Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Without a Face

A former fashion photographer now doing documentary work, Izabella Demavlys writes in her artist’s statement that “to illustrate a deeper definition of female beauty, I photograph women whose pictorial beauty radiates from their accomplishment, character and personal struggles.”

Her latest series, “Without a Face,” offers a direct and profoundly affecting kind of beauty: portraits of Pakistani women healing after attacks by men wielding kerosene oil or battery acid…

Eyeteeth:
A journal of incisive ideas: Without a Face: Izabella Demavlys on
photographing Pakistan’s survivors of acid attacks

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I’ve Been Waiting A Long Time To Feel This Way

I’m truly proud to be an American these last few days.  It’s heartening to see my country finally stepping up and leading in an endeavor from which it can expect to gain nothing but the knowledge that it did the right thing — and the approval, at last, of the rest of the world.  It’s been far too long.

For nearly two centuries we have been the tough kid on the block. We were blessed by having managed to steal a land, rich in resources, from the previous tenants. We made rapid use of those resources and our relative isolation from the powers in Europe and Asia to build a worldwide economic power alongside which the 1st Century power of Rome pales in comparison. We have pretty much told the rest of the world how things were going to be, and made it stick through the power of our money and, too often, by force of arms.  Yes, yes, on a couple of occasions that was warranted by circumstances beyond our control, but even those wars were as much about economics as principle.

As Americans, we tend to forget that we are members of a global community, and that all we are depends on so many who preceded us.  We owe who and what we are to other cultures, those that went before and those that attempt to coexist with us today. The currently much-maligned Arabs invented the zero, without which modern mathematics would not exist. Africa gave us the rhythms that melded with European influences and became jazz. The Far East gave us philosophical insights; the Native Americans — the true owners of this land — an understanding of how we fit into the big picture along with all God’s other creations.

And so it goes. Every culture, every religion, every idea is built on those that have gone before. We Americans are the sum of all those parts: the Arabs, the Yoruba — stolen from their homes and forced to find another way to be themselves — the Hindu mystic, the Ojibway shaman, the Druid in his grove.

We need to think about this carefully. We need to understand that we are not isolated here in the US; that we are very much a part of the world, and it of us, and that we have the ability to decide the course of history. That course will be predicated, in turn, on our ability to discern our true place in the scheme of things: not whether we can kick the asses of those who disagree with our policies, but whether we can influence them to not want to kick ours.  The days of gunboat diplomacy are over.  They ended with the development of that most guided of missiles, the suicide bomber.

It is time to take our place as leaders in the quest for peace, not in the art and appliances of war.  When I see our powers diverted from that end to wage peace and compassion, as we are this week in Haiti, I have hope again.

If only we can remember that everyone hates a bully.


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Woman who helped hide Anne Frank dies at 100

Miep Gies who helped hide Anne Frank dies at 100 – Times Online

Miep Gies, the woman who rescued Anne’s diary after the family was arrested in 1944, died at a Dutch nursing home aged 100 after suffering a fall.

Soon there will be no witnesses left. Then will the deniers have their way?


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New Pipe Organ Sounds Echo of Age of Bach

The organ, the Craighead-Saunders, is a unique instrument, not only because of its lovely sound, but also because it is a nearly exact copy of a late Baroque organ built by Adam Gottlob Casparini of East Prussia in 1776. The original stands in the Holy Ghost Church in Vilnius, Lithuania.

There is no other contemporary organ quite like the one at Christ Church…. More…


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A Solstice Greeting, Sort Of

For whatever reasons, we humasunrise-evergreensns have a relationship with the annual cycles that surpasses pure science, and combines with the observable facts a mystical component that causes us to view the wheel of the year with more than merely analytical interest.

Winter Holidays, celebrating the point at which the warmth of the sun ceases its annual recession — the time when the days begin, imperceptibly at first, to become longer and to promise the warmth and riches of spring and summer — are universal in human civilizations. Doubtless it has been that way for thousands of generations (or three hundred, if you prefer). We give our holidays names like Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, and so forth. We hang upon them the trappings of the thousands of years of religious implications, and often attribute their origin to reasons other than the mere turning of the seasons. We invent new holidays, because we don’t want to celebrate other people’s holidays. MORE>>>


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Liberals Aren’t Un-American. Conservatives Aren’t Ignorant.

Jonathan Haidt is hardly a road-rage kind of guy, but he does get irritated by self-righteous bumper stickers. The soft-spoken psychologist is acutely annoyed by certain smug slogans that adorn the cars of fellow liberals: “Support our troops—bring them home” and “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

“No conservative reads those bumper stickers and thinks, ‘Hmm . . . so liberals are patriotic!’” he says, in a sarcastic tone of voice that jarringly contrasts with his usual subdued sincerity. “We liberals are universalists and humanists; it’s not part of our morality to highly value nations. So to claim dissent is patriotic—or that we’re supporting the troops, when in fact we’re opposing the war—is disingenuous.

“It just pisses people off.”

The University of Virginia scholar views such slogans as clumsy attempts to insist we all share the same values. In his view, these catch phrases are not only insincere, they’re also fundamentally wrong. Liberals and conservatives, he insists, inhabit different moral universes….

Liberals Aren’t Un-American. Conservatives Aren’t Ignorant.

I’ve been saying that for a long time; rarely shall the twain meet. There are simply two basic sorts of human, with different world views. I used to think that was over-simplification, but as I’ve gotten older it’s become absolutely clear.


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What Would Gary Cooper Do?

A Seven-Step Program to a Quieter, Less Muscular, Patriotism

It’s high time we ended the post-Vietnam obsession with Rambo’s rippling pecs as well as the jaw-dropping technological firepower of the recent cinematic version of G.I. Joe and return to the resolute, undemonstrative strength that Gary Cooper showed in movies like High Noon.


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Environment

Fed Takes 2nd Look at Threat to Desert Tortoise

Japan’s annual dolphin cull disrupted by activists

China Gradually Improves Environmental Transparency

U.N. Reports on Developing Nations’ Energy Needs

Monkeys Appreciate Monkey Music and Metallica

A Bad Mix: Exposure May be “Safe” Only With One Chemical at a Time.

People won’t change lifestyle for planet: straw poll

Consumers Backlash Against Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs

Our best guess about global warming may be wrong

Wolves Are Set to Become Fair Game in the West


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Buddhism off the beaten path: An introduction to Bodh Gaya, India

Buddhism off the beaten path: An introduction to Bodh Gaya, India

A pleasant three-hour train ride from the popular tourist destination of Varanasi transports you worlds away to the bustling town of Gaya in the less-traveled state of Bihar, widely known as one of the poorest and most lawless in India….


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Mount Kailash — Article and Wallpaper

Mount Kailash (Sacred Mountain) – Mountains Wallpaper 134320 – Desktop Nexus Nature

A great mass of rock soaring to over 22,000 feet, Mt. Kailash has the unique distinction of being the world’s most venerated holy place at the same time that it is the least visited. The supremely sacred site of four religions and billions of people, Kailash is seen by no more than a few thousand pilgrims each year.