Thursday, August 30, 2012
May the sound of this bell penetrate deep into the cosmos
Even in the darkest spots living beings are able to hear it clearly
So that all suffering in them ceases,
understanding comes to their heart
And they transcend the path of sorrow and death.
The universal dharma door is already open
The sound of the rising tide is heard clearly
The miracle happens
A beautiful child appears in the heart of the lotus flower
One single drop of this compassionate water is enough to bring back
the refreshing spring to our mountains and rivers.
Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve
My mind calm, my body relaxed
A smile is born on my lips
Following the sound of the bell,
my breath brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness
In the garden of my heart, the flowers of peace bloom beautifully.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
for friends in the US -
CALL TODAY - Urge Your Rep to Attend the NUCLEAR BRIEFING
OCCUPY THE NRC SOLIDARITY ACTION - CALL DRIVE #3: TODAY MONDAY AUGUST 27- LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!! - See picture for #. Script below. Your voice + the voice of those you know = A VERY BIG IMPACT. Stand together!! CALL and SHARE TODAY!
9.20 #CANRallyDC Congressional Briefing http://coalitionagainstnukes.org/ai1ec_event/congressional-briefing/?instance_id=230
SOLIDARITY ACTION CALL DRIVE #3: TODAY MONDAY AUGUST 27- LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!! - See picture for #. Script below. Your voice + the voice of those you know = A VERY BIG IMPACT. Stand together!! CALL and SHARE TODAY!
**The switchboard will connect you with the correct office after you give your zip code.**
IF YOU HAVE CALLED BEFORE (if you have never called before scroll down for that script.)
Hello ___(Aide’s name)___,
My name is _________, I am a constituent of Rep ___________.
I called last Monday and I’m calling now to follow up to see if Congressman/Congresswoman ________________ is planning on attending the briefing on nuclear dangers scheduled for Sept 20th from 2 – 4 pm in the Cannon Building, Room 121. As a constituent, I would really appreciate it if he/she would attend. It is an extremely important issue. Is Congressman/Congresswoman _________________ attending?
(If he/she says yes, let us know. We want to publicly thank your Rep!)
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME CALLING
Follow the script below or say what it is you want to say.
Hello ___(Aide’s name)___,
My name is ___, I am a constituent of Rep ___________.
I am calling because of my concerns over the dangers of nuclear power in our country. In Japan, the ongoing disaster includes three core meltdowns, hydrogen gas explosions, and the venting of radiation-contaminated steam. The Japanese nuclear industry had assured everyone that something like this could never happen. Our nuclear industry tells our citizens the same thing.
Japanese people, including children, are sick. Many families have moved out of the area or even left the country because they know the contamination in the water, air, soil, and food supply is harmful to them. The nuclear disaster also devastated the local economy.
Nuclear power clearly has the power to destroy lives and economies. Would we want the same thing for our children and our economy? It could happen if we don’t start paying close attention to this potentially dangerous industry with aging power plants.
A briefing on nuclear dangers in our country will be held on Capitol Hill, on Thurs, Sept. 20th, from 2 – 4 pm in the Cannon Building, Room 121. Rep Dennis Kucinich (ku-sin-itch) has sponsored the event and will attend. I would really appreciate if (name of Rep you are calling) ______________ or at least a senior staff member would join Rep. Kucinich (ku-sin-itch) at this important event. The information provided at this briefing will help (name of Rep) __________make decisions that protect the safety of (his/her) constituents.
END OF SCRIPT
DETAILS OF THE CALL DRIVE—EVERY MONDAY FROM AUG 13-SEPT 17, the last Monday before the Nuke Free Rally in Washington D.C.
Support the effort to end nuclear power in the US
It has come to our attention that we all have a unique opportunity to shift the thinking of Members of Congress about nuclear power. Currently the leaders in Washington are influenced in their thinking primarily by the lobbyists for the nuclear industry. With your help, this unbalanced view can be changed on Sept. 20, 2012.
On that day, there will be a briefing on Capitol Hill regarding the concerns about nuclear dangers. Rep Dennis Kucinich (ku-sin-itch) has sponsored the event and will attend. The success of this briefing depends on how many other Members of Congress--or at least senior staffers—attend. That’s where you come in.
As we all know, when it comes to grabbing the attention of the leaders of our country, numbers matter. If the members of our respective communities join together to stress the importance of this briefing, our representatives will be more likely to attend.
This joint effort across all our communities is part of the overall effort to break the stranglehold that special interest lobbyists have on Washington, D.C. We need to put power back in the hands of the people. Your voice will help ensure the success of this effort.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first person to walk on the Moon. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was a United States Navy officer and had served in the Korean War. After the war, he served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he logged over 900 flights. He graduated from Purdue University and the University of Southern California.
A participant in the U.S. Air Force's Man In Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1962. His first spaceflight was the NASA Gemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians in space. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft with pilot David Scott.
Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2½ hours exploring, while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon along with Collins and Aldrin, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.
On August 25, 2012, Armstrong died in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Phyllis Diller (July 17, 1917 – August 20, 2012) was an American actress and comedienne. She created a stage persona of a wild-haired, eccentrically dressed housewife who makes self-deprecating jokes about her age and appearance, her terrible cooking, and a husband named "Fang", while pretending to smoke from a long cigarette holder. Diller's signature was her unusual laugh.
Diller's fame grew when she co-starred with Bob Hope in 23 television specials and three films in the 1960s: Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!, Eight on the Lam, and The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell. Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! performed well at the box office and Diller accompanied Hope to Vietnam in 1966 with his USO troupe during the height of the Vietnam War.
Cydonia is a region on the planet Mars, and has attracted both scientific and popular interest. The name originally referred to the albedo feature (distinctively coloured area) that was visible from Earthbound telescopes. The area borders plains of Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra highlands.
The area includes the Mars regions: "Cydonia Mensae", an area of flat-topped mesa-like features, "Cydonia Colles", a region of small hills or knobs, and "Cydonia Labyrinthus", a complex of intersecting valleys. As with other albedo features on Mars, the name Cydonia was drawn from classical antiquity, in this case from Kydonia, a historic polis (or "city-state") on the island of Crete.
Cydonia contains the "Face on Mars" feature—located about half-way between Arandas Crater and Bamberg Crater. The ESA "skull" formation is a few kilometres south of the "face".
(read more) (the face)
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk-rock musical collective in Moscow, who stage politically provocative impromptu performances about Russian political life in unusual locations, such as on top of a trolleybus or on a scaffold in the Moscow Metro.
On February 21, 2012, four members of the group staged a performance on the soleas of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, motivated by their opposition to Vladimir Putin and the politics of the Russian Orthodox Church. Their performance was interrupted by church security officials. On March 3, after the video of the performance appeared online, three of the group members were arrested and charged with hooliganism aimed at inciting religious hatred.
Their trial began in late July and raised much controversy in Russia and globally. According to a poll by the Levada Center, 44% of Russians supported the trial and believed in its fairness, while 17% did not. According to another poll by Levada, only 6% sympathised with Pussy Riot, while 51% "felt antipathy or had nothing good to say about them"; only 4% believed group members should be acquitted. On the other hand, the band members gained the noticeable support of many in Russia and internationally because of allegations of harsh treatment while in custody and the risk of a possible seven-year jail sentence.
On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of hooliganism (article 213.2 of the Criminal Code) and each sentenced to two years imprisonment. The Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement appealing to the authorities to show clemency, within the law, and urging the court to "divide the sin from sinner and reprimand the first while hoping the latter will improve". The Church, however, condemned the "rude hostility to millions of people and their feelings" and cast no doubt on the legitimacy of the court’s decision. The trial and conviction have attracted international criticism. The foreign ministries of Germany and Sweden, together with representatives of the European Union and the United States, called the sentence "disproportionate". (read more)
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Julian Paul Assange (born 3 July 1971) is an editor, activist, political talk show host, computer programmer, publisher, and journalist from Australia, currently granted asylum in Ecuador. He is best known as the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a media website which has published information from whistleblowers.
Assange has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award, Readers' Choice for Time magazine's 2010 Person of the Year, the 2011 Sydney Peace Foundation gold medal and the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Snorre Valen, a Norwegian parliamentarian, nominated him for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2010, a European Arrest Warrant was issued for Assange in relation to allegations of rape and sexual assault by two women in Sweden. Assange was arrested and after ten days in Wandsworth prison was freed on bail. On 30 May 2012 Assange lost his Supreme Court appeal in England to avoid extradition to Sweden though the court gave Assange a stay of 14 days on the extradition order. This final appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected and, barring any appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, extradition was to have taken place over a ten day period commencing on 28 June 2012. On 19 June Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London, asserted he was being persecuted and requested political asylum, which was granted on 16 August. However, the British government has said he will be arrested if he tries to leave the embassy. (read more)
(why the world needs wikileaks) (collateral murder)
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
At 5:10 PM on 26 November 1977 the Southern Television broadcast was hijacked through the Hannington transmitter of the Independent Broadcasting Authority in the United Kingdom. The transmission itself claimed to be from an extraterrestrial being. The broadcast took over the sound only, leaving the video signal unaltered. The IBA stated that to carry out the hoax would take "a considerable amount of technical know-how".
(complete text here) (friend-ship)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Smiling Buddha, Angkor Wat
No matter where you are or what you're doing,
you have only two choices in life,
to be happy or not to be happy.
Which one do you choose?
There is no way to happiness,
happiness is the way.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old black joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows
And everybody knows that the plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows
And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of calvary
To the beach of malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this sacred heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Friday, August 10, 2012
It is very probable that humanity now possesses the knowledge needed to establish an effective world government. In some way that knowledge must he widely seeded in the consciousness of all mankind. Very soon the hearts of our human family must be touched and warmed so we will welcome a global rule of reason.
The group consciousness of our race is blind, perverse, and easily distracted by trivia when it should be focused on fundamentals. We are entering a critical era. Population pressures will soon create political and economic crisis throughout the world. These will make more difficult and at the same time more needed the building of a rational world society.
A first step will be to convince a doubting world that such a society is now possible. Let us keep in view enduring appeals to the collective reason of humanity. Let us draw attention to the basic problems. Let us establish proper priorities. We must order our home here on earth before we reach for the stars.
Human reason is now awakening to its strength. It is the most powerful agency yet released in the unfolding of life on our planet. We must make humanity aware that acceptance of compassionate, enlightened reason will let us control our destiny within the limits inherent in our nature.
It is difficult to seed wisdom in closed human minds. Cultural inertias are not easily overcome. Unfolding world events and the sad record of our race dramatize the shortcomings of traditional agencies in governing human affairs. The approaching crisis may make mankind willing to accept a system of world law which will stress the responsibility of individual nations in regulating internal affairs, and which will assist them in the peaceful management of international frictions.
With such a system we could eliminate war, We could provide every person an opportunity to seek a life of purpose and fulfillment.
There are alternatives to Armageddon. They are attainable. But they will not happen without coordinated efforts by millions of dedicated people in all nations of the earth.
We, the sponsors of The Georgia Guidestones, are a small group of Americans who wish to focus attention on problems central to the present quandary of humanity. We have a simple message for other human beings, now and in the future. We believe it contains self-evident truths, and we intend no bias for a particular creed or philosophy. Yet our message is in some areas controversial. We have chosen to remain anonymous in order to avoid debate and contention which might confuse our meaning, and which might delay a considered review of our thoughts. We believe that our precepts are sound. They must stand on their own merits.
Stonehenge and other vestiges of ancient human thoughts arouse our curiosity but carry no message for our guidance. To convey our ideas across time to other human beings, we erected a monument — a cluster of graven stones. These silent stones will display our ideas now and when we have gone. We hope that they will merit increasing acceptance and that through their silent persistence they will hasten in a small degree the coming age of reason.
We believe that each human being has purpose. Every one of us is a small but significant bit of the infinite. The celestial alignments of the stones symbolize the need for humanity to be square with External principles which are manifest in our own nature, and in the universe around us. We must live in harmony with the infinite.
Four large stones in the central cluster are inscribed with ten precepts, each stone carrying the same text in two languages. In the English version the message totals fewer than one hundred words. The languages have been selected for their historical significance and for their impact on people now living. Since there are three thousand living languages, not all could he chosen.
We envision a later phase in the development of the Georgia Guidestones. It is hoped that other stones can be erected in outer circles to mark the migrations of the sun and perhaps certain other celestial phenomena. These stones would carry our words in the languages of other individuals who share our beliefs and will raise similar stones at international boundaries in the languages of friendly neighbors. They would serve as reminders of the difficulties which all humanity must face together, and would encourage mutual efforts to deal with them rationally and with justice.
We profess no divine inspiration beyond that which can be found in all human minds. Our thoughts reflect our analysis of the problems confronting humanity in this dawning of the atomic age. They outline in general terms certain basic steps which must be taken to establish for humanity a benevolent and enduring equilibrium with the universe.
Human beings are special creatures. We are shepherds for all earthly life. In this world, we play a central role in an eternal struggle between good and evil–between the forces which build and those which would destroy. The Infinite envelops all that exists, even struggle, conflict and change, which may reflect turmoils in the very soul of God.
We humans have been gifted with a small capacity to know and to act– for good or for evil. We must strive to optimize our existence, not only for ourselves but for those who come after us. And we must not be unmindful of the welfare of all other living things whose destinies have been placed in our trust.
We are the major agency through which good and evil qualities of the spirit become actors in our world. Without us there is very little of love, mercy, or compassion. Yet we can also be agents of hate, and cruelty and cold indifference. Only we can consciously work to improve this imperfect world. It is not enough for us to merely drift with the current. The rational world of tomorrow lies ever upstream.
In 1980, as these stones were being raised, the most pressing world problem was the need to control human numbers. In recent centuries technology and abundant fuels have made possible a multiplication of humanity far beyond what is prudent or long sustainable. Now we can foresee the impending exhaustion of those energy sources and the depletion of world reserves of many vital raw materials.
Controlling our reproduction is urgently needed. It will require major changes in our attitudes and customs. Unfortunately, the inertia of human custom can be extreme. This is especially true when those for whom custom is a dominant force are uninformed of the need for change.
Nearly every nation is now overpopulated in terms of a perpetual balance with nature. We are like a fleet of overcrowded lifeboats confronted with an approaching tempest. In the United States of America we are seriously overtaxing our resources to maintain our present population in the existing state of prosperity. We are destroying our farmland and we have grown dangerously dependent upon external sources for oil, metals and other nonrenewable resources. Nations such as Japan, Holland and Haiti are even more seriously overpopulated and, therefore, in greater jeopardy.
In these circumstances, reproduction is no longer exclusively a personal matter. Society must have a voice and some power of direction in regulating this vital function. The wishes of human couples are important, but not paramount. The interests of present society and the welfare of future generations must be given increasing consideration as we develop mechanisms to bring rational control to our childbearing.
Irresponsible childbearing must be discouraged by legal and social pressures. Couples who cannot provide a decent income and support for a child should not produce children to be a burden for their neighbors. Bringing unneeded children into an overcrowded lifeboat is evil. It is unjust to those children. It is harmful for the other occupants and all living things. Society should not encourage or subsidize such behavior.
Knowledge and techniques for regulating human reproduction are now in existence. Moral and political leaders throughout the world have a grave responsibility to make this knowledge and these techniques generally available. This could be done with a fraction of the funds which the world now devotes to military purpose. In the long run, diverting funds into this channel could do more than anything else to reduce the tensions which lead to war.
A diverse and prosperous world population in perpetual balance with global resources will be the cornerstone for a rational world order. People of good will in all nations must work to establish that balance.
With the completion of the central cluster of The Georgia Guidestones our small sponsoring group has disbanded. We leave the monument in the safekeeping of the people of Elbert County, Georgia.
If our inscribed words are dimmed by the wear of wind and sun and time, we ask that you will cut them deeper. If the stones should fall, or if they be scattered by people of little understanding. we ask that you will raise them up again.
We invite our fellow human beings in all nations to reflect on our simple message. When these goals are some day sought by the generality of mankind, a rational world order can be achieved for all. (read more)
The Georgia Guidestones
The Population Bomb
Behold A Pale Horse
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Statement of Mission
The Nuclear Age is no geological era –
it's a creation of humankind.
Since 1998 the Nuclear-Free Future Award has honored and helped facilitate the on-going work of individuals and initiatives struggling to undo this mad juncture of time for the sake of the coming generations. Our central message: leave the uranium in the earth !
Our laureates are heroes and heroines working to pull the plug on nuclear power, or to pound nuclear warheads into plowshares. Many are the visionaries and architects of a future lived in sustainable harmony with the earth, men and women energetically seeding fresh solutions.
The Nuclear Age was begun by humankind –
together we can make it good, see it undone.
The Nuclear-Free Future Award
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
This is the second edition of the pictures drawn by atomic bomb survivors, published by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in 2007.
In 2002, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Museum supported by the NHK Hiroshima Studio, Chiugoku Press and other organization collected 1338 drawing from 484 persons for the second time and put them on special exhibition between 2002 to 2003 at the Museum and also on the website (www.pcf.city.hiroshima.co.jp).
The picture scroll dipiciting the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki was drawn by Mr. Noritaka Fukami who was a soldier assigned to the Nagasaki Fortress Headquarters at the time of Atomic Bombing on August 9. 1945.
Mr. Fukami was born on September 20,
1919 in Pyongyang, Korea, Empire of Japan. He inherited a talent of painting from his art teacher father. He won the Grand Prix Award for the All Japan Tourism Poster Contest while he was a student of the Kagoshima Commerce High School, and his work was exhibited at the Boston Museum of Arts in the United States in 1941 befor the War.
In 1942 he was drafted into the Imperial
Japanese Army and was assigned to the Nagasaki Fortress Headquarters, 3,500 meters from the Hypocenter at the time of the Atomic Bombing. When he entered the Ground Zero to survay the damage, he personally witnessed the davastation of the Atomic Bombing. After the War, he returned to his hometown and taught art at the junior high school and painted this scroll in summer of 1946. After suffering from radiation sickness, he killed himself on July 2, 1951 at age 31.
[NOTE: If anyone is interested, this is post #500 in the Globalove Think Tank!]
Before I start, let me say that in writing about the Taliban, I am not indicting the Muslim community, which has many good, upright adherents, some of whom I am honoured to include among my friends. Please do not construct anything I say about Taliban to apply to the millions of Muslims who are peaceful, constructive and valued citizens of countries all over the world.
Do to a certain shallow, outward physical resemblance to some Muslim extremists, our Sikh community has been under attack since the 9/11 terrorist attacks by those who don't know any better. Now events in Pakistan, where the Taliban has attacked the Sikhs of the SWAT Valley, forcing them out of their homes, make a comparison of the two groups mandatory for anyone who really wants to understand world events. (And to stop picking on innocent Sikhs, as well.)
First, what exactly happened in Pakistan? The government there has effectively turned over control of a region in the north of the country, the SWAT Valley, over to the Taliban. In a region of this valley called Orakzai live - or rather lived - a few Sikh families. These were poor Sikh farmers who had lived in peace with their neighbours for generations, who had chosen to stay in Pakistan when most Sikhs left to move to India in the Partition of 1948. These are people with few material resources who clearly love their homes and simple way of life.
These were destroyed when the Taliban demanded that they pay a tax on non
Muslims, called a Jaziya. I have read that jaziya was originally paid by nonMuslims in lieu of military service. I have also read that it was originally a financial inducement to convert to Islam. Whatever the original purpose, in this instance, it is clearly simple extortion, not unlike "protection money" paid by business owners to organised crime to insure that the Mob will leave their businesses alone.
The amount demanded by the Taliban, was beyond the means of the community and when it was not paid, the houses of the Sikhs were razed and Sikh businesses were occupied. The Sikhs, seeing yet another massacre looming, fled with little more than the clothes on their backs and a few meager possessions.
Lahore: The Taliban has expelled at least 50 Sikh families from the
Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) after
they failed to pay 'Jazia'. The Taliban had demanded 12 million rupees ($242,840, GBP 161,271)
as protection money from the Sikhs, who have living in the region from
hundred of years, but they could arrange only 6.7 million rupees.($135,586, GBP 87,355)
Later, it was reported that the extremists occupied houses and shops
of the Sikhs in Qasim Khel and Feroz Khel areas of the Agency and
auctioned their valuables for 0.8 million rupees ( $16,190, GBP 10,750), The Daily Times
reports. Earlier, the Taliban had also demolished houses belonging to
the Sikh community in the region.
The Taliban's Orakzai Agency chief Hakeemullah Mehsud ordered the
demolition of the houses after the Sikhs failed to meet a deadline
fixed for payment.
Having established, I hope, that Sikhs are not Muslim extremists, who then are Sikhs? Briefly, a Sikh is a follower of Sikhi or Sikhism, a panentheistic (look it up!), monotheistic religion that originated in Punjab, in what is now northeastern India and southwestern Pakistan. Rather than summarise the beliefs, which is really beyond the scope of this article, I suggest you go to about.Sikhism and look around. It's interesting and educational.
The religion sprung up and developed at a time when Mughals (Muslims) had imposed a brutal dictatorship on the people of part of what is now called "the Asian subcontinent," that is India and Pakistan. I will now compare some aspects of Taliban and Sikhs.
Since people are generally more visual than verbal, I have included a picture gallery of major differences between the two groups below.
There is a certain superficial physical resemblance. The men of both groups grow beards and wear turbans. The majority of members of both groups are brown. The Taliban, however, are by and large Arabs, with Middle Eastern origins. Although there is a growing number of Sikhs of European and African descent, most Sikhs today are still either Punjabis or descendants of Punjabis.
Taliban discriminate against women in many ways: imposing Muslim dress which completely covers her, denies her education, restricts her movements so she is not allowed to go outside unless accompanied by a male relative. (I wonder what happens to a woman who has no male relatives?)
Sikhi teaches that men and women are equals. In fact, the Sikh Rehat Maryada - the Sikh Code of Conduct - forbids a woman to cover her face.
Here is an example of Sikh music, a sort of hymn called a kirtan. Notice that it has a happy sound and is a joy to hear! Also notice that it is sung by a woman!
I cannot give an example of Taliban music, since the Taliban ban music entirely, even to the point of killing songbirds when they controlled Afghanistan.
I cannot give a current example of Sikh government, since the Sikh Empire (1799-1849) governed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh is no longer around. However, two big differences between Sikh rule at that time and Taliban rule now are that capital punishment did not exist in the Sikh Empire, while it is common among the Taliban. And a huge difference, different religions were not only tolerated in the Sikh Empire but were actually respected, while the Taliban not only lack respect or tolerance for other religions, but also condemn all other forms of Islam, their own religion.
But enough of words. I have written enough to tell about the differences, now a few pictures to show the differences.
Note: Should anyone wish to reproduce this post, I will be happy to send you the html to make it easy for you. Just leave your e-mail in a comment or e-mail me at simayanan [at] gmail [dot] com. MHK
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
The guillotine is a device used for carrying out executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame from which an angled blade is suspended. This blade is raised with a rope, and the condemned's neck is positioned beneath it. The blade then falls rapidly, severing the head from the body. The device is noted for long being the main method of execution in France and, more particularly, for its use during the French Revolution, when it "became a part of popular culture, celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the Revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents." In spite of being primarily associated with the French Revolution, the guillotine continued to be used long after the French Revolution in several countries, including France, where it was the standard method of execution until the abolition of capital punishment by President François Mitterrand in 1981. In Germany, it saw rapid and prolific use during the Third Reich and was used as late as 1966 (in the German Democratic Republic) and in France in 1977, for the execution of Hamida Djandoubi.
The following report was written by a Dr. Beaurieux, who experimented with the head of a condemned prisoner by the name of Henri Languille, on 28 June 1905:
Here, then, is what I was able to note immediately after the decapitation: the eyelids and lips of the guillotined man worked in irregularly rhythmic contractions for about five or six seconds. This phenomenon has been remarked by all those finding themselves in the same conditions as myself for observing what happens after the severing of the neck ...
I waited for several seconds. The spasmodic movements ceased. It was then that I called in a strong, sharp voice: "Languille!" I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions – I insist advisedly on this peculiarity – but with an even movement, quite distinct and normal, such as happens in everyday life, with people awakened or torn from their thoughts.
Next Languille's eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves. I was not, then, dealing with the sort of vague dull look without any expression, that can be observed any day in dying people to whom one speaks: I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me. After several seconds, the eyelids closed again.
It was at that point that I called out again and, once more, without any spasm, slowly, the eyelids lifted and undeniably living eyes fixed themselves on mine with perhaps even more penetration than the first time. Then there was a further closing of the eyelids, but now less complete. I attempted the effect of a third call; there was no further movement – and the eyes took on the glazed look which they have in the dead. (read more)
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
"The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love." Morihei Ueshiba.