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Patricia Lee Sharpe
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By Patricia Lee Sharpe Putin looks like a Pink Pearl, doesn’t he? Pink torso, pink cheeks, pale pink pate gleaming through thinning hair, he acts like one, too, doing his best to rub out nearly thirty years of post Cold... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at WhirledView
Angry or simply unhappy, Indian voters are restive. Although the polls strongly favor the B.J.P., I’m not making any predictions. I’m only hoping that a heated election doesn’t get any hotter— and that a B.J.P.-headed coalition, if the votes and the subsequent horse-trading go Modi's way, will govern from the culturally and religiously tolerant political center. And do something about graft. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at WhirledView
I’m happy to announce that the webpage for my non-WhirledView writing is (at long last) up and running. Its name is very easy to remember: www.patricialeesharpe.com. Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at WhirledView
Ukraine has a problem. Its two halves don’t get along very well, but the nation-building toolkit holds many ways of decentralizing and federalizing to make everyone happy without splitting up a country. The problem for Ukraine—aside from that pesky Russian naval base at Sevastapol—is that Vladimir Putin really wants an old-style Soviet satellite, not a cooperative neighbor on equally good terms with Europe. Even if Ukrainians themselves were able to find a federalist solution to their mutual lack of trust, Russia might still apply a bear hug powerful enough to stifle any reformulated polity. And yet, the bottom line is this: for all it's ethnic, religious and linguistic tensions, India has maintained its territorial integrity because, at base, that’s what nearly all Indians want. Can one say the same of Ukraine? I don't see it, at the moment. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2014 at WhirledView
Guy, One doesn't preclude the other---and sloppy contracting gives him an easy out.
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John, I'm as deeply concerned as you are about the extent of NSA data collection in the US. It does not make me feel secure. On the contrary, it's a threat to the open debate on which democracy depends. Hence, I'm among those who are grateful to Snowden.
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Brian, Pardon the delayed response. Yes, Merkel and many Germans have terrible memories of the Stasi, and we Americans are hoping we can rein in the NSA before life here in the US becomes intolerable. But what interested me here is that she didn't excoriate the Russians for doing the same. After all, if Moscow is listening to American phone conversations, German phones are likely to be tapped, too. Maybe she expects that stuff of Moscow but imagined that Washington might exchew, which would be odd, too.
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By Patricia Lee Sharpe Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been training his verbal artillery at the U.S. for the last couple of years. Barrage after barrage of bitter recrimination. He’s nearing the end of his second term as President of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2014 at WhirledView
Given the fact that Merkel threw a hissy fit over the very notion that friends might spy on friends, as in Americans on Germans, her so-what reaction last week to evidence that U.S. officials’ phone conversations might also be also fodder for snoops was very interesting. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at WhirledView
[At the dove-releasing conclusion of the opening ceremonies] when the music stopped and the twirling was over, the cages fell shut and all I could see were feet. In the end, only the prime ballerina was free to hold her head high, look us proudly in the eye and receive our applause. Isn’t that a little like Russia today? Putin soars. Everyone else cowers. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2014 at WhirledView
Luck and Bucks: What happened to me on a largely benign trail can happen to any hiker of any age who doesn’t pay constant attention to where his/her feet are going—and who does? Just as unpredictable from the point of view of incurring health care costs: appendicitis, with or without complications. And auto accidents happen to the healthy as well as to the chronically ill. But say you’re one of the truly lucky ones who, for a lifetime, never gets sick and never slips on the ice and avoids every other kind of accident. So what if you’ve paid for insurance you’ve never had to use. Wouldn’t it be worse to be sick, sick, sick, and get your money’s worth? Meanwhile, your contributions have helped someone else who might otherwise have died too soon from lack of affordable treatment. Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at WhirledView
If it would be disastrous for America to go to war with China and self-defeating for America to pull out of Asia entirely, there’s only one realistic policy path for America now and in the near future: to work toward a cooperative sharing of power in Asia such that all, great powers and small, will benefit. Harking back to nineteenth century European history, he calls it a Concert of Asia. Whatever it’s called cooperation would seem to be a no brainer. Except for the details, of course, where the devil resides. But sadly there’s no room for detail in Hugh White's The China Choice. Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at WhirledView
Charles, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I've accumulated a supply of eye shades, and now I know what to do with the extras!
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By Patricia Lee Sharpe Sick of toting ten pounds of books whenever I traveled, I bought a Kindle a few years ago—the early model, with the keyboard and the e-ink that’s so easy to read in daylight. Unfortunately, that model’s... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2014 at WhirledView
Thanks, Christopher, for giving me a chance to clarify: When I was writing of children's schooling, I was thinking of the Indian context. I wasn't recoiling from the possibility that my children here at home might be in the same classroom as children from every conceivable home situation, which doesn't bother me at all.
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To ????? No, I don't understand why violent and non-violent suspects, narco-abusers and non-narco-abusers are subject to a brutal internal probe. Not all crimes are the same. Not all suspects present the same hazards, and you provide no evidence for me to believe otherwise. Furthermore, your premise is false: one doesn't have to experience something personally to reach an understanding of it. Finally, only those who are willing to identify themselves (as we at WhirledView do) deserve any reply at all. Consider that, if you choose to reply to this.
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Happy holidays from Pat Kushlis and Pat Sharpe PEACE ON EARTH...GOOD WILL TO ALL And here's Alfred Reed's Russian Christmas Music, a favorite of wind ensembles throughout the world. The Santa Fe Concert Band performed it in its Christmas concerts... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2013 at WhirledView
I have a few words word or two for those indignant Indians beating at the gate to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi because an Indian diplomat was treated like a common criminal. If you are really concerned about the violation of women’s bodies, do something about rape in India. Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2013 at WhirledView
Pakistan wants American “friendship” only for one reason: to wage relentless war against India. U.S. money strengthens the Pakistani military in its incessant cold and sometimes hot war against India. American money provides resources for Pakistan-backed insurgencies in Kashmir and vicious terrorist attacks inside the rest of India. And this, too, I predict: U.S. resources funneled through Islamabad will also be used to weaken the Afghan government once the U.S. military withdraws. The U.S. wishes the new government in Kabul to survive the coming troop drawdown. Pakistan does not want a united, self-reliant, non-Taliban government to succeed in Kabul. Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2013 at WhirledView
Maybe President Rohani will turn out of be an evil bag of hot air intent on protracting negotiations while his centrifuges turn out ever more potent fissile material. But maybe he’s not a devil. The only way to know is to give serious negotiations and competent diplomats a chance. Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at WhirledView
If the U.S. and Russia could help Syrians get their act together peacefully, it would go far to redeem for you [President Barack Obama] that equivocal Nobel Peace Prize. But there’s more. Better than assassination, see that Assad and his co-conspirators in chemical warfare are subjected to the strictures of the International Criminal Court, which is equipped to deal with war crimes. The material you have gathered to support your imminent missile attack would be very useful to the prosecution. If, however, you don’t want to share that material, if the “proof” you have isn’t solid enough to convict Assad in court, it’s not good enough to jusify those cruise missiles you’re flirting with. Finally, Mr. President, you need to do this: ask the U.N. to convene a process to bring the Geneva Conventions (including those that have to do with chemical warfare) up to date, a conference to ratify elements still wholly relevant and to modify those that need to take subsequent events and modern technology into consideration. This is not the place to go into detail about drones and satellites, etc., but global recommitment to some protocol on the rules of war urgently needed. Who better than a U.S. president with a Nobel Peace Prize to get it going? Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2013 at WhirledView
Thanks, Carmen. It took me quite a while to piece it together. I don't think we need to be apocalyptic, but we need to think and act firmly to reduce the layers of secrecy that infantalize us.
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By Patricia Lee Sharpe Walter Pincus of the Washington Post tells us that “data Mining is here to stay.” He points to a wide variety of commercial uses as well as the now well-publicized NSA practices that have aroused so... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2013 at WhirledView
Seen in the lightof the Eichman trial, the Manning and Snowden cases demand an answer to this question: do we Americans want the people who work for our government to suppress their capacity for independent thought and moral outrage like modern day Adolf Eichmans? Or shall we rather be thankful and relieved when American Snowdens and Mannings jeopardize their own security to let us know how shamefully our government is treating us—or anyone else? Given the extent of the illegal surveillance and related gross abuses of the American judicial system, including preventive detention, closed courts, uncontestable evidence and secret interpretations of the law, to say nothing of torture abuse, who has betrayed us more deeply? These young whistleblowers? Or their superiors? Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2013 at WhirledView
A recent report reveals that the State Department’s romance with social media has yielded little benefit of a substantive nature. My own experience in Delhi this week suggests that State has even less savvy when it comes to dealing with electronic journalists. And then there’s this: would local coverage of the Kerry visit have been more expansive had it been packaged better to appeal to local interests? I can't tell you, though I wish I could. I'd rather be saying nice things about the State Department's operations abroad. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2013 at WhirledView