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Links February 2017

February 9, 2017

Feline news:
http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2017/02/what-cats-can-teach-us-about-how-live An really nice text and an absolute must read for every cat lover!
https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/02/07/the-alley-cats-of-istanbul/
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Bobcat-Still-Missing-From-DCs-National-Zoo-May-Be-in-Woodley-Park-or-Cleveland-Park-412269783.html She has been found in the meantime and is back in the zoo. Goodby liberty.
http://www.treehugger.com/animals/ollie-jailbreaking-bobcat-lam-national-zoo.html
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2017/jan/08/colour-changing-cats-warn-radioactive-waste-nuclear-plants-distant-descendants

Environmental news:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mongolia-pollution-idUSKBN15M1KQ
http://news.sky.com/story/sick-whale-found-to-have-30-plastic-bags-blocking-its-stomach-10754077
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38859851
http://www.nature.com/news/deadly-new-wheat-disease-threatens-europe-s-crops-1.21424
http://www.dw.com/en/earthworm-numbers-dwindle-threatening-soil-health/a-37325923
https://gizmodo.com/radiation-levels-are-soaring-inside-the-damaged-fukushi-1791958714
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/02/armed-herders-elephant-kenya-wildlife-laikipia This will end in chaos with nothing than a wasteland left.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sea-unworthy-a-personal-journey-into-the-pacific-garbage-patch-slide-show/
http://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/review-anthrozoology/
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/28/greenland-narsaq-uranium-mine-dividing-town Ruining what is left.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/uk-court-blocks-nigeria-spill-164822352.html
http://news.trust.org/item/20170127113908-241ue/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/polar-bear-cubs-at-high-risk-from-toxic-industrial-chemicals-despite-bans/
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2063084/why-rich-breathe-easier-chinas-choking-smog Bring US jobs back from China, but leave the pollution there. Will that work?
air-puality-readings-chinahttp://www.independent.co.uk/environment/overfishing-species-extinction-african-food-crisis-threat-iucn-warning-niger-angola-mauritania-a7534901.html
http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/0114/Development-has-affected-7-percent-of-virgin-forests-since-2000-Study
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/16/chinas-booming-middle-class-drives-asias-toxic-e-waste-mountains In the small town where I lived in the 80s, a group of activists worked for half a year to restore and paint bikes that were donated by people. When about 60 bikes were ready, they were stationed in a dozen dedicated places to be used for free. The municipality and a few private companies helped with signposts at the staging points and plates for every bike. The project was introduced with a ceremony and a bike parade where all local celebrities were present. It was also announced in the local newspapers. All the bikes of this project were destroyed in only four days by vandals, mainly bored and idle youngsters. It was a disheartening experience for me, as I was involved very prominently in this project.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/16/chinas-booming-middle-class-drives-asias-toxic-e-waste-mountains
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988500/roundup_residues_in_food_cause_fatty_liver_disease.html

Economic news:
http://truepublica.org.uk/eu/ecb-head-mario-draghi-admits-for-first-time-eu-may-break-up/
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/fast-fashion-a-few-thoughts-sparked-recent-news.html
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/01/waste-not-want-not-right-repair-laws-on-agenda-states.html
http://wolfstreet.com/2017/01/28/europe-limits-on-cash-transactions-war-on-cash/
https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-economy-for-99-percent-160117-en.pdf
http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/8-men-now-own-the-same-as-the-poorest-half-of-the-world-the-davos-killer-fact-just-got-more-deadly/

Media news:
http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2017/837-undermining-democracy-corporate-media-bias-on-jeremy-corbyn-boris-johnson-and-syria.html
http://medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=836:deranged-and-deluded-the-media-s-complicity-in-the-climate-crisis
http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/propaganda/item/5942-fake-news-propaganda-and-threats-to-journalism

Imperial news:
Once controlling 50 percent of world trade, the US share is now less than 20 percent.  This decline is partly due to the dismantling of its industrial economy as manufacturers have moved their factories abroad.
life-expectancy-us-2https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/johnson-elites-eying-the-exits-signals-americas-crisis
https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/01/24/america-suffering-very-real-water-crisis-few-are-acknowledging
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-becoming-third-world-country-19050?page=show Wow! For a long time I haven’t read an article as enlightened as this. And the author works in Qatar?
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/building_the_institutions_for_revolt_20170115 The institutions and movements for revolt will most likely be crushed as soon as they gain traction. Only the stealth movements will survive.
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/01/16/how-american-life-continued-deteriorate-2016
http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article125306029.html
us-national-debt-1980-2016A reader asked me: “hey r u a trump supporter ???????+ just asking  i wanted to know.
And I replied: “No, Trump stands for everything what I dislike.”
How can I support a billionaire who lives in his own skyscraper in New York and has vowed to slash environmental regulations, increase fossil fuel exploration, cut taxes for companies and the superrich, and privatize all public goods?”
us-flagImperial conquest news:
For nearly a month the main water supply has been cut off in Aleppo city and an estimated 1.8 million people in the city and rural eastern Aleppo are depending on emergency supplies fron the Red Crescent, government agencies, and UN. The pumping station (Babiri water plant near Maskana) cannot be accessed because it is on the west bank of Lake Assad in Islamic State territory. No Western paper bothered to report this. Damascus still suffers water shortages after the Islamists poisoned the water and damaged the pumping station in Wadi Barada.
Amnesty International, funded with grants from the USA, EU, UK, other Western governments, the Rockefeller Foundation and similar institutions, issued another report about alleged Syrian atrocities. Between 5,000 and 13,000 people are said to have been executed in the Saydnaya prison in Damascus.
This makes headline in all news channels and nobody questions the reports findings. It doesn’t matter that this is hearsay without any material evidence to back it up, it will be hammered into the brains of Western media consumers just like the Caesar photos, the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013, and the shouting of protesters in 2011.
Nobody will ask how this can make sense when the Syrian government released thousands of prisoners in 2011 and 2012, issued numerous amnesties, regularly pardons militants who surrender, and allows Islamists to leave enclaves to join their brethren in Idlib, even when they committed crimes like disrupting the Damascus water supply.
There is no evidence, that prominent and internationally known opposition figures were killed in Saydnaya. In contrast to that, there were many well known opposition leaders among the prisoners which the government released (Zahran Alloush).
Commonsense alone should tell anybody that this is war propaganda, but commonsense has no chance when an allegation is repeated again and again countlessly, while doubts and criticism are declared as “fake news” and filtered out by all search engines and social media platforms.
The boy, whose detention, torture, and murder by the Mukhabarat supposedly sparked the protests in Daraa was later found alive and well in Jordan, now we are told the reason for the protests were the detentions of a group of boys who painted graffiti (nothing what couldn’t have happened in any other county).
That Syrian forces were responsible for the Ghouta gas attack was never proven, UN experts and MIT scientists refuted the evidence
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1006045/possible-implications-of-bad-intelligence.pdf
Half of the Caesar photos turned out to be from Syrian government casualties, the Caesar photos are essentially a collection of dead body pictures without accompanying evidence of crimes by the government.
The AI report about Saydnaya is based on 84 testimonies of people in Turkey, Jordan, Europe, and USA. The interviewees are referred to by their first name only or are anonym. AI claims to have the names of 400 individuals who died in Saydnaya but doesn’t publish them. How come these witnesses only emerge now when the mass killings have supposedly happened since 2011? The presented satellite pictures show not mass graves but small cemeteries in military bases and the additional graves can be easily explained by the immense death toll of this merciless war.
syria army casualties 33http://www.globalresearch.ca/usafricoms-neo-colonial-dominance-in-west-africa-behind-the-change-of-government-in-gambia/5570445
http://www.workers.org/2017/01/18/cuban-migration-and-u-s-policy-war/

Uncategorized news:
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/trump-administration-blacks-out-animal-welfare-information
https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2017/02/unrest-is-the-only-growth-industry-left/
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/02/how-colonialism-shaped-modern-inequality.html
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170123-how-insects-like-bumblebees-do-so-much-with-tiny-brains
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/19/if-you-were-an-elephant-

News from cat land

The garden is still partly covered with snow, but the main pathways are walkable. I’ve already pruned the oldest grapevine. I should do that also with all other vines, but I want to wait till next year with that, to see how the old vine is reacting to the treatment. In commercial vineyards the plants are trimmed to four canes but I’m not sure my vines will appreciate that — they are used to grow as they please.

Despite the various and of contradictory theories about gardening until now nobody could convince me that the best time to prune all plants is not the end of winter. Beside the vine I’ve also pruned some fruit trees and herbs, as far as they have already reappeared from under the snow cover.

Last winter the rosemaries, sage, many strawberry plants, and even some marigold survived and continued growing like they just had hibernated. This will not happen this year. Rosemaries and sage are clearly dead and I’ve cut them to the ground, if they don’t sprout again, I will have to plant new ones. Three of the rosemaries were already one meter high, it would be sad to have lost them. Of course I could have covered them or pruned them at the start of winter. Would that have made a difference?

In an ideal world the garden should regenerate itself and no seeds or seedlings should be needed, but some species would not survive the hard competition without support (fennel, echinacea, cat mint for instance). Blueberries, my favorite berry bushes, do fairly well but propagation is difficult and takes time. At the moment it is still more feasible just to buy new bushes.

Plum and peach are the easiest trees to grow from pits and that is the reason a lot of young plum and peach trees are growing here. Some of the home grown peach trees are already four meters high and they have proven to be quite resistent against the debilitating peach leaf curl, a fungal disease which weakens the tree and prevents it from developing fruits.

I have also four older grafted peach trees which I bought in the first two years of my gardening experiment. They didn’t produce much fruits because they were all sick by peach leaf curl, probably already infected when I got them from the tree nursery. Last year I reluctantly tried for the first time a fungicide, based on the chemical difenoconazole, and I had the best peach harvest ever.

I trie to protect the soil by putting plastic storage boxes around the trees. Covering with tarpaulin sheets didn’t work because there are bushes around the trees and is nearly impossible to prevent the fungicide running from the sheets into the soil. The method with the boxes is not perfect but collects at least two thirds of the fungicide runoff, so the earthworms should be safe.

This is the only chemical I use in the garden and I will spray as less as possible but it will take years till I have found out the right dose or have found an alternative treatment.

linda-gandhi-carpet-dscn1393

The cats are all healthy, only aunt Rosy has a persistent cold and is sneezing occasionally. It appears that after the abdication of Princess Min Ki a new leader of the family is emerging. It is not Gandni Jr., who has no interest in a leadership position and just wants his peace and quiet, but three year old Linda, who has become a huge cat with more than six kilogram weight.

Linda is very fit, she is often in the forest even when snow is high, and she never misses a walk. When it was very cold, Linda in fact was the only cat who accompanied me on the obligatory daily forest walk.

Alone because of her size, nobody will challenge Lindas leadership, but she makes sure who is the boss by occasionally sparring with Gandhi, who is as big and strong as her but usually just runs away to hide in a safe spot.

Which reminds me of the Melian dialogue, a dramatization of the negotiations between the Athenians and the Melians before the former launched a devastating siege which ended with the summary execution of all Melian men and the enslavement of all women.

The Athenians had argued: “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” A principle which has been the basis of law and justice throughout human history with only minor exceptions.

linda-kb-bench-dscn1452

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