HARARE, Zimbabwe -- A century-old thorn tree with an umbrella-shaped canopy offers shade to players on the 13th hole of Zimbabwe´s oldest surviving golf course. The indigenous tree is going to stay, but ´´foreign´´ trees - firs, pines and eucalyptus - that were planted by early white settlers to remind them of their distant origins are now being rooted out. (Snip) According to records, the early, mainly British, settlers were filled with nostalgia for their home regions and golf gave them solace. They planted imported trees and shrubs in Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known before independence in 1980. King George
Comments: They are cutting down majestic 100-year-old trees planted by the British for ´environmental reasons´. (cough, cough)
There seems to be more to it than the hoopla about returning to the indigenous trees:
Foreign eucalyptus, or gum trees, most of them over 100 years old, are set for the chainsaw, said Mathieson. They suck up too much water at a time when Zimbabwe faces acute water shortages, and the sinking of thousands of new borehole wells in suburbs near the golf course have already lowered the underground water table, he said.
´´If we are to retain water, these trees need to come down,´´ Mathieson said. Nearby pine trees also make the soil acidic and ´´there is also the threat of falling debris from the old trees,´´ he said.
They are keeping the foreign jacarandas because they are what signifies spring in Zimbabwe.
This stuff is definitely in the "who cares" department, dontcha think? Their golf course. They want to take out beautiful old trees? Have at it.
Lot of this going around. The US has a campaign of eradicating the so-called "salt trees" ~ wherever they grow the surrounding areas become saline and other plants no longer grow. Some of them are called SALT CEDAR, TAMARISK, and variations on those names.
They have some fans ~ actually very few fans.
They came here from heavily Islamic Middle Eastern regions ~ think Arabs, Persians, Salt, Desert, Tamarisk...... they all go together along with their quaint notions of religion.
The fact Zimbabwe is eradicating them suggests the place is getting better.
And golf is a locally invented game ? The greens will be dust and the natives can play with heads like other truly nativized folks.. Remember the great photo of the Aamerican soldier playing polo , astride the tough desert pony , with the afghanies?
San Francisco has had a campaign to eradicate "foreign" trees too - euchalyptus from Australia at the Presidio - because, for some reason, non-native plants are evil. So, instead of letting nature takes its course, tax dollars are used to re-create a barren headlands. More lunacy from the Left.
Washington -- In her grilling on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated a frequent assertion in the Obamacare sales pitch --- consumers have options when shopping for insurance plans on the health care exchanges. (Snip) But a CNN analysis found that consumer options vary significantly from state to state, and many Americans are discovering that they have very few options. In West Virginia and New Hampshire, for example, residents shopping on the exchanges can only purchase plans from a single company. Contrast that with the state-operated exchange in New York which has 16 participating
The first month of the new health law’s rollout reveals an unexpected pattern in several states: a crush of people applying for an expansion of Medicaid and a trickle of sign-ups for private insurance. (Snip) “When we first saw the numbers, everyone’s eyes kind of bugged out,” said Matt Salo, who runs the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “Of the people walking through the door, 90 percent are on Medicaid. We’re thinking, what planet is this happening on?” The yawning gap between public and private enrollment is handing Republicans yet another line of criticism against President Obama’s health overhaul
The troubled rollout of the new health-care law and recent government shutdown have exacted a major toll on President Barack Obama´s standing, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has found. Obama´s job approval rating has tumbled by 5 percentage points in less than three weeks, the survey showed. In the weakest showing of his five-year tenure, just 42 percent of Americans approve of the president´s job performance, while 51 disapprove. The poll underscores the fact that Obama and his GOP adversaries have been hit by what NBC/WSJ pollster Bill McInturff called a public opinion "shock wave" this fall.
Poor, mostly black neighborhoods face double jeopardy when it comes to supermarket access, according to a study recently published by the journal Preventive Medicine. That may not sound like news at all: Scholars and activists have long fretted that poor, minority neighborhoods have worse access to supermarkets, which is tied to less healthy diets. But researchers from Johns Hopkins University wanted to see how different neighborhood traits -- poverty and racial makeup -- were related to the problem. For instance, what did it mean to be in a poorer white neighborhood, versus a wealthier black neighborhood? Researchers compared access to supermarkets,
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted down by protesters at Brown University, forcing administrators at the Ivy League school to call off his lecture on "Proactive Policing in America´s Biggest City." More than 100 students and social justice activists turned out Tuesday to protest the NYPD´s stop-and-frisk policy and its surveillance of Muslims. Many of them began shouting and chanting inside the lecture hall as the event began. Brown officials asked protesters to allow Kelly to speak and reserve their comments until a question-and-answer session. When the shouting continued, the hall was cleared.
Obamacare´s critics are going to town on the cancellation letters millions of Americans are receiving from their health insurers, informing them that their health plans won´t conform to the new federal standards for health coverage as of Jan. 1. We´re supposed to be scandalized by this, since President Obama himself assured everyone that if they liked their insurance they´d be able to keep it. And people just love plans that in some cases cost just $50 a month. At that price, what´s not to love? Back in March, Consumer Reports published a study of many of these plans and placed
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spent about three hours testifying before Congress this morning. From all of that, there is one sentence that was arguably the most important things she said. It was about health insurance plans, which are still not receiving accurate data from Healthcare.gov. (Snip) There´s a reason that this item is getting such high priority: Without a fix, insurance plans won´t know who actually signed up for their health plans. That means they can´t send out membership cards or start paying claims for doctor visits. There are significant problems with the front-end of Healthcare.gov; during
An agitated President Obama has expressed frustration to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the faulty ObamaCare enrollment website. A visibly annoyed Obama behind closed doors has made clear to Sebelius that it’s her responsibility to fix what has become an unwanted second-term blunder, according to senior administration officials. White House officials say the strong words from Obama don’t mean Sebelius is necessarily in the doghouse but that she’s responsible for fixing the problem. In the words of one senior administration official, “She’s in a tough spot. She’s on the hook.” Sebelius is scheduled to appear before the
House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders today accused the Obama administration of misleading the public on the effects of the Affordable Care Act, which they claim has forced hundreds of thousands of Americans off their preferred health insurance plans. (Snip) President Obama also repeatedly promised in his campaign to enact the health insurance overhaul that, “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.” Today, House Republicans trained their fire directly at Obama, claiming he deliberately misled Americans with his statements. “The president knew that these letters
DENVER — Colorado´s state-run health exchange has been largely free of the headaches seen on the federally run shopping portal. But some exchange overseers say enrollments should be picking up at a faster pace. State health insurance exchange officials said Monday they have 3,164 enrollments through Connect For Health Colorado. Exchange officials have insisted they´re on pace to meet the goal of enrolling 136,000 people by the end of 2014. (Snip) State Medicaid officials, who also serve on the board, are happier with their 25,000 approved applicants who will be enrolled Jan. 1 under expanded Medicaid eligibility, another key feature
Before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, President Obama promised Americans they could keep their healthcare plan if they liked it. But already hundreds of thousands of citizens are receiving notification that their plans are being cancelled because they don´t comply with the new law, and, according to NBC News, the Obama administration has known for at least three years the cancellations were coming. (Snip) According to NBC News, approximately 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million Americans who buy their health insurance individually should expect to receive a cancellation letter over the next year "because their
Amid a furious global controversy over the National Security Agency´s spying on U.S. allies, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said on Monday he will order all new FBI agents to visit the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to reflect on past “abuse and overreach” by the agency. Comey noted that former FBI Director Louis Freeh had ordered all new agent classes to visit the Holocaust Museum “so they could see and feel and hear in a palpable way the consequences of abuse of power on a massive, almost unimaginable scale.” That will continue, Comey said. But “I´m
President Barack Obama’s job approval has dropped to an all-time low, according to a new poll released Wednesday. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows that a mere 42 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, down five points from a poll conducted in early October. The president’s disapproval rating stands at 51 percent, tying an all-time high for Obama. In all, 41 percent of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of the president since the 16 day government shutdown, compared to 21 percent who say they have a more favorable view since the shutdown. The Affordable Care Act
Exactly half the nation sees the year-old killings of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya as a serious scandal — one many believe will hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chance to be the next president, according to a newly-released national poll. Rasmussen Reports revealed that 43 percent of likely voters believe the scandal will damage Clinton. That rises to 47 percent among voters not affiliated with any political party, like independents. Some 41 percent said it wouldn´t ding her chances. The impact is clear, and not just on Clinton. Most — 58 percent — rated the
White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare's rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN. Sebelius: 'I apologize, I'm accountable' for Obamacare website flaws - After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said. Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution. But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.
The firestorm over President Obama´s "you can keep your plan" lie now threatens to singe vulnerable Democrats next year, so they´re springing into action to try to force the administration to keep its word. Louisiana´s Mary Landrieu -- an ardent Obamacare supporter -- is scrambling to undo one of the obvious consequences of a law she´s voted to pass, fund, and retain: Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats. Landrieu, a Democrat
We are only three and a quarter years away from transforming the United States of America. We may never get back to where we once were, but we can sure roll back much of the mess Barack Obama has created through his misguided policies and serial incompetence. With ObamaCare´s ascendancy and impending crash, America will be on the cusp of transformational action. The misery the ACA will bring to almost every American cannot be overestimated in its ability to incite anger -- and, anger has consequences and repercussions. The failure of the ACA has the potential to make 2014 a wave
President Barack Obama will not attend next month´s event marking the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln´s Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania. Officials at Gettysburg National Military Park said Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will represent the administration the Nov. 19 sesquicentennial. Jewell and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson will share the role of keynote speaker. Other events include a reading of the Gettysburg address by a Lincoln portrayer. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett also plans to attend the ceremony. Lincoln delivered the immortal words of the address at a dedication of the Soldiers´ National Cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863, more than
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge. (a) Those letters are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim
The latest NBC/WSJ poll finds that more Americans would vote for a third party candidate for Congress than a Republican. 35% of voters prefer a Democrat, which has been steady for three years. Republicans, however, have experienced an 8-point swing against them since they took control of the House. Today, just 28% of voters say they would vote for a Republican for Congress, while 30% would opt for a third party. The GOP Establishment, engaged in open war against the Tea Party and conservatives, is simply committing political suicide. Listening to the consultant and pundit class who inhabit the "Acela line"
In one of the few political jokes attributed to a physicist, Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.” With a change of pronoun, he could have been describing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who ignored internal warnings about flaws in HealthCare.gov, botched its rollout, minimized her involvement and blamed her contractors. Now, in congressional testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of accountability or the demonstration of competence. Administration incompetence is not the final word on Obamacare, but it is the initial impression.
Politico describes this kindly gesture as “an olive branch.” I agree. Cruz, whose fiery brand of conservative politics continually draws the enmity and wrath of the GOP establishment, has publicly pledged he will not help conservative candidates oust his more squishy, Republican colleagues. The “surrender caucus” can finally breathe a sigh of relief. For now: Extending an olive branch to GOP senators, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is privately making it clear he won’t engage in the Senate Conservatives Fund’s hardball tactics to defeat his colleagues in their primary races. At a closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday, the freshman
CNN´s senior legal analyst thinks that any further investigation into Benghazi is looking at a "non-story" since "there is nothing there, in terms of a scandal." On Thursday´s AC360 Later, Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at Republican efforts to gain access to more Benghazi witnesses and CIA operatives. "This is a non-story. Benghazi was a tragedy. It´s not a scandal. Republicans are going to investigate this until the end of the Obama administration. They will find nothing, because there´s nothing to be found there," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]"We don´t know all the facts about the Civil War. If
For a moment Wednesday morning, the person in charge of ObamaCare — not to mention the largest and most expensive Cabinet department in the United States and, therefore, the world — turned into a frustrated teenager. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, was undergoing a grilling from a Republican congressman over whether President Obama bore responsibility for the failures of his health-care rollout. She said it was her fault. He said Obama was her boss and she reported to Obama, so wasn’t it his fault, too? To which Sebelius responded thusly: “Um . . . You clearly . .