This video is about gadwall ducks and their calls.
This video is about gadwall ducks and their calls.
This October 2017 video from the USA says about itself:
Jeff Bezos Is Now The Richest Man In The World With $90 billion | CNBC
Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world Friday morning, after adding nearly $7 billion to his wealth overnight.
Meanwhile, Amazon.com boss Bezos became still a lot richer. Right now, he may become a bit less rich as his wife is divorcing him.
How did Bezos become so rich?
Eg, by practices like reported in this article by Nick Barrickman in the USA:
“Amazon is really cold-hearted to its workers”
19 January 2019
A worker employed at an Amazon fulfillment center in east Baltimore contacted the International Amazon Workers Voice [IAWV] to relay her experiences with the massive web technology corporation and her efforts to obtain help after being injured on the job.
The worker is married with two children. She is employed as a picker, i.e., someone who selects items that are then packaged and loaded onto trucks for shipment to various destinations around the world.
The worker noted that her problems with the company began roughly three weeks ago. “I was picking when I felt my shoulder strain”, she said. She went to Amazon’s in-house medical facility, Amcare.
The difficulties began almost immediately, when she was told by an Amcare physician that her shoulder pain was “not an injury” and she had simply “been working too much”.
“I’d had the pain before then,” she said, adding that “after three or four days off, strains will usually go away. This time it didn’t.”
She told the IAWV, “I was treated like a liar.”
Amcare said she should wait two hours to see if the pain subsided. When it didn’t, she was forced to take unpaid time off (UPT), during which she visited a physician, who determined that she had a shoulder sprain. “The doctor told me that they see these types of injuries ‘all the time’ from Amazon employees”, she noted.
According to the worker, Amcare is comprised of personnel who are unqualified to give medical diagnoses. A 2016 Gawker article, which quotes testimony from Amazon employees, describes Amcare as “like a school nurse’s office, and equally as competent.”
After returning to work with documented proof that an injury had taken place, the worker was confronted by human resources, who told her she would not be accommodated for her injury because nowhere on her physician’s paperwork did it say she was owed any relief. However, she was told she would potentially be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
After a prolonged period waiting for the company’s workers’ compensation provider, Sedgwick, to respond to her application, she was forced to return to work as a picker without workers’ comp and without any accommodation for her shoulder injury. She told the IAWV she doubted she would ever receive compensation from the company.
“Amazon is really cold-hearted to its workers”, she said.
The International Amazon Workers Voice has reported on the criminal methods employed by Sedgwick, including the hiring of private detectives to spy on workers who request funds owed to them by the company and the ignoring of injuries, even when presented with written confirmation from a physician.
As of this writing, the worker has received no word about compensation. Having nearly exhausted her UPT hours, she has been compelled to return to work.
“I was told by Amazon that they would take care of the situation,” she said. “Then I was told in an email that my [UPT] time had run out. I even had to go to Amazon on a day that I was recuperating and straighten the situation out” so as not to be fired for taking time off to heal.
Despite her physician’s recommendation that she be restricted to lifting objects 10 pounds or less, the worker was forced back onto heavier lifting because the company claimed no such “easy” positions were available. Only a few days prior to this, however, management had offered her just such an “easier” position.
The IAWV has reported a number of similar instances at Amazon’s Baltimore facility. The corporation has taken advantage of deindustrialized areas such as Baltimore, exploiting the lack of jobs with decent pay to take advantage of and brutalize the workforce.
According to the Baltimore Business Journal, Maryland officials have spent roughly $46 million in tax subsidies to lure Amazon to the state and allow it to abuse its workers, including $16.2 million in 2018 for the construction of a fulfillment center at Sparrow’s Point in the Baltimore suburbs. The fulfillment center, employing 1,500 workers, stands on the ashes of what was once the largest steel mill in the United States.
Speaking of the Sparrow’s Point fulfillment Center, the injured worker said she had already heard of a worker being victimized there, supposedly for stealing a piece of candy.
“Amazon is a really cold-hearted company”, she repeated.
She expressed her gratitude to the IAWV for reporting her story and wholeheartedly agreed on the need for workers to begin speaking to one another and organizing a struggle against the massive web commerce corporation.
This 6 January 2019 video says about itself:
In this amazing adventure, Jonathan teams up with world-renown IMAX filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall on a filming expedition to Busuanga, Palawan in the Philippines searching for the elusive and rare Dugong.
Although Dugongs are closely related to manatees, they are much more difficult to find and exceptionally shy. The Blue World team has their work cut out for them on this trip, but the reward for patience is a truly incredible look into the lives of dugongs, and a shocking discovery!
JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD is an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure series featuring underwater cinematographer/naturalist Jonathan Bird.
From the World Socialist Web Site in the USA:
“There’s only so much workers can take and now we’re rising up”
Mass demonstration as Los Angeles strike reaches fifth day
By our reporters
19 January 2019
Tens of thousands of striking Los Angeles teachers and their supporters descended on Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles Friday as the walkout by more than 33,000 educators in the second-largest school district in America reached its fifth day. The teachers, who have won the support of the overwhelming majority of city residents, are fighting low pay, overcrowded classrooms, lack of sufficient nurses, school psychologists and librarians and the growth of charter schools.
As an estimated 60,000 rallied in the second-largest school district in the US, opposition by teachers spread across California and the nation. Also, on Friday, more than 500 teachers at 10 schools in Oakland, California carried out a wildcat “sickout” followed by a march and rally to fight plans to close one-third of the city’s schools. … In a provocative action, Oakland Unified School District superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell threatened teachers that for each 1 percent raise they achieve, more than $2 million will be cut in benefits or school services.
Virginia teachers, inspired by the strike in Los Angeles, will rally on January 28 in front of the state legislature in the capital of Richmond. Teachers are outraged that they make $9,000 a year less than the national average, even as the state legislature recently approved more than $573 million in tax breaks for Amazon.
The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union, which resumed negotiations with the school district on Thursday, is expected to continue talks over the weekend that are being mediated by the city’s Democratic mayor, Eric Garcetti. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Garcetti hoped the “strategic plan” issued by district superintendent and former investment banker Austin Beutner could be used as a “vehicle for collaboration” between the district and the UTLA.
Beutner’s strategic plan involves carving up the district into 32 neighborhood “networks” based on a so-called portfolio model, which would pave the way for the shutdown of more traditional public schools and their replacement by publicly funded but privately run charter schools. Under the rule of the state Democratic Party, California already has the largest number of charters (1,300) in the nation, and Los Angeles has more than any other city. In addition, there are 102 charters that “co-locate” inside LAUSD schools grabbing up space, resources and students from traditional schools. …
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to several teachers at the rally. Julie Beres, a LAUSD teacher, attended the rally with her 15-year-old son Phil.
Phil said, “I think it’s really unfair because my mom basically lost her job and now I have to step up at 15 and get a job so that my mom has help paying the mortgage. I’m infuriated that we might be homeless at the end of this month. I’m infuriated about what’s going on in our future.”
When asked about the role of the Democratic Party, Julie said, “Frankly, all of the politicians are corrupt. Our school board member in my district was put in there by big money and resigned and faced a felony because of the billionaires who use the political system. The only way to do this is for workers to organize independently so that the corruption doesn’t happen. …
I think a nationwide strike would do good to show the plight of all of us because in some of the states they were paid so little for so long. If we all walked out and it was a nationwide strike, it would call attention to what was going on.”
Mariah, a high school student who attended the rally with her friend David, said, “We go to a small high school of 350 students and we still have up to 49 students in a class. We have one counselor who can only come twice a week, which is ridiculous because they’ve been cutting classes due to budget cuts.”
David said, “My math class was cut halfway through and I was forced to take it online, and then they cut the online course!”
On Thursday, WSWS reporters spoke with teachers and students at schools in the area of South Gate in south central Los Angeles. Carolina, who teaches fourth grade at Independence Elementary School, said, “The oligarchs and billionaires abuse the workers. They’re taking advantage of the workers. Finally, there’s only so much the workers can take, and now they’re rising up and demanding their rights.
“The district wants us to have 39 kids in a classroom in 4th through 6th grades. Right now, I have about 31. If they make it 39 kids, I will have to move my desk out of the room. We’re getting fed up with all this.”
At the downtown rally, Israel spoke about the abysmal conditions at his school. “It’s like daycare, we just sit down and go on the computer, but everything is blocked. They teach every kid the same thing in the same books. No actual math, no English, just chapter books. No nurses. No one knows what to do if some get sick or hurt. We have one counselor for 350 kids at Walnut Park Middle School.”
Greg is a teacher who commented on former Obama education secretary Arne Duncan’s recent statements in the Hill where he told Los Angeles teachers to drop their demands because there simply wasn’t enough money. “Screw Arne Duncan!” Greg said, “He came out in favor of charter schools.”
Mary teaches at the West Valley Occupational Center, which has adult education programs including job training, GED training and English as a Second Language classes.
“The district keeps shutting down our programs. We can’t get a nursing program because the district doesn’t want to pay for teacher nurses. This is really important though because there is a shortage of nurses in the United States.
“Prior to 2012, we had 3,500 instructors who are a small portion of the school district but were very important. We used to have 30 different adult schools. In 2012, they shut down the program. It was eventually reopened but it’s much smaller. Today, it’s between 660 or 900 teachers left.”
Asked about the significance of the teachers’ strike, Mary said, “We’re fighting for our lives in adult education. The regular teachers are facing 57 students in a class. We’re all fighting for our lives. After all, Donald Trump said, ‘I love the uneducated.’”
By Jonathan Burleigh in the USA:
Oakland teachers hold second wildcat “sickout,” call for statewide strike with Los Angeles teachers
19 January 2019
In a demonstration of independent initiative and defiance of the state-sponsored contract negotiations process, hundreds of Oakland teachers conducted a one-day wildcat “sickout” Friday. The majority of teachers at nine schools called in sick and picketed outside Oakland Technical High School, where students and community members joined them in solidarity.
The crowd of over 500 people marched two miles down Broadway Avenue and rallied outside Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) headquarters downtown, demanding full funding for education, a raise in teachers’ pay and the halting of all school closures.
The sickout is part of the growing international upsurge of the working class in 2019. It takes place as over 30,000 teachers are striking in Los Angeles, over 70,000 Mexican “maquiladora” workers are engaged in a wildcat strike …, a general strike of 700,000 public sector workers is shaking Tunisia, and as the “Yellow Vest” protesters in France prepare for their tenth week of confrontations with the French police and state apparatus.
These struggles are a continuation and deepening of the militant struggles that took place in 2018, including the statewide wildcat strikes by teachers in West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma and other states in the US.
… Oakland teachers have been working without a contract since July 2017 and have begun to take independent initiative themselves, with yesterday’s sickout more than tripling the number of schools and teachers participating over the last sickout in December.
The school district unsuccessfully sought to intimidate teachers to prevent the sickout, with two district officials sending a brief email Tuesday that labeled the action “illegal” 12 times. One portion reads, “any sickouts, walk-outs or strikes conducted during this time are illegal and employees are subject to consequences for participation.” The letter also threatens that teachers “will be subject to disciplinary action and will lose pay for time missed.”
In another official email sent Thursday evening, OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell openly stated that any pay raises secured by teachers will be offset by budget cuts, including layoffs. She wrote, “Each one percent raise that teachers receive, equals an additional $1.9 million per year in costs to the District for their additional wages and benefits. When we add in all represented employees, such as support staff and others, the costs rise to about $3.5 million for each 1 percent raise.” Later, the email states, “to pay for increases for employee salaries, additional reductions in other areas will be necessary.” …
Oakland teachers supporting the World Socialist Web Site’s call for independent rank-and-file committees distributed hundreds of copies of the recent WSWS Teachers Newsletter statement, “A fighting strategy for California teachers” which was met with great interest by teachers at the rally.
Teachers, students and community members expressed complete agreement with the call for a statewide strike to carry forward the struggle both in Oakland and Los Angeles.
Tara, an OUSD teacher who was out with her daughter, said, “I’m here because I’m being priced out of Oakland, I can’t pay the ever-increasing rent, and I’m also here for our youth. We need reduced class sizes. These cuts effect our most marginalized youth.”
Asked about the demand for a statewide strike, Tara declared, “I totally support it. It’s a growing movement, not just statewide but nationwide. We need to wake up and be aware of the corporate spending and the billionaire and millionaire agenda behind this. They are packaging a product to sell now, and we have to fight back. We want to protect public education, and I support universal education and universal health care, which are human rights.”
Dozens of students joined their teachers for the picket, march and rally. Oakland Technical High School senior Mahlet told the WSWS, “I’m here to support our teachers. A lot of our classes don’t have textbooks and that’s not fair. Our teachers deserve to get paid way more for all the work that they do outside of school. They should get paid enough to live where they work.”
She commented, “Our priorities aren’t right. All the money that we spend on incarceration, on each prisoner instead of each student, is a big issue.”
In discussing the need to unify with LA teachers, Meka said, “I think a statewide strike is probably the best thing to do, to have all the teachers in the state stand in solidarity with each other. I think the OUSD School Board has a history of not really following what the teachers are asking for, so if everyone in California stands up together, they’ll be more likely to pay attention.” Mahlet added, “I think you’d see a ton of students standing with their teachers as well if that were to happen.”
Also joining his teachers from MetWest High School was Ryan, who declared, “Regarding school closures, it will just make a bad situation worse and make the schools that stay open more overcrowded. Students whose schools close will either move to another school farther away or just drop out altogether. Wherever they go, there won’t be enough resources to serve them.”
His friend Donna, a student at Oakland High School, said, “Oakland and LA should team up to bring attention to our state. A statewide strike would show that we’re serious.”
Rachel, an Illustration teacher at Skyline High School with two years’ experience in Oakland, declared, “The low wages, budget cuts and school closures in Oakland are absolute bullshit.”
She strongly supported the call for a statewide strike, declaring, “I definitely support a statewide strike because these are statewide issues and we get a lot of our funding from the state. If we could all band together and fight collectively, then maybe we could actually get more state funding. We all know, obviously, that OUSD has a huge financial deficit, which is very real. So if the state actually provided the funding that the district needs, maybe they could fund our teachers and programs and get out of the deficit.”
Many teachers spoke very critically of the attack under way against public education and the need for a broader movement of the working class to combat the drive towards privatization.
A teacher with the AmeriCorps program who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal told the WSWS, “I’m a math teacher. When they say, ‘There’s no money’ that’s not true, and I’m happy to help them do the math.” She continued, “If Trump is shutting down the government for $5.1 billion to fund the wall, the real shutdown should be for our schools and that money should be funding our schools. Instead they are funding prisons; how many more prisons have we opened up? They spend more on prisons then they do on students.”
She noted, “This all has to do with capitalism and the way that we run our country. If the government wants to keep the divide between the rich and the poor, then they are doing a very good job of it.”
David, a teacher at Life Academy with six years, criticized AFT President Randi Weingarten’s tweet last week regarding the looming LA teachers strike, in which she wrote, “This is not about a strike wave—this is a specific fight for the kids & public schools of LA.”
David declared, “I totally disagree with this being a local issue. There’s no such thing as a local issue in this state or country. If we leave it to be local issues, then we’ll continue to see Oakland teachers underfunded and undervalued, and LA teachers underfunded and undervalued, it’s just going to be a problem that continues. Unless there’s statewide action nothing will change. I would love to see a statewide strike, and I think we should absolutely have one.”
David also commented on the need for a broader social struggle to secure the rights of the working class, saying, “We’re all out here fighting for lower class sizes and higher pay for teachers, but the reality is that unless things change dramatically in how wealth is distributed—not just here in Oakland, but statewide, nationwide, and globally—then there will continue to be fights for the most basic needs and necessities.”
These nine videos are about great grey owls in Sweden.
This 6 December 2017 video from the USA says about itself:
Daniel Ellsberg Reveals He was a Nuclear War Planner, Warns of Nuclear Winter & Global Starvation
Could tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un bring us to the brink of nuclear war? As tensions ramp up, we discuss what nuclear war would look like with a former nuclear war planner and one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg.
In 1971, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. He played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. Few know Ellsberg was also a Pentagon and White House consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war. His new book, published Tuesday, is titled “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” We speak with Ellsberg about his top-secret nuclear studies, his front row seat to the Cuban missile crisis, whether Trump could start a nuclear war and how contemporary whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden are his heroes.
By Andre Damon in the USA:
Trump, announcing new missile defense program, ramps up nuclear arms race
19 January 2019
Speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, President Donald Trump announced the largest expansion of US missile defense forces since Ronald Reagan’s failed “Star Wars” program.
The announcement is the latest move in a global nuclear arms race in which the United States, Russia and China are rapidly expanding their nuclear arsenals, even as the Trump administration moves to tear up all restrictions on the development, deployment and use of nuclear weapons.
Trump has accelerated a $1 trillion nuclear modernization program put in place under Obama, while rushing the development of new US strategic bombers, nuclear submarines and “low-yield” nuclear weapons that are more likely to be used in combat.
At the same time, the White House has announced the United States’ intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as it prepares to ring Russia and China with short- and medium-range nuclear and conventional missiles.
While US missile defense strategy previously claimed to defend against the actions of smaller states such as North Korea and Iran, this year’s missile defense review more directly targets Russia and China. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank wrote, “For the first time, the document puts Russia and China in the same sentence as missile defenses, making explicit what has hitherto been implicit.”
Speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, Trump declared that “foreign adversaries, competitors and rogue regimes are steadily enhancing their missile arsenals… Their arsenals are getting bigger and stronger.”
Trump’s remarks echoed the themes of the Pentagon report he was presenting. “Military superiority is not a birthright,” the report states. “The scale and urgency of change required to renew our conventional and missile defense overmatch should not be underestimated.”
The report goes on to threaten: “To our competitors: We see what you are doing, and we are taking action.”
Congress has approved $10.3 billion for the US missile defense agency this fiscal year, a figure that is poised to skyrocket if Trump’s plans are carried through.
In his Pentagon appearance, Trump did not attempt to hide the fact that he was using the prospect of billions of dollars in additional military funding to solicit political support. Responding to applause as he took the podium, Trump told the military audience, “You’re only doing that because I gave you the greatest and biggest budget in our history. And I’ve now done it two times. And I hate to tell the rest of the world, but I’m about to do it three times. So that’s the only reason you gave me such a nice welcome.”
Despite the bitter factional warfare in Washington, there is overwhelming bipartisan agreement on the vast and perpetual expansion of the military. Last June, the Senate approved, on an 85-10 vote, an $82 billion increase in the Pentagon budget, bringing annual spending to $716 billion. The colossal levels of military spending are almost never discussed in the media and the money is appropriated without question.
The diversion of funds into military appropriations and the pockets of defense contractors is even more shameless in connection with missile defense than with other types of military spending, because the efficacy of missile defense is, according to experts, largely illusory.
Missile defense is “the longest running scam in the history of the Department of Defense,” wrote Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, and “the new Missile Defense Review continues that proud tradition.”
Since President Reagan first announced his “Star Wars” initiative, the United States has spent some $300 billion on missile defense systems. Cirincione observed that “a decade after the start of ‘Star Wars’, having spent tens of billions of dollars on X-ray lasers, directed energy weapons, particle-beam weapons, space-based kinetic interceptors and ‘brilliant pebbles’, the Pentagon was forced to conclude that none of these fanciful concepts would work. We ended up with a concept of limited, ground-based interceptors that might be able to intercept one or two primitive long-range warheads.”
But the extremely limited effectiveness of the US missile defense systems did not prevent Trump from making sweeping claims about US capabilities. “Our goal is simple: to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace,” he said.
“We will destroy every type of missile attack against any American target, whether before or after launch,” he added.
In reality, current US missile defenses are not capable of reliably destroying modern ICBMs possessed by Russia or China, much less the new generation of hypersonic reentry vehicles that the two countries are deploying.
Trump’s statements reflect the two most essential characteristics of American military policy since the fall of the Soviet Union: boundless, often delusional, hubris and a total lack of restraint. Given the series of blank checks Congress keeps writing, it is likely that Trump’s announcement will be the start of a new “Star Wars” boondoggle—turning over hundreds of billions more dollars for fanciful proposals.
However, the dubious efficacy of these initiatives does not lessen their deadly implications. The entire program is part of accelerating preparations for nuclear war, in which US imperialism is preparing to use offensive nuclear weapons.
For all the money Trump’s new missile defense system will consume, the primary mechanism for ensuring that no missiles reach the United States in the event of war is the threat to destroy the entire landmass of a potential opponent with nuclear weapons. “The United States will continue to rely upon nuclear deterrence for strategic nuclear attack from major powers,” the CSIS declares.
The central aim of the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, released last year, was to de-stigmatize the use of nuclear weapons by expanding the range of possible scenarios in which the president could respond with a nuclear strike.
As numerous studies have made clear, a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia or between the United States and China, beyond an initial death toll in the hundreds of millions, would result in a climatological phenomenon known as nuclear winter, entailing a long-term drop in global temperatures that would make agriculture impossible and wipe out the entire human race.