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AAC, No serán vuelos internaconales regulares hasta por menos 23 julio

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AAC 1

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Asociaciones y Gremios, Educación durante la pandemia

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online ed

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Hartmann, The crime of weaponizing a virus

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it's ALIVE!!!

Weaponizing a virus is a
crime against humanity

by Thom Hartmann

Trump’s scheduled rally in Tulsa this weekend and his moving the Republican convention to Florida both demonstrate that he is more than willing to take actions that will kill Americans in order to get his ego stroked and increase his chances of reelection.

A new book by Trump’s niece tells the story of how Donald Trump cut off payments for his nephew’s medical treatment, who had cerebral palsy, as a negotiating weapon to extract more money from his father‘s estate.

Meanwhile, scientists report that if more than 80% of Americans simply wore masks, the R transmission rate would go below one, and the virus would begin to fade out.

These three separate data points are not really separate. They are all the same thing.

Donald Trump is willing to take specific, willful, intentional actions that will lead to the deaths of other people in order to get what he wants, even when they are members of his own family.

If Trump had simply reacted to the coronavirus in January like South Korea did—or in February like Australia, New Zealand, and most of northern Europe did—there would be at least 60,000 Americans still alive today. Instead, because he lied and blustered and ignored, those people are dead and another hundred thousand will probably die before the election.

Trump and Eugene Scalia, the Labor Secretary, are working together to cut off unemployment benefits to millions of America’s most poorly paid but at-risk workers in order to force them back to work.

He doesn’t care how bad the epidemic gets or how many people die, as long as most of the deaths happen in the weeks and months after the election.

Every other country in the world that is not run by a strongman dictator and has a functioning government is executing a specific plan to protect their citizens from this deadly virus.

Trump and Republicans are not only ignoring the need for a plan but are actively working against the advice of their own scientists, putting politics and Trump’s ego above the lives of American citizens.

The cruel and willful brutality of Trump and Scalia’s strategy is shocking, and the rest of the world looks at us with horror. Yet the Republican Party seems to think that this is all just fine.

Some have even suggested that the coronavirus will help Republicans this fall, because Democrats are less likely to go out and vote, causing several Republican controlled states to do everything they can to block mail in voting.

Weaponizing a virus for political purposes is a crime against humanity, and it is being committed right in front of our own eyes against our friends and neighbors, coworkers and family members.

 

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Publishing on poverty rations in plague times

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meowis propaganda

How this works — and doesn’t

by Eric Jackson

So, I’ve run out of time – that is, money – on the Claro chip by which my laptop, through a Huawei dongle stick, connects to the Internet? And worse yet, not enough for a recharge to get me slowly on my way for another month?

The former calculation was to work offline, get the most important things ready to upload, then for the price of bus fare to and from Anton or Penonome, go with my computer to a place with free WiFi. From there I could connect with the web to upload to The Panama News website, plus check my email and the social media chatter. Repeat as needed, but not a whole lot of money would be needed but when money did come in it was only $15 plus tax to get a month’s slow connection to Claro, by monopolistic arrangement the only Internet service in my part of Cocle.

Come plague days, no WiFi at the old spots and the cops won’t like someone hanging out in those venues typing on a laptop, either. There’s a rational medical justification for that.

Nito gave us this decree about no cutoff of Internet services, and no utility gouging, during the state of emergency. As to me, it’s lie. That’s for fixed contacts, and the month’s slow service for 15 bucks is not available unless you go to their offices for a recharge, and those offices are closed. Any argument about this between Eric Jackson and Carlos Slim and Nito listens to the Mexican billionaire and pays negative zero attention to the Panagringo journalist.So, loading my chip through Claro cards or money sent in via Ding, depending on how I ration I get a day or two of service for every $15 I put into my connection. It has tremendously increased the cost of producing The Panama News, as little as that was and still is. But then, Nito has been spending prodigiously from the public coffers to flat-out brand everything that comes from the small media as “fake news.”

At a time when everyone, including the relatively small band of donors who have kept this publication going over the years, is hurting in a financial sense, the increased production costs and more modest income means different eating habits for the dogs, the cats and me. For me a starchier diet with the greens, peppers and beans I grow makes me fatter at this point and the dogs are not that picky. Felines are more demanding.

On hold waiting for more money? Updating the WordPress theme and the antivirus protection. A new external keyboard. A new USB interface for camera chips. New reading glasses calibrated to the distance at my work station. (Optical, audiological and dental are also on the health list but not so closely production-related.) A new laptop so as to make this machine the backup. A travel budget, when they allow travel again. All sorts of tools and supplies for my “other job” as a Third World peasant.

Would it be the stuff of The Blues? Yeah, but the Upper Great Lakes is where I got the bulk of my appreciation for that. Not that the Detroit River isn’t also one of the world’s busiest waterways, but Panama and its canal are different. So maybe a decima? Naaah – I get enough mockery from weenie Facebook trolls.

 

Claro has increased the cost of Internet service for The Panama News by at least six-fold. To help with that, there are two things you might do:
1: Send money to the The Panama News Internet chip’s Claro number, which is (507) 62757611, via Ding at https://www.ding.com/
2. Buy Claro prepaid phone cards, scratch off the covering on the code numbers and email those numbers to fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com
 

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Editorials, A national accord? and Antifa

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nitistas
This past May, those with whom the president consulted before announcing his plan for blocks of reopening the Panamanian economy. Photo by the Presidencia.

Those who are not at the table

A national accord among the registered leaders of the PRD, Cambio Democratico, the Panameñistas, MOLIRENA and the Partido Popular – who does that leave out?

Non-politicians in general. However, it would be naïve to suppose that the interests of wealthy donors and party-aligned media would have nobody at the table to do their bidding.

MOVIN, the Independent Movement with several deputies who caucus in the National Assembly as if they were a political party, and against which prodigious resources are dedicated by or on behalf of the PRD for scurrilous social media vilification campaigns. This proto-party has the backing of some of Panama’s richest people and some influential voices in the rabiblanco media. Their political agitation goes after the low-hanging fruit of public corruption, an issue that the compulsively thuggish political parties foolishly cede to them. Otherwise MOVIN mainly speaks for the rich.

The dissident, usually creepy, voices within the political parties. Within CD, and perhaps on its way to becoming a new party, Ricky Martinelli and his gang. Within the PRD, rowdy hateful demagogues like Zulay Rodríguez and Bolota Salazar, and alleged serial rapist Arquesio Arias, who remains under house arrest. Within MOLIRENA, the voice of Panama’s contingent of a US-funded international Christian ultra-right, Corina Cano. Can we talk about dissident voices in the Arnulfista tradition? The Varelas are pretty quiet these days and do not have a spot at Nito’s table, but remain one of many factions that live within the Panameñista Party.

Yes, we will probably find an occasional black face or Chinese surname or Panamanian with a US passport at the table, but the interests of Panama’s ethnic communities, whether native-born, foreigners or naturalized, will be neither represented nor discussed. If anyone from any of the comarcas will be present, they will likely be the choices of non-indigenous politicians rather than the autonomous voices of Panama’s autochthonous nations.

Just because the legislators who spit the most venom at them won’t be at the table does not mean that the LGBT communities will be represented or taken into account. There may be a few women there, and some may for this or that reason denounce someone for sexism, but Panama’s feminist movement will not have a seat at the table.

Might Nito bring in some company union guy? The actual labor movement will not be invited. Nor will the left, nor any of its fragments that have any sort of bona fides.

Most of all, the poor are and will be excluded. Big business will dominate the discussion. Might they let someone who runs a mini-super get someone to bring up his or her concerns? Certainly the huge majority of those who are in business for themselves, running micro-businesses in Panama’s informal sector, are to be excluded.

For years The Panama News editorial stand is that Panama needs a constitutional convention to sort many things out. But of course the opportunity to chart a new course is no guarantee that this possibility will be wisely embraced and used. By all appearances, though, Nito’s talks for some new national accord is yet another dodge to maintain the old pecking order.

In the first instance the search for a national accord is about a social security system that’s about to go bankrupt. Why? Because it was weakened by the partial privatization instituted under the PRD administration of Martín Torrijos, with the support of the other main political factions. Writ large, the Panamanian economy is broken and was even before the coronavirus came visiting. If the intelligent economic commentary of a year ago was about who might eat the losses from all the unsold inventory – of real estate and many other things – when the virus came the country was seven months and several billion dollars deeper into debt. Now the old equations no longer work for anybody.

Yes, Panama will need a new set of agreements about how to move forward. But even as the epidemic grows into an even more powerful second wave, there are ferocious social and economic struggles just beginning to get underway. A deal between factions of the political caste and some of the rabiblanco families, no matter which publicists and “influencers” are hired, is unlikely to result in agreements that most Panamanians will accept.

 

Anyone decent is antifa

A buzzword, an amorphous concept, a spin often imparted by people who don’t believe in it, those things too. But “antifa” is short for anti-fascist.

As in, against the atrocities that follow when demagogues play upon the fears of ruined middle classes, or those who think they are middle class and worry that they might be ruined by some sinister “other.”

As in, against the sort of nationalism wherein a once comfortable plurality declares itself to be the nation and designates groups and ideas to be diseases. Like the notion that certain groups, like immigrants or racial minorities or homosexuals, are cancers to be cut out. Like the notion that certain belief systems, like feminism or socialism or liberation theology, are infections to be eradicated.

As in, against bullying elevated to a social ideal, or even a religion.

Decent people are against these things, which are the stuff of fascism.

 

Bear in mind…

In spite of the difference between the notions of possessing the truth and being right, these two points of view have one thing in common: those who take one view or the other are not prepared to sacrifice their view to humanity or friendship in case a conflict should arise.

Hannah Arendt

Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.

Lester B. Pearson

Reporters love a courthouse fight, in part because there is nothing like a lawsuit to put the truth on the public record.

Molly Ivins

 

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Bernal, An accord?

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Nito
Photos by the Presidencia.

National accord?

by Miguel Antonio Bernal


“… the political parties held a meeting with the President of the Republic in search of a national agreement…. ” ( in the news)


The pandemic has found in Panama the favorable economic, political and social environment to nest, incubate and spread.

This is so, thanks to the environment of a fragile democracy, kidnapped by an imposed constitution, run by the gestured of inopportune hypocries who, instead of ruling, c an’t even hide their nonsense with antiviral masks as they park the treasury everywhere and sow hopelessness in the great majority who reject this.

For a few weeks, the spokespersons, influencers and “paid expenses journalists” have been promoting a so-called “national accord.” It’s a propaganda move by the Cortizo administration and its allies, to try to convince us that they are full of good intentions for the country. But 12 months of administration show us absolutely the opposite.

There is not the slightest will on the part of the currently ruling power brokers to democratize political power, much less the economy. There are multiple statements that go in the opposite direction.

How can those with an authoritarian conception of power and politics speak of a “national accord?” How can they propose a “national accord” if they do not allow space for a democratic conception of power, one that makes citizen participation and pluralism its fundamental guides? How can those who reject dissent and tolerance speak of a “national accord?”

Those who have repudiated the need for a constitutional convention and declared themselves its determined enemies — how do they try to make us believe that they are willing to listen to and respect other voices? Even in their own political parties they deceive and betray each other.

Of course they will find – in addition to those already in their ranks — those who can be fooled. That is the “national accord” they seek: an agreement between those who like to be deceived and those who already are.

Once again, it is up to us citizens, to the men and women who love our country, to react decisively with dignity and to shout out a resounding NO to their treacherous, anti-national and undemocratic claims.

Furthermore, let us ask ourselves: national accord for whom? National accord for what? Without a doubt, for the same, with the same!

 

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Internet inventor: global digital divide is a barrier to wider equality

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WWW guru
Global digital divide a ‘barrier to wider equality’ that must be closed, says World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee. British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee gives a speech at MIT in 2018. Photo by Belinda Lawley – Southbank Centre.

A warning came with the UN’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation

by Eoin Higgins – Common Dreams

The inventor of the World Wide Web is warning that global inequality is being exacerbated by a lack of access to the internet for the poor and urging world leaders to act to close the gap and ensure equity of opportunity for those in developing countries.

“This inequality is a barrier to wider equality, and we know it most affects those who are already marginalized,” Tim Berners-Lee said during remarks at the launch of UN Secretary General António Guterres’ Roadmap for Digital Cooperation Thursday.

The roadmap aims to help communities around the world access the Internet, reducing inequalities of connectivity in poorer countries. Berners-Lee noted that those inequities have become more pronounced during the coronavirus pandemic which has left 3.5 billion people without the “lifeline” of connectivity provided by the Internet for work and socialization.

“Our number one focus must be to close the digital divide,” said Berners-Lee.

In his remarks to the forum, Guterres stressed the importance of Internet connectivity to international cooperation and the need to resolve inequities in access in the age of the coronavirus.

“Digital technology is central to almost every aspect of the response to the pandemic, from vaccine research to online learning models, e-commerce, and tools that are enabling hundreds of millions of people to work and study from home,” said Guterres. “But the digital divide is now a matter of life and death for people who are unable to access essential healthcare information.”

The roadmap intends to provide a path to universal connectivity worldwide by 2030.

“We cannot reap the full benefits of the digital age without mobilizing global cooperation to close digital gaps and reduce potential harms,” said Guterres. “We urgently need global vision and leadership for our digitally interdependent world.”

Efforts are underway in the USA to ensure the richest country in the world is providing Internet connectivity to the public.

“There’s no excuse for our failure to bring every household online,” tweeted US Representative Ro Khanna Thursday. “Affordable Internet access is a basic right.”

As Common Dreams reported in March, social distancing restrictions brought on by the coronavirus crisis sparked renewed demands for universal broadband access across the United States as the inequities in the system to rural and marginalized communities developed into a crisis while Americans shifted work and school to online spaces.

FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel tweeted Thursday that equality of connectivity must be a priority for the country before the beginning of the next school year.

“Millions of kids couldn’t go to school this year because they don’t have Internet at home,” said Rosenworcel. “If next year brings more of the same, shame on us.”

 

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Three months into the state of emergency, Nito has an agricultural plan

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Nito
Nito makes his June 10 announcement to farm groups. Photo by the Presidencia.

Plan Panama Agro Solidario:
a start on a crisis food policy

by Eric Jackson

As these words began to be written a government flatbed truck pulled up near my house with food bag aid for families in the neighborhood. Not for me, although it could be. Nor all that adequate for those families receiving assistance. But then, some of their roosters wake me up in the morning and sometimes people ask to borrow my wheelbarrow or coa. Almost all of us are subsistence farmers here in El Bajito.

He didn’t lower himself to consult with us, but actually, President Cortizo  promised us more than an extra $20 a month in food aid starting in July when he announced his agricultural policy. The Plan Panama Agro Solidario is, as one might have expected, an agribusiness  jump-start program. But it also includes a part that’s aimed at subsistence food production. On June 10 the president unveiled some basic guideline. We shall see how extensive the program will get.

The lesser-mentioned “Agro Vida” family production program promises toola, seeds for basic grains and supplies, “so that  families can plant and guarantee their food security.” 

Pots? Potting soil? Peat moss? A replacement for my broken hoe? A roto-tiller? Things that people can grow on rooftops or balconies in the city? Advice on how to grow, how to prepare, how to put up food for non-farmers that  really do need to start victory gardens in this crisis? What about people, rural or urban,  who want to get into raising fowl? All things to be seen.

The biggest part of the program is interest-free loans for people to plant basic food staple crops,  get fruit orchards back into market production, grow fodder to feed animals, and increase meat production. Loans will be of up  to $100,000 per farmer, with no interest if repaid within two years. The program is to get land into production right now.

And those artisanal fishers that developers and local officials have been relentlessly driving away to make room for money laundering towers? They are officially wanted again, and will be able to get loans to go back into business. Will there be money to replant mangrove forests and create new coral reefs? To be seen, but those are key elements of a  sustainable coastal fishery and putting a lot of people back to work in a short time.

Eat your otoe roots, or eat the greens, but in either case cook them first.
 

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¿Wappin? No me importa trabajar pero sí me importa morir

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FRENADESO
“We are not a herd!” FRENADESO graphic.

I don’t mind working but I do mind dying

Joe Lee  Carter  Please Mr. Foreman
https://youtu.be/Cif5-DwL1is

Kany García & Mon Laferte – Se Portaba Mal
https://youtu.be/VVLJH04B9Yo

Michael Stipe – No Time for Love Like Now
https://youtu.be/wSKMcGB_7bY

Pretenders – Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely
https://youtu.be/x3OdzRdTJE8

Rubén Blades – Templo de Agua
https://youtu.be/yEsp6eDad1c

Warren Zevon – Veracruz
https://youtu.be/HcFlFLbYo8c

Julieta Venegas – Andamos Huyendo
https://youtu.be/LoLoyjf8Q4o

Neil Young – My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)
https://youtu.be/i6RZY4Ar3fw

Dido & Youssou N’Dour – 7 Seconds
https://youtu.be/ZmnLou3lSAk

The Slickers – Johnny Too Bad
https://youtu.be/lRm7j2UL3YY

Playing For Change – What’s Going On
https://youtu.be/JEp7QrOBxyQ

Yusuf Islam at Viña del Mar 2015
https://youtu.be/GArYfc1qX-M

 

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Kermit’s birds / Las aves de Kermit

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sort of a hummingbird
Black-throated mango / Mango gorginegro / Anthracothorax nigricollis. Encontrado en Gamboa. Foto © Kermit Nourse.

Black-throated mango / Man gorginegro

Ranging from the province of Veraguas down to Bolivia, southern Brazil and northern Argentina, you find these birds in forest clearings, in scrub lands. at forest edges and in partly deforested areas. Most commonly they are seen at lower altitudes along both of Panama’s coasts. There are questions about whether the species ranges into Chiriqui. When flowering trees are in bloom they tend to be attracted to feed. They also catch and eat flying insects.

Desde la provincia de Veraguas hasta Bolivia, el sur de Brasil y el norte de Argentina, estas aves se encuentran en brechas forestales, en matorrales, en los bordes del bosque y en áreas parcialmente deforestadas. Con mayor frecuencia se ven en altitudes más bajas a lo largo de ambas costas de Panamá. Hay preguntas sobre si la especie se extiende a Chiriquí. Cuando los árboles florecientes están en flor, tienden a sentirse atraídos por la alimentación. También atrapan y comen insectos voladores.

 



 

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