About petrel41

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

Black woodpecker in Sweden


This video shows a black woodpecker in Sweden.

Conservative smears British Labour for Barcelona terrorism


This 2016 video from England is called Zac Goldsmith: your London mayoral campaign is a disgrace | Owen Jones talks.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Saturday 19th August 2018

TORY MP Zac Goldsmith was accused of a “shameful” political smear yesterday after he shared a social media post linking the Barcelona terrorist attack with left-wing Labour group Momentum. …

The comment was retweeted by the MP for Richmond, who was accused of running one of the most racist campaigns in recent history in the run-up to the 2015 London mayoral election, in which he was defeated by Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

Momentum national spokeswoman Emma Rees said: “On behalf of Momentum, I offer our solidarity and condolences to all of those affected and urge Zac Goldsmith to retract his comments, apologise and show some respect for those who died in this tragic attack.”

Mr Goldmsith had not responded when the Star went to press.

Moorhens in Sweden, videos


This video is about a moorhen in Sweden.

So is this video, featuring a nest at an unusual place.

Donald Trump’s spying on citizens, sculpture and ‘free speech’


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s DOJ Demands Personal Info On 1.3M Visitors to ‘DisruptJ20Inauguration Protest Website

18 August 2017

The Justice Department is demanding web hosting provider DreamHost turn over 1.3 million IP addresses of people who visited the website DisruptJ20.org, which was used to organize the protests against President Trump’s inauguration.

The Justice Department is also seeking names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and other information about the owners and subscribers of the website. More than 200 protesters were arrested during the Inauguration Day protests and are now facing decades in prison on trumped-up charges. We are joined by Nate Cardozo, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His group is assisting DreamHost in its opposition to the government’s search warrant.

The transcript of this video is here.

By Ophelia Benson:

Aug 17th, 2017

Speaking of beautiful statues that are causing Donald Trump to mourn and pine when they are moved from one spot to another, a couple of Facebook friends have been reminding us of some that were demolished altogether decades ago. They adorned what was then Bonwit Teller at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street in Manhattan.

Bonwit Teller sculpture

Beginning in the 1960s, a series of corporate takeovers changed the face of retailing. Bonwit’s was sold several times, and it lost the luster that Bergdorf, in particular, was able to retain. Although some ancillary stores survived until 2000, Bonwit Teller closed its store at Fifth and 56th in 1979.

That was good news for Donald Trump, who acquired the old Bonwit’s building and began demolition in 1980. He had promised the limestone reliefs of the dancing women to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which wanted them for its sculpture collection, although the offer was conditional on his being able to remove them. But suddenly workmen jackhammered them to bits.

This act was condemned by, among others, The New York Times, which said: “Evidently, New York needs to make salvation of this kind of landmark mandatory and stop expecting that its developers will be good citizens and good sports.”

The Trump organization replied that the two-ton panels were “without artistic merit”, that saving them would have delayed construction for months and cost $500,000.

Plus they weren’t Confederate generals or General Pershing or Mussolini, so you know, who cares.

A chalk mural of Heather Heyer, murdered by a white supremacist hitting her and other anti-racist protesters with his car, adorns the Charlottesville Downtown Mall on August 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo: Bored_Grrl)

By Katherine Cross in the USA:

When “Free Speech” Kills

Friday, August 18, 2017

The way we were going, this was always going to end in blood. Every person who’s ever misused arguments for free speech to defend Nazis or white supremacists  —  just so they could puff out their chests and apocryphally quote Voltaire with smug certitude  —  has some measure of Heather Heyer’s blood on their hands.

The road that James Alex Fields Jr. sped down was paved with countless editorials in major newspapers and magazines that positioned student movements or black women on Twitter as existential threats to “free speech.” It was paved by those who said they were less afraid of Richard Spencer than the man who punched him. It was paved by countless people saying, “they’re just words” or “it’s just the internet, it’s not real life” in defence of extremists’ vitriol, never realizing that such statements are not mere words on the wind: they are promises.

After all, how many times have we seen white people online call for mowing down protesters? What happened in Charlottesville wasn’t even the first time someone went out and actually did it. As a recent Slate article notes: “On July 10, 2016  —  the same day a South Carolina fire captain threatened to run over BLM protesters who had shut down Interstate 126  —  an SUV driver in southern Illinois plowed through a group of BLM protesters after yelling ‘All lives matter, not blacks, all lives.'”

That was over a year ago, and we should have seen then how quickly hateful social media slogans quickly become action.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Heyer’s murder, a Springfield, MA policeman wrote on Facebook  —  in response to a news article about the terror attack  —  ”Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block roads.” He added, to someone trying to argue with him, “How do you know [the driver] was a Nazi scumbag? Stop being part of the problem.” An incredible two step: celebrating a woman’s murder, and then tut tutting someone who insulted her murderer while retreating behind formless relativism.

The many instances of whites letting loose their hatred online and calling for the mowing down of protesters are wishes being loosed into the ether. Eventually, they’ll coalesce into a deed. As I said, they are not just words, they are promises, given force and urgency by the overheated rhetoric that prevails on social media, where even the most extreme racists are given free reign to agitate without limit.

Black Lives Splatter racist decal from nazi site Daily Stormer

This variation on the United States racist “All Lives Splatter” decal which encourages drivers to wound or kill protesters against police brutality is specifically a call to kill or injure supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is from the nazi Internet site Daily Stormer, one of the organisers of the Charlottesville violent fascist rally. The murderer of Heather Heyer got his inspiration from this.

Carnivorous plant exhibition


Sarracenia, 13 August 2017

As this blog wrote before, on 13 August 20167 we arrived at the carnivorous plants exhibition in Leiden botanical garden. Where we saw this Sarracenia, a North American plant. Among the species at the exhibition were Sarracenia oreophila, Sarracenia eva and Sarracenia leucophila.

Sarracenia, on 13 August 2017

All photos in this blog post are macro photos.

Drosera binata, 13 August 2017

There were Drosera carnivorous plants as well, like this Drosera binata from Australia.

Drosera binata, on 13 August 2017

And this one.

Drosera binata, Leiden, 13 August 2017

Drosera capensis and many others were present as well.

Carnivorous plant, 13 August 2017

Also at the exhibition was Nepenthes ampullaria from Asia. Though related to carnivorous plants, it is not really carnivorous itself. It does not produce enzymes to digest insects, but formic acid to digest fern leaves.

Carnivorous plant, on 13 August 2017

We went to the exit of the carnivorous plants exhibition hall, to see the rest of the botanical garden. Stay tuned!