Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Ode to Mr. Trump."

They did it to Ceasar, too! 
Cleopatra wasn't the woman. 
They got pissed off.

And Rome was never the same.
No, the Senate turned on it's own.

Just a little advise to a burgeoning poor man.
"It might be something you said."
No, it was something you did.

And Rome was never the same.
No, the Senate turned on it's own.

Running for President.
Caesar brought the Egyptian Queen to Rome.
He built her an island because the Roman women hated her.

And Rome was never the same.
No, the Senate turned on it's own.

She wasn't of pure blood.
The next Emperor was his nephew.
It happens. 

And Rome was never the same.
No, the Senate turned on it's own.

The GOP only wants what it wants. They aren't interested in democracy so much as PARTY FIRST!

I think Donald Trump got his message out at the meeting. He should be allowed to do so. I think it is wrong the GOP wants to silence him. Maybe now the GOP will begin to appreciate how the rest of America feels since "Citizen's United." It feels really lousy to trounced by Wall Street and corrupt money. Really lousy, like a person isn't proud of their country anymore.

I think Mr. Trump's following will grow. There isn't anything he says that hasn't been the position of the GOP. Every Republican out there wants to rip into the Democratic "Sanctuary Cities." He got to it first.

From the Washington Examiner:

Map: Over 200 'sancturary cities' in 32 states and DC (click here)

Think about it.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I've been out here, listening, reading and this is the way I remember it.

In regard to Hillary Clinton's e-mails:

She was never subpoenaed. She was ASKED by the US State Department to send in her emails. She complied and sent something like 40 thousand emails. 

This is a CNN report about her first emails released.

May 26, 2015
By Alexandra Jaffe
...The roughly 300 emails, (click here) about 850 pages, are part of the 30,000 that she turned over to State from her private email server, which she used almost exclusively to conduct both private and public business during her time at State. They reveal a range of correspondence from Clinton, everything from policy briefs to scheduling requests to friendly exchanges with staff....

So the actual count is 30 thousand. And let state this; it doesn't include all the wire communications that the State Department received. A lot of the business the US States Department carries out is by wire. This email stuff is like secondary to the State's Departments records. 

But, the timeline is that she submitted the emails that related to the State Department and erased all the other personal emails. It was the State Department that was taking their time in clearing the e-mails. They had to decide what needed to be redacted and it was taking time. During that time the former Secretary Clinton required via television for the State Department to send on the e-mails to the public. I am sure she wrote to the State Department or her campaign did about the same topic.

But, it was taking awhile for the State Department to process the emails and the Republican Benghazi committee sent the subpoena.

It was a private server that President Clinton had along with his offices in NYC. I am sure there was access for the family in their NY residence when they were together to be a family. Hillary Clinton is allowed to have a life away from the public. She is government, not Hollywood. 

Chase needs tax breaks? Really?

October 20, 2014
By Andrew J. Hawkins

On Monday, (click here) Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected a request from JPMorgan Chase for more than a $1 billion in tax incentives from the city and state to keep its headquarters in New York City. But although he called the proposal a "nonstarter," he left open the possibility of offering some tax break to the bank.
His comment reaffirmed his administration's hard-line stance on corporate concessions as it continues to negotiate with the bank on its plan to move its headquarters to the far West Side of Manhattan. Alternatively, the nation's largest bank by assets may decamp for a lower-cost location like New Jersey or Delaware.
"There was a discussion put forward to the city of a substantial amount of subsidy, and as Deputy Mayor [Alicia] Glen made very clear publicly, that's not on the table from the city point of view," Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference in Broad Channel, Queens, on the city's Sandy relief program. "But we value JPMorgan as a major employer for this city, for sure, and we certainly look forward to their long-term presence here as they're looking to switch locations, and if we can find appropriate ways to be helpful, we certainly will."
Pressed on whether he believes the city should provide no tax incentives to JPMorgan, Mr. de Blasio said he simply opposed the $1 billion proposal....

April 14, 2015
...JPMorgan, (click here) the nation’s largest bank by assets, announced that profit rose 12 percent, to $5.9 billion, or $1.45 a share, compared with $5.27 billion, or $1.28 a share, in the period a year earlier. Analysts had expected first-quarter earnings of $1.38 a share.

The earnings gain was not achieved by simply cutting costs, as has happened at several of the big banks recently. Instead, JPMorgan increased revenue 4 percent, to $24.8 billion from $23.9 billion in the quarter a year earlier.

Marianne Lake, JPMorgan’s chief financial officer, said in a conference call with investors on Tuesday morning that the bank experienced “broad strength in underlying performance.” The conference call was dominated by detailed questions about relatively technical elements of the company’s financial results, a sharp contrast with a similar call last quarter when JPMorgan executives were forced to defend their business model in heated exchanges....

July 9, 2015
by Samantha Marcus

Trenton — JPMorgan Chase Bank (click here) will receive $188 million in tax credits over 10 years to move more than 2,000 jobs from New York to Jersey City.

New Jersey's Economic Development Authority on Thursday approved the $18.8 million-a-year, $8,734 per job corporate tax incentive to entice the financial giant across the Hudson River. Officials said the tax breaks were necessary to boost Jersey City over less expensive locations in Delaware and Ohio.

"The location analysis submitted to the authority shows New Jersey to be the more expensive option and, as a result, the management of JPMorgan Chase Bank has indicated that the grant of tax credits is a material factor in the company's location decision," an EDA analysis said....

Washington State does conservation the way it should be done; SUCCESSFULLY !!!!

July 9, 2015
by cassiebable

Conservation Reserve Program Yielding Results in Washington State (click here)

Editor’s note: The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife assisted with the development of this article.

Washington state’s sage-grouse population has been on the decline since 1985, but for the past five years Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and its State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program have helped to establish improved sage-grouse nesting habitats. As a result, the county has become one of only a handful across the nation with an increase in sage-grouse populations during the past 25 years.
The SAFE program has proven to be popular with local landowners. In fact, in May 2010, during the initial sign-up period, Douglas County reached the enrollment cap of 38,000 acres on the first day, with some landowners camping outside the FSA office to ensure they were able to participate....

Everyone loves history until it finally means something. The two populations are successful. That is why it isn't on the endangered species list. Below is a picture of it's habitat. Give me a break. The USA can't understand how important these lands are to remain open spaces. 

...Sage-grouse historically (click here) occurred throughout the shrubsteppe and meadow-steppe communities of eastern Washington. They were observed in abundance in 1805 by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition near the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Currently, the state has two relatively isolated breeding populations; one in Douglas-Grant Counties, and one in Kittitas-Yakima Counties. Sporadic sightings outside the primary distribution have been reported in Benton, Yakima, Kittitas, Grant, Lincoln and Okanogan Counties. Greater sage-grouse have also been translocated to Yakima and Lincoln counties, but it is too early to document the success of those efforts....

I hope all campaigns are hiring and encouraging volunteers that are handicapped.

And don't forget the youth. (click here)

The leaders of tomorrow are growing up today.

The avian flu has impacted the USA economy.

July 9, 2015
By Catherine Hawley

BALTIMORE - The avian flu (click here) has killed more than 48-million turkeys and chickens, mainly from an outbreak on farms in the Midwest.

But locally, there's other fallout from the flu.  Custard sales at Rita’s Italian Ice locations nationwide are being halted because the company can’t get enough eggs.  They’re a main ingredient in the frozen treat.  Until egg numbers are back up, the custard machines will churn out soft-serve ice cream instead.

"We love Rita's, we love the custard,” said Dina Wientge.  “But we'll probably still give the soft-serve a try and see how it is."...

See, local economies rock. I just love those words, "I told you so." You can tell you have the correct eggs in your refrigerator if they all aren't white. I remember the first eggs in the house with green shells. I think it was Ted Cruz that read Green Eggs and Ham. I never knew he was a big organic food guy. 

July 9, 2015
By Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- Nearly one-fourth (click here) of the farms struck by the highly pathogenic avian influenza now have agreements in place to restock, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

It reported Thursday that 25 farms have restocking agreements in place. They include two farms in Kandiyohi County, seven in Stearns, five in Meeker and one in Lac qui Parle.

There has no new infected flocks in Minnesota since June 5, the board reported Thursday....

Free range chicken eggs.

Reports (click here) have been mixed on health benefits of free-range chicken. But some smaller studies indicate that pastured chickens may be healthier. A 2003 study by Penn State University researchers found that eggs from pastured hens have higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins A and E (see References 3). For the greatest health benefits, purchase poultry and eggs from a trusted source so you know the chickens ranged freely on pesticide-free grass.

July 9, 2015

MADISON, NE (KTIV/US92) - (click here for video) Because of the avian flu outbreak, you won't find chickens at many county or state fairs in Siouxland. That list includes Madison County, Nebraska's Fair.
But, that didn't stop the fair from having poultry-related events for it's 4-H kids. Kids could compete for awards in "showmanship". Using either a stuffed animal, or video of a live chicken, they could do a personal project display, or an educational display. 4-H officials say one of those options was clearly the most popular. "The personal project display because it was giving them the opportunity to their love for what they had at home," said Polocek.
Turnout was down slightly this year, but the poultry events still had strong turnout from the 4-H kids. Many of the projects have already been completed, and some are already displayed at the fair through Saturday.

Iowa farmers not happy with President Obama. Was there something in the Farm Bill that was overlooked by Governor Branstad?

July 10, 2015
By Olivia Mancino

Iowa lawmakers and farmers (click here) are upset after President Obama has denied Governor Branstad's disaster declaration for avian influenza.
Branstad sent a letter to the Obama Administration asking for unemployment assistance, disaster case management, and crisis counseling for the counties affected heavily by the avian flu.
He also asked for a tonnage waiver on federal roadways so poultry carcasses can be disposed quicker.
But again, Obama has denied all  those requests.
In a conference call Thursday, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said she was deeply disappointed by the administration's decision. 
Iowa farmers echoed her statement.
In a hearing Tuesday, turkey farmer Brad Moline spoke about the hit his farm took.
"I have over 40 hours o paper work that needs to be done, that time could have been better spent cleaning buildings and disinfecting," said Moline.

There is still some meetings and the like going on with the USDA. I would expect Congress to take this up in a separate bill. They did with Hurricane Sandy. This might have the same trajectory because infrastructure has to be addressed for the future, too. 

This isn't something FEMA is responding to. Senator Ernst should bring a bill to the floor of the Senate.

June 15, 2015
...Based on an analysis by APHIS, (click here) environmental factors may also play a part in transmitting HPAI. APHIS found that air samples collected outside of infected poultry houses contain virus particles, indicating that the virus could be transmitted by air.  In addition, preliminary analysis of wind data shows a relationship between sustained high winds and an increase in the number of infected farms approximately 5 days later.  APHIS is conducting additional analyses to better characterize environmental factors that may contribute to virus spread.

While USDA has always worked with States and industry to promote biosecurity, it has continued to step up this collaboration throughout the outbreak, including meeting with industry representatives, producers, and federal, state and local government officials on to discuss the importance of biosecurity.  Moving forward, APHIS plans to continue sharing what it learns with State and industry partners through regular conversations and meetings, including an Industry/USDA/State Animal Health Meeting in July where the agency will focus specifically on biosecurity.... 

See, the USDA has been handling all this. There is already a lot of federal money in play. The USDA is handling a lot of this.

May 29, 2015 -- As part of its ongoing response (click here) efforts to the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) disease outbreak, USDA is seeking the assistance of contractors in several areas.  In order to be eligible to receive a federal award, contractors need to register with the System for Award Management website.
Areas where assistance is being sought include: landfills, carbon sources (compost, wood chips, etc.), transportation, heavy equipment, and environmental disposal/hazardous materials handling.  USDA’s contracting office is seeking quotes from contractors in these areas through the request for quote process.  Contractors may be contacted directly based on their type of business (NAICS code).  Opportunities are also posted online at .  Interested firms can search “agency” using “Animal Plant Health Inspection Service” to see a list of current opportunities....

Oh, forget it. This is a multi-state emergency. There has to be a comprehensive approach. That is why the USDA is coordinating all this. The pathogen is throughout the Midwest; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Kentucky.

A state of emergency in one state isn't going to solve the problem. There has to be identical outcomes to insure there won't be reinfection into new stock. I have a hard time believing Iowa has a problem meeting the unemployment needs. It isn't as though thousands upon thousands are effected. 

This is one large emergency. It is a matter of a comprehensive effort. These states don't have emergency counseling for these folks? The communities have had to know what is going on. There might be some underlying trauma that government wants to address. But, everyone knew there were problems. There area all kinds of APHIS announcements during this time. I saw them.

There has been significant federal help with these states. They weren't going it alone. 

On to something human. I think the approach of Sanctuary Cities is important. BUT...

July 10, 2015
By Al Weaver

In a statement Friday, (click here) former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley defended sanctuary cities in the aftermath of the death of Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who was deported five times previously.
“It’s lamentable that the senseless and tragic act of violence that occurred in San Francisco is prompting a rush to judgment and finger pointing: we can and should do better,” O’Malley said in the statement.
“Local governments should not be blamed for the Federal Government’s inability to fix our broken immigration system nor should they be held responsible for doing the Federal Government’s job,” he added....

This episode of over 20 years with a man that could not be contained by either governments is a concern. It is a growing concern as the First World approaches the reality of home grown terrorists. We know up to now the majority of our illegal population are from Mexico. There can be a minority of dangerous people in that other percentage. I also remind the men of September 11th were in the country legally. They were also known to the FBI. 

Moussaoui thinks he has something to say, too. 

February 3, 2015
By Scott Shane
WASHINGTON — In highly unusual testimony (click here) inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington....

But, this episode in San Francisco, as tragic as it is has provided a window of reality no one was counting on. It has to be approached and reviewed. I still haven't heard the particulars of how Mr. Sanchez stole a gun, a substantial gun, from an Interior Department employee. I want to know what happened here. It is all too convenient to have an illegal immigrant of 20 years in the same place of an agent's gun. 

THE GUN is a large part of the problem. Mr. Sanchez is a study all to himself, but, the idea he was able to get a gun from a federal agent is exceptionally worrisome. 

Sanctuary Cities provide a greater safety for the community. That is a known fact. But, there are limits and to examine this episode is very important to the country's national security.

The Elephant Awakening has caught some zoos pondering the future of their elephants.

Currently, a 35 year old Lucky has two organizations fighting for the best retirement. Lucky's long time home of San Antonio Zoo vs The One World Conservation.

"We Love Lucky" is San Antonio's webpage and where this video appeared. (click here) 

"We Love Lucky More" is One World Conservation (click here) webpage for Lucky's advocacy to retire in Tennessee with other elephants.

This may be a way the Chinese can move away from appreciating ivory to appreciating ivory on the hoof.

Zimbabwe sent them. They did make money from exporting live elephants. 

It would be better if the Chinese were working with zoos and international zoo organizations to bring the most humane outcomes to these elephants. The Chinese are very much aware of animal rights organizations. They covet the well being of the Panda, both, in zoos and in the wild.

All these elephants should be viewed as an uptick to the genetic viability of the species in captive environments. But, people need to be clamoring to help the Chinese better maintain these live elephants. They are very important. The international community can help China develop advocacy for live elephants over the idea of poaching for ivory.

The international community also needs to work with Zimbabwe to decide about their movement of young elephants. Those youngsters might enjoy a transplant into another group of elephants. There is the issue of acceptance, but scientists should already have clear ideas about that.

July 10, 2015

(Beijing) – China has imported (click here) more than 20 baby elephants from Zimbabwe, and activists have expressed concern about the conditions in which the animals will live.

The elephant calves arrived at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on July 6, said Hu Chunmei, an animal rights activist. Other activists learned of the elephants' arrival from airport employees and a cargo company.

Saviour Kasukuwere, Zimbabwe's environmental minister, also told the Associated Press on July 6 that the animals had been shipped to China.
Activists had tried for weeks to stop Zimbabwe's government from allowing the export.

Zoos in Taiyuan, in the northern province of Shanxi, and in the western Xinjiang region imported four elephants from Zimbabwe in 2012, Hu said. One died shortly after arriving in the country and two others have not been seen in a long time.

Trade of elephants was banned under a 1989 UN convention that China signed. However, some recovering populations of the animals, including those in Zimbabwe, were listed as eligible for trade in 1997.

Officials in Zimbabwe said the elephant population in that country is getting too large, and they have been looking for buyers to pay US$ 40,000 to US$ 60,000 for each calf. It is unclear how much the Chinese buyers paid or who they are.
Animal rights campaigners around the world have said they are concerned about how the elephants were taken from the wild and kept in captivity. They also want to know how the animals will be treated once in China....

This is the characteristic elephants exhibit that brought activists to realize how socialized they are.

Ungulates. Sorry, hippos.

There is another entry on this blog about this exact elephant. There was also a video that picked up his mimicking of his handler during the nighttime hours they were separated. I think of the behavior as a human equivalent of sucking his thumb. This elephant was making the same sounds he heard during the day from his trainer to comfort him. He was lonely. He was exhibiting stress to his aloneness. 

The understanding of elephants deep social structure is not simply found from one example. There are scientists that have studied locations in the world, now protected, where elephants meet to breed and comfort each other. Elephants have a very integrate language exhibited in very low frequency that is nearly out of human audible range. 

This same behavior, oddly enough, is seen in whales, too. The humpbacks are the best example. They have 17 distinct sounds they make to communicate with each other in the pod. Why oddly? Because whales are proven to be mutations of Pakistan elephants as they entered the sea in adaptive behaviors over time.

I do not lie. It is all true. Pakistan has been the country with a wealth of knowledge regarding the mutation of whales from larger land mammals. This research has been known a long time. This is not a new discovery.

The best domestic example of how a species developed to be very different than it's ancestors, is the modern day horse. There are many species in the world that have adapted to their environment over time to have a very different genetic outcome than their ancestors. 

This elephant is precious. He provided a window into his social needs. His handler is as precious, too. I noted the chain on the elephant's back leg. That is in place for the purpose of the video. The socialization is so strong with his handler he would engage in play rather than making a teaching video. If I recall correctly, the elephant has a large outdoor paddock where his handler communicates from outside the fence. He is a very big elephant, sweetheart that he is.

"World Elephant Day" (click here)

The poaching rate in 2014 remained virtually unchanged compared with 2013. . . elephant populations remain in decline.”'

The Asian elephant, whose habitat ranges over 13 countries across Asia, is an endangered species with less than 40,000 remaining worldwide less than a tenth of the African elephant population.

There are significant losses of individuals across the species lines. It doesn't matter the species of elephant they are poached heavily for their ivory. Everything has been tired including armed park rangers. There are too many poachers and while some are caught, others are not.

Ivory is still marketed in Asia.  

China is upping their requirements for Panda leases.

With the climate crisis and changing weather patterns, the zookeepers may not have seen this coming. This extreme during winter is new to both northern and southern hemispheres. The Panda breeding center might want to keep that in mind in their new program. Monitoring weather for zoos is as much as the daily routine as feeding and cleaning.

As hard as it is to believe, New Zealand is receiving frigid cold temperatures it has never seen before. Not only deep zero temperatures, but, also snow. There were Main Streets to clear and electrical infrastructure to repair in New Zealand they never had before. 

Who can resist that face?

10 July 2015
Written by Mark Elliot

...Breeding centres in Sichuan province (click here) have lent almost 100 pandas to more than 40 zoos across China, some of which have died.
Earlier this month, two pandas went on display at a zoo in Changchun, in northern China’s Jilin province, where winter temperatures can dip as low as -30⁰C. This is the furthest north a panda has ever been displayed in China.
“There is a set procedure to follow, but we have seen violations where the enclosure, keeper, veterinarian or food supply chain did not meet the required standards,” Xinhua reported Zhang Zhihe, head of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, as saying.
Under new rules, zoos applying to borrow pandas will have to send their keepers and vets to the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province for three months of training, and the reserve will send inspection teams to the zoos every year.

Two more rare onagers successfully join the world.

July 9, 2015

...The onager (click here) is an Asiatic wild ass and belongs to the equid family of hoofed animals, once found in abundance across the deserts of Mongolia, China and Iran. 
Now, they are found in just two protected areas and over the past 16 years their numbers have declined by more than 50%.
Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, said: “Onagers are the rarest equid species in the world and one of the rarest animals that we have here at the zoo, so we were absolutely delighted to have two foals arrive - one male and one female - during same night.

“Both youngsters are doing very well and mums Jamila and Zarrin are doing a great job of nurturing and bonding with their new charges.

“We hope the foals themselves will one day go on to contribute to the international breeding programme for the species, which is working to ensure there’s a sustainable population in zoos.”

The species is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), after suffering at the hands of illegal poaching, overgrazing and disease passed on from farm animals.... 

This makes a third onager to join the world.

10 July 2015
Ostrava, North Moravia, July 9 (CTK) - A young onager, (click here) an endangered Asiatic wild ass, has been born in the Ostrava zoo, its spokeswoman Sarka Novakova told CTK Thursday, adding that the rare offspring is a female.
It is the first young to be born in "Persia," a newly established enclosure with several animal species.
The onager group in it is comprised of a male and four females.
Novakova said the onager is the most endangered of the five Asian ass subspecies. Its wild population is estimated at a mere 500, and the world zoos keep some 80 of them.
Out of the Czech zoos, the onager can be seen in Ostrava only.
The onager's natural habitats are lowlands, deserts and semi-deserts. Originally, it lived in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it survives only in Iran now, Novakova said.
Outside nature reserves, people often tend to eliminate onagers in order to save the pastures for cattle.

For zoos, poo can be a challenge.

July 9, 2015
By Tom Demeropolis

...The Walnut Hills-based (click here) general contractor is building the $7.3 million hippopotamus exhibit, which will be the final piece of the zoo’s $34 million Africa expansion. Mark Fisher, senior director of facilities, planning and sustainability at the Cincinnati Zoo, said the new hippo exhibit will be twice the size of the zoo's manatee exhibit, which also required significant technology and engineering.

“This is the most sophisticated project in the history of the Cincinnati Zoo,” he said. 

The reason? Building a hippo exhibit with an underwater viewing area comes with a unique challenge: keeping a nearly 70,000 gallon exhibit pool clean enough for visitors to see the hippos. That’s really tough when a single hippo can generate about 400 pound of waste per day. The Cincinnati Zoo will have two....

The other challenge even zoos are facing is their security. Not just the gates and railings, but, computer insecurity plagues them, too. Zoos' budgets are tight the way it is, but, when money is stolen it makes management that much more an issue.

July 9, 2015
By Robert Abel
The Detroit Zoo along with eight other zoos (click here) across the country announced that Service Systems Associates (SSA), a third party vendor that handles retail and concession payments, experienced a point-of-sale (POS) breach that affected customers between March 23 and June 25 of this year. 

How many victims? Unknown.

What type of personal information? Customer names, credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and three-digit CVV security codes.

What happened? Malware was detected on SSA software in nine zoo gift shops that compromised information of customers at the Detroit Zoo and eight other zoos across the country.  

What was the response? The malware responsible for the incident was identified and removed. SSA has notified the credit card companies of the situation and is working with law enforcement and the forensic investigator firm Sikich to investigate the breach....

Yes, indeed, poaching is a problem.

Aren't they beautiful. Well, poachers obviously think so, too.

Madagascar is a tropical region. The description is from the World Wildlife Fund (click here).

Approximately 95 percent of Madagascar’s reptiles, 89 percent of its plant life, and 92 percent of its mammals exist nowhere else on Earth.

Madagascar can be an interesting place. It is known for it's primates. There are species that have turned up in a Madagascar forest no one knew existed. The citizens of Madagascar are impoverished. Impoverishment leads to poaching. The poaching leads to attractive consumer products or a food product and the animals bring significant monies to poachers. 

This tortoise can be a lesson in understanding the strategies of species to survive in a world where predators play very important roles in containing populations. The markings on the shell must blend with the jungle floor. Over time species adapt to their environment. This tortoise has a hard shell, moves slowly, has a sharp beak and markings that blend with it's environment. That is the case with most species. Their strategies for survival include their ability to blend with their environment and mask their presence from predators. 

Harmony with the environment in small countries like Madagascar can bring more than lives of subsistence farming. Ecotourism is known to be beneficial to species, but, also the people that run the hotels, tours and care of the environment that supports the species. Additionally, proper management of tropical hardwoods can bring significant monies for some of the most beautiful wood in the world.

Species don't have to be in danger. The people don't have to be impoverished, but, it takes talented ecologists to bring the entire picture together to work and benefit all.

July 11, 2015
By Charlotte Hamlyn

Fourteen critically (click here) endangered tortoises destined for the illegal wildlife trade have been rescued and are now in quarantine at Perth Zoo.
The distinctive shell of the radiated tortoise makes it a prized target for wildlife traffickers who sell the animals on the black market to be used as ornaments, pets or for their meat, which is said to have aphrodisiac properties.

The animals were intercepted by officials in Hong Kong two years ago.
After a long period of negotiations they were transferred to Perth where they have spent three months in quarantine in a temperature controlled enclosure.
Senior vet at Perth Zoo Simone Vitali said the tortoises, which are native to Madagascar, were bound for the black market in Asia.

"We know very little about where these animals came from in the first place except they were probably taken from the wild and so they may well be related to one another," Dr Vitali said.

"They're very popular in the illegal wildlife pet trade because they're very charismatic little animals, they're very easy to care for and they're long-lived....

From the "Brisbane Times."

I am sure many zoo goers have seen the animals that "pace the cage." These enrichment programs for the animals is to increase their quality of life. It is not a trick or taught under fear of punishment. No one is feeding the animals treats. They have an opportunity to occupy their minds with other activities they find fun. Obviously, the chimp feels good playing his melody. It hasn't discovered higher level composition at this point.

Elephants have been painting for years. 

July 9, 2015
By Stephanie Brownlee

An enrichment program (click here) for animals at Rockhampton Zoo - and in particular a ukulele-playing chimp - is pulling at heartstrings on social media.
The zoo has returned with gusto since reopening in April after repairs following Tropical Cyclone Marcia.
Images and videos featuring the zoo's animals benefiting from an enrichment program have found thousands of fans via Facebook with Holly the chimp and her ukulele notching almost 16,000 views alone on the zoo's page....

Certifications for zoos are very important. It's a public facitlity. There should be no question about the proper operation.

"Gulf Breeze Zoo" (click here)

With this being tourist season across the country; zoos need to have consultants on their payroll for this type of emergency. An injured animal is an emergency. The only people licensed to treat animals are veterinarians. 

Megan Mogensen should have quickly called the veterinarian on consult to the zoo to receive information as to the best way to euthanize the animal in question. Quite frankly, when an animal is euthanized, a record to it's treatment and death should be on hand for inspectors to read. 

July 8, 2015
By Will Isern

...Mogensen (click here) led a reporter on a tour of the Gulf Breeze Zoo Wednesday morning. To be sure, the zoo facilities today are impressive and don't show any obvious signs of the kind of abuses alleged in the federal complaint. Still, the complaint stands and Mogensen will be made to appear before an administrative law judge. He says he has refuted each of the government's accusations in writing and intends to fight the complaint in court....

...If found guilty of any or all of the charges, Mogensen and his daughter, Meghan, who also is named in the complaint, could face a variety of outcomes, including having their zoo operation license suspended or revoked.

The most egregious violation included in the complaint is one that Meghan Mogensen did, in 2012 as director of the Reston Zoo in Reston, Va., drown an injured parma wallaby as a means of euthanasia and fabricated a euthanasia report. Mogensen was found guilty of those charges in a Fairfax County, Va., courthouse in 2012 and spent a month in jail.

"The poor girl made a mistake," Mogensen said. "It'll come out that there was a curator up there that was doing a lot of (the violations at the Reston Zoo), and it wasn't Meghan. She had one instance, everything else they mention wasn't her."..."

The certification for zoos applies to all zoos, not just the larger zoos. Many zoos invest a great deal of time and resources to provide a safe and quality experience for the public. There are some real tragedies that occur at zoos. It is the responsibility of the government to insure the public is safe.

July 9, 2015

L.A. Zoo seeks docents (volunteers without pay) (click here)

People who love animals and working with children can serve as a volunteer at the Los Angeles Zoo.... 

...The docent program, open to ages 18 and up, provides comprehensive training, with no experience necessary.

GLAZA’s 600 volunteers have contributed more than 76,000 hours last year to the zoo. Many volunteers have provided over 46 years of service.

Docents complete a 23-week training program offered at the zoo each fall in conjunction with UCLA Extension. Classes, which begin in October, meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. once a week on Mondays or Saturdays....

Zoos can receive attention in the age of iPhones and Facebook by having a prize daily or at the end of the season for the best animal picture of the day or of the season.

"PHOTOS: Baby animals draws crowds as zoos and wildlife parks." (click here)

Rules regarding the contest can be posted around the zoo and on the e-page of the zoo. Those rules must include lawful space between the photographer and the animals, including others in the SELFIE.

I'll be darn. The zoos still have baby giraffes. I thought they were going extinct. I thought the lions that ate them were in trouble, too.

This giraffe was born last November Tanganyika Wildlife Park. (july 8, 2015)

This entry made in memory of "Marius" and his subsequent friends now in the spirit world. (click here)

Don't even think about it, including drowning. People are watching.

Read more here:

The post 9/11 family.

While I mentioned my father who died in 2010 as a dearly loved patriarch to the family. Anyone would ask him, including his right wing conservative friends, how he saw the presidency of George W. Bush.

Now, mind you my father was a veteran of the Korean War. Enlisted, volunteered, munitions expert for US Air Force. He took care of the bombs and the crew that loaded them onto the wings of jets.

In regard to "W," he would state, "I spent four years of my life in service to this country to make the world a better place for my children and their children. That four years in service also was to bring a better quality of life to the Korean people as well. Today, North Korea spits on the USA and freedom because "President W" made a political speech at the DMZ and put all that sacrificed into the trash bin of life. I didn't serve my country for a lousy politician to undo the commitment and deaths of my friends and my country."

He was referring to the "Axis of Evil" speech that spawned North Korea to remove the United Nation's seals on their nuclear reactors. I didn't even bring up the subject. At a Thanksgiving table with family surrounding him, he stated his feelings to let us all know he consented to some of the family's views. He was important to us and he knew it.

My father wanted a better quality of life for the North Koreans as well as American security. It has all been undone and that war outcomes wasted. 

He never agreed the Iraq War was necessary or should have been fought. He pointed out how the Iraq War removed assets from defeating al Qaeda quickly in Afghanistan.

US Senator Sanders has a long history in advocacy for the Middle Class.

Bernie Sanders held his son during a meeting in 1971 with colleagues from The Vermont Freeman in Burlington, Vt. Credit Frank Kochman 
July 3, 2015
By Sarah Lyall

...“The Revolution Is Life Versus Death,” (click here) in fact, was the title of an article he wrote for The Vermont Freeman, an alternative, authority-challenging newspaper published for a few years back then. The piece began with an apocalyptically alarmist account of the unbearable horror of having an office job in New York City, of being among “the mass of hot dazed humanity heading uptown for the 9-5,” sentenced to endless days of “moron work, monotonous work.”...

US Senator Sander's history and policy advocacy is very clear. He is a strong advocate for the Middle Class. He would be breathing down Scott Walker's neck because a Governor is suppose to worry about the people and not his next political office.

There is no doubt that besides the immediate health dangers of sand mining in Wisconsin there will be increased cancer levels in years to come.

Our parents, the current eighty year olds, were working for good wages because of unions. I know because my family is a union family. 

I've said this before, too. My father was a union secretary, one of six officers that resigned to close a contract that would bring far better working conditions to the entire membership. The membership wanted to continue a 90 day wild cat strike because the officers would have to resign. But, the six officers stated they would be okay, but, the real promise of the new contract was that all the others in membership would be okay, too.

That is the legacy of people like Bernie Sanders. That child sitting in his lap was more important than his own life. That is America. That is the America we talk about and the promise this country brings to every child that it will have a better opportunities and a life of upward movement because of that promise.

That is Bernie Sanders.

When Bernie speaks it is from that gravity center of caring about others. If that is socialism, then I guess it is.

Senator Sanders is on the campaign trail because decades of promise has disappeared from the American Landscape. The words "Working Poor" is completely alien to Senator Sanders. Those words are an oxymoron. Those works are in complete contradiction of itself.

The deterioration of the Middle Class is in direct alignment with the disappearing unions. They are equally supportive of each other. "The Right to Work" legislation by ALEC is designed to end unions and end the burden of good wages on Wall Street. 

The deterioration of the Middle Class is so profound that any job has risks to health that is only seen in the Third World. The USA is headed down the path of destruction. The USA will implode with citizens failing health and impoverishment. The Democrats are working very hard to pull the country out of the spiral it has been in economically. The growth is steady, not bubble and bust. The growth is sustainable so long as there is no outsourcing and people feel good about their future and their children's future. That is Bernie Sanders. He lives to uplift the USA back where it belongs, both internationally and domestically.

He really isn't an extremist. It only sounds that way in a political environment that has destroyed the American Dream as a duty to patriotism.