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Posts Tagged ‘Benny Thomas’

 

What progress is it  if it gags on its own bottlenecks? It has not delivered its promises.

Progress sounds good on paper. Fame and Fortune await whoever has a genuine idea, drive and innovate. Recently Dr. Craig Wright came forward to claim he is the founder of bitcoin. Later he had to defend himself and said that proof would be forthcoming. Later we are told it is not so. What a pother!

We are children of a cashless society. In the Internet Age where we all have learned to reduce our reliance on paper, we became computer savvy. Instead of snail mail we send electronic messages that are quicker. Rather than waste our time shopping around we do online shopping and pay with credit cards. If such innovations keep working their way through it must create subtle shifts in us. It is natural to expect our lives as a result would qualitatively improve. Is it not? The job statistics in April 2012 indicate one in two of graduates fresh out of colleges are underemployed or unemployed. Our youth have come off worse. What of the old? Here is a news headline of Feb, 21-2012 For boomers, it’s a new era of ‘work till you drop’ (AP-Los Angeles)

According to US College Graduate Employment Study by Accenture Strategy in 2015 found that Forty-nine percent of 2013-14 graduates consider themselves unemployed.

Technology let us fall in with the latest trends and if we thought we have become progressive we are right. Progress made us connect with any part of the world. Connectivity is wonderful. Suppose we are looking for a career change. Under normal circumstances we only need our work experience connect with the openings most suited to our talent. But now? Is it not terrible to be told all those positions are gone?

Post-war generation or the baby boomers did not account for the economic downturn of 2008. Naturally we expected as the older generation before us to retire when we reached the age of sixty-five. Oh no progress has got in a downward spiral! The post-war boom helped us to go up in financial security and along with it in our expectations also rose. We have been riding the slipstream of many forces unknown to us expanding and contracting while we thought progress was letting us off easy thanks to the Internet. Now we find technology cannot put jobs back. Our progress has hit a blank wall.

Progress of man did not account for its hidden costs. If we look closely we shall see we have come worse off in great many areas.

Let us look at life expectancy of ordinary folks.

Between 1990 and 2010, life expectancy of low-educated white women declined by 1.2 years. That 1.2 years is about 13 years of progress washed away, so what seems to be minor changes in life expectancy signal really big problems going on underneath the surface.

“If we look at the trends in the US in an international context, it becomes even more stark. US women are at the bottom in terms of other high-income countries on these measures. So we’ve really fallen off; the trends have really diverged in an international context which tell us there’s something unique going on in the US, especially for US women.

“Raj Chetty and colleagues came out with a very big study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April looking at the association between income and life expectancy in the US between 2001 and 2014.

“They showed rich women outlive poor women by ten years. They also showed that these gaps between the rich and poor in terms of survival have been growing over time. So over the period that they looked at, the richest Americans gained about three years of life expectancy, while the poorest had no increase.

If the nation cannot fix the American dream at least in terms of wellbeing of women there must be something insidious in the way progress is sold to the man on the street.

benny

 

 

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Re.5:vs.4 ‘And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said unto me,: Weep not! Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David hath prevailed to open the book and loose the seven seals thereof.”

 

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I am busy with an illustration from the book of Revelation (Chapter-5) The Lamb slain before the foundation and the book with seven seals. I love having a lot of grays at hand. I have the whole composition in my head; by tomorrow I hope to finish the work.

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“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud…And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it up, and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter…(Re.10:1-11)

9″x11.5” Montval 90 lb.artpaper

 

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A Poem For Mother’s Day ©
One Spring morning Papa Bear tiptoed into Baby Bruno’s play room and said,

“ Tomorrow is Mother’s day.” Bruno was not surprised. He said, “ I know. I have a
present for Mama.”
“ What is it?” Papa Bear asked.
“  It is a surprise.”
“ Still!” Papa Bear peeked around. “ Is it large to be hid in a jar?
“  Yes. ”
“ Then it is still in the house?”
“  No,” Baby Bruno answered slyly.
“ Something you can eat?”
“ If you are that hungry.”
Papa bear thought over it and scratched his head “ Give me a good hint, Bruno!”
“ Papa it is a surprise. The present is not for you.”
“ I know it is for your mama.” Papa bear got a little annoyed. But he threw up his hands and said, “ I have to go out. Be good.” Papa Bear hurriedly went out.
Baby Bruno went to Mama Bear and said, ” I must go out!”
“ Is it far in the woods?”
“Oh no mama!”
“ Are you onto meet someone?”
“Yes,” replied Baby Bruno,” Nothing more I can tell.” Mama Bear eyed her son quizzically.” There is some secret I suppose.”“ Is there?” Baby Bruno retorted mysteriously and ran off. He headed towards the cabbage patch to call out.

“ Rusty, Rusty It is me, Bruno!”
“ What is it now?”
Badger the poet came out dressed slovenly and he had sheaves of paper stuffed in his gown. “ I am in the middle of it!” He examined the ink stains on his hands.
“What do you mean?”
“It says what it is meant to say,” Rusty said a little out of breath, “In other words I am half way through the poem.”
“ You ought to read the poem to appreciate my difficulties!” Rusty said moping his face, “And my den is so small I can’t even trot my words without hitting the ceiling.”
Badger the poet took a sniff and said, “Glorious day!“

Immediately he rummaged in his pocket to take a piece of paper out. He read

“Mama, when I smell
honeysuckle in bloom/ your name I recall/…
Rusty relished his own work to remark, “Pretty neat
uh?”
Baby Bruno looked at the poet in wonder, “You thought
of honeysuckle while the cabbages grow overhead?”
“ It was difficult Bruno, but a poet like me writes to please.” He looked at cabbage heads and said,” Go on with your vegetable lives!” He snorted in disgust and
added, “My poem is for mothers wherever they may be!”

At this baby Bear took offense. He tugged at the sleeve of the poet to say, “You are writing this for my mother in particular!”
“I know,” the badger replied, “You paid me five hazelnuts in advance.” He added, “ Come away from this rather prosaic world.” The badger took him to the river’s edge and said, “Here I shall complete the poem. With a winding river in front of me.”
The poet hurriedly scribbled and after checking all the scraps of paper he faired it out on a scroll.
“The poem is complete,” the badger announced in glee. “ Read it to me!” the bear was eager to hear.
Rusty cleared his throat and read loud and clear:
“ I dip my pen in rivers of ink, Mother
For this day isn’t just another;
Mother’s day I ring in with a song.
Chorus:
Mama when I smell honeysuckle in bloom
Your name I recall/ Ah Mama Honeysuckle!
“ Stop! Stop,” baby Bruno shouted. Rusty peered at the bear, “Poets do not generally take to interruptions.” He said matter-of-factly.
“ My mother is not called Honeysuckle.”
“ What is it then?” “ Mama Lisl Drago”
“ Are you sure she will not change her name?” Poet Rusty wondered loud,

“Honeysuckle has more force and sweetness than Drago.”
“ I agree, “ baby Bear replied,” but we are talking of Mother’s day, and my mother in particular!”
“ I guess I will have to change my poem here and there.” Rusty said with a sigh,

“After all you are paying for it.”
“ You said it!” Baby Bruno grinned.

 

 

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Man for whom abstract thinking is natural can always latch onto an idea, however impractical it may turn out in the end. Like the hero of Cervantes ideas turn always, blades one blowing this way and another in that way. History is such ideas creating a blur that only a fool would want to claim his idea is the best.

There is nothing heroic about taking on impossible if it is going to end in wholesale bloodshed. See the savage butchery recently perpetrated by the so called Daesh. They imagine they would thereby revive a Caliphate. Earlier  Joseph Stalin sent some millions to gulags and to death for creating a Worker’s paradise. How did it fare?

We only need consider Lenin’s idea of a Worker’s paradise when the Bolsheviks violently over threw the Tsarist regime. It was similar to a theocratic state John Calvin ushered in Geneva several centuries before. It did not work in Europe then; neither did it in Soviet Russia. Ideas are fine but man cannot stick to it all the way through. Did not the Allies set about ridding the post-war world of Totalitarian ideology? Nuremberg, the German city associated with the pageantry which the Nazi regime staged as they climbed to power was a potent symbol for the German nation. The Allies was sending a message loud and clear to the world. Nuremburg Trials was to be a show trial but as the legal process went about its rounds there was a perception among the Western powers that Soviet Union was the Threat that they needed to thwart. After all did not they dismantle the Nazi apparatus root and all? The US saw to that scientists who had helped Hitler’s war efforts were smuggled out to their country under Operation Paperclip*. V2 rocket program soon would provide the nucleus for the space war that came in play in the 60s. It was not surprising that the Trial of the century evaporated in the hustle and bustle of meeting the Cold War in offing.

Man has capacity to develop an idea like a Nuclear bomb to bring the WWII quickly to a halt. Neither his foresight and hindsight do match evenly. Of this we see even now. The Allies are at presented seized of the fact the Jihadi elements may lay hands on a dirty nuclear bomb. It has been thus progress that man cobbled up in the many innovations, has fared. Progress without exception has proved false.

Man is loath to turn 180 degrees from an idea, to which he has sold himself as well in which his experience also gives him certain pointers. Though failed in practice he trusts in his own power to pull it off. After the demise of the Imperial Rome, under Constantine the Great and Charlemagne (the Holy Roman Empire) the idea has been tried; Under Mussolini it was revived to no avail. Each idea and those who stake their legitimacy on its basis must cope with changed circumstances. In France the Second Empire under Napoleon III was a fiasco. He did not anticipate the revolutionary spirit of Europe and emergence of Germany under Bismarck. The events across the globe never stand still but like group waves negotiate with new ones where energy is passed around. Who shall cash in on these transactions by means of war, religion and cultural trade off remains to be seen. Pagan Rome under Constantine underwent a sea-change. Christianity became the state religion. The split between Rome and Constantinople as a result of political upheavals, became further weakened: The Church of Rome and the Greek Orthodox Church of the East would no longer come as one due to the  doctrinal differences. At present the idea of Caliphate like the idea of Imperial idea of Rome is doomed if lessons of history are of any guide. Cashing in on the demise of an old order of Byzantine Empire the hordes of Saracens, Moors and Arabs created a Caliphate that died its natural death. Those who are beating the dead donkey shall soon know what it is to stop the tide engulfing them from all across the globe.

benny

* Operation Paperclip (1949–1990) was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program in which more than 1,500 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were brought to the United States from Nazi Germany and other countries for employment in the aftermath of World War II. It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) and in the context of the burgeoning Cold War. One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, as well as to inhibit post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities. The Soviet Union had competing extraction programs known as “trophy brigades” and Operation Osoaviakhim. (ack:wikipedia)

 

 

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