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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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NYT Acknowledges Coup in Bolivia--While Shirking Blame for Its Supporting Role

JULY 8, 2020


NYT Acknowledges Coup in Bolivia—While Shirking Blame for Its Supporting Role

The New York Times (6/7/20) declared that an Organization of American States (OAS) report alleging fraud in the 2019 Bolivian presidential elections—which was used as justification for a bloody, authoritarian coup d’etat in November 2019—was fundamentally flawed.

The Times reported the findings of a new study by independent researchers; the Times brags of contributing to it by sharing data it “obtained from Bolivian electoral authorities,” though this data has been publicly available since before the 2019 coup.

The article never uses the word “coup”—it says that President Evo Morales was “push[ed]…from power with military support”—but it does acknowledge that “seven months after Mr. Morales’s downfall, Bolivia has no elected government and no official election date”:

A staunchly right-wing caretaker government, led by Jeanine Añez…has not yet fulfilled its mandate to oversee swift new elections. The new government has persecuted the former president’s supporters, stifled dissent and worked to cement its hold on power.

“Thank God for the New York Times for letting us know,” must think at least some casual readers, who trust the paper’s regular criticism of rising authoritarianism within the US—perhaps adding, “Well, I guess it’s too late to do anything about Bolivia now.”


Nigeria: 11-year old dancer challenges ballet stereotypes

A recent video of 11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu dancing in the rain went viral with the likes of Hollywood superstar Viola Davis and other celebrities sharing the video.

Anthony is one of the 12 students at the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos.

The academy, founded in 2015, is the brainchild of Daniel Ajala Owoseni who has been been teaching ballet for free without a dance space.

- video at link -


How Cuba and Uruguay are quashing coronavirus as neighbours struggle

HEALTH 3 July 2020
By Luke Taylor

Nurse Yosian Diago checks door-to-door for people with symptoms of covid-19 in Havana, Cuba, in June
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters/PA Images

As coronavirus cases soar in the US, Brazil and other countries in the Americas, some countries have found strategies to contain the virus and limit deaths.

More than 5 million confirmed cases of covid-19 and nearly 250,000 related deaths have been reported in the Americas as of 29 June, around half of the world total. The coronavirus is spreading exponentially in many countries, warned Carissa Etienne, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on 9 June.

But in a few places, the picture is very different. Cuba, an island of 11.3 million people is an unlikely exemplar of how to manage a pandemic, according to Michael Bustamante at Florida International University. Its infamously long queues for state-provided goods make social distancing and self-isolation difficult, he says, and the country’s healthcare system, “suffers from scarcities and material shortages that are characteristic of the Cuban economy as a whole”.

. . .

What the health system lacks in materials, it makes up for in workforce – it has the highest doctor-per-patient ratio in the world, 8.19 per 1000. By comparison, Brazil has 2.15, and the US 2.6.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2247740-how-cuba-and-uruguay-are-quashing-coronavirus-as-neighbours-struggle/#ixzz6Rb9jJpWk

During Mercosur Summit Argentina's Fernandez Ratifies his Rejection of the De Facto Regime in Bolivi

July 4, 2020

In the framework of the virtual summit of Mercosur, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, made evident his distancing from and disagreement with the de facto government of Bolivia, chaired by Jeanine Añez, with the simple and notorious gesture of abandoning the videoconference in the just moment when Añez spoke, irrefutable proof that there is an important gap in the relations of both governments and a fracture within Mercosur.

“The TV coverage in Argentina was turned off just after Uruguay’s Luis Lacalle Pou finished speaking and the provisional president of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez, was just beginning to speak,” says the right wing Clarín website.

In the same way, the conservative outlet describes the action as “a disrespect” by President Fernández, adding that the leader “rose from the plenary session because he considered Bolivia to be a de facto government”, that is, a government that was implanted after force, violence, death and not by democratic and electoral means, as the people and the constitution mandates.



The Indigenous Peruvian Trap Music of Renata Flores

posted by Jason Kottke Jul 07, 2020

Quechua is an indigenous language family spoken by millions of people in the Andean region of South America, primarily in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. It was the main language of the Inca empire and today is the most widely spoken pre-Columbian language in the Americas. In her music, Peruvian singer/songwriter Renata Flores combines modern forms like hip hop, electronic, and trap music with native instruments and vocals sung in Quechua. Here’s the video for one of her most popular songs, Tijeras:

Flores also does covers of pop songs (Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, Fallin’ by Alicia Keys) and
she first captured people’s online attention with a Quechua cover of Michael Jackson’s
The Way You Make Me Feel performed when she was 14 years old:

Rosa Chávez Yacila wrote an article for Vice about Flores and her music last year.
Her use of Quechua in pop music brought the language out of private spaces into the


(No one should be able to obscure the real reason: the descendants of the original invaders, slavers, genocidal power-mad racist Europeans have ALWAYS hated, and violently abused the remaining indigenous people of the Americas, from the Artic to the southernmost tip of Chile. They have ALL taken abuse, and have lived being treated as trash every day of their lives. In Bolivia, the Inca indigenous people are often referred to as "fu##ing Indians", "llama abortions" and anything else they have handy.

THAT'S why they have felt inferior, and despised all this time.

Long past time the racists got it all stacked back on them, forever. They are vicious idiots.

Renata is courageous.

Brazil shocked by woman held as a slave for years at family mansion

JULY 6, 2020 / 3:39 PM / UPDATED 15 HOURS AGO
Brazil shocked by woman held as a slave for years at family mansion
Fabio Teixeira

RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The discovery of a domestic worker kept as a slave in a mansion in a wealthy part of Sao Paulo for years has shocked Brazil, with labor prosecutors seeking a large R$1 million ($190,000) in damages as the case moved to court.

The 61-year-old woman rescued by labor authorities last month worked for the same family since 1998, and was found living in a storage shed outside the mansion. Labor authorities asked for the name of the Brazilian woman to not be shared.

Court documents said for months on end the woman was not allowed into the mansion, slept on a couch, and had to use a bucket for a toilet. She depended on a neighbor for food and other basics and did not have a vacation day in 22 years.

The couple who live in the house, Mariah Corazza Barreto Ustundag and her husband Dora Ustandag, and Sonia Regina Corazza, Mariah’s mother and owner of the property, were charged with keeping a worker in slave like conditions.

. . .

The rescue shocked Brazilians with many taking to social media where Mariah Ustundag was identified as an executive for Avon. She was fired by the beauty company on June 26, Avon said.

Avon said that they will provide assistance to the victim.

“The Avon Institute ... decided to provide support to the victim, with psychological assistance, payment of one year’s rent in a location chosen by her and the purchase of household items,” the company said in a statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

. . .

Last year Brazilian labor inspectors found 1,054 workers in slavery like conditions. In the past 25 years, more than 54,000 people were victims of slave labor.


This lady could use an angel.

Bodies of coronavirus victims are being dumped on the streets of Bolivia

Sian Elvin
Tuesday 7 Jul 2020 11:46 am

Bolivia is becoming overwhelmed with deaths from coronavirus as bodies are starting to pile up on its rubbish-strewn streets.

Funeral services in the city of Cochabamba, in the centre of the country, are overwhelmed as many bodies still need cremation or burial.

Cochabamba is one of the hardest cities hit in Bolivia, which is quickly becoming one of the new epicentres for the disease.

Authorities reported they collect between 14 and 23 corpses daily from homes or public spaces that are suspected of contracting Covid-19, but the causes of death are not immediately known.

. . .

The scenes of coffins or bodies lined with black plastic placed outside the houses in recent days seemed similar to those that occurred in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, which was hit hard at the start of the pandemic.

Read more:

The Trump-supported fascist coup is doing a heck of a job, isn't it? They didn't come prepared to govern, they only came to throw out the transformative indigenous President, Evo Morales.

Teen's coronavirus-themed prom dress made of duct tape is a work of art

By Kiely Westhoff, CNN

Updated 1:12 AM ET, Sun July 5, 2020

Illinois teen Peyton Manker made this dress out of duct tape for a scholarship competition.

(CNN)In January, 18-year-old Peyton Manker embarked on her journey to make a prom dress entirely out of duct tape for a contest to win a scholarship. After weeks of working on her submission, the Covid-19 outbreak not only canceled her prom but altered the course of her senior year.

Manker was not deterred by the fact that she would not get to wear her dress to prom. Instead, she felt inspired to create a dress that "documents a part of history."

Her coronavirus-themed dress features multiple images depicting life during the pandemic. Her vision for the dress began with wanting to capture her own experience. She represents her unforgettable senior year with a vibrant scene of students attending virtual graduation.

Manker's ideas evolved as the pandemic continued to impact people all over the world.


How Did Cahokian Farmers Feed North America's Largest Indigenous City?

Native American farming was more sophisticated than your history textbook told you.

MARCH 28, 2019

Monks Mound at Cahokia. ETHAJEK/PUBLIC DOMAIN

JUST OUTSIDE ST. LOUIS, VISITORS can witness the monumental earthen mounds that mark Cahokia, the largest indigenous city north of Mexico. There’s a persistent myth that the original inhabitants of what is now the United States were all hunter-gatherers living in small communities. Yet these mounds—likely used for ceremonial and housing purposes by people of the Mississippian Culture—reveal an often-neglected history: an organized, socially diverse, Pre-Columbian city.

Experts disagree about Cahokia’s exact population—and most other aspects of its society. Yet many archaeologists estimate that at its peak around the year 1100, Cahokia housed 10,000 to 20,000 people, with up to 50,000 inhabitants living in the surrounding area—a population size rivalling or surpassing concurrent European cities. Yet conventional theories of Native American agriculture, which is depicted as relatively non-productive and reliant on a classic trio of corn, squash, and beans, fail to account for a fundamental question: How did the Cahokians feed so many people?

Monks Mound at Cahokia. ETHAJEK/PUBLIC DOMAIN

Gayle Fritz has an answer. Archaeologists have long argued that Cahokians, like other indigenous North American cultures, relied heavily on corn. That’s true, says Fritz, a paleoethnobotanist and emeritus professor at Washington University in St. Louis. But in her new book, Feeding Cahokia, Fritz uses data from more recent seed flotation studies to argue that Cahokian crops were much more diverse than previously believed. This supports interpretations of Cahokia as a densely populated, prosperous city—and challenges older assumptions about the simplicity of Native American farming.

For hundreds of years, scholars argued that pre-Columbian North Americans did little to reshape the environment. In the past decades, however, more recent scholarship has argued that pre-Columbian American societies were not only equally or more sophisticated than those of the so-called Old World—but that indigenous people used large-scale agriculture to reshape the Americas into what Charles C. Mann, author of 1491, calls “the world’s largest garden.”

A 1887 illustration of Monks Mound. PUBLIC DOMAIN


The Coronavirus Is Bringing Back Aztec-Era "Floating Gardens"


Business is booming for farmers in Mexico City who plant on man-made islands.


In the south of Mexico City, about 100 miles of murky canals wind their way through the Xochimilco neighborhood. Here, the urban sprawl of one of the world’s densest cities yields to a lake region where indigenous farmers have been cultivating a unique system of floating gardens since pre-colonial times. Called chinampas, these floating gardens were built by the Aztecs to feed a growing population.

Xochimilco became one of the city’s main sources of food, but rapid urbanization in the 1900s meant less land available for farming. In 1985, when an earthquake struck Mexico City, many chinampas were abandoned as people who had lost their homes built shanty towns. Today, only an estimated 20 percent of the approximately 5,000 acres of chinampas are in use, and only 3 percent are used for farming.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Mexico, interrupting the industrial food supply in important ways, small farmers have increased production and rehabilitated abandoned chinampas to fill the demand for fresh, local food.

“We’re talking about something that’s 1,000 years old. We have to preserve this,” says Raúl Mondragón on a Zoom call from his home in Mexico City. Mondragón has been recuperating chinampas since 2016, when he founded Colectivo Ahuejote. Now the virus is revealing the strength of this model in the midst of a crisis.


~ ~ ~

7 APRIL, 2014 - 22:47 DHWTY
Chinampas, The Floating Gardens of Mexico

Human sacrifice. This is probably the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think about the Aztecs. However, there is much more to Aztec civilisation than this practice. By 1519, when the first Spanish conquistadors under Hernán Cortés landed in Mexico, the Aztecs were in control of an empire that was inhabited by a population of 5 to 6 million people. This large population meant that the exploitation of the landscape for agricultural purposes had to be intensified. This can be seen in the use of the chinampa agricultural system, the so-called ‘floating gardens’ which can be found on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico.

An a rtist’s impression of part of the canal network linking chinampas around Tenochtitlan. Photo source: Mexicolore

Although the origins of chinampa agriculture in the Valley of Mexico remain unclear, it is said to have been used throughout Mesoamerica centuries prior to the rise of the Aztecs. However, with the dawn of the Aztec Empire, a systematic programme of construction was carried out over a short period of time. This planning can be seen in the overall uniformity in chinampa size and orientation, as observed in aerial surveys. While the need to sustain large population provided prompted the Aztecs to undertake this massive project, its ability to organise manpower provided the means for its accomplishment.


Farmers on a trajinera, a traditional flat-bottomed river boat. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

How to Feed a Megacity Like the Aztecs
The chinampas that nourished Tenochtitlan may hold the key to better urban gardens.

WHEN CONQUISTADOR HERNÁN CORTÉS REACHED Tenochtitlan in 1519, he beheld a floating city. The temples and palaces of the Aztec capital gleamed white from an island in the middle of a vast lake, all spread under a searing blue sky. With an estimated population of 200,000, roughly the size of contemporary Paris, the city overflowed with people. Around the metropolis, an archipelago of lush islands emerged from the lake’s glassy surface, overflowing with plants.

These were the floating gardens, or chinampas, that fed the Aztec Empire. Constructed of layers of earth taken from the lake bottom, and held together by the tangled roots of diverse and rotating crops, chinampas are rich islands of soil that can produce up to seven harvests a year. The result of Aztec adaptations of earlier agricultural forms, chinampas’ efficiency has gained them UN recognition as a marvel of agricultural ingenuity.

Today, the parched asphalt streets of Mexico City—built on top of the filled-in lake that once bore Tecnochtitlan—show little trace of these lush Edens. But if you head to the southern borough of Xochimilco, where the cusp of the city touches the countryside, the landscape still bears an ancient crisscross of canals. Some of these chinampas have been in use since Aztec times. Most have been built and deconstructed again and again, part of a living current of agricultural knowledge flowing through centuries.

An early Spanish colonial document, the Florentine Codex, details chinampa agriculture in what is now Mexico. THE DIGITAL EDITION OF THE FLORENTINE CODEX/CC BY 3.0

“The way they are built is almost identical to the way they were built in pre-Columbian times,” says Roland Ebel, a Postgraduate Research Associate in Health and Human Development at Montana State University.
NOVEMBER 18, 2019


Many, many more photographs with articles:

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