Author Archive | Good German

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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The Joy of Conspiracy Denial

Tim (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tim (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From 2009, Carol Cleveland writing at OpEdNews:

Recently I read another stinging rebuke of the 9-11 conspiracy theorists for their frightful mishandling of evidence, their will to believe only what gives them psychological comfort, and their general state of delusion. It was not the first I had read, nor will it be the last. The writer held unwaveringly to the party line: all those who seek to discredit the official, announced version of the events of 9-11 are “conspiracy theorists”- and should not be listened to. That this position constitutes an attempt at prior censorship does not seem to bother the deniers, nor the fact that the central tenets of conspiracy denial are an ad hominem attack. We are told that conspiracy theorists are crazy, or at least cowardly clingers to delusions that they find comforting.

It occurred to me that I haven’t seen anyone examine the mental comforts of conspiracy denial, using the handy tools of amateur psychology.

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Why is Rev. Edward Pinkney in Prison? Another Case of Political Persecution

Jackie Miller writes at CounterPunch:

Why is Rev. Edward Pinkney in prison?

One answer comes to mind from my very first meeting with Pinkney in 2003. I drove from Lansing to Benton Harbor in southwest Michigan to witness a Berrien County Commissioners meeting soon after the Benton Harbor uprising. At that eye-opening introduction, white commissioners literally laughed at Black community members’ desperate appeals for justice for their young Black men, incarcerated or killed with impunity at a sickening rate. From this vignette straight out of the Jim Crow South, I left 90% white St. Joseph and crossed the bridge to Benton Harbor where well over 90% of the residents are Black and nearly half live in poverty according to census data.

Standing outside City Hall, Pinkney said to me, “You know, they offered me a Cadillac. I said, no, thank you.” The power elite in the county tried to buy him off to shut him up.

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Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: the Whiteness of Nominal Socialism

DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)

DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Street writes at CounterPunch:

Racism as Just an Economic Problem

The nominally socialist Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie “sheep dog” Sanders, from 95% white Vermont, has, it turns out, some race problems – at least five by my count. The first one, very much on his display in his speech to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s old organization the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) last July 25th, is his economistic tendency to downplay the significance of race and the importance of specifically anti-racist struggle.

Reflecting the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement that has arisen in response to racist police killings, Sanders addressed the SCLC to demonstrate his commitment to racial justice. He came armed with a surplus of terrible statistics on US racial disparities and institutional racism. Sanders seemed eager to wrap himself in the legacy of Dr. King. “Bernie” (as his liberal; and progressive fans like to call him) trumpeted his own youthful work in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

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