Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2018’

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Today is #SnowLeopardDay, and my mind inevitably…

Today is #SnowLeopardDay, and my mind inevitably drifts back to this 7 year old male we attempted to save in 2016 in Mustang. He had, we believe, been attacked by villagers after he got many of their sheep; his hind legs were shattered, likely by a boulder. (While horrific, it’s hard to blame the locals whose lives and livelihoods are directly tied to their sheep, and snow leopards have been known to kill an entire herd in one night.) We cared for him during the day, shading him from the sun, offering what protection he would allow, and then with the help of two amazing Nepali wildlife biologists who happened to be in the area, we contained him in a makeshift box for transport down valley to Jomsom and veterinary care. He made it down to Jomsom and was apparently showing signs of improvement (eating and drinking), but then sadly passed that next morning, possibly from an overdose of tranquilizer used in his treatment. It is all a poingant reminder of these precious animals and the precarious situation they are in across the Himalaya. It’s estimated there are only 4,000 – 7,000 snow leopards left in the wild, and those that are face ever increasing pressure from expanding development, human-animal conflict, habitat loss, and climate change. But, there is a lot of hope with amazing programs like the 12-country GSLEP (Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program – link in profile) working across borders to preserve habitat and protect these elusive cats. Huge thanks, too, to @snowleopardtrust and @snowleopardconservancy for their great work. #liveyouradventure #wildlifeconservation #animalportrait #endangeredspecies #snowleopard #buliyoeuta #gslep

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#MAGA. Make America Great Again. It sounds…

#MAGA. Make America Great Again. It sounds nice, but what does it mean? When were we great, and what, precisely, was the greatness we embodied as a nation and a people? I have yet to hear Donald Trump – or any member of our government who has fallen in line behind his empty rhetoric – articulate the vision of greatness. If anything, we have become a house divided, perhaps more so and with greater vitriol and mutual distrust than at any time since 1860, on the eve of our worst conflict.
The times we’ve come closest to that purported greatness is when we’ve, as a nation, opted to do what’s right rather than what’s politically expedient, when we’ve opted to unite and make courageous choices rather than ones of ease and comfort. Lincoln led the nation to something resembling greatness in the Civil War. We found it again in World Wars I and II, and in the fight for civil rights 20 years later. Sure, there were those on the wrong side of history and intellect who resisted those fights, who supported slavery and secession, who desired isolationism or admired the Third Reich, who saw darker skin as a sign of inferiority; but no rational person would look back on our national times of courage and conviction and say we acted in error. It’s been our collective courage that has brought brushes with greatness.
Tomorrow, the Senate votes in a particularly partisan and bitter hearing on Judge Kavanaugh and his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. The appalling accusations against him aside, the decision made tomorrow – especially by those key Senators like @sensusancollins @sencorygardner @senlisamurkowski Jeff Flake, and @joemanchinwv – needs to be one of courage, of taking the high road rather than the partisan one, of doing the right thing for our nation rather than for our party, our agenda, our re-election hopes, or our financial well-being. Perhaps Kavanaugh said it best before his emotional, erratic, abjectly partisan (and well-rehearsed and planned) outburst last week when, in 2016, he said in a speech: “First, and most obviously, a good judge, like a good umpire, cannot act as a partisan…” If the accusations leveled against him by (more in comments)…

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