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MashGhasem MashGhasem (@MashGhasem) replied to Parsa (@Parsa) on Pinned comment
گفتا من آن ترنجم کاندر جهان نگنجم



گفتا تو از کجائی کاشفته می‌نمائی
گفتم منم غریبی از شهر آشنائی

گفتا سر چه داری کز سر خبر نداری
گفتم بر آستانت دارم سر گدائی

گفتا کدام مرغی کز این مقام خوانی
گفتم که خوش نوائی از باغ بینوائی

گفتا ز قید هستی رو مست شو که رستی
گفتم بمی پرستی جستم ز خود رهائی

گفتا جویی نیرزی گر زهد و توبه ورزی
گفتم که توبه کردم از زهد و پارسائی

گفتا بدلربائی ما را چگونه دیدی
گفتم چو خرمنی گل در بزم دلربائی

گفتا من آن ترنجم کاندر جهان نگنجم
گفتم به از ترنجی لیکن بدست نائی

گفتا چرا چو ذره با مهر عشق بازی
گفتم از آنکه هستم سرگشته‌ئی هوائی

گفتا بگو که خواجو در چشم ما چه بیند
گفتم حدیث مستان سری بود خدائی
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Parsa Parsa (@Parsa) replied to MashGhasem (@MashGhasem) on Pinned comment
An interesting entry in Wikipedia:

The word orange derives from the Sanskrit word for "orange tree" (नारङ्ग nāraṅga), which in turn derives from a Dravidian root word (from நரந்தம் narandam which refers to Bitter orange in Tamil).[24] The Sanskrit word reached European languages through Persian نارنگ (nārang) and its Arabic derivative نارنج (nāranj).

The word entered Late Middle English in the fourteenth century via Old French orenge (in the phrase pomme d'orenge).[25] The French word, in turn, comes from Old Provençal auranja, based on Arabic nāranj.[24] In several languages, the initial n present in earlier forms of the word dropped off because it may have been mistaken as part of an indefinite article ending in an n sound—in French, for example, une norenge may have been heard as une orenge. This linguistic change is called juncture loss. The color was named after the fruit,[26] and the first recorded use of orange as a color name in English was in 1512.[27][28]
A closeup of an orange blossom.

As Portuguese merchants were presumably the first to introduce the sweet orange to some regions of Europe, in several modern Indo-European languages the fruit has been named after them. Some examples are Albanian portokall, Bulgarian портокал (portokal), Greek πορτοκάλι (portokali), Macedonian portokal, Persian پرتقال (porteghal), Turkish portakal and Romanian portocală.[29][30] Related names can be found in other languages, such as Arabic البرتقال (bourtouqal), Georgian ფორთოხალი (pʰortʰoxali), Turkish portakal and Amharic birtukan.[29] Also, in some of the Italian regional languages (e.g. Neapolitan), an orange is portogallo or purtuallo, literally "(the) Portuguese (one)", in contrast to the Italian arancia.
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MashGhasem MashGhasem (@MashGhasem) replied to Parsa (@Parsa) on Pinned comment
Cesaria Evora - Angola





Sodade








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MashGhasem MashGhasem (@MashGhasem) on Pinned comment
Fascinating information about Iranian-Portuguese interactions. Very new to me. Emphasis on not getting stuck on the past, but only learning from past mistakes & moving on is crucial for us, especially now.
I've always wondered how and when did we start to call Orange "Portoghal" in Persian? And if this naming was in any way connected to Portugal?!
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Parsa Parsa (@Parsa) on Pinned comment
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to varjavand (@varjavand) on Pinned comment
You're correct in pointing out the specific contingencies of the 2008 crisis, but my point was to highlight the structural reasons and explanations for the 2008 crisis, which could happen again and again until and unless those structural deficiencies are remedied and done away with.
Many of the financial, fiduciary safeguards that were supposedly put into place after 2008 to prevent another crisis are by this time practically nonexistent.
Risk taking by big financial institutions are still prevalent (since they end up in incredibly big profits) and governmental regulatory agencies and the financial institutions which they supposedly supervise are essentially one and the same, i.e. Goldman Sachs runs the whole show!
In order to explain all this we need to name the system, which is Capitalism.
And Capitalism is a system prone to crisis and humongously large scale damages to all as we saw in 2008, and might very well see it happening again either this year, or the next.

The Big Short

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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
Remember financial crisis was the result of deceitful practices by greedy people who took advantage of the vulnerability of many investors. Regulatory forbearance was also partially responsible, Government did not do its job since it was too bust with so called War to Terrorism.
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to varjavand (@varjavand) on Pinned comment
While GDP is a mostly accurate calculation and assessment of the aggregate economic activities in each nation state (somehow the Informal sector's contributions are never calculated into the official GDP numbers) it's not a good indicator of how the wealth of a nation is distributed, or how to remedy such an unequal or dysfunctional distribution.
For instance while Obama's administration did its best to improve the US economy (despite all the Republican sabotage and recalcitrance) and according to all scientifically valid data American GDP did improve from 2008 up to 2014, yet many hard hit areas in the US midwest still have not recovered from the 2008 crisis, which meant that economic recovery from 2008 was mainly a coastal phenomenon, leaving the rest of the nation intact (this lack of recovery in rural areas was also a plus for Trump's campaign).
Another example is how according to official statistics in Islamic Republic there has been 2 to 3 percent increase in the GDP, yet last month we witnessed nationwide protests against economic hardship, most prominently in smaller cities and towns in Iran.
Last but not least, there are also alternative methods of measuring the national accounts, which bypasses the mainstream economic tools and standards and offer a different macro view all together.



Measuring the Wealth of Nations: The Political Economy of National Accounts

This book provides an alternate foundation for the measurement of the production of nations, and applies it to the U.S. economy for the postwar period. The patterns that result are significantly different from those derived within conventional systems of national accounts. Conventional national accounts seriously distort basic economic aggregates, because they classify military, bureaucratic and financial activities as the creation of new wealth, when in fact they should be classified as forms of social consumption that, like personal consumption, actually use up social wealth in the performance of their functions.

www.researchgate.net/profile/Anwar_Shaikh3/publication/227389586_Measuring_the_Wealth_of_Nations/links/5412f64e0cf2788c4b3589ca/Measuring-the-Wealth-of-Nations.pdf


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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to varjavand (@varjavand) on Pinned comment
Some historians would argue that The Market System's ultimate "corrective" measures are world wars (of which we've had two already, and possibly a third one on the way).
Crony Capitalism has been an often cited issue in the past few decades, especially after the 2008 crisis. It's beyond irony how the US is now being "led" by an individual who has had six bankruptcies under his belt. But the problems is much bigger and more substantial than just some political contingencies concerning Trump and his ilke. The structural problems which currently threaten the entire world economy, which led to 2008 crisis (and there are again immense possibilities of it happening again) stem from the dominance of Finance Capital, and the big banks, which are too big to fail.

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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to varjavand (@varjavand) on Pinned comment
I know, it's hard to believe. I had the same initial reaction as you (and probably everyone who hears this story). The culprit for this family's financial ruin was a combination of credit card debt, hospital bills and cut work hours, which pushed them to declare bankruptcy.

What Living On $100,000 A Year Looks Like
www.npr.org/2017/12/03/567602293/what-living-on-100-000-a-year-looks-like

Per the issue of personal endowment of resources, obviously you have a valid point. But as you're probably also aware of, in the past decade or so this whole enterprise of Higher Education which has always been a path for higher social mobility, has turned into anything but, making this generation of Americans the first generation since 1920's to earn less and have lower social mobility than their parents (forcing many of them to return home, living with their parents). Also turning the aggregate students' loan in the US into something bordering or exceeding a trillion dollars, leaving many graduates to end up as middle managers in chain stores and such, barely making $40,000 to $50,000 a year, if they're REALLY lucky.
As you point out "complete equality is (not) a necessary condition to economic growth." But a drastic, prolonged lack of social mobility is a sure precondition for social unrest, and a source of renewed appeal for alternatives to Capitalism.
No wonder Bernie Sanders politics of Democratic Socialism has had such a deep and extensive appeal with the millenials. See below:

Why are there suddenly millions of socialists in America?
It used to be a dirty word. Bernie Sanders helped remove the stigma – but it’s the spectacular failure of capitalism that has really changed people’s minds

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/29/why-are-there-suddenly-millions-of-socialists-in-america
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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
We don’t judge the performance of an economy by looking at just one indicators. While as you pointed out duly, the stock market has lost its meaning and its connection to the main street, it is still important since many Americans are indirectly impacted by its performance. GDP is a different story, it is the most comprehensive measure of a country’s economic performance and as you know US is by far the leader when it comes to the value of its GDP, nearly $20 trillion, 22.5% of the world’s output with 4% of the world’s population. China is distance second with about $9 trillion and about 20% of the world’s population.
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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
Yes, market system is not perfect, it is often misused, exploited and derailed from its normal functioning by greedy people who seek to take advantage of vulnerability of consumers. However, these instances are rare and do not constitute an excuse to reject the system. The shortcomings, are mostly temporary and will be corrected by the forces of market coupled with prudent government policies. I believe, the “invisible hands” of the market still work especially in the long run.
Also notice that the difference between entrepreneurs in the US and in many other countries is that almost all the successful ones in the US did not gain their way up through cronyism, they did it through hard work, creativity, and efficiency. Market forces reward the efficient entrepreneurs and punish the ones who cannot compete because of inefficient operation. Big companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, were not that big from the beginning. They have evolved into the giant firms that they are today, during many decades of successful operation and good business acumen.
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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
I don’t believe the report NPR is accurate, $100,000 is twice the national average. $100,000 is more than enough for a typical American family to achieve a decent level of living unless expectations are overly inflated which is a different story. Also, you may consider that fact that shortage/ deficiency or abundance are relative concepts. While $100,000 may be considered not a huge amount of money in the US, it is good enough to support a family in a poor country for two or three years.
Inequality is the automatic outcome of a free enterprise system in which income and wealth are distributed according to personal endowment of resources, do you expect a trained physician or certain hard working talented individuals earn the same as a high school drop out?
The distribution of income and wealth is very important for many reasons. However, there is no valid research indicating that complete equality is a necessary condition to economic growth .
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
Besides civic & personal advantages of sigining up as a volunteer, there are also political dimensions & traditions associated with volunteers.
Volunteering has been essential & most significant even for some political movements; for instance the proud tradition of Irish Republicanism could not have existed without the volunteers. Perhaps Bobby Sands is the most famous Irish Republican volunteer. We have a street named after him in Tehran, right next to Brits embassy!
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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
Thanks for your insightful observations, I am waiting to watch the State of the Union Address which starts in about 10 minutes. , and will respond to your concerns soon, possibly tomorrow morning
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
Last but not least, White Supremacy and Racism are perhaps the biggest reasons why Trump is where he is right now, closely followed by mainstream corporate media’s free ride to him and the antiquated, reactionary electoral procedure of Electoral College.

As that old Persian proverb says:
"از ماست که بر ماست!"
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
After reading this piece I’m left with more questions than answers (which is definitely the sign of quality, provocative writing, that stimulates thought and an exchange of ideas).

The first question which comes to mind is this prognosis about the US economy doing well and most vital signs indicating such a positive performance. If we take our indicator as the GDP, or the Stock Market, Wall Street and the Fortune 500, such a rosy claim might be correct, but Wall Street and Stock Market have lost any connection to real people’s economic circumstances a long while ago. How does overvalued stocks in any sense would make a positive difference in the lives of ordinary people? As far as Main Street is concerned the real wages are still incapable of catching up with the Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). Wall Street is one world, Main Street quite another.

Recently there were reports on NPR about some families that were making about $100,000 a year and still had a hard time to make ends meet, and still struggling with some basic necessities. Even amongst the middle-class earners, there’s still a struggle with housing, insurance and other necessities. Below that stratum we have the working-class folks, depending on minimum wages and stuck in a never-ending game of catching up with COLAs. Beneath the hourly wage earners, there are the seasonal workers, who have turned into the New Nomads, with their cars as their homes, working for Amazon types of company and living in Walmart parking lots. The Informal sector and its workers are a whole different category, with workers who are more economically disadvantaged than all of the above. So, in real life it seems we have more than one economy, relating to different classes in the society; there’s the Wall St. economy, doing very well, then the Main St. not doing so good, and the Informal sector which often remains invisible and unaccounted for.

Another issue is this whole false notion of a laissez-faire, so called “self-regulating” market. If we recall the last great financial crisis of 2008, there was nothing ‘self-regulating’ about how the US government forcefully intervened to save the economy. The whole series of Quantitative Easing from QE1, to QE3 are some of the most vivid reminders that the invisible hand of the market has long been replaced by the visible hands of the Central Banks.

Since this comment is getting a bit too long, I’ll just mention how any democracy (from the original Athenian democracy of 200 years ago, up to now) has always been an arena of most intense social struggle and the result of each of these struggles are ultimately determined by the balance of forces. Again, there’s nothing ‘self-regulating’ about any of this and it all comes down to social balance of forces.

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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to varjavand (@varjavand) on Pinned comment
Thank you Reza jan, you're too kind.
And Asaln is a good writer, very well aware of a niche market for 'spirituality' in today's USA and he's milking the heck out of it. More power to him, wish he makes as much money as possible. But revenue generation aside, as a writer there's an imperative to expose the readers to as many interpretations as possible. He never does that.
There used to be a sticker on the office door of an Iranian professor at Columbia university, it said: "Deconstruct Everything!"
Now, that's very good advice.
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varjavand varjavand (@varjavand) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
I like your comment especially your suggestion for an alternative title. I hope Reza reads and respond to your comment. I myself do not believe in any God no matter how well its existence is justified by believers and apologists. Dr. Aslan however, is a masterful writer. He can turn copper into gold using his wring skills. He writes about God and religion. I don’t think he is a real devout believer. He is however smart and knows where the money is. His previous book “Zealot” in which he almost discredited Jesus and challenged the faith of billions of Christian was a Best Seller.
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on Pinned comment
If the title of this book was “God, a deconstruction,” then it could have been some resources for help in our grappling with oppressive, backward role of religion in Iran (and world). Alas this whole ‘argument’ about humanizing or universalizing “god” is much akin to the ‘debate’ about how many angels would fit on tip of a needle.
A simple deconstruction of the notion of god would clearly demonstrate that god is a byproduct of our insecurities and ignorance. The evolving form of god from ancient times to now provides a sort of anthropological chronicle of this process.
150 years ago, many Iranian intellectuals and writers provided an unambiguous critique and rejection of religion and Islam, paving the path for our Constitutional Revolution while promoting and popularizing Secularism and progress. Compared with such a fecund history it’s definitely a sign of decay and degeneration when the entire query is reduced to how best to popularize superstition and backwardness, based on a myth that has been the biggest lie of human civilization
It could be accurately categorized as utterly Tone Deaf when one’s homeland has been destroyed and devastated by religion, but all a writer could come up with is whether to internalize or externalize a fraudulent fiction that has never existed.
It’s a bit reminiscent of these Iranian-Americans modernizing backwardness, in Los Angeles!

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