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Links November 2016

November 7, 2016

Feline news:
https://apnews.com/872eb6eb2937492aa1ecb85c3c29f055/Stray-cat-patrol:-Feral-felines-deployed-in-NYC-war-on-rats
http://www.biographic.com/posts/sto/fishing-cats-cradle
http://www.npr.org/2016/10/31/500000629/yes-cat-yoga-is-a-thing-now-and-its-pretty-purrfect

putin-cat-6

Environmental news:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/world/2016/10/13/they-survived-boko-haram-now-millions-in-nigeria-face-a-new-threat-starvation/
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20161010000777 Humans use up the planets resources at a fastening pace, but instead of scaling back human activity and resource consumption, the policy seems to double down on policies which promote economic growth and increase industrial activity. Because of that, the next years will see deadly wars about the remaining rapidly diminishing resources.
https://news.mongabay.com/2016/10/exclusive-rainforest-rapidly-cleared-for-sugarcane-in-bolivia/
http://www.fao.org/publications/sofa/sofa2016/en/
http://www.workers.org/2016/10/20/haiti-relief-efforts-fall-short-as-humanitarian-crisis-grows
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/ilargi-why-the-energy-crisis-is-coming-sooner-than-most-experts-forecast.html Brave to write such an article in a period of low oil prices.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/10/17/un-global-agriculture-needs-a-profound-transformation-to-fight-climate-change-and-protect-food-security/ The UN report speaks of sustainable farming practices, investing in better soil conservation techniques, preventing deforestation, and a push towards a more plant-based diet worldwide. None of these is happening at the moment, none of these fits into the strategies of the food industry.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/26/eu-drops-law-to-limit-cancer-linked-chemical-acrylamide-food-after-industry-complaint
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37775622 Who needs the critters anyway?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-pumping-effect-above-asia-threatens-the-ozone-layer/
http://iowapublicradio.org/post/eat-or-be-eaten-how-big-ag-came-be#stream/0
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/oct/24/difficult-breathe-inside-kolkata-india-rubbish-dump-permanently-fire
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/24/brazil-amazon-environmentalist-murder-luiz-alberto-araujo
http://www.globalresearch.ca/agrochemicals-and-the-cesspool-of-corruption-dr-mason-writes-to-the-us-epa/5553489
http://thewire.in/76956/green-revolution-borlaug-food-security/
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-03/decades-of-toxic-waste-stranded-as-nuclear-plants-close-early Not a pressing problem for our generation and the next one…

Economic news:
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/un-expert-warns-eu-canada-signing-ceta-deal-without-referendums/
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/tsipras-wallonia-anybody-defend-european-citizens/
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/new-european-financial-crash-just-around-corner/

Imperial news:
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f672c41551df4e2fa3a4b62a29db2e4d/accidental-shootings-occur-more-often-government-tracks
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Real-Reason-for-Trump-Bein-by-Rob-Kall-Election-Cyber-Fraud_Election-Integrity-161020-800.html Even Foreign Policy’s Rosa Brooks writes: Donald Trump can’t undermine American democracy because it barely even exists.
https://newrepublic.com/article/137115/americas-voting-machines-disaster-making
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/25/at-t-is-spying-on-americans-for-profit.html
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/american_irrationalism_201610305 This piece is, like most from Chris Hedges, well written, even poetic. It is a fulminant condemnation of US-American culture, the social climate, and implicitly of the special and distinctive US-American mindset and way of life. Yet, no US citizens beyond the ones who enjoy mental self-flagellation will be able to gain something from this text, because it doesn’t give any practical advice how to get out of this mess.
Common sense alone should make it absolutely clear that ditching old consumerist habits, reducing ones ecological footprint, attending meditation courses, joining alternative communities or co-ops, starting subsistence farming or gardening, and similar lifestyle changes will help more than even the most ingeniously formulated indictment of the US empire.
Calling out the crimes of empire is not without purpose, it can motivate us to change our lives, organize with likeminded individuals to reform and reorganize our near surroundings, join movements who’s aim is to build a new society and to bring the old system down.
Chris Hedge could have concluded his text with an appeal to change what we can instantly change by ourselves, to organize, and to put in place alternatives. Maybe he wanted to avoid sermonizing, preaching, maybe he thought an appeal for concrete change could inconvenience his readers, maybe he hoped the readers would make the appropriate conclusions themselves.
Jack London and Upton Sinclair left no doubt, they were fighting for their socialist ideals. Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut were critical observers, skeptical, often cynical. Was their message always understood, did they change anything, was their writing maybe only consumed for a thrill (the already mentioned self-flagellation)?

One doesn’t need to get too excited about the US presidential elections, because, as an old adage attributed to Mark Twain said: “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”
One can only pity the US electorate because the choices are horrible. One can choose between a war against Russia (Clinton) or a war against nature (Trump), and it is not possible to determine at the moment which option is worse.
There are alternative candidates but one wouldn’t know it from mainstream media and so they don’t have a chance. Electronic media (TV, news and social media on the internet) have become the intermediaries between the real world and our personal reality, which means, if you are blacked out by the media corporations you simply don’t exist.
WWP (Workers World Party) candidates Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly (both Afro American) are only in New Jersey, Utah, and Wisconsin on the ballot. In many other states they are write-in candidates, but who will take the effort? The Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka can also be considered as socialists. Stein previously ran for the Greens in the 2012 presidential election, where she only received disappointing 0.36 percent of the vote.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson appears not to be a convincing and brilliant candidate —  didn’t they find anyone better?

Even if an alternative candidate would be propelled by a groundswell of grassroots support into a position where she/he would become a challenge to the establishment, an election victory most likely would be prevented by assassination or vote rigging.
Vote rigging is easy because of electronic voting machines without a paper ballot. The movers and shakers who intend to commit election fraud always first get rid of the paper ballot because:
1. The paper ballot creates a physical audit trail.
2. The paper ballot makes it possible to do a valid recount in a close election.
If you had a business and hired an accountant and the first thing the accountant did was to make sure no one would ever be able to do an audit, would you trust that accountant? Or would you think he intends to embezzle money? A politicians who gets rid of the paper ballot is like such an accountant with the difference, that the politician first has to get elected to have a chance of embezzling money.

Imperial conquest news:
http://www.workers.org/2016/10/27/behind-dutertes-shift-toward-china/
http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/united-states-confirms-fired-du-syria
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/μoldovans-want-change-victroria-nuland-will/
https://williamblum.org/aer/read/146

Uncategorized news:
http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2016/10/the-other-bob-dylan/
I never liked the guy and always considered him as fake. He was at the right time at the right place and took the chance, shamelessly copying from his contemporaries. Woody Guthrie was real, Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie were real, not to forget the legendary blues singers like John Lee Hooker, Big Bill Broonzy, Howlin Wolf, Lead Belly, Muddy Water (just to name a few).

Bob Dylan was only an opportunistic plagiarist, an imposter and pretender. He was never harassed by the FBI like Paul Robeson or John Lennon (working class hero), because he was not a danger for the ruling powers. They knew, that he was only a placebo, not a cure for the ills of militarism and social injustice.

Leonard Cohen, Billy Bragg, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and the greatest of all, Gil Scott Heron, would have deserved the Nobel Prize, Dylan is a dwarf compared to them. He got the Nobel Price for political reasons, awarded by the political propaganda institution which the Nobel Price committee is. Dylan’s Nobel Price has nothing to do with his literary work, it is just a dutiful contribution to US soft power and to the stranglehold of the US music industry on global popular culture.
http://www.dw.com/en/onlookers-reportedly-encouraged-refugee-boys-suicide-in-german-town/a-36124052 Empathy is selective.
http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-arms-exports-rise-to-75-billion-euros/a-19061170 Population control.
https://surveillancevalley.net/blog/interview-in-german-magazine-konkret-about-tor-and-the-cult-of-crypto
http://www.unz.com/article/an-obituary-of-the-new-york-times/ I stopped reading New York Times articles long time ago. But I sift through the headlines (delivered in a daily email) to get an idea of the current propaganda front lines.

News from cat land

I found another slaughtered amphibian in the garden, this time it was a young frog. I think the tally stands now at four since the start of spring. This is not a murder mystery, I know that the cats are responsible for the killing, I also know that they would do it again if they get the chance — they are unrepentant. I have no idea how I could convey to them that mice, voles, and rats are okay but frogs, toads, and lizards are not. This is, together with militarism, violence, social injustice, consumerism, human hubris, bigotry, hypocrisy, and greed, one of the unsolved problems in my life. 

Temperatures dropped for a day and remembered us that winter is coming. Dark days, cold nights, hard times are ahead, time to spend inside near the warm wood stove.

I’ve looked already for Charles Dickens’s novel Hard Times and found it easily in a bookshelf right beside A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Bleak House, A Christmas Carol, and others. I didn’t even realize that I had so much novels of Dickens (there are between 4,000 and 6,000 books here, so one can easily loose oversight). All of Dickens’s novels are available as free PFD-books, but a paper book is nevertheless the “real thing,” reading a book on the couch instead of on the computer screen is something else altogether.

I don’t know if I will ever have time to read even a small part of all these books in my private library, because I spend most time either working in the garden, roaming the forest, or researching matters of interest on the web. When it gets cold there is less garden work but I have to spend more time with the cat family.

During spring and summer my feline companions are outdoor cats and I often see them only in the morning when they want food or during our daily walks in the forest, but when it gets cold in autumn my little friends become indoor cats and they sit around idle, being bored and wanting to be entertained and pampered. They fortunately sleep a lot, but when they are awake they constantly look at me and meow, they jump onto the computer table, sitting down in front of the display so I don’t see anything. They also like to sit on the computer mouse.

wendy-computer-dscn4707

They constantly want food. What else can a little cat do on a cold day than sleeping and eating? (They are all neutered btw, so sexual reproduction activities are also not aspired anymore). I always have lengthy discussions with them, which are of course nonverbal, but if translated into human language it would go like this:

No, Linda, you cannot eat all the time.”
Linda: “Of course I can and I’m hungry right now.”
You got a piece of camembert just a moment ago.”
Linda: “I know, but I want another piece.”
It is not healthy to eat so much cheese.”
Linda: “How do you know? I feel just fine.”
I have to be strict, I don’t want to be responsible if you get diabetes.”
Linda: “You are just greedy, you want to eat the camembert all by yourself!

At this point I give up and Linda gets her cheese. I have to say, that the exchanges never get acrimonious, Linda likes me. She for sure remembers still that I found her, an abandoned little kitten, in the forest, took her home, brought her to the veterinarian to treat her injured paw, introduced her slowly and carefully to the cat family.

linda-kb-bench-dscn1452

Linda spent the first two month after her rescue mostly in my bedroom, and that is still the place where she likes to be when she is not resting beside the stove or sitting in front of the food cups. In spring and summer Linda is also often in the forest and occasionally is out overnight, but when it gets cold she likes to sleep on the blanket of the bed. Wendy and Princess Min Ki also like to sleep in the bedroom and I often have difficulties to find a place for myself when I want to go to bed, because the three cats have occupied the blanket.

I don’t consider myself as a “cat owner,” the cats here are owned by nobody, they are free to come and go as they please. The cat flap is never locked, they can leave at any time and look for another host. I know that they will not leave, they love the place and it seems that they also like me and trust me. Though I’m not their owner I have to face the fact that I’m the most important person in their life and for most of them a surrogate mother (made evident when they start kneading while sitting at my lap or when I stroke them).

All the cats love to lay on cloth (jackets, pullovers, turtleneck sweaters, etc.) which I have put off. I always have to orderly hang up my cloth because otherwise it will be unavailable for a while. Yet, for Miss Marple I have to reserve a piece of cloth because she really needs it to feel comfortable. If I put a pullover beside her she will grab a sleeve and press it to her face and she will start purring.

I think she really loves me. 

Despite occasional disagreements about food and about sparing amphibian lives my cat companions are such a source of joy that I feel deeply indebted to them, meaning that I have to prevent natures destruction, WorldWar III, nuclear reactor meltdowns, and other events which could harm them or make their life miserable. Not an easy task as humanity apparently is hell-bent on self-annihilation.

linda-gandhi-carpet-dscn1393 linda-gandhi-kitchen-top-dscn1409

Linda is a friendly and unproblematic character and she was soon accepted into the family and became a special friend of Gandhi Jr., the only male (neutered) cat. The romance between the two lasted two years but recently Linda and Lucia found each other and are now spending most time together. They are both two-and-a-half year old, they both still like to play, climb trees, and run around just for fun.

Gandhi Jr. is an outsider now and since his mothers death last year he also became somewhat withdrawn and melancholic. He still preferably rests in the basket which Mia, his mothers, always used. Gandhi Jr. also developed the habit to bully Linda and Princess Min Ki during the walks in the forest. He is a big and strong cat  and though the cat ladies easily can fend him off they have become reluctant to join the walk when he is participating. I try to remedy the problem by shooing him away when the ladies are there and instead walking with him alone every other day.

I had a similar problem already with Ma Xi, a neutered tomcat who joined the family for two years. Ma Xi didn’t go along with his fellow felines and I ended up walking with him alone and with the rest of the family separately. This and various other appeasement efforts didn’t help, Ma Xi became more and more estranged and alienated and eventually left the family for another place.

Gandhi Jr. will not leave, he is amicable and polite when we are at home, he has friendly relations to the other cats, especially to Rosy, who is his grand aunt. Gandhi Jr. came into the house as a tiny kitten and he grew up with me — he likes me and respects me.

We will solve this, winter is always a time when we stay together, when we cuddle together, when our bonds are strengthened alone by the closeness and intimacy of sitting around the wood stove and watching together the flames flicker in the dark.

miss-marple-windowsill-dscn1420 lucia-cheyenne-dscn4680

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