This video is about a singing male red-backed shrike.
These birds nest in Europe.
This video is about a singing male red-backed shrike.
These birds nest in Europe.
This 1 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:
The author of an article on Henry Ford’s anti-semitism was fired.
By Tom Mackaman in the USA:
Dearborn, Michigan mayor suppresses historical article on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism
7 February 2019
The city of Dearborn, Michigan last week suppressed an edition of a local historical journal that detailed the promotion of extreme anti-Semitism by auto magnate Henry Ford (1863-1947) in his newspaper the Dearborn Independent during the 1920s. The city also terminated the contract of the article’s author, Bill McGraw, who previously had a 31-year career as a writer and editor at Detroit’s major daily newspapers.
The censored journal describes how, beginning in 1920, Ford’s newspaper began publication of a series of articles that came to be titled The International Jew, which claimed that a Jewish conspiracy controlled world finance and “Bolshevism”. McGraw’s article describes the connections between Ford’s anti-Semitism and Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) party, as well as to far-right organizations in the present day.
Mayor John B. “Jack” O’Reilly ordered a halt to distribution of the quarterly publication, The Historian, and saw to the removal of McGraw, who was also the journal’s editor. The printed journals, which had been ready for distribution to their 230 subscribers, were sent back to the printing plant.
O’Reilly, a Democrat who once served as a staffer to Congressman John Dingell, made no attempt at a legal justification for his grossly anti-democratic action. “It was thought that by presenting information from 100 years ago that included hateful messages—without a compelling reason directly linked to events in Dearborn today—this edition of The Historian could become a distraction from our continuing messages of inclusion and respect,” he said in a statement issued last Friday.
The mayor, with unbounded cynicism, resorted to the political vocabulary used in Democratic Party circles to promote identity politics to justify censorship in the defense of a vicious anti-Semite who founded the auto company that just happens to economically and politically dominate Dearborn, and which remains under the control of the Ford family. His statement employed buzz words such as “hateful messages” and “inclusion and respect”, as well as “diverse communities” and “unity and understanding.”
Mayor O’Reilly interpretation of words like “inclusion and respect” appears to be that Jews should not ‘moan’ about anti-Semitism; African Americans should ‘quit bitching’ about slavery and Ku Klux Klan lynchings; LGBTQ people should be silent about homophobic violence; and anti-nazis should ‘respect’ nazis or else be labelled ‘terrorists’ by the FBI (like happened recently in California).
Since Henry Ford moved his headquarters to Dearborn a century ago and built there his mammoth River Rouge plant—for a time the world’s largest single industrial complex—Dearborn has been, in all but name, a company town. Even today, in a city whose population is only 95,000, Ford employs roughly 50,000—at its Rouge manufacturing facility, its corporate headquarters, and its Visteon parts maker. Ford is by far the largest property holder and taxpayer.
Organizations that purport to defend Jews against anti-Semitism such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which regularly denounce as anti-Semites public figures who dare to express concern over Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian population—have been silent on the city of Dearborn’s actions, though the local Michigan branch of the ADL mustered a statement requesting that the mayor “reconsider” the journal’s suppression. It did not ask for McGraw’s reinstatement.
Whatever his intentions, Mayor O’Reilly’s effort at censorship backfired. A web page posting McGraw’s article has been visited tens of thousands of times. The article is worth reading.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the first issue of the Dearborn Independent under Ford’s ownership, the article details how the newspaper served as a platform for vicious slanders against Jews—and how these contributed to the Nazi movement in Germany and to current far-right tendencies. Ford, who himself wrote a weekly column in the paper, used his celebrity, as well as millions of dollars of his own money, to promote both the newspaper and its anti-Semitic writings.
Ford’s anti-Semitism, as Hitler’s, was completely bound up with his anti-communism and fear of socialist revolution. Ford was notorious for using his own private army of gangsters and thugs—the notorious Ford Service Department headed by Harry Bennett—to spy on and smash up early efforts to unionize his plants.
In the spring of 1920, the Dearborn Independent launched a series of articles called “The International Jew: The World’s Problem”. These articles revived the Czarist Russian forgery known as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. They were assembled in a book, The International Jew, which sold two million copies and was published in 12 languages.
The Dearborn Independent carried on its attacks on Jews for two years. In part leaning on Ford’s network of car dealerships, the weekly newspaper reached a circulation of 700,000. In sum, Ford’s anti-Semitic publishing efforts were, according to McGraw, “the most sustained printed attacks on Jews the world had ever seen.”
The Dearborn Independent pioneered claims later associated with Hitler that “international financial controllers…are exclusively Jews,” and that “Bolshevism” was a Jewish creation and conspiracy. McGraw quotes Hitler biographer Thomas Weber: “Henry Ford is important for having provided to Hitler confirmation, coming from the very heart of America, of an idea that had been brewing in his mind… Henry Ford thus turned into an anti-Semitic icon for Hitler.”
In his article, McGraw notes that Hitler kept a portrait of Ford on his wall, that he called Ford his “inspiration” in a 1931 interview with the Detroit News, and that he praised Ford even within the pages of Mein Kampf, where the automaker was proclaimed the “one great man” who held out against the alleged Jewish “masters” of the American trade union movement.
Hitler was not alone among the Nazis. Baldur von Schirach, the leader of the National Socialist youth group, said he became an anti-Semite after reading The International Jew. “If Henry Ford said that Jews were to blame, why, naturally we believed him,” von Schirach said at the Nuremburg trials. “You have no idea what a great influence this book had on the thinking of German youth.”
Ford ended his publication of the Dearborn Independent after he was sued for libel by Aaron Sapiro, a Jewish leader of the farm cooperative movement. But it is doubtful that Ford ever renounced his anti-Semitism. “In summer 1938, with the German Wehrmacht having marched into Austria, and despite years of deflecting charges he was an anti-Semite, Ford accepted a 75th birthday present from Hitler,” McGraw writes. “It was the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, the highest award the regime bestowed on foreigners.”
Ford’s anti-Semitism remains an inspiration to the far-right. “[T]he Internet age has given Ford’s anti-Semitic literature a powerful new life,” McGraw writes. “Today, a century after Ford purchased the Dearborn Independent and 72 years after his death, his legacy of hate is stronger than ever—it flourishes on the websites and forums of white nationalists, racists and others who hate Jews.”
Henry Ford Was Anti-Semitic. Bill McGraw Wrote About It — And Got Fired: here.
Lee Iacocca, the president of Ford Motor Company from 1970 to 1978 and CEO of Chrysler Corporation from 1978 to 1992, died at his home in Bel Air, California on Tuesday at the age of 94: here.
This September 2015 video says about itself:
Blue-streak Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus)
In certain locations around the reef, often over the top of prominent corals such as is the case here, cleaner wrasse will set up a cleaner station. Fish become habituated to this and display over the station by spreading their fins and changing colour indicating they wish to be cleaned. The cleaner wrasse swim up and oblige, getting a free meal in the process as they clean parasites, dirt and the fishes’ wounds.
This 7 February 2019 video says about itself:
The fish that recognise themselves in the mirror
Here, a cleaner wrasse interacts with its reflection in a mirror placed on the outside of the aquarium glass. Note that the mirror itself cannot be seen in this photo because the aquarium glass itself becomes reflective at the viewing angle of the camera.
Fish Appear to Recognize Themselves in the Mirror
February 7, 2019
A species of fish, the cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus), responds to its reflection and attempts to remove marks on its body during the mirror test — a method held as the gold standard for determining if animals are self-aware. The finding, published on February 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, suggests that fish might possess far higher cognitive powers than previously thought, and ignites a high-stakes debate over how we assess the intelligence of animals that are so unlike ourselves.
The study’s researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO) and Osaka City University (OCU), say that their results provide clear evidence of behaviours that appear to pass through all phases of the mirror test, but that the interpretation of what these mean is less clear: Does a ‘pass’ mark in the mirror test demonstrate that fish possess self-awareness — a cognitive trait thought only to be present in primates and some other mammals? Or can the mirror test be solved by very different cognitive processes than previously thought?
“The behaviours we observe leave little doubt that this fish behaviourally fulfils all criteria of the mirror test as originally laid out. What is less clear is whether these behaviours should be considered as evidence that fish are self-aware — even though in the past these same behaviours have been interpreted as self-awareness in so many other animals,” says Dr Alex Jordan, senior author on the study.
The ability to perceive and recognise a reflected mirror image as self (mirror self-recognition) is considered a hallmark of cognition across species. To test for this phenomenon in fish, the researchers applied the classic ‘mark’ test to the cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) — a marine fish best known for its behaviour of “cleaning” external parasites from client fish — by placing a coloured mark on fish in a location that can only be seen in a mirror reflection. In order to gain a ‘pass’, the test requires that the animal must touch or investigate the mark, demonstrating that it perceives the reflected image as itself. This is clearly a challenge for animals such as fish that lack limbs and hands.
The researchers observed that fish attempted to remove the marks by scraping their bodies on hard surfaces after viewing themselves in the mirror. Fish never attempted to remove transparent marks in the presence of a mirror, or coloured marks when no mirror was present — suggesting that marked fish were responding to the visual cue of seeing the mark on themselves in the mirror. Further, unmarked fish did not attempt to remove marks from themselves when interacting with a marked fish across a clear divider, nor did they attempt to remove marks placed on the mirror itself — suggesting that fish were not innately reacting to a mark resembling an ectoparasite anywhere in the environment, for instance due to hard-wired feeding responses.
Dr Jordan acknowledges the controversial nature of the study, saying: “Depending on your position, you might reject the interpretation that these behaviours in a fish satisfy passing the test at all. But on what objective basis can you do this when the behaviours they show are so functionally similar to those of other species that have passed the test?”
The PLOS Biology editors also recognized the potential for controversy, and commissioned an accompanying commentary from Professor Frans de Waal, a leading primatologist at Emory University who has studied mirror self-recognition in mammals. While de Waal finds the fish study intriguing, he urges caution in interpreting it. In doing so, he calls for less black-and-white approach to animal self-awareness. “What if self-awareness develops like an onion, building layer upon layer, rather than appearing all at once?” asks de Waal. “To explore self-awareness further, we should stop looking at responses to the mirror as its litmus test. Only with a richer theory of the self and a larger test battery will we be able to determine all of the various levels of self-awareness, including where exactly fish fit in.”
This 12 May 2015 video says about itself:
One day before a five-day humanitarian cease-fire is supposed to take effect in Yemen, a Moroccan war plane is shot down near the Saudi border.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Morocco withdraws from the military coalition that is fighting in Yemen under the leadership of Saudi Arabia. This is reported by anonymous government sources to news agency AP. They also say that the ambassador in Riyadh has been recalled. In recent times the relationship between the kingdoms has been strained, including about the course of the war in Yemen and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Further details are not known. …
Last month, the Moroccan foreign minister already said that Rabat then had another role within the coalition.
He also suggested that the government frowned upon the recent visits of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed to other Arab countries. Mohammed bin Salman was under heavy pressure at the time of his travels, because of the strong suspicions about his involvement in the killing of Khashoggi.
A government official says to AP that Morocco has refused to receive the crown prince. The reason for this was the busy agenda of the Moroccan king.
This 7 February 2019 video is called Ancestor to modern day sparrows flew around 52 million years ago.
From the Field Museum in the USA:
Earliest known seed-eating perching bird discovered in Fossil Lake, Wyoming
February 7, 2019
Summary: The ‘perching birds‘, or passerines, are the most common birds in the world today — they include sparrows, robins, and finches. They used to be very rare. Scientists have just discovered some of the earliest relatives of the passerines, including a 52-million-year-old fossil with a thick, curved beak for eating seeds.
Most of the birds you’ve ever seen — sparrows, finches, robins, crows — have one crucial thing in common: they’re all what scientists refer to as perching birds, or “passerines”. The passerines make up about 6,500 of the 10,000 bird species alive today. But while they’re everywhere now, they were once rare, and scientists are still learning about their origins. In a new paper in Current Biology, researchers have announced the discovery of one of the earliest known passerine birds, from 52 million years ago.
“This is one of the earliest known perching birds. It’s fascinating because passerines today make up most of all bird species, but they were extremely rare back then. This particular piece is just exquisite,” says Field Museum Neguanee Distinguished Service Curator Lance Grande, an author of the paper. “It is a complete skeleton with the feathers still attached, which is extremely rare in the fossil record of birds.”
The paper describes two new fossil bird species — one from Germany that lived 47 million years ago, and another that lived in what’s now Wyoming 52 million years ago, a period known as the Early Eocene. The Wyoming bird, Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi, is the earliest example of a bird with a finch-like beak, similar to today’s sparrows and finches. This legacy is reflected in its name; Eofringilllirostrum means “dawn finch beak.” (Meanwhile, boudreauxi is a nod to Terry and Gail Boudreaux, longtime supporters of science at the Field Museum.)”
The fossil birds’ finch-like, thick beaks hint at their diet. “These bills are particularly well-suited for consuming small, hard seeds,” says Daniel Ksepka, the paper’s lead author, curator at the Bruce Museum in Connecticut. Anyone with a birdfeeder knows that lots of birds are nuts for seeds, but seed-eating is a fairly recent biological phenomenon. “The earliest birds probably ate insects and fish, some may have been eating small lizards,” says Grande. “Until this discovery, we did not know much about the ecology of early passerines. E. boudreauxi gives us an important look at this.”
“We were able to show that a comparable diversity of bill types already developed in the Eocene in very early ancestors of passerines,” says co-author Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt. “The great distance between the two fossil sites implies that these birds were widespread during the Eocene, while the scarcity of known fossils suggests a rather low number of individuals,” adds Ksepka.
While passerine birds were rare 52 million years ago, E. boudreauxi had the good luck to live and die near Fossil Lake, a site famous for perfect fossilization conditions.
“Fossil Lake is a really graphic picture of an entire community locked in stone — it has everything from fishes and crocs to insects, pollen, reptiles, birds, and early mammals,” says Grande. “We have spent so much time excavating this locality, that we have a record of even the very rare things.”
Grande notes that Fossil Lake provides a unique look at the ancient world — one of the most detailed pictures of life on Earth after the extinction of the dinosaurs (minus the birds) 65 million years ago. “Knowing what happened in the past gives us a better understanding of the present and may help us figure out where we are going for the future.”
With that in mind, Grande plans to continue his exploration of the locale. “I’ve been going to Fossil Lake every year for the last 35 years, and finding this bird is one of the reasons I keep going back. It’s so rich,” says Grande. “We keep finding things that no one’s ever seen before.”
By Alex González in Mexico:
Wave of walkouts in Matamoros, Mexico builds toward general strike
7 February 2019
The courage and victory of the initial strike wave of 70,000 workers at 45 “maquiladoras” in Matamoros, Mexico has inspired new and broader sections of workers to go on strike.
According to government statistics, over the past week 40,000 more workers have launched wildcat strikes in a rebellion … while the vast majority of workers at the original 45 striking plants have now won their demands. The walkouts now encompass auto parts, electrical, trash collection, supermarket, textile, food processing and other workers. The movement is growing in the direction of a general strike.
The renewed wave of strikes takes place after workers at 41 of the 45 plants organized by the Union of Laborers and Industrial Workers of the Maquiladora Industry (SJOIIM) rebelled against the union and the companies and won a 20 percent wage increase and a 32,000 peso ($US1,700) bonus, or what the workers call their “20 and 32.” Based on this initial shot across the bow, workers from another 32 companies have followed suit and have launched their own wildcat strikes.
Significantly, the strikes are taking place even though workers from the Industrial Union of Workers at Maquiladora and Assembly Plants (SITPME) and the Union of Workers in the Maquiladora and Assembly Industry (STIME) did not have a yearly bonus pegged to increases in the minimum wage stipulated in their contract, which was the initial impetus for the first strike wave on January 12. Instead, workers are fighting with a conscious understanding that they deserve more from the corporations that exploit their labor 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for less than a dollar per hour.
The extent of the strike demonstrates the commonality of interests between all sections of workers, regardless of their industry or other secondary traits. It is part of a global resurgence of the class struggle after decades of its suppression by the trade unions and takes place as autoworkers in the US, Canada, Latin America and Europe are engaged in a struggle against plant closures, layoffs and other concessions. Some of the plants on strike include auto parts manufacturers Tridonex, Adient, FisherDynamics, and Tricon.
Like their counterparts at SJOIIM, the workers launched a wildcat strike following a mass meeting on Monday that was organized independently of … the trade unions. The SITPME is led by the hated Jesus Mendoza, who shamelessly told strikers on Wednesday that they were “lucky” because they only paid three percent of their wages to the union. …
The multi-industry work stoppage continues to expand day by day. In the past three days, 500 supermarket workers from Soriana and Chedraui—the second and fourth largest grocery chains in the country—have walked out. Walmart workers are rumored to join the strike in the coming days.
Meanwhile, hundreds of workers at Coca-Cola, Vakita milk and Blanquita purified water plants are entering the fifth day of their strikes. About 500 drivers from the Coca-Cola plant in Matamoros, the company’s second largest bottler in Latin America, denounced the fact that they are often forced to work overtime without pay and are charged for bottles that are broken in transit. “We end up losing, not earning money here,” workers said. At Vakita milk, some 200,000 liters of dairy products are not being delivered per day as a result of the strike.
The strike has even spread to public service workers. On Wednesday, Matamoros’ trash collection workers went on strike to demand their own wage increase and bonus. With some 70 workers on strike, 450 tons of trash were collected only through emergency measures implemented by the mayor throughout the day.
At the same time, there are growing calls for workers at the original 45 plants to go back out on strike to defend the 600 workers that were fired as a reprisal for the strike, many of whom were leaders of the factory committees.
The expansion and defense of their gains pits workers against the entire economic and political system of capitalism. The ruling elite is terrified of the scope of the strikes and what they presage: an international resurgence of the class struggle to fight against intolerable levels of inequality, expanding militarization, and attacks against social services.
A new video released by the Tamaulipas state government pleads with workers in other cities not to go on strike. Referring to another city just 80 kilometers from Matamoros, the video states: “Reynosa wants to work, Reynosa does not want strikes, Reynosa wants peace.”
The state and the companies continue to threaten workers with pulling out of Matamoros and leaving thousands of workers unemployed. Chavira Martinez, the state Secretary of Labor, told reporters: “The anticipated [job cuts] are above 5,000 and could even be 20,000, the companies are forecasting cuts within six months on average.”
The objective logic of the developments in Matamoros is a general strike, drawing in ever broader sections of the population in a common fight for social equality. …
The threat of plant closures and mass firings in Matamoros can only be defeated by mobilizing the independent strength of the working class. Now more than ever, it is crucial that the Matamoros workers send democratically-elected delegations of workers to other cities to mobilize other sections of the working class. …
Above all, the growing strike wave must unite with workers across the Americas, including US and Canadian workers who are objectively linked to the Matamoros workers through the economic process of production. We urge workers to attend and support the February 9 demonstration by autoworkers in Detroit, Michigan, which is being held with the perspective of unifying the working class across borders.
The reality of capitalism: General Motors makes $11.8 billion in profits while closing plants, eliminating 14,000 jobs: here.
Incomplete skeleton of Gobiraptor minutus was likely that of a juvenile
February 6, 2019
A new oviraptorosaur species from the Late Cretaceous was discovered in Mongolia, according to a study published in February 6, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Yuong-Nam Lee from Seoul National University, South Korea, and colleagues.
Oviraptorosaurs were a diverse group of feathered, bird-like dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of Asia and North America. Despite the abundance of nearly complete oviraptorosaur skeletons discovered in southern China and Mongolia, the diet and feeding strategies of these toothless dinosaurs are still unclear. In this study, Lee and colleagues described an incomplete skeleton of an oviraptorosaur found in the Nemegt Formation of the Gobi desert of Mongolia.
The new species, named Gobiraptor minutus, can be distinguished from other oviraptorosaurs in having unusual thickened jaws. This unique morphology suggests that Gobiraptor used a crushing feeding strategy, supporting previous hypotheses that oviraptorosaurs probably fed on hard food items such as eggs, seeds or hard-shell mollusks. Histological analyses of the femur revealed that the specimen likely belonged to a very young individual.
The finding of a new oviraptorosaur species in the Nemegt Formation, which consists mostly of river and lake deposits, confirms that these dinosaurs were extremely well adapted to wet environments. The authors propose that different dietary strategies may explain the wide taxonomic diversity and evolutionary success of this group in the region.
The authors add: “A new oviraptorid dinosaur Gobiraptor minutus gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation is described here based on a single holotype specimen that includes incomplete cranial and postcranial elements. The unique morphology of the mandible and the accordingly inferred specialized diet of Gobiraptor also indicate that different dietary strategies may be one of important factors linked with the remarkably high diversity of oviraptorids in the Nemegt Basin.”