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There exists an uneasy alliance between science and politics. When governments adopt certain policies they seek an ideological basis and it has its uses to give them an air of credibility and convince the world that they are the vehicles for progress whichever way you may interpret the term. On looking back however we find such mixture without exception tends to create monsters instead. Firstly ideology of politics adopting latest advances in technology is from above. There may be several scientific advisors in the panel the government inducts in order to formulate a policy but politics shall in the end determine the course. Look at the ideology of “eugenics” to describe the modern concept of improving the quality of human beings born into the world, It was Francis Galton’s brain child who however borrowed his half-cousin Charles Darwin‘s theory of evolution, which sought to explain the development of plant and animal species, and desired to apply it to humans. Galton believed that desirable traits were hereditary based on biographical studies; Darwin strongly disagreed with his interpretation of the book. In 1883, one year after Darwin’s death, Galton gave his research a name: eugenics. Throughout its recent history, eugenics has remained a controversial concept. Eugenic policies were first implemented in the early 1900s in the United States. It has roots in France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. Later, in the 1920s and 30s, the eugenic policy of sterilizing certain mental patients was implemented in other countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Japan and Sweden.

The scientific reputation of eugenics started to decline in the 1930s, a time when Ernst Rüdin used eugenics as a justification for the racial policies of Nazi Germany. I shall cite another:

In the mid-19th Century, it was common economic wisdom that government intervention in famines was unnecessary and even harmful. The market would restore a proper balance. Any excess deaths, according to Malthusian principles, were nature’s way of responding to overpopulation.

This logic had been used with devastating effect two decades beforehand in Ireland, where the government in Britain had, for the most part, decided that no relief was the best relief.

 

The Great Famine in Ireland began as a natural catastrophe of extraordinary magnitude, but its effects were severely worsened by the actions and inactions of the Whig government, headed by Lord John Russell in the crucial years from 1846 to 1852.

Altogether, about a million people in Ireland are reliably estimated to have died of starvation and epidemic disease between 1846 and 1851, and some two million emigrated in a period of a little more than a decade (1845-55). Comparison with other modern and contemporary famines establishes beyond any doubt that the Irish famine of the late 1840s, which killed nearly one-eighth of the entire population, was proportionally much more destructive of human life than the vast majority of famines in modern times.

The government might have prohibited the export of grain from Ireland, especially during the winter of 1846-47 and early in the following spring, when there was little food in the country and before large supplies of foreign grain began to arrive. Once there was sufficient food in the country (imported Indian corn or maize), from perhaps the beginning of 1848, the government could have taken steps to ensure that this imported food was distributed to those in greatest need. Second, the government could have continued its so-called soup-kitchen scheme for a much longer time. It was in effect for only about six months, from March to September 1847. As many as three million people were fed daily at the peak of this scheme in July 1847. The scheme was remarkably inexpensive and effective. It should not have been dismantled after only six months and in spite of the enormous harvest deficiency of 1847.

Third, the wages that the government paid on its vast but short-lived public works in the winter of 1846-47 needed to be much higher if those toiling on the public works were going to be able to afford the greatly inflated price of food. Fourth, the poor-law system of providing relief, either within workhouses or outside them, a system that served as virtually the only form of public assistance from the autumn of 1847 onwards, needed to be much less restrictive. All sorts of obstacles were placed in the way, or allowed to stand in the way, of generous relief to those in need of food. This was done in a horribly misguided effort to keep expenses down and to promote greater self-reliance and self-exertion among the Irish poor. (The Irish Famine- By Jim Donnelly/BBC history)

Despite of being aware of consequences the British government 150 years ago let Orissa suffer a similar catastrophe. Famine, while no stranger to the subcontinent, increased in frequency and deadliness with the advent of British colonial rule. As a background to this we need to understand how the East India Company helped kill off India’s once-robust textile industries, pushing more and more people into agriculture. This, in turn, made the Indian economy much more dependent on the whims of seasonal monsoons.

One hundred and fifty years ago, as is the case with today’s drought, a weak monsoon appeared as the first ill omen.

In modern-day Orissa state, the worst hit region, one out of every three people perished, a mortality rate far more staggering than that caused by the Irish Potato Famine. Yet the Orissa famine killed over a million people in eastern India.

On a flying visit to Orissa in February 1866, Cecil Beadon, the colonial governor of Bengal (which then included Orissa), staked out a similar position. “Such visitations of providence as these no government can do much either to prevent or alleviate,” he pronounced.

‘Too late, too rotten’

Regulating the skyrocketing grain prices would risk tampering with the natural laws of economics. “If I were to attempt to do this,” the governor said, “I should consider myself no better than a dacoit or thief.” With that, Mr Beadon deserted his emaciated subjects in Orissa and returned to Kolkata (Calcutta) and busied himself with quashing privately funded relief efforts.

In May 1866, it was no longer easy to ignore the mounting catastrophe in Orissa. British administrators in Cuttack found their troops and police officers starving. The remaining inhabitants of Puri were carving out trenches in which to pile the dead. “For miles round you heard their yell for food,” commented one observer. The Orissa famine also became an important turning point in India’s political development, stimulating nationalist discussions on Indian poverty. Faint echoes of these debates still resonate today amid drought-relief efforts.

 

Malthusian principle dictates war as a necessary means to control all unequal demands of population explosion in the face of dwindling food reserves. Nature must have had her last laugh at the British Imperial pretensions by leading them down the primrose path of colonialism and two great wars gave their comeuppance at last.

Ack: (Viewpoint: How British let one million Indians die in famine By Dinyar Patel

/11 June,2016; wikipedia-eugenics)

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In the following posts I want to look at progress that modern man has implicitly believed in and has accepted his circumstance for him to do something about. Progress keeps him going with hope and trust in fulfilling his dream to some extent. There is no denying to the inescapable truth that we could not have arrived here without it. Progress has pitchforked our ape-man ancestor from Savannah to the moden world of conveniences and miracle drugs. If he is curious to what goes on he might have news of the world at a click of a button.

We are assailed oh with what a variety of news!

Progress brings news to you. Only what it does not disclose is what good is to be told of a billionaire born with a greasy silver spoon in his mouth has become presumptive nominee to the White House while the GOP on whose shirttails he had joined the fray do not want him. What do I care what goes on in that part of a world which according to Mental Health reports* one in eight is in need of psychiatric care? I am also aware that many of them cannot avail of services even if they would be served. Cost of care throws some to the street and even a pauper’s grave. What a pother to be told that there are two alien tribes there and one party that stood for conservative America has perpetuated myth of Union of the State while systematically whittling away the soul of its basic principles. It is not Bill of Rights but of one percent such a party was all concened about. So they have a problem, which does not mean a dime to one who is in Kerala, India.

Progress is in making the world a global village. The idea is vitiated if one nation has cornered most of the natural resources of the world and wants to impose a one sided TTIP on another Bloc across the Atlantic. Progress as indicated by the ability of one nation to impose its terms arbitrarily on others  is like pot calling the kettle black. The most advanced nation relies on untested business practices of which the world is yet to recover fully from 2008 economic meltdown. It also shows what lessons they  ought to have learned from the Depression of ’29 was unlearned in order ‘the Banks that are too big to fail’ can hold the world to ransom once again. Under the terms of TTIP the multi-nationals are given more clout over  countries on this side of EU bloc.The biggest culprit in making the world vulnerable to economic insecurity gives unlimited powers to some Czars a blank check. It is a case of pot calling the kettle black.

You see the hollowness of the premise that can tout the World as a single entity albeit the title of Global Village. If any one peers closer there is so much inequality ingrained in the premise as the water that you get to drink on closer inspection is awash with industrial effluents, deadly cocktail of poison. #Flint, Mchigan is merely a case in point.

Why talk about Flint or America for that matter. A nation is made up of people and the fatal flaw is not in a body of men but in the least reducible factor that makes up institutions, tribes nations whatever.Man is the fatal flaw , the Achilles heel and it shall remain so. Till man can progress beyond his narrow circumscribed line of vision to include the whole mankind he is mere prattling and the politicians aggrandize themselves while throwing wool over the electorate.

It is a truism in parental care that a child made to grow up in an atmosphere of domestic violence the child will continue perpetuating the same cycle of violence. Experience of the child is violence as a norm and unless early correction is applied to the child the society is letting another number to join enemy forces and it becomes embedded in the very fabric of the particular society. Violence against women greed, unruliness etc ., eventually shall lead to a societal collapse can be expected in not so distant future. Nations similarly can create a breakdown. Take the case of South Africa under a brutal apartheid regime. One only need fill up the dotted lines between it and the massacre of Marikana mines on April 16,2012. The oppressed becomes the oppressed notwithstanding all the humbug we attach to the nationalism and principles of ANC as embodied in late Madiba. He himself could not save his family front let alone the nation. Now Joseph Zuma faces corruption charges that ought not come as a surprise to anyone. In an individual given his attention span for any specific problem being so short, a character flaw halves it even from the problem on hand.

benny

(*MentalAmerica.net

Mental Health America released its annual State of Mental Health Report, with startling numbers of how many Americans are not receiving the necessary treatments for mental health and substance use issues. Of particular concern is that even among our most severely depressed youth, 6 in 10 are not receiving any treatment for their mental health problems. )

#

The Flint water crisis did not begin on April 25th, 2014, when the city switched its water supply from Detroit’s system, tapping Lake Huron to its own on the Flint River. That tragic mistake was the culmination of a much longer ongoing disaster, one caused by greed, politics, incompetence, and selective amnesia. The known consequences include lead poisoning, skin rashes, and carcinogens in the water. Flint’s water crisis begins with the pollution of the Flint River, which has been going on for well over a century.

(Ack:Tim Cormady Feb.26-16/The Verge.com)

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The Merchant of Venice- Ac.2.Sc.7

Top aide of Trump:

O hell! what have we here?

I see none but Trouble spelled T-R-U-M-Pay

There is Oh vitriol! I’ll read the writing.

 

Reads

All that glitters is not gold;

Look at that thatch, it’s fool’s gold.

Many a man his hair has dyed

But this is real coxcomb’s hair:

But I cavil not at his thatch-

Pea-sized in girth do make grey matter

Run on and on to no avail.

Had he been as wise as his gold

What he speaks will make all glad.

Empty in thought, in speech rude,

His suit to the White House is doom’d.’

 

Top  aide of Trump:

Fare you well; your suit is cold.

Cold, indeed; and labour lost:

Scram then, beat it,- you said enow:

Hide your hulk in shame, saying:

Farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!

benny

 

 

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Time has come. Noddle the Water Spirit come to collect Aunt Doris. It was left to Jamie the water rat to stop…

2.1.11

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I am at the end of my tether. I have this slightly damaged goods and I tried all, but the thing has outplayed my hands. I could burn the whole thing up. But then it would make all my sweat and bother not worth the while.

I shall sell the world lock, stock and barrel. Whoever buys it off my hands then shall I leave the hell. It would be fun.

Let me see my little black book: under equivocation: ‘speak with a forked tongue but a mallet on the head makes carry the day.’ See Syria for instance. At Geneva they lie their heads off and they can teach me a trick of two. Imagine I who made a lie stick in their throat now am at the risk of drowning in the flood. They produce enough to drown the world and few besides in it. No I shall not have it. Sell it any price.

Now let me check what I had noted under persuasion:

‘Give the weak and defenseless some bromide to buck their spirits up. Say liberty and they are ready to break the chains off the ankles of half the world.

‘That is persuasion for you. But the Panama Papers show how wet I am behind my ears.

Now recalling how I went about all across the world whispering the buzz word into their ears all I have got two alien tribes living cheek by jowl yet oblivious of each other.

Under education I had scrawled in my illegible hand. ‘Curiosity kills the cat but fat cats know how to kill curiosity.’ The world is reeling under a strange disease of FOMA. Does a man who has never bothered to know what he is really require so much external stimuli? He has information to drown three worlds and he is showing early symptoms of info crunch. Eternal youth for him with such symptoms is a crime. I shall not be held to account for it.

I am Satan but even I have some scruples. I shall sell the world lock, stock and barrel. Whoever buys it off my hands then shall I leave the hell. It would be fun.

 

benny

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