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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4344

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not for cap and trade, not for big govt, not for healthcare controlled by govt. But this is something that truely is changing the earth.

The Most Isolated Man on the Planet
He's alone in the Brazilian Amazon, but for how long?
By Monte Reel

Rondônia, Brazil

The most isolated man on the planet will spend tonight inside a leafy palm-thatch hut in the Brazilian Amazon. As always, insects will darn the air. Spider monkeys will patrol the treetops. Wild pigs will root in the undergrowth. And the man will remain a quietly anonymous fixture of the landscape, camouflaged to the point of near invisibility.

That description relies on a few unknowable assumptions, obviously, but they're relatively safe. The man's isolation has been so well-established—and is so mind-bendingly extreme—that portraying him silently enduring another moment of utter solitude is a practical guarantee of reportorial accuracy.


He's an Indian, and Brazilian officials have concluded that he's the last survivor of an uncontacted tribe. They first became aware of his existence nearly 15 years ago and for a decade launched numerous expeditions to track him, to ensure his safety, and to try to establish peaceful contact with him. In 2007, with ranching and logging closing in quickly on all sides, government officials declared a 31-square-mile area around him off-limits to trespassing and development.

It's meant to be a safe zone. He's still in there. Alone.

History offers few examples of people who can rival his solitude in terms of duration and degree. The one that comes closest is the "Lone Woman of San Nicolas"—an Indian woman first spotted by an otter hunter in 1853, completely alone on an island off the coast of California. Catholic priests who sent a boat to fetch her determined that she had been alone for as long as 18 years, the last survivor of her tribe. But the details of her survival were never really fleshed out. She died just weeks after being "rescued." Certainly other last tribesmen and -women have succumbed unobserved throughout history, the world unaware of their passing.


But what makes the man in Brazil unique is not merely the extent of his solitude or the fact that the government is aware of his existence. It's the way they've responded to it.


Advanced societies invariably have subsumed whatever indigenous populations they've encountered, determining those tribes' fates for them. But Brazil is in the middle of an experiment. If peaceful contact is established with the lone Indian, they want it to be his choice. They've dubbed this the "Policy of No Contact." After years of often-tragic attempts to assimilate into modern life the people who still inhabit the few remaining wild places on the planet, the policy is a step in a totally different direction. The case of the lone Indian represents its most challenging test.


A few Brazilians first heard of the lone Indian in 1996, when loggers in the western state of Rondônia began spreading a rumor: A wild man was in the forest, and he seemed to be alone. Government field agents specializing in isolated tribes soon found one of his huts—a tiny shelter of palm thatch, with a mysterious hole dug in the center of the floor. As they continued to search for whoever had built that hut, they discovered that the man was on the run, moving from shelter to shelter, abandoning each hut as soon as loggers—or the agents—got close. No other tribes in the region were known to live like he did, digging holes inside of huts—more than five feet deep, rectangular, serving no apparent purpose. He didn't seem to be a stray castaway from a documented tribe.


Eventually, the agents found the man. He was unclothed, appeared to be in his mid-30s (he's now in his late 40s, give or take a few years), and always armed with a bow-and-arrow. Their encounters fell into a well-worn pattern: tense standoffs, ending in frustration or tragedy. On one occasion, the Indian delivered a clear message to one agent who pushed the attempts at contact too far: an arrow to the chest.

Peaceful contact proved elusive, but those encounters helped the agents stitch together a profile of a man with a calamitous past. In one jungle clearing they found the bulldozed ruins of several huts, each featuring the exact same kind of hole—14 in all—that the lone Indian customarily dug inside his dwellings. They concluded that it had been the site of his village, and that it had been destroyed by land-hungry settlers in early 1996.


Those kinds of clashes aren't unheard of: Brazil's 1988 Constitution gave Indians the legal right to the land they have traditionally occupied, which created a powerful incentive for settlers to chase uncontacted tribes off of any properties they might be eyeing for development. Just months before the agents began tracking the lone Indian, they made peaceful first contact with two other tribes that lived in the same region. One tribe, the Akuntsu, had been reduced to just six members. The rest of the tribe, explained the chief, had been killed during a raid by men with guns and chainsaws.

If you go to Rondônia today, none of the local landowners will claim any knowledge of these anecdotal massacres. But most aren't afraid to loudly voice their disdain over the creation of reserves for such small tribes. They will say that it's absurd to save 31 square miles of land for the benefit of just one man, when a productive ranch potentially could provide food for thousands.

That argument wilts under scrutiny, in part because thousands of square miles of already-cleared forest throughout the Amazon remain barren wastelands, undeveloped. The only economic model in which increased production absolutely depends on increased clearing is a strictly local one. The question of who'd benefit from clearing the land versus preserving it boils down to two people: the individual developer and the lone Indian.

The government agents know this, which is why they view the protection of the lone tribesman as a question human rights, not economics.

He eats mostly wild game, which he either hunts with his bow-and-arrow or traps in spiked-bottom pitfalls. He grows a few crops around his huts, including corn and manioc, and often collects honey from hives that stingless bees construct in the hollows of tree trunks. Some of the markings he makes on trees have suggested to indigenous experts that he maintains a spiritual life, which they've speculated might help him survive the psychological toil of being, to a certain extent, the last man standing in a world of one.


But how long can his isolation last? I get Facebook updates telling me what people half a world away are eating for breakfast. Corporations and governments are pushing deeper and farther than ever in search of bankable resources. How can it be that no one has flushed this man out already? In 2010, can anyone realistically live off the grid?

Some Brazilians believe that the rapid spread of technology itself might protect his solitude, not threaten it. The agents who have worked on the lone Indian's case since 1996 believe that the wider the story of the man's isolation spreads—something that's easier than ever now—the safer he'll be from the sort of stealthy, anonymous raids by local land-grabbers that have decimated tribes in the past.

Technologies like Google Earth and other mapping programs can assist in monitoring the boundaries of his territory. Instead of launching intrusive expeditions into the tribal territories to verify the Indians' safety, Brazilian officials have announced they will experiment with heat-seeking sensors that can be attached to airplanes flying high enough to cause no disruption on the ground.

I first heard of the lone Indian a little more than five years ago, when I was the South America correspondent for the Washington Post and was interviewing a man who headed the federal department responsible for protecting isolated tribes in the Amazon. He mentioned the man as an aside, giving me a rundown of the latest attempt to force contact with him—the expedition that ended with an agent getting shot in the chest with an arrow.


I traced a huge star and three exclamation points in the margin of my notebook as he moved onto another subject. Those flags—don't forget to come back to this!—were pointless, because I couldn't stop thinking about the lone man and those daredevil expeditions to contact him.

Now, what I keep coming back to is a little different: the lone man and the unprecedented restraint the agents are showing in choosing not to repeat history.


Want to tell the President of Brazil, Mr. Lula, what you think about the continued destruction of the Amazon forest? Click on the link to the office of the President in Brazil below,


https://sistema.planalto.gov.br/falepr2/index.php?IND_IDIOMA=I

then write your message, or cut and paste in the following text:

I am strongly opposed to the continued destruction of precious forest in the Amazon and throughout Brazil. The eyes of the world are focused on Brazil with the upcoming Soccer World Cup and Olympics. When will Brazil stop the destruction?
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2899

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arnold on the "protected class".......

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703447004575449813071709510.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_opinion#articleTabs%3Darticle
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5581

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally agree with Arnold on this one. The policies for retirement were locked in when the reitrement system was making a lot of money (that's why George wanted to replace social security with annuity accounts), and too many people just projected that up forever. In fact, PERS and other retirement bought a lot of bad sub-prime debt, disguised as bonds, and things went into the toilet.

But there are a couple of cautions. First, local governments problems in California are much worse than the State's--they have an even harder time saying no to employee unions. And, just as you were a fool to believe that boom times would go on forever, bull times won't go on forever either. There need to be adjustments in entitlement programs at all levels that increase employee/beneficiary pay in, move the retirement ages up, and reform the process of figuring out comparable pay. The current polarization of political positions, where too many Democrats can't say no to public employees, and too many Republicans only villify them makes finding workable solutions nearly impossible.

Remember, Arnold is a rare bird in American politics--a moderate Republican, villified by the right as a RINO--Republican in Name Only. The current re-Thugs are too busy trying to shoot or excommunicate moderates to actually listen to them.

So what's the solution mrgybe?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker wrote:
So why are political motivated Americans left and right so SURE of their respective positions?


The far left has caught on that words like "Communism/socialism/Marxism/facism", "forced wealth redistribution", "huge government", and "astronomical taxes" infuriate the right, the center, and the rational left. Thus to achieve those goals these days the far left's new buzzword and fear-mongering motivator is "anthropogenic global warming", and the IPCC is wielding it like a nuclear hammer on the UN to try to force the U.S. to take care of the whole world IAW the principles of Karl Marx. "All those scientists" don't support AGW alarm; Al Gore and MSNBC just keep SAYING they do.

The right is sure of its convictions because thousands of years of hard data prove GW is such a weenie that it's WAY down the priority list (about #20) of global threats, and man can't do $#!+ about it compared to Mother Nature.

Al Gore believes in AGW because he has pocketed $100M from it already.

I've cited many books on these issues, but lazy people tend to just watch cartoons like the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and the network MSNBC and actually BELIEVE them rather than reading serious books. (Before you even start ... Bill O'Reilly swore by AGW until the meteorologists he respects changed his thinking.)
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tonight's Hannity seems to be all about The Green Swindle; it's usually easy enough to verify the essence, if not the slant, of his claims by Googlng source documents and/or finding references in the GW books to original published research. I've seen only snippets, will record its late night repeat for details.

Mike
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5581

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's like a trip down the rabbit hole to find someone who actually believes Hannity. Eat me says the cookie!
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6034

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leave it to isobars to boost off nonsense. Let's see what he picks up on FOX.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3538

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is rare for hannity to say something based in any way on fact.He is the most ignorant among them.
I respect Beck more. Sometimes at the end of reading a script and finding out his new opinion from Fox, he turns to the camera and says
"Don't believe anything you hear on the news including this."
If you are an avid talk radio listener you have learned to ignore such insights so you rush to the keyboard to enlighten everybody.
You are the one with the facts no one else has!!!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.
isobars wrote:
as though any of you care about facts.

2.
keycocker wrote:
the last thing Iso was doing was insulting all of us

3.
keycocker wrote:
It is rare for hannity to say something based in any way on fact.


You prove my point very well. Q.E.D.

keycocker wrote:
You are the one with the facts no one else has!!!


Me … and more Fox viewers than the rest of cable news combined, as well as more viewers than the CBS evening news. If you’d chase down Hannity’s often-provided sources, you could easily verify most of his claims. Many are standard products from government agencies our taxes pay for regarding budget, health care, taxes, demographics, GW, etc., but most of the people i these political threads don’t care about facts. Be afraid ... be very afraid ... in November.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3538

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw in a recent poll Fox viewers very rarely believe the things we hear reported on Fox.
That is why CNN calls itself the most trusted news provider.
Lucky for Fox they have one guy who believes every word to balance out the rest of us.
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