Author Archive | Good German

Don’t Believe the FBI’s Most Recent Hate Crime Statistics

Cliff (CC BY 2.0)

Cliff (CC BY 2.0)

Lauren Kirchner writes at Pacific Standard:

Crimes targeting black and transgender Americans persist, but they are under-reported and under-recorded.

Jackson, Mississippi, saw the long-awaited end to one particularly notorious case, as the last of 10 white defendants pleaded guilty to his part in the random assaults of several black men, as well as one murder, in a series of racially motivated hate crimes in 2011. Meanwhile, authorities in Colorado Springs, Colorado, began an investigation into the bombing of the NAACP local office there. No one was hurt in that explosion, and motives and suspects are still elusive, but the FBI is exploring the possibility that it, too, was a racially motivated “bias attack,” or hate crime.According to the FBI’s most recent annual hate crime statistics released last month, about half were motivated by racial bias. Racial-bias crimes far outnumbered crimes motivated by bias against the victim’s sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, disability status, gender, or gender identity.

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China: “Violent Government Thugs” Beaten To Death By Angry Crowds After They Killed A Man Documenting Their Brutality

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Via Revolution News:

At least 4 Chengguan, the most hated police-inspectors in China, were beaten to death by angry people in Cangnan County of Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province (located in the industrial southeast), after they killed a man with a hammer. The police-inspectors hit the man with a hammer until he started to vomit blood, because he was trying to take pictures of their violence towards a woman, a street vendor. The man was rushed to hospital, but died on the way.Thousands of angry people took to the streets, surrounded the police-inspectors in their van, attacked them with stones, bats, and beat them to death. People were shouting that the police-inspectors be killed on the spot for what they did: “Kill them! Kill them!”

These police-inspectors are notoriously violent, are rarely investigated or punished for their crimes, and are terrorizing people making a living. The Chengguan, which are a special combination between regular police and state inspectors, are called “violent government thugs” in China, thousands of them are on the state payroll in at least 656 cities.

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The Death Sentence That Could Inflame Sectarian Tensions Across The Middle East

Nimr al-Nimr (Photo: freenimr.org)

Nimr al-Nimr (Photo: freenimr.org)

Giorgio Cafiero writes at Foreign Policy in Focus:

Last October, Saudi Arabia’s Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr — a popular Shi’ite cleric and outspoken political dissident — to death.

This was not an ordinary criminal trial, even considering Saudi Arabia’s liberal use of capital punishment. Among other charges, the prosecutor sought to convict al-Nimr of “waging war on God” and “aiding terrorists,” even calling for the cleric to be publicly executed by “crucifixion.” In Saudi Arabia, this rare method of execution entails beheading the individual before publicly displaying his decapitated body.

The widely revered Shi’ite cleric was ultimately convicted of “disobeying” the king, waging violence against the state, inviting “foreign meddling” in the kingdom, inciting vandalism and sectarian violence, and insulting the Prophet Muhammad’s relatives. However, al-Nimr’s family and supporters claim that the ruling was politically driven and insist that the cleric led a non-violent movement committed to promoting Shi’ite rights, women’s rights, and democratic reform in Saudi Arabia.

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The Golden Age of Black Ops: Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015

The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Nick Turse writes at TomDispatch:

In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.  Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight.  It was the second time in two weeks that elite U.S. Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers.  And it was the second time they failed.

On December 6, 2014, approximately 36 of America’s top commandos, heavily armed, operating with intelligence from satellites, drones, and high-tech eavesdropping, outfitted with night vision goggles, and backed up by elite Yemeni troops, went toe-to-toe with about six militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  When it was over, Somers was dead, along with Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher due to be set free the next day.  Eight civilians were also killed by the commandos, according to local reports.  Most of the militants escaped.

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The Long History of Satire in the Middle East

A rally in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. (Photo: Thomas Bresson/Flickr)

A rally in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. (Photo: Thomas Bresson/Flickr)

Sonia Tamar Seeman writes at Pacific Standard:

One of the journalists killed in the recent attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, was Georges Wolinski, who was honored in an article published by the Turkish language BBC on Thursday, January 8. The accompanying photograph, taken when Wolinski was visiting Istanbul two years ago, shows him wearing a white skullcap in the courtyard of Sultan Eyüp mosque.

“He wanted to meet with local religious conservatives…. One of Eyüp’s speakers came,” Turkish journalist Tüncay Akgün wrote. “He invited him [Wolinski] to become a Muslim. He gave him a religious skullcap.” It was no accident that Wolinski and Akgün, general editor of Turkey’s own satirical publication, LeMan, became fast friends.

Irreverent, satirical, continually poking fun at all sides of the political, social, ethnic, and religious spectrum, LeMan is well-known for its fanciful cartoons.

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Island States Throw Off the Heavy Yoke of Fossil Fuels

Matthew Keefe (CC BY 2.0)

Matthew Keefe (CC BY 2.0)

Desmond Brown writes at Inter Press Service:

The Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, on a quest to become the world’s first sustainable island state, has taken a giant leap in its programme to cut energy costs.

Last week, the government broke ground to construct the country’s second solar farm, and Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas told IPS his administration is “committed to free the country from the fossil fuel reliance” which has burdened so many nations for so very long.

Douglas said the aim is “to harness the power of the sun – a power which nature has given to us in such great abundance in this very beautiful country, St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The energy generated will be infused into the national grid, and this will reduce SKELEC’s need for imported fossil fuels,” he said, referring to the state electricity provider.

“This farm will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that St.

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How the People Can Outwit the Global Domination Plans of Agribusiness

In Texas, large fields are prepared for the next year's corn crop. (Photo: Daniel James/flickr/cc)

In Texas, large fields are prepared for the next year’s corn crop. (Photo: Daniel James/flickr/cc)

Jonathan Latham writes at Common Dreams:

The strategic centerpiece of Monsanto PR is to focus on the promotion of one single compelling idea. The idea that they want you to believe in is that only they can produce enough for the future population. They wish you to therefore believe that non-industrial systems of farming, such as all those which use agroecological methods, or SRI, or are localised and family-oriented, or which use organic methods, or non-GMO seeds, cannot feed the world. This same PR strategy is followed by every major commercial participant in the industrial food system.

To be sure, agribusiness has a few other PR strategies. Agribusiness is “pro-science”, its opponents are “anti-science”, and so on. But the main plank has for decades been to create a cast-iron moral framing around the need to produce more.

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Gaza’s Kids Seek A Voice Amidst the Chaos


Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

A severe winter storm dubbed Huda this week brought ever more suffering to the long-suffering residents of Gaza, especially the over 100,000 people left homeless by last summer’s Israeli assault – an assault whose aftermath former UN special rapporteur Richard Falk has just declared “catastrophic…a form of massive state terror directed at the entire population of Gaza.” The storm, added to existing hardships in Gaza, has prompted Palestinian authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Huda unleashed heavy cold rains that caused widespread flooding, brutal winds and hail in Gaza, along with snow and even colder temperatures for Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon. With a still-blockaded Gaza having received less than 2 percent of an estimated 5 million tons of materials needed to rebuild, between 100,000 and 170,000 Gazans still lack adequate shelter and live huddled in tents, rubble or half-demolished homes. They also lack power – because Gaza’s sole power station was bombed by Israel last summer – and fuel, because the Israeli-Egyptian blockade continues.

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How’s a Busy Mom Supposed to Find the Time to Protest Guantánamo?

itness Against Torture protesters rallied outside the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. (Flickr / Matthew Daloisio)

itness Against Torture protesters rallied outside the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.
(Flickr / Matthew Daloisio)

Frida Berrigan writes at Waging Nonviolence:

This is how it starts.

I am sitting on the floor in the living room. My son Seamus — a two-and-a-half-year-old — is cuddled in my lap. I am talking to my sister on the phone and then, suddenly, I am covered in vomit.

“Ah, Kate. I am going to have to call you back. Seamus just hurled all over me.”

I throw down the phone and carry my screaming son upstairs and into the bathtub. He has the flu.

Meanwhile, my friends are fasting in Washington, D.C. They are vigiling, witnessing and organizing to shut down Guantánamo, end torture and ensure accountability for the perpetrators. They are wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods (over very warm coats). They are at the Pentagon, the White House and the Capitol, as the new Congress is sworn in.

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I Thought I Was A Feminist Until I Started Dating A Men’s Rights Activist

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Jasmine Subrata writing at Thought Catalog:

I didn’t know what a men’s rights activist was until I fell in love with one. He didn’t know I was a feminist until our First Big Argument. Every couple went through one, but I doubt any of them had one based on something as petty as ours.

My boyfriend is a cis white male of European descent. He is 6’7, barely fits through a doorframe, listens to indie music and enjoys video games more than puppies. I grew up in a third world country and am currently studying overseas, where I met him through a mutual. I am a feminist because in my country, patriarchy is rampant, child brides are aplenty, and street harassment is commonplace. My boyfriend is an MRA because after objectively comparing the issues of both genders in a first-world context, he finds that the male activists need more support in fighting for their issues.

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