Birdie Sanders, new sticker from the USA

Birdie Sanders sticker

From Jeff Weaver, of the campaign of Bernie Sanders for president of the USA:

A little birdie told Bernie we were going to do very, very well last weekend

The day before we swept three critical West Coast caucuses, Bernie’s rally in Portland was momentarily interrupted when a little bird landed on his podium. The crowd in attendance loved it, and word spread quickly among our supporters across the country. So we decided to make a sticker to commemorate the event.

Make a contribution of ANY AMOUNT to our campaign and we’ll get this Birdie Sanders sticker out to you in the mail.

We have a very limited number of stickers, so this email is probably your only chance to get one. All you have to do is make a contribution of ANY AMOUNT and we’ll get it out in the mail.

Thank you for standing with Bernie… and Birdie.

In solidarity,

Jeff Weaver
Campaign Manager
Bernie 2016

The bird on the sticker is more colourful (blue, the Democratic party colour) than the female house finch landing at Bernie Sanders‘ Portland rally.

This is another video about the Portland, Oregon, female house finch’s appearance at the Bernie Sanders United States presidential election rally.

This video from the USA says about itself:

House Finch Family June 19 2010

On May 25th mom and dad Finch built this nest on our front porch. June 19th is when we first noticed their offspring had hatched.

The Hillary Clinton campaign and its backers in the media are increasing the pressure on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to end his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Clinton campaign aides waged a full-court media campaign Monday, effectively reneging on a previous agreement to debate Sanders in April and May, declaring that Sanders had violated previous pledges not to engage in “negative” advertising, and claiming that Clinton would clinch the number of delegates required for the nomination by the end of April: here.

Barrow’s goldeneye dives, video

This video from the USA says about itself:

27 January 2016

A Barrow’s Goldeneye dives in Oregon. These are diving ducks and primarily found in the western mountains of North America. They dive to forage, and eat aquatic invertebrates and fish eggs, and occasionally small fish and vegetation.

Songbird lands at Bernie Sanders meeting

This video from Oregon in the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders ‘put a bird on it’ at Portland rally

25 March 2016

A bird flew on the podium at the Bernie Sanders rally in Portland held at the Moda Center.

A commenter on this video says the bird was a female house finch.

This video from that Sanders rally says about itself:

#BirdieSanders: Footage Emerges of the Bernie Bird Before She Shot to World Stardom

Credit: Taylor Tunes

Rarely is the show stolen from Bernie Sanders, but that’s exactly what a tiny bird did during the Vermont senator’s event in Portland, Oregon, on Friday, March 25. The female house finch perched herself on Sanders’ lectern as he addressed thousands of people, soon receiving a standing ovation.

The moment went viral with tens of thousands of people tweeting about the encounter using the hashtag #BirdieSanders.

One rally-goer captured the bird on camera moments before she shot to global stardom. The bird appears to be listening intently to Sanders’ address before flying off to get a closer look at the senator.

This 2012 video from the USA says about itself:

Male house finch sings to nesting female

A female house finch has built a nest in our window awning. I decided to put a webcam in the window and record some of their activities. I enjoyed watching the male sing to his mate, unfortunately my dog started barking and scared him away.

It as like the house finch at the meeting wanting to say: ‘Mr Sanders, if you will become president then please don’t forget us!’

A commenter on the Sanders meeting video wrote:

It was supposed to be a bald eagle landing on his podium, but they’re all busy attacking Trump.

And another commenter wrote:

Bernie Sanders is an advocate of animal welfare and ensuring animals’ humane treatment. He has co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to protect the interests of animals and has recently received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF).

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Bernie Sanders interrupted by tiny bird and both get standing ovation

Mr Sanders was campaigning ahead of three contests on Saturday

Andrew Buncombe

26 March 2016

The US presidential campaign has seen plenty of protesters trying to disrupt rallies, or even storm the stage.

But until Friday night in Oregon, it had not witnessed a tiny bird land on the podium and earn a standing ovation. The beneficiary of the bird’s intervention – both because it was his rally, and as a result of his splendid response when the bird hopped onto his lectern – was Bernie Sanders.

“I think, I think there may be some symbolism here,” Mr Sanders told the crowd in Portland, Oregon, which roared and cheered.

“I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace. No more wars.”

A frequent critic of American military interventions abroad, Mr Sanders voted against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has often pointed to contrast between himself and rival Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. “She was wrong, I was right,” he said.

Mr Sanders encounter with the bird – which triggered the Twitter hashtag #BerdieSanders – came as he campaigned ahead of votes in three states on Saturday where he is hoping to make up ground on Ms Clinton.

Democrats vote to select a presidential candidate in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.

While few public polls are available, all three contests on Saturday are being conducted with caucuses, a format that has favored the Vermont senator.

Republicans Say Lyin’ Ted Cruz And The Liar Donald Trump Are Equally Dishonest. GOP voters give them similar marks for honesty: here.

#BlackLivesMatter and wildlife refuge gunmen in the USA, who’s the terrorist?

White supremacist gunmen in Oregon vs. Black Lives Matter, cartoon

This cartoon from the USA is about the recent occupation by ‘YallQaeda’ gunmen of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in the USA.

The cartoon makes one think about the Black Lives Matter movement. Contrary to the extreme right gunmen in Oregon, they don’t run around brandishing guns. Contrary to the extreme right gunmen in Oregon, they don’t occupy federal government buildings while brandishing guns. Contrary to the extreme right gunmen in Oregon, they don’t threaten to kill police if police would try to get them out of these buildings. Contrary to the extreme right gunmen in Oregon, they don’t say their occupation of a federal building is the start of a violent overthrow of the federal government of the USA.

Yet, the Department of Homeland Security in the USA links the Black Lives Matter movement to ‘domestic terrorism’ and spies on it.

On 2 September 2015, there was an article in the Washington Times, a far right daily owned by the ‘Unification Church’, also known as the Moonie cult. The title of the article was ‘Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group’. The article was by Washington Times employee Tim Constantine, a supporter of Republican Party presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

As we have pointed out, to qualify as terrorists, the Black Lives Matter movement should at least have done what the ‘YallQaeda’ gunmen have done; which they have not.

But, back to the cartoon. Let us, for the sake of argument, presume that the Black Lives Matter movement, like the white gunmen in Oregon … no, saying they are white does not say enough. As they are white supremacists on record as whitewashing slavery for African Americans … OK, let us presume that the Black Lives Matter movement, like ‘YallQaeda’, would run around brandishing guns. That they also would occupy federal government buildings while brandishing guns. That they would threaten to kill police if police would try to get them out of these buildings. That they would say their occupation of a federal building was the start of a violent overthrow of the federal government of the USA.

If so, then … one would have the situation as pictured in the right half of the cartoon. And very soon after that, a situation, not depicted in the cartoon: all people inside the federal building would be killed. As they would not be extreme right white supremacist gunmen.

Let us also presume that some small group of Muslims would have done the same as ‘YallQaeda’. That these hypothetical Muslim federal building occupiers, would say, like ‘YallQaeda’ says, that they did not want violence. That they would not start it, but would react violently if police would try to remove them. As they did not recognize the federal government, but considered the occupied building as headquarters of an Islamic state in Oregon and eventually all of the USA. Well, we all know what would have happened in that theoretical case. The right half of the cartoon. Then, very soon, everyone inside the building killed.

And, if not (not much of a chance), if there would be no bloodbath, then the Rupert Murdoch media, the Washington Times, the teabaggers, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, various conspiracy theorists, etc. etc. would claim that proved their point that President Obama really supposedly is a ‘closet Muslim’ and supposedly not born in the USA.

Oregon ‘terrorists’ don’t plan siege very well, put out plea for snacks and supplies: here.

Photos Of Damage Caused By Oregon Occupiers Proves They Aren’t Fit To Manage Anything. The small government advocates left behind a big, expensive mess for taxpayers: here.

‘YallQaeda’ gunmen occupation of bird refuge in Oregon, USA

This video from Oregon in the USA says about itself:

4 September 2012 – [American white] Pelican and other water birds, Malheur Lake

The other birds are western grebes with chicks.

By Niles Williamson in the USA:

Right-wing militia members occupy federal building in rural Oregon

5 January 2016

On Saturday, approximately two dozen armed, right-wing militia members took control of an unoccupied visitors’ center at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federal nature preserve approximately 30 miles south of the city of Burns in sparsely populated Harney County, Oregon. The action is being carried out in protest against restrictions on government-controlled land.

The Malheur occupation began after a march by some 300 people in Burns to protest the reimprisonment of ranchers Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, who were convicted in 2012 of setting fires on federal lands in 2001 and 2006.

Despite the protest and ongoing occupation, both Dwight and Steven Hammond voluntarily reported to prison Monday, while their lawyers sought clemency from President Obama. Suzie Hammond, Dwight Hammond’s wife, told Fox News that her family had no role in the occupation and she was not planning to visit the militiamen occupying Malheur.

The group, known as Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, is led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Speaking to the Oregonian Saturday night, Ammon Bundy said the group was “planning on staying here for years, absolutely.” He added, “This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

The Bundy family gained notoriety in 2014 after it rallied support among militia members in a standoff with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over grazing rights on federal property. The family successfully forced BLM agents to back down, an outcome that emboldened far-right elements throughout the country. …

While the occupation by the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom has so far attracted a very limited number of people, the group has been given substantial media coverage. Right-wing militia groups enjoy a sympathetic ear from sections of the Republican Party and the military. For all their attempts to portray themselves as common citizens, it is clear that they are working with experienced political forces.

During the standoff in 2014, which was covered extensively by Fox News, the Bundys received support from a number of Republican politicians, including Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, both now seeking their party’s nomination for president. The Bundy family, in turn, has donated money to the campaigns of both of Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul.

Ammon Bundy and the other militia members may couch their appeals in populist language, but they have a definite right-wing political agenda and see the Malheur occupation as an event that can strengthen and rally far-right forces.

In this context, it is notable that the response of the Obama administration and state law enforcement agencies is vastly different from what normally occurs when there are popular protests reflecting mass grievances, particularly over incidents of police violence.

The first official response from the White House to the occupation came on Monday and was decidedly low-key. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged that President Obama was aware of the situation and that the FBI was monitoring the situation and providing aid to local authorities, but insisted that the seizure of federal property remained a “local matter.” …

Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward released a statement Saturday urging residents to stay away from the area and maintain a “peaceful and united front.” He also warned that the group had “alternative motives to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

There is a palpable sense that federal and local officials are wary of generating any broader sympathy for the militiamen. The FBI released a statement indicating that it was working with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police to “bring a peaceful resolution to the situation.”

Bloody assaults by federal agents on Ruby Ridge in northern Idaho in 1992 and the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993 fueled the growth of the right-wing militia movements throughout the US, culminating in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, which killed 168 people and wounded more than 680 others.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the anti-government militia movement has experienced a notable growth in the last year, expanding from 202 to 276 known active organizations. With the onset of the economic crisis in 2008 and the election of Obama, the first African American president, the number of militia groups grew dramatically from 42 to a peak of 334 in 2011. …

To the extent that far-right tendencies can cast themselves as victims of government violence, they do so under conditions where much broader popular protests are severely limited and suppressed and genuine grievances cannot find a progressive outlet within the political or media establishment.

People are mocking the Oregon ‘militia’ on social media by calling them ‘YallQaeda‘ and ‘VanillaISIS‘: here.

YallQuaeda cartoon

YallQuaeda cartoon

Tribe Member: ‘We Would Have Been Dead By Now’ If We Acted Like Oregon Militants

The Oregon ‘Militia’ Needs Food, So I Mailed Them Pictures Of It. A picture is worth a thousand words. It tastes like paper, though: here.

ONE KILLED, SEVEN ARRESTED IN OREGON MILITANT STANDOFF “Ammon Bundy, leader of the month-long militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, was arrested Tuesday in a highway confrontation with law enforcement that killed one of his followers and wounded another, according to the FBI.” [Nick Visser, HuffPost]

THREE MORE ARRESTED IN OREGON STANDOFF AS AMMON BUNDY URGES REST TO STAND DOWN The detained leader of the movement asked his followers to “Please stand down. Go home and hug your families.” The militants have occupied the federal building in Oregon for the past month. [Ryan Reilly, HuffPost]

See also here.

Right-wing extremist gunmen attack wildlife refuge in Oregon, USA

This 2013 video from Oregon in the USA is about the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. It was established by (Republican) President Theodore Roosevelt in 2008.

By James Tweedie:

United States: 150 gun-toting rightwingers seize government building

Monday 4th January 2016

A HEAVILY armed band of right-wing extremists seized a government building in the US state of Oregon on Saturday in protest at the jailing of two ranchers for arson.

However, the Hammond family, the Oregon ranchers at the center of the dispute, have denounced this occupation by the outsider gunmen.

The 150 gunmen occupied the headquarters of the the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, vowing to stay “for years.”

They include three sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was at the centre of a mass armed stand-off with the Bureau of Land Management in 2014 over $1 million (£677,000) he owes in grazing fees in Gold Butte, a proposed conservation area.

“We’re going to be freeing these lands up, and getting ranchers back to ranching, getting the loggers back to logging, getting the miners back to mining … under the protection of the people and not be afraid of this tyranny that’s been set upon them,” said Mr Bundy’s son Ammon in a Facebook video.

Ammon and his brother Ryan told reporters they had not ruled out violence if police tried to remove them.

Dwight Hammond and his son Steven admitted setting fires in 2001 and 2006, claiming it was to control weeds and protect their property from wildfires.

Police did not believe that, and said the fires were for poaching.

In this 2013 video, biologist Steve Herman talks about the impact of cattle on birds in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The James Tweedie article continues:

The pair were convicted three years ago, with the elder Mr Hammond serving three months and his son one year.

But a judge ruled their sentences too lenient under federal law and ordered them to serve an additional four years each.

President Barack Obama is set to meet Attorney General Loretta Lynch today to discuss gun-control measures that would circumvent the Republican-controlled Congress.

Conservatives complaining about mandatory minimum arson sentencing don’t mind when environmentalists are charged: here.

Oregon occupation: Armed militia occupying wildlife reserve wants to ‘overthrow US government and spark national uprising’, says local sheriff: here.

GUNMEN SEIZE FEDERAL BUILDING IN OREGON “A group of gunmen seized control of an empty federal building in remote Burns, Oregon, on Saturday, announced they planned to occupy the facility for ‘years’ and called for ‘patriots‘ to join them — and bring more guns. The men now occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building include at least two sons of Cliven Bundy, the rancher whose legal battle with the government over grazing rights culminated in an armed standoff with federal authorities near Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014.” [Nick Baumann, Igor Bobic, Jessica Schulberg, HuffPost]

If these gunmen, popularly called in the USA “YallQaeda”, would have had names like Ali or Abdullah, an/or if they would not have been white, then they would already have been shot dead by now.

YallQaeda cartoon

Perverted interpretation of US Constitution used to justify occupation of wildlife refuge: here.

Gray whale migration off Oregon, USA

This video says about itself:

Incredible Whale Encounter – Mother Gray Whale Lifts Her Calf Out of the Water! [HD]

14 March 2012

A mother gray whale lifted up her calf, seemingly to help it get a better view of the excited onlookers, and we caught it all on camera.

For in-depth information on the whales of San Ignacio and regulations of the area, see our blog post here.

The gray whales in San Ignacio Lagoon frequently approach small tourist boats, seeking the human interaction. While they could easily avoid the people, whose small boats are not allowed to closely approach whales, they actually seem to enjoy making contact.

Laguna San Ignacio is on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula and is the destination for hundreds of gray whales, who migrate annually to the region from their feeding grounds in the Arctic. Here, where the water is shallow and warm, they give birth to their young. It lies within El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve and is the gray whale‘s last undisturbed nursing and breeding ground, largely thanks to an environmental victory in 2000 that stopped the development of an industrial salt plant.

Whale watching here is highly regulated, with limits on how many boats can be on the water, how long they can stay, and how close they can get; rather than closely approaching the whales, they must idle their engine and wait for the whales to approach the vessel, which is a common occurrence.

From The Register-Guard in Oregon in the USA:

Whale of a good time begins Sunday in coastal waters

Dec 25, 2015

While much of the state of Oregon seems to be underwater with rain this month, there are some mammals who probably haven’t noticed.

Winter Whale Watch Week on the Oregon Coast officially begins Sunday, and it’s one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales migrating south to Mexico to give birth to their calves, said Luke Parsons, a ranger for Oregon State Parks, in a statement.

Parsons said about 18,000 whales travel 12,000 miles from arctic waters in Alaska to Baja Mexico. The trip takes about three months.

Those who’d like to catch a glimpse of the massive animals can do so at a variety of viewing areas along the coast. Parsons said there are about 40 volunteer-staffed locations where gray whales can be spotted, including the 10th floor of the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City, where visitors can spot the creatures nearly every daylight hour in late December.

There are also 24 viewing spots along the coast marked with “whale watching spoken here” signs. Volunteers at those locations will point out special behaviors such as spy hopping, breaching and spouting.

Volunteers also will discuss whale feeding, courtship and migration patterns.

Volunteers will be available at the locations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

But if you can’t make it to the coast this coming week, don’t fret, as winter migration typically lasts through mid-January.

For a closer view, Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay offers daily whale-watching excursions.

Loren Goddard of Dockside said in a statement that the trips are popular, and he recommends booking reservations in advance.

“Visitors are curious about whales on the coast. And the whales are just as curious about us as we are of them. The best part is when they come right up to the boat,” Goddard said. “Seeing these mammals up close is a very special experience.”