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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Abhiram Singireddy with thoughts on economic systems, a comparison & analysis

We as humans can often be found imaging an ideal world or nation in which we would like to live, where there are no problems that persist. An important factor would be the type of economic system in which you have since it is a classification of the reality in which society lives, with the most common ones being Communism and Capitalism. The idea of communism typically tends to fail for several reasons and this is backed up by historical evidence. For starters, communism is a far-left wing ideology and some of the main principles include no private ownership, shared property, and an economy run by the people. In the United States, we adhere to Capitalism which is the complete opposite of Communism. Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country's trade and the industry is controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Communists perfected concentration camps while Hitler was in jail in Germany. Communists put Ukrainians, Kalmyks, Cossacks, Chechens, Lithuanians, Poles, and many more ethnic groups in concentration camps before Hitler. Stalin and Lenin repeatedly starved out and deported groups based on ethnicity until they submitted to cultural destruction and assimilation like the Cossacks, Ukrainians, Volga Germans, many many more. This was easy from communist philosophy since communists believe in class genocide, all they had to do was associate ethnicity with a class enemy like nationalists or in the case of the Cossacks, their association with the Tsarist elite army units. It didn't matter if you were Tsarist, you were part of that group and deserved forced labor and extermination for your collective crimes. This was not entirely different than why Hitler rationalized the extermination of the Jews. He thought they were the top bankers, businessmen, and financiers that ran the capitalist, communist, and most of the socialist organizations. Hitler was a socialist and hated capitalism. How exactly was Stalin bad from a communist perspective? The idea that Lenin didn't like Stalin is conflicted in the sources but even if so Lenin was no different. To understand Stalin we must understand Lenin. He recognized that to create a stateless Marxist utopia, the communist proletariat dictatorship must wield power to seize the means of production and wipe out all opposition. Lenin noted that the liberal democratic way was useless and an obstacle rife for subversion. Once all opposition was destroyed, the dialectic would "naturally" evolve into the utopia. That is where Stalin comes in and Trotsky. Both of which ordered and took part in the murder of millions. No matter who came to power the result would have been the same. They used state dictatorship as a means to an end by any means necessary. How exactly is that contradictory to communism? Lenin's best man was Dzerzhinsky who certainly was no different (just another delusional criminal maniac in power to destroy any opposition). Lenin proceeded to label starving Union workers (Unionists), moderate socialists (Mensheviks, Social Democrats, many others), and anyone who disagreed with him as speculators, saboteurs, counterrevolutionaries, etc and killed untold many of them. Those who were late or didn't work long or hard enough were shot because they weren't "revolutionary enough. Communism has been tried in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas and everywhere it failed and left 100+ million dead following the same principles in completely different cultures. The failure and tyranny of communism are self-evident. Only obfuscation, ignorance and resentment keep it going. In the USSR there have been 20 million deaths as a result, along with 65 million deaths in China, 1 million in Vietnam and the Warsaw Pact, 2 million in North Korea and Cambodia, 1.7 million deaths in Africa, and 1.5 million deaths in Afghanistan. As you can see, communism produces super inefficient economies, and even though the people in a Communist system fully support its ideals, they soon start conducting themselves in a manner that shows their desire for the freedoms of Capitalism.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Book review by Isha Patel of The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

Book review of The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

This is the most read book about the Holocaust. I recommend this book to any and everyone who wants to pay tribute to the lives lost in the Holocaust. 

This book is actually a diary written by young teenage girl. Her family with few other people went into hiding for 2 years in Netherlands due to the Nazis. This shows her life in hiding as well as her growing up as a teenager including being stubborn, fighting with parents, boyfriend problems and maturing into a women.

The fact that Anne Frank died few weeks before camps were liberated was so tragic and devastating. Her identity is a single representative for the million of who suffered and died just like she did. Her suffering and tragedy are so real and are shown in the way she writes.

It had also being made into play which I think is cool and I recommend watching it as it will feel like you are living in the moment with them and feel the real fear that Anna Frank and all the other people felt of getting busted or betrayed any second.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Book Review By Ananya Singh

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Book Review
By Ananya Singh

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is an incredibly suspenseful novel. It revolves around the lives of Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne. Nick Dunne, a New York-based writer, and Amy Dunne are struggling with their marriage. Despite this, they present themselves as a cheerful couple. On their marriage anniversary, Amy, who is pregnant, goes missing and Nick is the first suspect in the case.
I appreciate that the novel is from Amy and Nick’s point of view. We get to see how these characters view each other despite presenting a happy, healthy marriage to the public. In addition, the novel is written in a realistic manner in terms of the investigation process. As readers, we are accustomed to knowing everything the characters in the novel know. However, this book is different. The reader soon realizes that Nick and Amy Dunne are quite unreliable. They leave out details and lie to trap one another. In reality, investigators don’t know the entire truth. It takes a great deal of digging on their part to find out what truly happened in such cases. In fact, it allows the reader to act like an investigator and figure out what happened as they read. Moving on, I have no complaints. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. 
Flynn was inspired to write this novel because of Laci Peterson. She was an American woman who went missing while 8 months pregnant. Her husband at the time, Scott Peterson, is currently on death row as he was convicted for the murder of Laci and their unborn son in 2003. Check it out if you're craving for another mystery!

How To Be Productive While Practicing Social Distancing By Ananya Singh

How To Be Productive While Practicing Social Distancing 
By Ananya Singh 

While we are all practicing social distancing at home, we have the urge to stay in bed and binge watch our favorite t.v. shows. However, there are simple, yet effective ways to stay productive. You won’t have your teachers to remind you about your assignments in school so you will have to be more self sufficient. Here are some tips : 

  1. Create a Schedule - Creating a schedule is a great way to keep organized and productive. Instead of being glued to the t.v. all day, you can spend your time doing other indoor activities like painting or reading a book. With a schedule, you can allot time to do certain things so you don’t feel anxious or overwhelmed. 
  2. Set Goals - Setting goals is yet another way to be organized. Completing little tasks and feeling accomplished when reaching those goals is great for your mental health. 
  3. Do Your Work - Since we all get school work, we can’t sleep in bed all day. You should avoid procrastinating so you aren’t struggling to submit an assignment before the 11:59 p.m. due date. Also, even though most of us go to sleep at 2 in the morning, try not to mess up your sleep schedule too much. 
  4. Relax - Staying inside all the time can definitely take a toll on your mental health. You won’t be able to see your friends at school. Hearing the news can also make you anxious and nervous, so it is important to relax. Meditation is a great way to let loose!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Book review by Isha Patel of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Book review of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 

I read this book in 11 grade for my English class and I found it quite interesting.

This book is about tribes living in Africa but everything changes when Europeans arrive and mess up there way of life. It shows the clashing of cultures between the Ibo society which are the 9 villages Nigeria and European's desire to spread Christianity. Okankwo, the main character, lives in a village and their lives have not change for generations until the Europeans arrive not with guns but with the Bible as a weapon. Okankwo is a strong man who lives in fear and anger. The Ibo people taught that new arrives were kind men but that quickly changed when they force Christianity on them which the Ibo people did not like and ultimately lead to the death of Ibo culture and an unfortunate fate of the main character.

Proverbs are an essential part of this novel and the Ibo way of life. Their culture revolves around these proverbs. Proverbs are sayings that are passed how from generation to generation by the word of mouth. Proverbs helps Ibo people's culture alive.

The author does a fantastic job of portraying the European colonization of Africa. He sheds a light into the devastation ways European performed to expand. It shows the loss of culture and assimilation into a culture by portraying just a tragedy.

I would recommend this book because even though it is a sad book with sad ending, it still does a good job of showing the negatives of European colonization. This book is often compare to Greek tragedies. It is also the 1st time any author has ever written about European civilization and the impacts on the native people of the land.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Life Without Death: thoughts from Sanvi Mitra

Immortality, for most people, seems to have an essence of divinity. It is considered godlike and even fantasized in television shows, movies, and novels. But when it comes down to it, is immortality really that transcendent?  

There’s a common saying that a person should do as much in their life as possible because anything can happen tomorrow. If that entire objectivity is taken away from us, what is left? Many kids, like myself, usually leave things to be done last minute. 

But with immortality, there is no last minute. There is no last, period. 
It is an ironic topic to think about, considering that death and illness are usually the sources of sadness and fear, but at the same time, death is also the reason that fuels many of the positive things in life. 

All of our needs and desires one way or the other are connected to death. Medicine, food, water, etc, all to avoid death. The want to travel the world, eat all kinds of food, etc, to see as much as possible before you die. But with immortality, all that goes away. 

At the end of the day, is it not our fear of death and curiosity about life after death that fuels our creativity and passion and gives meaning to life? Isn’t death what gives value to life itself?

Besides these sentiments, let’s think about the practicality of it all: population overgrowth, depletion of resources, environmental issues… If everyone was to live forever, either reproduction would have to be foregone or population control would have to be implemented (The Hunger Games style, perhaps). The growth rate of the population would double if no one died and people kept reproducing at the rate they do today. Either that or families would have to forget experiencing pregnancy and childbirth in order to control the population of the world. 

As always, there are always two sides to the coin. To have it all, one must risk it all.   

Ananya Singh’s Review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Ananya Singh’s Review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 

It is not often that I read a true crime novel. A close friend of mine recommended that I read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This book is based on the murder of a family in 1959. The murder was of four members of the Herbert Clutter family on their ranch in Holcomb, Kansas. In order to write the book, Capote and a friend of his interviewed investigators assigned to the case and residents. They took over one thousand pages of notes. Capote spent six years writing the book. The book was a huge success and is currently the second-best-selling true crime book in all of history.
I really appreciate the effort Capote put into writing this book. The experience was comparable to watching a documentary on Netflix. The details he mentions help the reader visualize the scenes. Capote describes the victims of the murder and the members of the community who remember hearing about the crime. The backgrounds of the murderers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were discussed, as well. This allows the audience to understand what events led up to the murder and why Hickock and Perry did what they did. The killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were arrested and executed by the state of Kansas after spending five years on death row. 
However, some events in the book differ from the real events. Others were heavily dramatized. In my opinion, Capote should have kept the book as authentic as possible. Besides this point, the book was quite a new experience. All in all, if you enjoy true crime novels give In Cold Blood a try!