Monday, February 15, 2010
Death at Guantanamo, tigers, dolphins and random kindness
If you aren't furious and disgusted by the time you finish reading Harper Magazine's 'The Guantanamo "Suicides': A Camp Delta Sergeant Blows the Whistle" then you must be Dick Cheney. The good news is that some people are willing to speak out, now matter what it costs them.
As the New York Times reported February 12, the Year of the Tiger could turn out to be a real bummer of a year for the slightly more than 3,000 tigers left in the wild. Neither India nor China have strong protections in place for their tiger populations and the Chinese ascribe magical properties to tigers in various pieces that a whole, living tiger apparently lacks.
I first wrote about The Cove, a film about the secret and ongoing slaughter of dolphins in Japan, last July. The film is now the front runner for Best Documentary at this Year's Academy Awards, but what's most important to those who made The Cove is that that the film will finally be shown in Japan, where people are mostly unaware, not only of the slaughter, but of the high levels of mercury in the dolphin flesh they eat. While the Japanese themselves are the key to political change in their country, you can sign a petition asking the Japanese government to end this slaughter here.
Finally, three acts of kindness and self-sacrifice: The homeless man who saved five people from a fire before succumbing himself was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery last month. Ray Vivier, 61, had been getting himself together, had a job, and was living in a boarding house in Cleveland when arsonists set it on fire. A Bozeman, MT police officer caught a shoplifter putting food and pencils and pens in his pocket, arrested him for theft, and then released him. The man was upset and apologetic, saying he had nothing for his kids and no money. Later that same police officer bought some frozen pizzas for the man and his family and delivered them himself. A reporter hanging out at the dispatch office picked up the story from scraps of conversation. Homeless people at a Baltimore, MD shelter scraped together $14.64 to donate to Haitian Earthquake victims and brought it to an area Red Cross. "We were all weepy-eyed," recalled Red Cross volunteer coordinator Bobbie Jones, who was at the front desk when the donation arrived. Baltimore Sun.
Photo of Arlington National Cemetery from rccola159's photostream at Flickr.