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Shut Down the Planet Every Year for Two Weeks

L. Ali Khan This planet belongs to all forms of life: plants, animals, birds, insects, humans, bacteria, and viruses. Humans have no inherent right to monopolize the earth to the exclusion of other life forms. Our theologies and our philosophies tell us that we are the center of creation, we are the best life form, and we are God’s exceptional handiwork. It is time to reconsider our fatuous egotism.   We are fragile. A microscopic virus, many times smaller than bacteria, both invisible, can kill us all. We have no chance to survive if viruses and bacteria combine their forces to wipe us out. That is the reality of our self-professed supremacy. Unfortunately, plants, animals, birds, and insects have fallen to our hegemony. Bacteria and viruses refuse to do so. Periodically, these microbes remind us, individually and as a species, that they can destroy us. We should be grateful that so far, they have not decided to bring about our extinction. They can, and they might. We

Kansas - Redefining the Heart of America

Under President Trump, a noted Border Ruffian, the U.S. is losing moral anchor at home and in the world. In these sick times, Kansas can furnish a healthy heart that repairs the body. Relying on its existential origin as a Free State and consistent with its demographics, Kansas must reject the racist and xenophobic politics of Border Ruffians. Kansas needs to focus on economic prosperity and human dignity to unleash new energies among the various ethnic and religious communities living across the Sunflower State of fabulous prairies and hills. Mexicans, Irish, Somalis, Germans, Muslims, all are welcome to Kansas. Read more

The Monetization of International Relations

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 by   L. ALI KHAN “The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” The author of this saying, President Trump, is brazenly monetizing international relations. He demands more money from the NATO members for common defense. He urges Mexico to pay for the wall. He is slashing financial assistance to allies (except Israel). He vies to renegotiate trade agreements. He proposes to impose tariffs on Mexican and Canadian goods in violation of international trade laws. He campaigned in the 2016 presidential election to declare China as a currency manipulator. Much like a Las Vegas tycoon, Trump views the world as a big casino where the U.S. is losing money. Trump fancies rigging the international game for the U.S. to come out as a tireless winner. Read more

Pakistan Punishes Prime Ministers But Not Military Generals

Pakistan has a horrendous history of mistreating its elected prime ministers. On July 28, the Pakistan Supreme Court disqualified sitting prime minister Nawaz Sharif under the “ sadiq and amin  “clause of the 1973 Constitution. The Court found the prime minister to be  dishonest and untrustworthy . Since August 1947, in seventy years of Pakistan’s existence, prime ministers have been overthrown in military coups, removed by high courts, murdered, and executed. Not a single prime minister has been able to complete the constitutional tenure. Read More

Trump's Muslim Persecution Will Fail

Friday, January 27, 2017, is the day when President Donald Trump took the first step toward the official persecution of Muslims in the United States and around the world. This day, Trump signed  an executive order  banning the nationals of seven Muslim countries, four in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen) and three in Africa (Libya, Sudan, Somalia). The executive order was not limited to the admission of refugees. Even legal immigrants (green card holders and persons with other visas) from these countries returning to the United States were refused entry, causing immense emotional distress to the blocked individuals and their families waiting at U.S. airports. On Saturday, a federal judge blocked the implementation of the executive order with respect to the people stranded at the U.S. airports. However, The Department of Homeland Security has  vowed  to enforce the executive order. read more

As always, I just delay it


The Hazards of Being a Scholar

L. Ali Khan Over a period of forty years, I have  published  more than a million words in the form of books, academic articles, poems, short stories, and public scholarship such as this piece. Of all the published sentences, I am most proud of writing “ distribution of knowledge is a scholarly obligation ,” an axiom that captures an elegant virtue. Upon reflection, however, I myself don’t know what it exactly means or if it is even a good idea. This commentary struggles to explain the meaning of the axiom, potentially of interest to scholars in all disciplines ranging from physical sciences to social sciences, history to theology, literature to law. What is Scholarly Knowledge? Knowledge is central to the human species. Without knowledge, life would be impossible to live. In advanced urban societies, the knowledge needed to function is much more complex than in societies with nominal modernity. Fortunately, all cultures with varying degrees of openness act as public classrooms