Page 10«..9101112..2030..»

Archive for the ‘Enlightenment’ Category

Coronavirus today: 314 new cases and a record number hospitalized. No regional easing yet, governor says. – Arkansas Times

Posted: June 8, 2020 at 4:46 pm


without comments

REGIONAL CORONAVIRUS DIFFERENCES: But still no regional health guidelines.

Gov. Asa Hutchinsons daily coronavirus update included a new peak on the number hospitalized and he said he wasnt ready to announce a regional approach to easing of state guidelines on business operations.

Hed indicated last week he might have an announcement this week. Today, he was more cautious.

He said the regions of the state are different and their trend lines are different. But he said the future spread of the coronavirus is not predictable. He said he doesnt believe the rise in cases being experienced is related to past easing of restrictions. But he said increased testing is important. He said self-discipline and social-discipline still must be practiced. And he emphasized again that the economy must keep moving. He said these factors will influence future decisions on easing restrictions.

But nothing today. Were leaving the options open, he said. The weekend numbers clearly were a disincentive. He said hed thought earlier the state was on a decline on the whole, but circumstances changed. The options he considered Friday had some weaknesses. He said, What might be a safe region today might not be tomorrow.

The daily COVID-19 count

The state reported 314 new cases today, increasing yesterdays total of 9,426 to 9,740. Deaths rose by one, to 155. Hospitalizations increased by 26 to 171, a record so far. The rise inc ases followed increases Saturday of 450 and Sunday of 325.

4,131 tests were done over the last 24 hours.

The growth in new cases continued in Washington County (86) and Benton County (41). The governor said 41 of the cases in Washington County were clustered in 15 households. He also said the average age of those infected was fairly young, perhaps a hopeful sign that theyll overcome the illness more easily.

Health Director Nate Smith said only 2 percent of new cases had visited a restaurant in the last 14 days; 1 percent to a barbershop; 1 percent to a church, and less than 1 percent to a gym or hotel.

He said the growth in hospitalizations was concerning, but he said the state was not near its capacity. He said that, with the growth in cases, it wasnt surprising hospitalizations would grow. He said the same could be expected of deaths, a lagging indicator.

Protest news

The governor opened remarks with news on the demonstration front. He confirmed the announcement earlier that he was deactivating National Guard hed called up in support of State Police and local police.

He said the unified command structure created by his executive order remains in place, though the number of State Police dedicated to the job will be reduced. He said the Little Rock police will remain at work protecting property and demonstrators. The governor praised local demonstrators, but he said some outliers whod come in to cause trouble had been discouraged and deterred.

He also said hed been meeting with protest leaders and planned to deliver at 11 a.m. Tuesday an executive order hed promised them. He gave no details, but he said it would deal with police training, certification and standards.

Economic recovery

Steuart Walton, the billionaire Walmart heir appointed by Hutchinson to lead a recovery task force, said Arkansas is doing better than some neighboring states in economic recovery. He said his groups website is now available in Spanish. He said the group was trying to encourage businesses to get people to follow guidelines on wearing masks (they could be more effective than a vaccine in preventing contraction of the disease, he said.) and following other social distancing guidelines. He lauded the governors targeted approach to balancing health and economic concerns.

The Q&A session didnt cover much new ground, with some discussion, but little enlightenment on whether the mass demonstrations were a potential breeding ground for virus cases or whether any new cases had been reported as a result.

More here:
Coronavirus today: 314 new cases and a record number hospitalized. No regional easing yet, governor says. - Arkansas Times

Written by admin

June 8th, 2020 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Enlightenment

China’s One Road, One Plague Tragedy – The National Interest

Posted: June 1, 2020 at 6:46 am


without comments

Instead of an optimally integrated global economy, anchored by Chinese technology and infrastructure, the world is facing the One Road, One Plague phenomenon, which underscores how Beijings systematic deficiencies could easily spread across beneficiaries and beyond.

In their groundbreaking Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno meticulously analyzed how the best intentions of modernity have descended into the horrors of the twentieth century. While the Enlightenment project is understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, which is aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters, they explain, the wholly enlightened earth is radiant with triumphant calamity.

A similar theme runs through the works of other intellectual luminaries of the time, from Karl Poppers The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) to Georg Lukacss The Destruction of Reason (1952), which placed these monstrous perversions of Fascism and Stalinism as a symptom of totalistic understanding of truth, namely the idea that fallible men could politically superimpose a contrived utopia on complex human societies.

In many ways, the globalization project is the manifestation of a similar form of totalistic understanding, whereby the compression of time and space through advanced technology and economic interdependence would supposedly guarantee the greatest possible peace and prosperity on earth. Though the West, particularly the United States, served as the torchbearer of globalization in the twentieth century, China has emerged as its latest and most enthusiastic advocate. Through the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Communist China has sought to present itself as the vanguard of globalization, albeit with new characteristics.

But the ongoing global crisis due to the China-originated pandemic is a forestate of the inherent risks of greater integration under Beijings umbrella. Instead of an optimally integrated global economy, anchored by Chinese technology and infrastructure, the world is facing One Road, One Plague phenomenon, which underscores how Beijings systematic deficiencies could easily spread across beneficiaries and beyond. With greater integration into a Sino-centric global order, the world will also be more vulnerable to systematic deficiencies, if not pathological patterns of governance, in the Chinese political system. Thus, much-needed reforms in the BRI projects external implementation should go hand in hand with internal reforms in Beijing.

Xi Must Be Obeyed

Speaking at the 2017 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared, [W]e should build the Belt and Road into a road connecting different civilizations. The following year, during a high-profile speech before leading scientists and engineers in Hainan, the Chinese leader went so far declaring: [W]e do not need to chase [after other countries]we are the road.

To be fair, the BRI is far from a monolithic national project. Studies have shown that its origins were actually private-sector driven (think of Hewlett-Packard) and accelerated by entrepreneurial local government units. Soon, other local governments in eastern and coastal regions of China joined in, seeking to take advantage of expanding infrastructure connectivity across the Eurasian landmass. The communist regime in Beijing simply hitched its wagon to the private-sector and local government-driven infrastructure projects.

Despite its eventual consolidation as a Chinese national blueprint, the BRI mega-infrastructure development project has been messy, fluid and uncertain both in its conception as well as policy direction, not too dissimilar from the unruly U.S. transcontinental railways project in the nineteenth century. Far from just serving as an overarching imperialist project, careful analysis shows that its more self-protective in nature, primarily driven by anxieties over the security of Chinas vital and expanding communication lines across the world.

Above all, the BRI is multidimensional, marking the convergence of multiple forces and interests, from facilitating Chinas long-term plans of developing landlocked hinterlands and underdeveloped region to outsourcing internal productive glut and infrastructure overcapacity amid a slowdown in global demand for its exports, and assisting and promoting troubled State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), which employ tens of millions of workers, through the provision of lucrative projects overseas.

Not to mention, globalizing Chinas technological standards, developing trading partners basic infrastructure to enhance their trade absorption capacity with China, and enhancing access to rare commodities across the developing worldfactors that are crucial to the countrys long-term economic development. In short, the BRI is arguably much more about addressing domestic economic imbalances, upgrading national champions, and internationalizing Chinese techno-industrial standards to escape the much-dreaded middle income trap than a clear-cut, aggressive project of world domination.

One Road, One Plague

Recent years have also shown Beijings willingness to make adjustments in its global strategy, underscoring the dialectical nature of its foreign policymaking. Heir to both ancient political strategic and Marxist-Leninist ideology, the leadership in Beijing continues to think in dialectical terms, taking into consideration the correlation of forces and overall balance of power in the international system in crafting its global strategy.

Encouragingly, China has shown a degree of sensitivity to global feedback, from its (partial) concessions in the decisionmaking layout of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), foregoing absolute veto powers, to greater focus on debt and environmental sustainability in the BRI projects. As a result, we no longer speak of the AIIB as a direct rival to existing International Financial Institutions (IFIs), while a growing number of experts are touting the birth of BRI 2.0 following Beijings admission of imbalances and deficiencies in its recent infrastructure projects overseas.

During last years BRI summit, the Chinese president emphasized high quality growth, good governance, and the need to protect the common home we live in.

Operate in the sun and fight corruption together with zero tolerance, a visibly sober and less-triumphalist Xi said last year. Building high-quality, sustainable, risk-resistant, reasonably priced, and inclusive infrastructure will help countries to fully utilize their resource endowments.

Nonetheless, the Chinese vision of globalization has been hounded by countless risks and challenges. Last year, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad told me how even middle-income countries are susceptible to debt trap, since [If] [w]e borrow huge sums of money, if you cannot pay money, you'll become under the influence or the direction of the lender... If you cannot pay your debt, you find yourself subservient to the lender.

Aside from the more extreme cases of Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the vast majority of countries, however, deal with another kind of dilemma. There is the risk of China chimera, namely the yawning gap between Chinas rhetorical promises of large-scale investments and the reality of its minimal, substandard investments. (It remains to be seen how the so-called BRI 2.0 addresses this.)

This allows China to get maximum geopolitical bang out of its largely imaginary buck, allowing the Asian powerhouse to extract huge geopolitical concessions by overawing supposed beneficiaries with large-scale offers of technology and capital. Not to mention, co-opting authoritarian and/or corrupt clients in the developing world as well as leveraging increasingly asymmetrical trade relations between Beijing and its neighbors.

As a Turkish expert shared during a BRI conference in 2018, one big concern of Chinas trading partners is the One Road, One Way phenomenon, whereby the upshot is ever-larger importation of Chinese products without corresponding increase in the productive capacity of partner nations. As the recent China-originated pandemic shows, however, the challenges and risks ahead are far greater.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has hit countries across the ancient Silk Road hardest, has revealed a new layer of risks in Chinas BRI project. As Minxin Pei explains, the coronavirus pandemic is, in many ways, a symptom of a governance deficit in Beijings increasingly authoritarian system, where pathological secrecy hobbles the authorities capacity to respond quickly to epidemics.

Chinas systematic cover-up during the crucial phase of the crisis as well as its unwillingness to be transparent about the origins of the pandemic doesnt bode well for its BRI vision, which has already been hobbled by a fundamental lack of transparency. The threat we confront is beyond just debt trap, but instead proliferation of corrosive practices and deleterious results of authoritarian patterns of governance with potentially disastrous consequences.

Thus, the future of Chinas globalization vision will be determined not only by the BRIs evolving structure and actual implementation overseas, but also domestic patterns of decision-making. How China responds to the current crisis will tell us a lot about how it will shape the next wave of globalization.

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic and author of, among others, The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Struggle for Global Mastery.

Image: Reuters

Excerpt from:
China's One Road, One Plague Tragedy - The National Interest

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:46 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Corona Enlightenment – The Two Sides of Truth Unity and Separation – Communal News

Posted: at 6:46 am


without comments

Corona Virus has comes to push America and the world ahead and not backwards. The Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory called America a nation of kindness. America has open arms to people of all races, creeds, ethnic groups and religion. America welcomes new immigrants which have entered the country legally. America offers a stable government with a stable economy. It also has the most powerful military in the world.

It is great to say that America is the safest country in the world. America has been hit hardest by Corona of all nations in the world. The truth is that no place in the world can be called perfectly safe. There has never been a completely safe place in the world. Besides being conflicts between nations, national disturbances such as civil wars, crime and disease; there are also natural catastrophes hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes which are unpredictable. Today the whole world is being warned about global warming dangers. Depending on America or any other nation for security, depending on the security of money, there are always dangers which are unexpected. For this reason there is a need for faith in God and religion.

There are ways of limiting the dangers that are in life. One way is through insurance, life insurance, health insurance, fire and liability insurance etc. The main way is through education. Children need to be educated to distance themselves from these dangers. Children should be educated to appreciate the importance of life. Life is an opportunity and challenge for everyone.

America offers the best in material life. America is a democracy giving the freedoms which makes life more pleasant. One of these freedoms is freedom of religion. America does not force a particular religion on its citizens. America was established as a nation under God, but in America there is written in the first amendment separation between church and state. The Declaration of Independence all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America according to the Declaration of Independence has received life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from their creator, God Almighty. America does not have one religion as did the Byzantine Empire or the Ottoman Empire but has freedom of religion which is the Universal faith.

Freedom of religion gives each person the right to choose his religion according to his needs. There are three major religions which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These religions have in them many sects. In Judaism there is reformed Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Orthodox Judaism. Orthodox Judaism divides up into Modern Orthodox, Chassidic Orthodox and fundamental Orthodox. Christianity has in it Protestant and Catholic which divide up into many types of Christianity. Islam divides up into Sunni and Shiite with its branches. Each American has a choice which church, synagogue or mosque to attend. He may not want to be active in any religious activities. He may be atheist, agnostic and strictly secular. Freedom of religion is the Universal faith of every American whether he chooses it or not.

Almost every person is born with a connection to some religion. Before Democracy came into the world and before was founded America in 1776, the world was ruled by theocracies. Judaism was the first of the theocracies. After Judaism came Christianity centered in Rome. The Byzantine Empire also called the Roman Empire almost conquered the whole world. The people were forced to adopt their religion which was Christianity. In opposition to Christianity was the Islamic movement centered in Constantinople the Ottoman Empire. Through these three faiths almost every human being in the Western world and the Middle East come from families which have once adopted one of these faiths. The Jewish people are the remnants of the Biblical Nation of Israel which was conquered by the Romans. The Jewish people were scattered throughout the world practicing their religion in foreign lands.

Theocracies Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire pressured the people in foreign lands to adopt their religion. Theocracies are generally one religion, one party nations. They may not give free choice and threaten the lives of people of foreign lands to adopt their faith. Jews practiced Judaism in many of these lands under the pressures of people of other faiths.

Today America and the world have changed over to democracy which offers freedom of religion. Freedom of religion can also be called the universal faith. Immigrants come to America with a religion which they inherited from their forefathers. They may be Christians, Jews, or Muslims. America is the land of the Universal faith with freedom of religion. Orthodox religions are derived from theocracies without the freedoms which are in democracy. Orthodox religious people have a battle controlling their children from assimilating into the Modern Society which offers them freedom. The universal faith revealed in the Free World is not a religion; it is a faith connected to all religions. Israel is also a democracy with freedom of religion. European nations are democracies with freedom of religion.

Religions are theocracies based upon scriptures which are against conversion to other faiths. The Universal faith may be more dangerous to Orthodox religions than the pressures of other Orthodox faiths. Children assimilate easily into Universal faith. National religions emphasize family purity. Education of children needs an Orthodox approach. An Orthodox approach will prepare their children for marriage without promiscuous sex. Public Schools do not educate children in the traditional way like religion; to prepare for marriage and to build a family.

America was once the safest of all countries. America was called a Nation of Kindness by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Freedom of religion the Universal faith is the highest ideal equality free of racism. When it comes to education of children is needed practical discipline which is offered by Orthodox religion. Orthodox day schools very often separate sexes. Public schools have almost always mixed sexes which leads to premoscuity. In America people have a choice where to send their children to school. They can choose a private school of their own faith which may cost money, or send their children to Public School for free. Jewish immigrants came to America from Europe without money and sent their children to Public Schools. In America Jews have assimilated the most in Jewish history. The Universal faith, freedom is a great danger to Jewish heritage. The same danger is also to Orthodox Catholics and Islamists living in a free country with the Universal faith.

The same dangers exist in America for Jews and the children of other Orthodox faiths through intermarriage. America courts will not discriminate between faiths and marry interfaith people. These interfaith marriages assimilate American immigrants to become Americans connecting to the Universal faith. The Universal faith is a great ideal to make America a nation without racism. When it comes to education of children it can end up creating sexual promiscuity if it separates from religion. The roots of the Universal faith is in religion. The Lubavitcher Rebbe recommended to Americans to study the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah. He also recommended for Public Schools to institute interfaith prayer A moment of silence.

The model of the Universal faith given in Bahai was to unite democracy and theocracy. Theocracy is important in child education. The Universal faith and democracy is an ideal for each person to reach love of his neighbor without hated and free from racism. When democracy separates from religion it loses its true purpose. Religion and private religious schools are important for the survival of America.

Religions differ conflict in many of their customs but all religions agree that sex is prohibited until marriage. They all agree about the importance of procreation. The Universal Faith cannot discriminate between one religion and the other but can teach those morals and ethics in which all religions agree. These morals and ethics can be taught in the name of the Universal Faith in public schools. Liberal democrats have taken control over the American educational system rebelling against religion.

Corona has taught the world the importance of quarantine. Quarantine is separation from the evil of disease. Returning to normalcy requires protecting Americans from a future virus. America and the western world were not prepared for Corona virus and were struck hardest in the world. America brought freedom to the world which was abused when people separated themselves from religion. Freedom can be destructive to the family unit. Pope Francis in one of his messages said, Family is the cradle of life. America needs to protect their families from diseases which can come from sexual promiscuity. It can only be accomplished through proper education in the old traditional values taught in religion.

Civilization wants to go ahead. Going back to theocracy is not the answer. Americans and people living in the Modern Society will not give up freedom. Corona virus called by Madonna the American entertainer and guru on her website the great equalizer has united the religions of the world together in interfaith prayer in Jerusalem to reveal the Universal Faith.

Corona has also taught mankind the importance of quarantine separation from evil which is emphasized especially in child education by Orthodox religious faiths. There are two parts to the Universal Faith as taught by Bahai and Progressive Jewish Spirituality, the Universality of Faith and education of children in the morals and ethics of religion.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe called by his students The Messiah of the religion of Moses, recommended to the USA and the world, education in the Seven Commandments of the Children of Noah. In the United States was established Education and Sharing Day in honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

The Kabballah Esoteric Jewish Mysticism divides up education into three levels which are nursing, child education and adult education. Many movies today are restricted to children called Adult Movies. Before you can learn to run first is important is to learn to walk. Civilization has reached the highest level of unity through democracy, freedom of religion. The foundations of democracy come from theocracy. Democracy developed from theocracy. These foundation should not be forgotten. The importance of child education should not be forgotten. The danger of freedom is when is forgotten the importance of child education in the way of the Bible.

Internet has united the world. It is part of the Universal Faith. However internet may be dangerous for children if it is not supervised properly. Adults can browse as they please, but children need supervision on the way to become adults. The goal of President Trump is MAGA. He wanted to unite America with religion through weakening the Johnson Amendment. The opponents of President Trump were Liberal democrats who wanted to separate America from its ancestors. Democracy comes from theocracy. Democracy can be an improvement to the theocracies of the past. Corona has come to push America and the world ahead and not backward. Ahead does not mean divorcing from religion but incorporating religion with freedom in the Universal Faith.

Go here to see the original:
Corona Enlightenment - The Two Sides of Truth Unity and Separation - Communal News

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:46 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Enlightenment, the Ghanaian dream and renaissance – Myjoyonline.com

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

The sole focus of an enlightenment programme is to instil, in the breasts and psyche of Ghanaian citizens, a consciousness of fidelity to the Republic; pride in our culture, traditions, institutions and achievements; awareness of civic rights and responsibilities; and an African identity. We seek to stand out as a powerful and highly influential Republic that, with the divine help of God, shall build a better universe for mankind.

Our academic mission and curriculum is the most potent antidote for poverty, disease and various other social obstacles that continue to deprive the average free citizen from realising a dignified life in Ghana thus service, first and foremost, to God and ancestors duly; family and enterprise; district and province; and the Republic to which distinctive duties are owed.

The Ghanaian Dream and Renaissance

The Ghanaian Dream is to be an erudite and moral law-abiding administrator of your household and an industrious entrepreneur or public servant; a proven catalyst of district development; an accomplished statesman and, or, innovative industrialist to the province; and above all, a distinguished architect of the Republic.

The Ghanaian Renaissance is a full expression of our traditional aesthetics in beautifying our public institutions and private enterprises a form of ultra-nationalism and love for our Republic that crystallises the diverse cultures of each clan and nation-state.

Centres of Scholarship

It is the paramount responsibility of government to ensure education, at whatever cost necessary, is provided to all Ghanaians, wherever they may find themselves on the map, without regard for their individual social and economic circumstances.

The quality of indigenous scholarship and excellence of educational institutions ought to be a great source of national pride, a worthy continental export and our rightful claim to global fame.

To each Province, a model deluxe primary and secondary centre of scholarship which is culturally aesthetic inspired by a fine blend of indigenous ancient African architecture and modern technology must be constructed in its Provincial capital. Each monumental structure, an edifice that evokes fascination, must be furnished with a baronial public library; palatial classrooms; resident halls; a banquet hall and private museum; athletic facilities; a grand theatre hall and state-of-the-art science and technology labs.

The government must make provincial funds and bursaries, at secondary and tertiary education, available to students proven exceptional in academia; sports and theatre.

Centres of Scholarship should be separated, administratively, from institutions of dogma such as traditional shrines/temples, mosques or churches. The educational curriculum should include, at the conclusion of secondary school education, optional service to either the government or military as a prelude to university studies.

Our Republic must unswervingly aim at, and strain our treasury to procure, despite the ever-present question of finance, quality education for our citizens.

The Era of Enlightenment.

In an era when multiple esoteric fraternities were established on the Gold Coast G. H. T. Lyall inaugurated, in 1874, the Masonic Club; the Good Templars founded, in 1877, by the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission and Commanding Officer of the Castle garrison, with the support of Lodge Deputy Grand Chief Templar, J. P. Brown; and the Odd-fellows was instituted in 1880 the Mfantsi Amanbuhu Fekuw, also known as the Fante National Political Society, was established in Cape Coast, Central Province, Gold Coast in 1889 to deliberately to revive African literature, fashion and music.

A legal colossus, eminent political reformist and publisher who hailed from the Central Province, as well as a pioneer of the Fante National Political Society, John Mensah Sarbah joined the Fante Public School Company, a missionary enterprise which in 1903, founded the Mfantsi National Education Fund that, by 1905, financed the Mfantsipim Secondary School.

Sarbah, an altruistic person, embodied the values of a true patriot dedicated to enlightenment and renaissance. He set up a scholarship for students and staff members to protect the perpetual success of Mfantsipim.

It is through the ethics and values of our centres of scholarship that the Republic could harness a meritocratic Ghanaian society where there is equal opportunity for all citizens, abundant reward for ambition with an emphasis on individual freedom and national unity.

There is, therefore, still an urgent need, as bluntly expressed by the Gold Coast Aborigines Protection Society in 1902, for educated Ghanaian citizens, and not westernised Africans, committed to the ideal of a Republic with a revered and ethereal civilisation. While our indigenous institutions must meet internationally acceptable standards, our enlightenment programme must be devised on the basis of Ghanaian exceptionalism.

I cannot emphasise enough; this is Ghanas Space Generation. This is the generation of rationalism, freedom of thought and enquiry.

***

The author, Vincent Djokoto, is Business Executive and Columnist. Twitter/Instagram @VLKDjokoto

Go here to see the original:
Enlightenment, the Ghanaian dream and renaissance - Myjoyonline.com

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Ron Insana: Rebuilding the American economy to bring peace and prosperity to all – CNBC

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

A cyclist passes by the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on May 26, 2020.

Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

It has long been evident, though not necessarily obvious to all, that the ground of America's economy was shifting beneath our feet.

The very institutions that laid the foundation upon which the "American Dream" was built, were in decay.

Their facades may still have been bright and reasonably well-maintained, but their interior walls became discolored and their support beams rusty and fragile.

A dozen years ago, it became increasingly apparent to me that something more than half-measures and lip-service were required to re-lay that foundation to ensure prosperity for all, particularly, for the next generations to come.

Indeed, when I first thought of writing this column, I was among those recommending that the U.S. rebuild the entirety of its infrastructure to stimulate an economy ravaged by the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) and subsequent Great Recession while using that crisis to bring the U.S. economy fully into the 21st Century.

Sadly, amid the building hyper-partisanship in Washington, President Obama was only able to pass $800 billion in relief and stimulus. That was far short of the estimated $4 trillion required to do the job.

The bill that was passed barely allotted any money for rebuilding anything.

Instead, it was used to fill state and local budget gaps, extend unemployment insurance and offset a small portion of the $17 trillion in capital losses accumulated in the GFC.

Rebuilding our physical infrastructure; hardening our critical infrastructure; updating the nation's electrical grid; modernizing federal, state and local technology and procuring productivity-enhancing tools simply has not been, and still isn't, a true priority of the Federal government despite the obvious and increasingly pressing need.

While this was exposed, in stark relief, during the Great Financial Crisis, it was illustrated even more clearly, only a decade later, as America faced its first great plague in over 100 years.

Like the GFC, the emergence of the coronavirus and subsequent economic lockdown, made quite plain the structural reforms needed to revive the U.S.

It also exposed the deepest of racial divisions that still plague this nation.

The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade or Breonna Taylor, along with a disproportionate number of people of color killed by the coronavirus, have made, more clear and vivd than ever, the institutionalized racism that has prevented every citizen, no matter their race, creed, color or religion, from obtaining equality of opportunity, if not outcome.

Beyond that, there remains a pressing need to make America truly great for a next generation of Americans while also supporting a recovery strong enough to restore normal daily life to the citizens of today.

Consider the implications of the virus-induced recession that has toppled the domestic and global economy.

America's longest expansion was stopped dead in its tracks by the Corona virus pandemic.

While the virulence of this illness is not unprecedented in human history, the Bubonic Plague and the "Spanish" flu killed more people, the sudden impact that disrupted economic life in 2020 is without parallel.

Within only a matter of weeks, 90% of the American population was told to "shelter-in-place." By early April of 2020, some 25%-50% of the nation's economic output was completely shut off.

In the first ten weeks of the American pandemic alone, some 41 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, many times the number of the previous peak in filings.

It has been estimated that the unemployment rate will top 30%, exceeding the highest jobless figures of the Great Depression, while the economy could contract by as much as 30-60% when all is said and done, marking the deepest economic decline on record.

Economists hope that recovery from the pandemic will be speedy, both in terms of the human and economic toll. But such optimism, while typical of Americans of all stripes, may be misplaced.

For the first time in modern history, we've witnessed just how deeply our most cherished institutions have fallen into disrepair.

The anti-science approach of President Trump has led to delays and mixed messages from infectious disease experts, likely exacerbating both the human and economic toll.

His divisive comments, as race riots erupted around the country, propelled us back in time, much as his economic policies are wont to do, to 1968 and to that summer of violence and discontent that scarred an entire generation of anti-establishment youths.

As a consequence, the disruption and associated behavioral changes that took place as the pandemic, and subsequent violence, spread may well have long-term consequences.

That does not mean the U.S. won't ultimately recover. And with the proper policies and incentives, the economy of the next 50 years could be, quite conceivably, far stronger than the economy of the last 50 years.

Working from home (WFH), social distancing, limited physical contact and increasing dependence on technology via telecommuting and telemedicine, may radically alter how we live and work for years, if not decades, to come.

The Federal Government and the Federal Reserve will have spent, or lent, untold trillions of dollars to support large and small businesses and replace much of the personal income lost to the rapid shutdown of the U.S. economy.

In this "whatever it takes" moment, deficits be damned as a the first few rounds of government assistance have provided as much as $6 trillion, or roughly one-third of U.S. GDP, to help right the ship of state. There is likely more, maybe even much more, yet to come.

Even that assistance, however, has been unevenly distributed, despite the government's seemingly best efforts.

Still, at some point in the relatively near future, therapeutic medicines and, ultimately, a coronavirus vaccine, will allow us to return to some sort of normality.

Medical technology and innovation will heed the call to action and deliver solutions both to control future pandemics and measures to ensure that our work-a-day world becomes more flexible and more resilient over time.

However, the septic shock that the economy has suffered, both on the supply and demand sides of the economy, and along political and racial lines in society, has also given us pause time to reflect on the type of world to which we want to return once this crisis has passed.

As nature abhors a vacuum, it has been fascinating also to observe that the global work stoppage has significantly reduced, or eliminated, the pollution clouds that are visible over vast areas of the world.

In China, Europe or the U.S. CO2 levels fell by 35% during the period when human travel plunged precipitously.

The Himalayas became visible from miles away, Los Angeles smog was wiped away while blue skies reappeared around the world.

It stands as testimony, and confirmation, that anthropogenic activities have greatly affected the environment and also proves that we are capable of taking steps to more quickly address climate change than previously assumed, provided we show the wisdom and the will.

Having said that, the resumption of production in China has already brought the clouds back. That will soon be true elsewhere in the world, as the global economy re-starts its engines of growth.

Clearly, this shock should prove to be a wake-up call, not just to America, but to the world, as well.

How can we re-create the relative peace and prosperity of the post-World War II period? This is the critical question that we all must address.

Can we restore and improve upon multi-national alliances, and address the political, economic and social imbalances in the United States that have been laid bare by an invisible enemy we were ill-prepared to fight, or one we have not battled with for far too long? The simple answer is yes. But, getting to yes may be far more complex.

The U.S. has many inherent strengths, but also some glaring weaknesses that have been brought to light in an extremely short period of time.

The U.S. has the most sophisticated higher education system in the world, the most vibrant valleys of innovation, a robust financial infrastructure and a resilient workforce that, historically, has overcome world wars, prior pandemics and other dislocations, only to emerge stronger in the end.

However, those institutions were hamstrung by a lack of leadership, both in the public and private sectors, the former focused on power rather than policy and the latter focused too much on profits over shared prosperity.

As in prior period of restructuring and reform, a new class of leaders and a new enlightenment among the elite will be required.

This time, however, that will likely not happen without a top-down restructuring of how America handles the challenges of the future, without looking to the past.

These challenges that include everything from the distribution of healthcare to a radical re-thinking of how it does business.

The focus needs to be on the governed and not the government on all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

America can be re-built, and it can be as prosperous as it once was. But it will need visionary leadership that has a keen and perceptive eye on the future.

It will require reimagining a U.S. economy built for 2050 and beyond, not 1950 and before.

We must not look to the past to restore America's greatness. The triumphs of yesteryear are relics of an age gone by. Coal, steel and smokestacks are not America's future.

Enlightened governance, enhanced technologies, advanced infrastructure, lifelong learning and adaptability are the keys to our economy's future success.

We desperately require a new image of an America that, while already great, can renew its domestic power, project an image of global vitality and industriousness, and re-engage with our allies, upon whom we so obviously rely, to realize the restoration of a peaceful and prosperous world that shares its riches with all and holds malice towards none.

Continued here:
Ron Insana: Rebuilding the American economy to bring peace and prosperity to all - CNBC

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Break Through Is A Must: More On The Keyword Instruction Of Dhu – Patheos

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

Kensh: Seeing Nature Lets get right down to it

Break through is a must if you want to verify the truth of this one great life and not just take others words for it, hiding behind the Buddhas robes, as it were. Or hiding inside your own robes. Hiding in the bells and smells of Zen orthodoxy. Or spending a dharma career trying to talk others into believing that non-enlightenment is really enlightenment. Exhausting!

Rather than just do a little bit of good for a short period of time, the aspiring bodhisattva vows to profoundly benefit living beings by helping them awaken. As I said above, for this, break through is a must. You cant help beings break through unless youve done it your-nonself. Then, in addition to the exquisite joy that comes from doing what can be done with this life, blabbing on about it might just flow from your heart.

A more typical message in contrast to saying break through is a must was exemplified in a dharma talk I recently heard from a teacher in one of the large St centers in America. The speaker said that because aspiring to awaken is a desire like any other desire, and that awakening doesnt come when we want it, and when some people awaken and others do not, it creates an unsettling power dynamic in the community, they do not emphasize break through at all in their community, and instead emphasize how were all already Buddhas.

First, if you cannot tell the difference between the desire for fame and gain and aspiring to awaken for the benefit of all living beings, Id suggest attending to these feelings with more subtle mindfulness, and see what you find.

Just because you can quote Sawaki Rshi doesnt make it true.

And, yes, there are issues that arise when we focus on kensh, but if Buddhism stops being about awakening, whats the point? We have psychotherapy, secular mindfulness, pharmacology, Netflix, and many other things to help people feel better, so if Zen practice is not about awakening, and instead is about becoming a ceremonial technician, for example, the end of Zen is near at hand. And appropriately so.

Dont throw awakening out with the bathwater!

In contrast, here is the attitude that Dhu recommends:

I vow that this mind of mine will be firm and will never retrogress. Relying on the protection of the buddhas, I will meet a good teacher, at a single word from them forget life-death, realize unexcelled perfect awakening, and perpetuate the wisdom-life of the buddhas, in order to repay my debt of enormous gratitude to the buddhas. (1)

So refreshing!

Dhu himself made this additional vow:

I would rather substitute this body of mine for that of all sentient beings and undergo sufferings in the hells than ever with my words compromise the buddhadharma [by bending to accommodate] customary etiquette and in the process blinding everyone [i.e., what I am about to say to you is not a case of bending to accommodate your feelings]. (2)

Well, Ive totally jumped the gun of this post, placing the cart in front of the horse. To paraphrase the translators bracketed clarification, what Ive said to you is not a case of bending to accommodate your feelings. But I grew up with in-depth training in Northern Minnesota nice, which means Ive just got to add, Sorry about that.

Before this kensh rant, I should have said that this is the ninth of ten posts in this series, so now, after the horse left the barn nearly six-hundred words ago, Ill share the usual series introduction and disclaimer:

In the recent translation ofThe Letters of Chan Master Dhu Pju,translators Jeffrey L. Broughton and Elise Yoko Watanabe offer nine themes, motifs, that emerge in the letters about how to do keyword practice ( hutu, Japanese,wat). Ive been sharing them on theVine of Obstacles: Online Support for Zen Trainingfor students working with keywords (e.g., mu), and Ill also be sharing them here for others who might be interested. Close study of an ancient text can help both students and teachers notice details of the method and refresh their practice spirit. If you are working with a keyword with another teacher, consult with them, of course, and rely on their guidance.

This breaking through or passing through leads to a state wherein you dont have to ask anything of anybodyyou know for yourself:

Letter #29.3: Also, if your mind is agitated, just lift to awareness the keyword of dog has no buddha-nature [i.e., wu/mu/no ]. The words of the buddhas, the words of the ancestors, the words of the old monks of all the regions have myriad differences; but, if you can break through this word mu , youll break through all of them at the very same time, without having to ask anyone anything. If you intently ask questions of other people about the words of the buddhas, about the words of the ancestors, and about the words of the old monks of all the regions, then in endless aeons youll never attain awakening! (3)

Some of the practitioners Ive met who have come to me reporting a previous kensh, actually have. And a fair number, the majority, have mistaken samadhi or boon experiences for kensh. Others seem to have had a glimpse of true nature, but its become a calcified part of their identity, and so putting it to use in ongoing practice verification to benefit others, takes some time and skillful practice.

But despite whatDhu seems to be saying from this extract about not needing to ask anyone anything, the full text and annotations makes it clear that he is addressing another issue instead of doing the practice of lifting the keyword, Secretariat Drafter L, to whom letter #29 is addressed, was inquiring about traveling around asking questions of various teachers, depleting his energy for the Way. In that context,Dhu encourages him to do diligent keyword practice and see for himself.

Just like old Dgen said, Why abandon your own sitting place, disrespectfully wandering through another countrys dust? If you make one mistaken step, you miss the crossing over that is in your face. (4)

Traveling around with straw sandals, or via Zoom, in order to collect an impressive bevy of stories, Teachers Ive Asked About the Dharma, is a waste of precious time. Focus! Only doing diligent practice will open up awakening, not the number of hours you log on Facebook or Twitter either! And with awakening, personally knowing the truth of the buddhadharma, rather than relying on the words of others, no matter how venerable they might be, such that you can truly be of service to the many beings wandering in life-death.

In other words, asking a well-trained and clear-eyed teacher about the dharma aint going to magically awaken you.

Usually.

Unless and until you do the work and suddenly are ready, like the persimmon that goes SPLAT! Working with a teacher, breaking through, verifying your kensh in face-to-face meetings, and benefiting others is the Way.

Secretariat Drafter L might be the type of guy (yes, theyre almost always guys), who after a dharma talk begin a question with, Well, Katagiri/Suzuki/Uchiyama/Maezumi (etc.) Rshi once said, Blah, blah, blah.

Where does this end?

(1)The Letters of Chan Master Dhu Pju,1.4: Shows the mental work necessary to extinguish habit-energy from past lives,trans. Jeffrey L. Broughton and Elise Yoko Watanabe. Modified.

(2) Op. cit., 7.1: Dahui certifies Lis awakening.

(3) Op. cit., Introduction: Recurring Motifs in Huatou Practice.

(4)Eihei Dgen, Fukanzazengi, (General Advice for the Zazen Ceremony),trans. Dosho Port.

Dsh Port began practicing Zen in 1977 and now co-teaches at theNebraska Zen Centerwith his wife, Tetsugan Zummach sh. Dsh also teaches with theVine of Obstacles: Online Support for Zen Training,an internet-based Zen community. Dsh received dharma transmission from Dainin Katagiri Rshi and inka shmei from James Myun Ford Rshi in the Harada-Yasutani lineage. Dshs translation and commentary onThe Record of Empty Hallis due out in early 2021 (Shambhala). He is also the authorofKeep Me In Your Heart a While: The Haunting Zen of Dainin Katagiri.

Read more from the original source:
Break Through Is A Must: More On The Keyword Instruction Of Dhu - Patheos

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment

CIE releases new documentary "The American Way. Connecting the dots…" – To inspire & reboot the global economy – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

Available worldwide on Vimeo

SURREY,BC, May 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -The American Way. Connecting the dots isa new documentaryreleased worldwideon Vimeoby the Center for introspection & enlightenment Foundation, a non-profit based in Canada.

What makes the USA the richest nation in the world? How does it create & retain wealth? The American Way provides a roadmap for developing nations (CNW Group/Center for introspection & enlightenment)

The American Way is an initiative by the Center to inspire Americans and reboot the American and the global economies.

The Covid 19 pandemic and the drop in oil prices have created a global economic crisis and pushed the United States to the brink of recession.

The Center feels that a quick boot strapping of the US economy is vital to revive the global economy,create employment and foster livelihood not only for Americans but for millions of people around the world.

The American Way provides a panoramic view of the US economic engine. The documentary outlines all the critical elements that make the USA the richest nation in the world. The documentary describes how the US creates, retains and distributes wealth. It explains the role of the US government, businessmen and consumers in the American wealth creation process.

The American Way. Connecting the dotsalso provides a Holistic solution and a road map for poor and developing nations to eradicate poverty through "Systemic Changes". The film identifies the key Macro elements that trigger the cycle of American wealth creation.

The documentary is meant for lawmakers, bureaucrats, business leaders and citizens of nations.

According to Mr. Ramesh Kulkarni, Founder of the Center and author of the documentary, "Aid and donations cannot be a long term solution. Global poverty can be eradicated only through 'systemic' changes. Key and critical laws and systems need to be implemented. The American way identifies and elucidates these key structural changes for poor and developing nations."

Aboutthe Center for introspection & enlightenment Foundation - Canada A non-profit organization, the Center had recently launched 'Initiatives for a utopian world based on Science & Technology' and released a documentaryEverything is One.

Ramesh Kulkarni, Founder of the Center and author of these films, has worked in theIT industry for 25 years.

View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cie-releases-new-documentary-the-american-way-connecting-the-dots---to-inspire--reboot-the-global-economy-301065598.html

SOURCE Center for introspection & enlightenment

Read the original:
CIE releases new documentary "The American Way. Connecting the dots..." - To inspire & reboot the global economy - Yahoo Finance

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Time for whites to be as angry as African Americans about the stupidity of racism – Kent Sterling

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

by Kent Sterling May 31, 2020

this protest by Colin Kaepernick bothered me. I am more bothered by the obvious and odious issue he was bringing attention to.

Racism has always baffled me, so I ignored it.

Thats what I do when I am confrontedwith humanitys insistence upon making our world less pleasant and loving. Its as though we want to make our lives more challenging through self-imposed trials and challenges.

Racismdoesnt make sense, so while I was horrified by the killingof George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, I have not acted. When I hear of blacks being targeted by police, I grieve for the loss of their hopes forfair treatment. The riots that followed are tragic expressions of righteous anger by some and a thirst for anarchy by opportunists.

Click herefor your copy of Oops the Art of Learning from Mistakes and Adventures by Kent Sterling

For many whites, the source of racism isnt simply a need to hate. People are insistent upon succeeding whatever that means to them and elevating themselves by standing on the backs of others is one strategy to gain an advantage. From a pragmatic perspective, racism appears to be little more thanthe race of the majority suppressing aminorityrace to liftitself. Its a morally bankrupt ideology, but it continues to be expressed and felt in a variety of ways.

White people are at a distinct disadvantage when discussing racism because we have no idea what it feels like to be preyed upon in the way African Americansare. Efforts to empathize are well-intended but ultimately fail becauseimagining what its like to be discriminated against and actually being someone is fundamentally different.

My strategy in dealing with racism has been to quietlyreject it. I try to treat all people equally, believing that racism is best fought on a micro level, one person at a time. Obviously, thats not getting the job done. Racism is not going to fade because non-racists continue to treat all people as equals. Its the racists that need to change.

So the question becomes, how do we compel racists to alter their core belief that blacks are a sub-class rather than part of humanity? Weve tried shame, logic, and occasional moments of enlightenment when racistswere prosecuted for crimes driven by their hatred or pragmatism. We wind up with an unending series of atrocities and protests/riots.

Furious riots in Ferguson, Watts, Detroit, and Minneapolis have exploded, been extinguished,and nothing has changed. Blacks are still targeted, persecuted, and killed because of the color of their skin. Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X led movements against racism and were assassinated. Great thinkers and writers like James Baldwin and Alex Haley have made us think. Athletes like Colin Kaepernick, John Carlos, and Tommie Smith made us angry before weunderstood that the only thing that gets our attention is what pisses us off.

Nothing has changed.

The time has come for us to take racism as a personal affront an expression of extreme narrow-mindedness and stupidity that requiresan immediate and loudresponse. When people insult our wives, mothers, and children, our emotions flare and defensive reflexes are engaged. Whether through physical or loud verbal confrontation, we bring a consequence upon those who enrage us.

We need to engage with those who express hatred toward minorities with the same zeal we reserve for our family and friends. If we are all brothers, then letssafeguard one another as we would family members.

Not sure punchingracists would change minds, but at this point its more important to not repeat mistakes than to coddle these fools, and white people dismissing racism as not my fight has been an American mistake dating back to the 1600s.

I used to think that racism would certainly cycle out of our society during my lifetime, despite 400 years of history that screamed the opposite, so now Im going to do something about it in the small way I can. Racist yammering and actions I witness will be met withgreat vengeance andfurious anger.

In the past, racists believed they had safe harbor in my presence because Im white. Those days are over. Im done editing out racism from conversations rather than confronting it.

.

Read the original here:
Time for whites to be as angry as African Americans about the stupidity of racism - Kent Sterling

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Dairy Food Market 2020: What Is Creating Robust Demand In Market? – 3rd Watch News

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

The Dairy Food Market Report presents an extended representation of insightful enlightenment based on the Dairy Food market and several associated facets. also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID19/CORONA Virus catastrophe. The report intends to present thorough market intelligence copulated with substantial market prognostications that drive market players and investors to operate their business subsequently. The Dairy Food market report crosses through the historical and present sitch of the market to contribute authentic estimations of market size, share, demand, production, sales, and revenue.

The report also sheds light on prominent factors in the market considering pricing structure, changing market dynamics, market inconstancies, unpredictable demand-supply proportions, restraints, limitations, and driving factors in the market. All these factors accommodate significant importance because these might pretend negative/positive influences on Dairy Food market growth momentum. The report further illustrates market competition, segmentation, principal market player profiles, and industry conditions that are essential to know while studying the Dairy Food market arrangement.

Request Dairy Food Market Sample Report market research at: https://www.amplemarketreports.com/sample-request/global-dairy-food-market-1729796.html

Increasing Dairy Food demand, raw material affluence, product awareness, market stability, increasing disposable incomes, and beneficial financial status are owing to uplift the market development rate. The global Dairy Food market is anticipated to perform more quickly during the anticipated period. It is also likely to influence its companions and parent markets alongside the global economics and revenue generation system.

Current and prospective opportunities and difficulties in the Dairy Food market are also highlighted in the report, which encourages market players to set healthy challenges against industry competitors. It also highlights inherent threats, risks, barriers, and uncertainties that might be obstacles for market development in the near future. Additionally, it encloses precious analysis of market environment including multiple factors such as provincial trade frameworks, policies, entry limitations, as well as social, political, financial, and atmospheric concerns.

Insights on the competitive landscape into the Dairy Food market:

It becomes necessary to analyze the competitors progress while promoting into the same competing environment, for that purpose, the report contributes thorough insights into market competitors business strategies which include mergers, acquisitions, ventures, partnerships, as well as product launches, and brand promotions. The related evaluations drive them to increase their serving areas and set important challenges against their rivals. Companies financial evaluation is also highlighted in the report, which assesses their gross margin, profitability, Dairy Food sales volume, revenue, and growth rate.

Find out more Comprehensive insights on the Dairy Food Market at: https://www.amplemarketreports.com/report/global-dairy-food-market-1729796.html

Owing to extremely hard competition and rapid industrialization process, participants in the Dairy Food market such as Danone, Nestle, FrieslandCampina, Arla, Vreugdenhil Dairy, Alpen Dairies, California Dairies, California Dairies, DFA, Lactalis, Land OLakes, DairiConcepts, WILD Flavors, Glanbia Foods, Kraft Foods Ingredients are performing to maximize their share in the market. Most utmost competitors are focused on enhancing their product features with the most advanced technologies and innovative research experiments. They are also endeavoring to improve their production processes and appropriation of new technologies to provide excellent products to their consumer base that can perform most of their needs.

Market study of significant segments of the Dairy Food:

Furthermore, it explores various requisite segments of the global Dairy Food market such as types, applications, regions, and technologies. The report grants a comprehensive analysis of each market acknowledging by Types such as Milk, Cheese, Cream, Butter and Application such as Children, Adult, Elderly along with market acceptance, attractiveness, demand, production, and predicted sales revenue. The segmentation analysis helps consumers to select suitable segments for their Dairy Food business and specifically target the wants and needs of their existing and potential customer base.

Regional Analysis of the Dairy Food:

For Region-wise analysis done with several competitive matrixes considering Market Performance by Manufacturers, Market Assessment, Capacity Analysis of Different Regions, Technology and Cost Analysis, Channel Analysis considering North America Country (United States, Canada), South America, Asia Country (China, Japan, India, Korea), Europe Country (Germany, UK, France, Italy), Other Country (Middle East, Africa, GCC).

Enquire more before buy at: https://www.amplemarketreports.com/enquiry-before-buy/global-dairy-food-market-1729796.html

About Author

Ample Market Research provides comprehensive market research services and solutions across various industry verticals and helps businesses perform exceptionally well. Our end goal is to provide quality market research and consulting services to customers and add maximum value to businesses worldwide. We desire to delivery reports that have the perfect concoction of useful data. Our mission is to capture every aspect of the market and offer businesses a document that makes solid grounds for crucial decision making.

Contact Address:

William James

Media & Marketing Manager

Address: 3680 Wilshire Blvd, Ste P04 1387 Los Angeles, CA 90010

Call: +1 (530) 868 6979

Email: [emailprotected]

https://www.amplemarketreports.com

Read the original here:
Dairy Food Market 2020: What Is Creating Robust Demand In Market? - 3rd Watch News

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment

Keralas successful battle against the virus – The New Indian Express

Posted: at 6:45 am


without comments

In a state perennially given to fruitless political strife, ingrained bureaucratic arrogance and rampant corruption, the sheer earnestness of Keralas recent face-off with Covid-19 surprised Malayalis more than anyone else. In the post-Independence history of governance in Kerala, nothing similar had ever happened: The government actually made moves in a consistent manner to attend to the well-being of people. The handling of the massive floods in August 2018 had elements of this, but that was essentially an area-focussed, intensive rescue effort. The adversary, water, was right there under ones nose. The coronavirus, however, had put the whole state under its alien shadowand it was invisible.

The response of the LDF government to the virus threat was remarkable in its determination and zeal. It is possible to argue that sheer existential terror brought about the shift from lethargy, incompetence and indifferencewhich has characterised governance in Kerala ever since the state came into existenceto committed involvement. There certainly could be truth in it. But even to channelise fear into a combat mode, a spark is needed. However much one may dislike to say it in times of totalitarian dreams sprouting everywhere including India, that spark could be leadership. The state everywhere is a leviathan with a hazy mind. It cannot be a leader. A person becomes the face of the state.

One can say emphatically that in the corona crisis, Keralas CM Comrade Pinarayi Vijayan represented that leadership. He became the face of Keralas corona resistance. His daily press conferences came to be more eagerly watched than The Ramayana reloaded. The person directly in charge of the Covid battle, Comrade K K Shailaja, the health minister, complemented Vijayan in her own unadorned but firm style. She is a natural leader minus the weight of seniority and patriarchal authority that Vijayan commands. In a Kerala thats slowly but inevitably shifting from its male supremacy paradigm, being a woman has only worked in her favour, if that mattered at all.

What sets both these communists apart from the usual politician, communist or non-communist, is a simple trait: a grave, no-nonsense approach to issues. If Vijayan is ponderous and magisterial, Shailaja is sprightly and unpretentiousand tough. Vijayans style, along with obedience, triggers fear and caution. He has the additional advantage that he controls both the party and governmentwith an iron hand. That goes a long way in the smooth transmission of the processes of decision-making and implementation. You could call him a dictator if you wish. But the description wouldnt exactly fit, either. Shailajas leadership has a feminine forcefulness that inspires teamwork. Both are communists first and communists last. Virus or no virus, the party comes first.

Theyve worked hard. And considering the corona predictions for the immediate future, its going to be a long haul for them. Surely they must be enjoying the rewardswords of appreciation that rarely come a politicians way. Both Kerala and Shailaja hit international headlines several times. One suspects it was not just the spirited fight Kerala put up against the virus that attracted media attention. The capitalist media seems to have been fascinated by the fact that communists were accomplishing such a feat. And that a lady comrade was the field commander.

Ranged behind these two were the government personnelthousands of officials, health workers and police who didnt go by the clock and often risked their lives in the physical handling of patients. In the no-mans land of Keralas bureaucratic quagmire, health professionals had always stood apart as a different breed who, in general, stayed committed to their responsibilities to the people. They were the foot soldiers leading the corona fight from the front. The participation of thousands of women, in various capacities, gave the battle a different synergy. Platforms of womens empowerment like Kudumbashree and ASHA delivered priceless service. The police, not always extolled for humanitarian concerns, was exemplary in carrying out their new role as guardians of public health. Add to it over 2,00,000 volunteers who provided hands-on support at the grassroots.

That is only one part of the story. The other part derives from Keralas historical tryst, in the sixties and seventies, with a development model born out of socialist ideals and democratic convictions. Arising from a humanist perception that could be described as Left and Gandhian, it sought to directly touch the lives of the people in key areas like education and health. That was how a multi-level healthcare network was created which, in a poor society like Kerala, produced results equalling developed nations in the human development index. Equally radical was the broadening and strengthening of democratic institutions at the ground level through a process of decentralisation in which women, for the first time, occupied key roles. These two networks of democracy, despite being battered by vested interests both inside and outside successive governments, have precariously survived and today they are the backbone of the fight against corona.

The success of Keralas corona battle is much more than the sum of its parts. In the final analysis it was underwritten by the progressive values infused into the Malayali psyche by Keralas historic Enlightenment spearheaded by great humanists like Narayana Guru and Ayyankali. Those values have survived murderous onslaughts by sectarian forces and underlie all civilisational leaps in Kerala. The corona fight was such a leap. it was an expression of Keralas democratic commitment, however flawed; secular credentials, however bruised; communal harmony, however besieged; scientific temper, however cornered. Thats why to each one of those women and men be they SC/ST, BC, Dalit, Hindu, Moslem or Christian who fought the corona war, it was beyond the pale of imagination to segregate hospital beds on a religious basis as happened elsewhere in India.

Paul Zacharia

Award-winning fiction writer

(paulzacharia3@gmail.com)

Read the original here:
Keralas successful battle against the virus - The New Indian Express

Written by admin

June 1st, 2020 at 6:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment


Page 10«..9101112..2030..»