Monthly Archives: August 2015

A mighty curse on our bills

Gerrymandering veils a mighty curse

Our bills doomed to languish, then die

With Ohio’s carefully rigged districts

It’s clear what’s at fault and why.

 

Political maps, drawn with ‘safe districts’,

Pols pick voters, tinkering with lines

Reps won’t lift a voice for constituents.

Maps assure landslide wins all the time.

 

Cash is free speech; billionaires hold sway

Special interests behind closed doors they meet.

Gridlock’s jam stalls work every day

High stakes goals, where only insiders compete.

 

US Supreme Court has recently ruled

Against ‘winner take all’, preordained fate

Redistricting is now on national stage

Which may change crushing deadlock in our state.

 

Apply due diligence to Issue One.

Before casting votes on Election Day

Redistricting could reverse this foul hex.

Then, the curse on our bills will fade away.

 

The Fur Will Not Be Flying

Effective immediately, the fur will not be flying!  Delta, American, United, Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, South African Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, and British Airway will no longer fly trophy kills. And the list is growing.

Airlines across the world are rapidly responding to the international fury over trophy killings by distancing themselves from being the getaway vehicle for the savage spectacles of lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant heads, skins, and tusks.  These vile images become even more disturbing as the jolting account of the killing of a local treasure, Cecil, the lion, emerge.

This magnificent lion, baited, lured, and destroyed over forty hours, just for the pleasure of one, narcissistic thrill-seeker, has captured global attention.

This lion has a face, a name, and a family.  He is Cecil, a magnificent creature with a distinguishing shock of black mane.  Cecil lived in a protected park with his pride and was part of a long standing, Oxford University study of lions.  With his death, the order in his pride is destabilized.  There occurs a vacuum in the social hierarchy of Cecil’s pride.  When the male lion is removed from his prime position in the pride, the other males often resort to infanticide.  They begin to kill the cubs of the fallen leader in order to introduce themselves into the pride.  The lionesses too become vulnerable. One of Cecil’s cubs has already been slain.

Hunting groups, such as The Dallas Safari Club, explain their opposing position.  The DSC states that legally hunted trophies should be allowed.  The hunting of these animals “is a conservation tool that sustains and enhances” the herds.

The Dallas Safari Club is most noted for its 2014 auction of a black rhino hunt for $350,000. The black rhino is an endangered animal.  The club says the money is used for conservation efforts.

However, CNN reports that about 3 – 5% of these trophy fees actually go to conservation or to local communities.

                                                            What you can do

Let the airlines know your position.  You might write to the CEO of your favorite airlines.  Ask her where you can read that airlines’ policy on carrying trophy kills.  The next time you fly, you could ask the airlines’ personnel, “Does this airline fly trophy kills?”

Finally, will you please join me in living by the creed of Ellen DeGeneres?  “I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.” 

In Cecil’s memory – no more trophy killings

                                  If you have enough money, you can kill anything

If you have enough money, you can kill anything – cheetahs, rhinoceros, even a beloved, thirteen-year-old lion, named Cecil. On July 1, Cecil was lured out of Hwange National Park, a protected territory in Zimbabwe, by a vehicle, dragging a dead animal as bait. When he got within range of Cecil, the ill-famed hunter had his local guides shine spotlights into Cecil’s eyes in order to confuse the lion and to keep him from reacting defensively to their proximity by charging or fleeing. With the lights in his eyes, even if he had felt fear and confusion urging him to run, Cecil was an immobile target, easy pickings. The disreputable hunter then shot the defenseless treasure with a crossbow. With the silence of a crossbow, there would be no sound of gunshots to alert the local patrols about the danger that Cecil faced.

The wounded lion then bolted. The three-member hunting party stayed in pursuit of Cecil for the next forty hours. The second time he had the opportunity to kill Cecil, the shameful hunter had a loaded gun. The wounded Cecil was finally killed by the hunter’s bullet. Then, the guides finished the work for which they had been hired and already had been handsomely paid the vast sum of $55,000. They beheaded and skinned Cecil. Then, they awarded the despicable hunter his trophies.

The hunter writes that he had not known this was “a local favorite”. Cecil was the most famous lion in Zimbabwe. He had an usual, thick black mane that could be clearly seen from a distance, marking the majestic animal as unique. So, it is not believable that the three men did not recognize the distinctive Cecil.

Cecil had a tracking collar and had been monitored by Oxford University for years by scientists, studying the habits and reasons for extinction of the African lion. The three-man hunting party tried to dismantle and to destroy Cecil’s tracking collar.

The hunter also writes that he thought the hunt was legal.   If the hunter had simply looked at his own GPS, he would have known that his hunting party was located in a prohibited area.

                                         Global floodlight on trophy killing

That spotlight blinding Cecil in order to gain this hunter’s, unfair advantage has now become a global floodlight on trophy hunting, a prosperous commerce with about one thousand organizations worldwide.

Zimbabwe makes an estimated $20 million a year on trophy hunting, which represents 3.2 percent of its tourism revenue. The vast majority of trophy hunters are foreigners. About 25-30 percent of African trophies go to Europe and 65 percent to the United States.”

Hunting Legends in Pennsylvania runs safaris in South Africa. Its website has a price list: “An elephant kill costs $60,000 plus daily rates. A male lion in its prime kill costs $35,000.”

“‘Our clients come to us and they tell us what kind of adventure they want to have, and if we can accommodate them, we will,” George Hinton of Hunting Legends says. “It’s all done legally. We have professional hunters, trackers, skinners, games people. I mean, we employ a lot of people. This industry is huge.'”

                                                A pride’s commanding roar

Have you ever heard a lion roar? It’s an awe-inspiring sound, a captivating mandate for complete attention . A lion’s deep roar is so commanding that a single lion’s bellow can raise a large cloud of dust. That booming thunder can be heard as far as 5 miles away.

Did you know that sometimes a whole pride roars together? That chorus of hollers, rumbles, and bellows reverberates across a wide expanse, telegraphing the pride’s presence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agT7tLm7_wY (Listen to a one minute video of a pride of 22 lions in Tanzania roaring together.)

                                                        Lions Among Us

Let’s send a message to our US senators, like the magnificent, rising sound of a pride of lions. These splendid lions make all sorts of sounds to communicate their positions to other prides. We too can convey our message with these very sounds. They snarl. We too can snarl on social media, calling out our righteous outrage because of Cecil’s illegal, trophy killing. Lions hiss. We can hiss to our friends and family about how unfair the laws are in protecting treasured animals. Lions cough. We can cough up some candid stories about what’s happening worldwide to destroy native habitat and resident animals. Lions woof. We can woof how it breaks our hearts to know that nothing is being done to stop the wide-reaching, needless killing and suffering of animals.

Join the international “lion’s pride roar” of fury over the trophy killing of Cecil. Call your US senators in support of a recently introduced bill, Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act. This bill aims to make it illegal for hunters to bring back body parts of any species proposed or listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act 1973.

http://www.menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CECIL%20Animal%20Trophies%20Act.pdf (Read the bill here.)

Find your two US senators’ contact information here.

http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/senators_cfm.cfm?State=OH

If you are in Ohio, your US senators are:

Sherrod Brown (D) Washington  (202) 224-2315  Cincinnati:   (513) 684-1021 

Cleveland:   (216) 522-7272  Columbus:   (614) 469-2083  Lorain:  (440) 242-4100

Rob Portman (R) Washington (202) 224-3353  Cincinnati: (513) 684-3265 

Columbus:  (614) 469-6774  Cleveland: (216) 522-7095  Toledo: (419) 259-3895

You might respectfully say, “Good morning, Senator Brown. This is __(your name) __ from __(your city) – in Ohio. I am calling to urge you to both cosponsor and to vote yes on a recently introduced bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Menendez, Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act. This important bill intends to make it illegal for hunters to bring back body parts of any species proposed or listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act 1973. – Senator Menendez proposes this bill in response to the senseless, illegal, trophy killing of Cecil, the lion in Zimbabwe on July 1. I appreciate your consideration in this important matter.”

So, where do you stand? Will you raise your mighty voice with other voices across the world in a deep, prolonged blast for legislation aimed at halting, senseless, trophy killing?