Author Archive | Good German

The Islamic State: Grooming Children for Jihad

In Part 2 of VICE News’ exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State, filmmaker Medyan Dairieh meets an Islamic State member from Belgium who works to indoctrinate some of the youngest members of the group. He also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group which formerly had ties to al Qaeda, is now in control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which adheres to the strictest form of Sharia law, is determined to establish a caliphate that stretches across the Middle East and into the rest of the Muslim world.

As the Islamic State continues its violent expansion in Syria and Iraq, it is also working to win the hearts and minds of new recruits and potential new members in areas it controls.… Read the rest

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Misopedia: The Hatred of Children

By Vladimir Pustovit via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Vladimir Pustovit via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Is it really better than pedophilia, or are they aspects of the same thing?

From the Prime Directive:

The hatred of children is so normalized that we don’t even use a term for it. It’s so integrated within our social institutions that daring to question it means to question the very premises of our society. To reject misopedia means to reject the family system, to reject the education system, to reject organized religion, to reject national and racial prejudice, all of these things being way, way outside of the margins of discourse, anywhere (except on a blog or two ran by crazy whackjobs like me).

I have already commented on the strange life children lead. Children are not considered, or treated, as human beings, they are not considered to be endowed with rights, and their exploitation (whether as unpaid workers, targets of abuse, trafficked persons, or anything else) is considered benign unless it’s featured as a Youtube meme (Kony for president, y’all!).

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When Will EPA Meet with Residents Harmed by Fracking?

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Emily Wurth writes at Food & Water Watch:

For over a year now, residents from communities affected by drilling and fracking for natural gas have tried to meet with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Specifically, residents from three affected communities – Dimock, Pennsylvania; Pavillion, Wyoming; and Parker County, Texas—have tried to meet with McCarthy to discuss the EPA’s failure to complete the critical investigations into the connection between their contaminated drinking water and the gas development in their communities.

On October 10, residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania and advocacy organizations held a press conference in front of EPA. During this event, Tom Reynolds, the Associate Administrator of the Office of Public Affairs at EPA, came down to speak with the residents and he promised to respond with available dates for a meeting with Gina McCarthy by Friday, October 17. But we still have not heard back from him.

In July 2013, an EPA region 3 whistleblower leaked a Powerpoint presentation to the Los Angeles Times showing that local EPA officials were concerned about contamination in the drinking water in Dimock, Pennsylvania.

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Is Obama Stalling Until Republicans Can Bury the CIA Torture Report?

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Dan Froomkin writes at the Intercept:

Continued White House foot-dragging on the declassification of a much-anticipated Senate torture report is raising concerns that the administration is holding out until Republicans take over the chamber and kill the report themselves.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s intelligence committee sent a 480-page executive summary of its extensive report on the CIA’s abuse of detainees to the White House for declassification more than six months ago.

In August, the White House, working closely with the CIA, sent back redactions that Feinstein and other Senate Democrats said rendered the summary unintelligible and unsupported.

Since then, the wrangling has continued behind closed doors, with projected release dates repeatedly falling by the wayside.  The Huffington Post reported this week that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, a close ally of CIA Director John Brennan, is personally leading the negotiations, suggesting keen interest in their progress — or lack thereof — on the part of  Brennan and President Obama.

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Amnesty: US Human Rights Abuses on Display in Ferguson

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Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

In a report released on Friday, Amnesty International roundly condemns the excessive force used by local law enforcement agencies in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year and called for ‘accountability and systemic change’ in order to curb the kinds of human rights abuses increasingly seen in U.S. communities when it comes to regulating street protests and use of force by police.

The report—entitled On the Streets of America: Human Rights Abuses in Ferguson (pdf)—documents the human rights concerns witnessed first-hand by Amnesty investigators dispatched to Ferguson following initial protests in the city spurred by the shooting death of an unarmed African American teenager, Michael Brown, by a police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The Amnesty team arrived and documented public protest and the behavior of local law enforcement from  August 14 to August 22.

Amnesty’s report makes takes no position or determination on the killing of Brown, but says the shooting and his death “highlighted on a national level the persistent and widespread pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officers across the United States, including unjustified stops and searches, ill treatment and excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force.”

Focused on both the community response to Brown’s death and the subsequent police reaction to protests, the report’s authors present what they witnessed first-hand in Ferguson in order to highlight some of the national trends of human rights abuses that often, though with less attention, take place in U.S.

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Obama’s Support of Torture

Norman Pollack writes at CounterPunch:

And we thought the cold-blooded planning and execution of armed drone assassination vitiated any claim to moral character, a POTUS swaggering around on Air Force One methodically using drones and air power to destroy civilian targets and, as in the recent attacks on UN schools/shelters in Gaza, countenance—if not encourage-the same among friends and allies (Israel), now it is revealed by Charlie Savage of the New York Times, in an article, “Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture,” (Oct. 19), that our Nobelist Warrior is exquisitely parsing international treaties to allow for US TORTURE abroad, so long as not on the Homeland. Whether the program of torture or the rationale for its authorization is the greater Evil I leave to the professional philosophers to determine. But from here, America’s vanguard role, already the purveyor of global counterrevolution by all means possible, in this latest chapter of structural-political sadism, smells to high heavens.

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Suit Demands EPA Show Documents Related to Big Oil Influence over Fuel Standards

"The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA's most important tools for promoting clean air," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

“The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says. (Photo: Mike Mozart/flickr/cc)

Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:

A leading Washington, D.C. ethics organization filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday for failing to provide documents regarding oil industry efforts to influence the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Each year, the EPA sets the RFS for how much renewable fuel must be blended into transportation fuel supplies. “The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) states in its lawsuit (pdf).

CREW claims the EPA has yet to hand over all relevant communications—requested in May 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act—related to the EPA’s most recent RFS proposal, put forth in November 2013. At that point, for the first time since the standards were established, the EPA proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel.

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A Sick Society

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In a stunning indictment of the Gaza assault as the act of a savage nation, even its president has proclaimed Israel a “sick society” incapable of dialogue with those around them and in need of treatment. In a speech at the opening of a conference aptly titled, “From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin – who as head of state has little real power compared to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with far too much – suggested Israel has become a nation without humanity or empathy that has “forgotten how to be decent human beings.” If you need further evidence of the justice of his claim, here’s video of Israeli soldiers arresting an 11-year-old, mute, developmentally disabled boy near Hebron for the possible crime of throwing a stone as neighboring Israeli settlers cheer. This makes us sick.

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Global Epidemic: Every 5 Minutes a Child is Killed by Violence

The UNICEF report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.  (Image: UNICEF UK)

The UNICEF report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities. (Image: UNICEF UK)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Violence against children is a global epidemic in which a young person is killed by violent conflict every five minutes, according to a new study released Tuesday by U.K. branch of UNICEF.

The global assessment—titled “Children in Danger: Act to End Violence Against Children”—reveals that an estimated 345 children under the age of twenty-years-old die nearly every day across the world. According to the report, the vast majority of these young victims are killed outside war zones, indicating that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.

“We live in a world where some children are too scared to walk out of their own front doors or play on their streets,” said David Bull, executive director of UNICEF UK.

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