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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 13,666

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Life in Nauru detention: a dark, wretched Truman Show without the cameras

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/13/life-in-nauru-detention-a-dark-wretched-truman-show-without-the-cameras

There is horror in the Nauru files and then there is banality: countless records documenting squabbles between children, lost possessions, late buses and toilet blocks running out of soap. In the engineered society of an offshore immigration detention centre, there is drama, tedium and the unrelenting surveillance of Big Brother or The Truman Show – but without the cameras rolling.

The Nauru files catalogue an inordinate amount of suffering, abuse and anguish among the detained asylum seekers, but these are not the only stories. Because of the requirement that staff file reports on every classifiable incident, the thousands of entries document what everyday life is like in the dystopian world created by the Australian-backed companies running the camp.

How notable incidents were defined and graded was vague and changed over time. Strict reporting timeframes meant a worker sometimes had to choose between responding to a major incident and rushing to file a report within 30 minutes, to avoid a financial penalty to their organisation. As a result many incident reports designated “minor” make for horrifying reading

The files are littered with reports about children – in particular a core group of troubled kids under the age of 10 – fighting, throwing rocks and acting dangerously by leaning out of bus windows and running across the road. Much of it is mundane.




Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Aug 13, 2016, 03:00 AM (1 replies)

Another example of moral harm caused by a gun, this time in in Colorado:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028093339
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Aug 12, 2016, 03:44 PM (23 replies)

The Nauru Files: 2,000 Leaked Reports Reveal Scale of Abuse of Children

This is disgusting:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/10/the-nauru-files-2000-leaked-reports-reveal-scale-of-abuse-of-children-in-australian-offshore-detention


More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty...

..."The reports range from a guard allegedly grabbing a boy and threatening to kill him once he is living in the community to guards allegedly slapping children in the face. In September 2014 a teacher reported that a young classroom helper had requested a four-minute shower instead of a two-minute shower. “Her request has been accepted on condition of sexual favours. It is a male security person. She did not state if this has or hasn’t occurred. The security officer wants to view a boy or girl having a shower.”

Some reports contain distressing examples of behaviour by traumatised children. According to a report from September 2014, a girl had sewn her lips together. A guard saw her and began laughing at her. In July that year a child under the age of 10 undressed and invited a group of adults to insert their fingers into her vagina; in February 2015 a young girl gestured to her vagina and said a male asylum seeker “cut her from under”.

In the files there are seven reports of sexual assault of children, 59 reports of assault on children, 30 of self-harm involving children and 159 of threatened self-harm involving children.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Aug 12, 2016, 02:24 PM (1 replies)

Some inconvienent statistics for MA rifle ban supporters:

Per the FBI's Uniform Crime Report "Crime In The United States"

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s

Murder
by State, Type of Weapon

All figures are for Massachusetts

https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_20.html

Rifles 1

Handguns 65

Knives or cutting instruments 31

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 14

https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_20.html

Rifles 2

Handguns 59

Knives or cutting instruments 49

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 3

https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_20.html

Rifles 2

Handgun 47

Knives or cutting instruments 40

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 7


https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl20.xls

Rifles 0

Handguns 52

Knives or cutting instruments 50

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 10

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20

Rifles 0

Handguns 52

Knives or cutting instruments 30

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 9

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/20tabledatadecpdf

Rifles 0

Handguns 32

Knives or cutting instruments 33

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 6

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-20/table_20_murder_by_state_types_of_weapons_2013.xls

Rifles 2

Handguns 35

Knives or cutting instruments 41

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 7

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-20

Rifles 0

Handguns 33

Knives or cutting instruments 34

Hands, fists, feet, etc. 3

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Aug 7, 2016, 02:39 AM (23 replies)

"NRA talking point(s)" is a thought-terminating cliché:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clich%C3%A9#Thought-terminating_clich.C3.A9

Thought-terminating cliché

In his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton introduced the term "thought-terminating cliché". This refers to a cliché that is a commonly used phrase, or folk wisdom, sometimes used to quell cognitive dissonance. Though the clichéd phrase in and of itself may be valid in certain contexts, its application as a means of dismissing dissent or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating.

Lifton wrote:

"The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis."

In George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional constructed language Newspeak is designed to eliminate the ability to express unorthodox thoughts. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World society uses thought-terminating clichés in a more conventional manner, most notably in regard to the drug soma as well as modified versions of real-life platitudes, such as "A doctor a day keeps the jim-jams away".

In her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt described Adolf Eichmann as an intelligent man who used clichés and platitudes to justify his actions and the role he played in the Jewish genocide of World War II. For her, these phrases are symptomatic of an absence of thought. Arendt wrote, "When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jul 26, 2016, 01:41 PM (12 replies)

US Senator Wyden: Why I had to halt FBI's latest internet spying push

Crossposted from Good Reads:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/28/wyden_blocks_intelligence_authorization_bill_to_stop_fbi_internet_surveillance/

US Senator Wyden: Why I had to halt FBI's latest internet spying push
28 Jun 2016 at 23:59,

US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill – because it would allow the FBI to snoop on people's browser histories without a court order, and weakens oversight of the intelligence community.

The bill as it stands would allow the Feds to use National Security Letters (NSLs) – which don't require a court order – to monitor a suspect's internet activity, including which websites they visit and how long they stay on them...

..."When the Intelligence Committee considered this bill last month, I voted against it," he said on the Senate floor.

"While I respect the effort that the distinguished Chair and Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee have put into drafting this year's bill, it would dramatically and unnecessarily expand government surveillance authorities, and it would undermine independent oversight of America's intelligence agencies. So I have objected to this unanimous consent request."


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:39 AM (1 replies)

US Senator Wyden: Why I had to halt FBI's latest internet spying push

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/28/wyden_blocks_intelligence_authorization_bill_to_stop_fbi_internet_surveillance/

US Senator Wyden: Why I had to halt FBI's latest internet spying push
28 Jun 2016 at 23:59,

US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill – because it would allow the FBI to snoop on people's browser histories without a court order, and weakens oversight of the intelligence community.

The bill as it stands would allow the Feds to use National Security Letters (NSLs) – which don't require a court order – to monitor a suspect's internet activity, including which websites they visit and how long they stay on them...

..."When the Intelligence Committee considered this bill last month, I voted against it," he said on the Senate floor.

"While I respect the effort that the distinguished Chair and Vice Chair of the Intelligence Committee have put into drafting this year's bill, it would dramatically and unnecessarily expand government surveillance authorities, and it would undermine independent oversight of America's intelligence agencies. So I have objected to this unanimous consent request."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:36 AM (0 replies)

Dianne Feinstein: Americans must "prove their innocence"

One of America's leading gun control advocates, in her own words:

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jun 28, 2016, 02:34 AM (20 replies)

Dianne Feinstein: Americans must "prove their innocence"

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Jun 27, 2016, 11:56 PM (22 replies)
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