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Depaysement

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Care for the most vulnerable, isolated and forgotten: NYT - An Oasis of Care for People With Intellectual Disabilities

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/us/in-louisville-an-oasis-of-care-for-the-disabled.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A mother needs to get her son out the door. Thick white socks cover his contorted feet, a coat drapes his twisted shoulders, a water bottle with a straw nestles in the concave of his chest, and black straps on his wheelchair secure his wrists. He is 33 years old, and she has to get him to an appointment.

. . .

Her son, Trey, has intellectual disability, autism and cerebral palsy. He was a joy as a child, she says, but with puberty came violent acts of frustration: biting himself until he bleeds, raging against sounds as faint as a fork scrape on a plate, lashing out with his muscular right arm. He nearly bit her finger off one Kentucky Derby Day when she tried to swipe away foam that he had gnawed from his wheelchair’s armrest.

“But he’ll also definitely make you smile when he’s happy,” says Ms. Kramer, 52, a slight, divorced woman who has raised her son mostly alone. “His smile will light up the room.”

For years, parents like Ms. Kramer have struggled to find compassionate health care for their adult children with profound disability, among the most medically underserved populations in the country. They are told their children are not welcome: too disruptive in the waiting room, too long in the examining room — beyond the abilities of doctors who have no experience with intellectual disability.

Now, though, Ms. Kramer has a place to go. A motorized lift raises her son into her customized Ford Econoline van, where a home care aide named David Stodghill keeps some fudge cookies nearby as positive reinforcement for Mr. Kramer.

. . .

Off they go into the wintry Kentucky rain, bound for refuge on the other side of Louisville: the Lee Specialty Clinic, one of the very few free-standing facilities designed exclusively to provide medical and dental treatment — and a sense of welcome — to people with intellectual disability.

There should be several at least one such facility in every state in the union. But there isn't. Major props to the compassionate people in Kentucky who made this happen.

The Whole World's Watching

https://m.

Russian Troops Hold Drills in Serbia

Source: ABC News

Camouflage-clad Russian soldiers parachute from the sky, armored vehicles fire live rounds on an open field after being dropped from military transport jets and helicopters fire missiles against enemy positions.

Although the flat terrain resembles the Ukrainian war zones, this is not an armed Russian intervention against its neighbor. It's the first-ever joint Serb-Russian military exercise in Serbia, the Balkan country that has been performing a delicate balancing act in between its Slavic ally Russia and Western Europe, with which Belgrade wants to integrate.

The "anti-terrorist' drill on Friday — the first such by the Russians outside the former Soviet Union — of elite Russian troops in northern Serbia, not far from NATO-member Croatia, has stirred controversy both here and abroad.

"Serbia's government wants to try and keep everyone happy," said prominent Balkan political analyst Tim Judah. "So, the U.S. helps finance and modernize Serbia's army while now Serbian soldiers train with Russians. In normal times there would be little to say about this, but post-Crimea, these are not normal times anymore."



Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russian-troops-hold-drills-serbia-26913234

With all of the purge talk, maybe we should ask: why are we Democrats?

I think a bit of soul searching is in order. By thinking about and perhaps answering this question we may be able to reclaim a common bond and decide where we go from here. I don't think the answer is or should be "because I don't want to be a Republican" or "the other side is worse."

I think we should discuss that here. I mean an overall theme, not specific issues. I am starting this to try to get to the root of the problem.

For me, it boils down to fairness. When someone gets too little pay for her daily toils, I see injustice. When the gay kid gets cornered and beaten in the locker room, I want to protect him. When I see people forced to live in hell so a tiny bunch of fat cats can lick the cream, I want Robin Hood.

Others probably have better reasons. Maybe government helping people. What is yours?

Richardson: Obama right to wait on ISIS strategy

Source: The Hill

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said on Sunday that President Obama is right to gather more intelligence and speak with allies in the Middle East in preparing a strateagy to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Richardson said on ABC's "This Week" that he agreed with Obama’s decision not to divulge a strategy on ISIS last week. The president said Thursday “we don't have a strategy yet” on ISIS.

“I think the president probably should have said ‘we’re developing a policy, a new policy,’ ” Richardson said. "I applaud him too … these are very serious foreign policy issues,” Richardson, who ran for president in 2008, continued.

. . .

“My point is, let’s do it right,” he said.


Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/216327-richardson-obama-right-to-wait-on-isis-strategy



A President carefully considering the best response. Imagine that.

American Fighting for ISIS Is Killed in Syria

Source: NYT

WASHINGTON — Like many teenage boys who grew up in the Midwest in the 1990s, Douglas McAuthur McCain was a fan of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and loved to play basketball.

But as he grew older, he lost interest in basketball as he shuttled between two suburban Minneapolis high schools. He never graduated, and in his late teens, he began to have run-ins with the law. In the decade that followed, he was arrested or cited nine times on charges including theft, marijuana possession and driving without a license.

Mr. McCain moved back and forth from Minneapolis to San Diego and then abroad. Officials now know he ended up in Syria, where three days ago, Mr. McCain became the first American to die while fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He was 33.

The rebels who killed him were fighting for the Free Syrian Army, a rival group backed by the United States, and they went on to behead six ISIS fighters — but not Mr. McCain — and then posted the photographs on Facebook.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/world/middleeast/american-fighting-for-isis-is-killed-in-syria.html



Could this be right? I thought "our guys" didn't do such grotesque things.

Ironic that this guy's name is McCain.

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS

The 9 biggest myths about ISIS
BY ZACK BEAUCHAMP
AUG 23 2014, 9:42P

Myth #1: ISIS is crazy and irrational

If you want to understand the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, the first thing you have to know about them is that they are not crazy. Murderous adherents to a violent medieval ideology, sure. But not insane.

Look at the history of ISIS's rise in Iraq and Syria. From the mid-2000s through today, ISIS and its predecessor group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, have had one clear goal: to establish a caliphate governed by an extremist interpretation of Islamic law. ISIS developed strategies for accomplishing that goal — for instance, exploiting popular discontent among non-extremist Sunni Iraqis with their Shia-dominated government. Its tactics have evolved over the course of time in response to military defeats (as in 2008 in Iraq) and new opportunities (the Syrian civil war). As Yale political scientist Stathis Kalyvas explains, in pure strategic terms, ISIS is acting similarly to revolutionary militant groups around the world — not in an especially crazy or uniquely "Islamist" way.

http://www.vox.com/cards/isis-myths-iraq/crazy-irrational

An interesting read
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