The Watering Hole, Wednesday, August 12th, 2015: Chuck Should Listen to George (Bonus: Birds!)

I started this post (a few days ago) thinking that I would rebut Senator Chuck Schumer’s reasoning, as reported in this NY Times article by Jennifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Weisman, for his opposition to the Iran Nuclear Agreement.  But that would have taken too long and wouldn’t have been good for my mental and physical health.  Suffice it to say that Chuck’s ‘arguments’ against the deal are specious and unfounded, and the final quote in the article is, quite literally, nonsensical:  “To me, after 10 years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.”

Then I got distracted (once again) by President Washington’s Farewell Address, with his  warning against aligning the Nation with any particular nation(s) at the expense and enmity of any other nation(s), and at the expense of our country’s interests.  (If you’re interested, the pertinent discussion starts at “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.”)  I wanted to scold Schumer with these two sections in particular:

“Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.

~ and ~

“Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

Then, for a bit of crazy, there were a couple of stories on RightWingWatch about Michele Bachman “predictions” and/or supposed validation of previous “predictions.” 

Finally, I ran across something to wash the bad taste out of your minds: a story about birds from DailyKos.

This is our daily open thread, so talk about ‘such and stuff’ (as my mum used to say.)

Sunday Roast: Day trip

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The day started a bit hazy…but cleared up nicely.  My eldest likes to take the Otter Crest Loop byway, and in the few minutes it took to get there, the day became crystal clear.

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Photos by Zooey

So it was another beautiful day on the Oregon coast — and there were FAR too many people who agreed with me.

This is our daily open thread — Hey look!  I didn’t forget and posted on time!

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, July 29th, 2015: Must-Squeee!

When you need a break from the lunatic asylum from which the Republican – gulp – Presidential hopefuls have escaped, here’s some peace and love amongst various species to ease your minds and soothe your souls.

From “Adorable Animal Friendships: Unlikely Pairings Will Melt Your Heart”, by Michele Berger and Edecio Martinez, courtesy of TheWeatherChannel, a gallery of 81 awwws, eeks, and squeees.  Just one to start:

tiger cub and piglets~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ll just bow out quietly and let you enjoy the calm…

Open Thread – take a deep breath and, um, let go?

Sunday Roast: Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice, all y’all?  Heh, all I know is that it’s supposed to be the day of the year with the longest daylight hours.  I won’t say it’s the longest day of the year, because, as we all know, that is a rather subjective concept.

Anyhoo, enjoy this lovely video of Alaska during summer solstice.

This is our daily open thread — Brace yourselves for summer…

Sunday Roast: Mt St Helens anniversary

May 18, 1980, thirty-five years ago tomorrow, Mt St Helens in Washington State went off like a bomb, killing 57 people and turning hundreds of square miles of beautiful forest into a wasteland.

Here’s a handy dandy graphic from the Wiki page of what happened during the blast:

I was living near Lake Shasta at the time, and working at the K-Mart just off I-5 in Redding.  I was amazed at the uptick in the numbers of travelers going north; we could tell who they were because they were buying stacks and stacks of crappy K-Mart air filters for their cars.  My thought was, “Why drive into that mess on purpose?,” but I guess they had their reasons — maybe selling crappy air filters to the masses.  :D

Thankfully, no one in my family was living in northern at the time.  My parents and younger sister moved to Moscow the next year, so they could establish residency before my dad started law school in 1982.  To hear the old people around Moscow tell it, they received anywhere from a couple inches to 12 feet of ash.  As much of a nightmare as it was, I’m pretty sure it was closer to a couple inches than it was to a foot — let alone 12 feet.

Exciting times!!  My inner geology geek was pinging like mad…

This is our daily open thread — where were you the day Mt St Helens went off?

Sunday Roast: Sea Lions Doing Sea Lion-y Stuff

Lounging...

Lounging…

Swimming...

Swimming…

Vocalizing...and more lounging...

Vocalizing…and more lounging…

Blowing bubbles...napping...maybe waving?

Blowing bubbles…napping…maybe waving?

Photos by Zooey

I definitely waved back, just in case.  ;)

Sea Lions, I like ’em.  Some people hate ’em.  Whatareyagonnado?

This is our daily open thread — Get on with it!

The Watering Hole; Friday April 3 2015; HELP STOP the GOP ESA SHAM

I’ll be brief. I received, this week, the following email from Defenders of Wildlife concerning current and recent efforts by Congressional Republicans to effectively decimate if not completely do away with the Endangered Species Act.

From Defenders of Wildlife:

Anti-wildlife Senators showed their true colors last week as they unleashed a torrent of proposals that if adopted, could cripple endangered species conservation efforts for years to come.

Proposals ranged from delaying the listing of highly imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to restricting access to the courts to enforce the ESA, to creating loopholes in restrictions on the elephant ivory trade for special interests.

The proposals came as part of the shameless free-for-all in the Senate known in Washington as “vote-o-rama.” Technically, it’s part of the Congressional budget process, but in practice it’s little more than a special interest stampede to raid the federal budget and advance extreme ideological agendas.

Here’s just a sampling of what was proposed:

Amendment #759 by Senator Mike Lee would ban federal protection for any endangered species whose range falls entirely within one state. Roughly half of all endangered species would fall under this exception and lose federal protection.

Amendment #452 by Senator Dean Heller would indefinitely delay a listing decision on the dwindling population of greater sage-grouse under the ESA, making it all but impossible to provide federal protection for this imperiled species.

Amendment #606 by Senator Steve Daines would relax restrictions on trade in elephant ivory, creating further enforcement loopholes that would aggravate the poaching crisis that these magnificent creatures face.

While these proposals never made it to an actual vote, their Senate sponsors have tipped their hands and identified their anti-ESA agendas – and many of these proposals are likely to be reintroduced in the Senate in the months ahead.

Tell your elected officials the future of imperiled wildlife conservation depends on stopping these deplorable attacks.

Thanks for all you do.

To date, nothing introduced in Congress has made it past the opening stumbling blocks, but rest assured that raucous attempts will continue because . . . profits are easier and larger when not encumbered by silly environmental and wildlife protection mandates. And really, it’s just that simple.

So. Please. Take a moment. Click on the link. Ask your Senators to help STOP the assault on the Endangered Species Act. Help halt the idiocy.

OPEN THREAD