Home-grown terrorists

American terrorists planned to kill a number of civilians and to make an attempt on the life of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama. I wonder if the Army has taken them off to Guantanamo Bay yet for waterboarding and secret trials. There’s more evidence against them than there is against a child soldier, arrested after he was found draped over a bush with two bullet holes in his back. Everyone else was dead, killed by American fire. Without any witnesses, American army personnel insist that he fired shots that killed someone. For his secret trial by a U.S. army court, the rule that child soldiers (under 16) are not fully responsible for their actions since they are vulnerable to coercion. has been set aside as irrelevant. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? He was beaten and tortured by American solders in an attempt to make him confess. He’s a Canadian citizen: Omar Kadr.

Reasons to visit Toronto: bookstores and bookish events

Librarything’s user-defined locations show the difference between, say, a small university town in the U.S. midwest and Toronto, in Canada’s banana belt.

Bookstores and libraries in Morris, MN, U.S.:

Bookish venues in Morris, Minnesota

Bookstores, libraries, and events in Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

McCain ridicules bear research–that he voted for

Grizzly bear

Grizzly bear

(Photo courtesy of photohome.com)

Senator John McCain likes to make fun of foolishly spent money, earmarked for particular states. One of his examples is research into the number and distribution of grizzly bears in Montana. An method of counting them is to check the DNA of hair samples found at bears’ favourite scratching trees, to see how many individuals there are. McCain ridicules this as crime investigation into food scavenging or bear paternity suits.

He implies that it’s a waste of money.

He neglects to mention that he voted for it–or that it is research that must be done before land uses such as mining or logging can go ahead. Salon has the story.

Its funding was originally championed by Republican lawmakers, and its goal is one that both conservationists and “Drill, baby drill” cheerleaders can get behind.

The Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project attempts to answer basic scientific questions about one of the largest populations of grizzly bears left in the lower 48 states. How many grizzly bears live in a 12,000-square-mile area in and around Glacier National Park? What is their distribution? What’s their gender breakdown? Are they breeding with bears from Canada?

The fact that the grizzly bears happen to be in Montana does not mean that that state is trying to pull a fast one on the feds for some pet project. The grizzly is currently listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states. To aid its recovery, which the feds are obligated by law to do, the government must figure out how many bears are out there. Only once they have established a baseline can they then ascertain if that number is going up, down or is stable.

You could hardly call the original backers of the grizzly bear study, then-Montana Sen. Conrad Burns and then-Montana Gov. Judy Martz, “tree huggers.” “Those two couldn’t give a hoot about grizzlies,” says Brian Peck, a wildlife biologist, who works in grizzly conservation for the Great Bear Foundation. As Peck explains, anybody who wants to log, drill for natural gas or oil, graze cattle or build roads in grizzly habitat, as well as their friends in politics, has a vested interest in finding out how many bears live in the area. A healthy bear population could mean relaxing restrictions on development of federal lands the bears call home.

“Sen. Conrad Burns was a key player in getting federal money appropriated for this intensive bear count,” says David Gaillard, an advocate with Defenders of Wildlife. “His clear purpose was to show that there are lots of bears out there, and we’re ready to delist, and open up their habitat to a lot of friends in industry.”

Anchorage Daily News endorses Obama for U.S. President

The daily newspaper of the capital city of Alaska, Republican Sarah Palin’s home state, has endorsed the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, for President. Palin is running for Vice President under John McCain.

“I have a dream”

funny pictures
moar funny pictures
…a dream where people are valued for what they contribute, not what they are.

Here’s hoping

Obama for president!
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
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Annual inspection?

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