American Pravda: The ADL in American Society

In our modern era, there are surely few organizations that so terrify powerful Americans as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, a central organ of the organized Jewish community.

Mel Gibson had long been one of the most popular stars in Hollywood and his 2004 film The Passion of the Christ became among the most profitable in world history, yet the ADL and its allies destroyed his career, and he eventually donated millions of dollars to Jewish groups in desperate hopes of regaining some of his public standing. When the ADL criticized a cartoon that had appeared in one of his newspapers, media titan Rupert Murdoch provided his personal apology to that organization, and the editors of The Economist quickly retracted a different cartoon once it came under ADL fire. Billionaire Tom Perkins, a famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was forced to issue a heartfelt apology after coming under ADL criticism for his choice of words in a Wall Street Journal column. These were all proud, powerful individuals, and they must have deeply resented being forced to seek such abject public forgiveness, but they did so nonetheless. The total list of ADL supplicants over the years is a very long one. (Source)

Ron Unz’s American Pravda series is essential reading. His choice of subjects is fascinating, his tone measured and personable, and his arguments devastating. Buddhist readers in particular will benefit from Ron’s work because he clearly shows that public “reality” has many faces and that the most prominent one is often false.

Associations of Religious Upbringing With Subsequent Health and Well-Being From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: An Outcome-Wide Analysis

In the present study, we prospectively examined the associations of religious involvement in adolescence (including religious service attendance and prayer or meditation) with a wide array of psychological well-being, mental health, health behavior, physical health, and character strength outcomes in young adulthood…. Compared with no attendance, at least weekly attendance of religious services was associated with greater life satisfaction and positive affect, a number of character strengths, lower probabilities of marijuana use and early sexual initiation, and fewer lifetime sexual partners. Analyses of prayer or meditation yielded similar results. Although decisions about religion are not shaped principally by health, encouraging service attendance and private practices in adolescents who already hold religious beliefs may be meaningful avenues of development and support, possibly leading to better health and well-being. (Source PDF)

Toilet Wars

Israel Shamir

Boys and girls are different. Once, this difference had been celebrated. Vive la petit difference, exclaimed the French, and other nations also enjoyed it. Now it has lead to multiple troubles, on the seas, in the cities and even in outer space, as you will learn now.

Men and women pee in a dissimilar way, to start with. It was not a problem for last six thousand years of recorded history, but now, for the enlightened West, it has become a real worry. This difference is upsetting for feminists, who want to do everything men do. In 1970s, the first Women Lib posters proudly presented a badass of a girl peeing in a urinal, to great amazement and envy of a few properly diversified onlookers. But that was then. Since then, the feminists decided it will be more fun to force men to use female facilities and to destroy facilities for men. (Source)

Dalai Lama says he knew of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since 1990s, ‘nothing new’ in such allegations

The Hague: The Dalai Lama said Saturday that he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers. (Source)

See also:Buddhist group admits sexual abuse by teachers

Pope says ‘silence’ is the best response to ‘people lacking good will’

…In his homily, Pope Francis said the reading should help Christians “reflect on how to act in daily life when there are misunderstandings,” but also to understand “how the father of lies, the accuser, the devil acts to destroy the unity of a family, of a people”.

According to a Vatican News report on the homily, Pope Francis said that it was with his silence that Jesus defeated the “wild dogs”, the devil, who “had sown lies in the hearts”. (Source)

Edit 9/16/18: FWIW, while I find it interesting that the Pope has said the devil uses accusations as a weapon against good people and while I find this idea worth considering, I doubt its application in today’s context is entirely pristine. That said, false accusations are very common, very destructive, and very much worth analyzing before reacting emotionally to them.

As for using “silence” to deal with false accusations or “people lacking good will,” this fails as do so many general religious rules. Christianity in particular suffers from too many decent but overly simplified heuristics not being subject enough to human valuation and wisdom.

Silence is good when dealing with narcissists and others in some situations, but not in all situations. When we decide on our own—or even with the help of the Pope—that someone is “lacking good will” and deserves the silent treatment, we run the risk of cowering behind false “virtue,” to say nothing of the possibility that we may also be engaging in a false accusation ourselves even if that accusation is kept silent.

Buddhism is not immune to the same problem. For example, Buddhists are frequently counseled to be careful about what they say but rarely counseled to be careful about what they hear or how they hear in general. Many bad ideas can form in the mind through simply mishearing or misunderstanding what someone has said.

Traditional religions, as with most belief systems, contain too many simple ideas that absolutely must be analyzed in each context before they can be wisely applied. ABN

Dalai Lama says ‘Europe belongs to Europeans

STOCKHOLM (AFP) –

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said Wednesday that “Europe belongs to the Europeans” and that refugees should return to their native countries to rebuild them.

Speaking at a conference in Sweden’s third-largest city of Malmo, home to a large immigrant population, the Dalai Lama — who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 — said Europe was “morally responsible” for helping “a refugee really facing danger against their life”.

“Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country,” said the 83-year-old Tibetan who fled the capital Lhasa in fear of his life after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising. (Source)

Congressional Sources Confirm Timeline of Bruce Ohr, Chris Steele and FBI Contacts With Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok…

…Several months later, when it became clear that Donald Trump was the likely GOP candidate who would win the primary (March/April 2016), Hillary Clinton signed-on to purchase the opposition research from Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS. (Source)

The graphic below is very informative. Start at the top at “Searches” (Nellie Ohr’s illegitimate searches of the NSA/FBI database) and follow the arrows clockwise back to the top where the FISA court approves the spy warrant on Carter Page and by extension the entire Trump campaign team. ABN