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Are We Drowning In Think Tanks?

[Author's preface: I live in the chicagoland area skirting the O'Hare airport. As I drive around on errands and business all I see are these huge hills, like extra large Indian mounds, in Des Plaines, Rosemont, Bensenville, Elk Grove village, and Mt. Prospect. These large mounds are covered in Prairie grasses that look very pleasant, but with pipes sticking out. What are they? Garbage dumps, I counted 16 of them in our region alone. Not too far in the distant future, these hills will be sold as prime real estate with "views." We are a species whose byproduct is garbage. We create garbage by our very existence. And there are 6,305 Think Tanks servicing a population of 6.8 billion... Are their policy solutions working? Are we better off today then … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Corruption, Economy, Feature, Featured, India, Media

A Nation of Sexed Up Priorities

The contemporary obfuscation of fiscal sodomy  “We don’t need more sex – we’re already being fucked constantly by Wall Street and the government.” - Jean Sheridan, resident of Evanston, Illinois. “Murder is an individual crime, mostly isolated – financial murder is mass murder,so why not capital punishment? ‘Capital crime’ is what financial crooks pursue, in the hope that risk becomes manageable, and ‘capital punishment’ should be its consequence. This is no pun, nor is it onomatopoeic…” Financial Blogger, 2010 Before I proceed, here’s a brief legal description of sodomy: [sodomy n. anal copulation by a man inserting his penis in the anus either of another man or a woman. If accomplished by force, without consent, or with someone incapable of consent, sodomy is a felony in all states in the same way that rape is. … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Corruption, Economy, Media, NRI, Politics

Convalescing Kings

(Swans – January 12, 2009)   All day on October 22, 2008, my sagacious cousin Seshu tried to get access to a mysterious facility in Visakhapatnam. He claimed it would wake us up from our tropical stupor. He asked without using the word zoo, “would you like to go to an animal center?” I instantly replied, “Nah, been to too many zoos with the kids there.” He shrugged, but still insisted with a sly grin. I wondered what zoo will excite us in this humidity, but was intrigued by his understated proposal and why we needed a permission to see a zoo. However, the access took a while to materialize. The people at the animal center were hesitant and reticent in allowing anybody to see that center for a reason — … Read entire article »

Filed under: Feature, Featured, General, India, World

What Is Luxury?

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.” —George Eliot   (Swans – February 9, 2009)   A recession is precisely the time to debate the subject of luxury. What is luxury? Is luxury associated only with crass consumerism, or does it have a wider swath? In times when necessities are becoming luxuries, the concept of luxury is being redefined not by the free markets but by the most unlikely source, the US government. Our government has stepped into the luxury business by buying out so-called blue-chip companies who should have gone out of business for their failed business models, bad management, and labor unions. The US economic metabolism has become slow, where our payments were not keeping pace with our consumption, therefore leading to financial constipation. Now the enema is being … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Christianity, Featured, Hinduism, Islam, World

Reviewing The Reviewers

“Well, I certainly did not think that I could do worse.” —D.W. Griffith   (Swans – March 9, 2009)   Most of us are critics in life, but cannot take criticism at any level — we become defensive. It seems to leave a dour and sour taste in our contemporary American culture with typical reactions like “Oh, don’t be so critical.” Let us examine the morphology of criticism. Critic is derived from the Greek word Krino, which means “to judge.” It is a noun that emanates from the verb Krites, which refers to a person who makes judgments. Judge is another word that engenders a certain amount of resistance and resentment like “who are you to judge?” or “I don’t want to be judgmental, but…” Since the ancient times, a judge, a critic, or a reviewer could be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Feature, General, Media, World

With My Father, To Where Eagles Dare

(Swans – March 23, 2009)   In the grim gray days following my father’s passing, I languidly dredged up remote corners of my memory for some special moments with him. I drifted one afternoon, apathetically enduring a dull headache and playing mnemonic games with myself. When we were young, one of the things my father did religiously was to take us to the movies. And take he did, to the best ones. As I think more about those times, it clarifies the reality and forces acceptance of a bitter antipodean fact, that memory of the past bliss always becomes the anguish of present. India is the land of fervid movie fans, despite all the monomaniacal spurious Hindi films. Besides the entertainment, irascible thousands poured into the huge theaters on the weekends to … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Economy, Feature, Featured, General, India, Media, World

The Queen Of Kukatpally

“He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress” —Anwar Sadat “Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” —Eliza Tabor   (Swans – April 20, 2009)   Don’t drink the tap water! Don’t eat outside! Put on a mask when going out and don’t touch anything! You don’t want Pepto-Bismol to be half of your diet! Paranoia paralyzes many a traveler from the west going to the far-east, but is it really that bad? I seem to get sick more frequently from exotic strains of viruses brought home by the boys from schools here in the States than I did on the continents of Africa and Asia, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, Feature, Featured, General, India, Media, World

What Does It Mean To Be Sexy?

Look at this beautiful image, composed of wounds amassed. Full of sickness, yet desired by many, it has neither permanence nor constancy. Those who hold the worthless to be of value, and see in the valuable the worthless, do attain the valuable, pasturing, as they are, in the field of wrong intention —The Dhammapada – Buddha   (Swans – May 18, 2009)   Before we compliment each other profusely on how sexy we are, let’s look into what being sexy really means. Let us begin with our mother, the earth, and then look at ourselves and how we stack up with all of our intelligence. Our earth is sexy! It is a procreative organism, and is reborn every millisecond by recycling itself through reproduction. Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson states that there are five thousand kinds of rapidly reproducing bacteria in … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Economy, Feature, Featured, General, Media, World

The Innate Nature Of Conflict

“I loathe all armies and any kind of violence; yet I am firmly convinced that at present these hateful weapons offer the only effective protection.” —Albert Einstein (1879-1955) “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke (1729-1797)   (Swans – June 1, 2009)   Last week I sat on the fifty-yard line and ingested some passionate war and peace polemics erupting internally amongst the contributors of Swans. I cannot presume to enter the arena with my skimpy armor and offer these erudite armadillos my two cents. However, I did not have to look far for inspiration on my next subject; it was there in front of me, in a vociferous repartee. Why not explore the pathology of war and peace and pacifism, and discuss if either of these … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Feature, General, India, Media, World

We Are a Fat Country

Thou seest I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.” —William Shakespeare (1564-1616) “There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was much smaller than a Hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less.” —Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)   (Swans – October 5, 2009)   I want to begin this essay by tendering my earnest apologies at the outset to all you obese folks who suffer this malady congenitally or due to a pre-existing medical condition, and that is invariably beyond your control. This writing is the on those corpulent folks with little or no self regulation or discipline, who have voluntarily burdened the rest of us with their medical problems that will run … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Corruption, Economy, Feature, General, Uncategorized, World