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Blogging on animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women's issues, arts, and much more

Red fox on too thin ice

This 9 March 2018 video shows a red fox on too thin ice.

Theo Haarsma in the Netherlands made this video.


Trump’s CIA torturer in chief Gina Haspel

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Wants Her Running CIA, Germany Wants Her Arrested

18 March 2018

Germany would love to arrest Gina Haspel. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

On Tuesday morning, President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter. In the same tweet, the president announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who is a close ally of the Koch brothers, would be nominated to become the new secretary of state. Trump also tapped CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Haspel was directly involved in the CIA’s torture program under George W. Bush. She was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where one prisoner was waterboarded 83 times and tortured in other ways. Both Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel must now face Senate confirmations, but barring any Republican defections, both can be confirmed without any Democratic support. Last year, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights asked German prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant for Haspel for her role in the torture program. For more, we speak with Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

Read more here.

Snipe and jack snipes video

This 9 March 2018 video is about a snipe and two, smaller, jack snipes.

Luuk Punt made this video in the Wieringermeer in the Netherlands.


Pro-peace rally in the USA, elsewhere

From the Global Call for Peace in the USA:

Join the Global Call for Peace. March 18, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. GMT

Who will be on the call? Thousands of people from over a dozen countries, with special guests

The Emergency

After months of personal insults, military deployments, escalating sanctions, and threats of nuclear war, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have suddenly agreed to an unprecedented direct meeting. This unexpected twist fills many of us with both hope and fear. Will Trump really use these historic talks to open up a true path to peace? Or will he use them to provide cover to justify an even more relentless rush to war?

One thing’s certain: The stakes are far too high to sit back and wait for an answer. As the White House staff formulates their approach, the American people must immediately demand nothing less than a sincere diplomatic initiative, which delivers a strong and lasting peace. And people around the world must stand together in solidarity. The threat of war affects us all, and the call for peace must come from everywhere.

The Global Call for Peace

On March 18—just two days before the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq—thousands of people from many nations will gather for a live video call to discuss our common situation and how we can tip the balance toward peace.

Raed Jarrar of Amnesty International will share his lessons watching from Iraq as the “coalition of the willing” rushed into a tragic and preventable war. Christine Ahn, leading activist for peace in Korea, will discuss the situation on the ground in Korea and share insights about what successful diplomacy would require and what people everywhere can do to help. Senator Bernie Sanders will talk about how American and global people’s movements can shift the equation in Washington before it’s too late. Jenny Town is a top expert on North Korea with a focus on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, the US – South Korea alliance and Northeast Asia regional security.

The call is hosted by OPEN, a global network of progressive grassroots campaigning organisations in nearly 20 countries, who will be joined by allied groups around the world. We’ll share our message of solidarity and discuss how we can work together in the months ahead.


White ‘black-tailed’ godwit back from Africa

This photo shows a white ‘black-tailed’ godwit in North Holland province in the Netherlands. The bird is back from spring migration from Africa.


Hawfinches, other finches in Sweden

This video shows hawfinches, both young and adult, and other finches (greenfinch, siskin) in Sweden.


Donald Trump campaign and violence in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

20 June 2016


From The Philadelphia Inquirer in the USA:

Cities Hosting Trump Campaign Rallies Saw Uptick In Assaults, Study Finds

March 16, 2018

Rita Giordano

PHILADELPHIA—Could political rhetoric be hazardous to public health? Quite possibly, according to a new University of Pennsylvania analysis of the last presidential campaign.

During the 2016 campaign, cities that hosted rallies experienced 2.3 more assaults than average on the days that Donald Trump held campaign events there, according to the study, published Friday in the journal Epidemiology.

The researchers noted that news reports cited violent incidents at some Trump campaign rallies, along with language that could be described as colorful. Some of the rally comments attributed to Trump in the study include anti-protester utterances like “I’ll beat the crap out of you“, “I’d like to punch him in the face“, and “Maybe he should have been roughed up.”

By comparison, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s rallies were not found to be linked to any increase in assaults. In the months preceding the Nov. 8 presidential election, media accounts of Clinton’s campaign on numerous occasions included the word boring, an adjective that was not known to be applied to her opponent.

While the increased number of altercations in the cities on the days of Trump rallies was not proved to be a direct result of his comments, the researchers believe that the difference in language between the candidates may have had an effect on public behavior.

“The language of our leaders matters”, said lead study author Christopher Morrison, a postdoctoral fellow in Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “We have an association between a candidate who was openly promoting violence at events and increases of violence on days of the events. It’s a very clear indication that the language our leaders use can affect the mood of the nation and affect people’s behavior.”

Epidemiologists explore the causes of health problems, including threats to public safety, injury, and disease. The Penn researchers said they believe their study — an effort to understand some of the causes and motivations of violent behavior — to be the first of its kind: “We know of no other empirical studies that investigated violence at a population level associated with previous U.S. presidential rallies”, the article states. The study did not require outside funding.

The researchers focused on cities with more than 200,000 people where criminal incident data were available online. Through online searches, they identified data for 31 Trump rallies in 22 cities and 38 Clinton rallies in 21 cities. They counted the incidents for those days, as well as other days for the cities. Since weather can be a factor in crime rates, the researchers considered temperature and precipitation in preparing the study.

In the case of Trump rallies, the additional assaults may have occurred at or around campaign events or elsewhere in the cities, but the authors said they were likely the result of “emotional states” transmitted through news reports or social media.

No additional assaults were associated with the days and locations of Clinton campaign events. That included some rallies in Philadelphia.

The effect of political speech on a populace is worthy of additional study, the authors said.

“Given the ongoing reports of violence at political gatherings in the U.S. (e.g. March 4, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif., where pro- and anti-Trump protesters clashed)”, they wrote, “whether and how political rhetoric that normalizes or promotes violence affects violence at the population level appears to be an important area for further research.”

See, eg, violence against Somali Americans after a Trump rally. And look at what happened to a Somali Dutch woman after xenophobic politician Geert Wilders campaigned in Emmen.