Author Archive | Good German

What We Know About the Mysterious Suicide of Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Schweich

Jenna McLaughlin and Pema Levy write at Mother Jones:

On Thursday morning, Thomas Schweich, Missouri’s auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death—coming moments after he had invited two reporters to his home later that day—shocked Missouri political observers, who point out that in addition to his beloved family and distinguished career in public service, Schweich, 54, had just won re-election to a second term as state auditor and was leading in early polls of the 2016 governor’s race. Why he would have taken his own life is a mystery to those who knew him. Just as strange is the predominant theory of what may have provoked his apparent suicide: rumors that he was Jewish.

In the days before his death, Schweich had been worried that the head of the Missouri Republican Party was conducting a “whisper campaign” against him by telling people that he was Jewish.

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Using ‘Fuzzy Logic’ to Optimize Hybrid Solar/Battery Systems

This image shows the fuzzy logic algorithm which reads the consumption energy and the monthly average of daily solar radiation and gives the output of the system which is the PVP surface and the battery capacity. Credit: Chokri BEN SALAH/Control and Energy Management Lab. (CEMLab), Department of Electrical Engineering, National School of Engineers of Sfax, BP. W, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia.

This image shows the fuzzy logic algorithm which reads the consumption energy and the monthly average of daily solar radiation and gives the output of the system which is the PVP surface and the battery capacity.

Credit: Chokri BEN SALAH/Control and Energy Management Lab. (CEMLab), Department of Electrical Engineering, National School of Engineers of Sfax, BP. W, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia.

Via ScienceDaily:

How did fuzzy logic help a group of researchers in Tunisia and Algeria create an ideal photovoltaic system that obeys the supply-and-demand principle and its delicate balance?

In the Journal of Renewable & Sustainable Energy, from AIP Publishing, the group describes a new sizing system of a solar array and a battery in a standalone photovoltaic system that is based on fuzzy logic — a many-valued logic system designed to reason outputs by considering a range of possibilities rather than a simple, binary yes or no, as with classical logic.

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How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

Glenn Greenwald writes at the Intercept:

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses.

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Chicago Police Detain Americans at Abuse-Laden ‘Black Site’

Spencer Ackerman writes at the Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
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Think of Me as You Will (about John Duncan and “Blind Date”), 2002

Think of Me as You Will (about John Duncan and “Blind Date”), 2002 from Thomas Nordanstad on Vimeo.

“Think of Me as You Will” is a short documentary/interview with John Duncan. Duncan is a performance artist notoriously known for his project “Blind Date.” According to Wikipedia, “Blind Date, involving intercourse with a female corpse followed by a vasectomy, both conducted in private, was presented as an audio-only event to an audience in a darkened warehouse, a demonstration of how men are conditioned to turn emotional suffering into rage.” In this short film, Duncan talks about his process and reactions to Blind Date, stating that his chief concern was making himself suffer.

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Norwegian Muslims to Jews: If Someone Wants To Attack You, They’ll Have To Step Over Us First

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In the wake of last week’s attack on a Copenhagen synagogue – along with the Paris terrorist attacks, the murders of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, and growing anti-Semitism across Europe – a group of young Muslims in Norway have organized a Shabbat “Ring of Peace” around an Oslo synagogue to, in the words of its 17-year-old organizer, “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.” Concerned the event could prove “counter-productive” in an increasingly volatile climate, the leader of Oslo’s Jewish community agreed to it only if at least 30 people signed up. To date, over 1,500 have, agreeing with organizers’ argument that, “Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to.” The event has also sparked a wave of online campaigns expressing similar solidarity, including #IGoToSynagogue #WeMustStickTogether #MuslimsAndJewsRefuseToBeEnemies #ChildrenOfAbraham #AbrahamIbrahim. Explained one attendee for the Ring of Peace, “We all have to live under the same sky.”

And in Toronto, this Blind Trust Project:

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The U.S. Empire and ISIS: A Tale of Two Death Cults

Flag of the Islamic State (IS), also known as "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL).

Flag of the Islamic State (IS), also known as “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) or “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL).

Glen Ford writes at Black Agenda Report:

“Obama is a flame-thrower, a fire-spitter, a pyromaniac on a mission to incinerate humanity’s capacity to resist – a vision shared by the jihadist death cults.”

President Obama is a master of military supply and demand. His operatives and allies supply jihadists with enough weapons, financing and, in the case of Libya, a Euro-American air force, to plunge vast tracts of Africa and Asia into bloody chaos, thus creating a demand for intervention by the planet’s only “indispensable” nation: the United States. It’s a diabolical formula for fomenting hell on earth, driven by a simple logic: Since the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world ONLY in military terms, Washington finds its ultimate advantage in turning the whole world into a battlefield.

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Indonesian Villagers Stand Up Against Illegal Miners

"Mount Merapi in 2014" by Crisco 1492 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Mount Merapi in 2014” by Crisco 1492Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Bambang Muryanto writes at the Jakarta Post:

Hundreds of residents from four villages on the slopes of Mount Merapi in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, have taken it into their own hands to stop illegal sand mining near their homes and demand that Sleman regency take firm action.

They also took a stand by driving out heavy machinery from the sand quarry.

“We demand the heavy machinery be pulled out today,” said rally coordinator Maryono, during an event dubbed “the people’s hearing” at an intersection in Candi hamlet, Purwobinangun, Sleman, on Tuesday.

The protesters — hailing from Girikerto, Wonokerto, Purwobinangun and Hargobinangun villages — included housewives, teenagers and adults and called themselves the Concerned Residents Forum.

They also cut down several trees and used the trunks to block hundreds of sand trucks from leaving Purwobinangun, including those belonging to the Army’s ZENI Engineering Directorate.

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No, Pope Francis, There’s Nothing ‘Beautiful’ about Hitting a Child

"Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)" by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)” by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. Stacey Patton writes at Al Jazeera America:

Pope Francis has officially lost his revolutionary cred. Known for his willingness to challenge church doctrine, to bring religion into the 21st century and to speak truth to power, he clearly hasn’t gotten an updated parenting manual. He appears to still be reading from a 17th-century edition that advised Europeans that children could be possessed by a devil that should be driven out with a rod of correction.

During a recent general weekly audience, the pope decided to offer some advice to the world’s parents. “One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say, ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face, so as to not humiliate them,’” he told the audience.

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