisis        Americans in large numbers are becoming puzzled and agitated. Every day newspaper headlines blare out that the US is in trouble, together with our Western free market allies. The government doesn’t work as political divisiveness freezes decision-making. The extent of inequality is “obscene,” to borrow an oft-used description by Bernie Sanders. The elected president comes over[Read More…]

Why Are Police In The USA So Terrified?

Why Are Police In The USA So Terrified?

  In a recent incident in the United States, yet another unarmed man was shot dead by police after opening his front door in response to their knock. The police were going to serve an arrest warrant on a domestic violence suspect – the man’s neighbour – but went to the wrong address. See ‘Police kill innocent man while serving[Read More…]

Politics Not Appropriate For The Objective Classroom?

Politics Not Appropriate For The Objective Classroom?

  “The problem I’ve always had with ‘objectivity’ as a concept is that it doesn’t have an agreed upon meaning.” — Dr. Anthony DiMaggio, author of “Confronting the Cult of Objectivity” What school has teachers who handle Social Studies and Humanities subjects without advocating a particular political point of view? Is that even possible? Certainly, there’s plenty of talk — always has[Read More…]

The Fordist Academic

The Fordist Academic

Two figures tower over the idea, and the realisation, of industrial America.  The first is Henry Ford, whose factory process dedicated to mass car production featured specifically focused machinery, a moving assembly line, and a linear process of interdependent tasks. The second giant in this regard is Frederick W. Taylor, whose principles of scientific management involved the division of factory[Read More…]

Domination, Power And Control

Domination, Power And Control

An increasing number of people across the world are currently signing a petition The text of the petition reads like this: Dear friends, Eight years ago as UK Prime Minister and chair of the G20, I tried to end the injustice of global tax havens. But as the “Paradise Papers” leak shows, trillions are still being siphoned off to dodge[Read More…]

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The Great October Revolution: The Languishing Labor

The Great October Revolution: The Languishing Labor

The tsarist Russia, the empire-system for which a section of today’s intellectuals feel love, was experiencing rapid capitalist expansion and growth till the World War I. Absence of profit wouldn’t have driven capitalists to the expansion. And, labor pushes up growth. And, having profit is impossible without toilers’ strained muscles and wet brows. And, the Great October Revolution is by[Read More…]

Supreme Court Suggests Separate Schools For Children With Disabilities – Violation Of Equality Laws

Supreme Court Suggests Separate Schools For Children With Disabilities – Violation Of Equality Laws

  When the nation celebrated children’s day, much was discussed about the pathetic situation of education as well as malnutrition of children. But, a recent Supreme Court observation on education of disabled has raised many questions on the right of disabled children to equal education along with normal children. ( Supreme Court suggests separate schools for children with disabilities :[Read More…]

Academic Rumblings For Native American History

Academic Rumblings For Native American History

“Be proud you’re an Indian, but be careful who you tell.” — from the documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page really got rocked the first time he heard Link Wray’s Rumble. A lot of people did, musicians and others. In fact, you could say it was what the monolith was to those primates in the “Dawn of Man” segment[Read More…]

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Karl Marx (1818-83)

Karl Marx (1818-83)

19th Century witnessed many revolutions in the realm social movements and theories. The ordinary people, the working population, the wretched of the earth [Fanon] who entered in the arena of political theory through Rousseau in the 18th century found a profound spokesperson in the genius of Karl Marx in the 19thcentury. Marx, as a student of jurisprudence, history and philosophy, at a time when[Read More…]

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My India Today

My India Today

This lecture by Mirza Yawar Baig is take on India as it is today and the challenges that face us in the immediate future. He says “It is my address to my fellow citizens to say that it is time we accepted the role of citizenship and understand that it means to take responsibility for the welfare of our nation[Read More…]

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Screaming Truth To The Powerless

Screaming Truth To The Powerless

  “Why aren’t they screaming?” — from Philip Larkin’s The Old Fools The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is typically taken by students some time during their last two years in high school. It purports to assess how well test takers solve problems. However, the Big Problem for the students — for us all, truth be told — is that no[Read More…]

The Emergency Four Horse People’s Party

The Emergency Four Horse People’s Party

  Special note: Don’t read about the films recommended prior to seeing them. I’d recommend watching the 2012 documentary Four Horsemen — immediately — along with the 2017 Oren Moverman feature film The Dinner. I urge the reader to do that post haste, in spite of the fact that the former only received a 67% approval rating by critics on[Read More…]

Veteran’s Day Reflections

Veteran’s Day Reflections

Let’s be really clear right up front. This statement says it all:  I saw my first victims of war when I was five years old. They were innocent civilians, who had been bombed with an atomic bomb in Japan. They were missing body parts and were wrapped in gauze like mummies while in NY, USA for reconstructive surgery. People who[Read More…]

Missing Links For Peace, Civility, Social Well-Being

Missing Links For Peace, Civility, Social Well-Being

We will keep missing out if we insist on relying solely on our intellect, acquired knowledge, reason and intelligence; human potential encompasses much more. I am fascinated with the insights the evolution of science provides, particularly astronomy, cosmology, quantum physics and medicine. Medical research and technology opened the doors to the insides of our brains, considered by ourselves superior and in many[Read More…]

Photo by gideon_wright

The Necessity of Personal Sacrifices

  “It became apparent to me that a people would never abandon their means of livelihood, good or bad, capitalistic or otherwise until other methods were developed which would promise advantages at least as good as those by which they were living.” —- Job Harriman (quoted in a Counterpunch article) I saw a notice in a local newspaper recently in[Read More…]

Sometimes You Win And Sometimes You Lose

Sometimes You Win And Sometimes You Lose

As these myriad examples show — sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Yet nothing can serve as an excuse for giving up the struggle to provide something of value regardless of the way that life personally turns out for oneself in my opinion. This first account I heard from some USA National Public Radio (NPR) program while driving in[Read More…]

View of the Brooklyn Bridge looking toward Brooklyn.

“It’s Sad, So Sad …”

My great-grandfather was thrown in prison in Europe when he was aged twelve. He was put in a small mud filled room with water dripping from the mud ceiling and walls. In fact, it was a hole, some sort of chamber dug out underground with a few barred windows at street level up high beyond reach from the inmates for[Read More…]

Reviving The Spirit Of Existential Rebellion In A World Of Propaganda, Lies, And Self Deception

Reviving The Spirit Of Existential Rebellion In A World Of Propaganda, Lies, And Self Deception

In these very dark times – these end- times created by nuclear weapons – seeing the truth is dependent on the will to truth, and the will to truth only arises when people believe they are free to alter the circumstances in which they find themselves. This belief in freedom is at the core of all existential thought and is why we need to resurrect it today.

MAUS And Teaching The Teachers

MAUS And Teaching The Teachers

“There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — Flannery O’ Connor As Wikipedia indicates, Maus is cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel about an exchange with his father respecting WWII Holocaust matters. It was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize, but it’s not what I’m focusing on here, my title notwithstanding. That[Read More…]

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Facing Thanksgiving Nonsense

Facing Thanksgiving Nonsense

Years ago, a friend of mine, when we were discussing goodness and malevolence, casually mentioned that even the worst criminals nearly always thought that whatever they were doing was constructive and the problem, then, became one in which different people hold radically different outlooks concerning whatever stands for benefits. In this sense, Josef Mengele (a human representing the epitome of[Read More…]

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How Best To Engage Communities In Development

How Best To Engage Communities In Development

  In India, the priorities of   people are constantly undergoing changes. These   are, in fact, a result of the changes the development landscape is undergoing. A generation or two ago, ending hunger would have been the overwhelming need. Not any more even if malnutrition remains a challenge. Development also has brought electricity, more roads, pumps and overhead tanks — all[Read More…]

Preventing Sexual Harassment Begins In Early Childhood

Preventing Sexual Harassment Begins In Early Childhood

Co-Written by Megan Hicks, Poco Kernsmith & Joanne Smith-Darden In the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations involving Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly, Americans may be learning just how prevalent sexual violence is in our society. So, what can be done to prevent it? We have studied how family, school, and neighborhood environments influence violent youth behavior. Building from[Read More…]

AMERICAN DOLLAR BILLS BURNING

Raj Patel On How To Break Away From Capitalism

Capitalism has been the world’s dominant economic system for more than 700 years. And as it brings the planet to new crises, author Raj Patel believes it’s important to imagine what might replace it. But reform won’t happen unless we understand capitalism’s appeal and historical rise, says Patel, a food justice activist and professor at the University of Texas at[Read More…]

Protect candle flames

 Let There Be Light: Setting Others on Fire

  “‘Let there be light!’, he said, as he lit the dry grass with his Rick and Morty customized Bic. ‘Sick, sick, sick’, he whispered to himself as he drank in the swim of the flames, left, right, all swirly up and down as they grew in the wind, his grin widening. Wondering where he should go next. Thus begins[Read More…]

Drugs, Money And Political Prostitution

Drugs, Money And Political Prostitution

     Since the year 2000 at least 22 pharmaceutical companies have settled criminal and civil suits for over $10 billion in fines. Companies have been found guilty of fraud, kickbacks, false claims, and off label promotion. For example, In May 2007 Perdue Pharmaceuticals, makers of the opioid Oxycontin, was found guilty of “off label promotion” and paid over $600 million[Read More…]

Once The Truth Is Told About Lawrence Livermore Labs

Once The Truth Is Told About Lawrence Livermore Labs

  “It’s only twenty minutes away, thirteen miles between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Pleasanton via I-580, but I’d say that not a single soul among the 82,270 citizens who live in that San Francisco suburb know anything about what’s going on within the government’s secretive realm unless they work there.” — Richard Martin Oxman What exactly are Tanks &[Read More…]

Many Leaders Make Hate Acceptable

Many Leaders Make Hate Acceptable

Hate is spreading like an oil stain over the Earth. Hate is even further encouraged by populists who purport to speak in the name of the people. Populist politicians try to obtain the support of the electorate by all means without worrying about the viability of their proposals. They invariably rage against the ‘elite’. Ever since Trump took office, the[Read More…]

The Call To Remove White-Skinned People

The Call To Remove White-Skinned People

I was dismayed to recently read that all whites should be removed from societies via interbreeding with darker skinned people. No, I am not making this wackiness up in my mind. it is real and stems from a professor in NYC [1]. Some people, apparently she included, feel that the way to get around the dilemma of all-white families is[Read More…]

Education! Give Them Memories

Education! Give Them Memories

Who is your Role Model? Think of someone you know or knew personally, not a public figure. For how many of you is that a parent or a teacher? If I asked your children the same question, what do you think they would say? Who would they be thinking of you? How do you know? What about you inspires your[Read More…]

Science  And Success Of October Revolution

Science  And Success Of October Revolution

  Soviet Union demonstrated the first experiment in human history of the application of  science  and scientific  methods  for  building  socialism.    Planned scientific and technological research  had  contributed hugely to  successful   building  of socialism  in USSR, especially  during  the  first three plan periods after  October revolution. For the first time, science was liberated from the dictates  of  Private ‘Capital’ and [Read More…]

The Early Years In America

The Early Years In America

Several days ago, I spoke with my sister on the phone about the founding of the USA. For around forty minutes, she shared information with me on the topic. Here is some of it. Recently she went to Monticello on a tour [1] and learned lots of interesting facts while there. This estate was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson,[Read More…]

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The World Not Through With Thoreau

The World Not Through With Thoreau

  There was a strange view expressed about the worldwide status of Henry David Thoreau in the New York Review of Books on August 17: “Thoreau hardly makes it onto the list of notable American authors outside of his home country.” That was followed by the assertion that “his peculiar brand of American nativism has little international appeal.” In fact, we can[Read More…]

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Tale  Of Despair : Patients Living On The Pavements  Outside  AIIMS

Tale  Of Despair : Patients Living On The Pavements  Outside  AIIMS

With a large number of patients and a shortage of night shelters,  Thousand’s of patients are spending days  in the subway of AIIMS metro station or on the pavement outside AIIMS, as they wait for treatment.   Not all the stories of courage have to do with the act of heroism .There is another kind of Courage ,Which is dour[Read More…]

Bertold Brecht: Collectivism And Dialectical Materialism In Practice

Bertold Brecht: Collectivism And Dialectical Materialism In Practice

  Bertold Brecht put into everyday practice Marxist collectivism and dialectical materialism in his art as few other Western writers have ever achieved.Despite accusations of avidness for money, the German poet and playwright belied any doubts about his ultimate goals: education of the people in Socialism. Moreover, the existence of some thirty volumes of Brecht’s works will bewilder readers who[Read More…]

Acharya Narendra Deva : Life And Politics

Acharya Narendra Deva : Life And Politics

              Acharya Narendra Deva, known as the patriarch and doyen of Indian socialism, was born on 31 October 1889 in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh. But his ancestors came to UP from Sialkot. His schooling took place in Faizabad and higher education in Allahabad and Banaras. He obtained his law degree from Allahabad University and practiced law for some time. But his scholastic[Read More…]

The Origins of Modern Democracy

The Origins of Modern Democracy

Part of the hegemonous stupidity or just plain ignorance that many people entertain is that modern democracy originated in Greece, with the French Revolution or with US Constitution writers. In other words, it’s the myth that our most modern forms of democracy came from the so-called whites. (So much for the many diverse lies in our public school books —[Read More…]

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The Voiceless Left Stands Before The Monster Of History

The Voiceless Left Stands Before The Monster Of History

  Rumors of war and the lexicon of war permeate the culture of empires, and the U.S. empire is not an exception. In a concomitant manner, the specter of violent death pervades the imagery of the U.S. entertainment industry and stalks the citizens’ dreams. Present circumstances merge with the sleeping monster of history: Close your eyes and images of cross[Read More…]

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The Savings Revolution: World Thrift Day-30th October

The Savings Revolution: World Thrift Day-30th October

  Managing money well begins with hanging on to what you have. This means avoiding unnecessary expenditure and then finding a safe place to store whatever money is left over. Making that choice—the choice to save rather than to consume—is the foundation of money management. -Stuart Rutherford The importance of savings has been understood from very early times even in[Read More…]

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Redefining Pain

Redefining Pain

                                              The word pain literally means “ a highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury”. If so, what I experienced during the first 3 months of my treatment was something much more than unpleasant or physical. It was a constant affliction that pervaded from the site of injury ie.my right foot upwards to my head. The most agonising[Read More…]

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The Seamless Web Of Life VS. Greed

The Seamless Web Of Life VS. Greed

An interpretation of the grim, bleak story of “The Fisherman And His Wife”. … Background: “The Fisherman and His Wife” is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale no. 19. It is Aarne–Thompson type 555, the fisherman and his wife. Wikipedia Originally published: 1812 Author: Brothers Grimm Illustrator: Jacob Grimm Genre: Fairy tale Editor: Jacob Grimm ————–[Read More…]

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Inspiring Stories: Why Is Hearing Important?

Inspiring Stories: Why Is Hearing Important?

Imagine the story, the internal struggle of a new born baby born with hearing loss? For an instant, the magnitude of future and its impact on this new born child cannot be envisaged. Now imagine, how many such children are actually suffering worldwide? Quite astonishingly, a large percentage of 360 million people worldwide who suffer from deafness are young, innocent[Read More…]

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Humane And Ethical? … Oh, Definitely Not!

Humane And Ethical? … Oh, Definitely Not!

Around ten years ago, I saw photos and read commentary about a factory chicken farm. Here is the description and images reiterated since I couldn’t find the old link. Chickens are afraid of not having ground under them. Yet chickens are left in small cramped wire cages with not enough room to move in any direction except to lie down[Read More…]

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The confirmation comes soon after a report from the U.K. Met Office in June warned that the planet was well on its way toward that grim milestone. (Photo: Kevin Gill/flickr/cc)

Sex, Rage Displacement, And Ecocide: Wanderings In An Interior Archipelago Of The Colonised

  Human sexuality mirrors human culture. Mating dances of seduction and refusal, and acts of non-consensual aggression cannot be separated from traits witnessed, practiced, and internalised by the people of a particular society. It is impossible to close the bedroom door to the culture at large. Eros not only inhabits the genitals and the heart but Anima mundi as well.[Read More…]

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The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go: Bob Avakian

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go: Bob Avakian

  This hour-long film addresses the most urgent question of the day: how to understand, and what to do about, the threat to humanity itself posed by the Trump/Pence regime. This talk—from the most radical revolutionary on the planet—makes the case for massive, sustained nonviolent outpourings to begin on November 4. It traces the roots of the regime—the deeper and[Read More…]

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Photo by Lupuca

Commitment Must Take A Different Course

  “As water seeks its own level, corruption creeps into the body politic to metastasize throughout society and its institutions.” –from Geoff Dutton’s NPR, the CIA and Corporatism While our mainstream media continue to distract us with the gender-based “horrors of Hollywood” and spotlights on other injustices (which do deserve our attention to some degree), the Big Picture is being ignored in the U.S.,[Read More…]

“Allah Hafiz” To “Hey Ram”

“Allah Hafiz” To “Hey Ram”

Has religion become the epicentre for our morality , safety , our dignity ? Have we as human beings sold ourselves to the judgements , agendas, inventions , lies and deceit of that which we call religion ? A few days back as I stepped into the waiting uber cab my house help handed me my things and in her[Read More…]

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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

I recently came across a novel by the name “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, by Milan Kundera. I haven’t as yet read it but its title immediately reminded me of my own ‘unbearable heaviness of being’. The immediate context was an incident I happened to hear from a friend. It might just be a very commonplace incident, would have and[Read More…]

A dead Iraqi child, victim of the "Shock and Awe" attacks in Iraq

War

  If you have you ever seen a monkey hanging from a tree by its tail and showing its red ass to onlookers, then you have seenthe animal kingdom’s representation of war. According to French playwright Jean Giraudoux, the pacifist and Legion d’onore holder in WWI, war looks just like that monkey’s ass. In 1933, on the eve of WWII,[Read More…]

Why Is My State THE Best?

Why Is My State THE Best?

My state, Massachusetts in the USA, tops the list of all fifty of them based on sixty separate indices: Overall Best States Rankings | US News Best States https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings This explains why Massachusetts, ranking No. 1 in education and No. 2 in health care, occupies the overall No. 1 spot in the Best States rankings. And it … Excerpted from the[Read More…]

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A Nonviolent Strategy To End Violence And Avert Human Extinction

A Nonviolent Strategy To End Violence And Avert Human Extinction

  Around the world activists who are strategic thinkers face a daunting challenge to effectively tackle the multitude of violent conflicts, including the threat of human extinction, confronting human society in the early 21st century. I wrote that ‘activists who are strategic thinkers face a daunting challenge’ because there is no point deluding ourselves that the insane global elite –[Read More…]

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 One Trick Pony Up

 One Trick Pony Up

  “He makes it Look so easy, it looks so clean He moves like God’s immaculate machine” — from Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony” “When a person expends the least possible movement on a certain act, that is grace.” — Anton Chekov, in a letter to Maxim Gorky Most people aren’t geniuses. Most cannot juggle multiple tasks at the same[Read More…]

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Radical Rule For Activist Writing

Radical Rule For Activist Writing

  “It should be instructive to think about why so many writers on alternative sites go on and on.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor When I first started teaching college students in in 1964, I began my Comparative Literature classes by pointing out how Mark Twain once demonstrated that several inflated passages from James Fenimore Cooper’s novels — including some from[Read More…]

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The Glory of Perpetual War!

The Glory of Perpetual War!

Whenever I need a sharp reminder about being fervent and adamant about hating war, I refresh myself by little remembrances and cues. Here are a few that stand out for me. Some people think that war is good for the economy since it uses resources to rebuild destroyed lands and creates jobs in the process. It supports the industrial-defense industry,[Read More…]

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Gauri Lankesh

Protesting In A Meaningful Way

  My Lord, May I protest?  How to Protest? That is the question! “Anger is a negative emotion, but to feel a right anger and to the right degree and to the right person is a righteous action,” Aristotle the Master of Metaphor, states. But did he also tell us ‘how to’ of expressing that anger? Or say, Protest. Protest[Read More…]

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Give Them Cause To Fire You While Rhyming

  “Too many educators have pigeon-holed their disciplines. This or that does or doesn’t fit in my classroom. Old school nonsense, particularly with the way in which high tech utilitarianism is bringing everyone down, preaching that the only way to fit in lies in acclimating to our momentum.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor If you’re an educator in the U.S. —[Read More…]

 “Interview” with Caoimhghin O’ Croidheain on Our Popular Entertainment

 “Interview” with Caoimhghin O’ Croidheain on Our Popular Entertainment

  “There will be no lasting improvement in any realm unless the excessive violence embedded in our diversions dissipates. The Hollywod celebrities who are — understandably — protesting the disgusting actions of Weinstein are routinely involved in generating much more disgusting fare for far more folks across the world. And they aid and abet our wars.” — Richard Martin Oxman ATS: Do[Read More…]

I Know Of None

I Know Of None

“What we do not yet know is how much of the ancient Abbasid city of Raqqa and its horseshoe walls and the gate of Baghdad built probably in the eighth century, survives. So much of Syria’s antiquity has been damaged or destroyed – sometimes quite deliberately – in this war, that few historians bother any more to decry the destruction[Read More…]

Everything during Diwali revolves around bussiness. Daily chores and responsibilities work in tandem with the demands of customers.

Photo Essay: Diwali Preparations For Diya Artificers Are Not The Same

By Arpita Singh & Midhat Fatimah Kamla Devi told that they take bath in the evening to stay clean of the mud while sleeping. She is one of thousands of potters residing in the conjested village known as Kumhar Gram. Kumhar Gram situated on the outskirts of Delhi, is the largest habitat of potter’s community in India accomodating more than[Read More…]

What Version Of The Future Do We Want?

What Version Of The Future Do We Want?

  Some people have reluctance to continue in fostering the peace movement. It is easy to want to walk or run away. It is also easy to get discouraged or outright hopeless. Ironically, the first day that I joined the peace moment was the same one that I most desperately wanted to run away. I literally, wanted to flee with[Read More…]

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Chhattisgarh: Nationality Movement And The Oppressed

Chhattisgarh: Nationality Movement And The Oppressed

This article was published in a book Social Movements in Contemporary India edited by SK Chaube in 1996 Many small Nadis join to make the Mahanadi. This statement of Shankar Guha Niyogi, the architect and the ideologue of the Chhattisgarh movement under the red –green banner of Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM), explains the motif of its slogan, ‘A New Chhattisgarh for a[Read More…]

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 2 or 3 Things I Know About Capitalism (with apologies to Jean-Luc Godard) 

 2 or 3 Things I Know About Capitalism (with apologies to Jean-Luc Godard) 

  A number of recent, press articles, including an over 8,000-word feature piece in The New York Times have asked, to quote the Times’ headline, “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?” Although the question was proffered, the reporters and editors responsible for the articles remain resolutely obtuse to the obvious: The bughouse crazy environment of[Read More…]

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Accepting Freedom

Accepting Freedom

Many years ago, I wrote a piece which I posted on my blog called, ‘Same Chairs, Different Bottoms’. Here it is for those who may not have read it. It is necessarily full of Indian (and Hindi) idiom which is not translatable so I apologize to those who don’t understand Hindi in advance. Also you need to know something of[Read More…]

Disabled Women In Male Dominated Society

Disabled Women In Male Dominated Society

  The Only Disability In Life Is A Bad Attitude Scott Hamilton In a country where most assaults, attempts of rape and humiliation of women are under – reported, the condition of disabled women is even worse. They are easily vulnerable to manipulations of men who, on the pretext of assisting them, try to achieve sadistic satisfaction by their devious[Read More…]

Dealing With Sexual Assault

Dealing With Sexual Assault

When I was nineteen years old, I walked to a grocery store from my parents’ home outside of a high fence concerning which inside was a mental institution around a mile away from their home. Then there was a vocalized whistle from inside. I turned and saw a mental patient, out for an airing and exercise no doubt, drop his[Read More…]

Definitions: The Proletariat

Definitions: The Proletariat

“Suppose that some great disaster were to sweep ten million families out to sea and leave ‘em on a desert island to starve and rot. That would be … an act of God, maybe. But suppose a manner of government that humans have set up and directed, drives ten million families into the pit of poverty and starvation? That’s no[Read More…]

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