Red-backed shrike couple in Sweden

This video is about a red-backed shrike couple in Sweden.

Thick-billed euphonia sings in Panama

This 2 October 2019 video says about itself:

Male Thick-billed Euphonia Extended Singing Session – Oct 2, 2019

One of the most common visitors to the Panama Fruit Feeder, the Thick-billed Euphonia, is quite a skilled mimic. The Thick-billed Euphonia’s song is a rambling string of original notes and mimicked notes from other birds. Both males and females sing a variety of musical notes including a loud sharp “preet” and harsh, buzzy rattled “tziit”. Listen to this male perform his lovely song for us at the feeder.

Bernie Sanders recovering, Fox News not

As United States senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is recovering from an earlier medical problem, this 4 October 2019 video says about itself:

Bernie’s Medicare For All Push SPOOKS Fox News

The Young Turks’ Emma Vigeland reports on how Fox News FRANTICALLY cut off Dr. Oz when he started talking about how popular Bernie Sanders‘ Medicare For All plan is among doctors.

Must be a coincidence…

ANOTHER FOX NEWS DEPARTURE Veteran Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge is leaving the network to join CBS News, where “facts matter,” she said. Her departure comes a few weeks after longtime Fox News host Shepard Smith abruptly left the network. [HuffPost]

Donald Trump’s anti-Semitism

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s Anti-Immigration Policies Are a Deepening of Previous Administration Policies

Although Trump’s rhetoric on immigration is shocking, suggesting border patrol should shoot border crossing immigrants in the legs, his policies are an intensification of policies that began under Obama,

I’d say, a lot earlier than Obama.

not a dramatic departure, says Aviva Chomsky.

By Peter Beinart in the USA:

With Anti-Semitic Attack On ‘Shifty’ Foe, Trump Shows Off The Mechanism Of His Racism

October 3, 2019

On Wednesday, Donald Trump again referred to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as “shifty Schiff”. If you think that sounds vaguely anti-Semitic, you’re right. And it’s likely only the beginning. As the impeachment inquiry escalates, Trump’s anti-Semitic rhetoric probably will too.

It won’t escalate because Trump is any more hostile to Jews than he is to other religious or racial minorities. It will escalate because Trump thinks in terms of stereotypes. Thus, when challenged by an adversary, he often invokes bigoted tropes about their race, religion or gender. And for the next few months, as Trump’s presidency hangs in the balance, one of his biggest adversaries will be Adam Schiff, a Jew.

It’s no surprise that Trump called Schiff “shifty” — which means tricky or deceitful, or that in the past he’s called him “little pencil-neck”. When discussing Jews, Trump often plays on well-worn caricatures about cleverness, deviousness and physical weakness. He was quoted in 1991 as saying “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes.” In 2015, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition that, “This room negotiates deals. Perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to” but “you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.”

Trump does something analogous when challenged by African Americans. He responds with racist stereotypes about their supposed lack of intelligence. When LeBron James criticized him in an interview with Don Lemon, Trump called the CNN host “the dumbest man on television… He made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” Trump even called Barack Obama “a terrible student” who didn’t deserve admission to Columbia and Harvard Law School.

Another favored Trump stereotype about blacks is that they’re poor and unsanitary. When Representative John Lewis announced he wouldn’t attend Trump’s inauguration, Trump declared that Lewis’s district was “in horrible shape and falling apart.” When Representative Elijah Cummings challenged Trump’s policies at the border, Trump called his district “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

When women challenge Trump, he often calls them ugly. “Look at that face!” he exclaimed about Carly Fiorina in September 2015, when she was rising in the polls. “Would anyone vote for that?” When Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski criticized him in 2017, Trump mocked her for “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” When Stormy Daniels sued him, he called her “horseface”.

And when Trump’s critics are women of color, he mixes and matches his stereotypes. Thus, when African American Representative Maxine Waters said Trump should be impeached, Trump called her not only a “seriously low IQ person” but also a “real beauty”. After Khizr Khan’s speech at the 2016 Democratic national convention, Trump suggested that his wife, Ghazala Khan, a Muslim woman, had remained silent on stage because “she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”

Trump has done something similar with the disabled. When New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski disputed his claim that “thousands” of Arabs in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks, Trump mimicked the way Kovaleski — who suffers from arthrogryposis — moves his arms and hands.

Like many of Trump’s responses, the attack was a non-sequitur. The way Kovaleski moves his limbs, or the condition of Elijah Cummings’ district, or the size of Adam Schiff’s neck, have no bearing on their criticisms of Trump. They are simply a way of undermining his perceived adversaries by conjuring negative stereotypes about the group of which they are a part.

To some, these taunts may seem too juvenile to be truly dangerous. Trump’s is the bigotry of the playground; when threatened, he simply picks up whatever negative material is most readily at hand. When attacked by a newspaper, he says it’s losing money; when attacked by a comedian, he says the comedian is not funny; when attacked by a Jew, he says the Jew is skinny and devious.

But they are dangerous. When Trump speaks, millions of Americans nod in fervent agreement.

Will one of them show up at a local synagogue looking to exact revenge on Trump’s shifty, pencil-necked tormentors, just as Robert Bowers last year went seeking revenge against the Jews who were supposedly facilitating what Trump often called an immigrant “invasion”? Probably not. But, all things being equal, I’d feel safer living in a country in which the president didn’t invoke anti-Semitic stereotypes at all.

Peter Beinart is a Senior Columnist at [US Jewish daily] The Forward and Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He is also a Contributor to The Atlantic and a CNN Political Commentator.

TRUMP SLAMMED FOR ANTI-SEMITIC CLAIM Jewish groups denounced President Donald Trump for anti-Semitic tropes after he referred to some Jewish voters in the real estate business as “brutal killers” who will vote for him to dodge a wealth tax. Trump also complained that some Jews “don’t love Israel enough” in a weekend speech to a Jewish group. [HuffPost]

Why big Ice Age mammals became extinct

This 2015 video is called 10 Amazing Extinct Animals from the Pleistocene.

From the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany:

Microscopic evidence sheds light on the disappearance of the world’s largest mammals

New, state-of-the-art methods provide detailed insights into the timing and causes of ‘megafauna’ extinctions in the past

October 2, 2019

Understanding the causes and consequences of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions is increasingly important in a world of growing human populations and climate change. A new review, led by scholars at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, highlights the role that cutting-edge scientific methods can play in broadening the discussions about megafaunal extinction and enabling more localized insights into ecosystems and species-specific responses to climate change and human activities.

The disappearance of many of the world’s largest mammal species occurred around the same time that two other major transformations in Earth’s history were unfolding: dramatic climatic change at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary (c. 10,000 B.P.) and the dispersal of Homo sapiens to new continents. Untangling the role each of these played in Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions has been the subject of intense scholarly debate for decades. However, recent advances in archaeological and paleontological science methods have helped demonstrate that megafaunal extinctions are more complex than any single humans-versus-climate answer can provide.

The new article, published in BioScience, emphasizes contributions from five different approaches: radiocarbon dating, stable isotope analysis, ancient DNA, ancient proteins, and microscopy. These techniques can offer robust, high-resolution insights into climate change and extinction chronologies, past habitat transformations, ecological relationships, and species diet and ranging. Especially when used in combination, these advanced methods offer unprecedented levels of detail that can help to better understand causes of extinctions in the past, which can then be applied to contemporary animal management aims, including risk assessments and rewilding efforts.

The review is an international and multidisciplinary collaboration between leading experts in megafaunal extinction research and emerging laboratory science methods. “When we started this collaboration, we were worried that we’d never get everyone to see eye-to-eye on megafaunal extinctions,” says Jillian Swift, lead author and archaeologist at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. “But it was easy to agree on the urgency of understanding deep-time human impacts to Earth systems, so that we can continue to make informed conservation decisions for our future.”

“Approaches to extinctions of ‘megafauna’ in the past are often based on sweeping narratives that assume that all species are equally vulnerable to external threats such as environmental change and human hunting,” says Patrick Roberts, of the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and co-author on the study. “Archaeological science methods allow us to get past these generalizations and explore how the diets, demography, and mobility of individual species and populations changed through time, providing a far more complex, and accurate, picture of past ecosystems.”

“We believe that large, multidisciplinary collaborations such as this offer the best way to approach questions of such magnitude as ‘megafaunal extinctions‘”, says Nicole Boivin, Director of the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and co-author. “It is only by coming together, from a variety of fields and backgrounds, that we can apply very different expertise and methodologies to build up more detailed understandings of the past that have major, pressing implications for present-day processes and threats.”