Category Archives: Political

Stories of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country, county, city, town, village; citizens.

Save The Whales – Beyond Darwin ©

By Shinazy

whalesToday is a winter day.  At noon the temperature is minus 20*F (- 20*).  It’s white in every direction; even the water is white, covered in a sheet of ice.  Except for a hole that contains 12 Killer Whales who are trapped, land locked, separated from food and their journey south.  Separated from their life cycle.  This most recent save-an-animal news is happening in an ice field off the coast of Inukjuak, Quebec, where the 1,500 residents plead for the world to help, while their government assesses the situation.  The situation gets colder every day and the hole gets smaller.

Because the Canadian government is not getting involved, the question seems to be, Who Should?  For some folks there’s another question: Should We?

One way to view this Save-The-Whales movement is the Darwin approach:  Survival of the Fittest. “If they got themselves into this situation, they should get themselves out.”  I heard this argument when Humphrey the humpback whale wandered into the San Francisco Bay and was unable to find his way back to the ocean.  After weeks in the bay’s fresh water Humphrey was doomed to never have baby whales.

Yes, this would be one way to handle the situation.

However, we humans, being at the top of the food chain with the biggest ‘hearts’ would not let Humphrey become a Darwin statistic.  The world watched and the locals acted.  After many attempts, using various methods, Humphrey was finally lured out of the bay.  It was our big brain and bigger empathy that decided using humpback whales feeding sounds would get the recuse job done.  And, it did.  Saving Humphrey became a somewhat regular event.  Over the next few years he developed a habit of making a left-hand turn on his way south.  But, we were always there to guide him back.

Several years later, another Humpback became tangled in crab traps off the Farallone Islands, again near San Francisco, California.  This time it was obvious that we, our behavior, was the cause.  This time there was no talk of Darwin.  The course of action was clear:  We were responsible, so we needed to save the whale.

whalesToday, with these 12 stranded whales, we are faced with a situation that is less clear.

Is it our actions, our global behavior resulting from our need to consume, to produce, to industrialize, causing the ice sheets to change?  Or, is this a group of whales with faulty GPS genes?

Do we interfere with the Darwin path or do we attempt to save?  The world continues to watch.

photos by kythpryn and shinazy

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Four-way Stop©

A different view of traffic by Bob Deason

Stop,   Look,   Listen

trafficThe main drag in the town where I live has a number of signal lights.  If you spend any time in the downtown area, you will see lots of traffic laws being broken.  Drivers will speed up at a yellow light and end up running through the red, or turn right on red in front of someone who has the green.  There have been a number of close calls where a pedestrian (me) has almost been run down when he had the right of way . . . in a crosswalk . . . with the little “walking guy” light on (venting with righteous indignation).

However, if you move one street west, the traffic environment is totally different.  This is still an important business street, but there are no signal lights, just four-way stop signs.  People who would pull out in front of you or run you down at a signal light will come to a complete stop, smile, and wave at you to go first . . . even if they have the right of way.  I’m pretty sure that at least some of the same people travel both streets, so what is this amazingly civilizing effect?

I think it is because at a four-way stop, you actually have to look someone in the face.   Sometimes you can actually read her lips, “You go ahead.”  Then you nod or wave and say “Thank you.”  Yes, you actually say it out loud even though she can’t hear you.  It’s just the right thing to do.

I really think this is the secret to something.  When you look at someone’s face, and they look at yours, there is a connection.  You recognize that you are neighbors in one sense or another.  So my prescription for improving the world is obvious.  Eliminate signal lights and returning to stop signs.  OK, that is unrealistic and would probably cause gridlock, and maybe even economic chaos.   I guess I am just recommending that we all slow down a little and get to know our neighbors on this tiny planet.  If everyone would do that, we would all feel happier, more connected to each other, and safer crossing the street . . . in a crosswalk . . . with the walking guy light on.

photo by crazyfilmgirl

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Occupy Wall Street – Is the name important?

Shinazy’s thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street movement
Do the Peace, Feminist, Civil Rights, and Environmental movements have better advertising agencies that write better ad copy?
occupy wall street

The names of these movements describe their agenda, their specific purpose.  Even their slogans reinforce what they’re about.

The peace movement is an anti-war movement, aka, Peace.  As boomers, we remember the common slogans during the Vietnam War years; they were equally descriptive: “Hell no, we won’t go [to war]“; “Make love, not war”; “Draft beer, not boys.”
The feminist movement is about women’s rights:  voting privileges and gender equality.  Even the banner phrase “Women’s Liberation” is clearly about ‘liberating women.’
If we look at each word, the meaning of the civil rights movement is clear – each of us, all of us, are entitled to our rights as declared in civil law.  Rather than a slogan, the 1960’s civil rights movement expressed itself with a song, ‘We shall overcome” [socio-economic segregation, racial discrimination, gender inequality.]
Environmental is defined as “of or relating to the external conditions or surrounding.”  The environmental movement is just that, champions of our surroundings.  For those of you who know me, you know why my favorite slogan is “Green is the new black.”
If we follow the same associate pattern, as illustrated above, is the Occupy movement about . . .  homesteading?
photo by lilyrhoads