This is a video from Britain about a hobby feeding.
This video from Louisiana in the USA says about itself:
Louisiana Wetlands – What we are losing?
26 May 2010
View unique images at: http://www.bayoubellephotography.com. I made this video in July 2009 for the purpose of helping save our wetlands through the non-profit organization “For The Bayou.” Little did I know that it would also serve as a pictorial representation of the beautiful scenery we are loosing due to this catastrophic oil disaster. Mr. President are you watching???
By Greg Palast from the USA:
Crime scene: New Orleans
Monday 1st September 2014
Nine years ago, New Orleans drowned. Don’t you dare blame Mother Nature.
Ms Katrina killed no-one in this town. But it was a homicide, with nearly 2,000 dead victims.
If not Katrina, who done it? Who is to blame for the crushing avalanche of water that buried this city?
These are the total acres of wetlands removed by just four oil companies over the past couple of decades.
If you’re not a farmer, I’ll translate this into urban-speak — that’s 14,688 square miles drowned into the Gulf of Mexico.
Here’s what happened. New Orleans used be to a long, swampy way from the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricanes and storm surges had to cross a protective mangrove forest nearly 100 miles thick.
Most of those beautiful bayous you see on postcards are just scars, the cuts and wounds of drilling the prairie, once the US’s cattle-raising centre. The bayous, filling with ’gators and shrimp, widened out and sank the coastline.
Each year, oil operations drag the gulf four miles closer to New Orleans.
Just one channel dug for Exxon’s pleasure, the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, was dubbed the “Hurricane Highway” by experts — long before Katrina — that invited the storm right up to and over the city’s gates, the levees.
Without Big Oil’s tree and prairie holocaust, “Katrina would have been a storm of no note,” Professor Ivor van Heerden told me.
Van Heerden, once deputy director of the Hurricane Centre at Louisiana State University, is one of the planet’s leading experts on storm dynamics.
If they’d only left just 10 per cent of the protective collar. They didn’t.
Van Heerden was giving me a tour of the battle zone in the oil war. It was New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, which once held the largest concentration of African-American-owned homes in the US. Now it holds the largest contrition of African-American-owned rubble.
We stood in front of a house, now years after Katrina, with an “X” spray-painted on the outside and “1 DEAD DOG,” “1 CAT,” the number 2 and “9/6” partly covered by a foreclosure notice.
The professor translated: “9/6” meant rescuers couldn’t get to the house for eight days, so the “2” — the couple that lived there — must have paddled around with their pets until the rising waters pushed them against the ceiling and they suffocated, their gas-bloated corpses floating for a week.
In July 2005 van Heerden told Channel 4 Television: “In a month, this city could be underwater.”
In one month, it was. Van Heerden had sounded the alarm for at least two years, even speaking to George Bush’s White House about an emergency condition — with the gulf closing in, the levees were 18 inches short.
So when those levees began to fail, the White House, hoping to avoid federal responsibility, did not tell Louisiana’s governor Kathleen Blanco that the levees were breaking up.
That Monday night, August 29, with the storm bypassing New Orleans, the governor had stopped the city’s evacuation.
Van Heerden was with the governor at the State Emergency Centre.
He said: “By midnight on Monday the White House knew. But none of us knew.”
So the drownings began in earnest.
Van Heerden was supposed to keep that secret. He didn’t. He told me, on camera — knowing the floodwater of official slime would break over him.
He was told to stay silent, to bury the truth. But he told me more. A lot more.
“I wasn’t going to listen to those sort of threats, to let them shut me down.”
Well, they did shut him down. After he went public about the unending life-and-death threat of continued oil drilling and channelling, LSU closed down its entire Hurricane Centre — can you imagine? — and fired Prof van Heerden and fellow experts.
This was just after the university received a $300,000 cheque from Chevron. The cheque was passed by a front group called “America’s Wetlands” — which lobbies for more drilling in the wetlands.
In place of van Heerden and independent experts, LSU’s new “Wetlands Centre” has professors picked by a board of petroleum industry hacks.
In 2003, people in the US protested “No Blood for Oil” in Iraq. It’s about time we said: “No Blood for Oil” — in Louisiana.
There are more revelations from Professor van Heerden in Greg Palast’s bestseller Vultures’ Picnic (Constable Press). Palast is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse.
This summer, there was a red-backed shrike nest there; for the first time since 1978.
There was a bee-eater nest as well.
This video from Kansas in the USA says about itself:
21 December 2010
For his Winter Reading 2011 Suggested Read, Bluford Library Tech Bernie Norcott-Mahany brings you The Iron Heel by Jack London — yes, the same Jack London that wrote The Call of the Wild. Considered the first dystopian novel of the 20th Century, The Iron Heel packs many surprises. Get Bernie’s take on the book, and find out how you can take part in Adult Winter Reading at the Kansas City Public Library.
By Robert Clive Turnbull in Britain:
Jack London: A warning for our time
Monday 1st September 2014
ROBERT CLIVE TURNBULL asks what lessons we can learn from the classic dystopian novel The Iron Heel
THE radical socialist publisher Charles Kerr of Chicago once famously said that there could be no educated socialists without socialist books.
In an age of so-called mass literacy where socialist ideas are increasingly becoming the talk of the chattering classes once again — witness Thomas Piketty and his book Capital — what can an earlier generation of socialist writers teach us about class struggle and the methods needed to combat the neoliberal onslaught?
Jack London (1876-1916) is part of that radical tradition of writers on the US left.
Like his contemporary John Reed, London worked hard, played hard and died young.
His novels, including Call of the Wild, White Fang, People of the Abyss, The Iron Heel and the autobiographical Martin Eden, describe a world in which people are struggling for meaning and purpose in the face of overwhelming hostility.
In the Iron Heel, for example, London describes the struggle of Edward and Avis Everhard and their battle with the Iron Heel — or the Oligarchy.
The “Iron Heel” are the major trusts or corporations which crush all competition and in the process condemn much of the human race to virtual serfdom.
Does this sound familiar? It’s sobering to realise that London wrote this novel in 1908 and his vision of the future has come very close to being realised.
For the Oligarchy of 1908, we could just as easily substitute many of the leading international conglomerates of 2014. It’s a frightening prospect.
In much the same way that international capital sought to buy off the working class after WWII with higher wages, consumerism and free education, the Iron Heel describes a situation in which the Oligarchy maintain power through what they call a labour caste and through the actions of mercenaries.
These are, in effect, trade union leaders who claim to be representing the working class but in reality are in the pay of the Oligarchy.
Again does this sound all too familiar? There are numerous examples that could be cited.
The actions of Labour MP and National Union of Railwaymen leader Jimmy Thomas and others during the general strike for example, or Neil Kinnock’s disgraceful decision not to back the miners in 1984-85.
At the time London wrote the Iron Heel, Samuel Gompers was in charge of the American Federation of Labour, which sought to work within the existing system.
Again this is exactly what has happened with regard to the so-called Labour Party and its representatives on the TUC and other bodies.
In many cases labour movement leaders have been co-opted by the very forces that they were originally set up to oppose, and this situation needs to change. So what can we do?
The working class of 1908 is not the same as the working class of 2014 and yet we face an unparalleled onslaught on our wages, living conditions, pay and pensions, the likes of which we have never seen before.
I want to suggest that the fightback has to begin with education — in the same way that Kerr referred to.
That fightback has to begin in schools, in colleges, in community workplaces, in organisations such as the People’s Assembly and others — but more than anything it needs the left to be united.
There is no scope for the petty doctrinal divisions that have tortured the British left for generations.
In the end the only people that can save the working class are the working class themselves.
As Noah Ablett famously remarked in 1909, “if the education of the workers is to square with the ultimate object of the workers — social emancipation — then it is necessary that such educational institutions be in the hands of the workers. Beware of the sounding brass and the tinkling cymbal of ruling-class professed sympathies with labour.”
This video from the USA is called The Burrowing Owl‘s Cozy Home.
From the San Jose Mercury News in the USA:
By Andie Waterman
08/26/2014 12:04:21 PM PDT
SAN JOSE — As a crow perches on a mound of earth, a pint-size chestnut-feathered owl emerges in front of it. The crow sits still, but the owl leaps forward, collides with the crow head-on and knocks it backward. The owl swoops away.
The confrontation in Alviso was captured on a motion-sensor camera that is documenting the rising population of burrowing owls at a South Bay preserve — a trend that runs counter to an overall decline in the species.
And the photos and videos are providing a look at how the owls live.
Josh McCluskey, burrowing owls project manager for SCVAS, is among those who have been reviewing the footage of the western burrowing owl since the March installation of motion-sensor cameras that monitor a 180-acre owl habitat near the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility in Alviso.
Since 2012, a partnership between the Audubon Society and San Jose’s Environmental Services Department, with the help of environmental studies experts and students from San Jose State and De Anza College, has created ideal conditions for the burrowing owl habitat.
That year very few owls lived on the Alviso site. Now there are 14 adults and 29 chicks.
“This is the one place where their population can be built up to repopulate other areas, to be able to create habitats for them elsewhere,” said Shani Kleinhaus, burrowing owl environmental advocate with the Audubon Society. “This is the one place where the population is increasing in the Bay Area.”
The burrowing owls — who are on average 9 inches tall and weigh a quarter of a pound — are the only species of owl that lives in underground burrows. They are found in various places in California, such as the Bay Area and Imperial Valley, and also some locations in Mexico and Canada.
They are unusual among owls, according to Philip Higgins, biologist for the city of Mountain View, because they don’t have ear tufts, are awake during the day as well as at night and do not hoot.
The Bay Area’s burrowing owl population in the mid-1980s was estimated to be around 560 to 640 adult owls, three-fourths of them in the South Bay. By the 1990s the population had decreased by about 50 percent, and in 2009 there were only an estimated 70 adults left in the South Bay.
Two years ago, Higgins warned the burrowing owl — listed by the state and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a “species of conservation concern” but not yet endangered — could become extinct by 2032.
A plan to create buffer zones to protect the owls was drawn up that same year by Higgins and Lynne Trulio, professor of environmental studies at San Jose State. They blamed the decline on habitat loss and lack of sufficient prey.
When the then-San Jose-Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant (now the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility) filed an environmental impact report in 2009 for future development of 2,600 acres of mostly barren land around the plant, the Audubon Society sought a dedicated space for the owls, and the city allocated 180 acres for the habitat.
Volunteers from the Audubon Society and city staff members began building artificial burrows and dirt mounds on the Alviso site for the owls, who make a mess in the burrows and then leave. The mounds attract squirrels, which create tunnels that owls can move into later.
Owls “can move to the next burrow, then the ground squirrels will move back in and the ground squirrels are very clean and they’ll clean it all out and make it nice and neat,” said McCluskey. “And then the owls will move right back in.”
Volunteers also mowed the grass for the owls, which need grass to be shorter than 5 inches to scan the area for predators and prey, and put in perches to make scanning easier.
A year later, they saw more owls in the area, six adult pairs and 10 chicks.
“I like to call it a recipe and the recipe was really basic, like pound cake,” said Ken Davies, the city’s environmental services department compliance officer. “Put three things in there and you get this nice thing.”
In addition to the Alviso site, owls are still present and protected at Shoreline Park in Mountain View, Moffett Field, and Mineta San Jose International Airport. But the Alviso habitat is considered ideal because it is restricted from the public and can be controlled.
“The only way to save them is to use existing sites,” said Higgins. “If you lose one of (the sites), you’re just increasing the chances of the bird becoming extinct in the area.”
Installing motion-sensor cameras in March of this year made it easier to keep track of the owls, and gave observers insight into owls’ lives.
Much of the city staff and Audubon Society’s work involves the grind of separating photos of windswept brush from owl photos. But there have also been photos of young owls divebombing into each other to practice their hunting skills, and a video of an owl chasing a squirrel out of its burrow.
“They’re a very charismatic bird,” said Kleinhaus —… They come out during the day. … They’re real acrobats, they can hover, they can flip, they can do very amazing stuff.”
This video says about itself:
10 July 2012
Bahraini anti-government campaigner Nabeel Rajab, a prominent activist who has been using social media to highlight human rights abuses in the kingdom, was jailed on Monday after being sentenced to three months imprisonment for a tweet.
The following is the tweet purported to have landed Rajab in jail. He addresses ruling prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman, uncle of the country’s reigning king, following his visit to the town of Muharraq (Al Mahraq). Rajab intimates that the crowds greeting Prince Khalifa were paid to receive him. His tweet asks the unelected prime minister, who has held the position since 1971, to “leave the residents of Al Mahraq, its Sheikhs and its elderly. Everyone knows that you are not popular here, and if there wasn’t a need for money, they wouldn’t have gone out to receive you. When will you step down?”
From Gulf News:
Bahraini activist in custody over tweet
Slaiss alleged that military personnel were ordered to vote in elections
15:09 September 1, 2014
Dubai: The spokesperson for a group of young activists was on Sunday remanded in custody for seven days over a tweet he posted.
Yacoub Slaiss, who was the public voice of Al Fateh Youth Coalition (FYC), a group that often supported the government, is to be investigated over claiming on Twitter about three months ago that “military personnel received orders” to vote in parliamentary elections and calling for criminalising the alleged orders to cast ballots, Bahraini media reported.
Under Bahrain’s election laws, men and women in uniform are allowed to cast ballots.
The Bahraini opposition opposes the right of military personnel to vote, claiming that the votes go in favour of pro-government candidates.
Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release leading human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja, who was arrested on August 30 at Bahrain International Airport. Security Officials at the airport informed Maryam Al-Khawaja that her Bahraini nationality had been revoked and that she was no longer welcome in the country: here. See also here.
On 1 September, Marietje Schaake submitted written questions to High Representative Catherine Ashton concerning the case of the arrest of Maryam al-Khawaja in Bahrain. Please find a plain text version and the official document below: here.
Photojournalist Ahmed Humaidan – Prisoner of Conscience at Bahrain: here.
This video about NATO from Britain is called Jeremy Corbyn speaking at Dangerous Times Festival, June 1, 2014.
“Get Nato out of our city”
Monday 1st September 2014
Thousands rally against military summit in Newport
He told thousands of people in the Welsh city’s historic Westgate Square that the cold-war era organisation should have “shut up shop, given up and gone away” when the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991.
Mr Corbyn pointed out that Nato has never been a defensive organisation, as it was set up six years before the Warsaw Pact.
And he derided the “spatchcock of a history” being fed to people in Britain about Nato, arguing that the 28-state alliance constantly reinvents itself to manufacture “new reasons for going to war.”
She took issue with Welsh suggestions that economic benefits would flow to Wales because of the summit, citing “the massive disruption it will cause as well as its cost.”
Many local companies have already complained about the effect on their businesses, especially in central Cardiff where steel and concrete obstructions, together with closed roads, are playing havoc with normal life and confusing visitors.
While Mr Ahmed was not officially representing the council, it has associated itself with an alternative summit taking place this week.
Irish Senator David Cullinane of Sinn Fein said that Ireland was officially Nato-free, but, to the shame of successive Dublin governments, Shannon airport had been used as a staging post for US military forces flying to Afghanistan and Iraq, despite opposition from the majority of Irish people.
Nato had “no strategies to deal with hunger, poverty and injustice and as long as we have occupation and imperialism there will be resistance,” he declared.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament vice-president Bruce Kent said Nato was “stupid” to come to Wales.
“Wales has a long history of non-violence and peacemaking,” he said.
That spirit was evident from the welcome given by Newport residents to the 3,000 marchers.
Thumbs up, clenched fists and peace signs were offered to welcome the protesters for peace.
Some minority communities had clearly been intimidated from marching by the militarisation of policing, with steel fencing, concrete blocks, police at every roundabout and crossroad and constant helicopter surveillance.
Newport will hold an alternative summit today and tomorrow at Pill Mill in the city’s most economically deprived parish, Pillgwenlly.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting this week’s NATO summit in Wales, is to announce that the imperialist alliance will create a new joint expeditionary force (JEF) of at least 10,000 troops for rapid deployment in crisis situations: here.