human rights

We are first each a sovereign human being on this planet with dominion over our own bodies. Article 3 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledges, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” 

In recent weeks and days, however, more and more folks are being coerced and ultimately required to take a medical treatment. This, despite the fact that voluntary informed consent has been a foundational element of medical practice heretofore. And forcing a person to choose between a medical treatment and their livelihood is not a choice, it is force.

Regardless of where anyone stands on the vaccine itself, it should not be difficult to see that mandatory medical treatments constitute a fundamental and immoral violation of human rights. Medical mandates are antithetical to freedom.

If the public permits mandatory medical treatments in this moment, we open the door to a very dangerous future. One would be truly naive to think this tool would not be used mistakenly or in unforeseen ways, good intentions or bad.

We cannot allow fear to drive us down this very treacherous path of submitting our bodies, and our children’s bodies, to government or corporate control.

We must speak before it is too late. It is a moment that requires courage in the face of overwhelming messaging from the state and corporations, coupled with unprecedented censorship to prevent discourse.

We must stand together for the good, and the health, of all.  Regardless of our personal decisions, loud and clear, we must say no to mandated medical treatments.

Stand for freedom. Stand for love.

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end the war

Daniel Hale, yesterday, was sentenced to almost four years in prison. This, for the crime of leaking government secrets about drone warfare and the killing of innocent civilians. Charged under the Espionage Act, Hale was not even allowed to offer a defense that would have placed the act in its context – an act of conscience and morals on behalf of the people (things lacking in other relevant quarters).

Read Hale’s letter to the judge, here, and perhaps you will be able to see that context and weep for it.

This is yet another whistleblower being dealt the harshest hand when what we ought to be doing is learning from them and seeking to change our ways. As Assange still languishes in Belmarsh, and  Snowden in Russia, the cruelty, the duplicity, and the corruption are on full, shameless display.

It is time to end the war on whistleblowers.

I call on President Biden to pardon and free Daniel Hale, and to end the relentless, sadistic hunting of our other whistleblowers — people who bravely stood up on behalf of the people. Alas, I have little expectation of such a change in course.

If we could, however, somehow manage to end this war on whistleblowers, who knows, perhaps we could move on then to ending the addiction to war entirely

Stand for peace. Stand for freedom. Stand for love.

#FreeDanielHale

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liberté

A segregated society is neither free nor healthy. 

This is a lesson taught too many times already, and yet, here we go again down this destructive and terrible path. Fear makes it all too easy to lure one down this ugly road. 

There is still time to stop it, to say no to the devastation of further segregation and all that goes with it. We must have the courage to stand against it.

In an environment drenched daily with fear, we must say no to the fear and reach instead toward our own inner intelligence and compassion. It is a matter of  survival: our own, our children’s, and for healthy and free societies around the world.

Do not be one that stands aside and watches as your brothers and sisters are shunned and segregated.  If you would be healthy and whole, stand now for love, stand for freedom.

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independence

Can’t help but be thoughtful today about freedom and government. Today marks US Independence Day, commemorating the moment when the colonies shook off King George III and declared their independence. 

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” the declaration tells us, are “unalienable Rights,” and that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

And here we are, 245 years later, now with firsthand experience of a noun that shouldn’t really be in a democratic lexicon, “lockdown.” Now, in a time when we have somehow adjusted to government/corporate censorship of individual voices and information, and, especially of late, the labelling of dissenting views as “extremist.” Now, when our personal information, communication, medical choices, and whereabouts are tracked on an epic scale. Now, when the sudden bombing of a distant nation, also holding people with unalienable rights, barely registers, and when information is suppressed, withheld, or manipulated by what was once known as a free press. Now, when taxes are siphoned from the masses and put to pockets and purposes perhaps not quite in keeping with the notion that “all men are created equal,” as the declaration noted.

But such things happen dependent on the consent of the governed and on the tax dollars of said governed. It is with the forbearance of the people that malfeasance blossoms. 

Just like other animals, each one affirming Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, we need to be present, alert, and protective of those unalienable rights. It is on us to actively pursue and empower leadership that supports and implements our rights and the vision we hold for our free country and world. And, in that respect, each one of us must be a leader, awake to and informed by our innately compassionate hearts.

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two birthdays

Happy Birthday, Julian Assange! The man is 50 years old today, sitting in Belmarsh prison. Let this be the day he goes finally free.

It is unimaginable that Assange’s imprisonment carries on even as the case built against him, always specious and never on solid ground, completely crumbles to bits. The main witness in that “case” recently confessed that it was simply lies he told about Assange (Stundin 6_26_21). But perhaps you haven’t seen that information, because, surprise, mainstream media won’t carry it.

This weekend, here in the US, we are observing another sort of birthday, Independence Day, celebrating all things freedom with flags waving everywhere. This, while Julian Assange is imprisoned and tortured for the crime of revealing truth. This, while Edward Snowden remains unable to return home, for the same crime. This, while Daniel Hale faces 50 years in prison. This, while Reality Winner tries to reassemble her life.

And, very sadly, it seems we are not learning the lessons of the truths so revealed or the terrible consequences government is prepared to wield against those who stand for uncomfortable truths.

This is not just about Julian Assange. This is very much about YOU. It’s about your kids and theirs. It’s about freedom and justice, truth and peace, all around the world.

FREE ASSANGE.

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action and inaction

The “end of slavery” is certainly worthy of commemoration, celebration, and introspective examination.

In the designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, it’s possible that we’ll become a little better educated on this moment of United States history and contemplate its significance then and now as well.

Nevertheless, it boggles the mind that our legislators can be this transparently hypocritical. They managed to pull themselves together to actually accomplish something for once, and that something turns out to be nothing more than official lip service. This activity on the part of our legislators is simply virtue signaling writ large, the status quo. From some perspectives, it is even a pitiful co-opting of a long-standing African-American observance.

No, our illustrious “representatives” in Washington did not manage to accomplish anything else that might actually affect, say, matters of social or economic justice, equality, or freedom. You know, things that might actually impact peoples’ lives for the better. They did, however, give themselves a day off in the process.

Hopefully, though, the new federal holiday will fuel more discussion, and who knows, maybe even action around those urgent issues. Anything’s possible, right?

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mirage of freedom

If you are one who writes, or speaks, or thinks, or yet has the ability to feel your compassion, the continued imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange should send shivers down your spine. 

Assange’s ongoing persecution should trouble everyone who thinks freedom of the press, freedom of information, and free speech actually matter. Assange is in the vanguard of those protecting these precious rights. These are things that have been disappearing before our eyes, with terrifying implications, and yet we remain docile and somnambulant. 

That journalists do not rise up as a body against this injustice speaks volumes about the extent to which these freedoms are already lost. That they demur makes another reason to support indie journalists doing the actual work even as various platforms ban them, carrying water for this curtailment of freedoms.

It is long overdue that the US drop the charges against Assange, and the UK halts his extradition. This man, an Australian citizen, should be freed to go home to his family, and thanked and honored for his brave work.

Then, who knows, we might turn our attention to the actual crimes, and hold our government leaders to account for once. But, oh, I forgot, “nothing will fundamentally change,” will it? 

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approved protest only

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 13: M
Flash fiction, 100 words 

Tyler stepped up to the microphone and opened his mouth to speak. His eyes scanned the small crowd before him, wondering if the gathered folks could tolerate, much less actually consider, his vital message.

Freedom of speech only applied if you were in compliance with approved themes and virtues. Anything outside the accepted conventions could be shunned, derided, and lead to loss of friends or family, job loss, arrest, or worse.

Tyler took in the well-meaning but empty eyes. He noticed the ever-present police politely stationed around the fringes of the group. 

He would look for another way.

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fourth estate

I don’t know about you, but, for me, the news, even as it dominates our daily lives, has become absolutely worthless. It’s become nonstop coverage of government, government figures, government data, government posturing, government restrictions, government policing, government cover-ups, government blah-blah-blah. Oh, and, still, a whole lot of sports. 

I’m really sick and tired of government 24-7. I have no use for glorified sports. And it all looks like propaganda to me.

Remember what news used to be? 

Good old-fashioned newspapers used to have a local, community focus. Yes, you could read what your local government was up to, but you could also read about businesses, about community programs, about social events, about local concerns. There used to be whole sections devoted to features — glimpses into what cool things people in your community were into, along with what churches were up to, what was going on in the schools (actual education, not just controls and sports), art, music, books, movies, cooking, and more. Columnists were local people writing about the community, or about how big issues impacted the local community. 

These newspapers actually served to connect us with our communities and society and ideas.

Now, there isn’t much community to be had — in newspapers or elsewhere. Most community newspapers were swallowed up by national media entities which reduced them to a local story or two surrounded by a wealth of wire stories on the usual government and sports crap. They might still include some local crime information because that’s useful, divisive propaganda. They might throw in a dose of a generic wire feature to give the illusion there’s real people out there — somewhere.

I look at the last vestiges we have of local news, and it’s all pretty much worthless whether online or in print. It’s just garbage. 

The big news outlets, obviously, amount to garbage, serving only to remind us on a daily basis how extremely propagandized we are. 

Hence, there’s the usual sorting through of blogs and social media, much of which is now conveniently censored. 

It all serves to erode and oppress community and agency, and, God forbid, ideas. And it’s no accident. Nevertheless…

seems like an opportunity.

go ahead, change the world

As we all watch our leaders in Washington struggle, yet again, to bring themselves to serve the people instead of, say, defense contractors, who can help but wonder what we can do. 

As we watch even the progressive “squad” demur from forcing Medicare for All to a floor vote during a pandemic, we wonder just what it will take to effect real change. 

Each day, as we see the President-elect prepare to nominate yet another empty-suited crony to a top position in the new administration, we struggle to know how real change, positive change will come. 

We feel powerless, helpless to change this massive system that rolls along and over so many.

And yet, it is we who really do hold the power in our hands. Short of organizing, beyond organizing, there is one simple thing each of us can do that would immediately trigger change towards the world we want to see. 

If we all really want peace on earth and good will to all beings, we will walk away from using and eating animals. It’s that simple. And it’s something any of us – yes, even you – can do.

The uncomplicated act of refusing to participate in our society’s oppression, abuse, and killing of animals on a scale beyond imagination is the beginning and the key to massive, positive societal change. 

If our society really embraces a whole food plant-based diet, we will witness profound changes in everything from much-improved health to a reversal of climate destruction (and just in the nick of time). We will break the grip of the cabal of corporations on government and in our lives.

We will change the world in amazing ways, turning toward a compassion-based way of life instead of the cruel competition that we were taught to believe is inevitable and normal. 

Cruelty, killing, impoverishment, suffering, control is not normal. Nor is it inevitable. We have the power to change it for the animals, and, in so doing, we will change it for ourselves and our culture. We will change it for our children, and theirs.

So simple. It’s something you can do. It’s enjoyable. There’s tons of support and information. Be delighted by what you discover.

YOU have the power. Step up. Go ahead, change the world.