I Just Hope There’s no Sparrow Hell

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I feel sad for the planet that people are so straight-jacketed and tongue-tied against ever whispering a word about the human overpopulation crisis.

People won’t hesitate to speak up if a non-human animal species becomes overpopulated (usually because humans have changed its environment and/or killed off its natural predators), but they continue to tiptoe around the issue of their own species overpopulation…

There’s way too many of us to be telling people, ‘just consume less and we’ll be fine.’ As popular as that might be to some of us, the human footprint is much too deep and heavy to get off so lightly.

 

Like cows in search of greener pastures, we’ve worn an indelible trail to our own demise. We’ve come so far on this narrow trail that it’s getting too late to turn back now…

 

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I’m reading a true story wherein the main character/victim is a mother who, though she has 2 kids already and then had her tubes tied, re-marries and wants to have more babies with her new husband. One of her eggs is in-vitro fertilized and she ends up having quadruplets (in addition to the 2 she already had). After she is murdered by her ex-husband, her younger sister (who has 4 kids of her own) helps take care of them…

Anyway, long story short, there’s too many humans now to just say. ‘Just buy a little less’ and we’ll all be ok’. That’s an oversimplification sort of like Gorge W. Bush telling people to go out shopping after 9-11. Good for the 7-11s in the world maybe, but not the full answer the Earth really needs right now.

In other words, until we address the overpopulation of humans, we may as well tell people to just go out and go shopping.

Until humans come down from their pedestal and decide that we are animals, beholden to the same laws of nature as any others, we’ll never escape the mess we’re in…

Challenging the illegal wildlife trade around the globe

PROTECTING OUR WILDLIFE It is a horrifying thought that just during my
lifetime – since the start of the 1970s – well over half of all mammals,
amphibians, reptiles and birds have disappeared from our planet.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Habitats have been destroyed through climate change or deforestation, and
vulnerable species hunted to the point of extinction by poachers. Losses
like this can’t go on. We must tread more lightly on the planet, stop
hacking at the roots of the tree of life, and pass on to our children a
healthier, more bountiful, natural world. It’s a vital message, and thanks
to this ‘Protecting our Wildlife’ campaign, it’s one that many more people
will hear in coming months.
In the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan we set out our ambitions –
which will be reinforced in our forthcoming Environment Bill – to protect
and enhance our landscapes and seascapes, and the wildlife that relies upon
them for theirsurvival.

Illegal wildlife trade is worth up to £17bn a year

The plight of endangered species, and tackling the organised criminals who
prey upon them, are a particular priority. In vulnerable communities around
the world, poachers zero in on the rarest animals, trees and plants before
sending their illegal haul across continents to satisfy global demand.
This illegal wildlife trade is both abhorrent and lucrative – thought to be
worth up to £17bn a year – and we are in the forefront of international
efforts to tackle it. At the London Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in
October last year, supported byHRHthe Duke of Cambridge, we welcomed over 70
countries and more than 400 charity and conservation groups, and urged them
to commit to finding new ways to tackle this moral and environmental
scandal.

Cutting ivory trade by a third by 2020

For our part, when our domestic ivory ban comes into force later this year,
it will be one of the toughest in the world – ensuring a complete end to
commercial dealing in elephant ivory with only limited and carefully-defined
exemptions. We will use this ban, backed by legislation, as a platform to
lobby for further action to protect iconic species. The newly-created
international Ivory Alliance 2024, which I have the honour of chairing, aims
to cut the poaching of elephants for their ivory by one-third by 2020, and
two-thirds by 2024. Through the IWT Challenge Fund, meanwhile, the UK has
invested £18.5 million in over 60 projects.

Laos commits to total ban on ivory trade

The international community is also playing its part. News that Laos had
committed to a total ban on ivory was one of the highlights of the London
conference. We were also delighted by the announcement that the US will fund
projects to counter wildlife trafficking to the tune of over $90million in
the coming year.

British military taskforce to counter poaching

International co-operation is vital. Building on successful deployments in
Gabon and Malawi, the UK is putting £900,000 of new funding into developing
a British military counter-poaching taskforce. Its members will train
African park rangers in more effective and safer counter-poaching techniques
as they seek to disrupt those who would kill elephants – a magnificent
keystone species – simply for their ivory. Some 65 countries signed up to
the London declaration – an important symbol of international co-operation,
and of our determination to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade. For good.

Gradually, nervously, courts are granting rights to animals

https://www.economist.com/international/2018/12/22/gradually-nervously-courts-are-granting-rights-to-animals?fbclid=IwAR357aPN_UWgJ7tWXqBcF5YekO-Ozqw9sKm30mNsTR87w1XtKTtzOHdyvvw

Chimpanzees and elephants first

Happy was one of seven Asian elephant calves captured, probably from the same herd, in Thailand in the early 1970s. Named after Disney’s seven dwarves, they were shipped to America and sold to circuses and zoos. Happy and Grumpy ended up in the Bronx zoo, where they lived in an enclosure for 25 years. In 2002 they were transferred to a larger enclosure with a second pair of pachyderms, Patty and Maxine. Their new environment was a little closer to the wild one, in which elephants form large families. But Patty and Maxine charged at Grumpy, injuring her. Unable to walk and with suppurating wounds, Grumpy was euthanised.

Happy was then paired with a younger female elephant, Sammy. She died of kidney failure in 2006. But meanwhile Happy had become a scientific celebrity. In 2005 she became the first elephant to pass the “mirror self-recognition test”, an indicator of self-consciousness. Scientists painted a white cross over her left eye, and led her to a large mirror. Happy repeatedly touched the marking with her trunk, showing that she recognised herself. Most animals (and human infants) cannot do this.

SEXUAL ABUSE OF FEMALES: THE ANIMAL CONNECTION

*As an animal rights activist and a longtime scholar of sexism and gender
issues, while reading the recent spate of articles about the sexual abuse
of females by males in positions of power, I have been struck by the clear
similarities to the abuse of animals by humans.*

*Let me be clear. I am not speaking here about situations where someone
beats a dog or kills a cat, or other horrific instances of abuse and
torture of individual animals. I am talking about the systemic and
systematic abuse of animals that is practiced, institutionalized,
and normalized by all human cultures throughout time, where humans are in a
position of greater power than the animals. Just as human males in
positions of power feel free to abuse females they desire, so too do we
humans feel free to do the same to animals.*

*The common dimension is a concept of property, which explicitly or
implicitly has been used throughout history to justify the abuse of humans
females, and which similarly has normalized, driven, and justified human
treatment of animals across all centuries and societies. In both cases,
the victims, deemed property, become resources or objects to fulfill the
desires of those in power. Thankfully, legal views of women as chattel
have eroded in many places, although implicit and more subtle views of them
as property (private if not public), as “available” resources, persist
today still. But for animals there has been virtually no change at all,
legally or otherwise. Legally they remain our property, things or
objects to be used and exploited in any way we wish. Thus as we see with
human females still, concepts of property and ownership have spawned the
justification for their abuse by people in positions of greater power—males
in the case of human females, all humans in the case of animals.*

*Thus both groups are treated as “available” resources. As beings to be
“taken” and used as the perpetrators see fit. For human females, this may
include horrific sexual abuse, for animals “anything goes” and there is
virtually no limit to how we humans may use animals and what we may do to
them. We eat their flesh, we steal their eggs and the milk intended for
their own babies, we torture and kill them so we may tear away and wear
their skin and fur. We brutally separate mothers and babies, we rip
families apart. We demean and torture animals so they can perform for our
“entertainment,” we perform unspeakable “experiments” on them. *

*All of this because, like the human victims of sexual abuse, the animals
are “ours” for the taking, there to violate, to commit terrible acts upon
by those in power. And we do, ruthlessly. In the words of Nobel prize
winning author J.M. Coetzee, a dedicated animal advocate, human treatment
of animals is ”a crime of stupefying proportions.” And Nobel prize winning
writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, also a resolute animal advocate, wrote,”In
relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal
Treblinka.”*

*Human treatment of animals, these normalized actions on our part, gives
the lie to the morality we profess to , and bespeaks deep pathology in the
human psyche. To abuse, exploit, torture and kill other beings, living and
sentient, because we are in a position of dominance and greater power is
something we consider wrong. To then split and compartmentalize this
ethic—culturally and individually—and apply it solely to humans but not
animals not only contradicts our professed values and morality, but in so
doing also creates psychologically dangerous and destructive conflicts
within the human psyche and soul. Like our animal victims, we too are
damaged and suffer from what we have wrought, from the atrocities we
inflict on them.*

*It is time for this to stop. Time for our norms, institutions and values
to change, time to bury the outmoded historical paradigms which have
unscientifically created hierarchy among human groups and between humans
and animals, attempting thereby to justify exploitation and abuse by those
wielding power. Time to change oppressive ideologies and institutions. Time
for humans to end our psychological denial, reintegrate our morality, and
heal our souls. To become the ethical beings we profess to be–so that just
as we so correctly condemn the sexual abuse of human females, so too will
we condemn, renounce, and end our exploitation and abuse of animals.*

*Deborah Tanzer, Ph.D, is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York
City.. She is writing a book about the psychological connections between
human violence, gender issues, and human treatment of animals.*

*Deborah Tanzer, Ph.D.dtanzer32@gmail.com

Will the History Books Record How Neo-Nazis Made Eyes at the Bundy Militia?

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34575-will-the-history-books-record-how-neo-nazis-made-eyes-at-the-bundy-militia

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:00
Written by
Spencer Sunshine By Spencer Sunshine, Truthout | News Analysis

With fellow protesters on either side of him, Ammon Bundy, back to camera in center, speaks to reporters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Princeton, Ore., Jan. 4, 2016. (Jarod Opperman / The New York Times)With fellow protesters on either side of him, Ammon Bundy, back to camera in center, speaks to reporters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Princeton, Oregon, January 4, 2016. (Photo: Jarod Opperman / The New York Times)

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The FBI and the Oregon State Police have arrested most of the leaders of the three-and-a-half-week armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. At least two militia members were shot during a highway traffic stop that turned into a shoot-out Tuesday night, and one militia leader – Robert “LaVoy” Finicum – was killed.

From its start, the Malheur occupation highlighted the social and political fault lines within the United States, drawing sharply conflicting reactions ranging from mockery to hero worship to criticisms of the capitalist and colonial underpinnings of the militia’s tactics and aims. Reactions to the shoot-out have also revealed even more fault lines, including divisions within the left, as some celebrate the downfall of the far-right-wing occupiers and others question how any progressive could ever celebrate the shooting of a civilian by the police.

As the Malheur occupation fades into history, there are many insights on the US social and political landscape to be distilled both from this episode and from the national conversations it has sparked. One underreported aspect of the affair is what it revealed about the nature of the partial but significant overlaps between neo-Nazis and anti-federal-government activists like the Bundys.

The occupiers had been demanding the abolition of the federal government as we know it, using a set of rationales that were originally derived from racist movements. Some of the occupiers were known to spout anti-Semitic or Islamophobic conspiracy theories, while another denied that slavery existed. And so it should not have surprised anyone that neo-Nazis and other organized racists have applauded the occupation.

Instead of wearing a swastika and burning a cross, they were wrapped in the American flag and waving the Constitution.

Until their arrest, Ammon and Ryan Bundy (sons of deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy) were leaders of the occupation of the refuge’s headquarters outside of Burns, Oregon, which had gone on since January 2. They had two demands: to remove control of the bird sanctuary (previously Indigenous-held land) from the federal government’s hands so that ranchers could use it for private gain without current environmental and other restrictions; and release two members of the Hammond family, local ranchers serving sentences for arson on public land.

Many of the ideas and political forms that Ammon Bundy and his friends used were derived from the 1970s white supremacist group Posse Comitatus. It promoted the formation of militias, developed a fictitious parallel legal world based on an idiosyncratic reading of the US Constitution, and rejected the authority of federal and state governments – claiming that the county sheriff was the highest legitimate elected official. But while Ammon Bundy and the others directly around him had many of the same ideas, they were careful not to use Posse Comitatus’ bigoted language.

This was not true of many of the Bundys’ followers at the refuge. Jon Ritzheimer, who was also arrested Tuesday night, is a famous Islamophobic organizer, known for his vicious rhetoric. Blaine Cooper once wrapped a Koran in bacon and set it on fire. Brand Thornton and David Fry are reported to hold anti-Semitic ideas. Ryan Payne (also arrested on Tuesday) believes that slavery didn’t exist. Rance Harris is said to have neo-Nazi tattoos like “88” – the alphanumeric code for “Heil Hitler.” And together they collectively offended the Burns Paiute Tribe (whose land used to include the refuge), by – among other things – breaking into an area where the tribe’s artifacts are stored.

So flirtatious overtures from neo-Nazis to the Bundy gang should not have surprised anyone.

More: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34575-will-the-history-books-record-how-neo-nazis-made-eyes-at-the-bundy-militia

Remember trying to walk home from school?

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/8521237-remember-trying-to-walk-home-from-school

by Susie Duncan Sexton

description A Yale professor, who spoke of teaching the -ISMS (racism, ageism, sexism), said that never did he have more dissension or hatefulness issuing from students than when he attempted to teach SPECIESISM.

He believed the collective guilt of having already eaten meat for a lifetime and laughing at animals and never stopping to face the reality of all the abuse other species suffer at the hands of humans is the primary reason humans become so stubbornly heinous. Yet, some of us become compassionate and wish to change. We are the true brave hearts. The others are cowards playing with murderous weapons. Nothing but cowards.

description

And as usual they – those who want to make an ugly point of their God(?)-given “dominion” over, well, everything, it seems – are once again taking their vileness and coarseness and ignorance out on the innocent – even stepping it up. Pretty odd stuff – sociopathic and psychopathic and bizarre. A bully is a bully is a bully.

Those types are as nuts toward humans as they are animals, in spite of any insincere attempts (on their part) at denial of such. Often…usually always…the swaggering grows due to gang-like behavior. Humans trying to impress other humans and to be accepted in some nightmarish club or other. Just unbelievable to observe.

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But so goes history….ethnic cleansings, world wars, crusades, feeding ____ to lions, gladiator contests, rodeos, bull-fights, turtle tossing, quail shooting, and ………………… and all manner of kinky, mean, smug, creepy, stupid stuff.

Remember trying to walk home from school? And the little cliques that lay in wait? Well, those kids never change. And they seldom seem to pay for their nasty behavior. They manage to raise their little fists and display their Wal-Mart weapons in photo ops because maybe they really always wanted to be movie stars or quarterbacks or cowboys or roller derby dolls or something?

description

And they should have been disciplined by parents (who often maneuvered their way on to school boards) or teachers (who often wish to be popular with the meanest kids so that their work day goes smoother!).

C’mon 99% can relate to the horrors of the public school system then and now. Same old same old. And look where we all are today…putting up with the ugly fireworks I just described and whatever else the entitled want to impose on the rest of us.

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Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Stories from a Smart and Sassy Small Town Girl by Susie Duncan Sexton

More Secrets of an Old Typewriter  Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels by Susie Duncan Sexton

Read about movies and nostalgia, animal issues and sociopolitical concerns all discussed in my book Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its follow-up Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels – print and ebook versions of both are available on Amazon (click the title).

The books are also carried by these fine retailers: Ann Arbor’s Bookbound and Common Language; Columbia City’s North Side Grille and Whitley County Historical Museum; and Fort Wayne’s The Bookmark.

And you can download from iTunes.

Meet other like-minded souls at my facebook fan page

Visit my author website at www.susieduncansexton.com

Join a great group of animal advocates Squawk Back: Helping animals when others can’t … Or Won’t

A population bomb is killing us

“…It’s ‘impossible to feed 10 billion people.’ We don’t need more farmers, we need fewer small mouths to feed.”…

[I would add that the root problem responsible for overpopulation is human arrogance and the scourge of speciesism. Once we address that, we can move beyond mass-denial and take a serious, scientific look at this planet’s carrying capacity in relation to human overpopulation.]

From:

Climate change isn’t the problem. A population bomb is killing us

Humans are doing nothing to stop their own self-destruction

By Paul B Farrell

…Population is out of control. That’s the world’s No. 1 problem. Yet we’re trapped in mass denial. Nobody’s dealing with the world’s biggest problem. Listen:

    • Scientific American says global population growth is “the most overlooked and essential strategy for achieving long-term balance with the environment.” By 2050 world population will explode from today’s 7 billion to 10 billion, with 1.4 billion each in India and China. With China’s economy nearly three times America’s.
    • Billionaire philanthropists met secretly in Manhattan five years ago: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey and others. Each took 15 minutes to present their favorite cause. Asked what was the “umbrella cause?” They all agreed: Overpopulation, said the billionaires. But they’re still silent today.
    • Our collective conscience is trapped in massive conspiracy. In “The Last Taboo,” Mother Jones columnist Julia Whitty hit the nail on the head: “What unites the Vatican, lefties, conservatives and scientists in a conspiracy of silence? Population.” But this hot-button issue ignites powerful reactions. Yet politicians won’t touch it. Nor will U.N.’s world leaders. Even when it’s killing us. Cowards talking a good game.
  • Jeremy Grantham’s investment firm GMO manages about $110 billion in assets. He also funds an Institute of Climate Change at London’s Imperial College. He warns, population growth is a huge “threat to the long-term viability of our species, when we reach a population level of 10 billion.” Why? It’s “impossible to feed 10 billion people.” We don’t need more farmers, we need fewer small mouths to feed.

But how? Bill Gates says we must cap global population at 8.3 billion, even as his vaccine and contraceptive plans extend life expectancy. But Columbia University’s Earth Institute Director Jeff Sachs says even 5 billion is too many. Stop adding more babies? Virtually impossible. So how do we not add a billion? Or subtract two billion from today’s seven billion total? Voluntary? Remember how China’s one-child plan failed.

World’s biggest problem — out-of-control population — has no solution?

Worst-case scenario: There is no solution. Overpopulation is going to drive the world off a cliff. And seems nobody really cares. Nobody’s working on the real solution. No one has the courage. Not U.N. leaders, scientists or billionaires. No one. It’s taboo. All part of a conspiracy of silence. A denial that’s killing us.

Any real solutions? Just wait for wars, pandemics, starvation to erase billions? Wait in denial? But will wars, disease, poverty solve Earth’s biggest problem, the problem no one wants to talk about? Meanwhile, Big Oil’s marketing studies keep telling CEOs like Tillerson the truth about the inconsistent behavior of irrational humans living in denial. To Big Oil, population growth is good, more customers, essential for economic growth.

Yes, we just keep telling ourselves we’re recyclers, green, love hybrids, eat organic.

Even as we just keep adding to the billion autos on the planet, keep buying Big Oil stocks for retirement, keep stocking up on carbon polluting products. Why? Our subconscious secretly endorses Big Oil’s strategy. As Tillerson once told Charlie Rose in BusinessWeek: “My philosophy is to make money. If I can drill and make money, then that’s what I want to do,” making “quality investments for our shareholders.” It’s a subtle conspiracy.

Is it already too late? Will we ever stop our insane suicidal obsession?

Don’t bet on it. Watching how America’s dysfunctional government solves problems lately is not encouraging.

Millennium ago dinosaurs disappeared. Didn’t know what hit them in the last great species extinction. They vanished forever. Forever. The planet never brought them back. Today humans know what’s ahead. We can make the big, tough decisions … if only we wake up in time … if only we have the will to act … before it really is too late.

Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif

Twenty-first Century Swastikas

For over half a century the Nazi swastika—that all too familiar symbol of hate—has been relegated to the dark corners of extremism, never to be openly displayed on a flag or uniform again. The Nazi credo was perhaps as confusing as it was complex, but generally, it was the definitive case of one group vilifying and scapegoating another.

Today, a similar type of blind hatred rules in areas where exploitive or extractive animal industries are considered a way of life. One can hardly drive a mile in parts of rural America without seeing emblems of extremism in the form of hateful bumper stickers touting selfish anti-wolf slogans like, “Smoke a Pack a Day” or, in areas where wolves are still extinct, “Did the coyotes get your deer?” Another popular hate-symbol adorning the back of all too many rural pickup trucks is simply a silhouette of a wolfNT wolf bumpr stickr inside a red circle with a slash through it.

In certain towns along the Pacific Northwest coast, where commercial fishing is a dying “way of life” (because dams and overfishing had nearly wiped out the salmon), the trendy stickers of ignorance and intolerance feature a sea lion with a fish inside a red circle and slash. The message is clear, sea lions can starve and die off, the humans have claimed the fish for themselves.

And although sea lions are indeed starving and dying off, it isn’t happening fast enough for some small minded, self-serving fishermen who shoot them, in defiance of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, just as the wolves in the tri-state and Great Lakes regions become victims of those who claim all land animals as “resources” and can’t stand the competition from those natural predators. Blatant Nazism may be a thing of the past, but speciesist extremism is alive and well all across America.

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