Archive for animals

US Officials Rule That Monkey Selfies Cannot Be Copyrighted


Monkey Selfie

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Bad news for the British photographer who allowed a curious monkey to take a selfie using his equipment – or, indeed, any of us looking to allow wild animals to borrow our smartphones or cameras to take self-portraits – US officials have issued new rules declaring that…


Afternoon-Evening Distraction: An Important Wacom Accessory


Owl Wacom Tablet

There's really not much to this little 'distraction'. I just liked it.


If Corporations Are People, Too, So Are Chimpanzees. New Scopes Monkey Trial


Scopes Money Trial plaque

A lot lately has been made over the slippery slope quickly approaching the Supreme Court. In the first quarter of next year, they will hear arguments over religious freedoms guaranteed "we the people" and now seemingly "we the corporations" of America as it relates to healthcare. That is surely to be a wonderful case to watch and their June decision will be landmark level.

But before SCOTUS takes up that battle which will help define corporations status as "people", there's some other monkey business to be heading to the courts. Did I say monkey? I meant to say, "chimp." And now that I think about it, what follows might give the true meaning of a monkey court.

In a string of landmark cases to be filed this week, four chimpanzees will fight for the right to retire to humane sanctuaries. Stop snickering. This is real.

It seems chimps are people too, my friend. And if that's the case, it must mean that evolution is real as well. Think about it. Is this the next Scopes Monkey Trial?

Chimpanzee client

Here's the story of the law suits that are being waged.

A man named Pat Lavery and his wife had first came across Tommy the chimpanzee ten years ago. At the time he was believed to be around 16 years old and was a long time veteran of the entertainment business. Who doesn't like a show biz vet? So the Laverys took Tommy in along with other members of the Chimpanzee family. They sheltered them, fed them, and took care of them.

That was going smoothly until last Monday when Lavery discovered that Tommy, the chimpanzee to whom he has extended his hospitality and an endless supply of bananas for the last decade, had sued him in New York’s Supreme Court.

The Daily Beast picks up here:

The first-of-its-kind lawsuit seeks a writ of habeas corpus, a legal tool used to challenge a person’s imprisonment or detention. It demands Tommy’s immediate release from “illegal detention” and transfer to any of the seven refuges that form the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance—making the 26-year-old chimp the first non-human animal to demand legal rights under common law.

Look, as I prefaced, if a corporation that can't breath, eat, give birth, swing on a vine or peel a banana can be considered a person, why not a chimp?

Acting on Tommy’s behalf is The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), an organization on a mission to have animals recognized in law not just as “things,” but as “persons” with the right—among others—to “bodily liberty.”

Lest you think Tommy's alone in feeling his rights have been infringed upon,

Tommy’s lawsuit, in which the animal is named as a petitioner represented by the NhRP, is the first of three such cases being filed in New York county courts on behalf of four chimps.

The lawsuit claims:

“Chimps are autonomous, they self-determine their own lives, they are extraordinarily social, self-aware beings—behaviors and characteristics that qualify them as persons with a fundamental right to freedom.”

This really boils down to what does a chimp know, feel, smell, sense and experience. If you subscribe to Darwin's theory, they are endowed with all those abilities. We know that Corporations don't contain any of those. Their inanimate. But with a chimp, there seems to be some recognized qualities to their existence which makes you want to give out a Tarzan yell.

Chimpanzees possess a sense of self that developmentally emerges in a manner similar to humans and is highly stable over time. They recognize themselves in mirrors and on television and can use a flashlight to examine the interiors of their own throats in a mirror. Adult chimpanzees recognize photos of themselves as youngsters,” the papers state, citing affidavits from multiple scientists.

Like humans, chimpanzees have a concept of their personal past and future and suffer the pain of not being able to fulfill their needs or move around as they wish,” the court papers state, adding: “Like humans, they experience the pain of anticipating never-ending confinement.

Show me one corporation that experiences those feelings.

I'm not going so far as the suggest chimps qualify for Obamacare, but they do qualify to be treated humanely. And that's what this is all about.

So Mitt Romney and SCOTUS with your Citizen's United finding, you might want to pay special attention to these upcoming chimp cases. As you approach hearing the corporations arguments for religious freedoms, consider Tommy's case could ultimately be kicked up to your court on appeal, or a banana peel. If you give corporations religious rights, what's next? Will you determine whether Tommy's eligible to demand Kosher only foods. Oh, and let's not forget these show biz chimps were paid when employed. Maybe they qualify for social security and unemployment benefits.


Video Mid Day Distraction- Penguins chasing a butterfly


It's like they have springs in their feet. Via Boing Boing.


Gohmert and Bachmann - Stupid and Stupider?



Dumb and Dumber was already taken.

You have to hand it to Louis Gohmert. Just when you thought he couldn't be any more out of his mind, he takes another giant leap into the land of ignorance.

He spoke on Friday at the Values Voter Summit, the tea-party group where Rafael Cruz spoke as well. After Cruz got heckled and boo'd, Gohmert took the stage. They say performers hate to  follow kids or animals because it's hard to rise above that empathy. Well, following Cruz was a challenge. But Louis was up to it.

His angle wasn't to take on Obama. Cruz did that already. He was going to take on a pillar of his own party -- the stalwart of patriotism himself, John McCain.

Yes, that John McCain. The man who is known as a war hero, a former presidential standard bearer for the GOP AND the man who made Sarah Palin a household name. According to Gohmert, 'that' John McCain is an Al Qaeda ally and supporter.

Here's Stupid, as reported by TPM:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) described Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a guy that supported al Qaeda.

"I heard just before I came, some senator from Arizona, a guy that liked Gaddafi before he wanted to bomb him," Gohmert said. "A guy that's been to Syria and supported al Qaeda and the rebels. But he was saying today the shutdown has been a fools' errand. And I agree with him, the president and Harry Reid should not have shut this government down."

For perspective, Gohmert was referring to McCain's visit to northern Syria. During the official visit, according to McClatchy, the rebels escorting McCain were fighting fighters that supported al Qaeda.

Louis, I'll attempt to put it into terms even you'll understand... The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Oh, forget it, Louis, you're too stupid to understand.

Okay, while digesting that, look who came up next to speak to the stunned and amazed crowd... none other than Michele 'Nutcase' Bachmann. Catch this from Stupider, speaking on the Affordable Care Act and reported by MEDIAite:

“This egregious system, that will ultimately be known as ‘Deathcare’ must be defeated,” Bachmann declared. During the speech she set up a dichotomy of “police state,” symbolized by the shuttered World War II memorial during the government shutdown vs. “Constitutional republic,” represented by conservatives like her who fought to reopen it, only after directly causing the shutdown in the first place.

“When the federal government controls your health care,” Bachmann said, “they literally control life and death.” She called on conservatives to demand that President Obama “allow Obamacare to be voluntary for every American,” a move he already has said he would refuse because it would undermine the basic ability of the law to bring down insurance costs.

Well, this was some conference. The Cracker Jacks were a buck a bag, but the nuts were free.

While I hope I have your attention, thank you, Michele B., I'd like to remind you that we here at the Political Carnival are having our fundraising drive. I hope you'll take advantage of the link below to allow this site to continue chugging along.  As Laffy and Paddy say, "Without you, there would be no us." Thanks.


No Warrant, No Reasonable Cause, Police Break Into Home And Shoot Dogs



If you care about animals... If you care about your rights and justice... you're probably going to be sick over this story. Yet it's all true, hard as it is to believe.

The Blaze News Report:

Police climb through innocent family's window, shoot their 2 dogs - No warrant, no evidence --- REPORT: Two deputies are on administrative duty and many questions are still unanswered three days after Escambia County sheriff's deputies reportedly entered a Warrington couple's home without a search warrant and shot the couple's two dogs, mortally wounding one.

The deputies went into the home of Travis Nicholas, 22, and Cristina Moses, 32, Sunday night in search of a suspect in an armed disturbance that occurred earlier on the same street. Then all hell broke loose.

The next day, the Sheriff's Office refused to provide additional details on what led deputies to enter the couple's home through the window, cuff them, and shoot their two dogs, except to say that an investigation into the incident is pending.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Tuesday that the agency is not investigating the case at this point. I'm starting to feel like this SNL Weekend Update with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler and I'm having to ask, "Really?!"

A few days later, the Sheriff's Office, under great pressure to justify their actions, issued a release that deputies were in the area around 8:30 p.m. responding to an armed disturbance. A sheriff's office report said Wayde Morris, 22, got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend and her father, who live at another address on the street.  911 dispatch records show several calls made by neighbors around that time reporting a disturbance on the street and a man with a bat -- no report of any gun.

So just to make sure we have this correct, police are dispatched to investigate a domestic dispute out in the street, somehow find themselves inside the home at another address, and in fear for their lives, shoot two dogs.

Huh? This story stinks as much as the FBI shooting of Ibragim Todashev in Florida a few months back. Oh, did I say Florida? How coincidental that this incident also took place in Florida.

Just for the record, Nicholas denies making threats against his wife or even owning a gun.

Three days later, the police story changed because their first explanation had more holes in it than Bugsy Moran's men after the St.Valentine's Day Massacre.

The story then became, Deputies were responding to a reported domestic dispute at a different address than the one where the dog shooting took place. The cops checked the perimeter of the couple's home (still no explanation as to why) and supposedly found an upside-down bucket with a footprint on it beneath the opened window, according the report. The deputies made several unsuccessful attempts to get someone in the home to open the door, according to the amended report, so they went back to the open window and using the overturned bucket, just entered.

But the couple, who said they were sleeping in their bedroom with a closed door at the time, did not hear anything until their dogs began barking at the sound of the deputies who  had entered through the unopened window.

Now if you have the fortitude, you can watch for yourself. But be warned, you're blood pressure is bound to skyrocket.

By the way, these cops are still being paid, just on desk duty for a while until this all blows over. There's Florida justice.


Snowden is a Distraction, Not a Main Attraction


Don't Feed The Animals

Ever notice the sign at the zoo asking people not to feed the animals? Of course you have. And it's for the animals protection as much as yours. Sadly, some people toss the creatures all kinds of goodies that will make them sick, or even worse. They don't know any better and will swallow just about anything they're fed.

Well, the zoo now has become Congress and the animals are of course, the elected officials who are housed there. Toss them a non-cause and they'll take it, sniff it, and ultimately put it in their mouth and swallow it.


The latest "dangerous candy" to be tossed out there to the animals on the hill is that sugary treat, Edward Snowden. He's like a drug and the 'fools on the hill' are all rushing for a sniff or a taste. It's animal nature and these creatures of votes are looking to make something more of it than it really is.

Make no mistake, I'm not a Snowden fan, but I'm also understanding of the good that may yet come from having been made aware of our government's spying on us.That's a 'no-no' in my book, and also probably according to the Constitution which has been played with, toyed with and altered with by the the poorly conceived Patriot Act. Knee jerk reactions often result in shoddy, careless, reckless and even damaging consequences. The Patriot Act is no exception.

Fact is the Bush regime allowed for this to happen. The Obama regime propagated it. And now we're stuck, until the do-nothing 113rd congress gets off it's high horse, starts looking into fixes instead of repeals of bills, especially Obamacare. We have real issues facing us and our privacy rights. Seems Speaker Boehner finds Obamacare more important. Forty votes to repeal? Really?

Now returning to the feeding of the animals -- that's really what the press, the so called journalists are doing right now. They seem to have decided that feeding the public and the congress daily tidbits on Snowden is okay. It's almost a cottage industry. I know what he ate in the airport, I know what countries he's approached for political asylum. I even saw a report on his shaving and hygeine habits at the holding area at the airport before he gained admission into Russia. Oh, and lets not forget all the job offers and speculations regarding his changing lifestyle. Even where he's going to be getting his clothes.

This BS is commentating rather than reporting the news. They're trying to create it, not report it. This isn't a case of Spy vs. Spy.

Spy vs Spy

Damage has been done by Snowden's actions. But so has some good. Let's not blow this incident (I do say it's nothing more than an incident) into an international conflagration because it's just not.

Am I supposed to believe that all of this spying has been done without also believing that our government hasn't earlier installed fail safes, guards and protections in case of a breach? Hasn't protocol to cover agents and information in case of a leak like this been conceived and implemented? If there hasn't been, then our government isn't doing their job and maybe it's better we know now, than after it's really too late.

So far I haven't heard of a single government official that was working under cloak of secrecy who has had his/her identities leaked. I'm convinced that if a foreign power tried to find any of these "leaked agents" they would find that they're long gone. NSA has recalled and relocated them and their families. And as for secrets, you don't think the the US has contingency plans for disseminating "disinformation" to obfuscate and confuse any real information out there that foreign concerns didn't already know?

Let's get real here. People are saying Obama should start WW III, nukes and all with Russia for granting temporary asylum to Snowden. If he really was such a threat that we should go to war, he would have been found dead by now --  "an accidental" overdose of uranium poison. Isn't that what Russia did a few years back to suspected spy Alexander Litvinenko?

Russian Spy

According to The Hill in their article about Obama in Tough Spot on Snowden:

The White House on Thursday said it was “extremely disappointed” with Russia for granting the intelligence leaker temporary asylum, and officials said they were considering whether to cancel a planned bilateral summit ahead of the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg next month.

Lawmakers from both parties have pushed Obama to go further than just canceling the bilateral summit. Some have recommended moving the G-20 meeting or possibly skipping it altogether.  This is absolutely the wrong move to  make.

The White House needs to take a step back and so do the politicians who are pushing for this cancelling or relocating of the summit meeting. Are we so shallow that we've created a situation for intelligence gathering that we didn't also generate some emergency plans in case of a breach. This isn't a Saturday morning cartoon. Life is much more of HOMELAND and 24. Yes, those are fiction, but so is believing our government was really caught so off-guard and unaware.

So Eddie Snowden actually did us a service by making us aware of questionable actions being taken by what, for lack of a better term, could be called a secret government within our government. We might have been naive to think it didn't or couldn't exist, but now it's in the open. And now it can be addressed.

Put the blame where it belongs -- on our government, on Bush, on Obama, on our congressional oversight committees for not doing a good enough job. And let's blame the press too. Instead of covering Weiner and Filner, and Hillary Clinton's new hairstyle, let's press the press to start pressing for answers to questions they should be asking.

There's enough blame to go around for years to come -- but  can't we start cleaning up our act and behave with the intelligence we know we all have? There's been a breech. Snowden was simply the messenger. And if it wasn't him, it would ultimately have been someone else. We should lessen the fixation on this man. Whatever he's got to "share" with our potential enemies, has already been addressed. And maybe that wake-up call will serve us all well. Maybe our NSA advisors, our CIA and FBI directors and the other secret government running amok without our knowing about it will be forced into taking some new steps, generating advances in intelligence gathering and maybe it'll even be more selective, so that you phone calls, your emails, your walking down the street or your shopping habits at the grocery store won't be cataloged and your privacy infringed.

I want security, but responsibly done, and within the law. No man/woman should have the right to unilaterally write the law as it suits him/her. If you want to take an action, get a law to allow for it. If not, we have a dictatorship. I don't think we signed on for that.

Don't mistake this essay for not caring. I care very much. But not about Snowden. He's a welcomed wake-up call for all of us. Now we need to have leadership that guides us through a tough challenge. This is our test. Not Russia's. We have to prevail and stay protected.

Just like the Boy Scouts motto, "Be Prepared." Well, dammit, we should be -- and that means keeping doors open to our adversaries (and I'm not sure Russia is, but giving a liberal translation, I'll say they're questionable competitors). If they're working behind closed doors, don't we want them opened? Shunning the G-20 or any talks with Russia can only accelerate the fears here. And when we start fanning those fears, you're inviting today's Joe "Red Scare" McCarthys -- Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Lindsay Graham -- to make a mockery of our system, the likes of which we haven't seen since the '50s.

So Mr. Obama, you keep working with the Russians to help solve our global crises, keeping us safe, working in unity and don't fall for GOP crazies when they say use the Winter Olympics as a chip to peace. Use your head and not the hollow echoes of war-mongering promoters. If you squint and the light is just right, you might be able to make out the distant image of Dick Cheney in all of this.

My advice simply, Mr. President, is just don't feed the animals.