Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Reminder

The Bush Diaries has recently morphed into The Buddha Diaries. Please check us out there.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Budget Proposal

(As posted in The Buddha Diairies.)

Trading "The Bush Diaires" for "The Buddha Diaires" did not mean, of course, eschewing all expression of political opinion. I just don't plan to spend so much time in that arena.

Yesterday's release of the Bush budget proposal needs some response in these pages in view of its distinctly un-Buddhist approach to national and international priorities. It seems clear at this point in time that the military-industrial complex about which Eisenhower warned us all those years ago has triumphed, and that the reverse Robin Hood budgetary philosophy of the Bush administration is to be aggressively pursued in flagrant denial of the wishes of the American electorate when they returned a Democratic majority to both houses of Congress. The profligate generosity extended to the military, in the form of budget increases, and to the very wealthy in the form of tax benefit extensions is matched only by the mean-spirited parsimony when it comes to the poor and the oppressed. On the global front, the dismissively short shrift it gives to the most urgent problem facing our planet--the stabilization of our environment--is mind-boggling.

So where is the compassion? Where is the mindfulness of well-established realities? Where is the recognition of urgent problems needing resolution? I am left with the bleak hope that the power to which this sadly ovine country has entrusted a president apparently bereft of a human heart and the requisite listening skills to govern is not, now, such that even the Congress of the United States in unable to thwart it. The Bush budget proposal is an arrogant kiss-off to every basic humanitarian value, and a shameful statement about our country to the world. Its unambiguous message is that we care more for the acquisition of needless weaponry and excessive wealth than we do for the well-being of our own people and the survival of our species. It is, in a word, disgraceful.

Monday, February 05, 2007


... The Bush Diaires has morphed into The Buddha Diaries. Please visit us there! Cheers, PaL

Friday, February 02, 2007


This morning's news of death and disaster in Central Florida due to tornado activity coincides with the larger news that accompanies the concurrent release of the United Nations report on climate change. We have too long chosen to remain deaf to the signals from our planet with the result that the damage caused by our negligence is now, according to the scientists who contributed to this study, basically irreversible. The harm we have inflicted on our little corner of the universe is surely no more than an infinitessimal blip on the cosmic radar screen; but to us, the human species--well, Florida is likely to prove but a minor foretaste. Even Katrina, with all her deadly force, may look like a tempest in a teapot when compared with what the Earth has in store for us, her unruliest inhabitants.

The UN report makes clear that the effects of our industrial and post-industrial consumption and our burning of the fossil fuel resources that enabled it may last for centuries to come. Whether the human species will survive its own mindless improvidence and greed remains an open question. We pride ourselves on the knowledge we have gained about the planet we are given to inhabit, but surely our ignorance is far greater. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose, it matters little to the universe--perhaps even to the planet itself--whether this one troublesome species survives. We have contributed already to the extinction of so many others, and the world keeps turning inexorably, shrugging off the loss and adapting to the change in ways of which we humans seem incapable. Our minds are prisoners of old ways of thinking, old conceptions of what it is we need--and what we need is always more than what we have. We seem fated to strive for the "growth" and "progress" that will assure our downfall.

Until we learn that there must be some limit to our grasping, until we learn tolerance and patience for the needs of other humans and of other species, we will continue down this path toward eventual destruction. We need to be more mindful that it is our actions that contribute to the creation of the world we live in; and our actions, should we all finally agree to make it so, that can begin to reverse the disastrous path that we have chosen.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Apology... and an Invitation

Visitors to The Bush Diaries--and readers of "The Last Post", below--will discover that this journal has been largely discontinued. My apologies. They are kindly invited, instead, to catch up with PeterAtLarge at The Buddha Diaries, where he continues to hold forth.