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Dean Kirkland

every profession is a conspiracy against the laity

http://sriramkhe.blogspot.com/

Located in Monmouth

Last update: January 17th, 2017 at 12:31 pm

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273 post clicks in the past 90 days

Blogging since 2001 ........... ............ And back again since June 2008

I know I have been harsh on Barack Obama the President.  As President, Obama always came across to me as a souped up combination of Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.  He seemed to lack the inner drive to go out there and strike deals.  Sometimes,  I even think that this personality trait of his has also

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I grew up in an India that was highly suspicious of goods that were manufactured elsewhere.  Import-substituting industrialization morphed into a regime that tightly controlled what could be imported (and exported.)  Imports were taxed at high rates, in order to discourage consumption of those goods.  All the

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We live in some strange times.  Especially with a demagogue who repeatedly tells us that he is the only one who knows how to fix all the problems and that he alone is to be trusted because everything else is nothing but fake.  He was supported by tens of millions of my fellow citizens, including the college-educat

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I was perhaps eight years old, when I visited Trivandrum for the first time.  Or at least, that is my earliest memory of that city.  The buses had a red/yellow color scheme, and the lettering on them about the places seemed like art work.  I wondered how people read and wrote such stuff.If the Mal

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The horrible human being and his minions are only a week away from taking control of the executive branch of the government, thanks to the unprincipled Republican

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"Those of you who are set on your majors based on employment opportunities now should keep in mind that the world twenty years from now--even ten years from now--will be very, very different, and your majors could become meaningless," I told the class.I know nobody cares about these.  But, I have been telli

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When the demagogue and his minions love a Kennedy, then certainly those strange bedfellows can lead us only in one direction: Insanity!It is more than insanity.  It is deadly.  Literally.Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and the demagogue are simpaticos when it comes to

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Up until four years ago, I had no idea about the Rohingya--the Muslim community that stands out in a Buddhist Burma.  In fact, if things were going well, I would not have known about them at all.  Perhaps all the way till my own e

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Even prior to this post, I have blogged 37 posts that I have tagged with a label that matters to me a lot: Empathy.  In her speech last night, Meryl Streep reminded us about that noble human quality.

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(As you can imagine, an edited version of this is what I have sent the editor!)A year ago, after visiting India in December 2015, I wrote about the record-setting rains and floods in the city of Chennai, where my parents and sister live. Almost 14 inches of rain fell within a matter of

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The demagogue and the millions who voted for him continue to spin whatever stories that suit them.  But, the laws of physics are the laws of physics, and--unlike the brainless Republicans--are not affected by moronic and misleading tweets from the demagogue.One of the many, many lessons from this election i

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Over the summer, when visiting with a student at a fruit farm, I got to taste cherries that were heavenly.  Trees with pears that were a few weeks away from ripening and harvesting made even me, who does not care much for pears, drool.The student explained how harvesting pears is not an easy job.  Now,

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Trying to get people--students, in particular--appreciate the urgency in understanding what masculinity means in the 21st century has been a frustrating failure for me, and yet I try again and again. This issue of masculinity is extremely important because so many of our public policies, and social mores, depend

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Every trip to India is filled with reminders of many types on how different the economic landscape there is compared to everyday life here in the US.  Women eking out a living by selling flowers outside temples, for instance. While I marvel at their entrepreneurship and perseverance, their livelihood is a planet away f

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I often refer to the fragile existence (like here or here) that we have on this "mote of dust suspended i

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As I get older, I find myself to be more and more against violence.  Especially violence that is the state-sponsored kind.  It is gross. It is inhuman. To call state-sponsored violence beastly is an insult to the predators in the wild.It is even more fucked up when it is the passionatel

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"I sometimes tell students that whether it is at school or work or home, I have found working smart to be way better than working hard" I told my father.  He agreed. Maybe because it is hard work to argue against ;)The more I think about whatever I take up, it appears that I approach that asking myself, "wh

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"Can you explain to me this gay thing?" she asked."It is complicated," I replied. In the first place, I am not sure if I have enough expertise to talk about this. On top of that, the usual complaint is that my responses are always way longer than what the questioner had in mind.  I suppose I don

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A "kumbabhishekam" is in the works for a temple in the old country. In grandmother's village.  That temple is dedicated to the god(dess) who, according to the believers, protected them from the dreaded small pox.Belief and faith co

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In the new year ... :(

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A couple of months ago, Nicholas Kristof wrote about a mother/daughter in Aleppo.  After reading that, I took his suggestion and started following them on Twitter.  It has been nothing but tragedies after tragedies. It was surreal to look at photos and v

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Every election is a consequential one.  Not merely this recent one. The elections of 2000, which was the first one in which many of us learnt about popular vote results not aligning with the eventual selection of the president, was consequential.  Had Al Gore been in the White House in

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In my private world, which includes this blogging space, I can let my emotions about the political happenings show.  But, in the public, I am calm and sober and rational.  I leave my personal takes in my office before I head to my classes and do not even reveal my political preferences.  Engaging in the class

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I will take time out of criticizing the wannabe dictator in order to talk about a real one.fidel castro is dead. About sixty years late!When I was young and naive, I too was charmed by castro and che.  I loved the fact that castro was a pain that America could not get rid.

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The one holiday for which people do not expect gifts.  Instead, they prepare all day to buy stuff that might or might not become gifts a month later.  If only we remembered the original Thanksgiving!The original one is a wonderful story of freedom, religious refugees, and globalization,

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I went to Washington, DC, to meet with fellow geographers.  It was only a week after the election and, hence, there was that much more to observe and understand. Like how the taxi drivers--from and to the airport--were both dark-skinned immigrant men.  And both had Muslim names. The doormen at the hote

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Julian Assange and James Comey have delivered all the October surprises that we did not need.  It didn't matter to me; I was done

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I scan the obituary notices in the local paper.  Not because of any morbid curiosity.  Not because I want to know if anybody I know is dead. I scan them for two important reminders about life: One, we all die, and I will also die.The second reason I scan them is to remind myself that we all

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While liberals adored the hippie-life that Oregon represented, I was equally impressed with the state's Republican leaders that I had read about back in my California days. There was the famous governor, Tom McCall--thanks to his concern for the environment, we have public access to the awesome beaches, and the

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Usually when I call my parents, thanks to life on opposite sides of the world, I end up calling them when they have just about wrapped up a hot breakfast, and when they are contemplating what to prepare for lunch.  Usually.Not that one day.  Their lunch prep was on hold. The preparations ha

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