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June 24, 2008

Whales worth more than Sailors

Filed under: animals, court, global war, otb, Talon — Rosemary Welch @ 11:03 pm

That is the only reason I can understand the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Apparently, they believe they are more apt to run a war than the Admirals themselves, and this decision proves them so vastly wrong.

Even Justice Kennedy couldn’t swallow this one:

Under the guidance of Anthony Kennedy, the Supremes have lately taken to arrogating war powers to themselves. (See here.) But even Justice Kennedy may blanch at National Resources Defense Council v. Winter. In that case, the Ninth Circuit ruled that preparing the Navy to fight in a time of war was not an “emergency,” and that our sailors must stop training lest their sonar harm . . . whales.

Just tipping you off as to what to watch for in the next round of SCOTUS decisions. There is a possibility this will never be decided, but the Supremes have decided to at least hear it. That is a step in the right direction.

This should also give us pause to consider who we vote for when we vote. I am not endorsing anyone here, I am just suggesting that we try to find out as much as we can about their policies – especially in matters such as judges – so that we may make an informed decision.

I have just one question really. If we are in a war and need to practice and train, and this is not considered an emergency; what, pray tell, is?

Source: WSJ’s Opinion Journal.

Cross-posted @ The Talon.

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March 10, 2008

Pygmy hippos caught on camera

Filed under: Africa, animals, europe, pics — Rosemary Welch @ 10:22 pm

This secretive little fella was captured on film outside of the Liberian zoo by a group of conservationists. He is known as a pygmy hippo (hexaprotodon liberiensis), and they were thought to live mostly in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Now for a little history of this creature and why they are on the endangered species list. These is thought to be only 3,000 of these pygmy hippos alive today, and they are on the endangered species list due to all the wars, degradation of their habitat, and poaching. People rarely seem, and they usually live in isolated pockets in rivers and swamps in the forests of Africa. But don’t let that fool you. They spend more time on land than their larger, more well known, relatives. These ‘little’ guys feed on leaves and other swamp vegetation, and they can grow up to six feet in length and weigh as much as 300 pounds!

The people who took the time and effort to find out if there were anymore pygmy hippos still alive come in a few groups. Some of them are:

Experts from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) set up special hidden cameras in Liberia’s only national park — and the first images of the wild pygmy hippos were recorded within the first three days.

Working alongside Flora and Fauna International and Liberia’s Forestry Development Agency, the ZSL team, led by Ben Collen, set up the extensive monitoring of Sapo National Park to try to discover how much the hippo had suffered from Liberia’s brutal civil wars.

The team of British conservationists were astonished to discover the wild pygmy hippo had not been wiped out by the fighting as previously thought. ~snip~

The camera traps will remain in place as part of an ongoing monitoring program for the species. The information from the monitoring programmer will be collated, together with information on threats to the species, to produce an accurate population estimate and conservation plan. [Source: CNN-Europe, continue reading.]

This is where we part company, for the time being. Could someone please explain to me how it is possible, since this is a secretive mammal, how we will ever know how many really are that still exist? How do we know, for a fact, that none exist in the Amazon rain forests? Do any live in China? India? The Middle East? The forests of the United States?!?

Just because we have not seen them, does not mean they do not exist. We haven’t seen bin Ladin in years. Does this mean he no longer exists? Hmm…

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August 20, 2007

Four-legged war fighters dwell in new abode

Filed under: animals, CentCom, equip, ME — Rosemary Welch @ 4:52 am

10 Aug 07
By Cpl. Ryan R. Jackson
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD)

AL ASAD, Iraq – Throughout the theatre, service members are continually asking for and receiving operational gear they need to accomplish their mission.

The latest troops on Al Asad to get new mission essential equipment were the four-legged war fighters, more commonly known as military working dogs, of Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, who received new kennels during a ribbon cutting ceremony, July 18. The new kennels were approximately a year and a half in the making and cost approximately $400,000. The kennels are a huge step in the right direction to properly house and care for the dogs, according to 1st Lt. William Turner, military working dog officer in charge.

The facility features include running water and drainage, a rinse tub for washing the dogs, and larger training grounds and break areas. The new training area contains a large obedience course, which is a set of obstacles designed to strengthen a dog and handlers teamwork. The biggest addition to the new facility is the capacity to house 12 dogs. For normal operational purposes each forward operating base normally maintains only a few dogs.

With the increased housing capacity, Al Asad will eventually become the main hub for military working dogs as other FOBs close down and troops draw back, according to the Multi National Forces-West regional kennel master, Tech. Sgt. Nancy Hinostroza.

The biggest difference between the old kennels and the new facility is the billeting situation. In the former kennels the dogs slept in cages beneath the handlers beds and there was almost no separation between the two throughout the day. Now each dog has their own large kennel and each handler has their own room.

“They are the first professional kennels in MNF-W,” said Turner. “The restrictions being in a combat zone has always forced the handlers and dogs to live together, but here we are able to separate them out in a more professional manner.”

Separating the teams is more hygienic and keeps each end of the team healthier.

“The new kennels are more sanitary, in our old kennels we didn’t have anywhere to bathe the dogs,” said Hinostroza. “Now, we have an actual break yard where the dogs can stretch out and it’s great for training.”

The new facility is geared towards expanding on the dogs needs. The training grounds and hygiene equipment lead to better physical health of the furry war fighters, while separating them from their handlers improves their mental health.

“Now we get some separation, we’re not with our dogs all day,” said Hinostroza. “Sometimes you just need a break from your dog. Now, when we get them they are like ‘Come on, take me out!’ instead of like ‘Good morning, what’s going on?’ they are much happier to see us.”

Photo – Sgt. Aaron DeSalvo, a military working dog handler, walks his dog Kelsey through the obedience course at the new kennel facility, July 18. The facility has an improved break yard and larger obedience course, which is used to improve the dog and handlers teamwork skills.

July 6, 2007

Someone Please teach me how to Digg!

Filed under: animals, misc, tech — Rosemary Welch @ 5:17 am

Okay, I admit. I do not know everything. I have been spending most of the day trying to Digg one of my posts to no avail. Of course, this does not include the time I spent on the phone with Poison Control, because my cat swallowed some Boracks (sp?) today! She was rushed to the hospital (I woke my brother up and had him take her). She is fine now, in case case anyone cares.

I do not understand (totally) what the words “TITLE” and the such mean. Which goes where? Where can I find this information on Digg? They don’t seem to have any searches for things like this (to my knowledge). I must be doing it wrong, because it sure isn’t working. 😦

Thank you so kindly. Have a wonderful day.
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