Changing Seasons: September And The Rook Ballet

Tish Farrell


No one quite knows why they do it. Or they didn’t the last time I pursued the matter. But as summer ends so the rooks begin their twilight dancing. There is a large rookery in the wood behind the house. Many scores of birds. Jackdaws live there too. Now each evening, as the sun slips behind Wenlock Edge we watch the rook and jackdaw ballet. Flock after flock flies in, flies out, sweeps up, round, back, spirals, dives in sequences so swift and coordinated that there must surely be some corvid dance-master somewhere orchestrating the moves. The show may last for many minutes, subside into the treetops, then burst out and start all over again. Finally, as the light goes, every bird finds its perch, and the wood subsides into companionable darkness and gentle rook chatter.


To join in this challenge please visit Changing Seasons Monthly Challenge over at…

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Comey: Clinton Aides Refused To Cooperate Without Immunity


Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziHillary Clinton’s position on the email scandal has repeatedly changed from its first emergence in the presidential campaign from denial of bad judgment to the denial of the use of the private server for any classified information to the denial of any material “marked” as classified to the denial of seeing or understanding classified markings. However, one claim has remained unchanged. Clinton has maintained that she and her staff have “cooperated fully” with investigators. That claim was previously shown to be untrue when it was revealed that neither Clinton nor her staff would agree to speak with State Department investigators even though they said that such interviews were needed to determine the scope any damage to national security or security breaches. Now, however, the lack of cooperation has been put into sharper relief with the testimony of FBI Director James B. Comey this week. My column this week raised serious…

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Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.

Article 2

Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.

Article 3

Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 4

Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their…

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On Holier-Than-Thou Responses to Student Protests

It would be tempting to put together a second-hand report on the actual #FeesMustFall conflicts, but others like Daily Maverick opinionista Pearl Pillay are covering that better than I can.

It’s also difficult to verify the chilling social media reports in real time.  Last night, many of us followed #ULShutdown wondering whether help was on its way for innocent bystanders caught in it.  Who qualifies as an innocent bystander is a moot debate; they get shot at, pepper-sprayed and teargased anyway.

We’re upset that our tax money is being burned at universities because we prefer to have it spent civilly on oligarchs’ vacations — and those are increasingly more luxurious.  If protesters acted like good little citizens and rolled over, it would give the reassuring impression that all is well with our fair land.  So we present an alternative: the simplistic advice that they take their fight for free, high-quality…

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