You might have guessed from the title, above, that I was going to talk about the Bush speech last night. But no, it's yet another shameful episode that says something about our sad recent history.
In case you missed it... here's the story in yesterday's New York Times "Arts" section that will raise any hackles you might have. A thriving vipassana meditation program for hardcore criminals at the Donaldson Correctional Facility near Birmingham, Alabama, was cancelled at the behest of the prison chaplain for fear that it might be taking a toll on his Christian congregation! So much for Christian charity. I can hardly begin to imagine what those inmates must have felt, to be deprived of what was possibly their one source of serenity in a lifetime of misery. Anyway, I can't wait to see the movie about the group, "The Dhamma Brothers," which is already winning awards on the circuit; and I look forward to the book, "Letters from the Dhamma Brothers"--a collection of letters from inmates written to the documentary maker, Jenny Phillips, and scheduled to be released early next year. (By the way, I was thankful to read that the program had in fact been reinistated--a couple of years later--due to a "change in administration." Perhaps the chaplain left. Or was fired...!)
Oh, and here's a link to what I think is a worthy petition, to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The idea, as I understand it, is to capitalize on the common humanity of the people to subvert the ideological emnities. If you care to join me in signing it... every little bit helps.