Losar and Lundi Gras Reads

Losar Tashi Delek to you, Sky Dancers! Happy 2150 to everybody!

So, it’s the beginning of a new year for those of us following the Buddhism of the Himalayas. Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, and I’m following the traditional old-school way of resting up the day before. Plus, Losar is a day to clean house; mine needs that more than I need to see a few parades.

When my kids were younger, we read Jataka stories during Spring break. These stories are lessons in developing a moral framework.

Ani Wangmo, a Tibetan Buddhist nun, reminded me of one story that always seemed sad and yet, heroic. This is an excellent lesson to think about on this auspicious day!

Irrelated to astrology, rabbit is one of the four harmonious friends from Buddhist folklore, sharing their living environment and collaborating peacefully. May all beings strive for such harmony in the world, in this year and beyond.

In a Jataka story a rabbit’s virtue draws attention of the gods, who challenge him to test the sincerity of his dedication to serving others. The rabbit sacrificed his life for others, and in his honour the gods imprinted his shape to the moon, so that when we look at it, we can always remember virtue. May we always selflessly strive to benefit all beings.

Losar Shrine with chemar bo (butter sculptures) at the new Gyuto Foundation Center in Richmond, California. You’ll notice this butter sculpture has our friends.

This story also reminds me of former President and Rosalyn Carter, who spent endless hours rebuilding and building homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Today, the story reminds me of other harmonious friends as President Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine demonstrates our country’s unwavering commitment to democracy abroad, even if it’s endangered here at home.   This is the headline from the New York Times. “Biden Visits Kyiv, Ukraine’s Embattled Capital, as Air-Raid Siren Sounds. President Biden took a nearly 10-hour train ride from the border of Poland to show his administration’s “unwavering support” nearly a year into Russia’s invasion.” Good for him because the FAUX nation wants to bail on them.

President Biden made a surprise trip to the embattled capital of Ukraine on Monday, traveling under a cloak of secrecy into a war zone to demonstrate what he called America’s “unwavering support” of the effort to beat back Russian forces nearly a year after they invaded the country.

Mr. Biden arrived early Monday morning to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the two stepped out into the streets of Kyiv even as an air-raid siren sounded, a dramatic moment that underscored the investment the United States has made in Ukraine’s independence.

“One year later, Kyiv stands,” Mr. Biden declared at Mr. Zelensky’s side in Mariinsky Palace, the gilded ceremonial home of the Ukrainian president. “And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.”

“Thank you so much for coming, Mr. President, at a huge moment for Ukraine,” Mr. Zelensky said.

Mr. Biden promised to release another $500 million in military aid in coming days, mentioning artillery ammunition, Javelin missiles and Howitzers, but he did not talk about the advanced arms that Ukraine has sought. Mr. Zelensky told reporters that he and the president spoke about “long range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before.”

This is from David Rothkopf at the Daily Beast. “Biden’s Trip to Kyiv is the Ultimate Humiliation for Putin—and Trump.” It should humiliate the Fucks at FAUX, but hey, they just care about their ratings.

Stirringly, just days ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s brutal offensive against Ukraine, Biden walked through the streets of Kyiv, paid his respects to those who had fallen in defense of Ukraine, and said, “Freedom is priceless. It’s worth fighting for, for as long as it takes.”

Biden also movingly invoked the conversation he had with Zelensky last February as Russia’s massive escalation of its nine-year-old war of unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. He recalled with Zelensky at his side, “You said you didn’t know when we’d be able to speak again. That dark night…the world was literally bracing for the fall of Kyiv…perhaps even the end of Ukraine.”

Of course, the symbolism of the American president standing alongside Zelensky, walking through the Ukrainian capital even as air raid sirens sounded, carried many other messages as well.

To those fighting for Ukraine, it was a vitally important message of solidarity that came with further commitments from Biden of military support for Ukraine.

To Vladimir Putin, it was Biden’s way of saying, “I am here in Kyiv and you are not. You not only did not take Kyiv in days as some predicted, but your attack was rebuffed. Your army suffered a humiliating defeat from which it has not recovered.”

Chotrul Duchen Monlam Chenmo – Great Prayer Festival of Miracles- Tibetan Butter Lantern Festival 2023

And, now we turn our eyes to the Fucks at Faux News. Mike Allen of Axios has this exclusive. “Scoop: McCarthy gives Tucker Carlson access to trove of Jan. 6 riot tape. “It’s not very comforting knowing that second in line to Biden is this fascist jerk.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given Fox News’ Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riot, McCarthy sources tell me.

  • Carlson TV producers were on Capitol Hill last week to begin digging through the trove, which includes multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds. Excerpts will begin airing in the coming weeks.

Why it matters: Carlson has repeatedly questioned official accounts of 1/6, downplaying the insurrection as “vandalism.”

  • Now his shows — “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, and “Tucker Carlson Today” and “Tucker Carlson Originals” on the streaming service Fox Nation — have a massive trove of raw material.

Carlson told me: “[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret.”

  • “If there was ever a question that’s in the public’s interest to know, it’s what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It’s impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that.”

There’s some more on the MAGA Propaganda Station today. Charles Kaiser writes this news at The Guardian, “How Dominion Voting Systems filing proves Fox News was ‘deliberately lying'”

Document makes clear senior Fox News figures knew after 2020 election voter fraud claims were false – and it’s likely a landmark case

The Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said Dominion Voting Systems’ brief requesting summary judgment against Fox News for defamation – and $1.6bn – is “likely to succeed and likely to be a landmark” in the history of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

“I have never seen a defamation case with such overwhelming proof that the defendant admitted in writing that it was making up fake information in order to increase its viewership and its revenues,” Tribe told the Guardian. “Fox and its producers and performers were lying as part of their business model.”

The case concerns Fox News’s repetition of Donald Trump’s lie that his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden was the result of electoral fraud, including claims about Dominion voting machines.

Tribe said the filing “establishes that Fox was not only reckless” but also that producers, owners and personalities were “deliberately lying and knew they were lying about the nature of Dominion’s machines and the supposed way they could be manipulated”.

Filed last week, the 192-page document makes it clear that senior figures at Fox News from Rupert Murdoch down knew immediately after the election that claims of voter fraud, in particular those aimed at Dominion, were false.

Tucker Carlson called the charges “ludicrous” and “off the rails”. Sean Hannity texted about “F’ing lunatics”. A senior network vice-president called one of the stories “MIND BLOWINGLY NUTS”.

But none of this knowledge prevented hosts from repeating lies about everything from imaginary algorithms shaving votes from Dominion machines to non-existent ties between the company and Venezuela

Tribe was one of several first amendment experts to call the filing nearly unprecedented.

More comments from the other expert witnesses are in the article at the link above.

Here are two articles showing how climate change is causing global havoc. BB’s Boston has hardly had a winter. It’s in the 80s in New Orleans for the end of the Carnivale season and the beginning of Lent. That’s a little early for those temperatures.

Ana Mano / Reuters:
Three dozen dead as Brazil rains cause calamity

Oliver Milman / The Guardian:
‘Not much time left’: Salt Lake City’s mayor on the Great Lake drying up

This is from last fall from the Yale Enviornment 360. As Himalayan Glaciers Melt, a Water Crisis Looms in South Asia. Warmer air is thinning most of the vast mountain range’s glaciers, known as the Third Pole, because they contain so much ice. The melting could have far-reaching consequences for flood risk and for water security for a billion people who rely on meltwater for their survival.”

Spring came early this year in the high mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, a remote border region of Pakistan. Record temperatures in March and April hastened melting of the Shisper Glacier, creating a lake that swelled and, on May 7, burst through an ice dam. A torrent of water and debris flooded the valley below, damaging fields and houses, wrecking two power plants, and washing away parts of the main highway and a bridge connecting Pakistan and China.

Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, tweeted videos of the destruction and highlighted the vulnerability of a region with the largest number of glaciers outside the Earth’s poles. Why were these glaciers losing mass so quickly? Rehman put it succinctly. “High global temperatures,” she said.

Just over a decade ago, relatively little was known about glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, the vast ice mountains that run across Central and South Asia, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. But a step-up in research in the past 10 years — spurred in part by an embarrassing error in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, which predicted that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 — has led to enormous strides in understanding.

Like I said, Lundi Gras is still my day of rest!  But here’s a look at what’s going on today! So, this is my peak holiday season! Y’all can keep that stuff after Halloween and before Twelfth night!

Have a great day, whatever you’re up to!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

24 Comments on “Losar and Lundi Gras Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

    I sent my granddaughters some masks and purple tutus so they could celebrate Mardi Gras! Their stash is being delivered this afternoon. I left out the beads and the king cake (due to the baby) because I didn’t want anything to wind up in the mouth, which it inevitably does with toddlers. They can look forward to that next year! Can’t wait to see them on zoom parading around!

  2. dakinikat says:

    For more on the Dominion filing and what it says about Fox, see the document here: https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/redacted-documents-in-dominion-fox-news-case/dca5e3880422426f/full.pdf It has some redactions.

    Via Jay Rosen on Mastadon.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Please stay safe at home. I heard there was a shooting last night–one dead, four injured.

    • dakinikat says:

      Yeah, that was uptown near the tourists and mansions

      • dakinikat says:


        One in custody after deadly shooting that killed one, wounded four along Mardi Gras parade route

        “Last night’s shooting interrupted what had been a peaceful carnival season,” New Orleans councilwoman Lesli Harris tweeted Monday morning. “Now, a gunman has claimed the life of one, hospitalized four, and traumatized countless others, including children forced to flee. I commend NOPD and our law enforcement partners for their swift response.

        The NOPD credits Louisiana State Police and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office for assisting in the arrest. The shooting remains under investigation. Stay with WGNO on air and online for updates.

        a four year old girl was shot

  4. dakinikat says:

    28 Children Rescued, 59 Adults Arrested in Massive DFW Child Porn Investigation: Police
    Local police, FBI work together to rescue 28 children investigators say were sexually abused, exploited online


    The North Texas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and FBI Dallas Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force said Friday that from Jan. 16 through Feb. 10 highly skilled computer crimes investigators from agencies around North Texas took part in Operation Janus, an effort to identify and rescue children forced into sexual acts and arrest the abusers who were trafficking images and videos of those acts online.

    The operation wrapped up Friday with the rescue of 28 children and the arrest of 59 people who are now facing at least 80 criminal charges. The investigation involved nearly three dozen law enforcement agencies from across North Texas and from as far away as Alaska.

    “Operation Janus allowed us to collectively support each other by sharing resources and intelligence to catch predators in the act. It also allowed us to recover children and protect them from further harm,” said FBI Dallas Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Dwyer.

    Investigators said the alleged list of crimes ranges from meeting victims to possessing harmful material on electronics. NBC 5 has also learned the arrested individuals include paramedics, firefighters, a teacher and a nurse and that some of the victims targeted young children, including infants.

    “The people charged as a result of this operation preyed on some of our most vulnerable, our children. I applaud the dedication of these task force groups, including members of the Dallas Police Department, to bring these suspects to justice. We will never stop working to identify, locate and apprehend these predators to make our community safer for our children,” said Dallas Chief of Police Eddie Garcia.

    Investigators also seized terabytes of data and electronic devices that were being used during the commission of these crimes. The devices are being examined forensically and may lead to the investigation of other offenders and additional charges.

    • NW Luna says:

      These are the kind of predators that should get the lock them up and throw away the key treatment.

      • quixote says:


        They’re just the disease germs, though. The air they float in which lets them infect everyone is all the faceless subhumans who want to watch that garbage. Law enforcement needs to be as draconian on following up their client lists.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Lock her up!

    There’s no way the cities would stand for this. It’s just the outback that is crazy and they’ve been gerrymandered into relevance.

    • dakinikat says:

      and the remainder of the states would not have money for anything! What an idiot!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Everyone she talks to…

    • quixote says:

      Except for all the good people you find anywhere you go, I’d actually be agreeing with Marge Three Names on this. It’d be wonderful if she had to stay in her little hellhole, surrounded by her likeminded hellholites (and only them, the good people get relocation bonuses!), and no way to get a visa to pollute any part of my world.

      Oh well. I can dream.

  6. MsMass says:

    Re Dominion and Fox, “lying is their business model “. Isn’t that the truth!

    Happy Losar Tashi Delek! I never heard of it before.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Biden’s visit to Ukraine definitely sends a powerful message to Putin.

    • NW Luna says:

      • quixote says:

        Rusian state pundits obviously went to the same school of Clickworthy Resentment Journamalism as their Fox news twins.

        I can just see Cucker Tarlson spouting the same Ooh-let’s-start-armageddon BS.

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. roofingbird says:

    I hate how they keep ignoring the real second in line. Do they think she will just crawl away?

    • quixote says:

      Me too!

      It’s stupid because she’s a brilliant campaigner. She’s also that rare combination: some who can ***do the job*** as well as campaign. And there are bazillions who love her. (Raises hand!) And it’s just so disgustingly disrespectful to the office and the accomplishment of being female, black, and Desi in that office.

      It all makes me want to scream.

    • dakinikat says:

      She’s first in line and they call her protection for Joe Biden which makes me scream

  10. NW Luna says: