‘Buddha Boy’ has Arrived

The legend of Buddha Boy has made it around the world today thanks to a story in the Telegraph. Ram Bomjon has spent six months wthout food or water, meditating beneath this tree, according to his devotees.

“A snake bit me but I do not need treatment. I need six years of deep meditation,” explains the 15-year old Bomjon, whose mother, Maya Devi, shares the same name as the mother of the original Buddha, born 160 miles from this site around 543 B.C.E.

No report yet on whether President Bush, traveling in nearby Mongolia will make a visit, but if he reads this blog he may think twice about this opportunity to be born again again. USA Today reported last week that “Bush is a Methodist, but he seemed to get into the Buddhist vibe in South Korea.”

stay tuned…

How ’bout a Do-Over?

Immersed in a squallid moat of schoolwork, but coming up for air. Apparently Rumsfeld said something on Schieffer’s Sunday show to the effect of “I didn’t advocate the invasion of Iraq…” or something befuddlingly similar.

It is no secret that Rumsfeld INSISTED on micromanaging a 21st century-style speedy and slick war with minimal troops. If the U.S. had begun the ground war with at least double the troops, as General Shinsecki (Shinseki)? and other uniformed military leaders projected as reasonable; perhaps the U.S. would have the personnel to better investigate and understand the regional and national disturbances occurring, soon to occur, and purported to have occured according to horrendously viral, yet unverifiable rumors cross-cutting Iraq.

What I fear is getting out of Iraq with as hasty, careless, and incomplete a plan as we had when we went in. I am hoping that Congress and the Administration have finally hit bottom and will come out more focused and ready to work overtime to produce a quality plan. Forget about the “Global” War on Terror and stick to Iraq – where there can be no “winning” in its normal sense. With the house on fire, you obviously want to get your people out as soon as possible, but how can you best save your guests AND spare the fire from spreading throughout the neighborhood?

The president originally made a decent case for war, and it is hard not to agree that Saddam needed to be taken out. My main argument against the war was simply logistical — How can you reverse the standards of war that have been revised since Vietnam and so hastily make a plan to fix Babylon in weeks and come out unscathed, leaving only freedom dust sprinkled behind?

Without having an in depth knowledge of the history of Iraq, I was aware of the fact that the fertile soils at the isthmus of the Tigris and Euphrates have been fawned over by kingdom’s and empires and dinosaurs since the beginning of civilization. President Bush may have overlooked this when his read on the Bible was reprogrammed by “Intelligent Design.”

So I hereby recommend the use of Marty McFly’s DeLorean for one last trip back in time. Mr. President, just imagine being back on the USS Lincoln in that flight suit and having that be the last day that anyone ever mentions “war” in Iraq, or even “occupation.” A little Back to the Future action, and Rumsfeld – you can be Mr. Smooth with the press corps again, gracing the cover of People as a celebrity and American hero, now that you’ll be able to do what you wish you had done and keep Gen Shinsecki et al in command of the mission.

P.S. if you happen to remember, there are a few terrorist attacks that can be averted between 2002 and now in Madrid, Bali, and London, among other places… nahhh, I doubt anyone will remember those.

Oops, I’ve rambled. I am getting back to work. Main reason I’m posting is to insert these links below so that I can follow up on the HOT Sunday morning talk show action that I missed.

Bush’s locked out of ‘exit strategy’ in China | Rummy | Murtha on MTP | George Will | General Odom on McLaughlin | Lawrence Wilkerson | Leonard Downie to Howard Kurtz | Italia Federici on Abramoff’s bribes | SNL Highlights

Big Hi-Fives go to Crooks and Liars and the Daily Dissent for hosting and posting.

Testing customized newsfeed software HERE

Tribune’s curious strategies for the future of news

Newspaper Cuts - Daryl Cagle Nov 19 2005

When I moved to Los Angeles in August I fell in love with the LA Times – there actually is a REAL newspaper outside of DC or New York, I thought. I wondered how they could pull off an international grade paper with various nat’l and international bureaus under the Trib Co umbrella (I had previously dealt with the increasing rate of newsworthlessness as a reader of my hometown Chicago Tribune.

Ken Auletta’s piece in the New Yorker a month ago or so made it obvious that I had fallen in love with the LA Times just as the the paper could no longer resist the effects of the slow yet suffocating downsizing of Tribune Co’s newspaper outlets. Alas, not even Dean Baquet would be able to salvage it. My new lover is undergoing a rapid anorexic disformation – under a forced hunger strike.

Still, Steve Lopez exuded award-winning, ambitious journalism with his Skid Row series. A deep search of the web reveals that very little traffic visits the Chicago Tribune’s website for national or international content. On the other hand, the most e-mailed article in today’s LA Times is columnist Tim Rutten’s take on Bob Woodward‘s involvement in the leak investigation. (Rutten was forced off a post as a National editor in a round of Trib Co cuts, only to recreate himself as a columnist, albeit relegated to the “Calendar” section. He has since been named Associate Editor of Features).

LA Times had managed to keep up despite repeated cuts to staffing, maintaining 22 international bureaus, some with multiple staff members, whereas Chicago Tribune currently staffs just12 individual foreign “correspondents.”

Following the bastardizing of the op-ed columnist line-up, abandoning the weekly “Outdoors” section and the launching a Metromix for Tinseltown The Envelope website, the LA
Times is looking more and more like its crippled sister paper.

The choices that media corporations make in the coming years in making a transition to the teenaged generation (the last that will buy newspapers) is not to be taken lightly. The audience is well aware of the multiple options for newsgathering and is quicker than ever to scrutinize sweeping corporate-minded changes that ignore the intellectual and consumer-friendly values of the product. Simply put, content transcends multiple media, but poor quality content does not translate much better – if at all – in different contexts. Its insulting.

A Look to the Future: For the past year or so the Chicago Tribune has highlighted the inside back page of Section 1 with the laughably pathetic ” PERSONALS: WHO’S WHO & WHAT’S UP NAME DROPPING.” Every Day. Section 1.

A weekly column in the Tempo section showed up a year ago as wel, summarizing the content of that weeks’ US Weekly, Star, InStyle and the like. On the front page of Tempo, no less, Its heading: CELEBRITY MAGAZINES: WE READ THEM SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

Now, I understand the “what’s going on in the Soaps this week,” and other gossippy columns, that regularly appear in a tucked away but consistent corner of the paper. But to have these 2 regular sections, so prominently placed – and given their bold headings – is just downright insulting.

The Metromix concept is one that the Tribune is expanding, and The Envelope is likely a result of this. Be on the look out in your town.

Finally, and i hate to bring this up, but a friend told me that they’re going to start charging for Red Eye. Red Eye is the 30 or 40 page tabloid roundup of news summaries, sports and entertainment launched a couple years ago in Chicago. Shaped not unlike The Onion, it is filled with photo and graphic-heavy summaries of the news as defined by a high school student, written at a 7th grade level. They have been charging a quarter for it since it launched, at least 2 years ago, and there are cash boxes where its available for purchase right next to The Sun Times copycat Red Streak. But its given away for free everywhere, hence its no surprise that its news if they “start charging.”

As the Tribune Company continues its mission to dumb down society one job cut at a time, while future strategies of any media corporation are trivial and unproven, all I ask for is please, please, please:

A World Championship Chicago Cubs team in 2006.