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.

Monday, December 26, 2005

This Freebee Is For A Good Cause

Amnesty International is a favorite organization of mine. The picture to the left is from the ad that they have placed on several blogs concerning "extraordinary rendition" or sending people abroad for interrogation where our distaste for torture is not shared. It will have no appeal to those who have convinced themselves that the people who might be our enemies are less than real human beings. But then these people are quite probably looking at a future life sometime when they will actually be less than human beings. This is sad, but only so much can be done, even by a Buddhist with a commitment to work for the benefit of all. A link to the Dharma in some future life can be established merely by sincere prayers that it occur. But how many lives it will take before that link matures is not forseeable, at least not by me.

The greatest scholar of my own Buddhist tradition, Gampopa, describes the process of karmic results as follows: every significant action that we commit will occur to us not just once, but many times in our future lives. He also points out that thought is the seed of overt action, and approving of someone else's action mentally has the same ultimate effect as doing the action yourself. So be careful what you think, you may be digging quite a deep hole for yourself in the future.

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