A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Buddhist Posts are Now Updated

Here they all are again. There are now 23 of them. Enjoy.

Clinging To The Pot A story of the great Tibetan yogi, Milarepa.

Benedict and Me--Part II: One Truth, Four Truths, Two Truths More truths than you ever thought were possible.

Pope Benedict And Me, Part I: The Sleep Of Reason A meditation on inter-religious dialog.

Humming Activity--Peace and Quiet The story of a pilgrimage, a high lama, and Buddhist retreat.

The Mountain Will Not Come To Joe Claus... In anticipation of another visit to the Monastery.

Karma, Merit, Buddhist Vows, and the Spiritual Friend I can't say much more about it that that.

A New Buddhist Post The difference between true compassion and "idiot compassion".

This Is An Emergency Post Prompted by an e-mail, circulated among Buddhists, purporting to prove that Pope Benedict XVI had made hostile and derogatory comments in the past about Buddhism.

A Death In The Sangha A description of the practices undertaken after a Buddhist death.

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa The current manifestation of the head of my lineage, surrounded by the important current members of it.

Death, Terri Schiavo, Rationality, and Faith A post from the Buddhist perspective about how the Terri Schiavo affair throws light on the best kept religious secret there is: religious doubt.

Thinking about Death yet again Why contemplating your own death is such a valuable thing to do.

The Way Things Really Are A little taste of what my teachers call "analytical meditation" demonstrating how the world is actually created by our own mental fabrications.

Letting Go Of Fear A literary description of the basic Buddhist calming meditation called Shamata.

There are Cyber-Retreats and then there are Cyber-Retreats Stimulated by the Anchoress, this post is about what hanging around a Buddhist monastery is like.

A Vision of Long Ago and My Religious Friends A post on the appearance of goodness in forms that are not all sweetness and light.

When Pleasures Slip Into Larger Spaces Than The Mind A post on "mindfulness".

The Power of Prayer The meaning of prayer for a Buddhist.

Since the Anchoress Asks, I'll Answer A segway into the Four Noble Truths.

The Buddhist View Of Original Sin This post is exactly what the title says. It resulted from a spirited discussion of Original Sin over at La Shawn Barber's Corner.

On Being Liberal and Religious, Part 3 This post addresses the question of what it means to be "liberal" when you are also religious. It contains both my Buddhist answer to the question of What is the moral nature of the world? and my Liberal credo concerning the practical politics that follow from my answer.

On Being Liberal and Religious, Part 2 This post addresses the question of "secularity", the belief that religion is "a private matter", and concludes with a question to the secular among us: What is the moral nature of the world?

On Being Liberal and Religious, Part 1 This post confronts the American interaction of religion and politics. It asserts that there are three broad groups in our politics when looked at from this vantage point: Secular Liberals, Secular Libertarians, and Religious Conservatives. I note that I belong to none of them. It also tackles the religious problem of thinking about our politicians, particularly those whom we oppose, as fellow human beings.

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