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  • Don Lichterman 6:44 AM on July 25, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    How America Finances the Destruction in Gaza—and the Cleanup 

    On Monday, Israeli warplanes fired 182 missiles into Gaza, Israeli ships launched 146 shells into the territory, and Israeli tanks shot 721 shells, with all these attacks striking 66 structures and killing 107 Palestinians (including 35 children), while Hamas launched 101 rockets toward Israel, and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed. That day, the State Department announced that the United States would be providing $47 million “to help address the humanitarian situation in Gaza.” A third of these funds would go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is providing food, water, and shelter to tens of thousands of war-affected Palestinians in Gaza. So once again, US taxpayers are in an absurd place: They are partly paying for the Israeli military action in Gaza and funding the cleanup.

    Mother Jones: How America Finances the Destruction in Gaza—and the Cleanup

    The US-subsidized Israeli military wreaks devastation, and a US-funded UN agency deals with the aftermath.

    The scene in Gaza following an Israeli missile strike on Monday

    On Monday, Israeli warplanes fired 182 missiles into Gaza, Israeli ships launched 146 shells into the territory, and Israeli tanks shot 721 shells, with all these attacks striking 66 structures and killing 107 Palestinians (including 35 children), while Hamas launched 101 rockets toward Israel, and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed. That day, the State Department announced that the United States would be providing $47 million “to help address the humanitarian situation in Gaza.” A third of these funds would go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is providing food, water, and shelter to tens of thousands of war-affected Palestinians in Gaza. So once again, US taxpayers are in an absurd place: They are partly paying for the Israeli military action in Gaza and funding the cleanup.

    Each year, the United States gives Israel about $3.1 billion in military assistance, a commitment that stems from the 1978 Camp David accord that led to peace between Israel and Egypt. Those billions are roughly divided into two funding streams. About $800 million underwrites Israeli manufacturing of weaponry and military products. The rest finances what is essentially a gift card that the Israeli military uses to procure arms and military equipment from US military contractors. It can be safely assumed, says a US expert on aid to Israel, that all units of the Israel Defense Forces benefit from US assistance—and this obviously includes those units fighting in Gaza. So to a certain degree, the destruction in Gaza does have a made-in-the-USA stamp.

    But at the same time, the US government is financing efforts to deal with the awful consequences of Israeli attacks. The UNWRA noted in a July 21situation report that it is operating 67 shelters that are harboring more than 84,000 Palestinians. It is distributing food (in one day, nearly 55,000 tins of tuna and 16,000 loaves of bread), water, baby hygiene kits, blankets, and mattresses to these shelters. It is removing solid waste. It is running up to 21 health clinics, as security permits. The report notes that UNWRA’s shelters are overwhelmed with huge numbers of displaced Palestinians, adding: “The continuing conflict is having an impact on delivery of basic services. Despite a strong commitment from UNRWA sanitation staff, the Agency is struggling to maintain solid waste management operations in the context of ongoing escalations in violence and high numbers of [displaced persons] in shelters. This presents a potential serious public health risk.” The report also says the UNRWA is trying to educate children to leave unexploded ordnance alone.

    The UNRWA, not surprisingly, reflects the policy perspective of the UN and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Its website notes that Ban recently called the killing of civilians in Gaza an “atrocious action.” The site also describes the current crisis this way: “This is the third war in five and a half years endured by the people of Gaza. As with previous conflicts, there is nowhere for women, men, and children to escape to. The strip is densely populated and the seven-year Israeli-imposed blockade means that people’s movement to and from Gaza remains virtually banned.” Last week, the UNRWA condemned unidentified parties that had placed 20 rockets in one of its facilities, a vacant school.

    According to the UNRWA, 75 of its facilities in Gaza, including schools and warehouses, have been damaged in the fighting. Presumably, some of the $15 million being sent to the agency by the United States—which covers a quarter of an emergency appeal for $60 million issued by the UNRWA—will be used to repair or replace UNRWA installations destroyed by the US-funded Israeli military.

    The new package of US assistance includes $3.5 million in funding for Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services, and other nongovernmental organizations. According to the State Department, Mercy Corps will use some of this money to supply non-food items to displaced Palestinians and extend a short-term employment program for 3,000 people in Gaza and a “psycho-social support program” assisting about 2000 families. Catholic Relief Services will provide medical supplies and fuel for medical facilities.

    The United States, according to the State Department, is UNRWA’s largest donor, and has provided over $265 million to the agency this year to help Palestinian refugees in Gaza and other regions of the Middle East, including $9 million for the construction of new schools and distribution centers in Gaza. A US taxpayer might wonder if in recent days any of those schools—or students attending them—have been struck by an Israeli missile subsidized by the United States.

    PS: This is from my first book about this issue:

    I look at the buildings and skyline across the city of Philadelphia after landing on this bright and clear day. The flight today, is a short trip time wise up from Atlanta. I think why can’t a city like Philly control the violence in this city? They have to deal with over 400 recorded murders every year. We cannot even clean up our major cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit or Baltimore and yet we are expected to send our military to go clean up cities like Baghdad, Basra, Fallujah before sending them throughout all of Afghanistan and then into specific areas in Pakistan. Could you imagine a surge like they did in Iraq, in West Philadelphia? If we just blew off everyone’s civil liberties, and go in with tanks and weapons to handle our inner city violence, we could allow our military to do that “surge” like they do in the middle east, in these parts of our cities. Could you imagine using that method as a way to control the hundreds of murders each year in certain U.S. cities? My point is that we cannot even take care of our own cities in America, yet we are over fighting wars trying to rebuild other cities and nations.

    I just cannot help to think about that ulterior motive of rebuilding these countries for its people, by also setting up our own facilities in these areas just recently decimated by our weaponry in these wars. Companies like the Halliburton Corporation have gained that work with no bid contracts and without any competition. They can get the contracts to develop these areas without having any competition to do that work. The ex chair person and a current shareholder of Halliburton, was also the Vice President of the United States of America at the time we started these wars. During the term of him being the Vice President, he was part of an administration that started this War on Terror. They entered us into these wars using deceiving tactics in a campaign based on lies, or bad information from our intelligence committees. That administration released a statement that “we went to war in Iraq bringing the Middle East peace.” Some say that genius is the ability to connect the unconnected to make a juxtaposition to seek relationships where others cannot, however, this way of dealing with foreign relations is so un conservative, overly utopian and absolutely unrealistic to rationalize it could even remotely work. Potentially a diabolic way of dealing with our foreign affairs, this arrogant way of dealing overseas, has us acting in such revealing ways. It’s not even patriotic to go to war and historically, nor have we ever thrived during war time. Look at our country dating back to Washington’s Presidency in the white House. We have grown, built and found this country based on our own people, and our instinct(s). It’s a contradiction today for a politician to lobby for any type of war, and to then say that they are as patriotic as the people were back in the 1800’s. That fringe element that relates the two time periods never got involved in foreign entanglements and besides, we always used to try to avoid wars until the very last second. All wars are dangerous, risky and they end up hurting the United states in the long run. We need to stay focused on our own self defense and never go off on foreign missions to build other nations, or nation build anywhere else in the world, but in America. This country initially started that War in Vietnam partly because of the fake report about the ship getting bombed in the Sea of Algiers. Did certain people that are serving public policies help facilitate the appropriate legal reasons to start these two wars? And, was it done to make money on the private sector? For instance, if you invade countries with our military by blowing up their buildings, that would in turn mean new buildings, plumbing and everything would then need to get rebuilt by a private corporation.

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  • Don Lichterman 6:14 AM on July 25, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Caleb, , Cody, Derrick, Donny Osmond   

    PS: Big Brother Update 

    I am watching last nights now but let’s discuss that elephant in the room so to speak (the Blonde Girl in the Germatarde).

    Whats her name again? Whatever her name is (Nicole) should totally start wearing that Germatarde. She just shot up to being the hottest girl on BB this summer season.

    Not that anyone is overly hot but that one girl on the block now has that minkah whatever her name is Friday Night Lights thing going for her and then if the other one that Caleb and Cody are in love with straighten her hair 24/7, she would be over the top. I hate to be a douche but she has that ya know…how do I say this without being mean….how about that Model Tranny look because I know she is a girl (I hope she is at least or that community would have announced it I am sure).

    Anyway, its back….OMG. Donnie has a girlfriend…classic…”God Bless America”…lol…and wow …so far its 4-2. Thats closer than i thought./..another commercial break…I’ll fast forward….and Brittany is out officially…which we figured would happen this week….

    Anyway….OK…new HOH in the next half hour…which BTW, i hate this new way they are doing it. They will have to stop it soon because everyone will be on block if they keep using 4. Its just too much and it makes certain things matter less….anyway…sorry to Frankie and his sister for the Grand pa thing this week…and PS: New Rules: NO MORE ALLIGATOR Motions like they do at Florida gator Football games…..i am starting to hate Florida now….and I dont hate zach but I hate that he does that every time…there are a couple gator chomps he does too…the traditional one and the some other when he crosses his face or i forget actually…but cut it with the gator shit…deal subtly like Cody does with the Temple Owls.

  • Don Lichterman 6:01 AM on July 25, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Palestine, , ,   

    I need to Jinx this by saying it out loud, but why are so many things dying this week? 

    This has been the most incredible and vast week of deaths that I can remember. I think it is only thursday but I lost all track of days this week. I know I start seeing Phish again on Saturday whenever that happens….but man….from animals trying to be rescued to surreal ones like seeing that an old high school person’s mom died to the girl at WAWA’s aunt dying to planes getting shot down daily this week or two times to the people getting bombed in Israel/Palestine or hamas or gaza whatever the fuck land they are on today to the botched execution in AZ and even to the big brother kid’s grandfather dying this week for gods sakes….I just don’t want to talk about any more deaths please…please…thanks…whew…its exhausting…

    Can it end please…thanks….

  • Don Lichterman 6:51 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, , Lawrence Reed, , , ,   

    Botched 2-Hour Arizona Execution “Shrouded in Secrecy” Fuels Outrage Over Lethal Injection Methods 

    Arizona’s execution of Joseph Wood was supposed to take about 10 minutes, but stretched out for nearly two hours Wednesday night as he gasped for air after being injected with a controversial two-drug combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone. Halfway through the ordeal his lawyers filed an emergency motion to stop the execution, saying it violated Wood’s Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. This was a “predictable consequence of Arizona’s experimental drug procedure and the fact that Arizona shrouded its procedure in secrecy,” says Megan McCracken, an attorney with the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Wood was killed after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that put the execution on hold.

    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a national network of conservatives and libertarians questioning the alignment of capital punishment with their principles, will once again be a sponsor of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) national convention (Arlington, VA. July 30th – August 3rd).

    “We come into this year’s national convention with incredible momentum among young conservatives and libertarians,” said Marc Hyden, National Coordinator of CCATDP, who will be making a brief presentation to the convention. “Having Dr. Ron Paul publicly support our efforts immediately following last year’s convention, and then becoming a YAL Strategic Partner, has accelerated our efforts to change the national narrative regarding the death penalty.”

    In recent months CCATDP has presented and exhibited at YAL state conventions in Kentucky, Texas, and California, and has participated in a number of smaller YAL events.

    “Conservative and libertarian student activists are increasingly getting involved once they learn more about the death penalty system’s many pitfalls; like the real risk of executing innocent people and the fact it costs far more than life without parole,” Hyden said.

    In addition to former Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty has a growing list of national conservative and libertarian supporters that includes YAL founder Jeff Frazee, Foundation for Economic Education president Lawrence Reed, CEO Jeffrey Tucker, award-winning vlogger Julie Borowski, and Libertarian Republic founder and editor Austin Peterson to name a few.

    The 6th Annual YAL National Convention will take place at George Mason University’s Arlington Law Campus (3301 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.) July 30th – August 3rd.

    For more information contact Jon Crane at 203-982-4575 or email

    About Us

    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a nationwide group of conservatives questioning whether capital punishment is consistent with conservative principles and values due to the system’s inefficiency, inequity, and inaccuracy. Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a project of Equal Justice USA, a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization working to build a criminal justice system that works. For everyone. To learn more go to

    Today’s Article:


  • Don Lichterman 6:32 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Fish and chips, , Kale, Kale Chips, , , ,   

    Recipe Of The Week is Crispy Kale Chips 

    Take this superfood and bake it with oil and salt, and you’ve got a nutritious and addictive snack for all occasions:

    Crispy Kale Chips
    1 qt. chopped kale
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder

    • Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
    • Place the kale in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with the salt and garlic powder, then toss again.
    • Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.

    Makes 2 servings


  • Don Lichterman 6:26 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Tejon Mountain Village, Tejon Ranch, ,   

    Some New Legal Issues: 

    Suit Launched to Save 14,000 Acres of Condor Habitat

    California condorPrecious habitat for one of the world’s most endangered birds, the California condor, is in imminent danger. The Center and American Indian allies have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its approval of a so-called “habitat conservation plan” that would allow the destruction of 14,000 acres of federally protected, key condor habitat in Tejon Ranch, California’s largest privately owned swath of nontimber land and a biodiversity hotspot. Destruction of the habitat has been approved for the construction of a resort development called Tejon Mountain Village.

    For more than a decade the Center has been the most uncompromising environmental group in the fight to save Tejon Ranch and its condors from destruction.

    “Tejon Ranch is critical to the survival of California condors, but only if it’s not turned into tennis courts, swimming pools and parking lots,” said the Center’s Adam Keats. “Rather than enabling sprawl development, the Fish and Wildlife Service ought to be doing everything it can to protect the few pieces of remaining condor habitat that are left.”

    Read more in our press release.

    Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Hudson River Wildlife From Oil Trains

    Atlantic sturgeonTwo years ago hardly any highly explosive crude oil was being shipped by rail along the Hudson River in New York. Now about 3 billion gallons a year go through, mostly from the Bakken fields around North Dakota. But the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard haven’t updated their spill-response plans to protect people and wildlife living along the river. So this week the Center sued the EPA and the Coast Guard to spur them to get their plans up to snuff.

    At least 17 endangered and threatened species call the river home, including Atlantic sturgeon, sea turtles and piping plovers.

    “With little public scrutiny or input, there’s been a massive increase in transport of highly flammable crude oil by rail and barge, which puts communities, rivers and wildlife in danger,” said the Center’s Mollie Matteson. “We have to take immediate action to make sure these rare and marvelous creatures aren’t casualties of a reckless industry.”

    Get more from the Courthouse News Service.

    21 Protesters, Including Center Staffer, Arrested at Utah Tar Sands Site

    Fracking rigAt a mine near Vernal, Utah, on Monday, the Center’s No Tar Sands Campaigner Valerie Love — along with 20 other protesters — was arrested by the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office and spent 24 hours in jail for blocking operators’ access to mining equipment. The protest was at a tar sands strip-mining site in the eastern part of the state, where a company called U.S. Oil Sands is beginning work on Utah’s first major tar sands mine. Protesters associated with Utah Tar Sands Resistance had entered a fenced enclosure, hung up banners and secured themselves to machinery.

    Thirteen people were arrested for locking themselves to equipment (including Valerie); an additional six were arrested after sitting in the road to prevent the removal of those being taken away in two police vans. Two of the protesters arrested were injured.

    “This could be the first large-scale tar sands strip mining in the Unites States, and this filthy industry threatens our air, water and wildlife,” said Valerie. “We staged our protest on behalf of the millions of people who will be affected by this dirty fossil fuel mining. Over 40 million people and many wildlife species depend on this watershed. We need to say no to tar sands mining.”

    Read more in the Salt Lake Tribune.


  • Don Lichterman 4:25 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Atlantic Coast, , , , , , ,   

    Obama Just mentioned how Great he has been for the Environment; however, Obama Administration to Whales: You Go Deaf, We’ll Get Oil 

    North Atlantic right whaleImagine this: Someone moves into your neighborhood and then, every 10 seconds, proceeds to fire off an airgun that’s louder than a jet engine. It goes on for weeks or months at a time. Some of your neighbors go deaf; others perish.

    If you’re a whale, dolphin or sea turtle living off the Atlantic Coast, the Obama administration has made that nightmare a reality. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management just opened up offshore waters from Delaware to Florida to oil and gas exploration and approved a controversial technique for conducting seismic surveys: blasting ultra-loud noise guns that send sound waves through the water to help find oil and gas.

    The guns generate incredibly loud sounds that reach more than 250 decibels (a jet engine’s around 140 decibels). That level of noise causes hearing loss and even death in marine mammals like whales and dolphins; it disrupts whole underwater webs of life.

    The government has acknowledged that these noise blasts will hurt as many as 138,000 marine mammals, including some of Earth’s last remaining Atlantic right whales (of which only about 500 remain in the wild). Stay tuned for how you can help.

    Read more in this Huffington Post op-ed by the Center for Biological Diversity‘s Miyoko Sakashita.

    Obama Administration to Whales, Dolphins: You Go Deaf, We’ll Get Oil
    By Miyoko Sakashita

    Imagine this: Someone moves into your neighborhood and, every 10 seconds, fires off an airgun that’s louder than a jet engine. And it goes on for weeks or months at a time. It’s painful and debilitating, so loud that some of your neighbors go deaf, others die.

    If you’re a whale, dolphin or sea turtle living off the Atlantic Coast, the Obama administration has just made that nightmare a reality.

    Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management opened up offshore waters from Delaware to Florida to oil and gas exploration. I’m sure that’s good news for the oil and gas industry (which already gets more than $4 billion in tax credits and subsidies from the U.S. government) but thousands of marine animals will pay a very terrible price.

    In approving this step in exploring for oil, the Obama administration greenlighted a controversial technique for conducting seismic surveys: blasting ultra-loud noiseguns that send sound waves through the water and help identify where the oil and gas might be. But there’s a problem. These guns generate some of the loudest human sounds in the oceans short of explosives. They can reach more than 250 decibels (a jet engine is around 140 decibels), causing hearing loss in marine mammals like whales and dolphins and disrupting rich communities of wildlife under water, where sound is magnified. Such painful explosions of noise can disturb essential behaviors like feeding and breeding over vast distances, cause communication problems between individual whales and dolphins and even reduce catch rates of commercial fish.

    Sometimes these super-loud noises are merely painful, other times they can cause animals to go deaf or even die.

    The government has acknowledged these noise blasts will hurt 138,000 marine mammals, including some of the last remaining Atlantic right whales on Earth (there are only about 500 left in the wild).

    The Obama administration is pushing ahead anyway. Of course, it isn’t just the nightmarish consequences of this noise pollution that makes this plan wrong. We know drilling along the Atlantic Coast will mean a higher risk for oil spills, more polluted beaches and waters, more industrial equipment and fewer pristine places for wildlife and people. Additionally, opening these waters to drilling will deepen our climate crisis– the government just increased the estimate of how much oil and gas is under the Atlantic Ocean to 4.72 billion barrels of oil and 37.51 trillion cubic feet of gas.

    But for the moment, I find it hard to forgive the simple act of approving a plan setting in motion such a horrible and painful fate for so many sea creatures across so many miles.

    Some neighbors we turned out to be.

    Follow Miyoko Sakashita on Twitter:

    © 2014, Inc.

    This article originally appeared here.


  • Don Lichterman 4:19 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Israel Defense Force, Jason Brennan, Katrina vanden Heuvel, ,   

    Sunset Daily News! 

    Is Halbig the End of Obamacare?: Michael Cannon Explains What Comes Next. Amidst “Brutal Operation in Our Name,” Israeli Military Reservists Declare Refuse to Serve. Why Capitalism is Better than Socialism. Katrina vanden Heuvel: With 100,000+ Displaced, Why is U.S. Ignoring Ukraine’s Civil War? Sharif Abdel Kouddous: Bombed in Their Homes and in the Streets, Where Can Gazans Flee?

    Two court rulings on taxpayer subsidies for The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) underscore that President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment is still a hotbed of controversy—one likely to show up again in the Supreme Court’s chambers.

    “What this really about is not healthcare, not Obamacare,” says Michael Cannon, director of health policy at The Cato Institute. “it’s whether the president of the United States is in fact the president of the United States and subject to the Constitution or an autocrat that can impose taxes on his own.”

    Cannon, along with Case Western law professor Jonathan Adler, is the architect of the current legal challenge to Obamacare. Read their Wall Street Journal op-ed on the Halbig ruling.

    Unlike many Republican politicians and conservative pundits, Cannon is no apologist for the pre-Obamacare status quo.

    As Israel pledges to continue the assault on Gaza for “as long as is required,” we are joined by two Israelis who have refused to serve in their country’s military reserves. On Tuesday, the Washington Post ran an open letter authored by Yael Even Or titled, “We are Israeli reservists. We refuse to serve,” announcing that more than 50 former Israeli soldiers have signed a petition declaring their refusal to be part of the Israeli military reserves. “This petition, long in the making, has a special urgency because of the brutal military operation now taking place in our name,” Even Or writes. An Israeli journalist and activist who evaluated candidates for the Israeli army’s recruitment department during her service, Even Or is now a graduate student in International Affairs at The New School in New York City. She join us to discuss the reservists’ letter.

    “We’re not the Borg from Star Trek. We want to engage in private projects we do by ourselves and not with others,” says Jason Brennan, an associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown University.

    Brennan’s new book, Why Not Capitalism?, casts a critical eye on a notion with wide appeal among academics, politicians, and the general public: That even though history has shown that socialism is unworkable in practice, it’s still the best way to run society in theory.

    Brennan says that such thinking neglects the fact that even in utopia people will have significantly different visions of a life well lived. “You want a system under which you can realize all these different conceptions of the good life and the good community,” he argues.

    A high-level rebel commander has confirmed for the first time that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the kind the United States says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 on board. He blamed Ukrainian authorities for provoking the strike, saying they deliberately launched air strikes in the area, even though they knew the missile system was in place and rebels would fight back. Meanwhile, the area near the Russian border continues to see heavy fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatists. On Wednesday, two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down not far from where the Malaysian airliner was hit. “The tragedy of the downing of the plane occurred in the context of this virtually unreported civil war,” says Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, who has reported on Russia for decades.

    Israel has entered the 17th day of its bombardment of the Gaza Strip where the Palestinian death toll has reached at least 732. Palestinian militants are now claiming to have killed eight more Israeli soldiers, which would bring the Israeli military toll to 40. Three civilians have died inside Israel. We speak with independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous just after he visited the southern town of Khan Younis, which has faced heavy shelling since Tuesday. Israeli forces there killed an estimated 73 people in the last two days. Kouddous says residents tried to evacuate starting Tuesday, but “found Israeli tanks blocking the main streets. One group said the Israeli tanks started firing on them. They fled back to their homes. They had to leave the wounded behind.” Many eventually walked out carrying white flags.

    Sunset-Daily Logo

  • Don Lichterman 2:07 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Even though Gov Officials are Still refusing us (over 500K signatures delivered to them), please join Tweetfest to get Arturo to a real sanctuary; He is showing signs of mental behavior…and, Ask the USDA to stand up for captive bears immediately. 

    I watch it walk back and forth like someone from a mental behavior hospital and its awful. He should at least be placed in a polar Bear sanctuary in the correct temperature and so he could cohabit with other ex captive bears. But then again, you simple-minded people are the ones that support it. If you did not feel some need to watch an animal from behind a glass, we would not have to deal with this issue today.

    Bears, who have natural ranges of up to thousands of miles in the wild, are being kept in cramped cages and concrete pits at deplorable roadside facilities across the country that exhibit the animals for profit while disregarding their most basic needs. Many bears at roadside zoos spend most of their waking hours pacing, head-butting the cages, and engaging in other abnormal behavior that is indicative of suffering—all because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has disregarded the space, enrichment, dietary, and behavioral needs of captive bears, who recent studies show are just as complex and intelligent as primates.

    We need your help to make sure that the USDA enacts stronger regulations for captive bears without further delay—take action now!




    I have been really deeply affected by the story of Arturo, a polar bear trapped in terrible conditions (40 degree heat, not enough water, no fresh water, no enrichment) in the Argentinian desert. Mendoza Zoo are blocking attempts to relocate him and improve his living conditions. Over the last week or so, I have been researching his story and wanted to list all the actions that people who are also concerned about him can take to help this poor bear. I need to do all I can to help improve his conditions.

    I’m not posting pictures here as many are available online (e.g., this just details the actions you can take to add more force to the movement. PLEASE take a few minutes to do one of the following, or as many as you can. Just as we can judge the degree of civilisation of a society by entering its prisons,  we can also judge the greatness of a society and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals (borrowing from Dostoyevsky and Gandhi).


    ***19/07/14 HuffPost cover #FreeArturo:

    17/07/14 Newt Gingrich says :

    #SpeakForArturo Arturo deserves freedom trended WORLDWIDE 3/7/14. Thanks to all who tweeted***


    THANK YOU so much for reading this and PLEASE take one or more of the actions below and share this with your friends.


    1. Sign the Greenpeace petition (162,286 signatures and counting, please add yours!) DIN seems to require a phone number length string of digits.


    Also sign this petition to the President of Argentina:


    2. Tweet ‘the world is watching. #freearturo’ to


    3. EMAIL the office of the Mendoza Gobierno (Government), the British consulate in Argentina, the Argentine consulate in Britain, the WWF in Argentina and the zoo keeping him in these appalling conditions:,,,,,,


    Email template:

    “We strongly urge you to URGENTLY improve the living conditions and consider the relocation of the Polar Bear Arturo to the “Specialised Center for Polar Bears” in Canada. Arturo’s life is currently at risk due to enduring extreme temperatures of 40c and above in Mendoza Zoo, Argentina. These same high temperatures led to the death of Winner, a polar bear at the zoo in Buenos Aires in December 2012.

    Arturo’s plight is gaining coverage in National British media:—worlds-3847770#.U8KDuKp7IaM.twitter

    AFADA (Association of Professional Attorneys for the Rights of Animals) have collected more than 300,000 signatures requesting Arturo’s transfer.Greenpeace is also concerned about the unacceptable living conditions of Arturo and requested his transfer on January 21, 2014:

    Polar bears are the largest land carnivore on Earth. They are so well insulated they can easily become overheated! They swim to hunt, cool down on warm days and are known to submerge to depths of up to 15ft. On land in the wild they can reach speeds of 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph) and can range inland as far as 150 kilometers (90 miles).

    Keeping polar bears in captivity in zoos is a challenge since there are no modern devices that can recreate the animal’s habitat and meet their biological and behavioral needs as revealed by current studies:

    People from countries around the world have supported the cause by spreading the information, signing petitions, sending letters calling for justice for Arturo, asking that he has the life he deserves with other polar bears in Canada.

    The message has been unanimous:

    “Do not let him die slowly in Mendoza Zoo, in a habitat that is unsuitable in every aspect.”

    He does not even have a deep pool. He only has a shallow little pool filled with dirty, hot water, not even deep enough to cover his bulk, let alone to dive or swim in! As shown in this video:

    If Arturo is left in the Mendoza Zoo he is doomed to both mental and physical health issues, and to die without any consideration or respect for his life and the fact that he is a majestic animal from a land vastly different to Mendoza. At this zoo he is treated like an object, not a living creature who has rights.

    In the eighteenth century, human slavery was considered normal, slaves were not “people” but “possessions.” Humanity has evolved and it’s time to take another step forward. Zoos are institutions of the nineteenth century and currently many countries are eliminating them, or at least upgrading to zoo parks, such as Assiniboine Zoo who wants to take Arturo.

    Animals are not things, they are not owned by anyone, they are living beings that deserve to be respected, and who are a vital part of a healthy, balanced ecology.

    Thank you very much for your attention,

    Name / city / country” (Thanks to

    4.  Facebook the Argentinian government, asking them to improve #Arturo’s conditions and co-operate with attempts to relocate him. This posts onto the profile page and you can also comment. . You could also tweet the President of Argentina / @CasaRosadaAR


    5.  Send the emails suggested at


    6. Sign this petition to the President of Argentina:

    7. Sign this petition lobbying the governor of Mendoza:

    8. Sign this petition to the Government of Canada:

    9. Ask your friends and family for more ideas about what we can do and spread the word. There is no need for Arturo to be kept like this, Mendoza Zoo can improve his conditions and ideally we will ultimately manage to get Arturo relocated to more appropriate living quarters. Its just about getting the message to the right people and making enough noise that it can’t be ignored.

    10. Contact local and national media about this story.

    11. Send this letter on pastebin:




  • Don Lichterman 12:55 PM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , Animal Welfare Organization, , Daniel Emmer, , , , , , New Jersey Department of Health, RBVH, , Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, Tia (Red Bank Vet Hospital), , , Voorhees Animal Orhpanage   

    The Worst State in the U.S.A. for Animal Welfare: New Jersey 

    Why are the Animal Welfare organizations so bad in New Jersey?

    Even when you compare that work done by the people in New Jersey to most other states (and large cities), it is so poorly run and the organizations that supposedly care about animals, seem to care about money and odd intangibles having nothing to do with animal welfare.

    I assume these animal org’s do well for people who shell out boatloads of cash to them, but this state is by far one of the worst for strays and rescues.

    And, even though I lived away from NJ for decades now, I grew up in CH, NJ as a kid.

    Therefore, I get the corrupt label that the people get in Jersey. I also get that the status symbol in New Jersey is having money. I get that no matter how you make that money, that’s all people care about status symbol wise in New Jersey (ie: people are enamored with a “Tony Soprano” so to speak, no matter how he got his money). I absolutely understand that if whomever gets their money in corrupt ways, for people in New Jersey, that is a non issue for them.

    It was funny because when I left L.A. a single man trying to date women in that city, I was like shit, “I wish these girls would not care about my job so much,” and now trying to converse with these women in South New Jersey and in Philly, I wish they asked about my work. I stopped dating after trying to do it in 2010 or in 2009 and honestly, I gave up. I refuse to date anyone in South New Jersey. No one has any conviction or passion for squat in Jersey and this story I will tell about my week finding out about animal welfare in NJ, reconfirms that general statement.

    That is on me and I am stuck here for now which I maintain that I get everything about NJ which is why I do NOT leave the house. When deciding to move back east again, I figured that hell, I lived in LA so long as an adult, that I can easily find ways to be able to insulate myself anywhere.

    With that said today, the “money is the end all be all” mentality trickles out into the Animal Welfare and Care world in New Jersey and like I have never seen it anywhere else.

    Granted, I have lived my adult life in LA in CA and in NYC. Those areas are yes…very rough for animals that live on the street and in the hills. However too, those areas and the people in it are so easy to deal with for help with regard to rescues, and strays, etc.. The people in New Jersey want nothing to do with you if you do NOT have money to pay them. I took that for granted that people acted the same everywhere (which I did in politics too and that was way off base socio wise). And, people in CA love to know the ‘story’ behind how you and the animal first met. They would preach that ‘story’ issue with regard to the rescues I did then. It was almost annoying but I wish it were that way here too. I wish people here liked or wanted a ‘story’ behind finding an animal. Rather than I dunno…going to a store or breeder or wherever to get an animal. I never was a part of any animals life unless it was found or rescued by me.

    The thing is about S. Jersey is that for years now, I would see these ad’s on TV about these so-called great animal organizations in South New Jersey and they are lies.

    I have not seen anything like what I have gone through this week when trying to save three kittens from being stuck in a drain sewer on the streets in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

    Because when I say that no one wants to deal, man oh man do I mean NO ONE.

    These people are still putting me off to anyone else but to themselves and even when (trying) answering what are simple inquiries. What could these people be doing that is/are so busy. I know that I do like 900 things every day running 19 companies and these people cannot find time to complete their own job duty? It was wild and whacky stuff…but not….I do NOT mean to be joking but its comic relief maybe….

    Personally, I have NOT dealt with having any animals in my life since Reba died in October of 2011 (I think it was that year or actually, it was that year whenever Phish played the boardwalk Hall on Halloween). I do NOT trust any of those Vet Places and Vet Hospitals anywhere in South New Jersey. That is why I stayed away from rescuing animals to be pets all of this time and on purpose. Besides, as you all know, I try to compensate for not dealing locally if you will, while I deal globally with wildlife crime awareness with Elephants and Dolphins and whatnot. Doing local rescues is something I have not done in many years. And, its because I trusted no one to help in that area in NJ.

    Plus, I had a huge issue with not only how corrupt the Red Bank Vet hospital was acting with regard to money vs. saving a cat’s life back then in 2011, I also felt inadequate (please know that I had spent over 1,100 those few days and it was not that I needed any free ride, they wanted me to sign on to spend another $6,400 for tests….NOT EVEN TO GET TO END RESULT) for the way I had been treated by the staff people at the hospital. It was a big mistake choosing them over the University of Penn’s Hospital. Or, better yet, I should have stuck with using Dr. Dribben at Dribben Burl Mor but honestly, I was lazy because it was further from my house than some of the other places I used that year. That, and some other issues then are why REBA died and that’s on me. That was my decision process that had been stranglehold around money too.

    Meaning, it is easy making any decision for anything at all, when you have money behind it. It is very hard making perfect decisions with no money so to speak (you ever hear at award shows or in the media that whomever refers to someone as “brilliant” for making some project that bills in at 100 Million US Dollars? I always said that calling whomever brilliant when they have billions and millions of dollars to play around with is a farce; and that anyone that makes something from nothing (meaning starting off with no money) are the people that should be looked upon as “brilliant”)).

    Regardless of what happened with REBA, I walked out to my car at about I dunno, anytime between 5AM and 6AM that morning thinking I saw the outdoor neighborhood cat all curled up in the corner in the sewer next to my vehicle. When I got close I said “Fee” (the name I gave it)…”what are you doing in that sewer” only to realize that it was three kittens piled on top of each other in that corner of the sewer. They basically scampered when they heard my voice. I was shocked actually as i ran to Rite Aid to get all sorts of cat and kitty food.

    When I got back minutes later, I started to realize that the kittens would NOT eat a thing that threw down to them. Nothing. We put all sorts of milk out and they would not drink that either. We placed everything into the sewer so they could get to it, but it was on this area that we could reach down to easily. We could NOT reach them even remotely and again, they did not even eat one morsel of anything. As a matter of fact, when I came back outside to check on them that hour, “Fee” was eating the fancy Feast in the sewer and the two (one had already died I think by this time) were trying to jump on her to prolly ween but all “Fee” was doing was chomping down that food. I had also noticed a dead bird in the other corner of the sewer.

    I then did a search for animal welfare online via Google Search.

    The “A’s” showed up at the top of the query within the ad portion and within the normal result area. I got a listing for this Animal Welfare Association, Inc. which I called right away. The main operator put me over to the ‘intake’ woman. That is the first person that should NOT have that job. Talk about couldn’t be bothered, she was hardly even listening to me before you could tell she was annoyed by the call or doing other work, or I dunno, the last thing she wanted to be doing was to be talking to me about three kittens that are now stuck in a sewer drain. She threw the ‘jurisdiction’ issue at me saying we are in Cherry Hill and they are in Voorhees when the fact is that we could throw a rock to the Voorhees border and anything in Cherry Hill municipality wise, is located many miles away from this area in CH, NJ. It is actually near where i went to high school and these Voorhees people know damn well what they were doing by saying that we were not in that jurisdiction and besides, what the hell jurisdictions are there when finding animals? I never heard that one b4 the other day and so lets wrap our heads around that logic please…that makes no sense at all but please…humor me….Because lets see now….I guess with that logic and rule (LOL)….when we found our “Delilah” in Oakland/Berkeley, CA, according to this idiots logic and lie, no one in LA has that jurisdiction to deal with it? Is that what we are supposed to ingest?

    And, as we all know about that organization is that if it entailed gaining money some how, there would never be any jurisdiction issues to mention to that person. They would be welcomed with grinning faces that have opened arms.

    What a joke. What an asshole.

    Then she thought quickly to throw me over to Animal Control saying it could be there issue, and that was when I hung up on that idiot that SHOULD NOT HAVE THAT JOB!

    I emailed the heads of that organization and they were idiots about it too. I don’t even know what they said but it was a stock letter that was ambivalent down the middle and again, it just showed that they have no care in the world for animals. They cared more about covering ones asses than the actual animal.

    Meanwhile, one of the kittens had now died by the time I got off phone call brigade that went nowhere fast. It was still in that sewer but dead and then I moved down the list to to call this place, The Animal Orphanage. That woman was nice and all telling me what I already knew which I had to stay on the phone to listen or be deemed as rude, and when all was said and done with that conversation, she put over to the Animal Welfare Association, Inc.

    I saw the web site page btw, for the Animal Welfare Association, Inc. and they have a picture of Rachel ray on it I guess that helps raise money for them. or, maybe she does something for the organization even though Rachel Ray made a career off dead animals. That woman is in part responsible for how many cow deaths and how many duck, or sheep or chicken deaths at slaughter houses and whatnot and that’s the spokesperson for that place? Actually, who is rachel ray again? I have no clue but i think she is not only a chef, i think she is also a basic chef that cooked basic foods on her shows (meaning lots of meat) and/or really did that show for money mostly which is fine, but I do NOT think she is an innovator like say i dunno…a wolfgang puck so to speak…thats my point….)

    Now I understood what I am dealing with in that area.

    Then, I call this Robert guy from Animal Control.

    I assumed that I interrupted his morning of doing nothing since there were no rescues that day on any schedule for him, and even though any statute in New Jersey requires that all municipal governments to have an animal control officer available to capture and impound any dog or other animal off the property of an owner that is ill, injured, causing a threat to public health or safety, or interfering with enjoyment of property, the last thing he wanted to do is help them out of the sewer. he blamed anything and everything as the reason why. I say that this cannot be the first or 50th or 100th time something has been stuck in a sewer. But, even though the animal should have been removed and even “impounded at the designated impoundment facility” and it should provide the ability for any near dead animal to receive care. And, even though the animal is required to be held for a minimum of 7 days to allow an owner the opportunity to reclaim the animal and to observe it for signs of rabies, the Animal Control guy felt it would be best to let the mom deal. The Animal Control guy Robert something states that it would be best to let natural progression happen I guess is what he meant, and further he says “that it would be fine in a few weeks.” I then explain that one is already dead since 5/6AM, and the other two are dying as we speak. I explained the one is flat on its face not moving and that was when he took the address along with with my contact number, and he never did a thing about it.

    Overall, I made no bones to every organization that we would take the animals. I explained that we would pay for them. I made sure that they knew that no one would have to deal with those aspects of that adoption process. I said that over and over and over to everyone.

    That should not have been issue as far as space, and whatnot as far as intaking sick and near dead animals.

    I then called the Fire Departments in Voorhees and in Cherry Hill. They could not help me out. I called the Sewer Department in Camden County and the guy did call me back but had no ideas of what to do. Oh, one fire department guy eased my mind in the sense that I was apologetic to ask them about this request knowing damn well that they have to deal with human lives. However, the one Fire department head said he had gotten calls about baby ducks being stuck in storm drains but this was a fire department in Voorhees. The kittens were technically in Cherry Hill even though it is one minute from the area.

    Anyway, I walked back out front after some time of making these calls and trying to get through some work. That was when I knew the one had died because only two were out and one again, was flat on its face. I could reach down to touch his head with my finger but i could NOT get that scruff. It was inches away but a van was out there that I thought maybe was Animal Control or someone else dealing. It was a rug guy that happen to hear the kittens and cats meowing. I explained that mom (Fee) is right there as I pointed to her in the distance, and that her kittys were right here below his feet.

    The two Natural gas people who were in the area doing something would not help. Not that they would not help but they didn’t when they saw me trying to deal. I would have helped but that is me. I will die helping something or someone out.

    Honestly, after I realized I was still alone in this battle, I wanted them all away from the area.

    By this time it had to be pushing 11AM or mid day.

    Then, a neighbor or two filtered out or they came over to see what was up (I was also telling people what I was up to so they did not think it was shady or illegal) en route into visit someone, etc. This one guy was able to reach down to get the white and orange guy that was basically flat on its face. This guy was able to get it and we put it in a towel but the fact is it was so weak that I thought the grass blades were holding it up.

    Now that I think about it, I think it had to be after 330PM that day when the first one was pulled up. My other friend had shown up after her shift ended (she’s a nurse) at 330. Because she washed it and fed it milk as my other friend showed up now too. So, I had some help finally which is when the nurse friend pulled a ‘Mcgyver” by dropping this tote bag down in between the grates to get deep down the sewer drain, and, she basically shoved the second cat into that bag with ease. We lifted it up nice and easily perfectly fine before bringing it in to bathe.

    They had so much dirt, ants and I guess bugs were everywhere on their bodies till now.

    They had been puking too while in the sewer but then at the same time, i was thinking that could have been ok since I had the hope we would get them up and out of it. I was thinking it was getting any gross things from inside its belly’s out of them. But the mouths were bubbling up and it was just not good. They were so weak. They could barely even walk and the vet technician said that they just did not respond to anything at all. They put fluids of some sort intravenously but the one died between 11PM maybe and 1AM and then the second one ended up dying at about 339AM.

    This was done at the Red Bank Veterinary hospital which I refused to enter that building and/or take part in supporting that place. However, my friend the nurse was insistent upon going to the closest possible place and besides, she had forwarned them about what is up when on the telephone with the org’s staffer. I figured that was smart and the last thing I wanted to do is to make my dispute with anything come in between a life or enter this situation.It was NOT about me at this time.

    The problem I have with that place and its staff people is this price tag (Red Bank veterinary hospital) they put on these things. I never saw that before 2011 and it freaked me out badly. Then, I find that they are notorious for it (

    Check this one out because if you are delivering them an animal that may be rescued and found on the street, you must either sign on to pay the bills or you must relinquish any right to it (I have never seen this waiver yet). I find that form of extortion and whatnot to be totally corrupt and to be completely wrong to do in any business.

    Plus, if a person is willing to pay any bill after they know whatever they are trying to save is going to live, more power to the people involved in it, but for a Hospital to use “leverage” if you will, in that way, is very corrupt.

    Think about it now and this question goes to the heads of the Red Bank Vet Place ((although why? We already know that answer since I had paid thousands of $$$ to them back in 2011 to watch reba die over an 8 day span of time)) because who in their right mind on this planet would sign on to pay for thousands of dollars worth of work for something that may or may not happen? Meaning, this Vet Hospital could NOT even guarantee it would work, and this Vet Place would not guarantee it would live after they checked for pneumonia, etc. Or, whatever tests and work that happens to also cost low thousands of dollars to deal. The woman delivering the litter made no bones about it saying it would be very easy for her to spend low hundreds on the spot and that again, if the thing lived that she would pay for everything 100%.

    The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital would NOT allow it.

    It was either sign on to pay no matter what the outcome, or for them to get the hell out of the building without looking back to know what happened to it.

    I never heard of anything like that ever before that night. It was astounding to me that anyone in that industry would be such an asshole.

    Their mentality is that if you don’t have the money to pay for thousands of dollars worth of work, then to screw you and let’s say it did live a healthy life, their concept is to supposedly issue it to some adoption place or shelter instead of allowing the person rescuing it, to take it back after it gets nursed back to safe health.

    Obviously, the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital killed it.

    Because after all, if whomever did not have that money to pay for the tests and any work on it, it is not worth it for them to try to keep it alive. Even though that person surrendering it did offer to pay after the fact and after the results are done, they refuse to allow it.

    That brings me to this next issue because what industry on the planet takes money for its work upfront before that work gets done?

    Besides the vet industry and lawyers. What industry works that way where you must pay upfront for something to maybe work or maybe not work?

    There are no others.

    There is none.

    When whomever wants to do any form of commerce in the USA, they get that product when they pay for it.

    The same should go at Vet Places because they should do the work, and then get paid for it. That is how the rest of this society works. That is how it should work. That would create incentive to deal quite frankly for the being rather than money. That selective mentality where you can play that form of god to pick and choose what gets saved is corrupt. It may not be considered corrupt dealing that way in many industry’s but this is a medical industry. It should NOT be about making money. I am sorry.

    We should not have private entities because of this reason.

    It is corrupt and most private corporations fall back on that Corps are people too my friends which is fine. But people have morals too. You can’t just pick the part of that by law that allows you to make as much money as possible with the greatest of margins as possible if you do NOT bring in that if you deal that way, you have to deal morally too.

    If you allow things to die in that industry, you are failing at it.

    The problem in South New Jersey is that there are no games in town.

    And,this Red Bank veterinary hospital backed this woman into a corner late night quite frankly, as they are the only 24 hour facility opened in the area.

    What would the person do in that situation? What would you do?

    The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital should act morally but they do not. They never have and this what struck me because when Reba died, it just reeked of something being corrupt.

    First off, this woman doctor at the Cherry Hill place (Dr. Cavanaugh) literally stopped a blood transfusion because I used the word “Fuck” in a conversation.

    That loser is a doctor or vet for/of animals.

    She cared more about being offended by a fucking curse word, that she stopped the fucking blood transfusion that night. It took me pleading with them and apologizing (I mean of course i told her fuck the fuck off afterward but still) to them and even getting another doctor to deal. Then, we moved Reba up to the red Bank or Tinton Falls facility. Same goes there because that receptionist named Tia cares more about her feelings than she does about animals. She’s an idiot actually and when people from the paper (Sunset Daily) were trying to get some answers about the next subject I am laying down here, she called the cops. This Vet place literally called the police because a media person was asking why they sell animals for Animal tests. That is the second time I realized she called the cops on someone I know because she did it with me in 2011. That must be their M.O. If all else fails, call the cops to strong arm whomever away from them.

    Then, it started to hit me because why would they make people sign waivers to relinquish rights to young animals found on the street?

    I then read about them being called out on reselling or selling dead animals organs to make them money.

    Which again, if they are making money on people’s animals dead or alive, that is corrupt.

    If they are pushing people to put rescues to sleep and if they are making money on those animals in any way, that is corrupt. That is illegal.

    It is a HUGE conflict of interest because what costs more or what makes them more money? Something being dead or alive or fixing up an animal or selling it off to some animal test company? What is more cost effective for the Red Bank vet Hospital?

    The problem is that state and maybe federal laws stipulate that there are ‘statutes that prevent using stray animals for the purpose of experimentation’ however when you sign over this waiver, the animal becomes something of a person at red Bank Vet Hospital. And, as everyone that knows me and that knows about me is that we are fighting for animal personhood today. And, we know that is NOT a law in place anywhere. I wish but it is not. Therefore, this Red Bank Veterinary Hospital claims it (the animal) has privacy and therefore that person delivering it, cannot ever find out what happens to it (the animal). They are not allowed to adopt it and they are not allowed anymore to pay for its bills or any fees for any work to keep it potentially alive. And, look at that statute term here, “private animal shelters are not obligated to accept stray animals and can refuse them or accept them conditionally” to notice that does not include these Vets and Hospitals. And further, the leading animal testing company stated in writing to me that they depend on Doctors in the medical community to sell off their animals to them.

    I started (I had thought of this before but I just thought I wanted to blame something for Reba’s death) to think that back in ’11 when The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital knowingly hated me for getting pissed at them for caring more about money and their ego than Reba. All I can think of is what if these staffers sold off Reba in spite of me. I mean that one vet stopped doing that blood work because I said the F-Bomb on the telephone to her

    And, so I asked many times in writing and my people asked many times in writing plus they contacted them over the telephone to ask the The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, “why do they sell animals for animal testing and/or for their organs?” and no one has replied to it. Not only has no one replied to that inquiry even one time, that Red Bank Veterinary Hospital had the audacity to illegally call the police in their area to threaten the reporter for asking that inquiry over and over that night. The reporter says that the police wanted his home address and that they wanted his birthday. Finally, the reporter realized this is a  violation that is so illegal and hung up on the police officer. That Tinton Falls Police Officer then contacted the person that surrendered the litter of kittens to threaten her.

    That was when I said to send a legal letter stating that this is not a game.

    They stopped so far with those harassment tactics. And again, The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital has yet to respond to why they sell animals and dead animals organs.

    This is Civil issue too. The owners of any animals they use that way, and the people delivering any surrendered animals should be issued monies in back pay for any money made off their pet animal. Unless any owner knew about that happening and unless the owner did not care about making that kind of money, that is illegal.

    They have yet to answer us about this allegation, let alone in any formal way. That unfortunately means they do it and there should be a label stating that is what they do. If a Vet Hospital or any place sells off animals in any way and/or makes money on them in any way, it needs to be plastered everywhere for everyone to know about.

    I then contacted the Department of Health’s Animal Welfare department to report all and with typical New Jersey fashion, this is the reply I got from that tool, “Your best resource would be to discuss your concerns with the Voorhees administrator and/or the Camden County Health Officer, Paschal Nwako, 856-374-6037.    Both of those parties have the authority to ensure adequate animal control in Voorhees.”

    It was brilliant for it to come full circle that way and perfect reconfirming everything I thought because there is no place to go but national. Because now the assholes in Cherry Hill New Jersey throw me back to the very same place I started the process in Voorhees, New Jersey. Where they of course pushed over to the Cherry hill people who do this work.

    It is incredible to watch and I do NOT understand how these people have those jobs. I mean I do because everyone at those organizations are bigger assholes than the next one and all they care about is money. Which makes them an asshole but if there is an asshole at the top of the chain, there will be assholes down to the intake person that answers that phone. If there are assholes that ONLY try to keep their jobs, that will trickle down to the rep answering the phone. I think his name is David or daniel Emmer or something but yeah, that guy is a tool that should not have that job. And, he will not after I am done with this cause. Same goes with that Animal Control guy. They should NOT be doing these jobs today.

    The bottom line is though, it is not on them. There is law that need to implemented and there are laws in place today that need to be tweaked big time. There also needs to be a real organization in New Jersey that cares about animals first, and then money whenever….. And, anyone in place working in that half assed way at any of these Animal Welfare Organizations, need to be replaced today. They are failing at their jobs.

    Those three elements would change the game in New Jersey with regard to Animal Welfare.

    If two laws were tweaked to what I have asserted here and if there was a true non-profit that did not care about money, that would be key to making this work better in NJ. If there was competition to get rid of the The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, that would be great for the state (and would help alleviate any two tiered situations where they choose to work on animals with people who have a ton of money only). And, if people who had these important jobs were not lazy and if they cared about animals more than saving their own ass in their job, it would work.

    This is the beginning of the ’cause’ that I am now formulating to make it work. More to come but this will be posted via Sunset daily and then out to Yahoo/Reuters and to every one of our strategic partners along with more than 20,000 or so readers.

    Thanks for hearing me out quite frankly. This is a hard week for me. I never ever…EVER..I mean ever….lost a rescue before this week.

    And, as you all know, i have rescued bait fucking dogs from gang bangers and that goddam dog is still living I think today with the woman who took it after we split up. That dog was a bait dog in this fighting ring in CA that we basically stole from the gang bangers….And, it was in 00 well before that Vick story broke…I had no clue they cock fought so to speak in america until that day….But Delilah had scar’s all over it face without hair in some places and it was beat the fuck up for years prolly. And that has lived for a decade now and yet, the one rescue out front of my fucking house in NJ in a goddamn sewer is where I failed….I fucking failed….I blew it….and it sux….(Delilah BTW…is such a great dog…would never harm a thing but then it again…it never wants to get hurt ever again so it was happy last I heard about her….(I had asked the woman’s sister at a show a couple years ago about D whom she said she was still alive and healthy….)

    Anyway, the mom and dad cat are in the neighbors chairs now on her porch and at least they do NOT seem to hate me. They approached me today. And I am monitoring them because that neighbor whom feeds em, has not even been here during this melee at all this week. I feel we should get her (not the neighbor but Fee) fixed because today/this am at like 5AM, Harry was boinking Fee again. I had to yell to get him off her. He was mounting her but also, Fee loves Harry. I do NOT want to interrupt it. But I feel like we killed their kids. And, it looks as though we could be doing this again in 5 weeks. Which I cannot go through unless they are gonna live or, if we can keep them above ground (I would still take the kittens).

    But losing these three (two in particular because we never got to the third one) kittens has fucked with my head this week. I would have never have thunk they would died. I was in shock when hearing from Vet and nurse.

    I assume whatever the hell they had eaten or that bird they had to eat somehow killed them. I also think that they had  finally came out from drain because they were sick (that was the first day I ever saw them and they were at least 3 to 5 weeks old already). As the day went on, they just got weaker and honestly, the one thing that did do is to make it easier to grab them, but it was NOT in time for them to live. They needed to be plucked out of there at 730am when I initially started calling for help. If they had been delivered to the vet then in the AM that day, maybe even all three of them, let alone the two could have lived.

    But again, NOT ONE person that does that work helped out for a milisecond. Not even until now.

    It was my new neighbor friend and my other long time friend that dealt with the hard work of being able to manipulate their body to grab the kittens from the sewer.

    The New Jersey area is just not good for animals unless it drives whomever money in some way. The irony about these parts of that industry is that it should be based or built on with passionate people. If whomever thinks about getting that paycheck more than they care about taking care of whatever in that situation, they should NOT have that job. That’s the deal. Once these places that do that work in New Jersey and in South Jersey have passionate people dealing with it, that is when it would change. For now, its stale and just very administrative with Bureaucracy that not only that takes you nowhere, you also have people who just cannot be bothered with what you so they send u round in circles until whatever is dead.

    In a nutshell, it is best to not care for or surrender over, let alone rescue an animal in the state of New Jersey. More notably in South New Jersey (Cherry Hill and Voorhees). Unless you have a lot of money. Then you will be good in NJ. Because if you have a ton of money to pay the likes of the The Red Bank veterinary hospital, Robert at that Animal Control Agency, the staff at the Animal Welfare Association, Inc. and/or the department of health’s Animal Welfare Division, you are good to go. You will be fine.

    However, if you see a stray that you want to help out or take off the street, or if you decide to rescue anything that is about to die, if you bring that issue up to the The Red Bank veterinary hospital, Robert at that Animal Control Agency, the staff at the Animal Welfare Association, Inc. and/or the department of health’s Animal Welfare Division, it will be futile or at worse, corrupt.



  • Don Lichterman 9:40 AM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Chubut Province, , Patagonia, Península Valdés, Southern right whale, Valdes Peninsula, WCS,   

    Spectacular Marine and Terrestrial Wildlife Haven Becomes Four Million-Acre Biosphere Reserve 

    Argentina’s Península Valdés is home to whales, dolphins, penguins, guanacos, and rheas

    Click to visit the original post
    WCS provided technical assistance leading to the designation

    A rugged peninsula in Argentina’s Patagonia region teeming with wildlife, including southern right whales, Magellanic penguins, massive elephant seals, flightless Darwin’s rheas, and camel-like guanacos, has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Environmental, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

    Península Valdés on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia in Southern Argentina in Chubut Province has the largest breeding colony of southern elephant seals in South America. In addition, it supports more than 70,000 pairs of Magellanic penguins, over 10,000 South American sea lions, cormorants, gulls, terns, and nearly 4,000 southern right whales – almost one third of the remaining breeding population. On land, the peninsula supports over 4,000 guanacos and some of the highest densities of maras and Darwin’s rheas in Patagonia.

    The new Biosphere Reserve was designated by the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme at its 26th session in Jönkoping, Sweden last month. The designation means the region, which is currently a provincial protected area, will work to reconcile sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection.

    The new reserve covers an area of over four million acres and will be divided into core areas, buffer zones and transition areas. The designation increases protection for the wildlife and its adjacent coastal waters. It includes a previously unprotected area known as Punta Ninfas, which contains large numbers of elephant seals, South American sea lions, a spectacular mixed colony of imperial cormorants and terns and a new colony of Magellanic penguins. The area is close to three large cities and is under increasing threat from uncontrolled access by people using off-road vehicles. The new Biosphere designation draws attention to the urgent need for ensuring the protection of wildlife here.

    WCS, which has conducted conservation work on the Península Valdés since the 1960s, provided resources to its local partner organization Fundación Patagonia Natural (FPN) in Puerto Madryn and Chubut Province to produce much of the required technical background to make the designation a reality.

    Along with Fundación Patagonia Natural, WCS congratulates the Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable in the Federal Government of Argentina, Chubut Province’s Governor, Martín Buzzi, and Chubut’s Secretaría de Turismo y Areas Protegidas.

    “Península Valdés is one of the great natural wonders of Latin America with greater concentrations of wildlife than any other area on the entire coast of Patagonia,” said WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper. “Making this incredible area region a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is the culmination of years of hard work by many great partners.”

    WCS first became involved with the conservation of wildlife of Península Valdés in the 1960s under the direction of then General Director William Conway. The first project carried out here focused on the protection of rare southern right whales. WCS researcher Guillermo Harris began working to help protect the wildlife based at WCS’s field station on Península Valdés, in 1981 and WCS researcher Claudio Campagna began studying South American sea lions and southern elephant seals on Península Valdés around the same time.

    Following a request made by the Argentine government and the Province of Chubut, UNESCO inscribed Península Valdés as a World Heritage Site (WHS) in 1999 based on its unique concentrations and diversity of wildlife. WCS and its local partner FPN played major roles in that designation and in the preparation of the corresponding management plan, a participatory process that took more than a year to complete. The new biosphere designation builds upon the existing WHS inscription and further highlights the extraordinary biological value of Península Valdés.

    All of these efforts and many more in which WCS is involved on the peninsula, including management conservation, education and research, continue. To help protect the wildlife of Península Valdés, WCS works with researchers belonging to the local Science and Technology Agency of Federal Government of Argentina based at the Centro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT), the Government of the Province of Chubut and Fundación Patagonia Natural.

    Said WCS Senior Conservationist William Conway: “Southern right whales that swim within meters of shore, schools of dusky dolphins, huge colonies of Magellanic penguins, rookeries of South American sea lions that bustle with activity, orcas that beach themselves to capture pups and southern elephant seals that huddle in thousands on lonely sandy beaches, this is the wildlife that makes Península Valdés on the coast of Patagonia so special, one of the world’s great natural wonders.”

    WCS’s conservation work on Península Valdés is made possible through the generosity of the Waitt Foundation, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, UNDP-Global Environment Facility, Jeniam Foundation, and other supporters.


    Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
    MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;; Follow: @thewcs.


  • Don Lichterman 8:30 AM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Capital punishment in the United States, , Ed Pilkington, Florence, Jon Crane, Joseph Wood, , Tom Horne,   

    Another Hour and Forty-Eight Minute Long Death in AZ last night/this morning; Death Penalty Concerns Keep Growing; From Ron Paul To Young Libertarian Leaders 

    Listen, I and nor do anyone at the CCADP (Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty) and/or nor would anyone in the world condone what these gross murderers have done to their victims. I feel for every one that had to live with it after every death by murder, and I also make no bones that part of me says an ‘eye for an eye’ so to speak. especially, when I was younger and not fiscally aware but the one misconception about the victims ‘revenge’ if you will, or that ‘eye for an eye’ mentality is that keeping whomever alive in a 6×6 cell is way worse than his death. Because now what? He is dead. What does that mean?

    Especially, when any of the private and/or federal prisons could put him to work to make something for us law-abiding people, or better yet, keep them hell alive for as long as humanly possible in that 6×6 cell where he is allowed in that cage outside for one hour a day.

    We need to weigh what costs more money for us taxpayers.

    If the process of seeing through a death penalty is much less money and cost-effective than say keeping whomever alive working hard labor for no money or pennies on the dollar, I want to know that ratio please. Or I wanna know how much it costs to house them and feed them every day for 20 to 30 to 40 years.  I need to see these numbers at the private prisons but even last night someone died in a way where they should have just allowed him to use the shooting gallery or whatever its called (squad maybe?) when they shoot you as part of the death penalty. I assume AZ does not allow any other kind of death by penalty than lethal injection.

    The irony is that a Georgia execution last year got those lethal drugs from some pharmacy in AZ.

    But, if you bring in just the so called moral issue, there is really no argument about it politically today. I assume the only state that would lobby hard to keep it is TX.

    Even still, wouldn’t it be more gratifying knowing that people who killed your loved ones is/are rotting away doing nothing but eat and walk in a circle one hour every day and that was it? Isn’t it more gratifying to know that he has to think about killing whoever’s loved one when alive because once dead, it’s over with. What I mean is that he has it easy being dead today. Even if the death was harsh and even if it took a long time, he is so much better off dead today than when he had to think about everything he did when alive.

    That’s my issue because to me life is way harder than being dead. being dead is easy quite frankly once dead.

    And, then think about life. That is hard to deal with every day. It has got to be way harder to think about a death you caused while sitting in a 6×6 metal cell with that metal toilet that may not even have seat lids. But anyway, he could be sitting in that cell thinking and thinking while staring at the four cement walls. And, lets say that letting him walk around that rectangular fenced in area for that one hour a day as some award after he yes, it killed something in an illegal way. To me though, it looks like something right out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to have to walk around in circles as your award or prize in life.

    Isn’t that worse for the killer?

    • ————

    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a national network of conservatives and libertarians questioning the alignment of capital punishment with their principles, will once again be a sponsor of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) national convention (Arlington, VA. July 30th – August 3rd).

    • ————

    Joseph Wood: Arizona murderer dies almost two hours after execution begins

    Convicted killer ‘gasped and snorted’ as officials attempted to execute him, as lawyers filed an emergency motion to halt the process

    Witness to an Arizona execution: Joseph Wood’s 660 gasps

    Death penalty opponents protest ahead of the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood at the state prison in Florence, Arizona.
    Death penalty opponents protest ahead of the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood at the state prison in Florence, Arizona. Photograph: AP

    The controversy engulfing the death penalty in the United States escalated on Wednesday when the state of Arizona took almost two hours to kill a prisoner using an experimental concoction of drugs whose provenance it had insisted on keeping secret.

    Joseph Wood took an hour and 58 minutes to die after he was injected with a relatively untested combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone. The procedure took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency court motion in an attempt to have it stopped. For more than an hour, he was seen to be “gasping and snorting”, according to the court filing.

    The attempt to execute Wood had begun at 1.52pm, with sedation of the prisoner confirmed five minutes later. The office of the Arizona attorney general, Tom Horne, announced at 3.49pm local time that Wood was dead.

    According to the emergency motion, Wood was seen to be still breathing at 2.02pm, and the next minute his mouth moved. “He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” his lawyers said. When the officials in charge of the execution checked the prisoner at 3.02pm – an hour and 10 minutes after the procedure began – he was confirmed still to be alive.

    One eyewitness, Michael Kiefer of Arizona Republic, counted the prisoner gasping 660 times. Another witness, reporter Troy Hayden, told the same paper that it had been “very disturbing to watch … like a fish on shore gulping for air.”

    Mauricio Marin, a television reporter with Kold News 13, told the Guardian that Wood had appeared to be sedated with his eyes closed. But he said in an email that Wood was “gulping or gasping for air. His stomach moved at times while the gulping/gasping for air as if one would while breathing laying down.”

    Wood, 55, was put to death for the 1989 murders in Tucson of his former girlfriend Debra Dietz and her father Eugene Dietz.

    “What I saw today with him being executed, it is nothing compared to what happened on Aug. 7, 1989,” Jeanne Brown, Debra Dietz’s sister, told an Associated Press reporter after the execution. “What’s excruciating is seeing your father lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying in a pool of blood.”

    The duration of the execution was extreme even in the contexct of recent botched judicial killings in the US. Clayton Lockett, who writhed and groaned on the gurney in Oklahoma in April, took 45 minutes to die – less than half the time it took in Wood’s case.

    Lockett’s death provoked a nationwide and international outcry. In the fallout, President Obama was prompted to launch a review into the practice of the death penalty in the country that is still ongoing.

    The hours leading up to Wood’s execution were marked by a frenzied legal battle over the secrecy imposed by state officials on the source of the drugs. It was put on hold several times – first by a federal appeals court, then by the state supreme court of Arizona. On Tuesday the US supreme court removed the stay, allowing the execution to go ahead.

    Joseph Rudolph Wood.
    Joseph Rudolph Wood. Photograph: AP

    Wood’s legal team had argued that as a member of the public, he had a right to know under the first amendment of the US constitution about the source and nature of the drugs that were being used to kill him, as well as about the qualifications of the officials who would administer the lethal injections. The ninth circuit federal court of appeals ordered a stay of execution to give time for proper legal reflection.

    The US supreme court lifted that stay on Tuesday, without giving any explanation.

    Within a few hours of Wood being pronounced dead, senior officials in Arizona had begun a damage limitation exercise in which they tried to reassure the public that his execution had been painless. The governor, Jan Brewer, ordered an investigation but said the death had been lawful, adding that “by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer. This is in stark comparison to the gruesome, vicious suffering that he inflicted on his two victims – and the lifetime of suffering he has caused their family.”

    The state corrections department that carried out the execution insisted that it had followed protocol and that he had been in “deep sedation” throughout.

    State officials came under pressure from the courts to preserve evidence. A federal court ordered the state to preserve Wood’s body and to draw down blood from six locations on it by a deadline of 8pm, as well as take tissue sample from his brain, liver and muscles. The supreme court of Arizona also stepped in and preserved that the labels on the bottles of drugs used be kept for future examination.

    In an impassioned statement, Wood’s lawyer, Dale Baich, said: “Arizona appears to have joined several other states who have been responsible for an entirely preventable horror – a bungled execution. The public should hold its officials responsible and demand to make this process more transparent.”

    Baich said the state’s investigation would be insufficiently independent. “Because the governor and the highest law enforcement official in Arizona have already expressed their view that Mr Wood did not suffer, and because the state of Arizona fought tooth and nail to protect the extreme secrecy surrounding its lethal injection drugs and execution personnel, the only way to begin to remedy this is with open government and transparency,” he said.

    In a later interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Baich said that he had witnessed 11 executions but never any that took so long. He accused Arizona of carrying out an experiment on his client even though state officials had been fully aware of a previous botched execution that had taken place in Ohio using the same drug combination. He pledged to continue the effort to find out who made the drugs used in the execution of his client.

    The chief judge of the ninth circuit federal appeals court, Alex Kozinski, told the Guardian that he was not surprised by what had happened. “I have seen this coming for a long time. It’s hard to watch these executions and not realise that these blunders are bound to happen,” he said.

    In his dissenting opinion to the stay of execution issued by the appeals court this week, Kozinski argued that the use in executions of drugs designed to help sick people was an “enterprise doomed to failure”. On Wednesday, he told the Guardian that he had thought about the problems with lethal injections for a long time, and that though his criticisms were not geared specifically to the Wood case in particular, he had decided it was time to speak out.

    The use of such drugs was, he said, “a complicated process that is not designed for executions. I had no idea how this would go down in the Wood case, but it’s obvious that this is the kind of process where there tends to be these kinds of problems.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has been campaigning against death penalty secrecy in several states, said that Arizona had violated the first amendment, the eighth amendment and the bounds of basic decency.

    “Joseph Wood suffered cruel and unusual punishment when he was apparently left conscious long after the drugs were administered. It’s time for Arizona and the other states still using lethal injection to admit that this experiment with unreliable drugs is a failure,” said Cassandra Stubbs, director of the ACLU’s capital punishment project.

    The Wood execution is certain now to provoke renewed debate about the concoctions of drugs used by death penalty states, as well as about the secrecy with which those states have shrouded the procedure. So far this year seven states have carried out executions – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas – and all seven have introduced varying degrees of secrecy around their execution drugs.

    The controversial measures followed a European-led boycott of the US death penalty that has blocked key drugs used in executions from reaching departments of correction. As supplies have run short, and expired, states have resorted to untried improvisations while insisting on hiding the identities of their suppliers in order to keep supply lines open.

    Numerous legal challenges have been attempted in the courts arguing that such secrecy puts prisoners in danger because it prevents them from ensuring that the drugs being used to kill them are of sufficient strength and efficacy to do the job humanely without breaching their eighth amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. Successive courts – including the US supreme court, most recently on Tuesday night in the Wood case – have dismissed that argument as lacking in substance.

    But the spectacle in Arizona of a prisoner taking almost two hours to die after he was administered drugs, the origin of which was kept secret, will can only bolster the cases of lawyers and anti-death penalty campaigners.

    The midazolam-hydromorphone combination used on Wood was also used by Ohio in January to put to death Dennis McGuire. Expert anaesthetists had warned that the state was using too weak a dosage, yet Ohio officials went ahead – with the result that McGuire took 26 minutes to die.

    Midazolam was also used in the botched execution of Clayton Lockett by Oklahoma in April.

    In the runup to the Wood execution, Arizona refused to divulge any information about the drugs it intended to use. It only revealed that it had obtained federally approved medicines, signaling that the sedative and painkillers had been produced by licensed manufacturers.

    Only two manufacturers of midazolam in America – Akorn and Sagent, both headquartered in Illinois – have failed to put distribution controls in place that prevent the chemical being sold to US corrections departments for use in executions.

    Witness to an Arizona execution: Joseph Wood’s 660 gasps


    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a national network of conservatives and libertarians questioning the alignment of capital punishment with their principles, will once again be a sponsor of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) national convention (Arlington, VA. July 30th – August 3rd).

    “We come into this year’s national convention with incredible momentum among young conservatives and libertarians,” said Marc Hyden, National Coordinator of CCATDP, who will be making a brief presentation to the convention. “Having Dr. Ron Paul publicly support our efforts immediately following last year’s convention, and then becoming a YAL Strategic Partner, has accelerated our efforts to change the national narrative regarding the death penalty.”

    In recent months CCATDP has presented and exhibited at YAL state conventions in Kentucky, Texas, and California, and has participated in a number of smaller YAL events.

    “Conservative and libertarian student activists are increasingly getting involved once they learn more about the death penalty system’s many pitfalls; like the real risk of executing innocent people and the fact it costs far more than life without parole,” Hyden said.

    In addition to former Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty has a growing list of national conservative and libertarian supporters that includes YAL founder Jeff Frazee, Foundation for Economic Education president Lawrence Reed, CEO Jeffrey Tucker, award-winning vlogger Julie Borowski, and Libertarian Republic founder and editor Austin Peterson to name a few.

    The 6th Annual YAL National Convention will take place at George Mason University’s Arlington Law Campus (3301 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.) July 30th – August 3rd.

    For more information contact Jon Crane at 203-982-4575 or email

    About CCADP
    Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a nationwide group of conservatives questioning whether capital punishment is consistent with conservative principles and values due to the system’s inefficiency, inequity, and inaccuracy. Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a project of Equal Justice USA, a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization working to build a criminal justice system that works. For everyone. To learn more go to



  • Don Lichterman 6:52 AM on July 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Ali Abunimah, , Electronic Intifada, , Gideon Levy, , , J.J. Goldberg,   

    Sunset Daily News Headlines! 

    A Debate on Gaza: Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada vs. J.J. Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward. Rand Paul: Republicans Can Only Win if “They Become More Live and Let Live”. “A Place of Indescribable Loss”: As Ceasefire Talks Begin, Israel Bombs Hospital, Mosques and Homes. What Does Hamas Really Want? Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy on Ending the Crippling Blockade of Gaza. How the West Chose War in Gaza: Crisis Tied to Israeli-U.S. Effort to Isolate Hamas & Keep the Siege. Israeli Writer Gideon Levy: If Netanyahu Wants to Stop the Rockets, He Needs to Accept a Just Peace. “Unimaginably Catastrophic”: As Gaza’s Displaced Top 100,000, Israel Reportedly Shells U.N. School. s the US Abandoning Afghan Interpreters to Certain Death? MSNBC’s Sole Palestinian Voice Rula Jebreal Takes on Pro-Israeli Gov’t Bias at Network & in US Media. Not In Our Name: Jewish Activists Arrested in Sit-in at Friends of Israel Defense Forces NYC Office. “Growing Humanitarian Crisis”: Palestinian Toll Tops 650 as Israel Attacks Gaza’s Sole Power Plant.

    We host a debate on U.S. media’s coverage of the Israel-Gaza conflict and the roots of the crisis with two guests: Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website Electronic Intifada & author of the new book, “The Battle for Justice in Palestine”; and J.J. Goldberg, editor-at-large and columnist at the newspaper, The Jewish Daily Forward. Abunimah and Goldberg discuss news headlines that ignore the massive Palestinian toll, whether the ceasefire should address the Gaza blockade, and the history of the conflict.

    The Israeli assault on Gaza has entered its third week as the Palestinian death toll has topped 600, mostly civilians. More than 100 of the dead are children. More than 3,700 Palestinians have been injured. Israel says it has lost 27 soldiers since the ground invasion began. Earlier today, Israel confirmed the remains of one of its soldiers presumed to have been killed in Gaza had still not been found or identified. This comes two days after Hamas said it had captured the soldier. So far today, Israel has struck more than 70 sites inside Gaza including five mosques and a football stadium. On Monday, at least 103 Palestinians died including 11 when Israel bombed a residential tower block in Gaza City. Five children died in that attack. In the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, five people died and 70 were wounded when Israel shelled the al-Aqsa hospital. It became the third medical facility to be struck by Israel in the past two weeks.

    “I think Republicans could only win in general if they become more live and let live,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tells Reason TV at Lincoln Labs’ Reboot Conference, which was held July 18-20 in San Francisco.

    Paul sat down with Nick Gillespie to talk about the future of the GOP, the need to reach the 80-million-strong Millennial Generation, why having a strong national defense doesn’t mean constant military interventions, and what Washington, D.C. can learn from the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley.

    When asked whether he would vote to end the taxpayer-funded Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign companies buy U.S. products, is widely seen as a leading example of corporate welfare, and is coming up for a vote in September, Paul replied:

    Absolutely. If I’m a Republican and I’m going out and saying, “We have limited resources and we can’t have everyone on food stamps,” by golly I need to be a Republican who says “we’re not giving one penny of corporate welfare.”

    As the Israeli assault on Gaza enters its third week, a new push is underway for an internationally brokered ceasefire. Speaking earlier today, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said there is “no real hope” of an immediate halt to the fighting because Hamas’ conditions are too far from those of Israel, the United States and Egypt. Hamas’ demands have centered on an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the release of its prisoners. The seven-year siege has crippled the economy, civilian infrastructure and water supplies. In Gaza, unemployment tops 40 percent and almost 80 percent rely on humanitarian aid. The United Nations has warned Gaza will no longer be livable by 2020 unless urgent steps are taken. The last ceasefire in November 2012 was supposed to ease the blockade, but Israel only intensified it.

    While many trace the Israeli assault on Gaza to the series of events that began with the kidnapping and subsequent murder of three teenage Israelis in the occupied West Bank, we look at how the crisis’ immediate cause has been all but ignored. In a recent article for The New York Times, “How the West Chose War in Gaza,” Nathan Thrall, senior analyst at International Crisis Group, argues the roots of the current violence lie in Israeli, U.S. and European efforts to undermine the Palestinian unity government, which Hamas joined earlier this year. Isolated by its opposition to the Assad regime in Syria and a rift with the military government in Egypt, Hamas reconciled with the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in the hopes a unity deal could help ease the crippling blockade of Gaza and help pay the salaries of thousands of its civil servants.

    Joining us from Tel Aviv, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy argues that Middle East peace will never come until the Israeli government drops it rejection of basic Palestinian rights. “Sure Israel wants peace, Israel just doesn’t want a just peace,” Levy says. “It is all about justice. You look backward and you ask yourself in which stage, in which moment, was Israel willing to give up the occupation? Give me one example in which there was a genuine readiness to put an end to the occupation. It was never there. It was all about gaining time and maintaining the status quo — namely the West Bank occupied, Gaza under siege, peaceful life in Israel. … If you want the ultimate proof for it, it’s the [West Bank] settlements. Israel never stopped building settlements, and [in doing so] says to the Palestinians and the world, [we] have no intention to give up this piece of land.”

    The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees says the number of people seeking refuge at its sites in Gaza has soared to more than 100,000. According to unconfirmed reports, one of the shelters, a girl’s school in central Gaza, was hit Monday by an Israeli shell. We speak to Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). “The situation for refugees on the ground in Gaza right now is unimaginably catastrophic,” Gunness says.

    “Interpreters have become a very big target of the Taliban and Al Queda,” says Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). “There’s been a lot of beheadings of people that have worked with the West.”

    Janis Shinwari, who served as an interpreter for years, was able to escape that fate and moved to Virginia in October with his wife and two children. His visa came largely due to the efforts of Army Capt. Matt Zeller, whose life he saved (Shinwari is credited with saving the lives of at least four other American soldiers). In 2008, Zeller returned to the U.S. while Shinwari stayed in Afghanistan to continue his work as an interpreter.

    Yet the visa program designed to bring interpreters to the U.S. is slated to end in September, stranding as as many as 6,000 Afghan locals who will almost surely be killed in retaliation for helping the American war effort.

    A week after public outrage helped force NBC’s reversal of a decision to pull veteran reporter Ayman Moyheldin out of Gaza, the sole Palestinian contributor to sister network MSNBC has publicly criticized its coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. “We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” Rula Jebreal said Monday on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily, citing a disproportionate amount of Palestinian voices and a preponderance of Israeli government officials and supporters. Jebreal joins us to discuss her decision to speak out against MSNBC and her broader criticism of the corporate media’s Israel-Palestine coverage. An author and political analyst who worked for many years as a broadcast journalist in Italy, Jebreal also shares her personal story as a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, who is married to a Jewish man, and has a Jewish sister.

    Protests in response to Israel’s assault on Gaza have drawn hundreds — and in some cases thousands — around the world. On Tuesday, members of Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! occupied the New York City office of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, a non-profit group that raises money in the United States to send to the Israeli military. For about an hour, activists read the names of the more than 600 Palestinians killed, and demanded the organization stop its fundraising for the military attacking Gaza. Nine were arrested when they refused to leave the premises. We get a video report from the protest.

    Israel continues to bombard the Gaza Strip amidst talks over a ceasefire. Israeli military attacks today include the bombing of Gaza’s sole power plant and the heavy shelling of Khan Yunis, killing six people and leaving at least 20 wounded. The Palestinian death toll is near 650, including more than 160 children. Some 4,000 have been wounded. According to Gaza officials, 475 houses have been totally destroyed and more than 2,600 homes have been partially damaged. Israel has also struck 46 schools, 56 mosques and seven hospitals. Two more Israeli soldiers have been killed, bringing the Israeli military death toll inside Gaza to 29. A farm worker from Thailand also died inside Israel after being hit by rocket fire from Gaza. On the diplomatic front, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel today for talks with Israel and then the Palestinian Authority.

    Sunset-Daily Logo

  • Don Lichterman 2:44 PM on July 23, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Jenny Grisetti   

    Portland Captive Elephant Care Forum & Contact Congress Today to Stop Circus Suffering! 

    In Defense of Animals

    Please join members of IDA, Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants (FOZE), and others concerned with the welfare of captive elephants for the Portland Captive Elephant Care Forum, Saturday, July 26, 2pm-4pm at the Central Public Library in Portland.

    With elephants languishing at the Oregon Zoo, the timing of this public forum couldn’t be more appropriate. Three of the Oregon Zoo’s elephants have contracted life-threatening tuberculosis and all eight elephants suffer from diseases and conditions directly related to captivity: foot problems, joint problems, and zoochosis, abnormal or stereotypic behavior.

    Panel members include:

    Wildlife and conservation biologist, Dr. Blair Csuti, who most recently worked for the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. He was senior editor of an Iowa State University Press book on elephant foot problems, which affect 50% of all captive elephants and often lead to early death.

    - Sundari SitaRam is the founder and Executive Director of the Washington-based organization ‘Heart of Ganesh,’ a nonprofit helping to improve the lives of wild and captive elephants, and providing assistance to people whose lives are intertwined with them.

    - Janet Conklin has observed elephants in their natural environment as a volunteer assistant to a scientific and research team to support the conservation and preservation of elephants in South Africa. She is a wildlife advocate working on protecting the health and welfare of elephants in captivity.

    What: Portland Captive Elephant Care Forum
    When: Saturday, July 26, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
    Where: Central Public Library, 801 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

    Please RSVP to the event’s Facebook page:

    Also, please ask your representative to support and co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 4525) and help put an end to the suffering!

    For more information, please contact advocates across the country are making their voices heard the week of July 21 through 25 in a week of action, and each voice counts as we encourage Congress to support H.R. 4525, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA).

    TEAPA was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who has expressed concern over the detrimental effects of traveling circuses on animal welfare, stating, “The mounting evidence of inhumane treatment and the growing public concern for these animals demands that we reconsider what are appropriate living conditions for these intelligent, social creatures.”

    If passed, exhibiting any exotic or wild animal who has been transported within the prior 15 days would be prohibited, meaning that traveling exotic and wild animal acts would be effectively banned. Animals used in circuses and other traveling acts endure severe physical and psychological abuse as they are carted across the country in poorly ventilated trailers and boxcars—while bound in tight chains or confined to cages barely large enough for their bodies—for up to 50 weeks every year.

    This bill is a glimmer of hope for exotic and wild animals who are suffering in circuses and other traveling acts, and every voice counts! Please join PETA today by asking your representative to support and co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 4525) and help put an end to the suffering.

    Ask the Maryland Renaissance Festival to end cruel elephant and camel rides immediately!

    What do elephants and camels have to do with 16th century reenactments, Kings and jesters? The answer, of course, is nothing. Yet routinely, as part of the Maryland Renaissance Festival’s lineup, elephants and camels are forced to plod in endless circles day after day to provide rides to visitors. PETA and other organizations have appealed to festival management to eliminate these cruel and dangerous rides, but they’ve turned a blind eye to the animals’ suffering.

    Last year, the elephants and camels at the festival were provided by an outfit called Elephant Walk, owned by Franklin Murray. Murray was arrested in New Jersey for contempt of court in relation to cruelty-to-animals charges, and one of the elephants he uses has also tested positive for tuberculosis antibodies.

    Urge the Maryland Renaissance Festival to end elephant and camel rides once and for all. After you’ve taken action, ask family, friends and co-workers to weigh-in.

    Thanks for everything that you do to help animals!


  • Don Lichterman 2:24 PM on July 23, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Brina Milikowsky, , , , , , , , ,   

    What Has Caused More Deaths? Bullets and Guns or the staff at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital?

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    You can’t tell the story of gun violence in this country without talking about domestic violence.

    Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than they are in any other developed nation. And more than half of all women killed with guns in our country are murdered by their partners.

    We have to do more to reduce gun violence against women. And our opportunity to act is here.

    A key Senate committee is holding a hearing next week on a bill to strengthen our nation’s domestic violence laws. Before they meet, we need to collect as many petition signatures as possible calling on our senators to support this important bill.

    Click here to automatically sign the petition to your senators asking them to co-sponsor Senator Amy Klobuchar’s bill that would protect victims of abuse from gun violence.

    Sen. Klobuchar’s bill is called the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, and it works in two key ways:

    1. It would prohibit stalkers from buying or possessing guns.
    2. It would prohibit all domestic abusers from buying or possessing guns — including dating partners, not just spouses.

    The first step to building support for this important legislation is to let our senators know we’re counting on them to take the lead. Women’s lives are on the line. The more of us who speak out before the hearing on Wednesday next week, the greater our opportunity to convince our senators to co-sponsor and fight for this bill.

    Automatically sign the petition now:

    Thanks for standing up against gun violence against women. We will keep you up-to-date about the hearing and any other developments about this bill.

    If you’re frustrated by the lack of progress to prevent gun violence in this country, you’re not alone.

    Earlier this summer, President Obama said, “My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.”

    He called on the American people to stand up and demand change, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. OFA supporters are taking on the powerful, out-of-touch gun lobby — and we’re willing to take this fight state by state to demonstrate that there’s a way to win progress here.

    It’ll take real grassroots organizingadd your name and say you’ll help fight for common-sense gun violence prevention wherever we can make progress.

    I want to tell you about what supporters in the state of Washington are up to: OFA volunteers were part of a progressive coalition that gathered enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot this November that could expand background checks on gun sales. Right now, thanks to their efforts, polls say that Initiative 594 has the support of more than 70 percent of voters.

    When I talk to folks who are fed up on this issue, I point to Washington state as a real path forward.

    It’s worked in other states, too. While too many politicians in D.C. were unwilling to stand up to the powerful special interests, Connecticut, Colorado, and several other cities and states have tightened background check laws since the tragedy in Newtown.

    Initiative 594 in Washington is gearing up to be a face off between a grassroots movement of people who want change and the powerful, well-funded gun lobby that will fight any measure tooth and nail.

    If we can prove we can win this one, then we could see a whole host of other states and cities willing to take this on.

    That’s how change can happen — we’ve seen it on everything from climate to marriage equality. Local organizing can change a community, and that can change a state. And state by state, we’re changing the country.

    We’re working on pulling together ways for anyone to pitch in with the fight in Washington state — more on that soon.

    Today, we’re asking you to stand up and say you’re ready to take this fight on with us.

    You in?



  • Don Lichterman 2:01 PM on July 23, 2014 Permalink

    King Crimson – In The Court of the Crimson King vinyl review & the In the Court of the Crimson King (drink) 

    This week, The Vinyl Geek showcases one of the most influential prog rock albums of all time, King Crimson‘s In The Court of the Crimson King from 1969 on Atlantic Records.

    In this episode, the Vinyl Geek show you how to make a cocktail that pairs perfectly with King Crimson’s 1969 album, In the Court of the Crimson King.

    1oz of gin
    ⅔ oz of fresh lime juice
    ½ oz of grenadine

    Chill a martini glass with ice cubes. Fill a cocktail shaker about ½ of the way with ice cubes. Add all ingredients in the shaker, cap and shake. Dump the ice from the glass and pour strained into the glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

    Watch at Anytime and get the mixology lesson here!

  • Don Lichterman 10:48 AM on July 23, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights, Chris Hegedus, , D. A. PENNEBAKER, , , , Steven M. Wise   

    ‘Mammals & Animals Are People too my Friends’ 

    This short documentary follows the lawyer Steven Wise’s effort to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans.

    To begin, click on Video


    What do you think of this project? Send us your thoughts!

     “They used to bark at me when I walked into the courtroom” says renowned animal rights attorney Steven Wise. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective welfare laws and inadequate government regulations, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), have found a way to truly protect animals. They are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a thing with no rights to a person with legal protections.

    Unlocking the Cage documents Steve’s unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans.  Steve argues that based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants have the capacity for fundamental personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse.


    In December 2013, Steve and his legal team, using writs of habeus corpus (used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), filed lawsuits demanding limited personhood rights for four captive chimpanzees in New York. Tommy, a 26 year-old former film actor, caged in a garage on a used trailer lot became the first plaintiff.  The lower court judges were sufficiently impressed with Steve’s legal arguments to hold oral hearings and then direct the lawsuits up to the Appellate Courts for a decision on animal personhood. The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian UK, and other international media reported on the unusual cases.

    Although we have captured the dramatic events leading up to this historic moment, the story is not over.  We need to be there for Steve’s ultimate challenge when he argues his case in the appellate courts this fall. Nine scientists from around the world provided affidavits on chimpanzee behavior that are crucial to the case. We want to include their research. Finally, we want to hear the owners’ side of the story, and if the chimpanzees are declared legal persons, see them given a new life at sanctuaries.

    Unlocking the Cage will raise significant questions about the complex legal interpretation of personhood but, more importantly, we hope that the film will contribute to the evolving debate about our society’s relationship to animals, why it is critical to protect them and how we can do it. Steve’s life is dedicated to justice for animals, and we believe that like our films The War Room and—stories about passionate people who take risks to accomplish lifelong goals—Unlocking the Cage will capture a pivotal moment in history.

    Unlocking the Cage is produced by Frazer Pennebaker and Rosadel Varela. Video Credit By Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker on Publish Date April 23, 2014.

    How does a thing become a person? In December 2013, the lawyer Steven Wise showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections. This Op-Doc video follows Mr. Wise on his path to filing the first-ever lawsuits in the United States demanding limited “personhood” rights for certain animals, on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.

    Mr. Wise (who is also the subject of The New York Times Magazine’s cover story this Sunday) has spent more than 30 years developing his strategy for attaining animal personhood rights. After he started his career as a criminal defense lawyer, he was inspired by Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation” to dedicate himself to justice for animals. He helped pioneer the study of animal rights law in the 1980s. In 2000, he became the first person to teach the subject at Harvard Law School, as a visiting lecturer. Mr. Wise began developing his animal personhood strategy after struggling with ineffective welfare laws and regulations that fail to keep animals out of abusive environments. Unlike welfare statutes, legal personhood would give some animals irrevocable protections that recognize their critical needs to live in the wild and to not be owned or abused.

    The current focus of Mr. Wise’s legal campaign includes chimpanzees, elephants, whales and dolphins — animals whose unusually high level of intelligence has been recognized by scientific research. The body of scientific work on chimpanzee cognition, in particular, is enormous, and scientific testimony is crucial to Mr. Wise’s legal arguments. His team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), selected as its first plaintiffs four chimps living in New York: Tommy, Kiko, Hercules and Leo. He chose these animals in large part because New York’s common laws are favorable to habeas corpus lawsuits, and because there are great ape sanctuaries that could accommodate them.

    This fall, the cases will be likely to go to New York’s intermediate appellate courts. If Mr. Wise wins, he will have successfully broken down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. His plaintiffs, the four chimps, will be deemed legal persons and relocated to outdoor sanctuaries around the United States. In many ways, the lawsuits have already won: They have brought animal personhood to the forefront of the conversation surrounding our society’s relationship with animals.

    This Op-Doc is adapted from a feature-length documentary, “Unlocking the Cage,” which we are producing about Mr. Wise. We hope these works will inspire people to think differently about animals and why we should protect them.


    D. A. Pennebaker has directed more than 30 feature-length documentaries, including “Dont Look Back” and “Monterey Pop.” In 2012 he received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Chris Hegedus has directed films for nearly four decades. She won the 2002 D.G.A. award, and, with Mr. Pennebaker, received an Academy Award nomination for “The War Room.”

    Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries, produced with creative latitude by independent filmmakers and artists. Learn more about Op-Docs and how to submit to the series.


  • Don Lichterman 10:19 AM on July 23, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Ethical code, Jesus, Old Testament, New Testament   


    What I said about that god in my first book:

    “….There were decisions made along the way by us humans and so why does that form of magic get pushed to happening because of some higher power or because of some God? And, then what is a god because if you want to get down to it, if you take the God I was taught to love, obey and guide me through this life, God acts like a complete asshole to us humans. God never feels that it has to talk to any human face to face and in any way. This God that we are told to worship, acts like the ultimate mob boss. Let’s be real about it because God acts no different than any gangster leader. I can only communicate with my god within myself and that’s not even what is real. You cannot get any answers from God and we spend so much time trying to figure out what God wants from us. God does not have to explain anything to us and we all try to make deals with God. None of us can ever be what that God expects us to be in this life, and, then God punishes us if we are not perfect and actually, God is the toughest fucker I ever tried to figure out, because God knows God is perfect and that we human beings are not perfect as people. God then makes us lives by his codes while God condemns us if we do not live by those codes of ethics. Sometimes people to get what they need in their lives, they feel that they must give up something special or something of great importance to that person, otherwise anything less, does not interest God. Plus, we all ask God why we are here in the first place and we will never get any real answers from that God. Ironically, God really has a huge grip on us humans. I say Gods name a lot but then again, I use all kinds of words to try to make points in life….”

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  • Don Lichterman 6:53 AM on July 23, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Success! 110 Research Chimps from Notorious Lab Retire to Sanctuary 


    It was a long and difficult road, but 110 former laboratory chimpanzees are now living the good life, far from the cages and experimentation that dominated their existence for decades.

    The last of these lucky primates, ranging in age from 1 to 50, have arrived at Chimp Haven, the organization announce on July 2. There they will spend the remainder of their lives in comfort, able to play and interact with other chimps. It’s a joyous time for them after years spent locked away and tormented as government-funded research subjects.

    Chimp Haven, a 200-acre facility located in Keithville, La., is the designated National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Since 1995, it has provided permanent lifelong sanctuary for chimpanzees retired or rescued from biomedical research, the entertainment industry and private owners.

    A Two-Year Journey From a Lab to a Life Worth Living

    The bumpy road to sanctuary for the began in 2012, when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) decided to retire 110 of its research chimps from the now notorious New Iberia Research Center (NIRC).

    Initially the NIH’s plan was to send only 10 chimps to Chimp Haven and the other 100 to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. While they would not have been used further for active research in Texas, living in that facility wasn’t exactly the type of “retirement” most people wanted for these chimps.

    It was simply an unacceptable outcome in the opinion of Chimp Haven’s president and CEO, Cathy Willis Spraetz.

    “When we learned that all of the chimpanzees would not be retired to Chimp Haven, we felt they were being robbed of what was promised to them in the [Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection] Act, signed into law in 2000 and reauthorized in 2013,” Spraetz said in a press release.

    The CHIMP Act provided that government-owned chimpanzees no longer needed for research would be retired to the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, not sent to live in a lab.

    Chimp Haven wanted to take in all of the NIRC chimps, but as of late 2012 didn’t have the facilities to care for so many. It needed to expand substantially to be able to house and properly care for them. In addition to the normal needs of chimpanzees, Chimp Haven has to be prepared to handle a variety of significant and permanent health conditions such as HIV and hepatitis affecting many of the chimp residents.

    The group began an aggressive fundraising campaign called the Road to Chimp Haven. Its ambitious goal: to raise $5 million to cover construction and initial care expenses.

    Generous donations from the National Anti-Vivisection Society, the American Anti-Vivisection Society, the New England Anti-Vivsection Society, the Humane Society of the United States and animal activists Bob Barker and Anita Hirsh enabled Chimp Haven to realize its dream. According to Chimp Haven:

    Since the start of construction last year, six play areas have been completed which enabled the sanctuary to complete the transitioning phase for the chimpanzees. Currently, several bedrooms and one large open play ground are nearing completion which will allow more room for future growth.

    Thanks to over 8,000 Care2 petition signatures and the many animal organizations and activists who raised funds and lobbied hard for these chimps, the NIH changed its mind. It agreed to retire all 110 of its NIRC chimpanzees to Chimp Haven.

    “It was necessary to devise a plan that would offer a safe and caring atmosphere, one where these chimpanzees can live the rest of their lives in large social groups and determine on their own how they will spend their days, ” Spraetz said. “We, along with many others, felt that environment could only be achieved at Chimp Haven and thank NIH for reconsidering the plans for these chimpanzees.”

    Undercover Work Revealed Disturbing Practices at New Iberia Lab

    In 2009, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) placed an undercover investigator inside the New Iberia Research Center for nine months. Watch this video to see what HSUS revealed about how NIRC treated these chimps and other primates:


    “In no lab I have visited have I seen so many chimpanzees exhibit such intense fear. The screaming I heard when chimpanzees were being forced to move toward the dreaded needle in their squeeze cages was, for me, absolutely horrifying,” renowned primate expert Dr. Jane Goodall told HSUS.

    Thankfully, for the federally funded NIH chimps now living at Chimp Haven, this nightmare is over.

    “We are thrilled that this great day has finally arrived,” Spraetz said. “Many organizations and individuals have worked tirelessly to ensure these chimpanzees would have a new beginning in a sanctuary environment. Our dreams have finally been realized for these amazing animals.”

    The work isn’t done, however. “Because of the generosity of our donors, we have made great strides for these beautiful animals,” Spraetz said. “However, the public’s help is needed to close the $2 million funding gap that still remains and must be earmarked for their daily care for the remainder of their lives.”

    This was one more wonderful step towards completion of NIH’s plan to retire 300 laboratory chimps. The bad news, however, is that the New Iberia Research Center is still up and running and still experimenting on primates. Only the federally funded chimps owned by the NIH were retired from that lab.

    A heartbreaking 230 chimpanzees, along with other primates, are still owned by NIRC or others. They remain at that facility, suffering daily. When will their day of freedom arrive?

    Success! 110 Research Chimps from Notorious Lab Retire to Sanctuary | Care2 Causes.

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  • Don Lichterman 8:46 PM on July 22, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , Calvin and Hobbes, , Jay Electronica, , Lee County Sheriff's Office, , ,   

    Todays Rescue is a litter of kittens from the sewer… 

    It took all day since 5AM but we were able to grab two of the three I initially found on top of each other in the sewer out front of the house. The third one I am afraid was not able to live but the other two are asleep in the LR in towels and then I just fed the mom outside so at least she comes back. So far, we named one caspian and we have one more to name….The outdoor cats that produced this letter I have referred to as Harry and fee accordingly and I had thought they were dad and kid before one day walking out to seeing them ya know./..boinking out front of my place…i was like yo…stop it and finally he got off her but that was like two or three or whatever months ago….this manual labor shit is hard… body is achy….but man oh man this was a hard one. I could not reach down there to grab them and at one point I was a mili inch away and i could pet who is now caspian’s head but they were NOT in good shape at all. they had no strength or know how to get up out of the sewer….once we got the one out..the other one was not as bad even though that one would run in that hole…but we tried to cover it with a cutting board and by then…it was ready to be shoved into a bag McGyver style…and up she came…so if the other one is living…still…i’ll hopefully be able to grab that one too…i doubt its alive though..they were falling on its faces this am…it was horrifying for a while and no one would help…no animal org’s..I called Hwy patrol..the cops…fire people…sewer people…3 animal rescue places and not one person wanted to help at for a second…NONE….it was a disgrace….and then as far as the mom and dad…we need get them fixed big time…even if we put them back out as is, but this was rough…we cant be goingthrughthis again after heat time for them…whew…what a day…but we got the two still alive…and ps…i smelled dank all day today…..dank….not good dank like buds but gross dank like sewer,….

    photo photo1 photo2 IMG_20140722_165044_106 IMG_20140722_165116_821 IMG_20140722_165125_021 IMG_20140722_183518_537 IMG_20140722_183531_144

  • Don Lichterman 11:03 AM on July 22, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , drone, , Gimbal, , Khumbu Glacier, ,   

    Will A DJI Phantom Fly At Everest Base Camp? 

    Jon Miller from The Rest of Everest brings a DJI Phantom to Everest Base Camp in Nepal and attempts to fly the small drone with a gimbal and a GoPro over the Khumbu Glacier. Will the quadcopter fly in the thin air at over 17,500′/5334m?

    The Phantom was a late-model version 1 modified only with a Tarot T-2D gimbal, 3D printed leg extensions and Phantom v2 propellers. Watch at S2e TV!

  • Don Lichterman 10:55 AM on July 22, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , panjoma, Raji Sourani, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award,   

    Sunset Daily’s Breaking News in Gaza! 

    Breaking: In Latest Attack on Gaza Medical Site, IDF Shells al-Aqsa Hospital; 5 Dead, Dozens Hurt. Max Blumenthal: With “Hollow Diplomacy,” U.S. Created Political Space for Israeli Assault on Gaza. Israeli Peace Demo Violently Disrupted, Dozens Injured as Counterprotesters Yell “Death to Arabs”. Palestinian Human Rights Lawyer Raji Sourani Likens Netanyahu to Bin Laden For Killing Civilians. Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Israel’s Gaza Massacres: F-16 Kills 24 Relatives After 72 Die in Shejaiya.

    In breaking news from the Gaza Strip, at least four people were killed today and dozens wounded when the Israeli military shelled the al-Aqsa Hospital. It is at least the third Israeli military attack on a Gaza hospital since the ground invasion on Thursday. Speaking from Gaza’s overrun al-Shifa hospital, Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert accuses Israel of directly targeting medical facilities. Gilbert helped treat many of the victims of Israel’s attack on the Shejaiya neighborhood, where 72 people were killed. We also speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, reporting from Gaza City.

    As Israeli forces killed more than 100 Palestinians on Sunday, Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the assault on Gaza for “as long as is required,” citing the backing of foreign allies that has “laid the diplomatic foundation that has given us international credit to operate.” The Obama administration has provided critical support, claiming Israel has acted in self-defense and blaming Hamas for the civilian toll. But on the conflict’s bloodiest day, the White House began showing mild signs of apprehension. President Obama spoke to Netanyahu for the second time in three days and raised “serious concern about the growing number of casualties.” Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry made the rounds of Sunday television talk shows to publicly defend Israel’s assault on Gaza.

    We look at the increasingly dangerous political climate inside Israel where several peace protests have recently come under attack. On Saturday, right-wing activists burned a Palestinian flag, chanted racial slurs, and threw stones at an antiwar protest in Haifa of Arabs and Israelis opposed to the bombardment of Gaza. Haifa’s deputy mayor, Dr. Suhail Assad, and his son were beaten. On Sunday, the captain of a youth soccer team in Be’er Sheva wrote on his facebook page: “send left-wing voters to the gas chambers and clean this country of leftists.” The week before the Gaza invasion began, gangs were reportedly seen roaming the streets of Jerusalem and other towns shouting, “death to Arabs.” We go to Israel to speak with Rann Bar-On, an Israeli peace activist and Duke University mathematics lecturer, who took part in Saturday’s Haifa protest.

    The mass killings in Shejaiya have helped push the Palestinian death toll to more than 500 during the two-week Israeli assault on Gaza. The dead include more than 100 children. Some 3,100 people have been wounded and more than 81,000 displaced. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has warned it is running out of food and medicine at the schools housing more than 50,000 people. The number seeking refuge has nearly tripled since the ground invasion began on Thursday. At least 130 Palestinians have been killed during that time. We speak with Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza and human rights lawyer whose accolades include the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the Right Livelihood Award.

    The Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip has seen its bloodiest day so far, bringing the Palestinian death toll to more than 500. More than 100 Palestinians were killed in a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday nights. The dead include 72 residents of one of Gaza’s poorest and most densely populated neighborhoods. In the single worst attack to date, Israeli forces shelled homes and fought militants in Shejaiya, leaving behind a scene of carnage that survivors called a massacre. Frightened civilians fled along streets strewn with dead bodies. Wounded residents bled to death in their homes. An unconfirmed report said more than 20 children and 14 women were killed. Scores of homes were destroyed. Hundreds of people were wounded and taken to the overrun Shifa hospital, which struggled to find room for the bodies. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the attack on Shejaiya as an “atrocious action.”

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  • Don Lichterman 4:46 PM on July 21, 2014 Permalink  

    My first selfies…Even though someone else was there….I did selfies anyway…. 

    Don Lichterman:

    Top two so called selfies are from today 7.21.2014. setting up for skype meeting….


    Originally posted on :

    IMG_20140721_163537_070IMG_20140721_163629_971IMG_20140705_190842_222IMG_20140705_191121_550IMG_20140705_191425_719Sunset-Daily Logo

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  • Don Lichterman 10:24 AM on July 20, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: BRIC, , Dali, , , , McAllen-Miller International Airport, Surrealism, World Bank   

    Sunset Daily U.S. News Update! 

    The Prosecution Gap: Corporate Polluters Rarely Criminally Charged for Violating Environmental Law. Police Play NSA: Warrantless Data Collection the New Normal? Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?! U.S. Turns Back on Child Migrants After Its Policies in Guatemala, Honduras Sowed Seeds of Crisis. Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz Hails New BRICS Bank Challenging U.S.-Dominated World Bank & IMF. How Do We Define American? Jose Vargas, Symbol of Undocumented Immigrant Struggle, Detained in Texas. Selling Out with Salvador Dali: The Surrealist’s Unapologetic Love of Commerce. We Don’t Need More Copyright” – Tom Bell on Intellectual Property.

    Sacramento sheriff’s deputies have been playing NSA. They tool around town with suitcase-sized StingRay surveillance devices in their squad cars, scooping up cellphone data from whomever happens to be within a one-mile radius.

    The deputies have reportedly been doing their shady business without warrants, and dozens of law enforcement agencies nationwide may be doing likewise.

    But hey, what’s the big deal? After all, the feds say it’s OK.

    Not only that, but federal agents have even been telling local officers to keep their StingRay shenanigans hush hush. If a judge asks, the feds advise.

    As tens of thousands of children cross the U.S. border fleeing violence in their native Central American home countries, we look at the historical roots of the crisis. The United States has a long and sadly bloody history of destabilizing democratic governments in in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — the very countries that are now the sources of this latest migration wave. This week saw the first planeload of children deported to Honduras since President Obama vowed to speed up the removal of more than 57,000 youth who have fled to the United States from Central America in recent months. The group of 38 deportees included 21 children between the ages of 18 months and 15 years, along with 17 female family members. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the experience of Cordova and others should demonstrate to Central Americans that “they will not be welcomed to this country with open arms.”

    A new investigation by The Crime Report published Monday documents how corporations almost never face criminal investigations for violating environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. A survey of environmental violations tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency shows just one-half of one percent of them trigger criminal prosecution. Joining us to describe his investigation, The Crime Report’s Graham Kates describes how one company, Alpha Natural Resources, faced only civil fines after it racked up more than 6,000 violations between 2007 and 2013. Kates say prosecutions are hampered by limited government resources in pursuing corporate polluters. The EPA has just 200 agents nationwide, and the Environmental Crime section of Department of Justice has just 38 prosecutors.

    A group of five countries have launched their own development bank to challenge the U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Leaders from the so-called BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — unveiled the New Development Bank at a summit in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza. The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai. Together, BRICS countries account for 25 percent of global GDP and 40 percent of the world’s population. To discuss this development, we are joined by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and the World Bank’s former chief economist. “It’s very important in many ways,” Stiglitz says of the New Development Bank’s founding.

    Jose Antonio Vargas, one of the country’s best-known undocumented immigrants, was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Vargas came to the United States from the Philippines in 1993 at the age of 12. After reporting for the Washington Post and other outlets, he revealed his undocumented status in a widely read essay in 2011. Vargas recently traveled to the Texas border to document the crisis of thousands of migrant children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. But he soon realized he might have trouble leaving due to the heavy presence of Border Patrol agents and checkpoints. On Tuesday, Vargas was arrested at McAllen-Miller International Airport and held for about eight hours. His detention became a top U.S. trend on Twitter, with hundreds using the hashtag #IStandWithJose.

    Salvador Dali attained international acclaim as a young artist in the 1930s. In 1933, curator Dawn Ames described Dali as “surrealism’s most exotic and prominent figure.” Surrealist poet Andre Breton wrote that Dali’s name was “synonymous with revelation in the resplendent sense of the word.” In 1936, Dali made the cover of Time magazine.

    Dali didn’t simply sit back and enjoy the acclaim. He exploited it. Dali was a shameless self-promoter and admitted to having a “pure, vertical, mystical, gothic love of cash.” Ultimately, it was Dali’s unapologetic drive for fame and fortune that proved to be too surreal for the Surrealists. Andre Breton, whose opinion of Dali soured over time, created an anagram of Dali’s name: Avida Dollars (“greedy for money”). Breton and the other Surrealists, many of whom were closely allied with the French Communist Party, expelled Dali from their group in 1939. Dali responded, “I myself am surrealism.”

    “We don’t need more copyright,” says Chapman University law professor Tom Bell. “Probably we could dial it back and still enjoy this great wealth of culture that’s been generated, that’s already in our libraries.”

    Bell, a self-described “intellectual property skeptic,” sat down with Reason TV to discuss his new book “Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good.”

    Contemporary copyright law is a statutory privilege that inevitably contradicts our constitutional rights to free expression. The prospect of litigation scares off artists who want to create new works that exist in legal grey areas, like mashups, tributes, or parodies.

    Bell’s solution rests on a much simpler idea: we should emphasize common law instead of copyright. Common law — which is to say, the established precedents that govern ordinary property, contracts, and torts — already form the foundation of the American legal system.

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  • Don Lichterman 10:08 AM on July 20, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Ayman Mohyeldin, , , , , Joep Lange, , , Stephen Cohen   

    Sunset Daily World News Update! 

    Glenn Greenwald: Why Did NBC Pull Veteran Reporter After He Witnessed Israeli Killing of Gaza Kids? Stephen Cohen: Downed Malaysian Plane Raises Risk of War Between Russia and the West. Green Scare: Animal Rights Activists Face Terrorism Charges for Freeing Minks From Fur Farm. With 192 Dead in Gaza, Is True Ceasefire Possible Under Israeli Occupation, Palestinian Resistance? Palestinian Unity Deal, Did Israel Spark Violence to Prevent a New “Peace Offensive”? Live Report From Baghdad: Despite Threat by ISIS, Life in Iraqi Capital Feels “Deceptively Calm”. “Iraq Has Already Disintegrated”: ISIS Expands Stronghold as Leaks Expose US Doubts on Iraqi Forces. Is an Iran Nuclear Deal Within Reach? Dissecting the Latest Talks over a “Manufactured Crisis”. Horror on Gaza Beach: New York Times Photographer Witnesses Israeli Killing of 4 Palestinian Boys. “A Terrifying Night in Gaza”: Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports on Israeli Ground Invasion. Israel Bombs Gaza’s Only Rehab Hospital: Staff Forced to Evacuate Paralyzed Patients After Shelling.

    NBC is facing questions over its decision to pull veteran news correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin out of Gaza just after he personally witnessed the Israeli military’s killing of four Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach. Mohyeldin was kicking a soccer ball around with the boys just minutes before they died. He is a longtime reporter in the region. In his reporting, he reports on the Gaza conflict in the context of the Israeli occupation, sparking criticism from some supporters of the Israeli offensive. Back in 2008 and 2009, when he worked for Al Jazeera, Mohyeldin and his colleague Sherine Tadros were the only Western journalists on the ground in Gaza as Israel killed 1,400 people in what it called “Operation Cast Lead.” We speak to Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, who has revealed that the decision to pull Mohyeldin from Gaza and remove him from reporting on the situation came from NBC executive David Verdi.

    A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 people has exploded and crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board. U.S. and Ukrainian officials say the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile, but it is unclear who fired the missile. The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur with passengers from at least 10 countries on board, including 173 Dutch nationals, 44 Malaysians and 27 Australians. As many as 100 of the world’s leading AIDS researchers and advocates were reportedly on the plane en route to a conference in Australia, including the pioneering researcher and former president of the International AIDS Society, Joep Lange. Both sides in Ukraine’s conflict are blaming each other for downing the plane. We speak with professor Stephen Cohen on what this incident could mean for the region. His most article for The Nation magazine is “The Silence of American Hawks About Kiev’s Atrocities.”

    The government has unveiled federal terrorism charges against two animal rights activists accused of helping to free minks and foxes from fur farms in rural Illinois. In newly unsealed indictments, the prosecutors accuse Tyler Lang and Kevin Oliff of freeing about 2,000 mink from their cages on a fur farm, and then removing parts of the fence surrounding the property so the mink could escape. The activists are also accused of spray painting “Liberation is Love” on the farm’s walls. Lang and Oliff have been indicted under the controversial Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), which each count carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. We are joined by reporter Will Potter, who covers animal rights and environmental issues at at

    The next phase of the violence that has killed nearly 200 Palestinians in Gaza is in flux after a ceasefire proposal from Egypt. The Egyptian government proposed a temporary halt to violence and the re-opening of Gaza’s border crossings, followed by talks in Cairo on a long-term truce. Israel’s security cabinet has endorsed the proposal, but Hamas has yet to officially respond. The Hamas military wing has rejected the pact as a “surrender,” saying the ceasefire fails to meet any of its core demands. These include a lifting of the siege of Gaza, the release of prisoners recently detained in Israeli raids, an end to Israeli attacks on the Occupied Territories, and respect for the Palestinian unity government.

    It is widely thought that the flare-up in Israel and the Occupied Territories began with the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the West Bank just more than a month ago. But our guests — author Norman Finkelstein and Palestinian political analyst Mouin Rabbani — argue that such a narrative ignores the broader context of decades of occupation, and recent events highlighting the expansionist goals of the Israeli government in the Palestinian land under its control. “Whenever the Palestinians seem like they are trying to reach a settlement of the conflict — which the [Fatah-Hamas] unity government was — at that point Israel does everything it can to provoke a violent reaction, in this case from Hamas, break up the unity government, and then Israel has its pretext,” Finkelstein says. Rabbani and Finkelstein are co-authors of the forthcoming book, “How to Solve the Israel-Palestine Conflict.”

    Iraq remains on the verge of splintering into three separate states as Sunni militants expand their stronghold in the north and west of Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared itself a caliphate last month and now controls large parts of northern and western Iraq and much of eastern Syria. Recent advances by ISIS, including in the city of Tikrit, come amidst leaks revealing extensive Pentagon concerns over its effort to advise the Iraqi military. Iraqi politicians, meanwhile, are scrambling to form a power-sharing government in an effort to save Iraq from splintering into separate Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish states. Democracy Now! speaks with Hannah Allam, foreign affairs correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, who is reporting live from Baghdad. Her latest article is called, “Life in Baghdad goes on despite the new threat of ISIS.”

    Iraq remains on the verge of splintering into three separate states as Sunni militants expand their stronghold in the north and west of Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared itself a caliphate last month and now controls large parts of northern and western Iraq and much of eastern Syria. Recent advances by ISIS, including in the city of Tikrit, come amidst leaks revealing extensive Pentagon concerns over its effort to advise the Iraqi military. Iraqi politicians, meanwhile, are scrambling to form a power-sharing government in an effort to save Iraq from splintering into separate Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish states. We are joined by two guests: Reporting live from Baghdad is Hannah Allam, foreign affairs correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers; and joining us from London is Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent and author of the forthcoming book, “The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising.”

    Secretary of State John Kerry says he is returning to Washington, D.C., to consult with President Obama following talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Speaking on Tuesday, Kerry cited “tangible progress” on key issues, but said “very real gaps” remain ahead of a Sunday deadline. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran could freeze its nuclear capacity in exchange for sanctions relief, but Kerry would not say if the United States would agree. The main dispute is over Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which Tehran claims it will need to expand to fuel its nuclear power reactor. The United States counters that this would allow Iran to enrich enough uranium at a high-level to make a nuclear weapon, and wants Tehran to cut back sharply on its enrichment capability for as long as 20 years.

    Israel says it is considering a new ceasefire proposal from Egypt that would take effect on Friday. There is no word yet from Hamas, which rejected the last proposal on the grounds its leaders were never consulted and the terms would have allowed for the continued siege of Gaza and for Israeli bombardment at will. The news of a fresh proposal comes just as a five hour humanitarian pause has ended. The United Nations asked for the break to let Gazans receive supplies and repair damage following 10 days of Israeli bombings. On Wednesday, an Israeli gunboat shelled a beach killing four boys who were playing. The boys were all between the ages of nine and 11 and from the same extended family. Seven other adults and children were wounded in the strike. The scene was witnessed by several international journalists, including our guest Tyler Hicks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning staff photographer at The New York Times.

    The Israeli military is pushing deeper into Gaza and threatening to “significantly widen” its ground offensive that began on Thursday night. Over the past 11 days, at least 264 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians. The death toll of children is approaching 50, including three teenagers killed today by Israeli tank shelling near the northern town of Beit Hanun. Israel suffered its second fatality when one of its soldiers was killed in Gaza. Israeli media says the soldier was likely killed by friendly fire. Israel maintains the new ground offensive was needed to target tunnels used by Palestinian militants, but many civilian facilities have been hit, including a media office in Gaza City and the el-Wafa rehabilitation hospital forcing the evacuation of patients. We speak to Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, whose new article for The Nation magazine is “Death and Destruction in Gaza as Israel Launches Ground Invasion.”

    Al-Wafa Hospital, the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza and the West Bank, was shelled by Israel on Thursday. At the time of the attack, the hospital was filled with patients who were paralyzed, unconscious and unable to move. We speak with the hospital’s executive director, Basman Alashi, who says the hospital received a warning call ahead of the assault. “I don’t understand why they hit us,” Alashi says. “We’ve been in this place since 1996, we are known to the Israeli government.” Alashi says no one was injured but the building was heavily damaged.

    Sunset-Daily Logo

  • Don Lichterman 7:38 AM on July 15, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Alexander Payne, , , James Ingram, , , , , Will Forte   

    Watch Will Forte on (Kevin Pollak) The Chat Show this week and yes, Kevin is back at the helm! 

    Join Kevin as he sits down with actor Will Forte (Saturday Night Live, Nebraska) as he discusses his career beginnings in television writing transcending onto the big screen. Will chats about his passion for singing James Ingram, his lost SNL characters, and his recent turn at becoming a dramatic actor. Watch Now!

  • Don Lichterman 7:31 AM on July 15, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: animal rescue video, Buzz Monster, , , , Hope for Paws, Rescues FTW, videos, Woody   

    New Rescue on the latest Hope 4 Paws Episode; Woody! 

    When the dog’s owner died, he was left behind. Watch what happens next!

    To adopt Woody or to make a small donation, please contact Hope For Paws: Watch Now at S2e TV.

  • Don Lichterman 7:09 AM on July 15, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Gokyo Lake, , , Khumbu Icefall, ,   

    New Arial Footage on new Episodes I posted on The Rest Of Everest 

    Frozen Fog Aerials at Horsetooth Reservoir

    Couldn’t miss this training opportunity to fly the Matrix quadcopter in very cold weather–so cold the previous night’s fog froze a layer of frost on everything!

    Getting familiar with the quad’s flight characteristics in cold weather is extremely important in preparation for flying at Everest. Temperature affects lift as well as battery performance. Fortunately, these temperatures on this training flight (0F/-18C) were colder than anything I flew in at Everest.

    World exclusive high altitude aerial cinematography with a remote controlled drone quadcopter with footage of Everest Base Camp, Khumbu Ice Fall, Cho La Pass, Renjo La Pass, Gokyo as well as flights over Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Please subscribe to my The Rest of Everest channel here on YouTube. More videos coming soon and hundreds in the archive right now.

    In May 2014, we trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal with two drones: a DJI Phantom and a TurboAce Matrix. This was my 7th visit to Everest and once again it was the adventure of a lifetime!

    The resulting aerial footage in this video is the culmination of nearly a year of training, planning, crashing, experimentation and exhilaration. The ability to capture these unique views with a drone was amazing. Perspective changes everything.

  • Don Lichterman 4:37 PM on July 14, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Diana Buttu, , , , , Mads Gilbert, MetroCard, ,   

    Sunset Daily World News Tonight! 

    “We Are Human Beings”: Gaza Doctor Pleads for an End to Israeli Bombing of Civilian Population. Your Body Is No Longer Your Own”: Freed OWS Activist Cecily McMillan on Plight of Women in Jail. “Israel Targets Civilians, the Casualties Speak Volumes”: Int’l Protection Urged for Besieged Gaza. Norwegian Physician Treating Wounded Civilians: Stop the Bombing, End Israeli Impunity in Gaza. Former Sex Worker Maggie McNeill on Why We Should Decriminalize Prostitution.  Civilians are bearing the brunt of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip, with civilians accounting for more than 80 percent of the reported casualties. We go to Gaza for a medical update on the injured from Dr. Mona El-Farra, director of Gaza projects for the Middle East Children’s Alliance and health chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip. El-Farra describes treating severe burns, unexplained wounds that suggest Israel may be using banned weapons, and the trauma endured by Palestinian children. “We are not just numbers, we are human beings,” El-Farra says. On July 2, Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan was driven to Queens, New York, and dropped off on the side of the road, with only a MetroCard, after serving nearly two months in Rikers jail. McMillan’s sentence for allegedly assaulting a police officer was the most severe served for any of the thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested over the course of the movement. She was detained in March 2012 as protesters tried to re-occupy Zuccotti Park, six months after the Occupy Wall Street movement began. McMillan says she felt someone grab her breast from behind, and swung out instinctively, striking her assailant, who turned out to be police officer Grantley Bovell. Nine of the 12 jurors who convicted McMillan of second-degree assault asked the judge for leniency, saying they did not think she should serve any time in jail. Thousands of Gazans have fled their homes amidst a relentless Israeli bombing campaign that has now killed more than 170 people, most of them civilians, since it began a week ago. The United Nations estimates at least 80 percent of the dead are civilian, of whom 20 percent are children — at least 36 dead. More than 1,200 Palestinians have been wounded, nearly two thirds women and children. Some 940 homes have reportedly been severely damaged or destroyed, 400,000 people are without electricity, and 17,000 people are displaced. Hamas has fired an estimated 700 rockets into Israel, causing no direct killings but leaving an Israeli teen critically wounded. We get reaction from Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu, who has served as a legal advisor to the Palestinians in negotiations with Israel and to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor, joins us from Gaza where he has been treating hundreds of victims wounded in Israel’s ongoing assault, including young children. Dr. Gilbert says hospitals are operating without electricity, water and proper medical supplies, but adds: “As a medical doctor, my appeal is don’t send bandages, don’t send syringes, don’t send medical teams. The most important medical thing you can do now is to force Israel to stop the bombing, and lift the siege of Gaza.” Gilbert recently recently submitted a report to the United Nations on the state of the Gaza health sector in 2014. “Where is the decency in the U.S. government allowing Israel this impunity to punish the whole civilian population in Gaza?” Gilbert asks. “There is a very common form of rhetoric that’s used against us … that sex work isn’t work. That it’s a dodge. That it’s a scam. That it’s a form of exploitation,” says Maggie McNeill, a former sex worker turned activist who blogs at The Honest Courtesan. “We still pretend that there’s a magical mumbo jumbo taboo energy about sex that makes it different from all other human activities.” McNeill sat down with Reason TV’s Thaddeus Russell for a wide-ranging interview where she responds to the feminist critique of sex work, explains why research on trafficking may not be reliable, and says why prostitution should be decriminalized. “The problem is that there are already laws for these things,” states McNeill. “We have a name for sex being inflicted on a woman against her will. We call it rape. We have a name for taking someone and holding them prisoner somewhere. We call that abduction.

  • Don Lichterman 3:52 PM on July 14, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , Joan Armatrading, , Mann, Mann Center, Mann Center For Performing Arts, Randall's Island, Steve Forbert   

    Phish Summer Tour Week One 

    Mass and SPAC ended last Sunday which then led way for the shows in the Philly/South New Jersey area but this time, they set up 2 mid-week shows at the Mann Center. I used to love that venue and BTW, I still do NOT get what that skyline thing is which seems like a cool way to see a show at the venue that I guess is within the venue. Actually, I have never even been up on that lawn except for maybe CSN back in 1982.

    My first show ever at the Mann was when I won tickets in some contest at Musicland maybe or some local music store near where I grew up as a teenage kid and it was Steve Forbert whom opened up for Joan Armatrading. I knew none of their music but I went anyway. I liked Steve Forbert’s music after the show but I never really took to Joan Armatrading. Not that I did NOT like her music but I doubt I ever bought an album whereas I bought all of the Forbert albums back then. All two of them but anyway, what other shows did I see at the Mann? I can’t even remember the shows i saw at the mann. The (Grateful) Dead never played at the mann when I was growing up in the area and I cannot remember off the top of my head if they played there back in the 70s. Jerry (Garcia) may have is what I am sorta thinking now, but as you may remember from me writing about it here, I left that Further show at the Mann after one set (two years ago). This a foreshadow to my time I had at the Saturday night Randall’s Island show but then before that Further show, I recently saw Elvis (Costello) at the Mann since I moved back east.

    The band (Phish) played there back in da nineties but in a year before I really got into it and besides, I was living in CA at that time. That may have also been during my lost weekend that lasted more than a year in La Honda, but I am not exactly sure.

    The Mann to me is in this weird dichotomy in the sense that almost has that small amphitheatre feel like say at Wolf Trap (You can bring in your own food and wine, etc.). But yet the production surrounding the venue feels like any old Live Nation Amphitheatre. They may need to modernize it to go up against the Live Nation venues, or they need to gut it out to make more of a Wolf Trap feel because in reality, the Mann has the same chairs and equipment that dates back to my first show there in 1979. None of it has changed I do NOT think. The balcony is not only so high up from the ground, it’s also way far back in the venue basically over the GA grass area and/or over that last Loge area on the floor. The stage is also set back like 30 feet back from the Pitt Rail area for some reason which I do NOT get since the place is relatively small. The stage engineers were far back too on the side of the stage which is because the stage was set far back but then again, it totally limited the people down in the Pitt area. The farther back they had that stage set up, the more filler and buffers they had in between the stage and the rail. That means lesser people would fit in the GA Pitt so I am looking at a gift horse in the mouth, but i was wondering why the stage is set so far back from the rail.

    Anyway, I loved that first show at the Mann.

    Axilla I
    Halfway To The Moon
    Camel Walk
    Halley’s Comet
    It’s Ice
    Walls Of The Cave

    46 Days
    The Line
    Backwards Down the Number Line
    Harry Hood
    Tweezer Reprise


    I met people at the venue after work, however, we did go separately so i had to get our tix, etc., at will call, and meet them somewhere  on the Mann Center grounds. And in typical me fashion, the first and ONLY person I saw when leaving the press area or that backstage entrance an hour or so before showtime (to go meet people near regular box office) is of course the one person that I chose spending money on blow and X (In defense of it, the plan was to make money from it but instead, I did it) before I stopped partying in 01, rather than carrying out our deal. He was with his family too which mortified me but yeah, I got a smirk from him which then prolly made me smirk back while fumbling to get my phone as a distraction. However, that interaction was/is a victory of sort.  (FYI, I tried to make good with their lawyer on that deal a few later after I started work at Warner, and after my sobriety started back then but I never heard back and actually, I had to clear up a warrant for what for a threat I made at them. Because after all, since I owed them money and/or reneged on that deal, and, just like a typical drug addict can rationalize in those pea brains, I yelled at them making threats…(this is in my book anyway which is why I don’t care about talking about it today)…..).

    Regardless of me (LOL), there were delays because of gusts of wind before the show. They had to get everyone in the GA grass area to leave the venue for what seemed like maybe twenty minutes tops, and then return again once the wind (and I think it rained too) stopped. I have never seen that before where they tell everyone in the grass area to leave the venue to come back in later on. It was also hot as balls down in the Pitt all night.

    First set was solid from beginning to end, even with that harmony they had to tweak during ‘Walls Of The Cave’.  I thought this sounded like to be the best show of the tour but then again, I think the shows have progressed naturally better in that way. It has been a gradual upward swing as far as overall play and that’s me of course saying that about the beginning of summer tour.

    You know something as I spell this out to you readers, I like that so-called old school feel that AEG and maybe the production at the Mann exudes because I forgot that the staffers that had a huge can filled with bottled waters with ice setup for everyone down in the Pitt. That was huge because I hate leaving my area once I find it. That was way cool of AEG and / or whatever org. spent the money doing that for us.

    Second Set was also great. Great groove and I would have to say long jams because I did not even get back to CH, NJ until like 109AM. Any curfew was blown through pun intended with long jams in ‘Ghost’ and ‘Tweezer’. I personally was in hope of hearing ‘Harry Hood’. I was very much in the mood for that groove and then ‘Tweezer Reprise’ after the (Harry) Hood was cool too. That made way for a Possum encore so again, they did not skimp it for a millisecond as far as when they could play till this night. The entire Fairmont Park is a neighborhood and so I would have to say the curfew is at 11PM. It was obviously pushed because of the hour and half or so delay pre show and before the first set.

    I am also certain that the dude from Halloween that was trying to tell the ‘take a step back’ story and that I called a douche bucket was on the rail but I was not sure if it was him or not. I do know he was yapping with my friends (Nate from Electric Yellow with phriends and wife) that buffered him but I never looked back to the left sorta of once that music started with ‘Axilla.’ Again, the entire first set was great. I don’t really wanna dissect it since most of my readers have no clue about the band. Which is fine and part of the fun but yeah…Second Night at The Mann.

    I am trying to figure out why I was speaking negatively about this venue because now that I think about it head on, I got my tic at will call in seconds. I walked in barley checked at the door in minutes. It was very easy to get us down to the GA Floor area. And then you know they supplied water for people on the ground Pitt area.

    They also gave out Phish baseball cards which I got two if them but gave one to Nate because he did not get one while walking in.

    This night was great starting off with ‘Glide’. I maintain that this show now also progressed to be another great show building on what they played the night before. Thats how I felt about it. I loved this second show at the Mann and for those who know song titles, etc., you can see there are no negatives at this show…even on paper…Here…Look:

    Sing Monica
    Birds of a Feather
    Wolfman’s Brother
    Sugar Shack
    McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters
    Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan
    Devotion To A Dream
    Silent In The Morning
    Run Like an Antelope

    Chalk Dust Torture
    Crosseyed and Painless
    Sneakin’ Sally thru the Alley

    Weekapaug Groove

    I think (by think; I mean that I know it), they did their first covers which was that Talking Heads tune, ‘Crosseyed and Painless’ and then they did ‘Sneakin Sally’ after ‘Mikes Song’ which was sick and then we have the Julius into the Weekapaug (Groove) encore.

    The one thing I wanted to piece together is if they did ‘Alaska’ the same day that Sarah Palin made here ‘feeling like a battered wife’ and ‘No mas, No mas’ comment(s) when talking about how (Barak) Obama treats the likes the of her (ie: immigration issue is that final straw for Sarah (Palin)) and I guess us people. ‘Silent In The Morning’ into (Run Like an) ‘Antelope’ without ‘The Horse’ was also kinda, sorta, unique or not normally done that way so that was cool as far as improv goes.

    Tonight I was back in the Hill by 1130 tops I bet.

    Then, Day Off on Thursday to gear up for the New York City’ish run of shows at Randall’s Island in New York City.

    I have never been anywhere near this part of Harlem. I have only hung out in Harlem at some show on the main street near some government building and except for that, I drive over it i just realized when I drive to Great Neck on Long Island. I have never been in Queens I don’t think. I have been in Harlem but only on Broadway or at the Apollo and one time I was at Columbia U. Oh, I also rode my bike on the Cancer ride up that highway and around that area but that’s it for me.

    I keep saying the Brigette whatever her name is email that it is “time for traffic problems in Fort lee” the entire way through that area and when going over that bridge. And, when I say that i was saying it out loud, I was and I said it in phone conversations and ion texts too. Which now sounds annoying of me but I could not stop saying that its “Time For Traffic problems in Fort Lee” until I got close to the venue. I was saying it to myself out loud in the car too.

    Honestly, the venue sucks.

    Paige said something about it beautiful (in defense of him saying that about that venue is that when I saw the Dave Vann Soundcheck Pix from behind their stage, it did look way nicer than when I was I walking under those overpasses and in that industrial area) or that it was a beautiful venue maybe and I had to ask “where?” All I saw were buildings and a train way up in the distance. I was trying to find Rykers Island but no one thought it was near here even though I had thought it was near it. I wanted to get a pic of it. I have ONLY seen it on Lockup.

    There was a small Stadium called Icahn Stadium maybe, but the venue was set up on the other side of the bleachers of that stadium in a wide opened field. The field has small hill parallel the entire way down the east side inside the venue so that’s cool and it was a large venue. Way larger than I thought it would be and I hate to jump ahead but on the way out of the venue late night after this first show, I was in shock at how many people were at this run of shows. There had to be 50K people in that venue. I thought 30 to 40K tops. This was great for the band but ya know, its NYC and its rough seeing shows in the city. Let alone at this venue.

    When I first drove up to the bridge that is now called RFK to get over to Randall’s Island, I noticed hundreds of people walking across the bridge. I said to myself that ‘this aint no walking bridge; this is a bridge, bridge, that you can happen to walk across in that walk way. The one thing I made no bones about is that I did not want to have to walk over that bridge in any way. It was way too far and too long and also not that close to the entrance of the venue. But yeah, parking at the venue was easy. But also again, the venue is a fucking pit in this industrial area where one building after another looks like the ‘psychiatric hospital’ would look like architecturally which is somewhere on Randall’s Island. Above me while I was walking in to the venue are train tracks way up high with trains moving each way on them.

    You can see the pictures I took here but the good ones of the band  are ones that I snagged from the band’s site and they were taken by dave Vann. He set up right in front of me/us at one point in the show.

    As I was sitting down near the stage, I am not sure what a ragged bleached blonde woman that was pointing directly at me was asking Antelope Greg  (I can read lips for most part but once I saw my name being mentioned, I turned away because otherwise I would have done something like give her the finger which I did not want to do at any show), but I was thinking maybe if it were me and to keep him (me) away from her. Then, Lope walks to the people in front but to the right of me saying something without even saying hello to me. Which is fine and BTW, I think or thought that blonde woman who points at me was one of the Angies. Loud or Regular Angle but regular Angie and I phriends on facebook and if anything I would have thought she would be ok to see me or at least say hello and say hi. It did not look like regular Angie but I have not seen these people in years and I do NOT go to anyones facebook pages. Besides, I ran into someone at the mann whom I kinda asked if they were with anyone else besides each other. He did not say anything about them being there but then again, Loud Angie attacked me physically jumping over people at the Bridge in 04 so I assume she would have done it again or maybe they were saying to make sure I don’t come their way. As if i would have anyway since I sit down in my seat but regardless of whomever that did not want me near them, I reminded myself that the back n forth happy go lucky towards me one day and then stand offish or even awnry attitude towards me on another day gets old. Trying to figure that out gets old fast. And, its drug related when happy or not. That is part of the reason that Phish Heads and me do NOT jive 100%. It is fucking hit or miss whether these people are nice or not. Because the day before at The mann, these same people were pro actively engaging me and saying nice things to my face which surprised  the fuck outta me. Do Not get me wrong now, but I think one random guy that hangs on the rail at every show went so far to say something about the way I groove or I dunno something nice or based on nothing else or no one else’s input. But then two days later at the next show, and after saying “goodbye” to each other, I get ignored basically by the same person and by this same group of people.

    So I say fuck it but at that same time, who was that woman who was pointing at me and what did she want?

    To me, being at Phish is to let go and not worry about what people think about you. That is implied to me. The outlet to be able to feel free and easy (while hearing sick music) because life ain’t free or easy and to have Judgment placed on you for any reason besides what is real (and current because if this is a girl still sore at me for breaking up with someone I lived with until 01, get the fuck over it).

    And, I don’t give a fuck who likes me or does not because anyone besides a disgruntled dropped artist that does like me in the modern years or after the early 00′s, they base it always and ONLY from an era when I did drugs.

    Drugs came first for a few years and I am sorry for it.

    Just like with the same people who do drugs today. However, for me, I must live by some different standard and I guess I can ever live down so to speak, those years.

    That is also why I had to break away in 2001. These people were weird but at the same time they no doubt feel abandoned maybe…which I did not mean or they think that i am evil for that one break up. Which come on please. Think. I was with an asshole that chose staying on blow than being in my life. These people should live in those shoes instead of feeling bad for whomever dog’s me in any way. I am of course the person that is awful because I had to stop doing drugs and no one else wanted to do it with me, let alone the girl that was living with me then.

    I just say stay the fuck away from me which is great and easy. Now again, mind you that none of these people would say shit to my face and they would never confront in real life at my job. I get that I would make mince out of them but when they are on Blow and X and whatever the fuck else, they get bold at shows. It is part of these people’s 15 minutes of fame which happens to accumulated at a Phish show. And, because they are on rail maybe. I am not sure what the power is but I also attribute it them doing shit drugs. It takes that type of a toll and again, people get coke muscles but overall about the crew on the rail, this one dude was all happy-go-lucky to me one day that I felt comfortable enough to go to them after my work day, and before the first show the next night,. I think I got the so called cold shoulder or maybe not…lol…I am not sure what they found out about me which is why I just laid off not engaging them any more.

    And, again, I thought this dude was basing that on me and not what people say about me.

    The beauty is that was not even remotely the weirdest shit that went down with me that night. It was a beautiful night actually with the moon beaming off Paige’s side and it was kinda low too. Totally bright and easy to see. I hope my pic came out of it.

    with this said now, lets piece this first Randall’s Island show together because I basically went into the show, and set up in the second row in front of two couples or four people I should say, and then in back of two or three of the people I saw at the Mann.

    Lots of space. It was a  great show. Lots of girls too.

    The Moma Dance
    Kill Devil Falls
    Ya Mar
    Bathtub Gin
    Sample in a Jar
    The Wedge
    Waiting All Night

    Down with Disease
    Golden Age
    Limb By Limb
    David Bowie

    Character Zero

    Which brings me to the next great story.

    First things first is that this set one was great. I loved the (Bathtub) Gin and I always love Kill Devil Falls which they did in SPAC the day of  the Kill Devil place in North Carolina that got hit with the Hurricane last week. I was wondering if they did that song last week because of all of the news coming out of Kill Devil whatever its called in NC that day. ‘Gumbo’ and ‘Stash’ together again is old school 95 to me which again, I loved because its quintessential Phish. And they play those songs nice and long. It becomes so easy for them to flow on nights they jam those songs out. I forget what else happened in the first song wise although I do think ‘The Wedge’ was done great but anyway, these guys infiltrate my space behind which I don’t really feel but I did notice it. I also noticed the amounts of girls (women) that were everywhere near us. One in particular but I just assumed she was 19 years old. All of a sudden I hear something when I turn around to see this little girl if you will, backing two guys up into the middle of the floor area away and out of our direct area.

    I high-fived her. I high fived her phriend behind her. I said out loud that is my kinda woman. It was beautiful to see and the chick was hot too. almost glamorous hot because she had these glasses on that either made her look a squirrel or alien or whatever has big eyes, but then she looked someone that could shop on 5th Avenue. Sick hair so its cool that she is dancing near me, etc.

    The set break begins. We set ourselves down on the ground and so now they can at least see that I am older than I look to people or maybe not because the girl is still talking to me I think. I was kinda shocked.

    Then it happens.

    I can see peripherally that she is looking at me and so I stare back when she says wait, “Don” and I said right away after seeing her mouth speak, “Oh yeah, how do we know each other again?” and she says the name of the ONLY person I have ever had a horrifying coke infested break up with back like 15 years ago. I then look at her because the ONLY thing I could do now is fall back in the same exact way that Gov. Rick Perry reacted in that one debate a couple years ago by merely saying to her that great word known as, “Oops.” She replies with her smile saying “yes,” “oops”.

    It all started to come back to me that we had travelled together seeing many shows together. She dated some other dude we were phriends with at that time.

    She ONLY knows me from those years.

    I am like Oi fuck me and actually, that is what I said out loud. I also told her phriend that we have lots of history which was not at all that great. Therefore, any attraction I had of this girl (woman) or if some reason she had an attraction with me, was washed away at that drop of a dime. Besides, she was talking with or standing in back of the dude that looks like Trey whom is to the left of me on the rail. However, I would have traded this woman to him for the blonde next to him if I had the chance or maybe not. I also liked the security guard too. The blonde girl in front me. She was staring at me a bunch and I guess visa versa if i saw her staring me but I did not say a word to her of course.

    I then cut out after the encore as they bowed to everyone.

    I feel badly not saying “bye” to her but again, I was also sick of being known for what is a few year span of time. I also saw them ducking down to do bullets of blow which is fine, but ya know how it is, some things really do not change I guess is what i wanna say….

    Which BTW, on a totally other note, I am walking around singing and humming  all new songs.

    I absolutely love every new song I think which is new territory for me. I love that “Devotion To A Dream” song. I love the “Line” song. Is Yarmouth Blues on it? I love that song. Fuego is psycho every time I hear it or all four times I have heard it. The Phans love it too. Thats a sick song and what else? I am not sure what 555 is but I know if heard it these nights, I can safely say its one the songs I walk around singing these days. I am not sure what “WinterQueen” is but if I heard it friday night, I love it. Same with “Wingsuit” and what am I saying here? I heard them all on Halloween and then I know they did them a bunch too at the New Years run. I have never heard the album from beginning to end and I have not even seen or absorbed the songs selected on it.

    I mean I like Bob Ezran but be real about him in the modern years. He is NOT changing the way music is done today. He will shine it up sweetly but that’s gonna be it. He has not produced anything insanely great since the 70s. I have gotten lots of demos from him. I know when he started that label in the 890s. I know his music partner or knew them I should say and they are basic. He is fine. This is what you will get with him as the Producer. A Nice clean shiny produced album. Nothing over the top and every song will be done exactly how it was arranged without any colorful input coming from Ezran. He has not had colorful chops for decades. But he is a nice guy. I just have this great feeling they over paid whatever the fee should have been considering he has not had a hit song since 1973. I am not joking. And, take no offense please. he’s looked up to me big time for it but whatever he has done since 1990 has been ok at best. Thats what you would get in a production of any studio album with him and Phish. He will make that Phish album sound nice but my dog could do that to music these days.

    Anyway, after the show was also easy for me. I booked out easily and I was in NJ by 1230 tops. I woke up normally at like 5 or 6 and worked till 130PM. I was staying on 39th and Lex for the next few nights, however, the saturday show was the worst show I have ever been to in my entire life.

    It had NOTHING to do with the band and honestly, if it were NOT for some kid hugging me saying that “how can I be this intense during a “Corini””, I would NOT know one song they played in the second set this Saturday Night. This is the guy or kid with the hottie girl who had a shirt with a Maryland flag the shape of Jerry (Garcia) on it, also had a copper like coated glass piece that was perfect. It was honestly a perfect bowl but regardless and I swear on anyone’s god that I have NO clue what they did in that second set except for “Corini.” I think they did ‘Rock n Roll” which I assume to be true because I copied and pasted the yesterdays set list here to see they did not play it Friday Night. That means they did it Saturday night.

    But I am serious in saying that it was by leaps and bounds the worst show I have ever been to and it was all because of my rookie mistake. I took someone (not a date; she is married; is/was long time friend) to the show. I took a person that boasts to being friends with Bob (Weir) and boasts to have seen shows in the 80′s when it’s not really true. If this woman saw shows in the 80s, it was well after “Touch of Grey” broke and I can bet the house that every show she speaks about is Further. She is another Further Dead head that acts today like they saw 900 shows before Jerry died. Which Further does not count. All people do at Further is sway next to each other. It’s not phish. I had explained that Phish aint for the faint of heart and that it gets rough at these types of shows. I did not go up to the front of the venue because of her and thank god because they would have thrown her over the rail. That is why I set us up pretty easily back a bit amidst other Dead Head people and his kids. I made sure we set in between them and in back of other people on a blanket. Then we also stood next to the kid with the Jerry shirt from MD. There may have been a few couples of young kids next or with them, so it was easy to insulate ourselves.

    The problem was that from the first second she entered the bar at my hotel, she did not even say the word hello before she made a comment about how “frumpy” the bartender that I was just yapping to, was physically I guess. That threw me for a loop so I ignored it but I also can safely say that the she (bartender) heard it. After that interaction between us, she was very stand offish. This woman I have known since 86 may have said it again and then she spoke about the people who may be heavy that wear bikinis or I am not sure why we would be talking about this subject. Except that her and hubby see that at shows which I am not sure if I was to replace her hubby this evening and that she expects me to poke fun at peoples looks, etc. I did not understand why a 48 year old person was acting that way, but at the same time, I was NOT upset or madd at all. I did ask why she would be looking at someones belly. I was inferring that it is weird and sorta odd behavior for anyone at that age to act that way (obviously its insecurity but that is overstating the obvious about it). I also stated that when you look at any human, that you can easily name 11 negative things about that person. I said that to say nice things is hard and honestly, I am trying to discuss anything else but other people as we get up to the show via a taxi cab.

    That was easy but from the time we walked out of the cab towards the actual venue around that ICahn Stadium, I could not walk at any normal pace because you know when people need attention, they walk slower than normal while also exclaiming that you walk too fast but again, you can see them taking their sweet assed time strolling along in high heels, etc. You know how people use walking fast as a way to garner some odd form of attention?

    I give into it a few times and I even make pretend that i was NOT even walking fast at one point and that i wanted to get out-of-the-way. I slowed down 5 times from the time we left the cab and to the time we got to the grass area inside the venue. I explain that we are late to get a good seat down low. I explain that I need to have a spot and I explain that it will be mayhem for her and I if we do not get set up like now. I said this many times pre show and I even said a number of times that we can set up. Take a breathe and walk around freely once we get to know everyone in area.

    We get set up perfectly. Right away I am hearing cry’s (wining) out of her mouth about her needing alcohol. I say to her please allow me to sit down for a few minutes before I walk around to explore the grounds, etc. She wanted nothing to do with waiting and even wanted me to get it for her. After I said to please allow me to hang loose for 5 minutes. I wanted to get know everyone around us now. regardless, she takes my bank card for some reason, to get us beer and her some wine. She comes back spending 58 dollars on a carafe of wine and does NOT get me one beer. Now fundamentally speaking, why I am paying for this is something I am not grasping right now but I’ll drink some too so its fine. Plus, she is a girl so i tend to pay for all chix even if friends or whatever because they are women. But a 58 dollar bottle of wine is not cool to place on someones card.

    But whatever. I would never have done that with anyone else’s card and this woman manages to do it two times on my card. I spent 100 bux on wine. I spent whatever money on tickets, etc.

    Again, whatever.

    Without me even really noticing it, I was told by a gentleman that has seen the GD (Grateful Dead) over or about 500 times that we seem like husband and wife. And, I agreed that I am being treated like I am not only on a date with some woman, but that I am also there to merely here to take care of this drunk woman. Or, beckon to her every call.

    As she “needs” another carafe of wine so cha ching, another 58 more bucks on my card for that unexplained reasoning but think about this now, after I bought the tix, etc., her drink at the hotel and the carafes of wine at the show, I have spent over 200 bux on this person that has zero regard for my life and for my little outlet from normal life on this evening. This time I can barely drink two sips of the wine from second carafe. I am still drinking from first carafe quite frankly.

    Honestly, I spent over two hundreds bux on this chick somehow, for her to torment me all night. Thats what i Paid to have happen this evening.

    The first set was NOT even that horrible in the sense that I had to only plea for her to try to hold or stand her ground and for her to listen to the music only about 7 times. She also felt some weird need to lean on me physically which I was very uncomfy with in so many ways. I had to explain that when leans on me, she loses her space to other people which was happening by the second. I then had to ask her a few times to please stop staring at my face and she could not stop it for some reason. I am not sure why she wanted to stare at me rather than pay attention to the music.

    Then boom, she just leaves the area during the second set. People are all over her space. One kid is leaning on my shoulder. I asked him to stop one time. He does it again but that does not even include him leaning on my entire body which I finally ask it for the second time ever at a show (Lakeland in ATL two years ago), I say “dude,” “Not that it matters anyway, but are you gay?” I have to explain to another adult that they are leaning on me touching me with their man sweat and I am sorry but that is just NOT normal behavior for humans. I am NOT even talking about people leaning on other people but to maintain or claim that you did not realize it is whacked. What did you not feel on your body? Unless of course you want me which is fine, but even that tactic is not the best way to get at me.

    I can safely say that out of the thousand or so shows that I have seen live throughout my entire life dating back to high school when I saw Steve Forbert and Joan Armatrading at The mann, and to rave’s and to being in mosh pits a few times, that i have NEVER…EVER….leaned on some random guy.

    I have ONLY leaned on or held the hands and bodies of my girlfriends whom I know deeply and that’s it.
    I am leaning on whomever and to please stop it. NEVER. Not ever. I mean never. The most that happens is graze or a touch when flailing around when I go nuts and even then, I still try to make certain that I do not touch anyone, let alone another man. And, its out of respect for them. I do NOT touch them because I don’t want people to be grossed out by me.

    It is insane in a way because when would that happen anywhere else in life, but at Phish?

    What other band has Phans that lean on each other without them noticing they do it? What other walk of life and/or social setting are there people that lean on other random people and touch other random people while they try to dance and without norticing that you are doing it?

    When does that happen anywhere else?

    And, most of all, do these kids that lean on random people do that in real life and if so, why are they NOT arrested for it?

    I am dead serious now.

    I can ONLY think of it being like that at Times Square on New years Eve. Maybe its like that but I’ll bet not.

    I maintain that this is limited to happening with only dumb assed phish heads because you know why? THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES. I’ll say it again. How you do not notice when you are leaning on another random person you never met or knew is NOT normal. I am sorry but its not normal behavior for humans to act that way in social settings. Let alone at shows. Even in mosh pitts, you touch people for less time than say when this guy had his body on mine.

    Where else? Ibiza? I doubt it.

    World Cup Matches? No. Not even during a soccer riot do people lean on other people as long as this kid leaned on me at Phish. I have seen a World Cup match myself live at Rose Bowl and no one leaned on me that entire long day, except for my chick I was dating at that time. I have seen World Cup matches in those squares in major cities like Amsterdam and denmark with piles of people that watch the games on those large screens and not one person drunk or not, leaned on me those entire days or while watching those matches. The ONLY human that leaned on me then was my girlfriend at that time.

    I really, really, really, really do NOT know what this phenomenon of people not caring or not knowing is the excuse I get about them touching other random people in these settings. Especially, where there is a shit load of room to dance, twirl, do handstands and cart wheels. Let me say it this way. I do NOT touch people except in a fleeting way when maybe swirling and if i do nail anyone like i said it is for a second in time, and then I make sure I acknowledge it to the person saying right away how sorry ot what I do is make a joke about it….And, it is never an issue for me. I acknowledge every touch I manifest myself at every show. When I touch another human when I dance, I know it. Even if I did 9 hits of X, I have never ever touched or groped or learned on any other random humans, let alone a man. I can easily say that unless I knew them personally and again, in a very, very, deep way, they are NOT getting touched by me ever.

    Back to the point here because to be honest with y’all, while she was gone all of this time, I checked my cell for texts from her at least 18 times which means I am not paying attention to what is being played by the band. I wanted to make sure she did not text me in the case if she were having drunk issues or I was picturing her being at the Phish equivalent of Rock Med. I will say it again that aside from R&R and Corini, that I have no clue what they played in the second set.

    Phinally, she gets back to the area. She plops down her ass on my feet in front of me and therefore, she is now set on the blanket in front of where I was dancing in between a married couple on their blanket.

    This is what i am dealing with during I dunno….Corini maybe?

    I say to her that she is in between these two people and she is set on top of my feet. I cannot move my feet. Plus, I also say to her that we brought a chair for this reason which is next to me to my left side. She says that no one cares that she is sitting here and I quickly say that yes we all care that she is sitting there. I asked her to please use her seat or to set herself to the left side of me. Then, the couple she is in between holds a card that says “Stop Talking” on it. I show it to her saying that she has zero self-awareness right now and that she needs to wake up to deal. I tell her she is fucking with me in general and that she is fucking with my space and time all night long and I maintain that she is fucking with everyone around us.

    I am at the point now where I feel like I am dealing with a  little girl that makes fun of girls weight issues without knowing who they are for real and now she is sulking on the floor in between 5 people to get attention. Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam….Sitting on feet. making demands during songs at least 8 times for me to sit next to her when again, I plead with her to allow me to listen to the music. She would NOT allow me to hear the music. She wants all of the attention and I had no idea what to do and how to act.

    And, ya know I am the bad one now because I am the guy that wants to be left alone.

    I explain to everyone around me that this is why I don’t do shows with people.

    This was a rookie mistake. I fucked up. At the very most, she should have seen a show with seats in a cushy venue and not at this one. This was/is a down and dirty situation. I thought she could deal. She said to me that she could deal. I painted the most ugly picture.

    She finally stands up after asking me to pick her up while she raises her hand. She is making zero effort because its like picking up dead weight. And, I am like get the fuck up by your own self you 48-year-old woman. It finally hit me. I was like what the fuck am I doing here?

    Then the staring at me starts again and I ask her to watch the music please. She refuses to NOT stare at me and I ask her to please stop staring at me again in this second set. I explain that it is ‘fucking with my head.’ I would see her staring at me again and then her head would snap to look at the stage when she knew I would see it. Or, when I would hold up my hands to block her from seeing me, but then it would slowly begin to happen again. I had my hands up as shield to get he to stop staring at me and she would still stare at me.

    She would asked me what she wanted her to do and how she should act and I am like WTF?

    I said to LISTEN OR WATCH THE MUSIC….I said one thing every time. I mean every time which is to…’LISTEN TO THE MUSIC…..She could not or she did not understand what I meant by listening to the music. When I did not wanna talk about whatever she wanted to discuss, she began to talk to the kids that I called gay. Now because everyone is scared of me, no one would talk to her and that meant that she fell back to her staring at me. I then could not take it any more. My patience level was long gone by now and I quietly packed up a few things to get ready to bail from the area.

    I just wanted nothing to do with being in this area. I had to cut my losses with the hope that none of these people ever recognize me again at a show. I asked this woman if she would mind it if I went over to the side to dance by myself. I said that we could feasibly meet somewhere after the show? I was relieved to hear that she agreed to it, however, every time i went to walk away from the area, she started to follow me and I mean she was standing on top of my heals. I would take one step. Stop, as she would run her body into me stepping on the heals of my feet. I turned back to stay after that happened a couple of times. I begged her again to literally allow me to go to watch the last song and the encores myself anywhere else but here and she finally allowed it. I went to that area near the raised section for the wheelchairs and injured people.

    I saw a few people who are on the rail at every show including this one walk in front of me getting ready to get their transportation back to the city, and I felt like I could breathe a bit. you can’t hear squat out there but at least I could breathe.

    I was spent. I saw a text from her saying something along the lines of not believing i am not out with her and whomever at whatever bar laughing with her. While she was laughing after the show having a grand ole time knowing my night was god awful, I tried to get a cab and there were none. I waited a half an hour before this couple on a golf cart picked me up. And, the driver drove the three of us to that bridges walkway entrance where hundreds of people were already filing up the steps to get up to the walk way on the bridge. Yes, that very bridge when I stated out loud that I did NOT want to walk over pre show one here at Randalls, I was now walking over at midnight eventually to get me a cab once in Harlem.

    I got a cab to get me down to 39th Street. And, honestly, I bailed Sunday. I blew off that show but here is the set list from Saturday Night which as you know, I am seeing and recalling for the first time right now:


    AC/DC Bag
    46 Days
    Yarmouth Road
    Devotion To A Dream
    My Sweet One
    Back on the Train
    Halfway To The Moon
    A I Heard The Ocean Sing
    The Line
    Run Like an Antelope


    Punch You in the Eye
    Rock & Roll
    Harry Hood


    First Tube

    sHIT. i FORGOT ABOUT pyite.oops caps…sorry…Regardless of my night, I got home in the afternoon some time and I just slept all day before watching Sunday night TV (and the set list ticker)….I am NOT telling anyone though that I did not go to the final show and I am placing the stub in my book. So don’t tell anyone please and thanks.

    Here is the Sunday set list:


    Birds Of A Feather
    Water In The Sky
    Runaway Jim
    Bouncing Around The Room
    Split Open and Melt

    Chalk Dust Torture
    Wading In The Velvet Sea
    Sing Monica
    Slave To The Traffic Light

    Backwards Down The Number Line
    Tweezer Reprise

    It is Monday now and there is the Live On Jimmy Fallon thing tonight. I had thoughts about going it but I have no desire to go to the city any time soon. I have never been to a Tonight Show in person. I have done Letterman a few times. One time with Jerry (Garcia) and Bob (Weir).


    Overall, I just wish I had the willpower to NEVER go to any of the Philly, NJ or NYC area based shows. The problem is that you get a night like that second one at Boardwalk hall but then again, Boardwalk Hall is Boardwalk Hall. Thats the best indoor or overall venue on the east coast and so my point is that its prolly natural and easy to turn it on at that venue. For me and this happens at every run of show in NY (especially winter time), it is so hard to flow in say a New York City. I get that you must give into it per se, and I have been there done it 90 million times so I see them all locally, rather than sit at home. I also get that when everyone would shut and not make judgement on people at shows in any way, maybe…just maybe…people could hang loose to  flow in such a great way. Thats an overall generalization and about my time this week.

    I dunno man. I assume they will play at this venue again, but it was gross and hard to deal with logistically. Production was awful. Logistics are a nightmare.

    I am psyched for the week and half break. I am on fence about whether to do Merriweather since what went down last year, and/or I may do the last show before I head to VA. Then I’ll do the last the three down south amidst some camping in the mountains down there in TN

    And, then I want to do that Peach Festival with Trey if I can get a house for the weekend and/or do some white water rafting or some good hiking in that area. That bill looks amazing (Weekend of Aug. 15th).

    OK. I am back for a week and some days. Lets rock.

  • Don Lichterman 8:10 AM on July 14, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Ana Tijoux, , , , Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, , Julieta Venegas, ,   

    Sunset Daily News! 

    We Should Be Protecting Children”: Rep. Gutiérrez Supports Funds for Humanitarian Crisis at Border. Gaza Debate: As Palestinian Deaths Top 100, Who’s to Blame For Escalating Violence? What Can Done? “Worst of the American Spirit”: Advocates Decry Anti-Immigrant Protests, Urge Asylum for Children. Chilean Musician Ana Tijoux on Politics, Feminism, Motherhood & Hip-Hop as “a Land for the Landless”. Grandmother Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison After Protest at U.S. Drone Base. Sen. Mike Lee on Killing the Export-Import Bank, Primarying Republicans, And His Mormonism. Stephen A.: “This Was About a Year in the Making”. Fans Wish For LeBron’s Return to Cleveland Comes True. Van Gundy on LeBron’s Return to Cavs.

    President Obama has called for close to $3.7 billion to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding at the United States-Mexico border where more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been detained since October. Part of the money will be used to speed up deportations as Republicans say they will only support the plan if it puts more emphasis on immediate repatriation. They want to change a 2008 immigration law — which originally passed with bipartisan support — that would let the United States deport children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as fast as it does those from Mexico. “I think it is shameful that in the Congress of the U.S. we see members of Congress engendering and creating fear of children,” says Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, who supports Obama’s Emergency Supplemental Bill. “We should be protecting children, not creating fear of them.”

    In New York, a peace activist and grandmother has been sentenced to a year in prison for her role in peaceful protests at a base where U.S. drones are piloted remotely. Mary Anne Grady Flores had been issued an order of protection aimed at keeping her away from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base after she participated in an act of civil disobedience there in 2012. Last year, Grady Flores says she attended another peace action, but did not participate, instead photographing it from the roadway, beyond what she believed was the base’s boundary. She was later told the base’s property extended into the road. On Thursday, Judge David Gideon of the DeWitt Town Court sentenced her to the maximum sentence of a year in prison for violating the protection order and fined her $1,000. In a courtroom packed with about 150 supporters, Grady Flores spoke about what she called the four perversions of justice in her case.

    The death toll in the Gaza Strip continues to rise in the fourth day of Israel’s aerial offensive. Medical officials in Gaza estimate that at least 22 people were killed Thursday, bringing the number of Palestinian fatalities to 101, about half of them reportedly women and children. No deaths have been reported on the Israeli side. The Israeli military says it has dropped hundreds of tonnes of bombs on 1,000 targets throughout Gaza, more than during its eight-day assault in late 2012. The intensification of Israeli air strikes has been met with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. We host a debate between Palestinian human rights attorney Noura Erakat, and Joshua Hantman, senior advisor to Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. “Israel is currently under attack,” Hantman says. “Since 2005,

    As thousands of migrants continue to arrive in the United States seeking escape from violence in Central America, this week the Texas town of League City passed a resolution banning undocumented children from entering its municipality. The move echoes sentiments that flared up just before July 4 in Murrieta, California, when police blocked three buses of migrants from reaching a federal immigration facility there. The buses carrying dozens of children flown in from an overcrowded detention center in Texas were then surrounded by demonstrators who chanted anti-immigrant slogans. “A society is judged on how we treat our children, and what we witnessed that day was the worst of the American spirit,” says Enrique Morones, director of the group Border Angels.

    Chilean hip-hop artist and musician Ana Tijoux joins Democracy Now! in studio to perform some of her songs and talk about the political themes behind them. Tijoux was born in France in 1977 to parents who were jailed and later fled Chile under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. “Hip-hop is the land of the people that don’t have a land,” she says.

    Tijoux returned to Chile in 1993 and in the late 1990s became known as part of the hip-hop group Makiza. As a solo artist, she has collaborated with musician Julieta Venegas on the hit song “Eres Para Mi,” had her song “1977″ featured on the TV series “Breaking Bad,” and won multiple nominations for both the Grammys and Latin Grammys. Her work explores topics frequently heard on Democracy Now!, from the words of Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano to the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

    “We’ve had a 75 or 80 year run with some really aggressive progressive policies,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “They haven’t worked. They have enhanced America’s opportunity deficit, and the American people want a more conservative government.”

    In 2010, Lee launched a successful primary challenge to three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett and went on to with the general election with 61 percent of the vote. Lee credits hotly contested primary elections not just with his own career but with keeping the Republican Party accountable to its constituents and the values it claims to hold.

    “In order for the Republican Party, or any political party for that matter, to be able to lay any claim to be a party of principle, there needs to be a robust debate within that party. And for that to occur I think primary elections will always need to happen,” Lee tells Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie.

    First Take’s Stephen A. Smith joins SportsCenter to discuss the news that LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Flashback Friday to March 20, 2013: Cleveland Cavaliers fan James Blair ran onto the court to let LeBron James know how much his state missed him and wanted him to return. Now LeBron is coming home.

    ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy joins SportsCenter to discuss LeBron James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Sunset-Daily Logo

  • Don Lichterman 7:45 AM on July 14, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , Great Pyrenees, , , JARED BRUMBAUGH, Joseph Hinton, Milky Way, , , Salmon River, Suzanne Asha Stone, , ,   

    Wolf Weekly Wrap Up! 

    Red Wolf enews

    USFWS/Karen and John Hollingsworth

    Help save Red Wolves!: Anti-wolf groups are pressuring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to walk away from red wolf recovery efforts. Tell the Service to stand strong for red wolves!

    Gray Wolf - Mike WheelerPhoto by Mike Wheeler and Blog About Coexisting w/ wolves is written up by Suzanne Asha Stone)

    Saving Wolves in Idaho -  For six years, our Wood River Wolf Project has led the way in teaching ranchers how to coexist with wolves, allowing them to protect their livestock without killing these important apex predators.

    Coexistence with Wolves Gains Ground in Idaho

    The night sky was completely dark except for the light from the Milky Way when I heard the dogs starting to growl. They could hear movement in the woods near the sheep bedgrounds and were automatically on guard. Wolves were denned not far away but I couldn’t yet tell what had the Great Pyrenees on edge. A few sheep baaed sleepily in response to the growls. The band of ewe sheep had been anxious lately after their lambs had been separated from them to be shipped to market. In the starlight, I could still make out the snowcapped peaked of central Idaho’s majestic Sawtooth Mountains across the valley.

    Wood River camp, © Defenders of Wildlife

    Sleeping in small tents right near the flocks of sheep helps to deter wolves from preying on them during the night.

    The wind stirred fluttering the aspen leaves in the trees around me as the dogs starting circling around the sheep, growling deeply. In the distance, a wolf howled and filled the valley with his lonely song. Coyotes quickly chimed in over the hills to our east. I scrambled out of my sleeping bag and searched for my flashlight but couldn’t find it. I did find the telemetry scanner and flipped it on. Given the summer temperatures, the Forest Service had set a ban on campfires and I could feel the sudden chill of the damp night air. I hadn’t slept well earlier that night because of the noise from the sheep band. The ewes were calling for their lambs until they finally settled down. Even calm sheep are noisy at night though. Whoever invented the fable about counting sheep at night to get a restful sleep had clearly never spent the night with the wooly beasts. My teeth were chattering as I scanned for radio signals. Bingo. The loud steady beep confirmed that the alpha male was close by.

    This was my first night on my own at sheep camp as part of the new wolf guardians program, and the year was 1999. I listened to the two dogs as they paced. They were growing even more defensive. A wolf howled closer this time from the direction of the telemetry signal and then gave two short warning barks. Oh great. A train wreck was getting ready to take place. Wolves are usually wary of dogs but these wolves had pups nearby to protect. I had warned the sheep owner that moving his band toward the den site would likely cause a reaction from the wolves as they perceive that the dogs are just funny looking strange wolves and strange wolves are a serious threat to their pups. The dogs started barking loudly and charging toward the sound. I didn’t have any more time to look for my flashlight or my boots. Instead I grabbed the first things that I could find – a metal pot and a wooden spoon! – and charged out toward the direction of the signal clanging away on the pot and yelling at the top of my lungs. Seconds later, I could hear a large animal running away through the brush and splashing across the small creek. Half an hour later, the dogs settled back down and I spent the rest of the night watching for falling stars. I counted dozens before I finally drifted off to sleep before dawn. That night happened 15 years ago; just five years after wolves were reintroduced to Idaho. It was the beginning of my efforts to help local ranchers adapt to co-existing with wolves using nonlethal deterrents to protect their livestock and to help keep wolves from being killed in response to preying on sheep and cattle.

    Fladry fence, © Defenders of Wildlife

    Nonlethal tools like fladry have proven extremely effective at deterring wolves from livestock without killing them.

    Nonlethal deterrents were ridiculed in those early days. I knew that telling people that I chased off a wolf with a wooden spoon and a metal pot wouldn’t help convince the skeptics so I didn’t share that part of the story with many of the managers at the time. Fladry was a brand new tool being tested (and laughed at) in the Salmon River country. Radio activated guard systems that blared out everything from the sounds of helicopters to rifles firing and even rock music when they detected a wolf’s radio signal were being tested and revised for broader use. Few ranchers were willing to embrace these new (and some very old) techniques and were encouraged by the federal Wildlife Services’ agents to ignore them and stick with traditional lethal control. A few people stuck with the new tools though. Rick Williamson from USDA Wildlife Services in Idaho revolutionized the fladry system by making it electrified. His wife Carol built miles and miles of the new “turbofladry” by hand on her sewing machine. Rick received a national award for his innovative efforts from USDA, yet many of his colleagues refused to ever try the methods because they felt it would seem to the ranchers like they accepted wolves on the landscape when most deeply resented them.

    This week, we held a workshop and field tour highlighting more than a decade of refining and adding new nonlethal tools to our program at the site of the largest nonlethal wolf and sheep coexistence project in the region. In central Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest – a sheep superhighway and also wolf territory – Blaine County ranchers, county, state and federal agencies, and local wolf advocates are working together to effectively resolve conflicts using nonlethal wolf management and livestock husbandry methods. These methods include deterrents like fladry, livestock guard dogs, and electric fencing, that dramatically reduce or eliminate livestock losses and build social acceptance for wolves. And the results are undeniable. For the last six years, a total of more than 100,000 sheep and lambs have grazed across this area amidst wolf packs. Yet fewer than 30 sheep have been killed in the project area during this time, and no wolves have been killed by government agencies in the project area. Check out the coverage of our workshop on the local news:

    Conservationists use non-lethal methods to deal with wolves

    These nonlethal control methods are cheaper than lethal wolf management, and Blaine County also has the lowest rate of livestock losses in the state. If you’re interested in learning more about these methods, let us know. We’re always eager to encourage those who have an open mind on the value of working together to resolve conflicts effectively by protecting both livestock and wolves.

    For the wild ones written up by Suzanne


    The agency is called “Wildlife Services.”

    It’s about the worst possible name you could imagine for an agency that kills a huge number of animals each year, including wolves, bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes.

    Every day, more questions come up about this federal agency’s lethal actions against predators. But instead of being embarrassed by their reckless unjustified killing of wolves and other predators, the Administrator overseeing this agency has publicly proclaimed that he is proud of the lethal work the agency does!

    Your urgent donation will help Defenders hold these federal predator exterminators accountable for their actions!

    Their track record on wolves is a particularly bloody one. From the agency’s own records, an accounting of more than 500 wolves killed in one year alone reads like something from a bad horror movie:

    • 64 wolves gunned down from helicopters
    • 316 killed in foothold traps
    • 30 killed using neck snares
    • 37 shot from fixed wing aircraft

    It gets worse. Last winter, Wildlife Services, hired by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, went into a federally designated national forest to shoot 23 wolves … and their excuse was to artificially boost elk populations for big game hunters.

    If there are special areas on federal lands where wolves should be safe, it should be in congressionally designated national forest – but for the hired guns from Wildlife Services, it meant nothing.

    A major investigation by reporters at the Sacramento Bee newspaper concluded that the agency’s killing habits are “indiscriminate, at odds with science, inhumane and sometimes illegal.”


    Government Wolf Killing Agency

    Killing more than 500 wolves in one year alone, it’s time Wildlife Services is held accountable.

    Hold the federal predator exterminators accountable for their actions!

    The agency should be ashamed and held accountable.

    Will you help us stop the killing today?

    Staff Report: Wildlife: Denali wolf packs hammered by hunting


    Death of breeding wolves affects pack size and persistence

    FRISCO — Following a steep drop in the Denali National Park wolf population, biologists have documented how the death of breeding wolves affects pack size and persistence. The number of wolves in the 6million acre park in Alaska dropped from 143 in the fall of 2007 to just 55 wolves in the spring of 2013, raising concerns about impacts to tourism.

    Many visitors come to Denali with the expectation of seeing wolves, but a recent state decision to allow wolf hunting in area previously deemed a buffer zone has had a big impact on wolf numbers. According to the latest research, the death of a breeding wolf sometimes results in a wolfpack disbanding.

    In recognition of the economic value of wolf viewing in Denali, state officials in 2000 created a 122-square mile no-take buffer zone on the park’s eastern boundary. But in 2010, the Alaska Board of Game, comprised of hunters and trappers, eliminated the buffer.  The wolf population across the 6 million acre park and preserve declined from 143 in fall 2007 to just 55 in spring 2013 – a drop by more than half in just six years.

    Even with the buffer, Denali wolves were under pressure from hunting and trapping. In some years, a significant percentage of the total Denali wolf population was killed in the area. And biologists point out that it’s not just about sheer numbers — the hunting and trapping in the buffer zone has disrupted family and pack dynamics in the area.

    “This research has important implications to the current viewability of wolves in the park,” said Denali Superintendent Don Striker. “Given the park’s current low wolf densities and small average pack sizes, we are concerned about harvest of wolves from packs that reside primarily within the park. The death of a breeding wolf could harm the packs that provide the greatest opportunities for park visitors to see a wolf in the wild, either through a lack of reproduction or the loss of the entire pack.”

    In 2012, biologists at Denali National Park and Preserve noted a drop in wolf sightings following the death of a breeding female from a pack that lived along the Denali Park Road. This was one of several instances where the death of an individual wolf, from legal trapping or hunting, sparked widespread media attention and public outcry in recent years.

    “This isn’t the first time we have noticed that the loss of a breeding wolf can affect the fate of the pack. We thought it would be valuable to systematically look at what happens to the pack and population following the death of a breeder,” said author Bridget Borg, National Park Service biologist and University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student. Borg’s research looked at changes in wolf pack fate, reproduction, and population growth following the death of breeders.

    Gray wolves typically live in packs consisting of the parents and their offspring from one or more years. In this structure, a wolf pack resembles the concept of a traditional family. Turnover among young members of a pack is common, as they leave to search for mates and start packs of their own. Breeding members typically have a longer tenure in the pack and act as a sort of “social glue.”

    Borg, along with other NPS researchers and collaborators from UAF and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, examined data collected on 70 packs during a long-term study of wolves in Denali National Park. They found that breeder loss preceded or coincided with most documented cases of wolf pack dissolution (when a pack disbanded or was no longer found). However, the death of a breeding individual did not always lead to the end of a pack. In approximately two out of three cases where a breeder died, the pack continued.

    “It appears that the sex of the lost breeder and the pack size prior to loss were important factors explaining pack fate following the death of a breeder,” says Borg. The probability of a pack continuing was less if a female died or if the pack was small prior to the death.”

    Borg’s data also suggests that the death of a breeder has a greater influence if the wolf died during the pre-breeding or breeding season. “We noticed that human-caused mortality rates were highest during the winter and spring, which correspond to the pre-breeding and breeding seasons for wolves,” said Laura Prugh, co-author and wildlife ecologist at the UAF Institute of Arctic Biologist. “Harvest may lower the odds of pack survival because of this timing, especially when pack sizes are small.”

    Surprising, higher rates of breeder mortality and pack dissolution did not correspond to lower population growth, indicating that the wolf population was resilient to the loss of breeding individuals at a population level, the scientists reported.  The authors suggest that wolves may compensate for the death of breeders in a variety of ways, such as rapid replacement of breeders or increased reproductive success the following year.

    Although breeder loss appeared to have little impact on the overall Denali wolf population, the loss of individuals may be important at a local level. The researchers found that rates of denning and successfully raising pups into the fall decreased for packs in which a breeder died or was killed. It is the wolf packs that successfully raise pups near the Denali Park Road that tend to be seen most often by park visitors, according to NPS biologists.

    Red Wolf Recovery Program Under Review

    Endangered Red Wolf at the North Carolina Zoo Credit Jared Brumbaugh

    A program that saved the red wolf from extinction could come to an end.  This week, we talk to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official about the experimental Red Wolf Recovery Program and the review that will determine its effectiveness.

    Southeastern North Carolina is the only place on Earth where the endangered red wolf roams in the wild.  But as their numbers dwindle, a program trying to save them is in doubt.  Per request of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon begin an evaluation of the experimental Red Wolf Recovery Program to determine if it should continue.  Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services for the Southeast Region Leo Miranda says these routine evaluations are performed every few years.

    “We do this kind of evaluation for many species and as a public agency, I think it’s the right thing to do. Every couple of years, we should be evaluating where are we, where are we heading to see if our efforts are on the right track.”

    For this review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services focuses on three areas to determine the success of red wolf recovery in the wild.

    “We currently use the science in making a determination of having a self-sustaining population of red wolves in eastern North Carolina is viable or not, given the hybridization with coyotes issue, as well as climate change, sea level rise that might be a big threat to the species.”

    Pair of endangered red wolves at the North Carolina Zoo Credit Jared Brumbaugh

    They also evaluate program management within the community, the state and with partnering organizations.  Red wolf populations have been showing a steady declining trend, with estimates that only 90 to 110 remain in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington counties.   Red wolves can die from a number of reasons; from being hit by a vehicle to natural causes.  But Miranda says there’s been a marked increase in red wolf gunshot mortality since 2004.

    “Back then, we had, I believe an average of four gunshot deaths a year, in 2013, we had nine. We went up from four to nine gunshot deaths.”

    So far, five red wolf deaths have been reported this year; two of those caused by gunshot wounds.  In May, a federal judge banned hunting coyotes, which are often mistaken for red wolves, in the five county wolf territory.  The ruling came after three advocacy groups sued to block the state’s open season on coyotes.

    The possibility of the Red Wolf Recovery Program in northeastern North Carolina shutting down is a real one.  A similar red wolf program aimed at establishing a red wolf population in the Great Smoky Mountains ended in 1998 after only seven years.  Miranda says both programs – in the mountains and here at the coast – were classified as experimental.

    “We decided to end the program because of the low pup survival and the inability of red wolves to establish their home ranges within the national park.  We maybe have some of that happening here in eastern North Carolina with most of the wolf packs we have right now established on private land, not in the national wildlife refuge.  Although not at the levels as western North Carolina, we have seen some decrease in pup survival.”

    Miranda says Fish and Wildlife Services could decide to continue the program as is, make changes or cancel the program all together.  He says it’s too soon to predict how a decision could impact the wild red wolf populations currently calling eastern North Carolina home, especially if they cancel the program.

    “If we decide to go there, then we need to define what we need to do with the animals that remain in the population.”

    Endangered Red Wolf at the North Carolina Zoo Credit Jared Brumbaugh

    In a letter to the Wildlife Resources Commission, the US Fish and Wildlife Service committed to have a draft scope of work for the evaluation.   Miranda says they hope to have it ready by next week. The Red Wolf Recovery Program receives about $1.3M a year for restoring the wild population, making red wolves the species with the most funding invested by the Service.  But the Program entails more than just growing the number of wild red wolves. Nearly 200 red wolves are currently captive in 40 breeding facilities scattered throughout the United States. For more information on the Recovery Program and to see pictures of the red wolf, go to


    Contact Fish & Wildlife Services now to tell them to continue the program!

    Example text: “I am deeply disturbed that the Fish and Wildlife Service is even considering changes to the red wolf recovery program that would weaken or undercut efforts to save this important species. Red wolves are an integral part of this country’s natural heritage, and the Service is responsible for recovering endangered species. Its mission is not to placate extreme anti-wildlife interests. Hundreds of red wolves are in captivity right now, and it must be the Service’s goal to return more of them to the wild in more locations — not to add more to the captive population by capturing the few wild red wolves left in North Carolina”  - Center for Biological Diversity.

    E-mail or call:   404-679-4000

    Red wolf extinction fear as US budget cuts bite

    “To Contact Fish & Wildlife Services about this issue e-mail  or call her at 404-679-4000″  -Piedmont EF!

    article below by Joseph Hinton published in The Ecologist

    7th July 2014



    Despite great strides to restore red wolves to their former range, much work needs to be done, and an end to the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program could see the end of the red wolf.


    Red wolves were one of the first carnivores Europeans encountered in North America. Unfortunately, this meant red wolves were also one of the first to be exterminated.

    Fuelled by fear and superstition, government supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to only about 100 individuals by mid-20th century.

    In the 1970s, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the last remaining red wolves from eastern Texas and western Louisiana to try to save them in captivity.

    Declared extinct in the wild in 1980, the USFWS has since focused conservation efforts on creating a captive population from which torestore red wolves to their historic range in the future.

    Now, despite re-establishing a wild population, the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program is under review and could face closure.

    Capturing red wolves to save them

    Removing red wolves from the wild was unprecedented and marked the first time a species was purposely removed from its natural environment to save it from extinction.

    The long-term objective to return them to the wild started with a small captive population and the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan that laid out a strategy for managing red wolf populations, establishing techniques for proper capture and restraint, coordinating research – and ultimately reintroducing captive-born red wolves to the wild.

    One problem was the red wolf’s close relation to the coyote: as red wolf populations tumbled, coyotes from western and central states moved into the wolf’s historic range, eventually colonising it entirely.

    The two species’ ranges did not historically overlap, but once in contact they can interbreed, meaning dwindling red wolf numbers were further reduced and assimilated into the coyote population via hybridisation.

    Starting with only 14 red wolves as founders, the captive population rose to about 60 after five years, during which time USFWS used several islands as preserves where some red wolves could be kept in semi-wild conditions and provide training opportunity for USFWS biologists.

    In 1987, the USFWS released four pairs of captive-born red wolves on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Since then the USFWS has established a wild population currently of about 80 individuals – the first successful reintroduction of its kind.

    Restoring red wolves to the wild

    Conservation and management of endangered carnivores is difficult, but restoring wolves to the eastern US is unprecedented as the effort requires addressing impacts by humans, hybridisation with coyotes, and inbreeding common to small endangered populations.

    The high number of wolves killed by humans exacerbates problems of inbreeding, which lowers the wolves’ fitness by decreasing reproductive rates and increasing susceptibility to environmental change and disease.

    Hybridisation increases when shrinking numbers allow coyotes to colonise territories of wolves killed by humans, and when a red wolf cannot locate a red wolf mate it will accept a coyote and produce hybrids. They may even do so to avoid inbreeding.

    To address hybridisation, USFWS developed a catch-and-release programme where coyotes are sterilised. These sterile coyotes then act as territorial placeholders; fitted with radio collars and monitored by USFWS biologists, they defend their territory against fertile coyotes until red wolves can move in and occupy those areas.

    This technique lowers coyote densities by suppressing reproduction, while also preventing hybrids in the event the sterile coyote finds a red wolf mate.

    Adopting pups has been crucial in restoring populations

    Fortunately red wolves will readily adopt pups and raise them as their own, so captive-born red wolf pups are fostered into wild litters in order to increase the genetic diversity of the wild population.

    Not only does this technique decrease the relatedness of neighbouring wolves and augment the wild population, but it increases the survival of captive-born animals by allowing them be raised by wild red wolf packs.

    While the species’ recovery has benefited greatly from these techniques, the best solution to these problems is to simply increase the population size.

    Currently, about 80 red wolves in 15 packs hold territories across 6,500 km2 of public and private land. It’s essential to reduce the number of human-caused deaths and to boost red wolf population numbers.

    Despite great strides to restore red wolves to their former range, much work needs to be done, and an end to the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program could see the end of the red wolf.

    Joseph Hinton is a Research Assistant at the University of Georgia. He does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

    Wildlife Defenders petition: Stand up for Critically Endangered Red Wolves!

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    “It completely changes your life—having a dog—in the best of ways.”

    —Holland Roden

    Holland Roden rescued her sidekick—super cute Fievel! Listen to Holland’s adoption story, then enter for your chance to win a DVD copy of the first and second seasons of Teen Wolf.

  • Don Lichterman 7:58 PM on July 10, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , Generation Y, , , , Prabowo Subianto, ,   

    Sunset World News and Political News Updates! 

    Millennial Support for Big Government Overblown by Media. Spied on for Being Muslim? NSA Targets Named in Snowden Leaks Respond to U.S. Gov’t Surveillance. “Indonesia is on a Different Path”: U.S.-Trained General Defeated After Alleged Plot to Rig Vote. Millennials Are Social Liberals, But Majority Don’t Like to Be Nannied. 

    A new report by The Intercept has identified five prominent Muslim Americans who were spied on by the National Security Agency. It cites an NSA spreadsheet leaked by Edward Snowden that shows nearly 7,500 email addresses monitored between 2002 and 2008, including addresses that appear to belong to foreigners the government suspects of ties to al-Qaeda, along with Americans accused of terrorist activity. But it also lists the email addresses of a former Republican operative and one-time political candidate, a professor at Rutgers University, and the head of the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story for The Intercept based on documents leaked by Snowden. “The only thing they really had in common is that they are all politically active Americans Muslims,” Greenwald says.

    An initial count in Indonesia’s hotly contested presidential election shows Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo has a several-point lead over former army general Prabowo Subianto. Prabowo has refused to concede defeat, and official results won’t be known until after July 20. The American journalist Allan Nairn recently reported Indonesian forces tied to Prabowo have waged a campaign to rig the election in his favor, including “ballot tampering, street violence and threats” against rivals. Prabowo, who received military training by the United States, has been accused of mass killings when he headed the