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Common Cause Urges Holder to Challenge North Carolina Voter Restrictions - Common Cause

Common Cause
Greg Russak's insight:

Attorney General Eric Holder should seek a court order overturning North Carolina’s discriminatory new voting laws and requiring that future changes in the Tar Heel State’s election statutes be cleared in advance by the Justice Department, Common Cause said Tuesday.

"The attorney general’s strong response to a new Texas law imposing discriminatory Voter ID requirements has put states on notice that the administration intends to continue enforcing the Voting Rights Act," said Arn Pearson, Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation. "Mr. Holder needs to back up those words with action in North Carolina as well."

North Carolina lawmakers approved a bill last week reducing early voting days, eliminating Election Day voter registration, repealing a program that allowed high school students to register before they turn 18, and dramatically restricting the types of voter identification that officials will accept at the polls.

"It's clear that this legislation was written to make it more difficult for tens of thousands of North Carolinians to exercise their right to vote. It will disproportionately impact minority voters and students, as well the elderly and those with disabilities who may not be able to obtain the kinds of ID it requires or get to a polling place on one of the designated early voting days," Pearson said.

"These are exactly the kinds of maneuvers the Voting Rights Act is designed to prevent," Pearson said. "Until the Supreme Court’s ruling in June in Shelby County v. Holder, the Justice Department had authority to block them through a process called pre-clearance. The Texas and North Carolina laws that have emerged since that decision demonstrate why pre-clearance is so important and why the department should go into court now to restore it."



###

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.

 

- See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4773613&ct=13229043#sthash.P0kK4ISC.dpuf

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Baby boomers ruined America: Why blaming millennials is misguided — and annoying

Baby boomers ruined America: Why blaming millennials is misguided — and annoying | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
It may be fun to bash today's youth -- but here's where the awful job economy and ailing planet actually came from
Greg Russak's insight:

We Baby Boomers have been the ones in charge for a generation. To deny that we're the ones who effed things up royally is not only disingenuous, it's a lie and the epitomy of immaturity. I was taught growing up to admit my mistakes and to apologize when I was wrong. Too few of my generation are willing to do that with our kids. For what it's worth, I admit we failed you, and for that, I am sorry.

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I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria

I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Old white people are drowning in despair and rage. Here's how my father lost his mind -- thanks to his cable diet
Greg Russak's insight:

I felt like I was reading words I could have written; not so much about my own father who died almost 26 years ago but, sadly, of some of my contemporaries who now fit the Fox Profile in more ways than just gender, race, and age.

 

All hope is not lost. Not by a long shot.

 

First, I have total faith and confidence that my children and their generation will not be the scared and uninformed fuck-ups we Baby Boomers have become. We have the set example for them starting with the early 80s for how NOT to run a government, an economy or, with rare exceptions along the way, a civil society.

 

There's also this. It's how the article concludes. It sums up nicely where my hope rests when it comes to the rest of us.

 

"I, and people like me, have managed to break the cycle of conservative red-and race-baiting. I’ve noticed similar attitude shifts among some of my close friends, who have likewise drifted from the televised rage of our fathers. I only wish I could do something to ease the anxiety of those I love, an emotion that is a cash cow for exploitative right-wing commentators. But I have no real solution, other than to turn off the television. Sadly, for some of the nation’s elderly, they seem to have no desire whatsoever to rethink the politics of fear and Fox News. It’s a criminal waste of retirement."

- Edwin Lyngar, self-professed "libertarian and frequent Republican voter" and one-time fan of Fox News

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Idle No More: Why We Don’t Celebrate Christopher Columbus

Idle No More: Why We Don’t Celebrate Christopher Columbus | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
We don’t celebrate Columbus Day in this house, and we never will. It’s not that we don’t enjoy holidays when they come around. We love holidays around here as much as anyone, but there are some hol...
Greg Russak's insight:

"How many of you know that before Christopher Columbus and his brother, Bartholomew, left to return to Europe in 1496, that they agreed to murder 1.1 million people because they were angry they hadn’t been able to humiliate the Taino into being subservient animals?


"How many of you know that on Columbus’s second trip to San Salvador, that he and his crew enslaved thousands of indigenous peoples and exported them to countries such as France and Spain to be treated as beasts of burden? Did you know that those who weren’t shipped back as product were kept for the sexual gratification of Columbus and his crew?

 

"Let’s not go down the road of believing that Columbus deserves a day of recognition because of his nautical genius. The man was lost at sea and history proves that his crew were ready to mutiny when they accidentally found land ho!"

 

By Elyse Bruce, www.elysebruce.wordpress.com
October 6th, 2014

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Common Cause – Voter Protection 2014

Common Cause – Voter Protection 2014 | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

The 2014 mid-term election is upon us this November 4th. Common Cause will be working with partner organizations, including the Lawyers' Committee's Election Protection, to ensure that voters across the country can fairly and freely access the ballot box.

Join our election protection team!

Greg Russak's insight:

"Over the past several years, we have seen a disturbing increase in the number and scope of attempts to suppress the votes of tens of thousands of American citizens. Some of these are attempts to deceive or intimidate voters with misinformation conveyed through robocalls or fliers. Many more of these attempts occur at the polls on Election Day, with people and groups using scare tactics and fueling misinformation, and challenging voters at the polls - sometimes illegally. "

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Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself? : Sam Harris

Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself? : Sam Harris | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape.
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Why the Climate Movement Cannot Ignore Trade ← Flush the TPP!

Why the Climate Movement Cannot Ignore Trade ← Flush the TPP! | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

Of course it does.

 

"The health of our planet depends on our ability to make big changes in our economy. These changes include moving beyond fossil fuels and building local green economies. However, our current model of free trade, which is written into agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and free trade pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), threatens nearly every aspect of this much-needed economic transition."


The connection between climate, environment, and economics is obvious.


It also might feel like it's too big to change, but it's not.


There's a lot each of us can do, and it doesn't require unplugging from society or the rest of the world.


For more information and resources related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), visit http://didyoucheckfirst.wordpress.com/tppttip-resources/


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On CNN, Reza Aslan Explains How The Media Is Failing In Its Reporting On Islam

On CNN, Reza Aslan Explains How The Media Is Failing In Its Reporting On Islam | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

Do you agree with Bill Maher or Reza Aslan? It's important to not paint everyone with the same brush, and the CNN reporters in this piece make me think, "auditioning for Fox."

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Why Democrats Can’t Win the House

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Thanks to demographics, the Republicans have a virtual stranglehold on the House of Representatives.
Greg Russak's insight:

"If Democratic losses in that part of the country <the South> are irreversible, Democrats might be forced to wait for demographic and generational change to spread beyond urban centers and suburbs, giving the party a chance to build a more decisive majority. Until that happens, the long-anticipated Democratic majority has little chance of enacting the most ambitious elements of its agenda." - Nate Cohen


Rural Americans who are outside the 2% seem to insist on voting for Republicans and against their own self-interests. When they come to their senses and stop doing that, this country will progress and improve.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality (HBO) - YouTube

Cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for internet speeds, but they're doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren't covering it...
Greg Russak's insight:

STOP!!!!!!

Stop right now!!!

Don't do another thing until you watch this video.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, September 13, 5:10 PM

OK! YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS ! IT IS TOO FUNNY AND ALL TOO TRUE AT THE SAME TIME! 

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Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon : Sam Harris

Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon : Sam Harris | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape.
Greg Russak's insight:

I find myself agreeing with Sam Harris once again. We refuse to have an honest discussion in this country about religion. Until we do, we probably shouldn't expect much to change in our domestic or foreign policies.

 

"...it is this misguided respect for revelation that explains why, in response to the starkest conceivable expression of religious fanaticism, President Obama has responded with euphemisms—and missiles. This may be the best we can hope for, given the state of our discourse about religion. Perhaps one day we will do “everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.” But today, we won’t even honestly describe the motivations of our enemies. And in the act of lying to ourselves, we continue to pay lip service to the very delusions that empower them." - Sam Harris

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Roll Call Vote - Question: On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.J.Res. 19 )

Roll Call Vote on...

 

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.J.Res. 19; A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.

 

What's the common denominator?

Doesn't this say it all?

 

NAYs ---18

Barrasso (R-WY)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)

Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)

Greg Russak's insight:

Roll Call Vote on...

 

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.J.Res. 19; A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.

 

What's the common denominator?

Doesn't this say it all?

 

NAYs ---18

Barrasso (R-WY)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)

Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)

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Flooding the Zone: Gas Industry Pours Millions into Lobbying Pa. | The Allegheny Front

Flooding the Zone: Gas Industry Pours Millions into Lobbying Pa. | The Allegheny Front | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When big portions of Act 13 were overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year, it meant the state would likely debate its landmark Marcellus shale law for years to come. Before it was passed, Act 13 was a subject of intense focus by the oil and gas industry. Critics of the law say that lobbying push had excessive influence on the process. The industry says it wants to have its voice heard in Harrisburg. As Act 13 showed, it’s willing to pay big money to do so.
Greg Russak's insight:

She must take us for idiots.

 

"To think that kind of activity <lobbying> could sway a decision either way,” is wrong, says Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, a division of the American Petroleum Institute. Wissman says industry lobbying is more about educating lawmakers on what impact different laws can have on its business."

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Michael Brown is not a metaphor, Joe Klein

Host Melissa Harris-Perry delivers a stinging open letter to Time Magazine scribe Joe Klein in response to his column on Michael Brown, Ferguson, and race.
Greg Russak's insight:

And, then there's this....

Police Don’t Shoot BMW-Driving White Teen Who Committed Three Hit-And-Runs And Assaulted Officer (VIDEO)

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/09/07/police-dont-shoot-bmw-driving-white-teen-who-committed-three-hit-and-runs-and-assaulted-officer-video/

 

We shouldn't be upset with the rich white girl.

 

We should be upset with the police and with ourselves.

 

We've become a nation of gullible and fearful sheep since 9/11. Is it any wonder that police have become untrained and unqualified military units with armored vehicles and grenade launchers?

 

Oh. By the way.

 

There is nothing "liberal" or "progressive" about militarized police departments or the absurdity claimed by some that we live in a post-racial America.

 

We shouldn't be upset or surprised that rich white girls and poor black men get treated differently by society and by the police unless we're prepared to get off our asses and do something about it.

 

That "something" is to vote for people with the courage to shrink our military, to disarm our police, and to stand up for justice.

 

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Best of the Left Podcast

Best of the Left Podcast | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

Chris Matthews auditions for Fox News. 

Greg Russak's insight:

I don't get my news from tv and that includes MSNBC. Independent and non-commercial outlets are the last bastions of real investigative journalism.

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On the Mechanics of Defamation : Sam Harris

On the Mechanics of Defamation : Sam Harris | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape.
Greg Russak's insight:

Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) and Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) are two people that I've read and respected in the past. No longer, and not until they issue a public apology to Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg) for knowingly defaming him.

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Columbus and the Lens of History | HowardZinn.org

Columbus and the Lens of History | HowardZinn.org | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
For Columbus Day, we feature an excerpt from Chapter One of A People’s History of the United States. Howard Zinn describes why he tells the story of Columbus’s arrival “from the viewpoint of the Arawaks” and “the inevitable... Read More
Greg Russak's insight:

"To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to deemphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves—unwittingly—to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)—that is still with us."

Chapter One of A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

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#Independents, #Democrats, and Rational #Republicans: You control November and the Senate

#Independents, #Democrats, and Rational #Republicans: You control November and the Senate | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Left-leaning Independents and Democrats, if you stay home this November, a Republican Senate will basically be on you. Republicans can be ousted, but only if you show up and vote against them. You ...
Greg Russak's insight:

It’s on all of us in the middle class to save America from the disastrous ideals and policies of GOP conservatism.

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Ben Affleck Slams Bill Maher’s Anti-Muslim Sentiment As ‘Gross’ And ‘Racist’

Ben Affleck Slams Bill Maher’s  Anti-Muslim Sentiment As ‘Gross’ And ‘Racist’ | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Hollywood actor Ben Affleck's response to anti-Muslim sentiment? "What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what? We’ve killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot."
Greg Russak's insight:

In my opinion and with the caveat of having watched this video only twice, Esther Yu-Hsi Lee looks to me to be cherry picking phrases, reframing the discussion, and trying to create a conclusion that is disingenuous and which simply doesn't exist in this exchange.

 

In other words, her piece is about titillation and sensationalism, not journalism.

 

She ignores the facts as presented by Sam Harris. She refuses to acknowledge that Affleck repeatedly talks over others, and that he over-simplifies everything by accusing Maher and Harris of being racists when race clearly has nothing to do with it. the worst example of journalistic integrity on display is Ms. Lee's decision to quote snipets of the conversation without providing any meaningful context and then refusing to print the responses to them.

 

Criticizing the actions of religious zealots while connecting those actions to the religious doctrine and dogma that inspires and informs those actions is not Islamophobia, just as it's not Antisemitic to criticize Israel's policy toward Palestine rooted at least in part to a religious notion of a "holy land", or Anti-Christian to criticize the Westboro Baptists or abortion clinic bombers for their religious belief that their god is punishing us for the sins of non-believers and so it is their divinely inspired duty to mete out religious judgments and justice.

 

What cannot be denied in all of this is the role religion plays in all of them.

Ms. Lee's article ignores all of this. It is, imho, a prime example of what journalism is not, and it tempts me to begin ignoring Think Progress altogether if this is their idea of journalistic standards.


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A Cop Killing And A Beheading: How Fox News Picks And Chooses Its "Terrorism" Targets

A Cop Killing And A Beheading: How Fox News Picks And Chooses Its "Terrorism" Targets | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
"In other words, on Fox News a Muslim who killed a co-worker in Oklahoma and who remains in police custody represents a much bigger story than a suspected anti-government assassin who killed a cop and remains on the run, eluding hundreds of law enforcement officials while terrorizing a Pennsylvania community."
Greg Russak's insight:
Fox is not news. It's propaganda, plain and simple.
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Republicans are the real moochers and takers. Check that. It's duped citizens who think they're Republicans.

Republicans are the real moochers and takers. Check that. It's duped citizens who think they're Republicans. | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
One of the most hilarious talking points coming from far-right Republicans and the Tea Party is that when “red states” like Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are asked to bail out California or Ma...
Greg Russak's insight:

Weak labor = lower pay = lower living standards for everyone = weak economy (except for the rich) = lower levels of local and state tax revenues = rest of us subsidizing poor red states

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William Boyer's curator insight, September 28, 1:05 PM

GOP slight of hand in action again..

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Why is American internet so slow?

Why is American internet so slow? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The country that literally invented the internet is now behind Estonia in terms of download speeds
Greg Russak's insight:

"The idea of a regulated market being more conducive to competition may be alien to free market ideologues, but telecoms and internet is a real world example of deregulation leading to monopolization instead of competition in lots of markets."

- John Aziz, The Week


Too much deregulation and crony capitalism is on bold display in the telecommunications industry.

 

When any president, but especially a Democratic president, makes an industry lobbyist the chairman of the FCC, we have been betrayed and we must speak up.

 

Make your concerns known to the FCC.

http://www.fcc.gov/comments


Other online places with great info and more links:

 

Freepress.net's SaveTheInternet

http://www.savetheinternet.com/what-can-i-do

 

ACLU

https://www.aclu.org/net-neutrality

 

 

(Below is the text I submitted to the FCC. Feel free to copy, change, and paste as you see fit.)

 

I'm certain you're aware that we have fallen behind as a country when it comes to Internet speeds because of the lack of competition. (See http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/)

 

That has happened by all accounts because of a lack of competition.

 

To allow fewer and fewer ISPs to control markets and to hold all of us hostage - whether it's activists, news outlets, content providers, or consumers - to the pricing whims of monopolies is going to hurt everyone except for the large ISPs like Comcast, TW, AT&T, and Verizon.

 

Please do the right thing.

 

Please enforce strong net neutrality rules, and please consider taking former FCC commissioner Michael Copps's recommendation to re-regulate ISPs as Title II common carriers.

 

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Civility is for suckers: Campus hypocrisy and the “polite behavior” lie

Civility is for suckers: Campus hypocrisy and the “polite behavior” lie | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When campus administrators hide behind the fig-leaf of "community," they're usually protecting a powerful agenda
Greg Russak's insight:

"Now, who gets to determine what “civil” behavior and speech is, and what is not?  Even as administrators espouse the value of “community” it is clear that the final arbiters of civility are they themselves.  And this is what makes signing on to civility something one should think twice about—civility is in the eye of the powerful." - David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor at Stanford University

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Main Street: Your recovery will come from the left, not the right. #GetMoneyOut #NeverForget915

Main Street: Your recovery will come from the left, not the right. #GetMoneyOut #NeverForget915 | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

The American public got played (again) for chumps back in 1999 when we weren't in the streets protesting Slick Willy's signature of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.


It wasn't the first time, and it undoubtedly won't be the last unless we're willing stand up to the failed ideology and policies of conservatism.

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CALL ALERT: Senate votes TODAY on overturning Citizens United. CALL YOUR SENATORS!

The U.S. Senate votes TODAY (Sept 8) on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Click here to call your Senators and tell them to vote YES on the constitutional amendment!

Greg Russak's insight:

I just called Senator Toomey's office. The aide that answered was very friendly. When I stated the purpose of my call and asked what Senator Toomey's stance was, the aide told me that the Senator does not yet have an official position on the amendment to overturn Citizens United. I expressed my disappointment that he was not on the side of most citizens like me who support the amendment. I asked him to tell the Senator that I wanted him to come out in support. I made sure to give the aide my full name and address so that the Senator would know it was a call from an actual named constituent. It was a very professional and even pleasant conversation, and I encourage every citizen to do the same.


Our elected officials work for us (at least they're supposed to), and we should never be afraid or reluctant to contact them to share our concerns in calm and mature ways.

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Companion to the forgotten: Narayan Krishnan

Companion to the forgotten: Narayan Krishnan | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

Mr. Krishnan established a non-profit trust to further his work. The trust, named “Akshaya” for the Sanskrit word meaning “‘undecaying’ or ‘imperishable,’ ...[signifies that] human compassion should never decay or perish. ... The spirit of helping others must prevail for ever." 


How much better would this world would be for all of us if we all were just a little bit more like Narayan Krishnan?

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