The Road to Bulgaria 1983-1990

Ghodsee, K. R. (n.d.). Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/461250/Lost_in_Transition_Ethnographies_of_Everyday_Life_After_Communism
I joined the Model United NationsClub in middle school.
I read voraciously about the Rus-sians, about Marxism-Leninism, about the Soviet space program, and aboutcollectivized agriculture. I read everything that I could get my hands on,hoping to understand the Soviet worldview so that I could more accurately represent them and convincingly argue their position on the key worldissues of the day: the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and nuclear prolifera-tion among others.
I played Poland and Romania on a couple of ad hoc committees and then was finally assigned to be Bulgaria on the Security Council. 
In 1985 Bulgaria  was a relatively small country about the size of Delaware with a population of about nine million. 

In early June of 1990 I found myself in Turkey after having traveledoverland from Egypt through Jordan, Iraq, and Syria.

The Bulgarians would have none of me; they only entered a thirty-hour transit visa so that I could take the train to either Yugoslavia or Romania. I flipped a coin and chose Yugoslavia.
It was a mixture of intellectual curiosity and infatuation that would lead me back to Bulgaria in January and March of 1998.During those first two visits I was shocked to realize that the hopes and dreams of 1990 had not been realized. Although most people were still glad that communism was gone and agreed that the totalitarian past was best put behind them, the promises of democracy had not been realized. Many Bulgarians I met had started to question the transition process. Where there had been security and order, there was now chaos and unchecked criminal violence. Where there had been universal health care, the best doctors now worked in fee-only clinics for the new rich. Where there had been free university education,there were now private colleges. Where there had been a decent amount of gender equality, there was now outright discrimination against women.
In Bulgaria, he said, they had torn down the old house (communism)before the new one (capitalism) was ready. Everyone was now forced to liveon the street.
It was clear tome in 1998 that there were people suffering in Bulgaria, that democratzia was not all that it was cracked up to be. From that wondrous summer in1990 emerged a dark reality. People who had worked hard and built success-ful careers under the old system were cheated out of their well-deserved retirement. Men and women in the middle of their lives had to drastically change course just to stay afloat; they had to learn new skills, new lan-guages, and an entirely new way of thinking. A whole generation of young people lost the futures for which they had been preparing themselves.Entire academic disciplines disappeared overnight; what do you do with a PhD in Marxist economics or dialectical materialism in a capitalist society?In short, daily life had been turned on its head. No one knew what the rules were anymore
My students seemed funda-mentally unable to comprehend the sheer magnitude of that change.
An ad for a Bulgarian beer that simply says ‘‘Men know why.’’ When asked, most Bulgarians don’t actually know why.
The Slovenian philosopherSlavojˇZiˇzek really put his finger on something when he said that it is fareasier for young people today to imagine total planetary environmental catastrophe than it is for them to imagine any significant changes in thepolitical and economic system that will precipitate this catastrophe.
 Bulgaria is a country about which most Westerners have few preconceived notions. Unlike Russia or Poland or the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria has seldom been in the international spotlight,and few people know much about this relatively small country tucked into the most southeastern corner of Europe. Even with all of my background in current events, I did not know what to expect of Bulgaria when I firstboarded that train in Istanbul back in June of 1990.

Germany responsibility about Ukraine

http://www.downloadvideoyoutube.net/video/wDjHw_uXeKU

transcribed here: http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/06/23/nazi-dreams-of-an-enslaved-ukraine-the-blind-spot-of-germanys-historical-responsibility-colonialism/

When Adolf Hitler spoke about the United States, it was generally, before the war at least, with admiration.

Ukrainian nationalism was one of the reasons given by Stalin for the great famine of 1933-1934, for the massive deportations of inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine after WWII, and for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

 

before blame immigrants

“the common thread in terrorism is often misogyny”

What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence

new culture war

On the Front Lines of a New Culture War

St. Cloud State University spent 15 years trying to become a beacon of diversity and tolerance while its city fought over the arrival of Muslim refugees. Then Donald Trump came along.

January 01, 2017

Last winter a Minneapolis-based newspaper declared St. Cloud to be “the worst place in Minnesota to be Somali.”

The university wants to be an exception to that rule. St. Cloud State prides itself on being safe and welcoming to students of color and to religious minorities, although this has not always been the case.

The student population at St. Cloud State is now more diverse than those of Minnesota and the country as a whole. But diversity alone does not erase boundaries. Seventy percent of students at the university are white Americans, many of them drawn from the mostly white counties around the city. And here, just as on many campuses, those white students can still sail through four years without spending significant time with people whose backgrounds differ greatly from their own.

The interim president, who came to St. Cloud State from Los Angeles in 2015, is enthusiastic about the “internationalization” that he sees as part of the university’s identity. He is bullish on study-abroad programs, and the university is pushing more students to incorporate international travel into their education. If he could afford to send all 15,000 students at the university to study in foreign countries, he says, he would. His realistic goal is more modest: to increase study-abroad enrollment from 450 to 700 over the next three years.
Mr. Trump’s victory was a reminder that big swaths of the population don’t cherish “safe spaces,” political correctness, or multiculturalism — to say nothing of fact-checking or the scientific method.

Syrian Refugees In Michigan Respond To U.S. Resettlement Hesitations : NPR

Syrian Refugees In Michigan Respond To U.S. Resettlement Hesitations : NPR.

Days of speculation and anxiety followed the Paris attacks. Then, last week, the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed that two of the suicide bombers did pass through Greece last month as part of the wave of refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

In the U.S., the emotional debate about whether or not to shut Syrian refugees out altogether gained new traction in presidential politics.

 

The Huffington Post: These Are The ‘Dangerous’ Syrian Refugees You’ve Been Hearing About

The photos below show what, exactly, people are afraid of.

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week, many Americans and U.S. politicians are demanding that somebody do something. What they want to be done and why they want it to happen, however, are more difficult questions.

A number of governors and GOP presidential candidates responded this week by recoiling in fear, arguing that our first step should be to take action against Syrian refugees. They want to deny entry to a group of people who, as far as we can tell, had nothing to do with what happened in Paris. While investigators found a Syrian passport near one of the suicide bombers,…. These Are The ‘Dangerous’ Syrian Refugees You’ve Been Hearing About.

Syrian refugee Nujeen

Syrian refugee Nujeen, 16, waits to be carried from the shoreline to the road after landing on the Greek island of Lesbos with her older sister Nisreen

 

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18: The Darbi's, a Syrian refugee family that just resettled in Jersey City, NJ must begin the process of acclimating to life in America, Sept 18, 2015. (Willa Frej/Huffington Post) *** Local Caption ***

JERSEY CITY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 18: The Darbi’s, a Syrian refugee family that just resettled in Jersey City, NJ must begin the process of acclimating to life in America, Sept 18, 2015. (Willa Frej/Huffington Post) *** Local Caption ***

A migrant, who protects himself from the rain with a plastic trash bag, walks through a mudpath of the "New Jungle" migrant camp in Calais, where thousands of migrants live in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain, on October 21, 2015. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has called a mini-summit in Brussels on October 25 to tackle the migrant crisis along the western Balkans route, his office said. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

A migrant, who protects himself from the rain with a plastic trash bag, walks through a mudpath of the “New Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, where thousands of migrants live in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain, on October 21, 2015. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has called a mini-summit in Brussels on October 25 to tackle the migrant crisis along the western Balkans route, his office said. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 photo, Maaesa Alroustom, center, is kissed by her mother, Suha, as her father, Hussam, back, sits with her brother Wesam in their apartment in Jersey City, N.J. The Alroustoms are Syrian refugees after fleeing their war stricken country. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 photo, Maaesa Alroustom, center, is kissed by her mother, Suha, as her father, Hussam, back, sits with her brother Wesam in their apartment in Jersey City, N.J. The Alroustoms are Syrian refugees after fleeing their war stricken country. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mahmud, 28 and his bride Firal, 25, from the Syrian city of Kobane show their rings, as they arrive with other refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on October 8, 2015. Europe is grappling with its biggest migration challenge since World War II, with the main surge coming from civil war-torn Syria. Greek premier Alexis Tsipras said on October 6, 2015 that Athens would upgrade its refugee facilities by November to tackle the growing influx from Syria as the EU pledged 600 extra staff to help. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF        (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Mahmud, 28 and his bride Firal, 25, from the Syrian city of Kobane show their rings, as they arrive with other refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on October 8, 2015. Europe is grappling with its biggest migration challenge since World War II, with the main surge coming from civil war-torn Syria. Greek premier Alexis Tsipras said on October 6, 2015 that Athens would upgrade its refugee facilities by November to tackle the growing influx from Syria as the EU pledged 600 extra staff to help. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

GEVGELIJA, MACEDONIA - OCTOBER 23:  A elderly Syrian man holds his arm broken on the voyage from Syria at a refugee reception centre on October 23, 2015 in Gevgelija, Macedonia. Despite the worsening weather, thousands of migrants have continued to arrive daily in Former Republic Of Macedonia and the small border town of Gevgelija, as they continue their journey on towards western Europe.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

GEVGELIJA, MACEDONIA – OCTOBER 23: A elderly Syrian man holds his arm broken on the voyage from Syria at a refugee reception centre on October 23, 2015 in Gevgelija, Macedonia. Despite the worsening weather, thousands of migrants have continued to arrive daily in Former Republic Of Macedonia and the small border town of Gevgelija, as they continue their journey on towards western Europe. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A Syrian child holds a watermelon after they were distibuted near the Akcakale crossing gate between Turkey and Syria at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on June 16, 2015.  Some 23,000 people have fled from Syria to Turkey between June 3 and 15, the UN refugee agency said. "New fighting in northern Syria has seen 23,135 refugees fleeing across the border into Turkey's Sanliurfa province," during that period, spokesman William Spindler said, citing figures given by Turkish authorities.  AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

A Syrian child holds a watermelon after they were distibuted near the Akcakale crossing gate between Turkey and Syria at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on June 16, 2015. Some 23,000 people have fled from Syria to Turkey between June 3 and 15, the UN refugee agency said. “New fighting in northern Syria has seen 23,135 refugees fleeing across the border into Turkey’s Sanliurfa province,” during that period, spokesman William Spindler said, citing figures given by Turkish authorities. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

A man from Syrian town Aleppo poses with his child in front of a mound of life jackets as he arrive with other refugees on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on an inflatable boat on October 2, 2015 near village of Skala Sikaminias, Greece. Despite bad weather due to the upcoming Autumn, migrants and refugees are risking their lives in search of a better one in the European Union. Officals have warned that a rise in migrant deaths is expected as weather conditions gradually worsen.  (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

A man from Syrian town Aleppo poses with his child in front of a mound of life jackets as he arrive with other refugees on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on an inflatable boat on October 2, 2015 near village of Skala Sikaminias, Greece. Despite bad weather due to the upcoming Autumn, migrants and refugees are risking their lives in search of a better one in the European Union. Officals have warned that a rise in migrant deaths is expected as weather conditions gradually worsen. (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

Migrants, who have just arrived by bus, queue in the rain at a refugee transit camp that has been set up on the border of Greece with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on October 22, 2015 in Idomeni, Greece. Despite the worsening weather, thousands of migrants have continued to arrive at the small border village as they persist in their journey on towards Western Europe.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Migrants, who have just arrived by bus, queue in the rain at a refugee transit camp that has been set up on the border of Greece with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on October 22, 2015 in Idomeni, Greece. Despite the worsening weather, thousands of migrants have continued to arrive at the small border village as they persist in their journey on towards Western Europe. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, Syrian refugee Ali Shaheen, 62, and his wife Abeer, 52, who came from the countryside of Damascus, Syria, pose for a picture shortly after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. “Me and my wife are old and we can’t walk, we were mistreated in Turkey, we are so tired," Ali said. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, Syrian refugee Ali Shaheen, 62, and his wife Abeer, 52, who came from the countryside of Damascus, Syria, pose for a picture shortly after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. “Me and my wife are old and we can’t walk, we were mistreated in Turkey, we are so tired,” Ali said. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

Refugees from Afghanistan and Syria take selfies after arriving in boats on the shores of Lesbos on November 2, 2015 near Molyvos, Greece. Lesbos, the Greek vacation island in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, faces massive refugee flows from the Middle East countries. (Photo by Etienne De Malglaive/Getty Images)

Refugees from Afghanistan and Syria take selfies after arriving in boats on the shores of Lesbos on November 2, 2015 near Molyvos, Greece. Lesbos, the Greek vacation island in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, faces massive refugee flows from the Middle East countries. (Photo by Etienne De Malglaive/Getty Images)

HATAY, TURKEY - OCTOBER 28:  Ibrahim Ahmad wearing an inhaler mask is seen in a Syrian family's room in Reyhanli district of Hatay Province in southern Turkey on October 28, 2015. Syrian families who fled the war in their country and took shelter in Turkey live in rental houses, tents set up by the volunteers or derelict buildings in Hatay's districts. The number of Syrians in Hatay's Reyhanli has reached 95,000 as the Syrian civil war continues in its 5th year. (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

HATAY, TURKEY – OCTOBER 28: Ibrahim Ahmad wearing an inhaler mask is seen in a Syrian family’s room in Reyhanli district of Hatay Province in southern Turkey on October 28, 2015. Syrian families who fled the war in their country and took shelter in Turkey live in rental houses, tents set up by the volunteers or derelict buildings in Hatay’s districts. The number of Syrians in Hatay’s Reyhanli has reached 95,000 as the Syrian civil war continues in its 5th year. (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A Syrian family with two-and-a-half-month-old triplets and their relatives with more babies wait for transportation after disembarking with other migrants and asylum seekers from two government-chartered ferries at the Greek port of Piraeus, about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from central Athens, on October 21, 2015. Some 5000 refugees and migrants arrived to the port of Piraeus by government chartered ferries from the islands of Lesbos and Chios. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI        (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

A Syrian family with two-and-a-half-month-old triplets and their relatives with more babies wait for transportation after disembarking with other migrants and asylum seekers from two government-chartered ferries at the Greek port of Piraeus, about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from central Athens, on October 21, 2015. Some 5000 refugees and migrants arrived to the port of Piraeus by government chartered ferries from the islands of Lesbos and Chios. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

HATAY, TURKEY - OCTOBER 28:  A Syrian family is seen inside their room in Reyhanli district of Hatay Province in southern Turkey on October 28, 2015. Syrian families who fled the war in their country and took shelter in Turkey live in rental houses, tents set up by the volunteers or derelict buildings in Hatay's districts. The number of Syrians in Hatay's Reyhanli has reached 95,000 as the Syrian civil war continues in its 5th year. (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

HATAY, TURKEY – OCTOBER 28: A Syrian family is seen inside their room in Reyhanli district of Hatay Province in southern Turkey on October 28, 2015. Syrian families who fled the war in their country and took shelter in Turkey live in rental houses, tents set up by the volunteers or derelict buildings in Hatay’s districts. The number of Syrians in Hatay’s Reyhanli has reached 95,000 as the Syrian civil war continues in its 5th year. (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

 

SANLIURFA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 24: Halim Rasim, 6, a Syrian refugee boy who fled Idlib with his family, poses with his pet cat at a tent city in the Akcakale District of Sanliurfa, Turkey on September 24, 2015. 260 thousand Syrians who have escaped war and found asylum in Turkey are now living in camps with opportunities that mean they don't miss what they've left behind. (Photo by Aykut Unlupinar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

SANLIURFA, TURKEY – SEPTEMBER 24: Halim Rasim, 6, a Syrian refugee boy who fled Idlib with his family, poses with his pet cat at a tent city in the Akcakale District of Sanliurfa, Turkey on September 24, 2015. 260 thousand Syrians who have escaped war and found asylum in Turkey are now living in camps with opportunities that mean they don’t miss what they’ve left behind. (Photo by Aykut Unlupinar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

 

SANLIURFA, TURKEY - JUNE 06: A Syrian woman holds a kid in her arms as they cross into Turkey from the borderline in Akcakale district of Sanliurfa on June 06, 2015. Hundreds of Syrians who fled from Syria after clashes between Syrian government forces and opponents in Rasulayn region of Al-Hasakah, have crossed into Turkey since Wednesday. (Photo by Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

SANLIURFA, TURKEY – JUNE 06: A Syrian woman holds a kid in her arms as they cross into Turkey from the borderline in Akcakale district of Sanliurfa on June 06, 2015. Hundreds of Syrians who fled from Syria after clashes between Syrian government forces and opponents in Rasulayn region of Al-Hasakah, have crossed into Turkey since Wednesday. (Photo by Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

the responsibility[s] of the West…

We shed more tears when the west is attacked – and more blood

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/18/shed-more-tears-when-west-attacked-more-blood-paris-attacks-hollande

As for Hollande’s boast that France will destroy Isis, history tells us that he will be sorely mistaken. Isis – especially the ideology that motivates its members – cannot be eradicated through bombs.

What happened in Paris has been described as a “Mumbai-style attack”, but it did not provoke a Mumbai-style response. I wish it had.