Wren and woodpecker

Today, to the old harbour.

During the winter it had been one of relatively few places where the water wasn’t frozen. Usually, at least 100 water birds in seven species (though mostly mallards) then.

Now, in spring, however, the birds have far more choices of open water, and most have left the harbour. I saw just ten mallards and domestic ducks, and a coot.

At the cemetery: great tit, blackbird, great spotted woodpecker.

This is a wren video.

A wren calling from a bush just outside the cemetery.

Wren photos: here.

A chiffchaff singing.

A jay in a tree.

Robin sound. Magpies, wood pigeons.

Leucistic Hairy woodpecker in Massachusetts: here.

Sea lion vs. octopus video

From National Geographic:

Octopus vs. Sea Lion—First Ever Video

New National Geographic Crittercam footage shows never before seen eating habits of the Australian sea lion—including video of a sea lion hunting a large octopus. The footage is from a project intended to help save the endangered sea lions, in part by uncovering where and how the animals eat.

See also here.

New research is shedding light on the preferred habitat of the northern squid, Gonatus fabricii – a key but often overlooked species in Arctic marine food webs: here.

‘Pope prevented defrocking of pedophile priest’

This video is called Pope support for criminal pedophiles.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:


Pope letter delayed action against pedophile priest

Reports say Pope Benedict XVI signed a letter in 1985 when he was a Vatican official, resisting a decision to defrock a Californian priest with a record of sexually molesting children.

The Associated Press news agency has obtained a letter signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that shows he urged caution in defrocking the priest with a record of sexual abuse.

In the letter from 1985, the future Pope Benedict XVI told the bishop of Oakland he needed more time to “consider the good of the universal church” as he reviewed a request to remove a Californian priest who pleaded guilty to molesting children. He highlighted concerns about the priest’s young age and how any dismissal would affect the church.

The letter, originally written in Latin and translated for the agency, comes to light as the Vatican fends off allegations that the pope mishandled abuse cases during his time as a bishop in Germany and a Vatican official before his election in 2005.

According to a 1981 letter from the Diocese of Oakland, the priest Rev. Stephen Kiesle had himself asked to leave the ministry. The diocese had asked Ratzinger to agree that he be “relieved of all the obligations of the priesthood, including celibacy.”

Arguments for and against

At the time of the letter, Ratzinger was responsible for enforcing Roman Catholic doctrine.

Following years of correspondence about the proposed defrocking, the future pope said in the 1985 letter that arguments for the priest to be removed were of “grave significance.”

But, he added that he was also worried about what granting the request to remove the priest could “provoke with the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly regarding the young age of the petitioner.”

Priest was sentenced

According to the Associated Press, Kiesle was 38 at the time and had been sentenced to three years of probation in 1978 after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two young boys in a church rectory.

See also here.

Bishop: Africa Also Suffers Sex Abuse by Priests: here.

Homophobic Polish president dies in plane crash

This video from Britain says about itself:

British Youth Council — 21 September 2007 — Stop Homophobia in Poland were at pride marches in London, Brighton and Manchester to raise awareness of our campaign. The campaign is about ensuring that countries such as Poland who signed up to the EU charter on human rights are accountable and that UK young people are active citizens in ensuring our government denounces abuses. Poland is a welcome member of the European Union but homophobic outbursts by officals, discriminatory sacking, misuse of European funds and restrictions on the freedom of assembly of the LGBT community is clear evidence that Poland is not fulfilling it’s responsibilities to uphold human rights. Whilst campaigning we raised awareness of the European All Different All Equal campaign which is combating discrimination of all types across Europe.

From Pink News in Britain:

Polish President who said homosexuality will destroy human race feared dead in plane crash

By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk • April 10, 2010 – 9:55

Polish President Lech Kaczynski who once said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race is believed to have died in a plane crash near Smolensk in Russia. Kaczynski’s right wing Law and Justice party are in an alliance with the British Conservative party in the European Parliament.

Russian media reported that 87 people were killed in the crash near Smolensk, and a regional governor was quoted as saying there were no survivors.

Kaczynski is believed to have been on board the plane together with his wife and a number of senior Polish Government ministers. …

Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jarosław Kaczyński are major figures in right wing Polish politics. Jaroslaw was until recently the prime minister of Poland. Lech had previously been the Mayor of Warsaw and reached international noteriaty because of repeatedly banning gay pride marches from taking place in the city.

When in 2007 as President he was challenged over this decision, Lech Kaczynski said: ” “If that kind of approach to sexual life were to be promoted on a grand scale, the human race would disappear.

“Imagine what grand changes would occur in mores if the traditional links between men and women were set aside.”

Following the 2009 European Parliament elections, David Cameron’s Conservative party joined Kaczynski’s Law and Justice Party in a new right wing alliance within the Parliament.

Mr Cameron was widely criticised for inviting a colleague of the Kaczynski twins to speak to the 2009 Conservative party conference.

Today, Smolensk regional governor Sergei Antufiev told Russian TV it was unlikely that Kaczynski had survived the crash.
“As it was preparing for landing, the Polish president’s aircraft did not make it to the landing strip.”

“According to preliminary reports, it got caught up in the tops of trees, fell to the ground and broke up into pieces. There are no survivors in that crash.

“We are clarifying how many people there were in the [Polish] delegation. According to preliminary reports, 85 members of the delegation and the crew.”

See also here. And here.

Pilot error and president’s desire to arrive in Smolensk may have caused crash: here.

There is an element of the grotesque in both the domestic and international efforts to sanctify the figure of deceased Polish President Lech Kaczynski: here.

British Conservative leader David Cameron entered into a right-wing European alliance with racist, homophobic and ultra-nationalistic parties against his own party’s advice, senior EU figures have said: here.

David Cameron to dispatch top gay Tory Nick Herbert to challenge homophobic Polish allies: here.

Canadian secret police keeps file on social democrat secret

This video from Canada says about itself:

If CSIS comes knocking?

6 June 2010

Since fall 2009 there have been ongoing visits by members of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) to social justice organizers and activists. These visits are in addition to CSIS’ ongoing harassment of targeted communities. The People’s Commission Network released a community advisory in May in response to those visits.

A video from Canada which used to be on YouTube, but not any more, used to say about itself:

A CSIS (Canada’s version of the CIA, actually funded and created with help from the good-hearted CIA) spokeperson says that by 2011, all visitors, tourists, business people coming into Canada will have a fingerprint and retinal scan used to track and trace the entrance and exit from Canada ‘as much as possible’ for the purposes of ‘control we need to have’; because of a ‘free-for-all that has been hapening for too long’. On top of that there will be a world TRACKING GRID setup with everyone’s biodata shared between countries. And it’s costly, and very very expensive all for the reason to ‘keep you safe’.

By Vic Neufeld:

Canada’s security forces refuse to release their files on long dead CCF-NDP leader

10 April 2010

A recent Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) decision to block the full release of police files dealing with a long dead leader of the social-democratic New Democratic Party and its predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), has underscored CSIS’s function as a political and thought police directed, first and foremost, against the working class and left.

In November 2005, Jim Bronskill, a Canadian Press reporter specializing in security, intelligence and other justice-related issues, filed an access-to-information request for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) file on T.C. Douglas. The request was prompted by the approaching twentieth anniversary of Tommy Douglas’s death, as personal files compiled by the RCMP’s Security and Intelligence Branch can be released through Canada’s access-to-information law twenty years after a subject’s death. Douglas, Saskatchewan’s CCF premier from 1944-61 and the NDP’s first federal leader, died of cancer at age 81 in February 1986.

Bronskill’s interest in the RCMP’s surveillance of Douglas was also likely prompted by the renewed interest in him occasioned by a fall 2004 CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) audience-participation television program that selected him “the greatest Canadian.”

In response to Bronskill’s request, Library and Archives Canada, to which Douglas’ RCMP file had been transferred by CSIS, released a 1,142-page dossier. But, under CSIS’s supervision, it had blacked out approximately 30 percent of the dossier’s content “due to national security concerns.”

This video is Mouseland, by Tommy Douglas.