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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Some Good News For Standing Rock

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 6th November 2016

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Good morning!

From Common Dreams:

Turning Point at Standing Rock? Resistance and Renewed Hope Against Dakota Access

standing_rock

“Our elders,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, “told us to focus on praying for the federal agencies and the US government and North Dakota to hear what we were doing and saying: we have to protect the sacredness of the water.” (Photo: Sarah van Gelder)

Is this the turning point for the Dakota Access Pipeline? Word spread through the camp on Friday of a discussion between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that could mean a breakthrough.

“This proves that our prayers are really strong from the Oceti Sakowin camp,” Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network told me. “Our elders told us to focus on praying for the federal agencies and the US government and North Dakota to hear what we were doing and saying: we have to protect the sacredness of the water.”

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe [have been told] that no permit would be issued to drill the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River until 30 days after construction stops.

According to reports from the Indigenous Environmental Network, Colonel John W. Hendersonof the Corps promised the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that no permit would be issued to drill the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River until 30 days after construction stops. After that, there will be a comment period adequate to allow the tribes full consultation. This could delay pipeline construction under the river by 45 days to three months.

Even more good news for pipeline opponents. President Obama earlier this week commented that his administration would be looking at rerouting the pipeline. A new route would require a new environmental assessment, and this time, the tribes, and others, will insist on a full environmental impact statement – not the questionable environmental assessment used by the Army Corps when it issued the first permit.

Either move could scuttle financing for the pipeline, which depends on work being completed on a certain schedule.

There is no confirmation at this time from the Corps of Engineers nor from the Standing Rock Tribe that the 30-day buffer period will in fact go into effect. Still, there is a sense, now, that there is a possible pathway to a resolution of this months-old conflict.

Meanwhile, ceremony and building continue. A group of clergy came to Standing Rock on Thursday answering the call of Rev. John Floberg, supervising priest of the Episcopal churches. The clergy did a ceremonial burning of the Doctrine of Discovery – the doctrine that has been used as the legal justification for the taking of Native lands. Fourteen clergy were arrested when they went to Bismarck in an attempt to meet and pray with the governor.

And at camp, building and winterizing continue.

I asked Tom Goldtooth what would happen while the water protectors are waiting for a resolution of the permit question.

“What we’re doing now in the camp is responding to the question: How are we going to live through the winter season here. We’re asking our elders, and looking at our oral traditions that teach us how our ancestors survived the harsh winters of the prairie lands.”

There is a plan in the works to build a just transition village, some are calling it an ecovillage. Goldtooth talked of the abundant solar and wind potential in Indian Country, the need for a new economic foundation that end the addiction to oil, the need to use sustainable building materials, and food sovereignty.

“We’re building our power, embracing those original instructions and those teachings that our ancestors left for us that includes language revitalization, looking at where we are going in the next 50-100 years,” he said.

Plans include the building of an Earth Lodge and other sustainable structures. A new geodesic dome just went up in the last days at the Oceti Sakowin camp.

“Sitting Bull, spiritual leader of the Hunkpapa of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said we should use the tools of the white man and also recognize who we are. I see that as part of the prophesy,” Goldtooth said. “The battle at Oceti Sakowin is deeper than the pipeline. It’s about how we are to redefine our leadership and how we rebuild community and how we love and have compassion for each other and Mother Earth and all the people who come to support — that’s what all this means.”

*****

Readers: Thank you, President Obama!

What’s on your mind?

Blog me. 

Oh, before I take off to enjoy my Sunday, I received a personal call from Anonz. He told me that he didn’t add in the “z” because he wanted to see if I knew it was him…if I recognized his input. I started laughing and told him, of course I did, but I didn’t say anything because I was waiting for his phone call. I see a few readers (That’s a nod to you Dziko, and Alycedale.) recognized his way of writing. Did anyone else recognize him?

During the conversation Anonz mentioned that he had suggested when Comey made the comment, that somebody should call attention to Comey’s violation of the Hatch Act. And by suggesting, he said he meant he wanted someone with the proper credentials to take a forceful stand against powerful government departments like the DOJ, the FBI, and national security agencies, from involving themselves in America’s political affairs, especially concerning running for the office of POTUS.  So he had pulled in a few favors from both sides of the political spectrum in order to get someone to take a stand.

I agree with Anonz because it is my belief too that the justice department, the FBI, and other agencies should stay out of the political arena.  These agencies have too much power when it comes to surveillance and the ability to charge someone with an crime. Those powers wield enormous influence upon a citizen’s choice. It is my belief that is the very purpose of the Hatch Act. It keeps powerful departments of government out of the political selection of those who would control those departments, the citizens we select as our representatives.

It seems someone took him up on it.

Happy Sunday!

Peace & Love

 

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

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michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

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“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

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Posted in Health & Well Being, Human Rights and Equality, Long Live Planet Earth!, Political Powwow, Travel | 36 Comments »

President Obama, They Shoot Horses And Teenage Boys On The Dakota Access Pipeline

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 1st November 2016

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Good morning.

We’re getting down to the last days of the presidential election. With so much to be concerned about my thoughts are rambling from all that I’m reading. The focus is obviously on the election but what about what others are fighting for? My thoughts ran to our indigenous peoples as they fight for their land again, against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

I know president Obama has got a lot on his plate now. The future of our country is being threatened and he needs to do all he can to ensure that Hillary wins with coattails. I get that. But I sure wish he could take a moment and reach out to the people of the Sioux Nation.

My heart aches for them as I read their stories. Probably the last thing on their minds is this election, as they protect and protest daily for the preservation of their water, for their family, friends, and their future.

Here’s the write from the Huff Po:

President Obama, They Shoot Horses And Teenage Boys On The Dakota Access Pipeline

On a beautiful sunny day in June, 2014 President Barack Obama came to the banks of the Cannonball River on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. June is the month of the Strawberry Moon and celebrates the first harvest of wild fruit. The occasion was Cannonball Flag day and Native Americans from Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations turned out to welcome the President. For one day the hills and buttes and prairies of North and South Dakota were the center of rare media attention, and the people who welcomed the President into their homes and hearts were ecstatic. Michelle Obama was with him, babies were thrust into their arms for photo ops, children danced, and a powwow sealed good will and belief in the promises Obama made to the Sioux nation.

The Washington Post reported that stories of Native children made the president cry in the oval office.

“I love these young people,” Obama said shortly after meeting them. “I only spent an hour with them. They feel like my own.”

 

It is a little over two years later and these people whom the president claimed as his own are being arrested on minor charges by a seemingly omnipotent Sheriff in Morton County. They are herded into dog kennels at Fort Rice and the insides of their arms are marked with a number in black ink. Women suffer broken bones from batons wielded by police officers and deputies. Memories of others wearing brown shirts in 1939 Germany, who also marked people with black ink, cause fear and apprehension.

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 10.15.51 PM

There is testimony that cannot be erased or hidden. Listen to this interview with a young prayer warrior, Trenton Casillas-Bakeberg, who was ripped out of ceremony, arrested, and put in a dog kennel at the jail in Mandan, ND.

The officials of North Dakota have decided that the people of the Sioux Nation who stand against the DAPL are beneath them. In the early days of this historical event I overheard one man say, “they do not think we are human.” It is a faded sentence scribbled in a notebook filled with tales of atrocity and stories of prayer.

How do you feel when you watch this Mr. Obama? Do the words of Floris White Bull recalling the traumatic experiences of people violently removed from camp and being caged in dog kennels move you in any way? Does it occur to you to call Attorney General Loretta Lynch into your office and demand that she look into this? Did your staff include the LA Times article in your morning briefing?

Did you cry when you heard a young rider was shot off his beautiful bay quarter horse by more than one of those “non-lethal” rubber bullets?

Members of the horse nation herded around 100 buffalo from the west and southwest of the Cannonball Ranch onto the DAPL easement. One rider was reportedly hit with up to four rubber bullets his horse was reported to be hit in the legs by live rounds. Another horse was shot and did not survive.

2016-10-31-1477924258-2791583-before-thumb

Before the bullets flew. This horse died. Submitted by Debi Williams

Here is a Crow Creek Spirit rider being chased down by DAPL security last Thursday. “You can see the courage and strength both riders and horses have! They escaped and made it home safely,” says Greg Grey Cloud. One buckskin horse made it back to camp and his human with a tranquilizer dart stuck in his flank, says Grey Cloud in a video posted on his Facebook page. The horse came back with all of its tack missing.

2016-10-31-1477923397-7005333-chase-thumb

Photo Courtesy Greg Grey Cloud

Did anyone tell you that one horse died? They do shoot horses in North Dakota, Mr. President.

Did Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier inform you, Mr. President, you who held babies in your arms at Standing Rock, that these are “non-lethal” rubber bullets? In fact in a PubMed article, “Death Following Rubber Bullet Wounds to the Chest,” a different story emerges.

Despite the fact that it (rubber bullet) was designed to be safer than live ammunition, several cases of fatalities have been reported from its use. Most of these fatalities were because of abuse of the weapon in terms of range of fire and anatomical area of the body targeted. This is a case report of such a fatality following shotgun rubber bullet injury, including the circumstance surrounding this unusual occurrence, the autopsy findings and reports of the ballistic analysis. Four projectiles penetrated the right chest lodging in the right lung and injuring the right pulmonary artery, causing death. The mechanism of death in this case is rapid massive pulmonary hemorrhage.

Forensic Science presents a case study of the death of a 60-year-old man who was shot using rubber projectiles that were fired by a police officer from a Mossberg smooth-bore shotgun in an enclosed space from a distance of a few meters. “The post-mortem examination revealed that death had been due to gunshot wounds in the chest which had caused heart and lung damage with subsequent massive internal hemorrhaging.”

President Obama, you will not find this information in the daily flood of press releases from Sheriff Kirchmeier that read like tales from an alternate universe.

Would you cry if you were on site to witness what is really happening, Mr. President?

In twist of fate, the actions of the young riders on horseback led to an outcome that was spiritually uplifting to thousands of people around the world. The riders opened a fence just east of the new “Treaty” camp, allowing the buffalo to run free across the hills and plains just as police and military forces were surrounding the camp. Water protectors established a spiritual campsite while declaring “Indigenous Eminent Domain” at the yawning mouth of the pipeline. The cheers and singing echoed the ceremonies of the ancestors as stunned police and protectors alike watched the buffalo run down what is now named “Buffalo Hill.”

This action of Tatanka, no matter what the genesis, came at the exact time that peaceful water protectors were being dragged from the sweat lodge and slammed into the ground by pumped-up deputies. The sacred buffalo altar was rescued from the red spray paint wielded by the out-of-control and rioting police. In effect, deputies were defacing sacred places of worship. This story will be passed down through generations, providing hope and the knowledge that the animals will come to protect the people even if you will not, Mr. President.

2016-10-31-1477927984-5256035-DAPLguy-thumb

Courtesy Standing Rock Rising

Did you know, Mr. President that a DAPL private security guard was spotted among the water protectors with an automatic rifle heading towards camp? How was he recognized? There are no weapons of any kind allowed at the Oceti Sakowin camp. Bureau of Indian Affairs police arrived on the scene and apprehended him. The man is now in FBI custody after being turned over by the BIA. Morton County Sheriff’s Department retracted its statement of the DAPL security person rushing towards Standing Rock camp with the AR-15 “being treated for a gunshot wound to his hand” after this photo evidence emerged.

There is good reason to hold you accountable, Mr.President.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier met with you last week in California.

He is expressing outrage at reported violations of his people’s civil liberties, which came just two days after you, Mr. Obama, assured him during a face to face meeting that federal monitors were in place to prevent such actions.

Chairman Frazier is now asking that the United Nations intervene. “The U.S. government promised to protect us through treaties, but they have failed us. That’s why we are asking the United Nations to send troops to protect our people from the brutalities inflicted on our people by State police and the National Guard.” He added, “Native Nations originally came into the United State through treaties and if the United States is not going to honor these treaties the Native Nations need to call on the United Nations for assistance.”

If you love these people as your own, Mr. President, please do something. Actions matter more than words or tears embedded in a press release.

UPDATE

This was just posted by Standing Rock Rising

In the first 15 seconds, you can see a spirit rider holding the line, and keeping distance between water protectors and police. You will then see the water protector shot off his horse at point blank range with rubber bullets, and then his horse shot at point blank range. The next couple minutes are the commotion afterwards. There was no reason to shoot this brave water protector and his horse, as they were not threatening MCSD or military in any way.

Click here to watch the video.

✌🏽&❤️

Readers: I read that a Facebook friend was headed there in support. I applauded him for leaving the madness of the media here to support his brothers and sisters there. (If you’re reading this, thank you.) The people of the Sioux Nation are without arms protesting peacefully, and are being treated like animals, tagged, numbered, and put in dog kennels. Truly sickening.

If we don’t stand up for our neighbors who are fighting for their lives, who will stand up for us when we are fighting for ours? I can’t physically go but my spirit stands strong with the Sioux Nation in support. And I will do whatever I can on my blog in support.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween. Thanks for the compliments. In light of this election, I felt girl power needed to be expressed in a badassery way, and Batgirl for Halloween was my way of doing it. The costume is gone but this badass bitch remains.

Thoughts? Ideas? What’s on your mind?

Blog me.

Charles: Bummer. It’s too bad your friends aren’t as smart as you.

Kali: That is so awesome. Thank you! Happy it all worked out and you had some fun. You’re already Badass, but yes, donning a Batgirl costume definitely gives the badass some added attitude. :)

Thomas, King: I’ve heard and read a bit, and I ask the same question. Why is this not on the news? Perhaps I need to blog about it. Thanks.

 

pink ribbonPeace & Love & Good Health

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

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Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2016

me

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

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Posted in Health & Well Being, Human Rights and Equality, Journeys within, Long Live Planet Earth!, Political Powwow, Travel | 33 Comments »

Survivors Of Rape And Forced Marriage Seek Justice In Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 18th October 2016

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Good morning.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait for Hillary to be our first female president, and be done with this election so that we can focus on real issues – decisions on those issues that will affect our entire country and the world. I’m excited to feel the power of a female at the helm, and a Congress that hopefully will go blue so we can continue with what Obama got started.

Not that calling out Trump on sexual harassment, lying, misogyny, racism, etc. aren’t blog worthy topics, they are. But I’m just sick of the drama and the creep all over the news pandering to his “deplorables.” Yes, I echo Clinton’s words because after all that we have learned about Trump, in my opinion, anyone who votes for him is a deplorable. Go ahead and call me out, say, “Fuck you, Michelle and your liberal views,” I can take it. And I won’t back down.

I miss posting important issues that I’m passionate about – issues that need to be brought to light. Issues that otherwise might not get any support, action, or media coverage. And of course those topics usually are about those that need to be illuminated; women’s rights, OTW rights, animal protection, health, the environment. If you’ve been here long enough, you know what I’m talking about.

Speaking of women’s rights, I found this article while perusing the net. My sisters suffer so much at the hands of men and their governments, all over the world. It continues to tear me apart when I read what so many women have to endure on a daily basis for much of their lives. Much of why I’m excited about Hillary is because she has been fighting for women and girls for decades. Finally we will have a president, a woman, who can deeply empathize with the women across the world. I can’t wait to see the changes and assist her in all that we as a country need to do to make this world a better place for all.

Yes, unlike the Obama administration I was not prepared for racism to raise its ugly head over the past 8 years. I was naive to think that electing a black president, people would change and racism would decline – au contraire –  it only got the hate groups to come out in droves, pushing and promoting their hateful messages of dislike of our great president.

With Hillary at the helm, misogyny and sexism will most likely do the same, surfacing more than we’re seeing it now.  If we think this is bad, just look how “Black Lives Matter” came about and we’ll have an idea just how bad it will get.

Well, no need to talk about it now. In due time…

Back to the topic du jour from the Huff Po:

Survivors Of Rape And Forced Marriage Seek Justice In Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

CAMBODIA-UN-TRIAL-GENOCIDE

In January, witness Math Sor spoke to the Khmer Rouge tribunal about the treatment of Cham people by the regime. The current trial is hearing from survivors of forced marriage to decide if the regime’s top leaders committed crimes against humanity.

In Cambodia, the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal hears from survivors of forced marriage, but critics say the court should also cover other acts of gender-based violence.

“I just couldn’t understand why falling in love was a crime,” says Youk Chhang, executive director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, an organization that records atrocities that took place under the Khmer Rouge. From 1975–79, Pol Pot’s brutal regime devastated Cambodia, and an estimated 1.7 million people died from starvation or disease, or were executed.

The Khmer Rouge, known as the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), controlled every part of people’s lives, even love and sexuality. Chhang was only 15 when he witnessed the Khmer Rouge killing a couple because “they fell in love without permission.” To make sure Cambodians married the “right” people, namely those who were loyal to the party, the CPK forced men and women to marry each other.

Survivors of forced marriage are currently giving testimony in Case 002/02, the latest trial to take place at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh, otherwise known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC). Evidence of forced marriage will be used to determine if senior leaders of the regime committed crimes against humanity.

The Khmer Rouge used forced marriage to exact ultimate control over relationships, as couples were expected to procreate and produce the next generation of party adherents. No one knows how many people were forcibly married by “Angkar” (the communist party), but mass wedding ceremonies, some consisting of more than 100 couples, took place across Cambodia.

Survivors appearing before the court have described how the regime pressured them to marry. “I refused [to marry] several times, but finally the sector committee said I was a stubborn person,” Sa Lay Hieng said in court. Scared of being killed, Hieng was coerced into marrying a man she did not like. Another witness, who was granted anonymity, said she was made to marry a Khmer Rouge officer in a collective ceremony; when she refused his advances on their wedding night, her new spouse complained to his commander, who then raped her. “I had to bite my lip and shed my tears, but I didn’t dare to make any noise, because I was afraid I would be killed,” she said. She was eventually led back to her husband.

The final testimonies relating to forced marriage will be heard in the coming weeks. But some experts argue that other heinous sexual crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge era, such as rape outside of forced marriage, have been overlooked by the court.

In a study by the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, an NGO that provides counseling to victims appearing before the court, a third of female interviewees witnessed rape outside forced marriage. This finding is echoed by the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which has collected a “significant number of documents” detailing at least 156 cases of rape by Khmer Rouge comrades in cooperatives and detention centers. “The women who were raped were accused of having served in the CIA, KGB or other enemies of Angkar, and taken to be smashed [killed],” said Youk Chhang of the Documentation Center.

Farina So, an expert in gender-based violence perpetrated by the Communist Party of Kampuchea, says that “hundreds and hundreds” of rapes occurred, adding that cadres “used it as a tool to victimize women, to silence them.” In the course of her research, So has interviewed numerous survivors of sexual assault; one of these women, Tang Kim, was considered “an enemy of Angkar” and in 1976 was rounded up – along with eight other women – and readied for execution in Kampong Chhnang province, central Cambodia. While Kim awaited her fate, she could hear the other women being raped and then murdered – “I was terrified to see people being killed off and buried one by one” – recalls Kim in a film made by the Cambodian Documentation Center. She continues, “I saw a Khmer Rouge soldier slashing a woman’s abdomen; they cut it open and took out the fetus.” After being gang-raped by the soldiers, Kim managed to escape and went into hiding.

According to So, Kim tried to submit her civil party application to the Khmer Rouge tribunal, but it was rejected because prosecutors are addressing only sexual abuse within forced marriage. It was, says So, a decision that “really disappointed” Kim and other rape survivors, many of whom have spent decades summoning up the courage to speak about their ordeal.

When Women & Girls Hub approached the Khmer Rouge tribunal to ask why the current trial is focusing exclusively on forced marriage, the court’s spokesperson, Lars Olsen, said co-investigating judges had concluded that rape outside forced marriage was not an official policy of the Khmer Rouge. He pointed to this statement from the tribunal: “Those who were accused of ‘immoral’ behavior, including rape, were often re-educated or killed [so] it cannot be considered that rape was one of the crimes used by CPK leaders to implement the common purpose.”

The survivors and their lawyers, who campaigned for years to have forced marriage added to the list of crimes prosecuted in court, are waiting for the expected judgment in late 2017.

This article originally appeared on Women & Girls Hub. For weekly updates, you can sign up to the Women & Girls Hub email list.

*****

Readers: Under the Khmer Rouge, women were beaten, tortured, raped and often gang raped. It was a part of everyday life for so many women during the regime. Women were considered as nothing more than bearers and raisers of children loyal to the regime and as pieces of meat available to the leaders and soldiers for their sexual pleasure. Rapes were also perpetrated outside the forced marriages during the regime.

It’s about time that these women’s struggle for justice came to an end.

Thoughts? Blog me.

Peace & Love: “Live it, Give it.”

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

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Stand Your Ground At Standing Rock

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 2nd October 2016

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Good morning.

I’m giving all that is happening with Trump a rest, at least for another day. There’s so much to disgusting news to report on him it’s challenging to pick just one. So I’m not going to today as well.

Instead I will turn my attention to an area that is probably not getting the media attention they deserve because this election has taken over the time and minds of most. At least for me it has been.

Thanks again Social Butterfly for posting the latest on DAPL. I watched the 8 minute live Facebook video.  I am so sad and sickened by how the indigenous people at Standing Rock are being mistreated. My heart goes out to them. It feels like their entire lives they have had to fight for their rights and their livelihood. Thankfully many people are coming together in solidarity, and prayer.

I found this while perusing the net.

From Bill Moyers:

Standing Firm at Standing Rock: Why the Struggle is Bigger Than One Pipeline

For indigenous people, the fight to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline is about reviving a way of life.

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A Standing Rock Sioux flag flies over a protest encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where members of the Standing Rock nations and their supporters have gathered to voice their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The first sign that not everything is normal as you drive down Highway 1806 toward the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota is a checkpoint manned by camouflage-clad National Guard troops. The inspection on Sept. 13 was perfunctory; they simply asked if we knew “what was going on down the road” and then waved us through, even though the car we rode in had “#NoDAPL” chalked on its rear windshield.

“What is going on down the road” is a massive camp-in led by the Standing Rock nation, aimed at blocking the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (the DAPL in question), which would carry oil from the Bakken shale in North Dakota across several states and under the Missouri River. What began with a small beachhead last April on the banks of the Cannonball River on land belonging to LaDonna Brave Bull Allard has expanded to both banks of the river and up the road, to multiple camps that have housed as many as 7,000 people from all over the world. Because of them, first the Obama administration and then a federal court stepped in to temporarily halt construction of the pipeline near the campsite. Still, the people of Standing Rock and their thousands of supporters aren’t declaring victory and folding their tents just yet.

The legal struggles for a permanent shutdown of the pipeline construction continue: the people of Standing Rock have filed a lawsuit to halt construction, as has one of the South Dakota Native American nations and landowners in Iowa as well. As the lawsuits proceed, other members of the camp have been involved in nonviolent direct actions, locking their arms around construction machinery to prevent digging. Dozens have been arrested as part of those actions, including 22 people on Sept. 12, the day I arrived at the camp. That was days after the Obama administration’s call for a temporary halt to construction on the pipeline, and a stark reminder that the struggle was not over.

In addition to the legal battles and the direct actions, though, the people of the Oceti Sakowin and Sacred Stone camps were preparing for another challenge: a North Dakota winter. Already at night, the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit; deliveries of blankets and warm clothing were constant, as was the chopping of wood for fires and discussion of what kinds of structures would allow the camps to stay in place through the bitter cold months ahead.

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“We’re already winterizing in all aspects of the camp, young people working with the elders to find, whether it’s longhouses, whether it’s yurts, whether it’s any kind of structures that would keep us warm for the winter,” said Lay Ha, who traveled to North Dakota from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming in late August and became part of the camp’s youth council.

They’re staying partly out of suspicion: A temporary halt is, of course, just temporary. “As far as I can see, it’s just another way to lull us to sleep, make us go to sleep so we leave and then they’ll start again,” said Ista Hmi, an elder from Wanblee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation and a member of the Seven Council Fires. “The Missouri [River] here, it was poisoned already from the pesticides and all that but we were still able to clean it,” he said. “But those are just topical compared to this oil. The oil, if it gets in here, it will start destroying the ecosystem underneath; it’ll be dead water.”

“We’re protecting the water, we’re not protesters,” explained Lay Ha. To him, as to many others in the camp, that the action is led by Native people, that it is built around their belief in nonviolence and in the spirit of prayer, is vital. It is, to them, much more than a protest.

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Ha is Arapaho and Lakota on his father’s side and Eastern Shoshone on his mother’s; he is part of what has become the largest coming together of Native people in, many said, more than 100 years. The flags that flap overhead represent something more than a fight for clean water — they are a powerful statement of solidarity, a declaration of common interest.

The first camp you pass once through the checkpoint is a small one on the side of the road overlooking the construction site. Further along, signs, flags and banners hang from the barbed-wire fence along the road. A massive banner declares “No DAPL!” Spray-painted on a concrete barrier are the words “Children Don’t Drink Oil.” Then emerges the breathtaking sight of what is now called the Oceti Sakowin camp: Flags from well over 200 Native nations and international supporters line the driveway into the camp, flapping in the high plains wind. People ride through the camp on horseback. At the entrance, when you drive in, you are greeted by security and a man with burning sage to smudge your car. Just beyond, at the main fire, a microphone is set up for speakers and performers: When we arrived, Joan Baez sat by the fire, singing “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network was wearing a “No Fracking” T-shirt when I met her at the media tent, doing an interview alongside a delegation from Ecuador of indigenous people who have also fought the oil companies there. She is from northwestern North Dakota, the Fort Berthold reservation, and the oil that would travel through the Dakota Access Pipeline is extracted from her community. She came to Standing Rock for the formation of the original camp, known as the Sacred Stone camp, on LaDonna Allard’s land. At first, she remembered, the camp had anywhere from five to 30 people. Then, when Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, put out notification that it was going to begin construction, the camp swelled to 200, then 700. It spilled over the river, into what was at first simply called the overflow camp. But as that camp grew, the campers began to feel it deserved its own name. Oceti Sakowin is the name for the Seven Council Fires, the political structure of what is known as the Great Sioux Nation. “We had for the first time in 200 years or more, the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation coming together in one place to meet again,” Mossett said.

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Faith Spotted Eagle is also part of the Seven Council Fires, from the Ihanktonwan or Yankton band. She too was there on what she remembered as a wintry, blowing day in April when the Sacred Stone camp first opened. An elder and grandmother, she had also been part of the successful fight against the Keystone XL Pipeline, and pointed out that the networks activated by that fight were coming together again in North Dakota. In 2013, she said, a dream of her grandmother sent her to look at the 1863 treaty between her people and the Pawnee. On the 150th anniversary of that treaty, Jan. 25, 2013, those nations, along with the Oglala and Ponca, signed the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects. “In that treaty, we declared that forevermore we would be allies to stop this extractive move to destroy Mother Earth from the Boreal forest down to the Gulf,” she said. Since that time, other nations have joined, and the treaty was renewed with prayers and a donation to the Sacred Stone camp.

“A lot of those networks, it took years for them to come together. Standing Rock will do the same thing for the next one. It is a progressive healing and learning,” Spotted Eagle continued. In the unlikely alliances that came together, from the Keystone XL fight to Standing Rock, with farmers and landowners joining their actions, she noted, “That was where the power was.”

To Dave Archambault II, the tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, the struggle — and the response from indigenous people — is global. He greeted reporters Sept. 14 alongside the delegation from Ecuador. “We all have similar struggles, where this dependency this world has on fossil fuels is affecting and damaging Mother Earth,” he said. “It is the indigenous peoples who are standing up with that spirit, that awakening of that spirit and saying, ‘It is time to protect what is precious to us.’” Nina Gualinga, one of the Ecuadorian visitors, noted, “The world needs indigenous people. The statistics say that we are 4 percent of the world’s population, but we are protecting more than 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity.”

In an age where courts have deemed corporate entities “persons” with legal rights, Spotted Eagle sees a certain symmetry in the encampment’s philosophy: “The corporations have become individuals, the privatization has given them rights of individuals to just go out and wreak havoc,” she said. “Well, the river has a right and that right is being infringed upon.”

So do the people who live around it, she argues. “We are above all challenging the lack of consultation, of course, and the free prior and informed consent. Then, just our cultural freedom. We would never put a native pipeline underneath Arlington Cemetery,” Spotted Eagle added. But, she noted wryly, “It’s always a risk when you go into the courts. These courts are the courts of the conqueror.”

A sign along the highway near the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site reads “Flint Stands with Standing Rock.” (Sarah Jaffe for BillMoyers.com)

Winter will be hard, Spotted Eagle concedes. She said she hopes “the outside world will help” with donations. But, she added: “The ones that will stay are really going to have to bear down and address their cooperation even deeper, because if you go wandering off by yourself, you can perish, literally, up here.”

Kandi Mossett on a hill overlooking the Oceti Sakowin camp. (Sarah Jaffe for BillMoyers.com)

That outside support from individuals and environmental groups, she said, should respect the leadership of the Native people.” The message to the big greens is, stand by us, don’t co-opt us. And sometimes, they have to stand behind us, because 4,000, 7,000 Indians is a lot of Indians.”

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Some of the campers were planning trips back and forth, while others were committed to staying. The nature of the camp has been to swell and shrink; on the weekends, Kandi Mossett said, it grows exponentially. The estimate of 7,000 at one time does not count all the people who have passed through briefly, bringing messages of solidarity from places like Charlotte, North Carolina and Flint, Michigan. “I have people calling me, emailing me every day: ‘I am going to be able to come out in two weeks, are you still going to be there?’” Mossett said. “I say, ‘Of course.’”

For those who can’t make it to the camp, Mossett noted, there are other ways that supporters have held actions in solidarity with the camps. “We are targeting the financers of this project: the banks,” she said.

There are petitions, Facebook pages for the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior camps, and a call for Barack Obama to visit the camp. “We will welcome you, we will greet you, we will feed you, we will put up a tepee for you,” Mossett said.

The long-term strategy, she said, is similar to that of the Keystone XL project. “They told us ‘You are crazy. It is a done deal.’ They told us that about the Keystone XL and they are telling us that now about Dakota Access, that it is a done deal. We respectfully disagree.” If the permit is granted, she said, they will continue to hold the space, to risk arrest, to halt construction. “Companies and shareholders, they only have so much patience and they are losing money,” she noted. “That is the bottom line: money. The more we can delay them, the more we can stall them, the more we know we are winning.”

The sentiments of Mossett and Spotted Eagle underscore what is perhaps most significant about the camps along the Cannonball River: What is happening here is something more than just a fight to stop a pipeline.

The word I heard over and over again from the people I interviewed was “decolonize.”

In the speak-outs and prayer circles, speaker after speaker, from the Pacific Northwest and from the Amazon, from New York to Arizona recalled the historic violence committed against Native American people not far from where the camp stood. Many recalled the Battle of the Greasy Grass, what is taught to schoolchildren as the Battle of Little Bighorn, whichLaDonna Allard wrote was the last time the Oceti Sakowin came together. But for her and others, the massacres at Wounded Knee and Whitestone were closer to mind. It was the anniversary of the Whitestone massacre, where 250 women and children were killed by the US military, when private security guards turned dogs on the protesters at Standing Rock. It was Faith Spotted Eagle’s people, the Ihanktonwan, along with the Hunkpapa, that were killed there, and the use of police and security against peaceful protesters brought up those memories.

The echoes of historic struggles were everywhere, and to Spotted Eagle, they were reminders that the fight for the water is just a part of the fight for an entire way of life that was nearly crushed. She was raised speaking Dakota, and counted herself lucky to have her language and the worldview that came with it. The grass-roots organizing that brought together the camp, she said, was helping the Standing Rock people and other tribal governments to look past the structures imposed on them by the process of colonization. “If we don’t stop and every single day examine how I have become like the colonizer, I asked my daughter, ‘What is going to happen someday if we lose our songs, if we lose our language and we no longer think like Natives?’ She said, ‘Then the colonization process is complete.’”

In the camp, they experimented with bringing back the long-ago structure of the Oceti Sakowin. “The second part of that struggle is to wade through the colonialism that has happened between then and now and to figure out, ‘What can we bring back with some modifications that will work for the people?’” she said. “There have been a lot of attempts to revive the Oceti Sakowin, but it hasn’’t happened because we didn’’t have a common focus.”

The common struggle has in turn opened up a space for different people to come together and share their songs and dances, their prophecies and histories. The lack of good cell phone service, Lay Ha noted, forces people to be more present. “It just brings you back to the old days where you hear the language, you hear our culture, you get to see youth riding on horseback and it’s really a change, it’s really decolonizing ourselves.”

“We are at the right point in time,” Spotted Eagle agreed. “We are free at this space in time.”

Walking around the camp, you pass singing circles and the kitchen — Tuesday night the menu was moose, brought all the way from Maine by a visitor to the camp. A nurse from the medic tent made rounds, making sure that people knew that at night, the Standing Rock ambulance parked on the grounds would leave but the medics would be on duty. Young children played volleyball and posed for photographs, finished from their day at school — a fully recognized school that teaches both the core curriculum so children at the camp won’t fall behind their schools at home, and also teaches songs and dances, languages and history, about the treaties and the fight for the water.

At night, campfires burned and tepees glowed, lit from within, as the open mic for speak-outs gave way to singing and dancing.

“We have had a few growing pains, but that is to be expected when you go from 30 people to 1,000 people in two or three days,” Mossett said. “There are a lot of logistics behind the scenes, things that people don’t see. Where are people going to go to the bathroom? Bringing in porta potties. Waste disposal. It was a really beautiful thing to see the community step up on our own and say, ‘Did you forget we are sovereign nations? We are going to do this and make it happen.’”

The coming together of the nations was something Mossett wanted for as long as she could remember, and that more than anything helped her envision a victory, not just against the Dakota Access Pipeline, not just against the whole extractive industry but for something much bigger.

“This pipeline would have already been built if we hadn’t come out here, taken back the power for ourselves and said, ‘Hey, nobody is going to help us or protect us except for us,’” Mossett said. “I think it was the nonviolent direct actions. In fact, I know that it was the nonviolent direct actions that got us to this point.”

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*****

Readers: Are any of you out there at Standing Rock? Can you tell us more? My HOPE is that your efforts will prevail. ✌🏽& ❤️

Blog me.

Sign if you agree to stop the pipeline.  Thank you!

/SB: Another feather in Obama’s cap! So happy about this one. Thank you, Mr. President!

Vohkinne: Nicely said. And I agree with you about our beloved president.

Happy Sunday, everyone. As always, thanks for being here.

Peace out.

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

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“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

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12 rare animals that are teetering on the brink of extinction

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 27th August 2016

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Hey, Everyone, Good Morning. 

I found this write in my blog files. From Business Insider:

12 rare animals that are teetering on the brink of extinction

Every day, species around the planet are going extinct. And for each species that goes extinct, many more become and remain endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, human activities, and climate change. Some are so critical that they are teetering on the brink of extinction.

All these threatened animals are included on the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, a non-prescriptive list that is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of species.

“The IUCN red list tells us how close to extinction species are,” Craig Hilton Taylor, head Red List Unit of the Global Species Programme at the IUCN, told Business Insider. “It is a fairly coarse measure [but] we have a set of quantitative criteria that we try to rank species under, and if a species moves into one of the threatened categories — vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered — then we know that a species either has a high, very high, or an extremely high risk of going extinct in the wild unless we do something about it.”

For example, he said, polar bears are considered vulnerable to extinction, while tigers are endangered (a more critical category), and just this July, the IUCN declared that the Bornean orangutan critically endangered.

Here are 12 species at risk of extinction, including some that you probably didn’t even know existed.

The Bornean orangutan

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A two-year-old Bornean orangutan.REUTERS/Tim Chong

Found only on the island of Borneo, Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) have a broader face and shorter beard than their cousins, Sumatran orangutans. This July, the IUCN changed their status to critically endangered because their population has declined by 60% since 1950, and, according to Scientific American, new projections estimate that their numbers will fall by another 22% by the year 2025.

The main threats for these animals are habitat loss (forests are turned into rubber, oil palm or paper plantations) and illegal hunting. Aggravating the problem, females only reproduce every six to eight years — the longest birth interval of any land mammal — which makes conservation efforts slow.

Pika

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The ili pika was photographed for the first time in more than 20 years on July 9, 2014 by Weidong Li, the conservationist who first discovered the species.

Ili pika (Ochontana iliensis) is a small mammal (only 7-8 inches long) that’s native to the Tianshan mountain range of the remote Xinjiang region of China. Living on sloping bare rock faces and feeding on grasses at high elevations, this little creature is very rare — there are less than 1,000 left.

The species was only discovered in 1983, but its numbers have declined by almost 70% since then, reports CNN. This is because its habitat is being drastically affected by climate change. Rising temperatures have forced the pikas to retreat up into the mountain tops. In addition, grazing pressure from livestock and air pollution have likely contributed to their decline.

Giant Otter

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A giant otter with a Sailfin Catfish in the Cuiabá River of Brazil.Bernard DUPONT/Flickr

Found only in South America, Giant otters, or Pteronura brasiliensis, are the largest otters in the world, with some as long as 6 feet. They are also the rarest otters in the world, with only a few thousand believed to be surviving in the wild. Sometimes known as the “river wolf,” their fur is chocolatey brown and extremely soft. They also have a creamy white patch on their throat that is unique to each otter, Meg Symington, managing director of the Amazon for WWF, told Business Insider.

“They are extremely smart animals, and sort of like wolves or lions, they can be cooperative hunters. They live in groups and they hunt fish together as a group, herding the fish,” she said. “They’re active during the day, so they’re actually a large mammal that you can see easily in the Amazon, which is unusual since a lot of large animals are hard to see in the jungle.”

Historically, giant otters were hunted for their pelts, causing a huge decline in their numbers. While they are no longer hunted today, they remain endangered because many of their aquatic habitats (rivers and lakes) have been degraded and destroyed, causing the fish populations they rely on for food to dwindle. They are many times viewed as nuisances by humans, especially by fishermen. They are also threatened by gold-mining in the region, which leads to mercury poisoning. “Because they are an apex predator, they accumulate mercury because they eat so much fish,” Symington explained.

Amur Leopard

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Amur leopards are critically endangered with maybe 60 living in the wild and around 200 in zoos around the world.

The solitary and nocturnal Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is one of the world’s most endangered wild cats. It has a thick yellow or rusty orange coat with long dense hair, and can weigh up to 120 pounds. It can leap more than 19 feet, and it can run at speeds up to 37 miles per hour.

Today, it is found only in the Amur River basin of eastern Russia, having already gone extinct from China and the Korean Peninsula. According to WWF, there are around 60 amur leopards left in the wild. The wild cat faces numerous threats to its survival, including encroaching human populations, poaching, and climate change.

Black-footed ferret

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A black-footed ferret crawls out of its burrow in the Aubrey Valley near Seligman, Arizona.AP Photo/Arizona Game and Fish Department, George Anderson

As a member of the weasel family, the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is the only ferret native to North America. They have tan bodies, black legs and feet, a black tip on their tail and a black mask. They are highly specialized carnivores, with prairie dogs making up more than 90% of their diet. “Black-footed ferrets evolved with prairie dogs, so they are long and tubular,” Kristy Bly, senior wildlife conservation biologist for WWF’s Northern Great Plains Program, told Business Insider. “They evolved to be these ferocious little predators and they’re designed to navigate tunnels and boroughs.”

The main threats endangering these little carnivores are disease (notably the plague) and lack of habitat, brought on largely because prairie dogs were poisoned for a large number of years, eliminating their food source in many of their habitats.

“It’s kind of a miracle that ferrets are still with us,” said Bly. The black-footed ferret was twice thought to be extinct, but recovery efforts — notably captive breeding and reintroduction to the wild — have helped bring the animals back from the brink of extinction. Today, there are about 300-400 black-footed ferrets in the wild, all of whom are descendants of the 18 ferrets that were part of captive-breeding efforts in the late 1980s. Conservation efforts have also included vaccines against the plague.

Darwin’s Fox

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Darwin’s fox is an endemic species to Chile.Fernando Bórquez Bórquez/Flickr

Named after the famous scientist Charles Darwin, who discovered the species in 1834, Darwin’s fox (Lycalopex fulvipes) is found only in Chile in two places: the Nahuelbuta National Park and the island of Chiloè. Dark in color with short legs, this carnivorous creature is active mostly at twilight and dawn.

These carnivores creatures are considered an “umbrella species,” which means that protecting them and their temperate forest homes helps preserve the entire ecosystem. According to the IUCN, they are threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and non-native species, particularly domestic dogs.

Sumatran Rhinoceros

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Ratu, a 8 year-old female Sumatran Rhinoceros, at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in the Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia.

As the only Asian rhino with two horns, the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is the smallest of the rhino family, living in isolated pockets of dense mountain forests in Malaysia, Indonesia and possibly Myanmar (Burma). They are recognizable because they are covered in long hair, which helps keep mud caked to their body to cool them and protect them from insects.

They are one of the most endangered rhinos in the world, along with the Javan rhino, with maybe only 220-275 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, according to WWF. Greatly threatened by poaching, they are, like other rhinos, hunted for their horns. There is no indication that the population is stable and only two captive females have reproduced in the last 15 years.

White-rumped vulture

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A white-rumped vulture flying near water.Deepak sankat/Wikimedia Commons

One of three critically endangered species of vulture, the white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) has suffered what the IUCN classifies as a “catastrophic decline” across the Indian subcontinent, to the point that it is highly threatened with extinction. Over 99% of its population has been wiped out since the 1980s, making it the fastest decline of any bird species in recorded history, according to Mother Nature Network.

“Vultures are in a really, really bad way,” said Taylor from the IUCN. “But they play such an important role in the ecosystem.” In India, the vultures played a key role in cleaning up the remains of fallen cows and in doing so, Taylor explained, they were poisoned because they ingested the livestock drug diclofenac from the animal carcasses. The loss of vultures as a result of this drug has had a cascading effect, Scientific American reports, increasing the number of feral dogs, as well as spreading disease to humans.

Pangolin

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A pangolin is released into the wild by Natural Resources Conservation Agency officials at a conservation forest in Sibolangit, Indonesia on March 1, 2013.AP Photo/Jefri Tarigan

Found in forests and grasslands, pangolins are solitary, nocturnal creatures with scales covering their bodies and long sticky tongues to slurp up ants and termites. They are about the size of a house cat, and look a little bit like artichokes on legs. When frightened, they defend themselves by rolling up into a ball.

These critters, found in Asia and Africa, are endangered because they are increasingly the victims of wildlife crime for their meat and scales. In fact, according to CNN, they are believed to be the most trafficked mammal in the world. It is estimated that 100,000 are captured every year.

Saola

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A 4-5 month-old female Saola at the Forest Inventory & Planning Institute botanical garden in Hanoi, VietnamDavid Hulse / WWF

First discovered in May 1992, the saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) is often called the “Asian unicorn.” It is a rarely-seen, critically endangered mammal. In fact, it is so rare (and so elusive) that scientists have only seen it in the wild four times, according to WWF, causing us to know very little about the creature.

Both male and female saolas have two parallel horns on their heads, they have white markings on their face, and they sort of look like antelopes (though they are actually cousins of cattle). They live only in the the forests of Annamite mountains in Vietnam and Laos. According to the IUCN, saolas are threatened by hunting and the continued fragmentation of their habitat as a result of human activities, such as the building of roads.

Vaquita

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A vaquita in the Gulf of California.Paula Olson, NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

First discovered in 1958, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus), also known as the Gulf of California harbor porpoise, is the smallest cetacean — an order of animals that include whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Only about five feet long, this porpoise has a gray body, a pale gray or white belly, a dark patch around its eyes, and dark patches forming a line from its mouth to its pectoral fins.

As the world’s rarest marine mammal, the vaquita is on the edge of extinction: According to the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, only about 60 of these animals remain. This marks a 40% decrease in their population since 2014. These little porpoises are often caught and drowned in gill-nets used by illegal fishing operations within Mexico’s Gulf of California, according to WWF. Because there are so few left and they are confined to such a small region, they may also be vulnerable to climate change, as warming temperatures could affect their food availability and habitat conditions.

Peruvian Black Spider Monkey

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Black spider monkeys feeding on moldering wood out of a hole in a dead tree in Manu National Park, Peru. 

Found in eastern South America north of the Amazon River, the Peruvian Black Spider Monkey (Ateles chamek) spends much of its time in the canopy of the rainforest. Eating mainly fruit, these monkeys are an essential part of the tropical rainforest ecosystem, playing a role in seed dispersal.

Also known as red-faced or Guiana spider monkeys, their population is believed to have declined by at least 50% over the past 45 years, according to the IUCN. They are threatened by hunting, fragmentation, and the destruction of their tropical rainforest homes.

🌾🐒🌾

Readers: These endangered creatures are beautiful, cute, majestic, fascinating…you name it. Even though I’m not familiar with many, I hate the thought of any of them going extinct.

Every one of these creatures are here on Earth for a reason. The existence of the animals/mammals are collectively finely tuned for their sustenance and the sustenance of our environment. Breaks in that ecosystem creates ripple effects that we may not even be aware of until it is too late.

#ProtectTheAnimals

Thoughts? Blog me.

/SB: The key point, as you stated in your comment: “…men, of all cultures, are still trying to control women.” Unfortunately for our ME sisters, it is so much worse than one can imagine. The men aren’t trying, they are controlling their women (I know you know this – I just wanted to stress the truth for ME women) down to degrees we western women thankfully don’t have to live with daily or at all. Our life is not on the line, though daily we do need to fight to keep from being controlled. I have no doubt that if western men had their way we would be under their thumbs in the same disgusting degree. I HOPE all is good with you. 

Peace & Love. Happy Saturday!

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

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