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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,041

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Cameras Capture the Rare Sight of a Black Jaguar Swimming Across the Amazon River

Cameras Capture the Rare Sight of a Black Jaguar Swimming Across the Amazon River

by Lori Dorn at 5:31 pm on September 16, 2015

- video at link -

While filming a public service announcement about the importance of the Amazon Rainforest earlier this year, Carter Roberts, the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund – U.S. and his film crew noticed a male black jaguar swimming across the river and set their cameras rolling. Black jaguars only make up about 6% of the species population, so this rare site lent itself to the ongoing concern about the eroding rainforests of Amazonia.

No other place on Earth showcases the diversity of life like the Amazon. It’s a vast region that spans across eight countries and one overseas territory: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana/ France.

In the Amazon Biome you will find:

•One in ten known species on Earth
•The world´s largest remaining tropical forest containing 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, the release of even a portion of which would accelerate global warming significantly
•The largest river basin on the planet with one million km2 of freshwater ecosytems

http://laughingsquid.com/cameras-capture-the-rare-sight-of-a-black-jaguar-swimming-across-the-amazon-river/

Environment & Energy:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/112791321

Cameras Capture the Rare Sight of a Black Jaguar Swimming Across the Amazon River

Cameras Capture the Rare Sight of a Black Jaguar Swimming Across the Amazon River

by Lori Dorn at 5:31 pm on September 16, 2015

- video at link -

While filming a public service announcement about the importance of the Amazon Rainforest earlier this year, Carter Roberts, the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund – U.S. and his film crew noticed a male black jaguar swimming across the river and set their cameras rolling. Black jaguars only make up about 6% of the species population, so this rare site lent itself to the ongoing concern about the eroding rainforests of Amazonia.

No other place on Earth showcases the diversity of life like the Amazon. It’s a vast region that spans across eight countries and one overseas territory: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana/ France.

In the Amazon Biome you will find:

•One in ten known species on Earth
•The world´s largest remaining tropical forest containing 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon, the release of even a portion of which would accelerate global warming significantly
•The largest river basin on the planet with one million km2 of freshwater ecosytems

http://laughingsquid.com/cameras-capture-the-rare-sight-of-a-black-jaguar-swimming-across-the-amazon-river/

After 32 years, mystery persists in death of rebel priest in Central America

After 32 years, mystery persists in death of rebel priest in Central America
By James Eli Shiffer
September 19, 2015 — 6:08pm


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Radio Progreso photo

The Rev. James Carney, known in Honduras as Padre Guadalupe, was a Jesuit priest who worked for years on behalf of the poor.
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The letter to a Minnesota senator from the CIA expressed regret. The nation’s storied intelligence agency was at a loss to explain how the Rev. James Francis Carney, an American Jesuit priest turned radical revolutionary, disappeared in the misty jungles of Honduras.

“Unfortunately, the documents in our files give no conclusive evidence as to the fate of Father Carney,” a CIA official, John Moseman, wrote to then-Sen. Paul Wellstone in January 1998.

The family and friends of Carney, some of whom lived in Minnesota, did not believe it then, and they don’t believe it today. So they continue their three-decade quest to force the government to reveal everything it knows about one of the most enduring mysteries of U.S. foreign policy in Central America.

Despite four Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, Congressional hearings and a presidential promise of transparency, key records held by the CIA and other agencies that could shed light on what happened to Carney in September 1983 remain heavily redacted or withheld in their entirety.

The Rev. Joe Mulligan, an American Jesuit in Nicaragua, thinks he knows why: Carney must have been captured by Honduran forces and then killed with the approval of the U.S. government.

More:
http://www.startribune.com/after-32-years-mystery-persists-in-death-of-rebel-priest-in-central-america/328380761/

Visit These Floating Peruvian Islands Constructed From Plants

Visit These Floating Peruvian Islands Constructed From Plants

The Uro people who live on Lake Titicaca have been building their own villages by hand for centuries

By Michele Lent Hirsch
smithsonian.com
August 13, 2015



For a lesson on adaptability, consider the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. The Uro people have constructed the islands out of the totora plant for hundreds of years, forming their own homeland in a lake that sits high in the Andes mountains, straddling Peru and Bolivia. With constant work, the plant allows them to build floating villages where previously there was only.

The practice began in the pre-Columbian era, when the ancestors of the Uro couldn’t find land of their own amid competing groups—including the Colla and the Inca—and needed a way to protect themselves. So they created islands in Lake Titicaca out of thick totora reeds. Today, the Uro continue to live on islands made out of the reeds, and use the same material to make houses and furniture. “Originally,” Atlas Obscura writes, “the mobility of the islands was used as a defense mechanism,” allowing villagers to move if things got tense.

Now, the roughly 70 human-designed pieces of land, each measuring about 50 feet by 50 feet, are usually moored, tied to the bottom of the water and to each other with rope cables, but their inhabitants can move them around the lake if needed. There is a watchtower on one island as well as several smaller outhouse islands, and the main island also boasts a radio station.

Until the mid-1980s, most of the islands were located about nine miles from shore and had few visitors. But after a devastating storm in 1986, as Slate writes, many Uros rebuilt their islands near Puno, the largest city on the shore of the lake. Now that the islands are easier to access, tourists come by the hundreds of thousands. Locals take turns opening up their homes to show what it’s like to live in a building made of reeds, and also don native costumes for the sightseers. Eighty percent of the local population works in tourism. But at about 12,500 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca has only about 65 percent of the oxygen many visitors are used to—so locals, as in other elevated parts of Peru, offer coca tea to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness.

More:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/people-peru-live-manmade-islands-constructed-plants-180956218/#Tqf81HRbUjm2LzK8.99

Rebels on verge of reaching transitional justice agreement with Colombia govt: FARC

Rebels on verge of reaching transitional justice agreement with Colombia govt: FARC
Posted by Rose Lander on Sep 18, 2015

Amid ongoing peace talks with Colombia’s government, leftist guerrilla group the FARC have announced they are on the verge of agreeing to a transitional justice agreement to change their status from armed organization to political movement.

This optimistic announcement from the peace delegation of the FARC includes exciting developments from the negotiating table in Havana on the subject of transitional justice.

The Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and no Repetition proposed in August is on the threshold of an agreement according to the FARC.

This system will offer Colombian citizens the whole truth of the conflict, publicly recognize the responsibilities of all sides involved and give compensation for the harm caused to victims. It will also obligate the State to end impunity and put measures in place to prevent the repetition of political violence.

More:
http://colombiareports.com/rebels-on-verge-of-reaching-transitional-justice-agreement-with-colombia-govt-farc/

The Disappeared 43: Report Exposes Mexico’s Student Murder Cover-Up

09.17.151:06 AM ET

The Disappeared 43: Report Exposes Mexico’s Student Murder Cover-Up

The 560-page report details the possible involvement of Mexican army and federal police agents in the disappearance of 43 students.

On the night of September 26, 2014, not quite a year ago, municipal police from Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero opened fire on a caravan of commercial buses wending its way through the city's downtown. The moral and political crisis provoked by the incident has not only endured, it has grown steadily worse. In the latest development, an investigation backed by the Organization of American States concludes “no evidence whatsoever exists” to support key aspects of the Mexican government’s findings.

What’s known is this:

In the mayhem after the police opened fire, the bus passengers ran for their lives. Most of them were student activists at a rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa; three were shot to death that night, along with a taxi driver, his female passenger, and a semiprofessional soccer player riding with his team in another bus. One of the students killed, a 19-year-old named Julio César Mondragón, was found horribly mutilated on the street, his face peeled from the skull, and his eyes plucked out.

In the hours and days to follow, the students who survived “The Night of Iguala” resurfaced back at the teachers college. But 43 of their classmates remain unaccounted for to this day. Eyewitnesses say they were rounded up by police and driven away in haste. It was the first student massacre of this kind in Mexico since the Dirty War of the 1970s, and the longer the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto persisted without tracking down the disappeared students, the more severe the political crisis became.

There were vibrant, occasionally massive street protests staged all over Mexico throughout the fall, the spirit of the protests spreading to a number of countries abroad, including the United States. One indelible image from that time occurred on November 20 at the end of a rally in the Zócalo in Mexico City, when several thousand protesters massed in front of the National Palace chanting in unison for President Peña Nieto to resign. At the front of the crowd, several Molotov cocktails were lobbed at the palace, and several hundred riot police charged the crowd and fired tear gas while protesters stood their ground. Many of them could be heard singing the national anthem.

More:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/17/the-disappeared-43-report-exposes-mexico-s-student-murder-cover-up.html

Hitler’s world may not be so far away

The long read

Hitler’s world may not be so far away

Misunderstanding the Holocaust has made us too certain we are ethically superior to the Europeans of the 1940s. Faced with a new catastrophe – such as devastating climate change – could we become mass killers again?

Timothy Snyder

Wednesday 16 September 2015 01.00 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 16 September 2015 14.39 EDT

It was 20 years after I chose to become a historian that I first saw a photograph of the woman who made my career possible. In the small photograph that my doctoral supervisor, her son, showed me in his Warsaw apartment, Wanda J radiates self-possession, a quality that stood her in good stead during the Nazi occupation. She was a Jewish mother who protected herself and her two sons from the German campaign of mass murder that killed almost all of her fellow Warsaw Jews. When her family was summoned to the ghetto, she refused to go. She moved her children from place to place, relying upon the help of friends, acquaintances and strangers. When first the ghetto and then the rest of the city of Warsaw were burned to the ground, what counted, she thought, was the “faultless moral instinct” of the people who chose to help Jews.

Most of us would like to think that we possess a “moral instinct”. Perhaps we imagine that we would be rescuers in some future catastrophe. Yet if states were destroyed, local institutions corrupted and economic incentives directed towards murder, few of us would behave well. There is little reason to think that we are ethically superior to the Europeans of the 1930s and 1940s, or for that matter less vulnerable to the kind of ideas that Hitler so successfully promulgated and realised. A historian must be grateful to Wanda J for her courage and for the trace of herself that she left behind. But a historian must also consider why rescuers were so few. It is all too easy to fantasise that we, too, would have aided Wanda J. Separated from National Socialism by time and luck, we can dismiss Nazi ideas without contemplating how they functioned. It is our very forgetfulness of the circumstances of the Holocaust that convinces us that we are different from Nazis and shrouds the ways that we are the same. We share Hitler’s planet and some of his preoccupations; we have perhaps changed less than we think.

The Holocaust began with the idea that no human instinct was moral. Hitler described humans as members of races doomed to eternal and bloody struggle among themselves for finite resources. Hitler denied that any idea, be it religious, philosophical or political, justified seeing the other (or loving the other) as oneself. He claimed that conventional forms of ethics were Jewish inventions, and that conventional states would collapse during the racial struggle. Hitler specifically, and quite wrongly, denied that agricultural technology could alter the relationship between people and nourishment.

Hitler’s alternative to science and politics was known as Lebensraum, which meant “habitat” or “ecological niche”. Races needed ever more Lebensraum, “room to live”, in order to feed themselves and propagate their kind. Nature demanded that the higher races overmaster and starve the lower. Since the innate desire of each race was to reproduce and conquer, the struggle was indefinite and eternal. At the same time, Lebensraum also meant “living room”, with the connotations of comfort and plenty in family life. The desire for pleasure and security could never be satisfied, thought Hitler, since Germans “take the circumstances of the American life as the benchmark”. Because standards of living were always subjective and relative, the demand for pleasure was insatiable. Lebensraum thus brought together two claims: that human beings were mindless animals who always needed more, and jealous tribes who always wanted more. It confused lifestyle with life itself, generating survivalist emotions in the name of personal comfort.

More:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/16/hitlers-world-may-not-be-so-far-away

Cuba’s a beauty beyond the beach: Havana may not be a resort, but it’s where the nation’s culture li

Cuba’s a beauty beyond the beach: Havana may not be a resort, but it’s where the nation’s culture lies

Ken Donohue, Vancouver Sun 09.14.2015 |

News that the United States recently reopened its embassy in Havana brought back memories of a visit my wife and I made to Cuba a few years ago. Like many visitors to this island nation, we spent the first week of our trip at Varadero. While I have no complaints about sitting next to the warm and inviting Atlantic, Varadero isn’t a true reflection of Cuba. It’s a nice beach that happens to be in Cuba, where dozens of all-inclusive resorts, catering mostly to Canadians, Europeans and the odd embargodefying American, stretch along a sand-fringed peninsula.

Cuba has always been a source of idle curiosity for me, in part because of the visits my grandparents made more than 30 years ago, long before it became a tourist mecca. Apparently, a great-uncle of mine had a farm in Cuba. I’m not sure how my relative, a Canadian of Irish ancestry, ended up in Cuba, but it’s a country that has long been an intoxicating draw. Ernest Hemingway, for one, had a home there, inspiring some of his work.

Since there is much more to Cuba than beautiful beaches, we found ourselves on a bus to Havana, racing along the country’s north coast. As happens in the tropics, the late afternoon sun didn’t linger and the dark of evening quickly settled in. In the distance, the lighthouse at Castillo del Morro signalled the way to Cuba’s capital and largest city. Light poured into our bus, as we entered a tunnel and slipped beneath the Bay of Havana. Less than a minute later, we were in Havana. It was like stepping back in time, where the date was stuck on 1958, the year that Fidel Castro came to power. Old American cars from the 1940s and ’50s ambled along dimly lit roads. Old, stately buildings stood over narrow streets. The dark of evening added to the city’s mystery, and hid the scars from decades of neglect. It is a place that has probably changed little since my grandparents visited more than three decades ago.

Wanting to experience as much Cuban culture as we could, we chose to stay in a casa particular, or private home. The small third-floor apartment was home to a friendly family of three generations. The language barrier was no obstacle in our ability to communicate.

More:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/travel/cuba+beauty+beyond+beach+havana+resort+where+nation+culture+lies/11364974/story.html

The Tide of History Flows Left

September 15, 2015
The Tide of History Flows Left

by James A Haught

One of my history-minded friends has a long-range political view summed up in three words: Liberals always win. Complex social struggles may take centuries or decades, he says, but they eventually bring victory for human rights, more democratic liberties, a stronger public safety net, and other progressive goals.

Look how long it took to end slavery. Generations of agitation and the horrible Civil War finally brought triumph for liberal abolitionists and defeat for conservative slavery supporters.

Look how long it took for women to gain the right to vote. In the end, liberal suffragettes prevailed, conservative opponents lost.

Look at the long battle to give couples the right to practice birth control. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was jailed eight times for the crime of mentioning sex – but she eventually transformed U.S. society. A Supreme Court victory in 1965 struck down contraceptive bans for married couples, and a follow-up victory in 1972 struck them down for unwed ones. Liberals won, conservatives lost.

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/15/the-tide-of-history-flows-left/

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New York State May Get a $15 Minimum Wage. Ford Paid Workers That 100 Years Ago.

New York State May Get a $15 Minimum Wage. Ford Paid Workers That 100 Years Ago.

Jon Schwarz
Sep. 11 2015, 9:51 a.m.

This Thursday in Manhattan, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the state to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers. Cuomo can’t just do this by edict — as he essentially could using an industry-specific wage board when he raised the minimum pay for New York fast food workers to $15 an hour by 2021 — so any raise for everyone will have to pass the state legislature. Still, simply getting the endorsement of the governor of the third-biggest U.S. state is a huge victory for a national movement of low-wage workers.

What will come next is a series of hysterical warnings from conservative pundits that New York can’t meddle with the almighty power of supply and demand, and that this will cause massive unemployment and destroy the very people it’s supposed to help, etc.

So here’s some historical context: Adjusted for inflation, $15 an hour is exactly what Henry Ford paid his workers over 100 years ago.

Ford famously decided in 1914 to raise his workers’ wages to $5 a day while cutting the workday from nine hours to eight. Five dollars in 1914 has the same buying power as $119.32 in 2015. Divided by eight, that’s $14.92 an hour.

When Ford made his announcement, the New York Times proclaimed that “The theory of the management at Ford Motor Company is distinctly Utopian and runs dead against all experience.” According to the Wall Street Journal, Ford had “committed economic blunders, if not crimes” that would “get riddance to Henry Ford of his burdensome millions” and “may return to plague him and the industry he represents, as well as organized society.”

More:
https://theintercept.com/2015/09/11/new-york-state-may-get-15-minimum-wage-ford-paid-workers-100-years-ago/
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