Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Peaceful Country Prepares For War...

There are many countries in the world today, at least 192 as I recall. Some of these nations are not all that peaceful, they boast about how they are preparing for wars of annihilation against other countries. Some are more peaceful but yet ready to go to war for certain reasons. Others have had civil wars of one sort or another ongoing for a number of years. Many have standing armies, at least one does not. Not many have had a state policy that was extremely anti-war for their own government and people, a policy geared at preventing that particular country from ever engaging in a war. Yet, Japan was just such a country.

The people of Japan have had good reason not to want to engage in military struggles ever again. They learned a lesson about the consequences of unfettered military at the end of WWII. It is a lesson that luckily the rest of the world has not had to learn in the same manner as has Japan. Japan was the only country to have ever been attacked by nuclear weapons. They paid a heavy toll for their aggression in WWII. They learned a lesson and learned it very well. For the past 61 years Japan has not developed a military capable of even defending itself.

That is all changing, and apparently changing rapidly. Japan is about to purchase a fairly large number of advanced Patriot interceptor missiles from the United States of America, as reported on in FOXNews.com @ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210256,00.html.

Why the change, what could compel Japan to move so strongly back into the realm of nations preparing for war; what could make them forget the lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Well, first of all I don't think they have forgotten the lessons. They well remember the price paid for unfettered aggression, and they remember the lesson of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I think they remember those lessons very well; and I think that they also have learned from them very well. In fact they learned from these lessons so well to have come to the conclusion that the current world situation is one in which they are at great risk of sustaining another nuclear attack on their homeland. This is absolutely unacceptable to them. They are now preparing for the possibility of just such an attack, and they are gearing up to prevent one should it come. This time though, the attack will not come from the USA; instead it is the assistance to counter such an attack that the USA will give to Japan.

Japan realizes that China, India, Iran, Korea, Pakistan, are all potential nuclear threats. Relations between India and Japan seem stable, they are an ally to the USA and Japan. Pakistan is an ally of the USA and therefore an ally of Japan (so long as the current Pakistani government remains in power, and that hold on power is tenuous at best). China has never been all that friendly toward Japan, and the build up of the Chinese military forces has been a large one in recent times. Why are they building up, possibly as a defensive measure, but who knows at this point. North Korea, they are another story altogether. They have already fired missiles over Japan in so called tests. If they get nukes, they may well decide to strike Japan with the US military bases that are there. North Korea is an enemy of the USA and Japan - make no mistake about it. Even if they have not started a war yet, it is in the making. Iran is an ally of North Korea.

The Japanese are practical people in most respects. The one thing I do not believe they have been at all practical about for many years since WWII was the defense of their own nation from attack. They had an extremely limited military, they depended upon other nations too much. Now things seem to be changing. They are stocking up on defensive missiles. These are missiles that were developed to shoot other missiles out of the air. Those other missiles, the ones the Patriot missiles shoot down, they are not defensive in nature they are offensive, aggressive – they may well carry a nuclear warhead. North Korea is about to develop nuclear weapons, that is if they have not been successful at it already. Iran is developing its nuclear capabilities while snubbing its nose at the United Nations resolution that has forbidden it to do so. The Japanese are a smart people, and they long for peace, they have lived as a peaceful nation for 61 years. Yet they are smart enough to live by an old axiom: They who long for peace must prepare for war.

It is about time the rest of the world woke up, if a peace loving country like Japan is scared enough by the potential threat, then so too should the rest of us be likewise.

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch...

...is how I think the saying goes. I wonder if that also applies to snakes? The fact is I keep a variety of herps (reptiles and amphibians) and I breed some them. This year I bred Baird's Rat Snakes and Western Hognose Snakes. Last year I had eggs from both of these species only to have them all get cooked in my incubator when the heat element over heated. This year though it looks as if success is here at least in part so far. The Western Hognose Snake laid 9 eggs, so far 4 of them have hatched out completely, three others are partially hatched out (takes a baby snake a while to get out of the egg), and two not yet slit open (they slit rather than crack because they are more leathery and not fragile). The Baird's Rat Snake laid 8 eggs, all due to hatch in about 2 weeks. While I have not counted my snakes before they have hatched, I do anticipate a good year this year. If lucky I can trade or sell the babies to keep my hobby going. Now you may ask why do I keep such critters. Well when I was a kid I was not allowed to keep a dog or cat or bird in our apartment. My uncle went out and bought me a turtle and he also got one for my brother. I have bee hooked ever since. Five years at summer camp catching garter Snakes, Water Snakes, frogs and turtles just kept it all going. These creatures fascinate me. Of course, we now have three dogs and a cat too, and we have kept other small mammals and birds too; but we also have: several snakes of various species, three lizards, two tortoises, one turtle, and two frogs. Oh yeah, I forgot the mice, we have them too. My son likes them all too. Keeps him out of trouble somewhat, and teaches him some responsibility about caring for things. He now works his first job at a veterinarians office as a kennel worker. An okay job for a HS kid. He is dreaming of becoming a vet someday, and you know he maybe on the right track for it. Not a bad hobby, something to interest both children and adult alike, something in which a parent must help a child until the child is old enough and learns enough to do it alone, and it helps them in biology class.

If you have an interest in herps, or want to see if they are for you or your kids, you can visit these sites: www.lihs.org, or www.kingsnake.com.

If I get some pics of the babies, I'll post em here later.

Comments, only a few so far....

...what is up with that. I now have a hit counter on the site, and I know I have gotten a fair amount of visitors to the blog since I started it. Yet, I am getting very few comments. Is it difficult to leave comments on this blog? I mean that as a real question. Is there some confusion as to how to do it? I am pretty sure they can be left by registered and unregistered viewers, and can be left with or without a name. Or is it that the rants I leave here are not worth a comment? Heck, even if you don't agree, I would love to hear from you explaining why - so long as it is kept respectable. Won't you please leave a comment for me if you read my blogs, that way I know if they are worth writing as I do them, or if I need to make changes. Thanks.

All the best,
Glenn B