Thursday, May 23, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
There was a poor man who wanted some money; and somehow he had heard
that if he could get hold of a ghost, he might command him to bring money or
anything else he liked; so he was very anxious to get hold of a ghost. He went
about searching for a man who would give him a ghost, and at last he found a
sage with great powers, and besought his help. The sage asked him what he
would do with a ghost. I want a ghost to work for me; teach me how to get hold
of one, sir; I desire it very much," replied the man. But the sage said, "Don't
disturb yourself, go home." The next day the man went again to the sage and
began to weep and pray, "Give me a ghost; I must have a ghost, sir, to help
me." At last the sage was disgusted, and said, "Take this charm, repeat this
magic word, and a ghost will come, and whatever you say to him he will do.
But beware; they are terrible beings, and must be kept continually busy. If you
fail to give him work, he will take your life." The man replied, "That is easy; I
can give him work for all his life." Then he went to a forest, and after long
repetition of the magic word, a huge ghost appeared before him, and said, "I am
a ghost. I have been conquered by your magic; but you must keep me
constantly employed. The moment you fail to give me work I will kill you."
The man said, "Build me a palace," and the ghost said, "It is done; the palace is
built." "Bring me money," said the man. "Here is your money," said the ghost.
"Cut this forest down, and build a city in its place." "That is done," said the
ghost, "anything more?" Now the man began to be frightened and thought he
could give him nothing more to do; he did everything in a trice. The ghost said,
"Give me something to do or I will eat you up." The poor man could find no
further occupation for him, and was frightened. So he ran and ran and at last
reached the sage, and said, "Oh, sir, protect my life!" The sage asked him what
the matter was, and the man replied, "I have nothing to give the ghost to do.
Everything I tell him to do he does in a moment, and he threatens to eat me up
if I do not give him work." Just then the ghost arrived, saying, "I'll eat you up,"
and he would have swallowed the man. The man began to shake, and begged
the sage to save his life. The sage said, "I will find you a way out. Look at that
dog with a curly tail. Draw your sword quickly and cut the tail off and give it to
the ghost to straighten out." The man cut off the dog's tail and gave it to the
ghost, saying, "Straighten that out for me." The ghost took it and slowly and
carefully straightened it out, but as soon as he let it go, it instantly curled up
again. Once more he laboriously straightened it out, only to find it again curled
up as soon as he attempted to let go of it. Again he patiently straightened it out,
but as soon as he let it go, it curled up again. So he went on for days and days,
until he was exhausted and said, "I was never in such trouble before in my life.
I am an old veteran ghost, but never before was I in such trouble." "I will make
a compromise with you ;" he said to the man, "you let me off and I will let you
keep all I have given you and will promise not to harm you." The man was
much pleased, and accepted the offer gladly.
This world is like a dog's curly tail, and people have been striving to straighten
it out for hundreds of years; but when they let it go, it has curled up again. How
could it be otherwise? One must first know how to work without attachment,
then one will not be a fanatic. When we know that this world is like a dog's
curly tail and will never get straightened, we shall not become fanatics. If there
were no fanaticism in the world, it would make much more progress than it
does now. It is a mistake to think that fanaticism can make for the progress of
mankind. On the contrary, it is a retarding element creating hatred and anger,
and causing people to fight each other, and making them unsympathetic. We
think that whatever we do or possess is the best in the world, and what we do
not do or possess is of no value. So, always remember the instance of the curly
tail of the dog whenever you have a tendency to become a fanatic. You need
not worry or make yourself sleepless about the world; it will go on without
you. When you have avoided fanaticism, then alone will you work well. It is
the level-headed man, the calm man, of good judgment and cool nerves, of
great sympathy and love, who does good work and so does good to himself.
The fanatic is foolish and has no sympathy; he can never straighten the world,
nor himself become pure and perfect.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013
Dr. Oz, a respected public figure and TV personality who advocates healthy living to the American public, recently encouraged viewers of The Dr. Oz Show to give red palm oil a try for its "incomparable, powerful nutritional virtues.” You and I both know that what Dr. Oz failed to mention is that palm oil is a leading cause of rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction.
Join us in calling on Dr. Oz to stop promoting destructive palm oil. Millions of consumers could unwittingly contribute to the demise of tropical rainforests and all the fragile species that depend on them if Dr. Oz doesn’t tell his viewers the full story.
The rapid destruction of endangered rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia is a direct result of our food decisions here in North America. Global demand for manufactured foods with long shelf lives, such as cookies, cereals, crackers and chips, has increased demand for palm oil. This spike in demand, in turn, has increased expansion of palm plantations into the rainforests of Indonesia, causing widespread destruction of our planet's most culturally and biologically diverse forests.
Today, just under half of Indonesia's original forest cover remains. The world's leading orangutan scientist, Ian Singleton, estimates that orangutans will be extinct in our lifetime if unchecked palm oil expansion isn't halted right now.
Please email Dr. Oz and ask him to issue a correction of his ill-advised support for palm oil.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Pussy Riot member has a temporary chance at freedom and reunion with her 5-year-old son.
Her son is just 5 years old and she hasn't held him for months. This is Maria "Masha" Alekhina's sentence for staging mere seconds of a protest song in Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral and for being a member of Russian punk group, Pussy Riot. However, tomorrow's court ruling could dramatically change Masha's situation.
Call on Russian officials to free Pussy Riot member Masha Alekhina!
Within hours, the hearing taking place in the women's prison where Masha is being held, will determine whether she will be released because she is a single mother to a small child. If released, Masha's sentence would be postponed until her son turns 14. While the reunion of Masha and her son would certainly be welcomed, an unconditional release is what she should be granted. Until then, we will continue to demand to justice.
Let's not forget that Masha, and fellow Pussy Riot member Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova -- who is also still being detained in a different women's prison -- should have never been prosecuted in the first place!
A legitimate peaceful protest -- which is what Pussy Riot's impromptu punk performance was-- should not be a criminal offense, and certainly not punishable by time served away from family and in the harshest of conditions.
Speak out for the women of Pussy Riot -- we want free speech and freedom right now!
The support base for these women stretches far and wide. We've seen Madonna perform to a sold-out show in Moscow with the words "Pussy Riot" written in bold letters across her back. We've seen Sting, Roger Waters and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam add themselves to our Free Pussy Riot map, among many other artists and musicians. We've also read the extraordinary messages of support to the women of Pussy Riot that have flooded in from all around the world from people like you, our incredible supporters:
"I think of you often and hope governments around the world will soon wake up to the fact that suppressing people's thoughts and actions are not in anyone's best interests." -- Robert Hasselbrink from Colorado
Tomorrow's court date presents a window of opportunity. Unfortunately, Masha's chance at freedom would only be temporary right now, but our fight for justice will be relentless.
Take a stand for free speech and reunite a mother with her son. Help free Pussy Riot!
Director, Individuals and Communities at Risk Program
Amnesty International USA
|Temporary freedom? |
Within 24 hours a court will decide if Pussy Riot member Masha Alekhina will be reunited with her 5-year-old son and her sentence postponed.
© 2012 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400
Friday, January 11, 2013
The NRA wants to make a "meaningful contribution" to prevent gun violence? Here's one idea.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) wants to make a "meaningful contribution" to prevent gun violence?
Here's one idea: the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The United Nations is preparing to finalize the treaty, which would help stem the flow of weapons to human rights abusers. And world leaders will negotiate and vote on it in March.
We can all agree, children -- no matter where they live -- must be kept safe from gun related violence.
Unfortunately, in so many places around the world, that is not happening as a result of the unregulated global arms trade. There are tens of thousands of children forcibly recruited right now by governments’ armed forces and by non-state armed groups who are often armed with weapons irresponsibly traded by governments and private corporations. Children are also part of the 26 million people who have been displaced by armed conflict fueled by guns.
Despite being the largest exporter of small arms and conventional weapons, the U.S. has not been a leader in the effort to establish this treaty due to a campaign of misinformation and lies – orchestrated by the NRA—to force the U.S. government to oppose and weaken the ATT1.
Tell the NRA to stop its campaign of lies about the ATT and stop interfering in U.S. foreign policy.
The NRA has asserted that the ATT would infringe on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right to bear arms. But, in fact, the ATT will have no bearing on domestic gun ownership2, as it deals exclusively with the flow of weapons between – not within – countries.
Let's be clear about something. There is virtually no regulation of the international arms trade. Governments and groups known to commit atrocities and abuses can buy weapons traded on the open market and use them with impunity.
This must stop. The ATT could save hundreds of lives every day by establishing common global standards for how countries import, export and transfer conventional weapons.
By dropping its opposition to the ATT, the NRA has an opportunity to help keep guns out of the hands of those who routinely target children and others—saving countless lives around the world.
Tell the NRA to stop helping human rights abusers get weapons.
We've got their attention. Let's keep the pressure on.
Chief of Campaigns and Programs
Amnesty International USA
1. "National Rifle Association vows to fight arms trade treaty at U.N." Reuters, December 28, 2012.
|A Deadly Gift from the Gun Lobby|
Don't let the NRA help give war criminals, dictators and human rights abusers a free pass to get weapons. No more standing in the way of an Arms Trade Treaty that could help save millions of lives worldwide!
© 2013 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400
Thursday, January 10, 2013
SHOWN IN PHOTO: AMNESTY SHIRTS
SHOP FOR HUMANITY. SHOP WITH A PURPOSE.To celebrate the new year, we've cut prices of our favorite products! Shop now for amazing deals on human rights-friendly gifts! Visit our store.
© 2012 Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400