Mubarak Speech Commentary

I think Mubarak’s speech is going to be like throwing oil on a fire when he makes statements like this:

“I have asked the government to resign and I will appoint a new government tomorrow.”

Apparently that is Mubarak’s idea of democracy. He remains in power and everyone else comes and goes according to his whim.
(Yes I know they have a parliamentary system that works differently, but the implication is still the same.) But then he thinks cutting off communications is ensuring freedom and silencing protesters is protecting speech. And people in the US (namely ignorant politicans like Biden) wonder why so many Egyptians hate this guy? Simple. He is clueless to the needs and aspirations of Egyptians. I suspect his speech is only going to further incite the people against him for treating them like idiots. He sounded deluded and arrogant to me in the translation, so I imagine it played out even worse in Arabic.

Egyptian Protests

The Associated Press: The day part of the Internet died: Egypt goes dark

Egypt has apparently done what many technologists thought was unthinkable for any country with a major Internet economy: It unplugged itself entirely from the Internet to try and silence dissent.

Experts say it’s unlikely that what’s happened in Egypt could happen in the United States because the U.S. has numerous Internet providers and ways of connecting to the Internet. Coordinating a simultaneous shutdown would be a massive undertaking.

It must be remembered that Egypt isn’t a true democracy. Under Mubarak it went from a mostly “benevolent dictatorship” (as much as I hate the term) to outright autocratic dictatorship. History has shown what happens when governments cut off its citizen’s ability to communicate: violence is often inflicted upon the citizenry by the ruling elite in an attempt to remain in power. Some succeed, some don’t.

I’m hoping tomorrow will not be one of violence, but I suspect it might be given the Mubarak regime’s desperation to stay in power by blaming Muslim fundamentalists instead of addressing the social conditions and economic issues that have festered over the decades into the anger on the streets we now see in Egypt.

Joe’s Foot In Mouth Disease, Part 1,275 (International edition)

Way to embarrass American citizens Joe.

Joe Biden says Egypt’s Mubarak no dictator, he shouldn’t step down… –

Asked if he would characterize Mubarak as a dictator Biden responded: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

Biden, like most US politicians, conveniently ignores the wishes of the people of Egypt giving lip service to supporting human rights and freedom. He is completely ignorant of the situation there, ignorance that could be easily fixed if he bothered to sit for five minutes on the internet to read of the deplorable social, political, and economic conditions in Egypt along with the notorious abuses of the regime against its own citizens in the name of security.

I’ve no illusions that the US government is duplicitous when it comes to being pro-democracy, but I think most Americans are fed up with that duplicity and the arrogance with which that duplicity is blithely explained away.

As an aside, I was glad to see Sandmonkey was back on the web, actively posting on Twitter the events occurring in Cairo before the blackout went into place.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

State of the Union 2011

I admit to not watching the SOTU address largely because I expected it to be more of the same old, same old as evidenced by the ritual leftist pre-speech bashing of the GOP and the Tea Party that went on for at least two days prior. Reading excerpts of the speech it sounds like it went about as I expected. Lots of expectation and wants but little concrete direction while still largely avoiding the biggest problem in America: unemployment. After all, we’ve heard promises before about ending pork spending and investing in infrastructure from this President before. None have happened with Democrats controlling the Legislature, why should the GOP or Tea Party supporters give the President a pass now given he and his party’s vicious attacks on those who disagree with them for the past two years?

Newbits: Eqypt Protests, Taco Bell “Beef”

Protesters clash with riot police in Egypt

Egyptian police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets and beat protesters to clear thousands of people from a central Cairo square after the biggest demonstrations in years against President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule.

Curiously silent on the MSM’s part about events in Cairo. I suppose I can forgive them since their focused on the State of the Union address by Obama. Given the ongoing problems in Egypt and recent unrest in Tunisia it isn’t really that surprising that something had to happen in Egypt. The poor economy, increasing sectarian violence against Copts, and Mubarak’s own repressive government ensured an upheaval such as this.

CBC News – World – Taco Bell sued for ‘beef’ claims

Lawyer Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell’s “meat mixture” tested and found it contained less that 35 per cent beef.

If true, eewwww!! Glad I avoid it like the plague now. Used to eat there about a decade ago before deciding the food had gone nasty. But then it’s called “Toxic Hell” for a reason by most people I know.

Thoughts on 112th Congress

Just some thoughts I had on what I’d like the 112th Congress to do and/or accomplish.

  1. Repeal Obamacare. I know that repealing Obama’s health care law has as much chance as a snowball in hell but I’d still like to see it happen. If not repealing then I’d at least like to see some of the following changes made to it:
    • Removal of individual mandate on the grounds that the government has no authority to force citizens to buy a product that is otherwise optional.
    • Remove the 1% penalty tax for those without insurance coverage. This penalty rises to 2.5% in 2016.
    • Removal of dependents being able to stay on parents’ insurance until 26th birthday. I believe it is obvious that a normal 26 year old should be able to support themselves and pay for their own insurance and stop leeching off their parents.
    • Remove 10% tax on indoor tanning services. This is blatantly a simple unfairly targeted business tax.
    • Allow flexible spending accounts, health care reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts to be used to pay for over the counter drugs.
    • Eliminate the costly, time and money consuming provision requiring business to file 1099 for payments over $600, adding further costs to business operations.
    • Remove 0.5% additional tax on earners making more than $200,000 ($250,000 for families) a year.
    • Remove the clauses cutting Medicare Advantage.
    • Eliminate the required caloric content on restaurant businesses and food vendors.
    • Eliminate the exemptions from the law that all members of the Federal government (from Federal union workers to congressmen to the President) will have. In other words, the elitists would have to live the like rest of the people with respect to this law.
    • Eliminate the excise tax on pharmaceutical companies as the tax will simply be passed on to the tax payers via highers costs.
    • Eliminate 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. Again an egregious burden placed on those who often can least afford it.
    • Eliminate the excise tax on insurance companies. The tax will simply be placed on citizens who will pay the brunt of the tax via higher fees and serves the secondary role of intentionally forcing people onto a socialistic government run health care system.
    • Elimination of the 40% excise tax on so called “Cadillac” plans.

  2. Do not expand the deficit ceiling again.  Congress continually allowing itself to spend without regard is the biggest part of the problems facing this nation. You can not borrow your way out of debt or into prosperity. Freeze the spending and cut the budget. When the government once more operates in the black, then the money and or taxes should be returned/lowered rather than spent on new items. Among the items I think should be done to achieve this are as follows:
    • Cut military budget to 15%-20% of total budget.
    • Across the board 5% spending but along with (but not cumulative to) the previously noted military budget cut.
    • Extend retirement age to 67.
    • Eliminate all pork spending. It may only be 1-2% of budget, but it is 1-2% that can be spent on paying down the debt instead of creating more debt.
    • Mandatory pay and benefit freeze to all Federal employees until debt and deficit eliminated, to be applied to all branches and members regardless of status. Preferably all wages and benefits should be cut.
    • Eliminate fraud, waste and abuse that cost the US $98 Billion in FY2009 and $72 Billion in FY2008.

  3. Immigration and Border Security. Simple. Enforce existing laws. Stop one branch of government preventing another branch of government from enforcing the law (e.g. BLM vs ICE, DHS vs. State police forces, et al.). Mandatory national e-verify system and enforcement. Seal the border and put into effect genuine, non-sanctuary supporting, immigration reforms.

There are a host of smaller issues to cover, but those are my big three issues for the 112th Congress of the United States. I hope the shake up of the November 2010 elections will be enough to get the Congress to due their jobs with due diligence, thought I suspect they will not. If nothing else, the new freshman, particularly the Tea Party backed members, should make things interesting for the old guard.

Rep Giffords Update

Some stories updating the situation with Representative Giffords and her attacker.

Charges against Jared Lee Loughner filed, ‘person of interest’ cleared | Phoenix News | Arizona News | | News Headlines – Top Stories

Rep. Giffords able to communicate with doctors | Phoenix News | Arizona News | | News Headlines – Top Stories

For those out there exploiting the situation the only comment I’ll make is just stop. You show yourselves to be subhuman drek using the incident and victims to push your socio-political agendas at a time when people should be concentrating on the surviving victims and families of the victims well being.