Thursday, January 31, 2008
Atheism = Nihilism *
Don't say mum and dad. It could be mum and mum, dad and dad, or dad and that inflatable doll, who are we to judge. Ah, the mind boggles at the possibilities.
And this is why, environmentalism is a cult for all practical purposes.
“The great humans on the earth”, life will go on without humans much more normally and naturally. We all have done enough harm to our surroundings and ourselves.
Lesbian shall inherit the earth. It's not a bad thing actually.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
If Jew did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
Does anyone know what happened to Cynical Nerd & Jaffna ? Have they joined Al- Qaeda? I know for a fact that SSSS (Shri Shri Sharan Sharma) has. We are doomed.
Recent surveys inform us that one of the major reasons behind failure of relationships is dirty socks. Wash 'em.
Or Giuliani ran the lamest campaign, for a once forerunner. Anyway it seems that Mac is back, and this despite opposition from conservative punditocracy including Rush Limbaugh. Huckabee is angling for a VP spot, which he just might get. Assuming it is McCain and Obama, Obama should win, unless McCain hits on security, and hits early and often. If in the unlikely but not entirely impossible even Mitt Romney is the nominee then I guess battleground will shift to economy. The only strong point of Obama is his oratory, if he can be bested at debate, that is the only chance Republicans have.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
(Retrieved from deep freeze)
In his concluding post on WB Rohit argued that if Left Front is to dislodged from power Mamta Bannerjee must evolve as a center of opposition. I disagree.
But first as far as as culpability to heinous act perpetrated by CPM cadre in Nandigram my position is almost similar to Narendra Modi.
1. I support any verdict reached by due legal process.
2. I doubt there will be any verdict.
3. I think there is a good chance that the whole operation was orchestrated by the higher ups .
However the question that is being considered is the a political one, to be more precise electoral defeat of CPM. I have my disagreements here, in spite of being a BJP man.
Now, not to put too fine a point, I am hardly a fan of Mamta Bannerji. She is a street warrior, bereft of any specific direction for policy or any head for political alliances. However even if she was an expert in policy, I doubt it would have been much of a difference to electoral fortunes in CPM. The reason behind unopposed regime of left in Bengal is the manner in which the state has been appropriated as a patronage network to perpetuate party rule. This is similar to what happened in most of the countries with communist rule. This patronage means that it is well nigh impossible to dislodge left in Bengal.
The only strategy, in my view, that can upset this status-quo is one which can mobilize enough people against ruling alliance to extent that the they are ready to forsake the allure of patronage.
The easiest and therefore most political expedient way to achieve this is identity politics.
And this is what we saw in Nandigram unrest which took communal hue. To make the matters worst, it also saw Maoist participation. While this alliance may pose a challenge to left, there is nothing to be happy about it.
As I pointed out earlier, the rise of Islamic politics in Bengal portends ill for the future. The increasing population pressure in Bangladesh has altered demographics in the border districts of Bengal and Assam to a alarming degree. This is a security threat in its own right as pointed out numerous times by Arun Shourie, and when combined with the kind of politics Nandigram signals, a potent recipe for disaster security threat.
On the other hand with the reforms introduced by Buddhadeb, by unleashing change in society, have the potential to render the patronage network obsolete. If this happens it would be ironic.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Has the world gone crazy! What else can explain Quantum of solace. What exactly were the guys thinking. Now don't get me wrong. This may a title for a science non-fiction bestseller, or Paulo Coelho, hell even a Richard Bach, but for James Bond!
of socialized medicine.
You want funny, do you ? You can't have funny, because you can't handle the funny.
All right, you can handle the funny. Here is the funny.
PS. Why does French bashing seem oddly satisfying ?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
We are proud of our defense forces, justifiably so. Our brave soldiers have defended sovereignty of this nation with a degree of courage and self sacrifice rare in this age. However, with the advent of new technology, has rendered an army of professional soldier engaged in conventional combat obsolete. Instead we should our professional journalists to defend our borders. Led by Amit Varma and his friend Mr 'X' from magazine 'Y', no threat or danger to security of Indian can hope to survive them. I say it without exaggeration that the volume of cliche ridden, self stoking writing that Indian journalism seems to generate can suck the will to live just as sucks the air from the atmosphere.
My dear friends, you can sleep, secure in the knowledge that our journalists are putting their lives on the line for you and your family. And they are patriotic unlike soldiers who are "paid" to be patriotic.
PS. Just what kind of patriot doesn't love his country. Either there is some nuance which I am missing, or more likely, Amit Varma is changing his message according to target. For others it will be called lying, but for him it is class.
PPS. Frogji, I hope this answers your question.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Rudy Giuliani and was asked the question that he was asked (via), I would have done this.
I would have made a serious face, "What can I say", drawn a deep breath, looked at the ground, "This is overwhelming", shaken my head, looked up with just an hint of mischief, "I thank New York Times editors from bottom of my heart for their endorsement"
Pure Pwnage !
I think these Americans should amend second article and allow me to contest presidential elections. Because America deserves me.
& Pundits *
Please stop saying ChinIndia. I hate it. It is misleading in that it implies, a synergy, even a future alliance, where none exists and can not exist, besides a very limited and temporary one based purely on convenience, for obvious reasons. Plus it is getting trite.
Next time someone even as much as utters or writes this damn word, I will kill him with my bare hands.
* But I repeat myself.
only about "reproductive right". In fact it is hardly about any right.
If you must know 22nd of this month was 35th anniversary of Roe vs Wade which legalized abortion in US as a constitutional right. And it stinks.
For instance almost all the arguements which are given for abortion can be given for infanticide. Taking care of infants does constrain mother, it does mean more expenditure, so what next, start killing babies.
"Wait", Someone is going to say, "killing baby and abortion is not the same ". And that is what debate should be about. When does the life start ? This is a subjective matter, and the answer is not clear to me at all.
I don't think that life begins when sperm and egg fuse to form a single zygote, so I am not at all impressed with "Life begins at conception because the book says so" side. However to me even more off putting (even repugnant) is pro-abortion position essentially pretending that life begins at delivery. This is crazy talk !
And this is where Roe Vs. Wade was out of the line, it was an stretch to interpret fourteenth amendment to cover abortion. Abortion should have been a matter of constitutional amendment at federal or state level. As it is due to this decision, abortion laws in Europe a much liberal place are much more strict than US.
Anyhow it is this liberal fetish to stretch sensible arguements to absurd limits in order to achieve some fictitious level of parity between gender, in the process vitiating against common sense and common dense, which is disfiguring liberalism from somewhat flawed ideology to a disturbing and a desensitized fetish of overeducated people.
PS. This whole abortion issue has hardly anything to do with India, but still is one that interests me partly because I am politics addict and partly because I am a card carrying holder of VMCPC to keep womyn in their place.
Megan McArdle has covered this issue in many posts
There are times when I begin to like Nilu. Now is such a time.
Exhibit A. You don't defend India, you attack. For example if someone calls your mother fat, you don't try to deny the charge, you tell someone that his mother is a slut.
Update: Maslow ! Where the hell did Maslow come from in all this! I only very good writers (like me) can invoke Maslow
Exhibit B. OMG, RSS has infiltrated USA. Next thing you know, Sanghis will be hijacking planes and crashing them on WTC. Oops some people already did it.
"I am not young enough to know everything" Oscar Wilde
"I am not old enough to know that I know nothing" Me
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Rohit posts an interesting excerpt from Muhammad Iqbal's speech. This speech is considered a turning point in political movement for establishment of Pakistan. However it was not the beginning of intellectual movement for Pakistan. That (dubious) honour goes to speech given in 1888 by Sir Syyed Ahmend Khan to a gathering of Muslim intellectuals, which in itself was a response to emergence of Congress, which was perceived by a prominent section of Muslim intelligentsia as a party of Hindus.
"At this time our nation is in a bad state in regards education and wealth, but God has given us the light of religion and the Koran is present for our guidance, which has ordained them and us to be friends. Now God has made them rulers over us. Therefore we should cultivate friendship with them, and should adopt that method by which their rule may remain permanent and firm in India, and may not pass into the hands of the Bengalis… If we join the political movement of the Bengalis our nation will reap a loss, for we do not want to become subjects of the Hindus instead of the subjects of the "people of the Book…"
Of course my intention is more than tracing a time line for Pakistan and certainly not to play gotcha. It is to emphasize that the Hindu-Muslim issue defies the simple narrative of Muslim League vs Congress (with Hindu Mahasabha as a convenient scapegoat), and goes much deeper to even more fundamental and perplexing question of defining the contour of nationhood.
I think that by refusing to discuss partition we do great disservice not only to general intellectual discourse but also and more importantly to the future of our nation.
Update: It is instructive that none of the triumvirate Sir Sayyed, Iqbal or Jinnah had a fundamentalist background as far as faith is concerned. I think it is more to do with the question of how identity is determined historically than orthodoxy.
Ok I succumb to temptation, apparently there is something called momblogging which right now is (or rather was) at center of much opprobrium *. My views follow.
1. Momblogging is pathetic. Now I have yet to read any of the mombloggers, but the very fact that there are people who blog about their child on a regular basis is pretty sad. I mean, one is horrified at the very prospect of venturing. The posts must go something like "my precious was happy/sick/vaguely annoying". Really people should have a hobby.
2. However momblogging is just a particularly sad instance of personal blogging. Rare exception aside personal blogging invariably descend to describing trite details about monotonous lives of unremarkable people in tedious prose, either that or it is maddeningly annoying reminisces about first kiss/makeout/whatever. It is natural progression for people who were pming girls for asl as hotstud4u a decade back on rediff chat. Really people should have a hobby.
3. But even personal blogging is just a reflection of blogging as a preserve of mostly losers. All said and done, while there are few good topical blogs (and they are all on my blogroll) the vast majority of them is an exercise in narcissism. Which is why the staple diet of blogs is fisking, rant, rinse, and repeat. Frankly all this self pleasure becomes after the hundredth why "Rajdeep Sardesai is a stooge" post. Really I should have a hobby.
*Seriously how could someone have 2x3x7 as blog address. It is stupid.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Related posts ,,,
Dear Don Boudreaux,
I have heard a lot about you, though never actually read anything you wrote, economics not being my cup of tea exactly. Anyhow, I was rather piqued by one of your not so recent posts in which you expressed utmost horror and disgust at the idea that any honest and upright citizen would even consider joining politics.
Now I don't think that it is anyone case that politics is some place where angels and saints would venture, as mired by greed, pettiness and ego as this arena of human endeavor is. However I have a big issue with people who consider themselves "too good for politics".
The simple question is whether politics has a utility or not. As it turns out it has. As an institution body politic enables the dissemination of ideas and ensures their implementation in form of policies. Thus it is beyond absurd to imagine that it is possible to have competitive policies without backed by a sound polity.
Further while I can understand the argument for a minimal state, the truth is owing to problem of coordination, asymmetry in spread of information as well as motivation ( for ideally defined governance is (almost ?) altruist), it is imperative that concerned citizens participate in politics.
To continue the above argument even if somehow this dream of libertarian utopia were to become a reality, with a state which while not quite withered nevertheless has been reduced to enforcement of law the fact remains that it still will be a monopoly. How wise then it is to leave this enterprise in the hands of incompetent. In fact to digress even more, it is this reality that we are genetically attuned to selfishness and altruism means that it is impossible to form a society based solely on rational self-interest as envisaged by libertarians.
And lastly this line of argument is dangerously close to the argument put forward by socialists who indict the capitalism for all the misdeeds of Enron.
In conclusion I just want to repeat what some Greek dude said a long time back, One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Or what some Indian dude is saying now. The flower of liberty is delicate, one which demands utmost attention and care, in absence of which it is a certainty that it will wither away . However it takes nothing more than indifference of people who should have known better for tyranny to take route and flourish. So do reevaluate your judgment.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Remember a while ago I asked why conservatives hate McCain. I think I have the answer. Basically he has an attitude problem. He has a knack of rubbing people the wrong way, not a team player in other words. But this is not what in intriguing. What is interesting is that very rarely people admit that it is his abrasive behaviour which turns them off, even on Internet.
Otherwise I doubt there is any Republican who has never deviated from conservative line, but McCain not only deviated but also insulted and humiliated fellow Republicans, even teaming with the liberals in order to hammer his opponents in his party to submission.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I hereby denounce the shameful incident at Juhu during the new year. Furthermore I am dismayed nay appalled to find that there are many bloggers who have failed to denounce the shameful incident. I am also incensed that there is absolutely no condemnation of such bloggers for their lack of outrage, and apathy, I absolutely condemn this. Further I am insulted, offended even, that there is no denunciation of such an collective indifference. I also find it disheartening that even those who condemned did not do it promptly enough or vociferously enough.
I also announce that from now on I am going to preemptively denounce and condemn any future outrage, in fact I am going one step further and put any thing that ever happens in near or distant time in my condemnation list. I may un-condemn some but only after deliberate considerations.
To understand go here, and this post is shamelessly plagiarized from here, I don't get paid enough to write anything original.
On a serious note, at least to me, what happened at Juhu was much more outrageous than what happened with Indian cricket team. That said, please understand.
"EFFIGY BURNING IS NOT THE SOLUTION, YOU BLATHERING MORONS."
Or for that matter writing self righteous posts or sob stories. But this is something which is incomprehensible to big boob and his toy boy.
Anyway perhaps these posts are relevant.
bothered about who is John Galt, instead I was actually thinking where the heck he came from.
happen to read his eminence's latest. And I thought he couldn't get any worse, sadly I was wrong.
Update: Just in case you are some kind of freak who loves to be miserable here is the article in question. Read. Weep.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
This blog proudly nominates Steve Buckner for Nobel or some big prize for defeating Indian team.
I am optimistic that with the help of such stalwarts, we would be able to get rid of abomination called Cricket.
I hate Cricket
Monday, January 07, 2008
This blog proudly endorses regular commentator Sriram as official dirty man of this blog.
Please keep all your daughters and donuts out of his reach.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Oakeshott was a brilliant advocate for a small-c conservatism of temperament, one that placed trust in institutions, trial-and-error, and muddling-through without iron-clad dogma.
Conscience is important, but conscience must be informed — not dictated to — by institutions, religion, tradition, and, of course, reason.
Of course it is irrelevant to India where every party including BJP aspires for some shade of socialism.
Obama reminds me of change consultant *. Anyhow I think that Obama is going to be the
next second black president of Amreeka.
* Yes Frogji Dilbert reference.
Update 1: Is Huckabee going to be Republican nominee ? Did Giuliani (and McCain) overplay the hand ? I don't know the answer, however rise of preacher is the stuff political lores are made up of.
Update 2: Ewww, makes me feel dirty (via). Plus, the question "who will win in a fight between The Preacher and Captain Platitude", answered (via).
Update 3: Oh Daahling ! Seems I was wrong, Change is the new black in Amreeka. To be frank I am getting sick of this, I hate change ! I say screw change, what was good for Bhagwan Rama is good for me.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Ravikiran explains Hindu rate of growth as a bad pun gone horribly wrong.
Now I knew beforehand what secular rate of growth means, basically some trend like thingy (thanks to interwebs), but it doesn't really prove anything.
For one still there is little matter of how "Hindu" is not the first word which comes to mind when one is looking for antonyms of "secular", even during the Nehruvian era. Of course it would be a different matter altogether, if Ravikiran had evidence for the usage, but somehow knowing him I doubt he has any, for this is not his usual but cartelspeak.
Also there are references galore* which indicate that Hindu rate of growth had negative connotations**, which had to do with historical western perspective of Hindus as fatalist, meek and passive. Of course he would call it paranoia of a Hindutvavadi ***(that is moi), I could have asked him to verify with JK or Mr Dey, only thing I suspect for Ravi both JK and Mr Dey would be Hindutvavadis. Of course for Ravi googling is probably a back breaking task.
Ultimately it comes to this, Ravi has nothing to support his conjecture that Raj Krishna was a poor misunderstool soul who was just having, you know, a bit of fun, but somehow not only he was incompetent enough to not find the correct antonym (which is communal or probably sectarian, for those who didn't study in KV ), but also unfortunate enough to tap into a well established negative stereotype of Hindus for his little joke.
Hmmm, I don't know, but to me it smell like ...... Crap ??
Now reverse the situation, can you imagine how he would have acted if someone else, suppose Shivam or Big Boob was doing this tap dance, how Ravi would have responded ? I don't think there is any need to imagine. So it is seen that Ravi is doing the spinning, but it is us Hindutvavadis who are conspiracy theorists. Well what can I say, Ravi is an honorable man.
Dear Ravi, what gives ?
PS When one gets dizzy from the spinning, one starts vomiting snarks with no point.
PPS . Of course to keep things in perspective, he has said in the past that Raj followed free trade Well ! To paraphrase what Nietzsche said about Christians, in cartelian creed, ideology never came into contact with history at any point.
PPPS This post explain my fundamental distrust of "Indian" libertarians, they are basically intelligent and articulate guys, but they are enslaved to the dogma. And just to clarify I wouldn't have written this if it were His Eminence or Desi John Galt who were being snarky, they are hopeless cases, I expect better from Ravi than this drivel.
* Speaking of galore, which is the best bond movie ever. I am going to download it.
** Of course there is a simple explanation wiki has been hijacked by Hindutvavadis. And yet it is us who are paranoid, not Ravi. Projection anyone ? By the way how come Indian embassy in Russia is also peddling this great Hindutvavadi deception ? O overlord you magnificent
bastard person of unknown parentage !
*** Properly speaking I think we should differentiate between "Hindutva" and "hindutva", former being the ideology proposed by Veer Savarkar. I have not read Savarkar, so I really don't know whether I am Hindutvavaadi or not.
1. I am going to punch idiots who squeeze my arms, seriously stop doing it now, it is inexcusably gay.
2. I am going to punch idiots who whine about kids. Look I can understand your suffering, but do you really have to make others suffer by your vomiting.
3. I am going to punch idiots who use smilies in political discussion. Seriously what's wrong with them !
I already feel better.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
It is somewhat of a mystery to me, why exactly are we (we as in we Indians) supposed to grieve for Benazir Bhutto because, not to sound insensitive or anything, that woman was complicit in killing thousands of Indians. Oh, I suppose it is natural to have a tinge of sympathy, but seriously my sympathy is limited and I will rather spend it on some one who is more deserving. For instance people with no prospect of job.
This is not to say of course that people should gloat, for the simple reason that gloating is just distracting. The problem that Pakistan poses goes beyond what Bhutto did or did not do.
Let's keep the focus folks !
PS. Arnab, Ashok Malik
The question of demagoguery is more tricky but also one which is more crucial to any future prospect of cultural nationalism than political alliances. To simplify things there are two defining characteristics of any movement.
First is the mass mobilization, second is the intellectual framework. Now the problem is masses respond to passion, not cold dissection. Intellectualism, on the other hand, demands the exact opposite. Again while success of revolution is dependent on masses, its endurance is dependent on the strength of intellectual framework. It is the presence of these inherently contradictory forces that makes success of revolution difficult and historically rare.
A revolution led by passionate masses would succeed in overthrowing the status quo, but if it is not guided and informed by the intellect, it ends up devouring its own children.*
On the other hand, insistence on existence of a intellectual framework, which is grounded in nothing except pure reason with no connection to social aspirations, as a pre-condition for revolution, would eventually result in endless intellectual self pleasure, or as Bengalis fondly call Addabaazi (
or as kgpians fondly call it fornicating buckets), but no action on ground.
This would imply that for any group or faction which wishes a revolution followed by a stable (and desirable) condition, there is a need to couple rhetoric with logic, to temper passion with reason, and to reinforce reason with passion.
Which brings us to cultural nationalism as represented by Sangh Parivar. Speaking as someone who has nothing but distaste for the fraud that goes under the guise of secularism **, I have no doubt that Sangh Parivar can not be compared with secular charlatans. However when it comes to carry out a sustained movement towards cultural nationalism, its record has been abysmal.This is due to absence of intellectual to support the mass mobilization, this absence of course is just a specific instance of poverty of ideas from which India suffers.
In a way the reason behind emergence of Sangh Parivar as second pole after decades of existence as marginal player is disaffection of middle class (across India) with the secular, liberal establishment which has thrived by trapping middle class in a guilt zone. Now this constituency, hardly a majority, is the core of BJP, which is augmented by local coalitions based upon caste and other factors. However to make this arrangement enduring the core must be reinforced with a sound philosophy which guides and informs the politics. This sadly has not happened. Instead it is either crass populism (vox populi vox dei) or tired rhetoric from heydays of socialism which has come to represent the platform, to some extent there was a support of economic liberalization, however defeat in 2004*** killed that. Its authenticity on Hindutva was of course lost, perhaps forever, with attempts to gain respectability with secular, liberal establishment.
At risk of being dramatic I think Sangh Parivar is at crossroads. One way is to continue doing what it has been doing so far, in my opinion this leads to end of BJP as a political force which would spell doom for cultural nationalism and along with it end of India as a nation-state****.
Other is to work towards building an intellectual movement on an urgent basis which would counter the existing stranglehold of Hinduphobic dhimmis.
Now Narendra Modi is a demagogue, his expertise is in polemics. True he has come out in flying colors as far as administration is concerned (as opposed the embarrassment called Uma Bharathi), but ceding further ground to what is in effect raging passion of the mob would just further undermine the cause.
To build an intellectual base is not going to be an easy task. The path is enveloped with fog of pretend enlightenment, but this fog must be pierced if any progress is to be made. As John F Kennedy said in a different context, this is a twilight struggle.
* French revolution, Burke was right.
** No it's not pseudo-secularism, it is secularism, which is the culprit.
*** Of course it was to be blamed on hubris, that a comfort of being in power. Ironically Jan Sangh used to be pretty pro capitalism kind of party.
**** Those who believe in nothing, will fall for anything.