Tunisia, Egypt and Rahm

Tunisia: We’ll still have to wait and see how this turns out. So far I haven’t seen any radical proposals. With the interim administration removing a number of the prior administrations cabinets and promise of new elections within six months it’s possible that this won’t go too terrible bad. That of course is being very optimistic. We’ll have to see about the call for the head of the police to step down and how that’s handled.

So far we have not seen American or Israeli flags being burnt. This would be the standard site for most regime changes in the area. This is an encouraging sign.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has called for tyrants friendly to the US to be overthrown. This is certainly something to watch.

Egypt: The protest in Egypt is a little different in both the solution and reasons. Mubarak’s regime has probably contributed to the growth of radical Muslims as any, not by way of support but through harsh repression of the citizenry. For the US Mubarak has been a strong ally and it’s honestly more complicated for the administration. The US has been sending oodles of money to him for way too many years.

The police which have had a very harsh history in their dealing with opposition forces in Egypt have been pulled from the streets while the Army has taken their place. The good news in this is that the Army is generally more accepted by the public. But if they are forced to crack down that could change.

The appointment of a Vice President won’t quell the anger.  President Mubarak appointed the Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman as the Vice President in order to calm the protesters.  This is the first Vice President in the entire Mubarak’s thirty year reign.  I doubt this will quiet the protesters.  It will be seen as a simple move to appear as change but hasn’t’ changed a thing. 

Recent reports of criminals being freed is of great concern. Many of these are radical militants. The looting has increases with a number of conspiracy theories being floated. One is that the government purposely released some. I wouldn’t bet on that. It would seem counter-productive in trying to calm things down.

The Obama administration seems to have been surprised by this event as evidence by conflicting statements. The initial statements seem to support President Mubarak while the current statements concentrate more on the change to a democracy and supporting the ideas of the protestors.

Egypt has been a very important ally in this region and the outcome of this event could have a large effect on the region and it’s general stability.

Rahm Emmanuel: I’m not sure that serving in the government is National Service. For a senator who resides part-time in Washington I can see how they retain their residency but for an advisor to the President who moves to DC? Seems like any other government job. Do civil servants get to maintain their residency? I don’t think so. But then I haven’t really looked into it that much. It probably doesn’t matter that much as the politics of Chicago appears so corrupt that this would be a small matter. But if the rules are skirted once more it certainly hurts the rule of law.

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Rep. Moran: Dems Lost Because Many ‘Don’t Want to Be Governed by an African-American’

Really? Are you out of your MIND? Are you that out of touch with your constituency? Please keep saying and believing these things! At least for the next two years. Moran? You must mean MORON!
Many ‘Don’t want to be governed by a ________(fill in the blank)
communist
socialist
incompetent
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP UP THIS RHETORIC!!
The majority voted in a black man for gosh sake! They believed in what he was selling. They couldn’t care less about his skin color. The super minority that cares about that don’t make up enough to sway an election. What an ass…….

Friday input needed.

It’s been a bit busy for me so posts are slow right now and yet there are lots of things going on in the world that are worth commenting on. This weekend I hope to make some of those comments. But as its Friday I’m just going to through some items out there and anyone who may want to put their two cents in are welcome.

Subject 1: Upheaval in Tunisia, protest in Egypt, and Yemen, good or bad? Is Democracy on the rise or a much more sinister event?

Subject 2: Rahm Emmanuel is back on the ballot in Chicago. Should working for a Presidential administration be considered National Service as the military is?

Subject 3: Could the continued Ethanol production seriously affect food supplies and prices?

Just some items I’m thinking about.

At days end

Got home today and felt pretty good but a little cold.  So I got some food warmed up and made a small drink then put on some Marshall Tucker (“Cant you see”) and all is well.  For a while anyway. Winking smile

Update: George Thorogood “I drink alone”….

“Fire on the mountain”

Elton, are you even a citizen?

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Sir Elton John is "fed up" with being a treated like a "second-class citizen" in the U.S. That’s why the 63-year-old gay singer said he took a stand last week during a performance at a private Beverly Hills fundraiser for the ongoing legal challenge to California’s gay marriage ban.

Elton_John

Um, aren’t you a British citizen?  So as much as I like your music and I do.  STFU….

Look Elton is treated like royalty by everyone.  The idea he would complain about Gay marriage in America is fine but he shouldn’t act as if he’s not treated well here. 

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Private SPY? Maybe more effective too

The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.

Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.

If your interested in the spy world it’s a pretty interesting article.  If you interested in what we are doing or not doing in Afghanistan it’s even more interesting. 

I personally don’t know the guy but seems like some things he’s doing are more effective.  But then take the bureaucracy out of the mix and lots of things can get done.

Read the whole article.

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Hanoi Hilton

I couldn’t sleep last night. I got up at 4:30 and channel surfed a little until I came upon the “Hanoi Hilton”. I remember reading the book years ago. It upset me then and the movie really upset me now. It wasn’t particularly well done, but it got the message across. The scenes with Jane Fonda were particularly upsetting. We tend to have short memories here in the U.S. because our lives are so good. This movie was another reminder of that disgraceful act of hers. It also made me realize that Hollywood hasn’t changed one iota since then. Well maybe it has. At least back then there was a handful of actors (including her dad) that would speak out publicly about such bahavior. We put these shallow out of touch people on a pedestal. For what? They have a talent for memorizing lines and maybe they are good looking. There are so many everyday people that we should be holding up as examples of good. We have a lot of military funerals here in Colorado Springs. Most of them are for soldiers that didn’t do anything particularly heroic, but they put the uniform on, raised their hand and went where ordered. Next time you see a serviceman, thank him. Help out that single mom. Put a buck in the boot next time you see a fireman on a median. These are the real heroes in our society.
Chili out.

Aging Gracefully

Jb and I have known and worked with each other for quite a few years. As somewhat older soldiers, we have always worried about staying in shape. When you’re surrounded by 20 somethings and you’re pushing the 40 something envelope like we are you worry about such things.
I took a physical fitness test the other day. I maxed my push ups, maxed my sit-ups and well maybe didn’t exactly max my run, but still passed. I immediately vowed to start working on my cardio.
Wait a minute! I’m going to be 50 years old for heavens sake! I look around me at my civilian peers and what do I see. I can tell you I can see my toes, which is more than my peers can do for the most part. I can do everything I wish to in life physically. Do I do it as fast? Nope, not even close. I watch my dad at 75 still playing in two softball leagues, bowling three nights a week, and I can think of no better reason to keep keepin on. I want to be the one to teach my grandkids to ski, not look at pictures or videos of the event. Age Gracefully? Screw that. I rather go by: I will not go softly into the night. Neither should you. Stay hard.
Chili Out.