This is a great grey owl video from Sweden.
This is a great grey owl video from Sweden, about young birds fed by a parent.
This is another great grey owl video from Sweden.
This is a yet another great grey owl video from Sweden.
This video from the USA says about itself:
Feminist author of “Against Our Will” telling some truths to misogynist Hugh Hefner.
By Jo Bartosch in Britain:
Monday 2nd October 2017
WATCHING the comments unfold following online hagiographies of Hugh Hefner has left me feeling darkly smug.
When challenged, those reasonable men mourning a “tireless campaigner for civil rights” somewhat predictably reveal themselves to be furious woman-haters.
Hefner clothed his naked misogyny with the borrowed sophistication of the literati.
While he might not have invented porn, Hefner was certainly the first to give it the public relations treatment; Playboy attracted undeniably great writers.
By pulling porn from the underground sweaty hands of perverts to upmarket coffee tables, Hefner successfully branded sexism as sexy.
BBC reports note that Hefner set up the magazine from his “kitchen table,” as if he were some underdog entrepreneur bravely spreading sexual freedom.
In this and many other regards, Hefner somewhat reminds me of the basement-dwelling tech pioneers of 1990s who also built empires based on misogyny and proclaimed themselves social liberals.
I am not surprised his industry took off. Ideologies that benefit the status quo almost always do. Brotherhood is powerful.
When asked about the ethics of marketing a pornographic brand to children Hefner once said: “I don’t care if a baby holds up a Playboy rattle.”
I wonder how many of the parents who bought their daughters the iconic bunny branded bedspreads and pencil cases know that the same franchise airs films on its six channels including Barely 18 Anal Virgins, Ripped, Stripped and Shagged, and Submissive Sluts.
The impact of Playboy has seeped far beyond the merchandise of pornography being marketed to children.
Today’s music videos are indistinguishable from softcore pornography and many standard advertising images would have been too extreme for the early editions of Playboy.
Earlier this year Teen Vogue published an article advising girls about anal sex, complete with diagrams that missed off the clitoris; inadvertently demonstrating who “sexual liberation” is for.
The impossibly thin, submissive women who stare with dead eyes out of every perfume ad are not evidence of emancipation. They are a reminder of women’s imprisonment within a cruel and degrading standard. This is the legacy of the self-styled “sexual pioneer”.
That pornography has reached inside our heads is evidenced by the stratospheric increase in mental health problems and eating disorders.
The average age at which girls start their first diet is eight years old and the number of young men taking steroids has doubled in the past 10 years.
Labiaplasty is the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in the UK, with the NHS reporting that girls as young as nine are seeking to have the procedure done.
Manufacturing self-hate is lucrative business; in the UK alone more money is spent on diet pills than the GDP of Sierra Leone.
Pornography and sex are often lazily conflated. Perhaps this is unsurprising – sex education in Britain is patchy at best and many young people turn to porn for their education.
This is apparent in young adults’ attitudes to consent and pleasure. The NSPCC reports that almost one in three 16 to 18-year-old girls have experienced “unwanted sexual touching” at school and 40 per cent report being pressured into sex.
I can’t be the only person who fails to see anything erotic in wearing a pair of over-sized ears and a tail, but then watching Barely 18 Anal doesn’t seem like the height of sexual pleasure to me either.
The internet has allowed various “furverts” and “furry fetishists” to find one another, nonetheless. As a mainstream marker of “sexy” the playmate costume is undeniably odd.
In every sense, the bunny ears are a brand. It is no coincidence that the iconic ears and tail emerged during the 1960s and ’70s when feminists were beginning to win legal gains for women.
The humiliating accoutrements of oppression served to reassure men that these women were lesser; a way of marking out the available women in the Playboy clubs from those who might belong to a husband.
When Gloria Steinem went undercover into the Playboy club she exposed a system of tight control wrought with financial and sexual exploitation.
As with the prostituted women of Victorian London, Bunnies were subjected to intimate examinations for venereal disease as a precursor to employment.
They were advised which clients they were allowed to have sex with and which they were not.
Hefner was known to keep his own girlfriends under curfew, with many recalling that they were not allowed out after 9.30pm and that their “allowances” would be docked should they fail to please him.
These insights belie the well-spun message of Hefner as a pioneer of sexual freedom.
As with pornography itself, the bunny costume and brand is not about women’s sexuality, it is about power of men.
From the New York Times in the USA:
Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.
Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself — a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself.
This video shows a kingfisher in Sweden.
This video says about itself:
29 September 2017
The Jewish community of Gothenburg, Sweden, is celebrating their biggest holiday of the year, Yom Kippur, on Friday amid concerns over an upcoming rally, called by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) on Saturday.
Originally planned to be held in the heart of Sweden’s second largest city and pass by Gothenburg Synagogue and Jewish community centre, the rally’s route was changed on Monday, bringing relief to the concerned members of the Jewish community. Gothenburg’s Administrative Court has significantly shortened the original route, preventing it from passing near the synagogue where Yom Kippur celebrations will be taking place on Saturday after appeals from the leaders of the Jewish community.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
50 arrested after nazis march through Gothenburg
Monday 2nd October 2017
Counter-protesters outnumber tooled-up fascists
Extremists of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) paraded under the slogan “Revolt Against the Criminals,” carrying pictures of the so-called “criminals” they meant — including mixed-race Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke, 93-year-old Holocaust survivor Emerich Roth who is a prominent anti-racism campaigner and Jewish journalist Peter Wolodarski.
Thousands of counter-demonstrators outnumbered the NRM, which organises in Sweden, Finland and Norway and had attracted far-right militants from around Europe to its rally. Police prevented the two sides clashing directly.
The provocation was timed to coincide with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, although police altered the route to stop the fascists marching past a synagogue.
This prompted march spokesman Par Oberg to threaten not to bother getting police permission for marches in future.
NRM thugs tried to break past police lines, throwing stones, bottles and sticks. Most marchers were in black and many wore helmets and carried shields.
At the counter-protest Gothenburg Teachers Union chairwoman Ulrika Mossberg said she was on the streets “for human rights and against nazism.
“Humanity has learned from World War II that nazism is not an opinion — it is slaughter”, she said.
This video says about itself:
2 October 2017
An examination by the vet revealed that the bird was illegally shot and had a broken left wing. Under the professional care of our vet and constant monitoring of its health and injured wing, the bird slowly recovered and the wing fully healed.
The bird of prey was released on Comino on September 25th after it was ringed. Comino is a protected bird sanctuary.
Help us rehabilitate more injured birds like this by donating to our new crowdfunding campaign.
(Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Veerle van Werde)
This video from the USA says about itself:
27 September 2017
Trump seems to blame the Puerto Rican people for their current suffering. Ana Kasparian, Ben Mankiewicz, and Grace Baldridge, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.
By Andrea Lobo:
Puerto Rico faces health catastrophe as Trump tweets “We have done a great job”
2 October 2017
In anticipation to his scheduled visit to the island on Tuesday, President Donald Trump sent a barrage of tweets throughout the weekend from his luxury golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, which essentially blamed Puerto Ricans for the suffering they are facing.
After San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz criticized the administration’s response—comparing conditions on the US territory to “something close to a genocide”—Trump branded all criticisms as “fake news” and attacked Cruz’s “poor leadership.”
“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump tweeted Saturday, typifying the contempt of the US financial oligarchy to the island’s 3.4 million people. To Wall Street the demands of the island’s population for water, electricity, cell phone connections, gasoline and other basic necessities is an unwanted interruption to milking the island for debt repayments.
The president escalated his attacks on Sunday, criticizing “politically motivated ingrates” and insisting “We have done a great job.” He fraudulently declared in another tweet that all buildings had been inspected even though many towns, especially in rural and mountainous areas, remain out of reach of rescuers, let alone building inspectors.
Aping Trump, the right-wing correspondent for Fox News Geraldo Rivera confronted Mayor Cruz Sunday morning, cynically declaring, “I don’t see people dying.”
Speaking on Sunday, David Lapan, spokesperson of the Department of Homeland Security, which integrates FEMA, indirectly criticized the San Juan Mayor for any suggestion that they are not all in the “life-saving team”.
There is every indication officials are grossly under-reporting the death toll, which stands at 16. The Center for Investigative Journalism contacted several of the hospitals and the Forensic Science Institute finding that dozens and perhaps hundreds of corpses are piling up and going unreported.
Including the 1,500 national guardsmen in Puerto Rico, the number of military personnel deployed to the island is now over 6,400 soldiers, according to Caribbean FEMA director, Alejandro de la Campa. Eleven days after the hurricane, FEMA has received 63,000 claims of damaged homes. De la Campa indicated that a mere $21 million has been approved via FEMA’s infrastructure program for an “initial response.”
In addition, about 3,000 road obstructions are blocking half of all highways. Of the 69 hospitals, only one functions fully and 55 partially. Less than 5 percent of the electrical grid is operating, only half of the supermarkets are open, although they are running out of food, and ATMs and credit cards are largely not working.
Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the publicly-owned electric agency AEE, said only 3 percent of the electric grid had been restored across the island. Ramos acknowledged that the island-wide blackout was connected to decades of austerity measures and, more recently, to the decisions by the Financial Oversight Board, which oversees Puerto Rican finances on behalf of Wall Street.
“Our plants are very antiquated. Our generating infrastructure is very old and was designed for another epoch. Part of our fiscal plan was to build it with more resistance to the pounding of storms. It was rejected [by the Financial Oversight Board]; it was not meant to be, evidently,” declared Ramos. Due to austerity measures, 4,500 badly needed linesmen have been sacked since 2012. “They are the ones most urgently needed right now,” said the AEE director.
Officials have also said the cities of Isabela and Quebradillas would continue evacuating because of the danger of a collapse of the Guajataca dam, whose breach is expanding two to four inches each day. Repairs are scheduled to begin today.
Even in the areas where it is reported as available, the water service is being frequently interrupted. The pumps for the aqueduct that feeds water to the north of the island keep running out of fuel, shutting off water.
The head of the Aqueduct and Sewage Authority (AAA), Eli Díaz, indicated that the problem would be resolved over the weekend after a “deal” with FEMA. Such “deals” underscore the anarchic character of relief efforts, which are still being carried out on a for-profit basis. The availability of fuel and energy for water, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure is dependent on FEMA’s ability to sign contracts with private diesel or gasoline suppliers.
The dean of Public Health School at Florida International University, Tomás Guilarte, warned in an op-ed in the Miami Herald that the lack of electricity means sewer systems are failing. “This leads to bacterial infections—such as cholera, dysentery, E. coli and typhoid—that can be disastrous. The typical treatments, like tetanus shots or powerful antibiotics, are not readily available on the island, where medical supplies are quickly running out.”
The mosquito-borne diseases dengue and conjunctivitis are already showing outbreaks, according to a report Thursday by the Washington Post, which also indicated that thousands are not receiving urgent care and have had critical surgeries postponed.
The warning of a cholera epidemic underscores the devastated state of the infrastructure, given that Puerto Rico hasn’t suffered such an outbreak since the 1850s.
Guilarte also warned about the grave risks from the exposure to chemicals and pollutants, given the 18 open and six closed Superfund toxic sites in Puerto Rico, which he describes as areas where “mismanagement of contamination threatens human health and the environment.”
The EPA’S 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Implementation plan warns Superfund cleaning teams explicitly to plan for “increased intensity of hurricanes” to protect people from toxic releases. Not only did these warnings not prevent 13 sites from being flooded in Texas and leaking chemicals after Hurricane Harvey, but the report, even for future consideration, was removed from the web site by President Trump after his inauguration.
An EPA spokesperson warned last week that it was getting its teams in place to assess the Superfund and oil sites and other regulated facilities. Juan Declet-Barreto of the Union of Concerned Scientists warned that toxins will “add even more to what is undoubtedly going to be a public health crisis.”
A 2013 study by the Puerto Rico Climate Change Council reported that natural drainage for storm water was being undermined through real estate development, particularly in the cities. It notes that fully half of the population lived in areas susceptible to landslides, while a “relatively high poverty rate increases the island’s social and economic vulnerability to climate change impacts.” Nearly half of the population lives below the official poverty line.
A 2016 Congressional report found that more than half of Puerto Rico’s landfills were in violation of EPA regulations. InsideClimateNews reports that a five-story coal ash pile near the impoverished city of Guayama could be of greatest concern, a risk already compared by EPA advisor Michael Dorsey to the polluted water in Flint, Michigan.
Governor Roselló indicated that two regions in the island still have “disconnected communities.” Eliván Martínez, a journalist for the Center of Investigative Journalism, reported last week from Guaonico, one of the villages still inaccessible in the Utuado district, that residents are getting water from a nearby river and scavenging the forest for food. “The mountains near my house melted…We have gone back to ancient times, bathing in the river with muddy water. In this situation, human pride crumbles down,” said neighbor Edgardo Matías.
OVER HALF OF PUERTO RICO RESIDENTS ARE WITHOUT DRINKING WATER According to the Department of Defense. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump lashed out at the mayor of San Juan, saying she had poor leadership ability. His administration has seconded the attacks.
Report From Puerto Rico: Death Toll Higher Than Reported Amid Water Shortage and Health Crisis: here.
Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Will Make Hurricane Recovery Brutal — Here’s Why: here.
Vulture Capitalists Circle Above Puerto Rico Prey. As people in Puerto Rico are dying and President Trump lashes out at San Juan’s mayor, Bill talks with social anthropologist Yarimar Bonilla about the challenges Puerto Ricans face in the wake of the storm: here.
The Cruelest Storm: 200+ Academics Speak Out for Puerto Rico. The destruction brought by Hurricane Maria has exposed the profound colonial condition of Puerto Rico: here.
‘Trump’s Katrina?’ No, It’s Much Worse. As Puerto Rico continues to navigate the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald Trump has managed to divide rather than unite: here.
This video says about itself:
This Amazing Dog Helps to Save Endangered Parrots | National Geographic Short Film Showcase
2 October 2017
Ajax is a highly trained border collie who helps locate New Zealand’s endangered kea. This elusive alpine parrot lives in some of the most remote regions of the country’s South Island.