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Spanish Ebola nurse: infected others in holiday swimming pool?

English news reports of Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola mention that she had been on holiday when she first started experiencing the symptoms of Ebola.

As most people know by now, a patient becomes infectious the moment that they start to exhibit symptoms.

Abbott may kill more Australians than Putin

Australians are the third biggest group of casualties in the MH17 tragedy this week. Australia's leader, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is already calling Mr Putin to account before the facts have even been confirmed.

The startling reality is, OECD research already suggests that Mr Abbott's own policies have the potential to kill more Australians.

Balancing a budget with sex work?

Tony Abbott has attracted worldwide ridicule for himself and our country (not for the first time of course) with his infamous wink incident this week.

In fact, people repeatedly sharing this incident on social media are not really adding much to the national debate. Anybody who's opinion actually matters already knew Tony Abbott is not fit to even lead a scout group, let alone a whole country.

Why I hope Craig Thomson avoids jail

Craig Thomson has finally been convicted of all those fraud charges that everybody has been talking about throughout the years of Rudd/Gillard Government.

It is worth remembering how Gillard deflected all the questions about Thomson:

"Everybody is innocent until proven guilty"

Well, unless you are a refugee or a coloured person (or both).

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United States: Conference to explore left electoral possibilities

Links International - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:33

Left to right: Brian Jones (ISO), Kshama Sawant (Socialist Alternative) and Howie Hawkins (Greens). Hawkins, the ISO and Socialist Alternative have endorsed the conference.

By Robert C.

February 17, 2015 -- Against the Current, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Activists and candidates from around the United states will come together on May 2-3, 2015, in Chicago to share their experiences and to launch a network for future cooperation at the Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action Conference.

The past few years have seen a significant uptick in independent political initiatives on the left, from election campaigns to new local electoral and social movement formations, to referenda campaigns.

Kshama Sawant’s November 2014 election to the Seattle City Council captured the attention of leftists across the country, but a number of other exciting campaigns have also been path breaking, including the Jackson Plan of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Richmond Progressive Alliance’s David and Goliath fight against Chevron in the East Bay. Many recent political developments have brought organisers building alternatives to the two-party system together with those using direct action and referenda to help win gains against fracking, for a $15 minimum wage, and other important initiatives.

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Categories: Community

United States: Chicago unionists force Democrat mayor into runoff election

Links International - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 02:49

Chicago teacher Tara Stamps campaigns in the 37th Ward for a spot on the city council, and for mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. Both Stamps and Garcia earned enough votes to make the April 7, 2015, runoff. Photo: Tara Stamps.

Click for more on left electoral politics at the municipal level.

By Samantha Winslow

February 25, 2015 -- Labor Notes, posted at Links International journal of Socialist Renewal -- On election night, February 24, 2015, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and its new independent electoral organisation didn’t knock out Democratic Party mayor Rahm Emanuel—but they did take him down a notch, forcing him into a runoff with the union’s preferred candidate, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

It’s the first runoff in a Chicago mayoral election in 20 years.

Union-friendly city council candidates and ballot initiatives gave Garcia’s campaign a boost. Three rank-and-file CTU members running for city council seats—Tara Stamps, Susan Sadlowski Garza and Tim Meegan—made it into the April 7 runoff, too.

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Categories: Community

Rayella – angels whisper in my ear and send shivers up my spine

The Northern Myth - Sun, 01/03/2015 - 13:12

Rayella–the name comes from members Raymond Dixon and daughter Eleanor–is a band from the small NT hamlet of Marlinja in the heart of the Barkly Tablelands 700 or so kilometres equidistant from Alice Springs to the south and Darwin to the north. For most Australians that means somewhere beyond the back of buggery, but for Rayella Marlinja and the surrounding Mudburra/Jingili country is home and heartland.

There is a strong tradition of music coming out of Marlinja and the nearby small town of Elliott. The Kulumindini Band made three great albums in the 80s and 90s and the local gospel group has been singing for just about an eternity–that can happen when you are close to your God. A few hundred kilometres to the east in Wambaya country around Brunette Downs and Corella Creek the Tableland Drifters, who I wrote about here and here, took their particular brand of Tablelands country rock all over the country until they recently retired due to the passing of their leader.

But while those early bands–and for a while in the 80s and 90s it seemed like every bush town had a least one band–recorded on crappy gear and were only released on cassette tapes, Rayella has benefited from recent developments in recording technology and the broader acceptance, particularly in the bush, of technology like compact discs and portable MP3 and iPod/iPhone devices.

That is why this eponymous album–recorded at their hometown and mixed at the Wininjjkari Music Centre Studio a couple of hundred kilometres south at Tennant Creek–sounds far better than anything produced by the early bush bands. Sure, measured against the standards of studios from the east coast Rayella may be considered a pretty ordinary demo-standard recording, but for mine this is the most polished recording I’ve heard from the NT in many years.

Two things make this modest album–just ten songs, none longer than 3 minutes 30 seconds–such a gem. Firstly the strong connection to country gleams like a golden thread through the songs. Second, the sublime voice of Eleanor Dixon, who whispers–strong and soft all at once–in your ear like an angel sitting on your shoulder as she tells her autobiographical (?) tales of love lived, love lost and love gone wrong.

A few of Rayella’s country/country rock songs suffer–and only lightly–from that quaint localised naivety found in many similar songs out of remote Aboriginal Australia. Unsurprisingly for people that live most of their lives outside a house, the big Barkly sky, and the elements that move within it, are given loving and frequent reference and reverence.

A standout of the country rockers is Warlu-ku (Fire Song) which is a joyous romp sung in Jingili and driven by thumping toms and a cracking guitar riff. This is one song that can only improve when played live.

Party Song–complete with falling coins and smashed glass foley tracks–paints glorious sound and word pictures of a raucous night on the tiles in Elliott–or any small country town pub in the Territory.

I’ve never really understood why Aboriginal bands–or rock bands generally–try to do reggae. In the NT it can in part be explained by the popularity of artists like Bob Marley but there are few local bands–white or black–that can play it well. Often they can’t get the rhythm section to drag just that little and guitarists think all you have to do is go chinka-chinka on the off-beat.

For mine the only Territory band that has played reggae well is the recently-revived Blekbala Mujik from Bulman via central Australia. There is a great Blekbala Mujik dub-reggae-in-an-Arnhemland-style album that has never been released. The single tape I had of it was left in a car cassette player many years ago.

Rayella has two reggae-lite songs. The first, Grog Song, is sung in Jingili and and is a cautionary tale of the perils of grog and is pleasantly awash with fat plate reverb and bouncing echo.

The second, What I’m Doing Wrong, suffers not a note as played and would be magnificent in any genre. This is one of Rayella’s songs where the combination of Eleanor’s voice–solid and soft at once–and words send shivers up your spine. The lyrics are rare gems, an off-hand and plaintive plea for help.

People are trying to tell me,

What I’m doing wrong

But I know in my heart

That I’m doing right

So why can’t they leave me alone

‘cause I’m trying to get along

And I can’t stand this feeling but I need to be strong

But I need to be strong

So somebody tell me, somebody tell me what am I doing wrong

Somebody tell me, somebody tell me, what am I doing wrong

What I’m Doing Wrong is an ear-worm of the first order but the song that has been on high rotation in my head for the past two weeks is the first track, Wrong Kind of Man, a love-gone-so-wrong-but-feels-oh-so-right tale that cuts very close to the bone.

The chorus, She fell in love with the wrong kind of man, is an absolute killer.

There was a girl

I used to know

She’s not the same anymore

She was raised by a good family

She was loved and cared for

She was well educated

Because she took the time to learn

She fell in love with the wrong kind of man

She fell in love with the wrong kind of man

He treated her bad

And now she’s all alone and sad

You’d be right if you think that I really like this album. Not just because I like the folks that made it or the country they come from but because it is the most enjoyable introduction to a new band–and great new  songwriting talents–that I’ve seen and heard in many years.

There are more than a few songs here that could be picked up by other artists–think country singers; pop artists like Jessica Mauboy; hard rockers and serious folk like Paul Kelly … my dream is for Rayella to do a Paul Kelly support tour. And what a good producer could do with this material and these songwriters is surely a coming attraction. And I’m equally certain that Raymond and Eleanor Dixon have plenty of new songs left in them yet.

If I’m lucky I’ll get to catch them on their home turf at Elliott when they play next in about two weeks time. Or if I miss that, when they play their first gig in Darwin in May.

Rayella isn’t available on iTunes or in store yet but you should be able to get a copy through the Winanjjkari Music Centre in Tennant Creek, who can be contacted by phone on (08) 8962 2799 or by email on musicmanager@barklyarts.com.au.

You can catch up with the who, what and where around the Barkly Arts & Music scene here.

Categories: Community

French Film Festibule for Melbourne: with timetable of best films

Club Troppo - Sun, 01/03/2015 - 10:32

Here’s another post highlighting a film festival. It derives from my frustration at being able to actually work out what’s worth seeing and when from festival propaganda which is mainly directed at trying to get you to go, not helping you work out what you’d like to see. Regulars know that I’ve been doing this for some time. I get someone in India to identify films that have passed a quality threshold – judged by standard review sites and other reviews and then run them up for me. Then I put them up here for everyone’s benefit.

However I don’t think I’ve ever got any feedback on this, so I’d appreciate it if people could offer some comments on the usefulness of the service. Note because it’s still a hassle to identify a film and then work out where and when a film is on, there’s now a new feature, which is a timetable at the bottom of the list of best films which have been identified. That way if you’re not studiously trying to get to the best films, but want to go out on a particular night or nights and want to know if, where and when there are any good films on that night, you can now do so using the table.

Festival Website | Films | Melbourne Schedule Top Picks Trailer Icon 03 Gemma Bovery (Opening Night) Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only are the names of the new arrivals Gemma and Charles Bovery, but their behavior also seems to be inspired by Flaubert’s heroes. ☆☆☆☆☆ Cinemablographer ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 7:00 PM Wednesday 4 March @Palace Cinema Como 4:00 PM Thursday 5 March @Palace Brighton Bay 3:30 PM Friday 6 March @Kino Cinemas 1:45 PM Saturday 7 March @Palace Balwyn 4:15 PM Saturday 7 March @Palace Cinema Como 1:30 PM Sunday 8 March @Kino Cinemas 6:30 PM Sunday 8 March @Palace Brighton Bay 2:00 PM Tuesday 10 March @Palace Westgarth 4:15 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Cinema Como 1:30 PM Friday 13 March @Palace Balwyn 6:30 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Brighton Bay 8:00 PM Saturday 14 March @Kino Cinemas 6:50 PM Thursday 19 March @Palace Westgarth 6:30 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Balwyn 9:15 PM Saturday 21 March @Palace Cinema Como 2:45 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Westgarth 4:15 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Balwyn Trailer Icon 03 Breathe When Charlie, an attractive but self-doubting 17-year-old meets the charismatic, forthright and unruly Sarah, they immediately form an intense and exhilarating bond. Sarah offers both companionship and support for Charlie at a time when she desperately needs it, while her unstable mother copes badly with impending divorce. But their inseparable, idyllic existence soon steers into dangerous territory… ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 1:00 PM Thursday 5 March @Kino Cinemas 1:30 PM Tuesday 10 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:00 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Balwyn 9:00 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Cinema Como 4:15 PM Thursday 12 March @Palace Cinema Como 6:45 PM Thursday 12 March @Palace Balwyn 4:30 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Brighton Bay 6:45 PM Saturday 14 March @Kino Cinemas 6:30 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Cinema Como 8:45 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:30 PM Monday 16 March @Palace Westgarth 8:30 PM Tuesday 17 March @Kino Cinemas 9:00 PM Saturday 21 March @Palace Balwyn 5:00 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Westgarth Trailer Icon 03 Diplomacy It is August 25th, 1944. The Allies have entered Paris, and shortly before dawn the German military governor of the city is preparing to dynamite the capital’s famous monuments and bridges on Hitler’s orders. Of course we know that he changed his mind-but why? Was it thanks to his meeting with the Swedish Consul-General, Raoul Nordling? ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 1:45 PM Thursday 5 March @Palace Cinema Como 4:00 PM Friday 6 March @Palace Balwyn 9:15 PM Saturday 7 March @Palace Westgarth 2:15 PM Monday 9 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:30 PM Tuesday 10 March @Palace Westgarth 6:30 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Brighton Bay 1:00 PM Thursday 12 March @Kino Cinemas 4:30 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Balwyn 6:00 PM Saturday 14 March @Kino Cinemas 6:30 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Cinema Como 6:45 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Brighton Bay 6:45 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Brighton Bay 9:00 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Cinema Como 6:45 PM Saturday 21 March @Palace Balwyn 8:45 PM Saturday 21 March @Kino Cinemas 2:15 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Balwyn 6:45 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Brighton Bay Trailer Icon 03 Far From Men The year is 1954, the war is beginning and village schoolteacher Daru, an ex-French Army soldier, is caught in the crossfire. Born in Algeria but Spanish by lineage, he’s a man out of time and place, perceived as alien by both locals and colonizers alike. So when he reluctantly agrees to escort a dissident to a regional police station to face trial for murder, a series of incidents and revelations force the question of where Daru’s loyalties truly lie. ☆☆☆☆☆ Cine-Vue ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 3:30 PM Thursday 5 March @Kino Cinemas 4:30 PM Sunday 8 March @Palace Balwyn 8:15 PM Monday 9 March @Kino Cinemas 4:30 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Westgarth 4:15 PM Friday 13 March @Palace Cinema Como 8:45 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Brighton Bay 2:00 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Cinema Como 4:15 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Balwyn 4:00 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Brighton Bay 9:30 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Balwyn 9:15 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Westgarth 4:30 PM Saturday 21 March @Palace Brighton Bay 7:00 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Balwyn Trailer Icon 03 The Bélier Family In the Bélier family, everyone is deaf, except dutiful 16-year-old Paula. She acts as an indispensable interpreter for her parents and younger brother, especially in the running of the family dairy farm. Though her salt-of-the-earth father has decided to run for mayor, spurred on by her vivacious but over-involved mother, Paula’s attentions are very much elsewhere. She’s witnessed the handsome new boy at school sign up for the choir, and impulsively joined too. It’s not long before her music teacher discovers her considerable talent, however his encouragement only exacerbates the matter of Paula’s independence. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 4:00 PM Thursday 5 March @Palace Balwyn 2:00 PM Friday 6 March @Palace Westgarth 6:30 PM Saturday 7 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:15 PM Sunday 8 March @Palace Cinema Como 3:45 PM Monday 9 March @Kino Cinemas 4:00 PM Tuesday 10 March @Palace Brighton Bay 1:00 PM Wednesday 11 March @Kino Cinemas 7:00 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Westgarth(Special Event) 1:45 PM Friday 13 March @Palace Cinema Como 4:30 PM Friday 13 March @Palace Brighton Bay 6:45 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Balwyn 7:00 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Westgarth 3:45 PM Sunday 15 March @Kino Cinemas 4:00 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Cinema Como 6:45 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Cinema Como 6:30 PM Saturday 21 March @Palace Brighton Bay 8:45 PM Saturday 21 March @Palace Balwyn Trailer Icon 03 Grand Illusion During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German POW camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from. ☆☆☆☆☆ Cine-Vue ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 6:00 PM Thursday 5 March @Kino Cinemas 11:45 AM Sunday 8 March @Palace Westgarth 3:30 PM Tuesday 10 March @Kino Cinemas 9:00 PM Friday 13 March @Palace Brighton Bay 12:00 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Cinema Como 1:30 PM Monday 16 March @Palace Brighton Bay 2:00 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Westgarth 6:45 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Balwyn 1:45 PM Wednesday 18 March @Palace Cinema Como 1:30 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Balwyn 4:30 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Brighton Bay Trailer Icon 03 Captain Conan Bulgaria near the end of World War I: Conan leads a band of 50 ruthless French fighters who love hand-to-hand combat. At war’s end, the unit goes to Bucharest, where Conan tries to keep them out of trouble, defends them when they behave as warriors, and finds he’s unsuited for peacetime. His friendship with Norbert, a teacher turned lieutenant, is tested when Norbert accepts a job as court-martial prosecutor because he’s learned that Conan will be facing charges and he wants to protect his friend. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 1:30 PM Friday 6 March @Palace Cinema Como 6:45 PM Monday 9 March @Palace Westgarth 8:15 PM Sunday 15 March @Kino Cinemas 3:45 PM Monday 16 March @Palace Brighton Bay 8:45 PM Monday 16 March @Palace Balwyn 8:45 PM Wednesday 18 March @Palace Brighton Bay Trailer Icon 03 Marie’s Story Born deaf and blind, Marie Heurtin has no way to communicate with those around her. Unable to cope with his daughter’s violent behavior, Marie’s father takes her to the famed Larnay Institute. It is there that Marie meets Sister Marguerite, a young nun who takes Marie under her wing. Armed with her faith, Sister Marguerite works tirelessly to bring Marie out of her solitary darkness. ☆☆☆☆☆ Eye For Film ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 6:30 PM Friday 6 March @Kino Cinemas 2:00 PM Saturday 7 March @Palace Cinema Como 8:30 PM Sunday 8 March @Palace Cinema Como 2:00 PM Monday 9 March @Palace Westgarth 2:30 PM Saturday 14 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:00 PM Saturday 14 March @Kino Cinemas 2:00 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Balwyn 4:00 PM Wednesday 18 March @Palace Balwyn 4:00 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:00 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Cinema Como 9:00 PM Friday 20 March @Palace Brighton Bay Trailer Icon 03 The Easy Way Out The story concerns three brothers who are all looking for a change. Antoine is in his mid-30s and lives with Adar, although he sleeps on the floor. Louis, the youngest brother, is engaged to his high school sweetheart, but is having an affair. Meanwhile Gérard, the oldest brother, can’t get over his ex-wife and spends his days working at his parents’ unsuccessful clothing store. When Antoine’s friend, Ariel, enters their little world, everything changes. Decisions will have to be made-but can the brothers find an easy way out? ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB ☆☆☆☆☆ Queertiques Show Timings: 8:45 PM Friday 6 March @Palace Balwyn 6:45 PM Sunday 8 March @Palace Cinema Como 8:30 PM Wednesday 11 March @Palace Brighton Bay 8:30 PM Friday 13 March @Kino Cinemas 7:00 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Westgarth 6:45 PM Thursday 19 March @Palace Cinema Como Trailer Icon 03 The Connection The true story behind the Hollywood hit The French Connection is now told from the European perspective in this exciting police drama. Pierre Michel is a relentlessly dedicated magistrate who is reassigned to Marseille in 1975. The port city is ruled not by law, but by the terrifying mafia boss, Gaetan Zampa. Before long Michel realizes that to make a difference he will need to change his methods. This tough, fascinating film tells the little known story of how a ruthless international drug syndicate came undone. ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB ☆☆☆☆☆ Joblo Show Timings: 4:00 PM Saturday 7 March @Palace Balwyn 6:30 PM Sunday 8 March @Kino Cinemas 1:45 PM Monday 9 March @Palace Cinema Como 1:45 PM Thursday 12 March @Palace Cinema Como 9:15 PM Sunday 15 March @Palace Westgarth 1:30 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Balwyn 6:00 PM Tuesday 17 March @Kino Cinemas 8:45 PM Tuesday 17 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:00 PM Wednesday 18 March @Palace Brighton Bay 4:15 PM Thursday 19 March @Palace Westgarth 3:30 PM Friday 20 March @Kino Cinemas Trailer Icon 03 The Officer’s Ward In the early days of the First World War, a young French lieutenant is hit by shellfire, disfiguring his face. Now he must spend the rest of the war in the officer’s ward at the Val de Grâce military hospital in Paris. Five long years, and his life will change forever… ☆☆☆☆☆ BBC ☆☆☆☆☆ Eye For Film ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 8:45 PM Sunday 8 March @Palace Brighton Bay 9:00 PM Tuesday 10 March @Palace Balwyn 8:15 PM Wednesday 11 March @Kino Cinemas 9:15 PM Friday 13 March @Palace Westgarth 6:45 PM Monday 16 March @Palace Cinema Como Trailer Icon 03 Paris, je t’aime (Closing Night) Through the neighborhoods of Paris, love is veiled, revealed, imitated, sucked dry, reinvented and awakened. ☆☆☆☆☆ BBC ☆☆☆☆☆ Eye For Film ☆☆☆☆☆ IMDB Show Timings: 8:45 PM Sunday 22 March @Palace Cinema Como Top Picks Melbourne Schedule Table Date Palace
Cinema Como
Palace
Balwyn
Palace
Westgarth
Palace
Brighton Bay
Kino
Cinemas
Wednesday
4 March
Gemma Bovery
(7.00 PM)
Thursday
5 March
Diplomacy
(1.45 PM)
The Bélier Family
(4.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(4.00 PM)
Breathe
(1.00 PM)

Far From Men
(3.30 PM)

Grand Illusion
(6.00 PM)
Friday
6 March
Captain Conan
(1.30 PM)
Diplomacy
(4.00 PM)

The Easy Way Out
(8.45 PM)
The Bélier Family
(2.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(3.30 PM)

Marie’s Story
(6.30 PM)
Saturday
7 March
Gemma Bovery
(4.15 PM)

Marie’s Story
(2.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(1.45 PM)

The Connection
(4.00 PM)
Diplomacy
(9.15 PM)
The Bélier Family
(6.30 PM)
Sunday
8 March
The Bélier Family
(4.15 PM)

Marie’s Story
(8.30 PM)

The Easy Way Out
(6.45 PM)
Far From Men
(4.30 PM)
Grand Illusion
(11.45 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(6.30 PM)

The Officer’s Ward
(8.45 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(1.30 PM)

The Connection
(6.30 PM)
Monday
9 March
The Connection
(1.45 PM)
Captain Conan
(6.45 PM)
Diplomacy
(2.15 PM)

Marie’s Story
(2.00 PM)
Far From Men
(8.15 PM)

The Bélier Family
(3.45 PM)
Tuesday
10 March
The Officer’s Ward
(9.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(2.00 PM)

Diplomacy
(4.30 PM)
Breathe
(1.30 PM)

The Bélier Family
(4.00 PM)
Grand Illusion
(3.30 PM)
Wednesday
11 March
Gemma Bovery
(4.15 PM)

Breathe
(9.00 PM)
Breathe
(4.00 PM)
Far From Men
(4.30 PM)

The Bélier Family
(7.00 PM)
Diplomacy
(6.30 PM)

The Easy Way Out
(8.30 PM)
The Bélier Family
(1.00 PM)

The Officer’s Ward
(8.15 PM)
Thursday
12 March
Breathe
(4.15 PM)

The Connection
(1.45 PM)
Breathe
(6.45 PM)
Diplomacy
(1.00 PM)
Friday
13 March
Far From Men
(4.15 PM)

The Bélier Family
(1.45 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(1.30 PM)
The Officer’s Ward
(9.15 PM)
The Bélier Family
(4.30 PM)

Grand Illusion
(9.00 PM)
The Easy Way Out
(8.30 PM)
Saturday
14 March
Diplomacy
(6.30 PM)
Diplomacy
(4.30 PM)

The Bélier Family
(6.45 PM)
The Bélier Family
(7.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(6.30 PM)

Breathe
(4.30 PM)

Far From Men
(8.45 PM)

Marie’s Story
(2.30 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(8.00 PM)

Breathe
(6.45 PM)

Diplomacy
(6.00 PM)

Marie’s Story
(4.00 PM)
Sunday
15 March
Breathe
(6.30 PM)

Far From Men
(2.00 PM)

The Bélier Family
(4.00 PM)

Grand Illusion
(12.00 PM)
Far From Men
(4.15 PM)

Marie’s Story
(2.00 PM)
The Connection
(9.15 PM)
Breathe
(8.45 PM)

Diplomacy
(6.45 PM)
The Bélier Family
(3.45 PM)

Captain Conan
(8.15 PM)
Monday
16 March
The Officer’s Ward
(6.45 PM)
Captain Conan
(8.45 PM)
Breathe
(4.30 PM)
Grand Illusion
(1.30 PM)

Captain Conan
(3.45 PM)
Tuesday
17 March
Far From Men
(9.30 PM)

Grand Illusion
(6.45 PM)

The Connection
(1.30 PM)
Grand Illusion
(2.00 PM)

The Easy Way Out
(7.00 PM)
Far From Men
(4.00 PM)

The Connection
(8.45 PM)
Breathe
(8.30 PM)

The Connection
(6.00 PM)
Wednesday
18 March
Grand Illusion
(1.45 PM)
Marie’s Story
(4.00 PM)
Captain Conan
(8.45 PM)

The Connection
(4.00 PM)
Thursday
19 March
The Easy Way Out
(6.45 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(6.50 PM)

The Connection
(4.15 PM)
Friday
20 March
Diplomacy
(9.00 PM)

The Bélier Family
(6.45 PM)

Marie’s Story
(4.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(6.30 PM)

Grand Illusion
(1.30 PM)
Far From Men
(9.15 PM)
Diplomacy
(6.45 PM)

Marie’s Story
(4.00 PM)

Marie’s Story
(9.00 PM)
The Connection
(3.30 PM)
Saturday
21 March
Gemma Bovery
(9.15 PM)
Breathe
(9.00 PM)

Diplomacy
(6.45 PM)

The Bélier Family
(8.45 PM)
Far From Men
(4.30 PM)

The Bélier Family
(6.30 PM)
Diplomacy
(8.45 PM)
Sunday
22 March
Paris, je t’aime
(8.45 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(4.15 PM)

Diplomacy
(2.15 PM)

Far From Men
(7.00 PM)
Gemma Bovery
(2.45 PM)

Breathe
(5.00 PM)
Diplomacy
(6.45 PM)

Grand Illusion
(4.30 PM)
Categories: Community

Vale Leigh Bruce “Tracker” Tilmouth. A man of word and deed

The Northern Myth - Sun, 01/03/2015 - 00:06

Leigh Bruce “Tracker” Tilmouth passed away in Darwin this weekend. There will be no shortage of  comments by others about Tracker in the coming days and weeks but I reckon that his own words will ring louder and longer than those of others.

Tracker had that rare ability to have you roaring with laughter with him–or in anger at him–in equal measure within the same conversation. I saw Tracker last week and as always we shared a laugh and a joke.

An absolutely fearless man taken too soon.

Here are some select Tracker quotes for the memories.

“Probably the last time she saw a real Aborigine was when she was licking a postage stamp.” Tracker on Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

“Labor likes pet niggers, and I’m counted as a pet nigger. I’m allowed to mow the lawns, but I’m not allowed up on the verandah.” Tracker on his struggles with pre-selection for the Senate in the NT.

“You can jump in a truck, do a 3 kilometre trip 30 times a day for 12 hours, two weeks on and two weeks off. I don’t care how many Slim Dusty or Charlie Pride tapes you have listened to, if you aren’t an axe murderer or social misfit you will go home with your soul destroyed.”  Tracker on working as a FIFO haul-truck driver in a mine.

“You are such a fucking smartarse, why don’t you get an education?” and I said, “You are such a fucking smartarse, why don’t you pay?” An exchange between Tracker and a senior bureaucrat, who did pay and Tracker went to complete a degree in environmental management.

“Take a look. That’s not only a disgrace. It symbolises what I believe amounts to a form of cultural and social genocide,” he says. “This is as bad as anywhere on Earth, right here on Australian soil.” Tracker on Aboriginal housing in central Australia.

“For the last 20 years we’ve all voted Labor, they just expected us to vote Labor. It’s a plantation mentality.”  Tracker on how Labor took the Aboriginal vote for granted.

“The poor old Labor Party, Warren Mundine fell for the same thing I did when they nominated me for the senate, if I remember. And my statement was that you’re an Aboriginal person, you’re allowed on the wood heap and you’re allowed to mow the lawns and you’re allowed on the veranda, but under no circumstances are you allowed in the kitchen or at the dining table.” Tracker on Labor and Warren Mundine.

“Mundine found that out to his horror and shock and horror. That Mundine would have been, may have been quite good in there—we don’t know. And he’ll never get another chance and he’ll go the way of every other Aboriginal person that ever joined the Labor Party, that the federal party’s for white people, it’s not for Aboriginal people.” Tracker on Mundine and Labor (again).

“We can’t trust the NT Government, we can’t trust any other State Governments because they have not delivered in the past, we don’t expect them to deliver in the future.” Tracker on relationships between State and Territory governments.

“ATSIC was murdered the day it was born, let’s face it. It was still-born.” Tracker on the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission.

“Clare, the question is: where’s the money, show us the money, show us what you spent, show us what your record is.” Tracker to Clare Martin, Labor Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.

“If this is a model of success, give me Soweto in its heyday, give me Soweto any time prior Nelson Mandela’s release or after his release, give me Soweto as a comparison and I’d rather go to Soweto.” Tracker on the success of a COAG service delivery trial at Wadeye, a large Aboriginal community in the NT.

“The Labor Party had imported a lot of political advisors from down south who had no understanding of the culture or political situation in the northern territory and they came up with the brilliant idea to go and run the race card.” Tracker on the NT ALP policies for the 2005 general election.

If you have some memorable Tracker quotes please leave them in a comment below. I’ll provide updates on proceedings as relevant.

Categories: Community

Greece wins breathing space, but made to pay high cost

Links International - Sat, 28/02/2015 - 09:50

Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble looks on as Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks.

For more discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Duroyan Fertl

February 28, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Greece’s new SYRIZA government submitted its list of proposed economic reforms to the Eurogroup (the finance ministers of eurozone nations) on February 23 as a precondition for its international creditors to approve a four-month loan extension. The deal was signed on February 20.

With Greece’s existing loan arrangement expiring on February 28 and bankruptcy looming, a last-minute deal was finally agreed after three weeks of intense negotiations. The talks had been characterised by daily — sometimes hourly — twists and turns, claims and counterclaims, leaks and threats.

read more

Categories: Community

The Aussies Came, They Saw, They Did Nothing!

Sea Shepherd - Fri, 27/02/2015 - 22:48
The Aussies Came, They Saw, They Did Nothing!

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

GPS coordinates show the poaching  vessel Kunlun inside Australia's EEZGPS coordinates show the poaching
vessel Kunlun inside Australia's EEZ
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff WirthThis is an accurate description of yesterday’s interception by the Australian government of the toothfish-poaching vessel Kunlun:

They arrived.

They saw.

They observed.

They determined the ship Kunlun was in Australian territorial waters.

Therefore, they took action.

They boarded the Kunlin – and one-upped the Kiwis.

They found evidence of illegal fishing in Australian Antarctic territorial waters.

They saw a large supply of illegally caught toothfish.

They discovered the vessel was flying a false flag.

They determined it was an undocumented ship, illegally flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea and loaded with tons of fish caught in Australian Antarctic territorial waters.

So of course they let them go.

Say what?????

This is the same ship that the New Zealand Navy found last month, attempted to board. When they were refused permission to board, they left, allowing the poachers to continue their illegal fishing activities.

As in the case with New Zealand, the Kunlun was allowed to proceed because of the intervention of Australian politicians.

Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection said that the boarding has “sent a strong message” to the poachers.

And what I wonder could that message possibly be? It appears to be, “Stop illegally taking our fish or else we will board you again, so there.”

The poaching vessel, Kunlun, crosses the bow  of the Sam SimonThe poaching vessel, Kunlun,
crosses the bow of the Sam Simon
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff WirthLast month, the Sea Shepherd ship Sam Simon chased the Kunlun out of Australian Antarctic waters. With the poachers heading north, the opportunity to intercept them was handed to Australia.

When intercepted, the Kunlun was in the waters off the Cocos Islands, a territory in the Indian Ocean controlled by Australia.

Despite this, Senator Richard Colbeck, an outspoken critic of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Icefish, declared that it would not be legal for Australia to arrest the ship.

After reviewing the media release from the Ministry for Immigration and Border Protection, it seems incredible that Colbeck would say that an arrest would not be legal:

Enforcement activity to protect the Southern Ocean

27 February 2015

The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture

The Australian Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting resources in the Southern Ocean with the interception and boarding of a fishing vessel believed to have been operating under a false flag and in defiance of international conventions.

(PW: We boarded them, which means we are committed to upholding international conservation law.)

Officers from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) boarded and searched the internationally listed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Kunlun yesterday, after interdicting the vessel to the west of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

The vessel was first detected near the islands by a maritime patrol aircraft, operating under the control of Border Protection Command (BPC). Once its location was confirmed, an ACBPS vessel, also operating under the control of BPC, intercepted and boarded the Kunlun.

(PW: They neglected to mention that Sea Shepherd had informed Australia that the vessel was headed north.)

In January 2015, the Kunlun was identified operating within Commonwealth Bay off the Antarctic coast. The purpose of the boarding was to investigate claims that the vessel was authorised by Equatorial Guinea to fish in the Southern Ocean. This area of waters is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

In the course of the inspection of the vessel, ACBPS officers observed a significant quantity of frozen fish in storage.

(PW: New Zealand caught them and New Zealand documented the fishing. Therefore the evidence of illegal fishing by the Kunlun in Australian waters was well established.)

Information gathered in the course of the inspection will be used to conduct further inquiries in relation to the vessel's nationality, ownership and authority to fish in the region.

(PW: How many more bloody inquiries are needed? These ships are known poaching vessels and have been operating with impunity for a decade, raking in tens of millions of dollars. They have absolutely no authority to fish in Australian territorial waters or anywhere else in the Southern Ocean. This vessel is listed on the Interpol Purple list.)

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, said the boarding showed the Coalition Government's commitment to taking action to ensure that commercial fishing activity is authorised.

(PW: If this is considered “action,” no wonder nothing ever gets resolved by the Australian government.)

"This action should send a strong message that the Australian government is committed to ensuring all vessels operating in the Southern Ocean do so legally and are appropriately registered," Mr. Dutton said.

(PW: Ooohh, the poachers must be quaking in fear. “My God,” said Captain Fishnicker to his Mate, “the Aussies have threatened us with a strong message. Now get that net back in the water before they send us another ‘strong’ message.”)

"Our message to those who may seek to fish under false flags, or flags of convenience, is simple; we operate a range of assets in a range of locations, and we will continue to use these and the full extent of our powers to target you."

(PW: In other words, what assets we can spare from protecting Australian borders from homeless refugees we will dedicate – if we have the time, and when it becomes too embarrassing not to act – and will deploy them to board you again.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said that unregulated fishing threatens the viability of fish stocks, and that Australia works with many other countries in seeking to eliminate it.

(PW: And they seem to be doing an absolutely amazing job of doing absolutely nothing about it.)

"The action taken yesterday demonstrates Australia's commitment to combatting unregulated fishing and to protecting the interests of those who fish within the internationally agreed rules", he said.

(PW: Australia’s commitment appears to be that of doing very little, very late, without any results. Considering the evidence, the documentation by Sea Shepherd and the New Zealand Navy, the fact that the ship was flying a false flag, was on the Interpol Purple list and was boarded in Australia waters, the question must be: why was this unflagged, unregistered, criminal operation not stopped and the vessel seized?)

Commenting to ABC News from the Bob Barker, Captain Peter Hammarstedt said, “I have no doubt that evidence will show that the Kunlun has been fishing illegally and that they would have intended to continue fishing illegally had it not been for action by the Australian Government. They have boarded the ship, now what we need to see is the Australian Government actually arresting the vessel. This is a ship that needs to be brought back to Australia for prosecution. Nothing short of actually arresting this ship will be an acceptable outcome in seeing them end their poaching career.

ABC’s Felicity Ogilvie reported that Senator Richard Colbeck says Australia can't arrest the crew but will be monitoring the boat from now on.

The Kunlun was allowed to proceed north with millions of dollars of illegally caught toothfish.

Only two days ago Senator Richard Colbeck was on the carpet because of a large donation of $320,000 from the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association. He has fiercely defended the fishing industry, and last month viciously attacked Sea Shepherd’s efforts to oppose illegal fishing in Australian territorial waters.

There seems to be a complicated, secretive and international web of deception involving a network of illegal fishing activities around the world. Poachers have received subsidies from governments. Poachers continue to fish with impunity while governments do very little. When poachers are caught, the fines are trivial.

Last year the poaching vessel Thunder was arrested in Malaysia and released with millions of dollars of illegally caught fish, after paying a relatively small fine of $90,000 Australian dollars.

Meanwhile, today marks the 72nd day that the Bob Barker has been pursuing the Thunder; it is the longest continuous pursuit of a poaching vessel in maritime history. The Sam Simon has successfully reported to authorities in Mauritius with 72 kilometers of gill net seized from the Thunder. An international investigation is underway. Sea Shepherd has the documentation and the evidence and Sea Shepherd has no intention of allowing the Thunder to escape.

The crew of the Bob Barker have observed and documented the Thunder destroying evidence by burning their nets and buoys. The two vessels continue to drift in a stand-off some 750 miles off the coast of Madagascar.

Read more: Sea Shepherd Commends Australian Boarding of Poaching Vessel: Now Calls For Arrest

Categories: Community

Buying shirts online

Daniel Bowen - Fri, 27/02/2015 - 21:25

As I’ve noted in the past, I no longer wear ties to work, and have a range of different shirts.

Apart from regularly stocking up with Van Heusen and Gloweave shirts when the sales are on, I’ve been trying out Charles Tyrwhitt shirts — you know, the online shirt company that at one stage seemed to be placing endless ads in newspapers.

Some observations on Tyrwhitt shirts:

The orders have come through within about a week. Be aware that once you order from them, you will receive a truly incredible amount of advertising in the mail from them.

The quality seems quite nice. The 40/41 neck, regular sleeve length, slim fit seems to fit me well. They also do an extra slim version which I suspect wouldn’t sit on my slightly pudgy body so well. Classic fit is also okay, but I prefer the slim fit.

Charles Tyrwhitt shirt label

Despite proudly boasting their Britishness on all their literature, and pointing out items in the catalogues that are made in the UK, none of the shirts I’ve bought from them have clearly stated where they are made on the packaging or labels.

And despite appearing at first glance to be steeped in the tailoring tradition of Jermyn Street, London, they have only been around since 1986. Mind you, that’s still almost thirty years.

My most recent order was made when I probably wasn’t paying enough attention — I accidentally bought two of the identical white with blue stripes design. Whoops, But given Karl Stefanovic’s little experiment wearing the same suit on TV for a year, which went unnoticed, I doubt it’ll be a problem.

It appears that Tyrwhitt takes the Kathmandu approach to specials, but moreso. Basically nobody in their right mind would pay full price if they can possibly avoid it. Shirts evidently go on sale at full price for a while, then are heavily discounted down to a more “real” price, which most people end up paying. As Wikipedia notes: Tyrwhitt uses a high MSRP, high discount model (also called high-low pricing).

That said, the strategy has me sucked in. I’m happy to pay $35-40 for a good shirt. You could pay a lot more, though I suspect you’d get better quality.

I’d be more reluctant buying other items such as suits and shoes from them, given sizing issues, though I have bought a few pairs of shoes from Florsheim online, as they seem to be pretty consistent in their sizing (and I hate shoe shopping).

But I’ve been happy with the shirts I’ve ordered from Tyrwhitt, and will keep using them.

Categories: Community

Sea Shepherd Commends Australian Boarding of Poaching Vessel: Now Calls For Arrest

Sea Shepherd - Fri, 27/02/2015 - 21:20
Sea Shepherd Commends Australian Boarding of Poaching Vessel: Now Calls For Arrest

 Jeff WirthKunlun dangerously crosses the bow
of the Sam Simon, after it was intercepted
by the Sea Shepherd ship in February.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff WirthSea Shepherd has responded to news that Australian customs have boarded the Interpol-wanted poaching vessel, Kunlun, commending border patrol for their action, and calling on the arrest of the wanted poaching vessel.

The Kunlun was intercepted west of Cocos Island (Keeling) yesterday. Sea Shepherd suspects the vessel was en route from the Antarctic to Southeast Asia to offload its illegal catch.

The Kunlun has a long history of illegal fishing activity. As well as being included on the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) blacklist of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing vessels, just last month the vessel was issued with an Interpol Purple Notice after it was caught fishing illegally in Australian waters in the Southern Ocean by the New Zealand Navy.

On February 2, the Kunlun was intercepted by the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon, again inside Australian waters. The Sam Simon then pursued the vessel out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker said, “The Kunlun was first intercepted by the New Zealand Navy in Australian waters in January, fishing illegally. Two weeks later, it was still fishing illegally until shut-down by the Sam Simon. The evidence against the Kunlun is overwhelming – we have the images, we have the video and now Australian Customs and Border Protection have the opportunity to seize the illicit catch. We commend the Australian government for boarding the Kunlun. Australia has every right to arrest this poaching vessel and we now expect to see it brought to the nearest Australian port to see justice done”.

Captain Sid Chakravarty of the Sam Simon said, “For the past three months, the Australian government has claimed that taking port action against toothfish poachers is more effective that patrolling. It is encouraging to see that they have changed their tune. We've seen the Australian government take its leadership in the Southern Ocean seriously when they took Japan to the International Court of Justice on the issue of whaling. We now need strong action from Australia to show that illegal fishing will not be tolerated in the Southern Ocean, and that the only action that will see an end to the Kunlun's poaching career is arrest and seizure at sea.”

The Kunlun is one of six vessels that are known to still engage in IUU fishing for Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean.

The Bob Barker is currently engaged in a record-breaking pursuit of the most notorious of the six vessels, the Nigerian-flagged Thunder, after it was intercepted on the Banzare Bank in Antarctica on December 17.

The outlaw poaching vessels are the focus of Sea Shepherd's current Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, Operation Icefish.

Commencing in December last year, Operation Icefish is Sea Shepherd’s 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign and the first to target IUU toothfish fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica.

 Jeff WirthThe Sam Simon pursued Kunlun out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Jeff Wirth  Giacomo GiorgiaSea Shepherd calls on the arrest
of the Interpol-wanted Kunlun.
Photo: Sea Shepherd / Giacomo Giorgia
Categories: Community

Listen mate, do you want to see the game or don’t you?

Club Troppo - Fri, 27/02/2015 - 15:23
Negus

My one remaining lobster cartoon saved from the flames

I once drew a whole book of cartoons featuring lobsters in various socially awkward situations. One of my favourites was of a lobster trying to get into Princes Park Football Ground (when I drew the cartoon it was the mid 80s and I was living across the road from the ground and I used to go there for last quarters when there was nothing else doing). Anyway in the cartoon, after a goodly wait in the queue, the lobster is confronted by a sign that says “Adults $5, Children $2, Lobsters $27.95. The lobster says “Fair go mate”. Out of the darkness of the box office comes the voice of the attendant. “Listen mate, do you want to see the game or don’t you?” This may not amuse you but I’m afraid it amused me then and it amuses me now.

Anyway many years later I was at Grand Central Station in New York City and talking to a lady behind a grill in a booth selling train tickets. New York is an animated place. It’s got a Jewish sensibility, and though I’m not Jewish my father was Jewish (though not observant or believing) and so half my relatives were Jewish. (Rather more of that side of the family got murdered than my Mum’s side of the family, but then a fair share of them didn’t talk to Mum after she married a Jew and she didn’t speak to them, so that evened things up.)

In New York, as in many cultures – I think this is broadly true across lots of the US and Europe – one can quite vigorously contest things with people – in a good spirit – without things turning nasty. I was sensing this while I was speaking to this lady. There was no train to Philadelphia that evening even though there were three trains to Washington and the relevant train-line went through Philadelphia.  So said to her in an animated way “What are you telling me? That there’s no train to Philadelphia when there are three trains to DC?” You can probably imagine Jerry Seinfeld speaking in a similar way, or Woody Allen or someone similar.

She shrugged and sympathised saying in her NY Jewish(ish) accent “Yeah it’s crazy isn’t it?” with a mutually shared bemused and amused resignation.  I thought about this conversation and my cartoon and realised that I wouldn’t have said those things in that way in Australia – because had I done so it was very likely the person behind the grill would have got shirty with me “Listen mate, I don’t make the rules around here, now do you want to get to Philadelphia or don’t you?”  Now I like Australia a lot, but really this is about the worst place in the world for that kind of low level policing of a certain kind of conformity and hostility to contest, for the alacrity with which people take personal offence and get surly when challenged.

I thought of all this earlier this week when I organised a dinner for ten with a visiting American. When it came to time to pay the bill the waiter insisted that the restaurant wouldn’t split the bill. I told them, starting nicely, that that was going to be too bad for the restaurant because we were only going to pay the bill as a split bill, but that we would make it easy and split it evenly at $50 each. The waiter dug in and finally one of us rang the owner who was a friend. Even at this going over the waiter’s head, he didn’t budge from his demand. Our American visitor was much better than me in this situation and simply politely told the guy the way it was going to be and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Anyway, it occurred to me that the ‘no split bills’ nonsense is another manifestation of this national characteristic of keeping our heads down and conforming with the group. I asked the American visitor if he knew of the practice elsewhere. He said he was unaware of it in the US. I wonder if it exists anywhere else?

Facts, reflections, lobsters please.

Categories: Community

Malaysia: Socialist leader released on court orders after arrest for 'sedition'

Links International - Fri, 27/02/2015 - 04:02

By Peter Boyle

February 27, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On February 19, 15 policemen descended on the home of Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) general secretary S. Arutchelvan (Arul) in Kajang, a suburban satellite of the capital city Kuala Lumpur.

They detained him under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act for a statement he issued by the PSM on February 10 after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on a sodomy charge.

Demonstrations for his release began immediately outside the police station where he was held and late in the evening on February 20 he was released on the orders of a magistrate. The PSM and others are campaigning for the repeal of the colonial-era Sedition Act and for the release of Anwar Ibrahim.

Arul gave Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal this interview via email on February 26.

* * *

What is your legal situation now? Are you charged with sedition or only still being investigated?

I am not charged yet. The police want two weeks to process the information on my mobile phone, modem and laptop -- which they confiscated -- before they decide. It will again be a political decision, I believe.

read more

Categories: Community

David Renton: Learning to think like a revolutionary

Links International - Fri, 27/02/2015 - 03:07

Syriza election reaction Italy

By David Renton

February 23, 2015 -- Lives; running, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- When I was young, I used to believe that I knew what a revolution would look like.

It would begin with a bitterly unpopular government and a political system which allowed no space for dissent to be expressed. Anger with the government would rise and, with it, popular organisation, until the will of the people would be like a great wave of water overwhelming every wall put up by the enemy. An alternative revolutionary government would be formed; it would derive its support from the workers, winning other classes to their side because of the wholly principled way in which it would deal with every social question.

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Categories: Community

Tres españolas en Australia, and why Beatriz Recari is “a little bit Korean”

The Northern Myth - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 21:08

This is a guest post by Martin Hardie, a lawyer who likes messing about in boats and hitting little white balls with a stick. It was originally published in the Spanish daily El Pais.

Life as a professional golfer is not all glory. Far from the multi-million dollar smiles of American TV Spain’s latest addition the Ladies European Tour, Mireia Prat, has been living the life of a golfing backpacker for the last month in Australia. With a small suitcase and her golf bag Mireia has been billeted by golfing families around the country in her quest to play in some of the antipodes largest women’s golfing events.

Three weeks ago and a few days after the peloton fanned out into an echelon along the road that runs through the crest of the dunes stretching away from Cadel Evan’s home at Barwon Heads on the windy Victorian coast, Mireia was teeing off in the Victorian Open at the 13th Beach links.

Unique in the golfing world the thirty six holes at 13th Beach allows the Victorian Open runs its women’s and men’s championships over the same four days.

Two years ago Mireia finished fifth and set the course record for the Beach course. Nestled in the dunes behind the beach the course is typified by its undulations. All the trees appear bent over as if in prayer seeking shelter from the prevailing wind that blows across from the Southern ocean and the cold of the Antarctic. Even in summer the wind carries its bite.

Mireia started well but her first round as a LET professional came apart when she found herself on the edge of a bunker and under one of those hunchbacked trees. Her only way out was sideways, deeper into the savage rough and sand. She missed the cut by a shot but was philosophical about it and back at work the next day on the practice range before heading north to Queensland and the Australian Ladies Masters.

Mireia didn’t qualify for the Australian Women’s Open played on Dr Alister McKenzie’s beautiful but brutal hell known as Royal Melbourne.

Carved out of the grey sand and tea tree scrub of Melbourne’s sand belt, Royal Melbourne is for many, such as 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and his golf course design partner, former pro, Michael Clayton, one of, if not the best course in the world.

It is a classic McKenzie risk-and-reward design but when the wind blows it becomes savage, its greens some of the hardest and fastest to be found anywhere. Such is its reputation that when Lee Trevino finished third here in 1974 with a score of nine over par he said “… take a picture of me going out the gate because you won’t ever see me coming back in.

While on some days this year there were complaints of slow play Clayton reminded us all that Royal Melbourne is a slow course to play – the undulating fairways, the wind, the swales and the roller coaster lightning fast greens.

Both Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari expressed their admiration for Royal Melbourne’s design and beauty.

Beatriz Recari was on side with Clayton:

“It is a tough course, you will have a 4 metre putt and it will break in four directions, you have to think and plan to play this course … but I love playing here, it is a great test’.

Mozo agreed that the course is very different to anything that they play on the LPGA Tour in the US. “It’s a links course and you have to hit good shots … and I didn’t play well’. Mozo recognises that “You have to fall down to stand up again … there are more tournaments to come” for her and that this coming week in Thailand is one of them.

Belen’s style on the course is open and chatty. On the tee her and brother Jesus talk a lot, as only Spaniards can. “A half 7 or a full 8″ advises Jesus on the short but treacherous par 3 5th, “An 8 no way” back and forth whilst her playing partner, the Canadian Lorri Kane, smiles and wonders what they are discussing.

She hits the shot, a 7 iron with her hands down the grip, and it scuttles off the concrete-like putting surface and off the back of the green “Oh not there!” she exhales out aloud.

But even as her tournament is falling apart Belen drifts between having her head in her hands to sharing her drinks with three senoras who have come to see her play “I am here on holidays” one tells me, “from Cadiz, I am a good friend of her mother.” Seeing them suffering from the 30 degree heat which in Melbourne always feels so much more, Belen kisses and hands them all cold drinks reserved for the players.

Nothing could be further from the style of Beatriz Recari. Nothing could be further away from the vision the world possesses of Spanish golf firmly entrenched as it is in the flamboyance of Seve than Recari. Someone asked me who I was going to follow on the final day and I told him Recari. “She’s not much fun” he said. Listening to the gallery one hears the talk, “That is a tough woman,” says one. “She hasn’t smiled in four days” says another.

But to observe Recari at work is at the same time to be entranced and to enter another world.

Recari played steady, in fact great, golf every day. Only eleven players finished under par, and Recari was just behind at one over. She constantly peppered the flag with her irons, missing only one green on the final day, a miscalculation caused by a strengthening gust of wind. “I don’t know if I am intense,” she tells me after the final round, “I don’t like to show emotion on the golf course … sure I am Spanish but out there I try to keep my emotions under control.”

Recari’s strength is physical as well as mental. She takes the advice of the mythical and mystical Scottish professional Shivas Irons to the extreme. “The game is made for the walking,” he said.

Recari runs off the tee, before settling into a determined march to her ball, always ahead of her playing partners and caddy, whom it appears she only talks to looking back. Otherwise her eyes are always forward focussed upon what is to come.

Each shot is preceded by exactly 8 seconds of visualisation before taking her stance, followed by another 8 exact seconds over the ball.

Here she again seems to channel Shivas Irons, the muscles in her legs joining in communion with the earth to find her ‘true gravity’–Irons’s term for tapping into the deeper structure of the universe. She then swings and the balls soars with a feint right to left draw always it seems finding its target. This week it was only the greens that kept her out of contention, so many times her ball finished hanging on the edge of the hole denying her much-needed eagles and birdies.

Recari is maybe, as one observer said to me, “A little bit Korean,” a reference to her intense focus and drive on the course. It’s a reference that appealed to her: “I take that as a compliment,” she said, “they are great players, they win.”

However, unlike the Koreans, she doesn’t smile, despite her beauty there is no glamour, she barely acknowledges the crowd or her playing partners. Her conversations with her caddy and short and almost monosyllabic. There is no emotion, she is machine-like, but it is highly effective.

She has the emotionless killer instinct of another of her Navarran countrymen, a silent methodical calculator. It struck me on the back nine that there are so many things about Recari on the course that are like Indurain on the bike. And both Recari and Indurain share something in common with a golfer of another time and legend, one that was often criticised for being insular and emotionless, a silent yogi in a world of his own on the course.

Recari has something of Ben Hogan’s determination. She may not embody glamour and smiles, she may not be approachable, but she has that quite emotionless inner strength–a little bit Korean but very much Indurain and Hogan–”Well thank you, they are two great people to be compared to … ” as she concludes and marches off to the airport and another week of work in Thailand.

==================

Photos from top: Beatriz Recari, Mireia Prat and Belen Mozo.

Categories: Community

Sea Shepherd Hands-Over Evidence of Thunder's Illegal Fishing to Authorities in Mauritius

Sea Shepherd - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 20:33
Sea Shepherd Hands-Over Evidence of Thunder's Illegal Fishing to Authorities in Mauritius

 Jeff WirthJust some of the 72 km of the Thunder's illegal gillnet that was confiscated by the Sam Simon.
Photo: Jeff WirthYesterday, the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon, handed-over evidence to authorities at Port Louis, Mauritius, of the illegal fishing activities of the Nigerian-flagged poaching vessel, Thunder.

The Thunder is the most notorious of the six remaining toothfish poaching vessels that are known to still engage in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean. In December 2013, the Thunder was issued with an Interpol purple notice for suspected illegal fishing activity, following a joint effort by New Zealand, Australian and Norwegian authorities.

For the past two months, Captain of the Sam Simon, Sid Chakravarty, has reported to authorities, including international policing agency Interpol, about the confiscation of the Thunder’s illegally-set gillnets. Authorities were also notified that the Sea Shepherd ship would be arriving in Mauritius to hand-over the gillnets as evidence to aid in the prosecution of the Thunder.

Upon docking in Port Louis, the Sam Simon was met by various Mauritian law enforcement agencies comprising of the Mauritius Police Force, the Coast Guard and the Fisheries Policing Agency.

Through the course of the day, the authorities conducted a rigorous inspection of the confiscated gear and met with Captain Chakravarty to establish a chain of custody for the gear being handed over as evidence.

Captain Chakravarty said, “It is evident from the proceedings that Interpol has issued a request to the Mauritian authorities to help in the investigation to prosecute the Thunder. The thorough and professional approach of the Mauritian authorities proves that local and international law enforcement authorities are taking the crimes of the Thunder seriously.”

He further added, “The Mauritian authorities have in one day done more to combat illegal fishing than the Australian government has done this entire season. It is definitely a wake-up call for Australia to dispatch a patrol vessel to clean out their Antarctic waters.”

The toothfish poaching vessels are the target of Sea Shepherd's 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign, Operation Icefish.

Since the commencement of Operation Icefish in December last year, the Sam Simon and fellow Sea Shepherd ship, the Bob Barker, have intercepted three of the six remaining outlaw vessels. In doing so, Sea Shepherd has saved the lives of countless marine creatures and has caused major disruptions to the profits of illegal fishing operators in Antarctica.

Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “Let it be known, we are here for the long haul. With Sam Simon handing over evidence of the Thunder's criminal operations to police in Mauritius, the Bob Barker is committed to escorting the Thunder to its next port and into the hands of the authorities. The interest shown by Interpol in this case gives us the utmost confidence that this vessel is nearing the end of its reign of terror and the issue of IUU fishing is finally gaining the attention it deserves.”

The Bob Barker intercepted the Thunder on December 17, 2014, on the Banzare Bank in Antarctica. The Thunder immediately fled from the Sea Shepherd ship, leaving behind thousands of metres of illegal fishing gear in the Southern Ocean.

Through poor weather and in the face of hostile actions by the poachers, the Bob Barker has maintained pursuit of the Thunder. The Sea Shepherd ship now enters day 71 of what has become a record-breaking, continuous chase of the poaching vessel.

On December 25 2014, the Sam Simon commenced retrieval operations to remove the illegal fishing gear abandoned by the Thunder. More than 72 kilometres of illegal gillnet was recovered over a three week period and over 1,400 fish, weighing a total of 45,000 kilograms, were returned to the ocean.

On February 2 2015, the Sam Simon intercepted another two poaching vessels, the Kunlun and the Yongding, in Australian waters in the Southern Ocean. The Sam Simon subsequently engaged in a pursuit of the Kunlun, chasing the poaching vessel out of its hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean.

Operation Icefish is Sea Shepherd’s first Southern Ocean Defence Campaign to target IUU fishing operators in the waters of Antarctica.

 Giacomo GiorgiThe Sam Simon docked in Port Louis, Mauritius.
Photo: Giacomo Giorgi  Jeff WirthCapt. Chakravarty and the crew of the Sam Simon hand-over confiscated gillnets to police in Mauritius.
Photo: Jeff Wirth
Categories: Community

Greece: ‘Another energy is possible’ -- SYRIZA committed to ‘ecological transformation’

Links International - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 13:37

For more on SYRIZA, click HERE

By Sean Sweeney

February 18, 2015 -- Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (USA), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- During its first days in office, SYRIZA has taken actions that suggest it is willing to confront the European Union’s neoliberal approach to energy and to embark on a new course. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also stated his government will restore collective bargaining agreements and stop 300,000 planned layoffs.

The SYRIZA government has said it will stop the proposed sell-off of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), which is 51% publicly owned but had been targeted for full-on privatisation in 2016. “We will halt immediately any privatisation of PPC”, energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Greek television a few hours before officially taking over his portfolio. “There will be a new PPC which will help considerably the restoration of the country’s productive activities”, he said.

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Categories: Community

European Left: Greece bridging agreement first step to ending austerity

Links International - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 13:04
The Party of the European Left said: 'We are continuing to follow our work of rallying together all over Europe against austerity'.

February 26, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The SYRIZA government's list of reforms, drawn up as part of its temporary four-month loan extension deal, was accepted by the Eurogroup on February 24.

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Categories: Community

On Democracy: Against elections

Club Troppo - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 13:01

Some readers of this blog with know my preoccupation with the shortcomings of Vox Pop Democracy. Here are some aphorisms from David Van Reybrouck who’s book Against elections does not appear to have been translated out of Dutch at this stage. They offer some interesting ways of understanding the difference between deliberative and representative democracy.

1. Democracy is not meant to make people happy, it is meant to teach people how to be unhappy.
2. Democracy is not meant to be exciting, but to be boring.
3. Democracy is not about solving conflict, it is about learning to live with conflict. (Luc Huyse)
4. A world in which conflicts are constantly being minimized is not a democracy, it is utopia.
5. A world in which conflicts are constantly being maximized is not a democracy, it is hysteria.
6. A world in which conflicts are valued as sources of insight into each other nurtures the culture of democracy.
7. Of all political systems, democracy is the one that celebrates conflict the most.
8. Democracy is not about consensus, it is about conflict.
9. A world in which conflicts are being dealt with before they turn into violence fosters the culture of democracy.
10. A world in which conflicts are neither buried nor blown up is in the process of becoming democratic.
11. Democracy is an early harvest of what otherwise would grow into war.
12. In order to remain democratic, the pursuit of happiness should go hand in hand with the acceptance of unhappiness.
13. Happy the society whose inhabitants are all slightly unhappy, for this may betray the culture of democracy.
14. Democracy is about the even distribution of unhappiness. This is its utopian ideal. In the absence of its full realisation, it teaches people to be moderately happy about their moderate unhappiness.
15. Democracy is government of the people (tick), for the people (tick), by the people (question mark).
16. Universal suffrage does not suffice to allow us to speak of ‘government by the people’.
17. If elections once belonged to the nature of aristocracy, universal suffrage was only a form of ‘quantitative democratisation’, not ‘qualitative democratisation’ (Bernard Manin). People got a right to vote, not to speak.
18. The person who casts his or her vote, casts it away. This is called: the principle of delegation. The only way of reclaiming that vote, is by sanctioning candidates at the next election.
19. Today, people despise the elected, but worship the elections. This is wrong: rather than being upset about politicians, parties and parliaments, they should be upset about the electoral
mechanism.
20. For the very first time in the history of representative government, the weight of the next election has become bigger than the weight of the previous election. The danger of the sanction has become bigger than the power of the delegation.
21. The theory of electoral democracy: let the past push the present (delegation). The practice of electoral democracy: the future hinders the present (sanction). This cripples action. We are being ruled by a misty void. This void is not the future, but the fear of the future.
22. Elections are not only outdated as a democratic procedure, they were never meant to be democratic in the first place. Elections were invented to stop the danger of democracy. This is not
blasphemy, but history.
23. Three thousand years of experimenting with democracy, and only two hundred years of playing with elections: and yet, we believe that elections are sacred.
24. There is nothing sacred about elections. They are only procedures, aristocratic procedures that people have tried to democratize, with considerable success, over the past two centuries.
25. There is nothing sacred about ‘one man, one vote’. It is only the historically contingent expression of a deeper democratic concern: the equal distribution of political chances.
26. If democracy is government through debate, electoral democracy is fairly mute: citizens wait, citizens listen, citizens cast their vote, citizens wait again.
27. In a world that is becoming increasingly horizontal, elections are an obsolete vestige of more vertical times.
28. In a world where information spins fast, voting once every four years is no longer enough.
29. In a world where technology empowers people, citizens not only want to vote, but voice their opinions, too.
30. Democracy through periodic delegation and sanction is rapidly loosing its legitimacy.
31. In a communication society like ours, it is natural that people want to engage in public discussion on the future of their society, it is positive that they want to take part in collective affairs and help shape the future of their communities.
32. People have the right to vote, they now ask for the right to speak.
33. How should the right to speak be organized? We have to avoid that only those with money, degrees and contacts get heard. We should not repeat the mistakes from the past: a new democracy should never become an elitist democracy.
34. The right to speak should be evenly distributed. The best way to do so is by sortition, i.e. by random sampling.
35. Sortition is the blind selection procedure by which a random sample of a population is drafted in order to get an adequate representation of that population.
36. If elections create representation on the basis of virtue, sortition creates representation on the basis of equality.
37. Both have their advantages: elections may guarantee more competences, sortition guarantees more freedom. Those who are drafted have to rotate after a while, their decisions will not be influenced by the need for reelection.
38. Two key notions for elections: delegation and sanction. Two key notions for sortition: equality and rotation.
39. If democracy is about the equal distribution of political chances, sortition guarantees that everybody has the same chance of being selected.
40. ‘One man, one vote’ now becomes ‘One person, one chance’.
41. Sortition is commonly used in contemporary democracies: it forms the basis of the entire polling business.
42. Opinion polls measure what people think when they don’t think; it would be much more interesting to know what they think when they had a chance to think (James Fishkin).
43. Giving a random sample of people a chance to think by letting them talking to each other and to experts and by giving them time to get at their own conclusions is the very nature of deliberative democracy.
44. Deliberative democracy is not about voting but about talking; it is not about avoiding conflict but about embracing it; it is not about consensus but dissensus.
45. Because deliberative democracy is both about the pursuit of happiness and the acceptance of unhappiness, it is a much needed complement to classical electoral democracy

Categories: Community

ALBA after ten years

Links International - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 02:37
ALBA By John Riddell

February 23, 2015 --  Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The following talk was given at a celebration of ALBA in Toronto, February 21, 2015.

* * *

Today we celebrate a decade of achievement of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA). For 10 years ALBA has stood on the world stage as a defender of peace, solidarity and popular sovereignty.

Before ALBA, Cuba stood alone for many years against the U.S.-led empire. But through ALBA, an alliance of countries, with wide influence and many friends among governments and peoples, now challenges imperialism on a range of issues. While representing only a few small and poor countries, ALBA exercises great moral authority and carries weight in world affairs. ALBA is the most effective international alliance based on solidarity in modern history.

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Categories: Community

Daniel Ellsberg on life and groupthink

Club Troppo - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 01:52

HT Paul Monk who cites this as one of his favourite passages. It’s now one of mine. And a nice explanation of how easy it is – whether within an organisation or the caverns of one’s own riotous psyche - to slip into the pathologies of groupthink and self-deception. Somehow this doesn’t quite get the emphasis it should (if it gets any at all) in schools of management and/or government.

The urgent need to circumvent the lying and the self-deception was, for me, one of the ‘lessons of Vietnam’; a broader one was that there were situations – Vietnam was an example – in which the US Government, starting ignorant, did not, would not, learn. There was a whole set of what amounted to institutional anti-learning mechanisms working to preserve and guarantee unadaptive and unsuccessful behaviour: the fast turnover in personnel; the lack of institutional memory at any level; the failure to study history, to analyse or even record operational experience or mistakes; the effective pressures for optimistically false reporting at every level, for describing ‘progress’ rather than problems or failure, thus concealing the very need for change in approach or for learning. Well, helping the US Government learn – in this case learn how to learn – was something, perhaps, I could do; that had been my business.

Daniel Ellsberg Papers on the War, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1972, p. 18.

Categories: Community

Sea Shepherd Billboard in New York City Spreads Mass Awareness of Taiji’s Dolphin Slaughter

Sea Shepherd - Wed, 25/02/2015 - 23:44
Sea Shepherd Billboard in New York City Spreads Mass Awareness of Taiji’s Dolphin Slaughter

A Generous Dolphin Advocate and Sea Shepherd Supporter has Donated the Billboard in Support of Sea Shepherd’s Annual Operation Infinite Patience Campaign in Taiji

Sea Shepherd billboard, made possible by supporter Marnie McBryde, goes up in New York City to raise awareness about Taiji dolphin slaughterSea Shepherd billboard, made possible by supporter Marnie McBryde, goes up in New York City
to raise awareness about Taiji dolphin slaughter
Credit: OUTFRONT Media

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first brought the brutal dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan to the world’s attention in 2003, and each year since 2010, Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians have been on the ground in that tiny fishing village to document the capture and slaughter of wild, migrating dolphins throughout the six-month drive hunt season. Today, Feb. 25, a billboard made possible by a generous Sea Shepherd supporter has gone up on the busy Long Island Expressway, and will spread further vital awareness of this shocking massacre of ocean wildlife to more than a million people over the course of the next month.

Marnie McBryde, a passionate advocate for dolphins and supporter of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Infinite Patience campaign in Taiji, was haunted by the livestream of every dolphin capture and every kill reported by Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians — so much so that she took the initiative to do something about it. Having lived in Japan for a decade, she knows the people and the culture well. She knows that bringing outside pressure to bear is the only thing that will eventually stop the hunts. So McBryde decided to donate a billboard, which can now be seen on the Long Island Expressway at Van Dam Street, facing west (visible to eastbound traffic). An iconic image of the hunt captured by Sea Shepherd in 2003 showing the blood-red waters of the cove and Taiji’s killers loading the lifeless bodies of dead dolphins into a skiff, is unmistakable on the large sign. The billboard’s simple but loud-and-clear message reads, “Japan’s Shame: Stop Killing Dolphins!” Sea Shepherd’s hashtag #tweet4taiji, which spreads widely over social media with Cove Guardian updates from Taiji during every capture and slaughter, is also displayed in the hope of engaging the masses to help spread the word about the ongoing kidnapping and massacre of innocent, wild dolphins.

As the 2014-2015 hunt season draws to a close (the hunt typically spans from Sept. 1 to the beginning of March each year), the billboard serves as a timely reminder that though Taiji’s killers will soon put down their bloody spikes used to inhumanely sever a dolphin’s spinal cord, the suffering will continue for the dolphins torn from the ocean in Taiji this season to be sold for captivity to aquariums and marine parks in Japan or around the world. It is also a clear reminder to Japan that if and when Taiji’s slaughter resumes in September, Sea Shepherd’s relentless Cove Guardians will once again be standing watch along the shores of the cove with infinite patience. We will continue to return to Taiji until the slaughter ends.

“As Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians prepare for the end of another grueling season, witnessing the horrors that unfold day in and day out in the cove, this billboard has gone up in New York City, where more than a million individuals will see the reality of what the Taiji dolphin killers try so hard to hide under tarps,” said Sea Shepherd Senior Cove Guardian Campaign Leader and Coordinator, Melissa Sehgal. “We are so very grateful to Marnie for her donation that made this billboard a possibility for the dolphins and for Sea Shepherd. She is giving an important voice to the pods killed in Taiji this year as well as the captured dolphins who still face lives of imprisonment in tanks.”

For a staggering six months of each year, from September 1 until March, entire families of dolphins and small whales are driven into Taiji’s killing cove. Once netted within the shallow waters of the cove, their fate is sealed and the members of these doomed, frightened pods will face either imprisonment in captivity or brutal slaughter before the eyes of their families. Killers and trainers work side-by-side to select the “prettiest” dolphins and whales, those without visible scars, for captivity. The others are mercilessly stabbed with a metal spike hammered into their backs, just behind the blowhole, to sever their spine. The dolphins slowly and painfully bleed to death or drown in the blood of their family—others may die as they are dragged to the butcherhouse, where the once wild and free cetaceans are processed into meat for human consumption, despite being heavily contaminated with mercury and other toxins. These inhumane killings would not be allowed in any slaughterhouse in the world. Japan refuses to sign on to many protection efforts and regulations for marine mammals, despite most of the world recognizing the need to protect these self-aware, beloved and imperiled animals.

In 2010, Sea Shepherd established Operation Infinite Patience and our volunteer Cove Guardians took up positions alongside the cove to document, report and live stream these atrocities in the hope of capturing attention to bring pressure to bear to stop these barbaric acts. Sea Shepherd is the only organization to have a team on the ground in Taiji each day throughout the entire six-month killing season, and the only group who live streams every capture and every kill for the world to see. Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will not stop shining a light on this atrocity until the slaughter ends.

Cove Guardians Visit our
Cove Guardians
site for more information.
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