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Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

I doubt that the kidnappers will get this or care.  That speaks of their alienation from our time and vision.   They fail to see the present as an arc to the future.

How Boko Haram imperils Nigeria’s future

By Melinda Gates
May 8, 2014 –

Editor’s note: Melinda Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

(CNN) — I think of myself as an “impatient optimist.” There are times, however, when it’s harder to muster the optimism, and the impatience takes over. That’s how I felt when I read about the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram to be married off or sold into slavery.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the worst aspect of this atrocity. And it’s pitiful that this is nothing new. Treating women as spoils or weapons of war has been a common practice for thousands of years.

SNIP

… perhaps the most awful part of the story is that Boko Haram stands against a better future for ordinary Nigerians.

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Since this blog is about homegirls (and boys) and security,  I think it is appropriate to share here a brilliant analysis  by Karen Finney at The Hill exposing costs of war that fall through the cracks in budget proposals.

This is the real cost, and it is incumbent upon all of us to consider deeply how secure continued operations and deployments keep us and whether current levels are worth these  costs .   Equally important is our encouragement to legislators to be certain these costs are covered in current and future budgets.  Not worth merely a read, worth sharing every way you know how.  Homegirl Karen hit a home run with this one!

By Karen Finney
– 03/19/12 06:14 PM ET

We may never know all of the factors that led an American soldier to allegedly murder 16 people in Afghanistan. The more we do learn, the more it seems there were signs of the toll that repeated deployments, an injury and the stress of his situation back home were taking. None of that excuses what the soldier reportedly did. However, given the number of Americans who have served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who could be facing similar stressors, we have a responsibility to better understand and factor in these human costs in any conversations about the way forward — particularly for the benefit of the 40 percent of U.S. citizens who still believe the war is worth the costs.

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Edited to add:

This is  more than an op-ed in a column.  In a comment in the thread below I called it a treatise.  Karen Finney may well be the 21st century Thomas Paine for women and others.  Looking at this text again, I see it as the basis of a doctrine,  the Finney Budgetary Doctrine.  This is very important information that Karen has compiled, and the implications are enormous and look far down the road.   That is where we all should be looking.

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Wednesday is the heaviest day of the year for air travel in the U.S.   With TSA pat downs dominating the news cycle for days now,  travelers have been alerted to possible screening slowdowns as passengers are encouraged to opt out of the body scanners in favor of more time-consuming pat downs.  This is the  last thing Thanksgiving travelers want to encounter, the worst nightmare at the start of, for many, a four-day weekend:  The dreaded Delay.

Americans despise delays.  We devote hours of early morning air time and untold gallons of copter fuel to inform our morning commutes in order to conserve,  as best we can, our personal fuel purchased at prices we perceive as exorbitant no matter what that price might be. as well as to conserve our precious time.  “Time is money,” we say, and it is true!  Late arrival at work might get your pay or vacation time docked.   Too many late arrivals can get you fired.  Not good news in a bad economy.

Of course  it is unlikely that your family will dock or fire you for a late arrival at Thanksgiving, unless you make them wait to cut the turkey.  But Americans are among the hardest and longest working people on earth. So when we hit the roads and air routes on “getaway day,” we do so with the same obsession to “make good time” as we do when commuting to work. Clearly the “opt out” movement is going to be disconcerting to many travelers this holiday by delaying the screening process and, as a result, possibly departure times.

No we do not like to lose or waste time.   Who does?  This predilection is reflected in our language. When was the last time a native speaker of American English told you s/he had influenza, rode the omnibus to work, had to have laboratory work done, proclaimed him/herself to be a Giants fanatic? (I could go on. You get my point.) We clip these words because we do not have time to say all those syllables. Time is money!  We clip our words, and the clippings rise in currency, sometimes to the extent that we cannot immediately remember the original form,  if we ever knew it – an experience I had last night when I really had the think about  where “diss” comes from.

I was explaining the behavior of a character in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” at the time. The episode was compelling because we saw women get the vote last night, (YAY!) and we began to see Irish immigrant and widow Margaret Schroeder commence what may become a political career. (Parenthetically: I hope HBO allows her character to develop along these lines rather than cut her off at the knees the way Showtime did Princess Mary in “The Tudors, who began showing signs of a hard, cruel edge in the final two episodes ever. I would have liked to have seen how she became who she was.) But I digress.

In another scene, “Nukie” Thompson’s manservant/bodyguard, as one of Nukie’s rivals enters the room, asks if he should frisk the visitor. What? Oh! WAIT!   We HAVE a perfectly good, one-syllable word that we American time-freaks are eschewing in favor of a longer two-syllable compound?   It is downright Un-American!  “Pat down” in favor of the more efficient “frisk?” WTF?  It is so short, I actually had to check the etymology.  It has that Anglo-Saxon ring to it.

frisk Look up frisk at Dictionary.com
1510s, “to dance, frolic,” from M.Fr. frisque “lively, brisk,” possibly from a Germanic source (cf. M.Du. vrisch “fresh”). Sense of “pat down in a search” first recorded 1781. Related: Frisked; frisking.

(Aha!  “pat down” is in there!  And it is fresh!)

Obviously it has to do with framing, a component of metaphor development brilliantly analyzed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in Metaphors We Live By (University of Chicago Press, 1980) a skill long ago mastered by Republicans and traditionally elusive to Democrats until now perhaps.  The impact of “pat down” is related to other collocations of the word “pat.”  A pat on the back, a love pat, a pat on the cheek or head, whether metaphorical or physical, are all perceived with positive connotations.  So how can a pat down be negative?

“Frisking,” on the other hand, is done by mobsters like Nukie Thompson’s henchmen or the police upon  executing an arrest.  Goodness gracious, we would never be frisking tiny children, grandmothers, nuns, and sundry other solid citizens unlikely to be threatening their fellow humans, of course not!  No, we simply “pat them down.”  It sounds so gentle and affectionate, contrary to the description by some who have experienced it.

Thus we are lulled into a sense of the pat down being a loving gesture performed for the sake of everyone’s well-being.  Nice metaphor!  Not everyone is mollified, however, by our current, culturally discordant propensity for the longer, more awkward term rather than the less time consuming “frisk.”   This little video clip from yesterday is apparently on an endless loop at some news channels.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

No, our lovely, and for so many reasons, eminently “pattable”  Head Homegirl would not like to be patted down if she could avoid it.  Hmmmmmmm.  The Democrats finally succeed in framing something, and the most prominent female Democrat (non-political though she may have to be as SOS) slices right through the comfort zone.  “Who would?”  Indeed! She does not want anybody getting fresh with her! No, neither do we.

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I just received this. Sickening. I have no words.

U.S. Strongly Condemns Stoning Of Woman in Orakzai, Pakistan

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 28, 2010

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the brutal stoning of a woman in Orakzai, Pakistan, allegedly by members of the Pakistani Taliban, which is depicted in a video circulating on the internet.

This vicious attack, carried out as a crowd of onlookers watched, violates all norms of human decency and is a chilling example of the cowardly disregard violent extremists have for human life. There is no justification for such barbaric and cruel treatment of a fellow human being.

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[September 14, 2009: This post has been redacted to remove speculative editorial material contained in the original post on September 13. The material removed was pure opinion, not fact, and not, I might add the opinion of this blogger. Because that opinion led to further, dangerous, unfounded speculation, it has been removed.
When Hillary and I were in our teens, the Beatles sang this:

I shoulda known better with a girl like you.

Well, I shoulda known better with a girl like Hillary! She is so passionate and inspires such passion that anything said about her has the potential of setting off a firestorm of speculation and rumors – exactly what I was attempting to combat in the first part of this post. The second part, however, while totally unconnected, seems to have engendered ideas of a nefarious scheme from quarters that are completely unrelated to the parties that have been arrested, and never were said to be related in any way.


Mea culpa! I have removed the offending passages and have learned: proximity breeds connection, contempt, and even more toxicity than that which I was trying to fend off!]

September 14, 2009: REVISED

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, (L) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands kick-off festivities celebrating the NY400 Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on September 8, 2009 in New York City. NY400 Week, which runs from September 8-13 marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson�s arrival on a Dutch ship to New York harbor in 1609. New York will celebrate the event with Dutch festivals, boat races, dance parties, museum exhibitions and more.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, (L) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands kick-off festivities celebrating the NY400 Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on September 8, 2009 in New York City. NY400 Week, which runs from September 8-13 marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson�s arrival on a Dutch ship to New York harbor in 1609. New York will celebrate the event with Dutch festivals, boat races, dance parties, museum exhibitions and more.

A week containing September 11 is bound to provoke emotions.  When it begins joyously, with our own Hillary Clinton home in New York to co-host the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York Harbor and to visit a charter school for an educational event, and ends on September 11 with our girl home yet again for both a 9/11 event and to pick up still another award, this time the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award, all seems perfect with the world on a sunny Sunday.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attends a My Education, My Future� event with students at the Manhattan Charter School September 8, 2009 in New York City. Students watched the National Address to Students on Educational Success by U.S. President Barack Obama at the event.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attends a 'My Education, My Future�' event with students at the Manhattan Charter School September 8, 2009 in New York City. Students watched the National Address to Students on Educational Success by U.S. President Barack Obama at the event.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Commemoration and Tribute at the Beacon Theatre in New York, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Commemoration and Tribute at the Beacon Theatre in New York, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.

And all would be perfect had not yet another noxious meme arisen over the past week. We posted earlier about this, but since Stacy has taken this on at Blog Critics/Politics, we thought it might be a good idea, before the work week begins to reinforce the denial, from Hillary’s own spokesman, that she is unhappy at State and planning to run for Governor of New York. When I first saw that story, it was so far off that it was risible, but not everyone thought so. So, one more time I will say, please stop it! She lives here, true, and was here on Tuesday as well as Friday in her capacity as Secretary of State (hosting Dutch royalty, inaugurating the Day of Service and Remembrance) -she is not running for Governor OR for her old Senate seat. What an idea! I encourage you to read Stacy’s excellent article: The Fictional Rift Between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

While the toxic memes are annoying and obviously are getting under the skin of Hillary’s staff, far more disturbing is the story that will not quite show its face here in the U.S. but persists on the internet and in the foreign press:  the distressing report that a Somalian terrorist group tied to Al Quaeda came alarmingly close to an assassination attempt on  our Secretary of State in Nairobi last month.

The Homegirls pray and light candles.  Kenya was Hillary’s first stop on that two-week tour.  If this did happen, she soldiered on through the rest of the trip talking tough to perpetrators of ungodly deeds, hearing the stories of victims in dangerous locations, and reaching out to communities all over the continent with a dazzling smile and not a few tears, and she did so knowing what had nearly happened.  I tremble when I think about this – with rage and something that is close to, but thankfully not grief.

I want to stress a few things here:

1. This blog is, and always has been dedicated to Hillary Clinton and the issues and messages she puts forward.  It is not dedicated to, affiliated with, or in formal agreement with any political party or movement.

2. As a Hillary Clinton loyalist, this blogger countenances no positions that Hillary herself expressly rejects.  Should statements here conflict with opinions Hillary subsequently expresses, updates will reflect editorial corrections as is necessary and appropriate.

3. While readers are free to interpret and comment according to the tradition of a free internet and press, I respectfully request civility and a restraint from unnecessary accusations and from name-calling.

These rules will be permanently posted as such, and are subject to revision as required.

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The recent implosion of websites, forums, and groups that bear Hillary’s name, originally supported her candidacy and agenda, organized as a result of her campaign, and/or followed her progress as Secretary of State has occurred in such a way as to appear, even to the casual observer, coordinated. As a former resident of the now defunct Hillary’s Village, I am familiar with how that particular forum went down. Weeks later, having read the stories in emails, on Facebook, on blogs, I have seen that other sites experienced similar difficulties or transformations. Here’s what happened at Hillary’s Village and why I think it continues to be important for true Hillary loyalists to guard against influences that come from quarters that hold none of Hillary’s values, principles, or plans.

At HV there probably always was a strong, powerful Republican presence. I will say it here: I suspect administrators (perhaps not all) and super mods (some) were dyed in the wool Republicans. The Village might even have been started by Republicans for all I know. As a former mod there myself, I can say that there was special attention paid to infiltration by and banning of Obots. No equivalent attention was paid to Republicans or neo-cons.

Sarah Palin announced her resignation on July 3, a Friday. I was asked that day by a BTR radio host to call in with my reaction during that evening’s show. When I did, I gave my opinion as a voter. I said that this does nothing to inspire in a voter faith that she would ever again fulfill a term in public office. I called her a quitter,  and I was royally attacked in the chat room. I invited those folks to call in and refute what I had said. None did.

The following Sunday I went to HV, clicked on “new posts” and was amazed to see a long string of threads about Sarah Palin and NOTHING ABOUT HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, the Village chief! When this phenomenon persisted through the day of July 5, I went back over there and cross-posted something from this blog wherein I had also referred to Palin as a quitter. Again I was attacked. Further, I could see in other threads that there was pressure being exerted on Villagers to support Palin. (It was not made clear how exactly one supports someone who is leaving office and has not declared candidacy for any other). Essentially the message was : If you supported Hillary, you MUST support Sarah.

Now I will defend women of any political stripe against sexist attacks, and I had defended Palin there and on my own blogs. I draw the line, though, at crossing political philosophies just because a politician is a woman. Maggie Thatcher was never my girl. Sarah Palin is not.

I stepped back from HV that day. I reentered occasionally to check, but the Palin threads were overwhelming. A week later there was an odd and disturbing message sent to some Villagers from a known source directing us to a different forum where screen-shots of private chats from HV had been posted. The remarks indicated some personal conflicts had arisen in the high administration, but there were also clear labels – political ones – attached to administrators and super mods. I decided to remain away from HV until the dust settled. Within days it was gone.

Prior to that, Together4Us had sustained attacks so terrible, it seems, that posting there has become more tedious than watching paint dry. Pantsuit Politics had some kind of trouble. Since then odd things have occurred at Hillbuzz – in fact it apparently is now a Sarah Palin site.

Many sites originally associated with Hillary and named for her now boast testimonials to Palin, and members are exposed to Palin propaganda. This indicates Republican infiltration and extends as well to “feminist” sites that claim to be non-partisan. I view it as typical bait-and-switch. You do a search, think you have found a Hillary site, link in and find a Sarah site.

I lay the death (as well as the birth) of HV squarely on the shoulders of Republicans and neo-cons who disguised themselves as PUMAs and Ultra-Militant Feminists who pretended that discussing anything other than Hillary’s policies and deeds was sexist. We were told more than once, no matter what challenge Hillary faced that this woman-of-steel could weather anything so -NO SYMPATHY, PLEASE! Even when she broke her elbow, I saw: “She’ll be back tomorrow.” (Well, essentially, she WAS, but she should not have been). No sympathy for the pain! We were told it was sexist to talk about her wardrobe, hair, looks. Now I know that these were foxes in the henhouse trying to intimidate Hillary’s loyalists and push them toward the Republican party using Palin as their tool.

Unfortunately, over the past year I have seen former Democrats become Republicans – manipulated by Republicans, not simply on the Palin issue, but also by using scare tactics re: things the Obama administration will do. Well, I am no fan of that administration, but some of what I am seeing makes no sense. Just one: Flu vaccine will be mandatory and you will be forced to get it. Hello? There is not even ENOUGH vaccine!

I bring all of this up in the run-up to the appearance in tomorrow’s New York Times of an interview with Hillary wherein she makes her agenda for women very clear along with her reasons for doing so: A New Gender Agenda. When I read what Hillary has to say, I see nothing that I have not always known about her since she surfaced on my periscope. But there is a resounding LACK of attention to these issues mounted by Palin supporters and by Pailn herself.

Hillary explains the relationship between the political, social, and economic well-being of women and a healthy and free society. I have never heard any of these notes sung by Palin, have you? If you are a woman, staying with Hillary and her objectives is the only option that makes any sense. If you are a man, and you read her words, you will see that supporting her goals makes the most sense for any society. If you are a Palin supporter, you should read this. If you were a Hillary supporter and now support Palin, what on earth are you thinking?

Read the interview.

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Secretary of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security

Homegirl Security has learned that malicious elements at the Department of Homeland Security are inexplicably targeting American citizens,  and we find this intolerable. A report surfaced this week citing groups and behaviors that DHC concludes bear watching. Oddly, none of the groups or activities are in any way related to the terror attacks of 9/11/01 (which provided the impetus for the creation of the DHC to begin with). Brought up short by criticism on several sides, including from the Democratic Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Napolitano offered first a Greek apologia and later a half-hearted, still defensive apology. But for many, none of that is enough. Given that “returning vets” were targeted (which Napolitano defended by citing Timothy McVeigh), the basis of the report is in question.

Homegirl Security finds that this is the most recent and most serious in a series of missteps and demonstrations of ineptitude by Napolitano. While she did accompany Obama to Mexico this weekend, we wonder why her silence on the issue of border violence was deafening for weeks back in February, and why, when she did speak she denied the leakage. Instead of taking the reins on the issue, she scheduled a late afternoon meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, next we knew, Hillary was off on a diplo mission to Mexico. Now, that might have been appropriate for the SoS anyway, but it engendered visions of Janet hiding under her desk.

More recently, the capture of a U.S flag ship, the Maersk Alabama, and the taking of the Captain as hostage appeared to be the perfect incident upon which the new Secretary of HS might base her maiden voyage into international waters – perhaps in conjunction with the Pentagon and Secretary Gates. But wrong again! Once again, Hillary stepped in, with Gates, and cobbled a plan of action. Why Hillary? The last time I looked, we had no embassy on the high seas, and in addition, the FBI, now operating under the umbrella of Homeland Security, was brought into the picture.

By the time the crisis came to an end, the appearance of a Secretary of Homeland Security in absentia was complete – until this week when the report was released and everyone could see that for Napolitano, drug cartels operating in the US and Mexico and fomenting violence on both sides of the border, and lawless pirates at sea apprehending American vessels and crew were not the enemy she has in her cross hairs. No, the enemy Napolitano suggests surveilling are her fellow American citizens.

How many days in office and acts of incompetence does it take for someone to holler, “Enough!”? For some, that point has been reached. Janet, do everyone a favor and resign.

Meanwhile, at the Summit of the Americas, a particularly fierce looking Hillary Clinton took a sheepish-looking Venezuelan dictator into custody, proving, once again, that a little charm and suasion and the guts to step up to the plate go a long way. And he did not DARE try to give HER a book!

You have the right to remain silent.

"You have the right to remain silent."

Now, you know I just HAD to get that last little piece in there so I could post this priceless picture of the Homegirl looking totally hot.

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