Irritants XVIII

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


It’s been almost three years since I’ve written one of these whine-fests, though this time, the vexations are a bit more serious than mere peeves.

Caucasus. Not only is this term often misspelled as “Caucases” by many in our community (and even a well-known policy publication only a day before I wrote these words), but it is also misapplied geographically. First, I would ask that everyone be wary of making this mistake, since the Caucasus Mountains are indeed close to our homeland, and misspelling their name is embarrassing. That is the perfect Segway into the irritant aspect of this. Often, Armenia (at least its eastern portion) is “placed” in the region referred to as the “Caucasus” – it EMPHATICALLY is not! Armenia is located in what has been referred to, for at least two millennia, as “the Armenian highlands” or “the Armenian plateau” – neither the Caucasus nor Anatolia. This is a leftover from Russian expansionist and imperial days when what are today named Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia were collectively called “Trans-Caucasia.” It is a Russo-centric term based on the fact that Armenia lies south of the Caucasus Mountains, and for an empire based north of those mountains, it was “trans” – across – them. The “trans” has largely disappeared from usage, but the erroneous application to Armenia persists. Let’s end it.

While in in Eastern Armenia, and specifically today’s Republic, let’s address the destructive fish farming that has taken hold there. Recently, I read that some of the fish farmers are complaining about being driven out of business by the high cost of fish food. I can’t say that I am saddened by this because of the damage the industry has been causing. Aquifers (underground “rivers” or “lakes” that store water) which accumulate their stores of H2O in geological time are being depleted at dizzying rates to fill large holes, dug in the Araratian plain to raise fish in, can be filled with water so that oligarchs such as Prime Minister Hovig Abrahamian can get even richer. This lowers the water table and traditional farmers and villagers end up with less or no water unless they undertake greater expense to drill ever deeper wells. If (U.S.) farmed salmon is an indicator, any fish grown in those artificially created ponds are probably unhealthy. In case you were not aware, farmed salmon is fed food with orange die in it so the fish’s flesh takes on the hue of normal salmon! This is necessary because they are fenced in and do not have the room to swim around and develop proper muscle tone, leading to the naturally orange color. Stop this abusive, destructive practice!

And, with another interesting segway, let me note that I read a few months ago about desert plants appearing in the Republic of Armenia. If this isn’t an indicator of climate change/global warming, I don’t know what is! I’m on some right-wing mailing lists and to this day, these people are busily misleading their readers about the reality, and seriousness, of the threat posed by climate change to human civilization as we know it. They are in such deep denial that they are now even accusing the 17 state Attorneys General of impinging on Exxon’s “free speech” rights. The free speech they are referring to is more commonly known as lying. Exxon’s duplicity came to light when researchers looked at a trove s corporate records that were given to Columbia University. In those documents was data that Exxon had been compiling before it realized that oil and fossil fuels were likely impacting the climate and chose to embark on a campaign of denial and obfuscation. Basically, using the same methods as the Turkish government and tobacco industry have used in their campaigns of deception. Please, get over your foolishness and let’s work together to minimize the impending damage.

Finally, while we’re on the topic of right wingers, it’s worth noting that they seem to be trying to appropriate the language of those who fight hate. One of the issues where this technique is being used is the unwarranted killings of black and brown citizens by police and the more recent reaction of the randomized killing of police officers in revenge. They claim that those who criticize the police “hate” the police or hate whites. While I have no doubt that some, a very few, fit that description, it is by far NOT representative of the overwhelming number of good people of any color skin who see the murder of innocents by police and are repulsed, saddened, and incensed by it. Add to this the ludicrous contention that when President Obama addresses this problem, he is “dividing” American society. Instead of admitting there’s a problem of utterly innocent people of color being killed too frequently by police officers, the political right trots out statistics that, proportionally, blacks are not killed by police at higher rates than whites. That’s not the question. The question is what proportion of whites killed by police are utterly innocent. And to convey exactly the attitudinal problem that must be addressed among police, please read about the relatively under-reported case of Delrawn Small, shot by an off-duty police officer, in two news items from the “NY Post.” Notice the tone and content of the first piece relative to the second one which has a damning video. Cease and desist with the defense of police misbehavior and let’s simply get on with the job of better training our men and women in blue.


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  1. Shahe' Kasparian said:

    Not worth commenting any more Garen. You will only only go liberal ballistic. Again.

  2. Red-neck Robert said:

    Mr. Yegparian’s self-described “whine-fest” (which I would dub rant bordering on fit or tantrum) is a clear example of either Asbarez’ editorial staff caught napping or of the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coup. Here he clearly shows himself as one who cannot differ without demeaning and disparaging anyone who might fail to be in tune with any of his cherished beliefs., His only worthwhile and useful point to be made here is found with his discussion of fish farming; and his letter would be better received and far less the waste that is, had he limited his discussion to that.
    As an outsider who only became aware of the Armenian experience over the past three decades or so, (It was covered up and ignored in world history when I was a youngster in school in ’60’s.) I have in recent years looked to such sources as Asbarez for truthful, insightful, and courageous behind-the-scenes news which our controlled media routinely ignore. In recent years I have also sought more fervently to add my voice in support of the beleaguered and ignored remnant of the Turkish mass murders of a century ago, the inattention to which sufferings encouraged Hitler to proceed with his agenda on the eve of WWII. I consider it both an honor and privilege to add my voice in support of the descendants of the first Christian nation on earth.
    It is with both sadness and distress, however, that I find here (with Asbarez) not only such rants as Mr. Yegparian’s, but support of Ivy League “social justice” and of power abusers like Brad Avakian; in short, the DNC agenda. Mr. Yegparian, your belittling attitude would convince me that I can no-wise add my voice to yours; despite having published a letter to the editor of the local newspaper criticizing Rep. Steve Cohen (as, among other things, an Armenian enemy), despite making up and publicly displaying my own self-styled T-shirt in commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian suffering on “Holocaust Remembrance” day of last year, and despite contributing to the support of the Artsakh soldiers’ families through an organization I saw mentioned here as wasted and pointless efforts.
    Finally, I beg your pardon if I have managed to disturb your chutzpah and complacency, Mr. Yegparian!

  3. Janapar said:

    As if polarized Armenians needed another thing to argue about but well managed aquaculture is the future.
    Cannot wait to buy the FDA approved frankenfish.

  4. Gregory Boghosian said:

    Dear Sir, I recently retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after 34 years. Your description of recent and/or past police shootings demonstrate your lack of knowledge or maybe ignorance or an agenda to promote disinformation. You are clearly a leftist or more clearly a ” hate the police” democrat. I could write several paragraphs about each of the recent police shootings involving the Police and black suspects or perceived suspects. Whats in common with many of the shootings is the person being contacted does not follow the instructions of the Officer. Sorry….If you are contacted by a Police Officer for whatever reason that is NOT the time to argue,yell,jump up and down, put your hands in your pocket and turn away or any other thing you were instructed not to do.When all is said and done you can go and complain afterwards…..all the crooks know how to make complaints and how to do them….There are all kinds of slip and fall Lawyers who will work in their behalf. What I do know is if the person who ends up being shot did what he was told to do from the start of the contact that person would still be alive. Clue….Don’t fight/struggle with the Police because it can easily turn into situation that nobody wanted. Ferguson….and Black Lives Matter is based on a complete lie which was told by Michael Brown’s “friend”…Hands up don’t shoot never happened. After all the media twists and turns….the rioting and destruction…..the “activists” getting their 15 minutes on T.V. ….the Attorney General vowing that justice will be done with” I feel your pain” nonsense……the Grand Jury and the Federal investigation ( you really should read it…even a Liberal should be able to understand it) found not only the Officer not guilty but innocent. Michael Brown had just finished robbing a store when he attacked the officer beating him and trying to take his gun. By the way that store was burned down in the rioting. It was shocking that Michael Brown’s own mother refused to believe her little angel was the person in the video ” strong arming” the store clerk. But we could go on. I guess Police Officers should be fired and sent to prison before the investigation.There used to be something called Due Process… The F.B.I. and other right wing organizations like the C.D.C. dispute your broad claims of police brutality and racism. Blacks commit 50% of the murders in this country and mostly killing other Blacks. Whites are killed in twice the number of Blacks by Police in shootings…I could go on and on and nobody would ever read it anyway. When a Police Officer is found to have done wrong believe me there is no stone unturned to prosecute. Just like any profession there are police officers who are bad. There are bad Doctors…Bad Lawyers….Bad Politicians…..Bad Attorney Generals….Bad Secretary’s of State and Bad Presidents. The Global warming/Climate change is another leftist lie….the question is…. is it due to man or something called the Sun…The Moon….among other things that affect our planet…..We certainly know the climate changed a few times in the past few million years….well before my 1988 Jetta was born…..To destroy our economy and western Europe’s economy… to possibly change the “climate” by one or two degrees 60 or 100 years from now is another bad left wing agenda…..that is the very brief readers digest version…..much could be written about the Leftist agenda of control…and no….it is NOT true that 90 whatever percent of the Scientists agree about “Global warming”….a hint … its now called ” Climate Change”…….I have no doubt the climate changes….been changing since the planet formed…..what I would really worry about is when the Sun has a big burp or that unseen volkswagen sized rock hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour…at that point all the plastic bags, high capacity magazines, baby dolphins, second hand smoke, GMO’s , THE CORPORATIONS , etc. just won’t matter. Anyway Sir….Have a nice day and stick to fish stories….I’ll take your word on that one….call it a leap of faith……Gregory Boghosian.