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EcoMobility Gaining Ground, Step by Step

CHANGWON, South Korea, Nov 1, 2011 (Tierramérica) - Berlin is a big capital city of a country famed for making excellent automobiles, but it can no longer afford roads and is now moving people by transit, bike and especially through walking.

Berlin is not alone. Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogotá, New York City and other major cities simply cannot afford the cost, the pollution, the noise and the congestion of more cars. They are embracing a new concept called EcoMobility - mobility without private cars.

"EcoMobility is not only walking, cycling and public transportation. It is about these three systems clicking together: connectivity is the key," Gil Peñalosa, former director of parks and recreation in Bogotá, Colombia, told those attending the EcoMobility Changwon 2011 congress.

The congress on Mobility for the Future of Sustainable Cities was organised by the South Korean city of Changwon and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, an association of local government members from more than 1,220 cities in 70 countries.

"The famous Times Square in New York City is now a permanent pedestrian mall. Who would have believed that could happen just three years ago?" Peñalosa commented to Tierramérica.

"Five years ago who would have thought Paris would have over 22,000 bikes as part of a tremendously successful bike sharing system?" added Peñalosa, who is now the executive director of 8-80 Cities, an NGO based in Toronto that promotes walking, cycling, parks and urban trails to improve the public life of cities. MORE
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NAMIBIA Skulls Repatriated - But No Official German Apology

BERLIN, Oct 4, 2011 (IPS) - A delegation of Namibian government representatives and leaders of the indigenous Herero and Nama people who came to Germany to repatriate 20 skulls of their ancestors were once again disappointed in their hopes for dialogue and an official apology.

The skulls were of victims of the mass murder of 80,000 Herero and Nama between 1904 and 1908, which were stolen by the former colonial 'Kaiserreich' for racial research some 100 years ago.

"When the Great Powers partitioned Africa in 1884, unfortunately we were allotted to the Germans," said Advocate Krukoro of the Ovaherero Genocide Committee, one of the 60 Namibian delegates, during the Sept. 27-Oct. 2 visit to Berlin.

In 1904, some 17,000 German colonial troops commanded by General Lothar von Trotha launched a brutal war of extermination against the Herero and Nama people, after they revolted against the continued deprivation of land and rights. Following their defeat at Waterberg on Aug. 11, 1904, they were hunted, murdered or driven deep into the Omaheke desert where they died of thirst.

Thousands of men, women and children were later interned in German concentration camps, and died of malnutrition and disease. The territories of the Herero and Nama people were seized, their community life and means of production destroyed. The discussion about the mass murder did not start until Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990.

Germany's foreign ministry has routinely avoided the use of the term "genocide" in dismissing the Herero and Nama peoples' claims for compensation, using instead vague phrases such as "Germany's historic responsibility with respect to Namibia."

Cornelia Pieper, the minister of state in the German foreign office, did the same this time around. "Germans acknowledge and accept the heavy moral and historical responsibility to Namibia," she said on Sep. 30 at the Charité University in Berlin, which hosted the ceremony in which the skulls of nine Herero and eleven Nama people were handed over to the Namibian delegation.

The remains of four females, 15 males and one child were part of the Charité anatomical collection. They were used by German scientists in research that had the aim of proving the supposed racial superiority of white Europeans over black Africans.

Now, 100 years later, the president of the executive board of the 300-year-old institution, Karl Max Einhaeupl, deplored "the crimes perpetrated in the name of a perverted concept of scientific progress" and said: "We sincerely apologise".

The treatment of the Herero and Nama people in Namibia – mass extermination on the grounds of racism, extermination through labour, expropriation of land and cattle, research to prove the alleged superiority of white people – is widely seen as a precursor to the Holocaust. MORE
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German designer Anke Domaske and her fashions made from milk | euromaxx

These Women Are Wearing Clothes Made of Real Milk

I'm having a hard time believing this, but these women are wearing clothes actually made with real milk. Yes, the liquid white stuff. The milk fabric was created by 28-yo German biologist and fashion designer Anke Domaske.

Domaske and her team have found a way to turn sour milk into a environment friendly yarn in a very easy and clean way. They eliminate the liquid from it, extracting a protein found that solidifies and then is ground into the threads that form the fabric. Domaske finds the whole thing fascinating, do I:MORE

via oak monster who has the link to the best tshirt EVAR for this story!
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
If you needed another reason to side-eye the hell of out Freud and many of his relatives... like Edward Bernays. A seething mass of desires: Freud's hold over history

Tyrrell: The Century of the Self was for me and many others I've spoken to, by far the best TV series for a long time. In four 60 minute programmes on BBC2, you showed how the ideas behind psychoanalysis were responsible for the development of mass consumerism and self absorption in western society. You also explored the link between consumerism and politics in ways that were terrifying to contemplate. How did you come to piece this amazing history together?

Curtis: I'm a journalist who stumbled over a story, not a historian. For me it began when I came across the intriguing information that Freud's nephew Edward Bernays had invented public relations, specifically using his uncle's ideas about human beings and human nature. From there came the idea that I should look at how Freud's ideas have been used generally in social and political ways, not telling the history of psychoanalysis but the history of how psychoanalytical ideas have been applied. When I started to research this I found lots of different stories about the application of psychoanalytical theories which had been missed out in the history of it, largely because psychoanalysis, as I am sure you know, is a very hermetic world …

Tyrrell: … a closed system of thought.

Curtis: Yes, both in the way it treats patients and also in the way psychoanalysts think of themselves. So what I did was to pull together various stories about how psychoanalysis was applied in different ways by some powerful 20th century figures in both business and politics.

As that started to come together, I began to make connections with another idea I was working on — about how today we all talk about our 'selves'. A hundred years ago, people didn't do that — a few rich people did, and you read about it in novels, but most people didn't. The question lurking at the back of my brain was "Why do we now always have this obsession with the self?" MORE

The Century Of The Self 1 of 4 | One: Happiness Machines
Read more... )

The Century Of The Self 3 of 4 | There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed
Read more... )

The Century Of The Self 4 of 4 | Four: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

Read more... )

When I consider this in conjunction with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and Beyond Elections docu, I start making some interesting connections. Milton Friedman's shenanigans start making more sense to me. I need to reread The Shock Doctrine then rewatch this. And I will say that as I watched the first episode, one of my thoughts were: "Well damn. They treated their own people like shit. No wonder they thought that American people of color were less than dust beneath their feet. Nevermind the people of color who had the misfortune to reside in places with natural resources that these elitist, greedy assholes could steal! I mean DAMN that shit got spelled out for me in this series!


Aug. 28th, 2011 06:34 pm
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[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Wikileaks has released some new cables. One particularly disturbing in this one: GERMANY REQUESTS ASSURANCES ON VIRUS EXPORT, in which a German firm has the intention to export dangerous viruses to the U.S. army.

A German firm has applied for the approval of the export of
184 genetic elements with nucleic acid sequences of viruses
for the production of recombinant viruses. The viruses will
be used in optical imaging to identify host factors required
for viral replication. The recipient in the USA is,
according to the enclosed end use certificate, the Department
of the Army "US Army Medical Research Institute for
Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)" Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Specifications in English about the goods, the recipient and
end use can be seen from the end use certificate.
The goods are controlled by the Australia Group and are
subject to compulsory export approval (List position
C1C353A). This matter concerns the complete genome of
viruses such as the Zaire Ebola virus, the Lake Victoria
Marburg virus, the Machupo virus and the Lassa virus, which
are absolutely among the most dangerous pathogens in the
world. The delivery would place the recipient in the
position of being able to create replicating recombinant
infectious species of these viruses.

I don't know. Can someone give me a good explanation for this?
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
The 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize for Europe: Ursula Sladek

In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company.

Nuclear Energy in Europe
Twenty-five years ago, the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in the Soviet Union produced a radioactive cloud that quickly spread across Europe. As news of the event rippled through the continent, questions arose about toxic fallout and its implications for communities thousands of miles from Chernobyl.

At the time, West Germany relied almost exclusively on nuclear and coal energy to power its growing economy. A small handful of companies held a monopoly on the energy market, controlling most of the local grids. An anti-nuclear movement had been active throughout the 1980s and had gained some popular support, but German power companies did not provide opportunities for consumers to opt out of using nuclear-derived power.

For Ursula Sladek, a mother of five from the tiny community of Schönau in Germany’s Black Forest region, the Chernobyl disaster served as a serious wake-up call about the dangers of nuclear energy. She and her neighbors were alarmed by reports about radioactive residue detected on playgrounds, backyard gardens, and farmland in Schönau. Suddenly, it was unsafe for Sladek to go about her normal routine of eating locally grown foods and sending her children outside to play.

In response, Sladek, her husband, and a small group of parents began researching the energy industry in Germany to see if there was a way to limit their community’s dependence on nuclear power. They found that power companies were not allowing citizens to have a say in energy production decisions. Chernobyl proved that though nuclear energy could be called “green” by some standards, the safety risks associated with it were cause for deep concern. Sladek also knew that nuclear energy was not the only option. Thus, the group began what would become a 10 year project to take over the local grid, and in a second step, allow people all over Germany to choose safe, reliable, sustainably-produced energy. This project would transform Sladek from a small-town parent trained to be a schoolteacher into the founder and president of one of Europe’s first cooperatively-owned green energy companiesMORE

Audio Interview with See Jane Do
yvi: Dreamsheep in Germany's national colors (Dreamsheep - Germany)
[personal profile] yvi
The arrival of thousands of Tunisian refugees on the shores of the Italian island of Lampedusa this week has alarmed Italian authorities and sparked an anguished debate in Germany and the rest of the EU over how to respond.

More than 5,000 Tunisian immigrants, the majority of them young men, have arrived in Italy in the past five days, just one month after protests brought down Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

More on Spiegel International
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[personal profile] acari
January 27th is the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism here in Germany, it's the day when Auschwitz was liberated by the Sowjet army.

For the first time a Romani survivor, Zoni Weisz*, spoke in the Bundestag on this day.

Speech by Zoni Weisz for "Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism" on 27 Januar 2011 [via GoogleTranslate]

We are Europeans and have the same rights as any other citizens, have the same opportunities as they apply to every European.

It can not and should not be that a people who have been discriminated against through the centuries, and continues, today, in the twenty-first century, are still excluded and being deprived of any honest chance of a better future.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to end by expressing the hope that our loved ones have not died in vain. We must remember them in the future, we must continue to proclaim the message of peaceful coexistence and building a better world - so our children can live in peace and security.

*Weisz is a Dutch Sinto whose immediate family was murdered. He could escape the train to Auschwitz thanks to a Dutch policemen. He is a member of the
Dutch and International Auschwitz Committee. In January 2007 he was the keynote speaker at the opening of the exhibition "The Holocaust against the Roma and Sinti and present day racism in Europe" at the headquarters of the United Nations. [translated from his German wikipedia entry]

*"Sinta and Roma" is the official name in Germany for the Romani minority.

ETA. Mods, I'd like to add "holocaust", "antiziganism", "porajmos" and/or "genocide" but I can't decide where in your tagging system to put them.
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[personal profile] acari
Giving German schools an 'F' for integration in The Local

In 2008, according to the federal government’s latest integration report, 13.3 percent of immigrant children aged 15 to 19 left school without any kind of qualification – twice the rate of youngsters from ethnic German families. Worryingly, the immigrant drop-out rate actually rose compared with 2007, when it was 10 percent.

Some 43 percent of immigrant children graduate with only a Hauptschule certificate – the lowest type in Germany’s multi-tiered secondary school system – compared with 31 percent of German children.

At the other end of the scale, just one in 10 immigrant children graduate from an elite, university-track secondary school, or Gymnasium, compared with one third of German children, according to a July report from social research group the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband.

Not gonna lie, our education system sucks.
yvi: Dreamsheep in Germany's national colors (Dreamsheep - Germany)
[personal profile] yvi
German President Koehler quits amid row over military

German President Horst Koehler says he is resigning immediately, following criticism of remarks he made about German military deployments abroad.

Mr Koehler, whose job is largely ceremonial, had linked missions such as the Afghanistan deployment with the defence of economic interests.

His remarks drew criticism from a number of German politicians.

from BBC News
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
So 2010 has been a very uncomfortable year for the church. It seems that every week, hell sometimes every day some other revelation of abuse and rape pops up, alongside the lower grade douchebaggery of interfering with women's health care and gay rights. Here's a quick list of whats been going on so far.

So Abuse has popped up in Norway,

Mexico( from the founder of the conservative Legionnaires of Christ),


Malta (45 priests, 84 allegations out of 855 priests total),

The Netherlands (Leader admits he knew),

Australia (Irish priests are linked to this and good god!This will turn your stomach),


New Zealand

among Alaskan Natives (This will make you wanna vomit. But read it through for definitive proof that Ratzinger knew and helped to cover shit up.,
in Milawaukee USA,

woman raped by priest in Florida USA,




Brazil (w/ VIDEO, no less)


and Italy

The Catholic Church's response: Teh Pope: Petty gossip!

His personal preacher Abuse critics are just like anti-semitics!!! Yes. Yes. I know!

Vatican: Everybody else does it!! o_O I thought the point of the Christianity thing was...not to do what everyone else was doing?)

One of Germany's most senior bishops...The sexual revolution and the media is to blame!1 I have no comment

Not the Popes fault! oh and that part in the article where they say that their methods in America are now working?

US Catholic Church quietly reinstating priests accused of sex abuse

Pope: Ok, I'm available to meet with victims!

ETA: Letters surface showing that While Cardinal, ratzinger initially refused to defrock a pedophilel priest
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Rich Germans demand higher taxes

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany's economic recovery.

Germany could raise 100bn euros (£91bn) if the richest people paid a 5% wealth tax for two years, they say.

The petition has 44 signatories so far, and will be presented to newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The group say the financial crisis is leading to an increase in unemployment, poverty and social inequality.

Simply donating money to deal with the problems is not enough, they want a change in the whole approach.

"The path out of the crisis must be paved with massive investment in ecology, education and social justice," they say in the petition. MORE


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