Harvard Hypocrisy: Profs Who Advocated for Obamacare Now Outraged

How the MRM Gets it So Right/Wrong on Nicholas Alahverdian Harvard Student MRM Modern Rights Movement
For years, some professors at Harvard University lobbied for and presented studies conducive to the passing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Now, members of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) are expressing their outrage over what some say is tantamount to a pay cut.
This is hilarious in a very sad way. Political manipulation at its finest. Obama’s healthcare legacy isn’t shaping up to what he or Ted Kennedy purported it would be during the campaigns. For an omnibus bill with varying levels of potential for good throughout its massively complex legislative and judicial history, it is sure to be kept in focus as a primary issue during the 2016 presidential campaigns.
The ever left-leaning New York Times adequately captured the fury with which these rising costs have been welcomed:

For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.
Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed.

What do you think? Comment in the box below.
Disclaimer: Nicholas Alahverdian was educated at Harvard and was a student whose department was under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 

Video Honoring Rep. Giannini features Nicholas Alahverdian, Buddy Cianci, others


Joanne Giannini was a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives in the state’s General Assembly, representing the 7th District (Providence) from 1994 until 2010.   Continue reading Video Honoring Rep. Giannini features Nicholas Alahverdian, Buddy Cianci, others

Hearty Winter Stew

Winter Beef Stew
1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (cut the pieces into 1-1/4-inches each)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. of canola oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1-1/2 pounds small red potato chunks
3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, divided into quarters
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, cut into halves
1 can beef broth
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of dried thyme
1/2 tsp. of pepper
1 bacon strip, crumbled
Cook the meat and chopped onion, in oil, over medium-high heat. Continue to cook on all sides. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Drain the mixture and then add the potatoes, carrots, quartered onions, and mushrooms. In a separate bowl, combine the broth, apple juice, tomato paste, parsley, bay leaves, salt, thyme, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the meat.
Cover the stew and bake it at 325°F for two hours. Stir it occasionally. Continue to bake the stew, except this time uncovered, for 30-45 more minutes, until the stew becomes thick. Throw away the bay leaves, and sprinkle the stew with bacon.
Make large batches of hearty winter stew recipes, and share some with friends, or store the leftovers in the freezer to enjoy at a later date.

Food: Thanksgiving Turkey Burger With Cranberry-Mayo

Ingredients:

Directions:
1: In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, prepared stuffing, cheese, dried cranberries, and egg (add salt and pepper, if needed). Mix thoroughly.
2: Divide into four equal portions, and shape into four patties.
3: Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
4: Cook the patties until golden, about 5 minutes per side.
5: In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce.
6: Spread some cranberry mayonnaise mixture on the inside of the warmed buns.
7: Assemble your burgers with the lettuce and top patties with additional cran-mayo, as desired.
8: Enjoy! Goes nicely with a side salad or veggies and sweet-potato fries.

thanksgiving burger nicholas alahverdian
nom!

Essay: Semiotics in Autumn Rhythm

By Nicholas Alahverdian
The Beauty of the End, the Hope of the Beginning 
The art of Jackson Pollock was critical to the growth and development of the Beat Generation.  His approach to abstract impressionism influenced his fellow painters, as well as writers and poets.  The visual complexity of his artwork served as a conduit through which he was able to relate the chaos of his generation to viewers of his paintings. His action paintings, including “Autumn Rhythm,” exhibited his command of the abstract expressionist form. My essay will focus on the creative process and the implications of this unique piece of art.
Obviously, Pollock’s work was that of a genius.  His painting style was not merely improvisational – it also incorporated characteristics reminiscent of those artists and authors who engaged in the practice of writing and/or painting in the style of stream-of-consciousness. Drip after drip, smear after smear, mixing the two – these techniques cumulatively defined the greatness of his work.  Loyal to his art and chronically dissatisfied with his performance, he lengthened his artistic stride to further his aesthetic interpretation of the world we live in. Continue reading Essay: Semiotics in Autumn Rhythm

Buddy Cianci Runs Again

BY ANDREW MARANTZ

Hollybeth Runco, a blond woman in her forties, lives in a two-story Craftsman-style house on the east side of Providence, Rhode Island. On a recent Sunday afternoon, she and her husband, Tom, sat at their dining-room table with a few friends, drinking Cabernet and waiting for their guest of honor, Vincent Cianci, Jr., who is known by his nickname, Buddy.

“When we moved here, ten years ago, all I heard was Buddy jokes,” Tom said.
Susan Teeden-Cielo, a friend from the neighborhood, said, “When Hollybeth announced this, she got a lot of hate just for giving Buddy the time of day.” (Responding to Runco’s invitation, one neighbor wrote, “This waste of skin is a cancer to Providence.”)

“People think he’s a stain on the city, and they are worried that he’s slick enough to make people forget what he’s done,” Tom said.

Cianci was the mayor of Providence from 1975 to 1984, and again from 1991 to 2002. (Philip Gourevitch wrote about Cianci for The New Yorker in 2002.) He is the most influential figure in the city’s modern history, and many people credit him with bringing economic life to what was once a post-industrial backwater. He is also a convicted felon who is something of a local joke.

Though he left prison seven years ago, stores still sell T-shirts that say “Free Buddy”; his face is on the label of a popular brand of pasta sauce, Mayor’s Own Marinara. He also hosts a call-in radio show, which he describes as “lucrative.” Improbably, he is running for a seventh term, as an independent. Even more improbably, he has a decent chance of winning: a recent poll has him six points in the lead. He seems to belong to a special class of zombie politicians—Marion Barry, Eliot Spitzer—who can be embarrassed by scandal but not shamed into silence.

Runco, a former engineer, is now a homemaker. She has two children, one of whom has special needs. A few weeks ago, she heard a rumor that the public schools would be cutting back on special-education services. She called the school board and met with the current mayor, but their answers were not satisfactory.

“Finally, I found the name of Buddy’s campaign manager and cold-called her. She was on my couch the next day,” Runco said. Cianci offered to attend an informal meeting about the issue, and Runco invited a dozen friends. “Some are skeptical, some are haters, some are agnostic,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is ready to say they’re a supporter, including myself.”

A Lincoln Town Car pulled up, and Cianci climbed the stairs to the house, a bit unsteadily. He was once cannonball-shaped, with a charging gait and a voluminous toupee. Now, at seventy-three, he is thinner, slower, and openly bald. He wore khakis, a buttoned blazer, and thick glasses that magnified puppy-dog eyes. “I’m mostly here to listen,” he said, before talking for fifteen minutes.

“The city has changed, but not really,” he said, sitting at the dining-room table. “The biggest thing this time around is the technology. We hired a company that breaks down voters and their behavior—you know, people who like baseball are more likely to vote for me, that kind of thing. It’s remarkable how much privacy we’ve given up in this country.” Noticing that he had his back to some of the guests, he turned and said, “My apologies, ladies. I’m not used to doing theatre in the round.”
Runco, seated across from Cianci, said, “I’m going to sit right here, because I’m partially deaf and I read lips. It’s not that I want to make out with you.”

“Good,” Cianci said. “I’ve got enough problems.”

In 1984, Cianci’s first term was interrupted when he was found guilty of assaulting a man who was dating his ex-wife. In 2002, after undercover federal agents recorded hundreds of conversations in City Hall, Cianci was indicted on twenty-nine charges of corruption. He told the group at Runco’s house, “I was found not guilty of the RICO”—crimes defined by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—“but was found guilty of conspiracy to commit RICO. Go figure.” He served a four-and-a-half-year prison term but still professes his innocence, preferring to speak vaguely of “regrets.” “I gave a speech and some kid sits in the front row and says, ‘What would you have changed in your life?’ Being a smart-ass, I said, ‘The verdict.’ ”
Runco and her guests voiced their concerns. Kirsten Murphy said, “My son can see our elementary school from his window, but the city told us that they would allocate funds to bus him to another school.”

“That’s just stupid!” Cianci said.

“What’s your plan for busing?” Runco asked.

“Look, I was mayor when we were going through voluntary desegregation,” he said. “I know I don’t look that old, but I am. But now you have to revert to neighborhood autonomy.” He added, “My good friend Richie Daley, in Chicago, he’s done a pretty decent job with the schools out there.” (Daley, Chicago’s former mayor, survived several scandals.)

Cianci took a call on his iPhone—it had something to do with an upcoming city-council vote. As he talked, he took a bite of one of the meatballs Teeden-Cielo had put out, and made an A-O.K. hand gesture.

He hung up the phone. “I want to talk about the story of American cities,” he said. “I made a decision years ago not to knock down our historic buildings. That was the big thing back then—knock ’em down, build something new. I don’t want to name names, but New Haven and Hartford did that.” He continued, “People ask other questions—whether we should invade Iraq and all that. That’s not me. I pick the garbage up.”

“I don’t know if this is too personal, but I have to ask,” Kira Greene said. “In the past, obviously, things didn’t always go the way you wanted them to go. I don’t know how to phrase it, but—could you be a better mayor because you made mistakes?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Cianci said. “In hindsight, if I want to be honest, I wouldn’t have voted for myself in 1974. It took a few years to get running. But I had a lot of vitality and devotion to the city, and that hasn’t diminished at all. They ask me, ‘Isn’t it a shame for you to run again?’ I’m not the problem. The city is in debt, failing schools—that’s the shame.”

He stood up. “Hey, listen, I talked too much—that’s been my trouble my whole life—but I really enjoyed it.”

After showing him out, Runco said, “I think it was less about deciding ‘I’m definitely voting for him’ and more just about getting comfortable with the idea.”

“It’s harder to hate someone when they’re sitting right in front of you,” Tom said. He had been in the anyone-but-Buddy camp, but he was reconsidering. “Our friends warned us not to get taken in: ‘He puts on a good show, but don’t believe a word he says.’ Well, unless you hook him up to a polygraph, I guess it’s impossible to know.”

Poem: Anything Can Happen

By Seamus Heaney
Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now
He galloped his thunder cart and his horses
Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth
And the clogged underearth, the River Styx,
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest towers
Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one,
Setting it down bleeding on the next.
Ground gives. The heaven’s weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle-lid.
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.