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Rama Rao "Rama" (Annandale, VA, USA)

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Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country
Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country
by Thom Hartmann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Back to the future; chasing the American dream, 4 Feb. 2011
The first Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton's 11-point plan for "American manufactures" is a primary inspiration for this book. Does this 220-year old document have any relevance to our modern day problems? The author thinks it does.

In the late 18th century when Alexander Hamilton wrote his fiscal plan, nations were building walls between them, more than two hundred years later these walls are coming down in a universe of global economy. The fundamental concepts of "supply and demand" operating at the global level dictate our economic future and shape our political philosophy. How an age-old solution such as this that never really worked before will have any bearing on the world we live in? For example, in chapter 10, "Wal-Mart Is Not a Person," the author tells the story of 1880s corporations that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant them human rights under the Constitution. Much later, in 2010 the Supreme Court ruled precisely that; corporations are people and have political free-speech rights. The author argues that if this is not fixed soon it will be the complete transformation of this country from a democracy into a corporate plutocracy. Here the author is carried away by unfounded worries. First of all corporations are made of stockholders, bondholders and creditors. These are people who are owners of a business and conducting themselves under law and constitution. What is wrong in the opinion of the Supreme Court? Chapter 6, make similar arguments that asks how we finance political campaigns in this country and chapter 10 takes on the problem of the Court's decision directly. If a company that owns a media outlet such as TV network, newspapers or movie studio, then it can pass along its political philosophy through the media it owns. Then what about companies that do not own media or studios? How do they promote their political and economic ideas? It is through the campaign contribution rights, which gives them an opportunity to speak to the law-makers.

Chapter 9, "Put Lou Dobbs out to Pasture," discusses the "illegal immigration," when, in reality, it is a problem of economics and illegal hiring by American companies. This is true, and illegal immigration must be curbed, but what are the economic consequences? I am not sure if the author has done economic research or even aware of the area of "economics of illegal immigration." Stopping illegal immigration will have serious economic consequences, certainly for states like California, Texas, and Florida. Illegal immigration is an emotional issue but any legislation must consider the economic consequences to the country.

In Chapter 8, "They Will Steal It" the author makes a preposterous and outrageous comment that the detention of Islamic terrorists in Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan is no different from the atrocities committed against Jews in Nazi Germany. I wished the author had understood the problems properly before he indulged in bashing President Bush for making this country a little safer. Most Islamic countries and Islamists think that 9/11 was orchestrated by CIA and Israel. They not only believe in that but they also hope to convince the rest of the world. This reflects on the nature of Islamists. In order to deal with Islamists who lie in their teeth, harsher interrogation techniques have to be used, some harsher measures have to be taken to protect this country from further attacks. President Bush made the best decision to deal with Islamic terrorism firmly and decisively. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars are due to Islamic terrorism. If there were no 9/11 attacks, there would not have been these wars. Preserving our values and our way of doing business must not be affected by Islamic terrorism or communism. This is not about protecting American interest; this is about protecting and preserving civilization and sanity in the world where United States is playing major role. If our values and our ways of living are replaced by hijab, niqab, burqa, Sharia law, fatwa, jihad, holy war, honor killings, female genital mutilation, death by stoning, death for apostasy, intolerance to other faiths and other beliefs, and death to infidels, then there is not much to live for. The author continues by making false assumption that we are forcing other countries through military might to adopt our values of democracy and an open society. No one is doing that, but when Islamists are forcing the rest of us to accept Islamic ideals we need to fight back and preserve our values.

In introductory chapter "Back to the future" the author states that Ronald Reagan's policy of ending free admission to the University of California systems made "Europe and Asia to overtake us in everything from patent applications to doctor-patient ratios to excellence in engineering and invention." This got be a wild accusation at best. How does one simple decision in the state of California can affect the entire science and technological competitiveness of Western Europe and Asia? The author bashes Ronald Reagan for everything from his character to his economic policies.

If you are an optimist with liberal leanings in politics you may think the ideas of the author are interesting; but if you are a fiscal conservative, then you will think that this book is good for a laugh!

Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita (Suny Series in Religious Studies)
Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita (Suny Series in Religious Studies)
by Robert Minor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.25

5.0 out of 5 stars The glory of Bhagavadgita: Various philosophical interpretations, 27 Dec. 2010
This edited book is an analysis of the interpretation of Bhagavadgita by modern interpreters such as; Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Swami Sivananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Vinoba Bhave, Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, Bhankim Chandra, and the theosophical society. This review provides a perspective on their thought and identifies common themes among them. Their essential belief is that the message of the Gita transcended its historical circumstances. Each thinker sought the meaning by his personal experience and socio-political situation in India. The allegorical method which the theosophists believed brought correct understanding of the Gita as a battle between the higher and lower elements of reality in spiritual evolution, of the human monad versus its lower passions. Gandhi and Bhave interpreted the battle of Mahabharata teaches ahimsa (non-violence) as the best solution for all conflicts. The work of Tilak and Bhaktivedanta are exceptions to this allegorical interpretation of the battle. Besides being a religious text for Bhak¬tivedanta, the battle is an historical event which took place about 5,000 years ago. Tilak viewed the battle literally and believed that the Gita raised the true karma yogi above the limitations of conventional morality and the law. Hence killing an evil is justified as long as it is accompanied by non-attachment to the results. The author of Gita claims that the performance of action done without concern for its outcome result in a realization that one's true self was devoted to the Lord of the universe, Krishna. The unacceptable part for many Vedic scholars at that time and the Theravada tradition of Buddhism was that caste system created by Krishna (verse 4.13) was explicit that one must not depart from their duties (Varna-dharma) of the caste they belong to (verses 3.26, 29).

The esoteric interpretation of Tilak is a combination of traditional and modern scholarship. For Gandhi, the esoteric interpretation was based upon living the Gita in one's own life and his experiments with Truth provided the correct interpretation. Aurobindo brings his experiences of higher levels of consciousness to the understanding of Gita. But Bhaktivedanta claims the insights of correct master-disciple succession as opposed mundane scholarship is essential. Sivananda also claimed an authentic line of succession, and his own self-realization within that spiritual inheritance is the apparent basis for his interpretations. Though Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan were less interested in esoteric interpretations, Radhakrishnan speaks of the eternal truths of the Gita which need recognition apart from its historical teachings, and these are based upon an es¬sential religious experience found in all traditions, best expressed by tat tvam asi, "you are That," or Atman is Brahman. Only Bankim Chandra, whose goal was to be a model of western logic, did not claim a special knowledge for interpreting the Gita is required. In each case, the claim to esoteric knowledge is made either directly or indirectly. Many interpreters with the exception of Bhaktivedanta, Aurobindo, and Bankim Chandra relate its metaphysics to Advaita Vedanta.

Gandhi finds the "great utterance" in the last twenty verses of chapter two as does his disciple Vinoba Bhave. Aurobindo uses verses 15.16-17 and Radhakrishnan emphasizes verse 2.16 as the basis for the Gita's metaphysics. For Tilak, karma yoga and not any particular verse, and Bhak-tivedanta in a similar manner use the principle of Krishna-con¬sciousness in the entire text to understand the Gita's purport. Vivekananda emphasizes the reconciliation of all paths to the divine and karma yoga using verses 4.11 and 6.5. Bhankim Chandra's interest in western and logical interpretations may have been best fulfilled by the early chapters which enabled him to discuss ethics without delving too deeply into the more metaphysical passages. For Bhaktivedanta the centrality of bhakti that moves the Gita from its discussions of non-attached action. For the others, devotion to a personal divine being is less valuable than action, intuitive knowledge of the Atman, and the experience of the Unity behind all duality (Advaita).

The Western criticism of Hinduism of polytheism, animal sacrifices, caste system, and idolatry is defended by Indian reformers as they were charges of deficiency or ignobility. They usually did so by denying that these elements were essential to the belief in Vedic traditions and all demigods represented one true God.

1. The Philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita
2. Bhagavad Gita: Its Feeling and Philosophy
3. Hindu Philosophy: The Bhagavad Gita or the Sacred Lay
4. Philosophy of the Gita (American University Studies Series V, Philosophy)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva Dasa
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of Hare Krishna Movement in the United States, 16 Dec. 2010
This is an excellent chronicle of the birth and establishment of the great spiritual movement of Krishna consciousness in the United Sates during the period of 1966-69. The author was one of the first three disciples who were initiated into the organization, and he being an English professor with good writing skills became a close confidante of his guru and assisted him in editing, translating and re-writing some of the manuscripts that included the organization's magazine, "Bhagavadgita as it is", and Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is an intimate, lively, and highly engrossing story. The author recalls that the details of the beginnings of the movement were recorded while events were still fresh; mainly from notebooks, diaries, and his memory. It covers the life of his guru and the disciples on Lower East Side of New York, and later in Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco with flourishing hippie culture that believed in rebellion, LSD, love, music and sex. The last section of the book describes the history behind the building of New Vrindaban in West Virginia which by itself makes a fascinating story. This book convinces its readers that this spiritual awakening in 1966 was genuine and the circumstances were natural for the creation of Krishna Consciousness movement. Matchless Gifts, a small storefront at 26 Second Avenue, New York, became the first Krishna temple and the nearby Tomkins Square Park became the first public place for chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

The main goal of ISKCON was to spread the spiritual knowledge of Bhagavadgita around the world through sankirtan movement of Lord Chaitanya, to bring mankind consciousness of Krishna and thereby attain peace, and to erect a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna. He also introduced eight rules for the devotees that included strict vegetarianism, no illicit sex, do not mix extensively with non-devotees, do not eat food prepared by non-devotees, no sports, and always chant Krishna maha-mantra. He also ruled that all devotees must read Bhagavadgita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita.

The work of Prabhupada gradually spread during 1966-69 through television, newspapers, and other media outlets and through the word of mouth. People interested in Indian philosophy around the country began to read the work Prabhupada in New York, and soon more young people expressed interest to join his movement. Jadurani became the first female devotee; during this period the women were not treated equally. This unfairness existed for few years within the organization, even though in the history of Vaishnavaism, some of the great devotees of Krishna were women. Meerbai, a 15th century poetess and the devotee of Lord Krishna was a woman, and her bhajans are still being sung in temples across India.

The movement started to grow when San Francisco becomes the second city to build the Krishna temple largely with hippies as new Krishna devotees. Prabhupada proudly called this temple the New Jagannathapuri. The local government began to apprecaite the new movement because of Prabhupada's efforts to divert hippies away from LSD to lead disciplined lives; office of the mayor of New York was one of them. George Harrison and many rock groups expressed support for the organization including well known book publishers. The third temple in Montreal, Canada, and the fourth in Boston, MA came into existence; around this time, devotees in Santa Fe, NM and Los Angeles, CA built their own temples. The first Rathayatra was celebrated in San Francisco. In August 1968, Mr. Foster, the owner of the property in Moundsville, WV signed the lease out to ISKCON that would become the New Vrindaban.

A great deal is written about the first few followers of Prabhupada in this book, especially the very first disciple, Swami Kirtananda, but the author never mentions Kirtananda leaving the ISKCON movement for almost a year, from September 1967 until his emotional reunion with Prabhupada in July 1968. It was during this period Kirtananda went to live at a rundown farm in West Virginia which later became New Vrindaban. It is also interesting to note that the author who had an arranged marriage with another devotee, Shama Dasi from San Francisco never mentions his wife or his family life in this book, except the marriage ceremony on Dec 25, 1968

The readers also learn some interesting things about Prabhupada. He had very negative opinions of other Indian gurus and spiritual leaders, notably of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda whom he called mad monks. He was very critical of the entire Vedanta Society's philosophy. He ridicules Dr. Radhakrishnan's interpretation of Gita as impersonal, calls his philosophy a "Mayavadi philosophy." His criticism stems from the interpretation of verse 9.34 in which Krishna tells Arjuna; "Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisance's and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, Surely You will come to Me." He also disagrees with Mahatma Gandhi's interpretation that Gita teaches non-violence, although Prabhupada expresses his respect for Gandhi's sincerity. He also expresses his dislike for Nobel Laureate Rabindanath Tagore. He was also very critical of Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and yoga practitioners, especially hatha-yoga practitioners whom he calls rascal yogis. Prabhupada was also in disbelief of NASA's landing on the moon. He argued that it is impossible for human beings to land there, and suggested that moon is another planet and its inhabitants have another state of existence and ordinary human beings cannot see them. Such comments gave very negative publicity for the movement.

1. The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant
2. Inside the Hare Krishna Movement: An Ancient Eastern Religious Tradition Comes of Age in the Western World
3. Hare Krishna Transformed (New and Alternative Religions)

Rebel Buddha
Rebel Buddha
by Dzogchen Ponlop
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to the metaphysical thoughts of Buddhism, 16 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Rebel Buddha (Hardcover)
The author, a founder-teacher of Nalandabodhi, an international network of Buddhist practice centers, also teaches the Buddhist wisdom and meditation around the world. In this book he shares his journey of mind and spreads the message of Buddha about life, physical reality, and freedom to attain eternal bliss and liberation from the sufferings.

The summary of his work is as follows: The problem with humans is that we don't see who we truly are at the deepest level. We don't recognize the power of our enlightened nature. We trust the reality we see before our eyes and accept its validity until something comes along like an illness, accident, or disappointment, disillusion and frustration. Then we start questioning our beliefs and start searching for a more meaningful and lasting truth. On this road, what we free ourselves from is illusion, and what frees us from illusion is the discovery of truth. To make that discovery, we need to enlist the powerful intelligence of our own awake-mind and turn it toward our goal of exposing, opposing and overcoming deception. That needs to be the essence of life, and the mission of this book is to gain wisdom and knowledge to free ourselves from these illusions which masquerade as reality in our cultural and religious institutions.

First we must start looking at the dramas in our life, not with our ordinary eyes, but with the eyes of dharma. The drama of illusion which appears like truth and dharma is truth itself, the absolute reality. Our personal dra¬mas may begin with the "facts" about who we are and what we are doing, and then fueled by our emotions and concepts, which quickly evolves into pure imagination and become as difficult to decipher as the storylines of our dreams. Then our sense of reality becomes further and further removed from basic reality itself. We lose track of who we really are. We have no means of telling fact from fiction or developing the self¬-knowledge or wisdom that can free us from our illusions. The author suggests that it may take a long time to see the differences between drama and dharma in one's own life, because the drama of life wove together with the dharma of life. But this is achieved through meditation and wisdom. This search is what this book is all about.

We all want to find some meaningful truth about who we are, and we find it when we're guided by our own wisdom-our own "rebel Buddha" within. With meditational practice, we can sharpen our eyes and ears of wisdom, so that we recognize the truth when we see it or hear it. But this kind of looking and listening is an art we must learn. So often, when we think we're being open and receptive, but our mind is full of conclusions, judgments, or our own version of facts. We are more intent on getting an approval for what we think than learning something new. But when we're genu¬inely open-minded, what happens? There's a sense of space and invita¬tion, a sense of inquisitiveness and of real connection with something beyond our usual selves. In that situation, we can hear whatever truth is speaking to us in the moment, whether the source is another person, a book, or our perceptions of the world itself. It's like listening to music. When you're totally into it, your mind goes to a different level. You're listening without judgment or intellectual interpretation because you're listening from the heart. That's how you need to listen when you want to hear the truth. When you can feel the truth on that level, then you discover reality in its naked form, beyond culture, language, time, or location. That is the truth discovered by Siddhartha when he became the Buddha, or "Awakened One." Awakening to who we really are beyond our personal dramas and shifting cultural identities is a process of transforming illu¬sion back into its basic state of reality. That transformation is the revolu¬tion of mind we are here to explore.

In this book the author presents a culturally stripped-down vision of the Buddhist spiritual journey, the true wisdom, the knowledge that brings freedom and not bondage. The reader has to prime him or herself to connect with these ancient teachings on wisdom with contemporary sensibilities. On the spiritual path, this rebel is the voice of your own awakened mind. "Rebel Buddha" is the renegade that gets you to switch your allegiance from sleep to the awakened state. This means you have the power to wake up your dreaming self, the imposter that is pretending to be the real you. You have the means to break loose from whatever binds you to suffering and locks you in confusion. You are the champion of your own freedom, just like Siddhartha who unlocked the secrets of the inner world of mind.

The title of the book is misleading (even though the author explains why he uses this term), and the front page design of Buddha's picture composed of many commercial logos and brands is also inappropriate.

1. Mind Beyond Death
2. Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen

Fodor's France 2011
Fodor's France 2011
by Fodor Travel Publications
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A traveler's guide to France, 16 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Fodor's France 2011 (Paperback)
Fodor's guides are a kind of standard for travelers, since it contains destination detail, with their own ratings of tourist's spots, motels & restaurants, shops, and other attractions. Although Michelin and AAA also have their own ratings for tourists spots, I like the Fodor's a little better since it has greater detail and nicer pictures.

The book is divided into 16 chapters, which includes the 15 regions of France with a separate section on Paris. Exploring Paris includes numerous places of attraction. These include the magnificent Grand Palais, the France's largest Cathedral Notre Dame, and the details of tour of Eiffel Tower. Page 98 gives the overall guide for French dining, and page 119 highlights the places to stay. A tour of Versailles (Page 175) is one of the most interesting experiences of visiting France.

Champagne region situated in the North Eastern part of the country is known for some of the best sparkling wines produced from Marne Valley between Epernay and Chateau-Thierry and the slopes of the Montagne de Reims. Champagne tasting tours are usually at various houses miles away from Vineyards and farms. Some of the tours include maze like cellars (caves), and your experience could range from hilarious to despairingly tedious. Experiencing the underground crayers is a must for all visitors to the Champagne country. There are also many hiking trails in the region. Burgundy, one of the regions in Eastern part of the country is also another great place to visit.

St-Tropez in the French Riviera is a great place to be if you have money to spend because the place is outrageously priced and it is hard to get to the beaches.

1. France 2010 - atlas (A3-Spiral) (Michelin Tourist & Motoring Atlases)

Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure
Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure
by Glenn Beck
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.57

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restarting the Economic Machine of America, 18 Nov. 2010
Broke - Restarting the Economic Machine of America: The author Glenn Beck explains why he believes the American economy and America as a country has become weak and arrived at the state of being completely broke. What Americans can do to restore the pride of Old Glory? The author emphasizes the importance of understanding the economic policies that has faltered in the last 234 years, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with what he refers to as the recklessness of Presidents Bush and Obama. This isn't exactly a new theme for Beck who has been predicting an economic crisis for several years. To fix ourselves financially, the author argues that we have to fix ourselves first. That means some serious introspection and a series of actions that will unite all Americans around the concept of shared sacrifice.

The book is described in three sections; it begins with American history since revolution, the American constitution, and in the second section, the economic policies of several past presidents and Obama. Finally in the last section the author suggests a plan and describes how his understanding of religion, government, and family plays a role in fixing our current problems. He suggests that we believe in America as a global leader and reshape the government to work with the people. Decentralize power and authority, cut spending, stop printing money and create policies that support a sound currency. And finally live your own life so that you are not dependent on the government. Some of his suggestions in his plan are controversial but the author makes it clear that sound conservative values are the only way to get back to our past glory. Many readers who watch him on Fox News Network regularly know that sometimes his arguments are outlandish but most of the time he tells the truth and discusses the issues freely and honestly.

Tea For Two (DVD) [1950]
Tea For Two (DVD) [1950]
Dvd ~ Doris Day

5.0 out of 5 stars The Broadway Star, 16 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Tea For Two (DVD) [1950] (DVD)
This story is about one Nanette Carter (Doris Day) who is a stage struck heiress living with her uncle Maxwell Bloomhaus (S.Z. Sakall). She inherits a large fortune from her late father for which her uncle is responsible for safe keeping. Being a risk-taking Wall Street broker, he invests all her money, against the advice of his lawyer William Early (Bill Goodwin) in stocks just before the collapse of stock market in 1929. In the mean time Nanette is being pursued by her annoying friend Larry Blair (Brian De Wolfe) for financial assistance in supporting his collapsing Broadway production "No No Nanette". Nanette, who is unaware of her financial loss, is pressured to back the show written by Jimmy Smith (Gordon McRae) and Tommy Trainor (Gene Nelson). To help convince her, Larry brings Jimmy and Tommy to her house, where he pretends that Jimmy needs the money from the show to pay for his sister's operation. Tommy and Jimmy play her some songs from the show, and despite the misgivings of her secretary, Pauline Hastings (Eve Arden), Nanette agrees to back the show. Jimmy then suggests that Nanette play the lead, replacing Larry's girl friend, Beatrice Darcy (Patrice Wymore) which outrages her. That night, Nanette asks Max to sell some of her securities. Not wanting to tell her the truth, he agrees to give her the money on condition that she must say "no" to everything for forty-eight hours. During this time Nanette's negative responses to some of Larry's questions discourgaes other backers of the show. Also her negative response to Jimmy, with whom she has developed some romantic interest, also discourages him to pursue love interest. Max encourages Jimmy to propose to Nanette, but even though she loves Jimmy, Nanette does not say "yes." At the end Nanette learns about her loss in stock market, but Pauline convinces William Early to back the production, which later becomes a success. At the end, Pauline and William, and Nanette and Jimmy get hitched. Beatrice Darcy gets back with the choreographer of the show, Tommy Trainor with whom she had romantic inertest prior to getting involved with Larry Blair.

The Broadway musical was remade three times, but the 1950 version, titled "Tea for Two" directed by David Butler is the best of the three. It has the hits by Youmans ("Tea for Two" and "I Want to be Happy"), and also tunes by the Gershwin, Harry Warren and Al Dubin. The production was set in a beautiful 1929-style mansion. The movie is a good comedy and the funny moments are the crazy balancing act between Nanette and Beatrice that Larry is forced to go through. The typically cynical comments of Pauline and tardy approach of Nanette to win her man is the finer part of the story.

1. The Doris Day Anthology Collection [DVD]
2. Doris Day Collection [DVD]

Morocco [DVD]
Morocco [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gary Cooper
Price: £5.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlene Dietrich's marriage with Hollywood, 16 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Morocco [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 1930 movie when film industry was just transitioning from silent movies into sound films, and it was at this time when Marlene Dietrich made her way into Hollywood working with some of the best directors like, Josef von Sternberg and Billy Wilder. Although this is not her best, but she went on to make other great movies in collaboration with Sternberg; The Blue Angel (1930) and Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), The Devil Is a Woman (1935); and "A Foreign Affair" directed Billy Wilder.

The French foreign Legion marches into Morocco as singer Amy Jolly (Marlene Dietrich) arrives from Paris to work at Lo Tinto's cabaret. Legionnaire Tom Brown (Gary Cooper) who happens to be at the club catches her seductive tuxedo-clad act. Both become attracted to each other but bruised by their past lives, they walk cautiously into a romantic relationship while being pursued by others. A wealthy French businessman Monsieur La Bessiere (Adolph Menjou) loves Amy dearly but she couldn't careless for him. Tom Brown has on going affair with Madame Caesar (Eve Southern), wife of one of the officers at his post. The two lovers fight incessantly and make up, but when Brown is sent to a dangerous mission, everyone at the post including Amy and Monsieur La Bessiere concludes that he will never return. Amy decides to follow him like a teenage girl smitten by love and tracks him down at a tavern near the front. Then she starts following him, non-stop, first on high heels, then on naked feet, with a handful of native women, donkeys and goats through the deserts of Spanish Sahara. She never looks back. It is a stunning ending, but nevertheless beautiful. Anyone who is a fan of Marlene Dietrich loves her films. She is adorable, elegant, graceful, poised in rendering her intense sexuality.

1. The Blue Angel - - Two Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1930]
2. Angel [DVD] [1937]
3. Scarlet Empress [DVD] [1934]

Inside the Hare Krishna Movement: An Ancient Eastern Religious Tradition Comes of Age in the Western World
Inside the Hare Krishna Movement: An Ancient Eastern Religious Tradition Comes of Age in the Western World
by Mukunda Goswami
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief history of ISKCON Communications Briefings in Hare Krishna movement, 11 Nov. 2010
The author began his work in Hare Krishna organization as the ISKCON communi¬cations director for the opening ceremony of Mumbai temple in 1978. It was the time when ISKCON was largely viewed as a cult both in India and abroad. The leadership and its communications wing had to adapt a military-style approach to find good leadership, dedicated followers, and loyal allies. The organization needed to have sound strat¬egies, regulation, discipline, and confrontation with critics and distracters. Growing in a relatively hostile environment the group had to protect from malicious attack, and fighting for spiritual justice. ISKCON Communications Global (ICG) created favorable strategy for advancing its goals and building a comprehensive infrastructure for the 21st century. This book explains how ISKCON quietly developed its identity, and it certainly makes a good discussion topic for an undergraduate class in modern religion/new age movement or journalism or marketing. The book is described in 10 chapters and each chapter deals with ISKCON Communications Briefings (ICB) for each year starting from 1989. A major part of ICG's activity is to ensure that devotees can connect, share information, de¬bate issues, and know what is happening in ISKCON world. We learn from this book the specific problems the organization faced. This book discusses the advice provided to answer such questions as: ''Are you a cult? Doesn't singing and dancing in public put people off? Isn't public soliciting for money annoying to the public? What about murder, drug abuse, and other criminal activities in the organization?

The ICB followed a policy of strict privacy until 1991. It was thought be an "inside" information because the ISKCON distracters were not just vociferous but were also in head-hunting (paid kidnappings) and de¬programming efforts. This information ban was lifted in 1991, but the newsletter usually remained within the confines of local temples. The writings commented on events of the day: the demise of Mother Teresa and of Princess Diana, euthana-sia, nuclear proliferation, Oprah Winfrey's legal battle over meat, and issues on the environment mainly from the Hare Krishna viewpoint. In one instance in 1976, Srila Prabhupada was angered by a defamatory article that appeared in a Bombay tabloid called Blitz. The devotees contacted magazine but the stories continued for nearly a month, and later it also published favorable articles about ISKCON. The planned lawsuit was called off. Another interesting development was in 1986 in Springbook, Australia, the Krishna kids sang Hari Bandhu's arrangement of "Dear Mr. Gorbachev, Please Let Our Friends Go." This was promoted in support of the oppressed Soviet Hare Krishnas, culminating in a popular record sung by twelve-year-old Prahlada dasa, the media covered this campaign, and the two pictures (in this book) of adorable Krishna kids in traditional attire singing, and holding protest signs outside Soviet embassy in Sydney speaks volumes about the tremendous effect on the conscious of the public.

The Sunday feast is a traditional temple service followed by generous distribution of prasadam (delicious vegetarian dishes) in the form of Food for Life has helped the positive image of the organization. In the wake of a US Supreme Court decision banning collecting monies for books in US airports, ISKCON Los Angeles took its case before the Los Angeles City Council early 1990s, and its purpose was to establish its right to distribute books and collect money in the Los Angeles airport. The council agreed with ISKCON, a successful negotiating strategy worked. ISKCON used the threat of a lawsuit as a means to negotiate for a positive story. One such battle was with NBC in 1978 when NBC aired a malicious story about ISKCON's Bombay temple. The threat of lawsuit resulted in the airing of another positive story about the "Palace of Gold" in West Virginia.

Good community relations with neighbors have helped ISKCON centers in Detroit, Dallas, and Kiev (Ukraine). In 1980s, devotees in Detroit purchased several houses opposite the temple and renovated them and the local government and neighborhood associations treated this as good commu¬nity service. The area was like a slum but ISKCON volunteered to improve the neighborhood. Similar story from East Dallas, a poverty pocket of the city, but the devotees dug in, bought houses near the temple, and started renovating them. They also turned a school-house into a beautiful temple room, built up an attractive and popu¬lar restaurant, and managed all operations carefully and with great concern for the "host" community. In Ukraine, the capital city of Kiev, devotees wanted to construct five floors of a projected seven-story building, which will comprise a temple, community hall, restaurant, and living facilities for men and women. The construction site is in the middle of a suburban residential area. The devotees found themselves with no permission to build, because of widespread corruption in the government, even though they did have all the funds and building materials on hand to complete the entire structure. So they decided to begin an intensive Hare Krishna Food for Life program among their would¬-be neighbors, promising to make this a lifelong program. Local officials tried to pressure the neighbors to petition against the devotees, but to no avail. In fact, the neighbors insisted that ISKCON's plan move forward unobstructed. Their neigh¬bors became supportive of their ongoing presence in the neighborhood.

1. The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant
2. Hare Krishna Transformed (New and Alternative Religions)
3. The Hare Krishna Movement: Forty Years of Chant and Change

Woman In The Window [DVD]
Woman In The Window [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward G. Robinson

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic murder mystery, 11 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Woman In The Window [DVD] (DVD)
Brilliantly portrayed by Edward Robison as a psychology professor Richard Wanley and Joan Bennett as fashion model Alice Reed, the story carries the viewers thorough the drama of intrigue and murder mystery. The screenplay was written by one of the most successful writers of Hollywood, Nunnally Johnson who also wrote for such classics as: The Three Faces of Eve. The Grapes of Wrath, We're not Married, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Dirty Dozen.

The story starts when Richard Wanley, after bidding goodbye to his wife and two children (Robert Blake stars as Dickey Wanley) for a two week vacation, becomes captivated by the portrait of a beautiful woman in the display window of a storefront. His friends, District Attorney Frank Lalor (Raymond Massey) and family physician Dr. Michael Barkstane (Edmond Breon) see him looking at the painting and kid him about his interest in the woman. Later that evening he meets the model who admits that she frequently comes to the spot to check out people's reactions to the painting. A friendly conversation leads the two to drink at the club next door followed by a visit to her apartment, where she shows Richard Wanley other sketches by her artist friend. During this private moment, enters the jealous lover of Alice, Claude Mazard (Arthur Loft) and attacks Wanley thinking he is her lover, when the struggle becomes too much for Wanley, Alice helps him with a scissor to attack him and this result in her lover's death. Both are baffled by the sudden change of events and they make a quick decision to dispose the body in a remote area of the town. By this time it is late in the night. The next day the two learn that the dead man, Claude Mazard is a famous in the field of finance and obviously the case becomes very prominent in the media, and also figure in the friendly conversation with his friends District Attorney Lalor and physician Barkstane. Soon Wanley learns the crime solving minds of Lalor and Police Inspector (Thomas E. Jackson) and realize that they are closing on him. Since the guilty mind doesn't rest, Wanley frequently gives clues to DA that he knows too much about the crime scene. Complicating matters for the worse, a con man and an extortionist named Tim, a.k.a Heidt (Dan Duryea) starts scaring Alice Reed that he will go to the police against her and her new lover who may have been involved in the murder. The movie has a strange ending where the extortionist is shot dead by the police in a shootout and they find some personal belongings of the murder victim which he retrieved from Alice Reed's apartment. DA is too smart to believe that Dan Duryea is the real killer but under circumstances he has to accept that theory since Richard Wanley, too scared by the worsening of events by the minute, commits suicide. The ending is somewhat strange and intriguing which the readers must learn by watching the movie.

The dialog between Wanley and Lalor is very interesting as Wanley self incriminates himself several times that demonstrates the quick mind of the DA played Raymond Massey. At one instance he says: "It's all right Richard, don't get excited. We rarely arrest people just for knowing where the body was". As always, Edward Robinson demonstrates that he is one of the finest actors of Hollywood and Joan Bennett plays as somewhat seductive young woman. She may be remembered for her another memorable performance in Louisa May Alcott's classic "Little Women," starring Kathryn Hepburn and Joan Bennett. "The woman in the window" is a great drama with plenty of mystery.

1. Little Women [1933] [DVD]
2. Three Faces of Eve [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
3. How To Marry A Millionaire [DVD] [1953]
4. Scarlet Street [DVD] [1946]

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