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Glover, End “The War on Drugs”

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Colon
Another drug shipment waylaid in Colon. The drug war has been imposed on Latin America and the Caribbean, with no success to show after 50 years if one looks at the overall drug flow. Nixon’s War on Drugs turned out to be a war on people. President Biden should end it once and for all. Photo by Panama’s Policia Nacional.

50 years later, end the War on Drugs

by Ellen Glover — OtherWords

Fifty years ago this month, on June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a “full scale attack” on drug use. It was the beginning of the War on Drugs.

Nixon — and many presidents since — promised the War on Drugs would save lives. Trillions of dollars later, incarceration and preventable overdose deaths have skyrocketed and continue to rise.

After generations of broken lives, broken families, and broken dreams, we must end it now.

Nixon’s War on Drugs turned out to be a war on people. Once he saw there was no political benefit in drug treatment, he declared “an all-out war on the drug menace” with a federal Drug Enforcement Agency and stiffer penalties. This helped Nixon target his political enemies.

As White House advisor John Erlichman explained, “By getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.”

“Did we know we were lying about the drugs?” Erlichman asked. “Of course we did.”

Nixon’s “tough on crime” stance did not save his presidency, but his War on Drugs — and its disproportionate impacts on America’s poorest communities — continued. Leaders from Ronald Reagan to BIll Clinton and Joe Biden, when he was still a tough-on-crime senator from Delaware, have spent billions on this failed policy, knowing all it buys them is short-term political gain.

The DEA’s budget is $3.1 billion today, with many billions more spent on incarceration and military drug enforcement. Yet 2020 was the worst year in history for overdose deaths.

President Biden now tells us he wants to break from the failed policies of the past to improve the lives of regular people. He calls for green jobs and infrastructure, and expanded access to health care. Will he also, finally, call for an end to the War on Drugs, and invest in public health measures to save lives?

There is hope. In February, Biden’s Office on National Drug Control Policy announced top priorities including “enhancing evidence-based harm reduction efforts” and “confronting racial equity issues related to drug policy.”

This is a historic break from the “punish first” drug policies that have caused so much heartbreak. It came after People’s Action, a national grassroots network, led more than 200 drug and health-focused groups to call for an end to the War on Drugs in favor of evidence-based solutions rooted in racial and economic justice and compassion.

But words are not enough. President Biden needs to follow through on his campaign promises to decriminalize drug use and offer treatment to drug users. He should throw his full weight behind the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, so health care providers can prescribe treatments for addiction.

But President Biden’s approach to drug policy thus far has been one step forward, two steps back. He says he supports the best solutions, but retreats when he fears a political cost — like when he extended the blanket scheduling of fentanyl, which increases overdose deaths and imposes harsh penalties on users.

Does Biden have the courage it will take to truly end the War on Drugs?

Local communities aren’t waiting for an answer.

Vermont just became the first state to decriminalize small amounts of buprenorphine, a prescription drug that eases addiction. New York State just said it will no longer punish those who carry clean syringes. And in Portsmouth, Ohio, community members defeated their police department’s bid to buy a $256,000 armored tank, so that money can go towards saving lives.

But we need leadership from the top. President Biden, it’s time, once and for all, to end the War on Drugs and invest in the best public health strategies that will save lives. It’s up to you.

 

 

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The new Lazy Man’s Farm takes shape / La nueva Finca Perezoso toma forma

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marigolds
Marigolds keep a lot of the insects away. ~ Las maravillas mantienen alejados a muchos insectos. 

John Douglas’s new organic permaculture farm
La nueva granja de permacultura orgánica de John Douglas

fotos por / photos by John Douglas

  

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Near the house ~ Intensive ~ Small
This way there is less theft, less work to get to your garden and earlier warning of problems.

 

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A tipi of sorts upon which spinach grows.
Una especie de tipi sobre el que crecen las espinacas.

 

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“The secret is the waste.” Trash talk? It’s about recycling the organic debris into the soil, burning nothing.
¿Hablar vaina? Se trata de reciclar los desechos orgánicos en el suelo, sin quemar nada.

 

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“The problem is the solution. The problem with the mango. We control mangos. Collect water. From waste to compost. We gain a garden.”

 

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The magic circle. Dig a hole. In the middle of the bottom plant something bigger, like a papaya tree. Around the raised edges, plant smaller things, like otoes. Throw organic debris into the hold to fertilize the plants and enrich the soil.
El círculo mágico. Cavar un hueco. En el medio del fondo, planta algo más grande, como un árbol de papaya. Alrededor de los bordes elevados, plante cosas más pequeñas, como otoes. Eche desechos orgánicos en la bodega para abonar  a las plantas y enriquecer el suelo. 

 

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Organic: Lots of biodiversity and organic material. No bare soil. Don’t plow
.
 

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Se jubila la botánica Mireya Correa

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MC
Mireya Correa ha hecho contribuciones invaluables al campo de la botánica en Panamá, contribuyendo a la creación de los herbarios del país y capacitando a varias generaciones de botánicos. A través de su carrera, la profesora Mireya Correa ha publicado varios libros y guías sobre la flora panameña. Su más reciente fue Hierbas, bejucos y lianas en el Parque Natural Metropolitano de Panamá, junto a Carmen Galdames y Ernesto Campos-Pineda. Foto por SENACYT.

La botánica panameña, Mireya Correa, se retira de STRI

por STRI

Tras más de medio siglo entregada a su labor científica y docente, la profesora Mireya Correa deja tras de sí un extenso legado en la botánica panameña.

Cuando era niña, a Mireya Correa le llamaban mucho la atención las distintas plantas que su mamá y abuela tenían en casa. Por eso, cuando le insinuaron especializarse en zoología, durante su licenciatura en biología y química en la Universidad de Panamá en los años sesenta, ella admitió que prefería otro camino. Le interesaba mucho más el variado mundo de las plantas de Panamá.

Para especializarse en botánica, se aventuró fuera de su país. Estudió en la Universidad de Duke, en Estados Unidos. Una vez de regreso en Panamá, empezó a sumar años de experiencia laboral. Arrancó como botánica en el Tropical Test Center del ejército de los Estados Unidos en Panamá. Luego, a finales de los años sesenta, empezó su larga relación con la Universidad de Panamá, abriéndose paso en una esfera dominada por los hombres.

En ese tiempo, no tenía experiencia enseñando a estudiantes de licenciatura. Con frecuencia se desvelaba hasta las tres de la mañana, estudiando en preparación para sus clases.

“Yo tenía que estar mejor que mis estudiantes”, recuerda.

En paralelo se encargó de poner a andar y dirigir el herbario de la Universidad de Panamá, una iniciativa del doctor Octavio E. Sousa, director de la escuela de biología, y el doctor Walter Lewis, del Jardín Botánico de Missouri. Hoy en día este herbario mantiene más de 130 mil especímenes, la más grande colección de referencia en el país. Años después se encargaría también de dirigir el herbario del Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales (STRI).

Pero la vida de una botánica no se reduce a las aulas y herbarios. Gran parte de la vocación es salir al campo a buscar y colectar especímenes de plantas. Y Mireya Correa lo hacía con frecuencia. A veces en camioneta, otras a caballo o en burro, cruzando ríos y evadiendo culebras e insectos. Armada con sus botas y machete, recorrió los sitios más remotos el país durante medio siglo, muchas veces en compañía de sus estudiantes.

En ese mundo conoció al botánico de STRI, Robert Dressler, y empezó a colaborar con él. Salían al campo a colectar especímenes y los procesaban en STRI. Eventualmente se unió al Instituto, como investigadora asociada en 1982, y finalmente, como científica permanente, en 1987.

A lo largo de su carrera, la profesora Mireya, como muchos le dicen de cariño, ha colaborado con herbarios e investigadores alrededor del mundo en la identificación de plantas, incentivando siempre las colaboraciones regionales e internacionales.

Su dedicación la ha llevado a descubrir, describir y catalogar la increible biodiversidad de la flora panameña, llegando a colectar alrededor de 12 mil especímenes, muchos de los cuales resultaron ser nuevas especies. Varias de estas plantas nuevas fueron nombradas en su honor, como Spachea correae, Chamaedorea correae, Cordia correae o Psychotria correae, entre otras. Además, su trabajo ha contribuido a una mejor comprensión de la distribución de especies en el país y su estatus a nivel de conservación: si son comunes, endémicas, en peligro, raras o vulnerables.

También ha entrenado a las siguientes generaciones de botánicos y taxónomos, contribuyendo al establecimiento de la botánica como una disciplina académica en Panamá. Decenas de estudiantes han hecho investigaciones y desarrollado tesis bajo su guía, y muchos más pasaron por sus aulas en la universidad.

Uno de sus mayores aportes a la botánica, a nivel regional y global, fue su iniciativa de convertir a STRI en un centro regional de digitalización de especímenes de plantas para el Global Plants Initiative, una asociación internacional de más de 270 herbarios en 70 países para digitalizar especímenes de plantas, hongos y algas, para que investigadores tuviesen acceso a ellos desde cualquier parte del mundo. De este modo, STRI recibiría un digitalizador de imágenes de parte de la Fundación Andrew W. Mellon y apoyaría con la digitalización a herbarios más pequeños.

Los conocimientos botánicos de Mireya Correa no se han limitado al ámbito científico. A través de los años ha publicado varios libros, así como guías sobre la flora panameña, incluyendo dos sobre el Parque Natural Metropolitano de Panamá, un destino popular en la ciudad para locales y turistas.

Sus décadas de trabajo a favor de la botánica no han pasado desapercibidas. Ha recibido innumerables honores y premios, como el doctorado honoris causa de parte de la Universidad de Panamá, las llaves de la ciudad de Panamá y la medalla José Cuatrecasas a la Excelencia en Botánica Tropical, entregada anualmente a un botánico que haya contribuido significativamente al avance de la botánica tropical.

“STRI y la comunidad científica nacional e internacional agradecen las invaluables contribuciones de la profesora Correa a la botánica en Panamá y el mundo”, expresó la directora interina de STRI, Oris I. Sanjur. “La profesora Correa fue pionera estableciendo los principales herbarios de nuestro país y fue una excelente mentora para muchas generaciones de estudiantes, incluyendo a mi persona. ¡Gracias profesora Correa!”

 

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La profesora Mireya Correa ha recogido miles de especímenes de plantas en todo el país, para los herbarios de la Universidad de Panamá y STRI. Muchos de estos resultaron ser nuevas especies, y varias fueron nombradas en su honor.
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Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

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Editorials, Nito’s vaccine scandals; and US policy can’t go back to what was

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nice try
An ephemeral Plan A: One of the companies doing unauthorized vaccinations in a Coco del Mar condo, Vidatec, immediately denied that it had any knowledge or connection. But when caught by journalist Flor Mizrachi and photojournalist Roberto Cisneros, apparent nurses were wearing Vidatec uniforms and Vicatec secretary, director and manager Denisse Vega was photographed on the scene. WHO is the president of Vidatec? Why, former Panama Canal administrator and before that CUSA construction company CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta, who has made noises about running for president of Panama. The day after La Prensa published Mizrachi’s story, THIS purported document was circulated on Twitter. SEE? Alemán  Zubieta and Vega could not have been involved, because they left the company back in 2019. The next day, speaking as president of  Vidatec, Alemán Zubieta was quoted in La Prensa saying ““This surprised us and we proceeded internally to suspend her.” So the above document is bogus and so far neither the prosecutors nor the mainstream press have shown much curiosity about it.

Credulity strained, intelligence insulted

The scandals — multiple — about diversion of some of the government’s vaccine supplies to people paying or using political clout to jump ahead in the line are flagrant. The often conflicting stories we get from the government about these practices are insulting.

We are told that former president Ernesto “Toro” Pérez Balladares was vaccinated along with members of his family, at his home because he was ill on his appointed day for the second shot. Nothing out of order, the health minister said. Then said minister said that as far as we know the vaccine didn’t come from the ministry’s supply, even though the ministry has an import monopoly.

Records show 612 doses sent to the Autonomous National University of Chiriqui (UNACHI) but then only 500 doses received by the university.

Many of the  legislators and legislative staffers jumped ahead of  everyone else to get vaccinated, and the health minister said he knew nothing about it and did not authorize it. Seems that Nito’s special advisor Eyra Ruíz signed off on it.

Who has been arrested in the Coco  del Mar situation? A funeral home driver with faked medical credentials was allegedly giving shots. We are given different numbers of those vaccinated at $200 a shot — first the prosecutors said 17, then 32, but far fewer than the known number of doses gone missing from the government’s stash. With what were the patients vaccinated? There, too, the prosecutors are telling wildly conflicting stories, everything from a mixture of coconut water and brine to the Pfizer vaccine. That penultimate possibility has prosecutors talking about Denisse Vega as a victim of a fraud rather than a criminal — this driver with fake papers and perhaps some supplier deceived her, the narrative goes. But by Panamanian law one involved in a criminal enterprise can’t sustain such a complaint against an accomplice. Alberto Alemán Zubieta, the president of the company involved, seems never to have been treated as a suspect — can’t do anything that might disrupt an oligarch’s political ambitions.

The  general public conclusion? Lies, improper privileges, impunity for tawdry little crimes, an elite who will steal someone else’s medicine instead of wait in line like everyone else.

There are things ongoing that we don’t know. Maybe the acting attorney general has the prosecutors working hard, intelligently and honestly behind the scenes. So far we have not seem much sign of that.

This is, of course, no isolated scandal. It’s just another milestone on an administration’s road to infamy.

 

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Back in Cold War days, summit security crews didn’t have anti-drone squads like this one deployed at the recent Brussels meeting. Times change.

US foreign policy can’t go back even were that desirable

The Cold War? That’s over. The global economy on corporate terms, circa 20 years ago? Some of that is still with us, but it’s more properly referred to in the past tense.

Preventing climate disaster is no longer possible, but adapting to the changes, ameliorating the damage and putting the brakes on things that make it worse are all front and center in relevant public policy discourse everywhere.

If the agenda for most countries is no longer escaping from or preventing British domination, now the overriding concern is to avoid being vassals of China. However, in Latin America Chinese terms may look much better than a return to US gunboat diplomacy. Already businesses from China have run much of competition off the field across the Americas.

When Biden and Putin meet, it won’t be like Khrushchev and Kennedy, nor Reagan and Gorbachev. The leaders of two great powers, once styled as superpowers but neither really that anymore, will meet in Geneva. Both have grievances against the other. Both cling to vestiges of glory. Some lines need to be drawn to keep the peace. However, success is to be measured in terms of peaceful cooperation for mutual benefit. Without making the other country grovel, putting both countries back to work, making each other more competitive with China, moving together from the fossil fuel age into the era of electric cars and ships, connecting new infrastructures that never were rather than just limiting ourselves to patching the old.

If new things are to be done, they will have to be explained to domestic constituencies wedded to notions from the past and fearful of the unknown. Not a small set of challenges, but important ones to surmount, and not just for Russia and the  United States. Give us something positive to talk about, you guys.

 

              Only the thing for which you have struggled will last.

Yoruba Proverb              

Bear in mind…

Literature cannot control a government; poets, as poets, do not legislate. What they can do is set minds free of the control of any tyrant or demagogue and his lies and disinformation.

Ursula K. Le Guin

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.

Paul Valery

The politics of fear is fueling a downward spiral of human rights abuse in which no right is sacrosanct and no person is safe. Governments are undermining the rule of law and human rights with “short-sighted fear-mongering and divisive policies.

Irene Khan

 

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Oxfam: G7 patent policy ads $70 billion to world vaccine bill

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Lack of patent waiver would add over $70 billion to cost of vaccinating world: Oxfam

by Jon Queally — Common Dreams

As leaders of the G7 were criticized for failing to rise to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic during their summit in the United Kingdom this weekend, Oxfam International on Saturday warned that failure of the world’s richest nations to fully embrace a lifting of intellectual property protections for life-saving vaccines could ultimately raise the cost of administering shots to the entire world by as much as $74 billion with most of that money going directly into the wallets of pharmaceutical companies and their wealthy shareholders.

Oxfam calculates that if patent protections were waived by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and vaccine production ramped up worldwide people in low- and middle-income nations could be adequately vaccinated for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion, but that if pharmaceutical companies are allowed to retain their for-profit stranglehold on production and distribution that cost would soar to $80 billion.

“Without a waiver, we would effectively be spending up to 10 times more that we need to in order to get enough doses — much of which will be money that will go directly into the pockets of the shareholders of these companies,” a spokesperson for the global anti-poverty group told The Guardian.

The assessment come as anti-poverty and public health campaigners have issued a harsh rebuke to an agreement announced by G7 leaders on Friday, warning a collective pledge to donate at least 1 billion vaccine doses to the developing world should be seen as little more than a giveaway to powerful corporate interests and nowhere near adequate to protect the world’s most vulnerable from the ravages of Covid-19.

“If the best G7 leaders can manage is to donate 1 billion vaccine doses then this summit will have been a failure,” said Oxfam’s health policy manager Anna Marriott in statement on Friday.

With an estimated 11 billion doses needed to end the pandemic, Marriott said the G7 plan — as nice as it might sound to some on paper — is not going to cut it.

“Dose sharing is part of the solution if done immediately,” she said, “but charity is not going to fix the colossal vaccine supply crisis. In order to ramp up production, the G7 should break the pharmaceutical monopolies and insist that the vaccine science and know-how is shared with qualified manufacturers around the world.”

Nick Dearden, executive director of the UK-based Global Justice Now — which along with Oxfam is part of an international coalition backing the WTO waiver and calling for a “People’s Vaccine” regiment — said the Carbis Bay Agreement, named for the body of water in Cornwall where the G7 has gathered, exemplifies the failures that have become a hallmark of the world’s powerful during since Covid-19 hit last year.

“The lessons from this pandemic are clear; we can’t just hand over publicly funded research to private companies and expect them to deliver vaccines fairly in the public interest,” said Dearden in a communique from Cornwall on Saturday. “But here we have a plan carved out by the same companies who have driven an artificial shortage of Covid-19 vaccines. And the lower income nations who are most impacted have been frozen out the room too.”

Instead of solutions by the G7, said Dearden, “we have a back-room deal by the wealthiest that risks repeating all of the mistakes made so far in this pandemic.”

The international campaign demanding a “People’s Vaccine” that puts public health needs above the profit-seeking interests of pharmaceutical corporations has been adamant since its inception during the pandemic that five things must be done at a global scale in order to end the Covid-19 outbreak resolutely and equitably:

  • Raise the ambition to vaccinate 60% of the planet;
  • Break the shackles of intellectual property on vaccines and COVID-19 knowledge;
  • Make an immediate and large investment of public money into manufacturing more vaccine doses around the world;
  • Provide COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests free of charge; and
  • Scale up global financial support for upgrading and expanding public health systems.
  • While some leaders at the G7—including U.S. President Joe Biden and more recently President Emmanuel Macron of France—have backed the WTO waiver, many in the G7 continue to stutter and object to such a move.

Oxfam’s Marriott suggested further delay is not only unacceptable — but deadly.

“The lives of millions of people in developing countries,” she said, “should never be dependent on the good will of rich nations and profit hungry pharmaceutical corporations.”

 

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Bernal, The superficial parallel pitch

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MAB CUCO

The alibis of power

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

It is impossible to hide that Panama is today less and less a society and more and more just a place where people live. It’s a place where mistrust, incredibility, “I couldn’t care less” and the corrosive absence of active citizenship reign.

This then makes it mandatory for citizens who reject the current state of affairs to activate ourselves, to awaken sleepy minds, to urge the urgently needed changes, shake up those made drowsy by the siren songs of a political power that’s each day more authoritarian and abusive.

For this reason, it is necessary to repeat, one and a thousand times, that If there is no debate, there is no democracy, because democracy — true democracy – is permanent debate.

Those who today shy away from citizen participation, those who only seek pretexts to prevent citizens from having effective public spaces and instruments to control the irrational exercise of political power, are those who take refuge in demagogic and superficial alibis to prevent urgently needed changes and the rebirth of a civic and active republicanism.

The numbness of civil society has served as fertilizer for the parties, both those in and out of political power, to exercise a new tyranny that excludes citizens from the public stage. The people are relegated to the role of spectators and not actors, even if by theory and official declarations the people are the source of all power.

The alibis of those with the political power to impose a perverse and authoritarian system do not cease. They disrupt the essential values that are attributes of a modern society. They resort to all kinds of gaslighting to make citizens renounce their own conscience. That’s what they do.

Now those who trample us with their fallacies give us their caricatures of the theory, the doctrine and the history of constitutionalism. They give us a sheep and present it as an iguana — and a “parallel” process that is NOT a constituent assembly as they claim.

It is then necessary to redouble efforts to prevent democracy from being used as a great alibi for those with political power to continue developing their constitutional authoritarianism, which is a declared enemy of citizen participation.

In their zeal to expel rationality from our midst — and from our history – the “parallels” and their allies in government deploy propaganda worthy of Goebbels. They take advantage of the misguided impulses of intellectuals and professionals to appear “up-to-date,” and the fear of freedom sown by the reigning plutocrats and party leaderships.

 

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¿Wappin? Lista de reproducción de David Young

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Afro, latino y caribeño

Rubén Blades – Caminando
https://youtu.be/Q4rHIe2z7-0

Son Boricua — Bilongo
https://youtu.be/ge4dRaVXvsg

Cal Tjader – Afro Blue
https://youtu.be/RmbiBAXXxZs

Thelonious Monk – ‘Round Midnight
https://youtu.be/bEDr84cJQzE

Abraham Rodriguez Jr. – Son Bacheche
https://youtu.be/kE2TZMnwB0o

The John Santos Quintet – Guararé
https://youtu.be/SNnA-RF2XmI

Ismael Rivera – Quitate De La Via Perico
https://youtu.be/-rbE8KxEZd8

Joey Pastrana – El Pulpo
https://youtu.be/WfVYHkDSAkM

Ricardo Lemvo – Mambo YoYo
https://youtu.be/CaGmP-GORPM

Yoruba Andabo 3 Abakuá (Havana 1992)
https://youtu.be/2g-qcs0Rv-Q

Totico y sus Rumberos – Mil Gracias
https://youtu.be/rQOJFPjK3EI

Tito Rodriguez – Chango Ta’ Beni
https://youtu.be/EDTtTCHkkZ8

Eddie Palmieri at the 2003 Newport Jazz Festival
https://youtu.be/bGL7BUrSfq4

 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

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Beluche, A different left arises in Latin America

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PC
Pedro Castillo, on the shoulders of those who were ignored, captured on video by one of his supporters. In the Andean region it’s no longer just THEIR story.

The time has arrived for the left – a new left – across Latin America

by Olmedo Beluche

In memory of Humberto Tito Prado

The great electoral victory of Pedro Castillo in Peru, despite the fear of “communism” campaign waged by the media and the bourgeois parties, is evidence that the peoples of Latin America urgently want change. It’s a confrontation with so much misery, violence and death that are the features of a dying 21st century capitalism. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbates it.

The heroic popular and democratic revolution that is taking place in Colombia, against one of the most disgusting fascist regimes on the continent, is yet another piece of evidence that heralds the dawn of a new day. In Colombia, the pseudo-democratic mask of an oligarchic, undemocratic, murderous paramilitary thug regime has fallen. Year after year they have killed dozens of labor, community, indigenous and environmental leaders. Forget the “War on Drugs” rhetoric – it’s for the benefit of a disgusting oligarchy, the main exporter of cocaine in the world, lackeys of US military and foreign policy elites that spout delusional narratives.

The Colombian people and youth have risen up against poverty, unemployment, forced migration, repression, and the corrupt political institutions that govern them. They are resisting the murderous bullets of the police. They’re also standing up to the death squad roadblocks of the Duque-Uribe government’s paramilitaries.

Chilean youth also show us the way to a new dawn. With constant mobilization they’re set to end the shameful constitution inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship, which was sustained for more than two decades by an alliance of social democrats and liberals. It’s over. The Chilean people have not only managed to install a Constituent Assembly, but have elected a group of activists, feminists, environmentalists and leftists to represent them, in doing so repudiating the traditional parties.

The original nations of the continent have also been in motion, starting with important political victories against the neoliberal and racist oligarchies. In Bolivia, their mobilization was decisive for the defeat of the dictatorship of Mrs. Añez. In Ecuador, two years ago they defeated a neoliberal plan by Lenin Moreno, and this year they presented their own presidential candidacy with the ability to make a serious bid for power in the electoral arena.

In Brazil, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in all of its cities to forcefully say “no” to Bolsonaro and his regime. Everywhere, despite the pandemic, our Latin American peoples are mobilizing against an increasingly inhuman capitalist system, which takes advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase exploitation and misery, which ignores the labor rights conquered in decades of struggles, which imposes regressive fiscal reforms to load the weight of the crisis on the popular shoulders while the bourgeoisie remains exonerated, which cuts social budgets for education and public health when they are most needed. Instead their priority is the payment of public debt to banks and bondholders.

It has to be a political proposal capable of meeting the challenges that the moment demands. The left cannot be represented by the grotesque Nicaraguan regime, which increasingly seems to be taken from a novel by García Márquez, Roa Bastos or Miguel Ángel Asturias, and which usurps the name of what was the glorious Sandinista Revolution.

This new left cannot be represented by the sad caricature that the Bolivarian Process led by Hugo Chávez has become. There they talk about socialism while the US sanctions only serve to degrade the rights of the working class – starting with wages, — while the pro-government and “opposition” bourgeoisie continues to enrich themselves, united in the corruption that suffocates the Venezuelan people.

A new left must emerge that does not remain within the limits of “progressivism” that’s incapable of going beyond the role of administrator of capitalism. It shouldn’t try to extinguish the social fire with “redistributive” measures based on an inadequate policy of “transfers” that are financed by more loans or by exports of raw materials, but which doesn’t dare to touch the interests of national and foreign capitalism.

But this new left must also overcome ultra-leftism and self-proclamation. It should be based in the experiences of the peoples with the various political leaderships. It should consulting with the masses, along the way celebrating their small democratic and economic triumphs. The revolution may not have the stages that people’s consciences do.

It should be a New Left that assumes a program that fearlessly raises the demands of all the oppressed to unite their struggles towards a new society under the principles of popular democracy, multiculturalism, freedom, the rights of the original nations, of the Afro-descendant culture, of women, of LGBT groups, against extractivism, that respects nature, the rights of the working class and socialism.

 

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How to reduce carbon in shipping?

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ships
Shipping is responsible for a large portion of global emissions. William William/Unsplash, CC BY

Shipping is tough on the climate and difficult to
clean up: these innovations can help cut emissions

by Jing Sun, University of Michigan

Ships carry more than 80% of world trade, and they rely heavily on some of the least environmentally friendly transportation fuels available.

There are no cheap, widely available solutions that can lower the shipping industry’s planet-warming carbon emissions – in fact, shipping is considered one of the hardest industries on the planet to decarbonize – but some exciting innovations are being tested right now.

As a professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, I work on ship propulsion and control systems, including electrification, batteries and fuel cells. With attention focused on climate change this week as world leaders meet at the G-7 summit and negotiators discuss shipping emissions at a meeting of the U.N.‘s International Maritime Organization, let’s take a look at what’s possible and some of the fuels and technologies that are likely to define the industry’s future.

Shipping’s climate problem

Shipping is the cheapest way to move raw materials and bulk goods. That has given it both an enormous economic impact and a large carbon footprint.

The industry emits roughly 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – nearly 3% of global emissions, according to the IMO, a specialized U.N. agency made up of 174 member nations that sets standards for the industry. If shipping were a country, it would rank between Japan and Germany as the sixth-largest contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, nearly 70% of ships’ emissions occur within 250 miles (400 kilometers) of land, meaning it also has an impact on air quality, especially for port cities.

Technological innovation, in addition to policies, will be crucial for achieving low-carbon or zero-emission shipping. Academic research institutes, government labs and companies are now experimenting with electrification; zero- or low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen, natural gas, ammonia and biofuels; and alternative power sources such as fuel cells and solar, wind and wave power. Each has its pros and cons.

Why electrifying ships matters

Just as on land, electrification is one key to cleaning up the industry’s emissions. It allows engines operating on fossil fuels to be either replaced by alternative power generation technologies, or downsized and modified for low-emissions operation. It also allows ships to connect to electric power while in port, reducing their emissions from idling.

Ship electrification and hybridization are significant trends for both commercial and military vessels. Electrifying a ship means replacing its traditional mechanical systems with electrical ones. Some fleets have already electrified propulsion and cargo handling. Hybrid power systems, on the other hand, integrate different power-generation mechanisms, such as engines and batteries, to leverage their complementary characteristics.

I see deeper electrification and broader hybridization as a core strategy for achieving green shipping.

Cranes load shipping containers onto a ship docked in port.

 

Ships that can connect to electric power in port can cavoid burning fuel that produces greenhouse gases and pollution. Ernesto Velázquez/Unsplash, CC BY

Tremendous opportunities also exist for improving the operation of the existing fleet – and reducing fuel use – through automation and real-time control. Advanced sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help ships to “see,” “think,” and “act” better to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

Greener fuels for ocean voyages

Shifting to cleaner and greener fuel sources will be essential for decarbonizing the shipping industry.

Most of the power plants on today’s ships are based on internal combustion engines that use cheap heavy fuel oil. Innovations in marine diesel and gas turbine engine design and treatment of exhaust gas have lowered harmful emissions. However, most of the “low-hanging fruit” has been harvested, with little room left for dramatic improvement in traditional power sources.

The focus now is on developing cleaner fuel sources and more efficient alternative power generation technologies.

Low or zero-carbon fuels, such as natural gas, ammonia and hydrogen, are predicted to be the dominant energy sources for shipping in the future. Ammonia is easy to transport and store, and it can be used in internal combustion engines and high-temperature fuel cells. But like hydrogen, it is largely still made with fossil fuels. It’s also toxic. Both have the potential to be made with water and renewable energy using electrolysis, but that zero-carbon technology is still in the early stages and costly.

These fuels have started replacing heavy diesel fuels in some marine segments, primarily as demonstration projects and at a slower rate than needed. Cost and infrastructure remain major barriers.

Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and wave energy, are also promising. Integrating renewable sources as cost-effective and reliable energy solutions for oceangoing vessels is another challenge developers are working on.

Powering ships using fuel cells and batteries

Fuel cells and batteries also hold promise as alternative power generation technologies.

Through electrochemical reactions, fuel cells generate electric power in a highly efficient and clean manner, making them very attractive for transportation. Fuel cells are operated with pure hydrogen or reformed gases, except for high-temperature fuel cells that can use natural gas or ammonia as fuel.

Given the existing fuel infrastructure, most maritime fuel cell demonstration projects today have to store liquid hydrogen or use onboard systems that convert natural gas or other fuel to hydrogen-rich syngas. Infrastructure for hydrogen storage has to be developed for widespread adoption of fuel cell technology.

Battery technology is essential for electrification, even for ships with an internal combustion engine as their prime mover. It also has its own unique challenges. In addition to ensuring the batteries are safe and reliable – you don’t want a fire or power outage in the middle of the ocean – ruggedness and flexibility are necessary for powering operations such as cargo handling and tugboat operations.

Investing in the future

In 2018, the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee set targets to reduce the carbon intensity of the global fleet by at least 40% by 2030 and to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 from the 2008 levels. It’s expected to adopt mandatory requirements reflecting those long-term goals at its meeting June 10-17, 2021.

Those targets are important, but they leave the deadlines for action well into the future.

Countries and some shipping companies are recommending a faster transition. In early June, the governments of Denmark, Norway and the United States, along with the Global Maritime Forum and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, announced a new Zero-Emission Shipping Mission to try to scale up and deploy new green maritime solutions faster.

The shipping giant AP Møller-Maersk has said it could support a carbon tax of $150 per ton of carbon dioxide to encourage more innovation and a faster transition, though others in the industry argue that a tax like that would nearly double the cost of bunker fuel and make freight far more expensive, with repercussions throughout the global economy.

I believe the grand vision of zero-emission shipping can be realized if the ship design and fleet operation communities work together with policymakers, the logistics industry and the broad academic and industry technical communities to find solutions.

This is an exciting time to work in the area of energy and power solutions for shipping. The technology developed today will have a transformative impact, not only on the marine industry but also on society.The Conversation

Jing Sun, Professor and Department Chair, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, University of Michigan

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

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¿Wappin? True colors / Colores de verdad

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rainbow
The color scheme this month. Photo of DC in June by Ted Eytan.

 June tunes / Melodías de junio

Santana – Toussaint L’Overture
https://youtu.be/Jli1gW37fqk

The Four Tops – Are You Man Enough?
https://youtu.be/faaxsHyyIzY

Of Monsters and Men – Visitor
https://youtu.be/Bq1lpEC70Hg

Maná – Mariposa Traicionera
https://youtu.be/av3wkasS-WQ

Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
https://youtu.be/LPn0KFlbqX8

Suzanne Vega – Luka
https://youtu.be/VZt7J0iaUD0

Kafú Banton – No Me Hablen de Bala
https://youtu.be/QdMWMGxA1v8

The Fighting Men From Crossmaglen – Sniper’s Promise
https://youtu.be/dSnWTDFzgrg

Mon Laferte – Funeral
https://youtu.be/aNH3C5JPlg4

Jefferson Airplane – Greasy Heart
https://youtu.be/1ckv1v9GWRk

Carole King – Smackwater Jack
https://youtu.be/Zc8MToURBjc

Eric Clapton & Roger Waters – Wish You Were Here
https://youtu.be/4fHjRjbORD8

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Universal Soldier
https://youtu.be/VGWsGyNsw00

Cienfué – Life in the Tropics
https://youtu.be/2Viu0klMgN0

Natalie Merchant – Motherland
https://youtu.be/A2JbLUVt0Z0

 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

Para defendernos de los piratas informáticos, los trolls organizados y otros actos de vandalismo en línea, la función de comentarios de nuestro sitio web está desactivada. En cambio, ven a nuestra página de Facebook para unirte a la discusión.  

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