For three days the Indians
feasted with the Pilgrims. It was a special time of friendship between two
very different groups of people. A peace and friendship agreement was made
between Massasoit and Miles Standish giving the Pilgrims the clearing in
the forest where the old Patuxet village once stood to build their new town
of Plymouth..... For another view of Thanksgiving
Hiatus : A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break: An opening; an aperture; a gap; a chasm; esp., a defect in a
manuscript, where some part is lost or effaced; a space where something
is wanting; a break.
"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some
great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their
heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." --H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
While our attention is focused on terrorists behind every tree & under every bed, moral values and gay marriage, orangutans are disappearing so rapidly that unless serious habitat preservation measures are taken our grandchildren will never know a world inhabited with endangered species like the Orangs.
A thousand years ago were found throughout Southeast Asia ranging all
the way into southern China. Their populations probably numbered in the
hundreds of thousands.
Unfortunately, the species today is found only in
limited populations on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Conservation estimates put the number at around 50,000.
The destruction and degradation of the tropical rain
forest, particularly the lowland forests, is the main reason orangutans
are threatened. This has been caused primarily by human activity:
(intense permitted logging, illegal logging, conversion to palm oil
plantations and farm lands, mining, settlements, road construction) and
also by natural phenomena (large-scale fires).
Additionally, the illegal animal trade has been a
significant factor in the decline the wild orangutan population.
Finally, orangutans are occasionally hunted and eaten by some of the
indigenous peoples of Borneo as well as immigrant loggers who do not
have a dietary prohibition to eating primate bushmeat. More
This book, Reflections of Eden : My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo by Birute M. F. Galdikas is a good place to begin learning about these fascinating creatures.
James Wolcott, a brilliant writer who got his start at the Village Voice back when the Voice was almost a paper of record for the counterculture has only recently joined the blogosphere.
This piece is as good as he gets. He notes that "Nicholas Kristof, speaking from the pulpit of the op-ed page of the NY Times, argues that to become the majority party again Democrats need to get over their sissy hangups about what's right and wrong, and show that they're strong enough to take on the weak.
"I wish that winning were just a matter of presentation," he laments. "But it's not. It involves compromising on principles. Bill Clinton won his credibility in the heartland partly by going home to Little Rock during the 1992 campaign to preside over the execution of a mentally disabled convict named Ricky Ray Rector.
"There was a moral ambiguity about Mr. Clinton's clambering to power over Mr. Rector's corpse. but unless Democrats compromise, they'll be proud and true and losers."
It won't be enough for a candidate to execute a retarded black man in the future to prove his or her bona fides. It would smack of unoriginality. One must make bolder gestures, draft a broader, more inclusive message. To appeal to the reddest of the Red States and thrill Bob Novak in his old age, Democrats could campaign to rescind the Martin Luther King holiday, but I fear this would backfire, since everyone likes an excuse to take a day off from work and would resent having to drag themselves that particularly Monday.
No, something ballsier is needed for a turnaround in perception. A taboo or two needs to be smashed.
Therefore I am proposing that the official Democratic slogan for 2008 be "Shoot a Fag for Jesus."
From Pinole Creek, another one of my favourite places to visit I came across this video of a crow making a tool out of a piece of wire in order to lift a tiny bucket of food out of a glass tube. The crow had never encountered this problem before so the reasoning and successful manipulation of the wire is, well, astounding. Watch
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals.
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the
stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the
people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown." - Walt Whitman