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Entry Number Four: Busy days ahead

So unfortunately due to the new job at Camp Counselor at a camp, I will not be able to blog.

I know, and after just beginning...

But I will be home 2 days of the week and I intend on blogging then...

Internet may be connected at camp, so that would help hasten the blogging process.

Entry Number Three: 12 U.S. troops in 48 hours

(Photo courtesy of

Okay so 12 US troops have died in Iraq in the last 48 hours... as CNN reports, 10 were soldiers and two were US marines and that "...with the deaths, 3,545 U.S. military personnel have died in the Iraq war -- 68 of them in the month of June. " That is approximately 3,545 families that have been impacted by the war. Match that to the number given by the Washington Post that in the first 18 months of the Iraqi Coalition, the Iraqi body count had reached 655,000.

I personally have no clue what is happening here anymore. I mean that to be as cliche as possible because I understand what is happening but I have a hard time understanding why we must shed more blood. Call it pacifist (or pansy?) of me, but I think we are in need of focusing more on bigger and better things than this war in Iraq.

The United States of America needs to focus more inwards, and root out its own problems, as I see it, before it can try rooting out other country's problems. A little hypocritical don't you think? Or does hypocrosy not apply to Nations?

After then, they should worry more about preserving people and not destroying them. The United States has a full hand of cars and needs to learn how to play them right. With it's power and technology it should be focusing its resources to solving something like Aids, or Cancer, of Lou Gehrigs Disease.

Ironically enough, they would have an easier time doing that than solving the mess they created in the Middle East (or MENA as now classified).

Its simple: focus more on killing rats for the betterment of human kind, than focusing on killing people for the betterment of Democracy.

(Ps. I do not condone animal-testing, or animal cruelty, just stating the facts)

Entry Number Two: Fish, fish, everywhere?

The fish are in danger, once again.

While discussing the fish quotas with a fellow colleague of mine who had a background in Fish Biology and setting quotes, immediately what came to mind was how we (the general public and some policy makers) can feel like we have the upperhand in deciding what is to become of these animals.

By no means am I an animal rights activist, and I do not condone how extreme they can be, but where do we get the approval to allow ourselves to push a certain species into endangerment or extinction.

(Now we all know that us human beings have a long history of pushing animals into extinction so I will accept that as common knowledge and move on to arguement.)

In the example of the Fishing Industry, having a background in a very fish-oriented culture of St. John's, I know first hand the difference it can make when quotes are messed with, and what can become of it. Face it, there are family and people who live solely for this little creatures. Whether it be for commercial fishing, or for that much-needed getawway fishing trip, much is to be weighted on these little guys.

Ah, but some may say, "Zak, there are thousands of other types of fish that someone can just substitute into their lives." Excellent point, but we have to look at it this way: the yellow perch most commonly found in Lake Ontario, has the highest quota, and is the most commonly fished fish for a reason - because it's most common! Very few people are willing to sit on the dock for hours waiting for a catch a Lumpfish.

Overfishing has been an issue since the near endangerment of the Atlantic Codfish, introducing a cod moratorium in 1992. Upon being introduced, the East Coast was influenced greatly both economically and culturally. Economically, thousands of people lost jobs, and since that day, Newfoundland and the region, lost something that was seen a being a cultural activity that brought together both Father and Son (Or Father and daughter/Mother and Son, etc). The following findings illustrate, for example, the economic impact of the Cod Moratorium as we see a sharp decline in revenue:
Am I getting off topic? Unfortunately not. If that were the case then we would have noting to worry about. But on the contrary, we must learn from our past, and from the sharp decline in cod populations, and apply it to other populations at hand, i.e. yellow perch and other endangered or soon to be specicies. We must learn from their habits and some commonalities noticeable between all endangering species, and apply it to species that need to be protected, so this does not happen again.

Although a lot of the science cannot be immediately transferred from one species and applied to the living habits/breeding habits of another, the basics can. What I mean by basics is the downright basic advice of the scientists and experts in this field of biology and conservation.

This brings me back to the conversation (debate?) that sparked my interest. As stated by my fellow colleague, she would spend months calculating an absolute threshold that this specific species at hand (Yellow perch) could sustain, in the form of a quota. These months of hardwork and many overtime unpaid hours, would go to waste under the pressure of minutes of politics.

So my question is: If politicians are given a set quota for a species (whether yellow perch, codfish. or american bald eagle), where does rational thought allow politics the right to push a species into endangerment, extinction or even at risk?

Entry Number One : Google Paranoia?

Immediately when hearing that word we think either 'search engine,' or 'the nifty little search engine that was made into a verb.'
Being just a common Canadian Citizen (With political background) I have never really taken into account just exactly how controlling and massive corporations, i.e. Google, can be. The topic at hand here, bringing about this Google Paranoia, is exactly how far does the hand of Google reach into our personal and public lives.

A little too far, some may say.

I personally find it a little uncomfortable knowing that a huge Search Engine (because that is how it is viewed by a majority of people) can look back into our history and know exactly what we have been searching over the past up to two years. Although legislation is in the process of being passes limiting it up to 18 months, that is still a lot of time to sift through someone's history and manipulate advertisements on one's computer that are specifically geared towards how this person uses the internet. Whether it be for high-school science projects, or for a mischevious teenagers late-night rendezvous, this information should not be leaked into the Information Banks of a massive company to be used as a profiting mechanism. There just seems to be something wrong here, and I am not the only one thinking so.

Although privacy activists and public policy makers are currently in the process of limiting the actual amount of time that this behemoth can look into our personal lives, there still strikes clear a few questions that have not yet been answered by anyone - since when did it become ok for a company to reach this far into our personal lives? and why do we make any profit off our own browsing history?