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It’s Egypt’s Turn

The BBC is reporting on the Egypt protests: Three killed in ‘day of revolt’

At least three people are reported to have been killed during a day of rare anti-government protests in Egypt.

In Cairo, where the biggest rallies were held, state TV said a policeman had died in clashes. Two protesters died in Suez, doctors there said.

Thousands joined the protests after an internet campaign inspired by the uprising in Tunisia.

In central Cairo, police starting using tear gas early on Wednesday in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

The microblogging website, Twitter, has confirmed that its website has been blocked in Egypt.

Twitter said it believed the open exchange of information and views was a benefit to societies and helped government better connect with their people.

The Swedish-based website Bambuser, which streams video from mobile phones, said it had been blocked in Egypt. On its blog, it accused Egyptian officials of trying to control the news agenda.

Hosni Mubarak has been in control since Anwar Sadat was assassinated three decades ago. He has kept a tight grip on power in the country and is dependent on the US support he receives to maintain that grip [Egypt is the second largest recipient of US foreign aid]. He has been grooming his son, Gamal, to assume power when he dies or decides to retire. His government is every bit as corrupt as the former government of Tunisia.

It is unlikely that the Egyptian government will collapse as easily as Tunisia’s.

January 25, 2011   Comments Off on It’s Egypt’s Turn

State Of The Union – SNAFU

Apparently the bar for any response to the SOTU is to be better than Bobby Jindal, which is more of a ha-ha.

I expect nothing from Obama, and that is exactly what I received from any of his speeches, based on what was in the text. That he is orator, I have no opinion about, because I have never heard more than snippets of any speech he has given. I have no interest in style, only substance. Politics isn’t theater; it is the deadly serious business of running a nation of over 300 million people.

Oh, yes, here’s the Full text of the State of the Union speech. It’s from McClatchy so it won’t get edited or vanish suddenly.

Here’s the NPR Transcript: GOP Response From Rep. Paul Ryan

KOLD credits this to CNN: Text of Tea Party response to Obama’s State of the Union featuring Rep. Michele Bachmann [she has no connection to Bachman-Turner Overdrive, OK?]

I was unable to locate a Democratic, centrist, or liberal response, or any notice to statements from anyone not living or working in Washington DC and the immediate environs, as we apparently don’t exist.

I don’t care about his birth certificate, but I would be interested in documented proof that Obama has successfully completed a high school-level course in American history.

January 25, 2011   8 Comments

So, How’s That Austerity Working Out? UK

The BBC reports: UK economy suffers 0.5% contraction

The UK’s economy suffered a shock contraction of 0.5% in the last three months of 2010, figures have shown.

The severe weather hit activity in the quarter, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said even if the weather impact had been excluded, activity would have been “flattish”.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, said the numbers were disappointing.

But he added the government would not be “blown off course” from its austerity programme.

They will soldier on over the cliff to a double-dip recession to prove, once again, that Keynes was right, and conservative supply-side economic policy is a failure. This is really the outline for a Carry On … script. If real people weren’t being hurt by this insanity, it would make a great farce.

January 25, 2011   2 Comments

There Is Some Good News

From CNN: Appellate Court Rules Against Emanuel

Emanuel was thrown off the ballot Monday by an Illinois appellate court panel, according to the Cook County Appellate Court’s office.

The panel ruled 2-1 that Emanuel did not meet the residency standard to run for the city’s top office.

“A candidate must meet not only the Election Code’s voter residency standard, but also must have actually resided within the municipality for one year prior to the election, a qualification that the candidate unquestionably does not satisfy,” the court stated in the decision.

Here’s the court’s opinion [PDF].

Emanuel will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court and has already requested a stay. He apparently doesn’t like people using his tactics on him. He and Obama had a habit of winning elections by disqualifying their opponents, rather than letting the voters decide. What goes around, comes around.

January 25, 2011   6 Comments

Religious Justice?

The BBC reports on the latest outrage by a “religious government”: Iranian opposition activists hanged for protest footage

Iranian authorities have hanged two men convicted of taking part in protests following the disputed presidential election in 2009.

Iranian prosecutors said Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaei had taken photos and footage of the protests and distributed them on the internet.

They were also found guilty of chanting slogans promoting the exiled People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI).

This is what the evangelicals want for the US, all dissent is blasphemy and results in a death sentence. Technically they weren’t hanged, they were garroted. Hanging is a quick death caused by the neck breaking, but in Iran you are strangled by the rope and die of asphyxiation.

The PMOI helped to rid Iran of the Shah, but then they opposed a government run by ayatollahs, so they are blasphemers and terrorists.

January 25, 2011   Comments Off on Religious Justice?

This Is The Price Of Winning

The BBC reports on the latest Russian bomb attack: Moscow bombing: Medvedev in Domodedovo airport pledge

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has vowed to track down and punish those behind an apparent suicide bomb attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport killed 35 people and injured more than 100.

Two Britons were among those killed as the blast rocked the international arrivals terminal at Moscow’s busiest airport on Monday afternoon.

Unnamed officials said three suspects were being sought over the attack.

Suspicion has fallen on Russia’s restive North Caucasus region.

Too bad no one can convince the Chechens that they lost and the war is over. The war will be over when Russia leaves the region, and not before. And after Russia leaves the private wars will start again, just like Afghanistan.

January 25, 2011   Comments Off on This Is The Price Of Winning

“Be Careful Out There”

NBC has a round up on the recent attacks on police officers: Police fear ‘war on cops’

A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.

In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.

On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.

“It’s not a fluke,” said Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. “There’s a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on.”

This is dangerous for everyone. Police officers are subject to attacks of paranoia, like everyone else, but they carry guns, and may be “trigger-happy” for a while. While you know the badge is potentially a target, events like these make it seem bigger, no matter where you work, or how quiet your beat is. The Detroit station attack is, in some ways, the most unnerving, because you don’t expect it, not on your home ground.

If you have any interaction with police officers for at least the next month, don’t make any sudden moves. They are likely to be on edge, and will probably overreact.

January 25, 2011   2 Comments