Author Archive | Good German

Crustaceans Win Battle Against Being Feminized

Michal Maňas (User:snek01) (CC BY 2.0)

Michal Maňas (User:snek01) (CC BY 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

Male crustaceans can ‘lock down’ their maleness to avoid being completely feminised by seawater contaminated by feminising pollutants, according to scientists.

New research by scientists at the University of Portsmouth has shown that crustaceans turned partially into females retain a core of masculinity, and they may have learned how to do it after evolutionary battles with parasites.

The researchers have also published the entire genetic code for the amphipod crustacean they studied, which they hope will lead to even better understanding of their biology.

The research is published in Environmental Science and Technology.

One of the researchers Dr Alex Ford said: “We’ve known for some time that fish change sex if they’re subjected to even small amounts of oestrogen in the water, but until now we didn’t know what was happening to crustaceans.

“What we found is that once a crustacean has decided to be male, it can lock down its maleness.

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Fighting the Trojan Horse of Hipster-Fascism

death_in_june_-_skull_logo_cu

Alexander Reid Ross writes at CounterPunch:

“No one surrounds themselves with Runes, totenkopfs and neofolk and REALLY likes the jews. They just pretend they do because they are cowards.‬”
– James Porrazzo, former leader of the American Front

At first, I didn’t think that I was going to the protest against the controversial band Death in June, but the stars seemed to align. Having just finished reading that 3,500 page tome of Jewish scripture, the Babylonian Talmud, I felt like I had some extra time on my hands and needed to celebrate. As it happened, the protest took place the day before the anniversary of Kristallnacht. The following day was Armistice Day (Veterans Day), celebrating the end of World War I. It seemed like a good day to fight fascism, and Death in June is famous for their openly fascist approach.

Some who join me in coming from an ecological background might wonder, why would you protest Death in June, a subcultural neo-folk band that doesn’t really make any ecological claims?

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How to Criticize Israel Without Being Anti-Semitic

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Peter Vidani writes at This Is Not Jewish:

If you’ve spent any time discussing or reading about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I guarantee you’ve heard some variation of this statement:

OMG, Jews think any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic! 

In the interests of this post, I’m going to assume that the people who express such sentiments are acting in good faith and really don’t mean to cause pain to or problems for Diaspora Jewry.  For those good-faith people, I present some guidelines for staying on the good side of that admittedly murky line, along with the reasoning why the actions I list are problematic.  (And bad-faith people, you can no longer plead ignorance if you engage in any of these no-nos.  Consider yourselves warned.)  In no particular order:

  1. Don’t use the terms “bloodthirsty,” “lust for Palestinian blood,” or similar.  Historically, Jews have been massacred in the belief that we use the blood of non-Jews (particularly of children) in our religious rituals.  This belief still persists in large portions of the Arab world (largely because white Europeans deliberately spread the belief among Arabs) and even in parts of the Western world.  Murderous, inhumane, cruel, vicious—fine.  But blood…just don’t go there.  Depicting Israel/Israelis/Israeli leaders eating children is also a no-no, for the same reason.
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More Radical Than Thou

opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

JMP writes at M-L-M Mayhem!:

Due to the upcoming provincial elections in Ontario, I have again found myself reflecting on something that has become a common theme, either explicitly or implicitly, of this blog in the past few months: the default social democratic and/or opportunist consciousness of the self-proclaimed left in Canada and the United States.  Generally, I have been concerned with that gap between theory and practice where on one hand, anti-capitalists will proclaim that capitalism must be superseded but, on the other hand, will focus most of their energy in building social democratic coalitions and organizations.  And though I have tried to qualify my critique by pointing out that leftists should be prepared to support initiatives that defend social democratic rights, but must do so in a principled manner, I have still found that even this nuanced perspective is met with hostility by self-proclaimed anti-capitalists who should know better.

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Andrea Dworkin on Misandry

51Bh83rIagLChapter three of Letters From a War Zone:

One problem is that this essay, like others in this book, has no cultural presence: no one has to know about it or take it into account to appear less than ignorant; no one will be held accountable for ignoring it. Usually critics and political adversaries have to reckon with the published work of male writers whom they wish to malign. No such rules protect girls. One pro-pornography “feminist” published an article in which she said I was anti-abortion, this in the face of decades of work for abortion rights and membership in many pro-choice groups. No one even checked her allegation; the periodical would not publish a retraction. One’s published work counts as nothing, and so do years of one’s political life.

1

All who are not of good race in this world are chaff. –Hitler, Mein KampfIt would be lunacy to try to estimate the value of man according to his race, thus declaring war on the Marxist idea that men are equal, unless we are determined to draw the ultimate consequences.

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Humans, Baboons Share Cumulative Culture Ability

Gelada Baboon  A.Davey (CC BY 2.0)

Gelada Baboon
A.Davey (CC BY 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

The ability to build up knowledge over generations, called cumulative culture, has given mankind language and technology. While it was thought to be limited to humans until now, researchers from the Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive (CNRS/AMU), working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh (UK), have recently found that baboons are also capable of cumulative culture. Their findings are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on 5 November 2014.

Humankind is capable of great accomplishments, such as sending probes into space and eradicating diseases; these achievements have been made possible because humans learn from their elders and enrich this knowledge over generations. It was previously thought that this cumulative aspect of culture — whereby small changes build up, are transmitted, used and enriched by others — was limited to humans, but it has now been observed in another primate, the baboon.

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‘History In The Making': Workers Hold First Sit-Down Work Action Targeting Walmart

“Stand Up, Live Better! Sit Down, Live Better!” workers chant. (Photo courtesy of DC Jobs With Justice)

“Stand Up, Live Better! Sit Down, Live Better!” workers chant. (Photo courtesy of DC Jobs With Justice)

Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

With tape symbolically strapped over their mouths, and holding signs demanding “stop the illegal threats,” dozens of workers on Thursday sat down amid the cash registers and merchandise racks of a Los Angeles Walmart store, in the first such work action to target the world’s biggest retailer.

Hailing from stores across California, including the Crenshaw District store where the sit-down is located, the workers say they are protesting the company’s unlawful drive to silence and intimidate associates for organizing in their workplaces. Later in the evening, workers will be joined by hundreds of community supporters, according to a statement from OUR Walmart.

“I am out here on strike because of retaliation and disrespect,” Venanci Lune, worker at a different L.A. Walmart store and member of the organization OUR Walmart, told Common Dreams over the phone from the protest.

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Why Assisted Suicide Laws are More Dangerous Than People Acknowledge

From the "The Brittany Maynard Fund" YouTube video.

From the “The Brittany Maynard Fund” YouTube video.

John B. Kelly writes at CounterPunch:

The story about Brittany Maynard, who on Sunday died under Oregon’s assisted suicide program, dominated American news for the last month. As former New England Journal of Medicine editor and leading assisted suicide advocate Marcia Angell wrote October 31 in the Washington Post, “Maynard, the 29-year-old with incurable brain cancer, is the new face of the movement to give dying patients the choice to end their lives faster and more humanely. Her youth and attractiveness have helped make her a national media story.”

Indeed. The celebrity rag People put Maynard on its cover,and CNN, NPR, PBS, the New Yorker, and a host of others gave her and her backers a forum to promote their cause. Maynard especially targeted her home state of California. Assisted suicide, typically sanitized by supporters as “Aid in Dying” and “Death with Dignity,” is also legal in Washington state and Vermont.

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The Socialist Malala Yousafzai the US Media Doesn’t Quote

Statsministerens kontor (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Statsministerens kontor (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Ben Norton writes at CounterPunch:

Now that Malala Yousafzai has won her hard-earned and well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize, she and her amazing, tragic story is back in the spotlight. Per usual, nevertheless, the corporate media has taken this positive development and exploited it, in the service of US imperialism.

The US corporate media loves talking about the remarkable bravery and strength of Malala and the brutality of the Taliban forces that almost killed her. Such coverage fuels its racist, orientalist, neocolonialist narrative about “backward,” violent, misogynist Muslims and their need for “white saviors,” thereby legitimizing Western imperialist interests in South and West Asia. Malala’s victory can be appropriated and whitewashed by the US political establishment to “prove” that its (internationally illegal) invasion, occupation, and destruction of Afghanistan has “helped” its people (as for the hundreds of thousands killed and injured in the process, well, those inconvenient exceptions aren’t part of this narrative).

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Liberals Are More Emotion-Driven than Conservatives

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Via ScienceDaily:

Emotions are powerful motivators of human behavior and attitudes. Emotions also play an important role in guiding policy support in conflict and other political contexts. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya have studied the interaction between emotion and political ideology, showing that the motivating power of emotions is not the same for those on different ends of the ideological spectrum. Their research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Design of the study

The researchers conducted six studies to examine emotions, ideology, and how they act together to affect support for policies. The first two studies focused on intergroup empathy, while the third study examined the interactive influence of ideology and despair on support for policies. Participants self-identified as being at different points of the right-left ideological spectrum.

Specific scenarios were selected for the six studies relating to current events in Israel, mainly surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and possible steps towards its resolution.

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