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Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Chill in the Air

Bow relaxing outside this morning

I think we had out first frost of the season this morning. There has a been a chill in the air. Even yesterday it was cooler.

Bow attempting a display yesterday

On a cold, blustery day, one way to keep warm is  to try to display.

But sometimes you don't feel like displaying, so the whole thing does not come off as planned.

On a cold blustery day, the dogs find reasons to play.

Yesterday, there were still bees on the blossoms, no matter how cold or how windy the day was.

In the sky birds were flying overhead. I tried to follow one with my camera, until it flew too close to the sun.

This month will mark my fourteenth anniversary living in Missouri.  This is the house that I bought to live in when I returned from Taiwan. We have not moved since.

 But back on September 11, 2001, I was staying in a motel in Salem with my daughter, because we were looking for that special house to buy in Missouri, as this was the best state to move to in order to start an ape language project. The laws here were minimally invasive. And the way I heard about the terrorist acts that happened that day was like this: A friend from Taiwan sent me an email to tell me that there was a war on and that the United States had been attacked by another country. She wanted to know if I was okay. I assured her that there was no war, I was fine, and that everything was perfectly peaceful. Then I turned on the TV, and they kept replaying the crashing of the planes into the Word Trade Center. I still did not consider this a war. It was at most an insane act of terrorism. No country had attacked us. A few nut jobs in an airplane with box cutters do not constitute an act of war.

However, this event was soon used as a provocation to attack another country. It was also used as a pretext to pass a whole slew of legislation cutting down on the civil right of Americans which was collectively known as The Patriot Act. If you would like to read the Patriot Act, here it is:

Entitled "USA Patriot Act" -- an acronym of "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism "--  this Act of 2001 not only created new legislation, it also amended and altered a great many existing statutes. It even curtailed rights secured in the bill of rights to the United States constitution. The Patriot Act became effective as of October 26, 2001, which means that in a little over a month from the terrorist action, America was already a much less free country. By the time I was living in this house with my daughter and our dog Teyman, who  just came up to us and adopted us on October 3rd, it was really not the same country. Flags were waving everywhere, and nobody dared say a word against the government action, because nobody wanted to seem unpatriotic.

Sword and Teyman on the Day Teyman Joined Our Family 

Passing a law is very easy. Repealing it later is something that hardly ever happens. According to the Wikipedia:

Following a lack of Congressional approval, parts of the Patriot Act expired on June 1, 2015.[4] With the passage of the USA Freedom Act on June 2, 2015 the expired parts were restored and renewed through 2019.[5]
The Patriot Act was a bipartisan effort to curtail the freedom of American citizens. We can't blame any one party for passing it or any one president. It was kept in effect in 2015 under a different set of politicians. The new President who campaigned against it did not veto its renewal.

On the Project Bow calendar, September 11 is marked as "Patriot Day". When I was planning the calendar, I tried to erase that, but the program would not let me!

The pretext for the Patriot Act was an event that took the lives of 2,977 people. Many more people die in auto accidents every year. 

A similar event, although on a much smaller scale, is apparently what led to the Animal Welfare Act of 1966. According to the Wikipedia the legislation was fueled by this story published in a 1965 issue of Sports Illustrated:

The piece detailed the story of Pepper the Dalmatian, a dog that disappeared from the yard of the Lakavage family home in Pennsylvania. It was later discovered that Pepper had been stolen by "dog-nappers," was bought by a Bronx hospital, and had died during an experimental surgical procedure.[8] On July 9, 1965, Representative Joseph Y. Resnick introduced H.R. 9743 into the House of Representatives, a bill that would require dog and cat dealers, as well as the laboratories that purchased the animals to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. A hearing was held on September 30, 1965, and similar legislation was sponsored in the Senate.[5]
A family dog was kidnapped, tortured and killed by a Bronx hospital and its henchmen. Under already existing common law which had been available for centuries, that was illegal. Stealing is a crime, as well as a tort. Destroying another person's property is a crime as well as a tort.The culprits ought to have been harshly dealt with for violating the property rights of the family whose dog it was, and then life for everyone else should have gone on as usual. Instead, a whole bundle of laws cutting down on the property rights of all Americans was passed, using this gruesome incident as pretext. Today, the right of a family to own any pet is curtailed, because somebody stole somebody else's dog in the 1960s.

The AWA in its current form affects dogs, cats, horses, elephants, and chimpanzees, among others. It is used routinely in order to steal animals from their owners and to give them to "rescue" operations that profit from the theft. A recent example is that of Arabian horses stolen from their owners:

There is nothing patriotic about a law that disempowers citizens and strips them of the protections afforded them by the bill of rights. There is nothing humane about a law that allows animals to be stolen from their homes and given to others. But that is the kind of legislation that routinely passes these days, and most people have no idea what is going on.

I was asked recently: "Aya, what will you do if ownership of chimpanzees becomes illegal?" It was in the context of a conversation about a sanctuary, and the implication was that if I had no other choice, wouldn't I turn Bow over to a sanctuary?

I kind of stammered. I said that if the law only affected this state, I would move to another state. If it affected the entire country, I would move to a different country. I only moved here to start Project Bow. Before the second half of 2001, not only was I not living in this state. I was not even living in the United States. I came here for Project Bow, and if Project Bow is not welcome here, I can leave. That is, if I am not prevented from leaving.

But I had a bad feeling about this as I answered, because I felt the person asking me that was making it sound as if this was just my problem -- and that he would gladly gain from my loss. What I feel now that I should have said to him was this: "Sir, are you a patriot? Then what will you do if my rights are violated? Will you fight for me? Will you risk your life for my rights? Or are you planning  to profit from my loss?"

A patriot isn't somebody who dies as a helpless victim of an unconscionable act of terror. A patriot is someone who knowingly risks his life to protect his own rights and the rights of others. There should be a Patriot Day. It should fall on April 19.


  1. Well written and researched. *I* did forget that they only had box cutters. I think it was all made up too and our leaders (sowards) were looking for a reason to have a war and kill others. The truth is beginning to really hit the surface and many more are starting to ask questions and do research.

    1. Thanks, Debbie! Yes, they only had box cutters, but the other people on the plane did not even have that, thanks to laws that prevent ordinary people from being armed on a plane. It could all have been prevented, if all the law abiding people hadn't already been stripped of their rights at the airport. I don't think there is any reason to suppose it was made up. Going by the official story, there is no justification for everything that followed.

  2. It seems like as more time goes by more laws are being passed telling us what to do.

    1. Yes, Julia, more laws go on the books every day, and none are repealed. And there are no people willing to stand up and fight for their rights and the rights of others. At most they may say "That's really too bad." But this country was not founded on that kind of passivity.