Citizenship and religion in the US: A citizen’s stand

A Journal of People report

State, citizenship and religion are part of citizen-life. The issues gear up controversy. After so many years, controversies on the issues have not been solved in the United States.

A Miami Herald report (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article182779076.html) on November 4, 2017 said:

“There are many steps a person must take to become a citizen of the United States.

“But for Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo — a French citizen living in Scituate, Massachusetts since 2000 — the most challenging part of obtaining American citizenship is the four words at the end of the United States citizenship oath: “So help me God.”Read More »

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Evgeny Pashukanis: Commodity-form theory of law

by William M. A. Chandler

Critical Legal Thinking | December 13, 2017

Evgeny Pashukanis

Whether one believes that law is provided by God (Natural Law), is created by human intellect (Positivism), a gendered institution perpetuating patriarchy (Feminism) or the maintainer of the status quo against marginalised groups (Critical Legal Studies), undergirding those beliefs is the assumption that law is autonomous. In its autonomy, law operates as an impartial arbiter of “right”. Law sustains society through universal regulation. Law is considered autonomous because it is considered to have a “mind/logic” of its own. However, for Pashukanis and Commodity-Form Theorists such as Isaac D. Balbus and China Miéville law slaves for Capitalism.Read More »

The American savings crisis, explained

by Jeff Spros

The Week | December 07, 2017

Americans are terrible at saving money.

Since the 1970s, our personal savings rate has fallen from 12 percent to just 3 percent today. Almost half of all households don’t have enough money socked away to meet a $400 emergency. At least one-third of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

It’s easy to blame this on failings of individual discipline, and plenty of people do. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently griped about Americans who “are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” And there’s a whole cottage industry of personal finance scolds insisting that everyone could save massive amounts if they just had the willpower.Read More »

Net neutrality repeal is only part of Trump’s surrender to corporate media

by Reed Richardson

FAIR | December 14, 2017

Net Neutrality Repeal Is Only Part of Trump’s Surrender to Corporate Media

The FCC is under attack—and so too is the First Amendment. As the primary regulator of how media and information gets to our nation’s citizens, the Federal Communications Commission has a critical role to play in protecting the open Internet, free speech, and free press in our democracy. Though the agency has always enjoyed a cozy relationship with the industries it regulates, ever since the Trump administration arrived in Washington, the FCC’s mission to preserve the public commons has been threatened, assaulted and torn asunder. And like a bad horror movie cliché, these calls to eviscerate the FCC have been coming from inside the agency.Read More »

Yogendra Yadav: The Indian farmer’s what-the-hell moment has truly arrived

by Harish Damodaran,

Ecologise.in | December 11, 2017

From The Indian Express: Yogendra Yadav, who is part of a platform of over 180 farmers’ organisations that have come together to raise key demands, says: “(One of the things) I have seen, which cuts across all farmers, is anger against government. This all-round disenchantment is more so against the current government at the Centre.”

Yogendra Yadav has been one of the main drivers behind the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, a platform of over 180 organisations that have come together to raise two key demands concerning the country’s farming community. The first one is to make minimum support prices (MSP) for crops a statutorily-guaranteed right and the second is to create a permanent institutional mechanism to confer farmers “freedom from debt”. In an interview, he discusses the current state of farmers and the way forward.Read More »

India: Surfeit of Democracy

Frontier Editorial | Vol. 50, No.23, Dec 10 – 16, 2017

Flouting the constitution is so rampant that opposition parties, not excluding left parties, otherwise mired in the cesspool of parliamentary opportunism, have of late, stopped talking about it. Throughout India there is now a visible swing towards centralisation and erosion of democratic culture at every level. The people are witnessing a paradigm shift in democratic governance but the shift is for the worse. Discourse on democracy and human rights makes little sense as it is a tale of indifference, if not deliberate neglect. Indians live in a time when they would like to celebrate ceremonial values more than instrumental values. And it is nowhere so glaring as in observing Human Rights Day. The outcome of the Protection of Human Rights (PHR) Act, has been a classic case of upholding ceremonial niceties rather than instrumental application. No wonder this is the fate of most Rights Acts, passed by parliament and guaranteed under the Constitution. There are so many constitutional rights for the citizens that the showcase of Indian democracy is dazzling. In reality it is a mirage, it creates a false notion of democratic space which is virtually absent in Modi’s out and out autocratic dispensation.Read More »

Politics of Planning: ‘‘Planning in India’’

by Banhi Baran Ghosh

Frontier | Vol. 50, No.23, Dec 10 – 16, 2017

The Planning Commission did not wither away; it was obliterated; and the commissioning of NITI AAYOG has shrouded the avowed practice of economic planning. Be that as it may, it is prudent to judge India’s economic plans not in terms of their ‘promises’ and “undoing” but, by an approximation of how far the germination of the idea of planning was conceivable in a situation in which alternative to planning was deemed irreconcilable. Further, the onus is on the posterior attempts towards making in appraisal of the devolution of the idea of planning in an environment epitomised by the stream of arguments about the techniques, philosophy and intention of planning—an environment within which planners had to take decisions since getting away with planning at that particular juncture did not withstand merit.Read More »