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Name: Paul
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Mar 31, 2010, 03:20 PM
Number of posts: 3,829

Journal Archives

Israel evacuates hundreds of Palestinians to conduct army training

Source: Ma'an News Agency

Hundreds of Palestinians are being evacuated from the northern Jordan Valley to make way for an Israeli military training exercise, local officials told Ma'an.

Villagers received orders this week from the Israeli army to leave their homes for the duration of the exercise, which begins on Sunday.

Daraghmeh said some families would be permitted to return after a two-day exercise, while others were told to leave their homes permanently.

He said several Israeli departments were working together to pressure Palestinians to leave the Jordan Valley in order to build Jewish settlements and military bases.

Read more: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=535050

This is ethnic cleansing at work, on land that Israel has no right to be in. This is news, but unfortunately it happens below the US radar, and by the country that receives far more support from the US than any other.

Osama Confession Video

There's a thread in General Discussion where someone questions the authenticity of the "Osama Confession Video."


Some point to this picture taken from the video of Osama's conversation about his foreknowledge of 9-11:


That looks fat for Osama. I haven't seen any frame in the "Confession Video" where Osama looks like that. I think there are other versions of the video where Osama may look fat. Here's some evidence that the video is genuine.

They may have used a cheap subtitle editing program on the video that seems to have created a variable appearing Osama in the "Confession Video." That may be what altered the aspect ratio. But there seems to be different copies with some videos showing Osama particularly fat in parts. There are also scenes in the better videos where Osama looks perfectly like himself.

It seems to have been, at the minimum, a deliberate attempt to mislead by choosing the worst moment in the video where Osama looks the least like himself.

From same video, compared with known Osama pictures:


That sure looks like Osama to me, and he talks about his foreknowledge of 9-11 in the video.

More info here: http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Confession_video

Arizona Birding

Late last month I drove from my home in Florida to southeastern Arizona and Southern California for a few weeks of birding and visiting my family in San Diego.

In San Diego I met up with a friend and we headed out for a quick three days in southeastern Arizona. We started at Madera Canyon, which is a few dozen miles south of Tucson, for the first of two hikes up a couple of trails (Super Trail - which starts from the top of the road in Madera Canyon, and then Kent Springs Trail - which starts from Bog Spring Campground).

The following montage is a sample of some of the birds and other critters we had on the two hikes. Going clockwise starting from the upper left: Scarlet Tanager (a rare bird for Arizona that is summered there), Yarrow Spiny Lizard, Graces Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Plumbeous Vireo, Hepatic Tanager, Brown Creeper, and Red-faced Warbler:

After our hike we headed southwest almost to the Mexican border hoping to reach California Gulch for the localized Five-stripe Sparrow. Unfortunately this is when I discover my friend’s vehicle had very old tires. He had a flat. We had to quickly get to a tire shop before they closed. We’ll try again tomorrow for the Five-stripe Sparrow. About an hour after getting a replacement tire my friend had a second flat!

The next morning we visited lower elevation areas in and around Madera Canyon, including nearby Montosa Canyon. Going clockwise starting from the upper left: Black-chinned Hummingbird, tarantula, Gray Fox, American Black Bear, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Botteri’s Sparrow, Varied Bunting, and Lesser Nighthawk in the center:

After he replaced the rest of his tires we tried again for the Five-striped Sparrow. The monsoon summer rains have been good this year in southeastern Arizona, and we saw ominous clouds where we were going. This was our last chance for the Five-striped Sparrow so we went anyways – bad idea.

It started raining hard when we were on a dirt road (Ruby Road) and the water started rushing across the road at spots. At this time we turned back east – too late. We were trapped by a flash flood and we soon found out (from another trapped motorist) that Ruby Road was washed out on the west side. Fortunately, after a couple of hours of listening to my very unhappy friend, the waters receded and we headed east out of the area.


The next day, after doing our second hike above Madera Canyon, we headed to Miller Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. We visited Beatty’s Guest Ranch http://www.beattysguestranch.com/ where we saw nine species of hummingbirds and a Spotted Owl that is regularly found nearby.

Going clockwise starting from the upper left: Broad-billed Hummingbird, Spotted Owl, Blue-throated Hummingbird, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and White-eared Hummingbird:

After this we drove back to San Diego.

I recently got back home from San Diego.

Maine Atlantic Puffin and more

Recently I took a trip to Maine. I took several boat trips out to some Atlantic Puffin colonies.

The first two photos are an Atlantic Puffin and a Razorbill. These were taken on Machias Seal Island, Maine. This island near Canada is the only place in the US where you can land on an island and photograph Atlantic Puffins through a blind. The trip departs from Cutler, Maine:
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The next photos were taken near Eastern Egg Rock, which is a small island near New Harbor, Maine. This has the most southerly breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins in the US. This trip is much shorter and cheaper than the one to Machias Seal Island. Unlike Machias Seal Island, Razorbills are scarce here; but the birding is still good.

The first photo is a Common Murre. The second photo is a Magnolia Warbler, which followed the boat for a while. The montage includes endangered Roseate Terns, with a Common Tern (top middle) and an Arctic Tern (lower right) (both perched in the same photo near a Roseate Tern) for comparison. It takes some effort to spot the few Roseate Terns among the numerous terns. Their black bills and paler coloration helps. The trip departs from New Harbor, Maine:
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I look forward to making a return trip to Maine sometime soon.
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