It’s amazing how life takes form. I came to my parents’ house cause I have the Sunday off this week so it’s a chance to spend a whole day with them rather than just a couple hours. As soon as I walked in, we called my grandmother back home in Lebanon. Even though she didn’t recognize me at first, she was nonetheless excited at hearing “Allo Teta”, she knew one of her grandsons was on the other end. Then after that my parents bickered; then after that my dad went out to water the garden. I picked out salad and thyme and as i went to pick some tomatoes i noticed a grasshopper, not sure what you guys call it over here, but back home we called them Abboot Jindeh, soldier grasshopper, because they were dressed in camouflage and had quite a militaristic demeanour. First time i see one of those in Canada, and honestly i got a bit emotional and a whole lot nostalgic. Of course i was no longer a little boy and didn’t have the heart to catch from its hind legs as i used to with my brother and cousin in the south or with the neighbourhood kids around my paternal grandparents mountain home. Too much hesitation, i reached to catch him, but he jumped and i got scared in spite of me. I took a video and some photos of the critter and continued pruning the tomatoes, ridding them of yellowed branches. All the while my mom was cooking mlookhieh, i prepared the salad with olives and walnuts and feta. We waited for my sister to come back from work and sat outside to eat, a lot of the food on the table was from the garden. The rhythm of the crickets is loud this time of year. The neighbours were also in their backyard but we can’t see them because of the high wooden separation wall. They were chatting and laughing in Spanish, they have a baby who i never saw before but sounds cute as fuck (don’t ask me). We were chatting and laughing in Arabic.
I noticed in the bowl of water that i used to wash the salad, a tiny almost fetal grasshopper. It’s a baby soldier but his skin was bright green. He was hopping underwater. I was afraid he’d ultimately drown so i went and emptied out the water in the garden and swept him off the stainless steel with the leaf of a weed. He was looking healthy, so i went back to eat some more. Even though i stayed without breakfast until 4:30, all in all i ate a ton of food today; a ton of delicious food. I’m full.
Some of the recent media coverage about the fact that more than 50 people in Peru – the vast majority of them indigenous – are on trial following protests and fatal conflict in the Amazon over five years ago missed a crucial point.
Yes, the hearings are finally going ahead and the charges are widely held to be trumped-up, but what about the government functionaries who apparently gave the riot police the order to attack the protestors, the police themselves, and – following Wikileaks’ revelations of cables in which the US ambassador in Lima criticized the Peruvian government’s ‘reluctance to use force’ and wrote there could be ‘implications for the recently implemented Peru-US FTA’ if the protests continued – the role of the US government?
That law, no. 30151, was promulgated in January this year and is, according to the IDL’s Juan José Quispe, a modification of existing legislation passed by the previous government. The modification consists of replacing three words – “en forma reglamentaria” – with another five – “u otro medio de defensa” – which Quispe says means that any soldier or police officer can now kill or injure a civilian without needing to use his or her weapon ‘according to regulations’, or by using something other than his or her weapon.
“We continue considering this law as one that grants the armed forces as well as the national police a licence to kill,” Quispe told the Guardian. “It permits a high degree of impunity. During the repression of social protests, police officers and soldiers who cause injuries or deaths will now be exempt from criminal responsibility.”
The Oregon Supreme Court this month passed a landmark ruling that will change the way animals are treated under the law in the state for the better. The ruling will ensure that any animal can be seen as a legal “victim” in a case, affording animals more basic rights to protect them from abuse.
The ruling was made on the case of a man who was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property. The judge’s decision allotted a separate count of second-degree animal neglect for each animal, noting that each animal was a separate victim on his own.
The distinction might sound obvious — but it wasn’t legally accepted at the time that Arnold Nix, the defendant, was first convicted in 2009. During his case, Nix argued that the law defines animals as the property of their owners, so the word “victim” shouldn’t apply to them. As of this month’s hearing, the word “victim” does apply.
“To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland. And the ruling could lead to longer prison sentences for those convicted of animal abuse in the state.
This is dangerous and wrong. Animals can, and should, be protected from violence WITHOUT granting them personhood. Anything in the way of legally treating animals as persons is horrifying. People should always remain more important than animals, and dignity is not for animals. The dignity we give to dogs is effectively taken away from people at the bottom.
you are your name and your claim to fame you are not who you really are
for the most part you are who you appear to be but also a little bit more
if after you die your mother and a former lover had to describe you in a few words on a reality tv show that’d be the closest representation of who you are