Nike’s Air Jordan shoppers mob stores, some pepper-spr​ayed

Hoop-la! or just Hoops!  ;+)

For Your Entertainment (FYE)  ;+)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45777268/ns/us_news-life/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Jordan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike,_Inc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiator_(2000_film)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Crowe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ridley_Scott
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiator
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_American_Hero
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Katt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_J._Cannell

“”We mortals are but shadows and dust, Maximus! Shadows and dust!”

( “We are nothing, just dust and air”, modern translation)  says Russell Crowe in “Gladiator”, except, for “Nike’s Air Jordan” that is !  ‘+)

“In Arlington, Va., a large crowd was waiting outside the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall which let in a few buyers at midnight and then at again 6 a.m., NBC Washington reported. Police had to come for crowd control, and many customers left angry.”   “At St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf, Md., people pushed open the doors at several entrances to the mall. Initially, they lined up outside the six stores that were set to sell the shoes, but people began pushing each other, trying to keep their places in line, and the scene turned chaotic. No individual stores were broken into. Officers arrested four juveniles and one adult for disorderly conduct.”   “The new shoes are already being advertised on eBay with asking bids of as much as $605.”   “Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., issued a statement Friday afternoon saying: “We are extremely concerned to hear of the reported crowd incidents … Consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner.”   (So why release the shoes on the holidays and in short numbers?) ;+)   ” Everyone claims that they are broke but they have no problem dropping $180 on sneakers.”   ” Look what progress we have made as a civilization.”   Happy Holidays to All!  ;+)   Keep singing: “I am walking on air……” Njke’s Air Jordan that is!  ;+)   “(“Greatest American Hero (Believe it or Not)” by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer) The Greatest American Hero Lyrics

” Look at what’s happened to me, I can’t believe it myself. Suddenly I’m up on top of the world, It should’ve been somebody else.

Believe it or not, I’m walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free-. Flying away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it’s just me.

It’s like a light of a new day-, It came from out of the blue. Breaking me out of the spell I was in, Making all of my wishes come true-.

Believe it or not, I’m walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free-. Flying away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it’s just me.”

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Robert De Niro is a dad again at age 68

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45780110/ns/today-entertainment/   For Your Entertainment (FYE)   ;+)   Who said the “Nativity” syndrome disappeared for “old” men?……..;+)   At 68,  De Niro is bringing to life his sixth (6th) child!……;+)   Somebody wants to uphold the challenge?……..;+)   Don’t look at me, they disqualified me last December……..;+)   But what a “mighty” challenge for the Holidays!……;+)

An Important Holidays Wish: May An Intelligen​t Reform Be Under the Christmas Tree for the Bretton Woods Institutio​ns

A Wish for the Holidays!  For Your Entertainment (FYE) ;+)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_financial_system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_monetary_systems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Age_of_Capitalism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932010 http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Current/P7/bwi/cccbw.html http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/0310_governance_lombardi.aspx http://www.thecommonwealth.org/shared_asp_files/GFSR.asp?NodeID=179891 http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/iez/global/50095.pdf http://www.networkideas.org/featart/may2005/Bretton_Woods.pdf http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/art-567128 http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/resources/transcripts/100.html   “Today the IMF and the World Bank are much larger institutions, with a worldwide membership of 185 countries, a much larger staff and 24 executive directors each. Many of these directors answer to large bureaucracies at home, which spend their time reading Board papers, writing related memos for their upper-ranking echelons, and convening meetings with peer officials of foreign administrations. The Finance Ministers rely faithfully on the work of their own civil servants, and civil servants happily advise their own ministers on how best to exert their leadership. This arrangement has made, however, for an increasing bureaucratization of international decision making about the IMF and the World Bank. Thus, reports on quota issues prepared by the IMF got stuck in the executive board, where most board members now have little delegated authority from their own capitals, and are themselves mid-ranking officials in their national administrations, with little appetite for risk-taking or brave decisions. Their bureaucracies at home, in turn, have little interest in pursuing a “grand vision” or in striking a “grand bargain,” beyond, of course, the strict requirements of their respective administrative obligations. Not surprisingly, this system regularly short-circuits when there are political decisions to be made that go beyond the technicalities of the matter at hand. In fact, such a system does not adequately differentiate between operational decisions in the purview of national civil servants and political decisions, which should squarely fall on the shoulders of elected politicians. This spurious decision-making mechanism is exactly what has driven the recent debate on IMF reform and what appears to be driving the current process led by the G-20. The G-20 countries decided to engage at their highest levels in the reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions when, last November, their leaders convened in Washington. However, following that same meeting, we have witnessed the establishment of a number of committees and working groups comprised almost invariably of the same officials that were behind the previous, and not very productive, discussions on IMF reform. There is, thus, a clear concern that the G-20 process may not deliver on its expectations, not unless finance ministers and government leaders are willing to roll up their sleeves and genuinely take on the politics involved. Whether or not that will be the case, we will have to wait until the next G-20 Leaders Summit in April to know for sure.”   BUT:   “There are three primary approaches to viewing and understanding the global financial system. The liberal view holds that the exchange of currencies should be determined not by state institutions but instead individual players at a market level. This view has been labelled as the Washington Consensus. This view is challenged by a social democratic front which advocates the tempering of market mechanisms, and instituting economic safeguards in an attempt to ensure financial stability and redistribution. Examples include slowing down the rate of financial transactions, or enforcing regulations on the behaviour of private firms. Outside of this contention of authority and the individual, neoMarxists are highly critical of the modern financial system in that it promotes inequality between state players, particularly holding the view that the political North abuse the financial system to exercise control of developing countries’ economies.”   “The first thing to note is that times have changed. Whatever resistance on the part of the elites to sharing power, in many cases it has diminished because the poor have already staked out a large amount of the assets. Take the example of my native Peru. Fifty years ago, private companies handled all of our urban transport needs, but today, about 80% of that transport consists of extralegal buses and taxis. In other words, what the rich haven’t given to the poor, the poor have simply taken over. My institute actually tries to spread awareness among the elites about their loss of control over markets and their limited access to consumers. The most powerful group of consumers in any developing country nowadays is from the extralegal sector—people who do not respect the law. The elites have every interest in establishing a standard legal system because that way they will have the chance to defend themselves in the face of their enormous losses.”   “Most developing countries must seek solutions to their current problems internally. There are figures indicating that most of the resources that are necessary for developing countries exist within the countries themselves. For example, my institute has produced figures indicating that worldwide, the excluded or the poor in developing countries have over 40 times more assets than all World Bank loans since its inception. And they have 50 to 60 times more assets than all foreign aid given by developed countries since the end of the Second World War. Thus what developed countries can provide in terms of material resources or political resources is truly marginal. There is very little they can do aside from putting in conditionality and incentives into their aid and loans.”   “Leading financial journalist Martin Wolf has reported that all financial crises since 1971 have been preceded by large capital inflows into affected regions. While ever since the seventies there have been numerous calls from the global justice movement for a revamped international system to tackle the problem of unfettered capital flows, it wasn’t until late 2008 that this idea began to receive substantial support from leading politicians. On September 26, 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, then also the President of the European Union, said, “We must rethink the financial system from scratch, as at Bretton Woods.” On October 13, 2008, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown  said world leaders must meet to agree to a new economic system.”   “However, Brown’s approach was quite different to the original Bretton Woods system, emphasising the continuation of globalization and free trade as opposed to a return to fixed exchange rates. There were tensions between Brown and Sarkozy, who argued that the “Anglo-Saxon” model of unrestrained markets had failed. However European leaders were united in calling for a “Bretton Woods II” summit to redesign the world’s financial architecture. President Bush was agreeable to the calls, and the resulting meeting was the 2008 G-20 Washington summit. International agreement was achieved for the common adoption of Keynesian fiscal stimulus  , an area where the US and China were to emerge as the worlds leading actors. Yet there was no substantial progress towards reforming the international financial system, and nor was there at the 2009 meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos Despite this lack of results leaders continued to campaign for Bretton Woods II. Italian Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti said that Italy would use its 2009 G7 chairmanship to push for a “New Bretton Woods.” He had been critical of the U.S.’s response to the global financial crisis of 2008, and had suggested that the dollar may be superseded as the base currency of the Bretton Woods system. Choike, a portal organisation representing southern hemisphere NGOs, called for the establishment of “international permanent and binding mechanisms of control over capital flows” and as of March 2009 had achieved over 550 signatories from civil society organisations.”   ” March 2009 saw Gordon Brown continuing to advocate for reform and the granting of extended powers to international financial institutions like the IMF at the April G20 summit in London,  and was said to have president Obama’s support . Also during March 2009, in a speech entitled Reform the International Monetary System, Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China came out in favour of Keynes’s idea of a centrally managed global reserve currency. Dr Zhou argued that it was unfortunate that part of the reason for the Bretton Woods system breaking down was the failure to adopt Keynes’s Bancor. Dr Zhou said that national currencies were unsuitable for use as global reserve currencies as a result of the Triffin dilemma – the difficulty faced by reserve currency issuers in trying to simultaneously achieve their domestic monetary policy goals and meet other countries’ demand for reserve currency. Dr Zhou proposed a gradual move towards increased used of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as a centrally managed global reserve currency  His proposal attracted much international attention. In a November 2009 article published in Foreign Affairs magazine, economist C. Fred Bergsten argued that Dr Zhou’s suggestion or a similar change to the international monetary system would be in the United States’ best interests as well as the rest of the world’s. Leaders meeting in April at the 2009 G-20 London summit agreed to allow $250 Billion of SDRs to be created by the IMF, to be distributed to all IMF members according to each countries voting rights. In the aftermath of the summit, Gordon Brown declared “the Washington Consensus is over”. However in a book published during September 2009, Professor Robert Skidelsky, an international expert on Keynesianism, argued it was still too early to say whether a new international monetary system was emerging. On Jan 27, in his opening address to the 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos, President Sarkozy repeated his call for a new Bretton Woods, and was met by wild applause by a sizeable proportion of the audience.”   “Another analysis, different from the mainstream explanation, is that the financial crisis is merely a symptom of another, deeper crisis, which is a systemic crisis of capitalism itself. Ravi Batra’s theory is that growing inequality of financial capitalism produces speculative bubbles that burst and result in depression and major political changes. He has also suggested that a “demand gap” related to differing wage and productivity growth explains deficit and debt dynamics important to stock market developments. John Bellamy Foster, a political economy analyst and editor of the Monthly Review, believes that the decrease in GDP growth rates since the early 1970s is due to increasing market saturation. John C. Bogle wrote during 2005 that a series of unresolved challenges face capitalism that have contributed to past financial crises and have not been sufficiently addressed:

Corporate America went astray largely because the power of managers went virtually unchecked by our gatekeepers for far too long…They failed to ‘keep an eye on these geniuses’ to whom they had entrusted the responsibility of the management of America’s great corporations.

Echoing the central thesis of James Burnham’s 1941 seminal book, The Managerial Revolution, Bolge cites particular issues, including: that “Manager’s capitalism” has replaced “owner’s capitalism,” meaning management runs the firm for its benefit rather than for the shareholders, a variation on the principal–agent problem; the burgeoning executive compensation; the management of earnings, mainly a focus on share price rather than the creation of genuine value; and the failure of gatekeepers, including auditors, boards of directors, Wall Street analysts, and career politicians. An analysis conducted by Mark Roeder, a former executive at the Swiss-based UBS Bank, suggested that large scale momentum, or The Big Mo “played a pivotal role” in the 2008-09 global financial crisis. Roeder suggested that “recent technological advances, such as computer-driven trading programs, together with the increasingly interconnected nature of markets, has magnified the momentum effect. This has made the financial sector inherently unstable.” Robert Reich has attributed the current economic downturn to the stagnation of wages in the United States, particularly those of the hourly workers who comprise 80% of the workforce. His claim is that this stagnation forced the population to borrow in order to meet the cost of living.”

“The late-2000s financial crisis (often called the global recession, global financial crisis or the credit crunch) is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market had also suffered, resulting in numerous evictions, foreclosures and prolonged unemployment. It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, and a significant decline in economic activity, leading to a severe global economic recession in 2008. The financial crisis was triggered by a complex interplay of valuation and liquidity problems in the United States banking system in 2008 The collapse of the U.S. housing bubble, which peaked in 2007, caused the values of securities tied to U.S. real estate pricing to plummet, damaging financial institutions globally.[4] Questions regarding bank solvency, declines in credit availability and damaged investor confidence had an impact on global stock markets, where securities suffered large losses during 2008 and early 2009. Economies worldwide slowed during this period, as credit tightened and international trade declined. Governments and central banks responded with unprecedented fiscal stimulus, monetary policy expansion and institutional bailouts. Although there have been aftershocks, the financial crisis itself ended sometime between late-2008 and mid-2009. While many causes for the financial crisis have been suggested, with varying weight assigned by experts, the United States Senate issuing the Levin–Coburn Report found “that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.” Critics argued that credit rating agencies and investors failed to accurately price the risk involved with mortgage-related financial products, and that governments did not adjust their regulatory practices to address 21st-century financial markets. The 1999 repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks. In response to the financial crisis, both market-based and regulatory solutions have been implemented or are under consideration.”

Hoa-Hao Buddhism, The Four (4) Sky Directions and the Ten (10) Buddha Directions

Happy Holidays! ;+)
 
Along the Line of a Return to Simplicity, For Your Entertainment (FYE)
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoa_Hao
http://www.phatgiaohoahaotexas.org/background.htm
 
“In 1939, Prophet Huỳnh Phú Sổ, a native of Hòa Hảo Village in Tan Chau district, Chau Doc province, founded the Hòa Hảo Buddhism.  Since then, it has grown rapidly into a major religion.  Its influence spreads over the Mekong River Delta forming the Western part of South Vietnam notably in the following provinces:  Chau Doc, An Giang, Sa Dec, Kien Phong, Vinh Long, Phong Dinh, Chuong Thien, Kien Giang, Ba Xuyen, Bac Lieu, An Xuyen, Dinh Tuong, Long An, Kien Hoa, Kien Tuong, and the capital of Saigon-Giadinh.
The highly fertile area of the Mekong Delta plays a very important part in the agricultural economy of Vietnam.  In fact, most of the rice exported come from here, known as the Rice Basket of Vietnam.
The Western Area covers an area of 18,850 square kilometers of arable land producing 3,000,000 tons of rice per year, in addition to fishery and animal husbandry, and various other agricultural activities.
South Vietnam with total area of 173,260 square kilometers, has about 30,000 square kilometers under cultivation.  The Western Area where Hòa Hảo Buddhism was founded, occupies 60 per cent of the total cultivable land of the country.”
“THE BEGINNING”
“The mountains of the Western area have been the source of many unexplainable mysteries.  The most famous of these are the Sacred Mountains of Tay Son on the border of Chau Doc and Cambodia.
Since 1849, a living Buddha reverently known as Master Buddha of Tay An made His first appearance on the Sacred Mountains of Tay Son and began his salvation mission by creating BUU SON KY HUONG Buddhism.  About 90 years later, exactly in 1939, also near Tay Son Mountain, another living Buddha, Prophet Huỳnh Phú Sổ, continued the tradition of Buu Son Ky Huong and founded Hòa Hảo Buddhism.
Therefore, although Hòa Hảo Buddhism was founded in 1939, it is a continuation of the Buu So Ky Huong established in 1849.  Thus its existence is over a century old.
Both Master Buddha of Tay An and Prophet Huỳnh Phú Sổ have been revered throughout South Vietnam as two Buddha coming into the world to save mankind from sufferings.  They have also respectfully regarded as two genuine patriots.”
“WORSHIP”
“According to the reform, worshipping at Hòa Hảo Buddhist home should be very simple.
No Buddha statue, bell, or gong may be displayed on the altar.  Only a piece of brown cloth symbolizing human Harmony and the color of Buddhism should be used.  This is Buddha’s Altar.
Under the Buddha’s Altar is the Ancestral altar for the cult of Ancestors.”

(Traditional Hòa Hảo Alter)
In front of the house is set up a Heaven’s altar to enable communication with the universe (sky and earth), the four Sky Directions and the ten Buddha Directions.
No food of any kind including fruits may be used to worship Buddha.  Only fresh water, flowers, and incense sticks are needed.

Fresh water is to represent cleanliness
Flowers to represent purity.
Incense sticks are to freshen the air.

Hòa Hảo followers must worship Buddha at least twice a day, morning and evening. 
On the 1st and 15th of each lunar month and on Buddha’s Holy days, they have to go to pagodas or Hòa Hảo Preaching Halls to pray and listen to sermons.
Prayers are to be in a low voice while no bells or gongs may be used.  When the time of worship comes, if we are away from home, let us turn westwards to pray to Buddha.  We should also encourage others to pray silently in their heart wherever they may be.
At each hamlet, there is at least a Preaching Hall equipped with loudspeakers.  Everyday, at specific hours, a Preacher would come there to read prayers or to give sermons to the audiences.
Hòa Hảo Buddhist Preaching Halls are small Pagodas used for the unique purpose of preaching.  As they do not have residential quarters, they are much smaller than pagodas or temples, because as said before, Hòa Hảo Buddhism puts more emphasis on the practice of Buddhism at home.
Hòa Hảo Preaching Halls with their special architectural design are found today at many places throughout South Vietnam.  Statistics of 1965 mentioned a number of 390 Hòa Hảo Preaching Halls.
 
http://www.openskywilderness.com/programs/young-adults/the-four-directions
 
“South: Fire ~ Summer ~ Childhood ~ Embodied Aliveness ~ Passion ~ Sexuality ~ Wisdom of the Body”
“West: Water ~ Fall ~ Adolescence ~ Emotions ~ Wounding ~ Grief ~ Mystery ~ Wisdom of the Heart ~ Visions”
“North: Earth ~ Winter ~ Adulthood ~ Will ~ Manifestation ~ Responsibility ~ Wisdom of Giving ~ Nurturing”
“East:  Air ~ Spring ~ Old Age ~ Wisdom ~ Completion ~ Non-attachment ~ Peace ~ Death ~ Birth ~ Inspiration”
 
http://www.tientai.net/teachings/dharma/buddha/10directions.htm
http://www.tientai.net/Teachings.htm
 
“The Buddhas of the Ten Directions referred to in the Lotus Sutra and as delineated in the Dasa Bhumika Vibhasa Sastra, attributed to Nagarjuna:

 
Direction
Nagarjuna’s CommentsVerse of the Dasabhumika Vibhasa Sastra

East
The Buddha’s virtue is pure in that it creates only peace & contentment, unlike the virtues of gods and dragons that can distress living beingsIn the east there is a realm called Without Distress
Where there is a Buddha named Virtue of Goodness.
His physical signs are like a mountain of gold,
His name is heard boundlessly.
When people hear his name
They will attain the stage of no retreat.
I now fold my hands and worship Him
And pray He will abolish all grief and distress.
Southeast
The Buddha’s spiritual virtue makes gods and people be without sadness.In the southeast there is a realm called Moon Light
Where there is a Buddha named Without Lament.
His bright light is like the sun and the moon,
Upon meeting Him emotional distress is extinguished.
Ever teaching the Dharma for living beings,
All the inner and outer sufferings are abolished.
Praising the names of the Buddhas of the 10 Directions,
I bow my head in worship
South
The Buddha is like sandal incense and a cool pool. Hearing the Buddha from afar is like detecting a current of incense, and in extinguishing the heated distress of the three poisons He is like the refresh-ment of a clear and cool pool.In the south there is a realm called Rejoicing
Where there is a Buddha called Sandal Virtue.
His face is like the full moon,
The brilliance of its light being without measure.
He is able to extinguish the heated distress
Of the three poisons in living beings.
Hearing His name one reaches the stage of no retreat
Therefore I bow my head in worship.
Southwest
Because of the Buddha’s spiritual qualities, powers, awakenings, etc., treasures are always being offered to living beings.In the southwest there is a realm called Host of Signs,
Where there is a Buddha named Offering Treasure.
Always with countless treasures of the Dharma,
He offers them broadly to all living beings.
The heads & faces of the gods worship
Their bejeweled hats bowed down to His feet.
Now with my five limbs on the ground
I take refuge in the honored one that offers treasur
West
The brilliance of the Buddha’s body and wisdom is without limit.In the west there is a world called Skillfulness,
Where there is a Buddha called Limitless Brilliance.
The light of His body and the brilliance of His wisdom
Shine without bounds or limits.
Those that hear His name
Will attain the stage of no retreat.
I now bow my head in worship
And pray He will extinguish the bounds of Life & Death
Northwest
The Buddha’s physical body is like a wonderful blossom, with its virtues being without limit.In the northwest there is a world called Host of Sounds,
Where there is a Buddha names Blossom of Virtue.
The world has a multitude of bejeweled trees
Broadly issuing forth the wonderful sound of the Dharma.
With the seven blossoms of awakening,
He is ever adorning living beings.
The sign of His white tuft of hair is like the moon,
I now bow my head in worship.
North
The Buddha’s blessings of virtues are lofty and revealed like banners and signs.In the north there is a realm called Unshakeable
Where there is a Buddha called Signs of Virtue.
His body possesses the major and minor signs,
By which he adorns Himself.
In breaking the hateful host of devils
Good influences all the people and gods.
Hearing His name one reaches the stage of no retreat,
Therefore I bow my head in worship.
Northeast
The Buddha is ever teaching the practices of the disciples, the self-awakened and the Bodhisattvas. With people speaking of lower, medium & higher levels of diligence, there is that called ‘Practicing the Three Vehicles’.In the northeast there is a realm called Peacefulness,
Where all the treasures are attained together.
The Buddha is called Practicing the 3 Vehicles,
His body is adorned with limitless signs.
The light of wisdom and insight is without measure,
And is able to destroy the darkness of ignorance.
Living beings are without grief or distress,
And so I bow my head in worship.
Below
Brilliant refers the brilliance of the Buddha’s body, the Buddha’s wisdom, and the light of the bejeweled tree.Down below there is the world that is Broad and Great,
Where there is a Buddha named Brilliant Virtue.
The signs of His body are wonderful and superlative,
A golden mountain of Jambu River sand.
With the sun of wisdom and insight He always
Opens the blossoms of good spiritual roots.
The precious ground is very broad and great,
And I bow my head in worship.
Above
The blessings of Buddha’s disciples spread a host of virtues broadly.Up above there is the realm of Many Moons,
Where there is a Buddha named Ocean of Virtues.
The great virtues of the Disciples
And the Bodhisattvas are without measure.
The Lion among those that are noble
Is named Spreading Many Virtues.
The devils all have fear of Him,
And so I bow my head in worship.

 
“The Buddhism of T’ien T’ai Teachings

 
The Dharma & the Spiritual Realm
The Spiritual Realm of Life & Death
The Two Vehicles & Detachment
The Bodhisattva & Engagement
The Buddha & Enlightenment
The 3000 Spiritual Aspects in a Single Thought
The Wonder of Spiritual Enlightenment
The Ten Wonders that are the Manifestation of Enlightenment
The Ten Wonders that are the Source of Enlightenment
The Lotus Blossom – The Cause & Effect of Spiritual Enlightenment
The Illustration of the Spiritual Life
The Lotus Blossom Illustrating Provision & Reality, Manifestation & Source
The Ways & Means of Provision & Reality
The Sutra – The Living Word of Spiritual Enlightenment
The Spiritual Body & Life of the Buddha
The Sutra and the Practice of Faith
The Living Word of the Buddha
The Pure Land – The Sphere of Spiritual Enlightenment ”
 
Any questions, please start a conversation about it with Ba Ngoai, among all the other things she should be teaching/writing (or having someone write about it for her, like the birds names and songs in Viet Nam) even though I am her very bad student, she is my so venerable Teacher “Si Fu” about it!  ;+)
 
Happy Holidays to All! ;+)

Our Life Time: A Very Few Decades in History 1940’s to 2010’s – Hoping It Will Continue and Improve

For Your Entertainment (FYE)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1940s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1950s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000s_(decade) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_century http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_millennium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_colonization http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_travel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_contact_(science_fiction) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_(Star_Trek) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabbalah http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephirot   “In contemporary history, the third millennium is a period of time that commenced on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 3000, of the Gregorian calendar. This is the third period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini. With rising technology and a more stable political world, the third millennium can be seen as an era of completion in which the concept of global issues concludes and the history of the world ends to be replaced by new eras with untold events. As this millennium is currently in progress, its first two decades, the past 2000s and the current 2010s, are the subject of the historian’s attention. The remaining part of the 21st century and longer-term trends are researched in futurology.”   “Popular expectations Transition from Type 0 to Type I civilization of the Kardashev scale (22nd century) Space colonization (3rd millennium) First interstellar travel space mission. (3rd millennium) First transpiration of human–alien contact. (No actual specific time period is proposed for this possible event.) (3rd millennium)”   “Type I civilization methods Large-scale application of fusion power. According to mass-energy equivalence, Type I implies the conversion of about 2 kg of matter to energy per second. While there is no known method to convert matter (by itself) completely into energy, an equivalent energy release could theoretically be achieved by fusing approximately 280 kg of hydrogen into helium per second, a rate roughly equivalent to 8.9×109 kg/year. A cubic km of water contains about 1011 kg of hydrogen, and the Earth’s oceans contain about 1.3×109 cubic km of water, meaning that this rate of consumption could be sustained over geological time scales, discounting the protium-deuterium imbalance. Antimatter in large quantities would have a mechanism to produce power on a scale several factors above our current level of technology. In antimatter-matter collisions, the entire rest mass of the particles is converted to kinetic energy. Their energy density (energy released per mass) is about four orders of magnitude greater than that from using nuclear fission, and about two orders of magnitude greater than the best possible yield from fusion.The reaction of 1 kg of anti-matter with 1 kg of matter would produce 1.8×1017 J (180 petajoules) of energy.Although antimatter is sometimes proposed as a source of energy, this is currently infeasible. Artificially producing antimatter according to current understanding of the laws of physics involves first converting energy into mass, so there is no net gain. Artificially created antimatter is only usable as a medium of energy storage but not as an energy source, unless future technological developments (contrary to the conservation of the baryon number, such as a CP Violation in favour of antimatter) allow the conversion of ordinary matter into anti-matter. There are a number of naturally occurring sources of antimatter  we may theoretically be able to cultivate and harvest in the future. Solar energy through converting sunlight into electricity by either solar cells and concentrating solar power or indirectly through wind and hydroelectric power. Currently, there is no known way for human civilization to successfully utilize the equivalent of the Earth’s total absorbed solar energy without completely coating the surface with man-made structures, which is presently not feasible. However, if a civilization constructed very large Space-based solar power Satellites, Type I power levels might be achievable. ”   “Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, or space habitation) is the concept of permanent human habitation outside of Earth. Although hypothetical at the present time, there are many proposals and speculations about the first space colony. It is seen as a long-term goal of some national space programs. Potential sites for space colonies include the Moon, Mars, asteroids and free-floating space habitats. Ample quantities of all the necessary materials, such as solar energy and water, are available from or on the Moon, Mars, near-Earth asteroids or other planetary body. In 2005 NASA Administrator Michael Griffin identified space colonization as the ultimate goal of current spaceflight programs, saying:

… the goal isn’t just scientific exploration … it’s also about extending the range of human habitat out from Earth into the solar system as we go forward in time … In the long run a single-planet species will not survive … If we humans want to survive for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, we must ultimately populate other planets. Now, today the technology is such that this is barely conceivable. We’re in the infancy of it. … I’m talking about that one day, I don’t know when that day is, but there will be more human beings who live off the Earth than on it. We may well have people living on the moon. We may have people living on the moons of Jupiter and other planets. We may have people making habitats on asteroids … I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond.”

“Interstellar space travel is manned or unmanned travel between stars. The concept of interstellar travel in starships is a staple of science fiction. Interstellar travel is much more difficult than interplanetary travel. Intergalactic travel, or travel between different galaxies, is even more difficult. Many scientific papers have been published about related concepts. Given sufficient travel time and engineering work, both unmanned and generational interstellar travel seem possible, though both present considerable technological and economic challenges unlikely to be met in the near future, particularly for manned probes. NASA, ESA and other space agencies have been engaging in research into these topics for several years, and have accumulated a number of theoretical approaches.”   “First contact is a common science fiction theme about the first meeting between humans and extraterrestrial life, or of any sentient race’s first encounter with another one. The theme allows authors to explore such topics such as xenophobia, transcendentalism, and basic linguistics by adapting the anthropological topic of first contact to extraterrestrial cultures. Though beyond the scope of this article, the concept of ‘first contact’ extends into philosophical realms, particularly when discussing how the human race would react to such events.”   “Vulcans, or sometimes Vulcanians, are an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. They were the first extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek universe to observe First Contact protocol with Humans. They gave massive assistance to a devastated post-World War 3 Earth, enabling the planet to eliminate poverty, disease and suffering within a single century. For this reason, Humans even in the 24th century view Vulcans in many ways as their best friends — “the good guys,” as told to Zefram Cochrane in ‘First Contact’ by the crew of the time travelling USS Enterprise-E. They later became one of the founding members of the United Federation of Planets. Vulcans appear in all six Star Trek series, four of which feature a Vulcan or a half-Vulcan as a main character.””Live Long and Prosper’………..;+)   “Kabbalah/Kabala (Hebrew: קַבָּלָה‎ lit. “receiving”; often contemporary transliteration with a ‘K’ distinguishes from other, derivative traditions outside Judaism) is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence (Southern France) and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine. It was popularized in the form of Hassidic Judaism in the 18th century. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal and mysterious Creator and the mortal and finite universe (His creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a denomination in and of itself; it is a set of scriptures that exist outside the traditional Jewish scriptures. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realization. Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought and constantly uses classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by kabbalists to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible, תַּנַ”ךְ‎ ) and traditional rabbinic literature, their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.””   “Sephirot or Sephiroth /ˈsɛfɪrɒθ/; Hebrew: סְפִירוֹת‎, pronunciation), meaning “enumerations”, are the 10 attributes/emanations in Kabbalah, through which God (who is referred to as Ein Sof – The Infinite) reveals itself and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms (Seder hishtalshelus). The term is alternatively transliterated into English as Sefirot/Sefiroth, singular Sephirah/Sefirah etc. Alternative configurations of the sephirot are given by different schools in the historical development of Kabbalah, with each articulating different spiritual aspects. The tradition of enumerating 10 is stated in the Sefer Yetzirah, “Ten sephirot of nothingness, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven”. As altogether 11 sephirot are listed across the different schemes, two (Keter and Daat) are seen as unconscious and conscious manifestations of the same principle, conserving the ten categories. In Kabbalah the functional structure of the sephirot in channelling Divine creative life force, and revealing the unknowable Divine essence to Creation is described. As God’s attributes to allow Creation to know him, the first sephirah describes the Divine Will above intellect. The next sephirot describe conscious Divine Intellect, and the latter sephirot describe the primary and secondary conscious Divine Emotions. Two sephirot (Binah and Malchut) are feminine, as the female principle in Kabbalah describes a vessel that receives the outward male light, then inwardly nurtures and gives birth to lower sephirot. Corresponding to this is the Female Divine Presence (Shechinah). Kabbalah sees the human soul as mirroring the Divine (after Genesis 1:27, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them”), and more widely, all creations as reflections of their life source in the sephirot. Therefore, the sephirot also describe the spiritual life of man, and constitute the conceptual paradigm in Kabbalah for understanding everything. This relationship between the soul of man and the Divine, gives Kabbalah one of its two central metaphors in describing Divinity, alongside the other Ohr (light) metaphor. However, Kabbalah repeatedly stresses the need to avoid all corporeal interpretation. Through this, the sephirot are related to the structure of the body and are reformed into Partsufim (Personas). Underlying the structural purpose of each sephirah is a hidden motivational force which is understood best by comparison with a corresponding psychological state in human spiritual experience. In Hasidic philosophy, which has sought to internalise the experience of Jewish mysticism into daily inspiration (dveikus), this inner life of the sephirot is explored, and the role they play in man’s service of God in this world.”   “Description Keter-“Crown”: Divine Will to create/Infinite Light of the Creator/the Hebrew name of God “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh-I Am that I Am” Binah-“Understanding”: the infinite flash of Chochmah brought into the vessel of understanding to give it grasp of breadth and depth/feminine vessel that gives birth to the emotions/reason/understanding brings teshuva return to God Chochmah-“Wisdom”: First unbounded flash of an idea before it takes on limitations/male light/Divine Reality/first revelation/creation from nothingness Daat-“Knowledge”: Central state of unity of the 10 Sephirot, also called the Tree of Life. Chesed-“Kindness”: Loving grace of free giving/love of God/inspiring vision Gevurah-“Severity”: Strength/judgment/intention/withholding/awe of God Tiferet-“Beauty”: Symmetry/balance between Chesed and Gevurah in compassion Netzach-“Victory” Hod-“Splendor”: Withdrawal/Surrender/sincerity Yesod-“Foundation”: Connecting to the task to accomplish/wholly remembering/coherent knowledge Malchut-“Kingship”: Female vessel for the pregnant nurturing of the male lights of the emotional sephirot into action/becomes the Keter Will source for any subsequent lower level in Creation/accomplishment/realization of the Divine Plan. ”   “Leonard Nimoy discussed the origin of the Vulcan salute in his autobiography I Am Spock. As a bit of stage “business” in the episode “Amok Time”, he invented the famous “Live long and prosper” Vulcan salute based on the hand symbol used by Jewish priests (kohanim) during the Priestly Blessing in the synagogue. The gesture actually emulates the initial Shin of the Shema (Nimoy has also commented that the “sh” could also indicate Shaddai, or the Almighty; more recently, on William Shatner’s Raw Nerve, he associated it with Shekhinah.) On numerous occasions, for example in the 1983 TV special Star Trek Memories (which is often syndicated along with The Original Series), Nimoy recounts how as a child, he peeked during the blessing and witnessed the gesture, although the congregation are supposed to put hands over eyes or turn away at this moment in acknowledgement of the presence of the Almighty. The Vulcan nerve pinch was created for the episode “The Enemy Within”. The original script called for Spock to knock the “evil” Kirk unconscious with the butt of a phaser. Leonard Nimoy felt that the act was too reminiscent of a TV western (some accounts say that he objected to a pacifistic Vulcan taking such overtly hostile action), and thus introduced the famous non-lethal maneuver.”

From “Submit to God!” to “Choose For Yourself” the False Dilemma Between Middle Eastern Religions Evolutions Christiani​ty, Judaism and Islam

For Your Recollection  (FYR)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularization

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La%C3%AFcit%C3%A9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proselyte

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proselytism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Andalus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconquista

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bartholomew’s_Day_massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Wars_of_Religion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toleration

Every Middle Eastern Religion, including Christianity, has proselytes and proselytism, at its core.   We are in the middle of a comeback of sectarism and its consequences.   Even though Western Civilization should be well aware of its cataclysmic genocidal history.   Everybody forgot about, among many traumatic others: the Inquisition(s), the Reconquista (particularly the treatment of Jews and Muslims under Christians in medieval Spain and Europe) the Saint Barthelemy   “Secularization (or secularisation) is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious (or “irreligious”) values and secular institutions. Secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies “progress”, particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its authority in all aspects of social life and governance.The term secularization is also used in the context of the lifting of the monastic restrictions from a member of the clergy.”   “The word laïcité has been used, from the end of the 19th century on, to mean the freedom of public institutions, especially primary schools, from the influence of the Catholic Church in countries where it had retained its influence, in the context of a secularization process. Today, the concept covers other religious movements as well.”   “Proponents assert the French state secularism is based on respect for freedom of thought and freedom of religion. Thus the absence of a state religion, and the subsequent separation of the state and Church, is considered by proponents to be a prerequisite for such freedom of thought. Proponents maintain that laïcité is thus distinct from anti-clericalism, which actively opposes the influence of religion and the clergy. Laïcité relies on the division between private life, where adherents believe religion belongs, and the public sphere, in which each individual, adherents believe, should appear as a simple citizen equal to all other citizens, devoid of ethnic, religious or other particularities. According to this conception, the government must refrain from taking positions on religious doctrine and only consider religious subjects for their practical consequences on inhabitants’ lives. Supporters argue that Laïcité by itself does not necessarily imply any hostility of the government with respect to religion. It is best described as a belief that government and political issues should be kept separate from religious organizations and religious issues (as long as the latter do not have notable social consequences). This is meant to protect both the government from any possible interference from religious organizations, and to protect the religious organization from political quarrels and controversies. Critics of laïcité argue that it is a disguised form of anti-clericalism and infringement on individual right to religious expression, and that, instead of promoting freedom of thought and freedom of religion, it prevents the believer from observing his or her religion. Another critique is that, in countries historically dominated by one religious tradition, officially avoiding taking any positions on religious matters favors the dominant religious tradition of the relevant country. They point out that even in the current French Fifth Republic (1958–), school holidays mostly follow the Christian liturgical year, even though Easter holidays have been replaced by Spring holidays, which may or may not include Easter, depending on the years. However, the Minister of Education has responded to this criticism by giving leave to students for important holidays of their specific religions, and food menus served in secondary schools pay particular attention to ensuring that each religious observer may respect his religion’s specific restrictions concerning diets. Other countries, following in the French model, have forms of Laïcité – examples include Mexico and Turkey.”   “The strict separation of church and state which began with the 1905 law has evolved into what some see as a “form of political correctness that made bringing religion into public affairs a major taboo.” President Sarkozy has criticised this approach as a “negative laïcité” and wants to develop a “positive laïcité” that recognizes the contribution of faith to French culture, history and society, allows for faith in the public discourse and for government subsidies for faith-based groups. Sarkozy sees France’s main religions as positive contributions to French society. He visited the Pope in December 2007 and publicly acknowledged France’s Christian roots, while highlighting the importance of freedom of thought, hinting that faith should come back into the public sphere. Sarkozy publicly declared the burqa “not welcome” in France in 2009 and favored legislation to outlaw it, following which, in February 2010, a post office robbery took place by two burqa-clad robbers, ethnicity unknown, who after entering the post office, removed their veils. In line with Sarkozy’s views on the need for reform of laïcité, Pope Benedict XVI on September 12, 2008 said it was time to revisit the debate over the relationship between church and state, advocating a “healthy” form of laïcité. Meeting with Sarkozy, he stated: “In fact, it is fundamental, on the one hand, to insist upon the distinction between the political realm and that of religion in order to preserve both the religious freedom of citizens and the responsibility of the state toward them.”  He went on: “On the other hand, [it is important] to become more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences and the contribution which it can bring to – among other things – the creation of a basic ethical consensus within society.” Following March 2011 local elections strong disagreement appeared within the governing UMP over the appropriateness of holding a debate on laïcité as desired by the President of the Republic. On 30 March a letter appeared in La Croix signed by representatives of six religious bodies opposing the appropriateness of such a debate. A law was passed on April 11, 2011, with strong support from political parties as well as from Sarkozy, which made it illegal to hide the face in public spaces, affecting a few thousand women in France wearing the niqab and the burqa.”   “Whosoever will come after me—It seems that Christ formed, on the proselytism of the Jews, the principal qualities which he required in the proselytes of his covenant. The first condition of proselytism among the Jews was, that he that came to embrace their religion should come voluntarily, and that neither force nor influence should be employed in this business. This is also the first condition required by Jesus Christ, and which he considers as the foundation of all the rest:—If a man be willing to come after me. The second condition required in the Jewish proselyte was, that he should perfectly renounce all his prejudices, his errors, his idolatry, and every thing that concerned his false religion; and that he should entirely separate himself from his most intimate friends and acquaintances. It was on this ground that the Jews called proselytism a new birth, and proselytes new-born, and new men; and our Lord requires men to be born again, not only of water, but by the Holy Ghost. See John 3:5. All this our Lord includes in this word, Let him renounce himself. To this the following scriptures refer: Matthew 10:33; John 3:3, 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:17. The third condition on which a person was admitted into Judaism as a proselyte was, that he should submit to the yoke of the Jewish law, and bear patiently the inconveniences and sufferings with which a profession of the Mosaic religion might be accompanied. Christ requires the same condition; but, instead of the yoke of the law, he brings in his own doctrine, which he calls his yoke, Matthew 11:29: and his cross, the taking up of which not only implies a bold profession of Christ crucified, but also a cheerful submitting to all the sufferings and persecutions to which he might be exposed, and even to death itself. The fourth condition was, that they should solemnly engage to start in the Jewish religion, faithful even unto death. This condition Christ also requires; and it is comprised in this word, Let him FOLLOW me. See the following verses; and see, on the subject of proselytism, Ruth 1:16-17”   “Many Christians consider it their obligation to follow what is often termed the Great Commission of Jesus, recorded in the final verses of the Gospel of Matthew: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” The Acts of the Apostles and other sources contain several accounts of early Christians following this directive by engaging in individual conversations and mass sermons to spread the “good news”. Evangelical Christians often use the term “witnessing” to mean discussing one’s faith with another person with the intent of proselytism. Most self-described Christian groups have organizations devoted to missionary work which in whole or in part includes proselytism of people of other faiths (including sometimes other variants of Christianity).”   “The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis (inquiry on heretical perversity), was the “fight against heretics” by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy. Inquisition practices were used also on offences against canon law other than heresy.”   “Historians distinguish four different manifestations of the Inquisition: the Medieval Inquisition (1231–16th century) the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834) the Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821) the Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860) Because of its objective — combating heresy — the Inquisition had jurisdiction only over baptised members of the Church (which, however, encompassed the vast majority of the population in Catholic countries). Secular courts could still try non-Christians for blasphemy; most witch trials went through secular courts. Different areas faced different situations with regard to heresies and suspicion of heresies. Most of Medieval Western and Central Europe had a long-standing veneer of Catholic standardisation over traditional non-Christian practices, with intermittent localized occurrences of different ideas (such as Catharism or Platonism) and periodic anti-Semitic/anti-Judaic activity. Exceptionally, Portugal and Spain in the late Middle Ages consisted largely of multicultural territories fairly recently re-conquered from the Islamic states of Al-Andalus control, and the new Christian authorities could not assume that all their subjects would suddenly become and remain orthodox Catholics. So the Inquisition in Iberia, in the lands of the Reconquista counties and kingdoms like Portugal, Leon, Castile and Aragon, had a special socio-political basis as well as more conventional religious motives. With the Protestant Reformation, Catholic authorities became much more ready to suspect heresy in any new ideas, including those of Renaissance humanism, previously strongly supported by many at the top of the Church hierarchy. The extirpation of heretics became a much broader and more complex enterprise, complicated by the politics of territorial Protestant powers, especially in northern Europe. The Catholic Church could no longer exercise direct influence in the politics and justice-systems of lands which officially adopted Protestantism. Thus war (the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War), massacre (the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre) and the educational and propaganda work of the Counter-Reformation came to play larger roles in these circumstances, and the judicial approach to heresy represented by the Inquisition became less important overall. Inquisition tribunals only functioned in Catholic territories, but secular law in both Catholic and Protestant countries could address the criminal offences of heresy and witchcraft.”   “During the Islamic administration, Christians and Jews were allowed to retain their religions by paying a tax (jizya). Penalty for not paying it was death: It was considered as an attack on the supremacy of Islam, and since the tax was for protection from outside invasions, refusal to pay was considered to weaken the empire. Attitudes towards dhimmis were variable, as well. During the time of the Almoravids and especially the Almohads some were treated badly, in contrast to the policies of the earlier Umayyad Caliphs and later Emirs. The new Christian hierarchy demanded heavy taxes from non-Christians and gave them rights, such as in the Treaty of Granada (1491) only for Moors in recently Islamic Granada. It expelled the Jews. In 1496 the Alhambra decree under Archbishop Hernando de Talavera dismissed the Treaty of Granada and now the Muslim population of Granada was forced to convert or be expelled. In 1502, Queen Isabella I declared conversion to Catholicism compulsory within the Kingdom of Castilian. King Charles V did the same to Moors in the Kingdom of Aragon in 1526, forcing conversions of its Muslim population during the Revolt of the Germanies. These policies were not only religious in nature but also effectively seized any wealth of the exiled. Most of the descendants of those Muslims and Jews who submitted to compulsory conversion to Christianity rather than exile during the early periods of the Inquisition, the Moriscos and Conversos respectively, were later expelled from Spain and Portugal when the Inquisition was at its height. The expulsion was carried out more severely in Eastern Spain (Valencia and Aragon), due to local animosity towards Muslims and Moriscos where they were seen as economic rivals by the citizenry. A major Morisco revolt happened in 1568, and the final Expulsion of the Moriscos from Catilan in 1609, and from Aragon in 1610. Because some Muslims and Jews shared ancestors in common with some Christians, it was difficult to expel all of those with any non-Christian ancestors from Castile or Aragon. However the Crowns, with the techniques of the Spanish Inquisition, killed, imprisoned, or expelled the converso “Moriscos” and Marranos. Those descended from Muslims or Jews practicing at the time of the Reconquista’s close were perpetually suspected of various crimes against the Spanish state including continued practice of Islam or Judaism, and any survivors were finally all expelled by the close of the next century.”   “The many advances and retreats created several social types: The Muladi: Christians who converted to Islam after the arrival of the Moors. The Renegades: Christian individuals who embraced Islam and often fought against their former compatriots. The Mozarabs: Christians in Muslim-held lands. Some of them migrated to the north of the peninsula in times of persecution bringing elements of the styles, food and agricultural practices learned from the Moors, while they continued practicing their Christianity with older forms of Catholic worship and their own versions of the Latin language. The Marranos: Jewish conversos. Jews who either voluntarily or compulsorily converted to Catholicism. Some were Crypto-Jews who continued practicing Judaism secretly. All remaining Jews were expelled from Spain in Treaty of Granada of 1491, and Portugal also. Converso Jews often became victims of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions. The Mudéjar and Moriscos: Muslim conversos. Muslims who were compulsorily converted to Catholicism. Most were Crypto-Muslims who continued practicing Islam secretly. They ranged from successful skilled artisans, valued and protected in Aragon, to impoverished peasants in Castile. After the Alhambra Decree the entire Islamic population was forced to convert or leave, and within a century most, if not all, were expelled. ”   “The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy in French) in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the French Wars of Religion. Traditionally believed to have been instigated by Catherine de’ Medici, the mother of King Charles IX, the massacre took place six days after the wedding of the king’s sister Margaret to the Protestant Henry III of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France). This marriage was an occasion for which many of the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots had gathered in largely Catholic Paris. The massacre began two days after the attempted assassination of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the military and political leader of the Huguenots. Starting on 23 August 1572 (the eve of the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle) with murders on orders of the king of a group of Huguenot leaders including Coligny, the massacres spread throughout Paris. Lasting several weeks, the massacre extended to other urban centres and the countryside. Modern estimates for the number of dead vary widely between 5,000 and 30,000 in total. The massacre also marked a turning point in the French Wars of Religion. The Huguenot political movement was crippled by the loss of many of its prominent aristocratic leaders, as well as many re-conversions by the rank and file, and those who remained were increasingly radicalized. Though by no means unique, it “was the worst of the century’s religious massacres.”  Throughout Europe, it “printed on Protestant minds the indelible conviction that Catholicism was a bloody and treacherous religion”.”   “The French Wars of Religion (1562–98) is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots). The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise (Lorraine), and both sides received assistance from foreign sources. The exact number of wars and their respective dates are the subject of continued debate by historians; some assert that the Edict of Nantes in 1598 concludes the wars, although a resurgence of rebellious activity following this leads some to believe the Peace of Alais in 1629 is the actual conclusion. However, the Massacre of Vassy in 1562 is agreed to begin the Wars of Religion and the Edict of Nantes at least ended this series of conflicts. During this time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by renewed conflict and power struggles. At the conclusion of the conflict in 1598, Huguenots were granted substantial rights and freedoms by the Edict of Nantes, though it did not end hostility towards them. The wars weakened the authority of the monarchy, already fragile under the rule of Francis II and then Charles IX, though it later reaffirmed its role under Henry IV.”   “Toleration is “the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as “to bear or endure” or “to nourish, sustain or preserve”. Toleration may signify “no more than forbearance and the permission given by the adherents of a dominant religion for other religions to exist, even though the latter are looked on with disapproval as inferior, mistaken or harmful”. There is only one verb ‘to tolerate’ and one adjective ‘tolerant’, but the two nouns ‘tolerance’ and ‘toleration’ have evolved slightly different meanings. Tolerance is an attitude of mind that implies non-judgmental acceptance of different lifestyles or beliefs, whereas toleration implies putting up with something that one disapproves of. Historically, most incidents and writings pertaining to toleration involve the status of minority and dissenting viewpoints in relation to a dominant state religion. In the twentieth century and after, analysis of the doctrine of toleration has been expanded to include political and ethnic groups, homosexuals and other minorities, and human rights embodies the principle of legally enforced toleration.”

 

Even Today’s Cambodia Legacy: Khmer Do/Khmer Rouge/Red Khmer & Issaraks

For Your Entertainment (FYE)  ;+)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45546531

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Issarak

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Rouge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson_submachine_gun

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willys_MB

http://wikitravel.org/en/Kampong_Cham

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phnom_Penh

I have a very personal “beef” with the “Khmer Issaraks” who later became the “Khmer Rouges”, as I am as much the son of my parents, as I am the son of a Thompson submachine gun (my Dad) and a Colt .45 M1911 (my Mom) who protected me in my Mom’s womb in a Jeep Willys (Lucky Luke’s Jolly Jumper of the time) on the road from Kampong Cham to Phnom-Penh, Cambodia hospital where I was born.   At the time bands of Issaraks were killing all “foreigners” (particularly French and particularly on the road from Kampong Cham to Phnom-Penh, Cambodia).   Let’s just say that if I am alive, it’s just because it was not my day (in every sense of the word), yet………;+)