Cecil the Lion Thoughts

It saddens me that such a magnificent animal was killed in such a terrible fashion.

Now before anyone flies off the handle, let me clear about some things. In general I support hunters and hunting, but I do so based on some principles hunters in my family have had for generations:

  1. Hunt only what you need. Do not overhunt
  2. You eat what you kill and not let go to waste the rest of the remains.
  3. Respect the animal you hunt. Do not let an animal suffer.
  4. Do not hunt endangered or near endangered animal species.
  5. No trophy hunting.

The final two principles came about in more recent years as a result of endangered species populations and a general disgust for those who hunt solely for trophies. That said, we’ll move…

I know some question the outrage over a lion’s death. Even with my opposition to trophy hunting and the hunting of endangered species in general, I too would question the outrage over killing a lion. What makes this one different for many is  what information we have at this point: Cecil was apparently lured from the preserve, by all accounts made to suffer for 40 hours from a man obviously not skilled enough to track and kill a lion properly, and the fact the hunters then attempted to destroy the collar Cecil war as part of ongoing study.

In my opinion, the group of hunters actions before, during, and after the hunt and subsequent uproar are those of poachers, not legitimate hunters and guides. So I can understand the outrage quite plainly.

My hope is those involved are prosecuted by the Zimbabwean government and that this incident inspires more people to look into ways to end trophy hunting, protect and help repopulate endangered and near endangered species, and in general look for ways to preserve our planet’s wildlife and habitats for the enjoyment of all.

Egypt, Libya and Beyond

Libya No Fly Zone

The United Nations finally passed a resolution establishing a ‘No-Fly Zone’ in Libya. The resolution itself was not unanimous with the usual suspects (Russia, China, India who fear being taken to task for their own human rights abuse and oppressive policies of certain ethnic, cultural and religious groups)  abstaining. But that’s par for the course of most resolutions at the UN. While I’m pleased it was finally established, I fear it may well be too late to protect the Libyan people or the anti-Gaddafi forces who wish to oust the dictatorship from the Gaddafi’s military.

The question for the Obama administration is will this now become their equivalent of the Bush Doctrine that the left (including the President) maligned so much? Will it be implemented with equal regard in so called allied nations in which the governments are cracking down on their citizenry through violence such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, et al? Already we see right-wingers using the same anti-war tactics used by the left to malign the decision.

 

Egypt

Egypt’s march to reform and democracy continues, albeit slowly and not without some difficulties. Tomorrow a referendum is being held on Constitutional Amendments. Naturally the power vacuum had left Egypt divided with different groups, often at odds, trying to fill that power vacuum.

 

Africa

Whether fearful of the people sweeping away their dictatorships or holding them accountable for their corruption a large number of African nations are cracking down, sometimes violently on pro-democracy and pro-reform movements in their nations. The usual culprits are a part of this crowd: Mugabe (Zimbabwe), dos Santos (Angola), and Gbagbo (Ivory Coast).

 

Sadly world political leaders, even those in the West, still do not truly comprehend the anger and determination of the people of the world to be free of corruption and abuse of power. These so called leaders think a few placating words and a few shekels while implying threats if that isn’t enough for their lowly peons to accept. Meanwhile, the underlying problems that have sparked the anger and rebelliousness of the world wide population have not been addressed. While each regions problems are unique to them they all have a target to blame for these problems: their governments. Governments that fail to work in the best interests of their citizenry above their own selfishness and greed are doomed to fail as the people realize they’ve been betrayed by those who claim sovereignty over them. That betrayal, that greed, that selfishness, is ultimately what drives all revolutions.