The Women of Artsakh

Since 1988 and to the present day there has been a war in Nagorno-Karabah, a disputed territory in the southern Caucasus Mountains. Although internationally Nagorno-Karabah is recognized to belong to Azerbaijan, Armenia also claims it because of ethnic ties and because it is an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan territory. The resulting war has deprived the little country which now calls itself Artsakh, of men. While it is a very patriarchal society women have had to step in government, courts, universities all the while being mothers and whatever roles they have had to take on. The result shows what women can do and it is sufficiently impressive Der Spiegel ran an article about them. The women did not ask for this, they are not feminists and do not talk about gender parity. They stepped in because there was a Continue reading “The Women of Artsakh”

Welfare Benefits and Racism

People on the left such as NYT columnist and economist Paul Krugman have long held the view that white Americans resented minorities at least in part because they felt that they received more government benefits than whites did.  A new study now shows him and others right. Having been conducted by academics however, the phrasing of the findings is put in more cautious language. Robb Willer professor of sociology and social psychology at Stanford and Rachel Wetts of UC Berkeley call this the welfare backlash. They explain that as minorities make up an increasing Continue reading “Welfare Benefits and Racism”

The Need for Conversation

We text, we call. We email. We use Facebook and Instagram. But we don’t converse. More and more that fact is being noticed by teachers, by intellectuals, and more recently in a book by Celeste Headlee, a radio show host. Her book, “We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matters,” sets forth the problem and what to do about it. Key to her solution is how to listen. When we think about it, how often do we listen? We don’t have to the way we currently communicate. And one Continue reading “The Need for Conversation”