Friday, October 26, 2007

Ron Paul Rules the waves!!

I did a bit of research on Ron Paul after being so impressed by him, watching the you tube clips of the Michigan Republican Debate which featured all the current Republican candidates.
Ron Paul seems to be the darling of the internet masses. "Ron Paul" is the second most searched Technorati term after "You Tube"!. At the last incomplete list by a blogger there are an amazing ~70 blogs dedicated to Ron Paul! There's even an "Indian and Pakistani Friends of Ron Paul" Blog!
Incomplete list of Ron Paul Blogs
Most supporters of Ron Paul are democrats who plan to vote republican for Ron during the primaries, like this guy here, in whose post, I was amazed to find, the idea of why to support Ron, practically is the same as mine...
A Republican blog banned users from discussing Ron Paul because he attracted an unusual number of supporters. That's pretty obvious isn't it? Considering the the average Republican supporter who doesn't support Ron couldn't possibly know to read or write coherently much less use the web. And the redstate blog's spokesman commented thus -

"These people are not part of the Republican coalition. It's somewhat naive to think that these people will stay in the race with Republicans when Ron Paul is no longer in the race," said Erickson.

While that may not be all that true today, its obvious that the more literate of the Republican supporters are more libertarian and less republican. As the republican party increasing gets a bad rap as a party that doesn't respect fiscal responsibility especially after the excesses of the current Bush government, more and more libertarains are either going to support the democratic party or work toward strengthening the Libertarian party. And as more and more libertarians move out, the republican party gets even more of a rap as a party of illiterates and fundamentalists. Hmm.. sounds like a dream come true :)

The Clinton administration has proved that the Democrats are more than capable of fiscal responsibility and they aren't so much of a left-leaning party economically as they are liberal.

With more and more innuendo piling up that Ron Paul isn't a republican after all, I assume the people who stick to the republican party because of its fiscal policies and are heavily invested in knowing their politics and their candidates are going to feel more and more alienated about their ideology being given the short shrift. While Guiliani and Romney make a decent attempt at being classic republicans, voters with the kind of heavy investment described will still feel slighted. Once upon a time, in pre-tech revolution times, the Republicans were the party that was the conscience of the liberal and literate. Today it has become a disgusting mish-mash of military-industrial-religion complex that considers its "core" to be that of barely literate christian conservatives, who wanted decent pious lives but who've been mauled and manipulated into bible-thumping, shotgun wielding religious maniacs who bomb doctors, lustfully cry for state sponsored killing and for good measure bay for the blood of "godless" arab-looking people by the likes of nuts, nincompoops and plain idiots like Pat Robertson and Bush. This sad de-facto feudal enterprise is fueled by money from cynical manipulators who abuse the good offices of capitalism, like Bechtel, Blackwater, Halliburton and the slimy like. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long, heavy slide for the Republicans.

Now, the problem is there would then need to be a credible alternative to the Democrats... Time for a multi-party party of The Green Party, The Libertarian party and the Democratic Party perhaps? he he....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

They're the Falkland Islands, Twit

It must've been one really strange sight!.. this rather large guy with head hidden under a hand, shaking all over, his jowls wobbling, coffee cup in danger of losing its contents to keyboard, His computer incidentally displaying a Guardian article on weight watching for pregnant women, all this in the middle of calls flying around him about gross profit and accountability and at least one person getting fired. Was he the one fired? No. Is he one of "those" guys who "empathise" with women "issues"? No. Well actually it was me and I was shaking uncontrollably because I was laughing my head off at one more of the Guardians' bloggers remarks that seems to come so easily to them but the rest of the world finds so hard to imitate.
Why are Brits such naturals at poker-face remarks that sends the rest of the world into paroxysms of giggling? How are they so good at caustic-ism, at making cutting one-liners that invoke a little bit of shakespeare here and a little bit of descartes there?
the particular one that sent me off was "Breastfeeding can shift a lot of weight, fast, partly because you are producing food for someone else to eat, and partly because it kills your appetite while you are doing it, which I think is nature's way of stopping you from getting crumbs in your baby's ears. Don't worry, Milla. Eat as much marrow as you like"
"..getting crumbs into your baby's ears..." not even the wittiest I know can come up with a statement like that, inserted with so much nonchalance and probably unnoticed by most of the world and all of the united states
...getting crumbs into your baby's ears...
The British National Motto
Top 10 Evil things
Looky at the article and ensuing debate on the "brit national motto".. people who're righteously indignant tend to bluster... but does Tristran Hunt? No bloody way.. he's too brit. And if his cutting article doesn't get the message across have a gander at the comments.. the readers have unofficially adopted the 2nd reader's mistaken post "They are the Falklands Islands, twit" as the national motto. I doubled up with laughter. The most irreverent NYT writer couldn't hold a candle to them

As a case in point lets take American humour. Take for example Stephen Colbert whom I admire very much.. take his guest op-ed article in NYT

no.. he isn't trying to be funny, just trying to make a point.. but even when he is, which actually is quite often,.. he couldn't hold a candle to the average Guardian reader. Time for a little diversion.

Now, I don't like American humour or the comedy shows too much. They depend too much on slapstick and choreographed timing that isn't really available to you in real life. But literate humour does exist...
Now this is when Stephen Colbert roasts Bush at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Funny because of the calculated sarcasm and the target. I simply can't imagine going up on front of one of the most privileged Press circles in the world and roasting the supposedly most powerful man in the world on a spit for a full 15 minutes right to his face!! The gall it takes!!

Part 2
Part 3

Colbert on The O'Reilly Factor - absolutely totally brilliant.

And yet.. yet... really can't come close to a brit in a blue cap, in filthy undershirt and dirty cardigans, probably smoking with a can of Coors in the same hand that points to Gordon Brown and says " You Sir, are a hypocrite and a war criminal" in crisp tones, in response to Brown's supposed love for democracy in Burma. No American writer could possibly replicate the sheer irreverent, brilliant humour intrinsic to every sentence in Douglas Adam's every ever written sentence. For my daily dose of endorphins, which aren't provided by my non-existent girlfriend, I use the Daily Mash

But make no mistake the average Guardian reader is not the average Brit. He's the Brit we love, not the hooligan who reads one of those Murdoch owned rags. He's neither the upper class entitled inbred twit who reads the Times nor the lawyer who drools over page 3 in the Mirror/Sun. S/He might be upper class or blue-collar or middle class, or white or black or ethnic indian or pakistani but s/he's the essential brit. Now who is the essential brit? look at the article on the national motto again. "They're the Falkland Islands, twit".

The Irish are supposed to be extremely colourful but caustic, witty and literate at the same time? Nope not really. Its the Brit. The way s/he calls someone a tit or a twat can be more demeaning that the best punjabi gaalis a jat can dream up.

One of the other peoples famous for sarcasm are the Tamils. We're (yeah... wokay.. time for a bit of yoga.. reach around with either arm and pat yourself on the back) anally retentive with people we don't trust but you should look at us have a go at people we don't like. Every Tamil's dream is to make that sarcastic cutting remark that makes his/her rival want to "naaka pudingittu saava vendiyathudhan" ( hang to death by the tongue!). Even when the Tamil gets physically agressive, the stance isn't one of your usual defensive or offensive stances. He or she folds the tongue, sticks it out held between the teeth and thrusts his/her face in yours. It our way of telling you, I don't need my tongue to take care of you, see, my fists are enough. But still we aren't funny unless the explicit agenda is to make fun of someone.

There's another community that give the brits a go for their money when it comes to dead-pan caustic humour. They're the Chinese Americans. Something in their ancestral land combined with something in their adopted homeland seem to have given them the peculiar power of saying the most inconceivable things with an absolute poker face. You never know whether those kitschy hong-kong movies are really like that or they're making fun of themselves. Its the latter... I think. BUt they simply don't have the screen presence on the world stage that the brit has. The Brits wins hands down at literate humour.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ron Paul for Prez!!! Ron Paul for Indian PM!!!

With all due respect to my opinions as on date when I wrote my first post on the Michigan Republican debate , I have made a startling discovery.

If I were American, I have actually found myself a Republican I can vote for and be at peace with my supposed liberal ass self. And that Republican is one I would vote for over the current crop of Democrats... anyday.

I think all Democrats who believe in the principles of the Democratic Party, in liberalism, in libertarianism, in the first amendment, in social security, in putting people above business... rather than in the supposed leading lights like Obama and Clinton should vote for this man. This man stands for all those values far better than any current Democrat leader does. And he does so emphatically.

Four years with him at the helm would change the United States back into one of the most respected nations in the world from the currently rather discomfiting ... most hated.

The man is Ron Paul, Senator from Texas. Yes... TEXAS! A republican from Texas... mother of bloody God... how could that be possible. But yes. It happens. Intelligence, insight and moral superiority shine from wherever. Even from bang in the middle of the center of the religio-industrial-politico complex of cowboy land texas. And even from something as morally degrading as the republican party that uses a "values debate" (values as defined by fundamentalist, obscurantist, morally repugnant and simply stupid interpretations of the new testament) to decide on its candidate.

This silver haired, slight, craggy-faced man is emancipation for American politics. He goes back to the turn of the 20th century Republican morals. When Republican actually stood for the literal meaning of the word "republican" and not the christian fundamentalist organisation that masquerades as a political party today.

This man stands up for personal liberty. In an universe where wussy-democrats who are in majority in the senate still agree to increase discretionary powers to pry into privacy, this man dares to support personal liberty and privacy in the debating platform where pleasing all is a must.

This man stands up for a "when blame needs to be laid, lay it first on yourself" principle to foreign policy when tank-nozzles and f-22 noses are phallic symbols of american pride to "bring democracy wherever oil is" the game of the day. He insists that America set its home right before it preaches to others. !!!.. This man is a Republican. I wouldn't dare say that even in the middle of a bunch of californian academicians. American moral supremacy is something taken for granted by even the most liberal, libertarian person in the USA, except perhaps for Ron Paul and Noam Chomsky!

This personal actually believes and states publicly that all is not hunky-dory with Domestic Policy as executed by the current Government.

I can live with his public stances on core conservative issues- abortion, homosexual rights, christianity and immigration. No one with such emphasis on personal liberty and accountability could go too far right. I do believe that he will straddle the fence and back-burnerise on these core conservative issues, whenever they impinge on liberty. I can live with that. I do believe liberalism and libertarianism can be slowed but never stopped or reversed.

I cry that we can't find someone with his mind in Indian Politics. Americans will never find another like him for the rest of their history. And they will never know it either. He will never get past the primaries, and will only have a select few fans who appreciate what could've been if Ron Paul....

I wonder if six-degrees of separation is too wide to let him know that one of his biggest fans is on the opposite side of the planet and the other side of the universe where political ideology is concerned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Republican Debate - Surprised by Sin!! - 2

A largely overlooked fact is that Democratic funding is much wider based and a lot of it comes from middle class individuals and small donor events while republican fund raising comes from large corporate houses (which send in much smaller donations to the Democrats - just in case, you know) and rich individuals and religious organisations. Which automatically force the republicans toward pork-barrel economics.
Part 2

Links to subsequent parts
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Thompson: "Well, in a dynamic economy, there are jobs lost and there are jobs gained. And so far, there have been more jobs gained. To put up barriers and say that so-and-so cannot lose a job would be the wrong thing to do in a free-market economy that's been so well for us. It's made us the most prosperous nation in the history of the world."...
"...The manufacturing industry is, in large part, an international industry nowadays, which means prices are set internationally. Manufacturers cannot do much about that but they get hit with cost domestically. We can do a lot about their cost, in terms of taxes and regulation..."

i.e. he will not intervene to help Americans keep jobs but he will intervene to help big business keep competing by artificially helping them keep afloat against fair trade
This is pretty symptomatic of the thinking of most republicans. Isn't the point of governance people?

They're not worried about 700 billion dollars in military spending - a neat 1/4th of a 3 point something trillion dollar budget but all of them keep repeating the litany "We're going to have to fix health care. We're going to have to fix Social Security." McCain differed though with "we got to tell them that we will not spend $2 billion on an aircraft tanker, which I was able to stop and save the taxpayers $2 billion, because of this incredible extravagant waste in defense spending today, which is the biggest part of our budget."

You can also see the republicans struggle with illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants make eminent economic sense. They might use public works.. but you're already spending on it you dumbfucks. They pay taxes on consumption, bring prices down, do jobs that Americans don't, and live in filth and fear to provide rich idiots with sun-kissed oranges and whiter than white linen in your around-the-corner Four Seasons. What do they get for that? Starring roles in american pornography. But Republicans are also torn between economic sense and their inherent xenophobia and racism. Sorry... forget the "torn" part.. they simply choose to be xenophobic because economic conservatism is just an excuse for them to cover up their pork-barell economics.

Romney claims eminence among all presidential hopefuls in business sense. "if we agree to sit down with China, I understand that if we don't get real careful and protect patents and designs and technology, that what we tend to sell the most of, those kinds of things, intellectual property, is going to get stolen by the Chinese or by others, that we have to recognize agreements have to be in our benefit, not just in their benefit." Is that an idiot exhibiting plain naiveté or cynical misleading of the public in how trade is conducted?

In fact to a trained economic ear Guiliani made the best economic sense during the whole debate

Rep. Hunter came across as the worst of them when it comes to economics. His take on "Good Business deals" sounds good superficially but makes for funny reading for anyone with the least amount of intelligence and idea of trade and economics.
Now who is Sen. Paul. He impressed me with his idea of domestic and foreign policy. His view of personal liberty seemed very anti-republican, he actually supports personal liberty!

I'm also surprised that most of them know their Sunnis from their Shias!! :D.. Dubya certainly didn't nor did Cheney or Rumsfeld before they blundered on with their divide and conquer idea so catastrophically backfired on them. I mean I was 23 years old and knew even before the war started what the dumbfucks were going to do and how it was going to end for them!!

Idiots that they are when it comes to policy making, they all come into their own when they talk about their toys. Centrifuges, preemptive, narrow-window, hot pursuit, strategic attack on weaponry are all terms and words that roll easily off the tongue. Except for sen. Paul. Sen. Paul (of Texas!!) comes across as deeply insightful and intelligent. So how come he attends the Republican debate? :D

Work in Progress :D

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Republican Debate - Surprised by Sin!!

Technorati Profile

The transcript of the Republican debate at

I expected to be bored. I expected to be disgusted with conservative views on abortion, immigration, the church and other stuff but the first few minutes of the Republican debate were certainly a huge surprise. Irrespective of the fact that most of the republican hopefuls might in themselves be idiots of the first order (with the exception of maybe McCain, Guiliani and Romney), their advisors and speech writers are certainly first-class. That is to be expected from mostly millionaire conservatives but the way each of their opinions were tailored to appeal to middle class americans could blow a huge hole in Democrats' campaigns. Some of the republicans were actually talking protectionism, indirect sales tax as opposed to income tax... The approval ratings say that people look to democrats to managing the economy properly. The republicans have moved from being right-wing both socially and economics-wise to being simply social right-wingers. The current campaigns seem to be directed to get lost ground back.

The republican's problem is not that they are careful about spending, that's just peachy. Its not that they support lower taxation, fills my heart with joy. The point is that they don't mind cutting spending for health insurance for poor children ( the SCHIP expansion veto) and cutting spending on public works for the average American which lead to incidents like the minneapolis bridge crash, the Katrina bungling etc. but don't think twice about spending on ramping up their testosterone in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in relatively peaceful central asia just to spite Russia or expanding patrolling in the malacca straits (for goodness sake!! what the hell does the US want to do there??)
Their lower taxation is first enjoyed by people with incomes >200000$ per annum and later by those with lower incomes. The higher your income the more you benefit i.e. the lesser you earn the lesser you benefit. And no, not in absolute terms; in percentage terms. Middle class americans pay an average of 30% of his/her income as tax while the hedge fund manager probably pays about 2 to 5% of his close-to-billion$ income, the average CEO pays about 15%. The more you earn the less you pay.

Call me cynical but I think Republicans came up with the idea of indirect consumer taxation, which sounds like a leftist dream, because its easier to screw around with this supposed "fair tax" than with income tax. You can tax bread at 2% and Humvees at 20%. Sounds fair enough. But at the end of the day, everyone eats the same amount of bread (oh! organic bread will be taxed lower of course... guess who consumes organic, whole wheat bread fortified with omega oils?) but the middle class doesn't buy humvees. So a larger percentage of middle class income goes to buy the basics which are taxed at the same rate for everyone while the rich have more money to buy playthings with. In a republican regime, the consumption tax WILL be screwed around with to leave the likes of billionaire ranchers with more money in their hands.

Even supposedly level-headed Guiliani goes "You can't possibly cut every tax, as I think Congressman Tancredo pointed out. You need money for police. You need money for military. But I cut, I think, as many taxes as you possibly could in that period of time.".. oh! he will cut every other tax.. cut every other spending but he wouldn't dream of cutting spending for the actual phallic tools of state control.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why does Nancy Kress need just 40 pages to destroy Ayn Rand?

Beggars in Spain Book1 is all of 36 pages. 36 pages of unassuming science fiction literature.
Did Nancy Kress have a political stand? Does Beggars in Spain have a political agenda. No. It most certainly doesn't. Its starts out as a one of the three main types of science fiction. That which revolves around a singular invention/innovation/discovery that has intended/unintended consequences to a human/ alien or human/alien society and therein lies the story.
Does she have a long complex plot, a compelling hero, character building for innumerable characters, clear, dirty eminently hate-able villains or a clearly made out contemptible society?
Um... No, no, no, no and no.

But in 36 unpretentious pages, Nancy Kress effectively destroys any and all argument that Ayn Rand builds over two best selling books, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, political support which came as a by product of vitriolic anti-russian opinion, celebrity endorsement and more than one foundation dedicated to her and Objectivism.
Now did Nancy ever actually want to do this? I should think not. I assume while she did express her heartfelt opinion, she certainly didn't intend it to be political philosophy.

Beggars in Spain follows the life of "the Sleepless" , a group of genetically modified humans who do not need sleep and particularly Leisha Camden, one of the early Sleepless. They are modified by a group of geneticists who've come to the conclusion that sleep is an evolutionary leftover like tonsils and remove it with genetic modification. The resulting "Sleepless" are invariably intelligent because of the extra 12 hours of stimulation they get per day as children and the extra 8 hours of the day they have as adults. They are pragmatic and well-adjusted (some hormonal side-effect) and are all mostly followers of Yagaaism something that is very similar to Libertarianism.
Things come to a head when it is discovered that another "side-effect" of the turning off of the sleep gene is extremely efficient cell replacement in their bodies. i.e. they are effectively immortal. The Sleepless' pragmatism is confounded by the resistance and hatred they provoke in the normal population. They see themselves as an invaluable cog in the wheel of trade with a lot to offer to the world economy. But the Sleepers see the Sleepless less as cogs and more as a threat and replacement of normal human beings.
With increasing resistance culminating in the hate-killing of a Sleepless, the Sleepless move into an enclosure created by them for themselves called "Sanctuary". They cultivate hate for the Sleepers for their irrationality and their inability to match their prowess and refer to them as "Beggars".
The first book ends with it dawning on Leisha that the Beggars aren't really Beggars but are the receiving end of the economy because of context. Trade is not linear but conducted in an ecology where the beggars not only form an essential part but when the context changes, the Beggars may turn out to be the ones giving charity.

Now why do I say that this destroys Ayn Rand?
1. Trade IS an ecology. It certainly isn't linear and depends on context. The context might change with changes in economic environment, physical environment, socio-cultural environment, evolution... any number of things. Rand's view of the economy is simplistic to the point of being laughable.
2. As with the Fountainhead, in "beggars in spain", the epitomes of libertarianism necessarily HAVE to be EXCEPTIONAL people. As with Roark an exceptional architect, the Sleepless have to have exceptional things to give to the economy to prove their point. Why? Why can't Rand have used an ordinary worker at a Detroit auto factory to prove her point? Because she can't. At least not the way she defines her "Objectivism". Objectivism has a helluva lot of problems than libertarianism. As she defines it, there can be only one person with one exceptional ability. There can only be one exceptional architect. If there are two the other will starve to death. One might argue that if the other offers an advantage by working twice as long as the other but has only 1/2 of the creative ability, the market will be given a choice. No! You're forgetting that the rest of the society is objectivist too. They will all see the same benefits. They will ALL choose the same architect. The other will still starve to death. We are also assuming that this architect who will build a good architecture consultancy will, on his retirement, give his business totally up to the next competent architect wherever he might be. (Don't ask me how the next architect arrives precisely at the time this guy retires as he would've died of starvation if he's arrived earlier and society will have to do without an architect if he arrives later) without ensuring nurturing his blood progeny instead.
3. A civilisation based on "objectivism" reverts to tribalistic society. Small groups of people each providing a service/product to each other that they do best and others cannot; as purely objectivistic society cannot exist in larger groups with competing resources of same competence. Consequentially, innovation and invention suffers as society needs multi-disciplinary individuals, multi disciplinary teams, many people of similar competences etc. to further technology, thought and philosophy.
I honestly don't believe that an objectivist society that celebrates selfishness and ego ever developing the steam engine much less sub-atomic physics or spacecraft.