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Author: Op Ed

Sociology of Evil: Why Ukraine’s new language of war uses Tolkien’s metaphor to express Russian brutality

I am a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and his work. This admiration spans for almost a quarter of a century, however, this dedication is nothing more than a hobby without any academic aspirations. So when the Russians were starting to be called orcs after the invasion, a friend of mine half-jokingly asked me to explain the possible relevance of this metaphor in terms of Tolkien mythology. Back then, I laughed at this idea, any op-ed on this issue would be simply regarded as ‘trolling’ and not a serious analysis. However, the thought never truly left my mind as...

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When Wisconsin parents yell fire after ensuring their unsupervised children have matches and gasoline

For any casual observer of Milwaukee’s 2022 election season, the biggest topic of debate between candidates for Mayor has been the issue of crime, and by extension handguns. The subject has been a dog whistle used by White people for targeting the Black community, and blaming them for the problems created by White society. It is basically a metaphorical house fire designed by White institutions so it cannot be extinguished, while also offering the incentive of adding gasoline to earn more rewards. Both candidates, Cavalier Johnson and Robert Donovan, have attended seemingly endless public forums where moderators or community...

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Suffering for art: What Mikhail Baryshnikov gets wrong about being punished for a nation’s sins

The Creative Arts have always been a bridge in times of trauma. They can inspire a population struggling with the daily impact of trauma, and teach lessons to later generations who were not alive during such times. Music and dance have also helped bridge cultural divides, and were some of the most productive cultural exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union during the long Cold War. But with Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and an international backlash to all things Russian, the dynamics of neutrality for the Arts has changed. The sins of a government are not...

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For China’s own sake President Xi Jinping should pressure Putin to end his war against Ukraine

Apologists of Russian President Vladimir Putin around the world continue to hold that he is a “realist” and “a rational actor,” and blame his invasion of Ukraine on the West breaking its 1989 promise to not expand NATO eastward. Following this line of argument, the most logical solution to the current conflict, they argue, is to allow Russia to reabsorb Ukraine into its sphere of influence. True realists, including those in Beijing, need to abandon this outdated and meritless argument as soon as possible. Putin is clearly no longer the merciless but rational autocrat he once was. Justifying Putin’s...

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Ukraine is the first military engagement of America’s Proxy Wars where a country wants to fight for itself

In statements addressing Western leaders, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked for help fighting the Russians. But in a way very unusual from the American experience. He has asked to be armed with weapons. Zelenskyy said that no one needed to die for Ukrainians, they will fight for themselves. They will fight for freedom, just give them the firepower to do it. “If Western politicians are scared, we are saying: Let us do it. Give us, the Ukrainians, warplanes and fighter jets, which we can use to protect ourselves, our children, our friends, our parents, our cities,...

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American Feudalism: How our nation went from “we the people” to “my feelings trump your rights”

Most Americans who are bent toward socialism do not identify themselves publicly as socialists. Nor do they employ the Marxian slogan that socialism is the wave of the future. Nonetheless, they have a way of looking at things that embraces the idea. The American approach to socialism is gradualist, piecemeal, and step by step; it is by way of govern­ment intervention, government-provided welfare programs, and government regulation and con­trol. These steps are called pro­gressive, are said to be in keep­ing with the contemporary situa­tion and modern needs, and are supposed to be pointed toward a brighter future. Those who...

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