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Voice of America is appealing for aid for the millions of  Somalians, Kenyan, and Ethiopians who are starving, due to the worst drought in the Cape Horn African region in 60 years.  UN Appeals for Famine Aid for Somalia.

Our own Boatsie wrote a heartbreaking diary, early this morning, calling our attention to this crisis.  Somalia: This is the Children's Famine.  The primary purpose of this diary is provide a few updates, and then send you to the boatsie diary which has a more complete background.  Also, I just discovered this great article by JamieG from MD, for the Daily Kos Free Rice Team

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Voice of America, reports

This week, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of Somalia. A famine is declared when three conditions are reached. Hunger rates among children rise above thirty percent. More than two people in every one hundred thousand die each day. And many people are unable to get food and other basic needs.
Mark Bowden, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, made the announcement Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya.

MARK BOWDEN: "We estimate that almost half of the Somali population, 3.7 million people, are affected by this crisis and a full 2.8 million people live in the south, the most seriously affected area. It is likely that tens of thousands will already have died, the majority of these being children.”

The United Nations says a lack of rain over the past few years has created a famine in two areas in southern Somalia: Bakool and Lower Shabelle. Officials say the famine could spread to other areas.

This is the first time since nineteen ninety-one that the UN has declared a famine in Somalia. The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in sixty years. UN officials have said more than eleven million people are in need of food aid.

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Micheal Kimber, of the New York Times, writes, an excellent overview article called Somalia which is worth reading.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991, when the former government was toppled by clan militias that later turned on each other. For decades, generals, warlords and warrior types have reduced this once languid coastal country in Eastern Africa to rubble. Somalia remains a raging battle zone today, with jihadists intent on bringing down a transitional government which relies on African Union peacekeepers and Western funding for survival.

No amount of outside firepower has brought the country to heel. Not thousands of American Marines in the early 1990s. Not the enormous United Nations mission that followed. Not the Ethiopian Army storming into Somalia in 2006. Not the current peacekeepers, who are steadily wearing out their welcome.

Somalia continues to be a caldron of bloodshed, piracy and Islamist radicalism. There are currently 6,000 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers in Mogadishu, but they are struggling to beat back Islamist fighters, who are rallying around Al Shabab, a brutal group that is aligned with Al Qaeda and has turned Somalia into a focal point of American concerns on terrorism
.

In 2011 Somalia experienced a full-blown famine in several parts of the country, with millions of people on the brink of starvation and aid deliveries complicated by the fact that militants control the famine zones.

The Islamist militants controlling southern Somalia forced out Western aid organizations in 2010, yanking away the only safety net just when one of the worst droughts in 60 years struck. When the scale of the catastrophe became clear, with nearly three million Somalis in urgent need and more than 10 million at risk, the militants relented and invited aid groups back. But few rushed in because of the complications and dangers of dealing with the militants.

American government rules banning material aid to the Shabab complicate aid efforts. Aid officials have worried that paying so-called taxes to the militants who control needy areas could expose them to criminal prosecution.

The following links, facts, and sources are from Boatsie's diary.

East Africa Famine Facts
• 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance
• Over 2 million children under the age of five who are suffering from malnutrition; 480,000 are severely malnourished
• UN declares famine in two regions of southern Somalia
• Women are disproportionally affected by the drought as they are the last to eat when food is limited.
• Aid response nearly $1 billion short of what is needed

What is a Famine
Most major aid agencies - the FAO, the WFP, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, Save the Children UK, CARE International, the European Commission Joint Research Centre and Oxfam - only describe a crisis as a famine when the situation on the ground reaches level five on the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system. This means:

    * at least 20% of the population has access to fewer than 2,100 kilocalories of food a day
    * acute malnutrition in more than 30% of children
    * two deaths per 10,000 people, or four child deaths per 10,000 children every day

There are three different categories of famine -- supply-based, food consumption-based and mortality-based -- and five definitions: (See Wikipedia: Famine Scales). The Levels range from Level 1 (Food Secure) to Level 5 (Extreme Famine). Currently, the UN has established a Level 3 (Famine) exists: a situation in which mortality rate ranges from 5-10,000 per day.

Resources
BBC: What you Need to Know
Q&A: BBC
Al Jazeera Horn of Africa (english)
How Bad is the Horn of Africa Drought: AlertNet Q&A:
PBS Newshour: PhotoEssay:  7/11
Guardian Interactive Horn of Africa Drought Map
Why doesn't a drought go away when it rains?
Oxfam: Food crisis in Wajir, Kenya

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Coverage @ KOS

This is the latest in a series of diaries covering the Horn Of Africa Crisis. Please provide links in comments below to other diaries omitted from coverage below. This series is being run through the Ecojustice Group.

The Troubador on 7/22: My Cousins are about to Die
rebel ga on 7/18: Worst Drought In 60 Years For Somalia, Kenya And Ethiopia!
boatsie on 7/14: East Africa Drought: You say La Niña & I'll say ... HELP!
boatsie on 7/12: East Africa: Famine II
boatsie on 7/11: Famine Threatens 11 Million in Horn of Africa
GlowNZ on Sunday, 7/10: People are Starving
Stranded Wind on Sunday, 7/10: Somalia's Dying Time

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HELP

WFT: 10 Ways You Can Help
The World Food Programme: Fill the Cup: (THE WFP needs $200 million just to meet this year's needs in the Horn of Africa.)
Care International
MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES
UNICEF: Donate to Save Children in Horn of Africa Crisis
FreeRice- donates 10 grains of rice to the WFP for each answer you answer correctly.
The HungerSite - Click to give free food.

Social Media

Twitter:  #HornofAfrica, #drought, #famine

Facebook: Horn of Africa  

MapSourcing

Regional Drought Response Plan: East Africa Droughts.

Please support our Daily Kos efforts to give compassion and humanitarian aid to our brothers and sisters, in so much need.  

Thanks,

HoundDog

Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM PT: If you would like to see a heart breaking photo series guarenteed to make you cry follow this link to  Holbrook Andrew Holbrooke - click on SomaliaPhotobucket

2:55 AM PT: Militants vow to keep food aid, out of Somali

http://www.boston.com/...

 

(Mustafa Abdi/AFP/Getty Images)
By Abdi Guled
Associated Press / July 23, 2011

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia vowed to keep most international aid workers out of the country despite a worsening famine, and the UN warned yesterday that 800,000 children could die in the region from starvation.

Frustrated aid groups said they want to deploy more food assistance in Somalia but do not have the necessary safety guarantees to do so. The anarchic country has been mired in conflict for two decades and its capital is a war zone.

The renewed threat from Al Shabab means that only a handful of agencies will be able to respond to the hunger crisis in militant-controlled areas of southern Somalia. And the largest provider of food aid - the UN World Food Program - is not among those allowed inside. The UN fears tens of thousands of people have died in the famine, which has forced Somalis to walk for days to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia....

“If we are to save lives, we need to act now, to bring in massive quantities of medicines, vaccines, nutrition supplies into the region as quickly as we are able and then get them out to the children who need it most,’’ said Shanelle Hall, director of UNICEF’s supply division.

Somalia is the most dangerous country in the world to work in, according to the UN’s World Food Program, which has lost 14 relief workers in the past few years. WFP pulled out of Islamist-controlled southern Somalia after rebels demanded cash payments and other concessions.

Al Shabab began to ban aid agencies in 2009, fearing the groups could host spies or promote a way of life contrary to Islamic beliefs.

But yesterday, spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage said aid agencies the group had previously banned are still barred from operating in areas under its control.

He said the UN’s declaration of famine in parts of Somalia this week is politically motivated and “pure propaganda.’’

Somalia’s prolonged drought devolved into famine in part because neither the Somali government nor many aid agencies can fully operate in areas controlled by Al Shabab.


Originally posted to EcoJustice on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse, Black Kos community, The Amateur Left, Hydrant, Progressive Policy Zone, Adalah — A Just Middle East, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did I just hear that Kenya is allowing (6+ / 0-)

    Round up ready GM corn

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:40:35 PM PDT

    •  I don't know Roger, I'll check into it. (5+ / 0-)

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:41:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, you did. Kenya just approved of GM (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Ice Blue, cotterperson

      maize, which is their name for corn.

      While it is great these new GM hybrids can improve productivity, survive drought, and disease, one legal issue that needs work, is that if the pollen of a GM variety, blows across into neighboring farms and cross pollinated, into the native seeds of subsistence, and other farmers, the lawyers of the big seed companies can sue, for "theft" or something equivelent to copyright infringement, and have to pay fines, and licensing fees.

      IMO, if the seed companies allow their pollen to drift, it should be their problem.

      Also, given unscrupulous lawyers, what would prevent them from purposefully spreading GM pollen throughout the country side so all farmers have to pay their extortion.

      I'm pretty steamed about this actually.  

      But, it is too hot, and too sad to get worked up now.

      But, sometimes, greed and profit-motivation at a time when people are barely surviving can be a bit much.

      http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/...

      Official says GM maize will boost Kenya food security
      Mr William Meli takes notes during a meeting between farmers and Parliamentary Committee on Cost of Living chairman Ababu Namwamba in Eldoret on Monday. JARED NYATAYA
      By PETER NG’ETICH


      Adopting genetically modified maize will help Kenya to achieve food security, a top government official has said as the debate on the safety of GMOs rages.
      Agriculture secretary Wilson Songa said a farm planted with GMO crop can produce as much as 40 to 50 bags of maize. Currently, the production is a maximum of about 30 bags.

      Kenya produces about 32 million bags of maize yearly while demand has shot up to about 38 million bags due to rise in population.

      The price of the grain has also gone beyond the reach of the majority because of surging cost of production. This has seen a 90kg bag retail at Sh4,500, up from Sh1,200 three years ago.

      Speaking during a meeting on climate change agriculture and food security meeting in Nairobi, Dr Songa said traditional methods of maize farming made the country less competitive in food production amid pressure from a rising population. In South Africa, he said, farmers use three to four types of pesticides on a GMO crop while in Kenya farmers use more than 15 before a crop matures.
      “The technology is coming, there is no stopping it,” Dr Songa said.

      The Agriculture secretary said South Africans have consumed GMO maize for the past 20 years, but there is no proof to show that it had harmed them. “Before we fully introduce it, it will go through the necessary agro-research analysis by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute,” he said.
      At the beginning of the month, the Cabinet approved the importation of GMO maize to end food shortage. The decision was arrived at as Public Health minister Beth Mugo expressed fears that unscrupulous traders could have sneaked in the grain.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:34:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Saw Or Read About This, HoundDog! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, cotterperson
        that if the pollen of a GM variety, blows across into neighboring farms and cross pollinated, into the native seeds of subsistence, and other farmers, the lawyers of the big seed companies can sue, for "theft" or something equivelent to copyright infringement, and have to pay fines, and licensing fees.

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:56:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is particularly tragic for the poor and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson

          subsistence farmers, who can not afford to pay the extortion.

          I believe this is immoral, and if Monsanto, and other big seed companies do not reverse these punitive and oppressive policies I may start an organization to boycott them.

          I have few objections to companies gaining value from the research and development.  

          But, when their uncontrolled pollen emissions contaminate neighbors crops, and then those victims are not allowed to sell their crops, or seeds, this is a criminal outrage, that must be stopped.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:29:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Immoral." (0+ / 0-)

            Exactly. I might have said amoral, but they do have their primary guiding principle, greed. It trumps suffering and death and invokes the very dictionary definition of evil.

            –adjective
            1.
            morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.
            2.
            harmful; injurious: evil laws.
            3.
            characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/...

            I believe this diary is one of your very finest, HoundDog. Thank you.

        •  This is a really big problem, and injustice to the (0+ / 0-)

          small farmers

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 05:01:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh no, that's terrible that they're doing that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, cotterperson

      Roger! That's the genetically engineered corn right? Only it's genetically engineered to have weed killing pesticides in it.

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:52:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, drought resistence. But, if their pollen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson

        drifts into other farmers fields and cross-pollinates, that should not have the legal right to accuse those farmers of violating their patents, and preventing them from using their natural seed, or selling their crops, which has apparently happened.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:31:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have any links describing this dastardly (0+ / 0-)

          action?

          Because, if you look at the data, very little cross contamination occurs beyond 10 m or so.  

          Therefore, when a farmer has hundreds of acres of crop - which is almost all 10 m away from any neighboring GM crop -  and 57% is allegedly "contaminated" with pollen for that GM crop - well, in reality there is no way that is possible w/o him or her actually having stolen the seeds.  

          So, if you owned the seeds, wouldn't your sue?  Just saying, we live in a capitalistic society and ownership issues such as this still matter.

          Things, of course, could be different in Africa, who knows.

          •  Actually farmers sign a (0+ / 0-)

            technology agreement that prohibits farmers from saving GM seeds to be used the next year.

            From a legal stand point thats all that matters.

            per wiki

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 10:32:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The information in that link essentially (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox

              agrees with any "solid" information (as compared to internet allegations) I've previously seen regarding Monsanto's lawsuits - i.e., that they have not sued farmers who's crops have become accidently  "contaminated" via pollen.  

              In fact, with the large size of fields in the US, that's almost certainly a very minor issue one way or another.

              However, in Africa I could see the plots being farmed being much smaller, so in theory at least wind-driven pollination could be a more substantial problem.

        •  Please forgive a humorous note. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          Pollen exists to be spread. If the company doesn't want it to do what it's intended, the must develop a strain with no pollen.

          Ha!

  •  MSF one of the few organisations that has (8+ / 0-)

    been working in Somalia for many years now.

    Save the Children another I support willingly.

    TY for the diary

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:44:28 PM PDT

    •  Compassion in Action: (9+ / 0-)

      Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

      is currently running nine medical-nutritional programs in south-central Somalia, most of them in territories controlled by al-Shabaab, one of the main armed factions in the country. These programs, together with MSF’s three large-scale projects in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, conduct thousands of medical consultations daily. Currently, teams are treating more than 10,000 severely malnourished children.

      http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/...
      MSF has begun running five mobile clinics that providing general healthcare to children under five years old in villages in Lapur division. These mobile clinics include an ambulatory therapeutic feeding program which has already begun treating 132 severely malnourished children. In addition, MSF is starting to support an intensive therapeutic feeding ward in the Ministry of Health district hospital in Lokitang, near the Lapur area.  

      MSF is also organizing targeted food distributions for acutely malnourished people in Kibish division for one month and in Lapur division for up to three months. Teams have already started a distribution of over 31,000 kg (68,343 lb) of supplementary food, targeting more than 4,000 people in Lapur, and almost 15,000 kg (33,069 lb) targeting close to 2,000 people in Kibish

      http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/...

      I know most of us are on limited budgets but $35 provides two high-energy meals a day to 200 children. If those of us who can send in $5, 10, or $35, together as a community, we can sustain those 200 children for months.

      © grover. My sockpuppet is a fuzzy blue muppet.

      by grover on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:13:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need to know which aid groups are safe. (0+ / 0-)

      Because if we give to the wrong aid group, we might be guilty of supporting a terrorist organization.

      I think our national security laws may be getting out of control.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:33:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is so sad and frightening (5+ / 0-)

    I was in Kenya 3 months ago and will be in the region again next month.  To so many Americans, these places are distant, almost imaginary lands.  We sympathize but don't empathize.  We put 100% of our activism and angst into comparatively minor and pointless fights about how to distribute our immense wealth among ourselves, and only occasionally glance over toward the true suffering of so much of the world.

    Thanks for making the effort to correct our priorities.

    Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

    by dnta on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:46:01 PM PDT

  •  Every day (6+ / 0-)

    every day.

    Every day, humans starving to death.

    Every day. other species going extinct.

    Every day.

    Miep

    No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

    by Miep on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:54:22 PM PDT

  •  Keep 'em coming, HoundDog! (8+ / 0-)

    Great job. So happy you are keeping this story alive!

    Hopes to be Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:03:55 PM PDT

    •  Yes, thank you. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, capelza, rebel ga, cotterperson

      The MSM is carrying this here and there. But this crisis is urgent. Thank you for keeping it in front of us. This is a natural disaster made much worse by proud and corrupt men.

      Keeping the story in front of decent human beings can help mitigate the crisis.

      © grover. My sockpuppet is a fuzzy blue muppet.

      by grover on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:17:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks grover. You've done more than I have. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, capelza, rebel ga, cotterperson

        But, each of us can help in our own ways.

        I just wish I had got this out earlier.  

        Most folks are asleep by now.

        It's been a crazy day for me.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:21:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not so late on the West Coast, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, capelza, rebel ga, cotterperson

          and others can read this in the morning.

          © grover. My sockpuppet is a fuzzy blue muppet.

          by grover on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:31:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You think it will still be on the recent diary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, cotterperson

            list by morning?

            Maybe I'll promote it in MBs all night open thread.  He seems ok about that kind of thing if it's for the common good, don't you think?

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:37:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I already did. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog, capelza, cotterperson

              Let's do so in Open Threads tomorrow too.

              © grover. My sockpuppet is a fuzzy blue muppet.

              by grover on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:45:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ooops, so did I. Now MB and the others are going (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, grover, cotterperson

                to think I'm a megalomaniac.   lol

                I was originally doing this one just to call attention to boatsie's which was a lot better.

                I put a link to all the places I could think of.  I can't believe she only received a dozen or so recs for that.  It should have been on the rec list and in community spotlight.

                The good news grover is that when I googled for sources, there are an increasing number of traditinal media getting on top of this story.

                Plus a lot of other angles than just the humanitarian to write about it again.

                Somalia is a complete failed state, which even has al Qaeda camps there.

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:51:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You Could Post It To Your Groups (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog, cotterperson

              For Tomorrow Morning Too, HoundDog.

              Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

              by rebel ga on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:01:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm blog/admin, or blog/admin, of a lot, but they (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cotterperson

                topic specific.  I don't want people in Kosowatt which is for energy, thinking I'm putting it there just because I'm the founder, if it doesn't fit the topic.

                On the other hand, this is such a tragedy, they probably would mind.

                I already put it in Amateur Left, Progressive Policy Zone, with a little note explaining why.

                I"m a blog/admin of JNI, but boatsie is the founder I think, so I'll let here decide there.

                I think we've build up enough momentum that if we can slot on in this early morning time period it might catch a wave.  And be up much of the day.  I also suggested earlier in lost of conspicuous places that we make Boatsie's a Community Spotlight.  

                I can't believe I don't know who runs that.

                One cool thing about Daily Kos, is I've learned we have a very powerful team we can trust here.  Someone, or group of folks will do something good I'm sure.

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:44:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Grover, I've added MSF, and Save the Children to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson

        the Tags.  Please feel free to add any others that I should have included.  Thanks.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:38:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You started the effort boatsie. I wish I could (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, rebel ga, cotterperson

      have got this out earlier.  It's a little late now.

      Maybe some folks on the Pacific Coast will see it.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:20:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blessings for you, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, rebel ga, cotterperson

    HoundDog -- for focus on the plight of those with zero safety net.  The pictures are heartbreaking.  I already contribute to Doctors without Borders -- but will send an additional contribution.  

    I still have the images in my head of Biafra -- what was that?  30 years ago?  How can we as humans not think past squabbles about petty politics and think about the global suffering here and elsewhere?  I know many do on this site -- (e.g. boofdah and you and others).  But I get incensed about wasting time on bickering when your first picture tells us what we should be doing -- fill those kids stomachs first and then find a way to provide a better life.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:22:00 PM PDT

    •  You're such a kind and noble spirit gchaucer2. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2, rebel ga, cotterperson

      humbled.  

      Boatsie deserves the credit for this, one.  

      She started earlier asking me in my other diary, if I would help promote her diary from yesterday morning.

      Then somehow she got me to write a whole diary.  Now she's telling me to keep them coming.

      What?  

      I think we better keep our eye on her.  

      Seriously, you should check out her diary.  She's a professonal writer and it shows.

      But, shes..... "crafty."  

      She's going to be running this place, oneday, if she isn't already secretly on the inner team.

      I was supposed to be in bed 5 hours ago, for a big meeting tomorrow morning.

      :-)

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:40:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  boatsie is one whom I consider (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, cotterperson

        a holy person.  Her purity of spirit is unmistakable.

        Besides that -- her craftiness is pretty good.

        Go to bed!!!!!!!!  Blessings again.

        Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:51:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check out the latest Photoseries I just added (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gchaucer2, cotterperson

          from Andrew Holbrooke,  it will break your heart.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:59:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That first picture (3+ / 0-)

            should be enough to break the coldest heart.  Where are that mother's breasts?  Where is the fat/muscles on that child's legs -- body?  Where is that child's life?  What the hell is wrong with this world that a picture like that (and a zillion more) can't budge us to do something -- anything?

            We are looking at holocaust pictures and for some reason, not realizing we are part of the problem.

            Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

            by gchaucer2 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 12:06:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know gchaucer2. And, it would take so little (3+ / 0-)

              to bring water, food, and shelter to these people.

              I was tempted for a moment to make that last picture, and some equally horrifying ones from the Holbrooke series, more front and center to see, if we could get a greater response from our community, but, then figured it might be sensationalistic, and manipulative.

              I think we've just been poor on our timing, and missed the ususally cycles.  I put this one up like at 12;45 am or 1:00 am, so I have no one to blame but myself if it doesn't get a lot of atttention.

              This people need a lot more help than we can give them.

              We need a much bigger response from the UN., the Quartet, the Red Crescent and maybe others agencies as well.  

              I have to take a friend into the doctors tomorrow morning for a surgery orientation.  But when I get back, I'm going to research more about what going in here.

              One of the problems is that because there are known Al Qaeda groups in Somolia, many donors are afraid of giving aid to the wrong group, and getting put on a list of terrorists supportors.

              We might need to pull some chains in the State Department to urgenctly clarify which groups are safe to give to.

              Thanks for keep on us focused on this story.

              I took your advice and tried to go to sleep several hours ago, but this haunthing picture of the screaming mother with her baby, we can't even tell if he's alive or not, is tormenting me and I can not sleep.

              You may have figured out by know I have numerous sleepiong disorders.  Including severe sleep apnea that requires BiPAP.  But, I also  seem to have fragmented my circadian rythms to such an extent I may not even have them anymore.   Which isn't good.

              But, I know you were going to have made a poignagnt comments so I had to come look.

              Now I'll go back to bed.

              Thanks gchaucer2.  You are a really important part of my "microcommunity" here.  I don't knwo what I'd do without our friendly, and positive encouragement.

              Thanks for keeping my motivation up.  I also suffer from depression, probably from all these sleep problems.  It doesn't take very many good folks like you keeping going in the right direction.  

              I appreciate it more than I say.  Thanks.

              Cheers.  

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:14:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sweetie, (0+ / 0-)

                you and people like boatsie, UnaSpenser, JustJennifer --- who keep the plight of the voiceless or the oppressed front and center -- are total inspirations to me.  

                I have the same sleep problems -- and now awakened with charlie horses or foot cramps -- old age and bad living, I know.  I understand depression, believe me.

                But you are able to look yourself in the mirror every single day and know that you have an amazing soul and are doing what you can even if it saves one tiny life.

                Sorry for the late reply.  I had to take a long walk to work out the kinks so I didn't check my comments until just now.

                Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

                by gchaucer2 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 09:49:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  and Texas. Oh, wait, we have corporate welfare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    for Big Ag thru the Dept. of Agriculture, and we have Hispanic farm workers.
    Thank you, Hispanic farm workers. We're enjoying our watermelon (literally)  and we are very grateful.

  •  People cannot live in a desert. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, cotterperson

    And,
    people cannot have a country
    with no one in charge,
    to accept food aid.

    Please click on my username,
    and read one or two of my diaries
    on overpopulation.

    The great southwestern United States,
    including southern California,
    is also a desert.

    And,
    people cannot live on a fault line,
    by the millions,
    such as in Haiti.

    We,
    humanity in general,
    must stop piling millions of humans
    in deserts,
    on fault lines,
    in the path of hurricane storm surges
    and river flooding.

    Why do we,
    collectively,
    keep building
    houses on sand,
    figuratively speaking?

    •  I hear ya, loud and clear. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      But the Hopi people grow corn in the desert by using drip irrigation. IIRC, a group of Israelis came to learn from them back in the '80s.

      Of course, it doesn't enhance any corporation's quarterly report, so the practice is ignored :(

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