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mia

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Member since: Sun Sep 14, 2003, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 3,535

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Kick my thread that's almost a week old.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018297995

Drone Debate Over Casualties Overlooks Cost to Those Who Survive

Source: PRI's The World

John Brennan, the chief architect of the US drone program, faces a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday for his nomination as the CIA’s new director. The Congressional hearing will be one of the few times Americans will hear a high level official publicly acknowledge and address the military and CIA’s joint drone program. It operates in countries like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen where the US is not at officially at war, but has conducted hundreds of attacks using drones in covert operations.

Down a dimly lit corridor, in the only burn-unit hospital in Yemen lie the severely burned bodies of Sultan Ahmed Mohammed and Nacer Mabkhout al-Sabooly. They’re conscious, but barely able to speak out loud. Sultan, tells me his name and mutters just one sentence before closing his eyes.

“The plane struck me,” he said.

I met the two last September. They were victims of an attack that officially never happened. At the hospital, Abdelrahman Barman, an attorney who runs the Yemeni human-rights organization Hood, that advocates for the rights of drone victims, explained to me how this mini-bus driver and his cousin from a rural town in Central Yemen ended up barely conscious in a hospital in Sanaa....






Read more: http://www.theworld.org/2013/02/drone-debate-over-casualties-overlooks-cost-to-those-who-survive/



I heard this on the radio on the way home tonight. I wonder if the U.S. behind drone strikes everywhere.

Drone Program Under Scrutiny As CIA Nominee Testifies

Source: National Public Radio


...The Obama administration has made its drone program the signature feature of its counterterrorism efforts. But it's not a subject it likes to talk about.

However, the controversial drone program and one of its chief architects came under the spotlight Thursday as John Brennan went before the Senate Intelligence Committee for his confirmation hearing as director of the CIA.

During the Bush administration, fewer than 50 drone strikes were carried out. There have been more than 360 under Obama, according to the website The Long War Journal.

Brennan, who has been President Obama's adviser on counterterrorism, is expected to win Senate approval. But his role in the lethal drone program has drawn public criticism. As Brennan was reading his opening statement, he was interrupted repeatedly by protesters who shouted their opposition to U.S. drone strikes....



Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/07/171397729/drone-program-under-scrutiny-as-cia-nominee-testifies

Something sweet for desert

A small cupful of peanut butter and jelly.
Savoring it as I click around DU.

Why are we still alive?

I just read this post by my niece (15) on Facebook. It reminded me of a similar scene at this Burger King in downtown Miami a few years ago.


I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology.

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions..

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then
even my husband did. I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance......
He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching..

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son... When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..'

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give..

We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?' slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son,the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:

UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.



I googled it here: http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/s/smiles.htm

Watching TV on web is disrupting cable, broadcast worlds

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/26/3201660/watching-tv-on-web-is-disrupting.html

Veteran programmer Rob Barnett recently attended a breakfast meeting of television executives where the talk turned, as it almost always does these days, to “disruption,” the industry buzzword for the way new technology is upsetting the TV applecart. From somewhere down the table, he heard a question: “Has anybody here cut the cord?” — that is, dropped cable service in favor of just watching TV through the Internet? Barnett shrugged and raised his hand. “Mine was the only one,” he recalls. “But when it went up, I saw beads of sweat break out on the foreheads of some of the guys across the table.”

When Barnett and 5,000 or so others gather Monday for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) convention at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, there will be plenty of sweaty foreheads, some acquisitive smiles and — perhaps most numerous — blank looks of confusion. Not since cable turned the old three-channel TV universe on its head in the late 1970s has the industry been in such a state of disoriented befuddlement.

New technologies that give viewers more say in what they watch, where they watch and how much they pay for it are great for consumers. But they’re inducing a collective nervous breakdown among industry executives, who have to figure out new ways to make money in a business facing serious threats to its traditional sources of revenue — advertising and cable-TV subscriptions....

But the biggest tremors came from the Internet, which is threatening to remake television as thoroughly as it already has the newspaper and music industries, by letting viewers bypass cable to watch shows online.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/26/3201660/watching-tv-on-web-is-disrupting.html#storylink=cpy

Wounded Knee

Found this on my facebook page. I also found it here.
http://lewrockwell.com/rep4/bury-your-guns-wounded-knee.html
While I know we're not allowed to reference Libertarian links, I wanted to share it with someone. I'm offended by the use of this tragedy.

December 29, 2012 marked the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. The Calvary began shooting, and managed to wipe out the entire camp. 200 of the 297 victims were women and children. About 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, but over half of them were victims of fratricide from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms. Twenty members of the 7th Cavalry’s death squad, were deemed “National Heroes” and were awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of heroism.

We hear very little of Wounded Knee today. It is usually not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little that does exist about Wounded Knee is normally a sanitized “Official Government Explanation.” And there are several historically inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre, which appear in movie scripts and are not the least bit representative of the actual events that took place that day.

Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.


Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment, the right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine. When the United States Constitution was drafted, “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept. Musket balls were a precious commodity and were certainly not wasted on “target shooting.” The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and it refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defensive purposes, should such tyranny arise in the United States....


Where may we talk about guns?

The Lounge?
Justice and Public Safety?
Creative Speculations?

British-born grandfather has spoken of how he led his family into the sea as wildfires raged around

'We saw tornadoes of fire coming towards us': British-born grandfather tells of momenthe led terrified family into the sea as Australian wildfires tore through their town

Tammy and Tim Holmes led their five grandchildren Charlotte, two, Esther, four, Caleb, six, Liam, nine, and Matilda, 11, into the sea as their only hope while the fires quickly spread.

Even there, their terror was not over as flames licked the wooden jetty they clung to and they struggled to breathe in the smoke-filled air.

The ordeal, near the village of Dunalley in Tasmania, was photographed by 62-year-old Mr Holmes, who moved to Australia from Wales....


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2259468/Australia-wildfires-Moment-terrified-family-forced-refuge.html



The Seat of Rosa Parks

We'll soon be making the 100th year since Rosa Park was born (2/4/1913). This is an English translation of a Cuban blog.

http://cruzarlasalambradaseng.wordpress.com/2013/01/


The city of Miami surprised me. Many of its buses pay tribute to someone who is a symbol of defending civil rights in this country. On my daily comings and goings through its neighborhoods, I found that detail. Right behind the bus driver’s seat, there is a small plaque with the details. Miami does it, and so have other cities in the United States, as one day will be done in Cuba with some similar actions.

The fact that Rosa Parks decided, on that afternoon of 1955, not to give up her seat to a white person, ignited the spark among her fellow citizens, leading to known events like the public transport strike in Montgomery. It was a gesture, a pro-active action, an act of non-cooperation, doing. Just like a few women decided to take to the streets of Cuba in 2003, dressed in white and with a flower in hand, or how a group of men have said: “I do not cooperate with the dictatorship”. It is these citizen gestures which turn on the motor of grand human actions.

After so much blood has been shed on the island, years of unjust imprisonment, arbitrary detentions, beatings and harassment against political activists and their families, will the definitive spark be ignited? Everything seems to indicate that it will, although sometimes we may lose hope or think that the dictatorship which has governed us for 54 years is eternal. When Laura Pollan screamed in front of the guards: “We are not afraid of you”, when Marta Diaz Rondon and Caridad Caballero shouted at the top of their lungs: “My house is not a prison”, or when Iris Perez Aguilera protested in a small town of Cuba’s interior in front of a radio station because it was only reporting part of the truth, they too were also paying tribute to Rosa Parks. They are also like her. And although they did not have the immediate protection and coverage which the humble lady from Alabama had, there is still the hope that one day they will be acknowledged for their gestures of reasonable rebellion. Against brute force, reason stands firm, Rosa said it: “Freedom is not free”.

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