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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 143,736

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This Republican is threatening to hold Mitch McConnell's priorities hostage until the Senate moves t

This Republican is threatening to hold Mitch McConnell's priorities hostage until the Senate moves to protect Robert Mueller
He's finally taking a stand.
By Cody Fenwick / AlterNet November 14, 2018, 1:48 PM GMT

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has often made a show of opposing President Donald Trump's greatest violations of norms and standards in American Democracy, only to inevitably back down and do nothing to stop the degradation. But on Wednesday, Flake finally looked ready to take a stand against the president and Republican Party leadership.

Flake announced that he will be blocking 21 judicial nominees that have been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he holds a key swing vote. He also said he will vote against 32 judges set for confirmation votes on the Senate floor, but he will need another Republican to join him in opposition along with all the Democrats to be able to block those nominees. He'll stand against these appointments, not because he opposes them on substantive grounds, but as an exercise in leverage.

His demand is simple: Protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) brings a bill designed to protect the special counsel to a vote on the chamber floor, Flake has decided he will do his best to prevent the leader's top priority, which is stacking the judicial branch with conservative jurists.


Smithsonian: The Sordid History of Mount Rushmore

(This is 2 yrs. old, I never saw it until tonight, by chance. Too interesting to put aside.)

Smithsonian: The Sordid History of Mount Rushmore
The sculptor behind the American landmark had some unseemly ties to white supremacy groups
By Matthew Shaer
Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe
October 2016

Each year, two million visitors walk or roll from the entrance of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in South Dakota, to the Avenue of Flags, to peer up at the 60-foot visages of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Dedicated 75 years ago this month, Mount Rushmore was intended by its creator, Gutzon Borglum, to be a celebration of not only these four presidents but also the nation’s unprecedented greatness. “This colossus is our mark,” he wrote with typical bombast. Yet Borglum’s own sordid story shows that this beloved site is also a testament to the ego and ugly ambition that undergird even our best-known triumphs.

In 1914, Borglum was a sculptor in Connecticut of modest acclaim when he received an inquiry from the elderly president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, C. Helen Plane, about building a “shrine to the South” near Atlanta. When he first glimpsed “the virgin stone” of his canvas, a quartz hump called Stone Mountain, Borglum later recalled, “I saw the thing I had been dreaming of all my life.” He sketched out a vast sculpture of generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and was hired.

The son of polygamist Mormons from Idaho, Borglum had no ties to the Confederacy, but he had white supremacist leanings. In letters he fretted about a “mongrel horde” overrunning the “Nordic” purity of the West, and once said, “I would not trust an Indian, off-hand, 9 out of 10, where I would not trust a white man 1 out of 10.” Above all, he was an opportunist. He aligned himself with the Ku Klux Klan, an organization reborn—it had faded after the Civil War—in a torch-light ceremony atop Stone Mountain in 1915. While there isn’t proof that Borglum officially joined the Klan, which helped fund the project, “he nonetheless became deeply involved in Klan politics,” John Taliaferro writes in Great White Fathers, his 2002 history of Mount Rushmore.

Borglum’s decision to work with the Klan wasn’t even a sound business proposition. By the mid-1920s, infighting left the group in disarray and fundraising for the Stone Mountain memorial stalled. Around then, the South Dakota historian behind the Mount Rushmore initiative approached Borglum—an overture that enraged Borglum’s Atlanta backers, who fired him on February 25, 1925. He took an ax to his models for the shrine, and with a posse of locals on his heels, fled to North Carolina.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/sordid-history-mount-rushmore-180960446/#ol60a4AtlDi8eW3S.99

A trek through the troika: A peek into the foundations of Bolton's latest fears

David SimmonsBy DAVID SIMMONS NOVEMBER 11, 2018 2:25 PM (UTC+8)

The Mustache that Roared, the Giga-Bolton of Belligerence, has done a reverse pivot. The US war industry, Donald Trump’s national security adviser has declared, has lost interest in George W Bush’s Axis of Evil. Now the big guns are aimed at a “Troika of Tyranny” – three socialist semi-basket cases in Latin America that have somehow not only survived decades of demonization by their giant neighbor to the north, but evolved into a threat to the Empire.

The choice of the word “troika” is interesting. It’s Russian, which must have perked up Robert Mueller’s ears when an adviser to “Putin puppet” Trump uttered it. Derived from the word for “set of three,” the тройка was originally a transportation set-up whereby three horses were harnessed abreast to draw a cart.

While John Bolton’s announcement is bad news for Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, even when emanating from a warmongering blowhard. For this writer, it restores some personal relevance.

As I had never been to any of the three members of Bush’s original Axis, I always felt a bit left out. But I have been to all three members of Bolton’s “triumvirate of terror.” Those visits happened a long time ago, but the memories of all three remain pretty vivid in an aging brain that has trouble remembering my daughter’s birthday.


The long read: Latin America's Schindler: a forgotten hero of the 20th century

The long read: Latin America’s Schindler: a forgotten hero of the 20th century

Under General Pinochet’s rule of terror in Chile, one man saved thousands of people from the dictator’s brutal secret police. How did Roberto Kozak do it – and escape death?

by Ewen MacAskill and Jonathan Franklin
Wed 14 Dec 2016 01.00 EST

Just before 10am on New Year’s Eve 1986, armed men arrived at the office of a small organisation for the resettlement of migrants, in Santiago, Chile. They immediately began rounding up staff. “They tossed us in the meeting room, on the floor, face down. They cut computer cables and tied us up, wrist to wrist,” recalled Eliana Infante, one of the staff. “After they tied us up, they asked, ‘Which of you is the communist son of a bitch Roberto Kozak?’”

A tall, strikingly handsome and immaculately dressed man stood up. “That’s me,” he said, calmly.

Kozak was marched down a flight of stairs. With a machine gun to his head, he was forced to lie on top of a conference table while he was interrogated by the paramilitaries.

The gunmen were members of a rightwing death squad ultra-loyal to the Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. They were looking for guns and money that they suspected were stashed in Kozak’s office: the Santiago branch of the Geneva-based Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM). They were also looking for evidence that Kozak was implicated in an assassination attempt on Pinochet a few months earlier, which had left five of the dictator’s bodyguards dead.

. . .

One of the most courageous of the diplomats, who worked alongside Kozak in the immediate aftermath of the coup, was the late Swedish ambassador Harald Edelstam. During the second world war, Edelstam had helped Jews escape from Norway to Sweden. Now, in Chile, he was working to save people from Pinochet’s regime.

In one notable incident, Edelstam came to the rescue of hundreds of Cuban diplomats and Allende supporters trapped inside the Cuban embassy in Santiago, which was under fire from Chilean tanks and troops who were preparing to storm the building. Carrying only a Swedish flag, Edelstam went into the embassy and helped negotiate safe passage for the 147 Cuban diplomats. After having escorted the diplomats from the building, Edelstam then returned to sleep there that night, in order to protect the Chileans wanted by the regime. Before the end of 1973, Edelstam was declared persona non grata and expelled from Chile.


I'm thankful to have discovered this info. by chance this evening.

'Do you know how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly?' - doctors to NRA

Physician slams organization after it criticized those who want to reduce gun deaths by tweeting ‘stay in your lane’

Vivian Ho in San Francisco
Sat 10 Nov 2018 02.00 EST

Dr Judy Melinek, a San Francisco-based forensic pathologist, saw the headline on her way into work early Friday.

“‘Stay in your lane’, NRA tells doctors who want to reduce gun deaths,” it read. And though she has a personal policy to never tweet when angry, she couldn’t stop herself.

“Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly?” she quickly typed. “This isn’t just my lane. It’s my fucking highway.”

“I was just so incensed,” Melinek said later. “I was so angry, thus the foul language. Here I was, going into work for a case that involved a gunshot wound. I had another one earlier this week. And I was just so incensed that anyone would put down doctors who try every single day to try and save people’s lives.”


Sparkling seas explained

Julie Head IMAGE CREDIT: Sea sparkle in Tasmania
Sparkling seas explained

A sinister truth lies behind the rise of beautiful night-time blooms of bioluminescent plankton.

IT’S A phenomenon that’s become so popular to see and photograph it has its own Facebook group – Bioluminescence Australia – with about 9000 members.

This forum allows users to alert others to sightings of bioluminescent plankton blooms, and swap spectacular images, videos and stories of their experiences.

Through this group in August, photographer and amateur astronomer David Finlay was first alerted to a remarkable bloom along the beaches of Vincentia, Jervis Bay, on the New South Wales south coast (at right).

Sixty people gathered that evening to see planktonic organism Noctiluca scintillans glowing by the bucketful along the tideline.

The lightshow grew brighter and lasted 4–5 hours as the tide came in. “It was hard to believe,” David told ABC Radio. His captivating images were subsequently splashed across the Australian media.



TV Network Resurrects Dictatorship Slogan

SBT used the now infamous "Brazil, love it or leave it" slogan in a promo campaign celebrating Brazil

Nov.7.2018 1:10PM

TV network SBT started a new series of promos with nationalistic undertones on Tuesday (6th) during its commercial breaks.

In one of them, the Brazilian national anthem is heard while the screen shows one of the most famous slogans from the military dictatorship period: "Brazil, love it or leave it."

But that particular promo didn't last more than a few hours, after the complaints from viewers and a backlash in social media. The video was taken off the air a few hours later. But the network kept the rest of the campaign.

"Brazil, love it or leave it" became the trademark of General Emílio Garrastazu Médici administration, from 1969 to 1974, a period that was defined by the so-called Economic Miracle (Milagre Econômico) and by the height of the political repression of the military regime.


The Inca Empire

By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | November 5, 2018 01:20pm ET

- click for image -


Villagers in Cuzco, Peru, dressed in colorful shawls, or chompas, mingle with city-folk and tourists during a festival..
Credit: Jesse Lewis

The Inca Empire was a vast empire that flourished in the Andean region of South America from the early 15th century A.D. up until its conquest by the Spanish in the 1530s. Even after the conquest, Inca leaders continued to resist the Spaniards up until 1572, when its last city, Vilcabamba, was captured.

The Incas built their empire, called Tawantinsuyu or the "Land of the Four Corners," without the wheel, powerful draft animals, iron working, currency or even what we would consider to be a writing system. The empire stretched from modern-day Argentina to southern Columbia, and was divided up into four “suyu,” which intersected at the capital, Cuzco. These suyu in turn were divided into provinces. [Gallery: Tracing the Ancient Incan Empire]

Machu Picchu sits nestled between the Andes mountains of modern-day Peru and the Amazon basin and is one of the Inca's most famous surviving archeological sites.

This breathtaking ancient city, made up of around 200 structures built up on the mountains, is still largely mysterious. Archeologists don't know what purpose many of the structures served, but its intricate roads, trail systems, irrigation canals and agricultural areas suggest humans used the site for a long time, according to UNESCO.


To hear the Quechua language in a song you might enjoy hearing the following song, The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson, sung by Peruvian girl, Renata Flores:

The Latest: Mexican townsfolk assist weary migrants

Updated 1:47 pm CST, Sunday, November 4, 2018

ISLA, Mexico (AP) — The Latest on the caravans of migrants making their way through Mexico to the United States (all times local):

12:00 p.m.

Ordinary Mexicans are helping Central American migrants headed to the U.S. border.

Catalina Munoz said she bought tortillas on credit to assemble tacos of beans, cheese and rice when she heard the caravan would pass through her tiny town of 3,000 inhabitants in the southern state of Oaxaca.

She then gathered 15 members from her community of Benemerito Juarez to help make the tacos, fill water bottles and carry fruit to weary travelers on the roadside.


“So Far From God, So Close to the United States"

Bolsonaro's election is catastrophic news for Brazil's indigenous tribes

Fiona Watson
During his campaign, he pledged to take away their territory. His victory will embolden the brutal mining and logging gangs

Wed 31 Oct 2018 10.25 EDT

Brazil has just elected as its president a far-right nationalist with authoritarian tendencies and fascist inclinations. The country’s 900,000-strong indigenous people are among the many minority groups Jair Bolsonaro has frequently targeted with vitriolic hostility. “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated their Indians,” he once said. If he enacts his campaign promises, the first peoples of Brazil face catastrophe; in some cases, genocide.

There are around 100 uncontacted tribes in Brazil, more than anywhere else on earth, and all are in peril unless their land is protected. Bolsonaro has threatened to close down FUNAI, the government’s indigenous affairs department, which is charged with protecting indigenous land. Already battling against budget cuts, if it disappears uncontacted peoples face annihilation.

Earlier this year, FUNAI released footage of a man known as the Last of his Tribe; a lone survivor of waves of genocidal attacks in the 1970s and 80s as loggers and ranchers bulldozed their way through the forest. These invaders murdered his entire family, his community and neighbouring communities. If the mechanisms to protect indigenous territories and prevent such atrocities, already woefully inadequate, are removed, this vital part of human diversity will be wiped out forever.

Bolsonaro thinks “Indians smell, are uneducated and don’t speak our language”, and that “the recognition of indigenous land is an obstacle to agribusiness”. He declares that he will reduce or abolish Amazonian indigenous reserves and has vowed on several occasions: “If I become president, there will not be one centimetre more of indigenous land.” He recently corrected himself, declaring that he meant not one millimetre.

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