Friday, October 21, 2022

21: Pakistan

How Toni Morrison Wrote Her Most Challenging Novel ‘Jazz’ is a roaming, musical book, writes the poet Morgan Parker. It reads differently than the author’s others and is said to have been her favorite. .

जता गए पनि अबको प्रधानमन्त्री तपाईं नै हो भन्छन् : प्रचण्ड
कात्तिकभित्रै मेलम्चीको पानी काठमाडौं ल्याउने तयारी
पाकिस्तानमा इमरान खानले ५ वर्षसम्म चुनाव लड्न नपाउने

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Contours Of A Possible Peace In Ukraine: India Has A Role To Play

Contours Of A Possible Peace In Ukraine: India Has A Role To Play

The choice is not between the military option and the political option. The only choice is the political option. Every war concludes with peace negotations. You can take that option early, or you can take that option late. You can negotiate peace when there has been little damage, a lot of damage, or total damage. It is smart to move early.

Russia has had grievances. It fancies itself the only country being able to stand up to the United States, the supposed sole superpower.

This is a multi-polar world. The US ceased being the sole superpower a long time ago.

Putin fishes in conspiracy theories. You read zany brainy ideas on the internet and think it is not possible anybody believes these. But Putin has been waging an entire war with QAnon type material. You don’t wage war because some people seem to be working for transgender rights in the United States! Are you not secure in your masculinity, Mr. Putin?

Russia is a smaller economy than Italy. Italy is no challenge to the United States. The nuclear weapons Russia and the US have are only good for mutually assured destruction. That is not challenge. That is suicide.

The US is a challenge to itself. When a large power starts printing money recklessly, it is on its way out. World history attests to that trend.

I think standing up to the US is important. That is why India has kept buying Russian oil. The Indian government answers to the Indian voters. Those Indian voters can not survive substantially higher oil prices.

Ethnic Russian minorities in countries like Ukraine must have their grievances. But they must also pale in comparison to the grievances of the ethnic minorities inside the Russian Federation. Putin’s so-called mobilization has been calls for genocide on several ethnic groups inside Russia. Dress up, pick up that rifle and go die, all of you.

If Putin is allowed to change borders at will, half the borders in Africa might come into question. Political forest fires might crop up in many parts of the globe. The US-Canada border might be the only settled border on the planet. There is no arguing a line of latitude.

Putin is a dictator. If you can not speak freely, if you can not peacefully assemble and protest, you live in a dictatorship. Russians live in a dictatorship. And they know it.

Putin’s military misadventure in Ukraine is how dictatorships work. The supposed strongman has to keep making the moves of strength or his regime will collapse. Putin going into Ukraine is Putin wanting 20 more years of power inside Russia.

Threatening nuclear strikes is enough offense. Putin does not need to drop a nuclear bomb somewhere for the world to impose much tougher sanctions on the regime. Putin should not be allowed to issue threats.

The moment that threat might become credible, Putin will put himself under tremendous pressure. Somebody in his inner circles might come to conclude getting rid of Putin is the only way to survive. Why die with the madman? But that can not be the world’s plan. The world needs to intervene and make peace.

You don’t make peace with friends. By definition you make peace with enemies.

Putin might prefer China, because China is not neutral. China is a Russia waiting to happen. Look at what just happened in Taiwan. Putin might prefer Turkey, because Turkey is a small power.

But the best candidate to make peace is India, and more specifically the Indian trio Modi, Jaishankar, and Doval. You don’t make peace by asking for permission from the US, or Russia, or Ukraine. You proactively make peace. You go in because you don’t want your people to pay more for oil, because you don’t want Africa to pay more for wheat, because you want to take the atom bomb out of the equation for the world. A country that aspires for a veto power in the UN Security Council should actively engage with all parties and force peace upon them, against their will if necessary. You can always name and shame. Heck, you could shame the military-industrial complex in the United States. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Defense contractors get to make money, but not by taking the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe.

Peace means to demilitarize all contested areas. Russia needs to agree to get its troops out of all areas that it did not have in 2013. Ukraine also has to agree to do the same. UN peacekeeping troops will have to step in to maintain law and order in the said regions.

If Russia does not agree to this withdrawal, then there will be no peace. The Ukrainian army is on schedule to hand over an Afghanistan to Putin possibly by winter, or perhaps Spring. That could lead to a collapse of the Russian Federation. Russia could become the size of Ukraine.

Then the contested areas have to be demarcated. The contested areas are not Crimea plus the four regions. The contested areas are only Crimea and the original two contested regions. Ukraine has to be willing to hold Scotland style referendums. I think Ukraine stands to win them. It can rejig its constitution to institute full-fledged federalism and great autonomy to those regions.

Of course there will be campaigning. And Ukraine gets to convince people that they will be better off as part of the European Union.

Ukraine could agree to not join NATO for a 10-year period with guarantees from the major powers that its borders after the referendums will not be violated. In 10 years NATO will likely have become irrelevant with no help from Putin.

There will be no peace unless war crimes are investigated. A neutral committee could look into that. There will be no peace unless Russia pays for the rebuilding of the damage it has done. Putin has plenty of money in the western banks.

There are those who want Putin to go. Russian troops moving back to Russia brings back all those Russian men who have fled the motherland to avoid getting drafted. I think they will take to the streets when they are back. But that is not the business of the peace process. That is a separate topic. Whether Putin goes or stays is for the global Russian population to decide.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

15: Sadhguru

The ‘Sleeping Giant’ That May Decide the Midterms The choices made by Latino voters on Nov. 8 will be crucial to the outcome in a disproportionate share of Senate battleground states, like Arizona (31.5 percent of the population), Nevada (28.9), Florida (25.8), Colorado (21.7), Georgia (9.6) and North Carolina (9.5). .

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Biden’s Support for Iran Protesters Comes After Bitter Lessons of 2009
How China Targets the Global Fish Supply
Ethereum’s Founder on What Crypto Can — and Can’t — Do
We Know Shockingly Little About What Makes Humanity Prosper
What Does Sustainable Living Look Like? Maybe Like Uruguay

Friday, October 14, 2022

Yogi Raghunath (Ray) Cappo

How Long Does It Take to Fix a Marriage? Give the Gottmans 7 Days.
How U.S. Textbooks Helped Instill White Supremacy A new history by Donald Yacovone examines the racist ideas that endured for generations in educational materials.......... Each state sets its own curriculum guidelines, but typically they are loose, with 13,000 school districts making their own decisions on textbooks, and individual teachers exercising great autonomy. ......... Teachers also understand that in order to keep their jobs, they must stay alert to the biases and concerns of their local communities. They may adjust their curriculum accordingly. And students, as we all know, are unlikely to read dry, written-by-committee textbooks with great attention. ......... Northern publishers, universities, religious authorities and social activists were more responsible than Southern ones in disseminating an enduring ideology of white supremacy and Black inferiority — one that outlasted the institution of slavery and was expressed forcefully in school materials. In many cases, this ideology existed alongside strong beliefs in abolition and preserving the Union, tying the survival of the Republic itself to the idea of America as a white nation. .......... Many white Christian abolitionists wished to see freed Black people removed to Africa. Some white feminists argued for suffrage by saying white women were morally and intellectually superior to recently emancipated Black men. Northern white labor activists often saw Black Americans as unwanted competition for jobs. All these ideas were reflected in grade-school textbooks. ......... Harvard was the seat of the eugenics movement, whose pseudoscience was approvingly cited in teachers’ journals and textbooks. Columbia gave birth to the “Dunning school” of Civil War history, named after William Archibald Dunning, the turn-of-the-century historian who popularized the myth that Reconstruction failed not because of violent white resistance, but because Black people were not competent to participate in democracy. .......... Textbooks in each generation debated whether the abolitionist John Brown was a mad zealot or a hero. ........ Most books before the civil rights movement left Black Americans voiceless, ignoring Frederick Douglass, Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth and W.E.B. Du Bois. ............ Van Evrie was a popularizer of scientific racism, such as the absurd theory of polygenesis, which held that Black and white people were separate species, with slavery being a natural state for the lower, Black order. ......... Van Evrie was “a toxic combination of Joseph Goebbels, Steve Bannon and Rupert Murdoch,” Yacovone writes, noting that his ideas are today distributed on white supremacist websites. ........... While the racist myths in that book endured for generations — for example, that enslaved people liberated by the Union Army clung to their masters rather than embrace freedom ......... Between 1936 and 1957, at least 12 states adopted a high school textbook called “The Development of America,” by Fremont P. Wirth, who called slavery a “necessary evil” for the nation’s economic growth. ........ even Rugg portrayed the conditions of slavery as “no worse than that of some employees in the mills and factories in the North.” ......... “Textbook after textbook described slaves as living in comfortable cabins,” Yacovone writes, “with plenty of nourishing food, and spending their evenings singing around campfires.” Authors and publishers elided the brutality of the Middle Passage, rape and family separation. ......... the United Daughters of the Confederacy — an organization that still exists — worked in the early 20th century to place positive books about the Ku Klux Klan in schools throughout the South. ......... quotes a Connecticut teacher who reports that one challenge in teaching the resonance of history is that many students see racism as “fixed now.” ....... Most American children, though, are fully able to observe the distressing legacy of slavery and Jim Crow that surrounds them, from segregated neighborhoods and schools to police violence. Those lived realities, Yacovone rightly suggests in his conclusion, are far more powerful than textbooks ever were or will be. .