Gene Sharp: The Man Who Wrote the Rule-book on Non-violent Struggle

I had not heard of Gene Sharp until Rajesh forwarded me a link to a NYTimes profile on him. He appears to be an interesting fellow. A BBC article says this about him, “His central message is that the power of dictatorships comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern – and that if the people can develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble.”
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Is the US Economy in Long-term Decline?

My friend Veer asked me to comment on what is posted at this site — 10 Economic Charts That Will Blow Your Mind. OK, my mind is blown away. One thing is apparent to me. The US is in economic decline. But it is not clear whether that decline is long-term or not.
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Cities are Healthiest, Greenest, Richest Place to Live

Cities and urbanization has been a constant theme of development — and consequently of this blog. Urban economist Ed Glaeser in his book, “Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier” argues that case. In a guest post on Freakonomics, Glaeser says that “to get America growing again, it’s time to unleash our cities.”
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An Admirable Evasion by Whore-master Man

I believe that a person is at his most pathetic when he makes excuses for his failures and justifies them saying that they are primarily due to circumstances beyond his control. It is not merely an abdication of responsibility but what is worse, it precludes the possibility of corrective behavior. If it was not his fault, there’s no reason for him to change. He believes that when circumstances change, he will not fail.
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The Habit of Being Honest

A few days ago, a Pakistani singer by the name of Rahat was caught smuggling around $130,000 out of India. It does not matter what the prescribed penalties are for such an act but the interior minister of Pakistan called up the Home Minister of India, P. Chidambaram and thanked him for facilitating Rahat’s release. Thanks to Mr Chidambaram’s intervention in the matter, it all ended well for the singer. But not for the country.
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A National Character Flaw

Just got off a call with my friend CJ. He had watched Dr Manmohan Singh’s TV personalities’ press conference. Eager to get an outsider’s perspective on it, I asked him what he thought of it. He thought it was a fascinating glimpse of the Indian character.
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The Ventriloquist’s Dummy Will Address a Press Conference

The Ventriloquist's Dummy and the Puppet Master
The Ventriloquist's Dummy and the Puppet Master
Why is Dr Manmohan Singh the perfect ventriloquist’s dummy? Because he has no guts and no spine, which makes it easy for the hand up his behind to control him.
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