January 2011 archive

On The View From Egypt, Part Six, Or, Let’s Review Where We Are

We’re a week into the Egyptian uprising now, and it’s time to reassess what has taken place so far and what might come next.

We know a few things, and we don’t know a lot-and from what we can tell, the folks on the ground are also not sure what might happen. That said, we do know enough to begin to figure out the right questions to be asking.

As was true Friday, things are moving fast, so let’s jump right in.

Reporting the Revolution: An Interview with Mohamed ElBaradei with Up Dates: 1730 hrs EST

vardenafil senza ricetta Lazio Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is a http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=guaranteed-cheapest-viagra Live Blog and will be updated as the news is available. You can follow the latest reports from AL Jazeera English and though Mishima’s live blog, our news editor.

The Guardian has a Live Blog that refreshes automatically every minute.

FireDogLake now has a direct link to all their coverage

This is the seventh day of protests in Egypt against the repressive Mubarak government. The police have returned to the streets after having been absent for three days leaving only a military presence that did little to stop the protesters.

Excellent interview from Fareed Zakaria GPS. Fareed’s entire program on CNN was devoted to the situation in Egypt.

(I will post the transcript as soon as it is available)

It’s now late evening, in Egypt. Al Jazeera’s live blog reports that many protesters slept in the streets and in Tahrir Square, some shared their food with the soldiers.

This first hand account by Sharif Kouddous, a journalist and senior producer with Democracy Now! who lives in Egypt, was posted at The Nation and Democracy Now!:

Live From Egypt: The Rebellion Grows Stronger

January 30, Cairo, Egypt-In the second day of defiance of a military curfew, more than 150,000 protesters packed into Tahrir Square Sunday to call on President Hosni Mubarak to step down. The mood was celebratory and victorious. For most, it was not a question of if, but when, Mubarak would leave.

Military tanks have been stationed at entrance points around the square with soldiers forming barricades across streets and alleyways. In another departure from ordinary Cairo life, people quickly formed orderly queues to get through the army checkpoints. Soldiers frisked people and checked their identification cards. One soldier said they were making sure no one with police or state security credentials could enter.

Reports are widespread that many of the looters in Cairo are, in fact, remnants of the police and state security forces that were forced into a full retreat during Friday’s mass street revolt. In addition, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of prisoners were released from prisons in Fayyoum and Tora. Many believe it’s all part of an organized campaign by the regime to create lawlessness in the city in a last gasp attempt to maintain its grip on power. The headline of Al-Masry Al-Youm today blared: “Conspiracy by Interior Ministry to Foment Chaos.”

Just when you need a laugh category: Somebody at Fox News failed Geography.

Photobucket

Sunday Train: Quiet Progress Edition Two ~ Sustainable Power and Feed-in Tariffs

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-prezzo-a-Roma Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

It’s one thing to call for a Nationwide Network of Electric Rapid Freight Rail Tollways, to take freight damage off the Interstate Network, or for its compelling national security and emergency preparedness reasons.



But the argument regarding its sustainability is that it provides modest reductions in carbon emissions on the back of dirty electricity, and massive reductions in carbon emissions on the back of clean, sustainable electricity. So the climate impact gains massive leverage if at the same time we are pursuing sustainable carbon free and carbon neutral power.

And so today’s Sunday Train is on a quiet piece of good news on that front ~ good news that allows states that wish to pursue green jobs to do so without the Grossly Oil-addicted Party in the House of Representatives being able to get in the way.

Imbolc: First Light in the Dark of Winter

Although you’d never know it if you looked out your window here in the Northeast and throughout a good part of the northern hemisphere, we are nearing the midpoint between winter solstice and the vernal equinox. The Sun is noticeably rising earlier and setting later. It is a pleasure to take my early morning shower in daylight and start dinner preparation with daylight still illuminating the kitchen. There are seed catalogs arriving in the mail which has me contemplating the flower beds, the herb garden and maybe this year some vegetables.

In the traditions of Pagan and Wiccan religions, we celebrate this changing season as Imbolc, or Candlemas, which begins on January 31st, February Eve, and ends on February 2nd, a time of rebirth and healing. Imbolc is one of the eight Wiccan Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year, one of the four cross-quarter fire festivals. Brighid, the patroness of poetry and healing, is the Pagan Goddess associated with Imbolc.

Some of the traditions are the lighting of fires, decorating with red and white symbolizing the snow and the rising sun and green for new growth. Candles are lit in all the rooms of the house. Fires places and hearths are cleaned out of ashes and fires are lit. Since there is still snow drifts in my backyard, the fireplace will be just fine.

The symbols are ewes and lambs since Imbolc is derived from a Celtic word, “oimelc”, meaning ewe’s milk. Many of the foods that are serves are lamb, cheese, poppyseed muffins, cakes and breads. Dishes are seasoned with bay leaves and dried basil.

In rural places where farming is still a way of life, ploughs are decorated with flowers and then doused with whiskey. I know most of us have better things to do with whiskey. Sometimes the plough is dragged from door to door by costumed children asking for food and money, a kind of wintry “trick or treat”. Some traditional gifts, if your going to a friends house to celebrate, are garden tools, seeds and bulbs.

The Maiden is also honored as the “Bride” on this Sabbat. Straw corn dollies are created from oat or wheat straw and placed in baskets with white flower bedding. The older women make special acorn wands for the dollies to hold. The wands are sometimes burned in the fireplace and in the morning, the ashes in the hearth are examined to see if the magic wands left marks as a good omen. A new corn broom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new.

Non-Pagans celebrate February 2nd as Ground Hog’s Day, a day to predict the coming weather, telling us that if the Groundhog sees his shadow, there will be ‘six more weeks’ of bad weather. It actually has ancient roots, weather divination was common to Imbolc, and the weather of early February was long held to be a harbinger of spring. On Imbolc, the crone Cailleach‘s grip of winter begins to loosen. She goes forth in search of kindling so that she may keep her fires burning and extend the winter a little longer. If Imbolc is rainy and cloudy, she will find nothing but twigs unsuitable for burning and will be unable to prolong the winter. If the day is dry and kindling is abundant, she will have plenty of fuel to feed her fire and prolong the cold of winter. Spring will be very far away. As an old British rhyme tells us that, “If Candlemas Day be bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.”

Whatever you celebrate or believe, let us all hope that that the local groundhog doesn’t see his shadow and there is only one winter this year. I have nowhere else to pile the snow.

Blessed Be.

Egypt’s Struggle is also Our Own

I have watched the violence and the revolt in Egypt with a heavy heart.  On one hand, I am overjoyed to see a people long held in shackles struggling to attain freedom.  I hope this sentiment will someday encircle the world, so that, as it is written, the wolf and the lamb will live together.   As a pacifist, however, it causes me much distress to see police out in the street, blazes set alight, and the familiar signs of overheated passion.  In observing everything from a distance of thousands of miles, I am forced to confront my own beliefs.  It may be that physical force alone can bring needed reform and change.  But, as others far wiser than I have noted, war and warlike impulses are easy, but peaceful solutions are difficult.

Some Findings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Wall Street Appears To Have Violated Federal Securities Law, Crisis Panel Finds

Shaihien Nasiripour, The Huffington Post

01/27/11 10:28 PM

Wall Street firms that sold mortgage-backed securities appear to have violated federal securities laws by misleading investors on the quality of the underlying mortgages, a bipartisan panel created by Congress to investigate the root causes of the financial crisis concluded.



In September, the crisis commission heard testimony from Keith Johnson, former president of Clayton Holdings, one of the nation’s biggest mortgage research companies. Johnson testified that some 28 percent of the loans given to homeowners with poor credit examined by his firm on behalf of Wall Street banks failed to meet basic standards. Yet nearly half appear to have been sold to investors regardless, he added.

Last April, the commission heard from Richard Bowen, a whistleblower and former chief underwriter for Citigroup’s consumer-lending unit. Bowen told the panel that in the middle of 2006, he discovered more than 60 percent of the mortgages the bank had purchased from other firms and then sold to investors were “defective,” meaning they did not satisfy the bank’s own lending criteria. On November 3, 2007, Bowen sent an e-mail to top Citi officials, including Robert Rubin, a former Treasury Secretary. Bowen’s warnings appear to have been ignored.

In Panel’s Report, Stern Warning on Repeating Financial Crisis

By SEWELL CHAN, The New York Times

Published: January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON – Behind closed doors, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, called it “the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression.”

He said that 12 of the country’s 13 most important financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, had been on the verge of collapse “within a week or two.” (The apparent exception: JPMorgan Chase.)



Enabling those developments, the panel found, were a bias toward deregulation by government officials, and mismanagement by financiers who failed to perceive the risks.

Goldman Sachs Got Billions From AIG For Its Own Account, Crisis Panel Finds

Shaihien Nasiripour, The Huffington Post

01/26/11 10:23 PM

Goldman Sachs collected $2.9 billion from the American International Group as payout on a speculative trade it placed for the benefit of its own account, receiving the bulk of those funds after AIG received an enormous taxpayer rescue, according to the final report of an investigative panel appointed by Congress.

The fact that a significant slice of the proceeds secured by Goldman through the AIG bailout landed in its own account–as opposed to those of its clients or business partners– has not been previously disclosed. These details about the workings of the controversial AIG bailout, which eventually swelled to $182 billion, are among the more eye-catching revelations in the report to be released Thursday by the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.



At a hearing on July 1, 2010–two weeks before Goldman sent the e-mail acknowledging how $2.9 billion in AIG funds wound up in its own account–the crisis panel questioned Goldman’s chief financial officer, David A. Viniar and managing director David Lehman. Both said they knew nothing about AIG funds landing in the bank’s private coffers, according to a transcript of the hearing.

The report concludes that Goldman collected the $2.9 billion as payment for so-called proprietary trades made for its own account–essentially successful bets on large pools of financial instruments.

Six In The Morning

Dictators Only Leave Through Force They Don’t Understand Peaceful Transition    



Opposition Rallies to ElBaradei as Military Reinforces in Cairo

Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood and the secular opposition banded together Sunday around a prominent government critic to negotiate for forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, as the army struggled to hold a capital seized by fears of chaos and buoyed by euphoria that three decades of Mr. Mubarak’s rule may be coming to an end.

The announcement that the critic, Mohamed ElBaradei, would represent a loosely unified opposition reconfigured the struggle between Mr. Mubarak’s government and a six-day-old uprising bent on driving him and his party from power.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove.

–Mark Twain



Fuzzy 3

Late Night Karaoke

Pique the Geek 20110130. The Things that we Eat. Oysters

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=cialis-samples Oysters are an interesting part of the viagra generico 100 mg miglior prezzo pagamento online a Venezia Mollusc tribe.  They are follow bivalves, meaning that they have two half shells, which are jointed together on one edge and can open and close as the animal desires, or more properly, is instinctively demanded to do.

Unlike their cousins, acquistare levitra online generico clams, oysters are from infancy pretty much fastened onto some sort of support, so they do not move.  Clams are sort of solitary, and like to dig into sandy beaches.  Another relative, the http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=buy-generic-propecia scallop, is so free to move that jet propulsion is the norm for them!

Let us examine some of the natural history of these interesting (and often delicious) animals.  We will point out that http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=comprare-levitra-senza-ricetta-Piemonte edible oysters are quite different from the prednisone 10 mg picture 50 93 pearl oysters.

Four Haiku For Egypt

Defy the curfew,

Demand real democracy.

I support your dream.

Solidarity,

Non-violence will prevail.

I stand with Egypt.

Do not be afraid,

I can still hear your voices.

I link arms with you.

May you soon be free.

May your children enjoy peace.

May your courage persist.

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Paul Jay: Two Scenarios for the People and the Army in Egypt: Interview with Mohammed Ezzeldin

Paul Jay of The Real News Network talks with Egyptian Activist Mohammed Ezzeldin, a graduate of Cairo University (B.A. in political science). Ezzeldin is studying for his master’s degree in history at Georgetown University.  This video was released by The Real News on 29 January 2011.  The text below the video is an edited partial transcript of the interview.



Real News Network – January 29, 2011

The Egyptian Army And The Uprising

Mohammed Ezzeldin: The Egyptian people trust the army over the police,

but Mubarak is still commander-in-chief

Mohammed Ezzeldin: We have two main scenarios now regarding the relation between the people and the army.  We have the Tunisian scenario.  There’s a division in the ruling elites, there is division in the regime, so the army will be neutral: the tanks and soldiers and officers in the streets, they are just maintaining the security of the people, they are securing the people from any brutality practiced by the police.  This is the first scenario, the Tunisian scenario.  The second scenario, which happened in Iran in [1978-]1979: when the Shah started to give orders to the army to involve themselves, to suppress demonstration against the Shah, and asked them to shoot the demonstrators, they did so.  But after a while there was a huge division and severe division inside the army.  And this moment, actually, it’s a turning point in any dictatorship when the army supporting the dictator or supporting the one ruling party suffers from a division.  We don’t know, we don’t have clear information about what’s going on in Egypt, how the events in coming days are going to unfold.  The chief of staff of the Egyptian army was here on a visit to the United States just one day before the demonstrations broke out.  And it seems, for many commentators and many people who analyze the situation, that there’s a sort of behind-the-scene negotiations between the Pentagon and the Egyptian army or the Egyptian ministry of defense.  One of the newspapers yesterday just published a piece of news about this, about these bilateral talks, because these people are very crucial and very cautious about what’s going to happen, because many people in Egypt, or the majority of the Egyptian people, understand that the army, having millions of dollars every year as an aid –.

Paul Jay: Yeah, we think it’s $1.3 billion of American aid, although do we know if that’s all goes to the military?  Or does some of that go to the police?

Mohammed Ezzeldin: Most of them go to the military, I guess.  But, you know, the budget of the military and the budget of the police are not discussed, and they are not publicly published or even discussed in the Parliament.  So I don’t have clear information about it.  But what I’m sure about: that these bilateral talks actually are going to ensure one thing that the United States and the Pentagon and the White House, of course, are interested in, which is the security of Israel.  The indecisive situations and positions taken by Hillary Clinton and President Obama in the last two days actually shows one thing, one clear thing, to be frank: that the United States is not interested in any democracy or grassroots democracy or program of democracy in Egypt.  Their main concern is the security of Israel — and other things, but this is their main concern, okay?

Paul Jay: The Egyptian army, given that it gets $1.3 billion a year — that’s a lot of money and it buys you a lot of generals — the Pentagon must have a lot of influence inside the Egyptian army.

Mohammed Ezzeldin: I don’t know, but maybe.  We can expect a lot of things.  But what actually was clear today from Mubarak’s speech: he’s completely consolidated and supported by the army.

Paul Jay: He didn’t look like someone afraid that he might have to get on a plane.

Mohammed Ezzeldin: Yeah, he was completely confident and completely unaffected and disconnected from reality.  What happened actually made many people feel in the streets that the army . . . might play a role in suppressing Egypt’s road to democratization.

Paul Jay: And if they do that, it’s hard to believe they would do that without some kind of green light from the Pentagon here in Washington.

Mohammed Ezzeldin: I guess so.  I believe so.

Load more