2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grimes vs. McConnell: Go, Ms. Grimes!


As the granddaughter of Daniel Boone Green and Queen Elizabeth Green and the daughter of two feisty Kentucky born and raised parents who passed on to me the liberal principles of the Democratic Party, I may live in Minnesota, but I still care very much about the outcome of this race in the land of my ancestors: Go, Alison Lundergren Grimes!






Virginia,

We have a chance to change Washington – and that change starts with replacing Mitch McConnell with a fresh, new, dynamic woman who will fight for America's families. That's why I'm in Kentucky right now, campaigning with Alison Lundergan Grimes.
For me, this is personal. Just a couple weeks ago, Mitch McConnell blocked a bill I had introduced to let people refinance their student loans. This was just one way to help millions of people getting crushed by the burden of student loan debt, and once again Mitch McConnell's answer was no.

In fact, he led the charge to stop the bill in its tracks. Why? Because he didn't want to close tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires to pay for it.

After 30 years of gridlock and obstruction, Mitch McConnell doesn't get it. The job of a U.S. Senator isn't to fight for wealthy corporations and billionaires, it's to stand up for people who work hard, play by the rules, and just want a fair shot to succeed.

McConnell might not get it, but Alison sure does. That's why I'm asking you to stand with me in support of her campaign today.

Chip in what you can afford now and help Alison reach her critical fundraising goal. With just one day left until the deadline, every dollar makes a difference.

I made the trip to Kentucky because I know Alison has what it takes to take on Mitch McConnell. She's tough, she's smart, and she's built an army of grassroots supporters to help her in the long fight ahead.

Alison and I don't agree on every issue, but we do agree that a U.S. Senator should invest in our future and put the needs of students and working families ahead of the wishes of billionaires and giant corporations.

Help Alison and me hold Mitch McConnell accountable. Make a donation to Alison's campaign and help her reach her goal.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth



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"How High's the Water, Mama?"


The Twin Cities area has been making the national news lately with the flooding of the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers. The inundation of the Shepard/Warner Road in my vicinity has brought back some memories. As a child in a large displaced Appalachian family in northwestern Ohio, my mother used to regale us with stories about the flooding of the Big Sandy River that joins the Ohio River between Catlettsburg, Kentucky and Kenova, West Virginia.

Just this morning, as I lingered over a second cup of coffee, words from an old Johnny Cash tune, Five Feet High and Rising, ran through my mind, and I couldn’t let go of it until I Googled the lyrics, excerpted below:

How high's the water, mama?
Two feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa?
Two feet high and risin'

We can make it to the road in a homemade boat
That's the only thing we got left that'll float
It's already over all the wheat and the oats,
Two feet high and risin'

How high's the water, mama?
Five feet high and risin'
How high's the water, papa?
Five feet high and risin'

Well, the rails are washed out north of town
We gotta head for higher ground
We can't come back till the water comes down,
Five feet high and risin'

Well, it's five feet high and risin'

Hear Johnny sing Five Feet High and Rising:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A radical fix for the VA health care system



As a veteran who relies on the VA health care system, I’m concerned about its “significant and chronic failures.” However, I don’t believe that either of the fixes mentioned below will solve the problems. The best solution, in my opinion, is dismantling the current system and substituting a health care model that would allow each veteran to receive medical care at the private clinic of his or her choice. (Comment below if you agree or disagree.)

In the meantime, the debate between Democrats and Republicans continues while veterans suffer and even die under the current system:

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a scathing appraisal, a review ordered by President Barack Obama of the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system concludes that medical care for veterans is beset by "significant and chronic system failures," substantially verifying problems raised by whistleblowers and internal and congressional investigators.

A summary of the review by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors says the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured and that a "corrosive culture" has hurt morale and affected the timeliness of health care. The review also found that a 14-day standard for scheduling veterans' medical appointments is unrealistic and that some employees manipulated the wait times so they would appear to be shorter.

The review is the latest blistering assessment of the VA in the wake of reports of patients dying while waiting for appointments and of treatment delays in VA facilities nationwide. The White House released a summary of the review following President Barack Obama's meeting Friday with Nabors and Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson.

The review offers a series of recommendations, including a need for more doctors, nurses and trained administrative staff. Those recommendations are likely to face skepticism among some congressional Republicans who have blamed the VA's problems on mismanagement, not lack of resources.


Should a fertilized egg have all the rights of a human being?

Coutesy USNews.com

Gail Collins at the NY Times offers a rational take on the latest uprisings in the abortion wars. It comes down to whether or not a fertilized egg is a person, she suggests, as she offers a rational discussion of the latest attacks on the reproductive rights of women, including the use of contraceptives. Conservatives typically protest government intervention in their rights, e.g., the gun control issue, but when it comes to a woman's right to decide her health care needs in consultation with her doctor, well, that's a different matter. Those same conservatives urge the government's presence in the doctor's office.

Collins writes:
 
Let’s talk personhood, people.

Personhood is an anti-abortion movement that holds that life begins at conception, giving fertilized eggs all the rights of a human being. It might make it impossible to kidnap them for in-vitro fertilization. It could outlaw some forms of contraception.

Senator Rand Paul claims every fertilized egg is protected by the 14th Amendment. Many current Senate candidates are personhood supporters, including Cory Gardner, who is running a very close race in Colorado against Mark Udall.

No! Wait! Wait! Cory Gardner just changed his mind. Obviously, this is going to take a little unraveling. Give me a minute.

The abortion issue has been on everyone’s mind lately. On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous finding that the 35-foot buffer zones around Massachusetts abortion clinics violated protesters’ freedom of speech. We do not have time to discuss this in detail, except to point out that this decision came from people who work in a building where the protesters aren’t allowed within 250 feet of the front door.

Read More:

Friday, June 27, 2014

A wave to sister bloggers from 2008 who supported Hillary


High marks in foreign policy with Hillary as SoS.
All of the online chatter about a potential Hillary Clinton run in 2016 is naturally triggering a flashback to 2008, but not necessarily to the Democratic primary or its outcome. Instead, it’s kind of a nostalgia trip in which I’m remembering with affection sister bloggers across the Internet who went all out in support of Hillary. And I’m wondering where they are now and what they’re thinking about in the run up to 2016. Here’s a wave from Virginia at Katalusis to Heidi Li at Heidi Li’s Potpourri, Stray Yellar Dog, Lady Boomer NYC, Puma for Life, Tennessee Guerilla Women, Cine’s World, and other online Hillary supporters too numerous to mention.

In the meantime, John Fetter, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus, has published a thought-provoking piece on what a Hillary Clinton presidency might look like. But first, let me remind Fetter that the Obama Administration’s poll ranking in foreign policy was much higher when Clinton was SoS, than it is now with John Kerry holding that top cabinet post.

In one of the most enduring images from the lead-up to the 2008 Democratic primaries, frontrunner Hillary Clinton appeared in a rogue political ad as Big Brother.

It was a take-off on the infamous 1984 Super Bowl commercial that pitted upstart Apple against Big Blue (IBM) and urged consumers to "Think Different." In the campaign makeover two decades later, Clinton is intoning political platitudes on a screen in front of an audience of grey worker drones. A young woman races down the aisle, her Obama T-shirt ablaze with color in a black-and-white world, and launches a hammer at the screen. It explodes, and Clinton disappears. The ad is titled "Vote Different."

Like Apple, Obama styled himself as the younger, hipper, more unconventional alternative to the staid mainstream choice. Obama was so much of an outsider that many believed he'd been born outside the United States, while Clinton, the former first lady, was a consummate insider. He opposed the Iraq War while she voted for it. He embraced "purple America," while she was as Big Blue as you could get. He was a swirl of different flavors, while she was plain vanilla.

Each of these contrasts broke down on closer examination. But in part because he cultivated this image of a disrupter in the mold of Steve Jobs, Obama went on to win the Iowa primary, the Democratic Party nomination, and the presidency. Hillary Clinton had to content herself with secretary of state.

Seven years later, Clinton is considering another run at the presidency. Once again, she is the dominant brand in the marketplace, the one to beat. Just as IBM borrowed some of Apple's shine to reconnect with consumers -- adopting for example a more user-friendly interface -- Hillary will try, if she declares her candidacy, to capitalize on whatever remains of Obama's popularity to become America's first woman president. The right, without an obvious candidate to support, has already poured money into efforts like the website Washington Free Beacon to disrupt her candidacy. Several potential insurgents on the left -- Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders -- are waiting off stage.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dealing mindfully with passive-aggressive behavior



Have you ever had a friend who could never manage to meet you on time for coffee or lunch? And would sometimes casually cancel your planned get together to substitute another engagement that came up later? Worse, when you tried to discuss the issue with said friend, he or she somehow managed to blame you for being too sensitive or whatever.

If you valued the friendship, you may have tolerated the above passive-aggressive behavior way too long before finally taking a stand.

It’s time to be mindful of not only your friend’s hostile behavior, but your role in enabling it. In her recent blog post, Amanda Chan clearly defines passive-aggressive behavior and offers constructive advice - including mindfulness - in dealing with it:

(In reading Amanda's post, I became mindful of my own occasional passive-aggressive behavior.)

Ah, passive-aggression. The best way to handle conflict.

Not.

There's a reason why passive-aggressive behavior gets such a bad rap. Not only is it supremely frustrating for both parties involved, but it's also incredibly unproductive to the passive-aggressive person -- because his or her needs aren't actually ever acknowledged or addressed.

And for the target of the passive-aggression, experiencing this kind of behavior can "make you feel like a crazy person," explains Scott Wetzler, Ph.D., vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center and author of Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man. "You're being told what's happening isn't happening, and there's something very withholding about the interaction. You know something is going on, and he's denying it."

At its heart, the behavior "really is a sugar-coated hostility," Wetzler tells HuffPost. "So instead of someone who’s actually going to assertively reject something you ask them for, these folks ... indirectly don't do what's expected of them."

Passive-aggressive behavior, while expressed in many different ways, has the same roots: There is an underlying fear and avoidance of direct conflict, yet a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness. The result? An unspoken power struggle, that can appear in several different ways. Some potential manifestations:
  • Sarcasm
  • The silent treatment
  • Withholding of intimacy
  • Withholding of praise
  • Being critical
  • Sabotage
  • Running late
  • Not doing something that's asked of him/her

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

RX for the Middle East: pluralism in politics, education and religion

Courtesy of thomaslfriedman.com.

Tom Friedman, op-ed columnist at the NY Times, is promoting a radical solution to the latest outburst of sectarian violence in Iraq and other hotspots in the Middle East. In his column titled ISIS and SISI, Friedman, a native of the Twin Cities, is talking about pluralism (inclusion rather than exclusion) in education, politics, and religion.

Friedman is being true to his roots in the Twin Cities. For example, the St. Paul Interfaith Network actively promotes religious pluralism, and my alma mater, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, describes itself on its website as: "Home to interfaith and intercultural Initiatives, where every graduate has academic grounding and personal experience to lead in a pluralistic society."

It's going to take a while longer for the rest of the world to catch up with enlightened folks in Minneapolis-St. Paul, but Friedman is doing his part by encouraging a movement toward pluralism in the Middle East where sectarian violence has long been a way of life:

The past month has presented the world with what the Israeli analyst Orit Perlov describes as the two dominant Arab governing models: ISIS and SISI. 

ISIS, of course, is the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the bloodthirsty Sunni militia that has gouged out a new state from Sunni areas in Syria and Iraq. SISI, of course, is Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the new strongman/president of Egypt, whose regime debuted this week by shamefully sentencing three Al Jazeera journalists to prison terms on patently trumped-up charges — a great nation acting so small.
ISIS and Sisi, argues Perlov, a researcher on Middle East social networks at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, are just flip sides of the same coin: one elevates “god” as the arbiter of all political life and the other “the national state.”

Both have failed and will continue to fail — and require coercion to stay in power — because they cannot deliver for young Arabs and Muslims what they need most: the education, freedom and jobs to realize their full potential and the ability to participate as equal citizens in their political life.
We are going to have to wait for a new generation that “puts society in the center,” argues Perlov, a new Arab/Muslim generation that asks not “how can we serve god or how can we serve the state but how can they serve us.”

Perlov argues that these governing models — hyper-Islamism (ISIS) driven by a war against “takfiris,” or apostates, which is how Sunni Muslim extremists refer to Shiite Muslims; and hyper-nationalism (SISI) driven by a war against Islamist “terrorists,” which is what the Egyptian state calls the Muslim Brotherhood — need to be exhausted to make room for a third option built on pluralism in society, religion and thought.

Read more:



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2100 wolves slaughtered

The Defenders of Wildlife are calling us to defend the defenseless:



A war is raging. And the future of America’s wolves could depend on you.

They are dying by thousands – shot, trapped, gunned down from helicopters, left to die in snares. More than 2,100 wolves, including mothers and helpless pups, have fallen to a slaughter the likes of which
we haven’t seen for decades.



I know you care. And we need you now more than ever.
As a special thank you, we’re sending all new members our 25 oz. aluminum water bottle FREE that features the Defenders of Wildlife logo along with a beautiful color image of a wolf.
There have always been wolf-haters. Driven by fear, greed and superstition, they exterminated wolves by the thousands. By the 1950s, wolves in the Lower 48 were all but extinct.
Twenty years ago, Defenders called for the reintroduction of wolves to the Northern Rockies. New packs were born. As the 21st century dawned, wolves were making an historic comeback.
But now the wolf-haters are fighting back harder than ever. They’ve declared war on the very wolves we worked so hard to restore to their former habitat.                                                                               
Donate today and with your gift of only $15 you’ll receive our 25 oz. aluminum water bottle FREE!
Defenders of Wildlife is America’s leading voice for wolves, panthers, manatees and other imperiled creatures. We are a dedicated team of field scientists, policy experts, wildlife lawyers, lobbyists and advocates with a remarkable track record of success.
But we are only as strong as our base of supporters. People just like you.
A war is raging. Won't you stand up to defend the defenseless?

Sincerely,
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife
Jamie Rappaport Clark
President
Defenders of Wildlife

Mindfulness: the number 1 characteristic of resilient people

Courtesy of Charmeddesign.com

Mindfulness is everywhere these days, and that's a good thing. I'm a mindfulness practitioner, and it's heartwarming to see mindfulness recommended in a doctor's blog post on the five characteristics of resilient people. Smita Malhotra, M.D., affirms mindfulness as a refuge in difficult times and that has certainly been my experience over the years.

Dr. Malhotra, self-described as a pediatrician, writer, photographer, dog lover, and student of life, writes:

I remember the day I found out that my aunt had cancer. Although she was the most positive person I had ever met, I still worried about how she would handle such an overwhelming diagnosis.
Looking back, now that her cancer is in remission, she continues to be the most positive person I know. But even more than that, she is what I call an elegant spirit. 

Cancer, in my aunt's world, was a small valley hidden amongst the many glorious peaks of her life. While she may have had some moments of despair as we all do when we find ourselves alone in our thoughts, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, she never showed this to the world outside.
She never complained. During her treatment, she continued to go to work and share her passion. She turned long days of chemotherapy in the hospital into a party with her friends where they would share stories, laugh and play cards. 

Life threw her an arrow, and she, an archer herself, caught this arrow and created her bow. She knew that she could not control the fact that this arrow had come to her, but her bow could hold it stable. Instead of defeating her, the arrow ultimately strengthened her. 

As a physician, I have met many such elegant spirits. Their resilience is awe-inspiring. They have the ability to handle even the most devastating diagnosis. 

How then, do people cultivate such strength? And how can we do that for ourselves?

Here are five things resilient people have in common (mindfulness heads the list):

Read more:
 




Monday, June 23, 2014

"The world associates the U.S. with drone attacks"

The (Grim) Reaper Drone. Public domain.

I've posted many times here at Katalusis protesting the Obama Administration's love affair with drones. The real danger as pointed out by John Sifton at the Nation is the detachment of humanity from acts of violence made possible with the use of these deadly unmanned weapons.

Obviously recognizing the futility of trying to persuade Barack Obama to abandon his weapon of choice, the editorial board at the Christian Science Monitor urges the administration to at least develop "a clear policy on the use or sale of drones."

The Monitor's board begins with an update:

After several months of hiatus the United States is back raining down drone strikes in Pakistan – three so far this month. Another US drone recently attacked alleged terrorists in Yemen. And Secretary of State John Kerry has said drone attacks won’t be ruled out as the US plans how it will aid Iraq in its battle with insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The world associates the US with drone attacks. They can strike targets that would be hard to reach by any other means. These unmanned vehicles don’t put the lives of US military personnel at risk. Much of the time drones make “precision” attacks that avoid civilian casualties. And they introduce a certain fear in opponents – who knows when a drone is nearby and about to strike?

 No wonder other countries are eager to develop their own drone programs. According to a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), four other countries already possess military drones: Britain, Israel, China, and Iran. Others are moving forward with programs, including India and Pakistan. And a stealth drone called Neuron is being jointly developed by Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Sweden.

 Read more:





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Go figure: National Democrats abandon Wendy Davis


Courtesy Wikipedia.
What is it with national Democrats? In 2008, they abandoned Hillary Clinton, the obviously better qualified candidate, to support Barack Obama with his impressive Wall Street backers - Obama was the leader of the pack with Wall Street funding in 08. Now these same stalwart Democrats, who claim to be progressive, are pulling the rug out from under Wendy Davis in the Texas governor's race. Do you suppose the big guns in the Democratic Party are a bunch of throwback sexists? Looks like it.

Over at Politico, Katie Glueck writes:


SAN ANTONIO — Wendy Davis was riding high last summer as the most watched, most talked about, most loved new Democratic star. Her fans included Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Liberals all over Washington toasted her, urging her to run for governor of Texas.

A year later, she’s hit a low point, grappling with the reality of running for office as a Democrat in a deep-red state.


Her campaign’s relationship with the Democratic Governors Association has soured. She’s down in the polls by double digits. And national Democrats have all but written off her race.
But Davis is defiant.

(QUIZ: How well do you know Wendy Davis?)

“I don’t spend time thinking about whether someone in Washington, D.C. believes that this is a winnable race – I know it is,” she told POLITICO.

In a nearly 15-minute interview here, dripping with disdain for Washington, Davis said the D.C. chattering class fails to see the energy she encounters in Texas, where, she says, people regularly come up to her moved to tears.


Monday, June 16, 2014

I'm a defender of wildlife; how about you?

Dear Katalusis readers, I move that we all join Jamie Rappaport Clark and become defenders of wildlife - we need our wildlife as much as it needs us.


Virginia–

Thanks to supporters like you, a series of blockbuster ads will run in the Idaho Statesman, Idaho's biggest newspaper, starting tomorrow.

Will you help us run more ads? We want to ensure that every one of Idaho's citizens knows the atrocities against wolves being committed in their state.





We need to raise at least $30,000 $45,000 by Monday June 16th to begin running a series of blockbuster ads in the Idaho Statesman, the state’s largest newspaper.

It’s the next stage of our all-out campaign to alert the people of Idaho to the slaughter of wolves being carried out in their state.

Please donate today to help us run this ad and to continue our all-out media campaign in Idaho!

As you know, fanatical wolf haters are pursuing a radical agenda to kill as many wolves as possible. Entire packs have been targeted to be gunned down – including helpless pups not old enough to hunt on their own.

 War on wolves ad preview:  Click here to view the full ad!

The wolf haters’ agenda is clear – to wipe out nearly 80 percent of Idaho’s remaining wolves in the next five years.

And they’re doing it with taxpayers’ money.


We know that many Idahoans don’t share this view. Once they know the truth, they will demand an end to the state’s extermination tactics. And that’s why getting the word is out is so critical right now.

As you read this, pro-wolf radio spots are airing across the state. Already, questions are being raised about the state’s radical war on wolves.

But we can’t stop there. We will use every possible means to alert Idaho’s citizens to the crisis in their midst.
Please donate today to help run this ad and to protect wolves and other wildlife that you cherish.

For the wolves,
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife
           



Jamie Rappaport Clark
President
Defenders of Wildlife

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Enough said about Eric Cantor's downfall?

Billmoyers.com has a lot more to say about Eric Cantor's stunning defeat. Moyers' website currently features a post by Joshua Holland titled Seven Key Takeaways from Eric Cantor's Shocking Defeat.

For all of you political junkies out there, it's a must read:

No incumbent majority leader had lost a seat in Congress since 1899, when the post was first created. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) broke that streak last night. He’s announced that he’ll step down from leadership within weeks.

Cantor’s stunning defeat at the hands of economist and college professor Dave Brat, a previously unknown candidate who reportedly was outspent by more than twenty-to-one, has sent political reporters scurrying for explanations. What does it mean for the GOP establishment? For the 2014 midterms? For immigration reform?

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best analyses of Cantor’s unlikely loss. But an important caveat as you sort through the reporting: Be wary of sweeping conclusions based on a midterm primary. Only 65,000 people cast ballots last night — around 12 percent of registered voters in Virginia’s 7th District. So while the results may say a lot about the Republican Party’s activist base, Eric Cantor’s relationship with those voters and perhaps the mood among the most conservative constituents in Virginia’s 7th District, they probably offer little insight into nationwide trends heading into November’s midterms.

Read more:




Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl: Hero or Deserter


Bowe Bergdahl, US Army, public domain

I've been following the online and TV coverage of the Bowe Bergdahl story since it broke several days ago. But I have to say a Facebook friend's comment zeroed in on the issues with much more insight than any media pundit that I've come across. My friend Barbara Raye wrote:

I wonder when/if Bowe Bergdahl can stop being either a "hero" or a "deserter" - but a soldier and prisoner of war? He is a soldier that is coming home in exchange for other prisoners that we didn't have enough evidence to even file changes against and that we have kept far longer than 5 years. When will he be a human being and not another pawn in the political bickering between people as far away from the "field of battle" as they can get? The Cuban prison should have been closed years ago - people were/are being held against our principles and laws - some of them are also being freed. Both they and Berghdahl have a lot of healing to do. I wish them safe travel and an opportunity to recover their humanity. I wish the same for us as a country.
 
This morning the BBC reports on the death threats recently received by Bob Bergdahl, Bowe's father:

US authorities are investigating emailed death threats to the father of Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier released by the Afghan Taliban last week after five years in captivity. 

Four threatening emails were being investigated, police told Reuters.

Meanwhile he is reported to have said that his captors locked him in a cage in total darkness for weeks at a time.

US opinion is divided as to whether he is a hero or a soldier who endangered his comrades by deserting his post.

On Thursday a welcoming party in the hometown of Sgt Bergdahl was cancelled.

The first of the four death threats was sent to Bob Bergdahl - Sgt Bergdahl's father - at his home near Hailey, Idaho, the town's police chief Jeff Gunter told Reuters.

Read more:
 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What's a manatee?


Photo of manatee courtesy of Nature.Org.
If you're like me, you've no idea what a manatee is. My curiosity was aroused by the email below from Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife, expressing concern for Florida manatees, which are on the endangered species list. I went to the Defenders of Wildlife website to learn about these mammals:

The Florida manatee, Florida’s state marine mammal, is a large aquatic relative of the elephant. They are grayish brown in color and have thick, wrinkled skin on which there is often a growth of algae. Their front flippers help them steer, or sometimes crawl, through shallow water. They also have powerful, flat tails that help propel them through the water. Despite their small eyes and lack of outer ears, manatees are thought to see and hear quite well.

Read More:


Help Protect Endangered Manatees!
manatee keith ramos
Help us protect manatees from boat strikes and habitat loss!
 Manatee Button
Dear Virginia,
Last year, a record number of the world’s remaining Florida manatees perished. And this summer could shape up to be a killer – literally!
Time’s running out for these beloved and imperiled mammals and they desperately need your help!
More than 800 of these gentle giants died in 2013 – victims of habitat loss, toxic algae outbreaks and boat strikes.
Some of the ever-present dangers manatees face skyrocket in the summertime. Boaters flock to waterways these animals inhabit, leading to boat strikes that leave dozens of manatees dead or injured. And the toxic blooms that claimed hundreds of animals in 2013 are much more likely to occur in steamy summer weather.
Meanwhile, the planet’s remaining population of these aquatic mammals is packed into less and less watery habitat. Development has wiped out or diminished many of the natural springs manatees use in winter to stay warm and today 60 percent of the remaining animals now depend on power plant outflows for survivable temperatures.
Thanks to you and other wildlife lovers, Defenders is confronting the manatee crisis head on.
We’re lobbying to expand existing protected areas, and to guide future development away from critical habitat. We’re also combatting boat strike deaths, by helping to establish and expand “slow zones” for boaters in manatee territory.
Your support is absolutely crucial to our efforts to save manatees, wolves, and other imperiled wildlife. We’re counting on you now more than ever.
Thank you for all you do.
Sincerely,
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife
Jamie Rappaport Clark
President
Defenders of Wildlife