Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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I was just thinking… by Bill

There’s a lot of stuff going around the Web, the conservative talk shows and blogs, and the Christian right-wing press about how Christianity and The Church are being badmouthed, demonized and otherwise mistreated by those terrible atheists and other unbelievers of whatever stripe. To hear them tell it, they’re beleaguered on every side, and unless all True Christians stand up and be counted — hopefully at the polls — the Will Of The Lord is in danger of being contravened, all that is Good toppled, and the Reign Of The Serpent will be upon us.

What’s that all about, anyway? Continue reading


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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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Harry Potter And The $4 Million Book

How well is Amazon doing? Well enough to spend millions on a publicity stunt: Yesterday the company paid $3.98 million for a single copy of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

OK.  Let’s see a Christian author do the same thing — and donate all the proceeds to charity.  Hmmmm….?

Harry Potter And The $4 Million Book (AMZN) – Silicon Alley Insider


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Reason, Religion and Fear

We live in a time in which people with strong opinions about the end of time can influence foreign policy. It’s fair to ask Romney the questions put to Kennedy: will your faith conflict with your duty? Will others, even non believers get a fair shake? Romney says separation of Church and state has gone too far. Inquiring minds want to know: What exactly does he find excessive?

Bill Curry: Reason, Religion and Fear – Politics on The Huffington Post


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Schwarzenegger says he will declare fiscal emergency

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday said he would declare a fiscal emergency in California so he and state lawmakers can start cutting programs before shrinking tax revenue from the collapsed housing market leaves the state with up to a $14 billion shortfall over the next year-and-a-half.

The emergency will likely mean cuts to schools, colleges, prisons and aid programs for the poor, elderly, and out-of-work that have already spent nearly half their promised funding for the year.

Schwarzenegger says he will declare fiscal emergency


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Listen To The Supremes

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Sentencing Commission took aim at the disproportionately harsh sentences meted out for crack-cocaine offenses, suggesting that Americans and their democratic institutions might finally be waking up to the gross racial disparities haunting our prison system.

State Prisons: Listen To The Feds


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How Important Are Good Manners?

Explore the Johns Hopkins University Civility Project. Its purpose was to learn what influence these old conventions retained in modern society. What is the effect of politeness and respect in the work place, and in more tightly closed aggregations like the military and prisons? What are the consequences of their absence?

Johns Hopkins Civility Project makes peace person to person, then nation to nation | csmonitor.com


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The high cost of living ‘A Free Life’

When he flies to Beijing after winning a grocery-store raffle, Nan recalls his first flight to the States, during which confused new travelers like himself carefully wiped and saved their plastic tableware from their meals, unable to imagine that such valuable utensils could possibly be disposable. “They had no idea what kind of plentitude and waste they were going to encounter in this new land.”

The high cost of living ‘A Free Life’ | csmonitor.com


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Another Reason for Legalization? I ain’t sayin’, I’m just postin’…

Imagine you and your family buy a piece of country property on a quiet dirt road far from neighbors and highways. One of the selling points of your parcel was a year-round creek up at the north end; you’ve seen mergansers, turtles, and fish on your stretch of the creek. But one day you notice the taste of gasoline in your drinking water.

You must be mistaken—your well is spring-fed and you had it tested for mineral and bacterial contamination before you purchased the property. You test again, and this time the sample indicates serious diesel contamination. Further investigation leads to a “fake house” nestled in trees on the other side of the creek. The building looks like a residence, but it’s only home to several hundred marijuana plants. The diesel tank for the system’s generators—necessary to power about forty 1,000-watt lamps, some on eighteen hours a day, some twelve—is leaking gallons of diesel into the soil, the creek, and the groundwater.

Greening the Green « Terrain Magazine, Winter 2007 « Ecology Center


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Dalai Lama challenges China – with a referendum on reincarnation

In calling for a vote among traditional Tibetan Buddhist communities from the Himalayas to Mongolia, the Dalai Lama is challenging the dominance of communist governance over tens of millions of people and thousands of square miles of land within China. As well as Tibet, huge numbers of his followers are found in the provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.

Dalai Lama challenges China – with a referendum on reincarnation | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited


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A Feast of Ideas

When different-minded people gather at Marnita’s Table, meaningful conversation is always the main dish

The dining room windows are foggy with conversation. Every seat, nearly every piece of floor space in Marnita Schroedl’s modest three-bedroom house in Minneapolis is occupied. Patio furniture has been pressed into February service. Guests perch on radiators and test the limits of the pet-weary sofa, juggling paper plates, plastic wine glasses, and animated discussions.

Although space is tight, the more than 50 people who have crunched through fresh snow to get here tonight don’t seem to care. They’ve come to meet six international doctors who specialize in HIV/AIDS and to meet each other. All of them have some connection to the disease. Over the next four hours, they swap stories about how it has changed their lives and their communities and grope for new strategies and answers.

A Feast of Ideas

Please remember that Saturday, December 1st is World AIDS Day.  Do something.


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Girl of Yes, and an End to Highways

Carol Guess

 

Girl of Yes, and an End to Highways

This is the City of Subdued Excitement, a city of one-way streets that unfold into highways and again into alleyways without even a hello. This is a city you can know and un-know on the same day, a city no one owns, although more and more people are buying its views. This is a city where vets cluster in yurts, inching closer and closer to Canada. Sunlight happens three months a year. This is a city of beached whales, rock slides, and ghosts; of serial killers and guard dogs, Minutemen and meth labs, borders and bodies among the ubiquitous greenery. This is a city where art and violence have the same velocity, where someone’s knitting sweaters for the skinniest trees: black and white stripes, pink buttons crawling up the bark.

This is a city of liars and I am in love.

Front Porch Journal


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Stop the epidemic of rape in Congo

Every single day, women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo
are being brutally raped, beaten and killed in epidemic proportions.
Congress has a chance to positively impact this catastrophic situation
by passing the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). Before
another day of violence goes unanswered, please sign CARE’s appeal now, telling Congress to pass this legislation immediately.