Oh Penguin don't be a silly bird Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

So Penguin chooses, voluntarily, to recall and pulp Dr Doniger's Alternative History.  

"The book is in a bad taste right from the beginning," Mr Batra told a BBC Hindi colleague on Wednesday. "If you see the front page [cover], the picture there is also objectionable since it portrays a deity in a vulgar pose. The book is slanderous and even facts have been distorted."

So self-deluded are our conservative morons, that they miss out on the fact that his selfsame culture created that image on the cover of the book.  And a culture that has on its temples large sculptures such as these (and this a mild example), can hardly be accused of being under-sexualised.




Thank goodness I got my copy of the book 2 years ago.  While the book has pretty weird speculation about the role of dogs and horses in our society, it is hard to argue with the scholarship of someone holding the Mircea Eliade Chair in UChicago.


I personally blame the banning of Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen - kowtowing to conservatives on these issues is plainly ridiculous.


Why do Western companies come here and roll over?  Unilever and "fairness creams".  Penguin and the promotion of stupidity.

If Penguin refuses to give The Hindus its day in court and remains silent on its reasons for withdrawing and pulping the book, it should redesign its logo to reflect its new Indian avatar. That much-loved upright bird should be retired and replaced by a prone tandoori penguin: plucked, headless and quite dead.

Edit:  I was requested to make the diary SFW.


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WHO estimated that 1 in 5 drugs made in India are fakes.


In one recent example, counterfeit medicines at a pediatric hospital in Kashmir are now suspected of playing a role in hundreds of infant deaths there in recent years.


One widely used antibiotic was found to contain no active ingredient after being randomly tested in a government lab. The test was kept secret for nearly a year while 100,000 useless pills continued to be dispensed.


More tests of hospital medicines found dozens more that were substandard, including a crucial intravenous antibiotic used in sick infants.

I'm going to guess a combination of lax/inadequate enforcement, bribery of regulators and courts that refuse to enforce the law against powerful defendants are to blame. 

Investigations of the deaths are continuing, but convictions of drug counterfeiters in India are extremely rare.

There you go. If you want change, an exemplary number of these enterprising businessmen & women need to go to jail, and an exemplary chunk of their ill-gotten profits need to go to their victims (not attorneys, members of the court or politicians -- the victims). Hopefully the FDA has put the fear of god in them temporarily, but only the guarantee of future enforcement will change anything. 


The US went through a similar process 100 years ago. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Fake medicine, contaminated medicine

brutusettu's picture

How are they supposed to keep making their product if they're except to make real products?


Selling fake/inadequate medicine is something con-men with no conscious do on Law and Order.



Homeopathic *medicine* sellers are in the US fwiw.


M Scott Eiland's picture

Outright fraud could definitely put a crimp in the whole willful patent infringement industry. Plus kill some people.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

President's Day pictorial

Bird Dog's picture

Courtesy of Goodstuff.



And here's a little bonus.



h/t Leno.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009



i don't have a nutty uncle to email me the latest obummer gifs, so i didn't know what i was missing.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

All Hail The Mighty Nimrod!

M Scott Eiland's picture

[apologies to a certain wascaly wabbit]

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

No, Mr. O'Hanlon


Now is ALWAYS the time



Anders Breivak continues to have a sad

brutusettu's picture

Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people (most of them teenagers) during twin terror attacks in the summer of 2011, wants the world to know that he's being treated "worse than an animal" in prison and is considering going on a hunger strike until the "torture"-like living conditions improve.

Just how bad are things for the admitted and unrepentant killer? Well, for one, he says he's being forced to play his video games on an out-of-date Playstation 2 instead of a newer model. (Oh, the humanity.) Here are the rest of Breivik's demands, which he recently detailed in a letter to the AFP and that are unlikely to provoke a whole lot of sympathy from the world at large:


The demands include better conditions for his daily walk and the right to communicate more freely with the outside world, which he argues are in line with European rights legislation. He also demanded that his PlayStation 2 games console be upgraded to a Playstation 3 "with access to more adult games that I get to choose myself". ...
Breivik also wants his standard weekly allowance of 300 kroner ($49, 36 euros) to be doubled, particularly to cover his postal charges from written correspondence. Other demands include an end to daily physical searches, and access to a PC rather than to a "worthless typewriter with technology dating back to 1873".


(Note: I'm guessing given he's specifically asking for a Playstation 3 that he's unaware that a newer model, the Playstation 4, came out this past fall. Either that, or the request is an odd show of moderation for a prisoner asking for new toys.)



What kind of music


were you playing?   If it was Indian music almost all of it is great,  but there is one particular sub-genre of Indian pop that features extremely high pitched female singers who sound somewhat like a mosquito in the ear canal.   If that was it,  I don't have a 9mm handgun,  but you might see me slapping at the side of my head.

Is it as different as

brutusettu's picture

 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


or less weird


Guest chipmunk style vocals was popular in rap 5 or so years ago.


Are the vocals higher pitch than chipmunks?



Bob Marley.

mmghosh's picture

So you're saying Indian pop is good.

brutusettu's picture


My kids were horrified

mmghosh's picture

It's nearly as bad smooth jazz?

brutusettu's picture


Slapping at the side of your head.


Doesn't the average Floridian spend most of the day engaged in that activity? If the state had an official salute, that'd be it. Unless Louisiana grabs it first. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Mr. Dunn was convicted of 3 charges of attempted murder.


That's comforting, given the available facts of the case. Presumably the jury deadlocked on the murder charge because Florida's "stand your ground" laws make it near impossible to find any 12 Floridians who can agree on when it's reasonable to start shooting at a car full of black kids listening to loud rap music. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I'm watching CNN International oftener, over Al-Jazeera or BBC

mmghosh's picture

their reporting qualities seem to have gone up quite a notch over the past few months.


There's a lot more reporting on the situation in Ukraine, Sochi (apart from the Olympics), their new Africa focus etc.  Their weather and climate coverage is very impressive.


On American vignettes - we learn that your popcorn fellow also threw his cellphone at his assailant.  We spent a week in Florida (a lot of it in the Everglades admittedly), just missed out on Tampa.  My US relatives wonder how they sometimes manage to avoid the runs here when they visit, we wonder how we avoided getting shot.  


brutusettu's picture

Goofy guy in Ohio is looking to marry a Ukrainian woman, she says she's trying to flee the situation going on over there.



Hunter that probably had a few, shoots a deer-man.


Bad things happen in a lot of places.

Maybe his relationship


can progress to that next level where she asks him to help get her luggage back from Bolivia.

I don't drive around with a fully loaded handgun, so

brutusettu's picture

I don't know what would be going through my head if I was next to an SUV with bass blasting, told 4 teenage males to turn it down.  And I also don't know what would be going through my head if I thought I had enough time to reach in the glove box, pull out the gun, get the gun ready to fire and put off 4 shots while the car is sitting still, and 4 more for good measure, drive 40 miles, order pizza.  If they had a shotgun, the shooter would be probably dead.



Dunn says he had 2 drinks, if he says 2, odds are pretty damn good it was more than 2, possibly a good deal more than 2.


---Is it beyond the pale to think that the shooter would have thought "boys will be boys" if some other group teenagers had their bass up to 11, but thought he needed to tell this particular group of teenagers to stop blasting their bass?

1914-2014: an amazing century for Britain.

mmghosh's picture


When British forces pull down the union jack for the last time in Afghanistan this year, it will be a hugely symbolic moment. It is not just that the departure marks the end of 13 years of British involvement in combat in that troubled country. The surprise is that it could also signal the end of a century or more of unbroken warfare by British forces.

Next year may be the first since at least 1914 that British soldiers, sailors and air crews will not be engaged in fighting somewhere – the first time Britain is totally at peace with the rest of the world.

Since Britain's declaration of war against Germany in August 1914, not a year has passed without its forces being involved in conflict.


No other country, even those with similarly militaristic traditions, has been engaged continuously over such a long span.


The timeline of constant combat may stretch even further back, given Britain's imperial engagements, all the way to the creation of the British army in 1707.

Apparently some of those


years (e.g. late 70's,  early 80's, late 80's) consist solely of Northern Ireland,  which was very bad at times but not what most people would call "unbroken" warfare.

I don't know about that

HankP's picture

shelling government offices is usually considered warfare, not to mention attempted assassination.


I blame it all on the Internet

I'll grant you that shelling


government offices is warfare,  but it was the IRA,  not the British army,  and the UK response according to your link was handled mostly by the police.


An attempted assassination is just an attempted assassination.   Sarah Jane Moore trying to shoot Ford did not mean the US Army was at war.  


HankP's picture

The IRA does contain the word "army", it was a bit more organized than a lone nut. And as we've seen, especially in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, armies don't have to engage in large formal battles to be considered at war.


I blame it all on the Internet

Bloody Sunday?

mmghosh's picture

Nixon opposed abortion -- except for interracial pregnancy.


He was a reasonable conservative, you see. Not an absolutist.  

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding, “Or a rape.”

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Nice smear

Bird Dog's picture

Seems like the only ones who thought Nixon a conservative are liberals.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Please. Nixon is the shrieking albino soul


of American conservatism, and everyone knows it.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes


Bird Dog's picture

Because wage and price controls, the creation of a whole new bureaucracy like the EPA and his endorsement of the Equal Rights Amendment are things that conservatives do. Why, they reflect the conservative soul, even the shrieking albino variety.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Don't be fooled by the kilt and bagpipes, kids.... -nt-



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

what *do* they do, exactly?



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Jordan, I almost don't want to comment


because I can't follow up.  Anyway, I've found it odd that within the pro-choice movement, the idea of abortion through the second trimester is essentially ho-hum.  But the only thing that raised hackles among the 'just a clump of cells' guys here is if the reason for expunging the clump of cells was due to gender or race selection.  Weird, I'll never understand you guys at all.  A thing with no moral weight suddenly gains moral weight, not because it may be a life, but because it may be a particular race or gender.  

A question  guess for anyone who wants to take it up, how is Nixon really objectionable to the Forvm pro-choice group for giving race moral weight ?  He comes to an entirely different conclusion than the folks here but his criteria appear to be the same.


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I'm not that kind of pro-choice person,


and so can't defend their POV. To me, abortion is a painful personal decision that carries a lot of moral weight but not a lot of moral clarity. There's no conflict with my views if I say it's fairly appalling that a man who equated interracial childbirth with rape was elected POTUS. It's also darkly amusing that the more we hear of the Nixon tapes, the more it becomes clear what an abysmal human being he really was. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

What I've always found strangest about the Nixon


tapes is that he recorded himself saying and doing terrible things. He clearly felt that it was all necessary for posterity. Or something.

Wasn't recording himself


that was just incidental.  Once people get used to authority they find it hard to imagine things getting turned around on them.

Or he felt that they weren't terrible things.


Or he felt that he was untouchable. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes



Playing by his own rules he is a hypocrite.


you don't even have to think abortion is ok to recognize that someone who believes it is a life is racist and hypocritical for being fine with it when the fetus is of mixed race. 


Edited to add: and by the way, " ho hum" and " no moral weight" are straw men. It's late and I hope I don't need to elaborate.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Two Things

M Scott Eiland's picture

One: It's Nixon--the only people defending Nixon as "a principled conservative" are liberals who want to come up with a way of illustrating how much they despise Sarah Palin or the Tea Party personality of the moment;

Two: Nixon's position was no worse morally--or in terms of hypocrisy--than pro-choicers who want to ban sex selection abortion (and yes, that's a thing.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Digging into HR 447 -- what an odious piece of crap.


a) In general
Whoever knowingly—

(1) performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent of that child;
(2) uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion;
(3) solicits or accepts funds for the performance of a sex-selection abortion or a race-selection abortion; or
(4) transports a woman into the United States or across a State line for the purpose of obtaining a sex-selection abortion or race-selection abortion;
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.  

Are you kidding me? The bill criminalizes a mens rea abortion as a felony? And how are courts supposed to determine a doctor's reasons for performing an abortion? But it gets worse...

(b) Civil remedies
(1) Civil action by woman on whom abortion is performed
A woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted in violation of subsection (a)(2) may in a civil action against any person who engaged in a violation of subsection (a) obtain appropriate relief.  

So a woman who gets an abortion can turn around and sue the doctor or clinic if she claims the abortion was performed for gender selection. And worse...

(2) Civil action by relatives
The father of an unborn child who is the subject of an abortion performed or attempted in violation of subsection (a), or a maternal grandparent of the unborn child if the pregnant woman is an unemancipated minor, may in a civil action against any person who engaged in the violation, obtain appropriate relief, unless the pregnancy or abortion resulted from the plaintiff’s criminal conduct or the plaintiff consented to the abortion. 

The father or the maternal grandparents can also sue based on their say-so that the abortion was motivated by gender (hint: proving the father was the father of an unborn child would require a fetal paternity test). And worse...

(3) Appropriate relief
Appropriate relief in a civil action under this subsection includes—

(A) objectively verifiable money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical, including loss of companionship and support, occasioned by the violation of this section; and
(B) punitive damages.  

Good Christ. And worse...

(4) Injunctive relief
(A) In general
A qualified plaintiff may in a civil action obtain injunctive relief to prevent an abortion provider from performing or attempting further abortions in violation of this section.

(B) Definition
In this paragraph the term qualified plaintiff means—

(i) a woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted in violation of this section;
(ii) a maternal grandparent of the unborn child if the woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted in violation of this section is an unemancipated minor;
(iii) the father of an unborn child who is the subject of an abortion performed or attempted in violation of subsection (a); or
(iv) the Attorney General. 

So you can order a court to stop an abortion, based on the father's, maternal grandparent's, or a health care worker's say-so that the abortion is gender-based (health care workers are criminalized under a no-report section). Hell a doctor or clinic can be held criminally and civilly liable based on the father's or the grandparent's say-so. Good luck sorting that out in court. 


What a monstrous, evil, twisted piece of legislation. The unintended consequences (or maybe they are intended) are legion. Opening up every single abortion procedure to lawsuits & injunctions based on the intentions of the mother and/or the physician would be a procedural nightmare. It would also plainly violate Roe v. Wade, given that the decision makes no exception for the intentions of the mother.


"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes


M Scott Eiland's picture

Which makes me wonder what the point of the whole gratuitous Nixon bashing moment that began this subthread was about.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Don't see the connection. Might be overquoqued. -nt-



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It's only odious


because it's interfering with what you and I feel ought to be a personal decision,  even if the woman's a racist or sexist.


But I suspect you'd have no problem with Section (a),  or having courts determine intention,  if "abortion" was replaced with "employment decision" or "contract of sale for real estate".    Determining intention is a standard and routine part of anti-discrimination law,  and necessary once you decide you're going to have such a law.


On to Section (b)(1),  where you seem astonished that  "a woman who gets an abortion can turn around and sue the doctor or clinic if she claims the abortion was performed for gender selection."   I'm glad you're astonished,  it shows some residual libertarianish respect for contracts and holding people responsible for their own decisions.   However,  I don't see the difference from buying tobacco (despite 40+ years of saturation-level warnings against doing so from schools, media, and tobacco companies) and then turning around and suing the tobacco company for selling it to you.


Section (b)(2) gets the relatives involved.  I'm with you on the father issue,  but "maternal grandparent....unemanicpated minor" is just  a fancy way to say parents of a minor,  and parents can already make medical decisions for their minor children,   and get courts to enforce their will.   Nothing new in that.


It's possible all the civil-action part of this law is superfluous (from an anti-choice point of view). It's plausible that a doctor could already be sued under existing laws that prohibit discrimination in business dealings.  I don't know if that's been tested in court.  Maybe MSE or Traveller could weigh in here.

It isn't the determining motive part that bothers me.


It's the fact that estranged family members get to sue (the clinic, not the mother) based on their feeling about what the motive for an abortion was. Correct me if I'm wrong (Scott), but I don't think there's anything in contract law that allows third parties to sue for damages or injunctions based on their suspicions about the motives of the parties to the contract. I'm not an employee of Taco Bell. I can't sue Taco Bell for wage discrimination, because I lack standing. If my daughter worked at Taco Bell, I still wouldn't have standing. 


Among other issues, a maternal parent is easy enough to prove in court, but a father of an "unborn child" would have to provide a paternity test. Who's going to force the mother to have an amniotic paternity test performed? The courts?


I have a feeling this law would create a million s--tstorms that would clog federal courts for the forseeable future. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Yes, That Would Be Rather Out Of The Ordinary

M Scott Eiland's picture

However, given that such a law would be (as I suggested earlier) impossible to enforce without both overturning Roe and its progeny along with outlawing a lot of useful medical procedures, there's no real point in addressing that particular problem--it's like noting that jumping out of a plane without a parachute is going to leave your shoes in need of replacement due to bloodstains.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Meanwhile, House Republicans continue


jumping out of planes without parachutes. Remains to be seen just how far they can take the whole conservative withering-of-the-state thing before their own constituents decide Republican-flavored Marxism isn't much better than the original. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Barring The Invention Of Invasive Telepathy. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the only way to enforce a law like this would be to ban all methods of determining a baby's gender and other qualities covered by this law until the point when it would be illegal to terminate the pregnancy without endangering the life or health of the mother (and even then it would be necessary to put the doctor and probably the woman under oath to avoid fraud in that area--which as the Gosnell case proved exists even without such a law to provide another motive for it). Given the consequences we're already seeing in China when sex-selection abortions (and murders) are culturally preferred, we are very fortunate here that--gender feminist tantrums aside--we really do seem to want girls as much as boys in the vast majority of the Western world.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

We already attempt to enforce


 anti-discrimination law,  hate crime laws,  etc without the aid of invasive telepathy.   You just accept that in a lot of cases you can't prove the motive,  and those cases will get away with it.   As with other difficult to prove crimes, you try to make up for the weakened deterrence through increased severity.


In employment cases there are three ways I know of that employers get caught.   One is loose lips,  another is statistical patterns way out of line with expectations,  the third is sending in fake applicants.


With the proposed law (which I'm against, of course),  they could prove sex-selection abortion through (a) the woman telling a friend who later rats on her,  or (b) the doctor aborting a number of female fetuses that's far outside the normal statistical variation,  or (c) sending in investigators posing as patients who straight up ask for something illegal.


Really, though,  my only point was that we make lots and lots of things legal or illegal based on privately held motives.

Pro-choicers want to ban sex selection abortion??


**Scott links to a bill to criminalize abortion doctors that was sponsored by an Arizona Republican and defeated by House Democrats, only 20 of whom voted for it.** 


Oh, right. Conservative rules of evidence. Carry on. 



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Reading The Article Helps

M Scott Eiland's picture

Some do, most don't--just as Nixon's position was an outlier. Nutpicking works both ways--be sure the Sniper Grandmas know that from now on when they're doing research.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Silly me, I just read the bill and its legislative history. -nt-



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

And You Admitted Twenty Members Voted For It

M Scott Eiland's picture

If they're not pro-life, they're hypocrites. Quod erat demonstrandum.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Well. Are they pro-life?


It would seem that your entire position here depends on whether somewhere between 0 and 20 Democrats in the House might be as hypocritical -- by dubious analogy no less -- with a former evidently eugenicist President of the United States.  


If rhetoric were bikram yoga, this argument would have its ankles draped over its shoulders while juggling chai lattes with its eyebrows.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Neither hypocritical nor pro-life


The 20 Democrats are just so strongly anti-racist/anti-sexist that they are willing to pi$$ on any and every constitutional right that gets in their way.   There are Republicans who knew this and tried to exploit it to set up some roadblocks to abortion.   Seems pretty obvious to me.



Actually the Republicans put the bill up for a 2/3 vote


knowing it would require large numbers of Democrats to pass. They put the bill on the floor to fail. They wanted Democrats to vote against it, not for it, so that they can write attack ads in the fall worded exactly like the idiotic op-ed article Eiland keeps brandishing.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

You're right


When you think about it there was no possible downside for the Republicans in proposing this bill.    They "win" regardless.

Reading The Article Helps, The Sequel

M Scott Eiland's picture

Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Clinton, from the linked article--whatever fraction of the twenty Democrats are in the same boat is just icing on the cake.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I thought we already covered the part


where opposing this bill and endorsing gender abortion don't even come close to amounting to the same thing. Not outside the right wing fever swamps, of course.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes


HankP's picture

I don't think "nutpicking" applies to the twice elected President of the US. Nutpicking at the very least strongly implies out of the mainstream.


I blame it all on the Internet

The Chased Out Of Office Ex President

M Scott Eiland's picture

From forty years ago. It's nutpicking, much like trying to make current social commentary about Germany regarding You Know Who would be--transparently so.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I don't think so

HankP's picture

is quoting Mitt Romney nutpicking? Or John Boehner? Because then the word has no meaning.


I blame it all on the Internet

Non sequitur


Who's defending Nixon?



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Seems like your country could use a...

Bird Dog's picture

...more robust First Amendment.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Heh. We borrowed your Constitution

mmghosh's picture

but left out the Amendments.  I do sympathise with the authorities to the extent that they are responsible for public law and order, and we do have our share of crazies.


What really surprises me is the number of people I grew up with, worked overseas with, who have actually imbibed Western notions of free speech first hand - turn to fundamentalist bigotry about self and other.

The necessity for a Bill of Rights isn't because


violating civil rights can become a temptation for those in power; it's because violating civil rights can come to seem like a duty

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

A piece of paper doesn't mean anything

HankP's picture

and won't do anything if there isn't support for that belief in the wider culture. That' why religions always go after the youngest first, it's easier to brainwash them at an early age and many will never reconsider what they were taught as children.


I blame it all on the Internet

As an American, it's shocking


and rather disturbing that courts would even entertain such lawsuits. Defamation and obscenity cases have only become more difficult over recent decades here, and lawsuits for sacrilege haven't got a, you know, a prayer. If I'm inclined to feel smug about that comparative freedom, it doesn't last long. The exact same groups are at work here as well, chiseling away at the law, taking control of state legislatures and judicial benches, tirelessly nibbling away at the unprecedented and hard-won luxury of extensive press freedom. The way things are going here, it seems more likely we'll be headed in the same direction you're headed in than the vice versa.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"The Exact Same Groups"?

M Scott Eiland's picture

Um, no. Not even metaphorically. Now, if we start tolerating Islamic legal approaches in this country and in the rest of Western civilization, *that* would certainly be a vector for the whole "blasphemy as a question for the courts" problem.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Thanks, my wording was clumsy.


"People who aspire to use the government to advance a religious agenda in the courts, schools and foreign policy and ultimately want to see the entire country made into an extension of their church" are certainly present in droves in the US, and their resemblance to Hindu activists is more than a passing one.  


The idea that Sharia law will take root in the US seems like a laughable boogeyman to me. Very hard to take it remotely seriously, or by extension the people who seem to take it seriously. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Still No

M Scott Eiland's picture

"Playing defense against No-Life Newdow and his ilk making war on ceremonial deism in the courts" is not remotely equivalent to "trying to literally make blasphemy a crime"--if anything, Newdow, et al, are the ones trying to create banned religious speech with their lawsuits (and losing in the effort).

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Prayer in schools? Pffft.


What I had in mind were people like the Discovery Institute who are still all over the country trying to undermine science in public & private school curricula, Dominionists like David Barton, writers at Heritage, FRC et al. who are constantly crowing about the "Christian" origins of the US Constitution, Millenarians who want to make war against Islam on behalf of Israel because of something they read in a book, the anti-gay and anti-gay marriage movements which are massively widespread in today's Christian right, which never seems to get tired of being on the losing side of social issues, culture warriors and would-be "obscenity" inquisitors, etc. There are plenty of Christians out there looking to use the law of the land to impose their religious beliefs on nonbelievers.


Edit: speak of the Darwin fish, here's a story out of Missouri about a bill that would allow parents to 'opt out' of having their children taught evolution, part of the ongoing effort to redefine credible, well-founded science as a matter of doctrine. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"his selfsame culture created that image on the cover"

brutusettu's picture

Things change, those past Hindus were doing it all wrong, obviously.


Sure Batra is adding on some floors onto his construction of Hinduism that stretch out far out from the foundation, but who is to say that he's the one that is distorting the history and past blueprints?  Who needs facts, truthiness holds the key.



Question from an armchair philosopher, does Roman Catholic views on icky copulation play a role in what Batra thinks is and isn't proper Hinduism?  Or is there a rich tradition in Hinduism of ignoring traditions of Hinduism that one doesn't like?





According to the 2nd link, the errors in the book aren't dealing with facts that would be slanderous to Hinduism

"The book is slanderous and even facts have been distorted."  Distorted is not usually used the way Batra thinks it is, and if those distortions aren't material, then Batra is distorting the truth of matter.

Its hard to slander Hinduism when we have sects

mmghosh's picture


This group revels in abominable practices like cannibalism, eating from a human skull, besmearing themselves with ashes from funeral pyres and consumption of spirituous liquors. The few surviving members of the sect are to be found mostly in Bihar, Bengal, Rajasthan and Assam.



Our culture is one of extreme tolerance to all beliefs.  The ghastly modern prudery came to our culture via Western Victorians - we cannot even celebrate how we managed to change their successors to honour ours.