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Gutreading

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The best [mainly non-political] blog I know, Futility Closet, just shared a gem.

“[T]here’s a whole wiki for “Anglish,” including recastings of famous texts:,”

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this greatland, a new folkship, dreamt in freedom…

I’ll let you read the rest.

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Guns and Roses

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We Americans have the right to bear arms.  The common refrain is that we need increasingly advanced weapons in our residences for the purpose of self-defense, or, perhaps, as a last resort tool to keep the government in line – or even to be used to overthrow the government.

Admirable, of course.  Even understandable from a rational and historical view.  Governments, we know, understand force of arms and its power derives from the use of weapons against other countries and against its own populace.  While weapons exist, the citizenry inherently accept subjugation as a form of government.

Countries that have disarmed the populace – but not disarmed itself – have done terrible things to their citizens.  We could take that to mean that weapons (increasingly advanced) must also be in the hands of the citizens.  But we should never jump to just one conclusion.  Countries that have disarmed – forcibly, as in Japan, and voluntarily, as in Costa Rica, Australia, and others – neither suffer nor disintegrate nor lose the sought-after notion of sovereignty.

Disarmament is a key element of peace.  (For those of you keeping score at home, that’s both a negative and positive peace, although I prefer the latter and intended its use with that statement).

It is not enough to have an admirable buy-back program.  It is not enough to demilitarize the police.  It is not enough to end overseas wars.  These, along with others, are definitely  essential elements of disarmament and of working toward peace.  Not only is a disarmed populace desirable for obvious reasons involving the loss of life, but the government and its agents must completely disarm – probably at the same rate as the citizens – both “light-arms” and tanks and missiles and nuclear weapons.

We have a choice of course.  Ending the use or threat of use of weapons means an end to endless wars and endless shootings.  Even the necessary removal of all weapons will not prevent a right to bear arms, but it could lead to a government by the living and for the living.  It’s past time for full disarmament.

Military court sends leading Palestinian nonviolent activist to prison

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Subtitle of the article: Munther Amirah is the chairman of the Palestinian Popular Committees in the West Bank. The terms of his sentence will make it impossible for him to continue organizing non-violent protests against the occupation.

 

 

A POEM THAT SHOOK THE FOUNDATIONS OF ZION

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The arrest of Ahed and the Tamimi family has led strengthened the movement for justice and for an end to the occupation.

Desertpeace

Poem by Yehonatan Geffen comparing Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi to Anne Frank, Hannah Szenes and Joan of Arc infuriated Defense Minister Lieberman, who sought to then ban Geffen from all Army Radio broadcasts; AG Mandelblit said Lieberman had no legal standing to do so, an opinion Lieberman disavowed.

Yehonatan Geffen (Flash 90)

On Monday, Geffen published a short poem on his instagram account, comparing Ahed Tamimi to heroic underdogs throughout the generations, from David against Goliath to Anne Frank.

“A pretty girl 17 years old did a terrible thing

And when a proud Israeli soldier

Again invaded her home

She gave him a slap.

She was born into it and in that slap

Were fifty years of occupation and humiliation.

And on the day that the story of the struggle will be told

You, Ahed Tamimi,

The redhead,

Like David who slapped Goliath,

You will be in the same ranks…

View original post 246 more words

Grand Old Persons

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The FCC just repealed Net Neutrality, which means I have time to write this, but don’t get paid by the word and get charged by the second (exaggerations: neither happens – yet).  For “What Is Net Neutrality” see a BCC video by that same name (no firewall, I think).

In representative democracy, which the United States thinks it has, a whole bunch of votes that are counted gives some representative the power to make decisions and appoint other people to make other decisions on their behalf.

The Federal Communications Commission is appointed by the executive branch of the federal government – with the usual confirmation by the Senate.  This means that the president appoints the FCC, which means that votes matter.

The government, like all other institutions, makes policy.  Policy can be given and be taken away, and policy can benefit or (and?) harm.

We can all take guesses why someone who used to represent a corporation would want to propagate a rule that benefits a corporation.  Maybe the law says corporations are people, and that other Grand Old Person just wants to make sure these corporation-persons don’t go underrepresented.  Maybe this Grand Old Person just is trying to represent the views of the executive branch.

*There are is in fact more than one Grand Old Person

Necessity and Proportionality

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Human rights law’s regulation of the use of force encompasses two core rules. First, any force used must be only the minimum necessary (the principle of necessity). Second, force used must be proportionate to the threat (the principle of proportionality). These rules are cumulative, and violation of either means that human rights…. have been violated”(from The Use of Nuclear Weapons and Human Rights – PDF file after link)

Apply this statement to nuclear weapons.  Apply it to Trump’s eagerness to to use nuclear weapons, or at least his disregard for the danger therein.

It applies to the use of both nuclear and non-nuclear weapons.

Why the international community approves the use of force at all is a question worth addressing at some point.

 

Allow us to do Good Deeds

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Two years later we must continue to work toward true peace, and atonement for all that we should have done or should not have done.

The Dole Blog

Judaism is about to celebrate what it considers to be it’s 5776 Rosh Hashanah (essentially New Year), coupled with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  Whatever the case, Jews have been celebrating, or perhaps a better word would be observing these holidays – it’s hard to celebrate Yom Kippur – for thousands of years.

Thomas Cahill has gone far enough as suggesting, in Gifts of the Jews, that Judaism developed time as we know it, putting forth the idea of linear time, instead of the cyclical time of those preparing only for the next season.

On Rosh Hashanah we celebrate making it to another year.  Historically, it would have been a time to bring the harvest to Jerusalem, and divide it the manner of the laws that are laid down in the Mishnah; a practice done for centuries before the Mishnah was compiled.

The Mishnaic laws require the…

View original post 210 more words