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world pollution america the beautiful or the ugly

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was the best known and most influential African American leader of the 1800s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in 1838.
He traveled to Massachusetts and settled in New Bedford, working as a laborer to support himself. In 1841, he attended a convention of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society and quickly came to the attention of its members, eventually becoming a leading figure in the New England antislavery movement.
In 1845, Douglass published his autobiography, "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave." With the revelation that he was an escaped slave, Douglass became fearful of possible re-enslavement and fled to Great Britain and stayed there for two years, giving lectures in support of the antislavery movement in America. With the assistance of English Quakers, Douglass raised enough money to buy his own his freedom and in 1847 he returned to America as a free man.
He settled in Rochester, New York, where he published The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He directed the local underground railroad which smuggled escaped slaves into Canada and also worked to end racial segregation in Rochester's public schools.
In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.
In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.

Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."
But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.
Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow ... more

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Homely Business

Creation of the Universe

                             by Araceli Perez

It would be ignorant to believe that there is only one explanation for the
creation of the universe. The Vedic hymns present several cosmogonies.
There are many interpretations for these myths resulting from there
documentation on various levels of culture. It is purposeless to quest for
the origin of each of these cosmogonies because most of these ideas and
beliefs represent a heritage transmitted from prehistory all over the
ancient world.

There are four essential types of cosmogonies that seem to have fascinated
the Vedic poets and theologians. They are as followed: (1) creation by
fecundation of the original waters; (2) creation by the dismembering of a
primordial giant, Purusa; (3) creation out of a unity-totality, at once
being and nonbeing; (4) creation by the separation of heaven and earth.[2]


The first cosmogony relates to the celebrated hymn of the Rg Veda. The god
imagined as Hiranyagarbha (the Golden Embryo) hovers over the Waters,
Hiranyabarbha enters the waters and fecundates them. This gave birth to
Agni (the god of fire).[3]

The second cosmogony can be found in a hymn, the Purusasukta. Purusa is
represented at once as cosmic totality and as an androgynous being.
Creation proper is the result of a cosmic sacrifice. The gods sacrifice
Purusa. From his dismembered body proceed the animals, the liturgical
elements, the social classes, the earth, the sky, the gods: "His mouth
became the Brahman, the Warrior was the product of his arms, his thighs
were the Artisan, from his feet was born the servant" (strophe 12, after
the translation by Renou). His head became the sky, his feet turned into
the earth, the moon resulted from his consciousness, the sun from his gaze,
his mouth transformed into Indra and Agni, and the wind from his breath.
The hymn clearly states that Purusa precedes and surpasses the creation,
though the cosmos, life, and men proceed from his own body.[4]

The Purusasukta parallels those which are found in China, among the ancient
Germans and in Mesopotamia. They illustrate a cosmogony of an archaic type:
creation by the sacrifice of an anthropomorphic divine being.

The third cosmogony, being the most famous hymn of the Rig Veda, is
presented as a metaphysics. The question is asked, how Being could have
come out of non-Being, since, in the beginning, neither "non-Being existed
nor Being." There was neither men nor gods. The only thing that existed was
its own impulse, without there being any breath." Nothing else existed, but
Brahman which derived from heat. From the germ potential develops desire.
This same desire "was the first seed of consciousness." This was an
astounding declaration which anticipated one of the chief theses of Indian
philosophical thought. The first seed then divided itself into "high" and
"low", into a male principle and a female principle. "Brahman precedes the
universe and creates the world by deriving from its own being, without
thereby losing its idealism.[5]

The myth of the separation of heaven and earth is related to the
Purusasukta. In both there is a violent division of a totality for the
purpose of creating the world. Finally there is the creation by a divine
being, the Universal Artisan, Visvakarman forms the world like a craftsman.
This mythical motif is connected by the Vedic poets with the theme of the
creation-sacrifice. Some of these myths are found among other Indo-European
peoples. There are many myths similar to these which are documented in many
traditional cultures. India is the only place to have given rise to
sacrificial techniques, contemplative methods, and speculations so decisive
for the awakening of a new religious consciousness as a result of these


                              Other Rituals

The Vedic Cult did not have one specific place were all rites were to be
performed. These rituals were to be performed in the sacrificer's house or
on a nearby open space with a grassy ground, on which the three fires were
placed. There were both flesh and non flesh offerings. Among the non flesh
offerings were milk, butter, cereals, and cakes. The goat, the cow, the
bull, the ram, and the horse were also sacrificed. From the period of the
Rg Veda the soma sacrifice was the most important one.

The rituals are divided into either the domestic class or the solemn class.
Other than keeping up the domestic fire and the agricultural festivals,
there are four things that are most important to private rituals. They are
sacraments or consecrations in connection with the conception and birth of
children, the introduction of the boy to his Brahmanic preceptor, marriage,
and funerals. These ... more

world pollution


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