Author Archive | Good German

Why ‘National Security’ Is a Fallacy

National_Security_Agency_headquarters,_Fort_Meade,_Maryland

Ian Sanjay Patel writes at Middle East Eye:

Despite the expiration of a Section of the US Patriot Act on 1 June, the ongoing influence and legacy of the Act continues to be felt around the world. Following 2001, dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe drafted counterterrorism laws in its image. As I write this, controversial new counterterrorism legislation – criticised for its arbitrary fault line between terrorism and political dissent – has been passed or is now being considered in Saudi Arabia, Kenya and the UK.

Deliberate vagueness

UK government guidance on its Counterterrorism and Security Act, which came into force in February this year, refers to “extremist organisations” and “extremist ideology” with a deliberate vagueness that is characteristic of the “war on terror”. The Act – without sufficiently defining terrorism and insinuating itself into a vast number of public spheres in the process – imposes a “prevent duty” on professionals working in schools, universities and the health care system to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

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Neil Young is Starving the Poor!

Neil Young, 1983.

Neil Young, 1983.

Colin Todhunter writes at CounterPunch:

Not since the original Luddites smashed cotton mill machinery in early 19th century England, have we seen such an organised, fanatical antagonism to progress and science. These enemies of the Green Revolution call themselves ‘progressive’, but their agenda could hardly be more backward-looking and regressive… their policies would condemn billions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment.”

Owen Paterson stated the above earlier this year during a speech he gave in South Africa. Paterson is the former Environment Minister for the UK.

Now, a few months on, writing in the New York Post (‘How Neil Young, Greenpeace work to starve the world’s poor‘) he is mouthing similar claims and accusations, this time focusing on Neil Young’s recent anti-GMO/ Monsanto album.

Paterson writes:

“In reality, GMOs can save millions of lives. It’s the environmentalists who are doing real harm.”

He continues:

“The best example of this is Golden Rice, a miracle grain enhanced with Vitamin A-producing beta-carotene.

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Black Holes Are Not Ruthless Killers, but Instead Benign Hologram Generators

This artist's concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This artist’s concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ohio State University Via ScienceDaily:

Are black holes the ruthless killers we’ve made them out to be? Samir Mathur says no. According to the professor of physics at The Ohio State University, the recently proposed idea that black holes have “firewalls” that destroy all they touch has a loophole.

In a paper posted online to the arXiv preprint server, Mathur takes issue with the firewall theory, and proves mathematically that black holes are not necessarily arbiters of doom.

In fact, he says the world could be captured by a black hole, and we wouldn’t even notice.

More than a decade ago, Mathur used the principles of string theory to show that black holes are actually tangled-up balls of cosmic strings.

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The Fukushima Cover-Up

Fukushima Reactor Unit 3 on 16 March. Photo: Digital Globe Imagery (CC)

Fukushima Reactor Unit 3 on 16 March. Photo: Digital Globe Imagery (CC)

Robert Hunziker writes at CounterPunch:

Fukushima will likely go down in history as the biggest cover-up of the 21st Century. Governments and corporations are not leveling with citizens about the risks and dangers; similarly, truth itself, as an ethical standard, is at risk of going to shambles as the glue that holds together the trust and belief in society’s institutions. Ultimately, this is an example of how societies fail.

Tens of thousands of Fukushima residents remain in temporary housing more than four years after the horrific disaster of March 2011. Some areas on the outskirts of Fukushima have officially reopened to former residents, but many of those former residents are reluctant to return home because of widespread distrust of government claims that it is okay and safe.

Part of this reluctance has to do with radiation’s symptoms. It is insidious because it cannot be detected by human senses.

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I Spent the Night in the Tate Gallery, Listening to the Quiet Sounds of Art Activism


Ellen Booth writes at Common Dreams:

It’s 5:20am in the morning, and I’m sitting on a small folding stool at the side of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. It feels strangely soothing as I sit listening to the musical night time sounds inside the Tate Modern. The drone of the air conditioning units forms the backdrop to a cacophony of dull repetitive chimes, scraping of chairs and cordons as cleaners work, distant frustrated clanging of management doors, and a ghostly gusting of wind through the corridors and rafters above.

In front of me, a bright line of books reflects the rising morning sun. To the left of these books, a cluster of friends and journalists sleep, sniffling and snoring, surrounding a store of precious water and food. To the right, a tired shift of performers in veils, kneel to scrawl charcoal messages of hope and despair on the floor. The squeaking of charcoal sounds like so many happy mice, busy at work.

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Dungeons & Dragons Yoga


D&D Yoga from 39forks on Vimeo.

D&D Yoga — the idea that these two activities and communities don’t have much in common turned out to be untrue. The guided adventure intended as an experiment left people asking when the group will meet regularly. Players were given a 10 sided die and a character sheet as they entered the space in Brooklyn, NY. They embodied a single character, “…a roguish rugged individual who has run afoul of the local law. You are given the opportunity to be absolved of your crimes. Your task at hand is to take this package to the ancient temple in the nearby forest and leave it in its proper place.”

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A Guide To Mercy Killing Your Family If Gay Marriage Becomes Legal [Satire]

Via the Waterford Whispers News:

WITH the looming threat of same-sex marriage becoming part of everyday life in the near future, many Ordinary Decent People (TM) may be wondering how they’ll cope with the devastating impact this will have on their lives.

With Wholesome Family Values (TM) set to be obliterated by Gay couples joining together in matrimony, many people have decided to do the honourable thing and euthanise their entire families if same-sex marriage is written into the constitution following the referendum in May. To facilitate an easy transition into the blissfully gay-free afterlife, we at WWN offer this simple 5-step guide to killing your loved ones to spare them from the nightmare of a world where gay and lesbian people have the same rights as everyone else.

1) Make Sure And Get The Order Right

Kids-And-Adults

It is imperative when killing your family that you start with those least capable of killing themselves, before working your way up to yourself.

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How to Not Be Racist

zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)

zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)

Agustín Fuentes Ph.D. writes at Psychology Today:

I am occasionally racist— and so is most everyone in the USA.  [Notice he didn’t specify white people. — G.G.]  Even if we don’t think we are. Race is all around us, often in ways we often don’t realize. We can be less racist, and even move away from racism, but it takes a bit of work and some courage.

Race, and racism, is part of our environment, history, language, psychology, and politics. For example, what do we picture when we hear the term “ethnic food”? It is not hot dogs or hamburgers, but why not? Why is there an “ethnic hair products” aisle in the drugstore? Why aren’t those products just in the “hair care” aisle? And what the heck is “ethnic”? Don’t most people just use it as shorthand for race?  Yes they do, but no store is going to use the labels “foods from non-white groups” or a “products for black people’s hair” for those aisles.  

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Anarchist Social Justice

Travis Gray (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Travis Gray (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel write at CounterPunch:

As a justifiable reaction to the problem of oligarchy in organizations and liberal democratic institutions, some theorists and activists have identified alternative political arrangements to liberal democratic organizations and institutions. Such anarchist examples include Chomsky’s recommendations of the Kibbutzim villages of Israel and the worker-owned cooperatives of Spain’s Mondragon experiments. Other anarchist examples are based on the New Social Movements (NSM) school, which for the most part have become an activist alternative means of self-governance through autonomous grass roots organizations (see Alan Scott’s Ideology and New Social Movements). Leading NSM theorists include Alain Touraine, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Claus Offe, Immanueal Wallerstein, Michel Foucalut, and Jurgen Habermas. These proponents base their anarchist tendencies on identity, politics, culture, and ideology, which for all intents and purposes has emerged in the women’s movement, ecological and environmental movements, LGBTQ rights, peace movement, and more.

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Internet for the Voiceless

duke.roul (CC BY-NC 2.0)

duke.roul (CC BY-NC 2.0)

DS Peters writes at OMNI Reboot:

Of all the issues impeding our progression towards becoming a Type 1 civilization, perhaps the most easily resolved of these is the need for a planetary communications system. In fact, this communications system is already in place; it goes by the name of “The Internet,” nearly everyone has access to it, and so we can all live happily ever after… right?

Before we discuss the reason why the answer to that question is “no,” let us first pay tribute to those who have brought us to the brink of complete success in this area. There are some 30 people (give or take a few or even a dozen) to whom thanks should be given, and to do so would require a book (an additional thanks to all who have written books doing just that). From the inception of the Internet by Leonard Kleinrock to the release of the modem by Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington, the Internet was not invented by a single human being, but in a progression of steps and modifications and improvements from 1961 to today.

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