Category Archives: Things I Read

America, America, how deep have you fallen, Gaucho?

 Donald Trump und die USA: Amerika, wie tief bist Du gesunken – Kommentar – SPIEGEL ONLINE … :

Amerika war nie perfekt. Ganz sicher nicht. Aber trotz aller Probleme blieb es immer ein Vorbild für Demokratie, Pluralismus, Weltoffenheit. Gerade die Präsidenten bemühten sich, für diese Ideale einzustehen, die das Land groß und stark gemacht haben. Sie versuchten, eine Welt zu verkörpern, in der Menschen miteinander, nicht gegeneinander arbeiten. Damit ist es vorbei.

Da fällt mir immer dieser fantastische Song von der Dave Matthews Band ein… 

Dave Matthews Band – Gaucho

“We cross the oceans wide
Built cities to the sky, oh lord
Looked up and we were flying
But we will not survive ourselves?

[Chorus]
We’ve got to do much more than believe
If we really want to change things
We’ve got to do much more than believe
If we want to see the world change

What will I say to my baby?
Let me show you a movie
You know, we landed a man on the moon
Now you could never believe it
Yeah, we could do anything
We flew to the stars and back
Down to the ground hard

We’ve got to do much more than believe
If we really want to change things
We’ve got to do much more than believe
If we want to see the world change”

(Dave Matthews Band – Gaucho Lyrics | Genius Lyrics … : )

Highlights from Facebook’s Libra Senate hearing | TechCrunch

Disgusting.

Perhaps the most worrying moment of the hearing was when Senator Sinema brought up TechCrunch’s article citing that “The real risk of Libra is crooked developers.” There I wrote that Facebook’s VP of product Kevin Weil told me that “There are no plans for the Libra Association to take a role in actively vetting [developers],” which I believe leaves the door open to a crypto Cambridge Analytica situation where shady developers steal users money, not just their data.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/16/libra-in-messenger-whatsapp/?guccounter=1

California today: Decommissioned, uninsured and broken containments: Nuclear plants in Diablo Canyon and San Onofre

California Nightmare | Telepolis … :

Hätten sich die Beben von Ridgecrest 250 km weiter im Westen ereignet, schreibt Wasserman, wären zehn Millionen Menschen in Los Angeles möglicherweise von einer Strahlenwolke bedroht worden. Denn die beiden rissigen, versprödeten, nicht gewarteten, nicht versicherten und durch die Atomaufsicht nicht inspizierten Reaktoren von Diablo Canyon hätten ihnen kaum widerstehen können. Wasserman erinnert daran, dass Wartungsdefizite an Gas- und Elektrizitätsleitungen von PG&E bereits zu Bränden und Explosionen in Nordkalifornien geführt haben.

In Washington sieht man das anders. Trump ließ vier Sitze in der NRC mit Lobbyisten der Nuklearindustrie besetzen. Jetzt schlägt die Behörde vor, die Inspektionen von Atomanlagen generell zurückzufahren. Das laufe darauf hinaus, schreibt das Ukiah Daily Journal, dass sich Betreiber wie PG&E oder Edison selbst überwachen. Diese Deregulierung sei in Zeiten großer finanzieller Probleme der Nuklearunternehmen besonders gefährlich und fördere die Tendenz der Betreiber, Probleme gar nicht erst öffentlich werden zu lassen.

For all California Expats, here’s the direct link to a moveon.org petition:

 MoveOn Petitions – Gov. Newsom, Test Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant for Safety … : 

We, the people of California, ask Governor Newsom and other state leaders to order the controversial Diablo Canyon nuclear plant tested for potential dangers involving seismic vulnerability, pressure vessel damage and nuclear waste leakage before the reactor is allowed to re-open after being shut down for refueling in February.

Oh, and in the meantime… :

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim – Los Angeles Times … : 

This “sea level rise suppression,” as scientists call it, went largely undetected. Blinded from the consequences of a warming planet, Californians kept building right to the water’s edge. But lines in the sand are meant to shift. In the last 100 years, the sea rose less than 9 inches in California. By the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 9 feet. Wildfire and drought dominate the climate change debates in the state. Yet this less-talked-about reality has California cornered. The coastline is eroding with every tide and storm, but everything built before we knew better — Pacific Coast Highway, multimillion-dollar homes in Malibu, the rail line to San Diego — is fixed in place with nowhere to go.

… spot the problem(s)… 

Icelandic Modern Media Initiative ready to start!

IMMI finally at the cusp of implementation … :

The goal of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative in 2010 was for Iceland to take leadership in adopting the best possible laws, at any time, in order to be ahead of the digital tidal wave of disinformation eroding trust towards democratic institutions and traditional media. To be the first digital safe heaven for all the forbidden facts, to act as an inspiration for others to follow suit.

During the nine years since it’s passing, Iceland has undergone serious political crises with only one government being able to sit full term. Four governments and five Prime Ministers later, we finally have a deadline for IMMI to be fully ratified. In the first months after taking office as Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, announced she was committed to have all the laws finalized and put forward as governmental bills in Parliament before 2019 ends. The International Modern Media Institute was established in 2011 in order to make sure that the laws based on the IMMI resolution would be finalized no matter what political parties would be in charge. Even if the laws are not all ratified, the IMMI’s unanimous adoption by Parliament put Iceland on the top of the list of Press Freedom by Reporters Without Borders in 2010. Iceland has been sliding down since, but we are hopeful that by greatly improving fundamental laws for press freedom we will move up again. Democracy rests on the foundations of freedom of speech, expression, information and strong independent media.

In 2016, we were happy to meet Birgitta in Person… Awesome vision. Here’s a german article about her and immi: 

Missing Link: Kontrollverlust der liberalen Demokratien – Panik ist angebracht | heise online … : 

“Die Parlamentarier haben am wenigsten Macht”, kritisiert sie. Die Verwaltung, die Ministerialbürokratie seien die Zentren der Macht und trieben die Maschinerie der Gesetzgebung an. Verantwortungsvollen Politikern bliebe regelmäßig zu wenig Zeit, die kurzfristig vorgelegten Entwürfe so zu prüfen, wie sie es ihren Wählerinnen schuldig seien. Das Ergebnis sind nach Ansicht von Jonsdottir nicht nur zu viele, sondern vor allem qualitativ schlechte Gesetze. Jonsdottirs Bilanz ist bitter: Parteien wären Teil einer Religion, die Gesetzgebung sei die neue Bibel. “Das System ist selbsterhaltend”, klagt sie. “Aber es löst nicht die wichtigen Probleme, die wir lösen müssen.”

First step into parallel universes are about to be taken…

Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you. … :

She calls it an “oscillation” that would lead her to “mirror matter,” but the idea is fundamentally the same. In a series of experiments she plans to run at Oak Ridge this summer, Broussard will send a beam of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a powerful magnet and into an impenetrable wall. If the setup is just right — and if the universe cooperates — some of those particles will transform into mirror-image versions of themselves, allowing them to tunnel right through the wall. And if that happens, Broussard will have uncovered the first evidence of a mirror world right alongside our own.