Here's an excerpt from today's posting:
A daily, somewhat irreverent and highly personal "conversation" with President George W. Bush about national and international news; but also about issues of broad cultural interest.
Would Bush really have been moved by a teaching on the Four Divine Abodes? I don't know. Maybe the blog author was being snide in a subtle kind of way.
I only hope you had as profitable a weekend as I did, Bush. Three days (almost) of (almost) total silence. Can you imagine anything more beautiful? This, nestled in among the snow-blanketed hills of New Mexico, just a little south od Santa Fe. It was cold at nght, I promise you. And the meditation sits sometimes seemed long: an hour in the morning, and three consecutive hours in the afternoon interspersed with two half-hour periods of meditative walking. Sometimes, too, the hour seemed unbelievably short. It depends, of course, on what the mind is doing. If it's busy fighting the whole thing, as mine sometimes does, then the hour gets interminable: I sit there wondering what I'm doing there and when it's going to end. When the mind's at rest, observant and attentive and the breath flows smoothly, the hour flies by.
It would have been great to have you there with us, Bush. Our teacher--a Thai Forest monk who normally studiously eschews politics in his teaching--relayed the joke that the voice of God had been revealed to be actually your Cheney on the intercom, and that no one had yet figured out a way to tell you. Had you been with us, though, I believe you would have been much moved by his teachings on goodwill, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Such great wisdom in the Buddha's teachings, much of it not at all inconsistent with the teachings of your Jesus but with the added benefit, for me, in not needing to believe in any God--or gods. The notion that happiness is possible for human beings to achieve, if only they manage to let go their cravings, is an attractive one; and the breath meditation is a wonderful way to release those cravings, if only for one moment at a time.
In an earlier posting, the blog author talks about taking his dog to the vet and the excellence of the medical care his dog received. Then he has this to say:
The insurance situation in the country is deplorable beyond expression. I wonder if we can even hope that anything will be done about it anytime soon.
Coincidentally, though, both Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert chose to write about health care insurance yesterday. For humans, of course. Krugamn was deploring your latest let-them-eat-cake approach to solve the growing problem of the unavailability of health insurance for those most in need ot it: the poor, who can't afford it; and those who are already sick, and excluded from coverage by insurance companies who are in it for the profit and are disinclined to cover those who might actually cost them money. Your proposal for providing tax deductions for those probably too poor to be paying taxes anyway is absurd to the point of cruelty. And your "incentives" do nothing for those who are rejected from the system in advance. Herbert highlights the growing problem of those reduced to using credit card debt to cover essential health care costs.
I'm glad that Hillary Clinton put this out at the top of her agenda, and I hope that it will become a central topic in the coming campaign. "Coming"! It's already in high gear. But no matter how much the political hopefuls talk, there will still be people out there for the next couple of years facing life-and-death medical decisions in a system designed to benefit the insurance companies rather than the sick. I've talked about this national disgrace in the past, Bush. I understand you plan to talk about it tonight. If you say what Paul Krugman suggests you're going to say, your proposal is lamentably lacking in the "compassion" you once touted to convince the American people that you were the right man for that job that you hold onto with increasing futility and desperation.