WHEREAS, the Space Preservation Act and the companion Space Preservation Treaty has established a permanent ban on all space-based weapons, on the use of weapons to destroy or damage objects or persons from or that are in orbit; and the permanent termination of research and development, testing, manufacturing, production and deployment of all space-based weapons; and
WHEREAS, the Space Preservation Act, companion to the Space Preservation Treaty, introduced by U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), requires the U.S. President to continue enforcement of banning space-based weapons and the use of weapons to destroy or damage persons or objects that are in or from orbit; and
WHEREAS, the Space Preservation Treaty has established an outer space peacekeeping agency to monitor outer space and enforce the permanent ban of space-based weapons. In addition, this legislation serves as a safeguard for targeted individuals who claim to be under assault from weaponry that should be outlawed by the Space Preservation Act; and
WHEREAS, the well-being of all residents is of the upmost [sic] importance to the City of Richmond;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Richmond hereby supports the Space Preservation Act and companion Space Preservation Treaty, to ensure that individuals will not be targets of space-based weapons.
Emphasis added. In the accompanying report (see Resolution I-1 and supporting documents), the resolution's sponsor clarified that this concern is not just speculation. She states that three years ago, she personally met a Richmond resident who informed her that "she was a survivor of such horrible attacks." Who zapped her and exactly what they zapped her with is not made clear. But "[a]ccording to her description, these government patented technologies and weapons interfere [with] and disrupt the targeted individual's health physically and psychologically by remote transmission." (Translation: they hurt people from a distance.) The sponsor has been informed that "many survivors" of these attacks have reached out to city officials, only to be mocked, dismissed, stonewalled, ignored, or called "unstable."
In Richmond, at least, that is now a thing of the past.
Nothing against the Richmond City Council, but it might also be a good idea to alert some higher authority to the continuing space assault. Congress doesn't seem interested, though, because while Rep. Kucinich has indeed introduced a "Space Preservation Act"—at least three times, in fact—it never got out of committee. You could try the United Nations, but despite what the resolution says there is currently no "Space Preservation Treaty" that bans space-based weapons. Nations that have signed the Outer Space Treaty have agreed not to put weapons of mass destruction up there, but that obviously doesn't cover whatever is being used to harass this lady in Richmond from orbit.
Local media reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission decided not to charge the men, accepting their testimony that they did not harm or intend to harm the bird. There doesn't seem to be any evidence to the contrary. Experts say the bird in the video is almost certainly injured or at least dazed, just by virtue of the fact that it is chillin' as opposed to strugglin' for freedom as it would normally do—and by the way, that was a very good thing for driver Stervenson Benjamin, who was holding the owl with its large and razor-sharp talons in his lap. But the men say it was like that when they found it, they do not harm it during the video, and they claim they "dropped the owl off" in a safe place.
But the feds are not being so generous, and as mentioned last time the Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it a crime to interfere with a member of a listed species in almost any way imaginable, including shipping or transporting one. The feds are not seeking jail time, but they have charged Stervenson (though apparently not his cousin, who took the video).
Also, reader Marc wrote in with some "complaints" about my previous post, which seem worth addressing.
First, he notes, many of the birds that are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, including the Great Horned Owl, do not in fact migrate. He is probably right, but in assuming that legislatures only pass laws that conform to reality, he is only demonstrating that he has not read my book.
Second, he claims, "Northern Beardless Tyrannulet" should be hyphenated, as in "Northern Beardless-tyrannulet." (People know by now that I will take this kind of bait.) Turns out, of course, that there is already a war raging on this very issue:
Personally, I see nothing wrong with hyphenated group names, and find this to be the most confusing of the changes adopted by the IOC. My biggest problem is with the change of Storm-Petrel to Storm Petrel, resulting in all of the Storm Petrels of the family Hydrobatidae being lumped with the Petrels of the family Procellariidae. If the group name for the Prairie-Chickens is now Prairie Chicken, why is the group name for the Storm-Petrels not Storm Petrel; or, alternatively, why not spell the group name as Storm-petrel (in accordance with rule 5.B.4), the lowercase letter after the hyphen indicating that they are not members of the Petrel family?
Why or why not indeed?
I express no general opinion but do agree with the IOC that “Northern Beardless Tyrannulet” should not be hyphenated because “beardless” is an adjective and not a noun; that is, this is not a cross between the “Northern Beardless” and the “Tyrannulet,” but rather a Northern Tyrannulet that has no beard. It’s really quite simple.
I stand by that.
Finally, he also pointed out that there is no such bird as a "Stervenson's Crane." To be fair, he was not the only one who apparently missed the fact that I made that bird up to honor the hero of the original story. So if there isn't a "Stervenson's Crane," there should be.
If you are thinking, well, why do I even have slaves if I can't force them to help me get into the Guinness Book of World Records, you are missing the point entirely and are also an extremely bad human being.
If you are thinking, what better way to respond to allegations of poor working conditions than to force indentured servants to run a marathon in the desert, you must be Qatar.
Qatar, for those of you who don't know, is not the newest member of The Avengers but rather a tiny emirate in the Persian Gulf that had the foresight to park itself over a place where oil would one day be found, and it is therefore one of the absolute monarchies that we are pals with. Although most countries in that area are shining examples of progressive humanism, Qatar has been repeatedly criticized for its treatment of workers who have migrated there to build stuff for the 2022 World Cup.
An investigation by The Guardianfound that many of the laborers were being forced to work long hours in 120-degree heat, without enough food and water. In the summer of 2013, a worker died almost every day, half from heart attacks. (2014 numbers were almost as bad.) They were often not paid, required to live in "filthy hostels," and their employers took away their passports so they could not leave. The investigation concluded that the conditions amounted to "modern-day slavery." The committee that's running Qatar's World Cup effort said it was "deeply concerned" about the allegations and that it had been informed that government authorities were looking into the matter.
According to the race's official site, the Qatar Mega Marathon (mega-half-marathon, that is), was intended as a public-relations effort, representing "a decisive response to the campaign waged by the sector of envious haters on the success of Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and to their false allegations of persecution of workers and residents in our beloved country." That does not appear to have been successful, nor did they even get close to breaking the record. On the other hand, the site also says that the race was partly intended to "emphasize the importance of the participation of people with special needs in social events," and I guess you could say it did that if you define "special needs" to include shorts and running shoes.
So far as I can tell, no one (enslaved or not) died during the race. Take that, envious haters.
"We chillin' with a owl right now, we vibin'." So quoth Johnny Duverson of West Palm Beach, who along with his friend Stervenson [confirmed: Stervenson] Benjamin could be seen doing just that in a video that the two men posted on Facebook. The video also shows the men drivin', smokin', drinkin' and messin' with the owl, which may have been injured.
Unfortunately, it appears to have been a Great Horned Owl, which is a protected species.
Duverson and Stervenson may have been unaware that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 makes it a crime to "pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, cause to be shipped, deliver for transportation, transport, cause to be transported, carry, or cause to be carried by any means whatever, receive for shipment, transportation or carriage, or export, at any time, or in any manner, any migratory bird, included in the terms of [the treaty]...."
They were plainly doing at least eight of those things and maybe more, depending on how they got it in the first place and what they ended up doing with it. And the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is definitely on the list, along with zillions of others ranging from the Hispaniolian Pewee and Hepatic Tanager to slightly less well-known specimens such as the Prothonotary Warbler, Stervenson's Crane, and the Northern Beardless Tyrannulet. So if you happen across any of those, it is a federal crime to bother it (etc.).
Officials said they are not seeking a jail term in this case, although violating the Act can result in a six-month sentence and a $15,000 fine. They might change their minds, though, if it turns out the men took the owl home and ate it, as they suggested in the video they might.
They claimed the owl was wounded when they found it and that they drove it to "a safe place," but officials have not been able to locate it.
As we've seen, Florida is home to many other endangered species that people insist on bothering, includingthemanatee. It doesn't migrate very far, although it might want to consider doing so.