My Last Letter To President Obama

NOTE: I wrote this article using my own time and resources. This is purely my personal opinion.

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I hope you read it. It might help you.

October 12, 2012
New York

Dear President Obama:

This is my last letter to you. I don’t know if you have time to read it. But I hope you do.

I’m not going to say anything revealing to you; I’m going to say things that many of us tried to say to you over these four years since we worked hard with huge excitement, energy and enthusiasm for your victory in 2008. We were euphoric when you became the president of the United States. I played my small part to celebrate: I wrote a number of articles and spoke at a number of seminars, conferences and meetings to congratulate you, and explain to my audiences the significance of your election. An entire generation of young people shared my excitement; for me, I shared the ultimate vindication of my black brothers and sisters.

Guess what, I still have the Obama-2008 bumber sticker stuck on my old American car.

We all thought you were going to use your enormously powerful position to drive this country and virtually the entire world back to the direction of the ordinary working people and families, promote economic equality, hold the corporate criminals accountable and bring them to justice. We thought your leadership would stop global warfare and bloodshed, and bring some peace to mankind especially after the horrors of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft.

I am very sorry and dejected to tell you that you have not fulfilled our hopes, dreams and aspirations. You have let us down.

Two months ago, I posted an article on this blog where I had predicted you were going to lose in this November’s election. I analyzed some issues I thought were responsible for your likely loss. Some of my Democratic friends were angry reading it; they thought I was playing the role of a party pooper. Some of them unfriended me from their Facebook.

Yet, at the same time, I challenged the Romney-Ryan ticket with maximum force. I posed some questions to your Republican opponents — questions I thought media should have asked them but never did. Please visit the questions here if you are interested to know.

Of course, at that time very few people thought you could lose; and I wrote the article even before that scandalous and racist “47 percent” Romney speech Mother Jones magazine broke: speech at a $50,000 per plate fundraising dinner Romney had in Florida ($50,000 is the average annual income for an American family; in many Third World countries, it’s the annual income for an entire city, perhaps). When that exposé came out, hardly anybody thought you could ever lose; in fact, even diehard Republicans thought Romney threw the elections straight in your lap; the Florida speech was so devastatingly damaging for him and the Republican Party. But who knows, maybe, that episode had made you overconfident, and you took the first presidential debate casually with no preparation whatsoever; your election prospects since then took a nose dive. Boy, how quickly things turn!

You took that debate with your now-familiar demeanor: you took your audience — your supporters and sympathizers and onlookers across the country — for granted. That non-performance in the debate was really symptomatic of your four years of non-performance. That abject failure to rise up and overpower your fierce, well-oiled opponents and their media with measured documents and reasons was symptomatic of your four years of abject failure to rise up and do the right thing at the most critical moment.

You’re going to be paying a hefty price for that non-performance. And you’re going to drag us all down with you, by your non-performance and lackluster presidency. Your elite circle of advisors — dubious and ill-reputed political insiders who are really part of the now-infamous 1 percent, exposed because of Occupy Wall Street’s resistance and challenge — have ill-advised you. You believed in them, and took us for granted. Your drones killed many innocent people overseas; your political actions killed hopes and dreams of many here in the U.S.

I can never vote for racists and bigots.

President Obama, let me be clear. I would be very sad and disheartened if you get a shock defeat in this election. I would get a chill in my bones if someone like Romney whose racism and hypocrisy is now exposed becomes the president of America. I know he’s going to start another devastating war in Iran: the war industries and Karl Rove are working hard for his victory. I would be frozen to death if a social and economic extremist like Ryan with his Tea Party Glenn Beck doctrine becomes the vice president of this country. I know he is going to kill off the last remnant of the New Deal, including Medicare and Social Security as well as collective bargaining and such precious rights of the working people of America. His party will probably overturn Roe v Wade too, destroying women’s precious reproductive rights. Corporate America, NRA and Koch Brothers as well as organized bigoted groups are working hard for his victory.

Even though I have serious, major issues with your presidency and every single day, I feel cheated by the promises you and your administration didn’t keep, just because I NEVER want a racist and a bigot become the world’s top leaders, I would want you to win.

The only problem is that deep inside, I feel you are not going to win. And you can blame nobody other than yourself for this looming, historic defeat. Your likely loss would be the final letdown of the billions of people — particularly the young generation here in America and peace and democracy soldiers all across the world — who believed so much in your message of hope. They believed in YOU!

You let them all down. How terrible this letdown has been!

Sincerely Writing,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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Do You Want to Die of Cancer? If Not, I Have Some Tips.

Foreword: Stay away from Monsanto and its BGH-tainted milk…and other products. They are as bad as Agent Orange.

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Part I.

-One-

Have you ever seen someone you loved dying of cancer? I have. I have a feeling some of you may have too.

Those who have seen it intimately would quickly understand what I’m talking about: the horror and pain of the disease and how this disease from hell can hurt and destroy not just the person suffering from it, but the entire circle of family and close friends. But for the person who’s going through the pain and horror and trauma, it’s indescribable.

There’s a saying in our Bengali society: “Bhagaban, shatruro jeno emon na hoy.” It means, Oh God, may even my enemies not have this.

I am writing this article not as a doctor or a scientist. I am not a medical doctor. Although I have a doctorate degree in biology from a reputable U.S. university, and some of my post-doctoral research has been in molecular biology and infectious diseases, I do not have any special expertise to write about cancer from a biologist’s point of view. Plus, I have changed my career, and moved out of science into humanities, journalism and social sciences.

I am also sincerely apologizing to them who have sick patients at home: a child or an adult, whose cancer could not have been prevented because of various reasons. Some people are more prone and genetically predisposed to cancer. I am in no way contradicting their beliefs or lifestyle choices, or raising any hopes for them. I salute them for their courageous battle.

What I am writing here is purely a layman’s story. I’m describing some facts here, and I’m going to write down some simple tips I think I can share with you about cancer based on my real-life experience.

But before I write down the tips, let me quickly describe what kind of experience I have had with cancer. I must say it’s not something one should brag about. I wish I never had this kind of experience; I hope none of you ever have it too.

My mother died of cancer when she was only forty-two. She had ovarian and uterine cancer that spread too quickly — like wildfire. We did not have the means back in those Calcutta days to have regular medical check-ups, and my mother perhaps also hid some of the symptoms and pain to save my father and us from worries, stress and doctor’s visits. Maybe, she thought it was not serious, and that the pain would slowly go away. Eventually, when doctors saw her and did surgery on her, it was already Stage IV. Metastasis had occurred (i.e., the cancer had spread throughout her body), and even after removal of her ovaries and uterus, she did not survive for more than a month or perhaps six weeks. The cancer came back, caused her unbearable pain, changed her physically too, and doctors basically gave her maximum-strength sleep medications to save her from agonizing with the pain.

My mother died when my sister was only thirteen years old. I was twenty-one turning twenty-two. I could never get over with her painful death even after so many years. For my sister, she lost her at a critical age, and it caused her lifelong social and emotional problems. My father suffered greatly too even though on the surface, he wouldn’t show it.

One week after my mother died, my uncle — eldest brother of my father — died of oral cancer. His suffering was more prolonged. He actually got it a year before my mother did, and his cancer took time to develop. Doctors initially misdiagnosed it, and the disease spread. Finally, it went out of control, and my uncle who was a flute player, lost one side of his face; there was a gaping hole on his cheek. He couldn’t speak, and was in excruciating pain. Toward the end of the disease, about a couple of months or so before he died, he was in so much physical and emotional pain that he went to commit suicide.

Then, my grandmother — my mother’s mother — died of throat cancer when I had already left India for USA. She suffered greatly too for months. I heard she couldn’t eat or drink in the final months before she passed away.

(I have also known cancer deaths of a few other people I loved and admired a great deal: another uncle — my father’s youngest brother who had special affection for me; a colleague from my first work place at a rural Bengal college where both of us were professors; and a senior friend in Albany who became like an elder brother in this land of alienation where we have no relatives at all: friends have become like relatives here. I had a mentor who taught me political organizing during the dark days of Indira Gandhi’s Emergency rule also got throat cancer; twenty years later I saw him dying in Calcutta of this horrific disease. I have seen these deaths from a distance; yet, they were also difficult to bear.)

As I said, even though there’s nothing to brag about how many cancer deaths I’ve seen in my life — closely — and how they have forever changed my attitude toward life, I must say that I have also developed some knowledge and insight about cancer and how to perhaps ward off cancer as much as possible — if possible at all. And I want to share some of that insight and knowledge with you.

Sharing my personal knowledge — from a first-hand point of view — would be my small way to contribute to the worldwide battle against the deadly disease.

Again, thousand salutes to them who are fighting back courageously against cancer — all over the world.

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-Two-

Since my childhood in India, I always heard that very soon, there would be a cure for cancer. I heard that somewhere in the United States of America, some famous scientists had built an entire research township where they were pushing hard 24/7 to come up with cancer cures. In a poor Indian family like the one where I grew up, that rumor was reassurance. That was more than enough to believe that cure for cancer was not far off.

Boy, how mighty fools we were! Nobody told us that Western scientists — U.S. scientists in particular — have not been able to come up with a SINGLE cure for ANY diseases in the past fifty or sixty years. Nobody discovered or marketed a panacea like Penicillin or small-pox vaccine for a VERY long time, even though drug industries with help from media and governments have always created and sustained an illusion and false hope — whether it’s about cancer, AIDS or Alzheimer’s. At the same time, these powerful, now-global institutions have actively rejected thousands of years of scientific knowledge and lifestyle choices from the Old World: India, Africa, Japan or China.

Therefore, the real, believable rumor for me now has been that the mighty, well-financed, powerful medical research industry WOULD NOT want to come up with any more cures for deadly diseases — for obvious sale and profit reasons. Cures would cut long-term profit.

Genetics, Molecular Biology: Use Pro-actively.

I’d save that political discussion for later.

But, because the fact remains that “modern” Western science has not been able to produce any cure for cancer, and more people are dying of cancer worldwide than ever before, and signs and predictions are that cancer deaths will rise rapidly in the coming decades, I believe it’s about time we approached the disease from a totally different point of view — going completely against the dictates of a rat-race-variety Western lifestyle and the powerful medical science industry.

We shall go the pro-active way as opposed to the re-active way. That means, we shall change our lifestyle so that cancer cannot penetrate us and take us over. We shall live the way civilizations lived peacefully and prospered before the re-active, profit-driven variety of Western medical industry and multinational drug czars and insurance giants took our lives over, once and for all.

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-Three-

So, here’s my simple, three-point pro-active lifestyle-change tips, based on what I have seen in my own life.

(1) The first and foremost lifestyle change is: REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY. (Catch phrase to remember: SLOW IS GOOD).

(2) The second-most important lifestyle change is: EAT AND DRINK RIGHT. (Catch phrase to remember: LESS IS MORE). Here in the U.S., they say: “Eat one size smaller.” Plus, avoid junk food — like McDonald’s, KFC or Pizza Hut. Avoid drinking milk that has artificial hormones in it: such as Monsanto’s BGH.

(3) And the third advice, however generic, is: DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU’RE GOING TO REGRET LATER. (Catch phrase to remember: LOVE YOUR LIFE).

(3a) — An emphasis of #3 above: LOVE YOUR LIFE. (Catch phrase to remember: YOUR LIFE).

Let me explain these three easy tips — one at a time. Stay with me for the next few minutes. Okay? Please?

But obviously, its easier said that done: reduce stress and anxiety. You’d say: yeah, right! How would you do it? In this West-inflicted, East-copied rat race where even the naive, half-asleep country farmer is being forced to overnight sell his farmland to a giant automotive, media or I.T. industry, where Monsanto is forcing Indian farmers to commit suicide by numbers unheard-of in human history, GE has polluted an entire river in USA, and where urban middle-class man with a private-sector job or small business is finding less and less time to spend with his loving wife and children (and in the Old World, aging parents) because he’s spending more time at work, on the road and away from home (and can’t even find free time on the weekend) — where is the time to rewind, to get rid of all the anxieties and stress?

The new world order controlled and run by power at the top of the food pyramid is demanding more of your time — more of your life. They order, “Work harder, meet our production goals, or we’ll make your life miserable!” Problem is, it’s already miserable. Problem is, we’re already working harder — FOR THEM. We shall never be able to meet their production goals.

It’s not easy to discuss it all in one article. Plus, I do not have all the answers. I am writing this piece to tell you what social, economic and emotional situations the people I saw up close dying of cancer went through, so that the prevention (note that I’m not using the word remedy, because of its reactive nature) is possible and can be worked out. Regardless of what excuses or real, serious predicaments you have, won’t you try to live differently before it is too late?

Don’t you want to spend some precious time with the people you love the most, before this life ends?

I’m sure you have thought about changing your lifestyle many times over. WELL, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, DO IT NOW!

(I promise to write more on it. Please come back. Let me know your thoughts.)

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Holistic Approach. Pro-active Approach.

Obama vs. Romney: Seriously, What the Heck is Going On?

One face or two faces? That is the question.

Over the last few weeks, I asked some hard questions I thought we should all ask Romney, Ryan and the Republicans. I did the same with Obama and the Democrats.

Because the so-called mainstream media is not asking them, I thought the onus is on us.

Even though it’s an American election where U.S. citizens vote to elect their president this November, actually it’s an election that has serious impact for the entire world. In a way, it’s a global election. Therefore, politically enlightened people from all over the world need to understand the various aspects of the election as clearly as possible. For the entire world, the stake is too high.

I was happy to see the level of reaction to my posts. A surprisingly high number of readers of this blog — now from near and far corners of the world — read the questions I asked to the Democratic and Republican candidates. Some wrote their comments directly on the blog, and some others sent me their feedback personally. Some of these friends had a strong disagreement with my position on Obama; they were also unhappy to see how a super-excited 2008 me turned into a less than enthusiastic 2012 me. These friends challenged my political acumen when I asked some critical questions to the Obama campaign. When I said I was not feeling excited at all for Obama, they warned me not to pop their excitement balloon. They said my wet blanket to douse their party bonfire might hurt Obama’s chances.

I felt delighted — by the thought that my little, no-name blog had so much power!

Of course, this is almost an academic discussion. Neither Romney nor Obama is going to read my blog, let alone answer my questions. But this is all I can do. I have said it many times before: other than my writing that I use to make my readers, friends and sympathizers think, I have no power. I have no money, no pedigree, no political connection and no real hope for publishing my thoughts for a wide mainstream audience. Therefore, this is really the extent of my political activism. This is the best use of my experience, analysis and energy.

Ronald Reagan pushed french fries and ketchup for vegetable for school lunch programs. Did McDonald’s serve?

I try to make people think. I try to challenge their minds. This is my only non-violent weapon.

Now, for the sake of time, let’s select only a few issues that are critically important both for an U.S. and global audiences. Food, clothes and shelter: these three have always, historically, been the most primary for the ordinary people across the world. In today’s globally-connected society, some other issues have become critical: I could perhaps select war and violence, energy, environment, education and health for the list. Then, we could perhaps include the subject of labor, immigration and society. I’m sure you quickly see a few other issues that you would want to include in your first list. I am sure I myself would later reflect on it and include a few more that I might have missed this time around.

But at least for the time being, not to make this post unnecessarily long, let’s put together our first list of issues and compare the two big parties and their two big candidates on these issues. It might help us to understand the nature of the electioneering process as it is heating up here in the U.S., and determine objectively what exactly is going on. Often, these critical issues do not surface our way — the ordinary, powerless people’s way — in the 24/7 conversation on big media done by their big experts. I call it Journalism of Exclusion.

Therefore, again, the onus is on us to do it. We must do it. Questioning is democracy. Analyzing is too.

So far, we have identified the following issues to be critical to compare the positions of Obama and Romney and their two big parties.

(1) Food

(2) Clothes

(3) Shelter

(4) War and violence

(5) Energy

(6) Environment

(7) Education

(8) Health

(9) Labor

(10) Immigration

(11) Society

Of course, the all-encompassing, all-pervasive, overarching factor would be economics and money. Given its overlapping nature, I decided not to itemize economics as a separate point. The discussion of money would feature quite prominently when we take up these points — one point at a time. Foreign policy would be another such aspect: it’s going to be interwoven in the discussion of all the other points — one way or the other. And obviously, jobs, wages and unemployment would be another — if not the most important — all-pervasive subject. It brings us to the question of poverty, exploitation and injustice.

Millions of Americans seriously believe even in 2012 that global warming is a hoax and even if it’s true, God who created this earth in seven days will take care of all the problems. Can we include this topic in the presidential debate?

But in this intricately-connected world society of the new millennium, where political boundaries have become almost meaningless, especially when we consider how economics and money (and work) can move from one part of the globe to the opposite part — with a speed of light, and considering how the people in power are using the global connectedness to their advantage, I believe that perhaps we could add one more item on our list. And that item would be:

(12) Globalization.

There! I believe we have come up with a good list, at least for the time being. Now let’s see if we can briefly discuss and compare the positions of the two candidates and their parties on these issues. I’ll try to do it as simply as possible, without making it sound too academic. I’ll try to do it with a language most of us — including myself — would understand. You tell me, please, if this language works for you.

If we think carefully, there is practically no way we can discuss one of the above twelve topics exclusively: they are all overlapping. What role does food and water play in today’s politics? Food prices, food quality, water sources, water quality — and the politics of U.S. government and its two big parties — one that media hardly talks about? Coca Cola’s capturing of natural water displacing millions of poor people from their land (and putting a famous movie celebrity as their PR)? U.S. seed company Monsanto’s forced replacement of Indian farmers’ traditional seed banks with their one-crop, genetically engineered seeds forcing those farmers to go bankrupt and commit suicides in hundreds of thousands every year? McDonald’s food colonization with substandard, unhygienic food that caused obesity and serious harmful effects in the U.S. and throughout the world?

What about the foreign policy around the clothes we wear — where and how are they made? How many of us know how Wal-Mart manufactures its imported textiles from China and Bangladesh, Disney manufactures its fancy DisneyWorld costumes from Haiti or Dominican Republic, driving poor laborers like slaves and depriving child workers of their childhood and education? What about those cool i-Phones manufactured at China’s Foxconn where a large number of desperate, young Chinese workers have killed themselves — because of the horrendously oppressive work conditions and toxic environment?

Where is the discussion either at the huge, confetti-covered RNC or DNC? Is there going to be any discussion at the presidential debates? Will New York Times, NPR, PBS or CNN talk about them between now and November?

Anybody want to talk to Obama or Romney about Orwell and Newspeak?

Now, let’s see. war and violence are two subjects where the two parties’ positions are different, they say. Okay, it is true that Romney, Ryan and Rush Limbaugh’s Republican Party openly talk about a new, imminent war on Iran (or Syria, or Yemen…it doesn’t matter); on the other hand, Obama and Hillary Clinton talk about how they have finished the Iraq war and how they’re going to withdraw from Afghanistan in two years. And then of course comes Joe Biden and gives a war-drumbeat speech at DNC…as if John McCain or Joe Lieberman (remember him?) was speaking. And there is rousing chants all around at the convention…USA…USA…USA…

But let’s see: was there any reason for U.S. to be in Iraq in the first place after six or seven years of destroying an ancient civilization, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and looting their oil, gold and other treasures? It’s almost like the British colony withdrawing from India after total plundering, brutalizing and partitioning a once-prosperous civilization, putting their handpicked, subservient, “Gandhian” feudals in power. The aggressors were going to leave sooner or later anyways: there was no more reason either for the British to stay in India or for the U.S. to stay in Iraq. Where is that perspective?

Can we talk about it in a straightforward way? Oh yes, can we also include the politics Israel has always played and has been playing in this incredible mess? Isn’t Iran or Syria or Egypt or Libya or Saudi cards used in the same game?

And then come Obama’s hit list and the drones and the relentless bombing…the war is over?

And then comes Julian Assange and Wikileaks and Bradley Manning…didn’t they say whistle blowing was actually patriotic?

Would New York Times, NPR, PBS or CNN talk about them? Would anyone throw these questions — this straightforward way — in the presidential debate?

We’ll now talk about globalization, immigration, labor and the economy — and their interconnectedness. We need to know how these two parties and their candidates are different on these issues.

I hope you come back to participate in that discussion. I need you in that discussion.

(To be continued…)

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Who will talk about the globally-imposed cultural conformity? Mr. Obama? Mr. Romney? Mr. Limbaugh?

Questions Media Won’t Ask Romney and Ryan

Yeah Baby!

Related post. –President Obama, Why Should I Really Vote FOR You?

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I came up with a list of questions that I think media — big media, corporate media, multinational media, mentor media — should ask Romney and Ryan. But I have a feeling they won’t do it.

So, I guess the onus is on us. Let’s do it ourselves.

(Update on September 18: Especially after today’s breaking news that progressive publication Mother Jones exposed Romney’s gravely disparaging comments that 47% Americans love to live on government entitlements and don’t pay any taxes, mainstream media such as New York Times are jumping all over it, and conveniently ignoring many other issues. Hence, it’s even more important to address these issues now. The political debate is getting shifted from economy to race, etc., and while race is extremely important, this election should be primarily about the economy and the 1%. We must not let vested interests to shift the debate from the economy.)

American media’s coverage of the Republican National Convention was as usual shallow, superficial and sentimental. Just like the previous conventions I’ve seen since Reagan, corporate media didn’t provide any serious analysis on any serious subjects. Its big-name journalists and experts did not show any critical thinking at all. It was all glossing over, spinning, twisting and distorting.

Question: Why is it always that way? Answer: Either they are stupid or they’re not doing their job on purpose. I think it’s the latter because these otherwise well-dressed and articulate (and definitely well-paid) people and their [very well-paid] bosses do not want to lose their tons of ad dollars and traditional viewers that might switch channels once real debates, controversies or unpopular, unpleasant narratives are brought in. It’s like, if someone on TV presents serious research data that among ALL the developed countries, USA has the highest income inequality and also highest social and health problems because of the grotesque divide (these are all facts — look it up here), most people would not like to hear it. They have been brainwashed for decades. They would switch channels.

It’s pathetic to see how American media have totally degenerated especially since Reagan. There is no hard-hitting journalism at all! There is no real analysis that matters to real people and their real lives. The whole RNC 24/7 coverage was, just like before, done almost in a vacuum — as if, it was a fantasy world out there! I have a feeling the Democratic convention will be this way too.

I also have a feeling we’ll see another pathetic repeat of the above when time comes for the so-called presidential debate with similar hoopla and meaningless moderation. I have a feeling it’s going to be another exercise of naiveté, glossing over, window dressing and scratching the surface — with exclusion of critically important issues.

The Real Puppet Master? Is that you, Karl?

Maybe, Karl Rove and Koch Brothers, among others, are watching over these media establishments. That’s why they’re so afraid to ask the right questions!

However, if I were one of these big-name media personalities with big privilege to work with these politicians, I’d ask them some straight-shoot questions. But because I do not have that privilege and I have no other power than writing them down in this blog for my friends, readers and sympathizers — now surprisingly from many near and far corners of the world — I’m writing them down here. My hope is that you find these questions worthy of asking; and in case you are one of those privileged journalists with access to these big-name politicians, please see if you can ask some of these questions — and get some meaningful answers that everybody can understand.

So, without further ado, here’s my short wish list. I know, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, you are extremely important and busy. Therefore, I’ll only ask you about a handful of topics. I’ll save the others for later.

Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan, either of you can answer them. Considering you are planning to be commanders in charge of not just America, but de facto of the world, consider people like me all over the world are eagerly waiting for your honest, thoughtful and straightforward answers. Don’t haze it. Don’t faze it.

Thank you for your time, Honorable Sirs.

This is Reaganomics. It never worked for us. It never will.

Question 1. Trickle-down economic policies have failed us the middle majority, working people. Giving tons of money and power to the rich at the top of the pyramid didn’t work. It has caused enormous income inequality, and the middle class has suffered greatly. What is your plan to change the course of our economic policy and actions?

Question 2. You propose more tax cuts for the rich — individuals and corporations. And, in fact, richest corporations now Supreme Court-validated as individuals — such as General Electric — do not pay any taxes. Don’t you think it’s unfair that we the ordinary, low-income people are paying about 33% federal income taxes (some say, to pay back to Federal Reserve which is a private, all-powerful entity that nobody really knows); yet, the richest corporations are not paying any taxes? For that matter, you said you paid only 15% income taxes yourself. Isn’t that outrageous discrimination against us who make so little?

Question 3. You propose cutting taxes for the very wealthy such as Koch Brothers, the Bush family, Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch; yet at the same time, you want us to believe you’re going to reduce the enormous debt Bush govt. left for us and our children (thanks to the wars, tax cuts for the rich and bank bailouts). You also want us to believe that your no-taxes-for-the-rich economic policies will spur growth. Don’t you think by default it’s impossible to do both at the same time?

Question 4. Bush-Cheney’s brutal genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan has destroyed world peace, bled American taxpayers (i.e., us) to death, caused a catastrophic budget deficit, and tarnished the American image (whatever was left) worldwide. Now you’re drum beating another war as soon as you come to power — perhaps against Iran (or is it Syria?). How do you think that would promote either peace or economic prosperity — two things you frequently talk about?

Gandhi and Tagore taught us exactly that: to stand tall and protest.

Question 5. Rachel Corrie, a young American woman, in 2003 stood in front of an Israeli bulldozer to protest against Israeli government’s demolition of houses of Palestinian civilians. The bulldozer crushed her to death. You blasted Chinese government’s human rights violation when its tanks threatened to kill Chinese protesters at Tienanmen Square a few years ago. Do you think you can show the same resolution to protest against the action of the Israeli government when they killed Rachel Corrie?

Question 6. At the RNC in Tampa, you and your party’s top leaders such as Chris Christie have championed the cause of the American workers and families who are going through a horrendous time because of high unemployment that some compares with the situation during the Great Depression. Especially younger people, according to some research, have 30 percent joblessness, which is a record in American history. The economic situation our young people are in is simply horrible — check these facts. Are you going to create new jobs within America by supporting traditional job bases such as manufacturing and construction, and stop U.S. corporations’ massive outsourcing of these jobs to China, India and other countries? Are you going to take on Wal-Mart or Apple and their massive outsourcing?

Question 7. Multinational, U.S.-based companies such as Monsanto, Union Carbide, Coca Cola, Chevron and Disney (among many

2000-2012: Monsanto caused largest in human history farmer suicides in India!

others) have caused havoc in many other countries because of their ways of doing business. For example, over the past decade, 200,000 Indian farmers (yes, you’ve heard it right!) have committed suicide — the largest in human history — because of Monsanto’s permanent seed replacement with their own genetically engineered products and false promises of crop yield. Union Carbide’s infamous toxic gas leak in Bhopal in 1984 had killed thousand of poor workers and their families; women who suffered are still delivering crippled babies. Are you going to bring these companies to justice and compensate the victims for the disasters they went through?

Question 8. It seems both of you and your colleagues such as Chris Christie, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal — and of course, Scott Walker — have fiercely anti-labor-union position. Can you please tell us if you’re in power, are you going to destroy organized labor once and for all? Are you going to take away their non-violent weapons such as collective bargaining?

Question 9. Are you going to overturn Roe vs. Wade and bring American women back to the coat-hanger alley days, with help from a partisan Supreme Court?

Question 10. Are you going to follow the dictates of your party’s “mainstream voice” Tea Party and abolish the separation between the church and state? Are you going to mandate Biblical prayers in U.S. public schools?

Question 11. Are you going to destroy Social Security and Medicare? Yes or no?

Question 12. Have you ever visited an agricultural or industrial farm in California, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida or Texas where owners work immigrant workers like slaves in a toxic situation — with zero human rights? Many of them die of cancer, tuberculosis and such diseases — because of their inhumane work conditions. Do you see any difference between their condition and that of the black workers and their families in a cotton plantation during the Jim Crow days?

Again, thank you for your time and honest, thoughtful, straightforward answers.

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

###

Women fought for generations, and are still fighting, for their rights.

I Shall Never Vote for Romney and Ryan. But They Will Win.

Money Money Money…Sweet, Ryan and Phony

Note: I wrote this article on my own, using my own time and resources. This is a purely personal opinion.

Also, please read these related posts.
http://onefinalblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/an-urgent-call-to-occupy-wall-street/

and

Questions Media Won’t Ask Romney and Ryan

http://onefinalblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/questions-media-wont-ask-romney-and-ryan/

____________________

I am never going to vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. But my vote would not matter. Romney and Ryan are going to win in November, 2012.

Let me tell you why.

But before I do that, let me tell you this. I am terribly worried that a Romney administration, with help from someone like Paul Ryan, is going to destroy the last remnant of the New Deal economic system — an FDR-established, time-tested fiscal policy that saved and prospered the working people and middle-class families of America for decades.

I am scared to think about the future of America and its new generation of working people and families that’s going to suffer the most. Irony is that, many of these young men and women this time wouldn’t even come out to vote. I am frozen to imagine how their lives will shatter into pieces. I am frozen to imagine how the top 1 percent in America will now be even more powerful and richer — at the expense of the poor and middle class. Occupy Wall Street’s worst nightmare will come true! Sadly. Scarily!

The new Romney-Ryan (and Rove) administration also will, in all likelihood, begin a new war in a matter of months. Another ancient civilization will be erased from the face of the earth. Millions of innocent lives and dreams will be destroyed in that new, massive bloodshed.

Because I understand the looming destruction and doom and cannot ever accept it, I shall not vote for Romney and Ryan. But my vote won’t matter. With help from U.S. corporations, think tanks and media, as well as Karl Rove and Koch Brothers, they will win the elections this November.

War, Profit and Propaganda…All in the Name of Democracy.

Let me tell you why.

I shall be brief. After all, with all these big-name political pundits and their big-name media spouting foam-in-the-mouth, who’s going to listen to what a no-name neophyte says on his little, obscure blog?

I quote this from CNN today.

“Congressman Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are a match made in millionaires’ heaven, but they’ll be a nightmare for seniors who’ve earned their Medicare benefits,” said New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “For the last 18 months, we’ve said Republicans will have to defend the indefensible — their vote to end Medicare. Now with Congressman Ryan on the ticket, House Republicans face the one thing they hoped to avoid — a national debate on their budget that puts millionaires first and Medicare and the middle class last.”

I think that quote says it all. Let’s see what it really says — section by section.

Section 1. “Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are a match made in millionaires’ heaven.” Okay, great point, Mr. Israel. We all know Republicans’ crocodile tears for the working people and middle class, especially at election times, are phony. But do you know what’s phony about your quote? Democratic Party has done exactly the same thing over the past two presidencies — of Clinton and Obama. You have not done a thing to bring the economy back to the direction of the poor and middle class, who voted you in with so much hope and expectation. You have worked with the rich bankers and financial institutions, and have not held them accountable for their destruction and looting of the American economy.

And just two days ago, in spite of a scathing Congressional hearing that completely, unequivocally exposed the criminal activities of Goldman Sachs and its billionaire executives, your administration has let them off the hook — silently.

If the Republicans are hypocrites, at least we always knew they were. But Mr. Israel, you can’t project a different, clean image for your party and your administration. As far as I am — a registered Democrat voter — concerned, I feel cheated.

Clinton Destroyed Welfare. Even Reagan Couldn’t Do It.

Secton 1: post script. Bill Clinton destroyed the welfare system in a way even Ronald Reagan or George Bush Senior couldn’t do. See, we’ve heard a lot of talk from the Dems about Republicans’ destruction of Medicare and Social Security. I’m sure some of it is true. But again, they don’t make any pretension about it. They tell us that Medicare and Social Security are wasteful expenses and they want to get rid of them. They tell us that they want to privatize Social Security (which will really be the end of the last remnant of New Deal economics), and I am sure Romney and Ryan will keep their promises. They will also destroy America’s once-prized public education system, once and for all.

But think about it. Clinton destroyed American welfare that was so critical for so many poor people especially poor women and single mothers. You Democrats named it welfare reform. Corporate media was handy again to spin on it and middle class people who didn’t know much about the devastating impact of this “reform” bought your spin. Clinton won in 1996, with help from Southern moderates and Northern conservatives.

At the same time, Clinton put Greenspan, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin in power, who with help from Phil Gramm, et al. in Congress, overturned the landmark Glass-Stegall Act and deregulated financial derivatives. Basically, the Clinton administration privatized the U.S. economy and promoted deregulation — going against the New Deal principles of the Democratic Party.

Section 2. “Now with Congressman Ryan on the ticket, House Republicans face the one thing they hoped to avoid — a national debate on their budget that puts millionaires first and Medicare and the middle class last.” Great again, Mr. Israel. But what if someone like me challenges you and the Obama Democrats how you have performed over the past four years when you bailed out the richest corporations (and let off the hook Goldman Sachs, etc.), took in some of the biggest Wall Street crooks on your administration, and did not do anything significant to drive the economy back in the direction of the working people and families.

What answer would you have for them: like, “Well, I know we have not done anything significantly different from Clinton or Bush W., but see we are really significantly different? Just trust us?”

Well, Mr. Israel, I am definitely not going to vote for Mitt Romey and Paul Ryan, because I just know them all too well. But guess what, a LOT of ordinary Americans, who are sick and tired of your party’s and administration’s false promises for Change We Can Believe In, will vote for them.

I work with American labor and immigrants — all poor and middle class. I know for the fact that a large number of these people will vote Republican this time. Not because they don’t like Barack Obama. They do. Barack Obama is a likeable guy: he is smart, he is extremely articulate, and he is I believe much more caring than some of his predecessors.

But his personal qualities and his administrative records simply do not match.

Rats! They are Republocrats!

So, to keep it brief, here’s some of the reasons Romney and Ryan will win.

Bullet Point 1. The Republicans and Democrats are now really flip sides of the same, old coin (or you can use the other cliché and call them same-old wine in a new bottle). People now call them Republocrats, and how much ever you’d dislike to hear it, they have truly become just that.

Bullet Point 2. The Koch Brothers, ALEC, NRA, right wing think tanks such Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Center for Immigration Studies, Eagle Forum, and the billionaire Super PAC’s are now going to work extra hard to pump in an historic amount of campaign money to the Romney-Ryan ticket. With U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Citizen United verdict, nobody can prevent them from doing that, and they don’t even have to disclose their identity.

Bullet Point 3.We have seen a small version of that enormous campaign cash in the Wisconsin Scott Walker recall election. It’s going to be deja vu, thousand times multiplied.

2012 Super-PAC Contributions

Bullet Point 4. Labor and youth will vote in a drastically smaller number because they have lost their enthusiasm for Obama. If anything, a large number of working people — especially non-union people — will vote Republican this time. Even a significantly higher number of union members will vote Romney-Ryan. Congressional elections this November will also be a Republican landslide. Hate me for saying this, and I hope to be proven wrong.

Bullet Point 5. Contrary to the above, Tea Party will come out in full force and with help from white supremacists who absolutely want to see Obama eliminated, will work Romney-Ryan with the same enthusiasm we had for Obama in 2008. They do not believe in government, they hate Obama, and they’ve found their best spokesperson now in Ryan (and Joe Biden is…well, I don’t know what he really is). Government programs, whatever is left for the poor and needy, are going to be history. In fact, chances are, the U.S. government as an institution is going to be history too! And that would be the ultimate victory for Ayn Rand and Frederich Von Hayek and their disciples such as Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin.

Bullet Point 6. The war lobby, especially the Middle East war lobby and their known spokespersons in the media, will make sure Romney wins. Romney’s announcement today on the V.P. pick in front a Norfolk war ship is not a missed point, especially for these powers and their big friends in big media. Romney presidency will start a new Middle East war very soon. In spite of Obama’s so-called terrorist kill list (one that President Carter denounced recently), there has not been a new full-scale war in four years; in fact, people are coming out on the streets of Egypt, Yemen and those places, and are throwing off U.S.-supported dictators. The Middle East war lobby and their media are deeply disturbed.

I shall come back and write more. I hope you come back and send your comments and criticism too.

Sincerely (and Scared’ly) Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Arab Spring. We need a nonviolent American revolution, now!

Andy Griffith: A Sheriff Without A Gun

The Happy Family

-One-

I normally do not get emotional about a movie icon.

But this Fourth of July, I can’t keep emotions totally out of my system. Because I’m writing about an icon who I thought was somebody I could remember for the rest of my life. This is someone who makes me happy every time I think about him and watch his shows. He gives me reasons to believe in sanity, moderation, common-sense life and human compassion. He gives me reasons to love and keep faith in love.

I am writing about Andy Griffith. I’m trying make a connection between him, Middle America and yes, the Fourth of July.

Of course, it’s not just about Andy Griffith as a person; rather, it’s about a way of life he iconized through mass media. This is a value system he established even deeper in American soil. That is critically important to remember today because today’s America and American media do not talk about the way of life Andy Griffith, his shows and his friends, colleagues and co-actors talked about. This America and this media today have made a 180 degree turn from the philosophies that his prime time shows in the sixties popularized: philosophies that took deep roots in Mid-America and its moderate, loving and caring, smiling, ordinary, working men, women and children.

They were the philosophies of non-violence, social togetherness, inclusion, equality, modern outlooks and a greed-free lifestyle. Those were the American values that made America an exemplary nation throughout the world. Those were the values that brought millions of immigrants like me to this country — with high hopes and optimism.

Andy Griffith, a small-town Southern sheriff named Andy Taylor, never carried a gun. But he carried those eternal American values we terribly miss now.

Those are the American values we want to remember on this Fourth of July.

-Two-

Of course, he is not the only one who preached and practiced and popularized sanity, society and peace on media and entertainment. Around the same time — in the sixties — icons such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Robeson or the Beatles were more or less doing the same in the Western world. It was a tumultuous time. The glorious civil rights movement on one hand and a few years later, the valiant mass resistance against the Vietnam war shook America to the core. Countless artists, poets, singers, filmmakers, actors and actresses joined in on the peace movement globally and the civil rights movement within America. Brutally violent rulers across the world and brutally repressive rulers across the U.S. were struggling to put down the civil disobedience tempest. American young generation was waking up to fresh air of new realities. They were embracing the concepts of peace, justice and equality. The Berlin Wall of color, race and religion was crumbling.

Fishing for Family, Fun and Friendship

Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Robeson or the Beatles’ styles were, however, different from Andy Griffith’s. The simple sheriff in the Southern small-town of Mayberry did not join in on a civil rights protest march or gave a speech about the futility of war. He wasn’t even remotely interested about politics, although he had to run for elections every few years to keep his paid position as the sheriff. He also took sides on local mayoral candidates, and once opposed his own Aunt Bee who stood for mayor, causing serious domestic strife. But he was largely a non-political man: his job was to run the small town of Mayberry as smoothly as possible, with help from his laughably inefficient deputy and a group of awkward country simpletons (or even a town alcoholic he was rehabilitating).

Doing this, however, a widower with a small boy Opie, he wouldn’t have no lack of time to engage in several affairs (one affair at a time) with local belles, go fishing regularly with the son, organize and sing in the church choir, or occasionally visit for dinner Mount Pilot, the nearest big town seven miles away. Sheriff Andy Taylor refuses to leave his birthplace Mayberry even when an old-time, high-school sweetheart attempts to lure him away to Chicago. No he wouldn’t leave: he loves his relaxed lifestyle and rural lads and lasses.

-Three-

That is his real America. Here, a group of Italian farmer immigrants with no English-speaking skills gets a hostile bunch of “mainstream” Americans — to the point of being driven away. An innocent man for absolutely no valid reason is suddenly ostracized by the entire town because the people with their superstition think he is jinx. The old barber Floyd spreads rumors about anything and it catches on like wildfire. Local ruffians engaged in illegal trading threat the weakling deputy. Sinister outsiders stash drug money in the barber shop. A bank is going to get robbed by armed robbers faking a film shooting. A dangerously violent criminal jailbreaks and hides in Mayberry, stealing the deputy’s gun.

The “Innocent” Barber!

And in all instances, it falls on the shoulders of Sheriff Taylor to interfere, mitigate and resolve the issue. And he does it with the use of his head — a head of a genius strategist and game maker — with absolutely no intention to use his gun. I take it back: he never had a gun (not even at his North Carolina home). He always thought problems could be handled nonviolently if he’d acted with determination and had the support and confidence of the society. And he did enjoy the support and confidence of the society.

In fact, he had had a society and they all cared for one another.

Sadly, that sane and moderate America is taken away from us. Extreme inequality, war, violence, hate, bigotry and economic exploitation have pervaded this land once again.

-Four-

Sheriff Andy Taylor would never spare opportunities to sit down with his motherless child for his homework, sort out the small boy’s small but significant problems growing up, go fishing with him whistling away, talk to his school teacher Helen Crump who would later be his girlfriend, and attend church meetings and evening dinners religiously with Aunt Bee and son Opie, with frequent presence of childhood friend Deputy Bernie Fife who as a concerned family friend would also attempt to educate the boy, however inadequately. Andy would not miss an opportunity to play his guitar sitting out on the front porch, with Bee, Opie, Ms. Crump, Fife and sometimes Fife’s girlfriend Thelma Lou joining in. The country music would be slow and soothing, with soft and subtle strumming of the nylon guitar. The full moon would look down upon these simple, honest creatures; its soft and subtle silvery light would flood the Mid-American little town Mayberry — as if it had brought the divine blessings from the Almighty who is sending down his message of togetherness, love, compassion and peace.

Opie, Ron Howard, is now a big-time filmmaker; he is, I guess, my generation. A celebrity in his own right now, does he remember those soft, love-laced days from the sixties? I do. I wish I had an opportunity to go fishing with Sheriff Taylor. Only once…that’s all.

I wanted to play a small part in Andy Griffith’s message of love, social togetherness and nonviolence. I wanted to be a small part in the Grand-Ole American message of hope, togetherness and nonviolence.

Mr. Sheriff, I’m going to miss you. I’m going to miss the Middle American values you lived and died for.

This Fourth of July, I swear to God, Middle America is going to miss you too.

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

###

Pa, Can We Go Fishin’ Tomorrow Again?

Trayvon Would Still Be Alive…If Zimmerman Had No Gun. Simple.

Scared? You should be.

Trayvon Martin would still be alive today if his killer Zimmerman had no gun. It’s simple. As simple as the bullet that killed the poor kid.

As Bill Cosby said just a few days ago, and I am paraphrasing: “It’s not about race. It’s about guns.” That is where the debate and action should be.

I know what I’m talking about. It’s very real for me.

My uncle Buddha — my mom’s youngest brother who was like a big brother to me — was shot and killed by a gun.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time and words on this subject. I don’t have to. It’s pretty easy to get.

Did you read the paper, watch the TV, or follow the news on the radio? In the last few weeks, almost every single day, some people — innocent people including children — got killed here in America because of guns. Somebody found a gun. Somebody bought a gun from Wal-Mart or some place like that. They brought the gun to school. They brought the gun to their workplace. They brought the gun to a shopping mall. Then, they shot and killed people. They blew skulls out. They destroyed lives. They destroyed hopes and dreams.

Let there be no illusion. Let there be no confusion.

Guns kill. Guns kill the innocent. Guns kill children. Guns can kill my children. Guns can kill your children.

I’m not here to scare you for no reason. Guns are scary. Let’s be afraid of guns. Let’s be afraid of people and groups behind the scene.

Let’s be afraid of people who’re pushing guns. Just the same way we should be afraid of people who push drugs. Or, those who push pornography. All three forms of vicious killers — guns, drugs and pornography — are abundant now in America. They are beyond control.

They can all kill us. They can all kill our children. Some do it slow. Some do it fast. But, they all kill.

Guns kill fast.

Does the above sound like a sermon? So be it. I have no other way to put it. I don’t have to spend a lot of time and words on this subject. I don’t want to. It’s pretty easy to get. (Even though watching American media, you wouldn’t get it. They don’t mention guns much, if at all.)

Killed by Legislation and Profit.

The so-called Stand Your Ground law in Florida and other states here in America is stupid, primitive and motivated by profit. (Update: even the Norway mass-killer claimed self-defense — the theme for Stand Your Ground law). Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York, in his new crusade against the gun violence and gun lobby and National Rifle Association, used a lot of good logic against the powerful NRA. But he did not mention the gun industries’ motivation of profit and the big Wall Street people and politicians behind passing the law. The same Bloomberg is using his NYPD to arrest peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters every single day. (and I have yet to see a major coverage in major media).

Without mentioning the drive for profit, and that too at the expense of hundreds of innocent lives, the big Bloomberg talk against NRA is meaningless.

If you talk about NRA, you talk about the gun industry. You talk about the war industry. You talk about the pervasive culture of violence — promoted by media and TV and Hollywood. They promoted it in USA. They promoted it all across the world. Guns and bombs and grenades and mines and remote-control explosives and computerized drones are big business.

Let’s face it: you cannot talk about one element and exclude the others. They are all connected to each other.

I have no sympathy for the culture of violence. I know Obama frequently talks about Gandhi and his so-called non-violence. Good. But Obama never speaks against the all-powerful NRA. He’s afraid to upset them and lose the Southern conservative votes (and Northern gun owners). Neither does Clinton — either the man or the woman. Republicans and conservatives and American feudals and cave men and women tout the Second Amendment to tout their God-given right to carry a weapon. Good. At least we know they are primitive. But Democrats — the so-called civilized, modern people also never take on NRA and the gun lobby. I believe they are either hypocrites or stupid. I don’t care. Either one is bad.

Guns kill. Every single recent, blood-curdling episode — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, San Francisco, Trayvon Martin, the Colorado Congress woman, Ohio, Pennsylvania…just name it. Guns were the single-most important factor in the killings. Yes, baseball bats can kill too. Yes, knives, swords, poison, drugs and pornography have killed thousands of men, women and children over the couple of thousands of years of recorded human history. But never, ever one single weapon of destruction has been able to destroy lives so fast, so massively and enormously — before the gun was invented and marketed.

You think. You decide. You act.

In 2009, guns took the lives of 31,347 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour. This is U.S. government’s data.

Think about Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, San Francisco, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Trayvon Martin. It’s simple logic. Had the killers carried a baseball bat or knife or sword or poison or drugs or pornography, would they be able to kill so fast and so massively? If the guns and ammunition were not so easily available, would the killers be able to use them so easily?

Think about how these innocent young men, women and children would still be alive. They were somebody’s children. They could’ve been your children. They could’ve been my children. I wrote about it before. I shall write about it again.

The same NRA and gun lobby and conservatives and feudals and primitive, pre-historic profiteers and politicians and press often tout God especially during election times. Would God — any God — approve such massacres? Would Jesus approve it? Would Moses approve it?

I don’t want to spend any more time and words on this subject. It’s fairly simple. Guns kill. Nowhere in the civilized world outside USA people carry guns, or buy and sells guns at Wal-Mart and such places. It’s unthinkable. And those countries and societies do not lose their children every other day because of gun violence at a shopping mall or school or day care center.

I do my part. You do yours. Stand Your Ground.

Shun the Gun.

Or, one day, just like my uncle Buddha, somebody in your family might get killed. It’s a very real possibility.

Believe me, I’m not making it up.

Trayvon Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had no gun. It’s simple. As simple as the bullet that killed the poor kid.

 

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Koch-ALEC-NRA-trinity

Solidarity: Wall Street, War Front

Solidarity: Wall Street, War Front

Do you see any solidarity across the globe? Do you see any reasons for solidarity across the globe? Do you see any hope for solidarity across the globe?

Can my poems help find it? Can your poems touch my poems? Can they meet and talk?

___________

(1)

Iraq

(Acknowledgement: Sourav Datta, Durgapur, West Bengal, India)

A Collateral Damage

My home was in Iraq, did you know?

There, by the Baghdad factories

Ma, Dad and with a little sis

We had fun – laughs, songs and stories

First time they bombed our block

We shivered with radio round-the-clock

Dad’s bus got hit ‘n exploded

Sis cried out, “Mother, he’s dead!”

My dear father’s grave, yes I kissed

Whispered in fear — eerie, awful

“Dear Dad, you come out now you can

Gone are those violencing beasts.”

***

Again they now hit back my land

Hoping to shove democracy down

Experts on oil addiction

This time more pain, starvation

***

Firm resolve, no fear of death

They’ll defeat Babylon empire?

I’ve joined forces millions

How dare that Dubya Dumb and Blair?

***

I’m too a son of a great nation

Daddy’s on the Iraq battlefield

Peter, Becca, little Sam and I

We got it in our hearts ‘n eyes

I screamed, “Dad, leave Iraq at once

If you kill but one-o their childs

Consider you killed one us yours

You now no mo’ one-o our heroes.”

____________

(2)

Bangladesh Border, 1971

Bangladesh Border, 1971

those small men and those small women

with small, tiny hopes and smaller desires

all their lives they weep in vain

and none cares ’bout their futility tears

…tears shed away slowly, lowly

like late-night dew drops, slowly, lowly

d’you ever listen to their subdued cry

o’er late-night wind the cries quiver

d’you hear them, tell me, why

d’you ever hear them, tell me, ever?

____________

(3)

Occupy Wall Street

(November 15, 2011)

We Are the 99 Percent.

 

They’re gone now

But they shall be back.

This is the last battle.

They know.

Even New York Times

Can’t stop them.

###

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

The Non-Lessons of Nine-Eleven

What Lessons Did We Learn?

-One-

The Premise

It’s a simple thought. In fact, it’s a very simple thought. I’ll tell you what it is. Just give me twenty…thirty seconds.

The thing is, when I launched this blog some two weeks ago, I promised to my readers and friends, and also to myself, that I shall write about heartfelt, honest feelings; I said I’d write about life and love — in a soft, toned-down way. I did it as best as I could; honestly, I didn’t worry how many people read my posts, or whether or not my simple messages reached the five senses of the people higher up: those who could make a difference. Out of their five senses, I knew I could never pierce their remarkably thick skin; so I didn’t even try it.

But the pleasant surprise was that more than twelve hundred people read my blog in just over two weeks — something that never happened to me in my relatively new life of an activist writer. I was gratified to know that a large number of people still did care: very likely, they cared about the transparency and real-life, raw emotions I’m trying to pass on to them.

They agreed that it was indeed a matter of the heart.

I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your interest in what I have to say. With your support, I hope to continue saying it.

So, now, what is that simple thought? What does it have to do with the present topic?

I posted a question on my Facebook page two days ago. It was this: “Are we more educated, informed and mature — can we now save more lives and human dignity?”

It was not a rhetorical question. It was not an academic question. It was not a question about any particular country either — U.S. or India, the two countries I know. I asked that question taking into account the evolution of human race, if we can measure it in such a short time, since the terrorist attacks and their aftermath global un-democracy, violence and war.

I have actually thought about it quite a bit. But I wanted to know from my friends who I thought would want to address it too. Some of the responses I got were as follows:

(1) “If “we” means Americans, the answer is a flat and emphatic NO..”

(2) “How come we need to be ‘more educated, informed and mature’ to save more life?”

(3) “”More”… relative adj. “More” than what/who/when??? As to whether we can now save more lives and dignity? I believe we can. Whether we do or not is another question entirely.”

Okay. Fair enough. People have different ways to express themselves, and sometimes without knowing it, people take a superficially different point of view when they’re actually in agreement with each other (believe me!). Sometimes I feel that through my writing, I’m raising debates on one hand (and making people uneasy and uncomfortable that way…sorry about that); and on the other hand, I’m playing the role of a moderator of the debate so as not to let it out of our hands. After all, if we can’t agree on things we so deeply care about, even within our own circle of friends, then how in the world are we going to impress them upon the others who do not know us and have every right to pay no attention?

_________

-Two-

Cliches and Cacophony

The terrorist attacks of September 11 killed 3,000 people, and changed our lives forever — yes, that’s a cliche. Don’t tell me I’m not being respectful to the innocent lives lost on that day; if you do, adios amigos, I’ll see you next time. (By the way, I just found out that the labor unions I work with lost 17 of their members: half of them doing construction and electrical work that morning on the 105th floor of the North Tower).

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 gave global war mongerers great ammunition to pursue their global fascist agenda — yes Das Capital’ists, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, we’ve heard you.

There are many real-life stories that media did not tell us — stories of how thousands of ordinary, innocent people fell victims of a repressive regime, and either perished in jail or got deported. — See, this is somewhat less known, but not that completely unknown now, thanks to the 24/7 hard work of hundreds of progressive organizations, lawyers and grassroots activists. And small, alternative media deserve credit too.

Muslims, Arabs and South Asians (including Sikhs) as well as other poor immigrants were target of heinous hate crimes, and some of them were brutally assaulted; a few of them actually died. — In case those big-name diversity, rights and justice groups did not tell you about it before, yours truly did it already, a number of times over. Reading his blog for the first time today? Welcome. Just flip through some recent posts.

So, what is new? What is NOT news yet?

_________

-Three-

Talk to Your Heart

Again, because I promised my blog this time around would be simple, soft and succint, I don’t mean to make it a long-winded, complex, lawyer’s argument, even though I put it out for my jury to release their verdict on it (FYI, as of today, only my Facebook itself has 2800+ friends, and that number doesn’t even include my six cousins and three brothers in-law).

So, simply put one more time, “Are we more educated, informed and mature — can we now save more lives and human dignity?”

What do you think?

Q. Who provided the necessary education since 9/11 that taught us how to be tolerant and respectful to all men, women, transgenders, religions, atheists, agnostics, Sikhs, Muslims, Africans, Jews and Latino immigrants (especially those who still “look like a terrorist” even after they were forced by their “American” employer to shave off their beard)?

A. Like…nobody?

Q. Who provided the necessary information after-the-fact that if you built very tall, arrogant towers at the end of an island, and that too, without any common-sense safeguards to prevent them from airborne terrorist attacks, it’s likely that terrorists would take advantage of that illiteracy and egotism of the people in power, and try their best to destroy them? (After all, just like pickpockets and muggers, terrorists are constantly watching out for easy preys while the easy preys are not watching out for them?)

A. Like…nobody?

Q. Who gave us and our children the maturity lessons that would help us and our children to be a little more mature than believe that what is norm and acceptable in a high-school brawl situation does not really apply to global civilization, and that it’s neither norm nor acceptable to use phony stories and hearsays (like, Judith Miller’s WMD stories published in mighty New York Times) to attack a foreign country, kill thousands of innocent men, women and children, and destroy a five-thousand-year-old civilization?

A. Like…nobody?

Q. Human dignity…now that’s a complex question. Some of my Facebook friends might ask: “How come we need to be ‘more educated, informed and mature’ to preserve human dignity?”

Follow-up Q. In fact, what is human dignity?

We’ll save that question for the next post. Please consider the other simple clauses of this rather simple non-lawyer’s argument, and deliver your valued judgement. I wouldn’t mind a severe sentence…punishment…like…long-term imprisonment…in your thoughts. All my life, I’m looking for those flung-open, skylark-sung prison camps.

Didn’t I say it was a matter of the heart?

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Yours Truly