Author Archive | Good German

Who Is to Blame for the Paris Attacks? Edward Snowden!

Lawrence Lessig Interviews Edward Snowden

Patrick Howell O’Neill writes at the Daily Dot:

As Paris reels from terror attacks that claimed at least 128 lives, fierce blame for the attack is being directed toward American whistleblower Edward Snowden and the spread of strong encryption catalyzed by his actions.

The latest deadly terror attack is bringing the “crypto wars” further toward the spotlight. The crypto wars refers to a decades-long political battle over the legality and popularity of encryption around the world.

In the years since Snowden revealed to the world the vast surveillance and spying done by Western governments, strong encryption has become an increasingly popular way for people to shield their Internet activity from prying eyes. Encryption is used by everyone from ecommerce websites to human rights activists to American soldiers to Islamist terrorists.

It’s the latter group’s adoption of strong encryption in particular that has attracted so much fiery rhetoric.

Fox News hosts Greg Gutfeld and Dana Perino, George W.

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Military Sexual Trauma: Prevalent and Under-Treated

December 9th 2012 - Seasonal abstract
American Psychological Association via ScienceDaily:

Rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported, largely because of barriers associated with stigma, beliefs in myths about male rape, and feelings of helplessness, according to articles published by the American Psychological Association.

Female veterans who were sexually assaulted are also more prone to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than other women who experienced combat, and are significantly less likely than other PTSD sufferers to seek help, according to studies appearing in a special issue of the journal Psychological Services.

“We know that there is under reporting among men and women and hope that this special issue will help to bring awareness and treatment for those that serve and protect us,” said the issue’s co-editor, Michi Fu, PhD, a clinical practitioner. “I personally wanted to pull together scholarship after hearing of reports of military sexual trauma being so much more prevalent than in the general population.”

The special issue is a comprehensive look at the issues facing men and women who experienced military sexual trauma while serving, as well as a presentation of evidence-based strategies for preventing future sexual violence and encouraging people to come forward and seek treatment.

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Transmuting Historical Trauma

Naas Siddiqui writes at Mad in America:

My first memory is from when I was three years old. I witnessed a mass shooting at my hometown mall. My mom and I hid behind a bookcase in the bookstore. Later on in my life, I would read the newspaper archives and learn that something like ten people were wounded and three killed, including a two-year-old toddler shot right through the heart. The young woman who opened fire was described as a violent schizophrenic.

* * * * *

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder in my early 20s (I’m 33 now). I’ve experienced six instances of what might be called “psychotic episodes” in my life, each lasting from three weeks to several months. These episodes may have been the most meaningful and the most misunderstood times in my life.

These surges from the unconscious, as I prefer to call them, contain mystical elements, biblical themes and eastern spirituality.

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Are Republicans Evil?

518lVFil1OLDavid Swanson writes at CounterPunch:

Andrew Bard Schmookler’s new book is called What We’re Up Against: The Destructive Force at Work in Our World — And How We Can Defeat It. I’ll spare you some suspense; the evil force he has in mind is the Republican Party. Here’s a video of a speech the author gave when he was running for Congress as a Democrat in a district gerrymandered Republican. As in the book, Schmookler calls out Republicans in the speech as promoting an unprecedented evil force in U.S. culture.

He has in mind wars, torture, environmental destruction, racism, sexism, promotion of plutocracy, defense of gun proliferation, widespread dishonesty, and the valuing of partisanship above all else. Republican cap-and-trade is denounced by Republicans as socialism. Corporate healthcare schemes developed by Republicans are attacked as death panels, once they’re advanced by a Democrat.

Schmookler traces the problem to the joining of racism and corporatism in a single political party since the civil rights movement, to the growth of corporatism, and to the ability of affluent people working short hours to get into trouble.

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Adults Are the Problem

children's day
Marian Wright Edelman writes at the Children’s Defense Fund:

It is time for adults of every race and income group to break our silence about the pervasive breakdown of moral, family, and community values, to place our children first in our lives, and to struggle to model the behavior we want our children to learn. School children don’t need one more “Officer Slam” as some students referred to the White South Carolina school resource officer who this week shamed the nation with his violent ejection of a 16-year-old Black female student from her classroom for a nonviolent offense. A very welcome counter narrative took place when a White female police officer in Washington, D.C. after diffusing a potentially volatile conflict between two groups of Black teens, then charmed with a “dance off” a defiant teen-age girl who had refused to leave.

Any parent who has gone through the challenges of adolescence could only admire the quick thinking and agile footwork of the D.C.

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Copyright Terms And How Historical Journalism Is Disappearing

EP Journalism Prize 2011 winners are from France, Italy, Finland and Germany

Parker Higgins writes at Techdirt:

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced last Wednesday the “Chronicling America” contest to create projects out of historical newspaper data. The contest is supposed to showcase the history of the United States through the lens of a popular (and somewhat ephemeral) news format. But looking at the limits of the archival data, another story emerges: the dark cloud of copyright’s legal uncertainty is threatening the ability of amateur and even professional historians to explore the last century as they might explore the ones before it.

Consider that the National Digital Newspaper Program holds the history of American newspapers only up until 1922. (It originally focused on material from 1900-1910 and gradually expanded outwards to cover material from as early as 1836.) Those years may seem arbitrary—and it makes sense that there would be some cut-off date for a historical archive—but for copyright nerds 1922 rings some bells: it’s the latest date from which people can confidently declare a published work is in the public domain.

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Psychotic Shooters on the Open Frontier of Profit


Joseph Natoli writes at CounterPunch:

“Each of the Republican candidates for the presidency declared last week that we should deal with school shootings by providing aggressive treatment of people with mental illness — not to alleviate the suffering of the mentally ill, but to protect other people from the mentally ill.”

Andrew Solomon, “The Myth of the ‘Autistic Shooter,’ The New York Times, October 12, 2015

Delusions are the belief in something that is not true. People who have delusions will continue with their delusions even when shown evidence that contradicts the delusion. That is because, like hallucinations, delusions are “irrational” — the opposite of logic and reason. Since reason does not apply to someone who has a schizophrenic delusion, arguing with it logically gets a person nowhere.


It seems possible and may be probable that the conditions that create the inequities of plutocracy break down the psychic defensive capacities of those on the wrong side of plutocracy.

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Twenty Nations Vulnerable to Climate Change Form Action Group

Mongolia climate change and adaptation
Via Al Jazeera:

Twenty of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, formed a new financial group on Thursday to press for tougher action to curb global warming.

Draft documents for a meeting of finance ministers in Lima, Peru and seen by Reuters, said the 20 represented 700 million people in low- and middle-income nations that were arid, landlocked, mountainous or vulnerable to rising sea levels.

The Vulnerable 20 (V20) group’s draft action plan will seek to “strengthen economic and financial cooperation” between the public and private sectors, as well as “address climate change risks and opportunities,” according to a press release on the website of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, an existing, larger partnership of countries affected by climate change.

Goals would include “improved access to international climate change finance” to help cope with droughts, floods, melting glaciers and rising sea levels.

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