Brontosaurus dinosaur video


This 1 December 2019 video says about itself:

Brontosaurus – The Story of the Thunder Lizard

The history of Brontosaurus is one of the most fascinating tales in palaeontology, full of controversies, missing heads and charismatic yet unpleasant people.

Ancient Puerto Ricans barbecued clams


This 6 September 2015 video says about itself:

Puerto Rican recipe: Stew Clams w/ Pasta

Recipe

12 little clams
12 large clams
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Adobo
1 sazon packed
2 tablespoons sofrito
1 tablespoon garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves.

Topped with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.

And, a long time before 2015 … from Cardiff University in Wales:

Barbequed clams on the menu for ancient Puerto Ricans

Analysis of fossilized shells reveals cooking habits of Caribbean civilizations over 2500 years ago

November 27, 2019

Scientists have reconstructed the cooking techniques of the early inhabitants of Puerto Rico by analysing the remains of clams.

Led by Philip Staudigel, who conducted the analysis as a graduate student at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Cardiff University, the team has used new chemical analysis techniques to identify the exact cooking temperatures at which clams were cooked over 2500 years ago.

With cooking temperatures getting up to around 200oC according to the new analysis, the team believe the early Puerto Ricans were partial to a barbeque rather than boiling their food as a soup.

The study, which also involved academics from the University of Miami and Valencia College, has been published today in the journal Science Advances.

Whilst the results throw new light on the cultural practices of the first communities to arrive on the island of Puerto Rico, they also provide at least circumstantial evidence that ceramic pottery technology was not widespread during this period of history — it’s likely that this would be the only way in which the clams could have been boiled.

Lead author of the study Dr Philip Staudigel, currently at Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “Much of peoples’ identity draws upon on where they came from, one of the most profound expressions of this is in cooking. We learn to cook from our parents, who learned from their parents.

“In many parts of the world, written records extend back thousands of years, which often includes recipes. This is not the case in the Caribbean, as there were no written texts, except for petroglyphs. By learning more about how ancient Puerto Rican natives cooked their meals, we can relate to these long-gone peoples through their food.”

In their study, the team analysed over 20kg of fossilised clamshells at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Stable Isotope Lab, which were collected from an archaeological site in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The pre-Arawak population of Puerto Rico were the first inhabitants of the island, arriving sometime before 3000 BC, and came from Central and/or South America. They existed primarily from fishing, hunting, and gathering near the mangrove swamps and coastal areas where they had settled.

The fossilised shells, dating back to around 700 BC, were cleaned and turned into a powder, which was then analysed to determine its mineralogy, as well as the abundance of specific chemical bonds in the sample.

When certain minerals are heated, the bonds between atoms in the mineral can rearrange themselves, which can then be measured in the lab. The amount of rearrangement is proportional to the temperature the mineral is heated.

This technique, known as clumped isotope geochemistry, is often used to determine the temperature an organism formed at but in this instance was used to reconstruct the temperature at which the clams were cooked.

The abundance of bonds in the powdered fossils was then compared to clams which were cooked at known temperatures, as well as uncooked modern clams collected from a nearby beach.

Results showed that that the majority of clams were heated to temperatures greater than 100°C — the boiling point of water — but no greater than 200°C. The results also revealed a disparity between the cooking temperature of different clams, which the researchers believe could be associated with a grilling technique in which the clams are heated from below, meaning the ones at the bottom were heated more than the ones at the top.

“The clams from the archaeological site appeared to be most similar to clams which had been barbequed,” continued Dr Staudigel.

“Ancient Puerto Ricans didn’t use cookbooks, at least none that lasted to the present day. The only way we have of knowing how our ancestors cooked is to study what they left behind. Here, we demonstrated that a relatively new technique can be used to learn what temperature they cooked at, which is one important detail of the cooking process.”

German neo-nazi military officer charged with terorism


This 10 October 2019 video is called Right-wing terrorism In Germany.

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting in Germany:

Right-wing German Army officer Franco A. to be charged for terrorism

2 December 2019

Following an announcement last week, German ex-Army officer Franco A. is to appear in court on the charge of preparing an act of sedition. The information was contained in a recently published ruling by the German Constitutional Court dating from August 22.

The Frankfurt/Main Court of Appeals previously rejected a charge on this issue. However, the details now made public strongly suggest that the 30-year-old ex-Army officer is a neo-Nazi terrorist.

A. was arrested at Vienna’s airport in February 2017 as he sought to recover a weapon he had previously hidden in a toilet. Subsequent investigations revealed that he planned attacks with two accomplices, Maximilian T., and Matthias F., on high-ranking politicians and other public personalities. All three accused were found to possess large quantities of arms and ammunition.

Franco A. also registered as a Syrian refugee in Bavaria, with the apparent intention of blaming future attacks on refugees so as to stoke right-wing and xenophobic sentiment in Germany.

Alongside politicians, the death list included the name of Anetta Kahane, the head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, a target of hatred for the far-right. Nonetheless, Franco A. was released from prison in November 2017 on grounds of insufficient suspicion that he had committed a crime.

Just over six months later, in June 2018, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals dismissed the charge against Franco A. of preparing an act of sedition. The court claimed that although the preparations for the crime were far advanced, Franco A. had not carried them out, even though he allegedly had several opportunities to do so.

On this basis, the court reached the conclusion that there was a lack of suspicion that he had committed a crime. Additional charges, including violations of the firearms law and fraud, were to be dealt with in a trial at the Darmstadt District Court.

In response to this decision, the federal state prosecutor’s office appealed to the Constitutional Court, which has now ruled in favour of the appeal. The Court of Appeals must now hear the state prosecutor’s terrorism case.

The Constitutional Court gave little credibility to Franco A.’s defence. A. claimed that his statements and actions had been misinterpreted and misunderstood by the authorities. He was, in fact, always concerned about “peace, but never violence”.

In a lengthy three-part article in April 2019, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung followed this line in an attempt to rehabilitate Franco A. “The Berlin office of the NZZ has possession of hundreds of pages of files, audio recordings, and mobile phone videos related to the Franco A. case,” wrote the author, Benedict Neff. Neff added that he had repeatedly met with Franco A., his partner, and family members.

Neff could hardly contain his enthusiasm. “One notices that this is a soldier’s home,” he enthused, “due to its cleanliness. The apartment is spotlessly clean.” Franco A. is “still very fit, but his hair is bound in a short ponytail with strands falling over his brow. Nobody would consider him to be an officer any more. Rather, he looks more like an artist or a philosophy student. His beard remains.”

Franco A.’s partner, who was also interviewed in detail by the NZZ, was introduced as Sophia T. … She is the sister of A.’s accomplice, Maximilian T., who served alongside A. as a soldier in Illkirch, France, was briefly arrested, and now works as a personal adviser to Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary deputy Jan Nolte.

The father of Sophia and Maximilian, Thomas Tischer, is a well-known neo-Nazi, who was active in the right-wing extremist Reichsbürger movement and the fascist National Democratic Party (NPD). The author Tobias Ginsburg, who conducted undercover research on the Reichsbürger movement, cited him as saying, “The world can be saved only with radical measures—by biologically exterminating billions and obliterating the Middle East with nuclear weapons.”

While the NZZ portrayed Franco A. as “misunderstood”, the Constitutional Court’s published ruling underscores his right-wing extremist, neo-Nazi outlook.

The defendant has a particular aversion to Jewish people, noted the ruling. “Zionism is conducting a systematic race war by sending millions of migrants to Germany, which will lead to a mixing of the races and the extermination of the German race,” states the ruling in summing up A.’s views. “He compared immigration to genocide and the social welfare state to automatised genocide,” continued the ruling. “Zionism is the root of all evil and the United States serves as a power to impose devilish interests.”

The ruling cited statements and writings, including, “My beliefs are my Germanness, that Israel governs the United States, and that Hitler stands above everyone else.”

Franco A. owned books such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the 1940 work The Wehrmacht—the Liberation Struggle of the Great German People. CDs with Nazi songs were also found in his possession.

According to Franco A.’s outlook, a terrorist is “a freedom fighter for the establishment of a just world,” wrote the Constitutional Court. “In an audio recording from February 2016, A. described his political opponents as ‘swines’ who he and his fellow believers would kill if they got in their way.” Franco A. stated in the recording, “I know you want to murder me, so I’ll murder you first.” Anyone not prepared to do this “may as well give up the struggle from the start.”

To contribute to “the retention of the German nation”, Franco A. planned to “use the fictive identity of a Syrian refugee” to launch attacks on “refugee-friendly” people, including current foreign minister Heiko Maas, Green Party politician Claudia Roth, and Anetta Kahane.

The planned attack on the head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation was far advanced. It was already known that Franco A. carried out surveillance on a parking garage belonging to the organisation in Berlin and noted down car registration plates.

The Constitutional Court has connected this information with other events. In April 2016, he purchased a mounting bar for his long-sight Heckler & Koch G3 gun. Four days after carrying out surveillance on the garage, he performed firing practice with the gun, “suggesting that he was seeking to achieve improved accuracy with the weapon.” It is likely that soon afterwards, probably on July 28, the defendant acquired the pistol in Paris that he later concealed at the Vienna airport.

The claim that Franco A. merely wanted to meet Kahane for a discussion was deemed by the court to lack credibility.

All of this information paints a clear picture of the activities of Franco A. and his accomplices. It is all the more remarkable that the Frankfurt/Main Court of Appeals came to the conclusion in 2018 that it could not sufficiently justify suspicion of the commission of a seditious crime.

This underscores what the>World Socialist Web Site wrote following the dropping of charges in June 2018: “All of the evidence in the case suggests that Franco A. and his accomplices are merely a small portion of a much broader neo-Nazi network within the Army and the German state.”

We now know that Franco A. had contact with a large number of right-wing extremists, including figures with ties to the terrorist organisation National Socialist Underground. The extent of the right-wing extremist network in the state apparatus is also becoming ever clearer.

A prominent role in this is played by the state authorities in Hesse, not merely due to the Court of Appeals decision in the Franco A. case. When Halit Yozgat was murdered by the NSU in Kassel in 2006, Andreas Temme, an employee of the Hesse state intelligence agency, was at the crime scene. The state government led by Volker Bouffier (Christian Democrats, CDU) ensured that relevant files were suppressed for decades. Moreover, evidence shows that death threats sent to a lawyer representing NSU victims, which were signed “NSU 2.0,” were sent by people with connections to the Frankfurt police.

The AfD, which trivialises the Nazis’ crimes, glorifies the [Adolf Hitler] Wehrmacht and rails against refugees and protesting students, enjoys close ties to this right-wing network within the state. Fifteen percent of the AfD’s deputies in the federal parliament and 10 percent in state parliaments are former career soldiers, and 8 percent are former or fired police officers.

History is returning with full force. The political and corporate elites, as they did during the Weimar Republic, are once again turning to authoritarian and fascist forms of rule. The return of Germany to imperialist policies and militarism can be carried through only by suppressing all opposition and encouraging, building up and supporting the most right-wing forces.

While state agencies focus on covering up, financing and organising the right-wing extremist and terrorist activities of soldiers, police officers and intelligence service agents, protests against the AfD are criminalised and declared to be anti-constitutional. For example, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) is described by the Secret Service in its Verfassungsschutz Report as left-wing extremist and anti-constitutional because it firmly opposes nationalism, militarism and the AfD, while advocating a socialist society.

A Jewish mother in Germany is taking her son out of a public high school because of frequent anti-Semitic comments in the classroom: here.

Brazilian Bolsonaro’s new fascist party


This 22 November 2019 video says about itself:

Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and Betsy Reed on our Brazil Exposés

Since June 9, 2019, The Intercept and The Intercept Brasil have been publishing an explosive series of stories revealing grossly unethical conduct by the prosecutors and judge behind the criminal conviction of Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Based on a massive archive of leaked materials, which include private chats, audio recordings, videos, and other documentation, these stories — often referred to in Brazil by the “#VazaJato” hashtag — have sent shock waves through Brazil and the entire world.

On Nov. 8, 2019, Lula was released from prison, and many news outlets in Brazil and around the world have credited The Intercept’s reporting for making that possible.

In this conversation recorded in October, Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald and Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed discuss the impact of this reporting.

By Miguel Andrade in Brazil:

Brazil’s Bolsonaro founds new fascistic party

2 December 2019

On November 21, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro launched a new party, the Alliance for Brazil. It is a fascistic formation explicitly based on loyalty to the president, according to an early manifesto released on November 12. It states that it is “more than a party, [it] is the dream and inspiration of people loyal to President Jair Bolsonaro of uniting the country with allies in ideals and patriotic intent.”

The party’s name deliberately echoes that of the ARENA party created by the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1986. Its program, released at the launching event, is couched in the language of contemporary American neo-fascism as elaborated by Steve Bannon, with whom Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, the head of the Brazilian House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, maintains the closest relations. He is considered the leader of Bannon’s “The Movement” in South America.

The program sets out the blueprint for a fascist movement based on the “complete identity” of Brazil as a nation “inseparable from Christ” and “part of Western civilization”. It states that this is a program to be enacted by Bolsonaro as “successively attested by Divine Providence and repeatedly pointed out by the people.”

In language obsessed with the “natural order” and “security”, the program further sets out “complete opposition to all forms of communism”, to “class struggle” and any limitation on private property. It also lays out plans to exempt the security forces from any legal restraint.

While “repudiating the class struggle” it asserts its aim to “restore the value of work” through the “collaboration of all, be it those directing or executing it.”

In a whole chapter on the defense of the “family” as “the natural nucleus of society”, the program states its “complete opposition to all forms of abortion”, the right to which is described as a “death culture” and a “social treason” that if allowed would destroy “the whole moral and judicial foundation of the State.” Predictably, it sets out to increase penalties on “pedophilia and child trafficking” while vowing to “completely banish” discussions on LGBT rights.

At the launching event, Bolsonaro received as a gift a sculpture of the party’s name made out of bullet cartridges.

The launching of such a party represents a threat to not only Brazilian workers, but—given the history of US-Brazilian collaboration in imposing dictatorships across the continent—the whole South American working class. Its founding comes after repeated threats to impose police-state measures if large demonstrations inspired by those already sweeping Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and now Colombia erupt in Brazil.

Both Eduardo Bolsonaro and the government’s intelligence chief, Gen. Augusto Heleno, have referenced the dictatorship-era “Institutional Act No. 5”, known as AI-5, which shut down Congress, outlawed political parties, suspended habeas corpus and institutionalized torture as a means of suppressing political opposition. Two weeks ago, Bolsonaro threatened the use of the dictatorship-era National Security Law against former Workers Party (PT) president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva for “subversion” after he made vague positive references to the Chile protests in front of thousands of supporters. This week, Finance Minister Paulo Guedes told a business audience in the United States that “no one should be surprised” if calls for such repressive measures are made—or, by implication, if they are actually enacted.

The prospect of a coup by Bolsonaro is now regularly discussed in the Brazilian press, with the main question raised being that of whether he has the political ability to head such a movement. Following Guedes’ US statements, market trends columnist for Brazil’s largest daily—Folha de S. Paulo—Daniela Lima wrote that investors speculate that, unable to overcome divisions in Congress, “the government may create a crisis in order to widen its powers beyond the Constitution.”

In the same week that he launched his party, Bolsonaro sent to Congress Law Project (PL) 6.125, guaranteeing that the military will go unpunished for murders “if they feel threatened” during so-called Guarantee of Law and Order operations in Brazil—acts decreed by the president that include the suspension of democratic rights.

This provision has been enacted no less than 138 times since created in the post-dictatorship 1988 Constitution. Its most notable use was the year-and-a-half-long intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro during which state killings jumped 80 percent in some regions, and Rio city councillor Marielle Franco was brutally murdered. Yesterday, a similar revision was approved by the House Constitutional Committee, widening the concept of “legitimate defense” in the Military Criminal Code from situations of “unjust aggression” to those involving “unjust or imminent aggression.”

Bolsonaro directly related the move to the threat of mass demonstrations, stating on Tuesday that Congress must give him such powers in the case of “terrorism” such as “burning of buses” and “invasion of ministries”, also announcing that he would request the authorization to send the Army to clear camps of farmers demanding land reform.

The unprecedented crisis affecting bourgeois rule in Brazil—the motive force behind the formation of Bolsonaro’s new party—has found sharp expression in the reactions of the country’s oldest newspaper, Estado de S. Paulo, to an apparently unrelated issue, a comment made by the Bolsonaro loyalist who heads the Education Ministry, Abraham Weintraub, who is known for paraphrasing the Nazis by saying that “communists are at the top of the country, the top of financial institutions, the owners of the papers, the big companies and the monopolies.”

On the holiday commemorating the ousting of Brazilian Emperor Pedro II and proclamation of a republic on November 15, 1889, Weintraub called the country’s first president, Marshall Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca, a “traitor” and defended the monarchy. Estado de S. Paulo, which acts as a mouthpiece for the Army High Command, regularly featuring generals in its opinion pages, demanded his firing in an editorial titled “Red Line.” Right-wing columnist Demetrio Magnoli, who is generally aligned with the Estado editorial board, wrote in Folha: “Weintraub’s problem is not [Marshall] Deodoro, but the political break inaugurating the modern era” and “the Republic, a city without a God”, later adding that as a Bolsonaro loyalist, he believes that positivism—the official ideology of the Army High Command at the turn of the XIXth century—“inevitably opens the door to Communism.”

Many columnists have noted that the fascist language presented by Bolsonaro’s new party is unprecedented even for the ruling ARENA under the US-backed dictatorship.

In the face of such unprecedented threats, however, every political force—from bourgeois editorial boards to the pseudo-left—is attempting to minimize them as the product of mundane disputes over electoral campaign financing or corruption schemes, when not dismissing them entirely as inconsequential.

Estado editorialized on November 16: “At this point, it is clear that the motivation of Bolsonaro to leave the party that harbored him is purely finances,” contending that “the formation of a new party in Brazil is not reasonable” given the fragmented political landscape. Even more cowardly was the reaction of Folha, the mouthpiece of Bolsonaro’s “liberal” opposition, which editorialized in relation to the new party’s program that “such texts mean close to nothing in practice”, while taking issue with the fact that it is “not really economically liberal”.

It is a fact that Bolsonaro has virtually no mass support for such a project, let alone the mass middle-class base that characterized fascism in the 1930s. …

The Brazilian bourgeoisie is seeking an unprecedented alignment with US imperialism at the time of its greatest crisis, with both countries seeing the regurgitation of fascistic filth in the form of Bolsonaro and Trump. …

The threat of fascism originates not in the mind of Bolsonaro, but in the outlook of a significant section of the Brazilian capitalist class, which is looking toward dictatorship as the means of defending its wealth against a rising working class. Only the independent mobilization of the working class, armed with an internationalist socialist strategy … will be able to defeat the threat of fascism by putting an end to its source, the capitalist system.