Destiny?

There are people I know–many of whom I’ve known almost a lifetime– who are convinced Donald Trump should be our next president.  I have grown up with these people; played with them; gone to school with them; laughed and cried with them; drank beer with them.  Our children were playmates.  We all believed in America; believed we were on the right moral path; strove for success, not only for ourselves but to pass it on to our children and their children.  Many of us had to abandon the remnants of the past; the racial biases; religious biases; the disdain for those who loved differently than us; and I believed all of us had.

It’s not that we haven’t had political views that are conflicting.  That is not an unhealthy condition between friends.  Such alternative views stimulate the thought process and often result in the finding of a common ground based on moral values and common sense.  But Donald Trump is not an alternative view.  He is neither a conservative or a progressive or a moderate.  He meets all the criteria of promoting a path of that of a fascist dictator[i], a sociopathic being whose focus on anything else but himself rapidly dissipates.

It is assumed that all politicians are liars, or at least adept in embellishing the truth.  Donald Trump is more than that; he is unequivocally an unabashed liar.  And what he doesn’t outwardly lie about, he either disparages or ignores.  His refusal to allow inspection of his tax returns should ring an alarm loud and clear and yet he began his political career on questioning the authenticity of our President’s birth certificate.  But the lies go on, even though totally disproven, and the adoration is unfazed.  It is over-written by a slogan on a ball cap– not a plan–to “Make America Great Again!”

It’s uncanny to me that so many Christians have readily embraced him.  A man with no religious history; a man whose actions defy Jesus’ teachings that “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17); a man who believes in never turning the other cheek; a man who outwardly brags he has nothing to be forgiven for.  What happened to you moral compass?

To those of you whom I direct this concern:  I cannot grasp your attraction; that you are satisfied that Donald Trump embodies what America has been, what it is, and what it should be in the future.  You appear delighted with his demeaning attitude toward other ideas, including discounting science should it interfere with the bank account; his disdain for other races and genders; and his support of torture; his propensity of developing demeaning names to describe those with whom he disagrees.  Do you really want him as your American role model for the rest of the world?  Are you satisfied that only he can “fix” things (even if he hasn’t produced any plans of any kind)?  I would have to concede you must have lost your minds.

The realization that you, my current and former colleagues, friends and, yes… loved ones, would embrace such a person to represent our American values to the rest of the world is beyond my comprehension…or forgiveness.  I must conclude that I couldn’t ever have  really known you or that you cleverly deceived me as to your true values, not values based on charity, family, compassion, honesty or dignity, but those based on personal greed and self-serving values abandoning any consideration of others, and the future of the world, it’s peoples and even your own grandchildren.

I cannot recall a time I have been so saddened.

[i] A regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

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PANAMA (Again!!!)

PANAMA!

Canal

But it’s not just a canal!

Birders

What a place for birds… almost 950 species.  The birders in the group logged about 300of them in 8 days.  Not so good for the photographer (me) as the bulk of the birds were either high in the rain forest canopy or flitting through the dense undergrowth making finding, focusing, and photographing a real challenge.  Still…I got images of almost 50 species (that included 9 species of raptors), 7 mammals and various butterflies.

Trail

It was hot, humid and rained a lot but well worth the discomfort.

Rain

Lots of rainy days.

Forest

Finding a bird in here and trying to focus and get an image is easy…Right?

Wetlands

Open lands in the valleys provide extensive wetland habitats.

Here’s a smattering of the images I got:

RAPTORS

Ornate Hawk-Eagle 3x

Ornate-hawk-eagle-The grand prize of the trip.

White & Black Hawk-eagle 3x

White & Black Hawk-eagle

Black Hawk-eagle 1x

Black Hawk-eagle

Yellow-headed Caracara 1x

Yellow-headed Caracara

Plumbous Hawk 1x

Plumbous Kite

Savannah Hawk 2x

Savannah Hawk

Pearl Kite 1x

Pearl Kite

Snail Kite 1x

Snail Kite-Coming in a close second

Striped Owl 1x

Striped Owl

 

WATER BIRDS

Common Moorehen 1x

Common Moorehen

Pied Water Tyrant 1x

Pied Water-tyrant

 

ARBOREAL BIRDS

Purple-throated Fruit Crow 1x

Purple-throated Fruit-crow

Golden-collared Manakin 1x

Golden-collared Manakin

Trogon 2x

Slaty-tailed Trogon

 

Smooth-billed Ani 1x

Smooth-billed Ani

Orange-chinned Parakeet 1x

Orange-chinned Parakeet

Linneated Woodpecker 1x

Linneated Woodpecker

Blue-crowned Motmot 1x

Blue-crowned Motmot

Chestnut-headed Oropendola 1x

Chestnut-headed Oropendola

 

HUMMINGBIRDS

Black-throated Mango 1x

Black-throated Mango

White-necked Jacobin 2x

White-necked Jacobin

Long-billed Starfrontlet 1x

Purple-throated Starfrontlet

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird 3x

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird

 

MAMMALS

Tamandua 3x

Tamandua 1x

Tamandua-Very exciting to spend 10 minutes following this small anteater through the rainforest.

2 -toed Sloth 1x

2-Toed Sloth

3-toed Sloth 1x

3-Toed Sloth with baby

Sloths don’t move much so where they are when you see them, that’s where they stay.

Geoffery's Tamarin 2x

Geoffery's Tamarin 3x

Geoffery’s Tamarin-Only 9 inches tall with a 15 inch tail, they were lured with bananas

White-faced Capuchin 3x

White-faced Capuchin

Hower 1x

Black Howler Monkey

Bats 1x

Unidentified Bat

Agouti 1x

And the ubiquitous Agouti