Author Archive | Good German

Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War

Military Police Practice Medical Evacuations [Image 2 of 3]
Lawrence Wittner writes at CounterPunch:

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for women who criticized war was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.

That’s certainly the case in today’s Russia, where thousands of government-funded clubs are producing what is called “military-patriotic education” for children. Accepting both boys and girls, these clubs teach them military exercises, some of which employ heavy military equipment. In a small town outside St. Petersburg, for example, children ranging from five to 17 years of age spend evenings learning how to fight and use military weapons.

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When CO2 Saved Life on Earth

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

 

The story of “snowball earth” has been distorted and used as confusion fodder by climate denial luminaries like His Celestial Magnanimity, the looney “Lord” Monckton, – see above.(starts about 1:50)

In contrast to today, when warming from our industrial injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere threatens life on the planet, in the deep past, CO2 pulled planet earth from a permanent, deathly world-wide deep freeze, maybe more than once.  In both cases, it’s those same heat-trapping properties that made the difference.

It’s all more evidence of how co2 has acted as the planet’s “biggest control knob” for temperature over 4 billion years.

Ian Fairchild, PhD, in The Conversation:

The idea of a deep-frozen world, “snowball Earth”, has captured the imagination since first proposed in the 1990s. On several occasions in history, long before animals evolved, apparently synchronous ice sheets existed on all the continents.

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Feminism for Men

Happy Monday
Floyd Dell writing in 1914, via the Baffler:

Feminism is going to make it possible for the first time for men to be free.

At present the ordinary man has the choice between being a slave and a scoundrel. That’s about the way it stands.

For the ordinary man is prone to fall in love and marry and have children. Also the ordinary man frequently has a mother. He wants to see them all taken care of, since they are unable to take care of themselves. Only if he has them to think about, he is not free.

A free man is a man who is ready to throw up his job whenever he feels like it. Whether he is a bricklayer who wants to go out on a sympathetic strike, or a poet who wants to quit writing drivel for the magazines, if he doesn’t do what he wants to do, he is not free.

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Television Viewing Linked to Higher Injury Risk in Hostile People

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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences via ScienceDaily:

People with hostile personality traits who watch more television than their peers may be at a greater risk for injury, potentially because they are more susceptible to the influence of television on violence and risk-taking behaviors, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.

The research, published online in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, suggests that a reduction in television viewing and content rating systems geared not just to age, but also personality traits, may reduce injury risk.

“Television viewing is very pervasive, with televisions in almost 99 percent of American households. And injuries cause more than half the deaths among people ages 1 through 44. This means that even modest reductions in television viewing, particularly among people predisposed to hostility, could have major positive outcomes for public health,” said lead author Anthony Fabio, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health.

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The Case Against Sustainability

Via Peak Oil News and Message Boards:

Do you recycle? Cool, me too. Do you turn off your lights when you leave the room? Good idea. Do you only buy produce that’s in season? Nice! Way to support your local farmer. Are you worried about the future of the planet? Politically active in some way around conservation of resources or green energy? Awesome, politics is really important.

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you’re probably concerned about sustainability in some way.

But I’ve got some news. “Sustainability” is a dangerously flawed way to think about the world.

What does “sustainability” mean?  Something is sustainable if you can sustain it—if you can keep doing it forever.

The world as it currently exists is deeply unequal and violent; the political and economic structures that shape the way that most of us live our lives depend on exploitation.  

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It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police

Police Lights
Brian Platt writes at CounterPunch:

Last week documents obtained by The Intercept revealed that undercover officers for the NYPD regularly attended Black Lives Matter events. Pictures of activists are kept on file by the department and their movements are tracked. In a statement on these revelations the Metropolitan Transit Authority which has been using its counter-terrorism task force to also spy on Black Lives Matter justified the spying by equating protesters with terrorists. And this is not just the view of local police departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force have both been monitoring Black Lives Matter protests across the country showing the dangerous and unfounded link in the minds of police between social justice movements and terrorism.

It is notable that the problem of police infiltration is unique to Left-leaning political groups. Right wing organizations like the Tea Party, the OathKeepers, and the Ku Klux Klan are more likely to have police as enthusiastic members than moles.

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Green Islam: Muslims Speak Out on Climate Change

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

Following the declaration by Pope Francis in June, leaders in the Islamic world have now issued a warning on climate change to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

In May, I interviewed Imam Achmat Sallie, an important leader in the burgeoning movement of “Green Islam”.  Imam Sallie is founder of the Islamic Studies program at Mercy College of the University of Detroit.

Read more here.

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Jimmy Carter’s Blood-Drenched Legacy

Randy von Liski (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Randy von Liski (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Matt Peppe writes at CounterPunch:

A few days ago former President Jimmy Carter announced that he has cancer and it is spreading. While it would be premature to assume this spells the end for the 90-year-old, it does present an opportunity to take stock of the tenure of a President who, like the current occupant of the White House, entered office with a promise to respect human rights, but failed miserably when given the opportunity to do so.

Carter just last month published a memoir about his “Full Life.” Others have begun to look back at his four years as President. David Macaray, writing in CounterPunch on 8/14/15, noted that despite his reputation as a President so hapless his fellow Democrats tried to knock him off in a primary, “a closer look shows that Carter accomplished some fairly important things during his single term in office – things that, given the near-paralytic gridlock that defines today’s politics, seem all the more impressive in hindsight.”

Macaray lists 10 accomplishments which were, indeed, impressive.

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Does ‘Divine Hiddenness’ Belong to Theists or to Atheists?

Josh Cowan Photography (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Josh Cowan Photography (CC BY-NC 2.0)

J. L. Shellenberg writes at OUPblog:

Theistic literature is full of references and allusions to a self-concealing deity. The psalm writer whose poems are included in the Hebrew Bible regularly calls out, in alternating notes of perplexity, impatience and despair, to a God whose felt presence apparently seemed frustratingly inconstant. But he or she still assumed that God was there.

Something similar is true in the rest of the Bible, and indeed across most of western religious history. Take the notion of a ‘dark night of the soul’ associated with Saint John of the Cross. The medieval Spanish mystic was talking about the mysterious ways of operating of a divine reality in relation to human beings who seek God. Apparently he was not in doubt at all about whether such a being belonged to reality in the first place.

But recently things have changed.

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