Have they ever met, the Pope and the Dalai Lama?
I’m sure that many individual Roman Catholics and many individual Tibetan Buddhists have met. Perhaps some are neighbors and tend flower gardens side-by-side. Perhaps some’ve discussed their religious beliefs in a panel discussion at some august university. And perhaps some have just met in passing at a bus stop. But met they have in the course of their lives.
The Pope and the Dalai Lama are different. They are the heads of their religious groups. They have responsibilities and symbolic significance. They represent Roman Catholicism and Tibetan Buddhism to the outside world and, of course, to their followers as well. The Pope and the Dalai Lama are not merely individuals, but they, if you will, are offices too. Offices that individuals occupy, for a time. But the office itself persists.
The Papacy is unoccupied as I write this. There is no Pope, only a conclave of cardinals seeking to elevate one of their number to that office. It is otherwise with the Dalai Lama. That office has an incumbent.
I suppose that the Pope is more visible in the world than the Dalai Lama and considerably more powerful too. Yet I also suppose that while all those cardinals are aware of the Dalai Lama, he isn’t necessarily aware of any of them beyond a few particularly prominent ones. There is a difference between the head and the rest, a dramatic difference. Continue reading
Two days ago I put up a post in which I asserted, by the time-honored method of pulling it out of my arse, that
in the long run, more and more political action which shift to cities and thereby ‘hollow out’ the increasingly sclerotic system of nation states which governs the earth and the global level. In a century the nation states will be husks of what they are now and most of the world’s civic business will be conducted by shifting coalitions of cities and regions.
I’m interested in exploring that notion.
Anyone have ideas, suggestions for things to check out, etc.? Any relevant science fiction?
* * * * *
In that post I cited, as examples,
- the Second Vermont Republic, a group of citizens who want Vermont to secede from the USofA,
- the Transition Town movement, folks who are adamantly apolitical but who, in anticipation of peak oil, are working toward local self-sufficiency in food and energy and all that that implies, and
- Mayors of Peace, an international organization of cities seeking to end nuclear weapons by 2020.
What else is there like that, where “like that” is interpreted generously? Continue reading
By Charlie Keil
There is NO split in the Republican Party unless there is a real T for Truth Party that old-fashioned, paleo-conservatives can vote for happily with confidence and in good conserving conscience. By Traditions, plural, we mean the diversity of eco-moralities that once upon a time (pick your pre-industrial era) kept all of us in some kind of balance with “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” If there is no real TnT Party most of those Ron Paul teaparty voters stay trapped inside the Republican Party at election time. You can guess who will win big in 2012, a divided but ‘big tent’ Republican Party. Same party that elected colorful women to governorships in New Mexico and North Carolina. Continue reading
Writing in Salon, Steve Kronacki reports that Repuiblic honchos are getting worried:
…the political world stopped paying attention to Paul about two months ago, and the threat of him bolting the GOP and running as an independent – a scenario long feared by Republicans – passed long ago.
And yet, the RNC’s chief counsel felt the need this week to issue a warning to the Nevada state GOP about the Paul campaign. At issue is this weekend’s Nevada Republican convention, where delegates to the national convention will be chosen. The state’s caucuses in February were a truly messy (that’s the polite word) affair, but Romney was the clear and overwhelming winner.
On Saturday, though, Paul supporters are expected to flood the state convention and could account for the lion’s share of attendees. This is what prompted the RNC’s counsel to warn the state party that its delegation might be denied seating in Tampa if it’s dominated by Paul-ites. Continue reading
But, for a better analogy, we must go back to the American slave system, a thoroughly capitalist enterprise that reduced human beings to units of labor and sale. The Corrections Corporation of America’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission read very much like the documents of a slave-trader. Investors are warned that profits would go down if the demand for prisoners declines. That is, if the world’s largest police state shrinks, so does the corporate bottom line. Dangers to profitability include “relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.” The corporation spells it out: “any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.” At the Corrections Corporation of America, human freedom is a dirty word.
via Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders | | AlterNet.