A few things I’ll bring to your attention:

-First off, for those of you not from here, you may not be aware that Vermont is poised to possibly become the first State in the U.S. to recognize same-sex marriage without it coming from a court-order.  The House and the Senate are both heavily controlled by Democrats, who face a Republican governor who is absolutely opposed to the idea; what remains to be seen is whether the governor will veto the legislation once it makes it to his desk (which it almost certainly will) or if he’ll allow it to become law without signing it (something that can happen here- he needs to actively veto legislation passed by the legislature in order to stop  a bill from passing).  The liberal Green Mountain Daily has a bunch of posts of late if you want to read more.

-Speaking of GMD, frequent contributor Rama Schneider has a great little post over there concerning both the health consequences of high fructose corn syrup and the related advertising of such sugary, processed foods to children: “We can spend our hard earned money consuming products that will make us ill thus making it reasonable for us to spend money on a life’s worth of doctor/hospital visits … and then we can spend money on paying for the medicine developed to save us from the ill effects of the product we purchased that sent us to the medical care system for a lifetime of treatment.  Or … we can save our money and purchase wholesome foods…”  The post includes a couple of great links to the science of HFCS’s ill-effects.

-Speaking of Vermont’s Republican governor Jim Douglas: if you’re unfamiliar with the actualities on the ground in the absolutely bucolic Green Mountain State you might be surprised to learn the State generally considered the “most liberal” in the country has a GOP governor- we do, after all, have the first and only “socialist” (for readers outside of the U.S. that translates into “social democrat”) Senator, Bernie Sanders (in no way a perfect man- nor a perfect politician, if such a thing could exist; but still better than most any others).  If you’re truly a political junky you may also be aware that since taking office president Obama has taken quite a liking (politically for sure- I can’t speak to what he may think of Douglas personally) to the man that Vermont’s left knows as “governor Doesless”.  Lets be frank here: Obama’s “reaching out” to Douglas (the man has been in Washington more in the past two months than probably his entire previous six years as governor and was just tapped to “lead” Obama’s “future of health care” public forum in Vermont) is the most blatant and despicable kind of politicking.  Obama clearly wants to be seen and known as a bridge-builder and “bi-partisan” and sees a friendly relationship with a Republican governor (from liberal little Vermont no less) as a great way of “reaching out” across the aisle.  If I were Obama’s mama I’d smack him on the back side for it.  Douglas was an enthusiastic supporter of George Bush and Jim McCain (and Sarah Palin) and believes wholeheartedly in the most regressive and illogical political and economic ideals.  When the VT Legislature was working to enact universal health care, they knew it would be knifed by the governor so they produced the extremely flawed compromise known as Catamount Health Care, a system that has done very, very little to solve the health care crisis here but is nonetheless touted by many as some kind of great piece of legislation- and Douglas is by and large given the credit for it!  Having him “lead” this federal health care community forum is like having the fox lead a convention of chickens looking to protect themselves from, well, from murderous foxes.

-On the 50th anniversary of the Chinese take-over of Tibet HH The Dali Lama has come out with somewhat uncharacteristically harsh words for the Chinese government.  Among his comments to the BBC, he noted that the people of Tibet have experienced “hell on earth” at the hands of the Chinese.  Not that I’m inclined to give credence to what the Chinese government has to say about it all, but quite interestingly they counter by noting that their actions 50 years ago (and still today) were a matter of “liberating” Tibet from feudalism; China celebrates March 28 (the anniversary of the day in 1959 when they dissolved the Tibetan government) as “Serf’s Emancipation Day”.  Long-time readers may remember almost a year ago I was giving ample (and consciously inflammatory) coverage of the violent uprisings that took place throughout the region.  In the course of that coverage, one reader here commented about the abusive, patriarchal, repressive authoritarian systems of Buddhism, including Tibetan Buddhism.  I responded that I’d write something more in-depth about my opinions of the matter, and of any connections between Buddhism and revolutionary, liberation politics.  I hope by the end of this week to finally get that written and posted for you.