Women of Israel and Palestine: Stand up and demand peace in the name of your children. Nobody but you — UNITED — has the power to stop this bloody madness.
Posted on | August 1, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
The Bloody Sandbox
The scorching sun shines above the children’s playground at the edge of a neighborhood park. Many boys and girls are chasing each other, laughing and playing with a colorful ball that’s bouncing around as if nothing could ever stop it.
In the shadow of a small pine tree, two four-year olds, Maria and Mohammad, are playing in a sandbox that seems to have been made just for the two of them. After a few tries followed by the girls’ laughter, the boy finally succeeds in building a sand cake strong enough so it wouldn’t crumble. They laugh and clap in amusement, but their voices quickly drown in the sound of the nearby road traffic. A white pigeon coos on the branch above them.
Not far from there, Maria’s mother, who’s sitting on a nearby bench, looks out from behind the newspaper and smiles as she notices how the little girl leans over to the boy and gives him a kiss on the cheek. She feels happy and tears form around the rim of her eyes. A few steps closer, Mohammad’s mother stops knitting for a moment. She presses the unfinished sweater onto her chest as she watches the two kids playing.
Mohammad offers Maria the blue cup he used for making the sand cake. As she begins to fill it up, Mohammad helps her because he’s already an expert in making things out of sand. They hold the cup together and then quickly turn it around. When the boy moves his hands away, Maria lifts it up. Surprise! A beautifully shaped sand cake appears in front of them.
Maria’s brown eyes flash in excitement. But then, moments later, she bursts into tears as the cake suddenly collapses and falls apart into pieces.
Mohammed’s mother, still watching what’s happening, rushes over to the kids, hugs Maria and begins to comfort her.
“Don’t cry, little girl. You’re going to build a new sand cake with Mohammad!” She caresses her shiny blond hair and looks at her mother who just came over and kneeled down next to them. Mohammad starts crying, too, but Maria’s mother wraps her arms around him, trying to cheer him up.
“Your mom is right, now we’re going to build a lot of cakes together — the whole sandbox of cakes, aren’t we?” The two mothers look at each other and smile.
The white pigeon observes curiously what’s happening underneath. Suddenly, he lifts his head up and looks into the cloudless summer sky.
Four hours have passed since then. A TV crew gathers in front of a huge hole in the ground that’s surrounded by a crowd of enraged people. There’s heavy damage on the nearby houses.
The camera rolls. Holding a bent piece of a blue cup in his hands, the reporter begins: “This afternoon a missile hit this part of town. According to local reports, 23 people have been killed, mostly children and theirs mothers. Once again the victims were those who were the least guilty for the insanity that’s going on.”
He lifts up the cup. “Unfortunately we’ll never know if this boy or girl could ever build their first sand cake.”
The reporter bends down, picks up a white blood-splattered feather and moves it closer to the camera.
“All that’s left is this white feather, a destroyed symbol of peace. It’s a disgrace for everyone to whom violence and wars mean more than the lives of their children, mothers, wives and our common future.”
The violent shouting in the background gets louder.
“REVENGE! GIVE US WEAPONS, WAR, WAR!”
The cameraman shuts off the camera. “I’m getting sick of this. Where the hell are we? Planet of psychos and idiots? How much longer are we gonna look at this?”
“For as long as we let it,” mumbles the reporter, looking at the crowd. “For as long as the majority who want peace allow to be led by the few of those who feed themselves by violence and hatred so they can rule.”
“KILL THE ENEMY, KILL THE ENEMY!”
Posted on | June 30, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
Posted on | June 14, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
8 acts of kindness to animals that will restore your faith in humanity
and one of millions cruel reality’s.
Posted on | April 29, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
I was really surprised at the outcome of my traffic count on this only 7.2 km long way from my home to my work place. I counted an incredible 682 cars, 8 half-empty or completely empty buses, 12 trucks, 3 motorcyclists and just 3 bicyclists and 2 pedestrians.
That’s what the structure of traffic (including pedestrians and drivers) should look like on this part of the road — or in the world for that matter — if we truly want to do something about what we always talk about yet take too little action: saving energy and fossil resources, clean the air, lessen the consequences of climate change and especially improving our health. It’s imperative that we step from words to personal actions. Immediately. All of us.
Posted on | April 19, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
Posted on | April 12, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
And they say there’s not enough work. Of course there is, there’s more than enough of it. For example, taking care of forgotten horses, these magnificent animals. But not in this money and profit-oriented society.
Ecohumanist society which I write about, works not for money and profit, but for the good of all, also horses — the animals worthy of a statue and not ending up like this.
Posted on | April 5, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
Every day we can marvel at nature’s abundant creativity and originality reflected in diversity and beauty of the biological world. But hardly anyone searches for the reasons and impulses of her creativity. Why is it that a pine tree has pine cones, but an oak tree produces acorns, why are there flowers in the meadow and not just plain grass? Why do blossoms sprout fruit, why a ripe strawberry is red and not green, why the world seems different through the eyes of a bee or a spider…?
Why are there more than a million insect species, why crocodiles only eat flesh, why zebras eat grass and why humans are all-eaters…? Why all this incredible variety? Why does nature create all the diversity? The answer is simple and fully logical.
The need for visual recognition of food by most living species is the reason for biodiversity.
In order to maintain a nutrition-based life, sensory organs for identifying food needed to develop. Sense of smell, taste, touch and hearing are of importance and, for some creatures, even of vital importance. But nature’s special attention was given to the sense of sight. Parallel to the eye development there was brain development which enabled transformation of visual stimuli directly into images. They become a part of the permanent brain-record containing certain shapes, colors or prey movements.
An elephant is an elephant because of its eating habits, not so much because of the environment. Its trunk is perfectly suited for picking grass, twigs and tree bark as well as drinking water. Elephants grind the vegetation effortlessly, their size was determined by the digestive system and their eyes enable them to spot the perfect nutrition. We can only guess how the process of uploading, saving and interpreting of these images works, for we have lost the ability of looking at the world through the eyes of an animal – by developing speech.
„Eat or be eaten“ is a driving force of diversity, simultaneously creating the necessary natural balance which gives every plant and animal species the opportunity to live and a chance to survive.
How to defend oneself from the attacker, how to equip oneself with warning or protective coloring, take advantage of a camouflage or rely on one‘s speed, turn venomous or powerful? Is it an advantage to be small and surrounded by the like, or be big and solitary, is it better to remain in the sea or to crawl ashore? These are only a few of the mentioned survival strategies triggered by finding food through visual recognition.
The upright posture of man was also conditioned by our ancestors‘ need to search for food using vision, namely in the shallows of the stagnant waters of the former Africa, where food was more abundant, variegated and accessible than anywhere else on the planet. The upright walk affected the larynx position (i.e. upper section of trachea with vocal chords), which enabled speech development. This is the crucial moment in our evolution, for we have abandoned the world of food spotting based merely on image interpretation, and evolved into creatures of higher visual and verbal abilities.
Food isn’t just a cheap commercial product, it is an invaluable vital commodity.
For humans, food is still of vital importance. But unfortunately it is something to be traded with, one of the many commercial products for making money – with no regard to the negative impact on humans, the environment and the ecosystem.
We have even gone so far as to use nutrition in order to fill up car tanks of the satiated instead of filling the stomachs of the hungry. The consequence of this unnatural attitude toward food is the spreading famine which is taking over the planet. If we keep on devouring up the biodiversity that nurtures us all, this will sooner or later lead to our starvation.
But there is a ray of hope. And this hope is ecohumanism. A new social order that abolishes money and thus weakens the power of abusing food for the purpose of money-making, accepting biodiversity as invaluable.
There is an urgent need for ecohumanism as well as for a nature-friendly diet, which is mostly vegan. Only such nutrition will satiate us and make us healthier while preserving the planet’s biodiversity.
The sun gives us light and keeps us warm, the planet fills our lungs with air and quenches our thirst while nature, with its biodiversity makes sure we don’t starve or remain solitary. And what is it we have to do? We only need to open our eyes and finally see.
Posted on | March 5, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
1880 – Buffalo bones
2012 – Trunks of trees
and right now…
The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again. William Beebe (July 29, 1877 – June 4, 1962)
Posted on | January 18, 2014 by Benjamin Dovecar
With this central theme of his speech about surveillance and data collection — a speech that wouldn’t have happened was it not for Snowden — Obama let all of us know what kind of world is being built. I’m talking about a world that only him and other state leaders can imagine: governed by surveillance, eavesdropping, distrust, injustice and violence. And yet they’ll continue building this world because they don’t even now haw to make a better one. They want it to stay the way it is, the way it suits them, but in the end it will prove fatal for all. A world without a future.
Ecohumanist society and trust
Trust can’t be prescribed, enforced or bought. Trust is built on foundations of mutual respect, tolerance and solidarity.
Trust is a personal and societal value. Because nothing works without trust, all the principles and basis of the ecohumanist society are founded on the uniqueness of this society — trust.
Posted on | December 18, 2013 by Benjamin Dovecar
An open letter to the people of Brazil, from Edward Snowden
Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live.
My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those.
At the NSA, I witnessed with growing alarm the surveillance of whole populations without any suspicion of wrongdoing, and it threatens to become the greatest human rights challenge of our time. The NSA and other spying agencies tell us that for our own “safety”—for Dilma’s “safety,” for Petrobras’ “safety”—they have revoked our right to privacy and broken into our lives. And they did it without asking the public in any country, even their own.
Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paolo, the NSA can and does keep track of your location: they do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world. When someone in Florianopolis visits a website, the NSA keeps a record of when it happened and what you did there. If a mother in Porto Alegre calls her son to wish him luck on his university exam, NSA can keep that call log for five years or more. They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.
American Senators tell us that Brazil should not worry, because this is not “surveillance,” it’s “data collection.” They say it is done to keep you safe. They’re wrong. There is a huge difference between legal programs, legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement — where individuals are targeted based on a reasonable, individualized suspicion — and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under an all-seeing eye and save copies forever. These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.
Many Brazilian senators agree, and have asked for my assistance with their investigations of suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens. I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so — going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America! Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.
Six months ago, I revealed that the NSA wanted to listen to the whole world. Now, the whole world is listening back, and speaking out, too. And the NSA doesn’t like what it’s hearing. The culture of indiscriminate worldwide surveillance, exposed to public debates and real investigations on every continent, is collapsing. Only three weeks ago, Brazil led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to recognize for the first time in history that privacy does not stop where the digital network starts, and that the mass surveillance of innocents is a violation of human rights.
The tide has turned, and we can finally see a future where we can enjoy security without sacrificing our privacy. Our rights cannot be limited by a secret organization, and American officials should never decide the freedoms of Brazilian citizens. Even the defenders of mass surveillance, those who may not be persuaded that our surveillance technologies have dangerously outpaced democratic controls, now agree that in democracies, surveillance of the public must be debated by the public.
My act of conscience began with a statement: “I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded. That’s not something I’m willing to support, it’s not something I’m willing to build, and it’s not something I’m willing to live under.”
Days later, I was told my government had made me stateless and wanted to imprison me. The price for my speech was my passport, but I would pay it again: I will not be the one to ignore criminality for the sake of political comfort. I would rather be without a state than without a voice.
If Brazil hears only one thing from me, let it be this: when all of us band together against injustices and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we can defend ourselves from even the most powerful systems.
Original Edward Snowden letter published on A Folha today.keep looking »