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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 143,736

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This Astronaut Video of a Rocket Launch as Seen from Space Is Simply Amazing

By Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor | November 23, 2018 04:12pm ET

Look out, International Space Station, this spacecraft is hot on your tail! An astronaut captured a stunning time lapse video of the Russian Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft, also known as Progress 71, on its way to the orbiting complex.

About 15 minutes of the Progress launch on Nov. 16 show up in the time lapse video posted on the European Space Agency website. The video clearly shows the flare of rocket launch, the spacecraft making its way up into space, and the re-entry of the first stage of the rocket. As the spacecraft becomes a bright light in the sky, the Earth spins below.

European Space Astronaut Alexander Gerst, the commander of Expedition 57, captured the images from the wrap-around Cupola window on the space station. He set a camera that took pictures at regular intervals, and the resulting timelapse shows the launch at about eight to 16 times normal speed, according to a statement from ESA.

Progress delivered 5,652 pounds (2,564 kg) to the space station Nov. 18 after making a flawless launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where Russia blasts cargo and cosmonauts to the space station. The next scheduled launch from the site will have a crew on board — the three-person Expedition 58 crew, which is expected to leave Earth at 6:31 a.m. EST Dec. 3 (1131 GMT).


Outrage in Paraguay after Brazil cartel boss kills woman in his prison cell

Marcelo Pinheiro’s murder of Lidia Meza, 18, in an apparent attempt to avoid extradition, highlights a culture of impunity

Laurence Blair in Rio de Janeiro
Thu 22 Nov 2018 04.16 EST

Paraguayans have been left shocked and outraged after a jailed cartel boss murdered a young woman inside his high-security cell, in an apparent attempt to avoid extradition to neighbouring Brazil.

The case has underscored the scale of criminal impunity in the landlocked South American country – and fuelled fears of more violence to come.

Marcelo “Piloto” Pinheiro was seized in a joint operation by Brazilian, Paraguayan and US anti-drug authorities in December. A leading figure in Rio de Janeiro’s sprawling criminal group Comando Vermelho (Red Command), he had been on the run from Brazilian authorities and operating from Paraguay since 2012.

. . .

After his capture, Pinheiro sought to implicate a web of politicians, judges and police and admitted that he hoped to stay in a Paraguayan jail – which are notorious for offering luxury “VIP cells” in exchange for bribes – rather than face tough justice in Brazil. “Paraguay is the country of impunity and corruption,” he told reporters.


How Media, Tech, and News Networks Normalize Trump's Propaganda

NOVEMBER 21, 2018


Throughout his life, Edward Bernays (1891−1995), known as the “father of public relations,” argued in favor of using “third parties” to influence public opinion.

“If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway,” Bernays wrote in Propaganda (1923), his popular book that explored the psychology behind manipulating public opinion.

“Because man is by nature gregarious he feels himself to be member of a herd, even when he is alone in his room with the curtains drawn. His mind retains the patterns which have been stamped on it by the group influences,” wrote Bernays.

In the age of Citizens United — and with Trump in the White House — Bernays’s insights on public manipulation have become plain to see for anyone willing to look.


How the Char family is buying media in Colombia's Caribbean region

by Adriaan Alsema November 21, 2018

The Char family is one of Colombia’s most powerful political dynasties, partly because of its past ties to death squads, but also because it uses tax money to use news media for propaganda.

According to the Foundation for the Freedom of Press (FLIP), Barranquilla Mayor Alejandro Char spent $21 million of the city’s budget on publicity.

The FLIP has been analyzing how Colombia’s ruling class is using tax money pay news media to present government propaganda as news or make the media financially dependent on the politicians.

. . .

Bribing media is not the only Char strategy to maintain in power; censorship is too, according to the editor in chief of a local news website.


Chilean police resign over shooting of indigenous youth

Updated 1:06 pm CST, Sunday, November 18, 2018

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Two senior police officials have resigned in Chile after the discovery that officers destroyed video showing the shooting of a young indigenous man whose death set off large protests.

Interior Minister Andres Chadwick said via Twitter on Sunday that destruction of the memory card from a monitoring camera was "unacceptable." He said Gen. Mauro Victoriano and Col. Ivan Contreras Figueroa and four members of special forces unit resigned.

Thousands of people attended Saturday's funeral of 24-year-old Camilo Catrillanca, who was shot Wednesday. Police said they fired while pursuing people who stole three vehicles. Catrillanca's family said he was shot in the back while riding on a tractor.

Indigenous activists accuse the government of using heavy-handed tactics against the Mapuches, some of whom have been agitating for greater land rights.


Family and friends of Camilo Catrillanca, a Mapuche indigenous youth who was shot in the head when police were chasing unidentified car thieves, hold an ancestral Mapuche rites funeral in Temuco, Chile, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Indigenous representatives and leaders across the country attended the ceremony.

~ ~ ~

Mapuche Youth Assassinated by Colombian and US-Trained Chilean Police Unit
24-year-old Camilo Catrillanca was assassinated on Wednesday, November 14, during an invasion of his community by the special ‘anti-terrorist’ unit of the Chilean police, Comando Jungla.
Zoe PC 17 Nov 2018

Camilo Catrillanca was shot by the police while he was returning home from work on his tractor.

On Wednesday, November 14, the Mapuche traditional community of Temukuikui was invaded by a special ‘anti-terrorist’ unit of the Chilean police, the Comando Jungla. During the invasion, which involved nearly 400 police personnel and two helicopters circling overhead, officers shot Camilo Catrillanca, a young Mapuche community member who was returning home from work on his tractor.

Community members condemned the fact that despite having suffered serious gunshot wounds, Catrillanca was only taken to a local clinic, where he was surrounded by police officers, and was not taken to a hospital. They also said that a minor, who was in the tractor with Catrillanca, was gravely injured and was later detained along with other youth from the community.

The special police unit, Comando Jungla (Jungle Command), was inaugurated in June 2018 by Chilean president Sebastian Piñera and is the latest in a series of harsh and repressive actions against the Mapuche communities in Chilean and Argentine territory. The special unit of the Chilean police has been trained in Colombia and the United States in combating “terrorist forces”. The Comando Jungla has been deployed to combat ‘terrorist’ activity in the southern part of Chile, which is above all Mapuche territory.The intensified militarization of Mapuche territories is a grave threat to the indigenous communities who continue to peacefully resist and reiterate their right to remain on their land.

On both sides of the Andes, in Chile and Argentina, Mapuche communities have been engaged in processes of land recuperation to take back their ancestral territory from large property owners. Due to this, the repression unleashed against these communities has intensified. It is worth remembering that these communities have already been subject to state genocide and oppression with the intent of ensuring their extinction. The communities have been facing a campaign of threats, harassment, repression and violence from the State, large landowners and multinational companies that seek to occupy this economically profitable and strategically important territory. The Mapuche’s struggle to remain on their land is thus classified as terrorism. Already, many Mapuche leaders or Lonkos, as well as community members, have suffered this repression first hand and several are serving long sentences in prisons in Chile.


Hilton turns away Cuban envoy in Japan, citing US embargo

Hilton turns away Cuban envoy in Japan, citing US embargo
Local government rebukes hotel for violating accommodations law
NAOYA EZATO, Nikkei staff writer
November 15, 2018 04:07 JST

FUKUOKA, Japan -- A Hilton hotel in the southwestern Japanese city of Fukuoka refused a room to the Cuban ambassador last month because of American sanctions on the Caribbean country, it was learned Wednesday.

Japanese law prohibits hotel and inn operators from turning down guests when they have vacancies except for special cases, such as when the person has a contagious disease. The city of Fukuoka determined that the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk violated the law and issued a warning or "administrative guidance" to the hotel.

According to Tonichi Travel Service, which made the arrangements for the Cuban Embassy, an Oct. 2 reservation for the ambassador was confirmed via facsimile the day before by the hotel, an affiliate of U.S. chain Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

But on the afternoon of Oct. 2, Hilton Fukuoka called to apologize, saying it was unable to serve government officials of countries subject to U.S. sanctions, in this case the embargo against Cuba in place for decades.


Rights group calls for US reparations over 1989 Panama invasion

Source: Digital Journal


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has called on Washington to compensate victims and families of the 1989 invasion of Panama, accusing US forces of multiple rights violations as they moved to overthrow dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, according to a newly released document.

A 91-page report issued Friday says the United States "is responsible" for violating civilians' rights "to life, liberty (and) security."

The report says the US "must adopt measures of economic compensation."

Asked by AFP for comment, the US Embassy in Panama said that it "deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives during Operation Just Cause."

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/rights-group-calls-for-us-reparations-over-1989-panama-invasion/article/537093

The Panama Deception is a 1992 American documentary film that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[1] The film is critical of the actions of the U.S. military during the 1989 invasion of Panama, covering the conflicting reasons for the invasion. It also highlighted media bias within the United States, showing events that were unreported or systematically misreported, including downplaying the number of civilian casualties. It was directed by Barbara Trent, written and edited by David Kasper, and narrated by actress Elizabeth Montgomery. It was a production of the Empowerment Project.

The film asserts that the U.S. government invaded Panama primarily to destroy the PDF, the Panamanian Defense Forces, who were perceived as a threat to U.S. control over Panama, and to install a government friendly to U.S. interests. The film includes footage of mass graves uncovered after the American troops had withdrawn, burned down neighborhoods, as well as depictions of some of the 20,000 refugees who fled the fighting.


Is Brazil turning into a military state?

From January, Brazil will be soon ruled by former military leaders. There is growing support for this in Congress, but ever more people fear there will be a coup. Thomas Milz reports from Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian President-elect Jair Messias Bolsonaro is a former paratrooper; his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, is a retired four-star general. Observers expect that half the Cabinet could in future consist of military personnel, with some calling it a "military government" for this reason.

The defense minister-to-be — a retired general — objects to this view.

"This has nothing to do with a military government. Nobody is thinking about military intervention or authoritarianism," Augusto Heleno told the daily O Globo. "It is just that people are getting involved now whose qualities the country has long overlooked. Few people know Brazil as well as we do." It was a matter of common sense to use the military's knowledge, he said.

Defense of the dictatorship

Brazil returned to democracy in the mid-1980s after 21 years of dictatorship. Since then, governments have always made it a priority to keep their civilian character. The military was subordinated to the Ministry of Defense, which was led by a civilian. Now, with Bolsonaro's election victory, the military is coming to the fore on all social fronts. Bolsonaro's message is that his government will resolve the triple crisis of economic decline, increasing violence and rampant corruption that he alleges to be the result of a corrupt party democracy with its haggling over positions and party cronyism.

. . .

. . . The president of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, declared a few weeks ago that he preferred to speak of the "1964 Movement" instead of the "coup." Brazil's students will probably soon follow his example.


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

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