Good morning and happy Friday.
~ National Geographic reports that Saturn has a new ring, which I take to mean one that hasn't been identified before rather than a new ring that has popped up in the last year or so.
~ The Environmental News Network is reporting that Richard Branson will donate $3 billion, yes billion, to combat global warming over the next 10 years, or all of the profits from his airline and rail businesses. That's pretty damn cool.
~ Deepak Chopra posts about The Body's Wisdom on his Intent blog. It's all good as far as I can tell, except for the vegetarian suggestion, which is number one on his list. Anyone looking for optimal health should avoid vegetarianism if at all possible. For those who refuse to eat meat on moral grounds, well, that's a whole other argument.
~ You can listen to a lecture by the Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dakpa on Mind Training: Eight Verses on Thought Transformation. Here's a description:
To explore the challenges in our daily life, Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dakpa gives commentary on the classical text, Eight Verses of Thought Transformation. This mind training (lojong) text goes back over 800 years following the introduction of the Kadampa School by Atisha when Geshe Langri Tangpa set down these extremely profound teachings in brief form. Sharing his profound joy and wisdom, Geshe Dakpa offers us insight into the development of loving kindness, compassion, caring and commitment. Geshe Dakpa offers practical advice on how to stimulate inner reflection, deepen our wisdom and compassion, understand the true nature of our minds and ultimately achieve a greater degree of inner peace.~ Stuart Davis gets in touch with his inner Vajra Sword while on tour in Europe. This is an example of Big Mind process in action, or more correctly, Voice Dialogue, as designed by Hal and Sidra Stone (credit where credit is due).
~ Will at Think Buddha is looking at whether there is an authentic self to be found beneath all the learned and conditioned responses that comprise our sense of self. It's a good article, so I won't tell you what he concludes.
~ Joe Perez at Until argues against the Great Books proposals. He bases his objections in some quotes by Alasdair MacIntyre, a neo-Thomist philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame. But Joe isn't done there, he later posts a rebuttal to Matthew Dallman's recent article at The Woodshed on "The Humanities as the Integral Tradition."
~ Nick at The Lotus & the Magnolia notes in University of Buffalo -- Student Opinion that some students weren't thrilled with a visit by the Dalai Lama.
~ P2P Foundation posts on an effort to make a peer-to-peer movie.
Okay then, on to some less fun news:
~ Robert Kennedy is in Rolling Stone again, with a much needed warning about electronic voting machines and the possibility (I'd say probability) of another stolen election.
~ On a similar topic, The Nation has a piece on the lack of a Constitutionally guaranteed right to vote, and the lack of a nationally standardized voting criteria. This allows local folks to run elections however they want, often with serious flaws in the system.
~ The Financial Times of London reported that the reason most of the "secret" CIA prisons were closed is because the CIA was refusing to use the interrogation tactics the Bush administration wanted in fear of being prosecuted for violating Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions. Brings into perspective the president's insistence on legalixzed torture and exemption of agents from war crime charges.
~ Meanwhile, Bill Clinton weighed in on the torture law and finds it problematic.
~ David Ignatius at the WaPo argues that the Bush administration didn't make an effort to protect the CIA until it was too late. It took three years to get a DOJ report on the legality of the techniques they were being asked to use, and by then everything was becoming public knowledge.
~ Also from the WaPo, Dan Froomkin looks at Bush's disconnect from reality in Iraq, and Michael Kinsley looks at Bush's reverse narrative on Iraq, starting with "Mission Accomplished" in 2003 to the "it will be long, tough war" approach we hear now.
And that's a wrap.