Author Archive | Good German

Life Under ISIS

Patrick Cockburn writes at CounterPunch:

The Islamic State was declared in the weeks after the capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, by Isis on 10 June 2014. It was only then that countries around the world began to wake up to the fact that Isis posed a serious threat to them all. Reorganised under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2010 after the death of the previous leader, Isis took advantage of the Syrian uprising of 2011 to expand its forces and resume widespread guerrilla warfare. Sunni protests against mounting repression by the Baghdad government transmuted into armed resistance. In the first half of 2014 Isis defeated five Iraqi divisions, a third of the Iraqi army, to take over most of the giant Anbar province. A crucial success came when Isis-led forces seized the city of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, on 3 January 2014 and the Iraqi army failed to win it back.

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The Art World’s Descent into Irrelevance and Degeneracy

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Cainus Maxus writes at Alternative Right:

Today’s Art world is so far gone, so lacking in any substance, even anything naive and amusingly humanistic, that it befuddles any average person with a working sense of reality. The irony of all this is that Art is dominated by the Far Left, and the Far Left claim to idolize the working man – at least around outsiders. Instead they succeed only in alienating him, and this is no surprise because artists don’t really care about average people – but like everything else in society, they must adopt the veneer of militant humanism.

Ludicrously priced junk goes for obscene amounts, and the average working man shakes his head because he feels he’s being fooled. While he bleeds from his hands, hammering in steel at the job site, or biting his lip when his boss is verbally reaming him, he wonders how those pampered artists, with their 10 dollar soy mocha lattes are enjoying the day duct-taping a blow up doll to a chair and dumping paint on it as an expression of “feminine rage” against the always present “patriarchy.”

The politics of the art world claim to have the common man’s best interests at heart – always vying for socialism, for the working class, “Equality,” “Freedom” – but he knows they don’t really care.

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Agathe Snow — Total Attitude Workshop Video

Agathe Snow’s ‘Total Attitude Workshop Video’ records a troupe of models cheerfully proclaiming their five-point plan to improve their lives. Snow’s parody of celebrity self-help videos includes the advice to be transported back in time to Jesus’ birth and to Nazi Germany. She seemingly celebrates both feminist history and America’s cultural and historical ignorance.

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The Failure of Modern Industrial Agriculture

Matthias Ripp (CC By 2.0)

Matthias Ripp (CC By 2.0)

John Ikerd writes at Dollars & Sense:

Americans are being subjected to an ongoing multimillion-dollar propaganda campaign designed to “increase confidence and trust in today’s agriculture.” Food Dialogues, just one example of this broader trend, is a campaign sponsored by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance—an industry organization whose funders and board members include Monsanto, DuPont, and John Deere. The campaign features the “faces of farming and ranching”—articulate, attractive young farmers, obviously chosen to put the best possible face on the increasingly ugly business of industrial agriculture, which dominates our food- production system.

Genetically engineered crops, inhumane treatment of farm animals, and routine feeding of antibiotics to confined animals—among many other problems—have eroded public trust in American agriculture. In response, the defenders of so-called modern agriculture have employed top public relations firms to try to clean up their tarnished public image. Their campaigns emphasize such issues as water quality, food safety, animal welfare, and “food prices and choices.”

Mounting public concerns in each of these areas are supported by a growing body of scientific evidence.

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Loneliness and Social Isolation Are Just as Much a Threat to Longevity as Obesity

via Brigham Young University:

Ask people what it takes to live a long life, and they’ll say things like exercise, take Omega-3s, and see your doctor regularly.

Now research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity.

“The effect of this is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead study author. “We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously.”

Loneliness and social isolation can look very different. For example, someone may be surrounded by many people but still feel alone. Other people may isolate themselves because they prefer to be alone. The effect on longevity, however, is much the same for those two scenarios.

The association between loneliness and risk for mortality among young populations is  actually greater than among older populations. Although older people are more likely to be lonely and face a higher mortality risk, loneliness and social isolation better predict premature death among populations younger than 65 years.

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10 Medicinal Weeds That May Grow In Your Backyard

"Milk thistle flowerhead" by Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 - Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Milk thistle flowerhead” by Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons.

Jeff Roberts writes at Collective-Evolution:

For thousands of years, man has looked to nature to cure disease. In the last decade particularly, medicinal plants have been catapulted into mainstream culture, with the  popularity of plant medicines such as ayahuasca, ibogaine and cannabis making headlines for their powerful healing abilities against some of today’s most prominent illnesses.  However, these plant medicines come with illicit conditions in most countries.

The good news is, some of the most common weeds in our backyard yield amazing healing abilities, and they are all legal! Here are ten weeds which possess interesting medicinal properties. (Note: Consult with your health professional before self-medicating with these plants)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus), the light blue flower frequently seen along roads, provides the main commercial source of the compound inulin.

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Pulling Teeth: Ovarian Teratomas & the Myth of Vagina Dentata

Gemma Angel writes at UCL Researchers in Museums:

In preparation for our upcoming exhibition, Foreign Bodies, several members of the engagement team went to visit UCL Pathology Collections, to have a look at a collection of foreign objects removed from the human body. We soon encountered a number of other specimens which resonated with the exhibition theme in various ways: From a liver infected with syphilis, to a ruptured oesophagus and the sword swallower’s sword that caused the fatal injury; to a feotus inadvertently discovered during a hysterectomy, which was performed to extract a large tumour on the uterus.

The UCL Pathology Collections comprise over 6,000 specimens dating back to around 1850, many of which have been absorbed from other London medical institutions over the past 25 years, and these are currently in the process of being re-catalogued and conserved. It is a fascinating, not to mention an educationally invaluable collection – not least because it contains many specimens that demonstrate gross clinical manifestations of diseases which are now very rare in the Western world.

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NATO Lies and Provocations

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Mike Whitney writes at CounterPunch:

“The war has been provoked to destroy the Russian World, to draw Europe into it, and to surround Russia with hostile countries. Unleashing this world war, America is trying to deal with its own internal problems.”

– Sergei Glazyev, Advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin

The fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, have driven a wedge between Germany and the United States that could lead to a collapse of the Atlantic Alliance. According to the German news magazine, Der Spiegel, Breedlove has repeatedly sabotaged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine by spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances on the border, (and) the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks.” But while the unusually critical article singles out Breedlove for his hyperbolic exaggerations of so-called Russian aggression, the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.

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Sea Slug Has Taken Genes from Algae It Eats, Allowing It to Photosynthesize like a Plant

The rich green color of the photosynthesizing sea slug, Elysia chlorotica, helps to camouflage it on the ocean floor. Credit: Patrick Krug

The rich green color of the photosynthesizing sea slug, Elysia chlorotica, helps to camouflage it on the ocean floor. Credit: Patrick Krug

Diana Kenney via Marine Biological Laboratory:

WOODS HOLE, Mass.—How a brilliant-green sea slug manages to live for months at a time “feeding” on sunlight, like a plant, is clarified in a recent study published in The Biological Bulletin.

The authors present the first direct evidence that the emerald green sea slug’s chromosomes have some genes that come from the algae it eats.

These genes help sustain photosynthetic processes inside the slug that provide it with all the food it needs.

Importantly, this is one of the only known examples of functional gene transfer from one multicellular species to another, which is the goal of gene therapy to correct genetically based diseases in humans.

“Is a sea slug a good [biological model] for a human therapy? Probably not.

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California Firefighter Says Antibiotic “Cipro” Poisoned His Body, His Life

Skeletal formula of ciprofloxacin.

Skeletal formula of ciprofloxacin.

Via CBS Los Angeles:

A Southland firefighter wants to warn others about a prescription drug that he says poisoned him and stripped him of the ability to do what he loves.

Chino resident Chris Jones was taking a powerful antibiotic called ciprofloxacin, more commonly known by the brand name “Cipro.” It’s taken by millions of Americans every year.

Cipro belongs to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, which are so strong they can kill anthrax. They’re used to kill a wide variety of bacteria responsible for many common infections.

Jones’ ordeal started in October with a bout of groin pain, which he thought was a hernia.

His doctor suspected it was an infection and prescribed him Cipro, but Jones took the generic.

Two days after starting the medication, Jones called his doctor about soreness he was feeling in his legs. The doctor said to keep taking the medication.

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