The British army's towering bearskin hats have been a well-known sight outside royal palaces for almost 200 years, but their days may be numbered.
Animal rights activists are demanding the hats, made from the pelts of North American black bears, be replaced by artificial fur, and one protester plans to follow Queen Elizabeth II in a bear costume when she visits Canada next week.
"It is time to confine bearskin to the history books, just as bearbaiting was confined to history books in this country," Andrew Butler, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said Friday.
Butler said one of the group's supporters planned to follow the queen on her May 17-25 visit to Canada, which supplies the army with bearskins.
Kidnapping and threatening to kill your own child is awful under any circumstances but the motive here is distressing.
A fanatic vegan who kidnapped his 14-month-old son in Brooklyn is hiding in the woods - and vowing to kill the boy if cops come after him, his mother-in-law said yesterday.
Screaming that the toddler was not eating healthy food, Raphael Spindell, 34, snatched little Andre from his maternal grandmother in Coney Island Saturday and has been missing with the boy and the child's mother since.
Spindell, who calls himself Archangel and lists his occupation as "radical environmentalist" in an Internet profile, called the grandmother, Zoya Watterson, 54, later Saturday.
"He said they were in the forest and he told me that if police tried to arrest him, he'd kill himself and the baby," Watterson said in her native Russian, breaking down in tears. In a subsequent call, Spindell claimed the baby and his mother no longer were with him, said Watterson.
Spindell lists "primitivism," "green anarchy" and animal rights among his hobbies.
In case you didn't see it, somebody claiming to be the father in the story above entered a long comment/defense of his actions. I don't know if it's really him, nor do I have any idea of the validity of charges he makes. There's more on this guy here.
I just heard on the radio on the way home from work that he turned the kid over to Child Services. I'll provide a link when I can locate one. Happy ending, I guess.
UPDATE II NY1 story stating the child is safe.
Follow the trackback for some more info or click here for ScaryNY.
(From a quick scan of ScaryNY, it's a pretty cool site that tracks crimes in NYC.)
Patton at Opinion 8 has some thoughts on this Telegraph story on a new study that one of the main causes of global warning may in fact be something so insidious that it almost defies belief. As he puts it,
It turns out that global warming is, to an unknown degree, caused by the same thing that's always warmed the globe. It's called "the sun". (Google it if you want to check me out on this)
The scientists finding are quite interesting and admittedly inconclusive but the point is that maybe the eco-extremists have never actually calculated for the sun as a factor, seeking rather to pin it on "big corporations" and "greedy human consumption." The fact is that the "Greens" do a great disservice to their cause by viewing their environmental concerns through the prism of their far-Left politics. All of this leads to me believe that the authors involved in this study should prepare themselves for a very public condemnation as heretics a la Bjorn Lomborg.
Drudge is reporting that tomorrow's NY Times will report that:
NYT: COLLAPSE OF THE EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD ACCELERATES
You know that Maureen Dowd will somehow incorporate this story into her column this week . Either she'll blame W. outright for it or she'll stretch it into an obtuse and incoherent metaphor for W., Cheneyburton, or Iraq in general.
Global warming is "an emergency that seems to be unfolding in slow motion, but it actually is occurring very swiftly. Not as swiftly as the movie portrays, but swiftly in the context of human history," Mr. Gore said.
...in an eagerly anticipated study, a group of climate and ice experts says it has new evidence that Earth is not even halfway through the current warm era. The evidence comes from the oldest layers of Antarctic ice ever sampled.
Because Jack (TigerHawk) made me feel a little guilty in the comments, for more serious pondering on global warming check out this post by Jane Galt.)
Well, happy Earth Day, I guess. These guys seem to have really caught the spirit. This OpEd co-authored by apostate Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, looks at what 30 years of environmental policy has got us.
There is no doubt that the environments of wealthy, developed countries are considerably healthier today than on the first Earth Day. Air and water are cleaner. Human life expectancies are longer. Forests are abundant and growing. Developed countries have wanted improved environments and they have been wealthy enough to afford them.
But the story is much different elsewhere. Indeed, for much of the rest of the world, conditions are worse than they should be. Ironically, the very movement that made its presence felt in rallies across this country in 1970 and that thrives in the developed world today must shoulder much of the blame for the developing world's sorry state. It is impeding both economic and environmental progress due to an agenda that is anti-development, anti- technology and, in the final analysis, anti-human.
Moreover, green groups have zero-tolerance policies when it comes to genetically modified crops. This includes the genetically modified "golden rice" that could help prevent blindness in Asian and African children (as many as 500,000 go blind every year, according to the National Institutes of Health) plus hundreds of millions of others who suffer from vitamin A deficiency. Because of activist opposition to GM crops, it will be at least five years before golden rice can be planted in many parts of the developing world. That means another 2.5 million kids could go blind even though no human or natural risk is associated with planting this crop.
Indeed, many GM crops such as cotton and corn can make impoverished families wealthy enough to have dignified lives, educate their children and afford clean water and sanitation -- things we in the developed world take for granted. Farmers in Indonesia, China, Brazil, India and the Philippines are now benefiting from this technology with no demonstrable harm. Yet Greenpeace and other environmental groups oppose all GM crops and are succeeding in blocking them in many countries.
The fear of GM crops, fed by environmentalist hysteria in Europe and the United States, has prompted a number of African countries, including Zambia and Angola, to ban U.S. food aid because it may contain GM corn. Desperate Africans have broken into government silos to take GM food aid donated by the United States that is being denied them. Yet you can go into any supermarket in these countries and buy Kellogg's corn flakes and hundreds of other prepared foods that contain GM ingredients. There are no restrictions on these foods. The people who can afford to buy them do so; yet the people too poor to purchase their next meal are denied the same foods. These policies border on genocide in the name of environmental concerns, yet environmental groups support them.