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Public Domain Polar Bear and Border Wall Images - nhpeacenik
nhpeacenik
nhpeacenik
Public Domain Polar Bear and Border Wall Images
In preparation for a joint project (or two) I went looking for freely-usable images of polar bears and the US-Mexico border wall. This seemed like a convenient place to put them so they are easy to find. I also include a thought-provoking picture of passenger trains leaving for the planets of the solar system from the 1919 Book of Knowledge. To view the pictures in their proper scale, you can download them.

Building a wall between Mexico and the US seems like a very bad idea from several points of view: ecological (this is one continent, and ecosystems don't stop at the boder), political (why do we restrict the flow of labor across this border but leave capital free to cross it unhindered?), social (there are three Native North American nations whose lands are bisected by the border, and the wall increases the difficulty of these Nations governing themselves as a unit or carrying out ceremonial activities and traditional harvests). If we want to end the illegal drug trade, we would do well to help Mexico and central american countries provide decent incomes to their people who work at useful legal jobs, rather than keeping wages low to benefit global corporations; and of course we could legalize most of the drugs that are illegal today and allow production near the point of consumption. If we had a real NAFTA, we'd let workers from anywhere in North America get jobs anywhere on the continent, the way the European Union does, rather than criminalizing economic migration. If we really fear that the growth of Spanish would doom English if more Spanish-speakers were allowed to immigrate, well, as a linguist, I say "Let the contest begin!" By acting on our fears and militarizing the border we are intensifying the problems of inequality that we should be striving to solve.

And then there's the environment. Beatiful and unique types of animals and plants thrive on both sides of the border in the Sonoran and Chihuauan desserts that span that border, and some of them have a very limited range in which they can thrive. Some, like the big cats, need to range both sides of the border simply to survive. As the gaps in the border wall are closed, and as streams of desperate migrants and smugglers are funnelled into ever-more ecologically-sensitive parts of the border,  bulldozers and jeeps tear up the delicate arroyos and desert soils, gunfire threatens animals with nowhere to run. I've lived in and loved that part of the world; it's where my Mom grew up. Going into Mexico was a mind-expanding but inexpensive experience when I was young. My cousins have gathered for decades at a beach in Sonora every year; it was there that I learned how to smoke-out wild bees for their honey, which dessert plants were nourishing and which were poisonous, where to find emergency water sources near rock formations. When I was older, I used to go hiking in the sky-island mountains on both sides of the border, watch playful coatimundis, lizards,  and colorful tropical birds move through the distinctive Sonoran landscape.  I remember the Papago piligrimage to Magdalena, Sonora, where some people crawled all the way from San Xavier del Bac outside Tucson to the old cathedral in Magdalena, and others walked all or part of the way. What happens to the pilgrims at the Nogales border now? Do they have to stand in line for hours and show passports? How do the Jaguars and jaguarundis follow the game across the line? When fishes in the Yaqui River tributaries cross the border at Agua Prieta, are they stopped or poisoned?
Anyway, here are some of the pictures:
Steel Fence at Nogales Sonora





Polar Bear from 1919 Book of Knowledge

The above two pictures are  from my 1919 Book of Knowledge. The rest are from sources labelled as public domain by wikipedia, including some from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.



















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Current Music: Si Kahn - Crossing the Border | Powered by Last.fm

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Comments
From: sonoran_scrawl Date: February 17th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh wow Jim, is this for the video and song? Do you still want to write the words for the one about the border wall? I think you would do a great job. Then we can do also this polar bear picnic video. Is this what you were talking about? Thank you for posting this. I have to pace myself as there is much to record and many videos lined up with artists...and I am pretty sick right now, so take your time if you want.

They used to have polar bears in the zoo here. It was horrible in the summer. They supposedly made the zoo better but I won't go there. Sometimes I think I need to go see my animal friends in jail tho, for moral support. But it is sort of hard. I used to feel so bad for them being in these little cages in the Arizona heat. I just knew they were hurting. I was real little then too. I don't mind the desert museum as much because they are a lot nicer to the animals than most zoos. My mom used to work there at the desert museum. She got to hold the hawks and such.
nhpeacenik From: nhpeacenik Date: February 18th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the pictures are for either of those projects if they seem useful, whenever you get around to them.

I wrote the first verse and chorus for the song in my sleep two nights ago, but I didn't write them down. I think I can reconstruct them... the tune (or at least the rhythm) is based on the old Shaker song "Industry Required". It'll take me a while. Far be it from me to push you... you're generally drawing and singing and posting circles around me and everybody else :)

I remember that the otters at the Desert Museum seemed genuinely happy in their water world.

The Providence zoo had polar bears too and they spent almost all their time in the water. It clearly wasn't where they wanted to be at all, but at least they could swim. The zoo pictures above are probably from Providence.

I'd also like to include a picture of the oversize sculpture of a polar bear outside the Stefansson museum at Bowdoin College. I think we have one my daughter took a few years ago.
From: sonoran_scrawl Date: February 23rd, 2009 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
oh good Jim, I am looking forward to this. We can always write more than one together if you want too. I think it will be really good. I am getting into songwriting mode again. I just can't sing much. I had a bad chronic cough and then now this food poisoning trashed my voice for now. Thank you so much for doing this. You are such a nice friend.
(no subject) - linskyy9 - Expand
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