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    Buddhism and Politics Paid Member

    Beliefnet looks at Buddhism and politics: So American Buddhists aren't likely to become a political machine or a crucial swing vote any time soon. But as the religion born in the East carves its place in the West, many Buddhists are making a mark in U.S. politics, including this year's presidential race. A significant number of Buddhist immigrants who fled communist regimes in Southeast Asia tend to be politically conservative, which could help Republican candidate Sen. John McCain. But a solid majority of American Buddhists are converts, who tend to be liberal, and many back Democrat Barack Obama. You may have read about the troubles of the Cambodian temple in Long Beach, California. More »
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    Don't give up Paid Member

    Danny Fisher has a follow-up post to the Dalai Lama's statement that he is "giving up" on gaining autonomy for Tibet within the People's Republic. Of the DL's comment, Nicholas Kristof of the Times writes, "I don’t take that with the tone of finality that some do. . ." And the entertaining and thoughtful Bhikkhu's Blog is back after a summer-long hiatus! What's happened in the world since June 13th, and why was Ajahn Punnadhammo gone for so long? Something to do with a cup of coffee and an "inexcusable lapse of mindfulness." More »
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    Friendship Paid Member

    A friend endowed with these three qualities is worth associating with. Which three? He/she gives what is hard to give, does what is hard to do, endures what is hard to endure. A friend endowed with these three qualities is worth associating with. - Anguttara Nikaya, III.133, trans. by Thanissaro Bhikkhu More »
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    Troubled Thailand Paid Member

    There's no end in sight to the strife that has torn up the country for three years. It's tycoon and former PM Thaksin Shinawatra versus the traditional elites, with the king (and the people) in the middle. Meanwhile in the south, which has endured an active Muslim insurgency for years, rebels met with the government in Jakarta and seemingly hammered out a deal. But intermittet brutal violence still occurs, such as Tuesday's beheading. More »
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    Tough times in Korea and Thailand Paid Member

    It's not a great time to be running Korea -- either Korea. Kim Jong-Il reportedly had a stroke and then surgery. South Korea and the world watch anxiously. And more from restive Thailand, which just ousted its Prime Minister: More than an attack on the sitting government, the protests grow out of deep political and social divides that have hardened over the past three years and threaten the stability of Thailand. The protesters who are now camped in the mud at Government House represent the latest turn in a long-running struggle between democratic ideals and a traditional, hierarchical society that feels disenfranchised by democratic change. This time, whatever the outcome of the confrontation, analysts say democracy is likely to suffer. More »
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    Thai P.M. ousted by courts Paid Member

    Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was finally forced out of office not by protests but by the Courts: Samak, 73, a self-proclaimed foodie, hosted a popular television cooking show -- ''Tasting and Complaining'' -- for seven years before becoming prime minister. But he also made several appearances after taking office, breaking a constitutional prohibition on private employment while in office. This isn't the end of Thailand's political problems b a long shot, and they still have an active insurgency in the South. More »