Showing posts with label Heroes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heroes. Show all posts

February 8, 2020

Lt. Col. Vindman, A Hero Soldier Working in The White House Is Escorted Out on Trumps Orders




Image result for lt col alexander vindman
Army Officer who heard Trump's call to Ukraine


Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Ukraine expert at the National Security Council who became a star witness in the House impeachment hearings on President Trump's dealings with Ukraine, was escorted out of the White House on Friday, his lawyer said, adding Trump had "decided to exact revenge."
"There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth," David Pressman of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP said in a statement.
"The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy. He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril. And for that, the most powerful man in the world - buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit - has decided to exact revenge," Pressman said.


The White House and National Security Council were not immediately available for comment.
Earlier on Friday, Trump was asked by a reporter whether Vindman would be leaving. "I'm not happy with him. You think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not. They'll make that decision. You'll be hearing," Trump said.
Here's the full statement from Alexander Vindman's lawyer David Pressman: 
Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress. 
There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful. 
During his decades of service to this country, LTC Alexander Vindman has served quietly but dutifully, and he has served with honor. He came into the public eye only when subpoenaed to testify before Congress, and he did what the law demanded.In recent months, many entrusted with power in our political system have cowered out of fear. And, yet, a handful of men and women, not endowed with prestige or power, but equipped only with a sense of right borne out of years of quiet service to their country made different choices. 
They courageously chose to honor their duty with integrity, to trust the truth, and to put their faith in the country ahead of fear. And they have paid a price. The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy. 
He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril.  And for that, the most powerful man in the world - buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit - has decided to exact revenge. 
LTC Alexander Vindman leaves the White House today. But we must not accept the departure of truth, duty, and loyalty that he represents. In this country right matters, and so does truth. Truth is not partisan. If we allow truthful voices to be silenced, if we ignore their warnings, eventually there will be no one left to warn us.

September 14, 2018

Carmen YulÍn Cruz Small in Size But A Giant as San Juan Mayor in PR and Savior of Lives




 Meet Carmen Yulin Ortiz "El Pitirre" de San Juan  El Pitirre is a bird that never stops flying, singing, nest building
 (Twitter)

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s debut on the world stage was unforgettable. “We are dying here,” Cruz said in a Sep­t. 29, 2017, press con­fer­ence after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and a slow, inadequate response from the U.S. federal government compounded the disaster. “So I am done being po­lite.”
Cruz, now 55, was bold and defiant. But it was far from the first time. Five years before she found herself standing up to President Donald Trump, Cruz, whose remarkable journey to power is the subject of this week’s episode of Breaking Big, airing at 8:30 p.m. EST Friday on PBS, was challenging another giant — one of Puerto Rico’s most established political bosses — in order to win her current job. 
Puerto Rican society, including its political life, remains defined by a machismo culture that can make it daunting for women to pursue their dreams and ambitions. As Cruz tells OZY’s editor-in-chief Carlos Watson, “If a man raises his voice in the Congress, he’s being vocal. You are being hysterical.” 
RUNNING ON A PLATFORM OF INCLUSION AND CHANGE — AND BUILDING A COALITION OF STUDENTS, WOMEN AND LGBTQ VOTERS — THE UNDER-5-FOOT-TALL CRUZ BILLED HERSELF AS "LA PITIRRE,” A TINY BUT AGGRESSIVE BIRD.
And in San Juan, the embodiment of that machismo culture for years was its mayor, Jorge Santini, a bombastic political strongman with slicked-back hair who ruled over the island’s capital for 12 years and had a reputation for wasting public money on extravagant projects. Cruz, a graduate of universities like Boston University and Carnegie Mellon, returned to Puerto Rico in the early 1990s to start her own career in politics, working under Sila María Calderón, Santini’s predecessor as mayor of San Juan and the first woman to become governor of Puerto Rico. Cruz ran for office herself in 2008, winning a seat in the Puerto Rico House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.
Four years later, the candidate from Cruz’s Popular Democratic Party had to drop his challenge to Santini when he became embroiled in a controversy over domestic abuse. The party was scrambling to find a last-minute replacement — but nobody wanted to challenge the powerful Santini, already serving his third term in office. Well, almost nobody. “So I’m saying, ‘Pick me. Pick me. I want to do it,’” says Cruz. “Well, my party had meetings and meetings and was like, ‘Anybody but Yulín.’ And finally, there was nobody left.”  So Cruz got her shot. Nobody thought she had a chance against Santini. “I went to talk to her and said, ‘Listen, are you sure you want to do this? There’s no possibility that you’re going to win this election,’” says Charlie Hernandez, an attorney and the former majority leader of the island’s House of Representatives. “And she said, ‘I know I can win, and I will win.’” Cruz’s campaign director, Cesar Miranda, says she started with just two people on her campaign and zero money. But after watching Cruz in action, it was clear to Miranda and other political veterans that they had a candidate who would not require much polishing. “We said, ‘Let’s not touch this woman. She’s a wildflower. You don’t touch wildflowers.’”
Santini, known as “the Hawk,” mocked his opponent’s gender and experience on the trail, addressing her not by her name but as “esa señora” (“that woman”). Running on a platform of inclusion and change — and building a coalition of students, women and LGBTQ voters — the under-5-foot-tall Cruz billed herself as “La Pitirre,” a tiny but aggressive bird (the gray kingbird) that is the subject of a well-known saying on the island: A cada guaraguao le llega su pitirre (“Every hawk has its pitirre”). Wearing a red bandanna like a political revolutionary, Cruz took to the streets, launching a grassroots campaign dedicated to job creation, transparency, the needs of the poor and connecting with everyday Puerto Ricans. “She can convince. She can talk to people,” says Hernandez. “She is a political monster because she can find a way to do things, to convince the people.” 
And on Nov. 6, 2012, Cruz pulled off a David-beats-Goliath victory over the once-mighty Santini, beating him by around 6,000 votes. “The girl triumphed over the hawk” read San Juan’s El Nuevo Día the following day. “Our machismo culture in Puerto Rico resists a strong-willed, smart woman like [Cruz]; of course they do,” says Hernandez. “I’m still amazed at the way she did it.”
The day of her inauguration, Cruz ditched her red bandanna for an all-white outfit meant to send the message that with her at the helm, the residents of San Juan would be getting a clean slate. But, as San Juan realized when Hurricane Maria hit, a fresh start does not mean that Cruz fights any less hard than the men who have traditionally ruled the island. “I fight like a man,” says La Pitirre herself. “And I’m telling you this in the machismo context: I’ll give it to you as hard as you give it to me.”

August 27, 2018

McCain's Independent Spirit of Today Born as He Almost Died When Shot Down, Became POW During Vietnam





John McCain, a titan in the U.S. Senate, was a consistent conservative, though unafraid to buck Republican Party leadership on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to the GOP-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  
He died Saturday at age 81. 
While the Arizona senator and two-time presidential candidate will be remembered for his self-proclaimed "maverick" persona, it was his military bloodlines and 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam that shaped much of McCain's legacy.
McCain was the son of an admiral and grew up on naval bases both in the United States and around the world. McCain's grandfather was also an admiral, making them the first father and son four-star admirals in history of the U.S. Navy.
McCain followed his father and grandfather into the family business. He was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 1958. While at the academy, he developed a reputation as a rambunctious and insubordinate student who received more than his share of reprimands.
He also maintained another family tradition while there, earning mediocre grades in the classroom.
"My father was here and his father before him. Like me, their standing was closer to the bottom than the top of their class," McCain told a 2017 class of Naval Academy graduates.
McCain finished fifth from the bottom of his class.
Despite his poor classroom performance, he was able to become a naval aviator. By the mid-1960s, the Vietnam War was raging and McCain's squadron was drawn into battle. At one point in 1967, McCain was almost killed after a wayward rocket from a nearby bomber hit his aircraft's fuel tank just before he was to take off from the USS Forrestal.

Explosions and fires from that incident killed more than 130 people aboard, but McCain managed to escape unscathed.
On Oct. 26, 1967, while on a bombing run over the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, his aircraft was struck by a Vietnamese ground based anti-aircraft missile.
"Just as I released the bombs and started to pull back on the stick, a surface-to-air missile took the right wing off my airplane. My airplane violently gyrated. I ejected," McCain recounted to C-SPAN in 2003.


The impact from the ejection knocked Lt. Cmdr. McCain unconscious, and he landed in the lake below.
Both McCain's arms were broken, so was his shoulder, and his knee was shattered. He was pulled out of the water by a Vietnamese mob and was stabbed, beaten and taken to a prison commonly referred to as the "Hanoi Hilton."
Years later, as McCain reflected on this period, he said he held no ill will toward his captors.
"I don't blame them. We're in a war," McCain said in a separate interview with C-SPAN in 2017.
"I didn't like it, but at the same time when you are in a war and you are captured by the enemy, you can't expect to have tea," McCain said.
Because of the prominence of McCain's family, his captors saw in him potential for propaganda and offered him early release. But McCain repeatedly refused the offer because his fellow POWs would not be released as well.

He spoke about that shortly after his release in 1973.
"A number of times they were strong in their tactics trying to get me to possibly embarrass my father and our country," McCain said.
He spent most of his time in solitary confinement and endured incessant torture.
His ordeal as a POW, however, helped fuel his political career. As a senator, he could speak with authority on military matters. Perhaps the most striking example was when he challenged the George W. Bush administration and its "enhanced interrogation" of terrorism suspects. McCain decried the practice as torture.
McCain has visited the prison where he had been a POW. 
"I still despise those who inflicted pain unnecessarily on me and my fellow prisoners, but I hold no ill will toward the Vietnamese people, either North or South," he said.
The former prisoner then talked about his many friendships with many Vietnamese in the years since, adding that he always admired and respected the Vietnamese people.

July 13, 2018

A Boy with No Country Who Speaks 10 Languages is The Hero in this Story



 Adul-Sam-on, 14 coordinated rescue


A displaced teen who escaped conflicts in Myanmar nearly a decade ago emerged as a hero after he and his soccer team became trapped in a Thai cave, using his proficiency in multiple languages to assist in coordinating the rescue mission with divers and officials.
Adul-Sam-on was only 6 years old when he fled his home country. His parents slipped him out of the self-governing Wa region — well-known for guerrilla warfare and drug trafficking — and into Thailand with the hopes that he would have a better life and receive an education there, the New York Times reported.
At 14, he does not have an official home and is not a citizen of any country. He’s considered “stateless,” but Adul is the top student in his class at the Ban Wiang Phan School in Mae Sai, where 20% of the students are similarly considered stateless.
His academic record and his soccer skills have also earned him free tuition and daily lunch. “Stateless children have a fighting spirit that makes them want to excel,” the school’s principal, Punnawit Thepsurin, told the Times.
That would never prove truer for Adul than when he and the Wild Boars soccer team became trapped in the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand. The boys had explored caves before and eagerly made their way through the winding passageways on June 23 — but heavy rainfall flooded their path to the exit and left them stranded. The team spent ten days drinking the water that dripped from the cave walls until a pair of British divers found them taking shelter nearly three miles inside the underwater complex.
In video streamed worldwide shortly after the rescue, Adul can be seen wide-eyed and thin in the depths of the cave alongside his eleven teammates.
“I’m Adul, I’m in good health,” the 14-year-old said in Thai, offering a traditional “Wa” greeting — which signals politeness. In addition to speaking both Thai and Wa, Adul is also proficient in Burmese, Mandarin and English.
His diverse knowledge of languages allowed him not only to speak on behalf of his team but coordinate and communicate between rescuers and the terrified soccer players.
Adul questioned divers on how long they’d been trapped and told their rescuers that getting food was their top priority. “Eat, eat, eat” one his friends piped in, prompting the teen to let him know that he’d already addressed that.
His teacher, Kru Nice, said she was not surprised to learn Adul stepped up amid the harrowing situation, telling CBS News that he’d always been a leader.
An elite team of 19 divers were tasked with extracting the young athletes and the coach from the cave, emerging with the first four boys on Sunday, another four on Monday and the final four boys and their coach around 8 p.m. local time Tuesday. All in all, they’d spent 18 days fighting for life in the cavern.
“He’s a miracle boy,” Nice said. “I’m happy he’s safe.”
The Wild Boars soccer team on Thursday remained in the hospital in good spirits. Video from inside the medical facility has shown them waving and flashing peace signs while doctors and nurses check their vitals in the background.
The first batch of boys rescued Sunday have normal heart rates and no fevers, though two of them are recovering from lung infections, said Jedsada Chokdumrongsuck, secretary of the Public Health Ministry.
Two of the four boys rescued in the second wave have mild fevers. And three people rescued on Tuesday are suffering from middle ear infections and three still have fevers, though they are easing, the secretary said.
Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn praised all involved in the rescue efforts, especially the coordination between Thai and international volunteers.
“The situation when beyond being just a rescue mission and became a symbol of unity among mankind,” he said. “Everyone worked together without discrimination of race or religion as the ultimate goal was to save the youth football team.”
With News Wire Services

March 31, 2018

David Hogg (Parkland Survivor) Rejects Fox News and Ingrahams' Shallow Apology After Advertisers Began Dropping Her as Damaged Goods





Laura Ingraham's giving in to her inner feelings and salutes at the RNC

 A student survivor of a Florida high school shooting has brushed aside a Fox News host's apology after she mocked his university rejections.
Ten companies have said they are pulling ads from Laura Ingraham's programme after 17-year-old David Hogg tweeted a call for a boycott.
On Wednesday, she accused the activist of whining after he said four colleges had declined his applications.
He has been a target of online abuse since last month's attack in Parkland. 
Keeping up the pressure on Friday, David told the New York Daily News: "I would love to see her go."
He tweeted on Thursday night: "I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and me in this fight. 
"It's time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children." 
The teenage activist - who has amassed more than 600,000 Twitter followers since last month's attack - told CNN on Thursday: "She's only apologizing after a third of her advertisers pulled out.
"I think it's great that corporate America is standing with me and the rest of my friends."  
He also rejected her invitation to appear on her show and discuss his gun control campaign.
"I think it's really disgusting, the fact that she basically tried promoting her show after apologizing to me," he told CNN.
TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hulu, Johnson & Johnson, Office Depot, Jenny Craig, Wayfair, Stich Fix, Nestlé, and Nutrish have said they will withdraw commercials from The Ingraham Angle.
On Thursday night's show, Ms. Ingraham ignored the boycott.
Laura Ingraham and David Hogg (right)Republican campaign strategist Steve Schmidt praised the teenager.


Image copyright 

 A student survivor of a Florida high school shooting has brushed aside a Fox News host's apology after she mocked his university rejections.
Ten companies have said they are pulling ads from Laura Ingraham's programme after 17-year-old David Hogg tweeted a call for a boycott.
On Wednesday, she accused the activist of whining after he said four colleges had declined his applications.
He has been a target of online abuse since last month's attack in Parkland. 
Keeping up the pressure on Friday, David told the New York Daily News: "I would love to see her go."
He tweeted on Thursday night: "I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and me in this fight. 
"It's time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children." 
The teenage activist - who has amassed more than 600,000 Twitter followers since last month's attack - told CNN on Thursday: "She's only apologizing after a third of her advertisers pulled out.
"I think it's great that corporate America is standing with me and the rest of my friends."


Soooo @IngrahamAngle what are your biggest advertisers ... Asking for a friend.
He also rejected her invitation to appear on her show and discuss his gun control campaign.
"I think it's really disgusting, the fact that she basically tried promoting her show after apologizing to me," he told CNN.
TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hulu, Johnson & Johnson, Office Depot, Jenny Craig, Wayfair, Stich Fix, Nestlé, and Nutrish announced they would withdraw commercials from the presenter's show, The Ingraham Angle.
On her Thursday night show, Ms. Ingraham ignored the boycott.
Republican campaign strategist Steve Schmidt praised David Hogg as fearless. 
"This kid's not scared," he said. "He's not scared of the NRA. He's not intimidated and scared by Laura Ingraham."
The furor touched off on Wednesday when Ms. Ingraham posted on Twitter: "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it."
David had mentioned to celebrity gossip website TMZ a day earlier that he had been turned away from four colleges in the University of California system.
A day later - as advertisers joined a boycott - the Fox presenter struck a conciliatory tone by praising David's exam grades.
"On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland," she said.
But a TripAdvisor spokesperson said Ms. Ingraham's original comments "cross the line of decency". 
Wayfair said, "the decision of an adult to personally criticise a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values". 
"Maybe that's what happens after you've been down range of an AR-15 that kills your classmates and comes close to killing you," Mr. Schmidt told MSNBC, referring to the type of semi-automatic rifle used in the 14 February attack that claimed 17 lives. 
"You lose all fear. Because this kid's not scared. He's not scared of the NRA. He's not intimidated and scared by Laura Ingraham."
On Wednesday, Ms. Ingraham posted on Twitter: "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it."
David had mentioned to celebrity gossip website TMZ a day earlier that he had been turned away from four colleges in the University of California system.
On Thursday, the Fox presenter struck a conciliatory tone, praising David's grades.
"On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland," she said.
But a TripAdvisor spokesperson said Ms. Ingraham's original comments "cross the line of decency". 
Wayfair said, "the decision of an adult to personally criticise a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values".
Reported by the BBC
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