Bumblebee cleaning itself, video


This video shows a large earth bumblebee trying to clean itself from all dust particles on its coat.

Germaine Plieger from Gorinchem in the Netherlands made this video.

The music is by The Four Tops, and by Jewel Akens.

Swedish musicians against neo-fascist racism


This video says about itself:

Silvana Imam Discusses Speaking out Against Neo-Nazis, Describes Swedish Rap & ‘Power Pussy’

16 April 2015

A strong women with little fear when it comes to speaking her mind, Silvana Imam is taking Swedish music by storm by making music that takes on right wing Swedish Democrats. We recently had the pleasure to have her on Sway In The Morning to outline her movement and what she thinks needs to change in her country.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Sweden’s Folk Musicians Against Racism join chorus against far right

Stockholm festival sees people of all ages gather to take Swedish folk music and traditional costume back from the anti-immigrant SD party

Emma Hartley in Stockholm

Sunday 9 August 2015 19.03 BST

On the cobbles in front of Hasselby castle – a peach-coloured 17th-century confection run these days as a hotel – around 70 musicians play a stately polka on fiddles, nyckelharpa, clarinet, flute and accordion. The youngest looks about five, the oldest in his 80s, and a handful wear Swedish traditional costume: the women in full skirts, aprons, lace collars and red woollen stockings, the men in waistcoats, shorts and socks with ribbons. Nearby, a Danish klezmer band on a big sound stage is lifting a crowd to its feet.

But music wasn’t the only thing on the agenda at this year’s Stockholm folk festival. The mass play-in on the cobbles was a demonstration organised by a group called Folk Musicians against Racism (FMR) and their outrage was directed squarely at the third-largest party in Sweden’s parliament, the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), who won nearly 13% of the vote in last year’s general election.

Earlier in the week, an advert on Stockholm’s metro paid for by the SD, addressing tourists in English, said: “Sorry about the mess here in Sweden. We have a serious problem with forced begging. International gangs profit from people’s desperation. Our goverment (sic) won’t do what’s needed. But we will!”

“Everyone knows this advert was directed against Romanians,” said Kim Persson, 23, of Tunnelbaneorkestern, a Stockholm band made up of three Romanians and him. “And the SD knew that people would get really angry and tear the ad down. Running the ad in English was a PR trick.

“But the best way to deal with SD is to meet them with good arguments. They have an obscene dream that 100 years ago everyone had blond hair and blue eyes and was very happy. But 100 years ago we had the Sami people, as we have now, and Sweden was really poor. Hunger drove many to emigrate to the United States.”

Sweden led Europe last year in the number of asylum applicants it accepted per capita; in absolute numbers it was second only to Germany, a country with a population eight times larger than that of Sweden. But an electoral backlash to the longstanding policy has resulted in the fracturing of its centre-left political consensus and a public self-examination that many say has barely begun.

The relative youth of many of Folk Music Against Racism’s leading activists is noticeable. Anna Gustavsson, 24, said it started because folk traditions have come in for special attention from the SD. “It began really when Jimmie Åkesson – the leader of the Sweden Democrats – wore a traditional costume when entering parliament in 2010. Many parliamentary people have worn the national costume to the opening but when he did it, it became clear that the aim was political and that the clothing was worn not only as formal wear.

“Also nationalistic papers have visited folk festivals in Sweden and sent journalists to report about the ‘true Swedishness’ of the event and written about how good and white the folk scene is.”

The problem, Persson says, “is that the Sweden Democrats are the only party talking about immigration”.

“The other parties dare not address it, so it seems to ordinary people that there is no other way of thinking about immigration except as a bad thing. When nobody else has a contribution to make, people find it easy to believe the Sweden Democrats’ version of events.”

This nyckelharpa kills fascists: Swedish folk musicians stand up to the racist right: here.

British racists attack singer FKA twigs


This music video from Britain says about itself:

FKA twigs -­ Glass & Patron

The music video for Glass & Patron was directed by FKA twigs and is presented by the 2015 YouTube Music Awards.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Twigs: Racist trolls reduced me to tears

Monday 10th August 2015

BRITISH signer FKA twigs has told that online racist abuse she received because of her relationship with Robert Pattinson reduced her to tears.

Robert Pattinson and FKA twigs

Twitter trolls targeted the singer, who is of Jamaican, Spanish and English descent, calling her a “monkey” after she got together with the Twilight film star.

But she told the Sunday Times Magazine she was most upset when trolls racially taunted one of her fans, who was dying of cancer.

Twigs, real name Tahliah Debrett Barnett, was replying to a friend of the fan who tweeted a picture of them at the hospital, when they were subjected to a barrage of online abuse.

She told the magazine: “They all started attacking her. Within 20 seconds it was just like ‘n*****, monkey, ugly, die b****,’ all this stuff on his feed.

“It broke my heart … this lady who is really sick and is probably going to die.”

German army propaganda at heavy metal concert


This music video is the nazi German propaganda song Bomben auf Engeland (Bombs on England). The video features war criminal Field Marshal Hermann Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe, Adolf Hitler’s air force. The Luftwaffe bombing of England killed mainly civilians; as it did in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and elsewhere. Like in Poland: originally, the song, then called Bomben auf Polenland, glorified Goering’s bombing of Poland in 1939.

The composer of this bloodthirsty song was nazi party member Norbert Schultze, nicknamed ‘Bomben-Schultze’. He also wrote much other nazi propaganda music. After Hitler had lost the war, Norbert Schultze got just a slap on the wrist: a 3,000 DM fine. In the new Federal Republic (West Germany) he continued to be a ‘respected’ composer; even the chairman of the composers’ league.

The aim of songs like Bomben auf Engeland was to hoodwink the German people into supporting Hitler’s war of aggression, to whitewash the horrors of war, to make bloodshed look glamorous. What an abuse of music.

By Gustav Kemper in Germany:

German army peddles propaganda at heavy metal concert

6 August 2015

Approximately 70,000 heavy metal fans who had gathered for an open air festival in Wacken last week experienced a world premiere when the Bundeswehr’s (German army) musical choir appeared on stage.

Together with the popular heavy metal band U.D.O. the Bundeswehr choir performed under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Scheibling. The German army is facing such a crisis in its recruitment campaign that it is now searching for new, out of the ordinary methods to influence young people.

The contrast between the exuberance of the heavy metal fans and their party mood, and the dull drill of the Bundeswehr could hardly have been greater. After heavy rain the festival had been turned into a mud bath. There is a major difference, however, between young people organising a friendly mud fight and crawling through the mud in army uniform carrying a backpack under the command of a junior officer.

While the heavy metal fans were more interested in their favourite bands and had little interest in the military propaganda, the media was effusive in its praise for the Bundeswehr’s musical performance in Wacken. “At the Wacken rock festival, thousands of music fans celebrated the musicians of the Siegburg soldiers,” enthused the Rhein-Sieg Rundschau a day later. “The premiere by the Bundeswehr’s choir at the world’s biggest heavy metal festival…was a success and great advertising for the Bundeswehr,” the newspaper went on.

German Admiral Michael Busse, who is also the regional commander at the armed forces commando base in Bonn, indicated that he was “extremely excited,” and hoped that the previous rehearsals involving U.D.O. and the choir in Siegburg “send an unmistakable signal from the event here in Wacken.”

In an interview on ZDF’s “Drehscheibe” TV programme Udo Dirkschneider, the U.D.O. frontman, who goes by the stage name “German Tank,” said he thought it was “very good to show that the German army is open minded.” This was “also very good for the German army.” He had no problems with working with the army and regarded the joint performance as “a good public signal.”

Dirkschneider has long-standing connections to the army and soldiers. But when he speaks about a “good signal” he is speaking for himself and not for the fans of his band. Already in the 1970s, Dirkschneider was playing concerts for American soldiers with his band at the time, Accept. Last year, his band filmed a music video on a German navy frigate and in February 2014 they played a joint concert with the German navy’s North Sea musical choir.

“I think we are presenting something to the public which the world has not yet seen,” stated the musical director and conductor of the choir, First Lieutenant [no; Lieutenant Colonel] Scheibling to ZDF. It was “an entry in the history books, in very private, personal terms, but also for music,” he continued.

With his “entry in the history books” Scheibling is drawing directly on the speech given by German President Joachim Gauck at the Bundeswehr’s leadership academy in June 2012, when he delivered the order, “Generals! Officers! Bundeswehr Soldiers! Back to the heart of our society!”

The WSWS wrote at the time that Gauck wanted to quickly and energetically overcome the opposition to the return of militarism, preparations for war and a more aggressive domestic and foreign policy.

Since then, the German army has intensified its strivings to reach the heart of society. According to Bundeswehr’s website, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Bundeswehr, the army opened “the doors to their barracks and encouraged visitors with an attractive programme of experiences.”

The intervention in Wacken was to have been another “attractive experience.” The resounding heavy metal rock, however, with it shrill guitar riffs, steady drum beats and the staccato of rhythm guitars which emerged in the 1970s from hard rock and psychedelic rock, is an expression of rebellious youth.

If the army’s commanders believe they can exploit young people’s desire for action, in a society which offers only unemployment and the lack of any perspective, then they are seriously underestimating the political intelligence of many young people.

The crimes of the German army in the first and second world wars are well known, and the return of German militarism stands directly in this tradition. Colonel Klein who gave the order to bombard civilians in the Afghan village of Kunduz, is not seen as a hero, but a war criminal.

Despite the propaganda offensive which includes many new information centres and careers advisers, opposition to the German army among the general population is growing. This is why NATO has made the improvement of “strategic communication” the main subject of the air and space power conference, organised by the Join Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) to be held from 23 to 25 November in Essen.

In the invitation to the conference, the capabilities of the air force are praised and the winning of public opinion is declared to be a strategic goal. According to the statement the opponents of NATO are attempting to combat the overwhelming strength of the air force by influencing public opinion. In turn, NATO is dependent on the support of the population to be able to implement its military goals.

In one discussion at the conference, experts from politics, academia, the military and media will search for solutions to make better use of a range of information for the promotion of military goals. “This panel will bring together journalists and public relations experts from NATO to explore their understanding of the relationship between the media and military, as well as identifying methods with which the media and military power can reduce the impact of ‘disinformation’ (originating from the enemy) with a stronger, joint approach.” it states on the JAPCC’s web site.

A special topic of the conference will be how Russia uses important media campaigns to undermine and discredit NATO. The goal of this agenda is to directly target any critical reporting about the machinations of the ruling elite, their intelligence agencies and military forces. The recent investigation by the federal prosecutor in to the Netzpolitik.org blog on charges of treason must be seen in this light.

Indian caecilians threatened by traffic


This music video from California in the USA says about itself:

Caecilian Cotillion

21 April 2014

Celebrating the 200th known species of caecilian (it’s Ichthyophis multicolor from Myanmar), another AmphibiaWeb song by the Wiggly Tendrils (supported by the California Academy of Sciences).

Download the song here at the Wiggly Tendrils’ Bandcamp.

From the Navhind Times in India:

Environmentalists concerned over rise in caecilian deaths on roads

July 21, 2015

SANKHALI: Environmentalists have rued the rise in number of caecilians that are killed by speeding vehicles on roads in Chorla Ghat area. Chorla Ghat comes under the jurisdictions of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka states and is home to many varieties of caecilians. Every year during monsoon season a large number of caecilians cross the road and come under the vehicles, observed environmentalists.

Well-known caecilian expert and wild-lifer associated with Bombay Natural History Society Doter Varadagiri said, “The Chorla Ghat region is rich in caecilian diversity. There is a need to study the unknown facets of their life.”

Gajanan Shetye, a volunteer of Vivekanand Environment Awareness Brigade said that they find many caecilian carcasses on the road. Nirmal Kulkarni, a wild lifer associated with Mhadei Research Centre, who was instrumental in discovering three species of caecilians, said, “Caecilians are important since they play important role in enriching soil nutrients and increasing its fertility.”

Jamaica’s first gay pride celebration


This video from England says about itself:

30 June 2013

YO! Blessup, One Love and Real Rasta greetin’s to you, fellow follower of de Lord of Lords, de King of Kings, de most High…Rastafari.

Have ya heard of de latest roots reggae and dancehall sensation to come out of our island home? Well a mi fi tell yu! Rastatroll Battyboy Soundsystem, all di while dem depon di bashment, Lord a Mercy. Dis crew a been buss dancefloors up in Kingston, all over Europe, and Kingston again, ya see me? Big man ting, ya dun know.

Yes, ‘ere me now, Rastatroll Battyboy Soundsystem are a REAL Jamaican soundsystem, proud of our fabulous heritage and our broad, glistening shoulders and thighs. Rastatroll are not ashamed to look a man in his eyes while he heaves his hard muscled body against ours, whisperin’ sweet words inna our ears. Rastatroll do not apologise for quivering like a flower in his arms, groaning and writhing as he pushes forcefully inside, pumping us over and over until de walls shake and de eyes roll back inna dem head. And Rastatroll do not hesitate to share a ganja spliff wit him as we relax pon de beach afterwards, holding each other, and listening to de cool sea breeze tell its stories of the love our forefathers shared, in much de same way we do now.

Star, dis is our way of life. Worn down by centuries of slavery and homophobic subjugation – but not defeated. Slandered by de bloated, imperialist, Western music industry – but not silenced. Attacked by de colonial sheep and demons who spread lies about Jamaica, but never once forgettin’ de dignity of our ancestors who first spread de Rainbow over Kingston.

In de immortal words of Gloria Gaynor, Prophet of Carr: “Jamaica’s a sham…till it can shout out, I am what I am”

PUUUUUUUUUUUULL UUUUUUUP!

Dis video is some bless footage from de Rastatroll stage at London Gay Pride. Nuff respect and REAL RASTA blessings fi all de battybwoys and punnanygyals who came out to hear de Lion‘s roar inna Trafalgar Square. We were truly blessed to walk amongst you.

De 29th June will go down in history as de day Rastatroll assumed its rightful title of as de most respected Reggae soundsystem on de European Gay scene – a day dat will resound through de ages.

Even Babylon were struck down in awe by our fabulousness, begging us to have their photos taken with us and asking for more rewinds.

If yu have any pictures or video, feel free to share dem pon dis page and inspire de next generation of Rastatroll soldiers.

SELASSIE I. Praise be to de Most High, JAH CARRSTAFARI.

Battyboys inna London, set it set it set it.

From Associated Press:

Jamaica to hold its first gay pride celebration in the island’s capital

Weeklong event that was previously almost unthinkable in a Caribbean country long described as the one of the globe’s most hostile places to homosexuality

Tuesday 4 August 2015 21.22 BST

Jamaica’s LGBT community is holding its first gay pride celebration in the island’s capital, a weeklong event that was previously almost unthinkable in a Caribbean country long described as the one of the globe’s most hostile places to homosexuality.

Events in Kingston have included a flash mob gathering in a park, an art exhibit and performances featuring songs and poems by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans.

Jamaican gay rights activists said Tuesday the peaceful events are a clear sign that tolerance for LGBT people is expanding on the island even though stigma is common and longstanding laws criminalizing sex between men remain on the books.

“I think we will look back on this and see it as a turning point because many persons thought that it would never actually happen,” said Latoya Nugent of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, or J-FLAG, the rights group that organized the event.

For years, Jamaica’s gay community lived so far underground that their parties and church services were held in secret locations. Most stuck to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of keeping their sexual orientation hidden to avoid scrutiny or protect loved ones. A number of gay Jamaicans have won asylum overseas.

But while discrimination against gays remains pervasive in many parts of Jamaica and anti-gay violence flares up recurrently, Nugent said there’s an inaccurate perception overseas that homosexuals in Jamaica “can’t even walk on the streets because if you do you are going to be stoned or stabbed to death”.

“What we are seeing these days is more and more LGBT people willing to be visible, to be open, and to be public,” said Nugent, a co-chair of the planning committee for the events called PrideJa. “It’s remarkable.”

Still, some 80 incidents of discrimination, threats, physical attacks, displacement and sexual violence were reported to J-FLAG last year and the high-profile 2013 mob murder of transgender teen Dwayne Jones remains unsolved. There have been reports of targeted sexual assaults of lesbians. In a 2014 report, New York-based Human Rights Watch asserted that LGBT people in Jamaica remain the targets of unchecked violence and are frequently refused housing or employment.

“Yes, there’s still ridicule on the streets and some people look at you and laugh, but it’s not as violent as it was and we will insist on living our lives. There is a certain change going on,” 26-year-old Nas Chin told the Associated Press after dancing at a secure pride event.

Many Jamaicans consider homosexuality to be a perversion from abroad and a newspaper-commissioned poll has suggested there is overwhelming resistance to repealing anti-sodomy laws. In late August, a young Jamaican gay rights activist who brought an unprecedented legal challenge to the anti-sodomy law withdrew his claim after growing fearful about possible violent reprisals.

But Human Rights Watch has noted that there’s been a “groundswell of change” in the way Jamaica is responding to human rights abuses against LGBT people.

In recent days, Kingston’s mayor and the island’s justice minister have even publicly supported the weeklong pride activities, a major change in a nation where politicians once routinely railed against homosexuals and former prime minister Bruce Golding vowed in 2008 to never allow gays in his cabinet.