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The World Wonderful: A bird hospital in Old Delhi and the ancient religion behind it

The bird hospital is one of several built by devotees of Jainism, an ancient religion whose highest commandment forbids violence not only against humans, but also against animals. A series of paintings in the hospital’s lobby illustrates the extremes to which some Jains take this prohibition. In them, a medieval king in blue robes gazes through a palace window at an approaching pigeon, its wing bloodied by the talons of a brown hawk still in pursuit. The king pulls the smaller bird into the palace, infuriating the hawk, which demands replacement for its lost meal, so he slices off his own arm and foot to feed it.

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Finance, insurance, real estate special interests near total victory over 3-inch fish

The immanent extinction of the Delta smelt is exciting a flurry of studies, commentaries, and government evasion. . As we approach another development surge in California, it is apparent that lawyers, lobbyists, academics  and flakpersons for the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate conglomerate that rules the state have invented new layers of obfuscation between the conglomerate's work and the damage it does.

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Silicon Valley joins fight against state water board

I add this piece to the archive just to remind ourselves that Silicon Valley and environs, served by the Santa Clara Water District, also draws from the San Luis Reservoir but relies for 15 percent of its water on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which gets its water from the Tuolumne River, which (to enter the Thurberian whichmire of California water politics) is one of the tributaries to the San Joaquin River which the state Water Quality Control Board has ruled must deliver more water to the Delta for salmon and other fish and wildlife, a decision which is being challenged

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Crazy Developer Kung Fu

Under cover of darkness, nobody but the special interests that benefit, the resource agencies themselves and a few members of the public in damaged regions, will know what environmental harm the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency will approve, overlook, ignore or complely fail to notice. The Trump administration, which looks so bumbling at times, never seems to miss a beat when it comes to rewarding environmental spoilers. It's all part of Crazy Developer Kung Fu. -- blj

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Chairwoman Felicia Marcus, a consequence

"Newsom will have only one board opening to fill soon after he takes office. Marcus’ term expires in January.
Marcus has said she is open to voluntary agreements, but also led the panel’s 4-1 adoption of the first round of flow requirements in the face of threatened lawsuits and loud protests by river users.
"In coming weeks, the water world will be watching to see if Newsom steers a new course. His spokesman declined to discuss Newsom’s positions, saying Brown was still the governor.

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Essay on the environment

The environment is that which surrounds us.

It is on our skin, warm, cold, wet, dry, still, windy...

We touch it: smooth, rough, spiderwebs, sand, rock, our beloveds, horses, water, tools, trees and sticks ... we touch it all the days of our lives, from our mother's breast with tiny hands till soiled bed sheets with scrawny old backs...

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