Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum
Raves/Rants about the goings-on on a little blue inconsequential planet in a small and relatively uninspiring solar system which is on the far end of a small and wholly unspectacular galaxy in the large universe.

Mumbai Terror Attacks - Talking Points

Category: , , , By El Subliminal
Quite obviously, I've been mulling over topics that most people have been mulling over the last few days - under water basket weaving. 

Seriously though, this post is to list some of the talking points which I hope to address  - some aspects of the whole affair which have not been adequately addressed everywhere else - on this blog.

These include:

a) The sucky media coverage. The Indian media has clearly failed miserably. I can't decide what sucks more - the completely disgusting and inept media coverage, or the Indian government not having a consistent PR strategy that may have contributed to the perceived ineptness.

b) Bias in the western media towards Pakistan. While I have to give it to the suave Pakistani spokespeople (compared to the slobby, overweight people put out by the Indian Govt. as official spokesmen), the western media has had a consistent bias against India for a long time.

c) Political Correctness - that I think is one of the single biggest factors of the continuing decline of civilization as we know it - and how it is affecting the current crisis. 

d) Colossal ineptitude of the Indian Authorities: This is sure to ruffle the feathers of many readers, but it has to be addressed. The image of pot-bellied Mumbai cops storming to 
engage the terrorists does not exactly inspire confidence.  

Stay tuned.

Remember, remember, the 4th of November

Category: , , By Satchal
The phrase, my post-election recapitulation of the Guy Fawkesian ballad, is rich with irony.

Most associate Guy Fawkes with the Vaudevillian "V" from the graphic-novel-turned-major-motion-picture V for Vendetta, the character who sought to end a British autocracy by symbolically blowing up Parliament as in inspiration for a national rebellion. And yet the original Fawkes was a pro-Catholic anti-Protestant Theocrat, who sought to blow up the aristocratic British parliament and return England to religiously-upheld rule. The stark contrast with a pop culture character has a stunning resemblance to the anachronistic Conservative movement that sought to set back 21st century America into Guy Fawkes' 16th century.

I had always associated America with not just religious tolerance, but as a secular state that embraced all religions (and yes, there is a difference between the two). And yet, the Bush administration, wearing its faith on its sleeve, has largely sought to annihilate this notion, and has given credibility to the Pat Robertsons of the world, folks who feel the United States is a Christian nation, and to be anything else is anti-American. This doesn't do justice to the diversity in the United States, but I'm not sure anyone took notice until Colin Powell's articulate endorsement of Barack Obama on the Meet the Press a few weeks ago. Worse still had been the divisive politics played by John McCain and Sarah Palin, neither of whom I am sure are racist, but who incited and nurtured those feelings in the basest of their base.

Fast forward a few weeks, and you have the stunningly cathartic moment that brought you last night's election result. That America, after eight years of fear-mongering and divisive politics, could embrace a mixed race candidate with little legislative experience but a thoughtful and well-articulated plan will go a long way to slamming the door on the racial and religious fracturing that had become the standard Republican playbook in recent elections.

This election not only represents a new sense of inclusion for all, but my sincerest hope is it will return the celebration of intellectualism, of ideas, and of a meritocracy that had once been the hallmark of the American state.

Ultimately, one hopes it will bring a return of power and stability to the middle-class. It is useful to note the middle-class is a singularity in the history of our species. For much of human history, there has been a ruling class, and a working class. In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt put forth the policy changes that resulted in the middle class, a notion that has been embraced around the world. These policies have been under attack that past 25-30 years with the advent of trickle-down economics. Yesterday's election was a referendum on the failure of those policies. Ironically, the largely middle- and working-class attendees booing at McCain and Palin rallies, when the two mentioned "redistribution of the wealth", are the people who stand to benefit the most from that redistribution (which is the essential concept of taxation).

The task before Obama, and really all of us, remains large and imposing, but we took the first step last night, and for that reason, let us always remember this 4th of November.

How can she slap me?!!

Category: By El Subliminal
Hiatus ends with this.
Biggest news to come from India. What is most interesting (and depressing) at the same time
is the portion where our protagonist (Ravi Bhatia) , despite getting his arse whopped, yells "How can she slap me SIR".

This is truly sad as despite being in a traumatic situation, he still remembers to address one of his attackers as "Sir". The socio-economic biases are so deep rooted, its not even funny.
Then you have the grade A asshole - the co-host (I won't waste innocent pixels on talking about the bitch of a co-host), putting the guy in place , talking about 'aukaad', which translates to 'position'. And the co-host knew he could get away doing anything.

Another similar incident
Sickening, the bully knew he was going to get away with it. 

Only in India.


India and Nuke Deal(The Trust Vote)

Category: , , By El Subliminal
So am happy that the UPA has defeated the whiny lefties and the fascist right wingers.
Not only that, the PM did it with style.
I thought it was brilliant of the PM to contrast his own record (impeccable) with that of Advani's (the bloody thug). And I'm also surprised and elated that the PM decided to lace his own vision with good science and technology.
I only hope that now the govt. will act soon and finalize the nuke deal before the democrats come to power.


The Stupidity of the Conservative Right

Category: , By Satchal
OK, my apologies for the title. I rarely take such a hard line on anything. But these ridiculous remarks by radio host Michael Savage are the limit, and all the idiots who truly believe this nonsense are quite simply ignoring a half-century of research on the subject.

It goes beyond that as well. Savage hosts a tremendously popular show, carried by radio stations all over the country, which is stunning, considering one could fertilize one's lawn with the contents of the show. The spread of antediluvian bilge by pretentious right-wing windbags such as Savage continues to steep huge segments of America in the intellectual stone age, but perhaps my criticism should be directed at the fools who've made this show so popular.

We've entered an age of scientific research where the "Autism Spectrum of Disorders" is beginning to be regarded as phenotypic diversity among humans (in essence, just a part of the variety of our species). The spectrum encompasses a wide variation in behavioral patterns, intellect, and levels of social interaction. One of the most widely described is the ability to focus dedicatedly on a particular interest, and phenotypic traits associated with "genius" are often ascribed to high-functioning forms of autism. For these reasons, Einstein was believed to have been autistic. In more recent times, Bill Gates has been identified by experts as an autism sufferer. Scientists in fact believe most people exhibit at least a few of the symptoms identified as part of the Autism spectrum.

The bottom line is that there actually are learning and social disabilities that prevent children from developing "normally", and rather than scolding or punishing them, we should seek to better understand the nature of these disorders and help nurture the talents of these kids, and not tell the "brats" to "cut out their act". You're totally wrong, Mr. Savage.

For those interested in learning more about the spectrum of disorders, here are a couple of good resources: Autism Today, and OASIS.

Creationists: Eat this!

Category: , By El Subliminal
A brilliant post by Hitchens as usual. Most idiots propounding intelligent design often use as an example the eye. How can something as complex as the eye come about by evolution? Surely there must be a higher force driving the creation of the eye. Ya whatever.

The piece is about cave salamanders, which live in caverns around the world. The amazing thing is that since these creatures have been living in an area where there is no light, these animals have lost the need for eyes and hence have no eyes.

This is mind boggling. Read the bit about what Dawkins says - awesome.

Science - 1 , Stupidity - 0

Take that all you I.D. cretins..

India-US Nuke Deal

Category: , By El Subliminal
While my views on the nuke deal have been voiced before, this piece of excrement
just bolsters my already dim view of the Left in India. Now they are ready to side with the fascist right wingers. Wonders never cease!

What's next?
The Left officially recognizing religion? I wouldn't be surprised if they did that.