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Life/Philosophy

Badi Ammi:  Educationist Mrs.Fatima Anees 

Badi Ammi:  Educationist Mrs.Fatima Anees 

It seemed Badi Ammi was going to live forever. We were so used to her. The shore that tells you to traipse along braving the storms,  helps you comprehend your mess, allows you to walk over it, the rock you know is there to push you to learn to lean on your own shoulders and not anyone else’s, the proverbial[Read More…]

Lament Lenin: The rant

Lament Lenin: The rant

Lamenting Lenin is a regular ritual of a section of scholars donning, on occasions, a red apron. These scholars, a few of them pose as an ardent disciple of Marx, accuse Lenin of practicing autocracy as they point to measures the Soviet Power had to take during its early days. The rant The condemnation-business is transcontinental, beginning from Russia to[Read More…]

The Evolution of Greed – From Aristotle to Gordon Gekko

The Evolution of Greed – From Aristotle to Gordon Gekko

The comfort of rich people depends on an abundant supply of poor people. -Voltaire Greed is as old as time. As long as there are people, greed and avarice will continue to exist. In Ancient Greece they had a special word for it: ‘pleonexia’. Pleonexia is a concept that unites greed, covetousness and avarice in a philosophical context. Strictly speaking,[Read More…]

Natwar Thakkar : The pioneer of North – East India

Natwar Thakkar : The pioneer of North – East India

  Many people might not know about the social activist Natwar Thakkar who was popular as Nagaland Gandhi and was awarded Padma Shree. He went to stay in Nagaland in 1955 at the age of 23 and spread the teachings of Gandhi. He set up the Nagaland Gandhi Ashram at a village Chuchuyimlang in Mokokchung district in the year 1955.[Read More…]

Of Cows, Bacteria and ‘Human’ Rights

Of Cows, Bacteria and ‘Human’ Rights

  This article is based on a talk delivered in Hyderabad on 7th October 2018 as part of the 9th memorial meeting of ‘Remembering Balagopal’, an annual event commemorating the late social activist K Balagopal It is a truly a great privilege for me to be here today to speak to all of you at this meeting to remember Prof.[Read More…]

Monkey And Me

Monkey And Me

6.30 am, October 3, 2018, Anekal. I was sitting on a terrace, listening to the birds, occasionally playing my flute, drinking my coffee and watching the forests around as well as the remnants of a lake nearby. It was a beautiful day to begin with. Suddenly, a battalion of monkeys from the nearby trees joined me. Initially, I thought they[Read More…]

Why Don’t We Talk About Mental Health?

Why Don’t We Talk About Mental Health?

World Mental Health Day-10 October 2018 Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis.  Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb .The National Mental Health Survey of India (2016), the largest exercise to count the numbers of those affected by mental disorders, reported that one of every ten adults experiences a clinically significant[Read More…]

Old women appear in the 4th standard examination in Kerala Literacy Mission

Literacy is to language what driving is to cars

In my view the single most significant event in human development is the evolution of languages. It was this process that enabled human beings to preserve their thoughts, teach others, learn from history and talk to generations yet unborn. Language is the elixir of eternal life. Or as close to it as we are likely to come. Literacy or to[Read More…]

Saving Gandhi On Gandhi Jayanti

Saving Gandhi On Gandhi Jayanti

Today is Gandhi Jayanti. If he were alive he would have been 149 year. Official celebrations are there. Narendra Modi is on an overdrive to ‘prove’ that he ‘inherit’ the legacy of Gandhi. His ‘swachchbharat’ campaign is nothing but an attempt to deviate from the real issues of the nation. Gandhi has devotees and detractors both. Many people love his[Read More…]

The Great October Revolution: Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People

The Great October Revolution: Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People

Abolish all exploitation, completely eliminate the division of society into classes, mercilessly crush the resistance of the exploiters, establish a socialist organization of society, and achieve the victory of socialism in all countries were declared as the fundamental aim of the newly established Soviet Russia, a Republic of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. And, the Declaration of Rights[Read More…]

Bapu Kuti: A Reminder of Gandhi’s Forgotten Ideals

Bapu Kuti: A Reminder of Gandhi’s Forgotten Ideals

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 years[Read More…]

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love

‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi As we remember Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October, the Mahatma’s 149th birthday and the[Read More…]

The Youth Today : Caught in a Bind and Yet Daring to Dream – and Act

The Youth Today : Caught in a Bind and Yet Daring to Dream – and Act

It was a performance “to narrate and retell the stories of women of Delhi who have been resilient in the face of adversities….. [and] have changed/ altered some parts of their lives by being their true selves.” A performance that more or less seamlessly “flowed into” what is characterized as “Playback Theatre” in which, after the main performance, someone from[Read More…]

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Hindu Rama and Indian Krishna

Hindu Rama and Indian Krishna

It is a known fact that Ram is politically owned by the Sangh Parivar whereas Krishna is owned by the Yadavs across the country as their divine and political legacy. In North India the Yadavs remained as an opposite political and social block to the Hindutva block. In this context, I want to examine two opposite streams of thought that emerged around Rama and[Read More…]

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Priscilla Murolo

‘Working People Will Make a Better World’: An Interview With Labor Historian Priscilla Murolo

Priscilla Murolo is a professor of history at Sarah Lawrence College, where she formerly directed the graduate program in Women’s History. She also teaches in the Union Leadership and Activism Master’s Program at the University of Massachusetts. Beginning in the 1960s, she has been involved in the women’s movement, labor organizing and many community campaigns and organizations. Murolo is the[Read More…]

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“Curse” Marx: A response to Mr. Saral Sarkar

“Curse” Marx: A response to Mr. Saral Sarkar

Mr. Saral Sarkar has done a nice job with his article “From Marxist Socialism to Eco-Socialism — Turning Points of a Personal Journey Through a Theory of Socialism”, (Countercurrents.org on September 16, 2018), in which he has attempted to look back at a lot of issues: his political learning from his student days’, juvenile imagination on socialism, Marx, Lenin, Mao,[Read More…]

(Eknath Awad, 1956-2015)- Photo Courtesy- Dr. Milind Awad

Eknath Awad: A Life Spent in Struggle for Emancipation

His mother’s dream and aspirations and also the inspiration that he derived from the long history of struggle led by Jotiba Phule, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Annabhau Sathe and others remained the beacon lights for him throughout his life. Dalit activist, Eknath Awad, wrote his memoir, “Jag Badal Ghaaluni Ghaav” in Marathi language, which was published by Samkaleen Prakashan, Pune[Read More…]

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Is it the final countdown to #endTB?

Is it the final countdown to #endTB?

  (CNS): The world’s eyes and ears are expectantly focussed on the forthcoming first-ever UN High Level Meeting (UNHLM) to #endTB: “United to End TB: An Urgent Global Response to a Global Epidemic.” The global TB community is hailing this as a landmark opportunity to marshal political will and resources to end TB by 2030. Will this meeting actually turn[Read More…]

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Message of Karbala

Message of Karbala

Islamic year, consisting of twelve months begins with the month of Muharram. Although all these months are significant, holding a special importance but the Quran has declared four months much sacred, which involves Zulqadah, Zulhijjah, and Rajab and the first month – Muharram. Even before the advent of Islam, it was considered as blessed owing to many historical events of[Read More…]

The Myth of an Intolerant Islam

The Myth of an Intolerant Islam

Islam is a massive faith with 1.6 billion followers spread across the Islamic world that stretches over 15,000 kilometers. A considerable section of the community lives as a minority community in many countries, battling issues of stereotyping, discrimination and identity. With the powerful influence of Islamophobic brigades, there has been a massive surge of hatred against Islam and its adherents.[Read More…]

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Eradicating Suffering

Eradicating Suffering

  In the last few years I have become aware of the impossibility of removing misery externally to myself. But even very recently when a dire issue presented itself to my senses whether through mind ears etc, like the rape of girls and women housed up a few steps from their NGO newspaperman protector, I was furious and reached into[Read More…]

Plato’s Theory of Education

Plato’s Theory of Education

              Introduction             “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, consequently also controls at the same time the means of mental production, so that the ideas[Read More…]

Dear Comrade:  A respectful response to Saral Sakar

Dear Comrade:  A respectful response to Saral Sakar

 A response to Saral Sakar’s “ From Marxist Socialism to Eco-Socialism — Turning Points of a Personal Journey Through a Theory of Socialism.” Dear Comrade, I want you to know that you are not alone; that anyone who has taken the long walk with and through Marx has at times felt like there was something “missing” some “not quite right”[Read More…]

Rationalism as a Way of Life

Rationalism as a Way of Life

What is’way of life’? Till the emergence of organised religions, it seems there is no point in history where there has been a single ‘way of life’. In actuality, human in his/her struggle to survive, sustain and socialise, develops a way of life which is dominated by the reason, logic and commonsense. Imagined and incomprehensible elements play lesser role just[Read More…]

Jaipal Singh Munda: A constitutional expert from Adivasis

Jaipal Singh Munda: A constitutional expert from Adivasis

  ” I rise to speak on behalf of unknown hordes – yet very important – of unrecognised warriors of freedom, the original people of India who have variously been known as backward tribes, primitive tribes, criminal tribes and everything else, Sir, I am proud to be a ‘Jangli’ that is the name by which we are known in my[Read More…]

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Women driven towards suicide

Women driven towards suicide

While many reports indicate women face immense hardships in their lives, there is one more report indicating their distress. Almost four in ten women who commit suicide are from India: 71.2% of women who commit suicide were under the group 15- 39 age group between 1990- 2016, according to the findings published in a paper titled ‘ Gender Differentials and[Read More…]

Teachers – modern trends

Teachers – modern trends

 ” The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves ‘ S. Radhakrishnan While ‘teachers day ‘ is being celebrated with statements about their role in society and contribution to ‘ education ‘ of students, little light is being shed on their plight as well as some dangerous tendencies. Vacancies According to data compiled by The Times of[Read More…]

The challenges of evaluating popular leaders objectively, especially posthumously

The challenges of evaluating popular leaders objectively, especially posthumously

Almost all leaders especially popular do good things to gain the status of a popular leader. But they also make mistakes. However, people often seem to get fiercely divided in portraying leaders in a balanced manner, especially posthumously. McCain, an immediate example of contradictions Senator John McCain for example, who died of brain cancer on August 28, 2018 is a[Read More…]

Esoteric demystification of Love, Concupiscence and Celestial Orgasm

Esoteric demystification of Love, Concupiscence and Celestial Orgasm

“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes. Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers’ tears. What is it else? A madness most discreet, a choking gall and a preserving sweet.” ~ William Shakespeare The Philosophy of Love is considered as the field of social philosophy, which is specifically focused[Read More…]

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Plato’s Theory of Justice

Plato’s Theory of Justice

Plato’stheory of justice quite different from and contrary to the justice as we understand it in constitutional-legal terms, can be precisely summed in following two quotes from the Republic: “Justice is having and doing what is one’s own”and “A just man is a man just in the right place doing his best and giving full equivalent of what he receives”.[Read More…]

Love at First Sight—Old Man Adopts Dog

Love at First Sight—Old Man Adopts Dog

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” French Nobel Prize winner Anatole France Sebastopol, California: Searching for a dog, I recently visited three animal shelters. At the final one, I saw a dog that I instantly connected to. I consulted with my friend Debbie Melmon and decided to adopt her—one of the best decisions[Read More…]

The Cell Phone and the Virgin (2018): A Montreal Odyssey

The Cell Phone and the Virgin (2018): A Montreal Odyssey

“And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever While Suzanne holds her mirror” – Leonard Cohen, “Suzanne”[Read More…]

A Tribute to Samir Amin

A Tribute to Samir Amin

200 years after Marx’s birth, 101 years after the October revolution, and 50 years after thetumult of 1968, Samir Amin is dead. To the torrent of tributes that is surely pouring in at this time, I would like to add my own reflections on my engagement with Amin’s life and work.Due to the timing with which I came into contact[Read More…]

Samir Amin: Intellectual-appropriate to the Global South

Samir Amin: Intellectual-appropriate to the Global South

With the demise of Samir Amin—an indispensable component of the new genre of the Radical Political Economy School of Marxism—the  Global South has lost an important intellectual prime mover of its history. A critique of the capitalist world-system/imperialism, the ultra-right regimes and reactionary forces across the world, Amin had talked and written about strategies of transforming the world through political[Read More…]

Samir Amin stood For People

Samir Amin stood For People

Samir Amin lives as long as peoples’ revolutionary journey moves forward. And, peoples’ revolutionary march is unending as revolutionary advancement opens path for further revolutionary advancement. Samir Amin walks along peoples struggling against exploitation, against imperialism in countries. Samir Amin transcends all borders capital creates to divide peoples struggling against exploiters, against all divisive politics, against all sectarian ideologies, which[Read More…]

Plato’s Theory of Idea or the Form

Plato’s Theory of Idea or the Form

  Plato’s theory of Idea or the Form constitutes the philosophical foundation of Plato’s political theory. The problems variety and the change have been common questions for ancient Greeks, who were trying to discover the uniting element in the variety, i.e. the one in many; and the permanence in the ever changing world. Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy generally addressed to the observation of life and motion[Read More…]

Plato’s Theory of Soul

Plato’s Theory of Soul

The intellectual world is teleological. That is to say nothing is written without purpose and each intellectual responds to; reflects upon; provides intellectual explanation and justification or critique and alternative to the issues and circumstances prevailing in his contemporary time-space. Plato’s Republic is not an utopia addressed to no-one but a passionate appeal to fellow Athenians to overthrow the existing democratic governance[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

When I first came to Russia, the key political event of the moment was the “war” over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two independent provinces in Georgia.  The response of the American media to the situation was, quite unsurprisingly, to accuse Russia of instigating the “war” by invading Georgia.  The people of Russia were furious over what was a blatant lie,[Read More…]

A young revolutionary -Khudiram Bose

A young revolutionary -Khudiram Bose

Once again, the preparations for celebrating independence have begun and many martyrs are being remembered. Among those who have laid down their lives for freedom, many have been forgotten or not remembered very frequently. One such young person who fought the tyranny of colonialism was from Bengal – Khudiram Bose . According to historians, as many as 200 or more[Read More…]

Answering “What Should I Do?” Is Easier When You Know The Roles Of Social Movements

Answering “What Should I Do?” Is Easier When You Know The Roles Of Social Movements

Co-Written by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers The United States is going in the wrong direction on a wide range of social, economic and foreign policy issues and people are justifiably upset and angry. One question we are regularly asked is: “What should I do?” In our last two newsletters, we examined the stages of successful social movements to show how movements can[Read More…]

Our Cranial Problem

Our Cranial Problem

Could it be that there are inherent evolutionary cranial/neurological deficiencies in our DNA makeup; so deeply embedded that we as a species now in this industrial age are unable to comprehend ourselves as a threat to our own future existence? Could it be that this is the reason our response to our desecration of the planet and its biosphere is[Read More…]

Poor Indians turning guinea pigs for greedy pharmaceutical firms

Poor Indians turning guinea pigs for greedy pharmaceutical firms

“ A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) used dignified language to explain the criminality of an American company and support to it by corrupt Indian officials. “They are murders. But we call ‘deaths’ before enquiry and ‘killings’ in conclusion.  Most surprising is we do not even give exact number of children killed, we simply say some deaths. This is trivialisation of[Read More…]

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Modi pushes for Bullet Train while Infrastructure rots in Mumbai

Modi pushes for Bullet Train while Infrastructure rots in Mumbai

The famed Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz once wrote about the plight of ordinary people who must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in fear due to the onslaught of dictatorship(.nisaar mai.n terii galiyo.n ke ae watan is the opening line of the original poem). Faiz wrote in a different context but people in Mumbai now walk with more dread[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

Although I usually spend at least an hour every day reading the news, it has been years since I have held a newspaper in my hands.  But my son-in-law Emile, and his father, my friend Henry LaFargue, like to sit and “read the newspapers.”   They are stacked up on the kitchen table:  The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,[Read More…]

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Where are the nurses in the HIV response?

Where are the nurses in the HIV response?

(CNS): Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, nurses have been at the forefront of the response to this once fatal infection. The nurse is involved at every stage of the trajectory of a person living with HIV—from usually being the first to counsel the newly diagnosed person, to one of the last to be with him/her at the point[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

I come awake to the rattle snake sound of the cicadas, nuanced, orchestrated, ebbing and flowing on the air; the buzz of lawnmowers, the swish of tires puckering up from the tarmac.The dog barking in the yard completes the suburban symphony that plays daily in the well to do communities of Northern New Jersey. I have been here two weeks,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

It is not the case that we can live long in places without them becoming part of us and we becoming part of them. I am not here talking about countries or cities, but the quarters in which we live and to which we return daily to satisfy our most basic needs. Our spaces shape our thoughts and feelings, and[Read More…]

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When Karl Marx Fails: Discourse on Class and Caste Politics in India

When Karl Marx Fails: Discourse on Class and Caste Politics in India

There is a long standing debate as to whether Marxism played any role in the Dalit’s struggle for social emancipation and justice. The debate is characterized by two currents of thoughts one favours, advocates and project the communist system as an ideal landscape for the social emancipation and freedom of Dalits and another takes a view of communism as an[Read More…]

The Philosophical Discourse on ‘Death’

The Philosophical Discourse on ‘Death’

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet. Let it not be a death but completeness. Let love melt into memory and pain into songs. Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest. Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night. Stand[Read More…]

The Sexual Passion of Winston Smith

The Sexual Passion of Winston Smith

“Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it, certainly, but degenerated to Vice.”     – Frederick Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil “Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little[Read More…]

Reality Versus Fantasy

Reality Versus Fantasy

I saw this image and started laughing while also feeling somber. I shared the cartoon with a friend of mine and he sees several problems in relation to it. The first is that humans do not like reality. We do not like our mortality (the fact that we will die) and we do not like having no or little control[Read More…]

Higher Education:The New Education Policy and the new challenges

Higher Education:The New Education Policy and the new challenges

The summary   The new educational policy and proposed reforms like CBCS, RUSA, Central Universities’ Act are steps towards conformity of the WTO demands commoditization, liberalization and privatization of education on the so-called developing countries and the least developed countries. It is to be noted that the WTO representing the interests of the imperialist global capital, has included education in GATTS[Read More…]

Lenin and the Myths –a ‘Tajik’ tale

Lenin and the Myths –a ‘Tajik’ tale

Those were the years that followed the Bolshevik Revolution. Tales of Lenin was spreading faster than the Soviet itself was. Historians given to anti-Communist propaganda have since kept on insisting that the USSR was formed by military force – by warfare unleashed by the Red Army. However, tales, anecdotes and narratives that speak to the contrary could not in entirety[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

It should come as no surprise to me, but it does, that after decades of studying the thinking of the ancient Greeks, I have begun to think like them. In saying this I am not merely speaking of their philosophy but also in reference to their religious beliefs, which, no less than their philosophy, set great insights about Being before[Read More…]

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Indian Education- Suicide--Madura beats

Another Life Ended Raising Questions on ‘What is Education?’

Another suicide at the altar of so-called Education. The news report about a fortnight back shook one to the core – so much so that the tragedy stays in the mind all these days after the happening, knocking at the door of conscious thought every now and then. A young girl seeking admission to the M.Sc. (Chemistry) Course in Maharshi[Read More…]

De-jargoning the development discourse

De-jargoning the development discourse

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. -Lee Iacocca We live in an age where noisy posturing often substitutes reasoned debate and brash opinion trumps hard facts. The thread of logic often disappears in a blizzard of gee-whiz statistics, acronyms and catchphrases that are liberally sprinkled by our contemporary[Read More…]

Sports women with a difference – women’s football

Sports women with a difference – women’s football

With the euphoria of men’s football world cup drawing to a close, there has been little discussion on ‘womens’ football’ . Sports like cricket, football or hockey are primarily dominated by men. The tournaments and world cup matches played by men are sponsored, telecast and viewed regularly while women playing these sports are rarely telecast due to less viewing and[Read More…]

On Being Privileged

On Being Privileged

I had an opportunity a few months ago of being told I was privileged and was a “nasty” person in terms of many of my attitudes. I found that rather shocking for a number of reasons. The first is that since age five, I have worked my heart out — worked like a dervish perfecting dedicated swirls to be faster[Read More…]

Revisiting English literature: A Forgotten Love Affair

Revisiting English literature: A Forgotten Love Affair

Languages bear artillery of influences—they may comfort, stir, and immiserate, build perceptions, fortify beliefs, demolish conventions, entertain and educate. They can provide escape velocity to a whole new space or isolate and even cause the whole world come crashing down to the confines of one’s mental doldrums. Books, for most part are the windows to the arena of languages. They[Read More…]

It’s time for a moral revolution

It’s time for a moral revolution

  What would it take for America to become a moral society? We think it will take a revolution. The day before he was assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what is now known as the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address to the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. He said, Let us rise up tonight with a[Read More…]

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

While the world watched and waited with bated breath for the outcome of the substantial global effort – involving over 100 cave divers from various countries, 1,000 members of the Thai Army and 10,000 others in various roles – to rescue a team of 12 young football players and their coach, who were trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand[Read More…]

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Labor History Happened Here—And Why It Matters

Labor History Happened Here—And Why It Matters

Bill Hohlfeld, LaborPress’s resident historian and educator, started out as an ironworker. He describes labor history as “literally, our story. It’s the chronicle of our ancestors.” Gotta know your labor history… It tells us who the farm girls were who went to work in the textile mills of New England; or the cigar workers of New York, who read the[Read More…]

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Training The Children When They’re Young

Training The Children When They’re Young

 One of my favorite books of all times is one compiled by this person.  And you can buy it, too. For example. I bought it for a friend of mine in India out of Amazon.in. You can get it, too. World Tales : The Extraordinary Coincidence of Stories Told in All Times, in All Places Jun 1, 1991 by Idries[Read More…]

The Good and Bad About Mumbai and Bangalore

The Good and Bad About Mumbai and Bangalore

  After walking on Bangalore’s or Benguluru’s fashionable M.G. road earlier this week I casually hopped into a bus at Anil Kumble circle named after the former Indian cricket captain. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fare was only Rs. 5 for Shivaji Nagar bus station. A distance of a little less than a km. but still the[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

Sooner or later- sooner if they are rude and later if they are polite enough to wait until we have developed a relationship that would allow them to ask a personal question, Russians  will inevitably ask  “Why are you here?”  Some in a tone of suspicion or contempt,  will ask me as if they were throwing down a gauntlet  The[Read More…]

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Marx in Bangladesh

Marx in Bangladesh

Marx was not aloof in the Bangladesh socio-economic-ideological-political reality. Incessant class struggle in the society along with development of ideas cropping up in the soil of class conflict was a home for Marx, the scientist-theoretician of the revolutionary proletariat. The society’s antagonistic classes compelled him to play a role in defining goals of the society, of the exploited in the[Read More…]

An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

They are the sources of the paced slivers of sound played across seasons, sounds I awaken to, sounds that inform my days, Their sounds, although varying in tone and intensity, are always paced, steady, sure. This summer morning it is the soft swish of small tree branches, cut and tied to a wooden pole. There has been a storm in[Read More…]

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The crowd in Metro Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow: An immigrant’s tale

If James Joyce’s The Dubliners are stories about people who cannot escape their unhappiness, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools is about those who believe that they will find happiness when they arrive at their destinations, this story is about immigrants to Russia who once believed that when they arrived here they would find love, money or adventure. Instead,[Read More…]

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Relationships in the time of Social Media

Relationships in the time of Social Media

Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words. ‒ Rumi Perhaps the truth is this: at the deepest level, human bonding is a conscious, unremitting labour of love, the soliloquy of a disjointed soul seeking its mirror amidst other equally flawed, unquantifiable souls. The firgun of connecting to a kindred soul,[Read More…]

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Darker side of private hospitals

Darker side of private hospitals

( “ If a heart patient knows the actual cost of the cardiac stent, he will realise how much the hospital looted him. He should be strong enough to withstand the shock.  We don’t know how many suffered heart attack after knowing this exploitation. One small lawyer has to fight against this injustice. Where are the great doctors? Don’t they[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)

Family Of Man?

I frequently write about global politics following an interest in US foreign policy as it tends to strive towards global hegemony by one means or another. Included in that are commentaries on Canada, my home country, and how we run double standards at home and abroad as willing followers of those same policies. This commentary is a departure from that.[Read More…]

Karl Marx In Bihar At 200

Karl Marx In Bihar At 200

Quotes from Karl Marx’s works reverberated in the unprecedented 5-day long conference organized by the Asian Development and Research Institute (ADRI), participated by the delegates from 18 countries across the 5 oceans, held in Patna, the capital of Bihar that has witnessed many revolutionary and counter revolutionary movements and uprisings. Gist and the central message of the conference in one[Read More…]

Relationships: Strength or Weakness?

Relationships: Strength or Weakness?

I write not with expectations, because expectations are meant to be shattered, just like promises are meant to be broken. Nevertheless, my intention is to stir some thoughts of yours. This might be one of the weird thoughts you would have ever come across, and, I wonder if anybody else had thought or would think this way… Why we are[Read More…]

Sophistry & Mutual Admiration Circles

Sophistry & Mutual Admiration Circles

Only a simpleton will not understand that in a “mutual admiration group” members generally degenerate themselves to a sophistry by exchange of pretended or exaggerated reciprocal praise. In this narcissist group, each member is mostly concerned with his own self-good. In philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, calls it self-downgrading way of making money, when [people] have to resort to sophism[Read More…]

The Politics Of Economic Expansions And Recessions

The Politics Of Economic Expansions And Recessions

I was reminiscing about the few things of engineering and economics that I’d learnt in university (Tennessee) some 5 decades ago, their values and applications now and the differences from those in the past. What has changed is considerably a whole lot for the worse. After I’d completed bachelor’s degree in engineering, I went on to earn a degree in[Read More…]

It’s Not Easy to Find the Courage to Stand in the Bitter Wind

It’s Not Easy to Find the Courage to Stand in the Bitter Wind

Some days ago I returned to my home in Massachusetts, USA from Newfoundland, Canada. Ah, Newfoundland, what a remarkable place!!! For me, at least, its unspoiled beauty and natural wonders provide a brief respite from the chaos I feel so intensely when I am at home and engaged with the distressing issues facing our world. I miss my time in[Read More…]

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 In The Name Of Justice: Thus Spake John Rawls

 In The Name Of Justice: Thus Spake John Rawls

An individual who finds that he enjoys seeing others in positions of lesser liberty understands that he has no claim whatever to this enjoyment. ~ John Bordley Rawls (21st February 1921-24th November 2002)   John Rawls’ has explained the theory of justice through his political philosophy. The political philosophy of Rawls is based on the tradition of enlightenment that is[Read More…]

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An IR Scholar with Practical Wisdom – Prof K.R. Singh (1932-2018) Remembered  

There are not many International Relations (IR) scholars in India who can make a reasonable claim that their scholarship means many things for the foreign as well as the defence policy decision-makers in the country. K.R. Singh belonged to such a genre of scholarship embedded in a typical Aristotelian notion of Phronetic (practical wisdom) studies. Singh always sought to combine[Read More…]

Through The ‘Silence’ Of A Philosopher

Through The ‘Silence’ Of A Philosopher

The philosophy of courage involves an examination of a desire of mankind to take risk to know the unknown, to explore the unexplored, to understand the complex, to see the unseen. The human life without the elements of risks becomes a monotonous game of denials. Being a philosopher, every day I often make myself witness how an element of risk[Read More…]

In The Defence Of Right To ‘Eat’

In The Defence Of Right To ‘Eat’

I am born foody. I must have inherited this trait from my mother as she is a great cook as well as food lover. I love to eat everything that is edible; however, somehow I have always kept some distance from red meat and chicken by embracing seafood and eggs. In short, for me food is an object of attraction[Read More…]

Preventing Miseries

Preventing Miseries

 I have an associate of around fifteen years. I work with him on and off in nanotechnology areas. I have nothing except for the highest respect, admiration and caring for him because he is ethical, kindly, dedicated to serving the best interests of humanity, and he is honorable in terms of using his best skills and understandings to train students[Read More…]

Felicia Langer, a great German-Israeli Human Rights lawyer, passed away

Felicia Langer, a great German-Israeli Human Rights lawyer, passed away

A great Israeli-German Jew passed away. Her death represents a significant loss to the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice, human rights, and self-determination. She and her late husband Mieciu, who died in 2015, stood for the other, the better Israel after they emigrated to Germany. They rejected colonialism, Israeli wars, Land theft, torture, apartheid, ethnocentric nationalism, chauvinism and countless violations[Read More…]

Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World

Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World

“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man.  Society highly values its normal man.  It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal.  Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years. [Read More…]

 Brief discourse on the origin of Naga Tribes

 Brief discourse on the origin of Naga Tribes

Nagas are considered to be the people, who belong to old warrior tribe. Some of the myths also inform that these people are from Mongoloid origin.  People often believe that there is only one Naga tribe or that Naga is a single tribe. However, there are about 32 known Naga tribes, which are distributed in various areas and territories of Nagaland,[Read More…]

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When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born

When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born

As discontent increases with overly expensive and totally inadequate US health care, it is time to look closely at the beginnings of the modern Cuban medical system. Like the US, Cuba had unintegrated, overlapping medical institutions that failed the poor, especially black, population of the island. Though several European countries have developed health care systems about 40% cheaper than the[Read More…]

Social entrepreneurship: Partnership platforms for sustainable societies

Social entrepreneurship: Partnership platforms for sustainable societies

(CNS): Dr Marie Lisa Dacanay, President of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia, defines social entrepreneurship as ‘a game changing strategy to mainstream social enterprises to help the poor/ marginalized and women at the grassroots become key partners in multi-stakeholder innovation platforms for developing inclusive, sustainable economies; and to partake of the value and wealth created in ways that[Read More…]

Humanity’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: Starving, Enslaving, Raping, Torturing and Killing our Children

Humanity’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: Starving, Enslaving, Raping, Torturing and Killing our Children

In a recent article titled ‘Challenges for Resolving Complex Conflicts’, I pointed out four conflict configurations that are paid little attention by conflict theorists. In this article, I would like to discuss a fifth conflict configuration that is effectively ignored by conflict theorists (and virtually everyone else). This conflict is undoubtedly the most fundamental conflict in human society, because it[Read More…]

Living by One’s Own Truth: Capitalism equals Corruption

Living by One’s Own Truth: Capitalism equals Corruption

Small and marginal farmers, sharecroppers, landless labourers and other farm and forest workers in India are the single largest natural resource being exploited for capitalist accumulation in India. The market pays the manual work of those who produce their own food and that of others at below social reproduction cost. This is a fundamental market failure in relation to the[Read More…]

P.N. Haksar opposed Maruti car, Indira Gandhi should have listened to him

P.N. Haksar opposed Maruti car, Indira Gandhi should have listened to him

If Mrs Indira Gandhi had listened to Mr P.N. Haksar, her reputed principal secretary, India probably would not have landed in the mess in the automobile and public transport sector. Mr Haksar, a staunch socialist, strongly opposed her son Sanjay Gandhi’s arrogant and ill-conceived Maruti car project and this paved the way for his exit as principal secretary in 1973[Read More…]

Photo Credit: Lockerdome.com

Through The Ink of a PhD Scholar

In the name of Fundamental Research not much has been done in India in comparison with European nations. The right to education was once traditionally confined to ‘one’ community in India which is a fact that also has contributed to great extent to the degradation of Education system.  Right from School education to the PhD; the education system in India[Read More…]

Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?

Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?

The point of anarchism is to create a better society for everyone. To realize anarchism, many agree, is to do away with power. Why? Because gravitating towards power, hierarchy, and subjugation sullies our politics and makes the aims of anarchism impossible. Of course, even an egalitarian society might give rise to leaders and dominion. And people can be ambitious; they[Read More…]

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The Inscrutable Protocols Of The Zeitgeist

The Inscrutable Protocols Of The Zeitgeist

                              (has America become a muck-raking- fuck-strutting-scam-swamp?) In our technological age, the protocols of the zeitgeist are shrouded in dubious practices. Like the use of the term ‘force’ in Star Wars, force has become a very special fluid simultaneously circulating in the body politic and the imagination of speculative investors.The monographic stamp of neo-conservative politics is everywhere apparent, showing how[Read More…]

100 Years Ago, Eugene Debs Gave An Anti-War Speech That Landed Him in Prison

100 Years Ago, Eugene Debs Gave An Anti-War Speech That Landed Him in Prison

In 1920, Eugene Victor Debs ran for president from a cell in the federal prison in Atlanta for a speech opposing World War 1 that he gave 100 years ago – on June 18, 1918.   Despite his imprisonment, Debs received 913,664 votes – 3.4 percent of the total. In his speech, the Socialist Party leader told a packed crowd at a[Read More…]

Science In Vernacular Languages – Beneficial?

Science In Vernacular Languages – Beneficial?

‘ To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country,to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from western nomenclature , and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population ‘ Thomas B. Macaulay (Country, class dialect) With the increase in dogmatism and religion[Read More…]

 In Love With The World

 In Love With The World

I’ve been working with several environmental and other groups, including ones involving local organic farmers, to try to financially secure a 13 1/2 acre, gorgeous farm with fields and an apple orchard near my home. It also has a very lovely old farmhouse. Many of the apple trees are very old — dating from 1600’s or 1700’s. They were brought[Read More…]

Prof. Keshav Rao Jadhav : A man of Courage, Conviction and Commitment

Prof. Keshav Rao Jadhav : A man of Courage, Conviction and Commitment

Prof. Keshav Rao Jadhav, a prominent socialist thinker and leader passed away on 16th June 2018 at a hospital in Hyderabad at the age of 86. Prof. Jadhav was running ill for a long time. His funeral took place the same day in Hyderabad in the presence of several leaders and activists associated with the Telangana movement and the socialist[Read More…]

Marx, Marxism and the Indian Context

Marx, Marxism and the Indian Context

 The principles of Marxism and the Indian communist movement             “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling materialforce of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectualforce. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, consequently also controls at the same time the means of[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Elimination of Labor and the State in the 22nd Century

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Elimination of Labor and the State in the 22nd Century

An article by Neil Irwin in the New York Times posted on June 12, 2018, carries the provocative title: “If the Robots Come for Our Jobs, What Should the Government Do? This question proceeds from two primary assumptions which should not be accepted at face value.  The first is that the “Robots” will come for our jobs, which is to[Read More…]

Jane LaTour on 50+ Years in the Labor Movement (And Still Going)

Jane LaTour on 50+ Years in the Labor Movement (And Still Going)

                                                                                                                       [Read More…]

Spread The Smiles

Spread The Smiles

                               The beauty of Islam lies in its teachings.With regard to its teachings, Islam is a unique religion. The teachings of Islam encompass all the necessary elements, which make the essence of humanity. The message of Islam is not restricted to conventional activities of Muslims only but is much broader. Besides five fundamentals of Islam— Kalima (faith), Nimaz (prayers), Zakat[Read More…]

AR 7993-B (crop) 22 June 1963
Civil Rights Leaders meet with the Vice President, Attorney General, and other officials. White House. Please credit "Abbie Rowe, National Park Service/John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston".

Bobby Kennedy

Here in Massachusetts, I love it when when people proudly come up to me and say, “I was with Jack Kennedy in 1960” or “I was with Teddy Kennedy in ’94.” The energy and passion hasn’t faded in their voices one bit – and it’s infectious. But there’s something different about the way people say: “I was with Bobby in[Read More…]

What Ramadan Teaches Me Every Year

What Ramadan Teaches Me Every Year

  O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain Taqwa [God-consciousness]  – (The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah: 183) Religious fasting traditions- from Ramadan to Ekadasi to Yom Kippur and Lent -are meant to relieve believers from unburden believers from day-to-day compulsions, helping them replenish their spirituality, remember the poor,[Read More…]

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Do we oversimplify loneliness?

Do we oversimplify loneliness?

Loneliness, as a reality of modern day, fast paced, expectation loaded life is more common than ever and equally complex, layered and abstractin its causes and consequences. For factors other than biological,the sense of loneliness and number of people confessing to be in its grip has increasedover the last few decades. According to study in 2016 by Centre for Study[Read More…]

Raj Kishore : An uncompromising journalist passes away

Raj Kishore : An uncompromising journalist passes away

Veteran journalist Raj Kishore passed away on 4 June 2018 at the age of 72. He had recently lost his 42 years old  son Vivek, also a journalist, merely one and a half months ago. Vivek met a sudden death on 21 April  due to a massive brain stroke and was cremated at Nigam Bodh Ghat electric crematorium the same[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On the Boundless Pride of Skilled Labor and once again, on Anthony Bourdain, Chef

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On the Boundless Pride of Skilled Labor and once again, on Anthony Bourdain, Chef

Without my glasses the trees outside the window are misconceived mosaics.  No young breezes have come to play among them, nor has the west wind come to make them dance.  It is only the residual droplets of water that create motion and a semblance of sound.  The birds are quiet.  It is a distinctly cold morning in Moscow.   It is[Read More…]

The different worlds of Mohan Bhagwat And Rationalist Actor Hemu Adhikari

The different worlds of Mohan Bhagwat And Rationalist Actor Hemu Adhikari

  Mr Mohan Bhagwat,RSS chief in his speech preceding Pranab Mukherjee’s in the RSS headquarters made a reference which seems very questionable but has attracted little notice.In quoting a Sanskrit subhashit, a saying, he virtually ridiculed intellectual debate. Those who use learning for debate are wicked., he said. This was in keeping with the current dumbing down of knowledge and[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  Further notes on killing ourselves – In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Further notes on killing ourselves – In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that the suicide rate in America had gone up twenty five percent over the course of the last sixteen years, and then drew out some capitalist social relations which could explain this drastic increase.  First and foremost is the psychopathology of capitalism itself which tells people they are independent individuals and as such, must[Read More…]

 We Are Not Your Property!

 We Are Not Your Property!

Whether children or adults, we are not your property! We are not your property when young, as wives, nor as employees! … This week, my sister told me that the choice that our parents made for her (involving removal of seven of her adult teeth as a child, although our father was somewhat reluctant about the procedure) has led to[Read More…]

The original founder members-Zaibun,Minakshi and Shashikala

Rag Pickers To Entrepreneurs: How Women In This Maharashtra Village Are Empowering Themselves

I vividly remember my moment of epiphany. It was a balmy afternoon in early 1996 in Warora, a small township in northern Maharashtra. I was posted as a manager of my bank’s branch, dealing mostly with rural clients. I was busy trawling through the day’s mail and going about my tasks.Although transactions had not commenced, there was, as usual, an[Read More…]

Confusion in finding Marx in Bangladesh

Confusion in finding Marx in Bangladesh

Misrepresentation creates confusion, and confusion misleads many. Misrepresentation is unfair also as it carries seeds of injustice. A recent two-parts-article in a Dhaka English daily (“Karl Marx in Bangladesh”, The Daily Star, Dhaka, May 5 and 6, 2018, https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/perspective/karl-marx-bangladesh-1571515 and   https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/perspective/karl-marx-bangladesh-part-2-1571884) is an example of this practice. The article narrates, as it claims, “the intellectual or conceptual footprints of Marx[Read More…]

Psychotherapy, politics and women

Psychotherapy, politics and women

  I have been thinking about and reading a bit about psychotherapy. Psychotherapy for sad people is very important. Psychotherapy is very important for example because sadness and tension and stress are the leading cause of heart disease, one of the leading chronic illnesses in women, and of premature death. But at the present moment in history the idea of[Read More…]

Open Letter to Amitabh Bachchan on his association with Horlicks #MissionPoshan

Open Letter to Amitabh Bachchan on his association with Horlicks #MissionPoshan

Dear Sh. Amitabh Bachchan, We came to know about your association with recent campaign on undernutrition in India and truly appreciate your commitment for the cause. However, we are shocked to see that you are joining hands with Horlicks and Network 18 to launch “Mission Poshan” to support India’s Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan. We like to submit as under:- Horlicks is a high sugar[Read More…]

On Being Positive

On Being Positive

Anything that we can create a notion of in our minds, which could be tangible or intangible, has two attributes: each contradicting other. For instance, darkness and light, good and evil, virtue and vice, matter and spirit, so on and so forth! We, the human beings, remain under two influences all the time: negative impulse which we are prone to[Read More…]

 Zakat: Reawakening A Spirit Of Camaraderie

 Zakat: Reawakening A Spirit Of Camaraderie

  By no means shall you attain righteousness, unless you give of that which you love.  (Q 3:  92) The idea that helping others is part of a meaningful life has been around for thousands of years. For Muslims, charity is a central aspect of their faith and practice. In Islam, a culture of giving is interwoven into the fabric[Read More…]

How A Mumbai Couple Is Helping To Change The World

How A Mumbai Couple Is Helping To Change The World

Historians will tell you that a burst of creativity occurs when we start believing 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 curve of innovation. As the country continues to face mounting challenges, social entrepreneurs are pairing their ingenuity[Read More…]

Sikhs, As True Gems, Are Welcomed Neighbors in Massachusetts, USA

Sikhs, As True Gems, Are Welcomed Neighbors in Massachusetts, USA

  I am not the only one who strongly admires and respects the Sikhs. My Governor Charlie Baker, the most popular one in the USA for all fifty states, does so, too. He will always support them on account since they are wonderful in many regards. Why? In part, it is because that he supports ethnic and religious diversity. He[Read More…]

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Indian Education- Suicide--Madura beats

Umpteen suicides – Are we qualified to stop it?  Some educational measures to adopt…

An 11-year-old girl from South Carolina shot herself to death because she was being bullied at school… A 12-year-old boy jumped from an overpass above Interstate 66 in northern Virginia and landed on a car…A 17-year-old IIT aspirant jumped to death as she was disappointed with her scores in IIT-JEE Mains Headlines, headlines everywhere…umpteen and quotidian suicides among our youth[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  On falling in love with Moscow and its pastrami

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On falling in love with Moscow and its pastrami

I am from New York City, and what that means is that I know a good pastrami sandwich when I see, or more properly, taste one.  For those of you who do not know what pastrami is, let me give you a quick course in Jewish cuisine.According to David Sax, author of “Save the Deli,” pastrami is not actually a[Read More…]

Donating yourself – The tortuous journey to donate your organs

Donating yourself – The tortuous journey to donate your organs

The Finance minister , Shri Arun Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant operation successfully recently, following in the footsteps of Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister in 2016. Even as he recovers from the surgery, the transplant has brought into focus, the lives of lakhs of people  living in the shadows – those who are waiting, often for years for[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Tai Chi Babushki: How I was taught I wasn’t a Communist

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Tai Chi Babushki: How I was taught I wasn’t a Communist

It is late spring in Moscow, and the day is exquisite.  I sit on my balcony and drink my coffee and watch  a mischievous breeze run through the trees.  It brushes against them, makes them bob and sway like off balance dancers.    When it scuttles away, the branches slide back into the sun, hold still, and the space we share[Read More…]

 That’s Why We Shouldn’t Be Killing Anyone

 That’s Why We Shouldn’t Be Killing Anyone

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” — Gerard Manley Hopkins Everyone… everyone seemed to be “bleared, smeared with toil.” I made an attempt to interact at the dinner table, and I chose to bring up an amazing set of facts that I had come across earlier in the day; I vowed to be smart and stay away[Read More…]

Kartar Singh Sarabha – A Hero Who Inspired Bhagat Singh

Kartar Singh Sarabha – A Hero Who Inspired Bhagat Singh

India has produced great young persons who dared to lay their lives fighting for freedom from British. Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and others are well known. But there were many others who are not remembered by many people to-day. One such young martyr is Kartar Singh who inspired Bhagat Singh in his struggle against colonialism. Life sketch Kartar Singh Sarabha ([Read More…]

Weapons of the Weak: Bringing Democracy to Streets

Weapons of the Weak: Bringing Democracy to Streets

Kiran Nagarkar, well-known novelist, floated the idea during his recent interaction with activists that some kind of a rasta roko agitation could be held to check the growing congestion caused by cars, to assert people’s right to the road and to help increase the speed of BEST buses. The car lobby , the traffic police and the whole establishment will[Read More…]

The Angle From Which I Chose to Teach Eight-Year-Old Children About Guns

The Angle From Which I Chose to Teach Eight-Year-Old Children About Guns

The mother of one of the dozen third graders I was teaching last year in a home school setting crossed paths with me the other day. She reminded me of how the parents of my young charges had requested that I address gun violence with their children after the San Bernadino Elementary School Shooting came down. I had questioned whether or not[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Superstition and Slaughter: the Wars of the Lords of Opium

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Superstition and Slaughter: the Wars of the Lords of Opium

There is something in the white trunked birches of Russia that dumbs my mind and irritates my flesh.  Every May, their leaves, still small and weak from just being born into the world, provoke me to exhaustion and the coughing and sneezing begins.  This 11th spring of my Moscow years, is the worst, and the congestion becomes a bronchitis which[Read More…]

Resisting Brutality One Act At A Time!

Resisting Brutality One Act At A Time!

I have some religiously oriented and nonreligious friends who are absolutely willing to lay their lives on the line for others. In relation, the religiously oriented ones think that they may go up with God after death and thereby find continuance of themselves or think that there is reincarnation, which is somewhat the same orientation (a continuation of consciousness of[Read More…]

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Belief That Relief is Within One’s Grasp: Becoming Rose Dunn

Belief That Relief is Within One’s Grasp: Becoming Rose Dunn

Dedicated to the incomparable Sylvie… who introduced me to Rose Dunn and Poco’s song about the fifteen-year-old last night “You’re the one they’d turn to, the only one they knew who’d do All her best to be around when the chips were down” — from Rose of Cimmaron “Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses? Come down from your[Read More…]

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Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist

Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist

As is the nature of his creepy totality, President Donald Trump has a habit of suffusing the obituaries of the famous and pampered.  Tom Wolfe, it is said by such figures as Maggie Haberman in The New York Times, conceived of Trump as a formidable figure before Trump himself came to prominence. The point is somewhat inaccurate: when The Bonfire[Read More…]

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The Psychopathology of Capitalism- Chapter 2, Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism- Chapter 2, Part 2

While the specifics of human character structure vary across time and from place to place, there are certain human characteristics which seem to arise out of primordial human needs and/or instincts.  One of these characteristics is our propensity to conceive and tell stories.  By stories I make no distinction between folk tales, legends, myths or religious fantasies.   From my perspective,[Read More…]

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Reducing the Plaque, Circumventing the Quacks

Reducing the Plaque, Circumventing the Quacks

“Untrained people who pretend to be a physician and dispense medical advice and treatment that doesn’t work or is harmful have their counterparts in the realms of government and activism.” — Richard Martin Oxman After reading her heartbreaking essay on water in Detroit, I wanted to connect with Valerie Burris, but… once again direct contact info wasn’t made available by an[Read More…]

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Baba Amte’s Legacy Ignites Granddaughter

Baba Amte’s Legacy Ignites Granddaughter

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt The world is witnessing a new breed of women leaders and game-changers who are gate crashing and boldly scaling new heights even as they are pairing their ingenuity and knowledge with passion for bringing lasting solutions to most pressing social challenges and creating a sustainable and[Read More…]

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Don’t Gang Up On Me Or Anyone Else, Please!

Don’t Gang Up On Me Or Anyone Else, Please!

I intend to help reduce gang violence in my new county — festooned with gang members of various stripes — and I’m praying that good folks already engaged in addressing the issue will be open to what I have to say here. All across the U.S. and throughout many countries, I trust that there are people paying attention to the variables I[Read More…]

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Fasting: Through the Prism of Medical Science

Fasting: Through the Prism of Medical Science

                                                  Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic calendar having greater significance over rest of months as fasting is observed by Muslims in this month, worldwide. Fasting is one among the five pillars of Islam and[Read More…]

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Kidding Yourself About the Proverbial Village

Kidding Yourself About the Proverbial Village

“Educators must not shrink from meaningfully dealing with the impact of electronic images or other cultural factors on literacy.” — one of the author’s home schooled teens, having just read Sanders’ A is for Ox. The kid (Eugene) can’t read well, and so the authorities getting a guy like me — experienced with literacy programs — to help the child[Read More…]

How American Muslim Families Celebrate The month of Ramadan In USA

How American Muslim Families Celebrate The month of Ramadan In USA

  Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar; it is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self–accountability for Muslims around the world. The first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the last third of the month of Ramadan making this an especially holy period during the month.Ramadan is[Read More…]

Judges With A ‘ Vision ‘

Judges With A ‘ Vision ‘

There are few visually impaired persons working in prestigious offices. The appointment of blind or visually impaired to courts is rare. One such recent example is the 31 – year old Brahmananda Sharma who lost his vision when he was 22 ( Rajasthan – Meet the first visually impaired judge …disability.. Posted May16, 2018 kracktivist.org ). He hails from Bhilwara[Read More…]

I Plan To Confront The Next Priest I Cross Paths With. What About You?

I Plan To Confront The Next Priest I Cross Paths With. What About You?

“People need to push the envelope with regard to the Pope’s encyclical while simultaneously forcing a discussion about overpopulation, but neither subject is being properly addressed in any quarters.” — Valleria Ruselli While waiting to hear back from a non-profit I reached out to as a volunteer today, I dropped by St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Stockton, California to ask about whether or[Read More…]

Mosque silhouette in night sky with crescent moon and star

The Message Of Ramadan

This is the holy month when Muslims, about one fifth of the world’s population, undergo a rigorous fast (not even a drop of water or spittle passes their throats). Muslims around the world take a journey within – to discover their inner strengths and strive zealously to subjugate their evil instincts. It is abstinence in its literal, metaphorical and allegorical[Read More…]

Endless Wars And Their Diverse Outcomes!

Endless Wars And Their Diverse Outcomes!

US voters seemingly always think that if they try out a new model (like a new type of a car or some other product like a coffee making machine), they will get a different result. The same applies to Presidents. Yet, quickly they see the same old patterns settling into place whether with the Bush Presidents, Obama, Trump or others.[Read More…]

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Photo by Lupuca

 The 24 x 7 Solution

“What do you think might happen if one worked around the clock in a given community — selflessly — and managed to increase positive test scores in a school by 50% and reduce violence in the neighborhood by 50%? Do you think for one moment that the ‘success’ would be limited to that realm?” — Richard Martin Oxman “Whenever anyone[Read More…]

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 The Most Fortunate Soul on Earth

 The Most Fortunate Soul on Earth

“The Beatitudes of Jesus are a new and revolutionary model of happiness that contradicts what is usually communicated by the media and prevailing wisdom.” — Pope Francis in his Message for World Youth Day, January 21, 2014 “Our mission is to empower, educate and advocate for all youth in Stockton and the San Joaquin Valley (with an emphasis on those[Read More…]

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Four Essays by Aijaz Ahmad: A Survey

Four Essays by Aijaz Ahmad: A Survey

  I. Aijaz Ahmad is one of the preeminent Marxist political and literary theorists in the world today. Most famous for his In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures (Verso, 1992), Ahmad has been a poignant and prolific voice on  the left for many decades, cultivating an expertise in the politics of the third world, the theoretical debates surrounding imperialism, and the[Read More…]

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The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 2, Pt. 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 2, Pt. 1

As we have seen, theideontologicaldelusion of exclusionary oneness that forms the ideological superstructure of capitalist social relations forcedearly liberal democratic theorists to create an imaginaryindependent and antisocial individual who initially exists in a state of nature.   This individual only goes against his essential antisocial nature and enters into society out of rational self -interest embodied in the fear of death.[Read More…]

Dying Well –Palliative Care in India

Dying Well –Palliative Care in India

    On 10th May, the high-profile police officer from Mumbai, Himanshu Roy committed suicide by shooting himself with his service revolver. In a suicide note recovered later, Roy is reported to have said that he is taking this extreme step out of extreme depression due to an incurable cancer. Mr. Roy had been living with cancer since 2000 with[Read More…]

Florence Nightingales

Florence Nightingales

                      The general ward of a Government Medical College is equated to hell with mosquitoes,flies, bed bugs and the real proverbial hospital stink! When I overheard while lying on the trolley after the first “merciless cutting “,that I would be in Ward 25, it came as a more painful shock than the actual pain. I wondered what crime I had[Read More…]

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.

Moving on from Primary Health Care

Primary health care is an important strategy which is the backbone of health service delivery. Primary health care is the day-to-day care needed to protect, maintain, or restore our health. For those who use it, it is both their first point of contact with the government healthcare system and their most frequently used health service. In last 6 decades of[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism

The Psychopathology of Capitalism

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

Fluorosis: A Problem of Serious  Dimensions, But Neglected By All Political  Parties

Fluorosis: A Problem of Serious  Dimensions, But Neglected By All Political  Parties

     –A Review  By FMRRC, Karnataka Over 10 crore people in the country are getting water contaminated with excess fluoride : Most stunning  admission by government.  But it is not on the agenda of  political parties. Karnataka Assembly elections are slated for May 12, and the major parties issued their manifestos, a formality completed very late. They promise many things[Read More…]

Continual War Mongering Violence

Continual War Mongering Violence

  I have thought about indifference and/or fright as being a main cause of US citizens accepting all of the perpetual wars and conflicts that the USA are embroiled in creating and maintaining. They are never ending and they are great for filling the financial coffers of the military-industrial complex, as well as the pickets of some politicians. Does Donald[Read More…]

Marx arrested in Brussels 1848

 “What Marx Brought to Light” and “Marx and Darwin”

  On the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth, this excerpt from “The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution,” a talk given by Bob Avakian in 2014, speaks to the turning point and significance of Marx’s contributions—bringing into being a scientific, materialist understanding of capitalism and of the potential for revolution to emancipate humanity. What Marx Brought to Light[Read More…]

Honoring Marx As An Activist

Honoring Marx As An Activist

Co-Written By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers In 1888, Marx wrote, “philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” On this 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx we focus on Marx as a political activist, rather than what he is best known for, an economist and philosopher who wrote some of[Read More…]

The Rise And Fall Of

The Rise And Fall Of

When a house is on fire an alarm must be sounded.  An alarm is not always sounded solely out of fear.  Sometimes an alarm must be sounded out of love, for fear that the house will be destroyed in the tyranny of conflagration. The political function of contemporary America serves corporate capitalism.  This is capitalism as overwhelming force geared to[Read More…]

Use Marxism as a tool to build alliance of rationalism and social justice to defeat Priestly classes

Use Marxism as a tool to build alliance of rationalism and social justice to defeat Priestly classes

  One of the greatest thinkers of the Universe, Karl Marx’s biggest contribution can be debated by many. Great that in India all those who agreed with him but not agreed with those who claim to be following him, greeted. As a philosopher, he gave us the tool of scientific and rational thinking and most importantly, that there is nothing[Read More…]

Marx was born on this day – May 5

Marx was born on this day – May 5

Karl Marx was born, two centuries ago, on this day – May 5. In today’s world, it’s impossible to ignore Marx, the greatest proletarian revolutionary. Rather, the exploitative economic system makes Marx essential for building up a decent world. Today, it’s necessary to convey Marx to the new generation being strangulated by the world system of exploitation. Frederick Engels is[Read More…]

See What Can Bloom And What Might Go Away

See What Can Bloom And What Might Go Away

In a local college newspaper I came across a piece on allergies, and the young writer concluded the article lamenting the difficulty people have trying to find the medication they need. There wasn’t a word about how citizens have to be on their guard respecting what Big Pharma pushes on them. Tries to cleverly sell them on. The student’s article[Read More…]

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One Must Rail Against This Sin Of Omission In So-called Education Beginning Today: Carry It On

“The billion dead is the least of what would happen with the Nuclear Winter referenced by Chomsky and Ellsberg in Arizona, and the most horrid scenario imaginable is becoming increasingly likely by the day even with the ‘advance’ made recently between North and South Korea.” — Richard Martin Oxman “We must carry it on.” — Edward Curtin Around 34 minutes into the recent footage[Read More…]

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My Question Is… What Is It?

My Question Is… What Is It?

Special note: I humbly and respectfully ask that if the good people of La Puente, California read this article that they understand I don’t mean to denigrate them. As indicated below, the dynamic I encountered with them is part of a flow which I’ve been coming across in increasing doses over the last fifteen years. It’s something we should all[Read More…]

Though Invisible to Us, Our Dead Are Not Absent

Though Invisible to Us, Our Dead Are Not Absent

Those titular words were sent to me by Fr. Daniel Berrigan shortly before he died. It is a glorious spring day as I write.  The day my father died was also glorious, and I cried like a baby. It was 25 years ago today, May 1, 1993.To the young it must seem like a long time ago.  To me it[Read More…]

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The Huge Blank: Thanking Tolkien for Touching Upon Truth for Activists

The Huge Blank: Thanking Tolkien for Touching Upon Truth for Activists

  “…the power of Tolkien lies in the way that he succeeds, through myth, in making the unseen hand of providence felt by the reader. In his mythical creations, or sub-creations as he would call them, he shows how the unseen hand of God is felt far more forcefully in myth than it is ever felt in fiction. Paradoxically, fiction works with facts,[Read More…]

Learning About Life and Oneself From A Stove

Learning About Life and Oneself From A Stove

  Recently I came across the following very short film. It reminded me of my heritage and my everything about whom I am, and one of the major ways that I got there. It has to do with the ministry of the stove. Video: Silent worship in a Quaker meeting house where only the fire in the stove is heard,[Read More…]

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Wisconsin, Washington, and Earth

Wisconsin, Washington, and Earth

 Sen. Gaylord Nelson passed away 13 years ago.  There are no second acts in American life, and little that is more “former” than “former Senator.”  For most ex-Senators, even their memory is forgotten.  But Sen. Gaylord Nelson is worth remembering.  He was a friend of the Earth. Gaylord Nelson grew up enamored by Wisconsin’s crisp, clean air, pristine forests, and[Read More…]

Miguel the Mayor and Me… Mmm….

Miguel the Mayor and Me… Mmm….

  “This Lower East Side is the site of slow motion genocide.” — Miguel Pinero “O bailan todos o no baile nadie” — the 60s Uruguayan Tupamaros It was around the time my partner was experimenting with heroin that I crossed paths with Miguel Pinero at a production of his Short Eyes, the much celebrated prison drama in the theatrical scene of 70s[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  The five people you will meet when you first get to Moscow

Back in the day, ten years ago when I first set foot in Moscow, when the Moscow Metro was the home of the Minotaur from which I felt myself lucky to escape each day; when the Russian language was tumultuous; when I could not ask for what I wanted and needed, when the sophisticated splendor of the city sent me[Read More…]

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Uncomfortable Midst Eternity

Uncomfortable Midst Eternity

  “Each of us has to be like that kid in the Hans Christian Andersen tale, the one where he calls a shovel a shovel. Why? ‘Cause today it’s being used to bury us with and distract us from where we stand respecting Eternity.” — from an essay written by one of the author’s home schooled teens “We do not[Read More…]

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I Wonder What Entails Expression?

I Wonder What Entails Expression?

Expression is possible through channels of power. Well established channels like gender, class, race, caste have for centuries aided expression of the few powerful people in this world. The underdogs express only in retaliation. That expression is of power too but of a different kind. It is of asserting oneself. Righting a wrong, it is in answer to or in[Read More…]

Today’s Strange Fruit, The Collaterally Damaged

Today’s Strange Fruit, The Collaterally Damaged

    “One cannot study the history taught in schools and learn about Black History at the same time.” — Lorraine Hansberry During the formative years of my main mentor, the founder of Flannery O’Connor Academy, one of the most effective literary voices for Southern change was Lillian Smith, who with her partner Paula Snelling edited a liberal journal and[Read More…]

Freud’s Model And Madison’s Invention

Freud’s Model And Madison’s Invention

For psychologists the terms superego, ego and id are commonplace and refer institutions of the individual’s mind. In a similar way the words judiciary, executive and legislature are famil­iar signifiers of the national institutions that organize a nation into an operational State. That these organizing institutions of a State may emanate from common human nature has been discussed heretofore. Consider[Read More…]

White Rose Alone in America

White Rose Alone in America

“The only girl I’ve ever loved was born with roses in her eyes….” — Jeff Mangum Spoiler Alert: With virtually all reviews of films readers should be warned. This is no exception. That said, it’s worth being told what’s here prior to viewing “Alone in Berlin” because the main reason I’m recommending it has nothing to do with its aesthetic value. Rather, I[Read More…]

James Shaw Jr., who stopped the Waffle House shooter, becomes emotional as he holds his 4-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, at a vigil for the shooting victims.

Another Hero Comes Forward!

I am accustomed to having certain friends and family members willing to lay their lives on the line to protect others if need be. They and I have thought long and hard about it. We got firm as a result. Indeed, some of the people who I know have done just that — laid their lives on the line —[Read More…]

MLK And Addressing Spiritual Death On Campus

MLK And Addressing Spiritual Death On Campus

“Not only are ‘leaders’ here not putting money into social uplift in lieu of diverting funds for death abroad, they are — quite by design — undermining safety nets for the express purpose of making the vast majority of concerned citizens incapable of fighting for their enlightened self-interest effectively, being physically too weak. Add moral decline to that, and their[Read More…]

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People’s Leader Sardar Gouthu Latchanna

People’s Leader Sardar Gouthu Latchanna

Introduced Jyotirao Phule to Andhra Pradesh (United) Freedom fighter Leader for Kisans Leader for weaker sections Leader for backward castes Dr. Gouthu Latchanna was born in Baruva village of the Sompeta mandal, Srikakulam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh on 16 August 1909. He was the eighth child of Chittaiah, a toddy tapper and Rajamma. He married Yashodha Devi,[Read More…]

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From New York Institute of Technology to the Stockton Institute of Technology

From New York Institute of Technology to the Stockton Institute of Technology

  “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal I want to volunteer to serve the community in Stockton, California, recruiting educated volunteers to address literacy challenges in the classroom, screening documentaries designed to help youngsters to learn about history from various perspectives, helping youngsters who’ve chosen academic tracks to[Read More…]

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We’ve Got The Power!

We’ve Got The Power!

When I read Mirza Yawar Baig’s “Silence Is Culpable” at CC, it could have put me into a seething fury if I didn’t control my anger and use it to good purpose (such as trying to foster peace in my own community). It is because I agree wholeheartedly with the stance, as well as find the conditions that are described[Read More…]

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 Public Health Crisis

  Indian economy has made rapid strides in recent year but its abysmal health system remains an Achilles heel has impeded millions of people from sharing the gains of India’s new prosperity   India has a laggardly record in its healthcare coverage. In per capita terms, adjusted for purchasing power, the public expenditure on health is $43 a year, compared to[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

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Silence Is Culpable

Silence Is Culpable

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.  ~ George Orwell India has changed. I hate to say it, but that is the truth. It is no longer the nation I grew up in. The question is, ‘Do we want to continue to remain silent and allow this[Read More…]

India’s Schools Are Letting Down Their Students

India’s Schools Are Letting Down Their Students

  The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves –Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan India’s education sector has expanded rapidly in the last decade but the quality of learning remains pathetic on account of unimaginative and misguided policies. The Modi government’s budget  this year was a mixed basket for the education sector, which is bogged with several serious issues aside[Read More…]

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Economics and politics in early-Soviet Russia and Lenin on his birthday – April 22

Economics and politics in early-Soviet Russia and Lenin on his birthday – April 22

[Part I] Lenin yet, about 150 years since his birth, creates controversy. Funny figures make funnier statements while a group of scholars, white, pink and “red” in color, continue condemning the Bolshevik leader – a bold show of class conflict in the areas of ideology and politics. This reality makes it an imperative to reiterate Lenin’s analysis and class position[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The psychopathology of capitalism arises from the delusionthat there exists an exclusionary “one” rather than an inclusionary One.  This delusion is both a product of the historical development of capitalism and, as contemporary physics shows us, the natural result of the internal relationship between the structure of reality and ourselves as observers of that reality.  Yet, even though it is[Read More…]

Dolls And Other Toys Shape Societies

Dolls And Other Toys Shape Societies

One of the oldest intact dolls in existence other than predated wooden ones is from around the 1500’s and belonged to a little European princess. It is in a case, probably an airless vacuum case, in a museum in Monaco. One can look at the the doll and imagine the long-dead child and other children who played with it several[Read More…]

 Let’s Call Them Our Spiritually Spot On Souls

 Let’s Call Them Our Spiritually Spot On Souls

“Combating… criminal threats are priorities for all Americans — Republicans and Democrats.” — Governor Jerry Brown of California, as he sent national guardsmen to the Mexican border… trying to give the impression that he was only expecting them to engage with the drug cartels… not long after he weakened the new “sanctuary laws” with legislative Democrats. Concerned citizens can’t simply[Read More…]

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A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Wrap

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Wrap

“That film is a piece of fiction. And through the struggle for independence Gandhi’s greatest antagonist was Dr. Ambedkar. He doesn’t even make an appearance in the film. He doesn’t even show up there.” — Arundhati Roy telling Jeremy Scahill about Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ film, wherein much crucial truth is intentionally omitted Ideologues of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are open admirers of Hitler and Mussolini, and[Read More…]

To Keep Us from Documenting Ourselves to Death

To Keep Us from Documenting Ourselves to Death

“It’s one thing for folks to applaud ‘A Raisin in the Sun’, Richard, and quite another for them to force legislators to deal with the housing horrors of Harlem and Chicago.” — James Baldwin to the author in the early sixties. I just applied to be the Outreach Director for Brave New Films, a highly experienced cinematic group devoted to[Read More…]

 The American Bu$ine$$man’s Ten Steps to Product Development

 The American Bu$ine$$man’s Ten Steps to Product Development

  There are sixteen teens studying History, Journalism and Creative Writing at Flannery O’Connor Academy at present, and the other day we were all engaged in addressing serious issues related to product development. We conducted an experiment which I’d like to make you privy to, hoping you’ll put up with the humor used in this light presentation of a very[Read More…]

 Continuing John Judge’s Legacy

 Continuing John Judge’s Legacy

Four years ago today, on April 15, 2014, John Judge died ~ or (as he would say) embarked on a new adventure. I miss him… I have become resigned to his absence, but I still crave his wise perspective. Each time I am reminded of the ever-increasing chaos in our country and around the world, I think of what John[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

Monogamy and growing old produce the same results.  Sleeping with the same person over and over again takes the razor sharp blade of passion and dulls it flat.  So too, living in the world, truly living in it and not just in one small cell of it, reduces the sharp peaks of our emotions, rounds them out into dull stones[Read More…]

Make This Day A Day Of Reckoning

Make This Day A Day Of Reckoning

  “I always thought school was a form of torture.” — Valleria Ruselli “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” — Audre Lorde “Parents need to encourage their children to provide their teachers with tools which will enable them to instruct them along entirely new lines.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor of the Oxman Collective (which sponsors Flannery O’Connor Academy) Stealth torture is the kind of torture[Read More…]

 Zusammenarbeit

 Zusammenarbeit

“Two weeks after Kristallnacht, Gary Cooper made a publicity trip to Berlin promoting Paramount’s The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, one of Hitler’s favorite movies. No major newspaper in the U.S. covered that. In 1938, MGM helped finance the production of German armaments, and the head of MGM Germany divorced his Jewish wife at the Nazi’s behest. She ended up[Read More…]

Goodbye Bhai : The Struggle Will Continue

Goodbye Bhai : The Struggle Will Continue

  His full name was Bhalchandra Bhai Vaidya but people used to call him Bhai Vaidya. I always addressed him as ‘Bhai’. In our village, it was an accepted norm to call a father ‘Bhai’ and a majority of people followed this practice. I came in personal contact with Bhalchandra Bhai Vaidya after my father passed away, therefore I never[Read More…]

Charvaka – Jamming Against Brahminism  Since Eons Before The Brahmins Happened

Charvaka – Jamming Against Brahminism  Since Eons Before The Brahmins Happened

The Ancience The Charvaka wisdom is all about materialism. It is so much into materialism that it believed only in the four elements. For them, the quint essence, that is the sky, is the absence of the other four elements. For them, the material world, with its fire, earth, water and air, go through processes & systems to make things[Read More…]

Space Alien Reveals Trump Romp!

Space Alien Reveals Trump Romp!

  I know it sounds incredible, but this is how it happened…. I was flipping channels on my Fake News cable box, hunting/searching for a morsel of something tasty, digestible and real, when suddenly there was a strange buzzing in my ears, I felt a bit dizzy, I lay down on my sofa, and I heard a high-pitched, electronic-like voice—some[Read More…]

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 “Emergency” Must Be Used, Embraced

“Why don’t all schoolchildren know what TCE is?” — Richard Martin Oxman “Not many people want to continue to aid and abet crimes against humanity and war crimes behind big lies launched against weaker nations with fabulous resources to loot.” — John McMurty The Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada who I’m quoting above has written an article recently which puts the lie[Read More…]

Rajni Tilak – A Champion Of Dalit Rights

Rajni Tilak – A Champion Of Dalit Rights

” ….it is true that the women of every community are equally suppressed by patriarchy. Patriarchy dominates caste and class everywhere. It is also true, to a great extent, Dalit women are more affected by patriarchy …..” ( Need to redefine Dalit movement : Rajni Tilak, interview with Neel Kranti Media,published 17 January 2013, https:// roundtableindia.co.in). At a time when[Read More…]

Satya Ranjan Maitra: A Life With Revolutionary Proletarian Practice

Satya Ranjan Maitra: A Life With Revolutionary Proletarian Practice

  Satya Ranjan Maitra epitomized love for and allegiance to people, serving people, and revolutionary proletarian practice in Bangladesh. Satya Maitra breathed to his last on April 8, 2018. He was 96. Of this near-century, colonial and neo-colonial political sytems sent him to prisons at different times, which in total was more than two decades. Satya Maitra was suffering from[Read More…]

Ameliorating Cruelty

Ameliorating Cruelty

  “People speak a lot today about the banality of evil, but not all evil is banal. Some of it is carefully structured and well-thought-out. That’s where the real danger lies.” – Alan Dean Foster Massachusetts has very tough animal cruelty laws. If people are caught abusing and/or neglecting animals, they can face jail time and stiff monetary fines in[Read More…]

How Masochistic

How Masochistic

“When Occupy was chanting ‘99%’ they weren’t accounting for how many folks were drugged coast to coast…on what. What the cost of that was.” — Rachel Oxman There’s a gladiatorial competition as spectacle motif found in a number of popular dystopian narratives, ranging from The Hunger Games to Battle Royale and The Maze Runner to Rollerball. And Stephen King’s writing[Read More…]

Challenges For Resolving Complex Conflicts

Challenges For Resolving Complex Conflicts

While conflict theories and resolution processes advanced dramatically during the second half of the 20th century, particularly thanks to the important work of several key scholars such as Professor Johan Galtung – see ‘Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means (the Transcend Method)’ – significant gaps remain in the conflict literature on how to deal with particular conflict configurations. Notably, these include[Read More…]

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The Dialectic of Autism

The term dialectic as it is used here is a way of looking at the world that corresponds to the actual structure of the world itself without regard to whether that word is holographic or material.  Put in more philosophical terms, it is an epistemological assumption about the ontological structure of being.  Hegel will write a book about it called[Read More…]

Assam ‘Man’ Follows ‘PadMan’ To Make Low-Cost Sanitary Pads

Assam ‘Man’ Follows ‘PadMan’ To Make Low-Cost Sanitary Pads

The revolutionary movie “PadMan” has already had widespread tremors and it’s impacts can be felt along the length and breadth of the nation.Arunachalam Muruganantham would have never imagined that his invention would transcend geographical boundaries:from Tamil Nadu to Jammu Kashmir and now to Assam.Muruganantham was obsessed with making the perfect sanitary pad for his wife. The obsession led him to[Read More…]

Meaning in Mounier

Meaning in Mounier

“…the self no longer coincides with [a] single dominant voice: That voice… is not complete but limited, merely one voice among many. That we are all made up of many conflicting voices — in effect, others — [and]… free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man.” — Flannery O’Connor “Other persons do not limit[Read More…]

Murugalli Masjid

My Extended Family

The tea plantations of the Sub-continent are a unique environment, be that in South India, Assam or Sri Lanka because they represent a completely artificial man-made community. The areas where tea is grown were, until a hundred years ago, pristine rain forest. Then came the British, having discovered wild tea in Assam as well as with stolen tea seedlings from[Read More…]

In this April 3, 1968, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his last public appearance at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo: AP/Charles Kelly, File)

‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’: The Final Speech

The following is the transcribed text of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech, delivered on April 3, 1968 at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have[Read More…]

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Tea Factory, Black magic and Demons

Tea Factory, Black magic and Demons

One of the first things that strikes you as you enter any ‘Tea District’ is the tea factory. These in many if not most cases are over a century old, build entirely of wood on a structure of steel girders. The machinery, especially in the Orthodox factories is fit for a museum. For the uninitiated, ‘Orthodox’ refers to the type[Read More…]

Some Of Our Children Who Can’t Appreciate Hitchcock

Some Of Our Children Who Can’t Appreciate Hitchcock

  “Gramsci and Hedges underscore the fact that learning must be directed by a strong moral and ethical framework.” — from Pedological Advice for Perilous Times Adapted from Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel, The Secret Agent, Hitchcock’s Sabotage was released during a time of mounting unease and fear of war on the international scene. A good part of its expressive power[Read More…]

Education : Examination: Evaluation

Education : Examination: Evaluation

“Education is the simply the soul of society as it passes from one generation to another” G. K. Chesterton T. S. Eliot started his ‘ Wasteland ‘ saying ” April is the cruelest month…” ( 1. The burial of the dead). But, for the students from KG to PG, the ‘ cruelest month’ starts in March itself. They have to[Read More…]

Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Fifty years ago, on 4 April 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The night before he died, King gave another of his many evocative speeches; this one at the packed Mason Temple in Memphis. The speech included these words: ‘Men for years now have been talking about war and peace. Now no longer can they just talk[Read More…]

Satyagraha

Satyagraha

Truth-force, what is it?  Truth is the expressed porousness and the vulnerability of soul, in the same way that soul is the humble courage, non-exploitative perception, reverence and gratitude of love, increasing through applied appreciation.  The essence of openness and vulnerability of soul is most beautifully expressed as the passion and pathos of empathetic connectivity and dialogue, and the righteousness[Read More…]

Hitting from Outside the Box with Japan in Mind

Hitting from Outside the Box with Japan in Mind

“My understanding is that the elderly demographic has increased dramatically in Japan, and that many old folks are so desperately lonely because of the radical social changes which have taken place that some have resorted to getting themselves arrested and put in jail in order to have human contact. They’re going to have to really think outside the box in[Read More…]

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My Permanent State of Anomie

My Permanent State of Anomie

I admit that I am largely alienated from my country’s overall, general society. I have been so for a long, long time. Indeed, I have a permanent state of anomie, something akin to this description at Anomie – Wikipedia, which is an excerpt from a longer characterization. Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a “condition in which society provides little moral guidance to[Read More…]

 So That We Can Sleep Through the Night

 So That We Can Sleep Through the Night

“ 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 Some people might think it’s a plus to be able to sleep through anything, to not get woken up by the slightest of noises, or the movement of a partner tugging on[Read More…]

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An Even Greater Watershed in History

An Even Greater Watershed in History

  “What Upton Sinclair accomplished the year that Adolf Hitler became the Fuehrer of Germany should inspire everyone around the world.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel “Twenty-four EPIC candidates, among them a Los Angeles Lawyer named Culbert Olson, took their seats in the state legislature, and, four years later, Olson, the leader of the state’s EPIC caucus, was elected governor.” —[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

Of course, one never knows the degree to which what one sees is distorted by “subjectivness”; the extent to which one projects oneself upon the screen of existence.  But it does seem to me that Moscow, from Tverskaya Boulevard to the streets of KitayGorod, to the familiar paths of Perovo Park,  a great stillness has descended upon the people.  A[Read More…]

 Continuing Down Psycho Paths

 Continuing Down Psycho Paths

 The more ancient the abuse, the more sacred it is.” — Voltaire I’m not a fan of Voltaire’s, but I quote him here to underscore that longstanding practices don’t justify themselves by virtue of their continuing embrace by society. What’s popular in this world is quite often a sign of bad health. That said, I believe there are several paths in[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Questions for Transforming Our World

Questions for Transforming Our World

  You’ll notice that I end each paragraph in this piece with a question or two. It’s the last one, though, that’s crucially important. Will you read it twice for me? I’ve spoken to a number of educators in California about UCLA doing Big Pharma’s bidding in India this week… to no avail. Administrators, professors, teachers of the lower grades et alia. And[Read More…]

Positive attempts to improve communication for the disadvantaged

Positive attempts to improve communication for the disadvantaged

  Speech and hearing impaired have difficulty in communicating to the people. They use hands and other gestures. Their communication through ‘ sign language’ is a common way of expression of ideas. In an effort to remove communication bottlenecks, the country’s first of its kind sign language Dictionary with around 3,000 Hindi and English words has been released all over[Read More…]

 As We Take Out the Garbage Unaided and Tie Our Teens’ Shoes….

 As We Take Out the Garbage Unaided and Tie Our Teens’ Shoes….

  “Parents want their kids’ approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents’ approval, and that has led to consumer craziness with high tech gadgetry purchases, excessive time permitted in isolated narcissism, and many other ills. Parents need to grow up.” — Richard Martin Oxman The farther back you look, the faster kids grew up.[Read More…]

Fixing India’s Broken Education System

Fixing India’s Broken Education System

India’s education sector is one of the largest sunrise sectors in the economic and social development of the country. With more than 1.5 million schools — 1.1 million of them run by the Government — and more than 250 million student enrollments, the country’s K-12 school system is among the largest and most complex in the world. Between 2010-11 and[Read More…]

Rickshaw Puller Sets Up Nine Schools For Village Children

Rickshaw Puller Sets Up Nine Schools For Village Children

‘Age is a question of mind over matter.If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter’.If we have the passion to work for the betterment of the society,it hardly matters.Ahmed Ali,a 82-year-old rickshaw puller from Assam’s Karimganj, is a proud man as he has been the man behind building nine schools for the poor children in his area. Ali had to drop[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

Three things have occurred simultaneously to bring joy to the hearts of the Babushki of Perovo on this Sunday morning:  the sun is shining brilliantly, the fierce cold of the past months has subsided, and the paths are clean enough to walk.  We emerge from our apartments to walk and sit in the sun in Perovski Park. My bones and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 Forty Brazilians and a Petition: Meaning for Activists with Caryl Chessman in Mind

 Forty Brazilians and a Petition: Meaning for Activists with Caryl Chessman in Mind

Echoes of Caryl Chessman have been present at every death penalty and execution in the United States since he was delivered to the gas chamber at San Quentin Prison on May 2, 1960. If his defiant loner’s death was not the very embodiment of arbitrary, cruel, and unusual punishment, then that claim can scarcely be made for any American subsequently[Read More…]

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For Giving Universe

For Giving Universe

“I know that you’re job-hunting at present and/or looking to volunteer with non-profits. If your article gets posted, it’ll stand to undermine your chances of being brought on board in most quarters, Richard. You’re taking a risk in submitting your piece.” — One of the author’s colleagues “Why don’t you found a secular educational institution which focuses on your passion, Richard?[Read More…]

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When I Ate My God

When I Ate My God

Sana was the master idol maker of a large community of Bedouins who inhabited & dotted along the long stretch of oasis in the Arabian Desert. The Bedouins didn’t have cohesiveness, centrality & uniformity in their worshiping practices of any particular God or God’s image.  Strong pre-historic roots of animism running through their entire cultural edifice had made them venerate[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
 The Impact of War on Recidivism and Other Undesirable Dynamics

 The Impact of War on Recidivism and Other Undesirable Dynamics

“Recidivism has a lot to do with resignation. Ditto for other ills.” — James Baldwin Why do people go back to prison repeatedly, until they die or are too feeble to commit any more crimes? What the loved ones of the incarcerated tell me — for the most part (having polled hundreds over the years) — is resentment. All “cons” resent the[Read More…]

Ugunsdrošības un civilās aizsardzības koledžas kadetu paraugdemonstrējumi dūmu kamerā.

 Via Fire and Force: Pushing Envelopes

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — Act I, Scene v, Hamlet I remember very clearly how when Sylvie and I were organizing a major event designed to bring together community members and folks from all over the world in 2004 to address our collective crises at the time, one[Read More…]

Theory Of Security

Theory Of Security

Why do you have a burglar alarm on your car or home? Not because you believe that no burglar in the world can get past it. But because you know that burglars, very sensibly, always look for easy gains. The reality is that if someone really wants to break into Fort Knox, I am sure there are ways to do[Read More…]

Social Perceptions And Language of Dominance

Social Perceptions And Language of Dominance

The deeply hidden social perceptions on ‘other’ based on class, caste, gender, religion, region and race find its expression in the form of opinions expressed in day to day social interactions. One often comes across opinions which reflect these deeply held biases. These deeply held biases are socially transferred on the basis of one’s own social position in terms of[Read More…]

India, History, Modernity, And Marx

India, History, Modernity, And Marx

Marx Bicentennial Lecture by Ravi Sinha at Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, March 16, 2018 etaddhastidarshanaivajatyandhah That is like people blind by birth viewing an elephant. (Shankaracharya’sbhasyaon Chandogya-Upanisad18.1)[1]   It was six blind men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. John[Read More…]

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Festooned With Broad Flat Blades of All Kinds

Festooned With Broad Flat Blades of All Kinds

  “Toddlers drugged with psychiatric medication?” — Martha Rosenberg in a very good article Pfizer, Merck, Celgene, and GlaxoSmithKline are major league drug dealers responsible for lots of citizens descending into homelessness, many vets committing suicide, loads of teens contemplating patricide and/or matricide, more than a few housewives and their spouses resorting to adultery, a significant number of pre-teens having[Read More…]

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What Sources of News Their Loved Ones Listen to Every Day

What Sources of News Their Loved Ones Listen to Every Day

“Right now teachers are– understandably —  fighting for their rights, but not for the lights that need to be turned on for our youth. And journalists cover up what’s most important with their coverage of protest these days. Often unintentionally, simply because they’re on treadmills.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel bouncing off of an article by Ilana Novick I’m going to[Read More…]

Ved Mehta – An Exceptional Writer

Ved Mehta – An Exceptional Writer

‘ I didn’t want to be a blind writer. I wanted to be a writer who is blind’ ‘ Now we are living in an age everything has to be fast. We are living in an odd world where the written word is at a discount. To me, a book is a long journey. I don’t like short cuts. Literature[Read More…]

Alexander Shlyapnikov

Democratic Production and the Workers’ Opposition of Revolutionary Russia (Part 2)

  [This is the second of two parts.  The first section covered the origins of the Workers’ Opposition (WO), interpretations of “workers’ control,” and the 10th Party Congress.] How Do You Strangle an Opposition? After the 10th congress, anti-WO campaigns multiplied.  Party leaders removed former WO organizers from positions and/or transferred them to locations where they would be isolated.  The[Read More…]

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An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

It is all about the Russian election now: the world press, the Russian press is filled with articles about the upcoming elections.  Of course, the position of the West, which views Putin as Public Enemy #1, focuses on the fact that except for a brief hiatus when his friend Medvedev served as Prime Mi