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Seymour Hersh does it again: “”How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline”

February 8, 2023


Victoria Nuland testifying at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in late January:

“Like you, I am, and I think the Administration is, very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”


Within twelve hours of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech, Seymour Hersh published an article claiming that it was the President that orchestrated a U.S. directed plan in close cooperation with Norway and to a lesser degree, Sweden and Denmark, to blow up the Nord Stream II pipeline … and then blame the Russians for doing it, which never made sense to anyone with even a quarter of a brain (but played well with a population fixated on the early stages of the U.S. football season). The German Prime Minister, Olaf Scholtz was also in on and at least aware of the plan to blow up the pipeline, which would have, and has had, serious consequences on Germany’s future economic prospects

Any of the few remaining possibilities of U.S.-Russian reconciliation, of a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine war (which I support) are that much more unlikely with the publication of Seymour Hersh’s blistering piece … “How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline”.

I urge all friends to read the article – you can find it I am certain through a number of sources.

Of course the Biden Administration denies the validity of it. That is there standard response, nothing unusual and it can be expected that Hersh is about to come under a Julian Assange-like fire with efforts to suppress the piece wherever it pops up. But I have little doubt that whatever the Administration and the mainstream media does to repress the article that it will be a kin to “Hersh’s shot heard round the world”.

There will be no way to stop its circulation.

My mind, for some reason, -wonder why – goes back to the assassination of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard leader Soleimani, one consequence of which, poorly reported in the main stream media here, is the targeting of U.S. military bases in the Middle East that continues to this day. Think there will not be consequences, a Russian response, to the blowing up of Nord Stream II … well, as the saying goes, there is a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you … I don’t know what they will be of course. And I wonder what the fall out will be in to German Prime Minister Olaf Scholtz who was, according to Hersh, told about the operation well before it happened and gave his OK? Norway, Sweden and Denmark were complicit with Norway being up to its neck in this operation

Eaglefest at Barr Lake State Park – Saturday, February 4, 2023

February 4, 2023


An article in “Out There Colorado” , an online magazine greeted me this morning.. Before getting to the article readers are forced to look at a big boobed woman for five seconds, long enough, five full seconds, to make one wonder if the magazine simply uses an article about eagles to sell soft porn or the contrary, it senses that a soft porn photo is the passport to an article on eagles. As at my age (and actually long before), I am far more interested in eagles than soft porn, I find such advertising both invasive and annoying. Furthermore, the article itself is pretty skimpy. Even the Denver Post, a newspaper owned by a financial gazillionaire with $$$ to burn. Even the Post’s stories on eagles in Colorado have been better than this.Here is the piece in its entirety; not much here:

An eagle migration combined with frigid weather has greatly increased the likelihood that Coloradans will be able to spot bald eagles over the next couple weeks – if they know where to look. Each year, from November to March, more than 1,000 bald eagles migrate to the state, joining Colorado’s roughly 200 nesting pairs. Not only does this mean that there are many more eagles to see during the winter months, weather-related factors can also make them easier to spot.

Yes, the eagles are back in Colorado, not in numbers anywhere near what are found along the Atlantic, Pacific coasts and along the course of the Mississippi River from its headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, but still in ample numbers. Globally, Audubon estimates the worldwide population of bald eagles to be about 200,000. However this figure is hardly accurate as it is admitted that the actually range of bald eagle numbers varies from 50,000 to 500,000, another way of saying that professional birders actually have no idea of the actual number other than it is a lot.

The estimated number given for Colorado balds is about 1000 this time of year but there have been some suggestions that the number this year is lower as a result of avian flue which has hit the raptor population hard. As elsewhere, in the Rocky Mountain state, eagles huddle along rivers, creeks and ponds that tumble down from the mountains, especially along the S. Platte River north of Denver that flows in a northeasterly direction. It is along this corridor that over the more than half century living in Colorado that I have seen eagles. Barr Lake, where I’m headed this morning to meet Molly, one of our daughters, to attend Barr Lake’s “Eaglefest”.


Eaglefest was a great success. Don’t know the numbers but wouldn’t be surprised if hundreds, if not a few thousands of people stopped by Barr Lake this morning. Whole families, plenty of people with cameras and golf cart with cars attached for those who preferred to ride, or who couldn’t walk, the 1.3 miles to the gazebo on the south end of Barr Lake. It sticks out into the lake several hundred feet and from there the view of the birdlife – mostly ducks and eagles – is usually spectacular. But Barr Lake is still mostly frozen and both the ducks and their raptor predators are more likely found on the creeks feeding into the South Platte River and on the river itself. Still, quite the view from the gazebo with majestic Long’s Peak erupting in the background. Dramatic. In the small area about 200 yards into the lake from the gazebo Canada Geese and ducks in the hundreds sit quietly. A lone female Northern Harrier watches the ducks for signs of weakness, feebleness. With a good pair of binoculars an eagle is spotted off in the distance, at least a half mile away, looking out at the mountains.

People in droves are present. I am glad to see them, like me, simply there to enjoy whatever is to be seen. There are days when I have seen far more – actually dozens of – eagles here. Today a few fly by, there appears to be two or three way off in the distance parched on distant trees. Still, a lovely day to be out enjoying what nature has to offer. There is a couple next to me, I am guessing about my age. The male of the two has a good eye and seems to see an eagle way off in the distance towards the mountains that I had missed. Yep, he nailed it (photo below). and we talk. The couple live in Sugar Loaf above Boulder; he owned a fleet of small busses that make 18-19 trips a day from Boulder to the airport, just sold the business and now hikes, rides horses and skis in retirement. We strike up a conversation. At the gazebo, a man who I would guess is about my age (late 70s) approaches me. He does ‘social media” and wants to interview me because I “look like someone who comes out here [to Barr Lake] often.’ I agree to the interview that consisted of a few general questions of why I come out to Barr Lake (to get off my butt and away from this computer) with the kicker question about Climate Change. I wonder why it is I “look like I come out to Barr Lake often”? .. But answer his questions and then move on. We’ll see if he publishes the interview and if so, I’ll post it.

Molly broke her ankle a few months ago and today has laryngitis. She make the mile and a third walk to the gazebo walkway and sits on a bench. It’s the longest walk she’s done since her accident. She seemed fine, other than, as a result of laryngitis the poor woman has to listen to me pontificate on various subjects to which she can only give a thumbs up or down. Still very pleasant day.

If you look carefully, there is a bald eagle, very small but clearly there in the photo

Russophobia Up Close – Some Recent Comments

January 30, 2023

A number of recent examples of the depth of Russophobia … Latent anti-communism (in a country no longer communist!)

  • As if he were being truly “open minded” at an amateur classical music production a week ago, the master of ceremonies  felt a need to “justify” playing a piece by Russian composer Prokofiev, even though it is “controversial” these days because the Russian composer really “wasn’t a communist” was critical of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The audience, almost to a person, shook their head in solemn agreement.
  • At a potluck brunch of Denver “old timers’, a friend emphasized that she had bought the delicious (and they were) sausages from a Polish, not a Russian delicatessen – her own personal boycott of Russia in Ukraine and of Putin himself! Stay away from Russian sausages to help Zelensky! The burning question: Is boycotting Russian sausage the modern version of the UFW grape boycott?
  • A discussion with a long-time friend who insists that US/NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, the militarization of Ukraine fueled in great measure by US funds, the war that the Kiev government has launched against its Russian speaking population are all IRRELEVANT and that Russia invaded Ukraine unprovoked.

All that in the past few days in situations where, frankly, there was no relevant context to bring up Ukraine. Oh yes, I would add, all “good people”.

On the other side of the political ledger, countering these russophobic winds blowing across the High Plains, a retired trade unionist friend on his own personal jihad  against those prevailing winds:

  • He expresses his personal opposition to Russophobia iby reading 19th century classic Russian authors (Puskin, Turgenev and the like) but then he went a step further, very importantly, to find out which liquor stores in the Denver metro area still have Russian (not Latvian) vodka on their shelves. He could find only one that sells a Russian brand, “Zir” I believe it is called, at a Total Liquor in Westminster. Other local area liquor stores have, in a move of patriotic ardor as stupid as it is cowardly, removed all Russian products from the shelves. But are they drinking it in the back room?

They are, of course, all petty incidents, and yet indicative of the broader trends of sowing hatred against Russia and the ongoing intense vilification of Putin

For those in power – Democrat or Republican – this Russophobia has political consequences. It has become nothing less than a mechanism to make dialogue with Russia on issues like climate change or reversing the nuclear arms race impossible. This permits Washington to discard restraints implicit in the relevant international agreements which were thrown into the garbage can during the Trump Years and to go ahead full steam with increased use of fossil fuels and proceed with a reckless reignition of  Washington’s nuclear (and other) weapons program unimpeded.

In a wonderful – if lengthy – article – The NY Times is Orwell’s Ministry of Truth – Edward Curtin notes the following untruths or major exaggerations that the Times, a newspaper that boasts it prints “all the news that’s fit to print” shares with its readers:

  • Ukraine is winning on the battlefield.
  • “Russia faces decades of economic stagnation and regression even if the war ends soon.”
  • That on Jan.14, as part of its cruel attacks on civilian targets, a Russian missile struck an apartment building in Dnipro, killing many.
  • Only one man can stop this war – Vladimir Putin – because he started it.
  • Until now, the U.S. and its allies were reluctant to deploy heavy weapons to Ukraine “for fear of escalating this conflict into an all-in East-West war.”
  • Russia is desperate as Putin pursues “his delusions.”
  • Putin is “isolated from anyone who would dare to speak truth to his power.”
  • Putin began trying to change Ukraine’s borders by force in 2014.
  • During the last 11 months Ukraine has won repeated and decisive victories against Russian forces …. The war is at a stalemate.”
  • The Russian people are being subjected to the Kremlin’s propaganda machinery “churning out false narratives.”

Referring, accurately to my way of thinking, everything in the article from which this list is found as disingenuous, Curtin notes perceptively:

“This is expert opinion for dummies.  A vast tapestry of lies, as Harold Pinter said in his Nobel Prize address.  The war escalation the editorial writers are promoting is in their words, “this time pitting Western arms against a desperate Russia,” as if the U.S./NATO does not have CIA and special forces in Ukraine, just weapons, and as if “this time” means it wasn’t so for the past nine years at least as the U.S. was building Ukraine’s military and arms for this very fight.”

A way out of the mess*:

Stop US/NATO Wars and Sanctions

Stop Washington’s war moves toward Russia and China!

Stop endless wars: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Yemen…. everywhere!

No to NATO!

Money for human needs, not war!

No Weapons, No Money for the war in Ukraine!

(* – Demands of the emerging peace coalition – United National Antiwar Coalition – )

More on the Avian Flu among Colorado birds.

January 23, 2023

Female Mallard. Wheat Ridge Green Belt. January 19, 2023. Looks like a pretty healthy duck

Next week there is a “Snow Geese Festival” in Southeastern Colorado, the High Plains Snow Geese Festival which goes from February 3-5. “In spring, waves of bright white snow geese against an endless blue sky fly into southeastern Colorado.  They roost on the scattered lakes on the prairie and feed in the surrounding fields, making the area a favorite rest stop on their annual migration.”  In February, when the fields and reservoirs of Southeastern Colorado turn white—not from snow but from the large white geese arriving by the thousands during their traditional migration to their winter roosts—it’s time, once again, for the annual High Plains Snow Goose Festival, one of the largest birding festivals in Colorado.

I had intended to go but with the avian flu outbreak in Colorado and nationwide I have decided otherwise. So many birds coming together in close quarters is a perfect Petri dish for spreading the disease. Besides, the flu continues to ravage birdlife in the state and beyond. A recent article in the Boulder Daily Camera gives some of the latest info on avian flu in the county (Boulder County) where the numbers of dead birds continue to mount.  For example:

The USDA has recorded avian flu infections in 110 mammals since May 2022, including raccoons, foxes and skunks. Although the disease affects both domesticated birds and those in the wild, it can jump to humans although the numbers of humans that have caught the disease is rather small at this point.

  • In Boulder County, the University of Colorado Boulder this week reported finding dead geese on campus, including 17 at the pond at 28th Street and Colorado Avenue, and two at the pond near the Kittredge residence halls.
  • According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, more than 2,000 snow geese near the towns of Brush and Fort Morgan in Morgan County have died since Nov. 20 because of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Smaller numbers of birds also have died in locations around the state, including a larger outbreak in southeastern Colorado, while outbreaks in wild birds and poultry continue to rise nationally.

It’s not just birds that have been effected.

The USDA has recorded avian flu infections in 110 mammals since May 2022, including raccoons, foxes and skunks. Although the disease affects both domesticated birds and those in the wild, it can jump to humans although the numbers of humans that have caught the disease is rather small at this point. A recent report in the New York Times notes that three Montana Grizzly Bears euthanized last fall tested positive for the disease. The bears were disoriented, had begun to go blind and were euthanized as a result of their poor condition, this according to the state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks division.

The largest outbreak of kind, ornithologists have noted that while bird viruses have been known before, they note that this is the worst bird epidemic of its kind in North America and is far from having run its course. Again, according to the Times, It has infected nearly 60 million commercial and backyard flocks of birds in 47 states, and its near ubiquity has driven up poultry prices and caused egg shortages in supermarkets across the country, as consumers jostle for cartons topping $7 or more. To date, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in all four North American migration flyways. The disease is expected to persist through spring migrations.

People are urged to handle dead birds with great care and to be careful to avoid geese droppings that litter trails and areas near ponds. People are also warned to watch their pets and to the degree possible keep them from stepping these droppings.

Northern Flicker. Wheat Ridge Green Belt. January 19, 2023


All of Europe Becomes A Battlefield (Translation of an article from Italian): U.S. B61-12 nuclear bombs transferred to Italy and “other European countries”.

January 22, 2023

Hiroshima, 1987. Buddhists praying for “No More Hiroshimas” (R, Prince photo)

(Note – I originally read this article in French from the website “France-Iraq Actualite” on January 22, 2023 published by Gilles Munier. The article, in French, was translated from the original Italian which appeared at the website byoblu. Rather than go through two translation cycles – from Italian to French to English – I have decided to translate – via “Google Translate – from the Italian directly into English. The resulting machine translation is at times a little awkward, but rather than mess with it to tighten up the English, I prefer to leave it as is as the essence comes through clearly enough. This is an important article that should be more widely circulated here in the USA. RJP).


The Federation of American Scientists confirmed in January the news given by Wide angle in December 2022 on the basis of a document from the US Air Force: the C-17A Globemaster aircraft was authorized to transport US B61- 12 nuclear bombs to Italy and other European countries. Since Biden administration officials had announced that the B61-12 would be brought forward to December, we believe that the new US nuclear bombs are already arriving in Europe to be deployed against Russia.

The US and NATO are pouring huge quantities of ammunition for the heavy artillery supplied to the Kiev armed forces into Ukraine. The United States – according to official data – has so far sent over a million rounds of 155mm howitzer ammunition to Ukraine, plus tens of thousands of missiles. About 300,000 shells come from US military depots in Israel. The shipment of arms is managed by an international network, in which Camp Darby plays a central role, the largest US arsenal outside the mother country, connected to the port of Livorno and the military airport of Pisa. Great Britain, France, Poland and Finland are supplying tanks to Kiev, and Poland is buying Abrams tanks from the USA, a part of which can be destined for Ukraine.

At the same time, the USA and NATO are strengthening the deployment of their forces in Europe, increasingly close to Russia. In Romania, NATO has deployed AWACS aircraft, equipped with the most sophisticated electronic equipment, kept constantly in flight in Russian airspace. Also in Romania, the Pentagon has deployed the 101st Airborne Division, which is being deployed to Europe for the first time since World War II.

NATO and EU set up “a task force on resilience and critical infrastructure”. “NATO – declares the Council of the European Union – remains the foundation of our collective defence. We recognize the value of a stronger European defence, which contributes to transatlantic security and is complementary and interoperable with NATO”.




Florence Merriam Bailey

January 19, 2023

Female Kingfisher. Clear Creek, Jefferson County, Colorado January 19, 2023

When Florence Merriam Bailey was born in 1863, birds were more often seen ornamenting women’s hats than they were in the wild! In fact, on one walk through Manhattan in 1886, she counted 40 different species, stuffed and mounted for fashion. The pioneering ornithologist wanted to stop this trend, which killed an estimated five million birds a year. Her solution was to encourage people to go out and admire living birds through bird watching. “We won’t say too much about the hats,” she declared. “We’ll take the girls afield, and let them get acquainted with the birds. Then of inborn necessity, they will wear feathers never more.”

Bailey developed an early interest in birds, but when she went to Smith College in 1882, she learned that most ornithologists had little interest in bird behavior. Instead, they studied birds which had been killed, skinned, and mounted for private or museum collections. Bailey proposed that naturalists should learn to observe living birds in their habitats. She recommended an opera glass to allow bird watchers to see details: “The student who goes afield armed with opera-glass,” she declared, “will not only add more to our knowledge than he who goes armed with a gun, but will gain for himself a fund of enthusiasm and a lasting store of pleasant memories.”
In 1889, at the age of 26, she published “Birds Through An Opera-Glass.” It was the first modern bird watching field guide: an illustrated guide to recognizing 70 common species in the wild, written for hobbyists and young people. Her approach of watching birds through magnification formed the basis of modern bird watching, which still uses binoculars today. Her book was also unusual because it was published under her own name, an uncommon practice at the time. Bailey’s independent and feminist streaks come out in her writing about her beloved birds too. “Like other ladies, the little feathered brides have to bear their husbands’ names, however inappropriate,” she lamented. “What injustice! Here an innocent creature with an olive-green back and yellowish breast has to go about all her days known as the black-throated blue warbler, just because that happens to describe the dress of her spouse!”

Read more…

Warren Hern, founder of the Boulder Abortion’s Clinic, to give a public talk on his new book, Homo Ecophagus. (Details below)

January 14, 2023

Women’s March, January 20, 2018. Denver, Colorado. Estimates are that half a million people showed up in support for women’s rights, including the right to abortion

Yesterday I spent some time with two friends, both of whom, among the other things they do, volunteer to accompany women coming to the Boulder Abortion Clinic to get abortions. These women are often intimidated by the usual group of right wing Christian fundamentalist thugs. My friends make the emotional journey to the Boulder Women’s Clinic a bit more bearable. Women come to Boulder from all over the United States to get abortions at the Boulder Women’s Clinic, not just from Boulder County or Colorado in general, such is its reputation for professionalism and quality service for women’s health in general, and for abortion in particular.

The founder – or one of the key founders of the Boulder Abortion’s Clinic is Warren Hern. As I understand it, he continues to guide the clinic’s work Hern has been rewarded for his contribution to quality women’s health with a half century of harassment, death threats and the like. One must recognize the principle and the emotional strength it takes to carry on as he has. In any case, Hern has written a book “Homo Ecophagus: A Deep Diagnosis To Save The Earth” which has just appeared. He will be discussing the book’s subject matter at a public presentation on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30pm, at the St. Julien Hotel. Tickets for this event are $10 (plus a small processing fee) and are available on Eventbrite. As the online ad for the talk notes:

Home Ecophagus by Warren M. Hern is a wide-ranging look at the major problems for the survival of not just the human species, but all other species on Earth due to human activities over the past tens of thousands years. The title of the book indicates Hern’s new name for the human species: The man who devours the ecosystem

A link to get a ticket for this event can be found here.

I have not yet read Homo Ecophagus which has just come out, but have ordered it. Nancy and I hope to attend Hern’s talk. Hope those of you in Colorado will do so as well.

Women’s March, January 20, 2018. Denver, Colorado. Estimates are that half a million people showed up in support for women’s rights, including the right to abortion

KGNU Connections: Palestine and Israel: Prospects for the Future with Sergio Atallah, Hala Zahalka and Rob Prince, produced by Joel Edelstein. January 13, 2023

January 13, 2023

Dearborn Michigan. Palestinian Solidarity Demonstration. May 17, 2021

This morning (Friday, January 13, 2023) long time commentator and former KGNU news director Joel Edelstein interviewed Hala Zahalka – a Palestinian sister from Nablus on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Idaho; Sergio Atallah – Colombian-Palestinian brother, math teacher and long-time colleague and friend; …. and me. The interview centered on the state of relations between the Israeli government and the Palestinians living under Occupation.

Petition: Call on our Congressional delegation to support a cease-fire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine

January 10, 2023


We the undersigned call on our Congressional delegation to support a cease-fire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. The best way for the US to support Ukraine is by supporting negotiations..

By feeding a war that cannot be won by either side with weapons only prolongs the war, escalates its intensity and increases the death, destruction and suffering. Worse still there is a risk of a wider war and direct confrontation between the United States or a NATO country and Russia, which can lead to a much higher risk of a nuclear exchange.

It is clear that the U.S. and NATO have a great deal of influence over, if not defacto control of, this conflict as they are providing all the weapons and funding. The U.S. has been avoiding negotiations in hopes for a stingier hand, but it’s clear that is not going to happen. It’s time to end this thing while there still is a Ukraine and more productively direct our treasury toward the long-neglected needs of Americans.

Name ___________________________ Email _________________________

Avian Flu Along Colorado’s Front Range – “The Stuff of Bad Dreams” for Wildlife Watchers and Chicken Farmers

January 9, 2023

Northern Harrier picking over the remains of dead duck. Saturday, January 7, 2023 along S. Platte River Trail in Thornton, Colorado, in an area where avian flu is rampant. Was the duck a victim of this epidemic?

Nationwide, 57.8 million birds in 47 states have either died or been culled due to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The previous record was set in 2015 when the avian flu outbreak killed off 50.5 million birds in 21 states.

Covid-19 among human populations, avian flu among birds, domestic and wild.

On Saturday (January 7, 2023), out for my weekly 3-4 mile walk to photograph birds along the South Platte River ten-fifteen miles north of Denver, I came across a dead duck on the walkway near the confluence of the South Platte and Clear Creek. Its beak suggested to me that it was more than likely a Northern Shoveler – a male, given the coloring of the remaining feathers. I stopped for a few minutes, wondering about the cause of death. A coyote? an eagle or big hawk? It was only much later that the idea that it might have died of avian flu – the formal name of which is Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) came to mind.

After talking to a man walking his dog, I turned back to note that a hawk was pecking away at the ducks remains; as it was concentrating on its meal and not on me, I was able to get some good shots of it; it was easily identified as a female Northern Harrier. I posted a photo of the Harrier standing over its meal on social media. Above, another shot from the same series. Read more…

R. Prince – Letter to the Editor Denver Post. “Feeding a war that cannot be won” (on Ukraine). January 8.2023

January 8, 2023

The Denver Post published a letter to the editor today (Sunday, January 8, 2023) that I submitted. Surprised and pleased to see it in print.

Arnie Carter Interviews Nancy Fey and Rob Prince on … Nancy Fey and Rob Prince

January 6, 2023

Abbie, Molly, Nancy. Caribou Ranch (near Netherland) like, September 2014

So… over the years a number of old friends have urged me or “us” (Nancy and me) to write personal memoirs given the unusual trajectory of our lives. Won’t happen for a number of reasons but, that being the case,  several people have asked us for interviews. Here is one by our friend Arnie Carter. Arnie participates in the Romero Troupe, the same “organic theater” group that Molly works with when she has time.

Little more than a sketch, but still…something

The interview was done in our living room on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 in the afternoon.

Arnie Carter’s Interview with Nancy Fey and Rob Prince

From Suomenlinna to Helsinki over the ice on a Sunday in February, 1987. As I recall temperature that day was somewhere between -30 and -40. Nancy, Abbie on the sled, Molly walking alongside.

Audio: KGNU – Hemispheres Interview with Ibrahim Kazerooni: Recent Trip To Iran, Iraq.December 27, 2022.

December 27, 2022

China to Iran – one of the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese-Iranian ties have given Iran confidence that it can face down U.S. sanctions successfully

(Note – the following audio, pre-recorded yesterday for our program today – KGNU – Hemispheres – Middle East Dialogues – was rejected today for “technical reasons.” Hmmm – first time in 12 years of doing this show monthly that one of our programs has been cancelled. 

In any event – I consider this one of the more interesting discussions we have had – mostly because Ibrahim K has just returned from Iraq and Iran after a six week visit – and so I am posting it anyway on here on my blog.)


Ibrahim Kazerooni, co-commentator on KGNU-Hemispheres-Middle East Dialogues, has recently returned from a six week trip to the Middle East, specifically to Iraq and Iran. Although the trip was made for personal reasons, he was able to meet and talk with many people – key people – in both countries. In this program he’s going to share with us some what he has absorbed from the journey – and the degree to which it collides with mainstream media descriptions of recent events.

Over the last few months, the western media, media here in the United States, has been reporting on large-scale protests sweeping Iran in response to hijab requirements and the death of Masha Imami. The protests have been described by some in the media as “a revolution” against the Islamic Republic and have been highlighted as a movement led by young women.

Is this true? Is this a revolution? How much is all this just another example of a major media dis-information campaign? How much of it is accurate?

Let’s see how Ibrahim Kazerooni addresses these questions?



Raptors – getting through the first winter; it ain’t easy.

December 24, 2022

Red Tailed Hawk on Route 190 in south-central Kansas, trying to wait out the end of a long drought. October, 2022. (R. Prince photo).


(Thank you Paula Daily )


This is a tough time of year for raptors.
The birds that hatched during the summer are out on their own and still learning to hunt. Some are better hunters than others. Some, like humans, will do stupid things that may get them injured or killed. That’s why well over half of each years raptor fledglings will die their first winter.
Keep an eye out for ones who may be in trouble. Any raptor just standing on the ground by the road may need help. If you see them eating or chasing something and then fly up or away, they are probably fine.
Hawks and owls get hit by cars every day. They may have broken bones, head trauma, eye injuries, internal damage or something else. Aside from being injured, they are susceptible to being prey themselves while on the ground.
Usually, a raptor that you see just standing on the roadside has been hit by a car. They will certainly be stunned. Owls, with their large eyes are susceptible to ocular damage. Owls standing by the road typically can’t see. They may not have any broken bones, but can’t tell where to go, so they just stand there in fear…
Hawks are a little less susceptible to ocular damage but probably have wing, leg or head trauma. If they can see and their legs work, they will often move into the scrub by the road for cover. They are trying to hide from predators. This is one reason why when you see a hawk injured by the road, someone needs to act fast and get the bird. Otherwise they will crawl off in the bushes and disappear.
We also see raptors that are just not strong standing on the ground. A few examples are hawks, eagles and vultures that are suffering from lead poisoning. Owls are commonly down from rodenticide or insecticide poisoning. You may also see weak raptors during cold or rainy weather. Owls don’t hunt well in heavy rain. All birds burn more calories when it’s cold just to stay warm. This means they need to eat more. They need to be good hunters and have acceptable habitat with prey. If they get too under weight, they don’t have the energy to hunt, and will simply stand on the ground and die.
If you see a raptor in need, please stop, observe and call a wildlife rehabilitator or raptor center. If you feel comfortable and safe capturing the bird, even better. Remember though, they are stressed, afraid and armed with sharp talons. I always keep a collapsed cardboard box in the truck along with gloves and towels just in case.
If you capture a raptor in need, don’t feed it or water it. Find and call the closest rehabilitator and help transport the bird. They need medical attention ASAP. If we are to have a chance of helping them, we have to get right to work on the bird.
Remember, rehabilitators are almost never paid or reimbursed for their expenses, so any help in transporting a bird is huge! Located on lower Hatteras Island, I get calls often from the mainland to go get a bird. This is usually a 4 to 6 hour round trip drive. If the bird isn’t contained, there is no reason to even go because they usually won’t be where the caller reported. Driving is time consuming and very expensive. Even if contained, we can’t always drop what we’re doing and go get a bird.
Help if you can.

Guest Blogger – The Cradle: Former Tunisian PM arrested for ‘smuggling citizens’ to Syria

December 22, 2022


UGTT – Tunisian trade union movement still very much a political force in Tunisian life.

Former Tunisian PM arrested for ‘smuggling citizens’ to Syria

This is the second time that the former prime minister has been detained on similar charges
News Desk – December 21, 2022

Former Tunisian Prime Minister and Vice President of the Ennahda party, Ali Laarayedh, was arrested on 21 December on suspicion of helping to smuggle citizens to Syria to join militant groups.

According to his lawyer, Ines Harrath, Laarayedh was questioned for eight hours on behalf of the counter-terrorism judicial pole before being imprisoned for his alleged activities.

This is the second time the former prime minister is being held for similar charges. The first time was in September in response to claims that he helped smuggle Tunisians into Syria so that they could join militant and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State group.

While serving as the country’s prime minister, Laarayedh was initially accused of having too relaxed views on Tunisians traveling to Turkiye while ignoring its risks at the time. Turkiye remained the main route for many extremists joining armed groups to fight in Syria.

Over the previous ten years, an estimated 6,000 Tunisians have gone to Syria and Iraq to join such groups. A parliamentary panel was established in 2017 to look into the organizations responsible for the smuggling and recruitment of so-called jihadists.

Leftist groups have claimed that the Ennahda party and several of its top figures, including Laarayedh, helped smuggle people into Syria.

This week, Ennahda refuted all claims that it supported terrorism. The movement characterized the judge’s ruling as an attempt to cover up “the catastrophic loss of the election” and a political attack on Kais Saied’s opponent.

This was a reference to the Tunisian parliamentary elections on Saturday, which saw just 9 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, a historic low for the nation’s young democratic system, which emerged from the so-called Arab spring and was hailed as one of the few successful revolutions at the time.

For many Tunisians, the election was a charade to solidify the power of Saied and was boycotted by most political parties.