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Dawn of the Drone Age

America’s quest for global hegemony will not stop terrorism; it will only create more jihadists.

Drones are coming (“The Kill Chain,” Feature, Jan. 30). What will you do?

Finally, someone is paying attention! After reading Medea Benjamin’s Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, I’ve looked upon America’s global killing fields with horror. Also, it’s sickening to realize this remotely operated technology that rains death from the skies, is the work of Johns Hopkins University and the Applied Physics Lab.

America’s quest for global hegemony will not stop terrorism; it will only create more jihadists. Although the work of activists like Max Obuszewski is laudable, it is not nearly enough. Enormous grassroots efforts are required and extensive lobbying against the unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) killings has to happen. Die-ins at national events make great street theater, but won’t amount to much in the long run.

Also, the matter of unmanned aerial vehicles must be brought home—and right now, this technology is on the drawing board for us! Soon, drones will disrupt our lives, invade our privacy, and turn the nation into a “Big Brother” state in ways George Orwell could never imagine.

There is little we can do to end America’s international hit list, but we all need to understand the danger of deploying unmanned aerial vehicles domestically. We must learn how they are operated and ways they might be used. In the years to come, we may regret the steps we didn’t take when we had the chance. It’s vital for Americans to keep this unmanned aerial surveillance out of our backyards!

Rosalind Ellis Heid

Baltimore

Blood on the Tracks

First, an article (“Bob the Sweep,” City Folk, Jan. 30) where a self-professed heroin addict is shown trespassing in a railroad yard (even searching for railroad police that might “chase him away” for his own damn safety) to document and glorify vandalism against other people’s property in the name of “artistic expression” or whatever claptrap the self-appointed intelligentsia are using this week to justify this vandalism. (Notice that these art critics don’t ever offer up their own property for such “expression.” I suggest they give 812 Park Ave. a once-over.)

And tell him to take off those glasses and hoodie and show himself—don’t be like those graffiti vandals that run, curse, and hide when I try to photograph them in action, the yellow-bellied cowards calling themselves “artists.” And for the education of writer Cohen, “can-wielding junkies” have been drawn to railroads because the mobile nature of rail cars hinders the efforts of railroads to swiftly paint over their vandalism, and their “work” travels all over the continent at someone else’s expense.

Then, a few pages away in the same issue, another “artist” is depicted trespassing along Amtrak property near Frederick Avenue in West Baltimore, in an article where the guy claims to have hiked to D.C. “as close to the tracks as possible without being prey to the Amtrak police” (“In the Long Run,” A+E, Jan. 30).

Well, now those in the railroad industry who wonder why people keep getting killed or maimed trespassing on the railroad tracks have their answer as to what kind of idiotic rubbish encourages the victims.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

Stark Raven Mad

I read Jim Meyer’s “Spitballin’” in the Jan. 23 City Paper. At the end of the column he wrote, “The wild-card round crushing of the Colts was a matter of expediency, the thrilling victory in Denver was to remind us this squad is still packing some magic, but this win in New England served notice: These Ravens are for real.”

As an Afrocentric feminist, I am a fan of the NFL mostly for the black football players, black assistant coaches, and now the NFL is without a black “HEAD” coach at any team for next season.

Personally, I “hate” the Baltimore Ravens team owners and all of the football players who are Ravens. I dislike their show of “thuggery legit to glamorize brute force” as football players.

In my opinion, the conduct of some black Ravens football team members is a disgrace to the black race because their clowning around, niggerish dancing on the football field, and making ugly emotional “I got Jesus in me” moments of drama on their black faces is shameful, but full of humor for white folks.

The legacy of most black athletes have shown all Americans that they (black athletes) have lived, trained, and competed in track and field, boxing, football, tennis, baseball, basketball, and many other sports, have played with a spiritual grace of human dignity that did not resemble apes jumping up and down to get white folks’ attention.

At the end of this regular NFL football season, the black “Head” coaches of the Colts football team and the Chicago Bears football team were fired. There are many black assistant coaches in the NFL. Yet none were hired as head coaches for next year’s NFL season. It did not happen. I suppose white team owners see hiring a black head coach as a money-risk factor.

I did not hear one word from Ray Rice or Ray Lewis when the head coaches of the Colts and the Chicago Bears were fired. I did not hear but one black man say something on a sports network. Of course, I don’t watch TV 24 hours a day.

Why celebrate the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore when this city looks like an impoverished third-world country in many black areas?

Here is my poem for the Ravens football team’s owners and fans of the Baltimore Ravens:

You Look Like A Thug—Ravens

You operate like a thug on the

Football field, and ignore the poor

Black folks living with the blues

On city streets in Baltimore.

If God is able, and I know He is,

I hope God sends them Ravens down

To Hell, and let the Devil smoke

Them good with rough-and-ready

Coughing smoke to set the Ravens

Free from their thuggery foolishness ways.

I hope the 49ers win.

Larnell Custis Butler

Woodlawn

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