The Evening Blues - 7-19-19
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features zydeco musician Boozoo Chavis. Enjoy!
Boozoo Chavis - Dance All Night
"The concept of unlimited expansion that alone can fulfill the hope for unlimited accumulation of capital, and brings about the aimless accumulation of power, makes the foundation of new political bodies--which up to the era of imperialism always had been the upshot of conquest--well-nigh impossible. In fact, its logical consequence is the destruction of all living communities, those of the conquered peoples as well as of the people at home."
-- Hannah Arendt
News and Opinion
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claimed on Friday evening to have seized a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, which suddenly veered off course and headed into Iranian waters.
The ship’s owners issued a statement saying that at 3pm GMT (7pm local time), the ship had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters”.
“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said.
The Revolutionary Guards issued a statement saying they had seized the Stena Impero, citing international maritime law for their actions. Iran had been complaining bitterly about the detention by UK forces of an Iranian tanker two weeks ago off Gibraltar.
The seizure of the Stena Impero came on a day when the Gibraltar authorities announced their were extending their custody of the Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, suspected of shipping oil to Syria. Tehran denounced the detention of the Grace 1 as piracy carried out on orders from Washington. Iranian politicians have been calling for reprisals. ...
In London, there were reports that the government’s emergency response committee, Cobra, was being convened. The Ministry of Defence stressed it had ships in the area but could not provide any further details of what had happened.
While Bolton and Pompeo push the region towards maximum tension and Trump makes despicable threats to obliterate Iran, the US military has announced its intention to create and lead an anti-Iranian naval coalition in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, by Trump's own admission, the United States is engaged in economic war against Iranians, as its armed forces have aggressively violated Iranian airspace and territorial waters, resulting in the humiliating downing of its most sophisticated drone by an Iranian surface to air missile.
A few naval ships from far off nations will not change the balance of power, but they will increase confusion and the chances for major regional conflict. Iranians will also view such an entity as an extension of a belligerent American naval presence.
Since the illegal and tragic US occupation of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been constructing a vast network of underground missile defense facilities alongside the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman in anticipation of possible US attacks. Iran and its powerful allies have also developed formidable asymmetrical capabilities across the region. It has both the will and means to decisively engage with a belligerent power.
In order to prevent any appetite for all-out war, Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers. Regional regimes such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia that facilitate aggression in any way or form should expect the swift destruction of their oil assets and critical infrastructure. On the other hand, all-out war would mean the obliteration of all oil and gas installations as well as ships on both sides of the Strait of Hormuz. Under such circumstances, the closure of the Strait would be the least of Bolton's problems.
Iran has offered a deal with the US in which it would formally and permanently accept enhanced inspections of its nuclear programme, in return for the permanent lifting of US sanctions.
The offer was made by the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on a visit to New York. But it is unlikely to be warmly received by the Trump administration, which is currently demanding Iran make a range of sweeping concessions, including cessation of uranium enrichment and support for proxies and allies in the region.
Zarif insisted, however, that his offer was “a substantial move”.
“It’s not about photo ops. We are interested in substance,” he told reporters at the Iranian mission to the UN in New York on Thursday. “There are other substantial moves that can be made.” He said: “If they [the Trump administration] are putting their money where their mouth is, they are going to do it. They don’t need a photo op. They don’t need a two-page document with a big signature.” ...
Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has rebuffed overtures for direct talks with Trump, citing US bad faith over the JCPOA, but Zarif signaled on Thursday that Iran was willing to do a deal that did not necessary involve the US returning to the JCPOA, Tehran’s official position until now.
A U.S. warship shot down an Iranian drone in the Persian Gulf on Thursday, President Donald Trump said.
The drone got within 1,000 yards of the U.S.S. Boxer, a Navy warship, and refused to back off after it was hailed multiple times, Trump told the press on Thursday afternoon. The president said that the drone posed a threat to the ship and its crew.
“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” Trump said. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.”
Iran released drone footage on Friday that it said refutes President Donald Trump's claim that the U.S. Navy downed an Iranian aircraft in the Strait of Hormuz.
As Reuters reported, Iranian state TV said "the drone had captured the footage and timing notations showed the drone was still filming after Washington said it had been downed."
Trump insisted Friday that he has "no doubt" the U.S. Navy downed an Iranian drone.
According to Al Jazeera, a Trump administration official said the Pentagon may release its own video of the incident.
Boris Johnson, the man tipped to become Britain’s next prime minister, caused alarm Monday when he boldly pledged to leave the European Union in October, deal or no deal. Not so long ago, leaders of Europe’s populist right-wing movements would have publicly applauded the sentiment, viewing Britain’s departure as the first domino that would trigger an inevitable mass exodus from the 28-member bloc. Now, virtually no one thinks that’s a good idea.
For three years, Europeans have watched their British neighbors limp through an unending political crisis that has already claimed two prime ministers, bitterly divided the public, and left the country on the brink of an economically disastrous “no-deal” exit. Watching that horror show has inspired a sense of appreciation for the oft-maligned EU. Across the continent, public support for the EU has surged, while the populist euroskeptic parties that once called for their own national exit from the bloc have quietly changed their tune.
“This idea that a country could easily do better outside the EU has been discredited by Brexit,” Larissa Brunner, a policy analyst at the European Policy Centre, told VICE News. “Straight after the Brexit referendum, there was a lot of talk about a domino effect, of similar referenda in other member states. But Brexit has had completely the opposite effect. It’s not difficult to see why.”
Brexit has been such a debacle that it has effectively killed the rising EU secessionist movements that, just a few years ago, appeared poised to take hold across Western Europe. Its impact can be seen from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, where virtually every influential populist, euroskeptic party that had previously called for their own version of Brexit has changed course. The message now is: remain, and reform from within.
A California Bill Could Transform the Lives of Gig Workers. Silicon Valley Wants Labor’s Help To Stop It.
A bill with potentially huge implications for the so-called gig economy is making its way through the California state legislature this summer, laying bare cleavages within the labor movement. Companies like Uber and Lyft are seeking a workaround to the legislation, which would classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, opening the door to a host of employment benefits. Some prominent labor unions, meanwhile, have been in talks with Silicon Valley, even as they voice their commitment to securing workers’ rights.
Sponsored by Lorena Gonzalez, a Democratic assemblywoman from San Diego, the bill, known as AB 5, seeks to codify and expand Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. The landmark 2018 California Supreme Court decision made it much more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees, who have access to workplace protection laws like minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and the right to join a union. At the center of the debate over AB 5 is its impact on “gig economy” companies like Uber and Lyft, though it would also affect older, more established industries like retail and trucking. There’s a practical reason for California to enact the legislation: The state estimates it loses $7 billion in payroll tax annually due to companies misclassifying employees as independent contractors. ...
Gig economy workers who support the legislation view it as a necessary step toward their ability to collectively organize. Both the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters union have played leading roles in advocating for the legislation. They have publicly said they will fight a watered-down AB 5, but a series of private meetings between labor leaders and tech companies have raised suspicion that the unions are more open to leaving gig workers as independent contractors than they’ve formally let on. Opponents of AB 5 recognize its proposed classification standard could extend well beyond the Golden State and have been lobbying hard —both in California and Washington, D.C. — to stop it. Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate after Dynamex came down to narrow the definition of independent contractors, legislation that is backed by other leading presidential candidates Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
Weeks after hundreds of police officers’ racist, homophobic, and violent Facebook posts were uncovered, the Philadelphia Police Department will begin firing a number of the officers involved, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. ...
Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Richard Ross announced in mid-June that the department would take 72 officers off street duty, the largest number of officers placed on desk duty simultaneously in recent history. But at the time, the department had no public plans to terminate anyone. ...
The police department will now begin suspending 13 officers, with the intent to dismiss them, beginning Friday, according to the Inquirer. It’s not immediately clear who the officers are or what exactly they posted.
Those 13 people are a mere fraction of the Philadelphia-based officers who were implicated in the report: The Plain View Project found 500 Philadelphia officers who posted offensive material, 330 of whom were still on the force when its database launched.
The Plain View Project’s database of offensive Facebook posts includes material from police officers in eight cities, including Dallas, St. Louis, and Phoenix. Users can search the database by officers’ jurisdiction, name, badge number, salary, and rank.
The Chicago Police Board on Thursday fired four police officers for allegedly covering up a white officer’s 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
The nine-member board found the officers exaggerated the threat posed by the 17-year-old McDonald to justify his shooting by Jason Van Dyke and voted unanimously for the dismissal of Sgt Stephen Franko and officers Janet Mondragon, Daphne Sebastian and Ricardo Viramontes.
The police superintendent Eddie Johnson in 2016 accused the officers of either giving or approving knowingly false statements. None of the four were charged criminally, however they were stripped of police powers and assigned to desk duty as their case proceeded. A Cook county judge acquitted three other officers in January of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct charges in the case.
Finally! The "F" word at last.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar spoke to reporters Thursday in Washington after the crowd at President Trump's rally Wednesday in North Carolina chanted "send her back" as the president spoke about her. She says the president is racist and fascist. pic.twitter.com/4kUK5HJPRz
— KTVA 11 News (@ktva) July 19, 2019
President Trump is now trying to distance himself from the resounding chant of “Send her back! Send her back!”, but for the four progressive Democrats who’ve dubbed themselves “the squad,” the chant that began at a Trump rally Wednesday night is still ringing in their ears. And they say it’s changed everything.
“I think it was a great unveiling,” Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) told a pack of reporters and camera crews trailing her at the Capitol on Thursday. “There are so many people who cannot and were not willing to accept the kind of fascist rhetoric that was coming from this president and his base, and I think there is now a clear picture.” ...
“We’re dealing with dynamics that we already believed were there, so it’s not as though it’s a shocking turn of events.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told VICE News just off the House floor. “Really we are talking about fascistic government, and this is no longer about political debate.”
“There are ways in which everyday people can organize against authoritarian governments, and that I think is part of where we’re at,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But it takes a lot of different segments, right? Because some folks may not think we’re there. Other folks strongly believe we are.”
Heh, well, backing away from those comments didn't last long.
Reversing his reversal, Trump has now totally abandoned his disavowal of a racist “send her back” chant about Representative Ilhan Omar at his North Carolina rally. He previously said he was “unhappy” about the chant, but he told reporters in the Oval Office just now that he is actually “unhappy” about many other things.
“I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country. I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-Semitic things,” Trump said during an event with Apollo astronauts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. “She’s lucky to be where she is, let me tell you. And the things that she has said are a disgrace to our country.”
Wow. Trump is now back to making a full-throated defense of his fans who engaged in racist chants at his rally.
"Those people in North Carolina -- that stadium was packed. It was a record crowd ... Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots." pic.twitter.com/mHrRMl6PiW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 19, 2019
Less than two hours after Donald Trump claimed that he was “not happy” with supporters who chanted “Send her back” during his scripted rant against Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday night, the president praised the same baying mob. “These are people that love our country,” Trump said, echoing his defense of the white supremacists in Charlottesville who chanted “Jews will not replace us” as “very fine people.”
President Trump’s message to supporters who chanted about Rep. Ilhan Omar: “These are people that love our country. I want them to keep loving our country. And I think the congresswomen, by the way, should be more positive than they are” pic.twitter.com/KADqpzolkS
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 18, 2019
Earlier on Thursday, Trump blatantly lied about what happened during the televised rally in North Carolina the night before, offering the preposterous claim that he had stopped the chanting against the Somali-American congresswoman by “quickly” speaking over the din.
In fact, when the shouts of “send her back” erupted from the crowd near the end of Trump’s three-minute diatribe, filled with distortions and lies about the Minnesota Democrat, Trump paused for 13 seconds, as the call to deport a congresswoman was repeated eight more times.
The Trump administration is considering a virtual shutdown of refugee admissions next year — cutting the number to nearly zero — according to three people familiar with the plan.
During a key meeting of security officials on refugee admissions last week, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representative who is closely aligned with White House immigration adviser Stephen Miller suggested setting a cap at zero, the people said. Homeland Security Department officials at the meeting later floated making the level anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000, according to one of the people.
The proposal for a near-shutdown of the refugee program is alarming officials at the Department of Defense, who don’t want to see a halt in admissions of Iraqis who risked their lives assisting U.S. forces in that country. The possible move comes after the Trump administration cut refugee admissions by a third this year, to 30,000.
If the administration shuts down refugee admissions, it would give President Donald Trump a powerful talking point as he makes immigration restrictions a centerpiece of his reelection campaign. At the same time, it would strand thousands of people already far along in the process and damage the ability of resettlement agencies to process refugees in future years, according to advocates tracking the issue.
'Absolutely Disastrous': Progressives Furious as Fellow Democrats Push Funding Cut for Health Clinics That Serve 30 Million Americans
Progressive members of Congress are raising alarm and publicly calling out Democratic colleagues who are pushing legislation that would significantly cut funding to community health centers, which currently provide essential care to around 30 million primarily poor and rural Americans. As the Washington Post's Jeff Stein reported Wednesday, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) is advancing a bipartisan measure that "would provide flat levels of federal funding for hundreds of community health centers nationwide, at about $4 billion for the next four years."
Pallone denied that his bill calls for cuts, but progressives warned that because "flat" funding would not keep up with inflation, Pallone's bill would lead to lower budgets for health clinics across the nation. "The plan backed by Pallone, while better than letting the funding expire altogether, would amount to a nearly 20 percent funding reduction over four years for the clinics, almost certainly cutting the amount of medical, vision, dental, and mental healthcare they can provide primarily low-income Americans," Stein reported, citing Sara Rosenbaum, a health expert at George Washington University.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has played a major role in securing and expanding funding for community health centers over the past decade, expressed outrage that Democrats would pursue legislation that could jeopardize healthcare for millions of low-income Americans.
The idea that the House would consider denying primary healthcare to over 3 million Americans through a 20% real cut to community health centers after "finding" $733 billion in defense funding for the most dangerous president in our history should sicken & disgust every American. https://t.co/iz3dAprg2B
— Warren Gunnels (@GunnelsWarren) July 18, 2019
As Stein reported, "Lawmakers face a September deadline for the community health centers, after which their funding would begin to expire, likely leading to steep cuts."
Instead of Pallone's legislation, Gunnels said House Democrats should line up behind a bill introduced in March by Sanders and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), which would expand funding for community health centers and provide care to over five million more Americans.
Why, my heavens, that Mistuh McConnell is just so powerful, he gives a gal the vapuhs! Why, we have no powuh to resist his take-it-or-leave-it demands!
Chuck Schumer, in Meeting With Progressive Caucus, Said He Was Surprised House Democrats Waved Through the Senate Border Bill
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., ventured across the Capitol complex on Tuesday afternoon to meet privately with House members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Schumer’s attendance at a House meeting was unusual, and a handful of CPC members, including Reps. Jared Huffman and Barbara Lee of California, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, took the opportunity to press Schumer on the Senate’s performance during the fight late last month over an emergency spending bill related to the border crisis.
House Democrats broadly considered the Senate bill to be far too weak, handing President Donald Trump billions of dollars with no real requirements that the federal government improve conditions at the camps where migrants are concentrated. Many House Democrats worried that, under the Senate bill, Trump would be able to siphon money away from humanitarian relief toward policing migrants. The House, in response, passed an alternative bill that mandated that contractors improve conditions or lose contracts. The Senate took up a vote on the House bill and rejected it, instead sending its own version over to the House. ...
Schumer, in response to questions, told the Progressive Caucus members that the Senate had always expected the House to pass a stronger bill, after which the two chambers would negotiate a compromise — either informally or through a conference committee. Instead, House leaders simply waved through the Senate bill without letting him know they planned to cave. Schumer “truly didn’t expect the House to pass the Senate bill unamended,” said one person in the room — a recollection that was confirmed by multiple others. “He said he was surprised the House didn’t ask for a conference committee. It could have,” said another member in the room. “But he also gave a somewhat lame answer on Senate Dems actions.”
The House still had the opportunity to move to conference, but elected not to do so. Schumer’s analysis maps with that of Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who made a similar point at the Netroots Nation conference last week. “The complete assumption on the Senate side was that Speaker Pelosi would take it to conference, and she didn’t,” said Merkley. Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi, said that the way Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., refused negotiations cut off the possibility of a conference. “We were just as hopeful as Senate Democrats that McConnell would honor our wishes to hold a conference to get a stronger bill for the children,” Hammill said. “Leader McConnell’s actions have changed how the House and Senate will be relating to each other in the future.”
Joe Biden faces a rematch against his tormentor Kamala Harris while Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will go head to head in a battle of the left in the second Democratic primary debates at the end of the month. The lineups for Detroit were decided by a draw held live on CNN on Thursday. As in the first debates in Miami, the field will be crowded with 20 candidates spread over two nights. ...
Biden will be under huge pressure to perform better next time and will find Harris directly standing next to him on Wednesday 31 July. The media is likely to hype it as a grudge match and opportunity for revenge. ... Adding to the intrigue, another African American candidate, Senator Cory Booker, who was also critical of Biden’s comments, will be on the former vice-president’s other side.
Before that, on Tuesday 30 July there is the intriguing prospect of senators Sanders of Vermont and Warren of Massachusetts taking centre stage together. The progressive pair, who are friends, have been chasing many of the same voters, with Sanders making the stronger start in the campaign but Warren surging in recent weeks.
[T]he Tuesday lineup is all white: Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Sanders, Warren and Marianne Williamson. The Wednesday debate will be more racially diverse: Michael Bennet, Biden, de Blasio, Booker, Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Gillibrand, Harris, Jay Inslee and Andrew Yang.
The US government has rejected a proposed ban on a toxic pesticide linked to brain damage in children, dismissing a growing body of research on the health hazards of a widely used agricultural chemical.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a ruling Thursday that it supported farmers’ continued use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that growers have long sprayed on almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes, walnuts and other major crops in America. The decision, outlined in a response to a petition from environmental and public health groups, said “critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data” on neurological impacts on children.
The Trump administration’s endorsement of the pesticide comes years after the EPA under Obama moved to restrict use of the chemical, as scientists raised alarms. Trump’s EPA denied the conclusions of the agency’s own experts, and earlier this year, California defied the White House and announced its own state-level ban on the chemical.
“By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump’s EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children’s brains,” Patti Goldman, an attorney with Earthjustice, said in a statement, adding it was a “tragedy that this administration sides with corporations instead of children’s health”.
One of core elements of the proposed Green New Deal is a just transition—the creation of fair wage jobs that benefit communities, particularly those currently or formerly dependent on high polluting industries. In early July, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled that renewable energy policies that supported local green jobs in eight U.S. states violate international trade rules. The case is a direct legacy of the Obama administration’s aggressive free trade agenda, which routinely ran roughshod over environmental and climate concerns.
The WTO case was brought by India against policies in Washington, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Montana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Delaware. Each state’s policies, whether for renewable energy or fuel, included some type of preference or incentives for “local content,” meaning that some aspect of the energy or fuel must be produced in that state to gain the preference. These preferences are designed to reward local businesses and ensure that new green markets for say, renewable energy, also benefit businesses in that state.
These types of programs are common throughout the U.S. and in other countries and are viewed as models to be scaled up as part of the more ambitious Green New Deal—which emphasizes both carbon reductions and the creation of fair wage jobs as part of a just transition.
India brought the case in response to an Obama administration WTO challenge to India’s solar program in 2013, which was decided in favor of the U.S. in 2016. India’s solar program gave preferences to Indian solar panel companies and was touted as a green jobs program and a critical part of the country’s Paris climate commitment. The Obama administration argued that India’s policy discriminated against U.S. solar panel manufacturers. In its defense, India pointed out that several U.S. states also have local content rules. Following the 2016 WTO ruling against India, former Citigroup executive and then-U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman issued a warning to other governments attempting to support local, green businesses: “This is an important outcome, not just as it applies to this case, but for the message it sends to other countries considering discriminatory `localization’ policies.”
The new WTO ruling illustrates how disconnected trade rules are from national and local efforts to address climate change—and the urgent need to reform those rules. This wasn’t the first time the WTO had ruled against renewable energy, green jobs programs; it made a similar ruling in 2013 against an Ontario, Canada program. There are talks at the WTO about possible changes, including a moratorium on renewable energy related cases but those reforms are a long way off. At the same time, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deliberately chose not to address conflicts with trade rules as part of the Paris Climate Agreement—a decision that will have to be reconciled in the near future as trade and climate goals clash.
'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat
Calling on global policymakers to act immediately to preserve biodiversity and save tens of thousands of species from extinction, the group behind the world's most definitive list of endangered animals and plants has added more than 2,600 threatened species to its annual report.
The Red List, published Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), revealed that one third of all species the group has assessed are now under threat due to overfishing, pollution, illegal logging and trafficking, threats to water sources and habitats due to the climate crisis, and other factors, including many human activities.
Of the approximately 9,000 species the IUCN assessed over the past year, the group determined about 2,600 to be endangered, critically endangered, or threatened, bringing the total number of vulnerable species to about 28,000 of the more than 100,000 that have now been studied.
"Nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history," said Jane Smart, global director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group. "Decisive action is needed at scale to halt this decline; the timing of this assessment is critical as governments are starting to negotiate a new global biodiversity framework for such action."
A quarter of all mammals are threatened with possible extinction, while 40 percent of the world's amphibians and a third of reefs and corals—which in addition to providing thousands of species with habitats, also protect humans' habitats by halting the erosion of coastlines—are now endangered.
The Amazon belongs to Brazil and European countries can mind their own business because they have already destroyed their own environment, said Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who also described his own government’s satellite data showing an alarming rise in deforestation as “lies”.
“You have to understand that the Amazon is Brazil’s, not yours,” Bolsonaro said on Friday. “If all this devastation you accuse us of doing was done in the past the Amazon would have stopped existing, it would be a big desert.”
But Brazil is opening to partnerships exploiting biodiversity and mining – even in Amazon areas, said Bolsonaro, during a wide-ranging, one-hour conversation with foreign journalists.
He also said he was “fulfilling a mission from God”, defended his decision to name his own son as Brazil’s ambassador to the US and described Brexit as “the will of the people” – although he admitted he had never heard of the UK’s likely next prime minister, Boris Johnson. ...
He even questioned recent satellite data from the government’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) that indicated a dramatic rise in deforestation in May and June. “I am convinced the data is a lie. We are going to call the president of INPE here to talk about this and that’s the end of that issue,” he said.
Dozens of people have been arrested on Hawaii’s Big Island this week after hundreds of protesters stood, lay and even chained themselves to structures in an effort to stop the construction of a billion-dollar space observatory at the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain. The protests are the culmination of longstanding controversy over the site of the proposed observatory atop Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Hawaiian islands.
Astronomers say the site will offer an unparalleled view into deep space. But many Native Hawaiians consider the mountain sacred, and fear the construction of a telescope as tall as an 18-story building would desecrate it.
At 13,796ft above sea level, Mauna Kea is higher than the clouds and so cold it sometimes snows. Protesters have been blocking the only road that leads to the construction site atop the mountain, where about a dozen large telescopes have already been built. The new proposed observatory, known as the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), would be among the largest in the world. ...
Mauna Kea is associated with Wakea, the sky father, who partnered with Papa, the earth mother, to birth Native Hawaiians. The mountain is home to the endemic weiku bug and Lake Waiau, an alpine lake that some Hawaiians visit to offer a newborn’s umbilical cord. Kahookahi Kanuha, an organizer from the Hawaii Unity and Liberation Institute (Huli), mentions that Mauna Kea is on “crown lands”, which belonged to the Hawaiian kingdom before it was overthrown in 1893. Many Native Hawaiian organizations argue that these lands were stolen by the United States and still belong to the Hawaiian people. “These lands were taken from us, so we have rights to them,” he says “We have a spiritual connection to them. We have a genealogical connection to them.”
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Boozoo Chavis - Paper In My Shoe
Boozoo Chavis - Johnny Billy Goat
Boozoo Chavis - Lucille
Boozoo Chavis - You're Gonna Look Like a Monkey
Boozoo Chavis - Brand New Mojo
Boozoo Chavis - Lula Lula Don't You Go To Bingo
Boozoo Chavis - Motor Dude Special
Boozoo Chavis - I'm Ready Me
Boozoo Chavis - Dog Hill
Boozoo Chavis - Comma Lemma Chapo Sha
Boozoo Chavis - Cultural Center, Charleston, W.V. 1996