i got an order for more than $100 worth of incense and jewelry from a jewish doctor in charlotte, north carolina a couple of days ago. i haven’t sent it out yet, because i’m still waiting for part of the jewelry he ordered to be delivered, which should be tomorrow or the next day. it’s kind of bizarre, though, because the last time i ordered product from the rudraksha-ratna centre of india, it took three weeks for them to acknowledge my payment, and then it took another week for them to deliver to me, but this time, i made the payment a couple of days ago, and it went through yesterday, so either ganesha is looking out for my business and removed whatever obstacles were in the way last time, or i’m hallucinating… again…

i’ve recently located an incense supplier that has almost the same lines of incense that i get from sughanda prabhu, but they’re a lot more reliable than sughanda prabhu – meaning that when i call and/or email them, there’s somebody there and i can order right away, as compared to sugandha prabhu, who i email and there’s no response for a week, or i call and leave a message and don’t get any response. i’ve got a bunch of shroff and 8 boxes of ambica hare rama incense that i paid for over a month ago that still haven’t been delivered. don’t get me wrong, sughanda prabhu is a great person, who i have known for more than 20 years, and done business with for more than 10 years, but recently he’s gotten really flaky, and customers don’t understand flaky suppliers.

the new supplier, however, has almost all of the stock i get from sughanda prabhu, and all of the stock i currently get from om imports, and has a lower minimum order than om imports. they have aparajita and 999 lord krishna puja, which is carried by nobody else that i’m aware of, plus they also carry 999 lord krishna puja original lobhan sambrani and sandesh benzoin in the 20 stick tube, and they’ve said that they will inquire about things that they don’t have, like pradhan’s royal life. i’m hoping that The Remover of Obstacles has been active in this area of my business as well.


ezra called me yesterday with some questions… apparently he is applying for a passport, because he has plans on going to europe and england for new years this year. how come he gets to go, and i haven’t been able to go much further than to the next state my entire life?

anyway, then i read ‘s feed () which pointed me towards the following, which didn’t make things any easier on me…

A shameful retreat from American values
by Garrison Keillor
Oct. 04, 2006

I would not send my college kid off for a semester abroad if I were you. This week, we have suspended human rights in America, and what goes around comes around. Ixnay habeas corpus.

The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, has decided that an “enemy combatant” is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant, including your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter.

If your college kid were to be arrested in Bangkok or Cairo, suspected of “crimes against the state,” and held in prison, you’d assume that an American foreign service officer would be able to speak to your kid and arrange for a lawyer, but this may not be true anymore. Be forewarned.

The Senate also decided it’s up to the president to decide whether it’s OK to make these enemies stand naked in cold rooms for a couple days in blinding light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now purely a bureaucratic matter: The plenipotentiary stamps the file “enemy combatants” and throws the poor schnooks into prison, and at his leisure he tries them by any sort of kangaroo court he wishes to assemble, and they have no right to see the evidence against them, and there is no appeal.

This was passed by 65 senators and will now be signed by Mr. Bush, put into effect, and in due course be thrown out by the courts.

It’s good that Barry Goldwater is dead because this would have killed him. Go back to the Senate of 1964 — Goldwater, Dirksen, Russell, McCarthy, Javits, Morse, Fulbright — and you won’t find more than 10 votes for it.

None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Idea. Mark their names. Any institution of higher learning that grants honorary degrees to these people forfeits its honor. Alexander, Allard, Allen, Bennett, Bond, Brownback, Bunning, Burns, Burr, Carper, Chambliss, Coburn, Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Cornyn, Craig, Crapo, DeMint, DeWine, Dole, Domenici, Ensign, Enzi, Frist, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Hutchison, Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Lott, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Menendez, Murkowski, Nelson of Florida, Nelson of Nebraska, Pryor, Roberts, Rockefeller, Salazar, Santorum, Sessions, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Stabenow, Stevens, Sununu, Talent, Thomas, Thune, Vitter, Voinovich, Warner.

To paraphrase Sir Walter Scott: Mark their names and mark them well. For them, no minstrel raptures swell. High though their titles, proud their name, boundless their wealth as wish can claim, these wretched figures shall go down to the vile dust from whence they sprung, unwept, unhonored and unsung.

Three Republican senators made a show of opposing the bill and after they’d collected all the praise they could get, they quickly folded. Why be a hero when you can be fairly sure that the Supreme Court will dispose of this piece of garbage?

If, however, the Supreme Court does not, then our country has taken a step toward totalitarianism. If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it’s no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.

I got some insight last week into who supports torture when I went down to Dallas to speak at Highland Park Methodist Church. It was spooky. I walked in, was met by two burly security men with walkie-talkies, and within 10 minutes was told by three people that this was the Bushes’ church and that it would be better if I didn’t talk about politics. I was there on a book tour for “Homegrown Democrat,” but they thought it better if I didn’t mention it. So I tried to make light of it: I told the audience, “I don’t need to talk politics. I have no need even to be interested in politics — I’m a citizen, I have plenty of money and my grandsons are at least 12 years away from being eligible for military service.” And the audience applauded. Those were their sentiments exactly. We’ve got ours, and who cares?

The Methodists of Dallas can be fairly sure that none of them will be snatched off the streets, flown to Guantanamo, stripped naked, forced to stand for 48 hours in a freezing room with deafening noise, so why should they worry? It’s only the Jews who are in danger, and the homosexuals and gypsies. The Christians are doing just fine. If you can’t trust a Methodist with absolute power to arrest people and not have to say why, then whom can you trust?