Damn — she almost made it! The world was waiting for her, and then — an hour after most of the media had decided that they liked Melania Knauss’s speech for making her husband look more human — the truth came out. It was not Melania’s speech, but rather the speech of the unbeatable, spontaneous, smart, charming Michelle Obama, the real first lady of the United States. One only has to watch Michelle’s most recent video performance for Mother Jones to get a sense of the difference between the two women. This hip-hop video that the first lady starred in surfaced just two days after Melania’s plagiarism. It gives an implicit but fierce critique of the wannabe first lady — Donald Trump’s 46-year-old third wife — who copied the most inspiring part of the speech that Michelle Obama gave in 2008 when she introduced her husband, Barack Obama, at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
While the criticism and ridicule of Melania are so devastating that they have probably silenced Melania for the rest of her husband’s campaign, this story is also significant.
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In a move that started the final round of the fight for the succession of Tibet’s current charismatic spiritual leader, Beijing made clear that it wants to set its own rules and call the shots for the now 81-year-old Dalai Lama. According to an AP report from Beijing, “China’s hand-picked Panchen Lama is presiding over a key Buddhist ritual being held in Tibet for the first time in 50 years, in a move criticized by overseas Tibetan groups as an attempt to legitimize him as a religious leader.
“The second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism was present for the Kalachakra instructions that began Thursday morning at his home monastery in southwestern Tibet, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The report said an estimated 50,000 Buddhists were attending the four-day event.”
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, confirms this report in a way that makes the whole ceremony sound like a list of colorful facts.
Well, it’s not. Things are much more complex, and they’ve been this way at least since 1995, when the present Dalai Lama nominated a six-year-old Tibetan boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the reincarnation of 11th Panchen Lama — the second most important figure in Tibetan religion, after the Dalai Lama himself. Beijing disagreed with the choice, and imposed its will by installing its own boy, Gyaincain Norbu, and at the same time making Gedhun Choekyi disappear. The fate of young Choekyi is surrounded by mystery, while the robust and healthy looking reincarnation of the Panchen Lama chosen by Beijing — who is also a member of various government bodies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party — is presiding over an important religious ceremony with the pomp of the government in Beijing. Read more »