Early Morning Open Thread: Happy Diwali!

Special Festival of Lights greetings to all Indian / South Asian members of the Balloon Juice community.

And may Lakshmi, the Warrior Goddess, bring light, new clothes, sweets, fireworks, and prosperity to all through the year!

80 replies
  1. 1

    This is my fourth year of celebrating Diwali with friends at work. Awesome sweets!

  2. 2
    chowkster says:

    Yes! Diwali is the festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil; the victory of light over the forces of darkness.

    How appropriate that this year we are celebrating it after the Democratic sweep of the Senate and the Presidency.

    Happy Diwali everyone!

  3. 3
    rajH says:

    Thanks, Anne! And, um, Laxmi is the Goddess of Wealth. She’s not a “warrior goddess”, not unless she has a badass side that I never heard about so far! :)

  4. 4
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    ot and highly unlikely but if any of you happen to be phd archaeological scientists, my uni would like to hear from you. we have a job going. drop me a line at mightyTrowel AT gmail

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    After reading the overnight news, I now know why the President won because of his values and trustworthiness. Repubs think values means foursomes or something. How long before one of the pastors mentions gay marriage caused the Petraeus/Broadwell Allen/ Kelley affair with a little FBI agent thrown in for good measure.

    pseudonymous in nc said in an early blog………
    It’s like C-SPAN2 meets Jerry Springer. You even have Mrs Broadwell, the broad, well…
    I can’t wait for that show.

  6. 6
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Yes! Happy Dilawi!

    We could use some victories: Light over darkness, truth over lies, compassion over harsh judgment, and good over evil.

    Yes, please. I’ll take some of that.

  7. 7
    amk says:

    Happy Deepavali to BJ’ers from a southie.

  8. 8
    amk says:

    தீபாவளி வாழ்த்துக்கள்

  9. 9
    amk says:

    @amk: Cool. It worked. :)

  10. 10
    Linda Featheringill says:


    Very nice!

  11. 11
    Raven says:

    @amk: If it turn my dissertation into a book do I get to be called a “writer” like Paula Broadwell?

  12. 12
    Chris says:

    Happy Diwali indeed – cable tv FOR THE WIN…


  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    Deepavali greetings to all. Yes, there is a victory over darkness for my American friends to celebrate, and I share in their relief and rejoicing. (Although, given the ignorance, stupidity, and denial shown by the Romney/Ryan 2012 campaign, I feel rather tempted to call it a victory over Insufficient Light.)

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Jill Kelley volunteers a lot, you might seek out her advice. Will there be pictures in your book?

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    It’s getting more like the Profumo affair minute-by-minute.

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Joe is killin the Jar Head General that’s in it now!

    eta 41 emails a day from the commander of US Forces in Afghanistan. Gee, anything else he might have been doing?

    Meanwhile, Mike the scold is just horrified.

  17. 17
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Maybe I got a bad batch but I found the sweets to be pretty bad. I bought a bunch from a local Indian market to give as gifts & a few to try. Didn’t much care for them.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Today I thought it might be safe to stream and the crew’s as confused as I am.

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Joe is pretty pissed and I’m really enjoying his questioning of what the fuck the FBI was doing investigating this in the first place.

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Sort of like Dilberts “Phil, Prince of insufficient light”. He runs around darning people to heck. Have not thought of him in years.

    Its still an uphill battle but at least the tide held at bay for the moment.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    Phew! I thought the gays would be blamed but it appears the Morning Joe crew has decided the FBI is to blame.

  22. 22
    amk says:

    ‘is about time.

    Fewer incoming members of the House and Senate have signed the pledge against tax increases run by Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, in a reflection not only of the seats that Democrats gained but of the success they’ve enjoyed in vilifying Norquist.

    About a dozen newly elected House Republicans refused to sign the anti-tax pledge during their campaigns, and another handful of returning Republicans have disavowed their allegiance to the written commitment.

    With Democrats picking up seven or eight seats, that means the pledge guides fewer than the 218 members needed for a majority. In the Senate, where Republicans lost two seats, just 39 members of the chamber are pledge-signers, according to the group’s records. That is a drop from 238 members of the House and 41 senators who committed to the pledge at the start of the 112th Congress.

  23. 23
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Well, he’s including Holder and the White House as well.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:


    WHA? A General not focused like a laser on his mission?!? THATS UNPOSSIBLE!

    So whats the odds of even the wingnuts throwing this cake topper overboard? Will they defend him all the way down or do they turn & rip at him like a pack of dogs?

    If they do go after him it might be time to remind them that Ike had company during those lonely days in London & Patton was closeted.

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: CYA will prevail.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Raven: So the shirtless FBI agent went to Cantor because he thought the FBI was covering up the affair. Why aren’t they talking about Cantor’s involvement? Maybe they wanted to close the case and the shirtless guy wouldn’t let them.

  27. 27
    Schlemizel says:


    Thank goodness he went to someone important and didn’t just leak it to just some average guy, say like the POTUS, who had no business knowing his CIA chief was tainted & classified info was dribbling out.

  28. 28
    aimai says:

    Thanks for posting this, Annie. I love diwali. The eldest miss Aimai danced Parvati in a Parvati and Siva duo this weekend in a big diwali festival here.


  29. 29
    gene108 says:

    And may Lakshmi, the Warrior Goddess

    Small nitpick. Lakshmi – Goddess of Wealth. No killing demons.

    Durga = Warrior Goddess, who killed a demon, which this holiday celebrates.


    How did you get Tamil characters to show up?

  30. 30
    amk says:

    @gene108: Just cut & paste. Yeah, I too was shocked that cole’s vista moment didn’t fuck it up.

  31. 31
    WereBear says:

    Plenty of light to all!

    We are finally replacing our ratty old lamps with a discovery on a discount site: sunlight lamps for this winter!

    We are at 44.2794° N, 73.9803° W. It’s not the Land of the Midnight Sun, but it’s already getting DARK at five pm.

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    @amk: Glad it worked.

    Quick question. The first word’s Deepavali, what is the second word? I can sound it out to be something close to “vazhittuickal”, but My Tamil’s awful and I’m not sure what it means.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    amk says:

    @gene108: The second word is greetings.

  35. 35
    gene108 says:

    Reading some of the postmortems on the 2012 elections.

    The Republicans are now openly talking about doing something about their xenophobic, misogynist, anti-intellectual characteristics and somehow change to embrace Latinos, single women and however intellectual rigor can justify Jesus riding a Dinosaur, I guess is what they mean by denouncing anti-intellectual.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Republican voters react to this.

    Will they take their marching orders or will they boot out the uppity folks, who use big words and call them dumb for knowing in their guts Jesus rode a dinosaur, without needing fancy science to prove it to them.

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    @JPL: Cantor’s involvement is finally starting to (possibly) make sense to me. Cantor was likely, in this FBI agent’s estimation, the most odiously partisan of the actors prominent enough to take this story and inflict sufficient damage on the administration with it. Cantor, however, probably just feared that it would take down Petraeus without harming Obama and sat on it.

  37. 37
    Maheshwari says:

    Diwali symbolifies the

    triumph of good over evil

    , brightness over darkness and usually it is celebrated in the last weeks of Oct or early Nov. This year it is a rare occasion-celebrating Diwali in almost mid-Nov but how fitting and meaningful it is after last week’s

    triumph of the people over pacs


  38. 38
    piratedan says:


    as the counting goes on, looks like AZ=CD2 may remain in Dem hands afterall…. still trying to chase down Carmona numbers

  39. 39
    JPL says:

    @gene108: My understanding is the pro-fetus party can still believe in creationism, just not mention it.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Ash Can: That’s how I feel. If Romney won, maybe the entire thing would be covered up.

  41. 41
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Good God, another general? All I do is go to bed and wake up and this thing has morphed and expanded again, it’s like some science fiction movie creature in a sealed lab.

    When the history is written about this period, it will sound like H.G. Wells:

    “After all man’s devices had failed, the Generals of the mighty US military were defeated by the smallest entities that God in his wisdom had put upon this Earth: their penises.”

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @Ash Can:

    It’s funny to watch how media’s love affair with the general skewed their coverage. It couldn’t be that this was just an affair, because the general is too important and honorable for that, although that’s the most obvious answer. They jumped right to vast Obama conspiracy. Someone is trying to silence him! They’re so hopelessley compromised as investigators. They see what they want to see. There may well BE more to this, but they can’t start with “the general is blameless”.

  43. 43
    Schlemizel says:

    @WereBear: 44.9 here & I hate this time of year.

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    fywp… I guess I can’t say that

  45. 45
    Comrade Jake says:

    There was an epic slugfest between Cole and some chick named Karoli (apparently of Crooks and Liars) over twitter during the middle of the night. Anyone know what that’s all about??

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: p.e.n.i.s.g.a.t.e..
    I wonder if they stayed at the Water-gate.

  47. 47
    giltay says:

    @JPL: From the NY Times:

    Later, the agent became convinced — incorrectly, the official said — that the case had stalled. Because of his “worldview,” as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent’s concerns.

    I.e., they were continuing to investigate, not stopping the investigation, but not allowing shirtless guy (whom this official seems to be calling a teabagger) to have anything to do with it.

  48. 48
    Schlemizel says:


    I fully expect the politicians to pander like hell. The trolls and orcs will wink and nod knowing full well that they don’t really mean it and that the few captive examples of the species they are trying to impress are fully tamed and will act the same as the real Americans(C).

    The big issue will be if enough people fall for the act. If the GOP can turn a couple of Spanish phrases, not say out loud what they actually think about rape & birth control and find a couple of candidates that are not old white men the faithful will understand they don’t really mean it. The question will be how large a percentage of the targets will fall for the act.

  49. 49
    scav says:


    get some celebratory coffees in me and I might manage something more profound than lights! sparkly things! Laxmi! Masala dosa! Devon!
    oh and Ganesh, because there always has to be Ganesh.

    coffeecoffecoffeesparklycoffee. . .

  50. 50
    MattF says:

    I know, we’ve had the World Series, and the Schadenfreude Season is officially over… but the truly awful comic strip “Prickly City”, which is a ‘conservative’ strip that balances the rest of the otherwise unacceptably reality-based comics page in the WaPo, has run strips for the past week that obviously assume that Romney won the election. It’s funny, for the first time.

  51. 51
    Punchy says:

    Another General caught up in this Broadwell mess….unreal

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    @MattF: The ones they have online seemed pretty generic.

  53. 53
    Schlemizel says:


    Pokegeneral – GOTTA CATCH “EM ALL!

  54. 54
    Ash Can says:

    I feel sorry for all the poor slobs in the military who genuinely have a sense of honor, seeing these idiotic schmucks in high places acting like overprivileged teenagers.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Schlemizel says:

    @Ash Can:

    I was amused by the side by side images of a couple of generals.

    One lead the effort to eradicate fascism from Europe & the other probably fibbed a bit to get a bronze star. But take a look at the two & see if you can guess which is which:
    Here is even a better example:

    Honest to pasta there are veterans of the Great Patriotic War reunion in Moscow that would blush at the one display.

  57. 57
    mai naem says:

    Happy Diwali! Light over Evil indeed definitely applies today.

    @Schlemizel: Indian sweets don’t last that long and you really have to go to a specialty indian place that makes sweets only. Most of the other places carry stuff that they’ve bought premade from some place else and god knows how old it is. Indian sweets are for the most past very rich and very sweet.

  58. 58
    bemused says:


    Did you find sunlight lamps that are attractive as well as therapeutic?

  59. 59
    Ash Can says:

    @Schlemizel: I’m just glad Petraeus scuttled himself before he got any higher in government. I know there’s still the possibility that he may have allowed some classified informatIon to be compromised at some point in this shitshow fail parade, but I’m optimistic that he’s not smart enough to have done any real damage.

  60. 60
    Horatius says:

    @rajH: Lakshmi has 8 forms and I herself one third of the supreme power Shakti.

  61. 61
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    More on Orca:

    “For whatever reasons, the conservative bloggers have latched onto Orca as the reason it all fell apart,” [Romney Campaign Digital Director] Moffatt added. Those bloggers have suggested that developers with Democratic sympathies somehow acted as a fifth column within the Romney camp. Targeted Victory was singled out by some bloggers because a few of its developers worked for Al Gore in the past.
    “Why do they have Al Gore’s dev working on Romney’s social media development?!” blogger Catherine Ann Fitzpatrick asked. “Truly, how can they expect dedication?” She also singled out another developer who is African-American and “who has a 96 percent chance of being an Obama voter… I will be accused of ‘racism’ for even flagging. But it’s the truth.”
    Moffatt said that this kind of thinking puts too much faith in a single piece of software. “Anyone who knows campaigns knows this was all baked in before that day—there was no magic, Orca wasn’t a silver bullet,” he said. “But on the flip side, when you’re on a campaign that has only six months of infrastructure time, sometimes you have to throw a Hail Mary. It’s really hard to go up against someone who has four years of lead time.”

    It’s a good article.

  62. 62
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @scav: Diwali, doesn’t have much to do with Ganesh. He is so special that he gets his own ten days in September.

  63. 63
    Schlemizel says:

    @mai naem:

    Mine were tasteless & very very very sweet. Really unpleasant. But it was an Indian grocery, their bakery though so I assumed freshness but probably not. Its tough to make a call when your sample size is one and not near the location of origin.

    I hope to win the lotto so that I could have sushi in Tokyo & Korma in New Delhi

  64. 64
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @chowkster: So Romney = Narakasur and Obama = Krishna?

    BTW Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth, it is the various avatars of Parvati that are badass (Durga and Kali, come to mind)

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:


    RE Prickly City. Ah.

    Epistemic closure hits the comic pages.

    Cartoonist, with weeks to prepare, cannot submit an alternative set of drawings? That’s funny.

  66. 66
    Steeplejack says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    As near as I could tell–and it’s very, very murky–there was some Internet falling-out over a possible James O’Keefe-type incident and the woman (or her partisans) had been criticizing ABL and Heather. I looked at a couple of pages that Cole linked to, and it was very inside-baseball-y.

  67. 67
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Schlemizel: Indian sweets are too sweet, since traditional Hindu sweets don’t use eggs,
    they rely on the sugar to hold everything together.

    For Diwali, I make karanjis (look like empanandas) which are not too sweet. The filling is coconut with maple syrup, golden raisins and slivered almonds. I use pie dough and bake them at 450.

  68. 68
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    rely on the sugar to hold everything together.

    I always thought it was ghee that was the thickening agent to hold everything together.

    Indian sweets are all basically flour, ghee and sugar, with a few other spices mixed in.

  69. 69
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @gene108: Sugar holds everything together, butter/ghee makes it delicious. I can think of a lot of flourless Indian sweets pedhas, srikhand, chikki, etc.

  70. 70
    aimai says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hmmmmmm, srikhand. I now make a quickie version of that by taking greek yogurt (full fat) and mixing it with a small amount of saffron and ground cardamom and sugar. Let it sit and then serve it as dessert.


  71. 71
    KXB says:

    Diwali has become the Hindu equivalent of Christmas – mostly in a good way. Diwali used to be the big holiday for Hindus in northern & western India. For Bengali families like mine, it was a non-event, since it usually fell between Durga Puja and Kali Puja. But, just as Christmas is celebrated by Catholic and Protestant denominations at the same time, so Diwali is increasingly being celebrated by Hindus that in the past did not.

    If anything, the fact that such holidays cluster around the same time in the fall suggests the tendency of cultures to have a harvest festival in the fall. Then, when spring approaches, you’ll have your assorted holidays heralding the end of winter – Easter, Nowruz for the Persians, etc.

  72. 72
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @aimai: You should drain the Greek yogurt for a few hours. I use a sieve lined with cheesecloth, and put a few cans on it. Also add saffron and nutmeg to the really rich, resulting yogurt.

  73. 73
    PurpleGirl says:

    Happy Diwalli BJers.

    Tonight Indian food for dinner by candlelight.

  74. 74
    Cain says:

    Maybe for those north Indian rabble:-) but us Southerners make most of our sweets with milk! Also I don’t think e much use flour as much as besan (chickpea flour)

    Not that I do much prep of Indian sweets. Too much sugar and ghee.

    Salted caramel though..mmmmm

  75. 75
    Cain says:

    Forgot to say happy Diwali!

  76. 76
    Schlemizel says:


    I do something similar but use brown sugar & seedless grapes. A very nice desert

  77. 77
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Cain: He is probably thinking of gulabjamuns and jalebi, both too sweet for my palate.

  78. 78
    scav says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I know, I just like him and isn’t he to be invoked before beginning all projects?

  79. 79
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @scav: Yes he is for any religious ceremony. If you can, you should go to Bombay (Mumbai) or Pune during the Ganesh festival, it is a lot of fun. The Sarvajaneek Ganesh Utsav began as political protest, the British had prohibited large gatherings (no freedom of assembly) to circumvent that Bal Gangadhar Tilak, started the Sarvajanik (Public) Ganesh celebrations, because the British in general gave religious festivities a wide berth.

    Diwali is more a social gathering than religious, you wear new clothes, eat special foods that you only make once a year, light fire crackers, exchange gifts (usually the special Diwali snacks that you make). People who own businesses usually do a Lakshmi pooja.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Anyone know what that’s all about??

    Just classic Cole. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and then stubbornly doubling down on stupid.

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