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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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The good news was that the newspaper arrived bright and early

July 26th, 2014 · 7 Comments

I guess sometimes the news is just too good to put down.

It was about 6 a.m. and we were just around the corner from home.

We were stopped in front of a friend’s house by the barking of Jack, her Australian Blue Heeler, who shares the yard with two Rottweilers.

It was quickly apparent that the newspaper had been tossed over the fence, rather than being left in the safety zone just outside the gate. Yes, that debris you see is what’s left of today’s Star-Advertiser.

Jack was closest to the scene when we got there, but I don’t know which dog might have been responsible.

Mr. Jack

→ 7 CommentsTags: Dogs · Kaaawa · Photographs

Human Rights Watch reports massacres by Iraqi government forces

July 25th, 2014 · 1 Comment

The NPR program, Fresh Air, broadcast an important interview yesterday with Letta Tayler, an investigator for Human Rights Watch who recently returned from Iraq.

The headline for the segment on the NPR website reads: “Human Rights Watch Researcher Reports ISIS Abuses In Iraq.

We’ve all seen and heard much about the human rights abuses by the ISIS army that has taken control of much of Iraq.

But what I wasn’t prepared for were Tayler’s descriptions of massacres of unarmed prisoners carried out by the government of Nouri al-Maliki.

Unfortunately, no transcript is currently available, so there’s no choice except to listen to the program.

It’s hard to listen to, but it is really important for us to hear.

An report by Human Rights Watch earlier this month described the situation (“Iraq: Campaign of Mass Murders of Sunni Prisoners“).

Is this the future we spent all those years, all those billions, and all those lives to create?

→ 1 CommentTags: Media · Politics

Feline Friday: How we adopted Ms. Annie

July 25th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Ms. AnnieIt’s the final Feline Friday of July, and Ms. Annie is the star of the show. Well, at least she was the one who posed for the camera more than any of the other cats, so that makes her the star.

A little history. Annie entered our lives back in 2004. We were on our regular walk to the beach in the early morning, just about dawn. We were walking on the side of Kamehameha Highway towards Kaneohe, past that short stretch of houses after Swanzy Beach Park, and had just arrived at the spot where the highway runs along the ocean near Polinalina Road.

And we heard a kitten crying.

Of course, we stopped and looked. Right at that spot, there’s a drainage culvert that runs under the road and empties out onto the beach and on to the ocean. And looking down from the road, we saw a kitten trying her best to scramble up a steep bank of sand. Luckily, I was able to grab her before she made it to the top and onto the highway in the middle of morning traffic.

So there we were, suddenly with kitten. We took her home. She was just about perfect. We might have made a token pass along the section of Kekio Road where she most likely would have entered the culvert, but I have to admit we didn’t seriously try to return her to her former litter. It was quite clear that she was going home with us to stay.

Annie is still the only hunter in our cat household, but she doesn’t get much opportunity these days since we’ve shifted to “indoor cat” status. She probably gets to go out more than any of the other cats because she almost always comes when called.

Almost always. One night this week, she decided not to come and ended up having to spend the night outside. She probably hadn’t expected to be locked out, but that’s what happened when she failed to return. I did get up once in the night and check, but she wasn’t anywhere around (or at least didn’t respond when I called). But as soon as I got up, she was right there at the door ready to get inside and get something to eat. Apparently the hunting wasn’t up to par.

–> See Ms. Annie and all the other cats in today’s Feline Fridayh foto gallery.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs

Should voters be asked to post their marked ballots online?

July 24th, 2014 · 18 Comments

An emailed “get out the vote” message from Sen. Donna Kim’s congressional campaign, via MailChimp, urges her supporters to vote early. Nothing surprising there.

But then it goes on to ask that they take a photo of their ballot, and then post the picture on social media. Here’s the relevant section of the request:

Post your vote?

Does this signal the end of the secret ballot and sanctity of the voting booth!

Kim’s suggestion brought this comment from an astute election observer:

Am I the only one who thinks this is creepy? When does voluntarily offering proof of your vote become coercive?

Show photographic evidence to the campaign, to friends and neighbors? Maybe to your employer? To a union rep?

Is this a issue to be concerned about, or just a campaign push gone slightly over the line?

Reactions?

→ 18 CommentsTags: Campaigns · Elections · Politics

Throwback Thursday: Ian at Friends Meetinghouse in Manoa c.1975-1976

July 24th, 2014 · 4 Comments

It was the mid-1970s, a decade that began with the Vietnam War and ended with the Cold War and the continued threats created by the nuclear stalemate between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.

During most of the 1970s, I was on the staff of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, a national nonprofit organization that is an expression of the Friends’ pacifist beliefs.

This undated photo was likely taken in 1975-76 in the main room at the Honolulu Friends Meetinghouse in Manoa. The small AFSC office at the time was in the garage.

Of course, I’m the guy with the full beard on the right.

Others in the photo, from the left: Jim Albertini, the activist who was at the center of a prominent peace advocacy group at the time, catholic Action of Hawaii; the woman behind him whose face is hidden may be his partner at the time, Barbara Jensen; Margaret Habein, known to some as the “Red Granny”; Walter and Carla Chotzen, a wonderful couple, formerly of the Seattle area. Closest to but facing away from the camera are Elaine “Woody” Schwartz and her husband, Arnie Schwartz. Woody was a strong and tenacious advocate for peace, and the couple were longtime supporters of AFSC.

Honolulu Friends Meeting

As usual, click on the photo to see a larger version.

→ 4 CommentsTags: History · Photographs