Thursday, September 16, 2010
Worry not. Their entrapment was only temporary.
Thankfully, NYC Audubon & NYC Municipal Arts Society are aware of the serious danger the bright lights cause for the birds.
They turned off the lights for 20 minutes at a time a few times that night.
That said, here's something that's a bit worrisome
(or, at the least, a wee bit nauseating):
Did You Know?...
"An estimated 90,000 birds Die each year after becoming disorientated by lights and crashing into skyscrapers in New York as they migrate south for the winter."
All is not lost, despite this staggering statistic.
"Owners of tower blocks (the Enlightened Owners, anyway) are increasingly switching off or dimming their lights to reduce the risks to birds."
I feel better already... How 'bout you?
If you'd like to check out the video and/or the associated article on the 10,000 Temporarily Trapped Birds... Please click on the link below.
10,000 Birds Trapped In Twin Towers Memorial Lights
More than 10,000 confused birds were trapped by the beams of memorial lights switched on to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
By Nick Allen in Los Angeles
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Well... it's, at the least, another step in an enlightened and just direction.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the U.S. military's DADT ("Don't Ask. Don't Tell") policy on Thursday.
Judge Phillips "... said the law did not help military readiness, but had a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services.
The Obama administration has promised to introduce legislation repealing it.
The Obama Administration "has also announced that the repeal would not be
implemented until after the Pentagon completed a review of its impact on
the armed forces."
That last bit means that - both tragically and in the meanwhile - the U.S. military will be continuing to pursue its practice of forced expulsion of some of its best and brightest members.
This is unfair and unfortunate for not only everyone concerned, but for all of us, as a nation.
Here's the link to the full bbc.co.uk article...
US Judge Rules Military Ban On Gays 'Unconstitutional'
If you're interested in seeing the published results (in summary or whole) of a very recent independent survey (carried out by The Palm Center) of other nations whose military forces have transitioned into openly allowing gay and lesbian citizens to serve - a very enlightening report, to say the least - click on the link below...
Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010
February 23, 2010
Dr. Nathaniel Frank with Dr. Victoria Basham, Geo!rey Bateman, Dr. Aaron Belkin, Dr. Margot Canaday, Dr. Alan Okros, and Denise Scott
I was stunned - initially, anyway - at this otherwise unremarkable little man's utterly remarkable level of religious-intolerance, cultural incompetence and militant disregard for the potentially serious - if not deadly - effects of his proposed actions.
I've also been rather non-plussed at the expanding and exploding coverage of this small-minded man's misdirected hatred/ignorance as it grew from a "can you believe this stupidity" brief aside in a few news broadcasts into what it has now become: one of the main stories covered not only in national newscasts, but now global news.
Not only that...
In our most modern world of instantaneous global communication, as reports of the asinine intentions of this Southern pastor of a congregation of no more than 50 people have traveled across the globe and fanned the fanatical fires of the Christian vs Muslim religious war rhetoric of Muslim extremists into a growing firestorm, the story has now blossomed into a genuine national security issue for America and has increased the potential harm which threatens our men and women serving overseas - particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan - in the various branches of our military.
American officials have taken the significant increase in the level of such threats which would undoubtedly result in the wake of Jones' intended Quran-burning very seriously.
In public statements, "... President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and General David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, have warned that the burning of any Qurans could put at risk American soldiers fighting wars in predominantly Muslim countries." (From: npr.org.)
On Thursday, President Obama, in an interview broadcast on ABC, described the pastor's proposed stunt as a "recruitment bonanza for al-Qaida."
A recently revealed sidenote: it has been revealed that the pea-brained pastor wrote something with the title Islam Is of the Devil - published last month.
Perhaps - in Jones' myopic mind, anyway - the planned Quran-burning was his idea of a "Shock-and-Awe" method of promoting his book.
I must admit... I was shocked... not only by the pastor's superior stupidity, but also by his unwavering resoluteness to - damn the torpedoes and everything/everyone else - show just how stupid one person can be... if they work really hard on it.
And, I'm even kinda awed that, in the wake of the growing international condemnation of his plans as well as reports on anti-Christian and Anti-American protests he's inspired, the pastor hasn't simply disappeared... although the media circus which now encircles him would definitely make that a bit of a challenge.
NPR.org provides an informative and detailed account of exactly how this excruciatingly-painful example of human stupidity was able to achieve the infinitely-undeserved (and, hopefully, soon to be ended) status of: Global News Story... whilst simultaneously (and quite militantly) shaping himself into the ideal "Anti-American Poster-Boy" For al-Qaida.... and becoming a One-Man Menace to American National Security...
by Liz Halloran NPR.org
(Hint... Hint... Believe it or not, this whole carnival actually started with NPR... I kid you not.)
So, it's a very good read.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
There was one thing which - although it remained unmentioned - still managed to be the unavoidable and enormous elephant in the Oval Office...
In his address to the nation, President Obama did refer to former President Bush's role as the "decider" who had initiated the Iraq War, yet he concluded his speech without ever calling attention to the actions of the Bush Administration - including the seemingly endless string of blatant lies and and fact-free fear-mongering - used by that Administration to - at first - justify the invasion of Iraq and then, to justify maintaining a huge military presence and occupying the country. (The Bush Administration - especially Dick Cheney and GWB himself - proved on more than a few occasions that they had absolutely no qualms about standing before the national and world press and spinning further fabricated fish-tales as needed after the previous one was exposed.)
When Obama referred to his predecessor, he did so only briefly and without including the little tidbit about him being the same man who deserves to be, ultimately, the one person held responsible for every one of the 4400 dead Americans and countless civilian casualties which were a direct result of Bush's decision to go to war.
President Bush is ultimately responsible, as well, for the countless billions of American dollars which were poured into the Iraq war and/or lost to members of the corrupt leadership there... Billions of dollars which would have better served Americans and American interests if invested in education, job creation, infrastructure, etc. here at home.
In keeping his remarks about Bush brief, President Obama continued to prove his previously-stated interest of looking ahead, not behind.
So, even though he could have taken advantage of these issues, President Obama, instead, chose to take the high road.
Once again, President Obama showed that he - for one - has something called Integrity.
You'd think that such graciousness would be appreciated.
Despite having been given this hugely-undeserved pass by the current President during a major public address being watched by millions...
Despite the fact that Obama made the conscious decision not kick Republicans when they're already down - something the GOP would never do if the situation were reversed - Senior GOP members of Congress simply couldn't leave it alone.
Apparently, they misinterpreted President Obama's show of integrity as a sign of weakness - which is understandable, as many of them lack integrity and wouldn't recognize such a valuable character trait even if it were right in front... well, where it was.
The GOP leadership's hot air-filled, self-deluded response to Obama abstaining from beating their dead elephant points to their utter inability to simply sit down, thank their lucky stars and shut the hell up - even if it's in their own best interest to do so.
John Boehner criticized Obama's earlier opposition to the Bush surge which led to this "result" - namely, the end of the war.
Mr. Boehner, I have three words for you: "No Exit Strategy".
And, John Boehner wasn't the only windbag who foolishly tried to draw political capital - in a situation where there was none to be gained.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch "Crazy Mac" McConnell (R-KY) also seemed to feel that former President Bush had in some way been slighted by Obama's omission of his "achievements".
McConnell was all fired up over his perception that President Bush hadn't received the credit due to him for his contributions to this moment and moved quickly to call everyone's attention to what Obama hadn't: namely that without Bush's tireless efforts to initiate the Iraq War, the end of combat operations in Iraq wouldn't have been possible.
McConnell stood in front of a microphone and cameras and said, "I think that we should be thankful that another President had the determination and the will to carry out the plan that made tonight's announcement possible.".
* In other words, what McConnell is saying is that if then-President Bush hadn't brought about the start of the Iraq War, then President Obama wouldn't have this great opportunity to be marking The End of it.
The senior Congressional GOP leadership actually wants us to be thankful that President Bush started the Iraq War.
Really? You guys want a "Thank You"?
Senator Boehner, Senator McConnell (and all others of like mind):
I freely offer my "Thank You, President George W. Bush, For Starting The Iraq War":
Thank You, former President Bush, for setting a global precedent - one which other nations may very well invoke in the future to justify their own military actions - in which a sitting head of state chooses - unilaterally - to initiate an utterly unprovoked bombing & full-scale military invasion of a sovereign nation - a nation which was of no immediate nor direct threat... and for justifying all of it with lie after lie after lie and for having no exit strategy.
Thank You. Thanks a lot.
It is my most sincere hope that you, sir, receive all the credit (and everything else) you deserve for all that you did to make the unprovoked Iraq War a bloody, deadly and hugely-expensive reality... which is now, thankfully, coming to an end.
There, Mitch... John... that pretty much covers it.