Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Nepal’s ex-Gurkhas cheer British settlement rights

AFP: Nepal’s ex-Gurkhas cheer British settlement rights

KATHMANDU (AFP) — Retired British Gurkha soldiers in Nepal on Friday hailed as “historic” a British announcement that the veterans can settle in Britain.

The British government said on Thursday all of the Nepalese fighters who retired before 1997 and had served at least four years with the British army could now apply for residency.

“This is a historic achievement for all Gurkhas,” Jit Bahadur Rai, treasurer of the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen?s Organisation, told AFP.

Gurkhas who retired after 1997 — when their base was moved from Hong Kong following the territory’s return to China — already had the right to settle in Britain and more than 6,000 have done so….


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Black immigrants see personal triumphs in Obama — And More

Black immigrants see personal triumphs in Obama | Gainesville.com | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, FL

“He is in a better position than anybody else to speak with the leadership on the African continent, eyeball to eyeball, that it is time for change,” said Ezekwenna, chief executive of Africans in America, which focuses on human trafficking issues. “As leader of the free world, if he tells them the game is up in his motherland, his ancestral home, they will get a clue that the game is up.”


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Helen Suzman, Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies at 91

Helen Suzman, the internationally known anti-apartheid campaigner who befriended the imprisoned Nelson Mandela and offered an often lonely voice for change among South Africa’s white minority, died on Thursday, a family member said.. She was 91.

Helen Suzman, Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies at 91 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com


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Interracial Churches | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

LUCKY SEVERSON: If something seems odd or unusual about these worshippers, maybe it’s the diversity, all the different colors and nationalities of their faces. This is the Wilcrest Baptist Church in Houston, and Pastor Rodney Woo couldn’t be more proud of the cultural and racial mix of his congregation.

Pastor RODNEY WOO (Wilcrest Baptist Church, Houston, TX): I think my main passion is to get people ready for heaven. I think a lot of our people are going to go into culture shock when they get to heaven, and they get to sit next to somebody that they didn’t maybe sit with while they were here on earth. So we’re trying to get them acclimated a little bit.

via December 19, 2008 ~ Interracial Churches | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.


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Dogma and Doubt — NPR Interview

NPR’s Renee Montagne interviews the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt, A Parable, now adapted for film.  The film follows the story of Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) — an old-school, hard-as-nails, no-nonsense nun — who suspects Father Flynn (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is sexually abusing the school’s first and only black student.

John Patrick Shanley On Dogma And ‘Doubt’ : NPR

Ella Taylor, on the other hand, is unimpressed, and has some excellent points.

Doubt Wags the Finger of Moral Relativism – Village Voice


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5:07 On Line, And I’d Do It Again In A Minute

This morning Michele and I hied it down to the local library for the last day of early voting.  We arrived at precisely 10:00 AM (the moment voting started) to find a line about 100 yards long.  Someone told us that the guy at the front got there at 4:30.  They’re taking this election seriously in our neighborhood.

It rapidly became clear that this was a Barackin’ Love-In.  If there were any Republicans in the crowd, they were either lying about it or laying low.  Shel said the whole thing reminded her of one of the gatherings back in the ’60’s.  Everyone was in a great mood.  Younger folks were loaning older ones folding chairs.  Although it was a lovely, breezy day in the high 70’s it was warm in the sun, so folks with umbrellas were gathering those around them into their portable shade. 

By the time we’d been there for a couple of hours, everyone knew their neighbors.  Obama volunteers were delivering water, candy bars and pretzels up and down the line, and about an hour before we got inside a young guy left the line, went to KFC and brought back several buckets of chicken, distributing legs and thighs to all comers until they ran out.

When we finally got inside, it was almost anticlimactic.  The workers were so organized, after doing this for a couple of weeks, that you almost felt as though there ought to be more to it.  There seemed to be a feeling of regret amongst those of us who became acquainted on line — a feeling that we were tired, dehydrated, hungry, but didn’t want it to be over.

I’m sure the lines at our regular precinct, made up mostly of old people who have all day to vote, will be short on Tuesday evening when we get out of work.  I’d be surprised if there is a wait at all — certainly no more than ten minutes or so.  It will be so convenient for those who waited.  But I wouldn’t have wanted to miss today’s experience for anything.  For five hours we were one people — black, white, beige or whatever — one heart, one mind and one purpose: to be part of a bit of history that is far too many years overdue.

It was glorious!


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How We Fuelled the Deadliest War in the World — and It’s Starting Again

There are two stories about how this war began — the official story, and the true story. The official story is that after the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu mass murderers fled across the border into Congo. The Rwandan government chased after them. But it’s a lie. How do we know? The Rwandan government didn’t go to where the Hutu genocidaires were; not at first. They went to where Congo’s natural resources were — and began to pillage them. They even told their troops to work with any Hutus they came across. Congo is the richest country in the world for gold, diamonds, coltan, cassiterite, and more. Everybody wanted a slice – so six other countries invaded.

These resources were not being stolen to be used in Africa. They were being seized so they could be sold on to us. The more we bought, the more the invaders stole — and slaughtered. The rise of mobile phones caused a surge in deaths, because the coltan they contain is found primarily in Congo. The UN named the international corporations it believed were involved: Anglo-America, Standard Chartered Bank, De Beers and more than 100 others (they all deny the charges). But instead of stopping these corporations, our governments demanded the UN stop criticising them. …

How We Fuelled the Deadliest War in the World — and It’s Starting Again – Yahoo! News