Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
December 31, 2017

Arizona's free-roaming Salt River horses get long-term protection with agreement between state, feds


Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic

Published 7:13 p.m. ET Dec. 30, 2017 | Updated 7:13 p.m. ET Dec. 30, 2017

PHOENIX — After years of controversy and uncertainty, representatives for Arizona and the federal government say they have reached an agreement that will ensure the long-term protection of the free-roaming horses near the Salt River.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service had until Dec. 31 to ink a management deal for the horses.

With little time to spare, the two government agencies announced Friday they had reached an agreement.

"This is a positive development and the first step to ensure that the Salt River horses can roam without fear of danger or harassment," Arizona Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Sharma Torrens said. "We look forward to continuing this important collaboration and process."

December 29, 2017

Bolivia with Highest Economic Growth in South America in 2017

La Paz, Dec 28 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia will end this year again as the country with the highest economic growth in South America, President Evo Morales said today during the ceremony to increase the population of river turtles in Trinidad, in the Beni district.

Morales said that the media reports place Bolivia as the country with highest rate in the growth of the Gross Domestic Product in the region.

This way, Bolivia keeps that trend for the fifth time (2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017), and fourth in a row, during the period of almost 12 years of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution led by Morales.

In this regard, Morales said that before he took power in 2006, Bolivia was the last country in South America and the second to last in the American continent following Haiti.

He said that the process of change was focused mainly on the nationalization of natural resources and the recovery of strategic companies, as well as industrialization, so that large investments can be made in various districts.


~ ~ ~

Many US Americans who've bothered to watch Latin American affairs may remember the struggle Bolivia had against the elite, wealthy, European-descended fascists of Santa Cruz, and others who comprise the "Half Moon" who hoped to leave Bolivia, stop paying taxes to the government and keep all Bolivia's resources within their area for their own use and profit.

Here's a post with references,from that time:

Separatist, white, Bush-backed elite in Bolivia's oil-rich regions threaten to secede

Edited on Sun Apr-29-07 06:15 PM by StefanX
Separatist white elite in oil and gas regions of Bolivia threatening to secede

Evo Morales and his Movement Towards Socialism still have plenty of opponents in and out of Bolivia: the separatist white elite in the rich oil and gas regions, army factions, multinationals, and the government of the United States.
On 18 December {2005?} Morales was elected president in the first round, with 54% of the vote. He is in a difficult situation. The upper classes, determined to hang on to all the privileges they derive from the current system, will give him no respite. Neither will the US, the multinationals or the autonomist, indeed separatist, white elite in the rich oil and gas regions of Santa Cruz and Tarija. If there is a showdown, what will the army do?
Last July {2005?}, 500 members of the US Special Forces arrived in {Bolivia's} neighbouring state of Paraguay to train the army “in the struggle against terrorism and drug-trafficking”. Since August, as well as supervising military manoeuvres, the US army has rehabilitated the Mariscal Estigarribia airport in the Gran Chaco region, just 250km from the border with Bolivia. The 3,800m runway is long enough to take heavy transport aircraft, such as the B-52, the C-130 Hercules and the C-5 Galaxy. It is ideally situated as a base for intervention in Bolivia, if the separatist movement in Santa Cruz should decide that the country had become ungovernable.

Elite white Bolivian separatists in oil-rich regions taking up arms and threatening to secede
. . .

The part of Bolivia known as Half Moon, made up mainly of the states of Santa Cruz, Pando, Beni and Tarija, is heading for an outbreak of large-scale armed separatist conflict, if demands for greater autonomy for the region are not met by the new Constitution.

"If our demands are not met, we are in a position to rapidly close the access connecting Santa Cruz to the Andes region (where La Paz is located). This would prevent Morales's troops from entering. We realize that if we do this, Morales will have the support of Hugo Chavez to do air strikes. But if he accepts that support, he's going to be helping us instead of hurting us. If Venezuela gets involved, we'll have more support from the international community," the official stated, confirming that his forces are receiving training from Colombia's AUC and arms ordered from Israel. "We're not fools, we need to be ready for anything."
The possibility of a confrontation between Half Moon militias and Bolivian troops under Evo Morales could jeopardize the supply of gas to both Brazil and Argentina. The state of Tarija in Bolivia, which is responsible for more than 90% of the natural gas sent to Argentina and Brazil, is part of Half Moon and is said to be territory being claimed by the Camba Nation separatists in case of conflict. Two mega-oilfields (San Alberto and San Antonio) operated by {Brazilian state oil company} Petrobras are located there, producing about 80% of the Bolivian gas consumed by Brazil.

December 23, 2017

Poor, Abused Honduras; Groped Again

DECEMBER 22, 2017
Poor, Abused Honduras; Groped Again

Mr. Hernández and his allies control the much-protested ballot-counting process, the election oversight commission, the army — which under Honduran law moves the ballots — and all appeals processes.

– U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D) Illinois

Poor Honduras.

The word honduras means depth or profundity in Spanish. It’s also the name of one of the most abused nations in the Western Hemisphere. Its citizens are largely poor and overwhelmed by a state of corruption historically linked with the much more sophisticated and wealthy network of corruption that overwhelms the citizenry of the United States. The November 26 election for president of Honduras was the latest chapter in this sad historic reality.

Honduras is now embroiled in street protests following an election count that stinks like three-day old fish in the sun. President Juan Orlando Hernandez was running for a second term, despite an apparently un-amendable Constitutional provision that precludes a second term. Former sportscaster and TV game-show host Salvador Nasralla ran against Hernandez, who was favored to win. The Organization of American States says the election count was seriously flawed and it’s pushing for a new vote. Here’s how the count went: The day after the election, it was announced Nasralla led the vote count by five percentage points, which suggested a real upset. A third candidate for president conceded Nasralla was the winner. At that point, the election tribunal suddenly stopped communicating with the public. After a hiatus, the next communication was to declare Hernandez the winner by one-and-a-half percentage points. Immediately, the nation erupted in protests that led to fatalities. Knowing how important the United States is to Honduras, Nasralla flew to the US to consult with friends and the OAS. The OAS publicly called for a new election.

The Rex Tillerson State Department responded this way: “The United States notes that Honduras’ Supreme Election Tribunal has declared incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez the winner.” The United States notes . . . Such tentative language suggests the Trump administration can’t deny the smell of rotten fish in Honduras, so it’s being coy in its support for Hernandez’s spurious re-election count. Based on past actions, Hernandez is said to harbor a strong authoritarian ambition. Many members of the police and army, however, are reportedly reluctant to be harsh with protesters; they seem to know what’s going down. How far they’re willing to go is a looming question. If Hernandez can’t put down the rioting and make the citizens of Honduras accept his corrupt election, then the US will have no choice but to assume another posture. The State Department said if Mr. Nasralla is unhappy with the count, well, he should submit an appeal. Of course, they know, as Rep. Schakowsky points out above, Hernandez controls the appeal process.

Cut to Gringolandia and our current gender struggle, which is a very 21st century story that may relate to the Honduras story. I look at the Trump ascendancy as a masculinist backlash rooted the white, male heartland of God, guns and big macho trucks. In the same sense, the current wildfire raging against sexual misconduct can be seen as a feminist backlash against the Trump masculinist backlash. As a grotesquely polarized nation of self-indulgent people full of ourselves, we’ve painted ourselves into a struggle of gender identity backlashes. Sexual misconduct is a vague term that includes the abuse of minors and outright rape, as well as cases of unwelcome bumptious kissing. It ranges from the dead serious to the comical. Every day now, from the mainstream media we get new accounts — usually from women, but not always — reporting on incidents of sexual misconduct by powerful, celebrity males. (There’s Kevin Spacey’s male accuser and a case in Kansas that involves a male charging a woman executive running for Congress with firing him after he refused to have sex with her; she quit the race.) Sexual misconduct is hardly new. What is new, however, is the credibility these accounts are suddenly receiving. So far, the accusatory cycle has not moved very far down the class scale into the working and poor classes, where arguably the most abuse occurs. At that point, it could run head-on into the working class, masculinist backlash among men who see what feminists call “sexual misconduct” as an honorable manly thing, as in: Hey, males are designed to be assertive; sometimes that assertiveness can be awkward. The Times recently did a large, front-page story on the sexual harassment and abuse received by women over decades at two Ford plants in Chicago. It remains an open question whether the newfound credibility will get traction at the bottom of our free-market, union-busting, money-focused culture.

December 18, 2017

Unraveling an Ancient Code Written in Strings

Scientists are teaming with Andean locals to solve the enigma of a mysterious form of writing

By Sabine Hyland, Sapiens on November 11, 2017

The author holds up a Collata khipu in July 2015. Credit: William Hyland

In July 2015, my husband and I were crammed into a stuffy minivan with 12 others, climbing out of Lima’s coastal mist into the sun-filled mountains thousands of feet above. After hours of dust clouds and dizzying hairpin turns, our destination appeared below—the remote Andean village of San Juan de Collata, Peru. It was a scattering of adobe houses with no running water, no sewage, and electricity for only a couple of homes. The several hundred inhabitants of this community speak a form of Spanish heavily influenced by their ancestors’ Quechua. Arriving at the village felt like entering into another world.

My husband and I spent our first few hours in Collata making formal presentations to the village officers, requesting permission to study two rare and precious objects that the community has guarded for centuries—bunches of twisted and colored cords known as khipus. After dinner, the man in charge of the community treasures, a middle-aged herder named Huber Brañes Mateo, brought over a colonial chest containing the khipus, along with goat-hide packets of 17th- and 18th-century manuscripts—the secret patrimony of the village. We had the tremendous honor of being the first outsiders ever allowed to see them.

Over the next couple days, we would learn that these multicolored khipus, each of which is just over 2 feet long, were narrative epistles created by local chiefs during a time of war in the 18th century. But that evening, exhausted yet elated, my husband Bill and I simply marveled at the colors of the delicate animal fibers—crimson, gold, indigo, green, cream, pink, and shades of brown from fawn to chocolate.

In the Inca Empire’s heyday, from 1400 to 1532, there would have been hundreds of thousands of khipus in use. Today there are about 800 held in museums, universities, and private collections around the world, but no one knows how to “read” them. Most are thought to record numerical accounts; accounting khipus can be identified by the knots tied into the cords, which are known to represent numbers, even if we don’t know what those numbers mean. According to Spanish chroniclers in the 16th century who saw khipus still being used, others record narrative information: histories, biographies, and communications between administrators in different towns.

December 18, 2017

Cuba: Documents Chart History of Secret Communications

Raúl Castro meets with President Obama on the sidelines of the 7th Summit of the Americas in
Panama City, Panama in April, 2015. Estudio Revolucion/Xinhua/ZUMA

Published: Dec 15, 2017
Briefing Book #614
Edited by Peter Kornbluh

National Security Archive Publishes Major Collection of Records on History of U.S.-Cuba Dialogue

Documents Provide Historical Foundation for Obama-Castro Breakthrough

Washington D.C., December 15, 2017 - With the approach of the 3rd anniversary of “17-D”—the iconic date of December 17, 2014, when President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro made public a historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuba relations—the National Security Archive today announced the publication of a major collection of declassified records on the history of talks between the two nations.

The collection, Cuba and the U.S.: The Declassified History of Negotiations to Normalize Relations, 1959-2016, provides the historical foundation for the 18 months of back-channel diplomacy between Obama and Castro’s special emissaries, and the December 2014 agreement to resume full diplomatic ties.

Made up of over 1,700 declassified reports, memoranda of conversations, options papers, cables, intelligence assessments and secret communications between Washington and Havana, the new collection charts the initial breakdown of relations during the Eisenhower era, and subsequent bilateral attempts to re-build channels of communications, including secret talks to improve or normalize relations during subsequent administrations. Through the documentation, the collection tells the comprehensive stories of top secret efforts by Presidents Kennedy, Ford, Carter and Clinton to negotiate solutions to the conflict with Cuba, as well as Fidel Castro’s personal initiatives to reach out to multiple U.S. presidents with gestures of peaceful co-existence.

The collection includes a number of pivotal and revealing records, among them:

  • Vice President Richard Nixon’s comprehensive report to President Eisenhower on his first, and only, meeting with Fidel Castro in April 1959, in which he concludes that “the one fact we can be sure of is that [Castro] has those indefinable qualities which make him a leader of men,” and predicted that “whatever we may think of him he is going to be a great factor in the development of Cuba and very possibly in Latin American affairs generally.”

December 15, 2017

How the Disappearance of an Indigenous Activist Sparked an Uprising in Argentina

People have taken to the streets across Argentina to protest the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado. (Enfoque Rojo)

DECEMBER 15, 2017

A conflict between indigenous communities and capitalist plunderers has long been simmering. The case of Santiago Maldonado brought tensions to a boiling point.


For the past three months, an unsettling question has riled Argentina: Where is Santiago Maldonado, the indigenous rights activist disappeared under murky circumstances after a protest? The tragic answer took 78 days to establish.

Santiago Maldonado, 28, was last seen on August 1 at the Pu-Lof indigenous community in Chubut, Patagonia. An artisan and organizer from El Bolsón, he traveled to support the Mapuche’s struggle. Dwellers of the Patagonia region, which abuts Argentina and Chile, the Mapuche people have been demanding the restitution of their ancestral land and protection from the encroachment of multinational corporations, such as the clothing manufacturer Benetton.

Since the 1990s, land grabs have plagued Argentina, where soil is sold at ridiculously low prices. Italian billionaire Luciano Benetton tops the list of foreign land owners in Argentina, with more than 2.2 million acres bought in the 1990s at a remarkably low cost.

But he is not alone. Ted Turner, Jacob Suchard (owner of Nestlé) and George Soros, among others, have also heavily invested in the large swaths of land in the Southern Cone, the southernmost part of South America. The arrival of foreign capital to the Patagonia has brought predictable consequences: the plunder of natural resources by extractive industries, the displacement of indigenous and first nation populations, the enclosure of land and violent state repression.

December 15, 2017

Former sharecropper spent most of Election Day in Alabama driving voters to the polls and has for

14 DEC 2017 AT 18:59 ET 

Perman Hardy was one of thousands of African-Americans who toiled on white men’s land in Alabama over the years. She picked cotton after school as a child. In the years since, she finished her education and has worked as an in-home care nurse. However, her most lasting legacy is the time she has spent getting voters to the polls.   

The 59-year-old woman has dedicated over two decades to trying to get every single voter in Lowndes County to the polls. Her county boasts 10,458 residents, most of whom are people of color. It’s been struck with what Hardy calls “an epidemic poverty” and that’s why she believes it’s so important for people to vote, AL.com reported.

“That’s my goal is to make sure everyone votes. That’s always been my goal. This is what I do every election,” Hardy said driving along wearing a Santa hat.

“I took some people today who’ve never cast a ballot before,” she said of the most recent election between Roy Moore and Doug Jones.

Hardy typically spends more than 10 hours driving voters to the polls if they don’t have transportation or can’t make the drive without help. She personally drove over 50 people on Tuesday to polling sites in the county. Many of those she took were supporters of Jones, who contributed to the overwhelming support from the black community.


December 14, 2017

How dirty politicians seek to maintain political control through Colombias elections

written by Adriaan Alsema December 13, 2017

Family members and political clients of convicted and investigated politicians hope to win a seat in Colombia’s congress after elections in March.

Virtually all the country’s political parties have proposed candidates for the 2018 elections with ties to incarcerated former congressmen, according to the lists released by electoral authorities.

Newspaper El Tiempo counted 23 family members and political clients of jailed or imprisoned electoral barons, not counting the FARC that was in an armed conflict with the State until last year.

The son of former Guajira Governor Juan Francisco “Kiko” Gomez will be a candidate for the Senate on behalf of the political group he founded and led by his father, despite the fact he is paying a 55-year prison sentence for three homicides.

La Silla Vacia

December 12, 2017

Honduras is coming apart, and the State Departments response is utterly nonsensical

Many worry the country's right-wing president is rigging the current election.
LUKE BARNES DEC 12, 2017, 4:25 PM

It’s been two weeks since Hondurans headed to the polls to elect a new president. Since then, there have been reports of electoral fraud, widespread protesting and rioting that have rocked the already-precarious Central American state. And the U.S. response? Send them military aid.

The crisis started in late November when Honduras held a hotly-contested presidential vote between the right-wing incumbent, President Juan Orlando Hernández, and his leftist rival Salvador Nasralla. However, a fortnight later, there is still no clear winner between the two. Electoral authorities say that Hernández has an unassailable lead, but there is also substantial evidence of electoral fraud, including one episode in which a glitch shut down the main tallying computer for 36 hours. Beforehand, Nasralla held a five-point lead.

As a result of the bitterly-disputed elections, protests spilled over into the street last week, causing the government to declare a 10-day curfew and suspend constitutional rights. “The suspension of constitutional guarantees was approved so that the armed forces and the national police can contain this wave of violence that has engulfed the country,” Ebal Diaz, a senior Honduran minister said on December 2. On the same day, a teenage girl, Kimberly Dayana Fonseca, was shot dead by soldiers loyal to Hernández.

To make matters worse, it appears that the security forces are now beginning to split into rival factions. Last Tuesday, hundreds of members of the elite riot police unit known as the Cobras said that they were no longer willing to face down protesters. “We are rebelling. We call on all the police nationally to act with their conscience”, one masked officer told Reuters. Other police units around the country have reportedly followed suit to the elation of Hondurans. However, according to a recent report, the Army has now begun clearing the streets of barricades, and Amnesty International reports that at least 14 people have died in clashes.

December 11, 2017

US Embassy in Cuba should not be a foreign relations pawn Opinion

Ralph Patino
DECEMBER 11, 2017 3:00 PM

By Jan. 3, 1961, the New York Yankees had won the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds and the U.S. State Department had lost its prize jewel of the Caribbean — Cuba.

On that day, a crisp Sunday morning, a cool breeze blew in from the Atlantic, bouncing off Havana’s Malecon seawall and onto the U.S. Embassy’s green lawn. There, U.S. Charge’ d Affaires Daniel M. Braddock, dressed in his customary white linen suit and accompanied by three U.S. Marines, walked over to "Old Glory" waving in all her splendor in the Caribbean trade winds. Acting on orders of President Eisenhower, they retrieved the U.S. flag, which could not be raised again at the site.

Some 56 years later, on Dec. 17, 2014, President Obama announced a change in U. S. policy toward Cuba, including greater engagement and the resumption of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations, and the opening of respective embassies in Washington D.C. and Havana. The president’s action carried the support of the majority of the U.S. Cuban diaspora and the American people.

On July 20, 2015, another sunny and crisp Sunday morning, three Marines stood by as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the American flag to its full regalia outside the U.S. Embassy in Havana. The act symbolized a positive shift in the future relations of both countries. The optimism was as palpable as the ocean breeze that caressed an excited crowd, including thousands of Cubans watching from nearby apartment balconies and rooftops.

For many of Cuba’s 11 million residents, the hoisting of the U.S. flag meant the United States was “back” and their quality of life would soon change. President Obama’s brief but much-celebrated visit to Cuba that March underscored a sense of empowerment and hope for the beleaguered island residents.


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 160,968
Latest Discussions»Judi Lynn's Journal