Sunday, February 9, 2020

Psychology Today: Is America Governed by a Cult?

Is America Governed by a Cult?

Coronavirus Makes Its First Appearance In Luxe Alpine Vacation Region

The Deep Roots of Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Policies

India could provoke war with Pakistan in 2020: US foreign affairs expert

Not Having Health Care 'Incentivizes' People To Be Healthy, Says Fox News Doctor

Citizen Journalists Who Exposed Beijing’s Lies In Wuhan Have Suddenly Vanished

Neo-Nazis from across Europe rally in Budapest

For the new right, Hungary is now what Venezuela once was for the left

Keith Richards Reveals He’s Finally Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Canadian Scientist At Center Of Chinese Bio-Espionage Probe Found Dead In Africa?

FNORDS WE MISSED THE FIRST TIME: 2019 Andy Borowitz Article: Eris, Greek Goddess of Chaos, Confirms That She Wanted Trump to Be President

A Neoliberal Legacy: America’s Fascism Problem Runs Much Deeper Than Trump

RAY McGOVERN: German TV Exposes the Lies That Entrapped Julian Assange

Trump: Evil Just For the Hell of It

Edward Snowden Wants to be Allowed ‘Few More Years’ in Russia – Lawyer

Chinese hospitals deploy robots to help medical staff fight coronavirus outbreak

WHO Director-General Tweets: We are mobilizing the UN

Lecturing Central European states is not what the EU needs

Secret snaps of Israeli spy finally 'emerge from the shadows'

How AI Is Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak

Door to door sweeps now happening in North-Eastern China as Coronavirus spreads rapidly

Taliban gunman who tried to kill Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala boasts of escaping from jail in Pakistan

 The anatomy of a cover-up
How Iranian regime apologists in the West used social media to silence whistle-blowers about the Ukrainian jetliner destroyed by the IRGC

 US Special Operations Command Now Wants its Own Light Attack Aircraft Fleet

 Chinese officials note serious problems in coronavirus response. The World Health Organization keeps praising them.

 Cherokee Nation becomes first U.S. tribe to preserve culturally important seeds in Arctic "doomsday" vault

 How to Get Your $100 From Yahoo After All Those Breaches

 The strange, thorny and sometimes sleazy origins of 11 tech terms you use every day

 Almost Every Website You Visit Records Exactly How Your Mouse Moves

 Pakistan Swiftly Passes Resolution Calling for Public Hanging of Pedophiles

 After decades of decline, the U.S. national fusion lab seeks a rebirth

 Fingerprint test can tell if someone has used heroin, even after washing hands

 Two Researchers Finally Solve Mathematics ‘42’ Problem Using Planetary Supercomputer

 Photo Essay: Cashmere Crisis Looms in Himalayan Ice Desert

 Emperor of spies
Craig McKay has written a book on General Onodera, the Japanese military attaché to Sweden during WWII, and his intelligence gathering activities.

 The Defiance of the Great Korean Painter, Yun Hyong-keun

 Brexit and Far Right Nationalism in Europe: Risking European Landscape of Peace and Democracy

 11 Secret Documents Americans Deserve to See

 Evangelist says people with dyed hair will not enter heaven

 Three Extraordinary Australian Journalists: Burchett, Pilger & Assange

 How a cluster of islands near the North Pole offers tips for world peace

 Archaeologist Busted for Faking Artifacts Showing Jesus Crucifixion

 Fugitive American wife Anne Sacoolas who is wanted over the death of Harry Dunn was a CIA spy and 'held a higher rank than her husband'

 What happens to class conflict in the fight against inequality?

 The Brutal Lessons Gaming Taught Me About Revolutions, Robots, And War

 Scary reality: China's secret Cambodian military base

 The return of toilet towels: can we get over 'the yuck factor'?

 Beer and brandy gushes from kitchen taps, shocking apartment building residents

 Modern-day witches ‘still facing endless abuse’


                                                             ***

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The beginning of the Bomb

On July 16, 1945, the Atomic Age began, as the old cliché goes. Hundreds of modern alchemists journeyed to an occult gathering in the New Mexico desert to conjure up a fantastical, mysterious force in the early hours of the morning. The famously unclear origins of the code name for the project, “Trinity,” only adds to the lore.

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Preemptive Legitimate Defense: When a Movement of Your Body Can Kill You

From The Funambulist:

Whether we talk about the war in Iraq or the murder of Trayvon Martin, there seems to emerge a legal means of justification for a country to invade another or for a white man to kill a black boy. I call this means “preemptive legitimate defense” insisting on its oxymoronic character that demonstrates its ethical and legal absurdity. Such a claim is revealing the contradictions of our era, what Slavoj Zizek denounces in the marketing inventions of decaffeinated coffee and beer without alcohol and their geopolitical equivalent: wars for peace. These contradictions emerge from the necessity for a majority of people in the Western World to maintain their way of life and to obtain an ethical justification for their political positioning. The notion of legitimate is therefore important: it involves a narrative whose consistency should be sufficient to be self-persuasive (the kind that makes us say that we should not give money to a beggar because (s)he is probably part of a larger network that is abusing her or him). The notion of preemptive also implies a narrative: an anticipated one — and therefore a fictional or speculative one — that would retroactively justify the defense. We find the paradox of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report here: if you know that someone is going to commit a crime you can arrest him (her) before (s)he commits it; yet, if you do arrest him (her) the crime has not been committed and therefore this person cannot be legitimately punished. The justification of a “preemptive legitimate defense” — of course, this is never presented that explicitely — is therefore always either hypocritical or delusional.

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Decolonial Strategies and Dialogue in the Human Rights Field

José-​Manuel Bar­reto, Critical Legal Thinking :

...A dog trained to attack the flesh, and tor­ture, kill, and gorge a man and a child in front of the mother con­nects Fernando Botero’s Abu Grahib with Bar­to­lomé de las Casas’ Short Account of the Destruc­tion of the Indies. In this scen­ario of colo­nial wars a dog is turned into a beast­—a tor­ture dog or a war dog—by the inhu­man­ity of con­quista­dors and invaders. The dog becomes a power­ful machine for ter­ror­iz­ing and des­troy­ing the body, and for dehu­man­iz­ing the col­on­ized—and the col­on­izer. Five hun­dred years apart these two images or stor­ies are bound together by their ori­gin: the his­tory of the advance of mod­ern imper­i­al­ism, and the sens­ib­il­ity of their authors for the suf­fer­ing of the vic­tims. The viol­ence and dread of these events res­on­ates in the global con­scious­ness and moral sen­ti­ment of our times

[ ... ]

Mod­ern­ity can­not be iden­ti­fied exclus­ively with eman­cip­a­tion, the Renais­sance and the Enlight­en­ment, but it is also his­tor­ic­ally evid­ent that colo­ni­al­ism was another of its cent­ral found­a­tions. The con­ven­tional con­cep­tion of mod­ern­ity needs to be revis­ited to accom­mod­ate the leg­acy of mod­ern imper­i­al­ism: the con­quest and col­on­iz­a­tion of the world—a vast enter­prise of dom­in­a­tion mar­shaled through wars of aggres­sion, gen­o­cides, slavery, plun­der and exploit­a­tion. 

[ ... ]

The his­tory of mod­ern ideas—mod­ern ration­al­ity itself, con­cep­tions of the state, even Marx­ist and other cri­tiques of cap­it­al­ism—runs inter­re­lated to the his­tory of mod­ern imper­i­al­ism. For a geo­pol­it­ical ana­lysis of know­ledge, the cul­tural col­on­iz­a­tion of world civil­iz­a­tions, ration­al­it­ies and intel­lec­tual dis­cip­lines ended in the cru­cial assump­tion accord­ing to which the ori­gin of legit­im­ate think­ing is con­fined to a cer­tain geo­pol­it­ical loc­a­tion, Europe, exclud­ing the exist­ence of other sites of know­ledge gen­er­a­tion...

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ABFFE Joins Campaign Against NSA Surveillance

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has joined a number of other civil liberties organizations, including the ACLU, to protest the National Security Administration's surveillance of Americans' Internet activity and phone records. The recently revealed news of the NSA's actions spurred ABFFE and the other groups to write an open letter to members of Congress.

The letter says that the type of "blanket" spying the NSA has done "strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy." For booksellers and librarians in particular, the NSA's actions recall their fight against Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. 

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