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Links December 2014

December 8, 2014

Environmental news:
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/27636-united-nations-calls-for-an-end-to-industrialized-farming
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/141205-world-soil-day-soil-agriculture-environment-ngfood/
http://nypost.com/2014/11/16/toxic-veggies-found-in-nycs-community-gardens/
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/triclosan-soap-ingredient-can-trigger-liver-cancer-in-mice-warn-scientists-9866176.html
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1098962-more-toxins-in-clothes-than-previously-believed/
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/28/fracking-risk-compared-to-thalidomide-and-asbestos-in-walport-report
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1653877/heavy-metal-pollution-hunan-soil-exceeds-chinas-limits-1500-times
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/765bka9vVaQAiFxKRGtqRL/The-endless-wait-for-a-cleanup-in-Bhopal.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-05/amid-india-s-coal-fields-death-lurks-in-poisoned-water.html Why does Bloomberg allow to publish this scathing report?
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/garbage-dumping-sites-pose-big-threat-to-delhi/1/405716.html
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2714142/sad-legacy-of-pollution/?cs=2452
http://www.chron.com/news/science-environment/article/Signs-grow-of-oil-spill-effect-on-turtles-5903833.php
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/3145997-181/large-scale-die-off-of-small-seabird
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141126-shipping-traffic-oceans-china-trade-environment/
http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/african-billionaire-slaughters-20-elephants-during-200-million-birthday-bash/ Is it an option, to be a misanthrope, cherishing every new war and new pandemic which helps to reduce the impact of the most invasive and heinous species on the planet?
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27692-privateers-make-a-water-grab
http://www.trust.org/item/20141126085900-3p4ar/?source=fiOtherNews2 A report crippled by the constraints of Reuters editorial line which makes nevertheless clear how bad things are and that privatization doesn’t work.
http://www.contracostatimes.com/environment/ci_27064539/deforestation-may-be-at-root-brazil-drought
http://www.businessinsider.com/antibiotic-resistant-superbugs-are-causing-bacterial-infections-2014-12
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/03/green-activists-ecuador-climate-change
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/06/ecuador-indigenous-leader-found-dead-lima-climate-talks

Imperial news:
http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/11/27/ferguson-ruling-ignites-prairie-fire-protest/
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/28/ferguson-boycott-black-friday-protest
http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/11/25/kkk-ferguson/
http://cindysheehanssoapbox.com/27/post/2014/11/crack-friday-with-rev-billy-special-soapbox-podcast-11282014.html
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102206925
http://rt.com/business/209591-gold-europe-gold-repatriation/
http://www.vox.com/2014/8/15/6005587/ferguson-satire-another-country-russia-china If you like satire, this is a must read.
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/28/being-homeless-is-better-than-working-for-amazon Another must read.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/28/us/black-friday-gun-sales/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
http://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/02/nyt-shows-how-propaganda-works/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/sex-crimes-in-the-us-military-the-safety-and-protection-of-women-in-the-armed-forces/5417833
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/war-by-media-and-the-triumph-of-propaganda/

Imperial conquest news:
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/03/world/meast/syria-kobani-fighters/
http://en.itar-tass.com/world/763814
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/why-assad-refuses-to-step-down/ Must read.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/01/us-mideast-crisis-food-idUSKCN0JF20G20141201
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930908000343
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/on-ukraine-the-economists-declare-an-emergency
http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21635029-tensions-between-president-and-prime-minister-may-further-derail-ukraine-tragedy-and-farce Just in case that things don’t work out as promised, we know whom to blame.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/we-have-no-homeland-ukraine-dissolves-as-exiles-flee/article21832829/comments/ Beside the obligatory Russia bashing there are interesting portraits of Donbass refugees and a useful description of cultural differences between eastern and western Ukraine. Some of the comments are worth reading.
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/12/meet-greet-natalie-jaresko-us-government-employee-ukraine-finance-minister.html
https://cooptv.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/russian-tv-documentary-claims-to-know-who-downed-malaysian-airliner-mh17-on-july-17th/
http://valdaiclub.com/near_abroad/74240.html
http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/11/29/haitian-cops-kill-protesters-u-s-embassy-remains-silent/

A comment on an Alternative Media site:

“Vast numbers of Americans support the empire’s wars of conquest because they help maintain their lavish lifestyles. The wars bother some of us more than others. Many of us are adamantly against them, but only a few find it emotionally unbearable to countenance the destruction of millions of lives in our names and with our money. What makes the few different?”

Ottoman conquest news:
http://www.theherald-news.com/2014/11/29/islamic-state-group-launches-attack-on-kobani-from-turkey/au2jfob/
http://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2014/11/19/turkey-reputation/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/11242919/Syria-refugees-shot-and-killed-by-Turkey-border-guards.html When even Amnesty International concedes, that NATO member Turkey kills and abuses Syrian refugees, the situation must be very serious.
http://rt.com/news/207563-serena-shim-killed-mystery/
http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/women-are-not-equal-to-men-turkish-president-tells-womens-conference-652235.html
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/90dcafea-74bb-11e4-8321-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3KAgGIiD1
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/turkey-chechen-murder-syria-link.html
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4903/turkey-and-the-kurds
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/rise-in-security-expenditures-turning-turkey-into-police-state.aspx?PageID=238&NID=75008&NewsCatID=338
http://www.aina.org/releases/20141202192116.htm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/02/us-turkey-education-idUSKCN0JG0CK20141202
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/12/turkey-libya-muslim-brotherhood.html

Everything else news:
http://hungerreport.org/2015/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2015-Hunger-Report-LowRez5.pdf
http://rt.com/op-edge/208823-middle-east-christians-russia/
http://www.thecommentator.com/article/5370/is_russia_banning_islam
http://www.globalresearch.ca/menace-on-the-menu-development-and-the-globalization-of-servitude/5416488
http://www.japantoday.com/category/opinions/view/killer-robots-why-we-should-ban-autonomous-weapons-systems

===========

News roundup

The Ukraine has a new US based and paid finance minister (Natalie Jaresko) and a new Ministry of Information Policy. Why didn’t they call it Ministry of Truth, to make the analogy to George Orwell’s 1984 perfect?

Due to the intensification of subversive groups of the enemy who prey on the Ukrainian mass media, journalists visits will be carried out under military escort,” said a statement from the ATO Press Centre.

According to the Russian Federal Migration Service 480,000 residents of Ukraine have arrived in Russia since early April 2014 and more than 240,000 applied for temporary asylum or refugee status.

Ukraine’s foreign-currency reserves fell below 10 billion US$ and Western nations consider another 4 billion US$ loan package.

Russian Channel 5 TV aired details about the MH17 catastrophe. A Su-25, hull number 08, from the 299th Squadron of the Ukrainian Air Force piloted by Lt. col. Dmitro Yaketsuts shot it down on July 17. The pilot went on July 18 to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) where he allegedly still is. The Kiev center manager, Anna Petrenko, unexpectedly went on vacation on the morning of July 18th, from which she did not come back.

According to a survey by the Public Opinion Research Center, conducted among 1,600 people in 46 Russian regions, 76 percent of Russians feel happy. There are more happy people among the youth (88 percent from 18 to 24 years) and those who studied at higher education institutions (86 percent) than among pensioners (64 percent) and poorly educated (61 percent).

IS (Islamic State) is sending still new fighters and material to Kobane, this time mainly through Turkey, because the formerly used supply route on Syrian soil has been blocked by the Kurds. A threefold suicide attack came directly from the Mursitpinar border crossing, and IS snipers took over Turkish grain silos along the border, firing down on YPG forces from inside. People on the Turkish side who had to abandon their homes in the Mursitpinar area and settle in nearby villages because of security reasons say IS has been entering their homes and uses them as staging ground for their terror operations.

Turkey as usual denied the reports and government media released statements turning the previously by several news organizations independently reported story on its head. According to Turkish witnesses the IS fighters came from Syria and Kurdish YPG members illegally crossed into Turkey during the clashes. One wonders why the Turks still bother to deny, because their support for IS is so obvious that nobody believes their denials anymore.

Turkish soldiers arrested five wounded YPG fighters who’d gone to Suruc’s hospital for treatment.

The Kurdish fighters apparently are not able to dislodge IS from Kobane. US air strikes make not much difference. It seems that everything the USA does increases the attractiveness and lure of IS (which is probably the desired outcome).

Oil is getting cheaper by the day, which is bad for the environment, because energy saving investments and lifestyle changes to diminish the carbon footprint will become less attractive. The oil price plunge is surprisingly also inducing financial instability, making the players in the worlds biggest casino increasingly nervous.

55 percent of CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) now being issued are based on leveraged loans, an unprecedented level. This raises eyebrows because CDOs were pivotal in the 2008 crash. The financial system is in many ways even more stretched today than it was in 2008.

===========

Dispatches from a peace zone:

As told before, I live on the edge of a forest, and that has many benefits, but also a few downsides. Two big ash trees which were probably about 80 years old had grown higher and higher over the years and had also tilted towards the house. The trees, competing with each other for sunlight, grew more branches towards the edge of the forest, which meant, that their branches reached across the small road between the house and the forest and hovered over parts of the garden. I didn’t mind the fallen leaves in autumn which were blanketing the garden but huge dry branches often broke off and fell down and last year they damaged the garden fence. This damage was covered by the insurance of the forest owner but the danger of a big branch injuring a passer by on the road or me or the cats became bigger and bigger as the trees continued growing.

The ash trees in this region and in many other regions of Europe are all suffering from ash dieback, a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea. The fungus can kill young ash trees very quickly (within one growing season of symptoms becoming visible) while older trees resist it for some time but their branches die and break off and eventually the whole tree dies and breaks down.

In summer the owner of the forest, who is a friend of mine, agreed to remove all trees which could fall onto the house in case of a heavy storm or because of the progressing ash dieback sickness. All at all it were four ash trees and about ten spruce trees.

I value trees, they are one of my favorite plants. Trees are majestic, dignified, calm, wise, and in some way mysterious. They are strong, enduring, resistant, and yet vulnerable. They cannot run away from the evil chainsaws which humans use to murder them.

I’m now implicated in the murder of these trees, but I had no choice. The trees were about 20 meters high and they weighed between 10 and 20 tons, if one of the two mentioned ash trees would have fallen onto the house it could have been so severely damaged that a repair would have not been possible anymore. Beside that, I could have been injured or killed.

So it came that one morning at the end of November two lumberjacks with a harvester came and started cutting the trees. The harvester was one of the bigger models, this machine weighs 24 tons, as one of the workers told me. The son of the forest owner and I helped with redirecting the traffic and cleaning away branches. We were all anxious to see the trees fall down parallel to the road and not onto the house. But the lumberjacks were experienced people, they cut out slices at the bottom of the stem and hammered wedges into the wood while the harvester was pushing the trees to the desired direction with the hydraulic arm grabbing the stem at the highest possible point. A few times the front wheels of the 24 ton machine lifted from the ground and the harvester looked like it was in danger of rolling over backwards but the guys knew what they were doing and the trees all fell to safe areas.

One tree though fell onto an adjacent corn field which was fortunately already harvested. No damage done, but we needed half an hour to pick up the branches who were spread across the field. Every time a tree fell down it was like a bomb had struck. The ground was vibrating and a cloud of dust, leaves, and small branches rose from the site to rain down again after a second.

Beside the murdered big trees many bushes and small trees died when the big trees fell down on them. Many more died when in the following days the logs were cut into smaller parts, pulled out onto the road, and loaded onto trucks to be carried to the sawmill.

Yet, I’m glad to be able to state that the damage to nature is not as severe as I feared, The area is not a moonscape and I can rightfully say that I still live at the edge of a forest.

For my exoneration:

In the last two years I have planted 28 fruit trees in the garden, I will not live long enough to see them grow as big as the killed trees, but I hope that I will see them reach a respectable high and eat their delicious fruits in the years to come.

Linda couch wound DSCN1125

Linda got spayed and I was able to convince the vet to perform an ovariectomy instead of the more invasive ovariohysterectomy. It made a difference, because she recovered remarkably fast and was ok again after two days.

What in the world am I doing, I thought, when I brought her to the vet. What gives me the right to deprave my trusty friend of sexual fulfillment, one of the main pleasures of life. This was clearly a bridge of trust, and I felt terribly guilty, as I always do.

And yet: assuming that a female cat gets in average four kittens every six month, and in average half of them (therefore two) are female, the number of fertile female cats will triple, and triple again the next six month. Which means: There are 3 female cats after half a year, and 9 female cats after one year, and 27 after one-and-half years, and 81 after two years, and 243 after two-and-half years, and 729 after three years. One has to double the numbers (minus one) to include the male kittens.

The appropriate care for 17 cats after one year is difficult to organize, though the situation would be still manageable, but 161 cats after two year could only be hosted with the help of donations and grants and corporate sponsorship. To make 161 cats happy, a sizable area of forest and farmland would have to be set aside and converted to a cat reserve.

1,457 cats after three years. Any ideas?

Back to my dear friend Linda: It was a pleasure to watch the little kitten that I found abandoned in the forest grow up to a lively cat girl and after only five month to a gracious cat lady.

Linda cupboard DSCN1154

This point on top of the glass cabinet beside the large bookshelf until now was only reached by Princess Min Ki and Gandhi Jr. That Linda got there at the tender age of five month raises high hopes for her future. She has also replaced Princess Min Ki as the most proficient tree climber.

Linda bookshelf DSCN1172

Reaching the top is one thing, coming safely back down to earth is quite another one. But Linda managed the challenge brilliantly and with astonishing elegance.

Linda couch 1

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