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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
October 13, 2018

Colombia registers 14% increase in infants dying of starvation

by Adriaan Alsema October 8, 2018

Colombia’s Ombudsman’s Office rang the alarm over a 14% increase in child deaths due to starvation or related illnesses last week, but the report has largely been ignored by authorities.

According to the government’s human rights office, 162 children under five died of starvation and associated causes of death between January 1 and September 8 this year.

Twenty-one more children died this year compared to the same period in 2017, despite of former Family Welfare director Karen Abudinen’s promise to increase government action to prevent preventable child deaths due to hunger exactly a year ago.

More than 160 dead children later, Abudinen left office quietly in August when President Ivan Duque took over power from his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos.

Child mortality is most prevalent in the north of Colombia, particularly in the province of La Guajira, where national soft drink giant Postobon allegedly used children suffering food and water shortages as lab rats to test a new drink.

The department has been battered by corruption and the infiltration of regional mafias in government. Two former La Guajira governors are in prison, one because she was embezzling money meant to feed children.

October 11, 2018


OCTOBER 10, 2018

Jair Bolsonaro’s rise shows the worrying possibility of a return to military rule…


On October 7th, Congressman Jair Messias Bolsonaro secured a place in Brazil’s presidential runoff election. Bolsonaro is competing against Fernando Haddad from the center-left Workers’ Party (PT). Haddad is a moderate college professor and the former mayor of São Paulo, chosen by the PT to replace the popular but highly divisive former President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva who remains jailed under corruption charges. Bolsonaro entered the presidential race in a minuscule political party—the Brazilian system is full of them—called the Social Liberal Party (PSL), which had only one representative in the lower house before this election. His campaign, improvised and informal, focused on distributing memes and spreading fake news on WhatsApp. Nonetheless, Bolsonaro swept the first round with forty-six percent of the votes against Haddad’s twenty-nine percent, disproving every pundit and opinion poll. Until weeks ago, this outcome seemed unlikely. Yet, a closer look at Brazil’s history of military rule helps explain the appeal of Bolsonaro’s deeply reactionary politics.

While voting to impeach Dilma Rousseff, the first woman President of Brazil, on the Congress floor on April 17, 2016, Bolsonaro declared: “They lost in ‘64, they lost now in 2016 … against Communism, for our freedom … in memory of Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, the terror of Dilma Rousseff … for our Armed Forces, I vote yea.” Carlos Ustra was a colonel in the Brazilian Army and the head of the DOI-CODI, a torture center that terrified Brazil while the country lived under military dictatorship between 1964 and 1985. During Ustra’s tenure from 1970 to 1973, DOI-CODI tortured more than 300 people, including pregnant women and children as young as five. Like most Brazilians, Bolsonaro was also well aware that in 1970, military officers had arrested and tortured former President Rousseff for twenty-two days for being a member of an urban guerrilla group that fought the dictatorship. By evoking the memory of a torturer, Bolsonaro knew which buttons to press.

Bolsonaro has spent his three-decade career in the Brazilian Congress building a public profile as an apologist for the military regime. His discourse reproduces a more pedestrian version of the mentality of the generals who ruled Brazil when Bolsonaro spent as an Army captain, following his graduation from the Agulhas Negras military academy in 1977. It reflects a shallow nationalism and an obsession with persecuting internal enemies—“communists,” “f—-ts,” “subversives,” and “Indians”— and appeals to using clandestine violence to purge the nation of them. It shows an extreme reverence for the Armed Forces, particularly the Army, as the bedrock of the republic, and displays bitter contempt for the electoral process based on the belief that the “rabble” does not know how to vote. In a now famous TV interview from 1999, Bolosonaro declared that the military dictatorship— its hundreds of extra-judicial killings and thousands of people tortured notwithstanding—had failed to “finish its job.” He continued, “You are not going to change anything through voting.” Change, whatever that meant, would only come through a “civil war,” with the Army resuming the dictatorship’s campaign against internal enemies and “killing at least 30,000” more, including most of the political class. In his rhetoric, LGBT and other minorities must learn their place and disappear from the public sphere. Political adversaries are crooked subversives who should be straightened with a “good” beating and electric shocks. And death squads are the permanent solution for common criminals.

There is no question Bolsonaro is a fascist. But he is a Brazilian kind of fascist, astute at drawing upon the aesthetics of violence of the Southern Cone military regimes for his own political gain. Bolsonaro spent most of his political career as a fringe politician. He was a joke to the mainstream media and nothing more than a curiosity nationwide. For a while, his appeal seemed limited to a niche electorate of retired military, police officers, and the then-minuscule far right in Rio de Janeiro. His rallying point, besides diatribes against democracy and human rights, was to improve the salary of personnel in the Armed Forces. This helped elected him to Congress seven times.


October 11, 2018

How to steal land the size of a small country and get away with it Part II

by Adriaan Alsema October 10, 2018

Colombia’s palm oil sector has been among the main beneficiaries of the mass dispossession of land during the country’s armed conflict. Now their former federation chief is in charge of land restitution.

President Ivan Duque reportedly appointed former Fedepalma director Andres Augusto Castro as chief of the Land Restitution Unit, the government agency in charge of returning land to farmers who say their plots were illegally dispossessed.

According to the National Center for Historical Memory, victims who were displaced have requested the restitution of more than 3 million acres of land, an area the size of Belgium, they say was dispossessed by palm oil and banana companies, drug traffickers, guerrillas and ranchers.

Sell me your land or I will buy it off your widow.

Colombian proverb

When the son of former Bogota Mayor Jaime Castro was the chief of Fedepalma, multiple businessmen he represented were jailed for aligning with death squads and the military to displace farmers and steal their land.

October 9, 2018

Octopuses keep surprising us - here are eight examples how

By Lisa Hendry
First published 8 October 2018

Octopuses have blue blood, three hearts and a doughnut-shaped brain. But these aren't even the most unusual things about them!

Known for their otherworldly look and remarkable intelligence, octopuses continue to reveal astonishing qualities, abilities and behaviour.

1. More than one brain
It's a well-known fact that octopuses have eight arms. But did you know that each arm contains its own 'mini brain'?

Jon Ablett, curator of the Museum's cephalopod collection (including octopuses), tells us more:

October 9, 2018

Man's 'Waking Dream' Leads To Novel Insight On How Mushrooms Could Save The World's Bees

8 October 2018, 10:55 pm EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times

A man’s “waking dream” is now the subject of research at the Washington State University as a possible means to save the world’s bees. It all began years ago when he observed the bees sipping on his mushrooms’ mycelium.

‘Waking Dream’
Saving the world’s bees is a significant topic of conversation, as the pollinators continue to suffer from various threats. Efforts have been made to help the bee population survive and thrive once more, but it has not been easy as not all of the efforts to save the bees have been greatly successful.

In 1984, Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti noticed a “convoy of bees” traveling from his mushrooms to their beehives. The bees had to move wood chips to have access to the mushrooms, and Stamets noticed that they were sipping the droplets oozing from the mycelium, the fibers of fungus that look like cobwebs.

A few decades later, Stamets and a friend were discussing the problem of bee colony collapse that has been threatening the world’s bee populations. Problems such as viruses, parasites, chemicals, and a lack of foraging areas were discussed.

October 7, 2018

Meet Brazil's Presidential Front-Runner, Jair Bolsonaro: Part Donald Trump, Part Rodrigo Duterte

By Jon Lee Anderson
3:32 P.M.

In the era of Donald Trump, domestic matters have taken center stage even more than usual for most Americans, and the rest of the world has mostly fallen off the wings. As a case in point, over the past week or so, while the country has been transfixed by the drama of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, America’s largest neighbor to the south, Brazil, has been lurching toward far-right authoritarianism. On Sunday, Brazil’s voters will elect a new President, and the man leading in the polls, a former Army captain named Jair Bolsonaro, is something like a Brazilian version of Donald Trump—slimmer and a decade younger, but just as mouthy—with a large dollop of the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte thrown in.

. . .

Most of Bolsonaro’s supporters get their news from social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, and the candidate has learned how to use it to his advantage, much as Trump has with Twitter. He now has nearly seven million Facebook followers—he has apparently gained a million in the past three weeks—far more than any of the other candidates. In scheduled debates, he has gone one better than Trump, who mostly just insulted his rivals, by not showing up at all. This, too, seems to have helped him. Since the most recent debate, on Thursday, which he did not attend, he has gained two percentage points.

In another echo of Trump, Bolsonaro has been bolstered by a wave of support from the private sector and evangelicals. This past week, the billionaire televangelist Edir Macedo, who has a huge following in Brazil, and a media empire, announced his support. Brazil’s businessmen, in their swing to Bolsonaro, seem simply to have done their math. Their center-right candidates are languishing far behind in the race, and Bolsonaro’s promise to hand economic policy over to a well-known University of Chicago-educated economist named Paulo Guedes has made him a more palatable choice for them. Perhaps most surprising, however, Bolsonaro’s support has been growing among middle- and upper-class women, even though he opposes equal pay for women (“because they get pregnant”), paid maternity leave, and abortion. There’s also the fact that he was found guilty on charges of incitement to rape and defamation, after he told a congresswoman that she “wasn’t worth raping” (he said it twice, the first time in 2003), and was ordered to pay her damages of about twenty-five hundred dollars. In a related case, the attorney general recently charged him with inciting hatred and discrimination against women and other groups. (Bolsonaro denies the charges, saying that they are politically motivated; the initial incident with the congresswoman was caught on video.) This past Saturday saw nationwide protests led by women—members of the “Not Him” movement—but Daniela Pinheiro, the editor of the weekly news magazine Epoca, told me that “Brazilian TV didn’t cover the protests well, and the day after, Bolsonaro’s people spread a lot of fake news, including pictures of naked women peeing in the streets, saying, ‘This is what the P.T. wants to do with our women and kids.’ ”

Bolsonaro and Trump may be uncannily similar in their world view and comportment, but they have led different lives. A lanky, floppy-haired sixty-three-year-old of Italian-immigrant stock, Bolsonaro went into Brazil’s Army academy from high school, in 1971, at the height of the country’s repressive right-wing military dictatorship, and served in the Army for seventeen years, leaving with a captain’s rank and a reputation for being “ambitious” and “aggressive.” He has remained both. After a stint as a city councilman, in Rio, he was elected to Congress in 1991, and has held his seat ever since. Although he has spent most of that time on the political sidelines, he has been unswerving in his role as a provocateur, prone to outrageous statements that insured headlines. These have included inflammatory pronouncements about his own children. Bolsonaro, who has been married three times, is the father of four boys and a girl. He once told a crowd that his daughter was sired “in a moment of weakness,” and he has said that if any one of his sons turned out to be gay, “it would be better for him to die in an accident.”


Editorials and other articles:
October 6, 2018

Chile: Pinochet's Machiavellian Plot for Auto-coup Recalled on 30th Anniversary of Historic "NO" Vot

Chile: Pinochet’s Machiavellian Plot for Auto-coup Recalled on 30th Anniversary of Historic “NO” Vote that Ousted Dictatorship

Santiago Museum of Memory and Human Rights Adds Declassified U.S. Documents to its Permanent Exhibition on Restoration of Democracy

Documentation Provided by National Security Archive Revealed Pinochet’s Violent Plan For Second Coup to Sustain Dictatorial Powers

Washington D.C., October 5, 2018 – On the 30th anniversary of the historic plebiscite in Chile, the National Security Archive today posted key documents revealing General Augusto Pinochet’s secret plans to “use violence and terror” to annul the October 5, 1988, referendum and sustain his dictatorship in power. The Pinochet plot was thwarted when key officials of his own regime revealed it to U.S. intelligence agents and election monitors, and then refused to implement it in the face of overwhelming opposition by the Chilean people to a continuation of military rule.

As part of Chile’s anniversary commemoration of the 1988 plebiscite, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago incorporated these documents into its permanent, and newly renovated, exhibition on the “Restoration of Democracy.” The documents had previously been on display at the museum as part of a larger, temporary exhibit of declassified U.S. records called “Secrets of State,” curated by Peter Kornbluh who directs the National Security Archive’s Chile Documentation project.

“The Chilean plebiscite remains one of the most dramatic examples of the forces of democracy peacefully bringing an end to one of the most infamous, and entrenched, military dictatorships in recent history,” as Kornbluh characterized the victory of the “NO” in the 1988 referendum on Pinochet’s rule. “It remains immediately relevant today as a model for political movements and must be remembered for generations to come.”

“I am not leaving, no matter what”
The documents reveal that Pinochet never intended to abide by the outcome of the referendum—which he had orchestrated to legitimize his rule—if the “NO” vote won on October 5, 1988. Several days before the referendum, CIA and DIA obtained intelligence indicating “a clear sense of Pinochet’s determination to use violence on whatever scale is necessary to retain power.” According to one CIA informant, Pinochet had stated: “I am not leaving, no matter what.”


October 5, 2018

13 Hyperfast, Alien Stars Are Invading the Milky Way

13 Hyperfast, Alien Stars Are Invading the Milky Way
By Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer | October 4, 2018 02:57pm ET

Have you ever seen a shooting star? No, not a micrometeorite flaring to a crisp in Earth's atmosphere — an actual star, careening out of its orbit at millions of miles an hour on a hell-bent journey to blow this pop stand of a galaxy and enter intergalactic space.

Astronomers call them "hypervelocity stars," and they represent the fastest-moving stars in our galaxy. These rogue stars move so speedily that they are gravitationally unbound from the Milky Way; instead of orbiting the galaxy's center like our sun and billions of others do, many hypervelocity stars seem to blaze forward on an unstoppable path out of the Milky Way entirely. Some may end up drifting aimlessly through intergalactic space. Others might one day plunge through the hearts of distant, alien galaxies like cosmic expats.

And still others might already be aliens, themselves. In a new study published Sept. 20 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers at Leiden University in the Netherlands identified 13 new hypervelocity stars that cannot be traced back to any part of our galaxy. Instead of trying to break out of the Milky Way, these renegade stars appear to have broken in. [18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]

"Rather than flying away from the Galactic center, most of the high velocity stars we spotted seem to be racing towards it," study co-author Tommaso Marchetti, a researcher at Leiden Observatory, said in a statement. "These could be stars from another galaxy, zooming right through the Milky Way."


October 4, 2018

Brazil cult leader who 'contacted aliens' backed dictatorship with terror attacks, documents show

Revelation comes days before election in which frontrunner, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, has praised the dictatorship era as a golden age

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Wed 3 Oct 2018 03.00 EDT

A Brazilian rightwing group led by a messianic cult leader who claimed to be in contact with aliens carried out terrorist acts to justify repression by the country’s military dictatorship, according to newly discovered archive documents.

The revelation landed days before the country’s presidential election, amid a polarized campaign in which the frontrunner – far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro – has praised the dictatorship era as a golden age.

According to an investigation by the independent news agency Publica, which drew on archive documents, the paramilitary group carried out terrorist attacks so that military rulers could tighten repression.

Archive documents – including records of group members’ interrogations – revealed that the attacks were secretly encouraged by a general who was close to then president Arthur da Costa e Silva and in contact with federal police.


Dino Kraspedon was the pen name of Brazilian Aladino Felix, convicted political terrorist

Here he is as an older psycho fascist murdering piece of ####.

October 4, 2018

Standing Rock activist faces prison after officer shot him in the face

Will Parrish
Thu 4 Oct 2018 04.00 EDT

Marcus Mitchell, who was severely injured when a bean bag pellet entered his eye socket, was charged with trespassing after protest

Warning: this article contains graphic images

Marcus Mitchell lay facedown on the snowy North Dakota prairie, blood pouring through the gaping wound on the left side of his face. It was just past midnight on 19 January 2017, and a Morton county sheriff’s deputy had just shot the 21-year-old indigenous activist with a bean bag pellet amid a demonstration near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation against the Dakota Access pipeline. The lead pellet entered Mitchell’s left eye socket, shattering the orbital wall of his eye and his cheekbone, and ripping open a flap of skin nearly to his left ear.

Paramedics brought Mitchell to the Sanford medical center in Bismarck, North Dakota, where hospital personnel removed the lead pellet from his face. But the harrowing ordeal was only beginning.

Law enforcement officers and hospital staff concealed Mitchell’s whereabouts from family members and supporters, who spent a frantic day and a half searching for him, multiple witnesses say. When a group of family members and legal workers finally discovered him on the hospital’s fourth floor, he was shackled to a gurney.

More than 18 months later, Mitchell, who is Dine’ (Navajo), is being prosecuted in relation to the incident, even as the police officers involved appear to have faced no repercussions. He faces class A misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and obstruction of a government function, which carry a collective maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $6,000 fine. His trial is scheduled for 8 November in Mandan, North Dakota.


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