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Why Conservatives Should Reread Milton Friedman

  1. New York Times (blog) ‎- 1 day ago
    Even a major intellectual hero of the right acknowledged the need for government interventions to keep capitalism on the right track.

Wisconsin's largest dairy farm kicks off waste-to-energy project - Solid Waste - Waste &...

State Farm Good Neighbor Student Achievement Grants | YSA – Engage and Educate

State Farm Good Neighbor Student Achievement Grants | YSA – Engage and Educate

State Farm Good Neighbor Student Achievement Grants

Begich Middle School     Anchorage, AK
Teacher:  Jane Yokoyama
The Wonders of Water
Program Summary: Jane Yokoyama’s students at Begich Middle School in Anchorage, Alaska are planning a water education fair during Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) and creating a permanent display near the local creek to provide information on water issues. The GYSD Water Fair will provide other students and the greater community an opportunity to learn more about the importance of water in their lives and how to become better stewards of this resource. Through this project, students will take ownership of the local creek while practicing 21st century skills that will help them in future pursuits.

State Farm Good Neighbor Student Achievement Grants | YSA – Engage and Educate

State Farm Good Neighbor Student Achievement Grants | YSA – Engage and Educate

Tortolita Middle School    Tucson, AZ
Teacher: Kathleen Schell-Neighbors
8th grade Service-Learning Class
Program Summary: Students at Tortolita Middle School are installing a water-harvesting cistern and solar energy system to provide an independent source of water and electricity for an aquaponics system and a Land Garden. They have started to learn about aquaponicsin their science class, while simultaneously reading about early 20th century Victory Gardens.  Utilizing a curriculum provided by Tuscon Water, students are also learning about water usage and conservation. They are tracking plant and fish growth as well as sales generated by Tilapia fish and herbs grown in the Aquaponic system.

The Case Against High-School Sports - Amanda Ripley - The Atlantic

The Case Against High-School Sports - Amanda Ripley - The Atlantic

The Case Against High-School Sports

The United States routinely spends more tax dollars per high-school athlete than per high-school math student—unlike most countries worldwide. And we wonder why we lag in international education rankings?

Darren Braun
Every year, thousands of teenagers move to the United States from all over the world, for all kinds of reasons. They observe everything in their new country with fresh eyes, including basic features of American life that most of us never stop to consider.
One element of our education system consistently surprises them: “Sports are a big deal here,” says Jenny, who moved to America from South Korea with her family in 2011. Shawnee High, her public school in southern New Jersey, fields teams in 18 sports over the course of the school year, including golf and bowling. Its campus has lush grass fields, six tennis courts, and an athletic Hall of Fame. “They have days when teams dress up in Hawaiian clothes or pajamas just because—‘We’re the soccer team!,’ ” Jenny says. (To protect the privacy of Jenny and other students in this story, only their first names are used.)
By contrast, in South Korea, whose 15-year-olds rank fourth in the world (behind Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong) on a test of critical thinking in math, Jenny’s classmates played pickup soccer on a dirt field at lunchtime. They brought badminton rackets from home and pretended there was a net. If they made it into the newspaper, it was usually for their academic accomplishments.
Sports are embedded in American schools in a way they are not almost anywhere else. Yet this difference hardly ever comes up in domestic debates about America’s international mediocrity in education. (The U.S. ranks 31st on the same international math test.) The challenges we do talk about are real ones, from undertrained teachers to entrenched poverty. But what to make of this other glaring reality, and the signal it sends to children, parents, and teachers about the very purpose of school?
When I surveyed about 200 former exchange students last year, in cooperation with an international exchange organization called AFS, nine out of 10 foreign students who had lived in the U.S. said that kids here cared more about sports than their peers back home did. A majority of Americans who’d studied abroad agreed.
Even in eighth grade, American kids spend more than twice the time Korean kids spend playing sports, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Advanced Academics. In countries with more-holistic, less hard-driving education systems than Korea’s, like Finland and Germany, many kids play club sports in their local towns—outside of school. Most schools do not staff, manage, transport, insure, or glorify sports teams, because, well, why would they?
When I was growing up in New Jersey, not far from where Jenny now lives, I played soccer from age 7 to 17. I was relieved to find a place where girls were not expected to sit quietly or look pretty, and I still love the game. Like most other Americans, I can rattle off the many benefits of high-school sports: exercise, lessons in sportsmanship and perseverance, school spirit, and just plain fun. All of those things matter, and Jenny finds it refreshing to attend a school that is about so much more than academics. But as I’ve traveled around the world visiting places that do things differently—and get better results—I’ve started to wonder about the trade-offs we make.
Nearly all of Jenny’s classmates at Shawnee are white, and 95 percent come from middle- or upper-income homes. But in 2012, only 17 percent of the school’s juniors and seniors took at least one Advanced Placement test—compared with the 50 percent of students who played school sports.
As states and districts continue to slash education budgets, as more kids play on traveling teams outside of school, and as the globalized economy demands that children learn higher-order skills so they can compete down the line, it’s worth reevaluating the American sporting tradition. If sports were not central to the mission of American high schools, then what would be?
On October 12, 1900, the Wall School of Honey Grove played St. Matthew’s Grammar School of Dallas in football, winning 5–0. The event was a milestone in Texas history: the first recorded football game between two high-school teams. Until then, most American boys had played sports in the haphazard way of boys the world over: ambling onto fields and into alleys for pickup games or challenging other loosely affiliated groups of students to a match. Cheating was rampant, and games looked more like brawls than organized contests.
Schools got involved to contain the madness. The trend started in elite private schools and then spread to the masses. New York City inaugurated its Public Schools Athletic League in 1903, holding a track-and-field spectacular for 1,000 boys at Madison Square Garden the day after Christmas.
At the time, the United States was starting to educate its children for more years than most other countries, even while admitting a surge of immigrants. The ruling elite feared that all this schooling would make Anglo-Saxon boys soft and weak, in contrast to their brawny, newly immigrated peers. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. warned that cities were being overrun with “stiff-jointed, soft-muscled, paste-complexioned youth.”
Sports, the thinking went, would both protect boys’ masculinity and distract them from vices like gambling and prostitution. “Muscular Christianity,” fashionable during the Victorian era, prescribed sports as a sort of moral vaccine against the tumult of rapid economic growth. “In life, as in a foot-ball game,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote in an essay on “The American Boy” in 1900, “the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!”
Athletics succeeded in distracting not just students but entire communities. As athletic fields became the cultural centers of towns across America, educators became coaches and parents became boosters.
READ MORE! -)-)-)-)-)-)
Amanda Ripley, an Emerson Fellow at the New America Foundation, is the author of the new book The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way.

The Failures of Crowdfunding: No, Kickstarter Cannot Support an Opera Company - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic

The Failures of Crowdfunding: No, Kickstarter Cannot Support an Opera Company - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic

The Failures of Crowdfunding: No, Kickstarter Cannot Support an Opera Company

A $1 million experiment looks likely to fail. 
On Saturday night, the New York City Opera performed Anna Nicole, a musical work making its American premiere. In the words of the New York Times, it was about “yes, that Anna Nicole” — the model and reality TV star who died in 2007.
Anna Nicole was the first production of the company’s season, and it received good reviews. It is also, however, likely the opera company’s final production, ever.
The opera company’s closing is a tragedy by itself — the death of an egalitarian institution in profoundly un-egalitarian times. But for those interested in the culture enabled by and built around the Internet, the company’s story also exemplifies the failures of Kickstarter.
Established 70 years ago by Mayor Fiorella La Guardia as “the people’s opera,” the New York City Opera has struggled financially for the last decade. As the Times has reported in a series of stories this month, since 2008, the City Opera has left its longtime home at Lincoln Center, slashed its performance schedule, and borrowed against its endowment. Its endowment, too, now produces less than $200,000 a year, according to the Times. It used to produce millions.
Early in September, City Opera saw an upcoming financial cliff. $20 million was required, it said, for it to be able to fund itself through the year; $7 million was required for the company to survive September. It turned to private donors for much of that amount, but, to raise $1 million, it opened a Kickstarter.
Which makes a little bit of sense. Kickstarter has cachet among a certain young and affluent demographic, a group that arts organizations struggle to reach. Maybe Kickstarter even makes not-having-enough-money-to-be-stable a little cool. City Opera was bootstrapping it.
Its appeal combined start-up rhetoric with an argument for the public good. “For 70 years,” its Kickstarter read:
The People’s Opera – New York City Opera – has focused on producing unique works, showcasing emerging young artists, and educating the next generation of performing arts lovers.
Throughout its history as The People's Opera, NYC Opera has made opera accessible and affordable. And now NYC Opera needs help to produce its upcoming season.


PETS IN JAPAN: Facts and Details Really Cool!


Large Koi for Sale, Oh How Beautiful. I wish I had a pond.

Large Koi for Sale

My father and I am looking for good, stable homes (NO dealers please!) locally prefered, so we are reaching out to the local clubs and fish members.

Serious inquiries only please.

Thank you for your time and interest.

Please contact me via pm, or email ( to arrange a site visit or further details.

I can easily get in Pond Photos by request, but I would prefer not to net them for closeups unless demanded.

Thank You!


Josh (and father Bill)

Area: south-central New Hampshire
Attached Images Attached Images    

The Blacklist: Sky's new US import has James Spader channelling Lecter | Television & radio | The Guardian

The Blacklist: Sky's new US import has James Spader channelling Lecter | Television & radio | The Guardian

"gnarly energy into the rest of the show, hats off to him."

China's child slaves: 'It would be easier to escape if we were allowed shoes' – video | Global development |

China's child slaves: 'It would be easier to escape if we were allowed shoes' – video | Global development |

China's child slaves: 'It would be easier to escape if we were allowed shoes' – video

Taken: Exposing sex trafficking and slavery in India - video | Law |

Taken: Exposing sex trafficking and slavery in India - video | Law |

Taken: Exposing sex trafficking and slavery in India - video

Ikea to sell solar panels in UK stores | Environment |

Ikea to sell solar 

Ikea to sell solar panels in UK stores

Solar panel packages will be offered at all 17 British Ikea stores within next 10 monthsEnvironment |

Why not solar thermal?
solar panels, ikea
Britain's solar market is small compared with green energy leaders such as Germany and Spain, but has posted regular growth. Photograph: Vicki Couchman

Angie’s Seafood Market At the Aquaculture School - Grand Re-opening September 18th Regular Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays 3:00-6:00 pm Angie’s Seafood Market, 60 St. Stephen’s Rd, Bridgeport CT Featuring: Fresh Tilapia raised by students at the Aquaculture School & other locally sourced finfish and shellfish.

Angie’s Seafood Market,
60 St. Stephen’s Rd, Bridgeport CT

Grand Re-opening September 18th
Regular Hours:
Wednesdays & Thursdays
3:00-6:00 pm
Angie’s Seafood Market,
60 St. Stephen’s Rd, Bridgeport CT
Fresh Tilapia raised by students at the
Aquaculture School & other locally sourced finfish and
Angie’s Seafood
At the
Aquaculture School
Sign up for our weekly email group for products and
prices; email:

ATTENTION 8TH -12TH GRADERS! Wanna write the movie instead of just watching it? Then sign up for After School at The Klein! - Great Opportunity for interested Bridgeport, students!

ASK is TUITION-FREE for Bridgeport students!
 No transportation is provided to or from ASK.
 Advanced registration and audition required…
but auditions are no big deal!
Turn over to find out more…

“AN AUDITION??!!” Don’t worry!
When you come to your audition, we want to see what best represents you as an artist. 
You could…
• present and discuss a drawing or another piece of art you made 
• present a monologue or poem you know
• sing a song you know from the radio or from a choir you’re in 
• perform a dance routine you know
We just want to get to know you and your creative side!
It’s a good idea to practice your audition piece in front of a mirror a few times before 
audition day. Practicing in front of family and friends will be helpful, too.
A student will not be turned away from ASK based on his/her audition.
• One student will audition at a time. 
• 2-3 smiling adults will greet you and ask you a few questions before you begin.
• We may ask you to stay after your individual audition to play some theater games 
with a group of students and ASK staff. 
o THAT’S IT! 
Auditions Will Be Held Onstage at The Klein
910 Fairfield Ave. Bridgeport 
Saturdays, Oct. 5 and Oct. 12, 1-3 PM
For more info, check out
or call 800-424-0160 ext. 6

Modern Love

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9/25/2013 - Mayor Finch, Small Businesses, Sierra Club, Clergy And Labor Hold Joint Press Conference Calling For Bold Federal Action On Climate Change

News Feed

9/25/2013 - Mayor Finch, Small Businesses, Sierra Club, Clergy And Labor Hold Joint Press Conference Calling For Bold Federal Action On Climate Change

Bridgeport, CT – September 25, 2013 – Mayor Bill Finch joined state and local community leaders at a press conference today to highlight the economic development benefits of Bridgeport’s proactive response to climate change and call for bold federal action on climate solutions.
The event was held at Park City Green Mattress Recycling Facility and the speakers included Mayor Finch, who created the BGreen2020 initiative in 2008 to create jobs, save taxpayers money and lower the city’s carbon footprint; local businesses from Bridgeport's new Eco-Technology Park; John Humphries, Co-Chair, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs; and Teresa Eickel, Interreligious Eco-Justice Network.
“Climate change is real and the time to act is now. Mayors from cities across the country, from both parties, have been leaders in addressing climate change for years with innovative strategies and policies,” said Mayor Finch. “In Bridgeport, we initiated BGreen2020 to lower our city’s carbon footprint, while creating jobs and saving money for our residents. As a result, we have lowered the city’s utility expenses, increased recycling rates, created an energy improvement district to help lower our residents’ and business’ energy bills, committed to bringing solar power to residents and businesses and have nurtured and attracted several green businesses to bring jobs to our city.”
The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is an innovative collaboration between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network and the Connecticut AFL-CIO that is focused on strengthening collaboration among Connecticut’s labor leaders, environmentalists, community organizations and religious communities to advocate for public policies that address urgent concerns about climate change while creating good-paying jobs in Connecticut.
Local economies in states across the country, including Connecticut, have been directly affected by climate change. Average temperatures are increasing, along with extreme heat, storms, summer droughts, and unhealthy air days. Residents will face greater health risks from floods, waterborne illnesses, infectious diseases, water shortages, dangerous heat, and declining air quality. Connecticut has a climate change adaptation strategy, but it does not include a plan to prepare for the health impacts of climate change.
The event follows President Obama’s historic action on climate change, which includes the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, as well as new clean energy and energy efficiency investments along with other strategies to prepare America for the effects of climate change.

Bob Salter « CBS New YorkHe's a great human being and I never miss his show. HE'S ANOTHER !

Bob Salter « CBS New York


bob salter Bob SalterBob Salter is a thirty year broadcast veteran. Bob traces his early interest in radio to listening late night to distant radio stations. While a student at Seton Hall University, Bob was active at the university radio station WSOU – serving as a music show host, newscaster, talk show host, and Program Director. His professional career has included work as a disc jockey and extensive work in broadcast journalism. Bob worked for five New Jersey radio stations, the Associated Press, ABC radio news, and NBC radio news. Bob is also News and Public Affairs Director of WXRK radio.
In addition to his on air work, Bob serves as Program Manager of the Electronic Information and Education Service(E.I.E.S. of New Jersey /, a nonprofit radio reading service for blind and visually impaired persons in northern New Jersey. He is an adjunct professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent/Manhattan College communication department and an assistant professor in the Mercer County Community College communications department. Bob is a broadcast journalism and speech instructor at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting’s New Jersey campuses.
Bob lives in  New Jersey with his partner and a lot of critters.
Funniest on-air moment: It can be anytime I introduce John Minko.
Greatest thrill at the Fan: Finding the station after being lost for almost an hour in the basement of our Kaufman Astoria building. On a serious note, it was doing live interviews during several radiothon broadcasts. I remember, during an interview, holding the hand of one of the moms whose child had recently died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Attributes the Fan’s success to: A commitment by station management to let a diverse group of talented broadcasters do their job without micro-managing them. The station and its personalities have performed brilliantly during the biggest sports moments of the last twenty years. However, the on-air work done in the days after September 11, 2001, is a tribute to everyone on the air and behind the scenes then.

Questions & Answers | The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Questions & Answers | The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Questions & Answers

Question: How do you view yourself?
Answer: I always consider myself as a simple Buddhist monk. I feel that is the real me. 
I feel that the Dalai Lama as a temporal ruler is a man-made institution. As long as the 
people accept the Dalai Lama, they will accept me. But being a monk is something which 
belongs to me. No one can change that. Deep down inside, I always consider myself a monk, 
even in my dreams. So naturally I feel myself as more of a religious person. Even in 
my daily life, I can say that I spend 80% of my time on spiritual activities and 20% 
on Tibet as a whole. The spiritual or religious life is something I know and have great
 interest in. I have some kind of confidence in it, and thus I want to study it more. 
Regarding politics, I have no modern education except for a little experience. 
It is a big responsibility for someone not so well equipped. This is not voluntary work 
but something that I feel I must pursue because of the hope and trust that the Tibetan 
people place on me

Question: Will you be the last Dalai Lama?
Answer: Whether the institution of the Dalai Lama remains or not depends entirely on the wishes of the Tibetan people. It is for them to decide. I made this clear as early as in 1969. Even in 1963, after four years in exile, we made a draft constitution for a future Tibet which is based on the democratic system. The constitution clearly mentions that the power of the Dalai Lama can be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Assembly. At the present moment, the Dalai Lama's institution is useful to the Tibetan culture and the Tibetan people. Thus, if I were to die today, I think the Tibetan people would choose to have another Dalai Lama. In the future, if the Dalai Lama's institution is no longer relevant or useful and our present situation changes, then the Dalai Lama's institution will cease to exist.Personally, I feel the institution of the Dalai Lama has served its purpose. More recently, since 2001 we now have a democratically elected head of our administration, the Kalon Tripa. The Kalon Tripa runs the daily affairs of our administration and is in charge of our political establishment. Half jokingly and half seriously, I state that I am now in semi-retirement.

Question: Do you think you will ever be able to return to Tibet?
Answer: Yes, I remain optimistic that I will be able to return to Tibet. China is in the process of changing. If you compare China today to ten or twenty years ago, there is tremendous change. China is no longer isolated. It is part of the world community. Global interdependence, especially in terms of economics and environment make it impossible for nations to remain isolated. Besides, I am not seeking separation from China. I am committed to my middle-way approach whereby Tibet remains within the People's Republic of China enjoying a high degree of self-rule or autonomy. I firmly believe that this is of mutual benefit both to the Tibetans as well as to the Chinese. We Tibetans will be able to develop Tibet with China's assistance, while at the same time preserving our own unique culture, including spirituality, and our delicate environment. By amicably resolving the Tibetan issue, China will be able to contribute to her own unity and stability.

Question: The Chinese have recently stated that the next Dalai Lama will be born in Tibet and chosen by them. What do you have to say about this?
Answer: If the present situation regarding Tibet remains the same, I will be born outside Tibet away from the control of the Chinese authorities. This is logical. The very purpose of a reincarnation is to continue the unfinished work of the previous incarnation. Thus if the Tibetan situation still remains unsolved it is logical I will be born in exile to continue my unfinished work. Of course the Chinese will still choose their own Dalai Lama and we Tibetans will choose our own according to tradition. It will be similar to the present situation of the Panchen Lama. There is a Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama and there is the Panchen Lama chosen by me. One is paraded to serve its master's purposes and the other is the Panchen Lama accepted in the hearts of all the Tibetans.

Question: What are your commitments?
Answer: In general, I always state that I have three commitments in life. Firstly, on the level of a human being, my first commitment is the promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. All human beings are the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who do not believe in religion recognize the importance of these human values in making their lives happier. I remain committed to talk about the importance of these human values and share them with everyone I meet. Secondly, on the level of a religious practitioner, my second commitment is the promotion of religious harmony and understanding amongst different religious traditions. Despite philosophical differences, all major world religions have the same potential to create better human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of each other's respective traditions. Thirdly, I am a Tibetan and carry the name of the Dalai Lama. Tibetans place their trust in me. Therefore, my third commitment is to the Tibetan issue. I have a responsibility to act the free spokesperson of the Tibetans in their struggle for justice. As far as this third commitment, it will cease to exist once a mutually beneficial solution is reached between the Tibetans and Chinese. However, my first two commitments I will carry on till my last breath.

Question: What were your first feelings on being recognized as the Dalai Lama? What did you think had happened to you?
Answer: I was very happy. I liked it a lot. Even before I was recognized, I often told my mother that I was going to Lhasa. I used to straddle a window sill in our house pretending that I was riding a horse to Lhasa. I was a very small child at the time, but I remember this clearly. I had a strong desire to go there. Another thing I didn't mention in my autobiography is that after my birth, a pair of crows came to roost on the roof of our house. They would arrive each morning, stay for while and then leave. This is of particular interest as similar incidents occurred at the birth of the First, Seventh, Eighth and Twelfth Dalai Lamas. After their births, a pair of crows came and remained. In my own case, in the beginning, nobody paid attention to this. Recently, however, perhaps three years ago, I was talking with my mother, and she recalled it. She had noticed them come in the morning; depart after a time, and then the next morning, come again. Now, the evening the after the birth of the First Dalai Lama, bandits broke into the family's house. The parents ran away and left the child. The next day when they returned and wondered what had happened to their son, they found the baby in a corner of the house. A crow stood before him, protecting him. Later on, when the First Dalai Lama grew up and developed in his spiritual practice, he made direct contact during meditation with the protective deity, Mahakala. At this time, Mahakala said to him, Somebody like you who is upholding the Buddhist teaching needs a protector like me. Right on the day of your birth, I helped you.  So we can see, there is definitely a connection between Mahakala, the crows, and the Dalai Lamas.

Another thing that happened, which my mother remembers very clearly, is that soon after I arrived in Lhasa, I said that my teeth were in a box in a certain house in the Norbulinka. When they opened the box, they found a set of dentures which had belonged to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. I pointed to the box, and said that my teeth were in there, but right now I don't recall this at all. The new memories associated with this body are stronger. The past has become smaller, vaguer. Unless I made a specific attempt to develop such a memory, I don't recall it.

Question: Do you remember your birth or the womb state before?
Answer: At this moment, I don't remember. Also, I can't recall if at that time when I was a small child, I could remember it. However, there was one slight external sign perhaps. Children are usually born with their eyes closed. I was born with my eyes open. This may be some slight indication of a clear state of mind in the womb.

Question: Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, after you assumed temporal power, did you change?
Answer: Yes, I changed a little bit. I underwent a lot of happiness and pain. Within that and from growing, gaining more experience, from the problems that arose and the suffering, I changed. The ultimate result is the man you see now (laughter).

Question: How about when you just entered adolescence? Many people have a difficult time defining themselves as an adult. Did this happen to you?
Answer: No. My life was very much in a routine. Two times a day I studied. Each time I studied for an hour, and then spent the rest of the time playing (laughter). Then at the age of 13, I began studying philosophy, definitions, debate. My study increased, and I also studied calligraphy. It was all in a routine though, and I got used to it. Sometimes, there were vacations. These were very comfortable and happy. Losang Samten, my immediate elder brother, was usually at school, but during these times he would come to visit. Also, my mother would come occasionally and bring special bread from our province of Amdo. Very thick and delicious. She made herself.

Question: Are there any of your predecessors in whom you have a special interest or with whom you have a particular affinity?
Answer: The Thirteenth Dalai Lama. He brought a lot of improvement to the standards of study in the monastic colleges. He gave great encouragement to the real scholars. He made it impossible for people to go up in the religious hierarchy, becoming an abbot and so forth, without being totally qualified. He was very strict in this respect. He also gave tens of thousands of monks' ordinations. There were his two main religious achievements. He didn't give many initiations, or many lectures. Now, with respect to the country, he had great thought and consideration for statecraft. The outlying districts in particular. How they should be governed and so forth. He cared very much how to run the government more efficiently. He had great concern about our borders and that type of thing.

Question: During the course of your life, what have been your greatest personal lessons or internal challenges? Which realizations and experiences have had the most effect on your growth as an individual?
Answer: Regarding religious experience, some understanding of shunya (emptiness: lack of independent self nature) some feeling, some experience and mostly bodhichitta, altruism. It has helped a lot. In some ways, you could say that it has made me into a new person, a new man. I am still progressing. Trying. It gives you inner strength, courage, and it is easier to accept situations. That's one of the greatest experiences.

Question: When you became a refugee, what helped you gain this strength? Was it the loss of your position and country, the fact of everyone suffering around you. Were you called on to lead your people in a different way than you had been accustomed to?
Answer: Being a refugee is really a desperate, dangerous situation. At that time, everyone deals with reality. It is not the time to pretend things are beautiful. That's something. You feel involved with reality. In peace time, everything goes smoothly. Even if there is a problem, people pretend that things are good. During a dangerous period, when there's a dramatic change, then there's no scope to pretend that everything is fine. You must accept that bad is bad. Now when I left the Norbulinka, there was danger. We were passing very near the Chinese military barracks. It was just on the other side of the river, the Chinese check post there. You see, we had definite information two or three weeks before I left, that the Chinese were fully prepared to attack us. It was only a question of the day and hour.

Question: About you being the incarnation of the bodhisattva of infinite compassion, Avalokiteshvara. How do you personally feel about this? Is it something you have an unequivocal view of one way or another?
Answer: It is difficult for me to say definitely. Unless I am engaged in a meditative effort, such as following my life back, breath by breath, I couldn't say exactly. We believe that there are four types of rebirth. One is the common type wherein, a being is helpless to determine his or her rebirth, but only reincarnates in dependence on the nature of past actions. The opposite is that of an entirely enlightened Buddha, who simply manifests a physical form to help others. In this case, it is clear that the person is Buddha. A third is one who, due to past spiritual attainment, can choose, or at least influence, the place and situation of rebirth. The fourth is called a blessed manifestation. In this the person is blessed beyond his normal capacity to perform helpful functions, such as teaching religion. For this last type of birth, the person's wishes in previous lives to help others must have been very strong. They obtain such empowerment. Though some seem more likely than others, I cannot definitely say which I am.

Question (follow up): From the viewpoint then of the realistic role you play as Chenrezi, how do you feel about it? Only a few people have been considered, in one way or another, divine. Is the role a burden or a delight?
Answer: It is very helpful. Through this role I can be of great benefit to people. For this reason I like it: I'm at home with it. It's clear that it is very helpful to people, and that I have the karmic relationship to be in this role. Also, it is clear that there is a karmic relationship with the Tibetan people in particular. Now you see, you may consider that under the circumstances, I am very lucky. However, behind the word luck, there are actual causes or reasons. There is the karmic force of my ability to assume this role as well as the force of my wish to do so. In regard to this, there is a statement in the great Shantideva's Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds which says, As long as space exists, and as long as there are migrators in cyclic existence, may I remain removing their sufferings. I have that wish in this lifetime, and I know I had that wish in past lifetimes.

Question (follow up): With such a vast goal as your motivation, how do you deal with your personal limitations, your limits as a man?
Answer: Again, as it says in Shantideva, If the blessed Buddha cannot please all sentient beings, then how could I. Even an enlightened being, with limitless knowledge and power and the wish to save all others from suffering, cannot eliminate the individual karma of each being.
Question (follow up): Is this what keeps you from being overwhelmed when you see the suffering of the six million Tibetans, who on one level, you are responsible for?
Answer: My motivation is directed towards all sentient beings. There is no question, though, that on a second level, I am directed towards helping Tibetan. If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.

Question (follow up): A lot of people say this, but few really live by it. Did you always feel this way, or did you have to learn it?
Answer: It is developed from inner practice. From a broader perspective, there will always be suffering. On one level, you are bound to meet with the effects of the unfavorable actions you yourself have previously committed in body, speech or mind. Then also, your very own nature is that of suffering. There's not just one factor figuring into my attitude, but many different ones. From the point of view of the actual entity producing the suffering, as I have said, if it is fixable, then there is no need to worry. If not, there is no benefit to worrying. From the point of view of the cause, suffering is based on past unfavorable actions accumulated by oneself and no other. These karmas are not wasted. They will bear their fruit. One will not meet with the effects of actions that one has not done oneself. Finally, from the viewpoint of the nature of suffering itself, the aggregates of the mind and body have as their actual nature, suffering. They serve as a basis for suffering. As long as you have them you are susceptible to suffering. From a deep point of view, while we don't have our independence and are living in someone else's country, we have a certain type of suffering, but when we return to Tibet and gain our independence, then there will be other types of suffering. So, this is just the way it is. You might think that I'm pessimistic, but I am not. This is how, through Buddhist teaching and advice, we handle situations. When fifty thousand people in the Shakya clan were killed one day, Shakyamuni Buddha, their clansman, didn't suffer at all. He was leaning against a tree, and he was saying, I am a little sad today because fifty thousand of my clansmen were killed. But he, himself, remained unaffected. Like that, you see (laughter). This was the cause and effect of their own karma. There was nothing he could do about it. These sorts of thoughts make me stronger; more active. It is not at all a case of losing one's strength of mind or will in the face of the pervasive nature of suffering. Read More!