Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Lesbian Rights Pioneers to be Legally Joined at Last

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom plans to officiate at the private ceremony in his City Hall office before 50 invited guests. He picked Martin, 87, and Lyon, 84, for the front of the line in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement.

Along with six other women, they founded a San Francisco social club for lesbians in 1955 called the Daughters of Bilitis. Under their leadership, it evolved into the nation’s first lesbian advocacy organization. They have the FBI files to prove it. …
Lesbian couple of 55 years ready to say ‘I do’ – Yahoo! News


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Buddhism and Politics – Council on Foreign Relations

From Myanmar to Tibet, saffron-robed monks have been taking to the streets in protest against political repression. Paul Harrison, a professor of Buddhist studies at Stanford University, discusses Buddhist teachings and the acceptable role of monks in politics.

Buddhism and Politics – Council on Foreign Relations


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Tibetan Buddhism’s next leader?

In mid-May, a serious young man of 22 who is revered as the 17th Karmapa – now the second-most-important figure in Tibetan Buddhism – will make his first visit to the United States. The trip comes eight years after his dramatic flight to India from a monastery near Lhasa at the end of 1999, when he was just 14 years old. This is the first time that a skittish India has allowed him permission to travel abroad. His flight from Tibet was a considerable embarrassment to China.

The Karmapa Lama, spiritual head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism, is now the only major Tibetan lama recognized as a reincarnation of his lineage by both the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government since it overran Tibet in the 1950s. The Panchen Lama, the third of a triumvirate and previously the second-highest ranking among the three lamas, vanished into Chinese custody as a boy in 1995 and has been replaced by Beijing’s own political appointee.

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Bush Wants Control Over Military Lawyers

Washington- The Bush administration is pushing to take control of the promotions
of military lawyers, escalating a conflict over the independence of uniformed
attorneys who have repeatedly raised objections to the White House’s policies
toward prisoners in the war on terrorism.

    The administration has proposed a regulation requiring “coordination”
with politically appointed Pentagon lawyers before any member of the Judge Advocate
General corps – the military’s 4,000-member uniformed legal force – can be promoted.

    A Pentagon spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the reasoning behind
the proposed regulations. But the requirement of coordination – which many former
JAGs say would give the administration veto power over any JAG promotion or
appointment – is consistent with past administration efforts to impose greater
control over the military lawyers.

Bush Wants Control Over Military Lawyers


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The battle over the new Dalai Lama

Imagine a committee of the Left parties … secretly meeting in Kolkata to select the reincarnation of the CPI-M leader.

After a couple of days, white smoke may appear above the building where they are meeting and a Vatican-style announcement made, Habemus Pappam (‘We have a new pope’ or, in this case, a new general secretary).

You may politely tell me: ‘Do not play an April fool joke on me.’

Unfortunately, it is not a joke. It has happened in China. The stage was set for the tragicomedy when, on July 13, the Communist government in Beijing decided to implement the ‘Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism.’ … The battle over the new Dalai Lama


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An Atheist Reponds to Mitt Romney’s Speech on Religion

As an atheist and a father of three young children, the speech Mitt Romney delivered at the George H. W. Bush presidential library today shocked me to my core.

If this is the drift of this country, towards a politics that explicitly excludes my standing as a worthy citizen because I do not believe in one of the major monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism or Islam, then I seriously do not know what I will do to sustain for myself, and instill in my children, the strong sense of belonging that I currently feel as a citizen.   An Atheist Reponds