Tag Archives: Spain

Sloth Bears Now Extinct in Bangladesh

Asia Sloth Bear Photograph by Zigmund Leszczynski Animals Animals-Earth Scenes

Asia Sloth Bear
Photograph by Zigmund Leszczynski
Animals Animals-Earth Scenes

Sloth Bears Confirmed Extinct in Bangladesh
By John R. Platt | October 4, 2014 |


John R. Platt has written an excellent blog on this, found at the above link.

I suppose some, if not many, people are wondering why I even posted about this with everything else going on in the world. Because it matters. These things matter. Humans are so intent on destroying each other they sometimes forget there is a whole other world out there that we are also killing off, whether it be through poaching, deforestation, poisoning of habitat, over-hunting, sport-killing, the list goes on. It’s not a happy subject. But neither is the world without Sloth Bears, or the thousands upon thousands of species we’ve already eliminated.

What are we fighting for if we’re killing all the things that make the world a wondrous place to be, and blasting the rest of it to pieces? Is this our legacy for our children? Gods know I’m no military strategist, but what would have happened if the US and others involved now had intervened in Syria when it was a humanitarian crisis instead of waiting until it became a terrorist military action? In the meantime, it makes a nice distraction from the Ukraine and Russia, where yes, things are still happening. People are still being killed there as well. Ukrainians, by the not-pro-Russian (supported) rebels. And bears enter into it again.

So yes, it matters. It all matters. With every person who dies, a little bit of culture dies. Something maybe only that person knew and hadn’t told anyone else yet. I’ll do it tomorrow. Because there should have been a tomorrow.

Celebrities of the frame of mind it is safe to keep bare pictures of themselves on the internet, anywhere, and think they are safe, don’t matter. Does reaching celebrity status give them special internet privileges? Safeties and guarantees? Did they not take Computers 101? Nothing you put on the internet is safe, ever. When in doubt, don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s your “own, private account.” I’m sure that’s what JP Morgan thought about the 76 million records that were compromised as well. As well as all the other major corporations that have been hacked. Nothing is unhackable. I couldn’t hack my way out of a paper bag, except possibly with a pair of scissors, but there are some wicked smart computer people out there, some of them probably still in grade school. Is there something about becoming suddenly famous that makes one want to strip and snap away? If so, I know with absolute certainty that I am absolutely nowhere near famous, because I’ve never had the urge.

People, keep your nude photos of Asian Sloth Bears on a flash drive, or something. Although I’ve put one in my post. I don’t think he’s ashamed. And someday, the cats are going to get us back.

And selfies. What exactly do they represent? The apex of narcissism? Slices into daily life? The equivalent of an “I just went to the gym!” post on Facebook? I’m here, wish you were too, or, on the other hand, I’m here, you’re not, ha ha ha. Obviously I’m a very socially awkward person. It makes one wonder what animals think we’re doing. A friend was at the zoo and they reached the Red Pandas. He knows I adore Red Pandas and took a picture of one, which I love.

"Oh, please drop the camera, please please please please......"

“Oh, please drop the camera, please please please please……”

I can see this little guy, camera strap around his neck, completely anthropomorphized by me and walking around on his or her hind legs making a photo documentary for an undercover animal photojournalism magazine, recording into a small voice activated recorder stashed from another unfortunate visitor’s loss.

One of the most tragic aspects of extinction and endangerment, and all the other levels of how at-risk an animal is, to me, the fact that many of them closest to leaving the wild for good have only one real predator: man. Also man’s own biggest predator.

But I’d just like to mention that the first victim of Ebola in the United States died today. Thomas Eric Duncan.

Ebola is stronger than any army, stronger than ISIS, than Israel, than Palestine, the Ukraine, than Russia. Look at epidemiologists’ reports, their forecasts. Ebola is the leveler, it doesn’t care about your race, your income, your religion. This is what governments need to be paying attention to, spending their money on. Containing and treating this epidemic before it becomes a global one. Remember that, Congress, when you think back on how you slashed aid in half to assist with ebola.

And no, I don’t think ebola has anything to do with “God being angry.” It sounds ridiculous to say, but I think these things just happen when all of the circumstances line up correctly–whether it be hygiene, a mixture of microbes heating to a certain temperature in just the right environment, whatever the case may be, and it became ebola, “living” somewhere fruit foxes could come into contact with it.

What is my point with all of this? Governments pick and choose their battles, and it’s easy to see which ones they picked and which ones they didn’t. For the US, screening for Ebola at 5 airports. Of how many? In Spain, killing the dog of the woman infected with Ebola there. Why not keep it in quarantine and see if it became ill? The US is perfectly prepared for the threat of Ebola, as a hospital in Dallas sends the man home infected with it, who returns in two days. Oh, yes, we’re truly and honestly prepared. But all those airstrikes will really make a difference. The mind boggles sometimes. One thing where man is, essentially, prey, and it’s being relegated to second string; it’s hard to juggle priorities when you can’t juggle.

I just hope the animals whose populations we’ve decimated can’t contract it. That would be justice.





Peridot Dragon Garnet eye

Plus ça change, plus c’est les mêmes.

2 Spies Beaten by Egyptian Soldiers

2 Spies Beaten by Egyptian Soldiers

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

Climbing Ninja

Climbing Ninja




Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

Spy report to Elizabeth I on Spain

Spy report to Elizabeth I on Spain

American Revolution Notes

American Revolution Notes

NSA Goes Too Far

NSA Goes Too Far

From Wikipedia, notes given below:

Events involving espionage are well documented throughout history. The ancient writings of Chinese and Indian military strategists such as Sun-Tzu and Chanakya contain information on deception and subversion. Chanakya’s student Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya Empire in India, made use of assassinations, spies and secret agents, which are described in Chanakya’s rastra. The ancient Egyptians had a thoroughly developed system for the acquisition of intelligence, and the Hebrews used spies as well, as in the story of Rahab. Spies were also prevalent in the Greek and Roman empires.[2] During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongols relied heavily on espionage in their conquests in Asia and Europe. Feudal Japan often used ninja to gather intelligence. More recently, spies played a significant part in Elizabethan England (see Francis Walsingham). Many modern espionage methods were well established even then.[3] Aztecs used Pochtecas, people in charge of commerce, as spies and diplomats, and had diplomatic immunity. Along with the pochteca, before a battle or war, secret agents, quimitchin, were sent to spy amongst enemies usually wearing the local costume and speaking the local language, techniques similar to modern secret agents.[4]

  2. Espionage in Ancient Rome“. HistoryNet.
  3. “Henrywotton.org.uk”. Henrywotton.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  4. Soustelle, Jacques (2002). The Daily Life of the Aztecas. Phoenix Press. p. 209.

I wrote a post ranting about the NSA earlier today. I erased it, put the Crazy Frogs in as I had intended before my temper got away from me, and did other things. I finally decided on the way I wanted to approach it–this one. Espionage and spying are nothing new. They have been around since there have been groups of people to spy on each other. Elizabethan England, it appears, was pretty bad. There have always been people who have a price, or who have done it because they are good at it.

Now, the playing field has changed. Drastically. There are still people who can be bought. There are still people who can be seduced. But really, why go to the bother when all you have to do is set up a scan? It’s too easy. They NSA has more data than they can possibly know what to do with. I’m sure a lot of people could give them suggestions. I’m so used to knowing that anything I do could be monitored, traced, saved, tracked…I almost don’t even care any more. Orwell was right, he just had the date off a little. Yes, I’m angry. I’m angry that the actions this overreaching department of the government which should have been reined in like the rabid dogs they were behaving like weren’t stopped before things got this bad. Angry no one was keeping a closer eye on them, instead of giving them carte blanche to, well, the world. Making a mess of foreign relations. It could be a T-shirt slogan: With Friends like US, Who Needs Enemies?

Nothing can ever be proved, nothing can ever be denied. They’re in the perfect position. The problem was they got careless, as sometimes happens with the bloating caused by power. The NSA is like Jaffar from Aladdin. Remember him? This would be a good time for a little intervention.

Infinite cosmic power...

Infinite cosmic power…

Itty, bitty living space

Itty, bitty living space

Fake Magic the Gathering Card

Fake Magic the Gathering Card

Of course, it isn’t so easy. Or as amusing. And I really hope that the person who made up the very clever MtG card learns to spell “Obedience” right. But otherwise a very awesome card, only four mana to tap, lasts indefinitely. Very nice. I always played blue, green, or white.

I think that may be what they think this is, the NSA–a game. A game of drones. Only people are getting hurt. Real people. Really getting killed. Not thermonuclear war killed. Dead. The more bits and pieces of the news that you read, if you can stand to stick with it long enough, the more pieces start to come together, and the more of a mess it becomes. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive. As allies, it seems Germany’s (oh why, why, the love of compound words–I respect and admire them, but it’s going to be a while before this one rolls off my tongue) Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND)has been giving information to the US but doesn’t know how we’ve been using it. Dear Gods. They’ve also been doing what the NSA has been doing to its own citizens. Spying on them.

I will just say right now that I think everyone is spying on everyone else, and their own citizens. Why not? It seems the chic thing to do these days. Maybe that will make all of us feel better.

What I sincerely don’t believe in is the US spying on the citizens of other countries: that’s just greedy. Leave the French to France and the Germans to Germany and everyone else where they belong. I think you’ve done enough, thank you very much. Does anyone else remember the song by Peter Gabriel, Games Without Frontiers?

I really wanted to visit those countries someday. Oh, and Italy. Let’s not forget Italy. I’m sure they’re involved in there as well. Spain? I would really like to go to Barcelona, because Gaudi never seemed to make it over to the US to build anything here. I would like to see museums. I would like to see buildings that are older than this country, by hundreds of years. I want to see castles, and cathedrals, and if you f**k this up, President Obama, by not having kept a tighter rein on your–you know, none of the definitions for agent in Wiki fit what the NSA is doing. None of them. You’ve created something new, which is only appropriate, I suppose. Let’s just call them your Clandestine Computer Cavaliers (CCC). The CCC’s actions are on the cusp, if they haven’t already tilted, US diplomatic relations arse over teakettle.

Congress didn’t listen to their constituents during the shutdown, as they’re supposed to–after all, those are the people who elected them. They acted on their own agendas. How many rules of the US Constitution did they break then? What was their “punishment?” None of them fled to Russia for political asylum. They just cut off food to hungry women and children, closed Head Start programs, furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers.

How many rules are the NSA breaking now, “for our protection?” I’m sure checking up on women they’re interested in is “for our protection.” I’m sure the only protection they need is a Trojan…Horse. Remember those guys? They were sort of spies as well. In a way. It was underhanded, and not very noble of them. That’s war, though, isn’t it.

Are we fighting Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico? I didn’t think so. Technology has gotten ahead of us, faster than the NSA’s brains, and the CCC treat it like they’ve just plundered a candy shop. These aren’t toys. They aren’t little wooden horses.

This is not a game. This is real life.

I’m sure people are sick to death of my proselytizing over things like this, but WAKE UP! Where are your morals and your ethics? What is happening in this country? Why do you, President Obama, let it happen. Have you given up? Because I voted for you twice, and that, quite frankly, will just piss me off. Giving up. Be proactive instead of reactive. Fix things before you have to do damage control.

Yes, you like to spend time with your family, and you value that. I respect that. But, also in all respects, you’re not a normal man and you don’t get to have a normal life while you’re the President. It sucks, but it’s true. Your attitude has led us down the road of isolationism in terms of relationships with other countries, yet the actions of the NSA have reached out and grabbed other countries by the throat and throttled them. Not a good thing to do when we have an isolationist President.

This is going to take more than a few quick steps and fast thinking to fix. No one is happy. Everyone may be doing the same thing within their own bounds, and even if they aren’t, it’s not to the extent the CCC is. It is going to take genuine desire to fix the problem.

This needs to end. It needed to be over years ago. Keep this agency in line, or keep whoever is leading them in check.

Think on this; if the NSA hadn’t done so many illegal things, committed so many egregious wrongs against so many tens of thousands of people in multiple countries, it wouldn’t matter so much about Snowden, would it? Put it this way–if the FBI were working a case, and got a witness with all the information they needed, the names, the dates, the people under the names, the money, who else was involved, and got them to turn state’s evidence, the FBI would be in heaven. Because that person has all the goods on everyone. But the smog of moral turpitude seems to linger these days. I’ll just leave it at that.

Except for this. And a picture. I have to have another picture.

If you were a little kid, going to the principal’s office, and the principal already knows some of the story, and you know another person who knows the whole story as well as you do is sitting in the room next door, but you’re the one who is talking to the principal first, would you tell the principal everything first, and get it over with, or would you wait and let the other person do it? And then have to wonder what they did say, and what they didn’t say? Snowden can control this show a drip at a time, or you can, Mr. President, because it’s becoming a three ring circus of unprecedented proportions, everyone is watching, and this time, no one is laughing.

 Plus ça change, plus c'est les mêmes.

Plus ça change, plus c’est les mêmes.