Monday, December 17, 2012

27 flares were fired off to commemorate 27 victims of violence at Newtown

Last night my car broke down and I had to be towed to the garage. I lost almost two hours of work but I did see that at the New England football game they lit 27 flares in tribute to the 27 victims of gun mayhem in Newtown, Ct. 27 flares! Then President Obama came on for a few moments. He spoke without specifics but said he was going to take action to see we don't have more of these tragedies. I won't beast around the bush here. If the people cannot send their kids to school with a reasonable sense that they won't be murdered there then we don't have a state, a government, that serves any useful purpose. I propose 27 flares up the rectums of NRA congress members.

BTW yesterday ten little girls were murdered by land mines in Afghanistan. People ought to know the real story there. There was in the days of Jimmy Carter, a revolution there that threw out a corrupt king and replaced it with a pro Soviet modernist government. The US and Pakistan worked with those who evolved into the Taliban and Al Qaeda to overthrow that modernizing government. There pretty much has not been a day of peace there since. And what country has not signed the treaty against land mines?

News / Asia

Officials: Landmine Kills 10 Girls in E. Afghanistan

Villagers stand around the bodies of girls who were killed by an explosion in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 17, 2012.
VOA News
Afghan officials say 10 young girls died in an explosion as they were collecting firewood Monday in eastern Afghanistan.

Authorities say they believe the blast came from an old landmine, one of many that are hidden in fields and rural areas across the country after decades of war. The area near Pakistan is in a volatile part of Nangarhar province, however, where Taliban militants are active and could have planted such a device.

General John Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, offered his condolences to the families, and said Afghanistan has become "one of the most heavily mined countries on Earth."

The Afghan Education Ministry Says:

  • Nine of the victims were enrolled in grade school.
  • They were collecting firewood before heading to class.
  • Children typically help their families gather wood to heat their homes during the area's harsh winters.
  • They were killed by an old land mine.
​​Allen said "the tragic and cruel fact" about landmines is that "they do not discriminate."

Land Mine Treaty Won't Be Signed By Obama Administration

DESMOND BUTLER   11/24/09 10:03 PM ET   AP
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that the administration recently completed a review and decided not to change the Bush-era policy.
"We decided that our land mine policy remains in effect," he said.
More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty's provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Besides the United States, holdouts include: China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., criticized the State Department's review of the land mine policy as "cursory and halfhearted."
The senator described the decision to stand fast on the current policy as "a lost opportunity .... The United States took some of the earliest and most effective steps to restrict the use of land mines. We should be leading this effort, not sitting on the sidelines."
Human rights groups had expressed hopes that the Obama administration would sign the treaty.
Stephen Goose, the director of Human Rights Watch's arms division, said he was surprised by the announcement and called it disappointing. He said that his group had been pushing the administration to conduct a review of its policy but that the administration had given no indication that one was under way.
"If one was already completed, it was not very extensive," he said.
Kelly said that the United States would send an observer group of mine experts to a review conference on the treaty in Cartegena, Colombia, next week.
A report this month by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines found that mines remain planted in the earth in more than 70 countries and killed at least 1,266 people and wounded 3,891 last year. More than 2.2 million anti-personnel mines, 250,000 anti-vehicle mines and 17 million other explosives left over from wars have been removed since 1999, the report said.