Sunday, February 27, 2011

Can't Touch Kuwait

Even when they torture:

"Va. teen held in Kuwait to return, lawyer says" by Associated Press / January 19, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia teenager who says he was beaten and tortured while detained in Kuwait and has been stuck there for nearly a month because of his apparent placement on a no-fly list should return to the United States by tomorrow, a government lawyer said.

Gulet Mohamed, 19, sued the government yesterday in US District Court in Alexandria, and within hours a judge had scheduled an emergency hearing on Mohamed’s request for an order forcing the government to permit his return....

I wonder who his family knew.


"Va. man held in Kuwait returns to US" by Associated Press / January 22, 2011

CHANTILLY, Va. — A Virginia teenager who asserts he was beaten and tortured while stuck in Kuwait for a month after apparently being placed on the US government’s no-fly list was reunited with his family near Washington yesterday.

Gulet Mohamed of Alexandria, 19, said he was blindfolded, beaten, and whipped while detained in Kuwait. He and his lawyers said the detention was at the behest of US authorities, who questioned him about travel in 2009 to Yemen and Somalia....


I have also noticed Kuwait remains untouched by protests -- according to my Boston Globe anyway.

The Boston Globe's Song of the South

I have already heard them, and they all sound the same.

"Gulf bottom still oily, scientist says

A University of Georgia scientist went public yesterday with video and slides showing how oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. At a science conference in Washington, Samantha Joye aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer, expecting the oil and residue would be gone. It wasn’t (AP)." 

Related: Gulf spill payout chief is under fire as claims pile up

"Investigators are working to find out if weather or wave conditions played a role in a boat accident in the Gulf of Mexico that left four people dead, authorities said yesterday....


Also see: Katrina victims still are without permanent homes

"D.C. is losing its Southern identity; Newcomers alter language, tone" by Steve Hendrix, Washington Post / January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON — The region’s Southern accent is also becoming measurably less pronounced, linguists say. The Confederate flag doesn’t fly much in these parts anymore. Korean barbecue has taken its place alongside the Southern pit-cooked variety in many neighborhoods....

In all, according to academics and cultural observers, the Washington area’s “Southernness’’ has fallen into steep decline, part of a trend away from strongly held regional identities. In the 150th anniversary year of the start of the Civil War, the region at the heart of the conflict has little left of its historic bond with Dixie.

“The cultural Mason-Dixon line is just moving farther and farther south as more people from other parts of the country move in,’’ said H. Gibbs Knotts, a professor at Western Carolina University who, with a colleague, conducted a survey of Dixie-named businesses as a way to measure the shifting frontiers of the South. (The Mason-Dixon line, which set the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania, was the symbolic divider between North and South in the Civil War era.) “From what we’re finding, D.C. and Virginia are not appearing very Southern at all these days,’’ Knotts said of the survey, published last year....  

I thought we were all Americans, silly me.

Whether Washington should be defined as a Southern city has been a debate since the Civil War, when it was the seat of the Northern government but a hotbed of rebel sympathy. In modern times, the question has been more cultural than political. Washington’s split personality was forever summarized by John F. Kennedy’s worst-of-both-worlds description of it as a “city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.’’


Also see: Pipe break adds ice rink to D.C. Beltway

Into the great wide open:

"Va. bill likely to close abortion clinics" by Associated Press / February 25, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia took a big step yesterday toward eliminating most of the state’s 21 abortion clinics, approving a bill making rules so strict the medical centers would likely be forced to close, Democrats and abortion-rights supporters said.

Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, supports the measure, and when he signs it into law, Virginia will be the first state to require clinics that provide first-trimester abortions to meet the same standards as hospitals. The requirements could include structural changes such as widening hallways, increased training, and mandatory equipment the clinics do not have.

While abortion providers must be licensed in Virginia, the clinics resemble dentists’ offices....  

And who ever wants to go there?


"Authorities say Mara took more than $83,000 in the heists, starting in Richmond in 2008 and ending with a North Carolina holdup the day before his Aug. 11 arrest. He was captured after a six-hour standoff with police at his Baton Rouge, La., home....  

And yet Wall Street steals trillions and no one goes to jail.


Time for the Carolina County Ball:

"Officer dies after stun grenade blast

CHARLOTTE — A SWAT officer was securing a stun grenade known as a “flash-bang’’ at his home when it exploded, killing him, police said. Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe said Fred Thornton, 50, had massive internal injuries after the grenade detonated Friday."  

What was he doing securing a stun grenade at home? 

Also seeN.C. police report says doctor left suicide note

Obama’s selection of N.C. city harkens back to ’08

Stepmother indicted in death of N.C. girl, 10 

South Carolina teen said to shoot, kill father, aunt

2 New Englanders killed in S.C. plane crash 

Plane crash kills pilot, woman on ground

Georgia on my mind:

Ga. inmate says execution drug has expired

Ah, Sweet Home Alabama:

Ala. man is accused of poisoning Auburn oaks

3d lawyer begs off tree-poisoning case

The skies may be blue but the trees are brown.

I wonder what color they are in Mississippi:

"Authorities report rise of new drug

FULTON — Authorities in several states say they are seeing a new street drug with terrifying effects. The drug is sold under such names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Bliss, White Lightning, and Hurricane Charlie. Authorities say the chemicals can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates, and suicidal thoughts. They are packaged as bath salts or even plant food and sold legally at convenience stores and over the Internet. Some say the effects are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine. Some states, including Mississippi and Kentucky, are considering banning their sale."

That must explain this:

"Group wants license plate honoring KKK leader" by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press / February 11, 2011

JACKSON, Miss. — A fight is brewing in Mississippi over a proposal to issue specialty license plates honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to sponsor a series of state-issued license plates to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which it calls the War Between the States. The group proposes a different design each year between now and 2015, with Forrest slated for 2014.

“Seriously?’’ state NAACP president Derrick Johnson said when he was told about the Forrest plate. “Wow.’’

Forrest, a Tennessee native, is revered by some as a military genius and reviled by others for leading an 1864 massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow, Tenn. Forrest was a Klan grand wizard in Tennessee after the war.

Sons of Confederate Veterans member Greg Stewart said he believes Forrest distanced himself from the Klan later in life. It is a point many historians agree upon, though some believe it was too little, too late, because the Klan had already turned violent before Forrest left.

“If Christian redemption means anything — and we all want redemption, I think — he redeemed himself in his own time, in his own actions, in his own words,’’ Stewart said. “We should respect that.’’


Also see:

Sisters out of prison, next face transplant

Transplant delayed for ex-convict sisters  

Every time I see articles about transplants all I can think of is the worldwide Israeli organ-harvesting racket.

Time to hop aboard the Chattanooga Choo Choo:

"Tenn. legislator credits Hooters job" by Associated Press / February 9, 2011

NASHVILLE — A newly elected Tennessee legislator writes in the current issue of Hooters Magazine that her experience working in the restaurants known for waitresses’ skimpy outfits led to her later success in business and politics.

Republican state Representative Julia Hurley, 29, was elected in November after defeating incumbent Democrat Dennis Ferguson in a mostly conservative district west of Knoxville....

Hurley now works as a consultant and entrepreneur. She is a Southern Baptist and a member of the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America....


I must say I did like the service in the dining car -- especially the tasty Tea.

"Bills in 2 states target distracted pedestrians" by Associated Press / January 25, 2011

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Lawmakers in at least two states are looking to pull the plug on texting pedestrians and iPod-using runners, saying their diverted attention borders on disaster.

After targeting drivers who paid more attention to their phone calls and text messages than the road, lawmakers in Arkansas and New York are now looking to crack down on pedestrians equally distracted by their electronic gadgets.

Lawmakers in both states have proposed restrictions on using cellphones and music players such as iPods by people running and walking on the street or sidewalk.

The proposal in Arkansas would ban pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears while on, parallel, or adjacent to a street, road, intersection, or highway.


I don't like the tunes in Arkansas.

Also see: 4 Amish children killed when buggy flips over in flooded Kentucky creek

Sunday Globe Special: Bubbles in the Bathtub

You know what causing them, right (and I'm not talking about soap)?

"Regulation lax as waste from gas wells hits water supplies" by Ian Urbina,  New York Times / February 27, 2011

NEW YORK — This century’s gold rush —  natural gas.

So energy companies are clamoring to drill. And they are getting rare support from their usual sparring partners. Environmentalists say using natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. Lawmakers hail the gas as a source of jobs. They also see it as a way to wean the United States from its dependency on other countries for oil.

But the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock and release the gas.

Related(?): Obama Drilling For Martial Law Excuse

A well can produce more than a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene, and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground.

While the existence of the waste has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators, and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.  


The documents reveal that the wastewater, sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.  

Paging Erin Brockovich!

Other documents and interviews show that many EPA scientists are alarmed, warning that the drilling waste is a threat to drinking water in Pennsylvania. Their concern is based partly on a 2009 study, never made public, written by an EPA consultant who concluded that some sewage treatment plants were incapable of removing certain drilling waste contaminants and were probably violating the law.

But the EPA has not intervened. In fact, federal and state regulators are allowing most sewage treatment plants that accept drilling waste not to test for radioactivity.  

This is the same EPA screaming about greenhouse gases, etc? 

Related: EPA eases pollution rules for industrial boilers 

Yeah, they are really looking out for your health, Americans. 

And most drinking-water intake plants downstream from those sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania, with the blessing of regulators, have not tested for radioactivity since before 2006, even though the drilling boom began in 2008.... 


Also see:  De Plane! De Plane!

The Waters of West Virginia

EPA Running Off at the Mouth

Slow Saturday Special: FDA's Gulf Coast Feast 

Super Sunday Spread 

Anyone sensing a pattern from this government?

And just over the hills:

"GE donations to river group stir controversy; Critics see attempt to sway Housatonic River cleanup" by Beth Daley, Globe Staff / February 27, 2011

The Facebook page popped onto the Web last month, pushing a controversial position on the PCB-poisoned Housatonic River in Western Massachusetts: cleaning it too thoroughly may actually harm the environment more.

Missing from the webpage of the Smart Clean-up Coalition was any explanation of the group’s origins or members. So a skeptical river advocate asked whether the group took money from General Electric, the company responsible for both the contamination and the cleanup — and another champion of a less aggressive approach.

“No,’’ the Smart Clean-up Coalition responded on the page. “We have no association with GE.’’

But they do. The coalition is an initiative of 1Berkshire, an economic development alliance that has received $300,000 from General Electric Co. in recent months, the group has since acknowledged.

Over the past two weeks, the alliance has given an evolving explanation for not disclosing its relationship with GE upfront. Both the group and GE insist the money had nothing to do with the creation of the Facebook page or the group’s position that an aggressive cleanup — which would include dredging, riverbank excavation, and truck traffic — could have the unintended effect of harming ecologically sensitive areas and tourism....

But in the rolling Berkshire Hills, where the mighty Housatonic once powered much of the region’s economy, the controversy playing out on blogs and in local papers is highlighting GE’s still deep ties to the community, decades after its 254-acre transformer plant stopped leaking PCBs, a probable carcinogen, into the winding river. It is still considered one of the nation’s filthiest waterways.

I am reading the wrong material, readers. 

Maybe it is time for all those unread Boston Globes cluttering up the table to get tossed.

The company, which once employed 14,000 people at its Pittsfield plant, retains a considerable constituency in the region, including many retirees who have investment holdings and receive benefits from the company. And GE continues to donate to nonprofits in the county. 

Drink up, a**holes.

 The reach has bred suspicion of undue influence, especially now as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to issue a proposal this fall on how to clean the next 10 miles of the river, with a final decision expected soon after.... 

Yes, the EPA will ignore radioactive elements in the water but they will be all up your creek after stealing your paddle and shoving it up your ass.


My concerns are more upriver:

Related: Around New England: No Veracity in Vermont

The Boston Globe Can Not Say a Lie

Around New England: Vermont Votes Yankee Down  

I believe it is still leaking cancer into the soil and water.  

Sunday Globe Special: The Wisconsin Whitewash

And I'm not speaking of the snow I will soon be shoveling:

"Besides labor unions, environmentalists, gay and lesbian groups, and antiwar activists took part in nationwide rallies"

Gee, why would the Globe want to scrub-a-dub-dub that out?

"Wis. volunteers keep protest going as movement spreads

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Nearly two weeks after the start of massive protests against Gov. Scott Walker's proposal that would strip nearly all public employees of their collective bargaining rights erupted, a network of volunteers has emerged as the skeleton that keeps the daily demonstrations alive.  

Related: Wisconsin Democrats Waylaid by Republicans

As the protesters get waylaid by the agenda-pushing corporate media.

Widespread protests began Feb. 15, with 13,000 people attending rallies in and around the Capitol. Crowds peaked at 70,000 a week ago, a few thousand of which were tea party counter-protesters.

Since then, crowds outside the Capitol have dipped significantly, although thousands of protesters packed the building and surrounding streets on Saturday, while thousands of others demonstrated in support of them in rallies planned for all 50 states.  

The crowds are GROWING and they showed up in a SNOWSTORM! 

WTF, readers?  The paper lies about wars, economy, environment, and now protests? 

Is there NOT ONE THING they will tell the TRUTH about? 

Is there ANYTHING they will NOT SPIN to suit their AGENDA-PUSHING PURPOSES?

Outside the Statehouse in St. Paul, Minn., about 1,000 people waived signs of support for the Wisconsin protesters and chanted "workers' rights are human rights." Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison addressed the rally and encouraged the protesters to keep up the fight.   

Then he's a subversive inciting rebellion, isn't he?

Similar rallies took place in Denver, New York City, Lansing, Mich., Harrisburg, Pa., and elsewhere.

In Ohio, thousands of union members and environmentalists rallied outside the Statehouse in Columbus against proposed legislation similar to Wisconsin's that would abolish most collective bargaining rights.  

Maybe we should be THANKING the Wisconsin governor for BRINGING Americans TOGETHER! 


Back in Madison, Carol DeGrave, 53, a middle school media coordinator in Green Bay, held a sign that read "Stay Strong, Stay Long!" She said she's protested for the last three days because she's afraid that without collective bargaining, her school district will cut her position.

Capitol police have allowed protesters to stay 24 hours a day and hundreds do most nights. But police plan to end the sleepover at 4 p.m. Sunday, setting up a potential showdown in what has been a relatively incident-free protest....  

Related: Wisconsin police join up with anti-Walker protesters

Don't you just love the Boston Globe and its censorship, obfuscations, and omissions? I know I do. 

What I CAN NOT FIND on the WEB even as I am STARING AT IT in my PRINTED PAPER:

Besides labor unions, environmentalists, gay and lesbian groups, and antiwar activists took part in nationwide rallies.... "   

Gee, LOOK at THAT, Americans! SOMETHING on which we ALL AGREE!!!

Related: Wis. demonstrators flood Capitol as movement grows (By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Timothy Williams, New York Times)  

Normally I do not read a NYT update in the Boston Globe, but what the heck? 

MADISON, Wis. — With booming chants of “This will not stand!’’ at least 70,000 demonstrators flooded the square around the Capitol yesterday afternoon in what local authorities called the largest protest yet in nearly two weeks of demonstrations....  

But a SIGNIFICANT DIP according to my printed PoS!

A spokesman for the Madison police, Joel DeSpain, who provided the crowd estimate, said there had been no arrests during the rallies.

The demonstrators in Madison — joined by sympathy protests in state capitals around the country— were loud but peaceful, according to police.

But there was some unease and confusion over the fate of what has become the heart and soul of the protests: Whether the hundreds of people who have spent the night every night in the hallways, and public areas of the capitol building will be forcibly evicted beginning this afternoon.

Okay, this is the NYT's chance. Tell us the COPS are JOINING the PROTESTERS!!!

Later, Jim Palmer, the leader of a large law enforcement union, said that he has been told that the Capitol police were backing away from the plan, and he expected that protesters would still be allowed to spend the night inside.

“Now it sounds like they are going to let people stay,’’ said Palmer, executive director of the 11,000-member Wisconsin Professional Police Association. The police may only ask for people to “voluntarily comply’’ with requests to leave the building, he said. He added that his union and other labor leaders have urged their members to comply with whatever the police ask....   

Why would the NYT be any different than it's bastard stepchild the Boston Globe?

Supporters of the Wisconsin protests gathered in capitals across the nation, from Albany to the West Coast.

One of the largest was in Columbus, Ohio, where several thousand people protested a similar labor bill under consideration there. Teachers, firefighters, and other public workers also held rallies in cities including Denver; Topeka, Kan.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Olympia, Wash., the Associated Press reported."

And here is further food for thought: The AmeriKan tyrants can FORGET ABOUT DEPLOYING the POLICE and ARMY AGAINST US NOW!  No FALSE-FLAG TERROR or other such nonsense is going to JUSTIFY CLEARING and OPPRESSION their American brothers and sisters.  The WINDOW is CLOSED and the LIES WILL NO LONGER WORK!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Libya's Leader Has Lost His Mind

Some would say he already had (and maybe they are right); however, he may be losing the whole head once the Libyans get through with him. 

"Libya rebels repel attacks by Khadafy; Opposition makes stand near Tripoli; ruler blames drugs, bin Laden" by Kareem Fahim and David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times / February 25, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — Rebels seeking to overturn the 40-year rule of Colonel Moammar Khadafy repelled a concerted assault by his forces on cities close to the capital yesterday, removing any doubt that Libya’s patchwork of protests had evolved into an increasingly well-armed revolutionary movement.

The series of determined stands by rebel forces yesterday — especially in the strategic city of Zawiya, near important oil resources and 30 miles from the capital, Tripoli — presented the gravest threat yet to the Libyan leader. There, more than 100 people were killed as Khadafy’s forces turned automatic weapons on a mosque filled with rebels, a witness said. Still, residents rallied afterward to protest.  

Yeah, GUNNING DOWN PEOPLE NEVER seems to win them over!

Khadafy’s evident frustration at the resistance in Zawiya spilled out in a rant by telephone over the state television network charging that Osama bin Laden had drugged the town’s youth into a rebellious frenzy.

I think it is Khadafy who is on drugs since he is seeing a dead man!

Yesterday’s violence under scored the contrast between the character of Libya’s revolution and the uprising that toppled autocrats in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. Unlike those Facebook-enabled youth rebellions, the insurrection here has been led by people who are more mature and who have been actively opposing the regime for some time. It started with lawyers’ syndicates that have campaigned peacefully for two years for a written constitution and some semblance of a rule of law.

Fueled by popular anger, the help of breakaway leaders of the armed forces and some of their troops, and weapons from looted military stockpiles or smuggled across the border, the rebellion has escalated quickly and violently in little more than a week.

Fathi Terbil, 39, the human rights lawyer whose detention first ignited the protests, drew a map of rebel-held territory in striking distance of Tripoli.

“It is only a matter of days,’’ he said in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolt began.

A turning point in the uprising’s evolution was arguably the defection of the interior minister, Abdel Fattah Younes al-Abidi, an army general who had been a close ally of Khadafy.

The break by Abidi, who has family roots near the revolt’s eastern origins, encouraged other disaffected police, military and state security personnel to change sides as well.

“We are hoping to use his experience,’’ said Terbil, who some called the linchpin of the revolt.

Opposition figures in rebel-held cities like Benghazi have been appearing on cable news channels promising that opponents of Khadafy are heading toward Tripoli to bolster the resistance there. Their ability to carry out those assertions remains to be seen....

Protesters in Tripoli were calling for a massive demonstration today after noon prayers, residents of the city and those fleeing the country said. The rebels’ unexpected strength was undeniable as they appeared to hold or contest several towns close to Khadafy’s stronghold in Tripoli in the face of a coordinated push by his mercenaries and security forces....

In Zawiya, an envoy from Khadafy had reportedly arrived to warn rebels Wednesday: “Either leave or you will see a massacre,’’ one resident said.

About 5 a.m. yesterday, Khadafy’s forces fulfilled the threat. Witnesses said a force that included about 60 foreign mercenaries assaulted a central mosque where some of the roughly 2,000 protesters had sought refuge. One witness said the protesters were armed mainly with rifles, sticks, and knives, but after four hours of fighting they managed to hold the square.

About 100 people were killed and 200 others wounded, this witness said. During a telephone interview with him, a voice could be heard over a loudspeaker in the background telling the crowd, in an area known as Martyrs Square, not to be afraid.

“People came to send a clear message: We are not afraid of death or your bullets,’’ one resident told the AP “This regime will regret it. History will not forgive them.’’

And I'm not going to forgive the Globe for censoring and cutting this:

The force that has attacked rebels on behalf of the government is one Khadafy has built up quietly for years, distrustful of his own generals. It is made up of special brigades headed by his sons, segments of the military loyal to his native tribe and its allies, and legions of African mercenaries.

Khadafy, who took power in a military coup, has always kept the Libyan military weak and divided so they could not do the same thing to him. About half its relatively small 50,000-member army is made up of poorly trained and unreliable conscripts, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.   

But now they are FIGHTING for FREEDOM!!

Many of its battalions are organized along tribal lines, ensuring their loyalty to their own clan rather than to top military commanders. Untrusting of his officers, Khadafy built up an elaborate paramilitary force....

Then there are the militia units controlled by Khadafy's seven sons. A cable released by WikiLeaks described his son Khamis' private battalion as the best equipped in the Libyan army....

But perhaps the most significant force Khadafy has deployed against the insurrection is one believed to consist of about 2,500 mercenaries from countries like Chad, Sudan, and Niger that he calls his Islamic Pan African Brigade.

Khadafy began recruiting for his force years ago as part of a scheme to bring the African nations around Libya into a common union, and the mercenaries he trained are believed to have returned to Sudan and other bloody conflicts around Africa....

In other words, Khadafy is responsible for the atrocities in Africa. 

I notice AmeriKa's mercenaries never receive the same implication.


"Libyan protests brutally repressed; Rebel force unable to take over Tripoli; US moves to freeze Khadafy’s assets" by Kareem Fahim and David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times / February 26, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — Mercenaries and army forces brutally smothered an attempt by protesters yesterday to break Colonel Moammar Khadafy’s hold on the capital, Tripoli, opening fire on crowds that had taken to the streets after prayers to mount their first major challenge to the government’s crackdown, witnesses said.

It was the fiercest violence yet in the Libyan capital. Gunmen on rooftops and in the streets shot into the crowds with automatic weapons and even an antiaircraft gun, and there were multiple deaths, witnesses told the Associated Press.

The bloodshed heightened a standoff that has pitted Khadafy — who vowed yesterday to turn Libya into “a hell’’ as he hunkered down in his stronghold — against a spreading rebel force and increasingly alarmed the United States and other nations, which condemned the violence and promised sanctions in coming days....   

Now THERE is a man who CARES ABOUT HIS PEOPLE, huh? 

It os TIME for the MAD SICK F*** to GO!!!

As the violence swelled, the international community made several moves to further isolate the leader.... 

White House officials said Obama also canceled all military contacts with Libya and ordered a reallocation of US intelligence assets to focus on civilian deaths there and to track Libyan troop deployments and tank movements.... 

Libya's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdurrahman Shalgham, a longtime friend of Khadafy, denounced him yesterday in New York, comparing him with Pol Pot and Hitler. Libya's entire Arab League mission resigned for the same reasons yesterday....

The protesters in Tripoli appeared emboldened by promises of help from rebels outside the capital and the surprisingly strong showing of protesters in cities close to the capital on Thursday against Khadafy's forces, which brought the rebellion to the capital's doorstep....

A potentially large force of armed fighters sympathetic to the protesters was converging on Tripoli, according to military officials and soldiers who defected. Hussein said the force consisted of active duty and retired soldiers and army reservists who had joined the rebel side....


And what will life be like when he is gone?

"Eastern Libyans seek to govern themselves, with eye on Tripoli" by Paul Schemm, Associated Press / February 25, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — It began as a series of small protests over the imprisonment of a human rights lawyer....  

Libya’s second-largest city, Benghazi, appears orderly, with cars stopping at traffic lights, stores open, and a new local government emerging where once all forms of social organizing were ruthlessly suppressed.

“We were not planning to make a revolt; it happened all of a sudden,’’ said Fathi Turbel, the 39-year-old lawyer whose imprisonment sparked the protests. “People can’t imagine how it all could have happened so quickly.’’

Following the example of their Egyptian neighbors, the Libyans quickly formed popular committees to guarantee basic security and began to talk to local academics, lawyers, and others to figure out how to run the city they had inherited.... 

Even amid the euphoria over the city’s liberation, rumors are still rife about impending aerial bombardments, naval assaults, or the reappearance of Khadafy’s dreaded African mercenaries....

There are also fears the Libyan leader’s plainclothes agents still lurk among them, waiting for a chance to strike.

‘We are living a real situation in which we should feel paranoid, and we should act paranoid in order to protect ourselves,’’ said Abu Ahmed, who repeatedly ordered the door to his office closed. “We know this place is really infiltrated by the security apparatus of the Gadhafi regime.’’

Not bad advice.


Related: Oil prices fall as fears on Libya production ease

Ferry carrying Americans reaches Malta 

Wisconsin Democrats Waylaid by Republicans

As the protesters get it from the AmeriKan media:

 "Wis. state troopers sent to look for fugitive Democrats; As senators hide, Assembly nears vote on union bill" by Scott Bauer, Associated Press / February 25, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — Grand political theater.... 

Related: Mideast Meets Midwest

Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched yesterday to the doorsteps of some of the AWOL Democratic senators in hopes of finding at least one who would come back to allow a vote on a measure to curb the power of public-employee unions.

The stepped-up tactic ordered by the Republican head of the Senate came amid reports that at least a few of the missing senators were returning home at night to pick up clothes, food, and other necessities, before rejoining their colleagues in Illinois....

Wisconsin’s measure would forbid most government workers from collectively bargaining for wage increases beyond the rate of inflation. It also would require public workers to pay more toward their pensions and health insurance. Police and firefighters would be exempt.    

Oh, so this is SINGLING OUT the OTHERS, isn't it?

In Ohio, a similar proposal in a Senate committee drew thousands of protesters to the State House, just as in Wisconsin.

Indiana Democrats left their state on Tuesday, successfully blocking a Republican bill that would have prohibited union membership from being a condition of employment.


"Wisconsin Assembly passes bill to restrict union rights" by Todd Richmond, Associated Press / February 26, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early yesterday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening....  

This is what has always bothered me about Democrats. They always seem to get outmaneuvered by Republicans.

Republicans immediately marched out in single file. The Democrats rushed at them, pumping their fists and shouting “Shame!’’ and “Cowards!’’  

Now about those endless wars....

The Republicans walked past them without responding.

The political standoff over the bill — and the monumental protests at the state Capitol against it — appear far from over....   


The greedy, sick psychopaths in charge of this country have overreached this time.

Democrats and unions see the measure as an attack on workers’ rights and an attempt to cripple union support for Democrats. Union leaders say they would make pension and health care concessions if they can keep their bargaining rights, but Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, has refused to compromise.

Once again, the media's implied analysis is completely wrong. 

This is NOT ABOUT POLITICS and PARTY anymore; this is about GOVERNMENT SCREWING the GOOD PEOPLE of this nation in favor of BANKS and WELL-CONNECTED CORPORATIONS! 

The PEOPLE are FED UP and have NOTHING LEFT to GIVE!! They are simply trying to HOLD ON top WHAT WAS PROMISED THEM! 

I'm not a big fan of state employees; however, I don't want their health care or pensions taken away. We can ALL AFFORD THAT provided the TAX LOOT is not handed over to banks, well-connected corporations and interests, and politician and their perks. 

Tens of thousands of people have jammed the Capitol since last week to protest, pounding on drums and chanting so loudly that police providing security have resorted to ear plugs. Hundreds have been sleeping in the building overnight, dragging in air mattresses and blankets.... 

Also see: Globe Editorial By overreaching, Wis. governor hinders reforms in all states

Gee, the allegedly liberal, pro-labor AmeriKan sure doesn't seem it lately! 


Yup, NOTHING about the THREAT to CLEAR the PLACE by 6 p.m. tonight, either. 

Thanks for the endless omissions and obfuscations, AmeriKan media.

Also see: Wis. man gets life for seven slayings

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mideast Meets Midwest

Although I am no fan of public employee unions I also realize they are not the reason states are bankrupt despite what the agenda-pushing papers imply.

The fact is I would rather the cop, firefighter, and teacher get paid than the banks (interest and debt payments), bondholders (same banks as well as politicians), well-connected corporations and concerns (they call them tax breaks when they are handed a taxpayer-funded check), and political pensions and perks. That's where your increased taxes are going, dear Americans (as well as Wall Street, wars, and Israel).

When you think about it, the cop, firefighter, and teacher protesting in AmeriKa are simply emulating their European, North African, and Middle Eastern peers.

"In Wisconsin, budget cuts prompt rage among state workers; Governor defends plan, saying: ‘We’re broke’" by Monica Davey and Steven Greenhouse, New York Times / February 17, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — As four game wardens awkwardly stood guard, protesters, scores deep, crushed into a corridor leading to the governor’s office here yesterday, their shouts echoing through the Capitol: “Come out, come out, wherever you are!’’  


Behind closed doors, Scott Walker, the Republican who has been governor for about six weeks, calmly described his intent to forge ahead with the plans that had set off the uprising: He wants to require public workers to pay more for their health insurance and pensions, effectively cutting the pay of many by around 7 percent.

He also wants to weaken most public-sector unions by sharply curtailing their collective bargaining rights.

Walker said he had no other options, since he is facing a deficit of $137 million in the current state budget and the prospect of a $3.6 billion hole in the coming two-year budget.

“For us, it’s simple,’’ said Walker, whose family home was surrounded by angry workers this week. “We’re broke.’’

For months, state and local officials around the country have tackled their budget problems by finding trims here and there, apologetically resorting to layoffs, and searching for accounting moves to limp through one more year.

Events in Wisconsin this week, though, are a sign of something new: No more apologies, no half-measures. Given the dire straits of budgets around the country, other state leaders may take similarly drastic steps with state workers, pensions, and unions....

Madison schools were closed yesterday after many employees called in sick to help lobby. Thousands of teachers, state workers, and students filled a square around the Capitol, chanting “kill the bill’’ and waving signs.

And a public hearing on the issue that had started at 10 a.m. on Tuesday ran through the night and into yesterday afternoon.

For his part, Walker said he did not believe that most Wisconsin residents had a problem with his proposals. Walker said he has spoken with plenty of private employees who told of paying far more for retirement plans and health care than he is seeking from state workers.     

Yeah, pit us against each other you puke.


"Democratic legislators flee Wis. to help block anti-union measure" by Scott Bauer, Associated Press / February 18, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — A group of Democratic lawmakers blocked passage of a sweeping anti-union bill yesterday, refusing to show up for a vote and then abruptly leaving the state in an effort to force Republicans to the negotiating table.

As ever-growing throngs of protesters filled the Capitol for a third day, the 14 Democrats disappeared around noon, just as the Senate was about to begin debating the measure, which would end a half-century of collective bargaining rights for most public employees....

Elsewhere, some Democrats applauded the developments in Wisconsin as a long-awaited sign that their party was fighting back against the Republican wave created by November’s midterm election.   

What in the world took 'em so long, and why must it be to repre$ent a $ignificant campaign contributor?


And as in the Middle East, the protests are spreading:

"Signs of union unrest spread from Wisconsin to other states" by Michael Cooper and Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times / February 19, 2011

The images from Wisconsin — with its volatile protests, the shutdown of some public services, and an exile by Democratic lawmakers, who fled the state to block a vote — evoked the Middle East more than the Midwest.

The parallels raise the question: Is Wisconsin the Tunisia of collective bargaining rights?


Already, protests erupted in Ohio this week, where another newly elected Republican governor, John Kasich, has been trying to take away collective bargaining rights from unions.

In Tennessee, a law that would abolish collective bargaining rights for teachers passed a state Senate committee this week despite teachers’ loud objections. Indiana is weighing several proposals to weaken unions. Public workers in Pennsylvania, who are not facing an attack on their bargaining rights, said yesterday that they nonetheless planned to wear red next week to show solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin.

In many states, Republicans who came to power in the November elections, often by defeating union-backed Democrats, are taking aim not only at union wages, but at union powers as they face continuing budget gaps in the years ahead....    

I notice Wall Street and wars never lack for funding.


Time to divide with some controlled opposition:

"Tens of thousands protest in Wisconsin; Those for, against plan to weaken unions face off" by Todd Richmond, Associated Press / February 20, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — A state Capitol thrown into political chaos swelled with nearly 70,000 demonstrators yesterday, as supporters of Republican efforts to weaken the union rights of state workers challenged prolabor protesters face-to-face for the first time and GOP leaders insisted again that there was no room for compromise.

A few dozen police officers stood between supporters of Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, on the muddy east lawn of the Capitol and the much larger group of prolabor demonstrators who surrounded them. The protest was peaceful as both sides exchanged chants of “Pass the bill! Pass the bill!’’ and “Kill the bill! Kill the bill!’’

“Go home!’’ union supporters yelled at Scott Lemke, a 46-year-old machine parts salesman from Cedarburg who wore a hard hat and carried a sign that said “If you don’t like it, quit’’ on one side, and “If you don’t like that, try you’re fired’’ on the other. 

The fascist attitude really turns this Tea Party Patriot off.  Sig heil, Scottie.

The governor, elected in November’s GOP wave that also gave control of the state Assembly and Senate to Republicans, set off the protests last week by pushing ahead with a measure that would require government workers to contribute more to their health care and pension costs and would largely eliminate their collective bargaining rights.

He says the concessions are needed to deal with the state’s projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall and to avoid layoffs of government workers.

“We did have an election and Scott Walker won,’’ said Deborah Arndt, 53, of Sheboygan Falls. “I think our governor will stand strong. I have faith in him.’’

At a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots, the movement’s largest umbrella group, and Americans for Prosperity, supporters of Walker carried signs with a fresh set of messages: “Your Gravy Train Is Over . . . Welcome to the Recession,’’ and “Sorry we’re late, Scott. We work for a living.’’

“We pay the bills!’’ Tea Party favorite Herman Cain yelled to cheers from the pro-Walker crowd. “This is why you elected Scott Walker and he’s doing his job. . . . Wisconsin is broke. My question for the other side is, ‘What part of broke don’t you understand?’ ’’

Nearby, nearly two dozen cabs blocked a major intersection near the Capitol. The driver of the lead cab leaned out of the window and played a trumpet, while others attempted to honk their car horns in synch with a chant from prolabor protesters: “This is what democracy looks like.’’

“One of the reasons the company decided to support the protesters is because the members of this company started off striking their employer for better wages and that employer . . . refused to allow them to bargain collectively,’’ said John McNamara, the marketing director of Union Cab.

Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald reaffirmed yesterday that Republicans have not been swayed by the prolabor protesters who since Tuesday have filled the Capitol with chanting, drumbeats, and anti-Walker slogans.

“The bill is not negotiable,’’ Fitzgerald said inside a heavily guarded Senate parlor at the Capitol.
“The bill will pass as is.’’  

Storming the Bastille mean anything to you, s***ter?

Fitzgerald said Republicans have the votes needed to pass the so-called budget repair bill just as soon as 14 Senate Democrats who fled the state on Thursday and remain in hiding return to the State House. The missing Democrats have threatened to stay away for weeks and remain more resolved than ever to stay away “as long as it takes’’ until Walker agrees to negotiate, Senator Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat, said yesterday.

“I don’t think he’s really thought it through, to be honest,’’ Erpenbach said.

Democrats offered again yesterday to agree to the parts of Walker’s proposal that would double workers’ health insurance contributions and require them to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pensions, so long as workers retained their rights to negotiate with the state as a union.

Fitzgerald said he was unimpressed, given that the offer was something the GOP has rejected for months. The restrictions on collective bargaining rights are needed so local governments and the state will have the flexibility needed to balance budgets after cuts Walker plans to announce next month, he said.

Walker, who was spending time with his family yesterday and wasn’t expected to make an appearance at the Tea Party-organized rally, also rejected the Democrats’ offer. His spokesman, Cullen Werwie, said the fastest way to end the stalemate was for Democrats to return and “do their jobs.’’

Senator Tim Cullen, a Democrat from Janesville, refused to say where he was yesterday but said he didn’t expect the Senate to meet again until Tuesday. Cullen said he was watching yesterday’s rallies on television with some friends.



"In Washington, the fight in the weeks ahead will focus on budget policy and the looming need to raise the federal debt ceiling. But the push by Republicans for spending cuts and new austerity is already shaking state capitals, including Madison, Wis., and Columbus, Ohio, where labor unions have begun protesting efforts to reduce benefits and weaken their collective bargaining rights....


Good thing the administration has your back, 'eh teach?

"Teachers urged to accept reforms" by Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press / February 17, 2011

DENVER — Over skits and snacks yesterday, hundreds of teachers from around the country got a soft sell from the Department of Education on becoming more open-minded about new pay and evaluation systems.

Wrapping up the first national summit of teachers unions, school administrators, and board members representing some 150 districts from 40 states heard glowing reports from districts that have already shifted how they evaluate and train teachers.

The summit was billed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan as a groundbreaking effort to build trust between unions and the leaders who are sometimes their adversaries.

Participants heard from the dozen school districts how they achieved pay-for-performance teacher compensation and other changes that align with what federal education officials say are needed reforms.

Those changes are even more necessary now as states continue to grapple with massive budget shortfalls and scores of teachers face layoffs again this year, Duncan said.  


Duncan told reporters in a conference call that schools should ban “last hired, first fired’’ policies backed by unions, just as districts should not lay off only older teachers because they are paid more.

Also see: Boston Globe Bashes Boston Teachers

“If you have to make tough calls, you have to figure out for the most disadvantaged communities how you keep your best talent,’’ he said.

Later, Duncan told union members that he would support them in states where governors have vowed to shut down teachers’ collective bargaining rights. Duncan mentioned Wisconsin, where some 10,000 protesters descended on the state Capitol yesterday to protest Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to all but eliminate the bargaining process for most public employees....

The summit was a whirlwind pitch covering 10 points federal educators want schools to consider, from evaluating teachers in new ways to handling layoffs demanded by budget cuts.

“There’s so little time — they couldn’t really go in depth, so they act like this is the easiest thing in the world, and we know that that’s not so,’’ said Earl Rickman, school board president in Mt. Clemens, Mich., which recently agreed to a merit-pay system with its teachers union....


"Wisconsin governor shows optimism; Plan to weaken unions draws 6th day of protests" by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press / February 21, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — Governor Scott Walker predicted yesterday that Wisconsin would lead states across the country in weakening unions that have negotiated compensation packages taxpayers can no longer afford, and his opponents rallied for a sixth day in the Capitol in an attempt to avoid that fate.

Democratic lawmakers, union leaders, and rank-and-file teachers and firefighters called on Walker to back off his plan to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public employees.

They argued the unions had already agreed to cuts in their health care and retirement benefits that could reduce take-home pay for many workers by about 8 percent, and it was time for the Republican governor to compromise....

The sweeping measure led to massive protests that started Tuesday and have gained steam, including an estimated 68,000 people who turned out Saturday. Most opposed the bill, but the day marked the first time that a significant contingent of Walker supporters showed up to counterprotest.

Hundreds of protesters gathered inside the Capitol yesterday. The demonstrators banged on drums and danced in the Capitol Rotunda while they chanted, “This is what democracy looks like’’ and “union busting!’’

The crowd swelled throughout the day. Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the state AFL-CIO, told the crowd the protests would continue until the proposal was killed.

Another large protest is expected today, when many state workers are being furloughed to save money....

Walker denied the bill was an attempt at “union busting’’ and said the measure is needed to deal with the state’s projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall for the two-year period that ends June 30, 2013....


"Democrats, GOP continue standoff in Wisconsin; For now, Senate plans to review other business" by Scott Bauer, Associated Press / February 22, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — No resolution appeared imminent yesterday to the stalemate over union rights in Wisconsin, leaving Senate Republicans resigned to forge ahead with less-controversial business such as tax breaks for dairy farmers and commending the Green Bay Packers on winning the Super Bowl.

You taxpayers are paying them for this?  

Also see:  What is Your State Legislature Doing Today?

Whoopie Pie War  

It's all s***, isn't it? 

As the standoff entered its second week, none of the major players offered any signs of backing down in a high-stakes game of political chicken that has riveted the nation and led to ongoing public protests that drew a high of 68,000 people on Saturday.  

It is more than political chicken; people are fighting for their very lives.

Thousands more braved cold winds and temperatures in the 20s to march again yesterday, waving signs that said “Stop the attack on Wisconsin families’’ and “Solidarity.’’


Thousands of those affected and their supporters marched on the Capitol for a seventh straight day. Hundreds of them have been sleeping in the rotunda every night and several districts have had to close after so many teachers called in sick....  

By jove, Americans, I think you've got it!!!

Districts in central Wisconsin were also closed yesterday, but that was because of 10 to 12 inches of snow. Milwaukee schools were shut down for a scheduled midsemester break. Those closures, on top of the day being a previously scheduled furlough day for state workers, resulted in another large crowd yesterday.

Walker’s plan would allow unions representing most public employees to negotiate only for wage increases, not benefits or working conditions. Any wage increase above the Consumer Price Index would have to be approved in a referendum.

Unions also would face a vote of membership every year to stay formed, and workers could opt out of paying dues.  

Then this is about union busting.

The plan would also require many public employees to cut their take-home pay by about 8 percent by contributing more of their salaries toward their health insurance and retirement benefits, concessions the unions have said they are willing to accept.  

Did the WALL STREET BANKERS take a CUT in pay this year? 

See: Wall St. bonuses down in 2010, to $20.8b

Oh, I stand corrected, sorry.


"Democrats try to block curbs on Wis. unions; File a barrage of amendments in Assembly" by Scott Bauer, Associated Press / February 23, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — While Wisconsin remained the main front in the national debate over union rights, similar battles were taking shape in other states. In Indiana, House Democrats walked out of the State House yesterday....

A similar debate in Ohio drew thousands of union protesters yesterday, prompting officials there to lock the doors to the State House.

In Wisconsin, if lawmakers take no action on the union bill by the end of the week, the state will not be able to refinance debt that Walker had counted on for $165 million worth of savings under the legislation.  


The governor warned that not doing that would force even deeper cuts and possibly lead to 1,500 layoffs by July....   

I'm tired of Chicken Little tactics.

The roar of protesters in the Capitol rotunda, many of whom were banging on drums and chanting through megaphones, could be heard while both the Senate and Assembly met....

Unlike last Thursday, when the Senate galleries were filled with protesters who disrupted action by shouting, only about a dozen people showed up under heavier security to watch the action yesterday.   

Behaving JUST LIKE the DICTATORSHIPS AmeriKa criticzes!


And the JIG is UP, guvna!!!

"Prank call fools Wis. governor; Walker discusses tactics with liberal online newspaper" by Ryan Foley, Associated Press / February 24, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — On a prank call that quickly spread across the Internet, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin was duped into discussing his strategy to cripple public employee unions, promising never to give in and joking that he would use a baseball bat in his office to go after political opponents.

Walker believed the caller was a conservative billionaire named David Koch, but it was actually the editor of a liberal online newspaper. The two talked for at least 20 minutes — a conversation in which the governor described several potential ways to pressure Democrats to return to the State House and revealed that his supporters had considered secretly planting people in pro-union protest crowds to stir up trouble 

Yeah, we call them AGENT PROVOCATEURS HERE!!

The call also showed Walker’s close relationship with two billionaire brothers who have poured millions of dollars into conservative causes, including Walker’s campaign last year.  

Thom Hartmann is always railing at them, and maybe he has a point.

Walker compared his stand to that taken by President Reagan when he fired the nation’s air-traffic controllers during a labor dispute in 1981.

“That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall and led to the fall of the Soviets,’’ Walker said on the recording.

He didn't really say that, did he?  If so, he is a nutcase!

The audio was posted by the Buffalo Beast, a left-leaning website based in Buffalo, N.Y., and quickly went viral....   

And here you are, dear reader.


Related: Governors around US plan tough budget cuts

Residents face $20b retiree health tab

Also see: The Massachusetts Model: Municipal Health Mess

Towns to Pay Health Tax For Public Servants

Memory Hole: Massachusetts' State Budget

Mass. State Budget: Screwing Cities and Towns 

Massachusetts Sales Tax Swindle 

Just wanted you to see where all the money is going here in Massachusetts.

Egypt Now an Enemy

I can tell by the subtle descriptions my Zionist War Daily ascribes to them:

"Sweeping change by Egypt’s military; Parliament dissolved amid quiet worries" by Anthony Shadid, New York Times / February 14, 2011

CAIRO — The Egyptian military consolidated its control yesterday over what it has called a democratic transition from nearly three decades of President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule, dissolving the country’s feeble Parliament, suspending the constitution, and calling for elections in six months in sweeping steps that echoed protesters’ demands.

The statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, read on television, effectively put Egypt under direct military authority, thrusting the country into territory uncharted since republican Egypt was founded in 1952.

Though enjoying popular support, the military must now cope with the formidable task of negotiating a postrevolutionary landscape still basking in the glow of Mubarak’s fall but beset by demands to ease Egyptians’ many hardships.

Since seizing power from Mubarak on Friday, the military has struck a reassuring note, responding in words and actions to the platform articulated by hundreds of thousands in Tahrir Square.  

There is your first clue.  

As I recall it the guy resigned.  The military didn't seize s***.  Reminds me of the never-ending distortion regarding Hamas and Gaza that keeps getting repeated by the Zionist press. 

Now there are those who will say they forced him out, blah, blah, blah; however, that is not the same as running him out of the place or putting him on a plane at gunpoint (unless that happened and we are not being told).  

The unspoken conclusion at the bottom of it all from the elite, mind-manipulating, agenda-pushing press is IF YOU SERVE the PEOPLE you have somehow SEIZED POWER! It really is an ENLIGHTENING INSIGHT into the WAY the POWER STRUCTURE THINKS!

But beyond more protests, there is almost no check on the sweep of military rule....  

And that "check" has done just fine so far.

While opposition leaders welcomed the moves, some have quietly raised worries about the future role of an institution that has been a pillar of the status quo in Egypt, playing a crucial behind-the-scenes role in preserving its vast business interests and political capital.

“Over the next six months, I am afraid the army will brainwash the people to think that the military is the best option,’’ said Dina Aboul Seoud, a 35-year-old protester, still in the square yesterday. “Now, I am afraid of what is going to happen next.’’

Yesterday brought scenes that juxtaposed a more familiar capital with a country forever changed by Mubarak’s fall. Hundreds of policemen, belonging to one of the most loathed institutions in Egypt, rallied in downtown Cairo to demand better pay and treatment. A short walk away, traffic returned to Tahrir Square, a symbol of the revolution, navigating through lingering protesters and festive and jubilant sightseers.

In a burst of civic duty, youthful volunteers swept streets, painted fences and curbs, washed away graffiti that read “Down with Mubarak,’’ and planted bushes in a square many want to turn into a memorial for one of the most stunning uprisings in Arab history....

Though hundreds, perhaps more, vowed to stay until more reforms were enacted, tents were dismantled, banners taken down, and trucks piled with blankets that kept protesters warm over the 18 days of demonstrations that began Jan. 25, the date organizers have given to their revolution....

Egypt’s defense minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, would represent the country at home and abroad. Protesters — and some classified US diplomatic cables — have dismissed Tantawi as a “poodle’’ of Mubarak’s.  


Then he has one thing going for him: Israel doesn't like him (but note that leak was not much publicized, not even now). 

But some senior US officers said he is a shrewd operator who played a significant role in managing Mubarak’s nonviolent ouster....

Other than Tantawi and Sami Anan, the army chief of staff, the military’s council remains opaque, with many in Egypt unable to identity anyone else on it. Omar Suleiman, the former vice president and once one of the most powerful men in Egypt, has not appeared since Friday....

With the police yet to return to the streets in force, the military has deployed across the city, seeking to manage protests that sprung up across Cairo yesterday. At banks, insurance companies, and even the Academy of Scientific Research, scores gathered to demand better pay, in a sign of the difficulties the military will face in meeting the expectations that have exponentially risen with the success of the uprising.  

Translation: It is a TRUE PEOPLE'S REVOLT!


And look what else we are losing, AmeriKan:

"Egypt’s spies are key US partners" by Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post / February 14, 2011

WASHINGTON — For decades, Egypt’s government has been a crucial partner for US intelligence  agencies, sharing information on extremist groups such as Al Qaeda and working hand-in-glove on counterterrorism operations. Now the future of that cooperation is in question.  

Yeah, weren't some of the 9/11 patsies Egyptian?

With the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, a staunch American ally, the contours of the US-Egyptian relationship may well be redrawn. Analysts say a more democratic Egyptian government will have to be responsive to a public that may oppose such special ties with Washington.

Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to gain influence if free and fair elections are held, analysts say. The Islamist group has renounced violence but is openly hostile to Israel and may call for more independence from US policies....   

I'm really tired of Israel's concerns dominating my newspaper, and it is their boorish behavior that has brought about such hostility.

Some US officials and analysts say they are not overly worried, noting the continued strong role of the Egyptian military and the fact that the United States gives Egypt more than $1.3 billion a year in military aid....   

These are the same guys that missed the revolution, right?

Egypt’s intelligence cooperation is extensive. Its security services have numerous sources in places where the US government doesn’t, like Gaza and Sudan, according to analysts.

And the Egyptians have built up a trove of information on Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups in the Middle East. The Egyptian General Intelligence Service, or EGIS, “has the reputation of being one of the best-informed intelligence agencies on Islamist fundamentalism and its international dimensions,’’ according to Jane’s intelligence information service....  

So they know it all traces back to the western intelligence services that created, funds, and directs them?

In addition to passing on intelligence, Egypt’s security services have worked closely on operations with their US counterparts, particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The cooperation went public with the revelations that U.S. officials secretly “rendered’’ terrorism suspects to countries such as Egypt for interrogation. Human rights groups have denounced the practice because of the notorious torture record of those nations’ security services.  

Yeah, but it was OKAY and is RARELY MENTIONED when it is OUR GUYS!

Yeah, we gonna lose out on a place to send innocent people to be tortured.


Related: Optimism over Egypt-Israel pact

Honestly, I get tired of my "newspaper" being a Jewish concern.

"Egypt’s military pleads for calm; Labor unrest replaces joy of leader’s ouster Talks underway with protesters" by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post / February 15, 2011

CAIRO — Egypt’s new military rulers tried to contain growing labor unrest yesterday and to reach out to youthful revolutionaries, as the formidable task of governing the politically unstable and impoverished country became apparent.  

Does that look like a friend to the stability-loving empire?

Police officers, ambulance drivers, bankers, journalists, and archeologists marched through the streets of Cairo in separate protests.  

Why don't they just say almost everyone?

Emboldened by a sudden burst of freedom that has flowered since President Hosni Mubarak’s departure on Friday, the demonstrators demanded higher wages and other benefits.  

And it's like potato chips: once you start eating them it's hard to stop.

“This is our ideal chance to make our voices heard,’’ said Ahmed Mahmoud, a manager at a state-owned bank. “You would never see these kind of protests before, not when we had a dictator.’’

The Supreme Military Council, which took power after Mubarak’s resignation, responded with a communique in which it urged Egyptians to go back to work, saying the stoppages were harming the country’s security and economy. The council imposed martial law on Sunday, and officials hinted that they would ban strikes if things did not improve....

Isn't that what the last guy did?

Meanwhile, rumors continued to swirl about the fate of Mubarak, who departed Cairo on Friday on a plane with his wife but has not been seen since.... 


Also see: Globe Editorial On Egypt, Obama played hand well, if not always steadily

Egypt’s military making quick moves toward democracy

Did they?

"Egyptian activists call for more transparency from military rulers" by Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press / February 17, 2011

CAIRO — Egypt’s new military rulers came under criticism yesterday from a leading democracy advocate as well as from youth and women’s groups for what they say is a failure to make decisions openly and include a larger segment of society.

Five days after ousting Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising, Egyptians continued protests and strikes over a host of grievances from paltry wages to toxic waste dumping. They defied the second warning in three days from the ruling Armed Forces Supreme Council to halt all labor unrest at a time when the economy is staggering....

Mubarak’s departure set off a chain reaction of revolt around the Middle East, with antigovernment demonstrations reported yesterday in Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, and Yemen.

Democracy advocate and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei called on the council to include civilians in a transitional presidential council to be entrusted with setting the course toward democracy.

The former head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency said in a statement that there is an absence of transparency in the way the military rulers are running the country’s affairs or making decisions that would affect the transitional period and the future of democracy in Egypt.

Meet the new boss?

“The short transitional period . . . threatens to throw the country back in the arms of the forces of the old regime,’’ he said. “To prolong the transitional period without popular participation threatens to throw it back in the arms of dictatorship.’’  

I imagine that would make Israel happy.

ElBaradei’s warning comes after the military rulers announced a new committee of legal specialists that would work to amend articles in the constitution to allow free elections later this year.

Critics voiced concern about the choice of those on the panel, saying the criteria for their selection was unclear.

More than 60 women’s and community groups condemned the panel, saying it is an all-male group that “excludes half of society.’’

“This casts doubt on the future of democratic transformation in Egypt after the revolution, and raises questions about . . . whether the revolution was seeking to free the whole society or only certain segments,’’ they said.


"Workers at Suez Canal go on strike; Join labor protests in Egypt for better wages, conditions" by Anthony Shadid, New York Times / February 18, 2011

CAIRO — Hundreds of workers went on strike yesterday along the Suez Canal, one of the world’s strategic waterways, joining others across Egypt pressing demands for better wages and conditions. The protests have sent the economy reeling and defied the military’s attempt to restore a veneer of the ordinary after President Hosni Mubarak’s fall last week.

The labor unrest this week at textile mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical industries, the Cairo airport, the transportation sector, and banks has emerged as one of the most powerful dynamics in a country navigating the military-led transition that followed an 18-day popular uprising and the end of Mubarak’s three decades of rule.

Banks reopened last week but amid a wave of protests over salaries and management abuses promptly shut again this week. The opening of schools was delayed another week, and a date has yet to be set for opening the stock market, which some fear may plummet over the economic reverberations and anxiety about the political transition.

The military has repeatedly urged workers to end their strikes, to no avail....

For days the military leadership has sought to steer a country in the throes of a political transition that could remake Egypt more dramatically than at any time since the overthrown monarchy win 1952....

Egypt’s revolution was, in some ways, remarkable for the consensus over its demands, primarily the end to Mubarak’s authoritarian rule, with disparate ideologies subsumed in the narrative of a popular uprising. But....  

I'm sorry, there is NO BUT ABOUT IT!!

The striking workers at the Suez Canal Authority said their protests in the three major canal cities — Suez, Port Said, and Ismailiya — would not interfere with the operations of the canal, which links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. One of the world’s busiest waterways, the canal serves as one of Egypt’s primary sources of revenue and a major transit route for global shipping and oil.  

And if it shuts down USrael is going to invade the place.

Other strikes were reported at textile plants in the coastal city of Damietta and a pharmaceutical factory in Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city. Taken together they number in the tens of thousands of workers in one of Egypt’s most pronounced episodes of labor unrest.


"Huge victory celebration in Cairo marked by calls for further change; Military issues strongest call for end to labor strike" by Ben Hubbard, Associated Press / February 19, 2011

CAIRO — Egyptians thronged again to Tahrir Square yesterday, one week after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, in a sun-splashed victory celebration of dancing, singing, and flag-waving — but also serious resolve to pressure the country’s military rulers to implement changes.

The military allowed — even encouraged — the celebrations. But it gave its strongest warning yet against a wave of labor strikes that erupted in parallel with the massive antigovernment protests and have hit Egypt’s economy hard over the past week. In a statement, the military said it would no longer allow “illegal’’ demonstrations that stop production.

The crowd in downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square appeared to spiral well beyond the quarter-million that massed for the biggest of the anti-Mubarak protests. The rally was called to press demands on the military to take greater action to remove regime figures who still hold considerable power.

But for many, it was as much a nationalist festival of what has been accomplished as a rally to demand more.  

I'm happy for the Egyptian people.

Under brilliant sunshine, giant Egyptian flags were unfurled, and people sought the shade beneath the black, white, and red fabric. Parents painted their children’s faces with the national colors. Vendors hawked T-shirts praising the “Jan. 25 revolution,’’ a reference to the date protests began in the square.

Protest leaders told the gathering that rallies must go on until the military rulers meet their demands....

Meanwhile, Switzerland has frozen tens of millions of francs belonging to leading figures in Egypt’s former regime, officials said yesterday.

The government last week said only that it froze “any possible assets’’ in the country belonging to Mubarak, his wife, their two sons, and their wives, Mubarak’s brother-in-law, and five senior politicians belonging to the ousted leader’s NDP party.

At the time the government insisted there was no confirmation such assets actually existed, even though they have been widely reported.

They are going to let the Mubaraks steal the money? 

Related: Egypt seeks to freeze Mubarak family’s foreign assets 

Late yesterday, the Foreign Ministry specified that “several dozens of millions of francs belonging to persons mentioned in last Friday’s government order have been blocked.’’ It had no further comment.

In Egypt, protest organizers have called for weekly protests every Friday, and their ability to keep them going will be a major test of how much they can influence the army.

Prominent cleric Sheik Youssef el-Qaradawi, who is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, led the crowd in prayers, proclaiming, “The revolution is not over, until we have a new Egypt.’’

Qaradawi’s appearance in Cairo’s main square marked a dramatic return for the influential cleric, who has mostly lived abroad for decades after being jailed for his antigovernment stances. During the protests, he used his weekly television show on Al Jazeera to urge Egyptians to join. In the square yesterday, he hailed the young protest activists — from a range of ideologies — saying, “They knew that the revolution would win in the end.’’  



So what tools can the empire apply to Egypt's new leaders?

"UN leader garners reelection support as he gets tough with Egypt" by Bill Varner, Bloomberg News / February 20, 2011

UNITED NATIONS — The United States pushed for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s election in 2006 after clashing with his predecessor, Kofi Annan, who said the 2003 invasion of Iraq was illegal.  

Yeah, the truth hurts.

Ban’s mandate was to improve the world body’s management following reports of waste and fraud in the purchase of supplies for peacekeeping missions and evidence that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was allowed to skim $13 billion from a UN-administered “oil-for-food’’ aid program. 

U.S. knew all about it but let it pass because oil was destined for allies.  


Five years later, Ban says the United Nations is a more efficient and accountable organization. His top aides say his leadership has saved the lives of millions of people in Haiti, Myanmar, Sudan, and other countries in crisis.  

This self-promoting propaganda posing as news sucks.

Envoys such as Portugal’s ambassador Jose Morales Cabral say Ban has won the respect of the diplomatic community through a combination of discretion and a work ethic that has him routinely calling world leaders from his residence in Manhattan by 6 a.m.

Ban won’t discuss the details of such calls. “There are some issues that need to be handled more privately,’’ he said.

Ban’s deputies, including Assistant Secretary-General Robert Orr, a former US official, say these below-the-radar methods have been effective.


"In Egypt, women voice hope for boost in status; Tahrir Square cooperation is seen as pivotal" by Kathy Lally, Washington Post / February 21, 2011 

Egyptian women gathered Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. During the demonstrations, men and women stood side by side. 
Egyptian women gathered Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. During the demonstrations, men and women stood side by side. (Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO — Women think as differently as they dress here, but they have emerged from the barricades agreeing on one thing: This is their moment in history, and they cannot afford to lose it.

During 18 days of demonstrating for freedom and democracy, Egyptian men and women walked into Tahrir Square separate and unequal, divided by gender as they passed through checkpoints. Men were scrutinized by men, and women were searched by other women. There were several lines of men for every one for the fewer numbers of women.

But beyond the checkpoints, distinctions vanished and they stood side by side, defying the police, challenging the government, one and the same before the thugs throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. Women died next to men and did not falter, steadfast for freedom and democracy.

Now, as they leave the square behind them, they want to use the strength they revealed to address longstanding inequities, to make sure women have the equality in day-to-day life that they earned in Tahrir Square.

“It was amazing to see men and women together when we took to the streets,’’ said Marwa Faroak, a political activist. “A lot of people were saying Tahrir Square was the future of Egypt, men and women equal, fighting for freedom. And now we have to translate this into action and change.’’

Soha Abdelaty, deputy director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said Egyptians are building a new country, and women must be at the forefront so they can be effective advocates for their interests. She is optimistic but not yet ready to predict that women will indeed achieve more rights.

“There’s a long way to go,’’ she said.

Women are better off in Egypt than some parts of the Arab world. There are no religious police enforcing dress codes as in Iran, or prohibitions against driving as in Saudi Arabia.

But Egyptian women are greatly underrepresented in public life and inferior to men before the law. They hold Cabinet posts but no judgeships. They are members of Parliament but have few seats. They occupy many professions but not all.

Divorces are difficult to obtain and favor men, as do property rights. Women are encouraged to marry and have children early. The legal age of marriage was only recently raised from 16 to 18.

And, every day as they walk down the street, they are reminded of their low status. Egyptian women are sexually harassed to an astonishing degree; no law forbids behavior such as groping and ogling.

Yup, Egypt is definitely an enemy when the women card is played by the agenda-pushing, war-promoting media!

In a 2008 survey, the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights in Cairo found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women had been harassed at some point.

Though the American television reporter Lara Logan was beaten and sexually assaulted as pro-Mubarak forces whipped up anti-American and antijournalist frenzy in Tahrir Square, that attack was the brutal exception during the protests.

Related: Lara Logan WAS NOT Raped (Learn to Read) 

I wish the AmeriKan media would learn how to report facts.

Egyptian women who were in the square said they were treated with a tolerance they hardly expected. Woman after woman marveled at that....


"3 Mubarak allies keep posts in Egypt" by Associated Press / February 23, 2011

CAIRO —The decision to keep Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and Justice Minister Mamdouh Marie — three former Mubarak loyalists — in their posts drew criticism from youth activists who helped launch the uprising on Jan. 25.

Mohammed Abbas, a member of the Egypt Youth Coalition, described the changes as “patchwork.’’ He called for swift, comprehensive changes. He said the youth groups hope to draw one million to a rally on Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the center of the uprising, and will urge them to stay overnight.

“We have to keep the pressure until all our demands are met,’’ Abbas said.

The new Cabinet includes independents and members of opposition parties for the first time in decades, pushing out the longtime ministers of oil, social justice, and labor.

And why the cut?

The new cabinet also included two Coptic Christians, including an ex-lawmaker.  

Related: Cryptic Attack on Coptic Church

It's why I am no longer buying the Zionist line of Christian-Muslim conflict.


Also see: Ailing EgyptAir offers to lease jets