A bit on Democracy in India

Democracy is an institution. It’s a human creation. It is not immaculately conceived (unlike the mother of the Christian god.[1]) Putting it up on a pedestal and worshiping it is not dignified. Worse still, it is downright dangerous. The havoc arising out of the mindless, unquestioned, unexamined insistence that things are made better simply by making choices based on a democratic process is plain to see. It’s time we took a frank look at some of those.
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Readings: A Goodbye Letter, and a Bit on Public Radio

It’s from October 2008 but worth a read for its message is fairly time-independent. Hedge Fund Manager: Goodbye and ***k You. It is by Andrew Ladhe, who was the manager of a small California hedge fund. Excerpts . . .
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Arundhati Roy is a Damn Nuisance

Arundhati Roy is really — how should I put it delicately — an attention whore. Maybe she has a point or maybe she doesn’t. Her vile attacks on India are thinly disguised attacks on Hindus. The UPA, which normally would be allied with her united as they are in their hatred of Hindus, find themselves parting company since she is bringing attention to the disaster that is Kashmir — a disaster that Chacha Nehru created. That is not kosher. So what does the UPA do? Try to throttle her. Same as they do with anyone who speaks out against the vile stupidity of their misgovernance.
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The Pale Blue Dot

Carl Sagan was a man of extraordinary vision — and what is more, a man who helped others to see more clearly. Here’s Sagan’s meditation on that little speck seen in this image taken from a distance of 6.4 billion kms from earth, the place we call home. The image was taken by Voyager 1 (launched 1977) in 1990 on its way out of the solar system. It shows earth as if it were a “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” Sagan had persuaded NASA to command the spacecraft to capture this image. He explained the significance of that picture in his 1994 book, The Pale Blue Dot. See below for a reading of that bit by Sagan.
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The US and its Deadly Faustian Bargain

Sometimes the truth is plain to see, not concealed but evident on the surface. And as Louis Armstrong sang, “You must remember this. A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply.” Some things don’t change as time goes by. I remember this whenever I read yet once more that old story of the US selling weapons to both sides of a conflict somewhere in the world.
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Durga Puja Notes

Today is the 8th day of Durga Puja. We Bengalis call it simply as “pujo” which means “worship.” It is the biggest festival for Bengalis across the world. In the SF Bay area, several temples have puja. I will attend a few tomorrow and have some bhog. For now, here’s something I recently learned about from a friend on the East coast: Vigyan Bhairav Tantra.
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In the News

Good news. Geert Wilders was found not guilty in The Netherlands. It is a small victory against the forces of censorship and creeping Sharia in Europe, but a victory nonetheless. Free speech has to be protected if we value our freedom. Otherwise we will end up like those Islamic countries where people are strung up for speaking up. India’s situation continues to worsen with regards free speech — especially speech that upsets the “secularists,” who no doubt count the imam Bukhari as one of their own. The imam was in the news recently for protecting secularism in India by having his goons beat up a journalist.
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Special Parliament Session to Debate Poverty

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, member Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, proposed a bold initiative on his blog on Oct 8th last week. In the blog post titled “Special Parliament Session to debate the path to a poverty free India,” he calls for “Special sessions of Parliaments of 3-5 days, which will only discuss National Priority issues – with no disruptions’, No partisanship. Such a session will also serve to get the attention of ‘heavily distracted media’ to focus the nation on the REAL challenges facing us.” Kudos to Shri Chandrasekhar for that proposal. I applaud his efforts in provoking asking for a discussion on real issues in the Parliament and in the media. What I attempt to do here is suggest a few specifics about what the discussions could be about.
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