A Misplaced Sense of Pride

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, polymath, inventor, scientist, writer, diplomat, etc., etc., Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) observed that “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” An analogous statement about nations could be that all nations are born poor but it requires hard work to … Continue reading A Misplaced Sense of Pride

Matters may not have improved much

"A demoralized, timid, and hopeless mass bullied and crushed by every dominant interest and incapable of resistance." Who said this about whom and when? At first glance, it appears that it must have been said by some astute observer of contemporary India. The "every dominant interest" could refer to the interests of the Congress political … Continue reading Matters may not have improved much

Just deserts: India Deserves the Congress

In an opinion piece in the Financial Times of April 15th (hat tip: Sudipta), Razeen Sally writes that "the Congress deserves to lose the elections". Right up front, Sally wrote about "the do-nothing, zero-reform record of Manmohan Singh, prime minister, and his government." I have an excerpt from the piece below the fold. I agree … Continue reading Just deserts: India Deserves the Congress

The Taliban Are Coming

The topic of the Taliban gaining control of Pakistan is hot this summer. Newspaper editors are busy with lots of serious hand-wringing and mopping of sweaty foreheads. An editorial writer at the New York Times is obviously worried to distraction, it appears from the opinion piece of 27th April, "60 Miles from Islamabad." If the … Continue reading The Taliban Are Coming

The War and the Circus

Perhaps most humans are congenitally belligerent and can be reasonably expected to get into fights. But it takes institutionalized big businesses to create a war machine that raises ordinary human belligerence to levels of superhuman insanity. The war machine -- and one can argue that indeed there is only one such thing but with a … Continue reading The War and the Circus

In Praise of Dead White Men

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva's recent accusation that the financial crisis was caused by "white people with blue eyes" at a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Brown is illuminating if not entirely accurate. [1] Everyone involved in the financial crisis certainly does not have blue eyes, although they may all be … Continue reading In Praise of Dead White Men

Keith Hudson’s Lesson on the Present Crisis

I am privileged to be on Keith Hudson's mailing list. He is an English polymath, a Renaissance Man in the strictest sense of the term. With his permission I am quoting from one of his musings on the present financial crisis. He quickly hones in on the systemic trouble at the base of the problem: … Continue reading Keith Hudson’s Lesson on the Present Crisis