“I don’t know who was the first person to put the chains on, but I’m glad to be the last one to take them off.”
So says the caring animal caretaker in this wonderfully powerful video of two former circus elephants named Shirley and Jenny. They’ve finally been released after two decades of captivity, having spent most of their lives in what must have been prison cell for animals of their intelligence and size.
Now, they’re retired and free to live out what remains of their years in a sanctuary. Together again, after 25 years apart.
Freedom isn’t just a human struggle. It’s also a humanitarian one.
An elephant never forgets.
Watch the 7-minute video below, or click the link HERE:
Can someone please tell me what year we’re living in exactly?
Because my calender must be wrong.
Seriously, this can’t be the 21st century, can it? I swear, we must be living sometime around 65 A.D. Judging by some of the things going on, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Consider a time and place when terrified beasts were paraded into giant arenas purely for the selfish titillation of the crowd, and then forced to compete against men adorned in strange costumes bearing all kinds of weapons and tools. Flags from every region of the vast empire were waving wildly. The citizens of the republic stood and cheered, in a common blood lust for more excitement.
It’s either the Roman Colosseum during the reign of Tiberius we’re talking about, or the Thomas and Mack Center this week. Take your pick.
Among the constituencies with the most at stake in this nation’s ongoing health care debate are professional poker players.
Got your attention?
I suspect that few poker pros are following the current budget impasse that’s laced the federal government into a straightjacket. Fewer still likely have much of an opinion on what’s called “ObamaCare,” known officially as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They’re far too busy conducting surgery on their opponents’ bankrolls.
But if anyone should care about this issue, it’s (American) professional poker players — the vast majority of whom are self-employed and therefore subject to many of the provisions of the ACA. Moreover, if the United States were to do what’s become plainly necessary — which is the implementation of universal health care coverage — most poker players, especially those who are older and more prone to health problems, would be among those who benefit the most.
Consider the outrageous, some insist prohibitive costs right now of purchasing private health insurance in America, especially if you’re self-employed. Talk about a disadvantaged class. Over the past decade, annual percentages of increase have far outpaced the standard inflation rate making the current system and trends unsustainable. Because health insurance has become so ridiculously expensive so quickly, many simply can no longer afford it. Predictably, millions of Americans have fallen through the cracks. The evidence on this is overwhelming — 48 million uninsured according to latest figures. I’ll bet the percentages of uninsured poker pros far outdistance the general population, which then makes us even more of a burden on the system. These health care statistics might be a bore, that is until the numbers begin to hit closer to home.
I used to believe the campaign to prosecute top Bush Administration officials as “war criminals” was a farce.
Now, I’m convinced they have a point.
Consider the revelation earlier this week which reveals (former) President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld each knew full well that many — in fact a majority — of the detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp were (and are) completely innocent.
Not a few of the detainees. A MAJORITY.
If Bush Administration officials were aware that even a single person was innocent of involvement in acts related to terrorism, but despite knowing so still demanded the individual be held for years without due process, that disclosure alone would be scandalous. But the allegations these top officials knew that most detainees languishing behind bars inside a military prison, some being subjected to aggressive interrogation tactics, were in fact innocent isn’t just an appalling desecration of authority, but a miscarriage of justice which demands full prosecution.
A good starting point here is to expose the facts which are now known. An article in this month’s The Atlantic magazine written by Conor Friedersdorf makes it abundantly clear that top Bush Administration officials knowingly violated the rights of hundreds of innocent people. Accordingly to sworn testimony in federal court now coming to light, most of the more than 700 people imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay “had never seen a U.S. soldier in the process of their initial detention and their captivity had not been subjected to any meaningful review.”