Saturday, May 07, 2022

News: May 7

Paradigm shift in Nepali media The first Himal Media Mela concludes, will be back in 2023 with more comprehensive wide-reaching dialogue ......... The Himal Media Mela 2022 continued on Saturday following the keynote address of Ravish Kumar, group editor of NDTV India. ....... The first panel on Election, Fake News and Media Literacy included Ramkrishna Regmi, Sama Thapa, and Salokya in a discussion about how fake news and disinformation can influence elections as Nepal counts down to the local polls next week. ......

“The mainstream is getting driven by social media, which operates with non-processed content,” said Ramkrishna Regmi. “This has led to the omission of important issues

around events including elections, in turn devaluing the significance of local polls.” .......... “Misinformation is not just fabricated news, it is also wilful ignorance and disproportionate coverage, even half-news that centres only on certain people, communities, and ethnicities.” ........ Nepali politics lacks accountability and our media reflects it.” ....... those he described were in the profession to eventually obtain political, diplomatic and other prestige positions. ......... the sustainability of radio in Nepal as media transitions to the digital. ....... “Radio is not and has never been for those in the upper echelons of Nepali society. It is for the people who still do not have access to proper networks to have conversations, data connectivity for mobile internet, money to buy and watch television and channels that represent their communities,” she says. “It is for those who are unable to read and understand newspapers or access it on time. Radio is going to sustain.” ......... If the media itself does not make space for Dalit, Madhesi, and marginalised people, how are they then going to represent those communities ....... it requires work to comprehend somebody’s story, not an hour-long phone conversation for a news story.” ........ Madhu Acharya, Arun Karki, and Sahina Shrestha spoke about how journalism at present is dominated by the reader’s trust in social media, and the need to integrate data in news. ........ 41% of more than 5,000 respondents got their local news via Facebook, while the percentage of people who got their news from radio, tv, and newspapers stood at 25%, 4%, and 2% respectively. ......... “Social media dominates news as well as opinion formation,” said Acharya, “Traditional media needs to catch up.” ......... “What does it mean when we say readers trust Facebook? It means they trust their friends and families, in short readers believe readers ......... “It takes time to produce quality journalism, and we overlook such time-consuming stories in favour of speedy news,” Karki explained. “Nepal’s newsrooms need to be prepared to create data journalism in real-time.” ......... “Fact-checking should not be limited to fact-checking institutions, they should be brought into the newsroom,” she said. “We should be fact-checking our own stuff.” ........ although digital media has reached the mass, print still sets the agenda when it comes to bureaucracy and policymaking. ....... “Digital media is a two-way traffic between content creators and readers,” said Ameet Dhakal of Setopati, adding that it had democratised the process of content creation.

Battle for eastern Ukraine rages

I Lived the #VanLife. It Wasn’t Pretty. The writer Caity Weaver’s pursuit of the manifest destiny of the millennial generation ended up looking better in the photos. ...... I, at one point, left my house. ........ In February, it was decided I would once again exit my house: This time, I would spend a week in California, living out of a converted camper van, in pursuit of the aesthetic fantasy known as #VanLife. Living full time out of a vehicle has become aspirational for a subset of millennials and Zoomers, despite the fact that, traditionally, residing in a car or van is an action taken as a last resort, from want of other options to protect oneself from the elements. ........ that what was right for me was to spend a week driving around California in a van. ......... With a day’s notice and $1,000, anyone can have the life of a whimsical wayfarer — if they are willing to rent. ...... I ran a search for “tips female van life solo.” The top result advised leaving men’s shoes outside the van at night and traveling with a gun or dog, or both. ......... Our van had 238,646 miles on it and drove like a dream — a recurring dream I have in which I am driving a car but the brake and accelerator pedals are all confused, so that sometimes I attempt to brake and nothing happens, and other times the car zooms uncontrollably forward. ........ I am a bad driver because I am so preoccupied with driving safely that normal drivers have trouble predicting my actions (which are also surprising to me), and because I have poor spatial reasoning. ....... Yosemite covers an area of 1,187 square miles, and that Saturday there was nowhere to park in any of them. ....... the sunset “firefall” — a reportedly dazzling phenomenon in which, for a few winter evenings, one of the park’s cliffside waterfalls can briefly glow like molten gold ....... “You go to a national park, you think you’re going to really commune with the earth,” Michael said. “And yet, here you are, trapped in exactly the same situation you are when you’re driving to work in bumper-to-bumper traffic,” he said. “Not that either of us works in an office.” ....... Michael sits before his computer’s built-in camera and leads group meditation classes online; I flop between my bed and my couch, typing up inane thoughts all day with my laptop on my stomach. We were millennials pursuing the manifest destiny of our generation — chic, rootless wandering — who had become mired in a boomer-esque rush hour. We needed to leave. ......... The trek along the road’s shoulder was the only hiking we did in Yosemite. ....... While leaving, a wrong turn out of the park in the dark meant that we ended up an hour’s drive from where we wanted to be. The emotion of this moment is difficult to articulate: It was miserable to have prolonged our journey, but all we were going to do when we finally managed to leave the park was still be in the van, a foot behind where we were sitting. By opting for lodging we could take anywhere, we had inadvertently saddled ourselves with accommodations that were inescapable. With nowhere to go back to, being aggrieved over the delay seemed pointless. We didn’t even bother to feel upset. ...... Thus far, any pleasant weather had been experienced as a visual phenomenon while traveling between locations. ....... Michael credited his newfound peace and stamina for uncomfortable situations to the Vipassana meditation he began practicing after he left his job to backpack through Asia. Its central teaching, he said, is that everything is impermanent. ........ meditation has all sorts of benefits. It has also made him nicer on the phone with customer-service representatives. ....... It was briefly diverting to learn that we stood on the hallowed ground depicted in Aerosmith’s “Amazing” music video; a commercial for Arby’s; Mazda, Kia and Peugeot advertisements; “2 Fast 2 Furious” and the beginning of “Jurassic Park.” ......... Pictures taken to document the dispiriting havoc of our sleeping arrangement show the van steeped in a warm morning light that was not present. They look like promotional images for a California tourism campaign. ......... After breakfast, I frantically scrubbed pans with icy hand-pumped water while violent winds sent clean bowls skittering across the sand. In pictures, breakfast is gorgeous. ......... newfound knowledge about the deceptive beauty of iPhone photos. ........ So I was unnerved that, rather than spotting seams in the pristine #VanLife tapestries, I found myself longing to procure a nice van and replicate these trips — these trips exactly like the one I had just gone on. Michael was right: Everything was impermanent. I had forgotten how much I hadn’t enjoyed it. .

The Embarrassing Truth Behind Putin’s War Failures Russia had the chance to hone its war-fighting strategy in Syria but Putin’s forces failed to heed the lessons and now they are paying the price. ...... Moscow officially lost only 112 servicemen in six and a half years in Syria ...... Russia has been forced, humiliatingly, to withdraw some 40,000 troops from around Kyiv and Chernihiv, having failed to make any significant progress in those regions—falling back to their old targets in eastern Ukraine. ......... Unlike Ukraine, Syria’s cities would never be part of the Russian federation and could therefore be flattened. Meanwhile, its non-white population was framed as foreign terrorists. ....... Moscow declared a withdrawal from Syria in March 2016, then again in January 2017, and again in December of that year. This wasn’t just a feint to get its enemies to lower their guard, it also helped prevent Russia from being pulled too deeply into the war, thus minimizing losses. ....... But just as importantly, it broke the war into a series of campaigns, allowing Moscow to rotate its forces through Syria, giving them ample combat experience. ...... “The entire Russian military must now serve [in Syria] in order to progress in rank.” ........ For one thing, Russia is one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and by far the most corrupt major power. Ruling a mafia state has its advantages if you’re the Godfather, but it’s hard to know whom to trust. ......... Moscow recently purged 150 Federal Security Service (FSB) agents and sent Sergei Beseda, the head of the FSB’s 5th Service, which handles intelligence in Ukraine, to Lefortovo Prison, which was used under Stalin to conduct torture-based interrogations and mass executions. ........ One theory says Beseda gave information to the CIA, but the official reason, which may very well be true, is that he lied to the state and stole funds meant for espionage activities in Ukraine. If true, this means Putin’s own spy chiefs not only let him bring a knife to a gun fight—they sold off the combat blade and bought a cheap butter spreader. ......... Since taking office in 2000, he has been involved in six wars—Chechnya, Georgia, the North Caucasus, Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Ukraine. All but the last have been victorious. ......... He truly believed the rest of Ukraine, like Crimea, would offer little resistance and that the war would only last a matter of days. ........ “They were not up against a peer adversary—in fact they have never been: Afghan, Chechnya, Georgia, Syria—unlike in Ukraine. Syria was predominantly an air war, with little threat, so Russian pilots treated it more as range practice, dumping munitions on preselected targets” .......... “Russian communications are very lowbrow, and they are using unencrypted mobile phones in Ukraine, a bad habit picked up in Syria, where few opponents could understand Russian or had the technical competence to intercept.” ........ Simply put, Russia’s PhD in desert warfare is making for a poor career in Ukraine. ........ One might even call this Russia's Vietnam moment. ........ Russia looked at Ukraine and mistook a tiger for a cat. ........ Now even if it decides to cut its losses and completely withdraw, it may not be so easy. As the old Chinese saying goes, when you’re riding a tiger, the hard part is getting off. .

Behind Austin’s Call for a ‘Weakened’ Russia, Hints of a Shift as Russian war atrocities have become more evident, and Ukraine’s need for heavy armor has increased, the lines have grown blurrier and the rhetoric sharper. ........ It has imposed sanctions that were explicitly designed to stop Russia’s military from developing and manufacturing new weapons. It has worked — with mixed success — to cut off the oil and gas revenues that drive its war machine. ......... to set up President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine with what one senior State Department official called “the strongest possible hand” for what they expect will be some kind of cease-fire negotiations in coming months. ......... years of continuous contest for power and influence with Moscow that in some ways resembles what President John F. Kennedy termed the “long twilight struggle” of the Cold War. ........ There is a second risk: that if Mr. Putin believes that his conventional military forces are being strangled, he will turn to stepped-up cyberattacks on Western infrastructure, chemical weapons or his arsenal of tactical, “battlefield” nuclear weapons. It is a possibility that was barely conceivable eight weeks ago, but is regularly discussed today. ......... among the possible scenarios that American officials are examining is one in which Mr. Putin, frustrated by a lack of progress on the ground, detonates a “demonstration” blast over the Black Sea or in an unpopulated area as a warning shot for the West to back off. ......... the White House is working to demonstrate publicly that Russia is emerging from the war in a far weaker position, militarily and economically, than it was on Feb. 24. ....... while on paper the Russians have the advantage, the odds actually favor the Ukrainians, largely because they have the motivation to preserve their homeland. ......... “The first step in winning is believing you can win” ......... The most damaging of those sanctions may be the export controls on high-tech components that the Russian defense industry needs to produce new weapons. Unlike China, America’s other major adversary, Russia has limited capability to manufacture its own chips, and almost no prospect of developing that capability without Western technology. ......... the Russian military-industrial complex running short of parts. ........

Every American president since Harry Truman has tried to squeeze the North Koreans with crushing sanctions; today, their nuclear arsenal is bigger than ever.

Donald Trump often said that the 1,500 sanctions he placed on Iran would bring the country to the bargaining table, begging for a deal. They did not.

Putin May Not Like How He’s Changed Europe Rewind a few years, and the idea of Europe seems exhausted. It’s buried in these labyrinthine regulatory projects of the E.U. It’s fractured by debt crises and Brexit. It’s dependent on Russian oil and gas. There’s very little idealism left in that Union. What was Europe at that point even for? To the extent that question had an answer, it was this — Europe was for an end to war in Europe. That was the European idea. .......... Europe was postwar. But now, we are watching a land war in Europe, one that has trashed the assumptions of many European leaders. Building pipelines with Putin didn’t stop him from invading Ukraine. It gave him the money he needed to do it. ......... Opening a door for countries such as Ukraine to join NATO and the E.U. without truly deciding whether Europe wanted responsibility for their security, whether it would take responsibility for their security — doing that provoked Russia without giving thought to what would happen then, what Europe would do if Russia lashed out. And in outsourcing so much defense spending to the U.S. — well, that looked like a pretty bad idea after Trump and a pretty bad idea now that Putin has actually started a war. .......... this is going to be the biggest movement of people in Europe since the World War II. ......... just a year ago, Europeans have been convinced that a major war is not possible in Europe ......... we expect that Sweden and Finland, two countries for which neutrality was their identity, probably are going to change it. Or Germany, a country that didn’t have a single drone for now — they believe it’s unethical. They never bought a drone. And now this same country is talking about investing a hundred billion euros in the rearmament. This is such a big changes, but because everything happens so fast, we are not understanding how dramatic all this is. ......... a financial crisis caused by bankers or, to some in Europe, caused by the Greeks, that’s one thing, that you’re mad at your leaders, you’re mad at your fellow E.U. members. But it causes a lot of internal discohesion. ......... Poland, that is receiving now three million people ........ you had the feeling that you’re living in a world where nothing dramatic can happen to you. And then came the pandemic. And then came this war, and you identify with these people. .......... In Hungary, Orbán was reelected easily. Now he has created a system where it’d be very hard for anything to happen but for him to be reelected easily. But still, in the two data points we have, Hungary and the race in France, the more pro-Putin politicians don’t seem to be suffering a complete exile from politics in the way that some might have expected. ........... the major message of Le Pen was, everybody cares now about Ukrainians. Who cares about you, French people? So you start in Europe a kind of Olympics of suffering. ......... one of the interesting story about the Kosovo war was that, from the Western point of view, the message of the war was, we care about people who are not like us, who are Muslims, and we are ready to die or at least to kill for a place in which there is no oil. ......... it’s not like the starvation in Afghanistan isn’t a big deal or the war in Yemen isn’t a big deal ........ the solidarity with Ukrainians is a genuinely wonderful moment, I think, in the West. But it’s thrown into sharp relief by all the times we have not offered that solidarity or have even gone in the other direction. ........... the fact that this is happening in Europe and this is Russia attacking Ukraine and not Syria also explained the fact why many countries outside of Europe and the United States do not care much about the war. .......... You have countries like India, but also you have a kind of a symbolic places like South Africa. They obviously don’t approve what Russians are doing. But for them, this is not so important, because it’s not so much about them and because they fear other things, because they have other calculations. ........ it’s not by accident that Immanuel Kant, the guy who basically come up with this universalist ethics and ideas, was famous for never leaving his town. .......... they may not support what Russia did, but they see less difference than we do between what Russia did and what we do ........... other countries who say, well, I hear what you say. But look what you do. ......... Putin believes that he is doing is teaching the West a lesson. I’m just doing what you’re doing. Just see yourself. I’m the mirror of yours. He’s obsessed with the hypocrisy of the West. .........

something that we did not expect happened — I mean Soviet Union collapsed

.......... The failure to basically predict the Soviet Union collapse made the West confident that we know what is going to happen next. .......... the story was, Russia is going to follow the development of Germany after World War II. ....... You have a nuclear power that basically cannot be defeated militarily, because the moment you’re going to defeat them, they’re going to destroy the world. That has survived gulag, World War II, major misery. .......... And suddenly, they collapsed overnight. And nobody decided to defend the Communist system. Nobody decided to die for the Soviet Union, even the intelligence officer who was in G.D.R. at this moment, Putin. None of these people basically did it. I’m saying this because this sense of guilt and misunderstanding — you don’t understand what happened — this pushed a very strong conspiracy thinking about politics. .......... One of the things that is absolutely amazing not about Putin but about Russian political debate is that they really adopted a very conspiratorial view of how the world functions. When you see 5,000 people on the street, you’re not asking questions why they’re there. You’re asking questions who sent them, who paid them. ......... it was not a repetition of what had happened to Germany after World War II, but what happened to Germany after World War I. .......... “Capitalism is not enough to temper authoritarianism. Trade with dictators does not make your country more secure. And keeping the money of corrupt leaders in your banks does not civilize them. It corrupts you.” .......... all the rationality is economic. The only thing that you’re really interested in is your G.D.P., the welfare of your people. Anything which is based on identity, pride, resentment, humiliation should not be important. ......... The idea that the Russian oligarchs can prevent the war simply because they want to keep their bank accounts shows the fact that we totally eliminated the non-economic motivations of states, of politicians, but also basically of human nature. So as a result of it, we reduce human nature to the economic activities. ......... Most of the big protests that we have seen in the last decade in the world cannot be simply explained in economic terms. We like to talk dignity, but dignity cannot be explained simply by economic factors. It’s something different. ......... it was written in the spring of 1989. Fukuyama did not expect Soviet Union to collapse. ......... Europe in 1990s was like Africa in the 1960s. It was the major site for newly born nations. ........ many of the problems that we saw in the period of the disintegration of Yugoslavia were not problems coming from the past. They were problems coming from the future. ....... We, in my view, misrecognized the sovereignty moment for democracy moment. .............. the decolonization that started with, basically, the end of the First and then Second World War, is a much more important narrative for the other part of the world. Simply, the Cold War has arrested this narrative. And with the end of the Cold War, what happened was the emergence of a new states, that they’re looking for identities. ............ the rise of people like Orbán, the rise of people like Le Pen, who are basically obsessed with what it means to be sovereign in an interdependent world. ........ the Western democracies were quite blind to what extent their existence, their political and social system, was very much preconditioned on the Cold War and the existence of the Soviet Union. ............ When you have Soviet on the other side claiming that they represent the proletariat, you should very carefully think how your workers are perceiving what is going on. It’s so important for you, your workers to be on your side. So the welfare state was not simply an economic project. The welfare state was a security project. ........... Elections are exciting. You’re promised the idea of a candidate, the idea of their platform, and then you get the disappointments of their governance. ......... Rule of law is frustrating, constantly frustrating. And it’s more frustrating the bigger the area that law needs to rule is. ......... you get involved in politics, and in 10 years, you get disappointed. You go in your private life, and you say that you are not interested in politics. You get disappointed. ....... the major strength of democracy was that democracy, better than other societies, was dealing with disappointment. ............ You see the crisis of consensual politics. So the politics of citizens was very much replaced by the politics of fans. Political leaders really started to treat their voters as their fan clubs. And by the way, this is true also for non-democratic regimes like Russia. ......... annexation of Crimea was like a sport performance. ......... President Trump basically has the best understanding of loyalty in this type of a world. The loyal is somebody who defends you and he knows that you are totally wrong, and also wrong in moral terms. If you’re supporting somebody when he’s right, that’s not loyalty. This is just common sense. ........... Talking about the first round of the French elections — if people older than 65 were not allowed to vote on the French elections, President Macron was not going to reach the second round. The second round is going to be between the candidate of the far Right and the far Left. And this type of a centrist politics, which is very much based on compromise, on achieving, on governing, is very much, in my view, replaced by politics of self-expression, where, for me, the most important is how I feel, because this is the only thing that I really believe I can do to express how I feel. I don’t believe any more in a collective project that can be realized. ......... one thing a vote is, is an expression of self-identity. .........

Identity trumps policy.

........ Russia is going to be economically devastated, regardless of how the war is going to end up. But basically, the idea to keep your status of a great power, of an imperial nation — the fear of being irrelevant in global politics is the one not simply that is moving what the government is doing. In my view, it also explains why people are ready to support policy that is going to hurt them. .......... we have a global spread of identity politics. Identity politics stopped to be kind of characteristics of a certain groups, normally minority groups. It stopped to be the characteristic of small nations, because small nations were used to be much more tended, for very obvious reasons, to identity politics. Suddenly, everybody is in identity politics. ........ the interesting story is that the powerful want also to be perceived as the most vulnerable. So when

Russia is trying to position itself as the victim of Ukraine

— ............. When Russia is positioning itself as a victim of cancellation. ...... when everything is identity politics, the majority cannot be taken for granted. ........ And suddenly, majorities have the feeling that they don’t have power anymore. And when majorities has the feeling that they don’t have power anymore, minorities don’t have rights anymore, because then suddenly everybody starts feeling as a kind of a persecuted group. ......... the threatened majority, the majorities which also, for demographic reasons, believes that they are the minorities of tomorrow, is becoming the major driving force in politics. ......... he’s repeating that, if it was not for the revolution, if it was not for the World War II, if it was not for the disintegration of the Soviet Union, there were going to be 500 million Russians in the world. .......... now more identities are able to assert a politics. When that happens, then we say, oh, there’s all this identity politics. But what it really is like a breakdown of the dominance of certain identity groups. ......... President Trump was very powerful in 2016 when he was telling the Republicans, this is the last elections. ......... Either you’re going to elect me or, if you’re not going to elect me, the demography is going to change in such a way that you are never going to win. ........ what was better about the past? That I knew, basically, that I was more powerful. ........ in 1914, Europe was the world, at least in its own imagination, because basically the World War I was also called the European War, because it was the war of European empires. So all the power was concentrated in Europe. ............... And then comes World War II and the Cold War. And in the Cold War, the two non-European powers, the United States and Soviet Union, have been totally dominating. But Europe was the prize. It was the major stage. It was central. Basically, what it means to win the Cold War, it was basically to win Germany, to try to dominate Europe. ......... Europe suddenly said, we are the one which are kind of a post-modern state. We are about economy and soft power. We’re not going to fight each other. Everybody’s going to be like us. It simply takes time. ......... What happened now is that Europe lost. Suddenly, Europe is becoming simply one of the regions of the world, probably the most prosperous, culturally quite interesting, but we lost our centrality. ............ most of the Europeans look at Russia in the way they have been looking at the Chernobyl reactor after the disaster. You simply want to isolate it. We don’t want to have anything to do with you. We don’t want your oil. We don’t want your gas. We don’t believe that we can change you anymore. This is who you are. Simply, we want to imagine the world without you. ........... this is the problem when you’re not at the center. You cannot even take the American interest for granted. ....... this war basically challenged dramatically the identity of all the three players that are around it .......... a plausible path we might be on is Russia controlling much of Ukraine’s East and Zelensky and his government maintaining Kyiv and the other parts of Ukraine. ........ So now you have a carved up Ukraine. You have Russian expansion. You have a recognition that the dependence on Russian oil and gas weakened the ability to sanction Russia and strengthened Putin. And you have fear that Putin will go further, that he’ll do more, that he’s waiting to strike again. ........... Soviet Union created a lot of cohesion in the American society. ......... for many Republicans, Biden is the real enemy, not Putin. And probably for many Democrats, Trump is the real enemy, not Putin. ........ I always remember this famous poster which I have seen from 1848, the poster of a worker who has a ballot in one hand and rifle in the other. And the message was, ballot for the class enemy and bullet for the national enemy. ........... Europe is going to either be unified because of the external threat or fragmented because of the external threat, because this is the problem of identity politics. They have different logics. ............ Europeans can imagine the world without Russia, but the Indians, for their own reasons, the Chinese, for their own reasons, they are going to find a place for Russia in this world, for Putin’s Russia or post-Putin’s Russia. .......... while most Europeans rejoiced at Joe Biden’s victory in the November U.S. presidential election, they do not think he can help America make a comeback as a preeminent global leader. ........... Trump was a strange figure for the European politics. But what people start to fear, and I do believe that this fear has not disappeared, was that

suddenly we see America so divided that every election in America looks like a regime change

. ........... Europeans before have been taking the American foreign policy consensus for granted, and not anymore. So from this point of view, Trump effect is still much more in the back of the mind of European leaders. ............. communism was very sensitive on words. Communism very much was a linguistic regime. When Sinyavsky basically was put on camp and when he was asked why he was arrested, he said, I have some grammar disagreements with the Soviet government. .......... how easily American progressive revolution can travel to some of these places where the composition of society is different, where the historical experience is different. China is a great example of this, too ............. During the pandemic where all of us has more time, you see the American stock market overperforming. And then you start asking yourself how it is related to the real economy, to what extent basically the stock market does not play in the modern system the same role that communist ideology plays in the Communist regime. Basically, this was life in the future and talk about the future. but it’s not very clear how the future is related to the present. ............ six out of 10 of the respondents felt China would be more powerful than the U.S. within 10 years. ......... a sense that the American political system was breaking down ............. There’s a lack of ability to govern. So it doesn’t just have to be China rising in power. It can also be America losing power, losing the capacity to act. ............. unlike the United States, that everything is visible to everybody, everybody has the feeling that he knows how America works, China for most of us is a kind of a black box ......... because of the American power, America became transparent to the world. But the world became totally non-transparent to America. ............ Don’t forget the Soviet Union was very well armed. But in the late 1980s, after Afghanistan, after many disappointments which they had, Soviet power had disappeared, because society was not ready to support any involvement. .......... the Republican Right and on the Democratic Left. For different reasons, both of them don’t trust American power. ............ Lea Ypi’s book, “Free.” This is a young Albanian political philosopher teaching in the London School of Economics who is reflecting on the idea of freedom, just telling the story of Albania of the 1990s and the idea of freedom of her father, her mother, her grandparents, and her home, and the relations between political freedoms and economic freedoms — beautifully written book

Thomas Piketty’s Radical Plan to Redistribute Wealth . the hope that he has given “citizens,” rather than economists, new weapons in the battle against inequality ......... the period since 1980, when the benefits of growth began to go much more narrowly to the rich than they had before .

5/8/23 Update: Goshen (NY) puts Third World corruption to shame, thanks to greedy, corrupt, unethical lawyers like Andra Dumais. ..... I toppled a Third World dictator and German Radio called me Robin Hood On The Internet. I am not going to get intimidated by some small-town racist. Andrea Dumais is a small-town racist. ....... You are treating me worse than the people 2,000 years ago..... The Soviet bureaucracy of a judicial process.

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