The beginning of property protection destruction and the emergence of guilt by association in the US (aka you’re doing it wrong)

Reblogged from Sinking Ark.

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created, that they endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and Property.”

Because that’s how it originally read in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. When they decided that “property” wasn’t sufficiently lofty verbiage for the country’s ideologically defining document, they changed it to “pursuit of happiness.” Why? Because property protection is a basic expectation in free societies, and in such societies it is the government’s role to protect the peoples’ right to property. Despite all that Republicans and Democrats disagree on, this is one of those “yeah, well, duh” points on which almost everyone sees eye to eye. In fact, so important are property rights, that when our country’s founders – people who were unusually well-educated in political theory and well-suited even in their time to lay the rules for a steady government – decided to write the declaration of government for the newborn Republic, what did they talk about in the first sentence? 1) the right to live 2) the right to be free and 3) the right to control one’s property.” When the government can take your property at whim with weakly justified laws that don’t pass the “Is this fair?” sniff test, people start to get pissed off.

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The leaked terrorist watch list contains language that criminalizes dissent

Reblogged from Sinking Ark:

Note: In order to provide some context to my argument I will first be summarizing and referring to many of The Intercepts’ remarks from their report on the US terrorist watch list, which I highly recommend reading. My original commentary will then follow below.

What is the watch list, and what did we learn in this leak?

About a month ago, The Intercept posted the unclassified but nonetheless “secret” government document that outlines that internal procedures to place someone on the terrorist watch list. This is the watch list that is shared across agencies that basically prevents you from ever flying if you end up on it, among other things.

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The Law Of Love: Tolstoy, Gandhi Letters Describe World In 2014

September 1, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-32The following letters between two legendary figures of world history – Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi – represent one of the most important historical documents ever published. The thoughts shared between these towering spiritual personalities – over 100 years later in 2014 – still deeply resonate and offer profound, timely, essential wisdom to humanity.

Thanks to the editors at for their efforts. This is Public Domain literature so feel free to place in your personal files and disseminate widely.

With the extraordinary nature of this material – in addition to the significance of it occurring shortly before the passing of Tolstoy, as well as Gandhi’s later major involvement in India’s independence – every human being who is not aware of these writings will miss out on an extremely consequential relationship between two of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders.

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Abusive Acid Attacks Against Women & Children, and an Organization Trying To Help


A beautiful blog called recently posted an article and pictures of a mother and daughter from Iran who were attacked with acid by the mother’s abusive husband.

I decided to blog about the article because despite suffering a cruel attack in which acid was poured on their faces, hands and bodies, leading to severe pain and disfigurement, the daughter and mother are clearly glad to still have each other. This is captured through one of the pictures in which the daughter kisses her mother. They are survivors, and that is inspiring.

Also inspiring is an organization called Acid Survivors Trust International. Here’s a bit about them from their website:

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Reflections on reflections on an infamous dictatorship

Reblogged from SinkingArk

“How could something like this ever happen?”
“Why didn’t the people do something?”
“How could a whole country go crazy?”
“If I had lived then, I would have done something.”

Introduction and brief apology

First off – no, the repetition in the title is not an error.  And – I’ll get to the quotes above, below. Promise.

Those following my still nascent blog (thanks, by the way!) may have noticed a decrease in frequency over the last two weeks. I took a few weeks off to travel through Europe, and since I had limited internet access anyways figured I’d try to stay somewhat disconnected (try it sometime, it’s refreshing).

First off, apologies. I know that part of the responsibility – if you want to call it that – of running a blog is maintaining consistency. That said, time away from the monitor’s gradual erosion of my corneas actually allowed for a bit of time to reflect on some of the issues I’ve been writing about.

The first result of this contemplation is the article you’re reading now. It’s a big longer than my usual posts, and requires a touch of historical context, but ultimately ends with an appeal to you, my dear readers. I have a handful of these “reflection” topics I intend to post, and while they will not entail action items, I believe they will lay out more fully the rationale for the moral duty carried by citizens of a democracy to maintain constant vigilance in the form of participation in their self-governance. In other words, why I’m writing this blog at all.

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Human Rights & Environmental Concerns Intersect With the Murders of Honduran Children Deported from the US


Those that defend deportation of political, economic, and environmental refugees, those that stand next to busses of frightened and detained children along our borders, those that literally rock the busses and threaten to set fire to them, are either ignorant of the US role in the economic exploitation of these cultures and the resulting impact on climate change, or are deliberately set upon the poor people of the earth in a genocidal campaign to eliminate humanity from this earth.  Look into the lives of these children and their families and understand what we have done.

See full article here.