Rufescent tiger-heron in Brazil


This video shows a young rufescent tiger-heron in Brazil.

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‘Humanitarian’ wars, a lie


This 12 April 2019 video -by Tulsi Gabbard, disillusioned Iraq war veteran, United States Congresswoman and Democratic party presidential candidate, says about itself:

“Humanitarian” Wars are a Lie

The foreign policy establishment and military industrial complex wage one regime change war after another under the guise of humanitarianism—wars that INCREASE the people’s suffering and devastation in those countries, and strengthen jihadists like al-Qaeda.

United States policeman son’s racist church burnings


This 11 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Church Arson Suspect Arrested, You Won’t Believe Who His Dad Is

Police arrested the 21-year-old son of a sheriff’s deputy in connection to fires at three historically black churches in one Louisiana Parish in just 10 days. The fires were devastating to the St. Landry Parish community.

Investigators arrested suspect Holden Matthews Wednesday evening. He was charged Thursday morning with three counts of simple arson of a religious building. The maximum penalty for each counts is 15 years in prison. …

Records show Matthews lives in Saint Landry Parish, where the churches burned just a few miles apart.”

Sheriff’s deputy’s son took an interest in black metal and pagan social media pages, which had connections to neo-Nazism and white supremacy: here.

By Aaron Murch in the USA:

Arrest made in connection with church burnings in Louisiana

12 April 2019

Three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish, in south-central Louisiana, have been set on fire in a span of ten days. On Wednesday, April 10, Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of a St. Landry sheriff’s deputy, was arrested as the suspected arsonist behind the fires.

The string of arsons began on March 26 in the town of Port Barre, where the St. Mary Baptist Church burned down under suspicious circumstances. One week later, in nearby Opelousas, two more churches caught fire, the Greater Union Baptist Church on April 2 and the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church two days later.

The churches were empty at the time of the fires and no injuries have been reported, but given the region’s dark history of racist attacks by whites against black churches local parishioners were concerned about a possible racial motivation behind the burnings.

The Democratic governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, gave a press conference laying out the tone of the investigation: “I don’t know what this young man’s motive was, I don’t know what was in his heart, but I can say it cannot be justified or rationalized,” Edwards said, “It has been especially painful because it reminds us of a very dark past of intimidation and fear.”

According to the latest Census data, St. Landry Parish, west of Baton Rouge, is home to over 83,000 people. Located in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole community St. Landry’s population is about 56 percent white and 42 percent black. Holden Matthews is white.

Given that the churches targeted were historically black—St. Mary’s in particular has been around for 126 years as an African American Baptist Church—the Southern Poverty Law Center is classifying these burnings as a hate crime. The sheriff’s department has not explicitly declared the burnings a hate crime and prosecutors have not yet brought hate crime charges, which carry with them harsher sentences.

According to authorities, Matthews’ truck was caught on camera leaving one of the churches and a specifically branded gas can used in the burnings was found in his possession.

While it is unclear if racial hatred was a major motivating factor, Matthews, a musician in a local metal band, has made comments on Facebook praising black metal artists known for burning churches in Norway in the early 90s. According to his profile Matthews is a fan of “black metal”, a subgenre of hard rock, which in some areas has attracted advocates of white nationalism and neo-Nazi ideologies.

Matthews’ father Roy Matthews is a deputy at the local sheriff’s department but was not involved in the investigation. He claimed he was unaware of his son’s activities and did not know of any racist bias his son may have had.

The New Orleans division of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms led the investigation into the attacks, claiming to advocate a “zero tolerance” approach to the case. “These were evil acts,” Governor Edwards said at the news conference.

The NAACP called the burnings “domestic terrorism” …

Whatever his motives in the church burnings, and their connection to far-right, neo-Nazi ideology, Matthews’ actions are a warning sign of a greater social crisis in a region which is impoverished and has had public education virtually gutted in recent decades under both Republican and Democratic leadership.

The Lafayette area has itself seen a steady decline in good paying manufacturing and oil jobs over the years. In St. Landry Parish the most common job available is custodian, at extremely low pay.

Holden Matthews‘ arrested for allegedly burning down three historic Black churches in Louisiana came on Wednesday. But the suspected white supremacist was still getting sympathy in mainstream media coverage. The Associated Press made sure to report early on in its story Friday that Matthews’ friend said the man accused of racist arson was actually “a really sweet guy”: here.

‘Hate’ May Have Driven Suspect Holden Matthews To Burn Black Churches: here.

Australian police knew Christchurch terrorist, did nothing


This 17 March 2019 video says about itself:

Christchurch, New Zealand shooting survivor recounts attack

Muhammad Luthfan Fadhli, who is 19 and originally from Indonesia, recalled his time inside the mosque where a shooter unleashed gunfire on March 15 that killed 50 people.

By Tom Peters in New Zealand:

Australian police dismissed death threat by Christchurch terrorist

12 April 2019

A few hours after the March 15 mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch which killed 50 people and injured more, New Zealand’s police commissioner Mike Bush was asked in a press conference: “Why were these people [initially there was more than one suspect] not on a security watch list? Were they completely unknown to police?”

He replied: “No agency had any information about these people… I’ve been in contact with my Australian colleagues, they have no information on them at all either.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the media that the shooter, Australian fascist Brenton Tarrant, was “on nobody’s radar, anywhere.” New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern made a similar statement.

In fact, it is now clear that the gunman had come to the attention of Australian police more than two years before the attack. On Wednesday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that in September 2016, a man went to police in the Melbourne suburb of Eltham after receiving a death threat from Tarrant via Facebook.

The man had criticised the United Patriots Front (UPF), an extreme-right group that was planning an anti-refugee rally in Melbourne. In response, Tarrant said: “The UPF is the leading ethno-nationalist group within Australia… When you speak against the UPF you speak against my right to a home for my people and my culture. This marks you.”

Tarrant warned the man to “choose your words carefully” and “think of who you insult.” He then added: “If you are a nationalist I hope you one day see the light, and if you are a Marxist I hope you one day meet the rope.”

The man made a screenshot of Tarrant’s Facebook message and took it to police, who dismissed the death threat and told him to block Tarrant on Facebook. Police did not take an official statement.

Victoria Police told the ABC yesterday they had “no record” of the 2016 complaint, adding that they had “strong arrangements in place for monitoring and tracking people who pose a threat to the community.”

There is no innocent explanation for police refusing to investigate or even, apparently, make a record of Tarrant’s death threat. The episode raises extremely disturbing questions about the relationship between the police and Australia’s anti-immigrant and fascist groups.

The death threat was not an isolated incident. Tarrant made numerous public comments on Facebook in 2016 hailing the UPF and its neo-Nazi leader, Blair Cottrell, and threatening “globalists and Marxists.”

In one instance, when members of the UPF violently clashed with counter-protesters in Coburg, Tarrant wrote: “Communists will get what communists get, I would love to be there holding one end of the rope when you get yours traitor.” All of this was apparently ignored by police and intelligence agencies.

In New Zealand, police similarly dismissed a complaint made in late 2017 by Peter Briedhal, who was concerned about the racist, anti-Muslim comments expressed by members of the Bruce Rifle Club, which Tarrant had joined after moving to New Zealand that year. When Briedhal went to police he was told not to worry, and his complaint was not recorded.

If authorities had “no information” on the Christchurch terrorist, this is because police in Australia and New Zealand had deliberately shielded him. For several years he was allowed to travel the world, donate to fascist groups in Europe, amass a stockpile of weapons and prepare his atrocity, all while making public comments on Facebook and 8chan expressing his murderous hatred of Marxists and Muslims.

The reason Tarrant was not stopped is suggested in his fascist manifesto, which expresses support for the military and police and states that he did not want to shoot any police officers in the course of his attack. He estimated that in Europe hundreds of thousands of far-right nationalists were employed in the armed forces.

The manifesto has been banned by New Zealand’s chief censor in order to prevent public discussion of Tarrant’s political motivations. The ruling elite do not want any questions raised about whether members of the police and intelligence agencies in New Zealand and Australia share Tarrant’s fascist views.

The document shows the similarity of the gunman’s anti-immigrant and anti-Marxist politics to those of the political establishment throughout the world, including the administration of US President Donald Trump.

In Australia and New Zealand, anti-Muslim racism has been cultivated for decades to justify the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have killed more than a million people. … New Zealand First, which is part of the Labour-led government, has frequently demonised Muslims and Chinese people, using language similar to that of the Christchurch shooter.

The entire Australian political establishment and media have viciously attacked refugees fleeing wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, creating an environment in which right-wing nationalist groups have flourished. The UPF and True Blue Crew have received significant promotion on TV and radio programs. One Channel 7 report in January 2018 described these fascist organisations, led by admirers of Adolf Hitler, as concerned “patriots” seeking “to help average Australians deal with what they are calling an immigrant crime crisis.”

The working class must draw the necessary political lessons from the systematic promotion of the extreme right by capitalist parties and the media, and the protection given to fascists like Tarrant by the police. The official response to the Christchurch shootings is to cover up the political roots of the attack and push for censorship of the internet and other police-state powers. These will be used, not against fascists, but against workers and young people who are moving to the left and seeking to fight against austerity and militarism.

“The historic function of fascism,” Leon Trotsky wrote in 1934, “is to smash the working class, destroy its organisations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery.” He warned workers that it was fatal to rely on the police or bourgeois parliaments to oppose fascism.

Today, while fascism is not a mass movement, it presents a growing danger to working people throughout the world, amid the most severe crisis of global capitalism since the 1930s. The working class must respond by building a socialist movement to unite workers around the world in a political fight to abolish capitalism, which is the source of nationalism and fascism as well as social inequality and war.

The author also recommends:

Why was the New Zealand terrorist attack not prevented?
[27 March 2019]

New Zealand government bans fascist terrorist Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto
[26 March 2019]

The New Zealand terrorist attack and the international danger of fascism
[18 March 2019]

Australia’s political spy agency boss told a Senate estimates hearing this week there was no reason to refocus intelligence gathering on right-wing extremism, despite an Australian white supremacist being charged with the killing of Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15: here.

Avocets, godwits and goslings


This April 2012 video is about nature reserve Polders Poelgeest.

I went there on 10 April 2019.

Near the entrance, grey lag geese and black-headed gulls swimming.

Jackdaws flying.

A bit further, mute swans. And a tufted duck couple.

From a garden on the other side of the canal, a dunnock sings.

Egyptian geese and Canada geese.

And an unusual couple: a Canada goose with a hybrid barnacle goose-Canada goose individual.

A great cormorant flies.

In the canal between the southern and northern lakes, a great crested grebe swims.

I found some red fox poop on the footpath.

In the northern lake: teal and northern shoveler ducks.

About a dozen black-tailed godwits. Most have already gone to their nesting areas.

A male and a female shelduck.

Northern lapwings.

A gadwall couple.

À grey heron flies along the railroad canal.

A snipe flying.

In the northern lake, three avocets foraging.

White dead-nettle flowers.

In the northern meadow and the northern lake, grey lag geese goslings with their parents.