Young little bitterns fed

This 14 August 2017 video is about two young little bitterns fed by a parent.

Jacqueline Knijpstra from the Netherlands made this video.


Murderous nazi terrorism in Charlottesville, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Survivor of White Supremacist Attack in Charlottesville: There’s No Question, This was Terrorism

14 August 2017

We spend the hour examining the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend that erupted into violence, resulting in three deaths. After a torchlit march of hundreds on the University of Virginia campus Friday night, more than 1,000 white nationalists descended on the city on Saturday to oppose a plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park.

They were met by anti-racist counterdemonstrators, and fights broke out before the rally began. Witnesses report police did little to intervene. Shortly after the protest began, a man later identified as James Alex Fields drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterdemonstrators in what many are calling an act of terrorism. A local paralegal named Heather Heyer was killed in the attack, and at least 19 others were injured. Two Virginia state troopers also died Saturday when their helicopter crashed en route to the scene of the violence.

On Saturday, Trump addressed reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, blaming the violence in Charlottesville on “many sides.” We begin our roundtable discussion with Brandy Gonzalez, who survived the car rampage, and Lisa Moore, a registered nurse who assisted a victim of the car attack.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rev. Traci Blackmon: The Trump Administration Is Giving Permission to Hate

14 August 2017

On Saturday, President Trump addressed reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, blaming the violence in Charlottesville on “many sides.” We get response from Rev. Traci Blackmon, executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ. “What is happening under this current administration is permission to hate,” Blackmon says.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Cornel West & Rev. Traci Blackmon: Clergy in Charlottesville Were Trapped by Torch-Wielding Nazis

14 August 2017

We continue our roundtable discussion on violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend as thousands of neo-Nazis, KKK members and other white nationalists began descending on the city to participate in the “Unite the Right” rally.

Thousands of counterprotesters met in Charlottesville, including clergy, students, Black Lives Matter activists, and protesters with the antifascist movement known as “antifa.” We are joined by two clergy members and a local Black Lives Matter activist who helped organize the demonstration. Rev. Traci Blackmon is executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ.

During a live interview with MSNBC at the march on Saturday, she was forced to flee as counterprotesters were attacked around her. Cornel West was also on site and describes the scene. We also speak with Jalane Schmidt, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia.

This video from the USA says about itself:

UVA Prof on UVA‘s Historical Ties to KKK & White Nationalist Alums Richard Spencer & Jason Kessler

14 August 2017

Jalane Schmidt, an organizer with the local Black Lives Matter movement and an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, describes the school’s history of connections to the KKK and its alumnus, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.

USA: What The 2 Deadliest Mass Shootings This Year Have In Common. Both involved men allegedly targeting their estranged wives as the women attempted to move on: here.

Rare white moose filmed in Sweden

This 13 August 2017 Swedish TV video is about Hans Nilsson, who managed to film a rare white moose (so called in North America; ‘elk‘ in Europe) near Eda in Värmland province.

The big deer is not an albino; it is leucistic.

See also here.

Grenfell Tower disaster, Londoners speaking

Londoner Bonita, interviewed on Grenfell Tower disaster

From the World Socialist Web Site in London, England:

Grenfell fire: “They don’t give a damn because for them life is just cheap

By our reporters

14 August 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to residents in Ladbroke Grove about the Grenfell fire.

Tina lived in the Grenfell Tower on the fourth floor. Tina and her brother managed to escape from the fire. She said, “I had three very good friends in the tower and they haven’t recovered their bodies yet. I wouldn’t like to say how many people died, but it’s definitely more than the 80 that the police are saying.

“We’ve been put in a hotel. We’ve had to change rooms three times. We’ve had no Internet and no reception on our phones. We have been sent a ‘Key Worker,’ if that is what you want to call it. They are just social workers who are trying to do an extra job.

“Basically, we are still waiting to be rehoused. We were offered a place in St. John’s Wood, but we don’t know St. John’s Wood. We don’t want to be there as it’s too far. We were born and bred here all our lives. Our parents and grandparents are from here. And then we were offered a place up in Westbourne Park, which is in Westminster and it’s an estate with a bad reputation.

“We were on the floor where the fire started, the fourth floor. We are not sure if our flat was fully destroyed. There is a team going in to some flats recovering what they can. But they said that every flat has definitely been smoke damaged.

“We all want to know where the donations [raised by the public for the survivors] are. It is between 14 million and 19 million pounds. From what I can gather there is only 14 percent of the money that has reached survivors. I also know of only four funerals that have taken place so far.”

Regarding the lack of any safety systems in Grenfell, Tina said, “It was the only tower block I have ever seen that has a stairwell inside the building. The stairs were not outside the building like on other blocks. These stairs were in the middle of the building. There were no windows in it.

“After the refurbishment [in 2016 in which flammable cladding was attached to its exterior which was critical in allowing the fire to spread rapidly] it did look nicer. But if it was going to cost people’s lives it’s not worth it. No one wanted the cladding anyway. No one wanted the new school there [that was built on the former Grenfell Tower car park and fire assembly point]. The firemen could not get access during the fire. Before it was a major car park and sports field. No one wanted the school there in the way. Everyone opposed it because you can’t get near the tower. This was a no-win situation for the people that lived there.”

Bonita is a telephone engineer. She said, “I believe there are over 100 dead. And the way they said the fire started, I don’t believe it. What we have been hearing is that a fridge exploded. How does a fridge explode? I am an engineer and when I first saw the flames they were blue. Blue flames are from gas not electric.

“For an extra £5,000 they could have secured that building. There were no smoke alarms, there were no sprinklers. This happened because it was a case of ‘Let’s get rid of you and we can build big houses for the rich’. They don’t give a damn because for them life is just cheap and that’s what angers me. For the sake of £5,000 they killed all these people.

Somebody has got to be held accountable, somebody should be charged with manslaughter.”

Bonita was skeptical that anyone would ever be brought to justice by the authorities. “Let’s put it this way. We are looking a good 30 years before we find out anything. People are not going to wait that long, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen any sooner.”

“I live in the South Acton estate. I have been coordinating drop-offs and where you can take stuff [for the survivors of the Grenfell fire]. I work with Acton Homeless Concern and we have been delivering stuff as well.

“I live in a council flat. They are knocking down all council properties in London and rebuilding because the council no longer wants tenants. They want you to move to housing associations, where the rent is higher. It’s like saying ‘Get out of London, we don’t want you here’. I am going nowhere. I have worked in London for the last 43 years, I am not going anywhere. My children are here, my grandchildren are here.

“I have been working since I was 16. I am a telephone engineer. I have seen [house] prices go up and facilities go down. People are not getting the kind of care they need. You used to be able to ring the council and say ‘The lights in the block are not working’ and within two or three hours someone would be there to deal with it. Now you will be lucky if they come in seven days.

“When the news came on, I thought ‘Hang on, this is England, this shouldn’t be happening here. This is not a third world country, so why are we doing this?’ I hope people and bodies are held accountable. It is manslaughter.

“People have got to be held accountable for this. In places like this, on this estate, you have a lot of people with friends and families staying over. Who knows how many people were staying over? One of the messages they put out in the early days was ‘Even if you weren’t supposed to be there, but you were, come and let us know, we are not going to do anything about it.’ Well not right now, but two days later they will get after you and send you back to your country.”

Bonita volunteers at a foodbank in Acton. “It’s a small foodbank but there are quite a few in the area. These is one in Southwark, one in Ealing, one in Chiswick, one in Hammersmith. You get a lot people using it on a Friday. They are so desperate and these are working class people and for whatever reason their benefits have been stopped. Why would you want to cut someone’s benefits? I often look at them and think, ‘I could be on your side of the table’.

“The government now want you to work until you are 66. When I get to 65 they’ll probable change it to 70. This is so the government doesn’t have to pay anything. I’ve got grandchildren and I often think what is going to happen to them?”

Bonita said she would blow up a Socialist Equality Party leaflet to poster size and put it up in housing blocks on her estate. “I can’t believe that people died for the sake of money. They have just found another six blocks in Peckham that’s got the same cladding. They used it here because it was cheap, because it was working class people living there. They just thought, ‘You’re only working class people. You don’t matter.’ I get so angry when I think about it. You guys are doing a great job.”

Public Meeting Grenfell Fire—Social Murder: A crime against the working class in London

Saturday August 19, 2:30 p.m.

Harrow Club

187 Freston Rd

W10 6TH (nearest Tube: Latimer Road)

Facebook event: here.

African rhinos in love, video

This video says about itself:

First Time Rhino Affection Caught On Film – Africa – BBC Earth

14 August 2017

Whilst filming at night the team witness rhinos showing affection for the first time!

Nazi murders in Charlottesville, USA, many protests

This video from Arizona, USA says about itself:

Phoenix hold prayer vigil after Charlottesville violence

13 August 2017

Black Lives Matter Phoenix arranged the event on Sunday in downtown Phoenix.

By Isaac Finn in the USA:

Protests against Nazi violence, in support of Charlottesville victims held across US

14 August 2017

One day after the Nazi rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia—which left one dead and 19 injured—thousands of people participated in protests and vigils throughout the US to oppose fascist violence. Similar demonstrations are planned this week.

In Seattle, Washington, protests were held in opposition to a far-right demonstration that was scheduled to take place in Westlake Park. Joey Gibson—who is associated with the Oregon-based group Patriot Prayer—organized the so-called “Freedom Rally.” In the past, Gibson, a Trump supporter, has compared Islam with the Ku Klux Klan. He also organized two protests in Seattle earlier this year that resulted in fighting between anti-fascist groups and Patriot Prayer members.

Ferndale, Michigan protest

While the counter-protest yesterday was predominantly peaceful, Seattle police took advantage of minor skirmishes to retaliate against left-wing protesters. This included police in full SWAT body army using tear gas against protesters that used silly string.

Police also tweeted pictures of alleged weapons used by left-wing protesters and carried several arrests. As of Sunday night, however, police have not disclosed how many people were arrested.

The counter-protest in Seattle, at about 1,000 people, was roughly five times that of the right-wing demonstration.

The protests elsewhere in the US were mostly called by Democratic Party-affiliated organizations, but attracted a broader layer. Those attending expressed their solidarity with the victims in Charlottesville and voiced their opposition to the Trump administration.

Many expressed hostility to the entire political establishment.

Rick (left)

Rick, who attended a vigil in Ferndale, Michigan, said, “They have to have an enemy, and rather than having an enemy that’s wealthy and powerful, they pit us against each other.

“In the ‘70s they had social unrest and so there was democratization. The youth went out and said we need voting rights and want to oppose the war. Events since have eroded those gains, and we haven’t had a mass movement to claw things back from the rich and powerful. Maybe Trump’s actions will create that movement.”

Andrew Pilgrin with his wife

Andrew attended the protest in New York. “The events in Charlottesville are a really sad thing to see,” he said. “I was also surprised to see this in Virginia. That is where many of the Founding Fathers were from, and you would hope that it would uphold that democracy is for everyone.

The rhetoric in the last election clearly empowered these people to say what they would not normally let them say. The president has made them feel like they can do this now.”

Eliza, a production assistant in New York, said, “I felt the need to have my voice heard, and so I came out here. I’m really terrified at how separated the country has become. I really believe that there should be equality and freedom for everyone, and anything against freedom is the antithesis of America.

New York protest

“In this the two sides just don’t have equal weight for their arguments. I was glad to see a lot of Republican Congressman speaking out against the attack, but I wasn’t surprised by Trump’s response.”

Following some discussion about the mass dissatisfaction with the entire political system, she added, “I’ve always been a politically active person, but I see that a lot of people aren’t. There is a lot of corruption in politics and many areas of this country have been abandoned. We need politicians that are acknowledging the problems.”

Abei, who attended the rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said, “I am firm believer in equality. I have only been in the US for a week but I’m interested in this because similar things are happening everywhere. I come from India and have lived in Australia, and you see attacks on immigrants and racism there as well. Far-right parties too.”

After some discussion with a WSWS reporter, he added, “I suppose I support the Democrats, but only because there is no other choice really. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, other places, and even under the Obama regime. It just seems like even with all that, there is no way out of this, between those two war crime parties.”

This video from the USA says about itself:

Vigils held across NH in solidarity with Charlottesville

13 August 2017

Granite Staters are showing support for victims of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, with vigils across New Hampshire.

And according to CNN commentator Van Jones, the U.S. needs to pay attention to the fact that “an American citizen was assassinated in broad daylight by a Nazi.” [HuffPost]

#FIREBANNON TRENDS In light of the White House advisor’s ties to the white nationalist movement. [HuffPost]

Airbnb is reportedly kicking white supremacists off its platform while GoDaddy is no longer hosting a Neo-Nazi website.

This 1943 government film on fascism went viral over the weekend.

By Eric London in the USA:

The White House and the fascist rampage in Charlottesville

14 August 2017

After months of deliberate planning and coordination with the police, the Nazi “Unite the Right” rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia reached its deadly apogee Saturday afternoon when a 20-year-old Hitler admirer from Ohio drove his car through a crowd of counter-demonstrators, killing 32-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter Heather Heyer and wounding 14 more people.

The corporate press has focused on Trump’s failure to verbally condemn the violence of the far right. But the American media’s handwringing over Trump’s statements evades the fact that there is a political method to Trump’s madness.

As the Financial Times noted:

Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville from his golf resort in Bedminster consisted of reassurances about law and order and a general rejection of hatred. Here is the crucial phrase: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence that’s on many sides, on many sides.” Those three final words, repeated for emphasis, unmistakably draw a moral equivalence between the counter-protesters and the armed white supremacists who had spent the previous night carrying torches and chanting the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.”

Those words, along with the president’s decision not to cast the bigotry in racial terms, joins a long list of signalling by conservative American politicians that stretches back decades. But to describe Mr. Trump’s comments as a “dog whistle,” audible only to a target audience, is to give the president and his team more credit than they deserve. In the context in which it was offered, the statement had the subtlety of a billy club.

But how could Trump condemn the fascist operation when his own White House was deeply involved in encouraging and giving support to its organizers?

This Nazi riot is not an aberrational event in American politics. It is the product of Donald Trump’s strategy to build an extra-constitutional fascist movement outside the framework of the two parties, itself an expression of the putrefaction and collapse of American democracy under the weight of staggering levels of social inequality.

In the past three weeks, Trump and his advisors—Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka—have escalated the administration’s efforts to whip up support among fascist elements who form the core of his political base.

Trump has attacked Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, challenging one of the most powerful legislative figures in his own party. He has made bellicose threats that the US is “locked and loaded” for war against North Korea and appealed to his billionaire constituents as well as the police, immigration and border officials, and the military to support his “tough on crime” and anti-immigrant policies.

In the process, he has emboldened the forces that took over the 22,000-student University of Virginia campus on Friday. The Nazis carried out a torchlight parade across the campus, founded and designed by the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, while chanting “blood and soil,” “Sieg Heil,” and “one people, one nation, stop immigration.”

At dawn Saturday morning, dozens of uniformed fascist militiamen armed with assault rifles and shotguns deployed downtown, establishing military control over the heart of the 50,000-person city. After the militia had secured the area, without police interference, vans filled with people from across the country poured into the city center, unloading hundreds of Nazis armed with guns, knives, chains, metal poles, baseball bats and pepper spray.

What happened next can be described only as a fascist riot. Police withdrew from the scene and Nazis began attacking counter-demonstrators in the streets, shouting racial and homophobic slurs while chanting “Heil Trump.” Straggler counter-demonstrators were pulled into the Nazi melee and beaten mercilessly, while the police looked on.

Brian McLaren, a pastor who had traveled to Charlottesville as a counter-demonstrator, told the press that “the police hung back quite a distance” as the Nazis launched their attack. Then, in the early afternoon, James Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio sped through the crowd in his car, flipping bodies over the hood like bowling pins.

Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, responded to criticism by stating on Sunday that the police did “great work” over the weekend. McAuliffe, former head of the Democratic National Committee and prominent fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton, said the murder of counter-protestor Heather Heyer could not have been prevented. “You can’t stop some crazy guy who came here from Ohio and used his car as a weapon,” he declared.

The purpose of this weekend’s violence was to send a message to Trump’s detractors in the Republican and Democratic parties that he has an alternative base to which he can appeal. Accordingly, the Nazis held their rally just two hours from Washington DC.

A timeline of the three weeks preceding this weekend’s rampage makes clear the systematic and calculated campaign of the Trump White House to mobilize the most backward and reactionary social forces in the country.

In the days that followed, Trump launched his war threats against North Korea and Venezuela and made new attacks on the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell.

This weekend’s Nazi violence is stamped with the political trademark of Bannon, Miller and Gorka. Nazi demonstration leader Jason Kessler acknowledged after the event that organizers had “networked with law enforcement” for months in advance of the “Unite the Right” provocation.

Kessler also met with several Republican officials in preparation for the Nazi mobilization. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Kessler held a press conference with Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart to denounce Charlottesville’s plans to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

In March, Kessler traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Virginia Congressman Tom Garrett, who represents the Charlottesville area. Kessler posted on Facebook that he had “a very productive meeting today with Congressman Tom Garrett,” and acknowledged that he was in discussion with Garrett over how Kessler’s Nazi groups could support Trump’s anti-immigration measures: “We talked RAISE Act and Stop Arming Terrorists: 2 great bills we support,” Kessler’s post read.

The events in Charlottesville and Trump’s drive to develop an extra-constitutional fascist movement are a warning to the working class in the US and internationally. The program of the fascists in the White House and on the streets of Charlottesville is for genocidal war abroad and the mass internment and murder of immigrants, LGBT people, Jewish people and socialists at home.

Fascism is the excrescence of the decaying social order of American and world capitalism, which, in the figure of Donald Trump, has vomited up a fitting expression. It will not be stopped through moralistic appeals to the political establishment, but only through the mobilization of the working class united across racial, national and ethnic lines and politically armed with a revolutionary program for the socialist reorganization of the US and world economy.

African American CEO Quits White House Council Over Trump’s Charlottesville Response — And Trump Attacks Him. Instead of denouncing neo-Nazis, Trump denounces a CEO criticizing him for not personally denouncing neo-Nazis: here.

Butterflies in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

7 August 2017

Beautiful Clouded Sulfur Butterflies, Swallowtail Butterflies and other pollinators set to relaxing ambient music.