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¿Wappin? Esta vez en sábado / This time on Saturday

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Sandra
Cantante panameña Sandra Sandoval, 2012 en Chitré. Foto de Wikimedia por Ayaita.

Knocked out by the sun so this time it’s on a Saturday
Noqueado por el sol, así que esta vez es sábado

Peter Tosh – Equal Rights / Downpressor Man
https://youtu.be/JahGN4gwDJw?si=L-9uoIXA9EmBYNjH

Samy y Sandra Sandoval – Concierto Mundial 2012
https://youtu.be/P-MDHFpDx0Q?si=iovLq2kfXTXvK_7O

Buenos Vampiros – Puedo ver el mar en tus ojos
https://youtu.be/7KbfC-1sD90?si=ONuMqFmQxIqsaWxv

The Gladiators – Festival de Verão Salvador 2000 (Brasil)
https://youtu.be/AQuP0ogDyVE?si=Y3b0SYjOXweGJw6f

Celia Cruz & La Sonora Matancera – Tu Voz
https://youtu.be/XZjFpUuLRtY?si=aaTy2Lgs_DTjd3v_

Cienfue – Monstruo
https://youtu.be/fLzHc9L6Bhw?si=_XO63XbOvC2w7Ww_

Kany García & Natalia Lafourcade – Remamos
https://youtu.be/hug1NLbLymM?si=nbfYHO5S_nWLNOTq

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Larison, Step away from Israel’s US war with Iran trap

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them
The United States ought to be distancing itself from Israel’s illegal attack, but instead the Biden administration is moving to shield Israel from the consequences of its own actions. Secretary Blinken Meets With Israeli Prime Minister NetanyahuSecretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on January 30, 2023. US State Department photo by Ron Przysucha.

Biden must walk back from Netanyahu’s Iran trap

by Daniel Larison – Common Dreams

The United States and Israel have been raising the alarm of a possible Iranian retaliatory strike in response to last week’s Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic facility in Damascus. The president once again pledged “ironclad” US support for Israel in the event of an Iranian response, and the head of Central Command, Gen. Erik Kurilla, was reportedly headed to Israel Thursday to coordinate with Israeli leaders ahead of the expected strike.

The administration is moving in the wrong direction. The United States ought to be distancing itself from Israel’s illegal attack, but instead the Biden administration is moving to shield Israel from the consequences of its own actions.

Reflexive US backing for Israel has not only enabled the catastrophe unfolding in Gaza and implicated the United States in war crimes, but it has also encouraged dangerous Israeli behavior in the wider region for years.

The United States is at considerable risk of becoming involved in a direct conflict with Iran thanks to the reckless actions of the Netanyahu government and the president’s lockstep support. This does not serve legitimate US security interests. The United States cannot afford another conflict in the Middle East, and siding with Israel exposes US forces to significant unnecessary dangers. The USA is under no obligation to come to Israel’s defense if Iran retaliates against an Israeli strike, and the president has no authority to commit US forces to fight a war for another country, especially when that country is not a treaty ally.

President Joe Biden said this week that the United States would do “all we can to protect Israel’s security,” but this knee-jerk response is the wrong one under the circumstances. Why is the United States putting itself on the hook to protect a state that is more than capable of fending for itself? It is an unnecessary commitment, and it is unwise. It risks fueling a regional war that the administration has said it wants to avoid, and it rewards Netanyahu for his rogue behavior.

American troops have already come under attack because of our government’s support for the war in Gaza. The administration’s response to the war over the last six months has already been detrimental to US interests and harmful to America’s reputation. This latest commitment to protect Israel while the war in Gaza continues compounds these earlier errors and does even more damage to our country’s global image.

US intelligence has reportedly warned that an Iranian response is “imminent.” It remains unclear exactly what form Iranian retaliation might take, but it seems very unlikely that the Iranian government will choose not to answer a direct attack as brazen as this one was. The response could involve missile launches from Iranian territory, as we saw in the response to the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani in 2020, or it could be some combination of missile and drone attacks from various Iranian proxies. Whatever shape the response takes, the United States should steer clear of the ensuing conflict. The USA should not lift a finger to assist an Israeli government that went out of its way to provoke this fight.

The war in Gaza has been a wake-up call for the United States that its “ironclad” relationship with Israel is a serious liability for American interests. Jon Hoffman of the Cato Institute recently laid out the case against continuing the “special relationship” with Israel: ”A special relationship with Israel does virtually nothing for the United States while actively undermining US strategic interests and often doing violence to the values that Washington claims to stand for.” Given how little the United States benefits from this relationship, the automatic and “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security that Biden endorses makes no sense.

Perhaps there was a time when extensive US support for Israel made some sort of strategic sense, but that time is long gone. Today this support makes the United States complicit in Israeli violations of international law, exposes Americans to intense regional hostility, and puts US forces at greater risk in exchange for very little. When the Israeli government isn’t actively undermining US diplomacy with other states in the region, it is openly ignoring Washington’s preferences and defying Washington’s requests. The USA gets all the headaches and costs that come with foreign entanglement without gaining a reliable, constructive partner.

US officials have often called the relationship with Israel “unshakeable,” and several presidents have taken pride in ensuring that there is no “daylight” between the United States and Israel in public, and that is why the relationship has become such a bad, dysfunctional one. In practice, preventing any “daylight” between our governments has meant catering to the Israeli government’s preferences at the expense of our own position. The “unshakeable” relationship has remained that way largely because the United States keeps indulging its client regardless of the consequences. It isn’t possible to have a balanced, respectful relationship with any country when the other government expects and receives such extraordinary deference. Instead, it creates a toxic relationship in which one government always takes advantage of the other.

Reflexive US backing for Israel has not only enabled the catastrophe unfolding in Gaza and implicated the United States in war crimes, but it has also encouraged dangerous Israeli behavior in the wider region for years. Unconditional US support for the war in Gaza has led the Israeli government to believe that it can keep pushing its luck with more provocative actions against other regional states as well. Now the Israeli government is potentially facing some real blowback, and the United States should want no part of it.

US and Israeli interests have been diverging for decades, but US policy has failed to keep up. The president remains wedded to a version of the relationship from the previous century with a country that no longer exists. We need to bring US policy up to date and to bring it into line with the current realities of the Middle East, and to do that the United States has to give up this idea of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel.

bombing
On the left, the main Iranian Embassy building in Damascus, to its right, the consular section building that the Israelis attacked. From the Iranian Foreign Ministry Instagram feed.

Daniel Larison is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com and former senior editor at The American Conservative magazine. He has a PhD in History from the University of Chicago. Follow his blog, Eunomia, here.

 

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Don Ricky’s shrinking Coronado outpost

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Las Olas
The Las Olas food court upstairs in the building that houses Coronado’s Super 99 is out of business for the moment. So is the little playground there.

Explanations may be made, but…

photos and story by Eric Jackson

Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal is a convicted criminal, hiding out in the Nicaraguan consulate to avoid serving a 10 years and 8 months prison sentence for the laundering of money skimmed off of overpriced public works contracts and then invested in the purchase of a chain of newspapers. He has more criminal cases pending here and fines and forfeitures that prosecutors are trying to collect.

In Spain there is a pending investigation about him stalking a former mistress. The US government calls the guy a crook and already extradited him once, plus tried, jailed and then deported his two sons. He doesn’t want to run THERE again.

At the bottom line? Yes, he may have a proxy presidential candidate standing in at the moment and promising a full pardon, but the fanatical admirers generally don’t have money to invest and the investors by and large don’t care to take the risk of doing business with him anymore. It shows in the decline of his shopping center in Coronado. Closed food concessions, reductions at some of the business that are still there, the remodeled El Rey across the street drawing much more traffic.

The Supreme Court will rule on whether his appointed proxy will be on the ballot in his stead, but meanwhile economic forces are closing in.

gym
The gym next to the food court is still open but there were few people there on the Thursday morning when this reporter went by.
 

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As Election Day approaches, glancing at the signs and flags

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Coronado corner
At a Coronado corner, a convenient public spot that several campaigns have moved into with their signs and banners. As have some businesses. It can make for a fun mashup – is there some CANDIDATE or PARTY that’s offering the best price? As in the bidding for bribes starts very low? It’s probably not what they mean.

The outward signs

photos and comments by Eric Jackson

I’ve been this observer of outdoor political propaganda since years before I was old enough to vote. Then there were years in which I was a practitioner of the art itself. Along the way I have seen some results, and some frequent patterns in the meanings of sign and flag wars.

There are such things as silent majorities, but so often those are just wishful thinking.

There are sign saturation campaigns that are meant to engender defeatism among potential foes. As in “See all the money and organization I have – making a counterpoint just makes you a quixotic gadfly in everybody else’s estimation.”

Sometimes there are social or economic reasons to let the candidate put up a sign, but then to vote the other way.

There are households with multiple voters who have different opinions, and businesses with diverse customers who don’t all think alike.

Having been around the neighborhood for a few election cycles, one may recognize certain people and households as this or that. Sometimes party affiliations change, but even more frequently parties splinter, or make different alliances with other forces. This year’s a crowded field with unusual bedfellows and multiple intra-party or intra-alliance fractures. Where I live, and where I might go with my camera for whatever reason, is not necessarily representative of more than what I see.

But still….

 

public works
The representante of the Anton corregimiento of Juan Díaz, Carlos Fernández, is a long-time PRD incumbent who has plastered his signs and PRD flags just about everywhere. Perhaps, however, his strongest bit of outdoor propaganda is keeping highly visible public works projects underway in the public eye. As in this ongoing improvement to the local water system.

 

MOLIRENA
At the presidential level the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) is allies with the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (MOLIRENA), which two parties also combine to gather a majority in the current National Assembly. However, in Juan Diaz de Anton the alliance does not hold at the corregimiento level. Here MOLIRENA is fielding its own candidate for representante, Luis Felipe Martínez, against the PRD incumbent.

 

Maribel and Richard
The left with a big billboard on the way to the gate at Coronado? Isn’t that the stomping grounds of the decadent and bourgeois? Consider a few things. First, the foreigners in that community don’t vote. Some dual Panamanian and something else citizens do, but the expatriates as such are non-participating observers. And how many of the Panamanians, upscale as they may be, worked and studied their way to get to a status that allowed them to afford Coronado? How many Panama-educated doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers or so on? Might their lives and upbringings, notwithstanding any stereotypes about economic determinism, make them reachable by the left by these two University of Panama faculty members? And the VP nominee, Richard Morales, was flag bearer at one of the annual Gay Pride marches. How many well-to-do gay or lesbian voters like the idea of someone who fights for their rights running for high elected office? Plus, are there many Panamanians more skeptical of our would-be Creole aristocracy than their maid and gardeners who might see this on their way to work? In any case, there it is – the Gordón / Morales campaign writ large in Coronado.

 

Gby
Uh huh. Panama getting into a debt crisis with austerity looming, and here the PRD’s Gaby Carrizo is promising passersby in Penonome that they will get their own homes if he becomes president. Does he presume that those at whom such ads are aimed are so poorly educated that they won’t scoff at this brazen representation? His problem will be those with little formal education who have been educated by the labor movement and others to scoff at this.

 

her
‘HOW LONG have you been working for The Allies? We have WAYS to make you talk!’ So Hollywood tends to put it. One of the fragments that has broken off of the PRD is Zulay Rodríguez Lu, whose maternal grandparents Arnulfo Arias advocated sterilizing back in the 1930s and 40s. But since when did fascist offshoots from major parties have to make any sense?

 

Martín
The BIG SPLIT from the PRD is that of former President Martín Torrijos, running to get his old job back on the Partido Popular – formerly the Christian Democrats – ticket. He quit the PRD, but notice the PRD flag and the PRD representante’s sign buried in the center background. This coming election stands to be unusual for the amount of ticket-splitting we are likely to see. Or so the many incongruous combinations of signs and flags suggest.

 

Panameñistas
So many of the Panameñistas are saying such banal stuff on the campaign trial, but along the roads you see a lot of the combination of Rouz / Blandón signs with Panameñista flags. It will be interesting to see whether that ticket gets more votes on the Cambio Democratico or the Panameñista line. There is a sense from the sign wars that Roux’s strength, such that he has it, lies in great part on a positive public image of his running mate and a resurgence of Blandón’s Panameñista Party. 
 

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Conley, The Bobby Kennedy Jr. hoax

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him
“As the saying goes, when people show you who they are, believe them,” said a Democratic National Committee spokesperson. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Fox Tucson Theatre in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

“Whole thing is an epic fraud:” RFK Jr. official admits goal is to elect Trump

by Julia Conley – Common Dreams

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s stated platform in the 2024 presidential race centers on promoting an “honest government,” a “clean, healthy environment,” and the protection of civil liberties—but his New York State director last week boiled down the Independent campaign’s true goal at a meeting with Republican voters: ensuring former President Donald Trump wins the election.

Speaking at a meeting last Thursday, Rita Palma first checked to make sure there were “no Biden voters in the house” before telling her audience that her “No. 1 priority” is to ultimately take electoral votes away from President Joe Biden.

“The Kennedy voter and the Trump voter,” said Palma, “our mutual enemy is Biden.”

States including New York, California, and “most of the Northeast” are likely to vote for the Democratic president, she continued, but if Kennedy, whom Palma referred to as Bobby, is on the ballot in New York, the campaign could help “get rid of Biden.”

She urged the assembled GOP voters to give their “vote to Bobby and at least get rid of Biden and give those 28 electoral votes to Bobby rather than to Biden, thereby reducing Biden’s 270 [electoral votes].”

“Two hundred seventy wins the election,” added Palma, who was hired by Kennedy’s campaign after she canvassed for Trump in 2016 and 2020. “If nobody gets to 270 then Congress picks the president, so who are they gonna pick if it’s a Republican Congress? They’ll pick Trump, so we’re rid of Biden either way.”

Political observers have noted in recent months that Kennedy has drawn support from right-wing billionaires, but Palma’s blunt description of her plan to “block Biden from winning the presidency” left critics stunned as the video of the event circulated on social media on Monday.

“Whole thing is an epic fraud. Kennedy is spouting Russian propaganda, is now openly betraying the country,” said political strategist Simon Rosenberg, referring to the candidate’s recent comments about Russia’s claim that it aims to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

“RFK Jr.’s campaign is saying the quiet part out loud,” Matt Corridoni, spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, told CNN. “As the saying goes, when people show you who they are, believe them: RFK Jr.’s campaign isn’t building a plan or a strategy to get 270 electoral votes, they’re building one to help Trump return to the Oval Office.”

 

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Editorials: A troubling election and The high court to decide – maybe

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us
The people will choose – wisely or not. Archive photo by Eric Jackson.

A troubling election and “dirty campaigning”

Is there some sort of a pact about the rules of what can be said about this year’s election campaign? The Electoral Tribunal talks of a “pact,” but it was their intention to exclude the small media from any participation in the talks leading up to this. The three magistrates act as if, rather than an individual right that all persons have, freedom of the press is an exclusionary privilege limited to business corporations that are owned or controlled by the “right” families.

The Panama News was not asked to sign any agreement as to the rules of campaign coverage. We are not parties to the magistrates’ “pact.” Those three men may get away with giving the force of law to an “agreement” to those intentionally left out as parties, but then, on matters constitutional like freedom of expression, the Supreme holds the power to overrule the Electoral Tribunal, notwithstanding the tribunal’s exclusive jurisdiction over elections. And how does Panama’s constitution frame the matter?

Article 37. Every person may express their thinking by words, by writing or by any other medium, without being subject to prior censorship; but there are legal responsibilities when one of these media attack the reputation or honor of persons or social safety or public order.

So is it “dirty campaigning,” and thus a violation of some law, to truthfully and without calling for public disorders, look back at a candidate’s record in public life and comment on it? Without such discourse the nation is left with often insincere promises, often corrupt blandishments, often mindless sloganeering – or would-be deification that would land people in some version of Hell in many a religious tradition – as the guides for our choices. That’s unacceptable and de jure limitation to that stuff in campaign coverage is unconstitutional.

People’s relationship to the very unpopular strip mining industry is relevant, and that includes pronouncements over the years about it, familial relations to it, legal representations for or against it and most especially actions as government officials with respect to it. Gaby Carrizo and José Raúl Mulino and the latter’s fugitive boss Ricky Martinelli are heavily tainted by the mining issue. Rómulo Roux, Martín Torrijos and Zulay Rodríguez are also compromised to lesser extents. Ricardo Lombana and Maribel Gordón are and have been fairly solidly against strip mining for their various reasons. The others, we can only figure out by trying to parse their words as candidates.

What to do about the Social Security Fund? The various candidates have floated their ideas but Martín Torrijos and Gaby Carrizo have records in public office related to that set of subjects and it’s absolutely proper to make reference to that.

The situation with the public debt? It’s severe and it’s fair to look at whether any of the particular candidates’ promises are consistent with the reality of the situation. Even if observations about are negative.

Let’s not play corny pop-psychoanalysis games, pretend that we read minds or stretch facts and declarations beyond their fair meanings. But let’s not go to the polls as if we are dim-witted children. Regardless of what three election magistrates want, let’s discuss the candidates’ public records and make those considerations central to our choice as a nation.

 

The Electoral Tribunal has been taking such signs down, arguing that since Martinelli isn’t on the ballot they are misleading and improper. We might argue. Mulino is running as a front man for Martinelli and we should be aware of that. But then the question is whether a convicted criminal fugitive’s proxy, who was not selected in his party’s primary, should be on the ballot at all. Photo by Eric Jackson.

With less than four weeks to go before the vote

Panama’s Supreme Court has to decide whether Ricardo Martinelli’s chosen stand-in, José Raúl Mulino, is on or off the presidential ballot. Because Mulino did not stand the test of a primary and because the would-be ticket does not name both a presidential and vice-presidential nominee, the former minister’s nomination does not appear to be in order.

Is that a trifle to be ignored, seeing as Mulino leads in the polls? Is all the publicity saying or suggesting that Mulino is the surrogate for a convicted criminal hiding out in the Nicaraguan Embassy also a trifling election law infraction? Are the campaign declarations emanating from an asylee in a diplomatic mission also trifling violations of international law? Are the years of overt campaigning for Martinelli / Mulino in the stolen properties of the EPASA newspapers, bought with money skimmed from public works contracts, also irrelevant to the case?

The magistrates must decide and it’s in the nation’s interest that they do so as quickly as possible.

 

The Dragon
Bruce Lee on the sidewalk. Photo by Sal Ami.

   Loneliness is only an opportunity to cut adrift and find yourself.

Bruce Lee   

Bear in mind…

The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.

Sheryl Sandberg

To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Dolly Parton

 

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Beluche, Irma Hernández

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Irma
La candidata a la alcaldía de San Miguelito, desde su sitio web de campaña.

Irma Hernández y los fariseos

por Olmedo Beluche

La candidata por libre postulación a la alcaldía del distrito de San Miguelito, Irma Hernández, está siendo sometida a un ataque despiadado en varios frentes: por un lado, algunos han tomado un video de una parodia (o performance) crítica sobre los mitos cristianos de la Semana Santa, que un grupo de jóvenes realizaron hace unos años, en el que ella aparece, y lo han interpretado como un “insulto” a la religión; por otro lado, en un debate televisivo, casi al final, cuando ella no tiene tiempo para responder, un conocido político del partido “RM”, la increpa acusándola de estar “en contra de la familia”, porque ella está a favor del aborto.

Los fariseos (hipócritas, según la Biblia) se hacen los alarmados y quieren crucificar, o quemar viva a la candidata Hernández, por un sketch debatible sobre un tema para reflexionar. Pero los fariseos a la panameña no se dan golpes de pecho, ni se escandalizan, por otros candidatos y partidos políticos a esa alcaldía que son verdaderas “prendas”, algunos de los cuales están directamente relacionados por el bajo mundo, o han tenido procesos judiciales. A los fariseos no les preocupa la continuación de la partidocracia corrupta al frente del desastre en que se ha convertido el distrito de San Miguelito.

A los fariseos no les interesa realmente la situación de las familias panameñas, porque si así fuera les preocuparían las más de 10 mil niñas que anualmente salen embarazadas producto de violaciones y abusos sexuales cometidos en su entorno, los cuales permanecen en completa impunidad con anuencia de las autoridades indolentes. Ni hablemos de los mismos abusos que se cometen contra miles de niños varones. Los fariseos que dicen oponerse al aborto no promueven ayudas económicas a esas madres adolescentes para que puedan mantener a sus hijos. Al contrario, las culpabilizan, siendo ellas las víctimas.

A los fariseos no les interesan las familias monoparentales (de madres solteras) ni las familias numerosas (incluyendo abuelos, tíos, hermanos) que conviven en el espacio reducido de sus casas, con decenas de miles de jóvenes que no encuentran empleo y malviven de la pensión de un adulto mayor. A los fariseos no les preocupa que esas familias de San Miguelito vivan en un ambiente insano donde no se recoge la basura, ni hay suficiente transporte público porque los políticos y sus partidos solo quieren “facturar”.

En Panamá, una sociedad en la que prevalece el fariseísmo, muchas personas prefieren lapidar a la joven candidata y darle crédito a un politiquero viejo y conocido del que todos saben que la única familia que en verdad le preocupa es la “famiglia” de su capo (“il capo di tutti capi”) de la cual es “consiglieri”.

A Irma Hernández la atacan por ser mujer, por defender los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las mujeres, por ser joven, por no pertenecer a la tradicional partidocracia corrupta, por proponer cosas novedosas. Pero no veo a las feministas, ni a los “progres” defenderla frente al ataque de los fariseos, porque al final casi todos se rinden ante la hipocresía reinante, incluyéndola a ella que, en su defensa ha titubeado, retrocedido y pedido disculpas.

El incidente muestra la esencia de clase “media” (pequeñoburguesa) de las propuestas de las candidaturas “independientes” del frente de “Vamos”, que en apariencia parecen enfrentar la corrupción, pero cuyo programa en últimas teme chocar de frente con el sistema y sus valores morales hipócritas. Para cambiar la sociedad panameña se requieren candidatos verdaderamente revolucionarios que, al igual que Jesús, se atrevan a expulsar a los mercaderes del templo, sin temor a que les llamen “comunista”, que se atrevan a decirles en su cara fariseos hipócritas a quienes con falsos golpes de pecho (como muchos periodistas) se oponen a que nada cambie balbuceando falsos argumentos dizque moralizantes.

Las candidaturas por las que verdaderamente vale la pena votar son las que defienden sin temor el derecho a una vida digna para todos y todas incluyendo en ello a: pobres, mujeres, LGBTQs, indígenas, migrantes, negros y cualquier ser humano.

El cambio político sólo vendrá de la mano de los candidatos y candidatas que levanten un programa de derechos y vida digna para todos, todas y todes, aunque les amenacen con la crucifixión o la hoguera. Sólo así nuestro voto pondrá a la sociedad panameña en el camino de su redención limpiando las instituciones del estado de políticos corruptos al servicio de los capitalistas y fariseos escondidos detrás del escapulario para ocultar sus rostros de vendepatrias pagados por intereses extranjeros, como los de la minería.

 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a thepanamanews@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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Bonmatí Carrión, Tu sueño y tu salud

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Un estudio controvertido – el reciente trabajo presenta algunos resultados que, aparentemente, no coincidirían con lo que se conoce hasta ahora. Foto Shutterstock / Ground Picture.

Nuevo estudio: las cuatro formas de dormir
y sus posibles consecuencias para la salud

por María Ángeles Bonmatí Carrión, Universidad de Murcia

Que dormir mal o de forma insuficiente nos puede hacer enfermar es algo que la evidencia científica ha ido poniendo sobre la mesa desde hace décadas. Son muchos los problemas de salud que se asocian a una mala calidad del sueño o a dormir menos de lo que necesitamos. Por ejemplo, alteraciones metabólicas como la diabetes o la obesidad, enfermedades neurodegenerativas o problemas de salud mental se han relacionado con la falta de sueño.

Pero ¿hay una única forma de dormir mal o existe diversidad entre los “malos dormidores”? ¿Se trata de una condición inmutable o puede cambiar a lo largo del tiempo? ¿Los diferentes tipos de “mal dormir” influyen de manera distinta en el riesgo de padecer enfermedades como las antes mencionadas?

Investigadores de varias universidades, en su mayoría estadounidenses, han llevado a cabo un estudio con el que pretendían, precisamente, responder a estas preguntas. Para ello, analizaron las respuestas a una encuesta realizada a 3 683 personas en dos momentos distintos de sus vidas separados por 10 años.

Formas (o fenotipos) de dormir

A partir de estas respuestas, los investigadores establecieron cuatro modos o “fenotipos” de dormir. Para ello se basaron en distintos aspectos del sueño, como la regularidad (¿dormían lo mismo en fin de semana que entre semana?) o la facilidad para quedarse dormidos y no despertarse en mitad de la noche.

También tuvieron en cuenta el nivel de cansancio durante el día y si hacían siestas, si tardaban más de 30 minutos en conciliar el sueño o si dormían menos de 7 horas al día.

Los cuatro fenotipos que establecieron fueron: buenos dormidores, dormidores insomnes, dormidores de fin de semana y siesteros (con “s”). Los primeros dormían, en general, lo suficiente, mientras que los insomnes –como su propio nombre nos hace sospechar– lo hacían poco, estaban cansados durante el día y les costaba conciliar el sueño.

Por su parte, los dormidores de fin de semana, en su mayoría personas más jóvenes, dormían menos entre semana que durante el fin de semana, posiblemente en un intento de recuperar horas de sueño “perdidas”. Y los siesteros, normalmente personas de más edad, solían dormir bien y hacían siestas con frecuencia.

¿Cambian estos fenotipos de sueño a lo largo de la vida? Un 77 % de los encuestados mantuvo su forma de dormir durante los 10 años examinados, pero no todos los fenotipos fueron igual de “fieles”. Los más estables fueron los siesteros y los insomnes. Por contra, el 73 % de los dormidores de fin de semana sí pasaron a ser siesteros o insomnes al cabo de esos 10 años.

Sueño, salud y situación socioeconómica

Según este estudio, clasificarse como dormidor insomne en uno de los dos momentos en los que se hizo la encuesta predispondría a padecer entre un 28 y un 81 % más de patologías crónicas, mientras que serlo en ambos momentos supondría un riesgo entre un 71 y un 188 % mayor de sufrir enfermedades cardiovasculares, diabetes, depresión o fragilidad.

Los siesteros también presentaban un mayor riesgo de diabetes, cáncer y fragilidad. Y pasar a ser siestero o insomne a lo largo de esos 10 años se asoció con un mayor riesgo de padecer patologías crónicas, independientemente de la edad y de otras circunstancias.

Un aspecto importante de este estudio es que tiene en cuenta ciertas circunstancias socioeconómicas y las pone en relación con los cuatro fenotipos de sueño. Por ejemplo, los autores observaron que cuanto mayor era el nivel educativo de los encuestados, menos probable era que fueran insomnes.

Por otro lado, estos síntomas de insomnio también fueron más frecuentes en el caso de personas desempleadas que en el de los trabajadores. Y no es de extrañar, porque el trabajo remunerado no solo proporciona ingresos y estabilidad económica, sino también una suerte de arquitectura horaria que puede ayudar a mantener un ciclo regular de sueño/vigilia.

Un trabajo controvertido

De todos modos, el reciente trabajo presenta algunos resultados que, aparentemente, no coincidirían con lo que se conoce hasta ahora.

Por un lado, los autores no encontraron ninguna asociación entre la irregularidad en el patrón de sueño (los dormidores de fin de semana) y un mayor riesgo de patologías. Sin embargo, el llamado jet lag social, que se refiere precisamente al cambio en los horarios de sueño producidos en fin de semana con respecto al resto de la semana, sí se ha vinculado previamente con este mayor riesgo de problemas de salud.

Hay que tener en cuenta que la investigación no evaluó estrictamente el jet lag social, sino la regularidad en el número de horas de sueño. Es decir, consideraron solo el “cuánto”, sin tener en cuenta el “cuándo”.

Por otro lado, los autores describen que los “siesteros” tendrían un mayor riesgo de patologías como la diabetes. Sin embargo, otros estudios han sugerido que una siesta corta (de menos de 30 minutos) podría precisamente proteger frente a alteraciones metabólicas (al contrario de lo que ocurriría con las largas).

Debemos tener en cuenta que desconocemos el tipo de siestas que practicaban los participantes. Además, los propios autores reconocen que es difícil saber si el aumento de las siestas es la causa o, más bien, la consecuencia de las posibles patologías aparecidas a lo largo de esos 10 años.

Tampoco debemos olvidar, tal como los autores indican, que se trata de un estudio basado en encuestas que abordan la calidad del sueño desde un punto de vista subjetivo. Además, con este trabajo solo podemos establecer asociaciones: es imposible asegurar que la causa última del aumento de patologías al cabo de 10 años sean los distintos fenotipos de sueño.

En cualquier caso, el estudio sí pone sobre la mesa algo fundamental: la necesidad de incorporar programas de prevención y protección de un proceso fisiológico esencial como el sueño, que se ajusten a la gran diversidad de formas del “mal dormir”.The Conversation

María Ángeles Bonmatí Carrión, Investigadora postdoctoral CIBERFES y profesora colaboradora UMU, Universidad de Murcia

Este artículo fue publicado originalmente en The Conversation. Lea el original.

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¿Wappin? Friday at the crossroads / Viernes en la encrucijada

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Luis Arteaga y Rómulo Castro en 1990. Foto Wikimedia de Rómulo Castro.

Sounds coming into and out of the isthmus
Sonidos que entran y salen del istmo

Mark Knopfler – Two Pairs Of Hands
https://youtu.be/IRLGFWjI1zE?si=JONKXtnBKZTO2nPg

Adele, Billie Eilish & Christina Perri – A Thousand Years
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Taylor Swift – Tiny Desk Concert 2019
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Jimi Hendrix – The Wind Cries Mary
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Yomira John, Luis Arteaga & Alfonso Lewis – Las Caras Lindas
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Editorials: Lawyers losing licenses; and Whom do they expect to fool?

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Suspension notice by the California Bar Association.

Eastman’s California law license suspended

John Eastman, former attorney for Donald Trump and key promoter of the stolen 2020 US presidential election fraud, is facing criminal charges in Georgia and on that basis has been suspended from the practice of law in California. The man has yet to be convicted of anything but he’s notorious and he’s charged with felony election interference. Eastman is a living example of how MAGA has come to mean “Making Attorneys Get Attorneys.”

How to look at this case? In part there is this philosophical conflict between most Republicans and most Democrats. For the former the idea is that only individuals from select social strata have rights and society is an abstraction with no standing in the eyes of the law and no rights under the Constitution or laws. For the latter the concept of individuals having rights is more inclusive and expansive, and the notion that consumer protection laws designed to protect society against harmful products and services are valid.

As in the California Bar having decided that while this case is pending the people of California need to be protected from the apparent high risk of unethical legal practice by way of Eastman’s suspension; and that if he is convicted on the Georgia charges he stands to be permanently disbarred.

It’s neither perfect nor definitive justice at this point, but the state’s organized legal profession has stepped in to protect Californians and their courts.

We can and should look on from Panama and wish for something like this here.

In Panama we had Noriega’s hit man against press freedom who not only didn’t lose his law license after the invasion, but went on as a private lawyer to bring frivolous cases against journalists and in public posts to build a reputation for abuse as he rose through the ranks, until he ascended to be presiding magistrate of the Supreme Court. That was before he was impeached, convicted and sent to prison for inexplicable enrichment that turned out to be the skimming of kickbacks from overpriced court construction and renovation contracts. Then, the week after he got out of prison, Mr. Mondada Luna went back to the practice of law!

Noriega’s presiding magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal? At the peak of her authority she tried to annul the 1989 elections so as to keep the strongman in power, helping to set the stage for that year’s terrible violence. Come 1990 she was tossed from her public post, but she went on to practice law after the invasion and even to become dean of a law school.

Now we have witnessed the obscene lawyer moves on behalf of the fugitive sticky fingers Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, with delay after delay, with judge shopping, abusive disrespect and threats all along the way. A lot of Martinelli’s inner circle, themselves attYeaorneys, are in grave legal trouble of their own.

Yet, in twists of principles that when taken straight-up and with no mangling do have some validity, we are pointed to the conclusion that attorney discipline is in itself a human rights violation. So as a practical matter, there is no disbarment in Panama.

Society has rights that are mocked in Panama’s legal system just about every day, and that mockery will continue so long as the privileges of individual lawyers and the richest of their clients are worshipped as rights while any concept of society’s rights is discarded.

The RM campaign’s online presentation of itself on one of its Twitter / X feeds.

Yeah, right…

Is someone supposed to be fooled?

As in 2014 and 2019, Ricardo Martinelli is running a proxy campaign for president, angling to install some servile puppet to do his bidding and shield him from the consequences of his actions.

It’s still a mistake to just dismiss José Raúl Mulino, this year’s stand-in, as just a Martinelli surrogate. Post-invasion, the man gone through four different political parties. Just as US relations with the Arnulfista president who came in with the 1989 invasion soured, Mulino was serving as Guillermo Endara’s foreign minister.

In the Martinelli administration, Mulino was part of the brain trust behind the April 2010 Chorizo Law. Under the pretextual purpose of promoting Panamanian commercial aviation, that law embraced such diverse aims as the financial destruction of labor unions, the abolition of environmental impact studies and prohibitive fees for filing appeals against government contract bid rigging.

It prompted wave of protests and a furious strike by banana workers, which in turn elicited a wave of brutality against working class neighborhoods in Changuinola, wherein police were given orders to randomly shoot people in the eyes with birdshot. Then when many blinded shooting victims went to Panama City for the only available medical treatment, Ricky Martinelli sent in a woman with no apparent authority to do such a thing to order the patients’ families out of the hospital and a squadron of police to arrest them.

A subsequent “sausage bill” later that year purported to legalize every act of police brutality while on duty and to prohibit street protests. So Don Ricky’s police then treated the nation to a televised extrajudicial torture execution in which boys at the juvenile detention center in Tocumen were burned to death with police taunting them as they screamed. In a later show of power, when Colon protested Don Ricky’s plan to sell the land in the Colon Free Zone, first water was cut off to a working class neighborhood, then SENAFRONT cops were sent in to shoot or beat whoever they could, resulting in the death of a 10-year-old boy who had done nothing wrong. Then there was the attempt to sell Cerro Colorado, a mountain held sacred by many of the Ngabe people and the source of seven rivers upon which much of the Ngabe-Bugle Comarca depended for drinking, irrigation and fishing water. The suppression of the ensuing protests also costs lives, and included a police attack on the hospital in Tole.

All during this administration Mulino was one of the in-crowd of lawyers, first as Minister of Government and Justice and then as Minister of Public Safety (in charge of the police).

Set aside guilt by association. Set aside the ugliness of the Martinelista argument that “he stole but he got things done.” Between now and May 5 it’s time to discuss and to call into account Mulino’s own actions and the performance of institutions under his ministerial authority while he was in government.

Missing records? A plea that he was not convicted by our disabled courts of a crime? However, this is an election, not a criminal trial, and neither Mulino nor his boss merit a free pass from the voters.

socialist lady
Helen Keller, circa 1920. Wikimedia photo from the Los Angeles Times archive at UCLA, restored / retouched by Rhododendrites.

 

          The world is full of suffering but it is also full of people overcoming it.

Helen Keller          


Bear in mind…

 


If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?

Rabbi Hillel


The honorable man has no homeland other than that in which the rights of citizens are protected and the sacredness of humanity is respected.

Simón Bolívar


If we cannot tell the truth to one another literature is finished.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

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