Sally Struthers, biblical prophet

We Americans are rather quick to preach to the rest of the world, but controversial ethicist Peter Singer points out in a cogent essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education that there is one area in which we as a nation are scandalously derelict: Though the wealthiest nation in the world--not to mention one that benefits handsomely from selling all manner of goods and services to the Developing World--we are unconscionable skin-flints when it comes to aid to the world's poorest.  … [Read more...]

The MSM’s new “Jihadism vs. McSufism” narrative

Br. Yahya Birtfrom across the pond was so kind as to inform me of a much better and more thought-provoking link regarding the place of Sufism in the GWOT than the article in Time magazine that I shared earlier, so I'm passing it on. I explained  in the post's comments (reproduced below) why, despite my agreement with some of the Times article's underlying premises, I didn't like the piece much. As usual in MSM discussions of Sufism, the article … [Read more...]

India gets into the senior-warehousing biz

"Progress" in India. Perhaps we can start outsourcing this there, too. In booming India retirement homes spread - Yahoo! News She grew up listening to her grandparents' stories over dinner, three generations gathered in the house they shared, like nearly every Indian family she knew. But now that Uma Paranjpe is a grandmother, she finds herself living alone in a small apartment, her children abroad, her grandchildren far from her cooking and her stories. And she's … [Read more...]

Oil, the bane of Muslim women

Check out this fascinating examination of the role of oil in retarding the advancement of women in developing countries like Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Yet another example of how the contemporary Muslim problems often facilely ascribed to "Islam" or "Muslim culture" can be sociologically explained. That is, if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and consider them scientifically rather gleefully file them away as ammunition for culture wars.The sooner they run out of this … [Read more...]

The Story of Stuff

Check out entertaining yet profound cartoon documentary "The Story of Stuff", which lays out the ugly realities of  our misbegotten love affair with consumption and its parasitic relationship with the rest of the world. It points out many of the fundamental and inescapable problems built into American lifestyle patterns and the myths used to rationalize them for the sake of Big Business profits. There's nothing "efficient" or "practical" about the way we live, … [Read more...]

NYT: Kidney Thefts Shock India

This report from India proves that stories of involuntary kidney donations can no longer be dismissed as urban legends. It's absolutely horrifying and infuriating. A chilling new (perhaps more honest) face to Globalization, not to mention the endless demands for Deregulation. I disagree on one thing in the article. The perpetrators (and their many abettors) shouldn't be hanged--they should be slowly lowered into a wood chipper.Kidney Thefts Shock India - New York TimesPowered by ScribeFire. … [Read more...]

Free back issues of Himal Southasian!

Most of you (even desis) will no doubt have no idea what I'm talking about, but I'm really psyched to have discovered this treasure trove of  two decades of back issues of the unique Kathmandu-based magazine on pan-South Asian politics and culture, Himal Southasian. Haven't read it in a while, but I used to read it fanatically. Need to resubscribe. Those of you South Asian expats or 2nd-gen desi-whatevers looking for a stimulating and cutting edge alternative to the MSM on Subcontinental … [Read more...]

Ethiopian wants a bigger cut from international coffee snobbery

I would be nice to see the instruments of neoliberal economic power--so ruthlessly exploited for Northern gain at the expense of the world's poor most of the time--contribute to the empowerment of an extremely impoverished developing country for a change. The lot of commodity producers is often falling prices, while the finished product exports of wealthier countries tend to rise, so I think this is a particularly unusual situation. Traditional Ethiopian coffee really puts hair on your chest. … [Read more...]