The only full timer out of the 200,000 Nepalis in the US to work for Nepal's democracy and social justice movements in 2005-06.
Saturday, October 29, 2022
29: Amitabh Bachchan
प्रधानमन्त्री पत्नी देउवा मधेश प्रदेशको छठ पर्वमा सहभागी हुने
काठमाडौँको चुनावी चर्चा: कसकाे सम्भावना कति ? दश निर्वाचन क्षेत्र रहेको काठमाडौंमा, स्थानीय तहको निर्वाचनमा स्वतन्त्र उम्मेदवारलाई विजय बनाएका काठमाडौँ वासीले फेरी पनि स्वतन्त्र उम्मेदवारलाई नै मत देलान् अथवा दललाई ? भन्ने विषय यती बेला टोल टोल देखि चिया पसल सम्म छलफल र चर्चाको विषय बनेको छ ।
निर्वाचनपछि पनि राजनीतिक स्थिरता हुनेमा शङ्का! स्थानीय तह निर्वाचनको मत परिणाम अनुसार पनि कुनै एक दलको बहुमत आउने सम्भावना देखिँदैन ।
Friday, October 28, 2022
No Not Again
I urge everyone to understand the whole political scenario that's happening in the country.#NoNotAgain pic.twitter.com/EOMABxjhOL— MrNarrowminded (@ThapakajiUjwal) October 28, 2022
“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. #NoNotAgain pic.twitter.com/eTC5rXTlXZ— Kiran Pandey (@kiranpande171) October 26, 2022
Let's unite for a change!!!#NoNotAgain— Prem chapagain (@PremChapagains) October 28, 2022
@ECNOfficial 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/6NsF6GWfvu
Comedy is now legal on Twitter— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
the bird is freed— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
Elon Musk To Cut Twitter Staff To Single Devoted Hunchback Who Laughs Hysterically At All Of Boss’s Genius Tweets https://t.co/rQQiOfZd9V pic.twitter.com/zkswvov4Qk— The Onion (@TheOnion) October 24, 2022
Billionaires like Elon Musk shouldn't be allowed to avoid taxes by using their massive wealth as collateral for bank loans -- especially because they often live off those loans as if they were income!— Robert Reich (@RBReich) October 27, 2022
This is why we need a wealth tax. pic.twitter.com/tGAAzRkzA7
The media fell for the pranksters who said @elonmusk had fired them 😂😆 pic.twitter.com/avoEKRdWUX— Janey (@_Janey_J) October 28, 2022
BREAKING 🚨🚨🚨— Politics For You (@PoliticoForYou) October 28, 2022
Elon Musk has chaired the first meeting of his content moderation council over zoom. https://t.co/HTf8CEVaiO pic.twitter.com/R0EbiAfHsY
I will be digging in more today— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
✅ 7th angel investment done.— Allison Byers (@apbyers) October 28, 2022
This one came from a cold Twitter DM. To all those in my DMs who I haven't responded to - I'm sorry - it's me not you. Inbox is a dumpster fire.
I'm proud of and excited about my personal portfolio. Funding who and what I believe in.
Nothing micro about 44B.— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) October 28, 2022
Deals are happening. Valuations are still high at pre-seed and seed. Average seed I am seeing is 22M post. Average pre-seed is 13M post. Dilution between 15-20%. AL data appears to confirm this.— Nichole Wischoff (@NWischoff) October 28, 2022
First I’ve heard— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
It would be funny if Russia weren't still slaughtering Ukrainians. This mockery only makes it clear what a useless mockery the UN has become in the post-Cold War era. https://t.co/TenhMe448W— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) October 28, 2022
Joke of the day. :)— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) October 28, 2022
When multi-billionaires take control of our most vital platforms for communication, it’s not a win for free speech. It’s a win for oligarchy.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) October 28, 2022
JUST IN: Multiple companies to reportedly halt ad spending on Twitter if Elon Musk reinstates former President Donald Trump’s account.— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) October 28, 2022
NEW: A Bitcoiner now owns Twitter pic.twitter.com/Pj7ZnTlzyR— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) October 28, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands next to the wreckage of an Iranian Shahed-136 drone, which Iran denies having supplied to Russia, and which Russia uses to attack Ukrainian cities. pic.twitter.com/yLacMUUZZk— Euan MacDonald (@Euan_MacDonald) October 28, 2022
Cool!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
Being a pluralist requires being at peace with the fact that there are groups in the world that operate under principles very alien and uncongenial to you, and that some of those groups even have some power.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 28, 2022
Dear Advertiser,— Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) October 28, 2022
The reason I bought twitter is because,,,The Delaware Chancery Court made me.
Ship fast, listen to customer feedback, iterate, improve, repeat steps until product market fit is found. This is how startups are built, pretty simple.— Andrew Gazdecki (@agazdecki) October 28, 2022
the only thing that can save Meta now is an Indian CEO— Turner Novak 👻 🎃 🍌🧢 (@TurnerNovak) October 27, 2022
lol this just gets better and better...if car companies pull advertising from Twitter, Tesla will be the only brand here. absurd https://t.co/6ZY4bzG8fV— Ian Kar (@iankar_) October 28, 2022
Falcon rockets to orbit as seen from LA pic.twitter.com/r8L2SbLC3p— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
How would Russia turn Ukraine's "lights back on" anyway after months of terrorist bombings of their energy grid in order to freeze civilians? As for Russia's demands, If Ukraine surrenders there will be only darkness, and so they fight.— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) October 28, 2022
🤣— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
We can slaughter the entire 🇺🇦nation,take 🇺🇦kids away for "re-education",compete with Hitler for the most monstrous regime in European history, but you must keep diplomatic decorum pretending that we're a negotiating partner.— Mikhail Khodorkovsky (English) (@mbk_center) October 28, 2022
You,🇨🇿, can't wish our leader dead
I have thoughts.— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) October 28, 2022
Thank you to my friend @JustinTrudeau for today’s announcement. Ukraine sovereignty bond backed by Canadian Government will allow everyone to contribute to our victory https://t.co/4g4yVVZl3o— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 28, 2022
Happy birthday to my love, @christianamusk. This year I’ve seen Christiana step into her power. I’m so proud and honored to be by her side. My love, you have rocked it this year. I can’t wait to see what your future holds. pic.twitter.com/Lo4jt6s0IY— 𝙺𝚒𝚖𝚋𝚊𝚕 𝙼𝚞𝚜𝚔 🤠 (@kimbal) October 28, 2022
Alexei Ratmansky of his Ukrainian-Russian identity in this week’s @NewYorker piece on his new ballet pic.twitter.com/vz9ObsdkPU— Sasha Vasilyuk (@SashaVasilyuk) October 28, 2022
Hard to think that anyone made a better deal this year than Twitter execs and shareholders; they sold Twitter for $44 billion on the day that Facebook’s market cap was just $263B. Twitter’s revenue last year? $5B. Facebook’s? $117B.— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) October 28, 2022
Russian army morale has reportedly collapsed to such an extent in Ukraine that the Kremlin has now introduced a second line of troops behind the front lines to shoot anyone who tries to retreathttps://t.co/6sRSkTZp0C— Business Ukraine mag (@Biz_Ukraine_Mag) October 28, 2022
Just had our locks changed, which cost $185.— Steph Smith (@stephsmithio) October 28, 2022
Guy did it in literally 15 minutes.
We asked him how many he fixed a day and he said 8-10.
If he does that 5 days a week, we're talking $385-$480k per year.
Joke of the day #2— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) October 28, 2022
turning off telegram notifications has been great for my relationship (and sleep)— Supreet (@supreetkay) October 28, 2022
New: An emboldened cast of trolls has spewed racist slurs and Nazi memes onto Twitter in the hours since @elonmusk freed the bird. Musk says no "free-for-all hellscape," but hate is already rampant: One post screaming the n-word has more than 4,000 likes https://t.co/fgu3LJtfKR— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) October 28, 2022
Minutes after Elon Musk became Twitter’s official owner, the platform was filled with vile hate speech. https://t.co/fqiOpHdiS6— VICE (@VICE) October 28, 2022
We just witnessed a hostile takeover of Twitter by the richest man in the world who regularly tries to silence critics. This is absolutely what oligarchy looks like.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) October 28, 2022
Today, I received a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during which I demanded Iran to immediately cease the flow of weapons to Russia used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine.— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) October 28, 2022
Next level here..— Jay in Kyiv (@JayinKyiv) October 28, 2022
Russia's representative at the UN says "Ukrainian biolabs" are developing "combat mosquitoes", to carry deadly diseases. pic.twitter.com/EW8V3U5eRW
Wow. Watch this video. https://t.co/myW9iX2ljM— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) October 28, 2022
Putin weaponized his fossil fuels against some of his top customers. It's already backfiring on him https://t.co/skgUPcKZB4 via @opinion— Brian Bonner (@BSBonner) October 28, 2022
Says the man who started the largest, bloodiest war in Europe in nearly 80 years. https://t.co/u3XQnk5Zjg— Steven Pifer (@steven_pifer) October 28, 2022
Typical of Lithuania. https://t.co/aKyicADlUK— Ben Hodges (@general_ben) October 28, 2022
Thursday concluded 5 years @twitter. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such an incredible group of people building the world’s town square for all of our stakeholders. The work isn’t complete, but we made meaningful progress.— Ned Segal (@nedsegal) October 28, 2022
Today is the 1,000th consecutive day that I’ve worked out.— Joshua Bonhotal (@jbonhotal) October 28, 2022
It might sound crazy, but it’s actually been pretty simple.
Here’s how you can build a workout habit that lasts: pic.twitter.com/jxmbrLnxZM
Interviewer: “Do you still think this is a righteous war?”— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) October 28, 2022
American volunteer “Elvis”: “Yes, absolutely. We are fighting pure evil. Anybody in the West who asks Ukraine to just do peace talks, they need to go to these villages, they need to see what's been done to these people.” pic.twitter.com/fwgKF8drAW
October 28, 2022
मनीष सुमनलाई प्रश्न– प्रतिगामी भनिएको एमालेसँग जसपा कसरी मिल्न पुग्यो?
Sunday! Tovah Feldshuh will be in conversation w/Joel Grey to discuss the production genesis of @folksbiene's beloved Off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish plus Steven Skybell, Zalmen Mlotek & cast members performing signature songs. https://t.co/la5YhSX8Aq pic.twitter.com/c3iC6EORkh— The 92nd Street Y, New York (@92ndStreetY) October 24, 2022
१४ स्थानमा सत्ता गठबन्धनबीच नै प्रतिस्पर्धा, कहाँबाट को?
https://t.co/u1tRlHm5mh #jesus #god #krishna— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) October 28, 2022
Just saw the video of #ElonMusk entering the #Twitter HQ with literally a SINK, and his tweet - 'Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!'@elonmusk has began his Twitter ownership by terminating CEO #ParagAgrawal, CFO and others.— Aditya Singh Chauhan 🌍 (@stories_aditya) October 28, 2022
Love him, hate him, but you can’t ignore him.😀 pic.twitter.com/przwndTvci
28: Russia, Ukraine
सत्ता गठबन्धनबीच कहाँ–कहाँ मित्रवत प्रतिस्पर्धा ? (सूचीसहित)
जनकपुरमा छठको तयारी पूरा
जल र सूर्यको पूजाआराधना गरिने पर्व : छठ
संविधान जारी भएको सात वर्षमा पनि संशोधन भएन नागरिकता ऐन
‘महाकवि देवकोटा गरिब थिए भन्ने हौवा मात्र हो’
बिहान मुँगको दाल उसिनेर खाँदा स्वास्थ्यलाई पाँच उत्कृष्ट फाइदा
तौल घटाउनका लागि पिउनुहोस् जिरा र मेथीको पानी, यस्ता छन् अन्य फाइदा
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
26: Xi Jinping
Activating Starlink …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 23, 2022
Labour Party Comes Out Swinging at Britain’s New Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak The opposition’s lines of attack, starting with Mr. Sunak’s choice of home secretary and his wife’s wealth, gave a glimpse of where it sees vulnerabilities in the governing Conservatives. ...... It was a bracing debut for Mr. Sunak in the weekly political cage match known as prime minister’s questions ........ Mr. Starmer described a governing party out of control, bereft of ideas, with a standard-bearer who could not relate to the anxieties of ordinary people. ....... “My record is clear,” Mr. Sunak declared, looking unruffled by Mr. Starmer, as his backbenchers cheered and whooped. “When times are difficult in this country, I will always protect the most vulnerable.” ...... The minister, Suella Braverman, was appointed as home secretary, the same job from which she had been fired by Ms. Truss, ostensibly because she sent a government document on her personal email. ....... She is a popular figure on the party’s right, and her endorsement gave him crucial momentum to thwart Mr. Johnson’s efforts to catch him in the race for nominating votes. Her appointment, they said, was a simple quid pro quo.
An Era Just Ended in China Forty-four years ago, Deng Xiaoping kicked off the period of “reform and opening up” that transformed China from a poor, autarkic nation into an emerging global power. President Xi Jinping officially ended that era last week........ Deng Xiaoping’s strategy for China’s spectacular economic achievements had two main components. The first was a collective leadership arrangement within the Communist Party. Deng rejected Western-style democracy, but China’s tumultuous decades under Mao Zedong had taught him that one-man rule is dangerous. He and the party introduced partial checks and balances into politics at the highest level, including term limits. The second component was a single-minded pursuit of economic growth that, Deng famously declared, would be China’s “hard principle.” Officials throughout China dove headlong into promoting growth at all costs — bringing prosperity but also corruption, inequality and heavy industrial pollution. ......... heavily prioritizing national security over the pursuit of economic growth. ........ “National security is the bedrock of national rejuvenation, and social stability is a prerequisite for building a strong and prosperous China.” ......... If there were any remaining doubts about Mr. Xi’s intentions, he dispelled them by vowing that China would stick to its zero-Covid policy, “without wavering.” His government’s approach to the pandemic, a public health policy in name, is in reality the most powerful security tool devised by the Communist Party, restricting access to the country and controlling who can go where, underpinned by tracking apps that citizens and visitors must have on their smartphones. .......... For observers long accustomed to Deng’s growth-first ethos, Mr. Xi’s policy choice is mind-boggling. The Covid controls are angering citizens, crippling China’s economy, decimating domestic consumption, disrupting manufacturing and logistics, and repelling foreign and local investors alike. .......... and is doubling down on repression out of his instinct for self-preservation. ........ an abrupt and sweeping regulatory crackdown last year that has alarmed investors. The market backlash was intense: Within months, more than a trillion dollars in value at many of China’s most innovative companies evaporated. ........ The Trump administration’s chaotic handling of the pandemic prompted Mr. Xi to boast that “the East is rising and the West is declining.” But his triumphalism was premature. China is far from an even match with the United States in economic, military or technological power. And while American democracy is in crisis, the United States remains strong, a true superpower and a free country able to criticize and renew itself. .......... to his credit, he has confronted serious problems that his predecessors swept under the rug, particularly corruption and economic inequality. His vision of a powerful China, respected on the global stage, is warranted given his country’s size and economic clout. ........ Mr. Xi has plunged China into a vicious cycle: A hubristic and authoritarian leader, unaccountable to society and unchallenged even by his own advisers, makes poor policy choices, which add to his problems, exacerbating his fears of a revolt and leading to more repression. .......... China is the world’s second-largest economy and the biggest trading partner of dozens of countries. ....... Chinese tech companies are already expanding overseas to compensate for a restrictive home environment. ...... China under Mao and the former Soviet Union proved that absolute dictatorships fail miserably at making nations prosperous and strong. They bring only impoverishment and false security. Mr. Xi is likely to relearn those lessons in the coming years.
Xi Jinping Has Fallen Into the Dictator Trap could spell years of uncertainty as problems mount around an unbound leader who has shown little inclination to share decision-making. ....... Mr. Xi fell into the same trap that has ensnared dictators throughout history: He overreached. He has concentrated more power in his hands than any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, looming so completely over the country that he’s been called the “chairman of everything.” ......... He values fealty to himself as more important than competence, and subordinates compete to prove their loyalty by carrying out his policies to the extreme rather than raising harsh truths about negative consequences. ........ The over-concentration of power in Mao’s hands led to decisions such as his misguided Great Leap Forward, a campaign to greatly increase agrarian and industrial output in the late 1950s that led instead to a devastating famine, and the chaotic political violence of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. ........ After Mao’s death in 1976, Mr. Deng made leadership competition more predictable by introducing term limits and retirement ages for leading posts in the government and military and giving party institutions more authority. A pattern of decade-long reigns set in. But Mr. Deng refused to give China’s legislature and courts authority over the party. Party institutions — their members all appointed by senior leaders — proved to be pushovers for Mr. Xi. No visible resistance was raised when he engineered the abolition of presidential term limits in 2018, which could allow Mr. Xi, who is 69, to stay in power until he dies or is deposed in a power struggle. ......... And while the rest of the world has learned to live with the pandemic, Mr. Xi has stubbornly refused to loosen his zero-tolerance approach. Officials nationwide are overzealously imposing mass lockdowns and surveillance in a bandwagon dynamic that has echoes of the Great Leap Forward, when officials over-complied with Mao’s damaging directives. ........... For the first time in years, unemployment has become a serious political risk for the party, and a tanking Chinese real estate market threatens to pull down the entire economy. ........ China has militarized disputed islets in the South China Sea, threatened military action against Taiwan, picked a border fight with India and cut off many imports from Australia after that country’s government called for an international investigation into the origins of the pandemic. Mr. Xi destroyed Hong Kong’s autonomy and has deepened China’s isolation from Europe and the United States by aligning with President Vladimir Putin of Russia just before Mr. Putin launched his brutal invasion of Ukraine.
China and Russia Are Giving Authoritarianism a Bad Name The last decade looked like a good one for authoritarian regimes and a challenging one for democratic ones. Cybertools, drones, facial recognition technology and social networks seemed to make efficient authoritarians even more efficient and democracies increasingly ungovernable. ......... Russia and China each overreached. ....... inviting a war with one of Mother Nature’s most contagious viruses — the Omicron mutation of SARS-CoV-2. It’s now led China to lock down all of Shanghai and parts of 44 other cities — some 370 million people. ........... both Moscow and Beijing find themselves suddenly contending with much more powerful and relentless forces and systems than they ever anticipated. And the battles are exposing — to the whole world and to their own people — the weaknesses of their own systems. So much so that the world now has to worry about instability in both countries. .......... Russia is a key supplier of wheat, fertilizer, oil and natural gas for the world. And China is the origin of, or a crucial link in, thousands of global manufacturing supply chains. If Russia is locked out and China is locked down for a prolonged period, every corner of the planet will be affected. And that is no longer a remote possibility. ........
Putin’s Russia is basically built on oil, lies and corruption, and that is not a resilient system........ China bet on a “zero Covid” policy. If it could get through the pandemic with fewer deaths and a more open economy, it would be another signal to the world — a big signal — that Chinese communism was superior to American democracy. ........ if the virus mutates globally, as it did with Omicron, and you have “a less than effective vaccine, virtually no natural immunity in the population, and millions of elderly unvaccinated, you’re in a bad place and there is no easy way out.” ......... High-coercion authoritarian systems are low-information systems — so they often drive blind more than they realize. And even when the truth filters up, or reality in the form of a more powerful foe or Mother Nature slams them in the face so hard it can’t be ignored, their leaders find it hard to change course because their claims to the right to be presidents-for-life rest on their claims to infallibility. And that is why Russia and China are both now struggling.
Xi Jinping Is a Captive of the Communist Party Too Since taking leadership of the Chinese Communist Party a decade ago, he mothballed a power-sharing arrangement among party factions, transforming one of the world’s largest political organizations into a unified whole in which his words, thoughts and visage are everywhere. Speaking in 2016, he used a phrase once uttered by Mao Zedong in describing the party as China’s “east, west, south, north and center.” .......... There is indeed an autocrat who rules modern China, but it is the party that Mr. Xi serves, not the man.
And in a strange way, he is as much a captive of the party as everyone else............. the party’s fundamental aim: restoring China to its ancient role as a great nation worthy of its Chinese name, “Zhongguo,” “the central country.” ........ This mission has been in the making ever since the depredations China suffered at the hands of Western nations in the 19th and 20th centuries, followed by the collapse of Chinese imperial rule in 1912 and Japan’s savage wartime invasion. The Communist Party picked up the pieces of a broken nation. Mr. Xi’s power derives from the party’s nationalist goal of wiping away those past shames, restoring China’s strength and control over “lost” territories like Taiwan. Revanchism may drive President Vladimir Putin of Russia, but it is the lifeblood of the Chinese Communist Party. .......... During the Cultural Revolution, Maoist student militants ransacked the family’s home; one of Mr. Xi’s sisters died in the mayhem. Paraded publicly as an enemy of the people, his own mother was forced to denounce him. Mr. Xi eventually spent seven years exiled to the countryside as part of Mao’s exhortation to “learn from the peasants.” .......... Convinced that only the party could restore China’s strength, Mr. Xi was not corruptible by material gain, his old friend said. The question was whether he would succumb to the intoxication of power. ........ The decade under his predecessor, Hu Jintao, was one of missed opportunity, the grand mission of national restoration seemingly forgotten. Corrupt local officials governed their turf like petty tyrants, and protests raged over government heavy-handedness, rampant corruption, poor labor conditions and colossal pollution. ......... It is striking how little meaningful pushback he has encountered. Formidable as Mao was, even he encountered opposition to his destructive utopian policies. Deng Xiaoping faced resistance to his market reforms and Jiang Zemin contended with forces that wanted even greater reform. But with Mr. Xi, there has been almost no party dissent ........... The internet could have threatened centralized authoritarian rule, but Mr. Xi’s government has used algorithms, face recognition and mass electronic surveillance to more pervasively assert party power. A technology backwater for much of the 20th century, China now has the world’s most advanced techno-autocracy. ...........
The systematic repression in Xinjiang is the most extreme manifestation of his obsession with preserving stability, even at the risk of international criticism and domestic suffering. The same goes for his uncompromising zero-Covid policy.
China Is Running Covert Operations That Could Seriously Overwhelm Us China has acquired global economic and diplomatic influence, enabling covert operations that extend well beyond traditional intelligence gathering, are growing in scale and threaten to overwhelm Western security agencies. ........ a “breathtaking” Chinese effort to steal technology and economic intelligence and to influence foreign politics in Beijing’s favor. ....... The pace was quickening ......... China can best be described as an intelligence state. The party views the business of acquiring and protecting secrets as an all-of-nation undertaking, to the point that rewards are offered to citizens for identifying possible spies and even schoolchildren are taught to recognize threats. ............ Barely visible on the world stage 30 years ago, China’s intelligence agencies are now powerful and well resourced. They are adept at exploiting the vulnerabilities of open societies and growing dependence on China’s economy to collect vast volumes of intelligence and data. Much of this takes place in the cyber domain .......... China’s consulate in Houston was closed by the Trump administration in 2020 after it served as a national hub for collecting high-tech intelligence. ......... China’s Intelligence Law, which was enacted in 2017, required its citizens to assist intelligence agencies. But this legislation simply formalized a situation that had already been the norm. The wider China challenge comes from organizations and actors engaged in activities that may not conform to normal concepts of espionage. .......... the United Front Work Department, a party organization that seeks to co-opt well-placed members of Chinese diaspora communities — and whose scope has been expanded under Mr. Xi. China also endeavors to entice other Western citizens. A textbook case, exposed this year, involved a British politician whose office received substantial funding from an ethnic Chinese lawyer who thereby gained access to the British political establishment. One Chinese approach is to patiently cultivate relationships with politicians at the city or community level who show potential to rise to even higher office. Another is known as elite capture, in which influential Western corporate or government figures are offered lucrative sinecures or business opportunities in return for advocating policies that jibe with Chinese interests............ Mr. Xi has stressed the need to adopt “asymmetrical” means to catch up to the West technologically. ....... The Soviet Union lost the Cold War not because of its intelligence operations — which were good — but because of the failure of its governing ideals. .......... Western policymakers and intelligence services must innovate and adapt. But they also must ensure that strategies they employ honor the ideals of freedom, openness and lawfulness that pose the greatest threat to the Chinese party-state.
No, Capitalism and the Internet Will Not Free China’s People Communist Party rule of China has been punctuated by one mass public campaign after another, each designed to commandeer Chinese minds in service of the state. ........ Their cumulative effect is one of the Communist Party’s greatest achievements: a near-perfect symbiosis between dictatorial government and subservient population. ........
The government’s nearly three-year-old zero-Covid campaign may be the worst of all.......... It’s an affront to science and common sense, yet — reminiscent of the mindlessness of the Cultural Revolution — officials and citizens around the country go to ridiculous lengths to execute it. Entire cities are shut down even for small outbreaks, and coronavirus tests are conducted on fish and other food products, cars, even construction materials. ...... When Chengdu, a city of 21 million people, was locked down in September, residents were blocked from leaving their flats even when an earthquake struck. .......... the government now has a system that Mao Zedong could only have dreamed of, powered by data and algorithms, to monitor and control the people. ........ Chinese minds have in fact never truly been free. China has been a largely united, centralized state for most of the past 2,000 years, and similar ethics and a similar relationship between ruler and ruled have endured throughout. No fundamental change is possible; China’s lowly people are expected to merely obey. ....... He came home one night, exhausted, his face black after someone at a political rally dumped a pot of ink over his head. In an example of the helplessness and resignation of China’s people, he suggested that we just imagine that grim place had always been our home, accept our lot in life and get on with it. China’s people still live under this mentality of surrender today. ......... When I ran afoul of authorities in 2011 after criticizing the government, the police threatened me with an “ugly death” and said they would tell all of China about the absurd allegations they leveled, like tax evasion, to discredit me. I asked if China’s people would believe their lies. Ninety percent will, an officer told me. In China, where all “truth” comes from the party, he may have been right. .......... Things have only worsened in the past decade. Authorities have smothered remaining traces of independent thought, decimated Chinese civil society and cast a chill over academia, media, culture and business. ........ Western engagement with China has been driven by the pursuit of profit rather than values. Western leaders criticize Communist Party violations of human rights, free speech and spiritual freedom, but long have continued to do business with Beijing. U.S. hypocrisy about independent thought is evident in its approach to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who stands for freedom of information but whom the U.S. government is prosecuting. ........ Millions of Chinese take pride in modern China’s growing wealth and power. But this feeling of well-being is a mirage conjured by superficial material gain, constant propaganda about the decline of the West and suppression of intellectual freedom. China is in fact decaying morally under the influence of the party. In 2011, a 2-year-old girl was run over by two vehicles in southern China and left bleeding in a street. Eighteen people passed by without doing anything, some even swerving aside to avoid her. Don’t think, don’t get involved, just keep walking. The girl later died. ........
Freedom relies on courage and sustained risk-taking.But a vast majority of China’s people feel that resistance, even at the philosophical level, is impossible, and that personal survival depends on compliance. They are reduced to an anxious servility, lining up like sheep in long lines for their coronavirus tests, or scrambling for food before sudden lockdowns. ........... Freedom and individuality can never be completely suppressed. And no country, no matter how strong it appears, can truly prosper without diversity of opinion. But there is no hope for fundamental change in my country while the Communist Party is in power.
The Three Blunders of Joe Biden
'काठमाडौं- ७ बाट उम्मेदवार बन्न ओलीले अफर गर्नुभएको थियो' : स्वर्णीम वाग्ले
टुकुचा अभियानले छेडेको बहस महानगरपालिका स्थानीय सरकार हो तापनि देशको राजधानीमा विकास–निर्माणका काम गर्दा संघीय सरकारसँग समन्वय हुनुपर्छ । त्यसैले टुकुचा अभियानबारे सरकार प्रमुखलाई समय–समयमा जानकारी गराउनुपर्छ । ...... भदौ ६ यता यो लेख लेखुन्जेलको अवधिमा अवैध ढंगबाट निर्माण गरिएका ५६ स्थानका १३५ संरचना भत्काइएका छन् । मेयर बालेन शाहले असोज १५ मा भनेका थिए, ‘कानुनी रूपमा अवैध ठहरिएका सबै संरचना र अनियमित तरिकाले निर्माण गरिएका तथा सार्वजनिक जग्गा मिचेर बनाइएका सबै संरचना भत्काउने कामलाई निरन्तरता दिइनेछ । त्यसका लागि कामनपाले नक्सा अनुसार वैध–अवैध यकिन गरिरहेको छ ।’ ...... नेपाल भाषामा तोरीको साग–डाँठको त्यान्द्रोलाई ‘टुकँचा’ भन्ने गरिन्छ । टुकुचा भन्ने नाम यसै शब्दको अपभ्रंश हो कि भन्ने अड्कल कतिपय अध्ययनार्थीले गरेका छन् । टुकुचा खोलाको आकार ‘टुकँचा’ सागको त्यान्द्रोजस्तै कम चौडा (साँघुरो), तर लमतन्न परेको छ । काठमाडौं महानगरको तत्कालीन सहरी भागको करिब मध्यभागबाट टुकुचा बगेको छ । ....... टुकुचा खोला चुनदेवीदेखि करिब ६.५ किलोमिटर लामो, ४ देखि ८ मिटरसम्म चौडा र ४ देखि १० मिटरसम्मको गहिराइबाट बगेको छ । सजिलोसँग खोलाको पानी बगोस् भनेर खोलामाथि बनाइएको गुम्बजजस्तो संरचना निर्माण गर्दा ठाउँठाउँमा भर्याङजस्तो छाँगा बनाइएको छ । लुकेको टुकुचा क्षेत्रमा करिब ८५ घरधुरी छन् । ...... टुकुचा खोला वर्षायाममा जता इच्छा लाग्यो उतै बग्ने भएकाले पौराणिक कालमा यसको नाम ‘इच्छुमती’ राखिएको होला । ....... जय नेपाल सिनेमा हलदेखि कमलादी मोडसम्म छोपिएको भाग खुला गर्न महानागर लागिपरेको छ । त्यस क्रममा भत्काइएका ठाउँमा टुकुचा खुला भएको छ । ........ मेयर बालेन शाहले असोज ७ गते सामाजिक सामाजिक सञ्जालमा लेखेका छन्, ‘नदीमा अदालतले अल्पकालीन आदेश दिएको छ, अदालतले टुकुचा (इच्छुमती) नदीलाई खोला भन्न सक्दैन भने नेपाललाई कसरी नेपाल देश भनेर प्रमाणित गर्छ ?’ उनले भनेका छन्, ‘हामीले टुकुचालाई न्याय दिन खोजेका हौं, त्यसलाई पुरानै लयमा फर्काउन खोजेका हौं । तर नगरवासीलाई दुःख दिने हाम्रो नियत छैन । समस्यामा परेका र कागजपत्र भएकासँग हामी छलफल गर्नर्छौं । अहिले हामी आफ्नो अभियानबाट रोकिने पक्षमा छैनौं । टुकुचामा पानी बग्न ४ मिटर छाडिनेछ भने दायाँबायाँ ४–४ मिटरको करिडोर बन्नेछ । यो काम पाँच वर्षभित्र पूरा गर्ने उद्देश्य छ ।’ ......... अदालतले स्टे अर्डर जारी गर्न थालेपछि महानगर प्रहरी प्रमुखले भने, ‘यो गतिविधि राम्रो भएन । अब महानगरलाई जनताको साथ चाहिन्छ । केही गरौं भनेको, ठूलाबडाहरू अदालत गुहार्न थाले । जसले खोलामाथि घर बनाएको छ, त्यसलाई अदालतले पनि संरक्षण गर्नु हुन्न । नक्सा पास लिएर त्यति बेला घर बनाएको भए पनि नियम अनुसार नै भत्काउन सुरु गरिएको हो । नक्सा पास लिँदैमा खोलामाथिको घर नभत्काउने हो भने टुकुचाको बाँकी भूभाग खाली गर्न कठिन हुने भयो । अदालतको आदेशविपरीत काम गर्न पनि नसकिने भयो ।’ ....... ‘टुकुचाको डुँड ऐतिहासिक–पुरातात्त्विक हो भन्नेमा शंका छैन । यो डुँड सय वर्ष पुरानो भएकाले प्राचीन संरक्षण ऐन अनुसार भत्काउन मिल्दैन । यसलाई मौलिक शैलीमै राख्नुपर्छ । दस दिन अध्ययन गर्दा पनि टुकुचाको समग्र पक्ष पत्ता लगाउन नसकिएकाले अब दसैंपछि खोलाको शिरदेखि अन्त्यसम्मै अध्ययन गरिनेछ । कतिपय ठाउँमा टुकुचा कहाँबाट बगेको छ भन्ने अत्तोपत्तो छैन ।’ ......... संस्कृतिविद् सत्यमोहन जोशीले पनि भनेका थिए, ‘उति बेला नै राजाहरूले खोलालाई बंग्याउँदा त्यसको समस्या अहिले देखिएको छ । खोला सधैं स्वतन्त्र हुनुपर्छ, तर इच्छुमतीलाई राणा र राजाकालीन समयमै खुला बग्न दिएनन् । टुकुचालाई पनि अन्य खोलाजसरी खुला र स्वतन्त्र हुन दिनुपर्छ ।’ ........... त्यति बेला सडक फराकिलो पारिएको हुनाले कलंकी भएर काठमाडौंबाहिर जाने सवारीसाधनको जाम हटेको छ । ........ स्थापितले पाँचतले घर पनि भत्काई माइतीघर मण्डला निर्माणका लागि मार्गप्रशस्त गरेका थिए । मण्डलाले आज काठमाडौंको सान राखेको छ । रत्नपार्कका टहरा पसलहरू भत्काउने समयमा पितृ किरियाकर्ममा रहेका उनी कोरा कपडामै आई डोजर चलाउने आदेश दिएका थिए । उनले ‘सार्वजनिक भलाइको काममा अहिले कसैले छेक्छ भने उसैलाई डोजर लगाउँछु’ भनेका थिए । यस्तो प्रक्रियाले गर्दा आज त्यहाँ शान्ति वाटिका बनेको छ । ....... सर्वसाधारणले रत्नपार्कमा सुगमताका साथ सार्वजनिक सवारीसाधन उपयोग गर्न पाएका छन् । यसै गरी टुँडिखेल पश्चिमको सडक फराकिलो पार्ने क्रममा स्थापितले महाकालस्थान अगाडिको साझाको फार्मेसी भवन, विश्वज्योति सिनेमा अगाडिको सडक फराकिलो पारे अनि बानेश्वर शंकर चिम उकालोको साँघुरो सडक छेउछाउ भत्काई फराकिलो पार्न डोजर नै उपयोग गरेका थिए । धोबीखोला करिडोर अवधारणा उनैले ल्याई भाइकाजी तिवारी (पछि सहरी विकासका प्रमुख आयुक्त भए) लाई त्यसको योजना र निर्माणको काम सुम्पेका थिए । आज धोबीखोला दायाँबायाँ करिडोरमा सडक सुविधा पुगी ट्राफिक व्यवस्थापनमा सहयोग भएको छ । यसै अवधारणाको अनुसरण गरी वाग्मती, विष्णुमती, मनोहरा करिडोर योजना बनाइएका हुन् । मेयर बालेन पनि यसैअनुरूप अहिले टुकुचा करिडोर सडक कार्यलाई सफलीभूत पार्न लागिपरेको बुझिन्छ । ......... तत्कालीन मन्त्रिपरिषद्को २०६५ मंसिर २ गतेको बैठकले वाग्मती–वष्णुमती–मनोहरा नदी, धोबीखोला, बल्खु–साङ्ले–महादेव खोलाका दायाँबायाँ क्रमशः २०–२० मिटर, १२–१२ र ६–६ मिटर अनि टुकुचा खोलाको ४–४ मिटर क्षेत्रभित्र कुनै पनि संरचना निर्माण गर्न रोक लगाउने निर्णय गरेको थियो । यी नदी खोला किनारमा भौतिक संरचना निर्माण गर्नुपरे अधिकारसम्पन्न वाग्मती सभ्यता एकीकृत विकास समितिको अनिवार्य रूपमा स्वीकृति लिनुपर्ने भनिएको थियो । यसै निर्णयअनुसार समितिले टुकुचा खोलाको पूर्वसम्भाव्यता अध्ययन प्रतिवेदन तयार पार्न लगाउने कार्य अगाडि बढाएको थियो । ......... जग्गा प्राप्ति ऐन–२०७६ को दफा ९(१) मा ‘नेपाल सरकारलाई सार्वजनिक हितका लागि आवश्यक पर्ने जहाँसुकैको र जतिसुकै क्षेत्रफल भएको जग्गा यस ऐनबमोजिम प्राप्त गर्ने र त्यस सम्बन्धी यस ऐनबमोजिम कारबाही गर्ने, क्षतिपूर्ति निर्धारण गर्ने पुनःस्थापना वा पुनर्बास योजना स्वीकृत गर्ने तथा अन्य आवश्यक निर्णय गर्ने अधिकार हुनेछ’ भन्ने उल्लेख छ । यस अनुसार सार्वजनिक कार्यका लागि टुकुचाको पानी देखिने गरी खुला गर्न सकिने देखिन्छ । ........ फ्रान्सको पेरिसमा आइफल टावर नजिकैको सेइन नदीलाई दायाँबायाँ पर्खाल लगाएर दुवैतिर प्यारापेट बनाई स्थानीय बासिन्दा तथा पर्यटकका लागि मनोरम वातावरण सृजना गरिएझैं टुकुचा करिडोरलाई पनि यस्तै बनाउने योजना गर्नुपर्छ । ........ मन्त्रिपरिषद्ले निर्धारण गरेको मापदण्डभित्र रहेर नियमसंगत तरिकाबाट टुकुचा अभियान सञ्चालन गर्दा मेयर बालेन शाहलाई केही तत्त्वले आपत्ति जनाए भने त्यस्तो तत्त्वलाई युवा पिँढीले नकार्नेछन् । .
चार वर्षमा चीन-नेपाल सम्बन्धमा नयाँ अध्याय थपेँ सन् २०१८ डिसेम्बरमा म महान् मिसनका लागि जिम्मेवारी काँधमा बोकी भाव व्याकुल भई भगवान बुद्ध जन्मिनु भएको हिमालयको देश नेपालमा आएँ । ....... संयुक्त रूपमा हिमालय वारिपारिको बहुआयमिक कनेक्टिभिटी सञ्चालन निर्माण गरी नेपाललाई 'भूपरिवेष्ठित देश' बाट 'भूजडित देश' मा रूपान्तरण गर्न सहयोग पुर्याउनेबारे पनि मतैक्य भएको थियो । ...... चीन र नेपाललाई जोड्ने अरनिको राजमार्गको तेस्रो चरणको मर्मतसम्भार कार्य, काठमाडौं चक्रपथको पहिलो चरणको स्तरोन्नति कार्य सफलतापूर्वक सम्पन्न भइसकेको छ । त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल, गौतम बुद्ध विमानस्थल, पोखरा विमानस्थलको स्तरोन्नति अथवा निर्माण परियोजनाहरु सम्पन्न भई नेपाल पक्षलाई हस्तान्तरण गरिसकिएको छ । माथिल्लो तामाकोसी, माथिल्लो त्रिशूली ३ विद्युत् स्टेसनको विद्युतीय ग्रिडमा जोडी विद्युत् उत्पादन प्रारम्भ भएको छ । चीन नेपाल सीमा पार रेलमार्ग, विद्युतीय ग्रिड सञ्जाल आदिको संभाव्यता अध्ययन प्रारम्भ भइसकेको छ । ........ चीन नेपालको दोस्रो ठूलो व्यापारिक सहकर्मी देश हो, सन् २०२१ मा चीन नेपाल व्यापारको परिमाण १ अर्व ९७ करोड ७० लाख अमेरिकी डलर पुगेको थियो ; नेपालबाट चीनमा भएको निर्यात एक वर्ष पहिलेको सोही समयावधिको भन्दा ६३% ले अभिवृद्धि भएको थियो । चीनले नेपालबाट हुने आयात बढाउनका लागि सक्रिय भूमिका निभाएको छ र नेपालबाट आयात हुने ९८% करयोग्य वस्तुहरुमा 'सून्य भन्सार कर' को सुविधा प्रदान गरेको छ, जसमा अहिले नेपालबाट चीनमा निर्यात हुने सम्पूर्ण वस्तुहरू पर्दछन् । ........ दुई देशबीच नेपालबाट सुन्तला, जुनार तथा पशुआहार घाँस चीनमा निर्यात गर्ने बारेको सन्धीपत्रमा हस्ताक्षर भएको छ । नेपालमा सबैभन्दा बढी आर्थिक लगानी गर्ने देश पनि चीन नै हो । माथिल्लो मर्स्याङ्दी विद्युत स्टेसन, होङ्शी सिमेन्ट, ह्वासिन सिमेन्ट आदि चिनियाँ लगानीका परियोजनाहरूबाट उत्पादन प्रारम्भ भइसके अथवा छिटै हुँदैछन् । ....... चीनले प्रत्येक वर्ष एक सयभन्दा बढी नेपाली विद्यार्थीहरूलाई सरकारी छात्रवृत्ति प्रदान गर्दै आएको छ ...... विगत ४ वर्षमा चीन र नेपालबीचको शान्ति सुरक्षा क्षेत्रको सहकार्य पनि बढेको छ । दुई देशका विशेष सेनाको टोलीले 'सगरमाथाको मैत्री' नामक संयुक्त सैन्य अभ्यास गरेका थिए । ....... बहुलवादको सही कार्यान्वयन र आर्थिक भूमण्डलीकरणको समर्थन, एकलवाद, प्रभुत्ववाद र शीतयुद्धकालीन विचार शैलीको विरोध गरी बहुसंख्यक विकासशील देशहरुको साझा हित, क्षेत्रीय एवं सम्पूर्ण विश्वको शान्तिसुरक्षा र विकासका लागि सक्रिय योगदान पुर्याएका छन् । ....... सन् २०२० को प्रारम्भमा विश्वमा शताब्दीकै सबैभन्दा ठूलो महामारी फैलिन गयो ...... नेपालमा पनि सोही महामारी फैलिएपछि चीनले नेपाललाई ठूलो परिमाणमा महामारी नियन्त्रणका सामग्री र करिब २ करोड ४० लाख खोपहरू प्रदान गरेको थियो । विशेष गरी नेपालमा कोभिड–१९ को दोस्रो लहर चल्दा चीनले यथाशीघ्र नेपाललाई अक्सिजन उत्पादक यन्त्र, अक्सिजन सिलिण्डर र तरल अक्सिजन आदि सामग्री सहयोगस्वरूप प्रदान गरी हिमालय वारिपारिको स्वास्थ्य करिडोरको निर्माण गरेको थियो । ....... अर्को महिना नेपालमा पनि निर्वाचन हुँदैछ ..... पहिलो पटक राजदूत बन्दा मैले मैत्रीपूर्ण सुन्दर छिमेकी देश नेपालमा आउने अवसर पाएँ, यसलाई मैले आफ्नो सौभाग्य सम्झेकी छु । ...... भक्तपुरको जुजु धौ दहीको त्यो स्वाद, सूर्यास्त बेलाको माछापुच्छ्रे हिमालको दृश्य, दसैंको बेलामा नेपाली सहकर्मीसँग रातो टीका लगाएको त्यो न्यानो क्षण, तीजका दिन नेपाली गीतसंगीतसँगै नाचिने त्यो उल्लासपूर्ण नाच आदि म कहिले पनि भुल्न सक्दिनँ ।
सांसद कमलको प्रवेश पछि धनुषा १ मा जनमत जोडदै जनमत पार्टी
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
25: Los Angeles
Dnipro residents fear dark, cold winter as Russia smashes infrastructure With the elevator useless, Tetiana walked up five floors in the dark with her dachshund to a drab apartment with no candles or flashlights. Before walking the dog, she had spent the past two hours texting with relatives across the country, some of whom were also without power. “This is the first time this has happened,” said Tetiana, a middle-aged woman who declined to give her last name. “I’m in shock.” ....... (Targeting civilian infrastructure with no military purpose is a war crime.) ...... Russia’s bombing campaign, which left 1.5 million people across Ukraine without power on Saturday, has evoked scenes of European cities plunged into darkness during World War II. But in the 21st century, the tactic has upended remote work, interrupted distance schooling for children, and risks draining cellphones on which so many now rely to check on loved ones or learn of incoming rocket fire. ......... She said she regretted decades ago giving up a wood-fired stove, the use of which even today remains common in the countryside. Her family had saved food, especially for the baby, but could do little about the dropping temperatures.
Rishi Sunak Won’t Save Britain In March, Rishi Sunak was photographed filling up a car at a supermarket gas station. The purpose, of course, was self-promotion: Mr. Sunak was keen to advertise his role, as finance minister, in cutting the price of fuel. ......... The car, a modest red Kia Rio, wasn’t his (it belonged to a supermarket employee). Inside the garage, Mr. Sunak further embarrassed himself by showing he had no idea how to make a contactless payment. ........ Liz Truss’s disastrous 44-day premiership proved his warnings about economic “fairy tales” to be remarkably prescient; he commands the support of a majority of the faction-ridden Conservative parliamentary party; and his ascent — on the back of his grasp of economics — has calmed the financial markets. ......... That country, economically stagnant, regionally unbalanced, socially strafed, is in dire need of compassionate leadership. In Mr. Sunak, by conviction a devotee of small-state Thatcherism and with no visible concern for the lives of the majority, Britain is unlikely to get it. ........... it was estimated that in the absence of greater support, 1.3 million people would fall into absolute poverty. His scant plans for the worse off were deemed in The Times of London to be “insufficient, inefficient and unconservative.” The criticism was a fitting capstone for his tenure, defined by a selective and shallow concern for others.......... It’s a bad time for the country to be in dispassionate hands. Inflation stands at over 10 percent. Living standards have eroded, with Britons set to see the biggest drop in disposable income since records began. For the first time, demand for food banks is said to be outstripping supply. Energy blackouts could be coming in January. In April, after a further increase in bills, the number of people in fuel poverty could reach 10.7 million. Ambulance delays are now a palpable “threat to life.” The economy is anemic, set to have the highest inflation and lowest growth rates of the Group of 7 nations next year. ............ His attitude toward regional inequality, among the worst of any comparable developed country’s, is instructive: In office, he boasted about rigging Treasury formulas to shift resources from “deprived urban areas” into wealthier constituencies, regardless of need. .......... After 12 years in power, the Conservative Party is almost out of ideas. ........ it’s fair to assume that in the name of fiscal rectitude, he will rein in public spending and cut social protections. ....... at the outset of his tenure, one thing seems guaranteed: Mr. Sunak, conservative savior, won’t save the country.
What if We Let Majoritarian Democracy Take Root? Many Americans believe there’s something not quite right about majority rule — something threatening, something dangerous. It just feels wrong. ........ the United States is a “republic, not a democracy” and that democracy would be the ruin of American liberty. We are taught to imagine ourselves as potentially being at the awful mercy of most of our fellow citizens. ....... Our collective suspicion of majority rule rests on the legitimate observation that a majority can be as tyrannical as any despot. ........ If allowed to stand in full, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 — passed by only the third U.S. Congress to have Black members, who were elected in some of the first truly free elections in the South — would have outlawed discrimination in public accommodations like railroads, steamboats, hotels and theaters and prohibited jury exclusion on the basis of race. But the court, in an 1883 opinion, decided that neither the 13th nor the 14th Amendment gave Congress the power to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals. .......... the example of Reconstruction and its aftermath suggests that if majorities had been able to act, unimpeded, to protect the rights of Black Americans, it might have been a little less tragic than what we experienced instead. ......... If it were up to majorities of Americans — and if, more important, the American political system more easily allowed majorities to express their will — then Congress would have already strengthened the Voting Rights Act, codified abortion rights into law and protected the civil rights of L.G.B.T.Q. Americans. Even the legislative victories most Americans rightfully admire — like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — were possible only with a supermajority of lawmakers assembled in the wake of a presidential assassination. ......... If it were up to the national majority, American democracy would most likely be in a stronger place, not the least because Donald Trump might not have become president. Our folk beliefs about American government notwithstanding, the much-vaunted guardrails and endlessly invoked norms of our political system have not secured our democracy as much as they’ve facilitated the efforts of those who would degrade and undermine it. .......... Majority rule is not perfect but rule by a narrow, reactionary minority — what we face in the absence of serious political reform — is far worse. And much of our fear of majorities, the legacy of a founding generation that sought to restrain the power of ordinary people, is unfounded. It is not just that rule of the majority is, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the only true sovereign of a free people”; it is also the only sovereign that has reliably worked to protect those people from the deprivations of hierarchy and exploitation. ........ The liberty of would-be masters might suffer. The liberty of ordinary people, on the other hand, might flourish
The Way Los Angeles Is Trying to Solve Homelessness Is ‘Absolutely Insane’ The politics of the affordable housing crisis are terrible. The politics of what you’d need to do to solve it are even worse.
The Three Blunders of Joe Biden
Wonking Out: Facts, Feelings and Rural Politics
How Toni Morrison Wrote Her Most Challenging Novel
In Los Angeles, Politics Are More Complex Than a Racist Recording Indicates Recently leaked audio of Latino leaders exposed their ambition to gain power. But loyalties don’t always follow racial lines in the city’s most Latino district. ...... The audio also exposed frustrations that there weren’t more Latinos in elected office, at a time when they comprise half the city’s population. ........ In the 1980s, increasing numbers of Latino immigrants moved into South Los Angeles, fleeing Central American civil wars and Mexican economic disruption. ....... Latino residents now comprise the largest ethnic group in 10 of the city’s 15 Council districts ......... Overall, some 48 percent of Angelenos are Hispanic, according to the Census Bureau, while just under 9 percent are Black. ........ “There were gangs at every corner,” he said of those days, as he strolled the aisles of Superior Grocers on Central Avenue, speaking over piped-in Mexican country music. “You lived in fear that you would be assaulted or robbed.”