The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are a Congregation of religious brothers and sisters dedicated to a two-fold Crusade: the propagation and defense of Catholic dogma — especially extra ecclesiam nulla salus — and the conversion of America to the one, true Church.
OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION
"Outside the Church there is no salvation" is a doctrine of the Catholic Faith that was taught By Jesus Christ to His Apostles, preached by the Fathers, defined by popes and councils and piously believed by the faithful in every age of the Church. Here is how the Popes defined it:
"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)
"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)
"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)
[excerpt from catholicism.org]
Price of this salvation? "Religious submission of intellect and will."
(Sounds exactly like a cult to me.........really creepy)
Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are a Congregation of religious brothers and sisters dedicated to a two-fold Crusade: the propagation and defense of Catholic dogma — especially extra ecclesiam nulla salus — and the conversion of America to the one, true Church.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
We resonate with the frequencies around us.
It is the self that is the greatest threat to humanity.
You gotta be aware, you gotta be aware.
What we hate in others, is what we hate in ourselves.
Our abuse stems from such hate.
A subconscience release, passing of blame.
Find out your life, yourself.
Humanity as a collective is one organism.
Let us put away false ego
the bureaucracies that destroy,
then maybe something will get done.
Maybe a revolution of the mind will occur.
Maybe trusting in a falliable system was a bad idea.
Maybe being deceived by external influences
and even ourselves was a bad thing, wrong.
Maybe we can become one with our divinity.
Maybe the mistakes of our past can be recalled,
trashed and off the shelves and out of our homes,
Of true life
of true liberty
of true love
and of truth itself
will be my constitution
for our sake
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By Ken Silverstein, Prison Legal News, June 1st 2000
What is the most profitable industry in America? Weapons, oil and computer technology all offer high rates of return, but there is probably no sector of the economy so abloom with money as the privately run prison industry.
Consider the growth of the Corrections Corporation of America, the industry leader whose stock price has climbed from $8 a share in 1992 to about $30 today and whose revenue rose by 81 per cent in 1995 alone. Investors in Wackenhut Corrections Corp. have enjoyed an average return of 18 per cent during the past five years and the company is rated by Forbes as one of the top 200 small businesses in the country. At Esmor, another big private prison contractor, revenues have soared from $4.6 million in 1990 to more than $25 million in 1995.
Ten years ago there were just five privately-run prisons in the country, housing a population of 2,000. Today nearly a score of private firms run more than 100 prisons with about 62,000 beds. That's still less than five per cent of the total market but the industry is expanding fast, with the number of private prison beds expected to grow to 360,000 during the next decade.
The exhilaration among leaders and observers of the private prison sector was cheerfully summed up by a headline in USA Today: "Everybody's doin' the jailhouse stock". An equally upbeat mood imbued a conference on private prisons held last December at the Four Seasons Resort in Dallas. The brochure for the conference, organized by the World Research Group, a New York-based investment firm, called the corporate takeover of correctional facilities the "newest trend in the area of privatizing previously government-run programs... While arrests and convictions are steadily on the rise, profits are to be made -- profits from crime. Get in on the ground floor of this booming industry now!"
A hundred years ago private prisons were a familiar feature of American life, with disastrous consequences. Prisoners were farmed out as slave labor. They were routinely beaten and abused, fed slop and kept in horribly overcrowded cells. Conditions were so wretched that by the end of the nineteenth century private prisons were outlawed in most states.
During the past decade, private prisons have made a comeback. Already 28 states have passed legislation making it legal for private contractors to run correctional facilities and many more states are expected to follow suit.
The reasons for the rapid expansion include the 1990's free-market ideological fervor, large budget deficits for the federal and state governments and the discovery and creation of vast new reserves of "raw materials" -- prisoners. The rate for most serious crimes has been dropping or stagnant for the past 15 years, but during the same period severe repeat offender provisions and a racist "get-tough" policy on drugs have helped push the US prison population up from 300,000 to around 1.5 million during the same period. This has produced a corresponding boom in prison construction and costs, with the federal government's annual expenditures in the area, now $17 billion. In California, passage of the infamous "three strikes" bill will result in the construction of an additional 20 prisons during the next few years.
The private prison business is most entrenched at the state level but is expanding into the federal prison system as well. Last year Attorney General Janet Reno announced that five of seven new federal prisons being built will be run by the private sector. Almost all of the prisons run by private firms are low or medium security, but the companies are trying to break into the high-security field. They have also begun taking charge of management at INS detention centers, boot camps for juvenile offenders and substance abuse programs.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Dave and Jaja spent seven years sailing around the world (1988-1995) aboard their 25-foot Cal 25 DIRECTION. Dave purchased the boat in 1985, gutted her to a bare hull, and then went to work beefing up the structure. He glassed in stringers, added keel floors and extra bulkheads, and then re-designed and re-built the interior. "I built a new rudder, re-stayed the mast, built a smaller cockpit, and then christened her with a bottle of warm Bud in an effort to get the mood right for the intended circumnavigation" is the way Dave puts it.
Dave was 22 when he started this project, and 24 when he finished. He met Jaja shortly after starting his cruise in St. John, USVI, and they finally got together in the UK (after a solo Transatlantic) in the fall of 1988. They were both 25 when they left England on their circumnavigation.
From England they headed West to the Caribbean, via the Cape Verde Islands. They were married in Barbados, then transited the Panama Canal, visited the Galapagos; and did the usual trip through the South Pacific, spending several seasons in Australia, New Zealand, and the nearby cruising paradise to the north. A trip through the Torres Straits, Indonesia, and then across the Indian Ocean had them rounding South Africa before arriving back in the Caribbean and then the States in 1995. Along the way they had two children (Chris and Holly). A third (Teiga) was born aboard DIRECTION at the end of the voyage.
The Martin family set sail again in 1997 on their 33-footer DRIVER, and have spent time in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Iceland, the Faroes, Northern Scotland, Norway, Greenland, and Newfoundland. They are currently settling down for the winter in Maine.
Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975) was an African American research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants.
He was the first to synthesize the natural product physostigmine; and was a pioneer in the industrial large-scale chemical synthesis of human hormones, steroids, progesterone, and testosterone, from plant sterols such as stigmasterol and sitosterol.
His work would lay the foundation for the steroid drug industry's production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and birth control pills. He later started his own company to synthesize steroid intermediates from the Mexican wild yam.
During his lifetime he received more than 130 chemical patents. Julian was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in chemistry. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and the second African-American scientist inducted from any field.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Most importantly, these proponents of the status quo who author commentaries that are filled with mean-spirited vilifications of their opponents, offer no solutions of their own to help resolve the many problems that face the society at large. They, in fact, deny that there any problems of significant importance to begin with. For example, to them there is nothing wrong with our health care delivery system despite the fact that there tens of millions of individuals unable to afford health care for themselves or their families. Their blistering attacks on homosexuals, the poor, unionized labor, women’s rights, immigrants, etc are both disingenuous and reprehensible. Furthermore they are useless and of little value, in my mind, for they do nothing constructive for their country and its people though they profess to be unassailable patriots. They exploit their listeners and extract a fortune based on their ability to attract the disaffected and further polarize the country. The game of exploitative capitalism that they are so adept at undermines the possibility of national healing that is so crucial at this time.
During infrequent bouts of wild inexplicable optimism, I suspect they will be ultimately consumed by their own venom.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Hubble Space Telescope is a Time Machine
It can see billions of years into the past
The Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300
61 Million light-years away
Eta Carinae Nebula NGC 3372
8 Thousand light-years away
Messier 81 NGC 3031
12 Million light-years away
The Cat's Eye Nebula NGC 6543
3.3 Thousand light-years away
The Eagle Nebula NGC 6611
7 Thousand light-years away
The Helix Nebula NGC 7293
7 Hundred light-years away
Young Stars in Magellanic Cloud NGC 346
210 Thousand light-years away
The Red Supergiant Star Monocerotis V838
20 Thousand light-years away
The Crab Nebula NGC 1952
6.5 Thousand light-years away
Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image
13 Billion light-years away
Click and enlarge this image
and see an estimated 10,000 galaxies
as they looked 13 billion years ago
Monday, May 18, 2009
HA HA HA
So now USA has sent a professional assasin to command its troops in Afghanistan.
'U.S. special squad killed Benazir'
Published: May 18, 2009
NEW YORK (Online) - Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country.
The squad was headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of U.S. army in Afghanistan. It was disclosed by reputed U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview. Hersh said former U.S. vice-president Cheney was the chief of the Joint Special Operation Command and he cleared the way for the U.S. by exterminating opponents through the unit and the CIA. General Stanley was the in-charge of the unit.
Seymour also said that Rafiq Al Hariri and the Lebanese army chief were murdered for not safeguarding the U.S. interests and refusing U.S. setting up military bases in Lebanon. Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister of Israel, was also a key man in the plot.
A number of websites around the world are suspecting the same unit for killing of Benazir Bhutto because in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV on November 2, 2007, she had mentioned the assassination of Usama Bin Laden, Seymour said. According to Benazir Bhutto, Umar Saeed Sheikh murdered Usama, but her words were washed out from the David Frosts report, he said.
The U.S. journalist opined that it might have been done on purpose because the U.S. leadership did not like to declare Usama dead for in the case the justification of the presence of U.S. army in Afghanistan could no more be there, hence no reason for operation against Taliban.
On the other hand, the diplomatic analysts believe the Benazir Bhutto murder is still a fable and it is for that reason Asif Zardari and other government authorities are stressing U.N. probe in the murder case, also paying huge sums for it.
Another website has disclosed that Benazir was put to death in order to roll back the Pakistan nuclear programme and to take over its nukes, and that India, Israel and the U.S. were making hectic efforts to deprive Pakistan of its atomic capability so as to bring it under their control.
The crazed uncle possessed by the demons of his impaired and diseased brain, the patriarchal grandfather with a formidable record of abusive and violent behavior, the promiscuous and pregnant daughter sent off to live with an older sister while bringing her growing fetus to term away from the prying eyes of neighbors, the gay cousin convinced by the language of his authoritarian minister that he is a deviant in the eyes of his personal savior are all examples of realities that are surrounded by a formidable cone of silence in an effort to keep alive the mythological quality of wholeness that is supposed to embody the family.
In reality, the family is fragile and flawed like all human institutions. Families and clans are a natural and practical consequence of the biological urge to propagate the species. Within the structure of the family, resides the entire gamut of human proclivities and possibilities. Yet, it seems that only what is believed to exemplify goodness is embraced while that which is unflattering is coerced into the void of the unspoken. It is not truth that triumphs but rather the lie. It is an insidious lie, for it creates a perception of family members and the family that is decidedly one-sided, and for that reason, grotesque. The family mirrors all the aspects that compromise humanity in general and the individual in particular. It should be seen for what it is and nothing more.
It is from the mosaic of the family that the structure of the larger society is built. We have become in many regards a cult of the individual. Children are raised within the assumption and the implicit notion that the individual is the center of existence; that all of the universe gravitates around the singular person with his or her singular consciousness. Individual happiness is the fundamental goal that is seen as the inherent right of us all. Yet state of being happy is poorly understood and remains illusive. The quality of happiness has come to be seen as achievable through the medium of material success and personal achievements. This seems perfectly natural to us, since this is the essence of the message perpetually conveyed through the communications media and thoroughly inculcated in our thinking and perceptions. In this particular social environment, happiness is not equated with the well being of those outside the territory of the family. Even within the family, this is not necessarily the case. This particular idea of happiness is not dependent upon the health of the natural environment nor the state of being of our fellow creatures.
Those who pose as the guardians of life and constantly and vociferously proclaim their unimpeachable belief in the sanctity of life have an exceedingly narrow conception of the life they assiduously protect. It is certainly not the life of those in dire need; it is certainly not the quality or extent of life of those creatures who are destined to be sacrificed so that we may have bountiful sources of nutrition; it is not he life of those fellow humans who have had the misfortune to be regarded as our enemies. Oddly enough, the life they wish to protect are clumps of cells genetically definable as human and destined to be human, but decidedly without consciousness and incapable of pain or suffering. These pre-humans growing within the body of the women who carry them are living, but not individuals. Yet the suffering of so many individuals born into abject poverty and perilous social conditions are of only peripheral interest to those who carry the banners of righteousness. Yet the conditions of those living creatures who the unwilling providers of their bodies for our mass consumption are not regarded in any way by those who proclaim the moral high ground. Those who take up a cause without reason or intellect are dubious and often dangerous for they are capable of justifying terrible deeds in the name of hollow and ridiculous notions.
The cult of the individual has left us with a world whose natural environment has been sorely abused. The cult of the individual has left us with a social order that is remarkably skewed to the few who hold the wealth and its concomitant power. The cult of the individual is not sustainable for it will continue to rob humanity of its future. Until we see the well-being of all as within the purview of our state of happiness, the human world will remain restive and unfulfilled.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
2001: A Space Odyssey
is a 1968 science fiction film
directed by Stanley Kubrick,
written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke.
It is, in part, the story of the discovery
of a strange artifact found on the moon.
It is seemingly based on the true story.
In the early 1960's, lunar probes sent
back the first close-up photographs of
the moon as they crashed into the surface.
Researchers were astonished when the images
began to reveal more than they could have
ever expected to see. Those images revealed
structures and constructions that were
undeniable. They saw buildings, facilities
and bases with incredible clarity. The next
step was to go up there and see for ourselves.
Man went to the moon and discovered a "Dreamland".
(Sgt. Karl Wolf)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
After his demonstration of wireless communication (radio) in 1894 and after being the victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers who worked in America. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. During this period, in the United States, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture, but due to his eccentric personality and his seemingly unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist. Never having put much focus on his finances, Tesla died impoverished at the age of 86.
The SI unit measuring magnetic flux density or magnetic induction (commonly known as the magnetic field "B"), the tesla, was named in his honor (at the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, Paris, 1960), as well as the Tesla effect of wireless energy transfer to wirelessly power electronic devices which Tesla demonstrated on a low scale (lightbulbs) as early as 1893 and aspired to use for the intercontinental transmission of industrial energy levels in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.
Aside from his work on electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering, Tesla has contributed in varying degrees to the establishment of robotics, remote control, radar and computer science, and to the expansion of ballistics, nuclear physics, and theoretical physics. In 1943, the Supreme Court of the United States credited him as being the inventor of the radio.
Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943)
Referring to the Tesla Roadster, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "I test drove this vehicle, and it is hot."
Sasha Pup still looked miserable, barely holding up her head and limping along, but she was dealing. I'm to understand she may need a hysterectomy or something, and truly I wish her and human companion (who was understandably frantic about Sasha's condition this morning) the best! Oh, Sasha.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Those who approach their sexuality in ways different from norm often become objects of scorn and derision. Of course, any sexual practice that does not consider the other person or that is used as a method of abuse, endangering health or used to enslave is unacceptable. But, why should the society at large be interested in the private acts of consenting adults. Why do those who seek to pleasure themselves and others in ways that do not conform to the “norm” not have the right to exercise their own prerogatives in the way they use their bodies in consort with others. Homosexuals are especially vulnerable to the taunts and moral indictments of those who consider themselves to be exemplars of what is construed as normal. The often unanticipated and unique characteristics of living often defy what is paraded as normalcy. The sex drive, for most of us, demands satisfaction. The route to this satisfaction is open to individual discovery, regardless of any societal prohibitions. A significant portion of the organic brain is wired and dedicated to the fulfillment of this drive. Without it, the human race would have been short-lived and intrinsically boring. How many of those who have trumpeted their moral superiority in regards to sexual behavior have been discovered to behave in ways completely counter to their own proclamations? How many of those who claim the moral high ground in the essentially private matter of human sexuality have been rabid proponents of the use of technological weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children whose only crime was to be born in a country that had become our sworn enemy for whatever reason; how many of those who pass such quick judgment on the behavior of others are advocates of public policies that deny access to adequate health care, food, shelter and basic accommodations for many millions of our fellow citizens. Interestingly enough, these same individuals do not approach such life or death issues with the same fervor that they approach how individuals relate to each other in their own beds. Morality seems to be relegated to the bedroom and to nowhere else: a conveniently narrow and well-defined universe. Within this very same puritanical universe, the world of advertising flourishes with its main emphasis placed on the exploitation of sex and the natural human propensity for and obsession with the use and manipulation of the sexual organs. Although sex is not a necessary component of living, it is as much an integral aspect of existence as eating and breathing and sleeping. There are some people of faith who propose abstinence as a method for getting “closer to God.” This, of course, is a personal decision; the journey of life can take many directions. However, within the internecine bowels of the Catholic Church, there are those leaders who continue to enforce the rule that all members of the Catholic clergy and the armies of the cloth that include nuns and brothers must be celibate. It is intriguing that this regulation is not under scrutiny especially given the horrendous scandal that permeates the church regarding the multitude of child abuse cases that have been brought forward in recent years. These “holy of holies” apparently have a remote or non-existent connection to the real tangible world of human beings. When individuals approach puberty, their sexual organs scream out for attention. There is an undeniable biological imperative that drives us all. It is not merely the need to exercise these important bits of human flesh, but also the need for human contact and intimacy. We are creatures of the body as well as the mind. How this reality escapes the Catholic Church’s hierarchy is a complete mystery to me. I think it would be appropriate to ask an obvious question: “What type of personality would be attracted to a way of life in which celibacy is an integral component? Hovering above this organism called the Catholic Church is the ludicrous idea of papal infallibility. If you believe that the pope of the moment has a direct link to the Creator, then it naturally follows that he would be connected to eternal truths whatever they may be. It is quite amazing that a huge organization like the Catholic Church bases its judgments on such fantastic notions. Human sexuality can not be denied no matter how vociferous the pronouncements to the contrary.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
On March 30, 1990, citizens of the city of Brussels spotted a large black triangular craft hovering silently over the city for several minutes. Local police officials arrived on the scene and reported observing the object as it hovered over apartment buildings. One officer reported that the object released a red glowing disk of light from its center which flew down to the ground and darted around several buildings before disappearing. The larger craft eventually departed at high speed.
The Belgian Air Force scrambled F-16s to pursue the craft once it was spotted on ground radar systems. The fighter pilots and radar operators reported that the object would dart ahead at incredible speeds every time they finally had a radar lock on it. One pilot reported the object's speed at over 900 knots. After nine confirmed target locks the object finally vanished from their screens.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents:
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.
(Act 2, Scene 1000)
(Art by, Joseph Noel Paton 1850)
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