Friday, October 16, 2009

Happening in the Middle East

Something interesting in the world looks like a Semitic coalition before and against Iranian possession of Atomic weapons.

Most agree that the people of each nation have the right to atomic energy, even if they wish it weren't so.

Israeli people and government are reasonably against having to face an Iran which has atomic weapons too.

Most Arab leaders are little pleased with the prospect of having an Iran armed with atomic weapons as a neighbor. Many justice loving Arabs ask why it is right and fair for Israelis to have atomic weapons and bad for Iranians to have them. Still, even in the name of justice, they cannot be hoping to be surrounded by increased likelihood of mushroom clouds in their neighborhood.

So Semitic people, Arab and Jew, do not want to feel threatened by Persian weapons and so may be tempted to cooperate.

Might such cooperation may prove a boon to the Palestinian people?
Might Arab and Jew benefit by the vision of a new way to cooperate?
Might Jew and Palestinian see such Arab-Jew cooperation as even making a one-nation solution to their problems possible? Could it lead to an acceptable compromise?
Might Arab/Israeli cooperation lessen the chances of armed conflict between Israel and Iran

My Memory

Here is what I remember about the Korean War/police action.
There was a war between the North and the South.
We wanted the North to lose.
We fought against the North and they beat us off.
Since then Americans have been on that border.
How long has it been?
Where have I remembered wrongly?
How do you think we should decide to join a civil war?

Theravada Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism shows a continuous and ongoing influence in South East Asia from very early times. I believe that people of Burma (Myanmar) were the main SEA influence in the spread of Theravada Buddhism, shared by Sinhalese and others. Theravada was not, and is not the only Buddhism in the area, just as Buddhism has never been the only religion in the region.

Buddhists of what we now call Sri Lanka were not the only Buddhists in contact with the peoples of what we now call Myanmar; though Buddhist teachings an revivals have flowed both ways between these two peoples. One example of an influence on Myanmar Buddhism which was nor Ceylonese may be found in the career of Atisa(AD 982-1054) after the advent of Islam. Atisa probably spent a dozen years in southern Burma before going to Tibet to reform tantric tradition there.

Theravada Buddhism stayed strong through the Mongo evasions and the destruction of Pagan by them at the end of the 13th century. In the 15th century the Mon order Dhammaceti restored the Theravada order.

I hope to write more in this vein soon.

Native California Peoples

Native America peoples of what is now southern California usually had names for themselves other than the ones will I give here. Here are many of the popularized ones I remember. There are many more: Chumash, Alliklik, Kitanemuk, Serrano, Gabrielino, Luiseno, Cahuilla, Kumeyaay, Hoopa.

Of course other native peoples made their presences strongly felt in California. For example: Shoshone, Paiute, Yakee (Yaqui), Mohave, Apache, and many others.

There was cultural and economic commerce between and among these people. Trade was carried on to the Northwest US and beyond, to deep into Mexico, up and down the Colorado and beyond.

Each of these peoples have their stories and their history.

The Chumash, for example, traded up and down the Pacific coast in their well-made, brea-caulked boats. They also were know for introducing new religious ideas to inland peoples.
The Chumash were among those to bear much of the brunt of contact with European explorers and conquerors. They were among the first to contact the Spanish and in very early times had unfriendly dealings with the Russians and their Native allies. It's not surprising that Chumash made these contacts first, as they were a sea going people and the Spanish, Russians, English and a surprising number of others first came by sea. The Chumash may also have traded with Chinese and perhaps Japanese.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Thunderbirds

The thunderbirds are back, but no thunder.

Seems like October. Must be time for Gary's "birthday."

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