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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice

White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice

by Corrine Fletcher

July 28, 2016

When Malcolm X was asked how white people could be allies and accomplices with Black people in 1964, he responded:

“By visibly hovering near us, they are ‘proving’ that they are ‘with us.’ But the hard truth is this isn’t helping to solve America’s racist problem. The Negroes aren’t the racists. Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the black victims, but out on the battle lines of where America’s racism really is — and that’s in their home communities; America’s racism is among their own fellow whites. That’s where sincere whites who really mean to accomplish something have got to work.”

Racism exists, and it is a white problem. Therefore, a more honest and accurate way to talk about racism –which requires both prejudice and systemic or institutional power over others– is to call it what it is: white supremacy. White supremacy is a system of exploitation and oppression of people of color by white people for the purpose of maintaining a system of wealth, power, and privilege for white people.

We have to acknowledge openly that white supremacy exists in America. And white privilege exists. We all need to be able to recognize both to do anything about them, and unless we are actively using our white privilege to dismantle white supremacy, we are complicit in its preservation.


US and Mexico's mass deportations have fueled humanitarian crisis, report says

US and Mexico's mass deportations have fueled humanitarian crisis, report says

Tide of vulnerable people fleeing violence in Central America preyed upon by criminals and corrupt officials in part due to inadequate asylum procedures

Nina Lakhani in Mexico City

Wednesday 27 July 2016 20.00 EDT Last modified on Thursday 28 July 2016 11.09 EDT

Mass deportations and inadequate asylum procedures in Mexico and the US have fueled a humanitarian crisis where desperate Central Americans seeking refuge from rampant violence are routinely preyed upon by criminal gangs and corrupt officials, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

The tide of people fleeing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – three of the five most dangerous countries in the world – continues apace despite beefed-up border control measures implemented after Barack Obama declared the 2014 surge in undocumented migrants a humanitarian crisis. Last year, Mexico deported 165,000 Central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000.

In order to avoid detection, vulnerable people – who include increasing numbers of women and unaccompanied children – are forced to pay higher fees to smugglers, crooked officials, and kidnappers, and use riskier, more isolated routes through Mexico, according to the report Easy Prey: Criminal Violence and Central American Migration. Once deported, many simply try again rather than face hunger and violence at home, creating a revolving door of vulnerable migrants and refugees.

While the news was welcomed as a positive emblematic step by immigrant rights’ groups, there was widespread scepticism about its potential impact amid rapidly rising asylum claims. As violence in the Northern Triangle spiked in 2015, the number of asylum seekers from these countries rose to more than 110,000 – a fivefold increase from 2012. Most seek refuge in Mexico and the US.


AP PHOTOS: Mexican farmers using fireflies to save forest

AP PHOTOS: Mexican farmers using fireflies to save forest

Lulu Orozco, Associated Press

Updated 6:09 pm, Tuesday, July 26, 2016

NANACAMILPA, Mexico (AP) — In the village of Nanacamilpa, tiny fireflies are helping save the towering pine and fir trees on the outskirts of the megalopolis of Mexico City.

Thousands of them light up a magical spectacle at dusk in the old-growth forests on reserves like the Piedra Canteada park, about 45 miles (75 kilometers) east of Mexico's sprawling capital city. Piedra Canteada in Tlaxcala state isn't a government-run park, but a rural cooperative that has managed to emerge from poverty and dependence on logging with the help of the fireflies.

For years, economic forces, including low prices for farm produce, forced rural communities like Piedra Canteada to cut down trees and sell the logs. Then, in 1990, community leader Genaro Rueda Lopez got the idea that the forest could bring tourism revenue from campers.

Business was slow for years. Then in 2011, community members realized the millions of fireflies that appear between June and August could draw tourists from larger cities where few people have seen them in significant numbers. Indeed, around the world, deforestation and urban growth are threatening the over 2,000 species of fireflies with extinction.


Hallucinatory ‘voices’ shaped by local culture

Hallucinatory ‘voices’ shaped by local culture

Jul 25, 2016 | Brain & Behavior

People suffering from schizophrenia may hear “voices” – auditory hallucinations – differently depending on their cultural context, according to new Stanford research.

In the United States, the voices are harsher, and in Africa and India, more benign, said Tanya Luhrmann, a Stanford professor of anthropology and first author of the article in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The experience of hearing voices is complex and varies from person to person, according to Luhrmann. The new research suggests that the voice-hearing experiences are influenced by one’s particular social and cultural environment – and this may have consequences for treatment.

In an interview, Luhrmann said that American clinicians “sometimes treat the voices heard by people with psychosis as if they are the uninteresting neurological byproducts of disease which should be ignored. Our work found that people with serious psychotic disorder in different cultures have different voice-hearing experiences. That suggests that the way people pay attention to their voices alters what they hear their voices say. That may have clinical implications.”


Katara photography exhibition captures Peruvian grandeur

Katara photography exhibition captures Peruvian grandeur

July 20, 2016 - 4:58:18 pm

The Ambassador of Peru to Qatar, Julio Florian, with Deputy General Manager of Katara Cultural Village, Ahmed Al Sayed, touring the ‘Qhapac Nan-Peru Photography Exhition at Katara yesterday. (Photo: Salim Matramkot)

By Raynald C Rivera

DOHA: Thirty-three photos of stunning Peruvian landscape taken along the 30,000km Qhapaq رan road network in the Andes mountains are featured in a photography exhibition which opened in Katara yesterday marking the second year anniversary of Qhapaq رan’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List.

“This exhibition is about road network our ancestors-the Incas-built more than 500 years ago, which was the backbone of the Inca Empire. What is outstanding about it is that it was built between 5,000 to 6,000 meters above sea level in the highest peak of the Andes covering six South American countries namely Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile,”Peru’s Ambassador to Qatar Julio Florian told The Peninsula.

The road system was the outcome of a political project carried out by the Incas to link towns and centers of production and worship together under an economic, social and cultural programme.

“Every 30km to 50km in the road, they built places where they could worship, store their products, sleep and exchange views. It covers more than 30,000km and is actually in use,” explained Ambassador Florian.


Mexico finds water tunnels under Mayan tomb in Palenque

Source: Associated Press

Mexico finds water tunnels under Mayan tomb in Palenque

Mark Stevenson, The Associated Press
Published Monday, July 25, 2016 5:09PM EDT

MEXICO CITY -- Archaeologists at the Mayan ruin site of Palenque said Monday they have discovered an underground water tunnel built under the Temple of Inscriptions, which houses the tomb of an ancient ruler named Pakal.

Archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzalez says researchers believe the tomb and pyramid were purposely built atop a spring between 683 and 702 AD. The tunnels led water from under the funeral chamber out into the broad esplanade in front of the temple, thus giving Pakal's spirit a path to the underworld.

Attention has focused on the heavily carved stone sarcophagus in which Pakal was buried, and which some erroneously believe depict the Maya ruler seated at the controls of a spaceship.

But Gonzalez said Monday that carvings on a pair of stone ear plugs found in the grave say a god "will guide the dead toward the underworld, by submerging (them) into the water so they will be received there."

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/mexico-finds-water-tunnels-under-mayan-tomb-in-palenque-1.3001693

New artificial reef is sunk off Florida's Pompano Beach

New artificial reef is sunk off Florida's Pompano Beach

Nicole Ashley, Associated Press

Updated 7:50 pm, Saturday, July 23, 2016

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Cheering and whistle blowing filled the coast of Pompano Beach on Saturday as approximately 300 boats watched Lady Luck sink on Saturday afternoon.

"I think it went down just the way that we wanted," said Dennis MacDonald, the artist of the underwater casino. "It was incredibly beautiful."

The underwater attraction sank about two hours later than expected. South Florida Divers sent a team of 12 divers into the water immediately after the sinking to verify the former tanker's location.

Tom DiGiorgio, the chairman of the Economic Development Council of Pompano Beach, said that the divers plan to signal Broward County officials and coast guards that will allow more than 250 divers to go down and see Lady Luck.


Brazilian Prosecutor Finds No Crime Committed by Dilma: Will the Law Count for Anything in Brazil?

Shared by a greatly admired DU poster:

Brazilian Prosecutor Finds No Crime Committed by Dilma: Will the Law Count for Anything in Brazil?
Written by Mark Weisbrot Published: 19 July 2016

An immense effort was made to remove Bill Clinton from the presidency in the late 1990s, culminating in the first impeachment trial of a US president in 131 years. Intimate details of his affair with Monica Lewinsky, about which Clinton was accused of lying under oath, were probed and published by the far-right prosecutor Ken Starr. This let loose a flood of jokes and salacious fodder for the tabloids. At one point it seemed as if the question of perjury might hinge on what constitutes “sexual relations”; whereupon the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association decided to publish an article based on survey data showing that 59 percent of college students did not consider oral sex as having “had sex.” He was promptly fired, after 17 years at the helm of the prestigious medical journal — although some maintained that his overseers were taking advantage of the political situation to get rid of someone who had also published articles favoring universal, single payer health care and other things not dear to the hearts of the AMA.

The current attempt to remove President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil bears many resemblances to the Clinton impeachment episode. It is led by a group of politicians who seek to overturn the results of national elections and steer the nation in a different, right-wing direction; and the elected president has not committed an impeachable offense. Missing, of course, is the sex scandal — and the charges are so unsexy that most people don’t even know what the president is being impeached for, and it’s not that easy to figure it out.

Most importantly, a crime is missing; even Bill Clinton’s enemies could at least come up with the alleged crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice. But Dilma Rousseff’s impeachers have no such criminal violation to even allege. This was the conclusion last week of the federal prosecutor, Ivan Claudio Marx, who was assigned to investigate the offenses for which Dilma is about to stand trial in Brazil’s Senate. He determined that Dilma did not break the law in her handling of the public budget. The impeachment centers around her decision to delay payments to the state banks, which allowed the government to maintain the appearance of staying within a targeted fiscal balance in its accounts. Marx determined that this was not a crime, because it was not a “credit transaction” that would require congressional approval.

In a society where the rule of law is in effect, that would spell the end of the effort to remove the elected president. But press reports — inasmuch as they even bothered to report on the prosecutor’s conclusion — seem to indicate that pro-impeachment forces are acting as though the law, and the prosecutor’s statement, are irrelevant. They are pressing full steam ahead for the Senate to reverse the results of the October 2014 presidential elections. And as we now know from leaked transcripts of phone conversations, some of the leaders are doing it to prevent further investigation of their own alleged corruption.


Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass

July 22, 2016
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder

by Colin Todhunter

“Some fell to the ground and their stomachs already expanded full, burst and organs fell out. Others had skin falling off them and others still were carrying limbs. And one in particular was carrying their eyeballs in their hand.”

The above is an account by a Hiroshima survivor talking about the fate of her schoolmates. It was recently read out in the British parliament by Scottish National Party MP Chris Law during a debate about Britain’s nuclear arsenal.

In response to a question from another Scottish National Party MP, George Kereven, British PM Theresa May said without hesitation that, if necessary, she would authorise the use of a nuclear weapon that would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Previous PMs have been unwilling to give a direct answer to such a question.

But let’s be clear: a single modern nuclear weapon would most likely end up killing many millions, whether immediately or slowly, and is designed to be much more devastating than those dropped by the US on Japan.


Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil

July 22, 2016
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil

by Mark Weisbrot

For the first time in more than two decades, since the dictatorship, Brazil has a government that is widely seen as illegitimate. It is seen this way, not only by its citizens, but in much of the world. Its image is sullied, deteriorating by the week, with mounting scandals engulfing the highest levels of government. In June, the third minister of the interim government resigned amid charges of corruption. Inconveniently, it was the minister of tourism, as the country faced calls by international public health experts for moving the Olympics due to the Zika virus.

And then there is the interim president, Michel Temer (the vice president who is serving during President Dilma Rousseff‘s impeachment trial), who had the “unifying” political acumen to appoint a cabinet of all rich white men (in a country where half the population identifies as Afro-Brazilian or mixed race). Fifteen out of 23 of these officials are reportedly under investigation. Last month, he was himself directly implicated in a corruption scandal. He had previously been barred from running for office for eight years because of violations of campaign financing laws. These are the people who are trying to depose the elected president, not for corruption, but for an accounting mechanism that previous governments also used.It’s true that all major political parties have been implicated in corruption. But President Rousseff, for the first time in Brazil’s history, gave prosecutors that authority to go after corrupt officials, letting the chips fall where they may. It has now become clear that her opposition’s main purpose in impeaching her is to impede the investigations and prosecutions of themselves and their allies.

Brazil now also has the ugly distinction of being the country with the most killings of environmental activists. It is unlikely that the new right-wing cabinet, tightly tied to agribusiness interests, will do much to prevent these murders.

Ironically, this government’s announced purpose was to restore “confidence,” primarily to investors and especially those of the international variety. But the opposite has happened: The recession is deepening, the government is much more enmeshed in scandal, and its international reputation is falling off a cliff. The New York Times editorial board, no fan of any Latin American left government, has written two editorials recently, titled “Brazil’s Gold Medal for Corruption” and “Making Brazil’s Political Crisis Worse.”

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