A nobleman went up to the Zen Master Hakuin and asked him “What happens to the enlightened man at death?”
“Why ask me?” said Hakuin.
“Because you’re a Zen master.”
“Yes, but not a dead one.”
There has been a bit of flap about Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer being given a cameo appearance as part of the Emmys ceremony on Sunday, with critics saying that someone associated so closely with Trump should not be welcomed. But it is pretty much a given now that if you are a member of the elite in the financial-political world, you are immune from any long-term consequences for your actions, however appalling. Whatever you do while working in government, even advocating war crimes, you will be welcomed with open arms by the establishment when you leave.
Wiley, creator of the daily strip Non Sequitur is one of the best cartoonists around and someone I read every day. Last Saturday (September 18, 2017) he had the strip below. I thought that he was making a point about the way our judicial system is a slave to stereotypical thinking and is all too willing to treat harshly and without due process anyone who looks different enough to be considered the ‘other’.
One of Donald Trump’s most potent messages in the last election was his vision, given in almost apocalyptic language, about how important the election was for the soul of America, as expressed on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network.
Trump put the choice starkly for the channel’s conservative Christian viewers: “If we don’t win this election, you’ll never see another Republican and you’ll have a whole different church structure.” Asked to elaborate, Trump continued, “I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the border, you’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they’re going to be legalized and they’re going to be able to vote, and once that all happens you can forget it.”
Seth Meyers reviews the state of the Mueller investigation into the Trump White House, Trump’s incoherent tax plan that is matched only by Trump’s verbal incoherence, and the Alex Jones theory that not only is Trump being slowly drugged, but that all presidents are routinely drugged with small doses of sedatives that they are secretly given.
We can expect to see a flurry of activity concerning health care within the next two weeks. The reason is that according to the arcane rules of the US Senate, changes to Obamacare that need only 50 votes to pass must not only be within certain parameters but must also be passed by September 30. After that, any changes must go through the normal process and will require 60 votes to break a filibuster and the Republicans have only 52 votes.
There is no question that the media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was atrocious, focusing endlessly on things like the email issue as if it was some huge nation-threatening scandal when at most it was an error of judgment that others had also committed. There can also be no question that part of it was fueled by the fact that she is a woman because the US is about half a century behind the rest of the world when it comes to accepting a woman as president.
Two atheists Seth Andrews and Matt Dillahunty visited Ken Ham’s theme park the Ark Encounter in Kentucky and provide a guided tour of the place so that you don’t have to shell out 40 bucks (plus $10 for parking) for the privilege. I never had any intention of going there (even though it is relatively close by, less than a five-hour drive) so was glad to see this video and realize how little I was missing.
The Harvard Kennedy School of government has really made a mess of things. When they invited Chelsea Manning to be a Visiting Fellow, it unleashed a storm of protest from members of the intelligence community
Manning’s invitation to address students of the school’s Institute of Politics was denounced by Mike Pompeo, the CIA director who cancelled an appearance at Harvard on Thursday, and by former deputy director of the agency Mike Morell, who resigned his own visiting fellowship in protest at what the two men described as the honoring of a “traitor”.