Here it is, another weekend. Good thing, too. It seems every week brings new and unwanted twists and turns, courtesy of our government.
For instance, now, thanks to the Democrats on the FCC, we have “net neutrality.” (H/t Facebook friend.) Awesome. Because NOTHING can go wrong with the GOVERNMENT overseeing our access to information on the internet, huh? Ugh.
But then there was this little bombshell that came out last week and which has been flying a bit under the radar from the contents of osama bin Laden’s papers collected by the Navy Seals back in 2011. I happened to catch Stephen Hayes on Fox News discussing revelation from his article in the Weekly Standard:
[…] “Iran is mounting an aggressive campaign to fuel anti-American sentiment here and convince Afghan leaders that a robust, long-term security partnership with Washington would be counterproductive,” the Washington Post reported in 2012, noting “the Iranian initiative involves cultivating closer relations with the Taliban” and buying off politicians and media outlets.
More striking is Iran’s support for al Qaeda. Last week, for the first time in nearly three years, the public saw new information from the bin Laden raid. Documents released as part of a terror trial in New York City show, in the words of the al Qaeda leaders themselves, Iran’s availability for training and safe haven. One letter from a senior al Qaeda operative to bin Laden in June 2010 lays out the plans of a core al Qaeda leader to travel to Iran. The letter notes that “Sheikh Yunis” is ready to travel and “the destination, in principle, is Iran. And he has with him six to eight brothers that he chose. I told him we are waiting for final complete confirmation from you to move and agree on this destination (Iran). His plan is: stay around for three months in Iran to train the brothers there then start moving them and distributing them in the world for their missions and specialties.”
This comes on top of what we already know about Iran and al Qaeda. As Thomas Joscelyn reported here last week, at least three al Qaeda plots targeting Western interests were hatched in Iran since Obama took office. As the administration pined for Iran to rejoin the community of civilized nations, the Treasury was churning out reports showing Tehran had no such interest. In its designation of Yasin al-Suri, “a prominent Iran-based al Qaeda facilitator,” Treasury wrote in December 2011: “Operating under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian Government, al-Suri moves money and al Qaeda recruits from the Middle East through Iran and on to Pakistan and Afghanistan.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)
This is a substantial, and substantially disturbing, piece by Hayes, and I recommend you read it in its entirety.
The absolute failures of this Administration to not only REVIEW all of the documents they recovered – only 10% thus far -but worse, told to STOP reviewing them, is simply ASTONISHING. On top of this Administration’s insistence to have a treaty with Iran. Just mind-boggling. And yet, not only do they ignore these facts, but they attack anyone who tries to speak the truth about Iran, like Netanyahu on Iran. It is appalling.
But I digress from the usual lighter Weekend Open Thread. Unfortunately, there is never a dull moment under Obama’s Administration.
So, let’s get to something about which to crow. An old friend sent me this article knowing that partly of my daily ritual is to go outside to feed and water the birds. It is a part of the day I just love as the birds chatter and sing away, with the crows cawing waiting for their snacks. Hence why this particular story was so entertaining to me. From BBC.com:
Eight-year-old Gabi Mann sets a bead storage container on the dining room table, and clicks the lid open. This is her most precious collection.
Each item is individually wrapped and categorised. Gabi pulls a black zip out of a labelled bag and holds it up. “We keep it in as good condition as we can,” she says, before explaining this object is one of her favourites.
There’s a miniature silver ball, a black button, a blue paper clip, a yellow bead, a faded black piece of foam, a blue Lego piece, and the list goes on. Many of them are scuffed and dirty. It is an odd assortment of objects for a little girl to treasure, but to Gabi these things are more valuable than gold.
She didn’t gather this collection. Each item was a gift – given to her by crows.
She holds up a pearl coloured heart. It is her most-prized present. “It’s showing me how much they love me.”
How cool is that? Now, I can say the crows where I am have not brought me any gifts of which I am aware, but they do talk quite a bit in seeming appreciation. Anyway, this is how it all got started:
Gabi’s relationship with the neighbourhood crows began accidentally in 2011. She was four years old, and prone to dropping food. She’d get out of the car, and a chicken nugget would tumble off her lap. A crow would rush in to recover it. Soon, the crows were watching for her, hoping for another bite.
In 2013, Gabi and Lisa started offering food as a daily ritual, rather than dropping scraps from time to time.
Each morning, they fill the backyard birdbath with fresh water and cover bird-feeder platforms with peanuts. Gabi throws handfuls of dog food into the grass. As they work, crows assemble on the telephone lines, calling loudly to them.
It was after they adopted this routine that the gifts started appearing.
The crows would clear the feeder of peanuts, and leave shiny trinkets on the empty tray; an earring, a hinge, a polished rock. There wasn’t a pattern. Gifts showed up sporadically – anything shiny and small enough to fit in a crow’s mouth.
Isn’t that so neat? There is more to this article, including some neat photos of Gabi’s carefully chronicled collection. Apparently, though, it is not all that unusual:
[…] “If you want to form a bond with a crow, be consistent in rewarding them,” advises John Marzluff, professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington. He specialises in birds, particularly crows and ravens.
Marzluff, and his colleague Mark Miller, did a study of crows and the people who feed them. They found that crows and people form a very personal relationship. “There’s definitely a two-way communication going on there,” Marzluff says. “They understand each other’s signals.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)
It’s a great little story, and there is also a fun part about the mother’s loss of a lens cap.
Finally, to get your toes tapping and your face smiling, this rendition of a Pharrell video should be just the ticket:
Isn’t that awesome? The mountains in the background are stunning, too, but what fun this must have been to make!
Anyway, that’s it for me. Now it’s your turn. Whatever news, or tunes, or good stories you want to share, now’s the time! This is an Open Thread.