Politics

  • "Unthinkable" Paid Member

    Seventeen days have elapsed since the Israeli Defense Forces began air strikes on Gaza, and seven days have passed since the onset of its simultaneous ground invasion. As of Wednesday evening, 700 Palestinians and 35 Israelis had lost their lives—not to mention an additional 4,600 wounded Palestinians. More »
  • In the Face of Tragedy Paid Member

    The way I want to talk about the current crisis of self-immolations by Tibetans may be risky for a scholar in academia. This is not merely because it critiques how my field has tended to address the topic. More basically, it departs from the usual mode of scholarly writing altogether. I composed the following reflections without an initial plan or even an idea of what I would say. Nor was I sure of their full implications upon completion. And yet, in the particular case at hand, I think the fact that I wrote out of an immediate and even instinctive sort of intuition made an important realization possible. Or perhaps more accurately, what made it possible was that I was obeying an imperative that I had discerned—a demand on myself—to try and say something about my intuition, even if it didn’t stand as an entirely consistent scholarly principle. More »
  • Talk Isn’t Cheap Paid Member

    The photo op is irresistible. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, donning radiant maroon and saffron robes, sits alongside none other than a fully suited Mr. Barack Obama. His Holiness’s unapologetic, balding head and exposed right bicep are a spectacle in the formally clothed, carefully guarded land of Washington, DC. On display are two very different global juggernauts. More »
  • Why I Disrupted the Wisdom 2.0 Conference Paid Member

    The invisibility of the crisis in San Francisco right now is reminiscent of that of the AIDS epidemic. To quote from Vito Russo, a founder of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, film historian, and rabble rouser, it’s “like living through a war which is happening only for those people who happen to be in the trenches.” He lived in this city when it was a haven for political radicals, queer people, artists, and immigrants, when it was America’s great city of sanctuary. “You look around and you discover that you’ve lost more of your friends, but nobody else notices,” he said. “It isn’t happening to them.” More »
  • Protesters crash Google talk on corporate mindfulness at Wisdom 2.0 conference Paid Member

    On Saturday morning at the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Karen May, vice president for "people development" at Google, was taken by surprise. Not long after she opened a panel discussion dubbed "3 Steps to Build Corporate Mindfulness the Google Way," protesters stormed the stage, unfurling a banner that read, "Eviction Free San Francisco." Lately, Bay Area activists have been blaming Google and other tech giants (and their allies in government) for displacing residents, and the annual gathering of Silicon Valley's mindful elite presented them with the perfect opportunity for protest.  More »
  • The Earth as Witness Paid Member

    Today humanity faces an unprecedented crisis of almost unimaginable magnitude. Escalating climate change is altering the global environment so drastically as to force the Earth into a new geological age. Unprecedented levels of suffering for all life on Earth, including human, will result. Significant reductions in greenhouse gases and other actions will be needed to reduce climate change to manageable levels. But more fundamental changes are also needed, and this is where we can draw guidance from the rich resources of the Buddha’s teachings, the dharma. This statement briefly describes core Buddhist insights into the root causes of the climate crisis and suggests ways to minimize its potentially tragic consequences. More »