Labor Day 1This is an oped I wrote for various publications. Please feel free to share it.

I fail to understand why we do not see news reporting of Labor Day parades, rallies and marches that happen nationwide. I have always asked myself: why is labor absent in Labor Day coverage?

It is true that organized labor have lost the power they once enjoyed. It is true that a mighty forty percent labor density in the U.S. during four prosperous decades of American middle class has now come down to a paltry eleven percent, only six percent of it being in the private sector. And it is true that unlike FDR’s New Deal administration that championed rights and respect for the working men and women of America, and created massive numbers of U.S. jobs under labor secretary Frances Perkins, even Democratic presidents like Obama and Clinton have not done much to stem the low tide of the labor movement. In fact, they have pushed on the same, anti-labor Reaganomics on one hand, and passed anti-labor laws on the other – to severely damage the bargaining power of unions for equality, fairness, and justice.

Clinton passed NAFTA with more votes from Republicans than his own party’s lawmakers, an act that American workers – both liberal and conservative – remember with an acid taste in their mouth. Then, after eight years of a disastrous Bush era that saw massive tax cuts for the super-wealthy individuals and corporations, capped with a trillion-dollar Wall Street bailout, an Obama government did not do what the ninety-nine percent wanted it do – to empower the powerless. A key, 2008 election issue such as the Employee Free Choice Act slipped out of peoples’ short-lived memory.Project2_Layout 1

Income inequality has skyrocketed in America since Ronald Reagan, resulting in a situation where USA is doing the worst among developed, capitalist countries on social, academic and health issues. Republicans have actively encouraged this obnoxious inequality where today, the one percent elite have forty percent of the country’s wealth and fifty percent of the entire stock and bond market. Democrats have passively complied with the Republican onslaught on the ordinary people. Unemployment is the greatest since the Great Depression; blacks and youth unemployment is over twenty-five percent. The working men and women and their families are languishing, and struggling to make ends meet. The American Dream is essentially non-existent, because the horrible inequality has put a stop on any upward social mobility.

Far right are exploiting on people’s anger. Job outsourcing in China, India and Bangladesh, and domestic replacement of fair-paid U.S. workers with low-paid undocumented immigrant workers have only thrown more fuel to that fire.

Yet, this is precisely the time when a Labor Day celebration must remind us of the countless, important contributions labor unions have made to make this country so great – for its working people. I remember when I was growing up in Calcutta in the sixties and early seventies, I would be awestruck to see pictures of ordinary, middle-class American families and their enviable standard of living. Life or Time magazine brought us photos of glory of American capitalism – a forty-year saga from 1940 to 1980 – when the middle class had full-time jobs, could pay back their home mortgage in one lifetime, and also had free, stress-less time for their families and children. It was also a time when the income inequality was the lowest, taxes were reasonably high on the rich and low on the middle class, and the labor movement indeed enjoyed a forty-percent union strength, with New York, California and Massachusetts having sixty to seventy percent of working men and women in the union, working hard and efficiently negotiating human rights and wages.

Share this. Please.

Share this. Please.

It was also a time when USA also passed a historic Civil Rights Act with an Affirmative Action Act that created social equality, and paved way to elect a black president in America nearly half a century later.

How quickly we forget our own history! And I’ve learned American history fairly recently.

But I learned more. I came to know that Dr. King, one of the most important civil rights leaders, was also a labor leader. I learned that his final speech the day before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee was to a group of striking, sanitation workers. I came to know that Dr. King fought for income equality along with global peace and social justice. In fact, labor leaders such as him spearheaded precious movements for many decades that gave rise to an eight-hour work day, an overtime pay, weekends, collective bargaining, maternity leave, environmental and safety standards, and pension and other benefits we now take for granted.

Even people who are now blasting organized labor and helping to roll back the basic American human rights and freedom – are enjoying the rights and freedom that labor unions have fought for, and won for them.

This Labor Day, I ask America to remember its glorious history of its working men and women. I demand media and establishment to put labor, and its due rights and respect, back in Labor Day.

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Do-GoodOkay, so, here’s one more of those wise-guy sermons. I mean, look at the title here.

Read it one more time.

“Do Good. Make Money. Be Good.”

So, is there like a stupid catch somewhere? I mean, what’s the catch here?

There is no catch. Honest to God. I’m just telling you about my life’s experience. As I always do. Honestly.

But there is a special way to read it, perhaps. I’ll tell you very quickly what that is.

Ready?

__________

Do Good. You know what it means. Simple sentence. Do good. It means, be successful in life. Deed-wise. Work-wise. Not money-wise. Only because we have a separate section here on money.

What is success? Some diehard humanist may ask.

Well, I can’t define it for you. You decide what your success is. If your success is teaching and graduating five poor, orphan kids each year, that’s your success. If your success is to travel to Mount Kilimanjaro next year, and trek to Lhasa the following year, that’s your success. And so on.

If your success is to learn oil painting basics, or nature photography, that’s up to you. 

And so on.

So, do good.

__________

make_moneyMake Money. Now, this is something that everyone today understands very well. Nobody perhaps wants to know what I mean by it. Right?

Wrong.

I’m actually asking all of us here to make lots of money. Like, money you’ve never seen.

I grew up in a poor family in North Calcutta. This is not really the place to talk about what kind of poverty, starvation and death I’ve seen in my own life. And I’ve already written about it in various places, including this blog. You can look it up.

All I’m saying here is that poverty does not give you anything. Poverty, coupled with hard struggle to come out of it, perhaps gives you a strong character and emotional fiber to keep on the fight. But, that’s really about it.

Only poverty, unlike what some poets, philosophers and politicians have preached to us, does not get your anywhere. If anything, it brings you down more and more, like a big boulder chained to your feet. It stops you from going anywhere.

And if you’re in deep water, this boulder chained to your feet actually makes you sink faster.

Don’t live poor. Or, nobody is going to take you seriously. Most people look up to those who made good.

__________

Be goodBe Good. Now, what does the wise-guy OneFinalBlogger seem to mean here?

Wait. It’s no riddle. Be good is be good. It means, be good. Which means, be a good man. Or a woman.

Which means, in my dictionary, live an honest, dignified, happy life. And be good to OTHERS. Make a good society.

Any more questions?

Actually, I have one — I says.

What is it?

Is it possible to do all three at the same time, in one life, in today’s world? Isn’t it some kind of an oxymoron?

Can you do well in life, AND make lots of money, AND be honest, happy, and dignified to yourself AND your loved ones?

Great question, I says.

__________

Well, precisely, that is my challenge today — to YOU. And to ME. And to the people I know, love, and care about.

Show me that this life is possible.

All my life, I’m going through this fantastic struggle — and the older I get, being convinced that it is possible to do it.

That is my challenge to you today.

And my life’s experience tells me that once you decide to set foot on this path, get this: your life will be so much happier and meaningful.

By setting foot on this path — borrowing Robert Frost “the road not taken” by most others — you shall reach God.

Because this is the path that God has chosen for the few of us.

Try it. In this life.

I’m with you.

Your Friend,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Robert Frost

So what he was a high school graduate? What's the big deal?

So what he was a high school graduate? What’s the big deal? We are all high school graduates.

[Read it twice before you judge. Maybe, thrice. That's three times.]

_____________________

Blacks are really a problem, you know? I mean, just look at them around the world.

Look at small-town Ferguson near St. Louis here in Amrikka. Mighty, mighty Amrikka. The best country in the world.

A black man named Michael Brown was accidentally shot to death by law enforcement officials who were trying to enforce laws. And the whole world fell apart. Well, at least the small town of Ferguson near the big city of St. Louis where I lived for some time fell apart.

Protests, rallies, rowdy demonstrations, candle-light vigils, and then those blacks started throwing bottles, rocks and stuff. I mean, can you believe it? They’re talking nonsense. Like, Trayvon Martin. Like, Rodney King. Like, Amadou Diallo.

I mean, what does Ferguson have to do with L.A., New York, or Florida? They are far apart!

Didn’t Ferguson law enforcement tell us they didn’t mean to do it, and that they were sorry it happened? I mean, let us just give them a break. They’re only trying to do their job. Sure, the family of this Michael Brown kid suffered. So, give them some money to compensate for their loss, and let’s move on.

Enough is enough!

Let the world move on. Already for this one small lapse and curfew and all, the small town of Ferguson near the big city of St. Louis where I lived for some time suffered big loss in business and city revenues. Now, even the federal government with its justice department and this Eric Holder guy (who is also black) and even the black president Obama (who never speaks up) spoke up. 

We all know what’s happening. It’s ganging up of those blacks across the country, and nothing else.

I am so sad the way America God’s chosen country in the world is falling apart.

I am heartbroken.

__________

Why spend so much to save those who are not to be saved? It's God's wish, don't we all know?

Why spend so much to save those who are not to be saved? It’s God’s wish, don’t we all know?

And then, this Ebola thing.

Again, just look at the mess these Blacks created. Some God-forsaken country in Africa Nigeria, Liberia or Damneria got this horrible disease — and I hear it’s even deadlier than AIDS or cancer I don’t know which one is badder like you vomit blood to death or something — and then Amrikka the best country in the world must get involved? I mean, like, why??

Don’t we have enough problems of our own? Why us? If they can’t fix their own mess, then why create it?

And, most of all, don’t we all understand it’s nothing but God’s final curse? Isn’t this sure indication that the world is coming to an end, only for Dear God to send His Son to destroy it all and save the sinners like us?

I mean, it’s all too clear to me. Ain’t it to you? The Second Coming is coming. And that’s the first thing we need to understand.

I mean, look around. Did you ever see any bad germs happening out of God’s chosen countries? Like, Amrikka, Israel, or Germany or U.K.? No! Cancer, AIDS, Ebola, Sfeebola — all from Africa. Get the facts straight!

Even look at this. St. Louis virus they tried to name it. It was a conspiracy against our country. Now we all know it’s East Nile virus. East Nile. Where is East Nile? It’s in Africa, Goddamnit!

__________

Blacks have always been a problem. We always had to deal with it. We live in Amerikka. We know. 

Even ask Indians. Like, India Indians where I came from. They all know blacks are big problem. 

Don’t fool us. And don’t pull our precious resources off to help those who don’t want to be helped. Like, Ferguson. Don’t spend an unnecessary amount of money. We know how to deal with such big mess. And it’s not Gandhi that can do it. We need guns. And we need the military. We need our own citizens, just the same way they’re guarding the borders to fight back against those Mexican invaders. Those illegal aliens who are about to take over this chosen country.

And we definitely don’t need no black man in the White House no more. Although, this Obama guy has mellowed down. He don’t talk nonsense no more. He finally got it.

But, still…

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Look at them. They have no respect for law. You judge. I'm speechless to see the vulgarity.

Look at them. They have no respect for the law. You judge. I’m speechless to see the vulgarity.

GodotThis is a special anniversary.

Half of my life I spent in India. And then, half more I spent in the U.S. Today is that special anniversary.

August 16.

Now, what is half life? And what does it have to do today, whatever anniversary I may have? — Some might ask.

Scientific definition is half life is the time taken for the radioactivity of a chemical element to fall to half its original value. The second definition is half life is the time required for any property to decrease by half.

The day I left India was the day when my life was cut in half. Today, after being in America for the second half of my life, I still feel like fate cut my life in half. Life was cut in two pieces — never to be meant to fuse together — ever again.

Now, some friends keep reminding me that I lament the loss too much. They say that I blow it out of proportion. Some even call me a hypocrite: they say I complain too much about India and her problems while sitting cushy in the “best country in the world.” And my intellectual achievements, and my earned respect as an activist and a teacher and a writer. Whatever little I’ve done in one life, starting humble, and starting from scratch. What’s the use of talking about the loss all the time? — They say. They advise me that if I felt so strongly about India, then I should return and live there. Otherwise, they say, I have no right to talk about India’s problems — however horrendous and prehistoric they are. 

Of course, some of my American friends say exactly the same thing, but only in a different, subtle way. They ask me why I complain about America’s problems when compared to India, it’s a much more luxurious situation for me? They say, can’t you find anything positive about USA? Do you only have to talk about America’s wars and income disparity and media lies and myriad of hidden secrets, and write about them in Indian publications and on your measly blog? They say, I mean, if you’re so unhappy to be in America, go back. They even say, “please.”

So, thus goes my half life — half here, and half there. Tormented. Splintered. Just like an eccentric chemical element absolutely erratic on its orbit. In simple English, like a crazy man.

Poet Tagore wrote: “This bank of river sighs: the other side are all the highs.” My Indian and American friends keep reminding me that my lament about my half life is nothing more than this stupid frustration. They remind me that there are always some people who can’t be happy anywhere: they are lifelong complainers. Basically, they say, they are losers.

So goes my half life: half here, and half there — complaining, and losing. According to popular definition, that is.

MarieCurieI sometimes felt that I have had some radioactive property in me. Radioactivity in my mind that illuminates and charges. Radioactivity that can create a lot of energy — to do a lot of incredibly charged things in life. But I also sometimes felt that I never found that Marie Curie who would take the time to research on me, explore the possibilities, and finally harness the energy into real-life action. So that I could feel happy in this life, even when cut in two halves.

I have waited for Madam Curie to take charge of my life. I have waited for Godot to show.

But that did not happen. Godot didn’t show.

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting, I lost my half full life. A full half life — on two sides of the globe.

That radium that was supposed to glow — never came to glow.

Lamenting, reminiscing, expressing — in all sincerest honesty,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Jumanji three

Robin Williams killed himself today. He was suffering from depression.

But why was he so depressed that he had no choice but to take his own life? Wasn’t he supposed to laugh his sadness away? Wasn’t he supposed to laugh our sadness away?

Was Robin Williams depressed because he could not cope with Hollywood’s lies, exploitation and profiteering? Was he so sad because he did not see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel?

In spite of being a Hollywood celebrity, he put up some serious resistance. In Jumanji, he talked about Mother Nature and how the so-called civilized man destroyed it. Melodrama, yes. Typical Hollywood or Disney-style sensationalism, yes. Make-believe, fake, sentimental, yes too. Still, young boys and girls perhaps got an underlying message that if you keep destroying nature for urbanization and profiteering, nature will one day come to get you. And you’ll have no place to hide. You can run, but you can’t hide.

And his super-rich businessman dad who shows up later as a crazy, NRA-type maniac with an assault rifle ready to kill anyone in front of him? No underlying message there? Are you kidding me?

Jumanji two

Of course, it was not the only movie where Robin Williams talked about violence, and against violence. He did it in Good Morning, Vietnam. He did it big time to voice a strong opposition of America’s mindless, global terror unleashed on poor, ordinary people in a faraway land. So, it was just a movie, and he only acted in it? Sure! But wasn’t that a loud and clear message against global warfare, and one conscientious military man’s resistance against it? Wasn’t his satire something we all thought was hitting the bull’s eye? One by one by one?

Looking back, did Good Morning, Vietnam and his role as a radio DJ cum journalist remind you of Bradley Manning, or Edward Snowden? Perhaps, just a little?

I don’t know about you. I always thought that Robin Williams was sometimes too loud, and too extravagant. His comic gestures sometimes ticked me off. I thought they were sometimes too blunt. Yet, looking back, through his meaty, American laughs, he hit home runs every time. In his Good Morning, Vietnam, he made us realize how brutal and full-of-lies USA’s global game of war and violence was. His radio DJ was defeated, and the people in power returned him to America, because they couldn’t take his strong, protean jokes anymore. But even in his defeat, he won. His acting won the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide who got a chance to see through the smokescreen the military establishment and their politicians create for us.

I have not seen all his films. I also know I won’t have time to talk about all his movies I actually saw, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, the man dressed as a woman to nannie his own divorce-separated kids. Or, Patch Adams where he was the cancer doctor in children’s ward. I’m sure I’m forgetting some more.

5.0.2But I shall definitely remember Dead Poets Society, a 1989 movie where he acted as an English teacher at an aristocratic, conservative high school. It was the first Robin Williams movie I saw after coming to USA from India. I was completely blown away by the powerful story and his incredible performance as John Keating. His totally unorthodox teaching style shocked the school’s administration, and was absolutely admired by his students. He taught them not just poetry, subject nobody had paid any attention to before he came, but humanistic values. He taught them the purpose of life. He showed them that a global life outside of the straitjacket education system was indeed possible. He showed them how to breathe in open air, without any inhibition.

I have always believed in non-traditional, non-colonial teaching, and all my life I’ve tried to put my philosophy to practice. My first years in America were dark and depressing. I felt like I was suddenly given a lifelong exile in an Alcatraz-type prison, and could never escape from it. Suddenly, I found Robin Williams and Dead Poets Society, and I believed that even in America, there is a different side of America.

In Dead Poets Society, Keating’s student Neil committed suicide, and the school administration asked Keating to leave. He leaves for good, but gets a standing ovation from the students he had mentored to be different human beings.

I find Robin Williams’ own sudden end to be like a real-life replay of the movie.

He commits suicide. But he doesn’t die. He and his one-of-a-kind fun persona live on.

Sad, shocked, and in heartfelt tribute to this great artist,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Good Morning Vietnam

DEU Jahrestag Leipzig DemonstrationHere in America, we just had a revolution. America — that is the United States of America.

Yesterday, the revolution finally happened. People — millions of ordinary, working class men, women and children — came out on the street, and chanted slogans. “Love Live the Revolution,” they chanted. “Down with the One Percent,” they shouted. “Power to the People,” was the loudest shout.

We the People won the final battle. We did not shed one drop of blood — on either side. It was a nonviolent revolution. We brought the tyrannical, oppressive, violent, lying and corrupt people in power down from their throne, and then we took over their seat.

We created a people’s government. We decided democratically that it would truly be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It would be a collective leadership, with no one man or woman to be at the top seat of power. All the major decisions — economic, political and social — would be made collectively and democratically. And the decisions would be observed by elected representatives of the entire population. In fact, for those millions of ordinary men, women and families out there, all the major decision-making would be telecast live.

These are some of the first, major decisions we made last night.

Revolution 21. There is going to be no more war. Our government will withdraw all our troops from all corners of the world. Our military or the so-called defense department is going to be dismantled.

2. We are going to use all the billions and trillions of dollars we so far used to create and perpetuate wars, now to create peace across the world, through education, alleviating poverty, hunger and diseases, and peace dialogues by feuding countries.

3. Domestically, we decided that we are going to cut taxes for the poor and middle class, and raise taxes on the super rich, so that the income inequality comes down to a minimum.

Revolution 34. We decided that all our private prisons are going to be destroyed. All the prisoners are going to be given a second chance to a free trial. Death penalty is going to be banished, and rehabilitation programs are going to be created for those who need them.

5. We decided last night that our health care is going to be free for the low-income people, and subsidized for the middle-income. Employment-based health insurance system is going to be terminated, and nobody is going to be denied of health care anywhere. Government is going to be responsible for its people’s health concerns, without depriving people of their individual priorities.

6. Privatization in all spheres — education, health care, environment, employment, banking, etc. — is going to be discouraged. Wall Street and stock markets are going to be regulated and monitored so that they cannot go out of control again.

7. There is going to be very serious effort to bring the environmental pollution and atmospheric CO2 levels to an historic low. Fossil fuels are going to be banned, and replaced by green and sustainable energy such as wind, water and solar powers.

Revolution 48. From the elementary school level, education system is going to be based on equality, peace, diversity, tolerance and science. Arts programs and physical activities are going to be priority. Schools are also going to start a new curriculum on healthy food and lifestyle choices.

We could not make more decisions last night. We were tired, and so were all of the country. We adjourned our policy and decision-making meetings at the crack of dawn, and retired.

When we went to bed, we could still hear the people — millions of them — rejoicing in the street.

Long Live People’s Revolution. Power to the People.

Sincerely,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Post Script. — By the way, this was not a day dream. Last night, I attended a labor arts committee meeting to talk about the September 21 People’s Climate March here in NYC. Some of the above came out of the conversation.

Revolution 5

Solitude. Green. Peace.

Solitude. Green. Peace.

We just came back from a short vacation in Vermont. 

For those who don’t know, Vermont is a small, New England state in the Northeastern corner of the U.S. I don’t know how Vermont ranks among the fifty U.S. states on education, environment, health, employment, and other such important matters of life. But based on what I saw, I’m sure it is one of the best places to live in America.

Especially if you love nature. Mother Nature has created a paradise for the men, women and children of Vermont to live in. Thank you, Vermont, for keeping the hope of humanity alive.

We particularly want to thank two special friends — Nancy Romer of Brooklyn Food Coalition and Lew Friedman of the Killer Coke Campaign — for their warm hospitality. Staying with them made this vacation even more special.

For those of us who always lived in big cities such as New York, London, Delhi, Bombay or Calcutta, we perhaps do not understand how important it is to preserve our nature and environment, and how preserving our nature and environment is automatically linked to a long, healthy life. We, big city dwellers, have lost our connection with Mother Earth. We do not know how to breathe pure, uncontaminated air. We do not know how to walk in complete safety without the constant fear of being hit by a car. We have forgotten what solitude and quiet is.

Vermont reminded us of these forgotten, essential elements of human life that we have now taken for granted and therefore misused and abused.

Sustainable Farming. Revolt against Monsanto and GMO.

Sustainable Farming. Revolt against Monsanto and GMO.

During our four days of stay in that little paradise state that also takes pride in its most progressive, pro-equality laws, we visited two small farms, and met the farmers. We were surprised to see the level of knowledge they had on issues such as climate change and global warming, neoliberal economics and rampant use of GMO through multinational corporations such as Monsanto, harmful foods and drinks mass-manufactured and commercialized through McDonald’s, Coke or KFC, and what an ordinary global citizen like us can do to prevent these disasters through our own change of lifestyle and food habits.

The farmers showed us how they are putting sustainable and organic farming into practice. And that they are doing okay economically too.

I looked at these farmers. Hard work, disciplined life, and healthy, environmentally sound food have stopped the aging process on their bodies. Gail and her husband, both perhaps in their sixties, are harvesting their maple trees to make Vermont’s famous maple syrup: they have their own small plant to do the sugaring themselves!

Happy, smiling faces — totally with Mother Nature and her peace.

Vermont can bring the poet out of your reluctant, resistant self. Being with trees and their tranquility can bring the lost humanity back in you.

Peacefully Reporting,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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Soft. Quiet. Green. It's Raindrops and Poetry.

Soft. Quiet. Green. Raindrops and Poetry.

It could be my child. The father mourning here could be me. (Photo courtesy NYT)

It could be my child. The father mourning here could be me. (Photo courtesy NYT)

Yesterday, July 25, New York Times published a report on Israel’s merciless bombing of Gaza schools and shelters, and printed a few photos of Palestinian children killed and their parents mourning. Thousands of readers expressed their anger, and it was the first time I have seen such outrage against Netanyahu’s genocide — outrage from NYT readers, who are normally pro-Israel.

It shows that in spite of U.S. media’s bias, distortion and cover-up of the barbarism happening on the ground, where hundreds of innocent children, women and men were killed, dismembered, and permanently crippled — horror that CNN, Times, Washington Post and their nationwide followers are not exposing as is, and we are not even talking about far right-wing media such as Fox or Rush Limbaugh and Tea Party airwaves, the ordinary Americans are finally getting it.

Like I said before, I do not support violence of any kind: Israel, U.S., Hamas or Taliban. I have made myself very clear on this. But this grotesque Israeli barbarism is beyond belief!

I’m quoting a few readers’ comments from New York Times: for you to judge.

Note that ALL the top “likes” or “recommends” on the reader comments denounced and condemned Israel. In my opinion, that is the most important observation.

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Bottom pit of human civilization. Thanks, USA. (Photo courtesy NYT).

Bottom pit of human civilization. Thanks, USA. (Photo courtesy NYT).

Reader Comment #1.

MM
Danville, CA

Enough Israel, enough. As a father of 2 small kids, seeing these pictures is beyond heartbreaking. This is not going to win you any hearts or minds. You are fast losing the respect of the entire international community whatever is left of it. Yes you have a right to self defense but your actions are leading to indiscriminate killing and maiming of 100’s of innocent children – and that is beyond the pale. You simply cannot claim a moral high ground now. What have you unleashed? Do you have any sense of humanity left? And please do not equate your actions to the thuggishness of Hamas and their tunnels and rockets that have caused far, far less damage than the lasting damage you are causing to an entire population of innocent children. Please, at least for the sake of children stop this madness and figure out a way to more effective self defense.

1153Recommend

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Reader Comment #2.

viola

boston

How much blood on Netanyahu’s hands is necessary before he feels that it is enough!? How many children must die before he is satisfied? Yes Hamas has brought it on to themselves but enough is enough! What Israel is accomplishing now is to create the next generation of terrorists fueled by the hatred that he is creating anew. This will solve nothing. It only proves that Israel has more weapons and is willing to use them. More tunnels will be built. An ultimately impotent strategy

700Recommend

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Reader Comment #3.

amaBern

Brooklyn, NY

It pains me to say this, but I’m grateful my father, grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives – Jews who fought tirelessly for social justice, peace and helping those less fortunate than themselves – are not alive to see this. I feel ashamed.

681Recommend

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Reader Comment #4.

Midwest Guy

Milwaukee, WI 21 hours ago

I think it’s time for war crimes to be charged against Israel.

641Recommend

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Reader Comment #5.

David

Colorado

It’s time for America to end our blind support for Israel.
It’s time for America to end the billions in U.S. aid to Israel.

499Recommend

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NYT and CNN never quote him. And he is one of the most important intellectuals of all time. I'm happy to have known him.

NYT and CNN never quote him. And he is one of the most important intellectuals of all time. I’m happy to have known him.

Reader Comment #6.

brooklynforchange

New York City 21 hours ago

This is absolutely horrific, and I have no words to express my feelings.

However hard pro-Israeli voices and organizations and corporations want to justify the genocide under Netanyahu and his brutality government, it’s absolutely clear to the rest of the world that they’re committing war crimes.

If only the U.S. and its two-party, jingoist plutocracy and Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation and Tea Party understood it. But they won’t. Obama and Kerry and the Clintons and Bush’s are equally responsible for this prolonged, never-ending brutality on poor, displaced and powerless people — for generations.

Helene Cooper and Somini Sengupta in their story entitled “As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support,” (July 23) showed us the real reason behind the misperception: media slants, distortions and plain lies. That is precisely why Americans do not know the extent of this genocide.

The photos that New York Times is publishing today is only a small, superficial fragment of what is truly happening on the ground. Without going into the gory details, if, only if Americans and NYT readers knew how children’s bodies are being severed into pieces by Israeli shells and guns and bombs, this perception would rapidly change.

I condemn Israel’s genocide. I also condemn Hamas’ politics of violence. I do not support any violence of any kind.

But what Netanyahu and his government have been doing deserves a war crimes tribunal — the Nuremberg way.

364Recommend

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She could be my daughter. He could be me. (Photo courtesy NYT).

She could be my daughter. He could be me. (Photo courtesy NYT).

NOTICEABLY, a lot of readers thought Israel was committing war crimes, and that the state and its people forgot what they had went through under Hitler.

Any comments?

Sincerely,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

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      Now, who taped it? Get him! Now!!

      Now, who taped it? Get him! Now!!

      A school principal and his associate in Kakinada district in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh mercilessly beat three blind students — as if they were going to kill them. And someone videotaped it.

      And then media got the video, and aired it on TV just a few days later. Then, angry parents raided the school, and beat up the perpetrators. I’m posting the Telugu-language news video. Watch it. Hear the helpless screams of those young, blind children as their teachers cane them — ten, fifteen, twenty times. If you feel uncomfortable and helpless and angry, it’s your problem.

      I do not support the angry parents’ beating up of the principal. But I support their anger.

      I especially feel the pain of those kids. I know what horror they went through. Because I was there.

      I have many reasons to be ashamed of India. I have many reasons to be proud of India too. But right now, I’d like to focus on the reasons I’m ashamed of the country I have so much love for. You find the statement strange? Okay, that’s your problem too.

      Merciless beating of school children, by their teachers inside the classroom, is one reason I’m ashamed of India. Because, I was there. I went through it. India has not changed in half a century. Those malls and money machines and MTV are meaningless. India has not changed.

      Then of course, gang raping, killing and hanging of young girls would be another recent reason for me to be ashamed of India. A film star politician’s open vitriol threatening rape of girls from opposition families is another reason. A country of one billion people run by corrupt politicians and their musclemen, mafia and crooks is another reason I am ashamed of my motherland.

      There are many other reasons.

      Here is the video. Watch it. Feel the way the principal’s cane hits the soft, young skin of those kids in the classroom. Hear their begging for mercy. See how they wrap around the teacher’s legs asking for forgiveness. See how the two child molesters use their supreme power to punish their powerless, vulnerable subjects.

      And these students are blind. Not that it would matter.

      Feel uncomfortable. Feel angry. And then, perhaps, do something about it.

      Shame my shameless, cruel, uncivilized India.

      Partha

      Brooklyn, New York

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      The criminals were arrested (almost never happens). But they will be free soon. Watch my word!

      The criminals were arrested (almost never happens). But they will be free soon. Watch my word!

      Courtesy: EaglesofBrassTacksBlogspot dot com.

      Courtesy: EaglesofBrassTacksBlogspot dot com.

      Israel is killing innocent children. Hamas is killing innocent civilians.

      I do not understand their politics very well. But I understand that they are both killing many, many innocent children, women and men. These children could be your children. These women could be our sisters. Those young men could be my brothers.

      I am sick to the stomach. I want to throw up. I want to scream. I want to cry.

      I want to pray to God that if you really exist (and I have every reason to believe you don’t), save these poor children. Save them. Save them. Save them.

      Israel and Hamas are two of today’s biggest mass murderers, and they should both be punished for their crimes — in front of a global court. They are criminals of the worst kind.

      Gaza, Palestine, today. Photo courtesy New York Times.

      Gaza, Palestine, today. Photo courtesy New York Times.

      U.S. of course will keep supporting Israel, and that has been our lifelong experience. U.S. media will keep supporting this horrible bloodshed too, and spin the news blatantly.

      To them, it’s war. To us, it’s genocide.

      When an army and a nation support killing innocent children (of any race or religion), that signifies they have reached the bottom pit of human civilization.

      Israel and U.S. have reached the bottom pit of human civilization. Hamas and their supporters — whoever they are — have reached the bottom pit of human civilization.

      It could be your home. It could be my home. Photo courtesy New York Times.

      It could be your home. It could be my home. Photo courtesy New York Times.

      I have always doubted in the existence of a Savior God. I have every reason to believe that God who is supposed to save the innocent simply do not exist.

      Who will save the mankind from this gruesome violence? Who will save our children from this terror?

      I do not understand their politics. And I don’t care if it’s Israel, Hamas, Palestine, Iran, U.S., China, Russia, India, or Pakistan. Whoever is responsible for this terror, this new barbarism, must be held accountable for their crimes, and punished — in front a global court of justice.

      I am sick and tired of this horrible bloodshed.

      Partha

      Brooklyn, New York

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      Innocent people are not terrorists. They are innocent people. Photo courtesy New York Times.

      Innocent people are not terrorists. They are innocent people. Photo courtesy New York Times.