Cave diving in Nevada, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

7 April 2017

This amazing Behind-The-Scenes Blue World adventure takes viewers to Devil’s Hole Cave (sometimes called Devil’s Hole II) in Nevada to explore the aquifer that lies beneath Death Valley! The Blue World team is working on their first giant screen film for IMAX® Dome (OMNIMAX®) theaters, featuring the most incredible cave diving adventures around the world. This epic Blue World episode takes viewers behind the scenes of our shoot in Nevada.

JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD is an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure program.

New national monuments in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Meet Gold Butte: Nevada‘s Piece of The Grand Canyon

21 January 2015

Get to know a treasure of the Mojave Desert, and how you can help preserve it.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres


DEC. 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — President Obama designated two new national monuments on Wednesday, protecting 1.35 million acres of federal land surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes in southeastern Utah and about 300,000 acres around Gold Butte in Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas.

In Gold Butte, there is ancient Native American rock art.

There are also fossils from the Palaeozoic and later fossil dinosaur tracks.

The monuments are Mr. Obama’s latest effort to protect public lands and waters from development and to nail down as much of his environmental legacy as he can before Donald J. Trump assumes the presidency on Jan. 20.

But some local residents and elected Republicans have opposed the Obama administration’s extensive efforts to protect Western landscapes, calling them federal land grabs, and Utah officials voiced vehement opposition on Wednesday. The family of a Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, helped take over a national wildlife refuge this year in protest against such federal actions.

The new desert monuments, designated under the executive authority of the 1906 Antiquities Act, encompass Native American sites of sacred and archaeological importance, as well as wildlife habitats and hiking and hunting terrain.

Efforts to place the Bears Ears Buttes under federal protection have been underway since 1936, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s interior secretary, Harold L. Ickes, proposed the monument designation. Native American tribes began promoting legislation to protect Gold Butte in 2008.

“Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. …

Mr. Obama has designated about 553 million acres of public lands and waters as parks, monuments or wilderness areas, more than any of his predecessors. While Mr. Trump has vowed to undo Mr. Obama’s environmental agenda, White House officials said they did not believe he would have the authority to reverse the designations. No president has undone a predecessor’s designations in the law’s 110-year history.

“The Antiquities Act gives the authority to create monuments and does not give explicit authority to undo them,” said Christy Goldfuss, the managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

However, after Mr. Obama this month used an obscure provision of a 1953 law to place about 115 million acres in the Arctic Ocean and about 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic Ocean permanently off-limits to drilling, opponents, including oil companies, said they intended to file a legal challenge.

Native American groups and environmentalists hailed Mr. Obama’s moves Wednesday in Nevada and Utah. Mr. Obama’s designation of Bears Ears as a national monument will create a first-of-its-kind tribal commission of representatives from the five Native American tribes that live in the region. The commission will advise the monument’s federal managers.

“This is an exciting day for Navajo Nation,” Russell Begaye, the tribe’s president, said in a phone call with reporters.

“We have always looked to Bears Ears as a place of refuge, as a place where we can gather herbs and plants and as a place of sacredness,” he said. “It is a place of safety and fortitude. It is a place where our ancestors hid and survived from U.S. cavalry during the Long War.”

United States Democratic party establishment smears Sanders supporters

This video from the USA says about itself:

16 May 2016

Nevada’s Democratic State Committee defended excluding 58 Bernie Sanders’ delegates at their convention Saturday night.

Why Bernie Sanders Is Our Best Chance to Beat Donald Trump: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Hillary Supporter Reveals Corruption At Nevada Democratic Convention

18 May 2016

A Hillary Clinton delegate in Nevada explains just what went on inside the Nevada Democratic Convention. Ana Kasparian, and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Democratic Party establishment witch-hunts Sanders’ supporters

19 May 2016

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s two worst showings in closed Democratic primaries—a hair’s breadth victory in Kentucky and a rout at the hands of Bernie Sanders in Oregon—the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media have launched a vicious provocation against the Sanders campaign, based on claims that Sanders supporters have threatened violence against party officials in Nevada.

The Nevada state Democratic convention in Las Vegas last Saturday ended in chaos after state chairwoman Roberta Lange gaveled through a rigged credentials report that excluded just enough Sanders supporters to ensure a narrow Clinton majority and two additional Clinton delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. When Sanders supporters began to stand up and voice their objections, Lange declared the convention adjourned and summoned sheriff’s deputies to enforce her decision.

Over the next few days, Lange claims to have received more than a thousand email and voicemail messages from all across the country, denouncing her actions in scathing terms. Such messages are predictable expressions of outrage over the typically bureaucratic, bullying methods of the Democratic Party machine. But a media firestorm has erupted over a handful of messages that were abusive in tone or allegedly threatened violence. There is not a shred of evidence that such messages were instigated by the Sanders campaign. They are just as likely to be the work of provocateurs seeking to aid the Clinton campaign or the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Since the weekend, however, top Democratic Party officials and the media have stepped up their denunciations of the alleged violence and sexism of Sanders supporters, while downplaying or ignoring the vote-rigging by the Clinton camp and the police mobilization to protect Democratic Party officials from an angry rank-and-file.

The Nevada state Democratic Party sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee Monday, lodging a formal complaint against the Sanders campaign, for “failing to adequately denounce the threats of violence of his supporters.” It warned that “the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia.” In language that reeks of McCarthy-style witch-hunting, the state party declared, “Part of the approach by the Sanders campaign was to employ these easily-incensed delegates as shock troops.” While “inciting disruption—and, yes, violence,” the state party continued, “the goal of many of these individuals, sanctioned or encouraged by the Sanders campaign, is not party-building but something more sinister.”

When Sanders sent a letter disavowing any violence or threats of violence, but reiterating the complaints of his supporters over the rigging of the Nevada state convention, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave a round of media interviews Tuesday criticizing his response as “anything but acceptable.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the boss of the Nevada Democratic Party, called Sanders to complain and denounced his “silly statement.”

Some Democratic Party leaders and media commentators even sought to equate the conduct of Sanders supporters in Nevada with the thuggery at Trump rallies. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said, “We saw what happened at the Trump rallies, which broke into violence, people punching one another. I don’t want to see that happen at the Democratic Party.”

In an editorial Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times—which is backing Clinton in the critical California primary June 7—wrote, “Donald Trump isn’t the only presidential candidate playing with fire and recklessly courting an angry mob. For the latest round of curse-word hurling, chair throwing, social-media stalking and conspiracy-theory swapping, look no further than the supporters of Bernie Sanders.”

The uproar over the Nevada state convention is an entirely manufactured political provocation. It shows both the desperation of the Clinton campaign, which has seen Sanders disrupt the expected coronation of the Democratic frontrunner, and the hostility of the corporate-controlled media to the left-wing sentiments animating millions of young people and working people who have flocked to the campaign of the self-professed “democratic socialist.”

It is grotesque and disgusting to see media pundits like Wolf Blitzer, a publicist and cheerleader for every American war of the past quarter-century, an enthusiast for drone-missile assassinations, complaining about a few chairs being thrown in a Las Vegas casino ballroom.

The Clinton campaign is anxious to be rid of the Sanders challenge so that the Democratic frontrunner can abandon any pretense of economic populism and settle into her general election posture as the candidate of the Wall Street establishment and the military-intelligence apparatus, denouncing Trump as a “loose cannon” compared to Clinton’s proven record as a warmonger and defender of American imperialism.

Lost in all of this is any discussion of the real policies of Clinton and the Democratic Party as a whole, which are thoroughly right-wing and pro-corporate. …

In his speech Tuesday night in Carson, California, Sanders struck a left posture for the final three weeks of the primary campaign, declaring, “I come from the working class of this country, and I will be damned if we will allow the Republican Party, whose job is to represent the rich and the powerful, to win the votes of working-class Americans.”

The candidate whose supporters are bleating about Sanders’s alleged violence, Hillary Clinton, is notorious for her cackling obituary of Muammar Gaddafi [during the war in Libya]: “We came, we saw, he died.” Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid did not object to that celebration of NATO bombs and Islamist lynch mobs.

Millions of people are getting an experience in the reality of capitalist politics. The Democratic and Republican parties have a long history as the political instruments of the capitalist class, and this class divide cannot be bridged. If the Democrats react so hostilely to a candidate who has worked with them loyally for decades, how will they respond to a political movement that really challenges them from the outside?

This video from the USA says about itself:

17 May 2016

Caller Suzanne explains why she registered to become a Bernie Sanders delegate, and what her experience was like at the Nevada Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Super Delegate Erin Bilbray Speaks Out About Nevada

18 May 2016

Erin Bilbray talks to Thom about her experience at the Nevada Democratic Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Nina Turner Explains What Really Happened in Nevada Last Weekend

18 May 2016

Thom talks to former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner about what she saw at the Nevada Democratic Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Supporter Says “My Party Left Me…”

18 May 2016

Thom talks to caller Patricia, who is disheartened by the feeling that the Democratic Party no longer represents her.

The corporate-controlled mass media in the United States is intensifying its slander campaign against supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders over allegations of violence during last Saturday’s Nevada state Democratic Party convention: here.

Nevada, USA Clintonites need police threats for election ‘victory’

This video from the USA says about itself:

Leave Now! Nevada Democratic Convention – THREATS OF ARREST – Sanders campaign defrauded – #NVDemCon

14 May 2016

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police called in to disperse the Democratic Convention. Bernie Sanders supporters threatened.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Sheriff’s deputies called to Nevada Democratic Convention to preserve Clinton victory

16 May 2016

The Nevada state Democratic Convention broke up in chaos Saturday after the pro-Clinton chairwoman, Roberta Lange, declared Clinton had a narrow majority of delegates. The announcement came after 58 prospective Sanders delegates were ruled ineligible, enough to tip the balance against him.

Armed sheriff’s deputies dispersed the convention delegates, numbering several thousand people, after Sanders supporters refused to vacate the Paris Las Vegas Hotel ballroom, where the convention had assembled Saturday morning.

Clinton won the party caucuses in February by a 53 to 47 percent margin, but faced the likelihood of losing her majority among delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia because of a higher Sanders turnout at county conventions, particularly Clark County (Las Vegas), which accounts for more than half of the state’s population.

The same thing happened to Clinton in 2008, when better-organized Obama supporters converted a narrow loss in precinct caucuses into a victory at the state convention. This year, Clinton supporters in the Nevada Democratic leadership intervened to make sure that did not happen again.

A total of 56 Sanders delegates were ruled ineligible because they were not registered Democrats on May 1 or because their personal information was incomplete, a purely technical violation of party rules. Only eight Clinton delegates were disqualified under the same rules. After these delegates were stripped of voting privileges, Lange announced that Clinton had 1,695 delegates to 1,662 for Sanders.

The narrow majority for Clinton meant that the Democratic frontrunner would gain two additional delegates from Nevada, with the state’s 35 elected delegates divided 20-15 instead of 18-17. There are eight other super-delegates from Nevada. Only one is publicly backing Sanders, while four have pledged to back Clinton and three are nominally uncommitted.

The tensions between the two camps were palpable in the course of the debate over delegate qualifications. When Senator Barbara Boxer of California, a leading Clinton supporter, called for unity, she was booed by Sanders delegates. She then replied, “Go ahead, boo yourselves out of this election.”

The main representative of the national Sanders campaign, former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner, urged delegates to remain “calm but committed” and not disrupt the convention. “I do understand that you are disappointed. I get it,” she said. “But the best way to fight our disappointment is to make sure that we stay here and make sure that Senator Bernie Sanders wins today.”

As the proceedings became increasingly contentious, Lange declared the convention adjourned and fled the stage. Several dozen sheriff’s deputies then marched in and ordered the delegates to disperse, telling them, “Leave in an orderly fashion. We don’t want to arrest people.” Then the lights were turned off and the delegates left the premises.

According to reports in the Las Vegas press, the Sanders campaign had elected about 400 more delegates at county conventions than the Clinton campaign and expected to prevail at the state convention, which would have slightly narrowed Clinton’s margin in the delegation to July’s national convention.

The Nevada convention only underscores the rising dissatisfaction among Sanders supporters with the heavy-handed approach of the Democratic Party leadership in steering the outcome of the nomination campaign and the running of the national convention in Philadelphia in favor of Clinton, the overwhelming favorite of the party establishment.

Sanders protested last week over the decision of the Democratic National Committee to pack the convention’s three main committees with Clinton supporters. While the bulk of the committee members will be chosen proportionally from the two campaigns, the DNC itself selects 25 delegates for each committee, and those it selected included only a handful of Sanders supporters.

The manipulation of the outcome continues in the primary elections to be held Tuesday, May 17 in Oregon and Kentucky. Both are closed primaries, with only registered Democrats permitted to vote, a plus for Clinton, who has won the majority of registered Democrats in most primaries, but has trailed Sanders heavily among registered independents when they have been allowed to cast a primary ballot.

While taking a hard line against the supporters of her self-identified “democratic socialist” opponent for the nomination, Clinton has adopted a much more welcoming approach to conservative Republicans dissatisfied with the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Her campaign has churned out email announcements to the media trumpeting almost every criticism of Trump by conservative Republicans, particularly over foreign policy, where Clinton seeks to become the consensus choice of the foreign policy establishment in both parties and the military-intelligence apparatus as a whole.

Clinton called attention to the remarks of former secretary of defense Robert Gates [in the George W Bush administration], who appeared on the CBS Sunday interview program “Face the Nation,” praising Clinton’s performance as secretary of state in the Obama administration while criticizing Trump for his unduly soft approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I have some real issues with things he’s said about national security policy, and some concerns,” Gates said. …

Another email noted that at the Wisconsin state Republican Convention, Governor Scott Walker, the notorious right-winger who attacked state public employees and pushed through restrictions on the right to vote, made no mention of Trump in his keynote speech.

Yet another email, from former Bill Clinton and Obama economic aide Gene Sperling, attacked Trump for undermining the confidence of financial markets in the US government by suggesting that a Trump administration might not repay US federal debt at its current market value. Sperling wrote that “there was also no shortage of Republicans who were also left wondering how much damage would have been done to the economy and markets if it had been a President Trump…speculating how he might strategically seek to avoid paying full value on our debt.”

Clinton is also positioning herself to be the favored candidate of Wall Street, where Trump is viewed by some as unpredictable and, in his personal business dealings, a poor credit risk. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Clinton has collected 70 percent of the money donated by employees of the six largest US banks, while the financial sector as a whole is the largest single donor to Clinton’s super PAC, Priorities USA Action, accounting for $26 million.

Bernie Sanders’ second round election victory in Nevada, USA

This 2 April 2016 video from Nevada in the USA says about itself:

Final delegate count Clark county Nevada. Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada! Crowd goes crazy.

From DeathAndTaxes in the USA:

Sanders wins surprise victory in Nevada county convention

Jordan Freiman / April 3, 2016

In a result that most people did not see coming, Bernie Sanders came out of the Clark County convention on Saturday night with more delegates than Hillary Clinton, essentially flipping the results of the Nevada caucus from February.

Nevada has a three step process for assigning delegates to presidential candidates. Step one was the caucus, when 23 delegates were assigned. Step two was Saturday’s county conventions, which are used to select the delegates that will go on to the third step, the state convention, where the remaining 12 delegates will be assigned based on the proportion of delegates won in the county conventions.

According to the Las Vegas Sun there were 3,825 delegates, 915 elected alternates, and 604 unelected alternates at the Clark County convention (out of a possible 9,000, but an important part of being a delegate is actually showing up when needed). The final results in Clark County were 2,964 for Sanders and 2,386 for Clinton, which will allow Sanders to send 1,613 delegates to the state convention against Clinton’s 1,298.

Again, from the Las Vegas Sun:

What that means is the delegates from Clark County — along with the delegates selected by Nevada’s other counties Saturday — will attend the state convention in May, where they will help select delegates to go to July’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. But, because of the way delegate-selection rules work in Nevada, they will only get to decide the proportion of 12 delegates — five pledged party leaders and elected official delegates and seven at-large delegates — that go to each candidate.

Saturday’s result does not affect the 23 delegates that were assigned in February’s caucus, but Sanders’ unexpected win in the county convention combined with the narrow margin of defeat from the caucus means he can now take the majority of delegates from Nevada.

Put far more simply by Sanders’ state director Joan Kato, “We pretty much won Nevada.”

Nevada African American support for Bernie Sanders

This video from the USA says about itself:

Sanders Earns Endorsement of Nevada’s Largest County’s Black Caucus

19 February 2016

Yvette Williams, Chair and Founder of the Clark County Black Caucus, says Sanders is pushing the Democratic party towards policy positions more in the interest of Black Americans.

Their letter of endorsement is here.

In Nevada, young Latinos are ‘Bernie kids’ while their parents are ‘with Hillary’: here.

Rare Nevadan Death Valley fish, how old?

This video from the USA says about itself:

29 July 2015

Devils Hole pupfish are the world rarest fish Jennifer Mutz reports for UNLV’s Studio G.

From the BBC:

Death Valley fish a ‘recent arrival’

By Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent

4 hours ago

One of the most extraordinary fish species in world may not be as old as once thought.

The Devil’s Hole pupfish survive in 32-degree Celsius water in a rock shaft in Death Valley in the US.

Previous studies suggested they could have become separated as a distinct population more than 10,000 years ago.

But the latest genetic analysis points to the pupfish being resident in their unique habitat for perhaps only a few hundred years at most.

Christopher Martin and colleagues tell a Royal Society journal that the revelation raises interesting questions as to how the animals got into their present location.

There are other pupfish populations in Death Valley but for any of those to have colonised Devils Hole they would somehow have had to cross one of the driest, hottest deserts on Earth.

“My best guess is that they got in there during some extreme flooding event,” Dr Martin, a scientist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told BBC News.

“The ages we’ve come up with for the Devils Hole fish do overlap with the great flood of 1862, which was the largest rainfall event ever recorded for California/Nevada.

“We also know that pupfish eggs are adhesive and will stick to vegetation, so it’s possible they came in stuck on birds’ legs.”

It is not beyond possibility that the fish were directly moved by Native Americans at some point.

The Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) were once dubbed the “rarest fish on the planet” because their numbers were so limited. As few as 35 individuals have been counted in the past.

They certainly live a precarious existence. Their rock pool is more than 100m deep, which means they must spawn on a narrow shelf near the surface.

Food takes the form of algae, but this is in short supply for two months of the year when sunlight does not fall on the water’s surface. A mass die-off is a regular occurrence.

The geological evidence suggests the rock pool opened to the surface about 60,000 years ago, and that large regions of Death Valley were under water some 10,000 years. This would have enabled pupfish populations in the region to move more freely.

Some of the first genetic analyses that tried to age the distinctiveness of Cyprinodon diabolis looked at mitochondrial DNA – genetic material held in the “energy factories” in cells. This DNA incorporates mutations at a regular rate through the generations, and can be used as a kind of clock. But the approach is notoriously sensitive to the calibration rules that are applied to the analysis.

Early mtDNA efforts suggested Cyprinodon diabolis might have been a separate species for 2-3 million years. But the geological indicators rule this out.

For their study, Dr Martin and his team deployed the very latest genomic techniques, analysing thousands of genetic markers and using demographic models that took into account the variation that exists within and across pupfish populations. Calibration was applied from what appeared to be more solid data based on pupfish diversity in Mexico.

The research estimates that Devils Hole was colonised between 105 and 830 years ago.

“They are special fish,” said Dr Martin. “The ecology of the Devils Hole is reflected by the very phenotypic distinctiveness of these pupfish. They have not only reduced aggression and a darker metallic colouration, but they have completely lost their pelvic fins. We don’t know whether the loss of this major appendage is due to the effects of severe inbreeding over time or if it’s adaptive in this habit.”

The study is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.