MCM: SPOT Save & Protect Our Treasures


So since I am back at blogging I thought I start up the MCM again and again I am going the animal way. This time the Cause of the Month is SPOT.

Why a foundation for wild cats?

At the end of 2006/beginning of 2007 the number of wild cat species was set on 36. Many of them are endangered and of those a lot are threatened with extinction.

Some figures

  • Cheetah: less than 10,000.
  • Snow leopards: estimated 6,500.
  • Lion: estimated 32,000.
  • Fishing cat: less than 10,000.
  • Tiger: less than 3,500.

In the Netherlands there was no NGO specifically aiming at the protection of wild cats. This led to the start of Foundation SPOTS in 2004.

It is impossible to actually do something for all 36 species. Hence the focus of Foundation SPOTS currently lies in the protection of the cheetah, the lion and the leopard. But, through our Dutch website we are also giving a lot of education about all cat species and we name projects that are busy protecting those specific felids. In this way we hope to put the spots on all cats worldwide.

What are the objectives of Foundation SPOTS?

Many wild felids are threatened with extinction. Foundation SPOTS focuses on protecting these felids. SPOTS is active in the Netherlands and does not have own felid projects. She supports local partners in fe Africa and Iran. SPOTS operates in the Netherlands – major goals of SPOTS are educating, creating a network for several cat projects and raise funds for our supported projects in Africa and Iran. Read here which projects are supported by SPOTS.

Our vision
Many wild cat species live outside protected areas such as National Parks. They thus come into conflict with humans, who often kill predators pre-emptive. Although there are National Parks or Reserves where these animals are protected, SPOTS believes that predators should not only to be tolerated in National Parks but outside these protected areas as well. Otherwise, animals will be closed in and are no longer able to migrate, which makes them very vulnerable. This is reinforced by the fact that in a closed area it is difficult to keep a good population of genes, which is important for a healthy animal population. It makes the animals also vulnerable because there could be lack of food if there are too many animals in the same area. This means that National Parks and Reserves always need to be regulated by humans. If the fences are not maintained, there is an immediate problem with outbreaking animals on farmers land.

Corridors, linking parks and reserves, are important. But we also hope that nature outside these areas, can survive. Very much needed cause like said, many predators like cheetahs and leopards live outside protected areas and there will always be outbreaking animals.

Practical solutions, small organizations
This is easy said but the people outside these national parks, often experience the disadvantage of predators on their land. Therefore SPOTS believes we need to help local communities. Therefore we support organizations that are in direct contact with the local communities and who come up with practical solutions. It is one thing to want local people to accept predators on their land. But let’s be real: these people also suffer due to predators and think of them often as a nuisance, because they prey on their cattle which provide their income. So, the organizations supported by SPOTS help the population effectively. For example: our supported lion project builds corrals (see picture) for the farmers. This allows the cattle to be locked in in the evening, making them less likely to fall prey to lions roaming free. Our supported cheetah projects Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia (CCF) and Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB) place special trained dogs (see picture 4) to chase predators like cheetahs away from cattle. This increases the acceptance limit of farmers to accept lions and cheetahs on their land. Education is also a key pillar for all of our supported projects. Education focuses on the farmers but also the youth. They are the future of tomorrow.

SPOTS is not supporting breeding programmes or shelters for wild animals. We do believe that we should protect the animals in the wild itself. And although some projects we support, do give shelter to (orphaned) animals, this is not our focus point. Again, we believe we should be aiming at wild populations. All money and awareness should be focused on this topic.

Responsible volunteering and tourism
Another major target for SPOTS in the Netherlands is educating people about “petting” tourism or volunteering. There are a lot of organizations in Southern Africa where you can pet a small animal as volunteer or tourist. Although we do believe that ambassador animals can be of value cause they can inspire people, we don’t believe in a breeding programme which enables a programme to always have young animals to pet with. This has nothing to do with nature conservation and in fact, it may in fact support the canned hunting industry.

We also do not believe in walking with lions – we believe the focus should be on lions in the wild and not in breeding lions letting them interact with people first to let them “go wild” again later on. We fully support the IUCN Cat Specialist Group who is also rejecting these kinds of excursions. For their article, click here. Foundation SPOTS therefore is very active in the Netherlands to warn people for these kind of excursions and volunteering places.

SPOT as you can see might be targetting the Dutch audiance but is speaking and working for the big cats in areas where you can find Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards and as you can imagine, they are not walking around in Holland. Therefor I think it deserves a place and your donations regardless of where you are based. Please go to their site and help them help the Lion, Cheetah and Leopard. you can find the Dutch site at http://www.stichtingspots.nl/ and for English you can click the English flag on the top right of the site.

I will pledge never to be silent


First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Do you know this quote? It was spoken by Martin Niemöller about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. There is some disagreement over the exact wording of the quotation and when it was uttered; the content of the quotation may have been presented differently by Niemöller on different occasions. Remember, this was more than 60 years ago and still it seems that many people haven’t learned from it yet. Nowadays we can add some lines to this tragic “poem

When they came for the homeless I did not speak out, I was not homeless.

When they came for the homosexuals I did not speak out because I am not a homosexual

When they came for the immigrants I did not speak out because I am not an immigrant.

So I think I will adapt a quote by Elie Wiesel and I hope you will take this pledge with me as well. If you are willing to take this pledge please reblog this post or make your own post in your own wordings but include this pledge you ca find a version without name right here the used font is Cambria

pledge

Together we can change the world, together we are strong. Together we must fight injustice and speak out about whats wrong

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Is Helping The Hungry And Homeless A Crime?


Mavadelo:

This crap is happening all over the world. Helping those in need means taking away money from the haves and give it to the not haves, the haves are not willing to share and will find any reason good enough to complain. I hope one day this will change but I am not holding my breath for it. You might know the line “what would Jesus do” … Well…he would feed them (see Matthew 25 “the sheepsand the goats” and don’t forget to read BOTH parts of the parrable) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25

Originally posted on tahtonka - A Journey Through Global Culture:

Abbott

Arnold Abbott: the Police and the Politics of public feeding.
Picture source: Unknown

At first glance this story appears to be just another case of politics bullying charity, but not so fast.

This story should have been written a few days ago, but it was not to be, as I was once again up in Gainesville getting my  melanomas tended to.

Now it’s back to work this morning…

If you have not heard of this man yet, you will.

His name is Arnold Abbott and he is a 90-year-old advocate for the homeless and hungry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Arnold has for many years been feeding the homeless on the beach at Ft Lauderdale.

There are many who support him in his charitable endeavors, but as usual, there are also those who are very much opposed.

There are kind generous souls in many places around Florida and the Country,  who also do this…

View original 641 more words

Crazy people (graphic images, viewer discretion)


A few blogs ago I was talking about a lot of things that aren’t right in this world and I had some awful examples like Isis and ebold. However yesterday a new crazy thing came to light for me.

Somewhere in the states in a town called Racine A domestic dispute tunred into an execution. Apearantly some neighbors where arguing over some dogshit in a garden and somehow this was reason to send in a swat team. At a certain point during this a dog came out and walked up to the swat members, turned around walked a few steps back and got shot down by the cops

If you look closely at the 31 second mark, you can clearly see that the dog has turned around and was walking away. What else can you call it than an execution? And if you think that this is an isolated incident?

If you feel the need to speak out on behalve of ANgel, you can go to one or both of following petition sites or facebook page to ask for justice for this dog,

http://www.petitionhub.org/Fire-And-Charge-Tactical-Team-Officer-That-Destroyed-An-Innocent-Dog-In-Racine-t-610

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-angel-and-safeguards-for-racines-dogs

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-4-Angel/770670289647802

wtf is wrong with these people

Lol the Dutch way


Let me start by saying that this is not a blog about making you Laugh Out Loud using Dutch humor although I am not yet sure where this  blog post will lead. And since laughter is part of the subject along … hold on …. language… you might very well find a moment that you will Laugh Out Loud.

No I wanted to tell you something about our beautiful language called Nederlands or Dutch for you english reading visitors. And I wanted to start with one of my favorites LOL just because of a fun fact.Since we entered the age of the internet and mobile phones with text we have started using short text, abbreviations and smiley faces. One of the most famous ones of course being lol | ˈel | ˈoʊ | ˈel |  or Laughing out loud. In the Netherlands we might use it for the same reason  but not necessarily so.

In Dutch, lol is not an abbreviation, it’s a word and it means fun, no chit. You can hear a Dutch boy ask his friend, “zullen we  lol trappen” which means “shall we have some fun” and boys being boys you can imagine that lol trappen can be a ragged time. So, if a Dutch boy is having “lol” laughter might be involved but is not guaranteed just yet. However you can have lol in many ways and at all ages. Now the Dutch have made it a habit of adding something to words to denote different sizes. and/or age related items. For example boy is Jongen, a little boy is jongetje, you have a sister, we call that Zus, you have a little sister we call that a zusje. Lol has a similar thing we have lol and we have “lolletje” . Now, in this case it does not need to stand for “a little fun” perse. A lolletje can be a prank, however it can also be used in a denying way just like “that’s not funny at all” or “dat is geen lolletje”.””Funny” when used positive (“That is funny”) is not translated to lolletje but to lollig….or leuk….or grapppig… or maf…..depending on the context it is being used in

So you see, the Dutch have many words for fun and funny and one of them happens to be lol, and Laughing out loud definitely qualifies for the lol the Dutch way.  To end this I think I present you with several ways of lol in one go. The first act is imo the best one and if you decide to look them all I have to warn for some strong language and jokes. Thanks for reading, I had lol writing it

Congratulations my dear Patty


I noticed today that Patty from petitemagique.wordpress.com has won 3rd place in the Hebban Fantasy awards. I think this is a great accomplishment for a début and I must say that I am very very proud and a little sad as well. Imho she should have won first place but I am of course not entirely objective in this.

If you don’t yet know Patty I would suggest following the link I gave above to read some of her poetry, you can also buy her first poetry book (in English)  by following the info in my sidebar.alternatively you can go to said link I gave for info on her second poetry book

Patty got this third place price for her début fantasy novel Dragan Duma, zij die hoort (Dragan Duma, she who hears) which is the first part of a trilogy. I was supposed to proof read the second part and have done that for a big part of it, however real life has made it impossible for me to finish it yet. I can however promise you that the part I have read so far promises a great part 2.

I believe that an audio book of part one is in the making and I sure hope that her publisher will have the book translated to english asap because imho this is an epic story that much like the Potter series could become a favorite for young kids, teens and adults alike (heck, I am 46 and loving it my wife is 51 and hates reading but she had read the book in a few days.

I don’t want to give out to much spoilers (sorry you have to wait for a translation)  but I can tell you that the story tells about a young female called Jill who one day discovers that she is not just “plain Jane”. In fact she is not from “this plane of existence” at all. She finds herself in a world with dragons and comes to know that she will play a vital role for the future of this world and the creatures and people who are living in/on it. You will find many of the “default” fantasy ingredients like dragons, magic, evil villains (with their companions and beasts) and of course friendship and love but it is at the same time the story of a girl who never fitted anywhere, has no (well, a few) friends and struggles to find her place in life.

Patty dear, for me you are the winner with this book no matter what the rest voted for. I am sure you will have a bright future ahead of you as a writer regardless if you write your poetry or fantasy. Keep on the good work and as soon as I have finished the manuscript I will give my opinion (heck, so far I can’t find anything to “complain” about if you get my drift)

A little spoiler if I may which is a poem from “My Wings” click the image to go to the original post on her own site

Can’t resist

 -

One smile from you

And I can feel the sparkle

It just makes my day

When you are playful

 -

One look in your eyes

And my body starts to tremble

I am longing for your touch

It’s almost painful

 -

One touch of you

And I will start to dazzle

I am going to lose my mind

That’s clear as crystal

 -

One kiss from you

Is almost more than I can handle

The feelings that are taking over

Are so darn powerful!

 -

And when I am alone with you…

Oh, I know I’m in trouble

There’s no way I can resist

I am just not able…

-

Just Patty

AWOOOOOOOOOOOHUGGGGZZZ dear Patty, love you lots

We The People?


Some people might take offence to this post. In no way it is my intention to belittle or make fun of people, this is just my opinion. The USA has always been the country I hope to at least visit and if I could make it happen live in. However I am also baffled by how ” third world” this country is in certain ways.

We The People

This is, as I understand, the starting phrase of the Constitution of the United States of America. America…. Land of the free, home of the brave…. or is it?

For a long time, I was under the impression that the USA was a two-party nation. You had either Republicans or Democrats. Some other party names I did come along like ” the wig party”  and ” Independent” but I always thought these where either just interest groups or people who didn’t want to affiliate themselves with either political party.

Today I was reading an article by Sachem Walkingfox over at Sachemspeaks in which he listed not two but no less than 13 different parties (although not all might officially be a party in the political sense of the word) and I was surprised. I asked him why, if so many people didn’t feel either of the parties representing them in a way they could approve, there had never been another party in power, if the two big parties where more into destroying each other than to look out for the people why not vote in someone from another party.

Sachem Walkingfox responded

Simple reason is that, while we were sleeping at the controls, both parties wrote in laws, still are writing then today, that effectively cut the rest of the parties out of elections!

To top that off, the millionaires and billionaires keep buying elections from those two corrupt parties in order to steal more of our hard earned tax money!

This started, I believe, when we the people allowed them to sneak in a law stating that, “if you are not register as a Democrat or Republican”, you cannot vote in a ‘Mid-term election,’ this my friend is socialist, communist at its finest, and we the people allowed them to get away with it!

I was baffled, laws that make it impossible for other parties to gain control? not voting if you are not registered for one of the two parties in charge? what the bleeping bleep?

Rich people trying to buy elections, ok, that has happened since Grumph tried to be the head caveman back in 20000BC and it shouldn’t matter in an electoral system that is democratic and fair. I see nothing wrong in trying to help your favorite politician to get elected and if you are willing to help him pay the costs to try to achieve this good for you. However, making laws that effectively block other parties from participating or that keeps people from voting if they do not register for a certain party… I agree, that smells like communism / totalitrium / dictatorship to me.

BUT, isn’t it partly not your own doing? What is “we the people” worth if “we the people” does not use it’s voice, does not demand changes in this dictatorial election process? Isn’t it up to “we the people” to go out on the streets and protest against this, go to the courts to fight this form of injustice? I do not pretend to be a scholar or to have any fundamental knowledge of your constitution and laws but if I read the start of this constitution it seems clear to me that it is very unconstitutional after all, if you cannot choose whom you want to choose as your representative, what then is left of this freedom, where are the ” blessings of liberty” What remains left of Justice and how can you still call it ” a perfect union”

There is also the Bill of Rights and this one I hear often used to defend certain rights but I hear loud howls when it comes down to gun rights and when it comes down to deny people rights in favor of certain religious groups that don’t want people to have that right but what is left of this freedom of speech when you don’t have that freedom in maybe the most important task a citizen has to do for his country.. voting for your government.

Voting, one of those other issues I hear a lot about and although I am a socialist at heart I have to agree with the Republicans here, you want to vote you should be able to show identification HOWEVER if you want to implement this restriction it is up to the government to make SURE that everybody is able to GET a valid ID and I am led to believe that this ain’t that simple but I never hear those same Republicans address THAT issue.

If ” we the people”  truly want change then it is up to ” we the people” to ACT, to go to “your representative” and demand that other parties should be able to take part, to demand the removal of needing to register for the two grand parties, to demand a way that EVERYBODY regardless of his “situation” or income or social group can have access to a valid ID, to demand that being a citizen of the USA should be registration enough to be a valid voter.

and remember, not voting does NOT exist, you either vote by voting or you vote by absentia but remember that the last method of voting means you give your vote to the winner by default. Only YOU, the people of the USA can demand change.

I know.. I am just a dumb Dutchy that has no understanding of the ” American way” but if that would be the way things where done here in the Netherlands I know their would be a revolt, people would stand on the barricades to DEMAND that their constitutional rights where granted. If you are offended by this piece or if you agree doesn’t make much difference, feel free to say whatever you think of this article I will not cut the comment (or if needed to approve I will approve unless it’s spam for penile enlargement and crap like that)