[Please note: The word “Featured” on the left side above was NOT inserted by this blogger, but apparently was inserted by WordPress, and it cannot be removed. NO post in this blog is sponsored.]
“But he remained unwilling to engage in self reflection, apparently reserving the worst deceptions for himself. Perhaps his half-truths had just become part of him.”
So, so many lawbreakers fit the description above, but this happened to be written about Doug Tobin, master geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck”) poacher.
The first Bonus Book of the Week is “Shell Games, A True Story of Cops, Con Men, and the Smuggling of America’s Strangest Wildlife” by Craig Welch, published in 2010.
A major reason seafood-eaters the world over should be concerned that illegally harvested sea creatures are bought by restaurants and then served to them is: health documents can be forged by poachers who pretend to comply with local laws that would otherwise ban sales of catches from polluted waters. Neurotoxins in shellfish can kill humans, or at best, make them very sick.
Up to the book’s writing, however, the greed and lawlessness had been excessive in the region around Puget Sound off the northern coast of the state of Washington. Its fishing industry was worth about a billion U.S. dollars. Additionally, “Resulting illnesses would be untraceable, and much of the catch ended up on the far side of the world [Asia].”
Read the book to learn of the stories of the Puget Sound area’s federal, state and local and law enforcement agencies’ mostly inadequate attempts to stem the wrongdoers who sold their catches for food (rather than as pets, trophies or medicine.) and a few peripheral topics, that show how criminals endanger people and the environment, largely in the name of money and power.
The second Bonus Book of the Week is “The Snoring Bird, My Family’s Journey Through a Century of Biology” by Bernd Heinrich, published in 2007.
The author lamented that, as is well known, human beings are destroying themselves and the earth:
“We now know that letting nature take its course is cheaper, safer, more effective, and also more dependable than dropping pesticides from the sky… Like bombing, which chalks up a huge body count, spraying indiscriminately kills the good guys, too, and it keeps the infestation going much longer.”
And yet, local politicians are still endangering people and the environment, largely in the name of money and power, such as those in New York City, for instance, who spray for West Nile virus.
Anyway, the author’s father was steeped in the German mentality, having been convinced that serving his country in WWI was what everyone did. There were extremely few independent thinkers in his place and generation (West Prussia in the early 1900’s). To him, in America (to which the family eventually moved in the 1940’s) democracy was an “experiment” that owed its existence to abundant resources. The Germans suffered deprivations that forced them, for survival’s sake, to blindly obey a take-charge leader who (falsely) promised to solve all of their problems. In Germany, freedom (and scarce resources) would lead to chaos– the people needed to be controlled.
In the 1960’s, the goal of studying biology in graduate school was to make new discoveries. But all five of the author’s projects at UCLA went awry. One of them involved experimenting with honeybees, which escaped from the box the author made himself from some scrap wood. He wasn’t upset, but other students were, as the bees flew around the hallways of the laboratory building. At that time, the only discoveries recognized by the science community were those appearing in peer-reviewed articles in scientific publications.
Read the book to learn: about the academic history and fate of the author, about his and his father’s childhoods and both of their careers, including the extreme hardships they faced during WWII, and about the author’s adventures in Maine and Vermont.