Links December 2017

December 4, 2017

Feline news:
More cat news at the end of the post.

Environmental news:
https://imgur.com/gallery/2TraE This is a catastrophe with enough industrial poison set free to cause a thousand additional cancer deaths. The warehouse was a ticking time bomb, and there are countless other time bombs in waiting.
http://www.atimes.com/article/carbon-cloud-hangs-heavy-india-southeast-asia/ Coal addiction.
https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/11/11/new-delhis-gas-chamber-smog-is-so-bad-that-united-airlines-has-stopped-flying-there.html This is what an “emerging economy” looks (and smells) like.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/global-climate-change-increasing-risk-of-crop-yield-losses-and-food-insecurity-in-the-tropical-andes/ It will be the same everywhere. Warmer climate means more pests. More pesticides mean higher contamination of our food…
https://grist.org/article/shipping-industry-destroying-climate-progress-were-all-to-blame/ If more products are produced locally, less ships are needed.
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/4605229 15,000 scientists raise their voice and warn about rising greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, unsustainable agricultural production, and the sixth mass extinction. Will anybody listen? Will anything change?
Global carbon emissions in 2017 are soaring to an all-time high.
http://www.ehn.org/lawsuits-north-carolina-hog-farms-2504427622.html Glad to be a vegetarian.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/16/modern-air-is-too-clean-the-rise-of-air-pollution-denial Population control through air pollution.

Economic news:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41876942 Nobody likes to pay taxes. Whats wrong with avoiding taxes?
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41889787 Apple tax dodging.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/08/deutsche-bank-ceo-suggests-robots-could-replace-half-its-employees.html Automatization in bank business, eased by the popularity of online banking, will cost half of the jobs. Frightening? Don’t worry, all speculations and predictions about a future where robots and AI replace humans will be irrelevant, when resource scarcity and environmental emergencies set the agenda.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/30/chin-n30.html EU – China trade war?
http://voxeu.org/article/cash-comeback-evidence-and-possible-explanations They cannot take away cash. People would revolt.
https://evonomics.com/market-competition-really-works-murray/ About competition and cooperation.

Media and technology news:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/02/hear-n02.html Protecting the gullible web surfers from the lure of Russian propaganda.
http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2017/859-survival-symptoms-of-breakdown.html An epic rant about the dishonesty and hypocrisy of British media, while simultaneously touching the most vital issues. Strongly recommended reading.
https://qz.com/1131515/google-collects-android-users-locations-even-when-location-services-are-disabled/ Just see it in a positive way: They care about you!

Imperial news:
This is from a comment John Chuckman wrote about an article on Investmentwatch:
America quite literally has become a strange country where many things are not what they seem.
Perhaps the watershed event leading to what we see routinely now was the Kennedy Assassination.
It has never been explained, and even the release of recent “documents” leads only to the question of why such unhelpful junk, which is what it mainly is, was ever made secret in the first place.
Government’s ability to successfully cover-up the facts in the public murder of a president bolstered its readiness and ability to use the same approach over and over, especially now that America has become a global imperial power engaged in many dark activities, at home and abroad, not intended to be explained to anyone.
The United States is embroiled in so many unwarranted foreign wars and plots now, suffering many failures and “blowback” events, it has a good deal to hide at any given time, and its permanent shadow government, the establishment and its military-security supporters, has a completely successful record now of hiding things.
You name it: the lies around Vietnam, the lies around Flight 800, the lies around 9/11, the lies around the Neocon Wars, the lies around Syria, the lies around Russia, it just goes on and on, and there is no authority from which to demand clarification.
A Donald Trump has proved that even a hard-driving outsider cannot crack the protective shell in Washington. Instead he has become part of the entire operation.
This is just what happens when you become an imperial power that feels it owes no explanations to anyone for its acts, and least of all to its own people, when the powerful and wealthy establishment of a country adjusts to playing God, as America’s very much has.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/07/shot-n07.html The monthly mass shooting, this time in Texas. The combination of a social climate where violence is the accepted norm both domestic (worlds highest prison population, killing of black men by police) and abroad (US-wars in the Middle East), of social stress (opioid epidemic, rising suicides, workplace pressure), and easy availability of assault weapons inevitably leads to this outcome. The next stage could be protracted firefights in US cities, violent video games already prepare US kids for this scenario.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/07/opio-n07.html Fentanyl replaces morphine, but W-18 is even more powerful. This is technological progress.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/18/peep-n18.html Lil Peep.
Socialism never took root in America, because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. John Steinbeck

Imperial conquest news:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/wipe-the-ussr-off-the-map-204-atomic-bombs-against-major-cities-us-nuclear-attack-against-soviet-union-planned-prior-to-end-of-world-war-ii/5616601 With God on our side!
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/18/yeme-n18.html Genozide in Yemen.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/11/20/national/crime-legal/fatal-okinawa-accident-u-s-service-members-restricted-base-banned-drinking-alcohol/#.WhK4qcaZMUQ In Okinawa a total of 576 crimes — including murders, robberies and rapes — were committed by US military-related personnel between May 1972 and last December.
Following the gang rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by three US soldiers in 1995, a massive protest rally, attended by 85,000, was held to call for the removal of the US military base from Okinawa.
709 accidents in the same time period have further fueled negative sentiment toward the US base on the island.

Uncategorized news:
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/centenary-of-the-russian-revolution-and-the-repudiation-of-debt/ Long read but worth it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7jcvfbLoIA I’m not a fan of YouTube, but Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame deserves to be watched.

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone

Though I support the message of this famous rock song, the first line may be misinterpreted as a general rejection of education. It could be replaced with “we don’t need indoctrination,” or with “stop the vile misinformation,” or with some other phrase which fits into the rhythm of the lyrics.

News from cat land:

It may well be that the following text is perceived as overly emotional, weepy, and pathetic, but I stand to it. It is about the life and death of a small, unimportant, unknown, and in no way outstanding cat.

To me she was important. She was my mate, my close friend, my little cat lover.

I just buried my 19 year old cat lady Miss Marple. She had suffered from arthritis, common in her age, but otherwise was in good shape. She could have easily lived 20 years, maybe even more. Unfortunately, she had skin cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma), visible as two black spots on the ear and the nose.

The cancerous tumors remained unchanged for many years, which fueled the hope that it might stay that way. The veterinarian though once troubled me by stating that the spot on the nose could not be surgically removed because a 19-year-old cat would not survive such a serious surgery.

In early September the tumors suddenly grew and started to bleed. I drove immediately to the vet, who told me the sad news, that a cure was impossible and every therapy would only mean an additional, unnecessary strain for my cat companion. She proposed to use a mixture of cortisone and antibiotics in the form of a depot injection into the muscle mass. This was of course a palliative measure, not a cure.

For a few weeks, the injections worked wonders, with the in this content insignificant side effect of heavy weight gain. In November, the drugs became less and less effective, my old cat lady became weaker, she was waggly and staggering, and she often meowed mournfully. I do not think that she was in pain, but it seemed that she had intuitively realized that life, as she knew it before, was coming to an end and that the old times never would return.

During another visit to the veterinary practice, where Miss Marple received her weekly injection, I discussed the situation and, after careful consideration, we agreed that the vet would come to my home three days later, on Thursday, November 30, and Miss Marple would be euthanized.

And so it happened.

In recent years Miss Marple has spent a lot of time in her favorite place under a garden chair on the patio. I had put a soft blanket there where she could lay comfortably. From this point, protected from wind and rain, she was able to watch what was going on in the garden. Old ladies often sit by the window and look at the surrounding — in this way they have the feeling to be involved in social life and to be a part the community.

Thursday evening, just before the vet was announced, I went to Miss Marple in her patio lookout and talked to her calmly. No, I did not want to just take her and carry her into the house, she would not have liked that. It was not necessary either, because after some soft and tender words she came out of her sanctuary and we together went into the house.

The vet arrived a little later, her mother had come too. Both are very pleasant personalities. My girlfriend was also there to support and comfort me.

It was a perfectly choreographed event, everything happened as planned. Miss Marple had rested on the big carpet in the living room, visibly tired and exhausted. I knelt beside her and spoke softly to her, caressing her tenderly. She began to purr, and as she purred, the vet gave her the injection. Miss Marple noticed the injection, but she kept purring and I kept stroking her. After a few seconds, her purring became quieter and she fell asleep. Forever.

We four people stood together in the kitchen for a while and talked about all kind of things. The mood was somber, appropriate to the situation, but not depressed or sorrowful. My sense of sadness was mixed with relief and gratitude. I was deeply grateful for all the years I spent with Miss Marple. I am deeply in her debt and happy that we could bring her life to a quiet, painless, dignified end.

I would also like to die that way, caressed by the dearest and nearest person in my life, listening to her gentle voice.

Miss Marple spent the first 12 years of her life with a neighboring family, but they didn’t treat her well. She was often locked out, even in cold winter nights, with nobody missing her and looking for her. It’s not easy for a 12-year-old cat to give up her accustomed life and look for a new home, but Miss Marple took the decision nonetheless and she tried to join my cat family.

She was not welcome and my cat companions chased her away several times. Yet Miss Marple was not deterred and finally she got hold of a small area next to the large tool shed, where she was tolerated by the other cats. There were a few compartments in the tool shed where she could make herself comfortable. I furnished one of the compartments with blankets and pillows and for two months brought her food twice a day.

After two months of mutual acclimatization she was accepted by the cat community and from then on her life went smoothly. She did not stand out, she did not get in anyone’s way, she sometimes growled or was growled at, but there was never any violence. Violence is not allowed in Mato’s cat family.

Cats are stubborn, strong-willed, obstinate, persistent, they are born dissidents, objectors, rebels. Miss Marple embodied this trait more than any other cat I’ve ever dealt with, and for that reason alone she conquered a very special place in my heart. I’ve been rebelling myself against authorities of various kinds and have deepest sympathy for my fellow rebels.

There was also the vague feeling inside me that Miss Marple’s days were limited, and that I should use the remaining time wisely and economically.

The deep friendship that developed between us will accompany me throughout my life. Miss Marple is not dead, she lives on in my memory and in the memories of other people and animals. If I myself die, I will likewise continue to live in the memory of other people and animals and Miss Marple’s life will be perpetuated together with mine, as she has become a part of myself.

Everything we do, even the smallest and most insignificant move, has an impact. Nothing is in vain, nothing lost, we are a part of the infinite flow of energy and matter. We are a link of the causal chain, embedded in the never-ending series of cause and effect. In this way we are all immortal and Miss Marple is just as immortal.

I wrapped Mis Marple’s little body in two of my T-shirts and carried her into the guest room. As I noticed in the morning, my little cat angel Lucia had sneaked into the guest room unnoticed by me, and had spent the whole night next to Miss Marple.

In the morning I took Miss Marple, looked for a spade, and went into the forest across the garden door. Linda and Lucia came with me. I did not call the two, they came by themselves and I was glad they were with me.

We walked to the place where I had buried Mia, Gandhis mom, in August 2015. Hidden and far away from all paths, this is an area that is only entered by me, the cat family, and the animals of the forest. Everything is overgrown with moss, large and small branches are there, often in several layers on top of each other. Mia’s grave was no longer recognizable, but I chose a spot that was surely nearby, removed moss, branches, foliage, and began to dig. After 30 centimeters of humus came clay. The earth was loose, it took me no more than 10 minutes.

A little cat does not need a deep grave.

I put Miss Marple’s body into the grave, covered it with earth, laid moss and branches onto it. I also fetched moss and branches from nearby to cover the entire spot where I had worked. Nobody would realize that my little friend was buried here.

Linda and Lucia meanwhile explored the surrounding, but they stayed near. When they realized that I had finished, they came immediately and we went home together.

I was sad, but also relieved. And grateful — deeply grateful. Tears can be tears of sadness and tears of joy at the same time.

Thank you, Miss Marple!