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July 2016 Issue 

Perversion of the Two-Party System

By Kollengode S Venkataraman

The GOP and the Democratic Party are taken over Special Interest Groups (SIGs), with each party becoming a coalition of SIGs, which often have no overlapping interests.  With the support driven by SIGs’ unenlightened self-interest, along with Super PACs money and gerrymandered electoral districts, proactive reforms are almost impossible. We move from crisis to crisis, with the taxpayers paying for the collective irresponsibility of politicians, opinion makers, and others who bankroll monies to the parties.

A Heart-Warming Smile in Ramallah, Palestine

By Prof. Ramesh G. Soni

The author shares with readers how Bollywood has succeeded in ways unimaginable in building goodwill among people in the Middle East, something that governments can not do even with their enormous resources and well-trained consular staffs.

The Silk Screen Festival’s 10th Annual Gala

By Nandini Mandal

Nandini Mandal talks to Harish Saluja, the spirit behind the Silk Screen Film Festival, on his long, exciting, and also exhausting journey in this venture.  This year’s festival in September is its 10th year celebrations.  Saluja, a film producer and director in his own right, is also a well-known painter.

 Taken for Granted

By Juginder Luthra

This is a free-style verse on how we take things for granted — even the most exciting things —  such as the picturesque view of downtown Pittsburgh from the Grandview Avenue. For residents living there and seeing the cityscape everyday under moonlight, sunrise, sunset, buried under fog, the scenes fall into a predictable unexciting routine, like we take for granted our good health in this finely tuned God-given body.

Funds Raised for 200 EKAL Vidyalaya Schools

By Jayashree Phanse

This year’s fundraising event in spring helped to support 250 EKAL Vidyalaya schools run in rural India.  These schools have only one teacher to educate the really, really disadvantaged children on personal hygiene, social hygiene, basic reading, writing and math skills… …

Hindu Temples are Getting Americanized… …

By K S Venkataraman

Lately, the Hindu Temples in the US are slowly — very slowly, one should say — opening their doors as polling stations during general elections, as many churches have been doing for a very long time.

Making the Authentic Tayir, Dahi, Mosaru, or Perugu

By K S Venkataraman

After struggling to make the authentic Indian yoghurt called Dahi (in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya), Tayir (in Malayalam and Tamil), Mosaru in Kannada, and Perugu in Telugu, the author describes his simple pleasures of how he finally succeeded in making the authentic Tayir here in the US.

Points to Ponder: Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016)

Muhammad Ali in His Own Words

The greatest boxer ever lived, Muhammad Ali, passed away after suffering from Parkinson’s disease he acquired taking repeated hits to his skull in his career.  Here he describes his opposition to the draft for fighting in the Vietnam War at the peak of his career. He suffered huge financial losses for his decision borne out of his moral convictions.  No other athlete anywhere in the world since Muhammad Ali has taken such a morally convincing protest stand for his political beliefs.

 

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