Tufted ducks, blackbird and woodpecker


This June 2018 4K Cinematic Drone Video is about the Schoorlse Duinen nature reserve.

After 21 January 2020 there, we were also in the Schoorlse Duinen on 22 January.

This time, not to the North Sea, but to small lakes in the interior.

A great tit calling.

As we walked, a great spotted woodpecker. And a nuthatch on a mossy tree.

A jay calls.

A blackbird. A blue tit.

This 2011 video is about a lake in the Schoorlse Duinen.

We reach a lake where 11 tufted ducks sometimes sleep, sometimes dive. Coots in this lake dived more often.

On the footpath, a robin.

A kestrel flies past.

In the next lake, two tufted ducks, a coot and a moorhen.

Australians demonstrate against pro-bushfire government


Protesters march in Melbourne, Australia

From the World Socialist Web Site in Australia:

Australia: Thousands protest government inaction on bushfires and climate change

By our reporters

22 January 2020

On Saturday, several thousands of young people demonstrated in Melbourne, the Victorian state capital, in opposition to the official response to the ongoing bushfire crisis across the country.

The protests reflect the deep hostility and distrust that ordinary workers and youth have for successive Labor and Liberal-National coalition governments who have refused to act to mitigate bushfires or take any action on climate change, which is contributing to the severity of droughts and fire danger.

Like earlier rallies, the events were organised by Uni Students for Climate Justice …

Socialist Alternative’s Cormac Ritchard told the Melbourne rally: “If the Liberal MP who follows Morrison won’t [tackle climate change]—and they won’t—then we’ll sack them as well. And if the Labor Party government that comes in after them won’t do it—and they won’t—then we’ll sack them as well.” …

Kath Larkin

Socialist Alternative’s Kath Larkin—a leading figure in the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU)—also spoke at the Melbourne rally. Larkin denounced the “so-called Labor opposition,” as well as the Morrison government

She singled out the United Workers’ Union … and the RTBU for their statements of support for the protest. …

In Melbourne, Socialist Equality Party (SEP) campaigners and World Socialist Web Site reporters found a warm response from workers and youth at the rally for a revolutionary, internationalist and socialist program.

Josh

Speaking with WSWS reporters, musician Josh said: “The government isn’t doing anything about the fires. ScoMo went to Hawaii and left us to burn. There wasn’t enough done to reduce the impacts of it. And they saw it coming for a long time and did nothing.” …

Jennifer (right)

Jennifer works in philanthropy and attended the rally with Mark, and daughter Rose. She said, “The government is not doing nearly enough. They’ve got a ridiculous position about climate change, complete denial, in bed with the coal industry. We vote against it whenever we can but it’s clearly not enough. So we want to keep sending a signal that we’re unhappy.”

Angie (left)

Victoria University nursing student Angie told the WSWS: “The fires are happening and the government doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all. You can only do so much raising money on social media. Climate change is real and it is going to have a terrible impact on future generations. It all comes down to money and how much they can make. But what is the point of improving economically if there isn’t going to be anywhere to live?”

Marcus (right)

Marcus noted that “the fires are definitely climate change-induced, I think we have to stand up to the government and actually demand that they do something. I think the response is focussing on emergency and disaster planning. I see that as a Band-Aid effect. I think you have to get to the root cause, and the root cause is climate change.”

Jessica

High-school student Jessica, originally from New Zealand, said she thinks “climate change is the biggest issue we are facing. I think there is too much greed, and profit is prevalent. Once there is money and power—there’s too much. I think that climate change is not unconnected. Everything that happens has to take into account climate change. Social justice has to be tackled.”

Matt, from the outer-eastern Melbourne suburb of Boronia, told WSWS reporters: “The situation is getting worse. I don’t think politicians want to hear about this. In Australia we have a Prime Minister who brought in a lump of coal into the parliament. I vote Labor but I don’t think any of the parties have made climate change a priority. Even the Greens and independents do deals that do not assist this cause.”

Matt (centre)

Translator from Britain, Maddy, said: “I’m interested in the issue of climate change. I’ve read about it and it’s scary. I’ve come to realise that it’s an unavoidable symptom of the capitalist system which is based on exploitation and maximising profits, as if there are no consequences.

Maddy (right)

“It’s going to take a huge movement of people to change this. Political leaders are trying to appease business. I think that Scott Morrison is corrupt and the ALP still supports coal despite everything that has happened. In the UK the ruling party doesn’t take any actions on climate change.”

She added: “The way it is framed is that ordinary people have to keep making changes, but even if we recycled everything it wouldn’t stop climate change. This has to come from government policy.”

AIR TANKER FIGHTING AUSSIE WILDFIRES CRASHES, KILLING 3 U.S. FIREFIGHTERS Authorities have confirmed three U.S.-born crew members have died after an air tanker crashed in the Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales while fighting bushfires. “Our hearts are with all those that are suffering what is the loss of three remarkable, well-respected crew,” said fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. [HuffPost]

Australian workers to pay as bushfire disaster intensifies slump: here.

VIDEO SHOWS AUSSIE WILDFIRE TEAR THROUGH FOREST Australian firefighters released a terrifying video showing just how dangerous the bushfires raging across the country can become in mere minutes, spurred by high winds and extremely dry conditions. [HuffPost]

Turnstone, sanderlings, sunset and North Sea


Sanderling and turnstone, 21 January 2020, Schoorl

After 20 January 2020 in the Schoorlse Duinen nature reserve came 21 January. When we saw this sanderling and this turnstone on a North Sea pier.

In the morning, we had heard a nuthatch. And a great spotted woodpecker pecking wood on a tree.

Late in the afternoon, we went to the North Sea beach. Oystercatchers. Two great cormorants land on the North Sea near the pier.

A lesser black-backed gull flying.

Turnstone, 21 January 2020, Schoorl

On the pier, the turnstone and the sanderling, already mentioned. The sanderling flew away. The turnstone stayed a bit longer.

Waves, 21 January 2020, Schoorl

Then, no more birds, only waves at the pier.

Waves, on 21 January 2020, Schoorl

Sunset, 21 January 2020, Schoorl

And the sunset over the North Sea.

Sunset, 21 January 2020, Schoorl dunes

And the sunset over the Schoorl sand dunes.

Cow, 21 January 2020, Schoorl

And the silhouette of a Wagyu cow as the sun set.

Gun violence against Senegalese German politician


This 15 January 2020 Euronews TV video says about itself:

Karamba Diaby: German police launch probe after attack on office of Africa-born MP

Bullet holes have been discovered at the office of high-profile Bundestag politician.

Read more here.

By Marianne Arens in Germany:

Shots fired at SPD constituency office in Halle, Germany

22 January 2020

On the morning of 15 January, five bullet holes were discovered in the window of Karamba Diaby’s constituency office in Halle, Germany. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) member of parliament says he receives threats of violence and death “almost every day.” His portrait is shown on the window that was fired at.

Diaby, a graduate chemist and father of three children, is originally from Senegal. The attack clearly points to racist, right-wing extremist perpetrators.

The attack and threats against the politician are not an isolated case. Again and again, it has been confirmed, most recently with the terrorist killings by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) and the murder of Kassel’s district president Walter Lübcke, that Germany has a growing fascism problem.

Especially in Halle, there is a well-organized, violent right-wing scene. In the city on October 9, 2019—on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur of all days—an armed right-wing extremist attacked the synagogue and killed two people. Only a coincidence prevented the worst anti-Semitic massacre in Europe since the end of Nazi rule.

Last year, the mosque in Halle-Neustadt was shot at; one man was slightly injured. The Halle victim advisory service lists 39 politically right-wing acts of violence in 2018. The Identitarian Movement has maintained the city as a centre of far-right activity for at least three years.

Diaby is also by no means the only politician to receive right-wing extremist death threats. More than 1,200 death threats and attacks on elected representatives and officeholders were officially registered last year alone.

One of them is the mayor of Kamp-Lintfort, Christoph Landscheidt (SPD), who recently applied for a gun license for himself. During the European election campaign in May 2019, he had Die Rechte (The Right) [neonazi] party posters removed from the cityscape for incitement. As a result, he was not only overwhelmed with anonymous death threats, but at the same time, the judiciary investigated him for “damage to property” and “election fraud”. Several hundred residents of Kamp-Lintfort took to the streets to support the mayor on January 11.

Diaby has also been experiencing a wave of solidarity since the shooting of his constituency office. Many have come to offer their help, and one woman put flowers in the holes in the window. “The overwhelming majority of people want a society based on openness and solidarity,” Diaby noted.

He also received nominal support from the highest level when Chancellor Merkel, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and other politicians in the Bundestag (federal parliament) addressed what had happened to him. However, their remarks were extremely hypocritical.

In fact, the right-wing danger comes primarily from the ruling elite. Right-wing extremist networks have spread within the state apparatus, its authorities, the secret services, the police and the military. Not only since Christian Social Union (CSU) Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s statement that immigration was “the mother of all problems”, have they been systematically covered up for, protected and encouraged by official policy.

Right-wing ideas are being propagated from the Bundestag, in the media and at universities. Recently Hans-Georg Maassen, the former president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, as the German secret service is called, was allowed to denigrate refugees in the worst possible way and trivialize right-wing terrorism on television. The right of far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) founder Bernd Lucke to lecture at Hamburg University was enforced with police violence, and a nationwide campaign for “freedom of opinion” was launched to silence his critics.

Although it has been known for months that right-wing networks and “preppers” are setting up entire arms depots, these are not being dug up, and people on their death lists are not systematically warned.

In Hesse, it has emerged how the secret service, the Interior Ministry and the state government cover up for right-wing extremist employees in the civil service. It has also come out that the murder of Walter Lübcke could be connected to the NSU murders. A key figure is Andreas Temme, who has been a public service employee for twenty years. As early as 2006, he was strongly suspected of being involved in the NSU murder of Halit Yozgat while he was controlling undercover Confidential Informants in the right-wing extremist scene, as an employee of the Hesse state branch of the secret service.

Hesse’s state premier Volker Bouffier, formerly Hesse’s state Interior Minister and his successor Peter Rhein (both CDU) still maintain their protective hand over Temme to this day. They have ensured that files of the Hesse secret service on the right-wing terrorist scene must remain under lock and key for another 40 years. It is indeed conceivable that Lübcke would still be alive today without this state policy of concealment.

Another case shows particularly vividly how racism and right-wing extremist violence are practised and protected within the state apparatus. Only 50 kilometres from Halle is Dessau, where Oury Jalloh died in a police cell fifteen years ago. The young man from Sierra Leone was picked up by a patrol, dragged to the police station and locked up in the cellar with his hands and feet tied. A few hours later he was dead, burned to death in a police cell.

To this day, the authorities maintain the official version that he himself set fire to the mattress on which he lay tied up. It is thanks to the initiative “In Memory of Oury Jalloh” and its supporters that this version is still being challenged today.

Most recently, a new forensic-radiological expert report commissioned by this initiative has revealed substantial injuries from exposure to violence. Jalloh’s body showed broken bones in the nasal bone, the nasal septum, fractures of the anterior skull and a fractured rib. These injuries must have been inflicted on him in the period shortly before his death. Thus, everything points to the fact, as Jalloh’s brother’s lawyer explained, that the police officers had “not only unlawfully detained the murdered man, but had also severely abused and burned him in cell 5 to cover up the abuse.” Nevertheless, the courts refuse to reopen the case.

Right-wing violence, which has already left a bloody trail for several years, is covered up by official government policy. Since 2014, the grand coalition government of the CDU/CSU and SPD has been actively preparing for war, and since then it has also been preparing to take violent action against social resistance at home. Since September 2017, the AfD has officially been the largest opposition party in the Bundestag, while the government has been implementing AfD policies in war preparations, refugee policy and the establishment of a police state.

At the same time, the government attacks critics of its right-wing course and AfD policy. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has classified the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) as “left-wing extremist” and designated it as an object of surveillance. Its only “crime” is that it stands up for a socialist and international programme which, according to the secret service, is directed “against the existing state and social order, which is sweepingly denigrated as ‘capitalism’, against the EU, against supposed nationalism, imperialism and militarism.” The SGP has filed a legal complaint challenging its listing by the BfV.

Sectarian attempted murder of Irish folk musicians


This 11 June 2020 video about Ireland is called The Wolfe Tones’ rebel song Come Out Ye Black And Tans hits number one on UK iTunes charts.

This 2017 folk music video is called The Wolfe Tones – Come Out Ye Black And Tans.

This blog has noted before that German secret police targets punk rock music. And that British police targets punk rock music. And that British police bans rock band Babyshambles because some parts of their songs are slow and others are fast. And that British police ban Jamaican music.

However, ‘targeting’ sometimes goes further than spying or banning. Sometimes, it is targeting for murder.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Irish rebel musicians Wolfe Tones targeted by loyalist paramilitaries linked to British intelligence

IRISH rebel musicians the Wolfe Tones have said that they escaped a planned attack by a notorious loyalist paramilitary group backed by British intelligence services in the 1970s.

Singer Brian Warfield explained that before playing a gig in 1975 the band were told their lives were at risk from the Glenanne Gang — a group of police officers, serving British soldiers and members of the Ulster Volunteer Force responsible for about 120 deaths between 1972 and 1980.

The concert was at a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club outside Kileel in County Down. The band were told by the GAA committee not to go for a pre-concert drink in the pub as “the RUC and the UDR were drinking in the front bar.”

“After the gig I came out and the organisers said to me: ‘You can’t go home [by] the main road,’ Mr Warfield said on the Blindboy podcast.

“I said: ‘Why is that?’ and he said: ‘Because there is a blockade waiting for you down there’.”

The concert organisers instead took the band over the mountains of Mourne, whence they made their way back to Dublin.

“The day we got back to Dublin the [police’s] special branch said that the Wolfe Tones were not to go north again, that our lives were in danger.

“I believe that the Glenanne Gang were drinking in that front bar … getting locked out of their mind, ready to pick up the Wolfe Tones on the way home.”

In July 1975 members of the Miami Showband — one of Ireland’s biggest bands — were gunned down after a bomb attack at a bogus roadblock went wrong.

Lead singer Fran O’Toole, guitarist Tony Geraghty and trumpeter Brian McCoy were killed, along with two members of the Glenanne Gang: Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville, who died when their bomb exploded prematurely.

MIAMI SHOWBAND bassist Stephen Travers has vowed to continue the fight for justice after British intelligence papers finally confirmed the involvement of Captain Robert Nairac in the murder of three band members in 1975: here.

Walking sharks discovery off Australia


This 20 January 2020 video is called New species of walking shark found in Indonesia.

From the University of Queensland in Australia:

Walking sharks discovered in the tropics

January 21, 2020

Four new species of tropical sharks that use their fins to walk are causing a stir in waters off northern Australia and New Guinea.

While that might strike fear into the hearts of some people, University of Queensland researchers say the only creatures with cause to worry are small fish and invertebrates.

The walking sharks were discovered during a 12-year study with Conservation International, the CSIRO, Florida Museum of Natural History, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

UQ’s Dr Christine Dudgeon said the ornately patterned sharks were the top predator on reefs during low tides when they used their fins to walk in very shallow water.

“At less than a metre long on average, walking sharks present no threat to people but their ability to withstand low oxygen environments and walk on their fins gives them a remarkable edge over their prey of small crustaceans and molluscs,” Dr Dudgeon said.

“These unique features are not shared with their closest relatives the bamboo sharks or more distant relatives in the carpet shark order including wobbegongs and whale sharks.

The four new species almost doubled the total number of known walking sharks to nine.

Dr Dudgeon said they live in coastal waters around northern Australia and the island of New Guinea, and occupy their own separate region.

“We estimated the connection between the species based on comparisons between their mitochondrial DNA which is passed down through the maternal lineage. This DNA codes for the mitochondria which are the parts of cells that transform oxygen and nutrients from food into energy for cells,” Dr Dudgeon said.

“Data suggests the new species evolved after the sharks moved away from their original population, became genetically isolated in new areas and developed into new species,” she said.

“They may have moved by swimming or walking on their fins, but it’s also possible they ‘hitched’ a ride on reefs moving westward across the top of New Guinea, about two million years ago.

“We believe there are more walking shark species still waiting to be discovered.”

Dr Dudgeon said future research would help researchers to better understand why the region was home to some of the greatest marine biodiversity on the planet.