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Where's Obama's tears for THESE kids?

 
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Midwest_Da_Gawd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Midwest_Da_Gawd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2012 at 11:14pm
Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.
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babyk94 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote babyk94 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2012 at 11:16pm
Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:

Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.
Yep
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote happy 4b Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2012 at 11:20pm
Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:


Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.


Okay I see.
I was just reading recently that only 2% of drone strike causalities were suspected militants. The rest were innocent people mostly children. That puts a bad taste in my mouth. That seems to be Obama's favorite weapon of choice.

Edited by happy 4b - Dec 21 2012 at 11:26pm
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Alias_Avi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2012 at 11:35pm
I really want people to understand the difference between these two things... like really want

Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:

Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.
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Midwest_Da_Gawd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Midwest_Da_Gawd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2012 at 11:41pm
Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:


Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.


Okay I see.
I was just reading recently that only 2% of drone strike causalities were suspected militants. The rest were innocent people mostly children. That puts a bad taste in my mouth. That seems to be Obama's favorite weapon of choice.

Yes.

And he personally orders all of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote happy 4b Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2012 at 11:49pm
Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:


Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:


Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.


Okay I see.
I was just reading recently that only 2% of drone strike causalities were suspected militants. The rest were innocent people mostly children. That puts a bad taste in my mouth. That seems to be Obama's favorite weapon of choice.

Yes.

And he personally orders all of them.


I think that is the biggest gripe I have with his administration. His excessive use of drones.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Naturalchick30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 22 2012 at 4:39am
Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:


Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:


Originally posted by happy 4b happy 4b wrote:

We really shouldn't compare tragedies.


Nobody is comparing tragedies here.

We're comparing the RESPONSE to these tragedies.


Okay I see.
I was just reading recently that only 2% of drone strike causalities were suspected militants. The rest were innocent people mostly children. That puts a bad taste in my mouth. That seems to be Obama's favorite weapon of choice.

Yes.

And he personally orders all of them.



This.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Naturalchick30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 22 2012 at 5:28am

The coming drone attack on America

Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponised

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military drone spy
By 2020, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 drones will be in use in US domestic airspace. Photograph: US navy/Reuters

People often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.

In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by […] the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds – meaning that you won't necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.

Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them.

An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS (pdf) news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy. (The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.)

The air force document explains that the air force will be overseeing the deployment of its own military surveillance drones within the borders of the US; that it may keep video and other data it collects with these drones for 90 days without a warrant – and will then, retroactively, determine if the material can be retained – which does away for good with the fourth amendment in these cases. While the drones are not supposed to specifically "conduct non-consensual surveillance on on specifically identified US persons", according to the document, the wording allows for domestic military surveillance of non-"specifically identified" people (that is, a group of activists or protesters) and it comes with the important caveat, also seemingly wholly unconstitutional, that it may not target individuals "unless expressly approved by the secretary of Defense".

In other words, the Pentagon can now send a domestic drone to hover outside your apartment window, collecting footage of you and your family, if the secretary of Defense approves it. Or it may track you and your friends and pick up audio of your conversations, on your way, say, to protest or vote or talk to your representative, if you are not "specifically identified", a determination that is so vague as to be meaningless.

What happens to those images, that audio? "Distribution of domestic imagery" can go to various other government agencies without your consent, and that imagery can, in that case, be distributed to various government agencies; it may also include your most private moments and most personal activities. The authorized "collected information may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent". Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told CBS:

"In some records that were released by the air force recently … under their rules, they are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations."

This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones. The FAA recently established a more efficient process for local police departments to get permits for their own squadrons of drones.

Given the Department of Homeland Security militarization of police departments, once the circle is completed with San Francisco or New York or Chicago local cops having their own drone fleet – and with Chase, HSBC and other banks having hired local police, as I reported here last week – the meshing of military, domestic law enforcement, and commercial interests is absolute. You don't need a messy, distressing declaration of martial law.

And drone fleets owned by private corporations means that a first amendment right of assembly is now over: if Occupy is massing outside of a bank, send the drone fleet to surveil, track and harass them. If citizens rally outside the local Capitol? Same thing. As one of my readers put it, the scary thing about this new arrangement is deniability: bad things done to citizens by drones can be denied by private interests – "Oh, that must have been an LAPD drone" – and LAPD can insist that it must have been a private industry drone. For where, of course, will be the accountability from citizens buzzed or worse by these things?

Domestic drone use is here, and the meshing has begun: local cops in Grand Forks, North Dakota called in a DHS Predator drone – the same make that has caused hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan – over a dispute involving a herd of cattle. The military rollout in process and planned, within the US, is massive: the Christian Science Monitor reports that a total of 110 military sites for drone activity are either built or will be built, in 39 states. That covers America.

We don't need a military takeover: with these capabilities on US soil and this air force white paper authorization for data collection, the military will be effectively in control of the private lives of American citizens. And these drones are not yet weaponized.

"I don't think it's crazy to worry about weaponized drones. There is a real consensus that has emerged against allowing weaponized drones domestically. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has recommended against it," warns Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU, noting that there is already political pressure in favor of weaponization:

"At the same time, it is inevitable that we will see [increased] pressure to allow weaponized drones. The way that it will unfold is probably this: somebody will want to put a relatively 'soft' nonlethal weapon on a drone for crowd control. And then things will ratchet up from there."

And the risk of that? The New America Foundation's report on drone use in Pakistan noted that the Guardian had confirmed 193 children's deaths from drone attacks in seven years. It noted that for the deaths of ten militants, 1,400 civilians with no involvement in terrorism also died. Not surprisingly, everyone in that region is traumatized: children scream when they hear drones. An NYU and Stanford Law School report notes that drones "terrorize citizens 24 hours a day".

If US drones may first be weaponized with crowd-control features, not lethal force features, but with no risk to military or to police departments or DHS, the playing field for freedom of assembly is changed forever. So is our private life, as the ACLU's Stanley explains:

"Our biggest concerns about the deployment of drones domestically is that they will be used to create pervasive surveillance networks. The danger would be that an ordinary individual once they step out of their house will be monitored by a drone everywhere they walk or drive. They may not be aware of it. They might monitored or tracked by some silent invisible drone everywhere they walk or drive."

"So what? Why should they worry?" I asked.

"Your comings and goings can be very revealing of who you are and what you are doing and reveal very intrusive things about you – what houses of worship you are going to, political meetings, particular doctors, your friends' and lovers' houses."

I mentioned the air force white paper. "Isn't the military not supposed to be spying on Americans?" I asked.

"Yes, the posse comitatus act passed in the 19th century forbids a military role in law enforcement among Americans."

What can we do if we want to oppose this? I wondered. According to Stanley, many states are passing legislation banning domestic drone use. Once again, in the fight to keep America a republic, grassroots activism is pitched in an unequal contest against a militarized federal government.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 24 2012 at 12:38am
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Urban Lives Saved by Suburban Gun Mayhem

Urban Lives Saved by Suburban Gun Mayhem

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The Root, Commentary, Kelly Goff, Posted: Dec 17, 2012


Shortly after the Jovan Belcher tragedy I was asked on a television program whether or not the NFL player's high-profile murder-suicide and sports announcer Bob Costas' courageous comments about gun violence in the incident's aftermath would have any impact on gun control in America. I answered that they would not. The reason? Because as I noted during that interview, historically our country has only addressed the issue of gun violence when it touches the lives of those with whom our leaders are most likely to identify. Rarely are those likely to be incidents involving people of color suffering domestic violence or teens of color from low-income communities who are victims of urban gun violence.

Instead the gun tragedies that have actually moved our elected officials to significant action on gun control have been those incidents in which victims are most likely to remind our leaders of their own friends, families and communities, incidents like the 1993 shooting on a Long Island Rail Road train, which killed commuters from New York's professional class or the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, which made gun control the cause célèbre of white suburban moms, culminating in the Million Mom March in 2000.

Now it appears another incident is poised to finally move our leaders to action once again, 13 years after Columbine. The murder of 20 children and six adults in the quiet and normally safe enclave of Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 is forcing a conversation about gun control that the shooting of 26 residents in one night in Chicago this summer -- resulting in the deaths of two teens and injury of 24 others -- could not. As previously noted in an analysis by the now-defunct the Daily, more Chicago residents, many of them urban youth, were killed by gun violence in the first half of 2012 than American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan during the same period.

Just think about those numbers for a moment.

Yet I don't recall elected officials of either party making the rounds of the Sunday morning news shows, explicitly to urge action in honor of those kids. But that has happened in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, just as it happened briefly in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater tragedy. But the difference between the incident in Aurora and the latest one in Newtown is that Aurora took place months before an election, a time in which very few politicians, including the president, feel their most politically courageous, particularly when it comes to provoking the ire of the political giant that is the National Rifle Association. As I wrote at the time, apparently there are four branches of government: the executive, the legislative, the judicial and the NRA. Perhaps it would have been more accurate for me to write that the NRA was the most influential undeclared candidate in the presidential race, not to mention every Senate and House race, too.

Now with the election safely in the rearview mirror, here's hoping our leaders will drum up a bit more courage before another tragedy unfolds. Some already have begun to.

After Columbine, some newly inspired gun-control activists, many of them upper-middle-class mothers from predominantly white communities, expressed regret to mothers of color for not being involved in the fight for gun control earlier, when gun violence claimed the lives of kids who didn't grow up in leafy suburbs and whose deaths were not likely to garner extensive coverage on the nightly news. The activism ignited by Columbine resulted in more stringent gun control laws and more diligent enforcement of existing laws, particularly on the state level.

Now, more than a decade later, the cycle appears to be repeating itself. Here's hoping that this time around, the activism the Newtown tragedy sparks will have long-term impact on communities like Newtown nationwide, and as a result, also impact urban communities that appear on the outside to have little in common with the tony Connecticut suburb, but are now united in the shared tragedy and heartbreak of young lives cut short by gun violence.
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