Links March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016

This is an unscheduled post with links, because a load of links have accumulated. I regard the listed articles as interesting, but blog subscribers who consider themselves well-informed enough by their own news sources or don’t have the nerves to read that much may trash this post and wait for something more useful for them.

Feline news
http://cats.yourwildlife.org/cat-tracks/ The surveillance state doesn’t even spare our feline friends.

Environmental news:

Economic news:
Neoliberal economists want to eliminate cash altogether and have only electronic money.  Electronic money cannot be removed from bank deposits except by spending it. With electronic money as the only money, financial institutions can use negative interest rates in order to steal the savings of their depositors.
People would attempt to resort to gold, silver, and forms of private money, but other methods of payment and saving would be banned, and government would conduct sting operations in order to suppress evasions of electronic money with stiff penalties.

Imperial news:
http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-blessed-bigotry-of-mr-trump/ It seems that Trump is the lesser evil, compared to Hillary Clinton. Still evil!
Good that I don’t have to make this choice. European political affairs are a little bit better. But only gradually better. Maybe the painful memories of WWII still linger and tell us to step back from the abyss, but as the memories fade, we will maybe one day follow the US example thoughtless and unconcerned.

Imperial conquest news:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/human-rights-hypocrisy-us-criticizes-cuba/5515069 Cuba, the last bastion of socialism, could remain independent because of the US embargo. They should be extremely careful, the devil just changed his mask.
North Syria maphttp://fpif.org/hillary-clintons-state-department-armed-saudi-arabia-teeth/
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/spiegel-correspondent-forced-to-leave-turkey-a-1083144.html That even a journalist from Spiegel, one of the most disgusting mouthpieces of Western imperialism, has to leave Turkey, is remarkable and tells something about President Erdogan’s willingness to face even the most muted criticism.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/03/turkey-foreign-journalists-renew-residency-becomes-difficult.html So, why did the EU bow and sell out to Turkey? 6 billion Euros for Erdogan, visa free travel for IS (Islamic State) terrorists, who have a Turkish passport (which they can easily obtain or forge), and a continuing trek into Europe of IS sleeper cells disguised as refugees.
Of course, this is the once in a lifetime chance for Western leaders to achieve total surveillance and control, this is the once in a lifetime chance to remove the remnants of civil liberties, privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of assoziation, and local independence.
https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5410-stop-the-criminalization-of-environmental-and-human-rights-defenders-free-ethiopian-political-prisoners I’ve put this into the conquest category because land grabs and the bribing of national elites by multinational corporations are economic conquest.

About 34 killed and 186 injured in Brussels terror attacks.

After the Paris attacks it was clear that this would be only the start of blowback. One cannot encourage, fund, supply, maintain Islamic terrorist groups in order to destroy undesirable governments (Afghanistan, Libya, Syria), without a spillover effect.

The Islamic terrorists don’t feel gratitude or sympathy for their financiers (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, etc) and enablers (CIA, Mossad, MI6, etc). They utilized them as “useful idiots,” to get started, and they despise them like they despise anyone who doesn’t fit into their narrow world of Wahhabi Islam.

The casualties in Brussels are still significantly lower than the loss of life in the Damascus terror bombings by IS in January. These terror attacks were barely mentioned in Western media — Syrian lives are less precious, especially when they are lost in areas where Dr. Bashar al-Assad has solid support.

The US-led-coalition’s efforts against IS in the meantime have come nearly to a standstill. February saw the lowest US air force activity against IS since the campaign begun. There are still the occasional assassinations of high profile IS leaders in order to feed a good story to Western journalists and keep the myth of a US war against IS alive.

In the meanwhile Syrian and Russian soldiers die in an epic and deadly battle against IS terrorists in Palmyra and Al Qaryatain, but one will not hear much about that in Western mainstream media.

News from cat land

This sentence came to my mind, when I woke up in the middle of the night, finding three cats around me sleeping on the blanket: “If I would have achieved nothing in my life than making a little cat purr happily, it would have been still worth living.”

Spring has started early, as global warming is an undeniable reality. It is also unusual dry and I will have to irrigate soon to keep the plants alive. I put out slug and snail traps with beer and hundreds of slugs and snails gathered in them for their final intoxication. The slugs are still tiny, one to two centimeters long, but they are hungry and they grow rapidly.

A big black frog is in the main garden pond, calling with a deep croak for a mate. It must be a male, and I’m sure the frog ladies will be impressed by his low rumbling bass which portends strengths and virility. If the analogy is allowed, this big black frog is, in a sense, the Barry White of the frog world.

When I cleared another smaller garden pond from leaves and algae slime I discovered a backswimmer, still a bit dazed but seemingly healthy and fit to start his/her job. The backswimmers are ferocious predators, and their job is to keep the pond clean from mosquito larvae.

Years ago the backswimmers in the big pond were all wiped out by the even more ferocious dragonfly nymphs, but with the arrival of frogs and toads the reign of the dragonflies has come to an end. I was quite happy about the discovery of the backswimmer, because in fall I had already spotted newts and water beetles; it seems that the creation of several small ponds (six until now) around the garden is successfully increasing biodiversity.

Not only slugs and snails are thriving, the ticks in the forest are on the march too. I always wear a cap and wellington boots when we make our daily walk in the wood, I also try to cover as much skin as possible — protective clothing would not be inappropriate. This will become a problem in summer when hot temperatures would require light clothing.

After I discovered the second tick in Lucia’s fur I readied a flea and tick collar, expecting the usual struggle, as the cats normally don’t appreciate health measures like worming pills, vet visits, flea and tick control.

But Lucia just looked at me and kept perfectly quiet till I had adjusted and cut to length the collar. After that she ran around, seemingly proud of her new adornment and wearing the collar like a medal of honor.

I can only explain this surprising reaction with the theory, that, seeing all other cat family members wearing a collar, she, the only collar-less one, felt discriminated and excluded. As she has now the same collar as her fellow cats, she knows that she has made it, that she finally is an equal and respected member of the community.

Social psychology matters, for cats maybe even more than for humans.

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