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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
October 31, 2019

Can foie gras ever be ethical?

As the ban on foie gras is lifted in California, campaigners continue to fight against the force-feeding of geese. But what if the geese gorged themselves voluntarily? On one farm in Spain, the birds do just that

Trevor Baker
Wed 14 Jan 2015 07.50 ESTLast modified on Thu 2 Aug 2018 14.44 EDT

There has been jubilation in many of California’s swankiest restaurants this week as, for the first time in more than two years, customers have been legally allowed to enjoy the controversial delicacy foie gras. Indeed, some chefs have revelled in their role as the “baddies” of the animal rights world, boasting on social media that they’d been stocking it all along, planning celebratory feasts on the rich, creamy duck liver and all but laughing in the faces of birds choking on their food pipes.

However, the US district court has struck down the Californian ban on selling foie gras, which came into effect in 2012, not because they have a view on whether the product is cruel, but because they decided it was unconstitutional. Individual states aren’t allowed to impose rulings on “labelling, packaging or ingredient requirements”. Strictly speaking, it is not foie gras that California banned. They banned products produced by the “force-feeding of a bird for the purpose of enlarging its liver beyond normal size”.

This may seem like a semantic point, but it could be crucial in the next legal challenge. Food law expert Baylen Linnekin, himself a defender of foie gras, quotes the Humane Society campaigner Paul Shapiro’s claim that: “Force-feeding is not an ‘ingredient’ of foie gras, since foie gras can be produced without resorting to such cruel methods.” This might cause some surprise on both sides of the debate. In France, the country where foie gras is most deeply embedded in the culture, the product is defined by law as the liver of a goose or duck fattened by a feeding tube, a process known as “gavage”. Overfeeding causes a chemical change within the liver as it stores fat cells, creating the smooth texture beloved by sybarites from the ancient Egyptians to the present day.

However, there is at least one producer who doesn’t create his foie gras by force. Spanish farmer Eduardo Sousa came to prominence when food writer Dan Barber featured him in a TED talk called The Surprising Parable of Foie Gras. Sousa produces what his fans call “ethical foie”, but which he prefers to call “natural”.


Humane Decisions:

Hundreds of restaurants around the world have stopped serving foie gras because of its inherent and obvious animal cruelty.


~ ~ ~

It's horrific when people believe humane choices might interfere with their maximum satiation. No compromises, eh?

It IS a matter of depth of character, maturity, intelligence, civility. Nothing but.

Apparently some have, after reflection, decided it's better to live without a conscience.

October 30, 2019

7,000-year-old fortress wall uncovered in southern Turkey


IHA Photo

A fortress wall dating 7,000 years back to the Chalcolithic Age has been unearthed at the Yumuktepe Mound in southern Turkey's Mersin province.

The Yumuktepe Mound is highly significant as a continuous settlement for 9,000 years since the Neolithic Age.

Two and a half months of excavations at the mound are coming to an end on Friday. This year's excavations, focused on the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, were carried out by a 30-person team led by Isabella Caneva – a professor of archeology at the University of Salento in Lecce, Italy.

Caneva said that the 7-meter fortress wall discovered this season can now be shown to the public.

While every year's excavations have provided historical insights, this year's dig produced especially "striking" Neolithic and Chalcolithic findings, Caneva said.

Caneva said the layer in Yumuktepe Mound is special in that it contains very special architecture.

The fortress wall was made with a variety of materials, including a 1.5-meter-thick support wall made of limestone at the bottom, 2 meters of well-cut stones and 3 meters of mudbrick.

October 27, 2019

The Revolution Isn't Being Televised

OCTOBER 26, 2019

Media uninterested in protest movements around the world

It’s all kicking off everywhere in 2019. Haitians are revolting against a corrupt political system and their President Jovenel Moïse, who many see as a kleptocratic US puppet. In Ecuador, huge public manifestations managed to force President Lenín Moreno to backtrack on his IMF-backed neoliberal package that would have sharply cut government spending and increased transport prices (FAIR.org, 10/23/19).

Meanwhile, popular Chilean frustration at the conservative Piñera administration boiled over into massive protests that were immediately met with force. “We are at war,” announced President Sebastián Piñera, echoing the infamous catchphrase of former fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet. Piñera claimed that those responsible for violently resisting him were “going to pay for their deeds” as he ordered tanks through Santiago. (See FAIR.org, 10/23/19.)

Huge, ongoing anti-government demonstrations are also engulfing Lebanon, Catalonia and the United Kingdom.

et the actions that have by far received the most attention in corporate media are those in Hong Kong, where demonstrations erupted in response to a proposed extradition agreement with the Chinese central government that opponents felt would undermine civil liberties and Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status. A search for “Hong Kong protests” on October 25, 2019, elicits 282 responses in the last month in the New York Times, for example, compared to 20 for “Chile protests,” 43 for Ecuador and 16 for Haiti. The unequal coverage is even more pronounced on Fox News, where there were 70 results for Hong Kong over the same period and four, two and three for Chile, Ecuador and Haiti, respectively.

This disparity cannot be explained due to the protests’ size or significance, the number of casualties or the response from the authorities. Eighteen people have died during the ongoing protests in Haiti, 19 (and rising) in Chile, while in Ecuador, protesters themselves captured over 50 soldiers who had been sent in as Moreno effectively declared martial law. In contrast, no one has been killed in Hong Kong, nor has the army been called in, with Beijing expressing full confidence in local authorities to handle proceedings. The Chilean government announced it had arrested over 5,400 people in only a week of protests, a figure more than double the number arrested in months of Hong Kong demonstrations (Bloomberg, 10/4/19). Furthermore, social media have been awash with images and videos of the suppression of the protests worldwide.


October 21, 2019

Abusive North American Companies Pay Off Latin American Police to Harass Critics

In countries like Peru, extractive industries contract police to suppress Indigenous protesters and detain international observers — including me.

By Jen Moore, October 21, 2019.

Indigenous Peruvians protest mining pollution, 2015. (Shutterstock)

In late April 2017, U.S. investigative journalist John Dougherty and I were screening John’s documentary Flin Flon Flim Flam in Peru. The film documents violence, environmental contamination, broken promises, and police repression at mining projects owned by the Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals in several countries — including in Peru.

As we left the Cusco Cultural Center after a Friday evening screening, we were surrounded by 15 to 20 plain clothes police and a handful of immigration officials.

They brought us to the Cusco immigration office, where they detained and interrogated us for four hours — the maximum time permitted by law. We were finally released after midnight, thanks no doubt to pressure from friends and colleagues in Peru, throughout Latin America, and in the U.S. and Canada.

It was political detention, and the Interior Ministry made no secret of it.

Less than 12 hours after our release, the ministry released a communiqué accusing us of violating our tourist visas and posing a threat to public order by talking about the risks of mining, and by “inciting” communities to oppose mining activities. The ministry defended Hudbay’s mining operations — and said we should be expelled.

October 20, 2019


By Staff, Telesurenglish.net
October 16, 2019

The police raid was broadcast on Facebook Live by the leftist leader as she put on her clothes to prepare for being taken to into custody.

The prefect of the Ecuadorean province of Pichincha Paola Pabon was arrested in the early morning hours of Monday at her home. Police also raided the home of Virgilio Hernandez, a former lawmaker and member of the Citizen Revolution. Meanwhile, in the province of Guayas, Alexandra Arce, former mayor of the city of Duran, was also detained. Yofre Poma, another member and lawmaker from the Citizen Revolution movement was also arrested in police raids.

The police raid Paola Pabon’s house was broadcast on Facebook Live by the leftist leader as she put on her clothes to prepare for being taken to into custody.

“Today they entered my house at dawn and knocked down the door while I was sleeping. They take me into detention without evidence. Being an opposition in a democracy cannot be a crime. It is not a democracy when political opponents are persecuted in this way,” Pabón said. video.

. . .



October 20, 2019

Disappeared in El Salvador: The return of a Cold War nightmare

Daisy Flores holds a portrait of her son, Edwin, who disappeared in May. She and his nephew, Hector, wait for news in their home in Las Animas, El Salvador. (Fred Ramos/FTWP)

By Mary Beth Sheridan and
Anna-Catherine Brigida
Oct. 19, 2019 at 1:58 p.m. CDT

LAS ANIMAS, El Salvador — For Daisy Flores, Day 135 began like so many others. She soaked corn in a bucket on the dirt floor for tortillas. She washed the kids’ clothes in a blue plastic bin. And she thought, again, about that afternoon in May when her 18-year-old son Edwin rode off on his brother’s motorcycle.

He still hasn’t come home.

Twenty miles away, in a working-class neighborhood in San Salvador, Karen was plodding through Day 297. She coped by writing notes to her absent husband and taping them to the bedroom wall.

“I send you a little kiss,” she’d scrawled to the man who had disappeared last year while delivering electricity bills. And: “I can’t take it anymore.”

Not far from her, a third family endured another Monday without their loved one. The middle-aged man had gone missing on his way home from his plumbing job. Was it already Day 192? They’d searched everywhere. Nothing.

Three decades after a brutal civil war characterized by never-explained, never-resolved disappearances, Salvadorans are again vanishing.

The phenomenon is resurrecting one of the most chilling elements of Cold War Latin America. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, tens of thousands of people disappeared as right-wing governments — many supported by the United States — fought to extinguish leftist insurgencies.

October 19, 2019

Video shows high school coach disarming and hugging suicidal student

Surveillance footage reveals emotional moment when Keanon Lowe encountered armed student at Portland, Oregon, school

Victoria Bekiempis in New York
Sat 19 Oct 2019 15.32 EDT

Dramatic video has emerged showing a high school football coach in Portland, Oregon, disarming a suicidal student then hugging and comforting the teen.

The video of the incident, obtained by the CBS affiliate KOIN 6 News, captures the moment when the Parkrose high school coach Keanon Lowe encountered Angel Granados-Diaz.

While Lowe’s actions had been extensively reported, the video provided visual documentation of how his quick thinking and compassion potentially prevented a tragedy.

At around noon on 17 May this year, Granados-Diaz walked on to campus, carrying a shotgun. He went into a classroom with the intent of killing himself, authorities said, not to kill other students.

October 19, 2019

Cuban president Miguel Daz-Canel makes history with Irish visit

Díaz-Canel, who succeeded Fidel Castro’s brother Raul in April 2018, will visit Áras
about 5 hours ago
Harry McGee

The first official visit by a serving president of Cuba to Ireland will begin on Sunday when Miguel Díaz-Canel arrives for a three-day stay.

During the trip he will attend a reception hosted by President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

It follows President Higgins’s visit to Cuba in February 2017, the first by an Irish head of State to the Caribbean island.

Mr Díaz-Canel has been president of the communist state since succeeding 86-year-old Raul Castro in April 2018. The 59-year-old has been a member of the politburo since 2003 and was the only candidate named to contest the position.

October 18, 2019

Violence against indigenous peoples explodes in Brazil

by Clarissa Beretz on 17 October 2019 | Translated by Theo Bradford

On the same day that President Jair Bolsonaro made his anti-indigenous speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Brazil’s Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) released its annual report, “Violence Against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.” The data collected are from 2018, but the report also includes preliminary information for 2019, and the findings are alarming.

In the first nine months of the Bolsonaro government, which took office at the start of 2019, there have already been reports of 160 cases of land invasion, illegal exploitation of natural resources, and damage to property in 153 indigenous territories. This is a significant increase from 2018, both in number and scope: according to CIMI’s report, 111 incidents of this type were reported in 76 indigenous territories last year. With 2019 not yet over, the total area that has come under attack is already double last year’s.

The report does not include homicide data for 2019, but reveals that 135 indigenous people were murdered in 2018 — an increase of almost 23 percent from 2017, when 110 indigenous people were murdered. The state of Roraima stands out as the most violent, with 62 homicides, followed by Mato Grosso do Sul, with 38. Combined with data provided by Sesai (the Special Indigenous Health Secretariat) and state health departments, CIMI recorded violent deaths of indigenous peoples in 12 Brazilian states.

“This is the result of the policy of genocide initiated under the Temer government, with stripping of agencies that provide assistance and protection, like INCRA and Funai, emphasizing the idea that indigenous territories should be exploited,” said Roberto Liebgott, CIMI’s southern region coordinator and one of those responsible for producing the report. According to Liebgott, Bolsonaro’s statement as presidential candidate that “not a centimeter will be demarcated either as an indigenous reserve or as a quilombola” — land owned by descendants of runaway slaves — was the “trigger that authorized a criminal state, allowing that land to be pillaged for the benefit of the sectors who elected him.”

October 18, 2019

Bolsonaro Signs Decree to Privatize The Brazilian Mint

Published 17 October 2019 (14 hours 54 minutes ago)

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree Tuesday which includes the Brazilian Coin House (Casa da Moeda) in the National Privatization Program (PND). The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) will monitor the sale of this historic public asset.

"The Mint was born to guarantee national sovereignty. Its creation met the demand of a booming economy during the Brazilian mining cycle in the late 17th century," local media Racoontaai recalled.

"It can produce 3.5 billion banknotes and 4 billion coins a year, apart from the issuance of postage and holographic stamps, passports and other products which are sold to Brazil and the world."

Aluizio Junior, the National Union of Coin Acceptors president, criticized harshly the decision taken by the Bolsonaro administration.

“The Mint managers acted in ways which do not protect the interests of the company and its employees... They are dismantling the Mint to hand it over to private interests," Junior said and added that it seems abusive to place national essential services in hands of foreign private investors.


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