Paul’s Perambulations

February 9, 2008

What Fourth Amendment?

Filed under: Politics — admin @ 12:35 am

An associate of mine, Nabila Mango, is an American citizen of Palestinian descent. Her problems began when she returned to San Francisco International Airport following a trip to Palestine. For more than an hour she was detained by federal agents who, without any reasonable cause, demanded details of people she had encountered and places she had gone in her three-week trip, the names and addresses of relatives in Jordan, and information about her U.S.-born adult daughter. They leafed through Arab-language books in her luggage, lost interest when they discovered the books were about music theory, and erased cell-phone messages from her daughter, who was waiting outside the airport.

Again, I am reminded of some of the stories my parents told me about Nazi Germany. Things are not as bad as they got there, but things were once much better there then they are here now. Links to articles in the news are below.

San Jose Mercury News

San Francisco Chronicle

February 1, 2008

All people deserve an opportunity for a healthy and productive life.

Filed under: Love,Politics,Religion — admin @ 4:07 pm

1. There is an undeniable value to every human life.

All war is a crime against human life.  “Human” life is defined by its distinctly human quality, and thus euthanasia and abortion are not acceptable if they destroy that human quality of life.

 2.  Every human life must be given adequate opportunity to develop.

Is it right that humans enter life with vastly different opportunities before them? Some are born rich, some poor. All humans have a right to personal property, a private life, safety, education, and health care. Once these needs have been met for all, those who have earned additional goods justly can be deserving of them. Humans are not equal but vary greatly in traits and talents; all must be given sufficient opportunity to develop their unique talents.  It is natural that results will vary greatly, with some being more successful than others. There continues to be a basic value and protection of every human life, including those lives which are less successful. Inherited wealth, passed from those who are dead to the living who have not earned it, is a crime against the values of a just society. Property that is strictly personal property can be inherited.

3. The natural world is a gift to all humanity and thus individual humans cannot “own” it, to do with as they wish.

Humans cannot own or inherit the natural world. It is a gift we neither earned nor did anything to deserve. Individual humans cannot control the use of the water or the air or the land. Accumulations of land, minerals, forests, water and their immediate derivatives, beyond what is sufficient for one’s personal needs, is a crime against humanity and nature. All living things must be given their due respect.

These three basic values are a vision for the future and not a political or sociological blueprint for how they might occur. Human values require that we look ahead not in terms of years or decades or even lifetimes, but for centuries.

 

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