Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

31 October 2006

A Brief History of Cloning

When South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk announced the "creation" of Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, in Nature magazine, he justified his actions by saying that dog clones "could be very valuable in finding technologies useful for curing human diseases".

What a load of crap! We'll swallow anything that promises to cure us of our (often self-inflicted) diseases. We pollute the world and then wonder why cancer rates are soaring!

Then some crackpot tells us that cloning dogs is relevant to our health and we believe him! Heaven help us. We humans are insane.

Anyway, Hwang subsequently started dabbling in human embryos and was later accused of procuring eggs unethically and earlier this year, he was charged with breaching bioethics laws.

Point is, the damage is done!

  • +/-100 AD Humans cultivate banana clones
  • 1963 The first cloned fish, a carp, is born in China.
  • 1986 Masha the cloned mouse is born in Russia.
  • Jul 1996 Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal cloned from an adult cell is born. Dolly was born after 276 failed attempts ie dead lambs.
  • Dec 1997 WHO kamstig demands ban on cloning humans.
  • Jul 1998 First cloned calves in Japan. Can't even find their names on the web!
  • Dec 1998 Mice are cloned and the first clones of clones are "made".
  • Apr 1999 Yangyang the world's first cloned goat survives after several failed attempts.
  • Mar 2000 Five cloned piglets are born - Millie, Christa, Alexis, Carrel and Dotcom. This started a flurry of work on genetically modified pigs, eg they would be able to create pigs with lots of Omega 3 to feed fat lazy humans with heart problems.
  • Dec 2001 First cloned kitten - CC.
  • Feb 2003 Dolly dies of a common viral disease among sheep kept indoors!
  • May 2003 First cloned mule - Idaho gem is born. Prometea, the first cloned horse is born.
  • Nov 2003 US FDA says meat and milk from clones is safe, but does not yet announce policy to allow human consumption of these poor animals.
  • Apr 2005 Snuppy the cloned Afghan hound is born to a Labrador surrogate mother.
  • Oct 2006 As scientists continue to search for an easy way to mass clone animals, rumours abound that policy approval for the human consumption of meat and milk produced from cloned animals will come.
The naming of cloned animals says a lot about how humans perceive animals and nature ie with utmost disdain and disrespect. Snuppy stands for Seoul National University puppy. The first cloned monkey was named ANDi (inserted DNA spelled backwards). The first cloned cat was Copycat or CC, a name once again that has negative connotations.

The bird flu scare and other so-called threats posed by traditional farming will encourage the masses of the world - who can no longer think for themselves - to look to "better, safer" food supplies from the agricultural-industrial complex. And I can just see the idiot masses of the developed world queueing for their supply of Bush-approved GM cow, sheep and pig meat.

18 October 2006

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

I was chatting to Steven this morning. Steven is a gardener and he helps me maintain the tiny little piece of planet for which I am responsible, and which I - and many other wonderful creatures and plants - call home.

Steven wakes up at about 3 in the morning every day, in order to fill up drums of water for the day. His water supply is free and goverment sponsored, but it also erratic. Steven and his family of 8 people rely on water which is switched on at 4am every day and switched off again by 5am.

So he has water for one hour a day and nothing more.

He says the water is literally switched quickly on and off daily. However, when it rains and the water has soaked the ground, then Steven and his community have running water all day. But now, before the summer rains, when it's needed most, there's a shortage!

Steven has a vegetable garden and some fruit trees in order to feed his family. He works 3 days a week in various rich people's gardens, for a tiny salary, but he needs to supplement that by growing his own food. But without sufficient water, a basic human requirement for survival, he can't even grow some food to put on the table.


Britons Must Drink Recycled Sewage
UK: October 18, 2006

LONDON - Britain needs to use more recycled effluent as drinking water if it is to deal with a long-term shortage crisis, a report said on Tuesday. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) said using treated sewage was one radical suggestion that needed to be pursued if the country was deal with the growing problem.

Read the full article on REUTERS' PlaneArk service ...

This is my child Karoo-bean in a beautiful dam on a farm in Mpumalanga. One wonders if our children 7 generations from now will have access to any clean water whatsoever?

12 October 2006

Environmental Impact Assessments - a sham?

I walk my dogs in one of the last remaining stretches of open veld in Tshwane. I have met a tortoise, dassies, rabbits, clumps of 50-year old boophones and groves of wild seringas and lekkerbreek trees.

Last week, driving past the land, I glimpsed a notice on the fence. I stopped to read it. It was not in English, but I took down the contact details of and requested a copy in English. It was duly emailed to me. My worst fears were realised. The Department of Foreign Affairs is to build their HQ on the site - I can just imagine what it will look like - 15 hectares of concrete, roads and parking lots. Oh there will probably be some clumps of man made gardens too. The company is conducting an EIA to "register interested and affected parties ... solicit comments and concerns".

F U C K !!!! How are tortoises, rabbits and seringas supposed to register their concerns. They are about to lose their homes ... and their lives. But they have no access to telephones, emails and faxes. So they will just DIE.

I will attend the public meeting on 25 October and try and find some way of protesting this development, but an aquaintance who works at DFA says it's a foregone conclusion that the new DFA HQ will be built on that site. So much for soliciting comments huh?

And what are the chances of all the current dogwalkers being allowed to continue walking our dogs there? ZERO, because of course, there will be security fences and gates and access cards and no more dogs allowed unless they are working for the security company that "protects" the place.

By the way Boophones and Wild Seringas are notoriously difficult, if not impossible to cultivate, so I hope the "developers" .... ugh I hate that word .... remember to save these species and build around them!

05 October 2006

Water woes in Harare


HARARE - Shouts of "water, water, water," stir frenetic activity in the affluent suburb of Marlborough in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

Ntando Ndlovu, 10, runs down the street spreading the news that the water, unavailable for three weeks, has been reconnected and within minutes men, women and children spill out of their houses and start filling buckets, pots and even cups with water from the standpipes in the street, while baths fill up inside the houses to store the increasingly rare liquid.

The spillover creates a novelty for Ntando and his friends, who splash and dance in the puddles, but their playtime is cut short as the water splutters and runs dry a few minutes later, and the summer heat returns.

Ntando's mother, Sarah Ndlovu, is grateful. "I am happy that I managed to fill a few containers with water, and I hope this time the water will only be gone for a few days instead of more than 21 days," she told IRIN.

Although Harare's reservoirs are near capacity, the water scarcity is being blamed on Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortage, which makes it difficult for the government to afford water treatment chemicals and the necessary spare parts to keep an ageing reticulation system going.

Clean drinking water has joined the growing list of shortages in Zimbabwe, which also includes fuel and food.

Until recently the treatment and distribution of water was the responsibility of the Harare municipality, but in 2003 residents voted for executive mayor Elias Mudzuri, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Mudzuri was fired in September 2003 after allegations of mismanagement, and replaced by an unelected commission staffed by ZANU-PF government sympathisers and technocrats. The authority to distribute water was handed to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, but the city fathers have failed to deliver a consistent and adequate water supply to residents.

Precious Shumba, spokesperson for the Combined Harare Residents Association, told IRIN that some Harare suburbs have gone without water for nearly three months and, when it was available, the quality had deteriorated substantially compared to previously.

Shumba blamed the water shortages on the commission, which was appointed and not democratically elected and therefore had no obligation to deliver decent municipal services. "The hardest hit areas are the affluent northern suburbs, like Borrowdale, Chisipite and Highlands, although some high-density suburbs, like Mbare, Mabvuku and Rugare, have also been hard-hit by water cuts."

John Mupani, an enterprising resident, has identified an opportunity for easy money in an economy with an annual inflation rate of 1,200 percent - the world's highest - and unemployment above 70 percent.

"Although I am employed elsewhere in the CBD [central business district], I have employed four people who drive my water bowser to the rich suburbs, where they sell water to residents of that area. I have given them powers to be flexible with their pricing and I cannot complain about the profit which I am making."

Selling water is not restricted to the richer suburbs; households in poorer neighbourhoods are also targeted by the water entrepreneurs, but the price is lower. Formal business has also cashed in. TAISEK Engineering, a borehole company, says it is doing a "roaring business".

"After experiencing these horrible water cuts, Harare residents, especially those who live in houses built on large pieces of land, have begun seeking our services," a company official told IRIN. "The amount of business that we are doing is so amazing because there has been a huge surge in demand for boreholes."

Residents in poorer neighbourhoods are sinking shallow open wells, which have become a feature of "high-density suburbs". An influx of people since May last year, when the government launched Operation Murambatsvina - a sudden campaign to purge informal settlements, which left more than 700,000 people homeless or without a livelihood - has increased pressure on already stretched resources.

Untreated water sources have been blamed for a recent outbreak of scabies in poor neighbourhoods. Several Harare schools have stopped children affected by scabies from attending school and there have been reports of diarrhoea outbreaks, attributed to contaminated water supplies.

The minister responsible for Water Resources, Munacho Mutezo, has admitted that the state agency was failing to supply water, saying: "We are asking consumers to bear with us while we are battling to provide enough water for everybody."


04 October 2006

Our hatred knows no bounds

The hatred towards and alienation from nature, so desired by the human race has no limits. Two symbolic acts against ancient and revered trees demonstrate this perfectly. See below ...

Police Move to Protect "Mystical Tree" from Attacks

INDONESIA: October 4, 2006

JAKARTA - Indonesian police have slapped a cordon around a huge landmark Banyan tree in the capital after members of a Muslim youth group attacked it to prove it had no special mystical powers.

The governor of Jakarta filed a complaint with police after youths hacked and damaged the 100-year-old banyan, on a traffic island in the capital, in a bid to dispel rumours the tree harboured special powers.
"The city government tried hard not to cut the tree when we built a new bus lane. It is more than 100 years old and it is important for the environment," said Susi Marsitawati of Jakarta's park agency.

"But later rumours spread that the government was unable to fell the tree because it has supernatural powers and is sacred," the official said, adding that Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso had filed a complaint with police.

Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, but a strong mystical vein runs through the culture. Whatever their faith, many display a deeply spiritual attitude and follow animist beliefs and various superstitions.

Jeje Zainudin, chairman of the United Islam Youth, said the group had carried out the attack to counter superstitions surrounding the tree.

"It is not a matter of chopping down the tree but this is to counter a popular belief such as if (we) touch it, (we) will get sick or your cleaver will break."


and the second one:

Australia's iconic 'Tree of Knowledge' poisoned
Sydney, Australia
03 October 2006 11:28

Australia's heritage-listed "Tree of Knowledge", a 200-year-old ghost gum known as the birthplace of the centre-left Labour Party, has died after being poisoned, a party official said on Tuesday.

The tree, which stands opposite a hotel in the centre of the small town of Barcaldine in the north-eastern state of Queensland, was the meeting place for sheep shearers during a landmark strike in 1891.

When the strike was crushed with the arrest and jailing of the ringleaders, unionists formed Labour Electoral Leagues, which later became the Labour Party.

The tree was included in the government's National Heritage List in December 2005.

Local Labour Party branch president Pat Ogden said a tree doctor had now "signed the death certificate" for the tree after an unknown poisoner struck with a powerful herbicide.

"In April we noticed leaves falling off it. Now there's no leaves on it and the limbs are up there in the air just like a ghost," he said.

The ailing tree had attracted an influx of tourists who wanted to see the icon before it died, he said.

"It's an icon of the town, it's an icon of Australia, really, for the workers."

Ogden said he hoped that instead of uprooting the tree the council would trim it back and create a permanent monument to the party.

Since its formation, the Labour Party has held power alternately with the conservative Liberal Party of current Prime Minister John Howard.

While Howard has been in power nationally for 10 years, Labour governments control all of the country's six states. -- AFP