Saturday Night Open Thread

The Torture Career of Egypt's New Vice President: Omar Suleiman and the Rendition to Torture Program.

In non-Egypt news, it's women's night at the X-Games. Gretchen Bleiler took a bad tumble on her first run in the snowboard superpipe finals and a tiny one on her second run. Kelly Clark is in first place. The third runs will start soon, you can watch online here. Update: Gretchen takes another tumble on the third run and is out of contention. Kelly Clark wins with a great victory lap -- she does a 1080 with three full rotations and the other contestants jump on her with congratulations. The comraderie among the women contestants is great to watch. Even though they are competing, they are so supportive of each other.

Our earlier open thread is getting full, so here's another one, all topics welcome.

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    There is a great art exhibit in San Antonio (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 10:32:34 AM EST
    right now, 'Revolution & Renaissance'

    We'll be in SA for a crim defense lawyers conf (none / 0) (#57)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 04:02:58 PM EST
    from 2/16 to 2/20.  Will try to take in the art show.  Thanks for the heads up, MT! Is that your home town?

    We go there twice a year for (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 06:43:44 PM EST
    Joshua's scoliosis.  Titanium rib was invented there by a retired military doctor who worked in conjuntion with Christus hospital, who decided to give this crazy old guy  a try who wanted to save a baby with a deadly scoliosis and was convinced he could.  Turns out he was onto something.  They are the frontrunner other than one other hospital in Pennsylvania.  Joshua is a hybrid rib kid, he has a different sort of version.  We will probably always be going to Christus unless we head Northeast...then we will go to Pennsylvania.

    Are you in New Orleans?  For some reason I have you placed there.  We drove through New Orleans on the way to San Antonio and I didn't take the bypass this time.  I wanted to see how New Orleans was doing.  Was bummed though.  Could still see rooftops along I-10 of abandoned houses, they still clearly have the holes hacked into them in order to extract people during Katrina.  There was new building too though.  And some people did have their properties repaired and looking great.  Total recovery seems to be a slower process than what I feel comfortable with.

    My husband could probably get a transfer and we could probably move to San Antonio, we have discussed it.  Our only worry is the house we have mortgaged.  It would be nice to be in San Antonio and have Christus and his doctors right there.  We always try to find some great and fun things to do when we are in San Antonio for surgeries in order to balance out the stressors, and San Antonio always makes that so easy.


    Not, N.O. We're in Philadelphia suburbs (none / 0) (#69)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:56:45 PM EST
    The other top hospital for scoliosis is probably Children's Hospital of Philadelphia at U.Penn., a fabulous place, although it could be St. Christopher's (the children's hospital of the Catholic system), and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Pittsburgh has a fine pediatric hospital also.  (We volunteer with a group that provides free home stays for families with kids who are in for treatment, and my wife's sister and our brother-in-law are retired physicians who practiced at CHOP.)  If you come up this way, ask Jeralyn to put you in touch with us directly, please.  

    I'm not sure which hospital (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 09:05:53 AM EST
    in Penn the rib kids go to.  The doctor who invented the titanium rib (Dr. Campbell) has retired from surgery.  Dr. Smith was a doctor who worked with him at one of four sites when they were working toward FDA approval.  He was originally in Utah and we were very fortunate to have him be the surgeon who made Josh's initial assessments and then also implanted the hardware that controls his scoliosis and saved his life.

    I have since discovered that as he has progressed Dr. Smith is now for the most part considered the top surgeon in the world for horrible orthopedic back problems that children must deal with.

    Both doctors decided to move to the Penn site to be close to the company and work with the company that manufactures the hardware they use.  At this time they must make incisions to lengthen the rods in the children's backs as they grow.  They have a goal though of developing a method that would allow the rods to extend by some different method than all the incisions, maybe via radio signals or perhaps a tiny little incision that would expose something that could be turned with a special tool and do the lengthening.  They have also improved enormously the devices from where they started.  And Josh had newer versions replacing the older stuff when he outgrew them.


    And thank you for volunteering (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 09:13:46 AM EST
    Even the smallest things make hospital stays not as bad as they might have been.  If my husband decides to work at the Pentagon...UGH :) we then end up going to Pennsylvania.  It is also a possibility.  It depends on how far he wants to carry this career :)  We have talked about it, if he goes that way our life will not slow down.  We are trying to decide if slowing down in the career department is more desirable.  It is a hard choice when you have a child that needs you more because on one hand being as successful as possible makes more things possible for him, and then on the other hand there are things that he needs just as much that are not of a monetary nature and that material items will not fix or provide.

    My husband and I were talking this morning (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:12:51 AM EST
    about how fubar our position is with Egypt right now.  Wall Street and Ben Bernanke is what is driving the price of food up and destablizing regimes all over the world as the poor and middle class say "Hell No!".  We allowed the poor in Egypt to lose their only means to making a living too....by recycling.  A multinational moved in and savvy rich businessmen began to become even more rich and the poor are now free to starve.  So we, through the love of our savvy businessmen and our love of unchecked enormous capitalism have set up the poor of Egypt and Jordan just like we have set up our own poor and even our children now....to starve and suffer.

    My husband came into the military during the Cold War and has a decent memory.  He said the most astonishing thing to me too today.  He said we have become what the Russians always said we were, we have become Evil Capitalistic Pigs.  And now we will roll in it, and it isn't really that great.  Rampant unchecked unaccountable capitalism is as bad as bad as rampant unchecked unaccountable communism it would seem.

    Somewhat (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:05:15 PM EST
    Wall Street and Ben Bernanke is what is driving the price of food up

    At the base of this is the price of oil.

    Now if you want to say that "Wall Street" means speculators who drive up prices with futures purchases they can't take delivery of I will agree.

    If you want to say that QE is being done because of failed social policies in the US housing market inflated the bubble until it burst I will agree.

    The two together created a witches brew that we are now being served.


    TM can speak for herself. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:07:24 PM EST
    So true. (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:09:38 PM EST
    I'm always in trouble with the Monarchy too (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:02:22 PM EST
    Not too long ago on facebook I was part of a conversation about dogs.  I was only talking about what I had learned so far and I hit a nerve with one of the biggest breeders in North America.  They came online and ripped my butt off :)  Whew, what do you do?  I remained quiet, wanted to understand more than anything.  Then others secretly messaged me to just hang loose, I had hit a nerve I didn't know was there.  So I did, and then one of the past German Shepherd Dog Club of America presidents asked to be my facebook friend :)  But I'm sure that at least one someone is really really mad at me, probably forever :)  I can't seem to not pi$$ off the monarchy though, and I was born this way.  It is the story of my silly life.

    You go, girl! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Zorba on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:10:46 PM EST
    Keep on making that monarchy (in whatever form) uncomfortable!

    Tell the truth, shame the Devil (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:12:59 PM EST
    and bedevil others with it, is my advice.

    I see my stalker has shown up (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:24:38 PM EST
    Jim, stop baiting other commenters (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 08:18:55 PM EST
    please. No one wants to read personal spats, they are boring.

    I am an economic junkie (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:31:30 PM EST
    I'm not going to fight with you about such silliness.  This is all about commodities.  There is no real volatility in the stock market now because of Ben Bernanke's QE and a few other backdoor things they have going on that they don't even have to tell us about.  What has happened is that they are doing everything they can to prevent the stock market from correcting and now it is a completely a make believe thing.  It represents nothing.  For a very long time now though the players were doing pump and dump.  The smart money would wait for the dumb money to decide that the market was a good idea and buy stocks and then the smart money would sell when the market was high.  The loose credit and derivative market created even more "false" markets that were little more than smoke and mirrors and when real stress hits they will not stand either....neither will the stock market.  But the people who have money and are the smart money aren't going to play in the smoke and mirrors anymore.  They want tangible necessitites that are real and that is commodities.

    Unfortunately the Republicans and the New Democrats can't seem to quit making the rich richer, and then the rich go out and buy commodities and bid against each other and the prices go up and up and the poor starve.  Every rich investor is a speculator now in the most heinous sense of the word.  It is what they are compelled to do though to protect their wealth, and they are going to starve people trying to protect what they have.  This is why economic disparity can be so heinous, this is why the banks should not have been saved in the fashion that they were and such moral hazard created.  We keep creating more and more moral hazard and we are going to destabilize every economy pegged to our dollar, and countries poorer than we are aren't going to be able to afford to buy food for their people.

    We aren't that "rich" though anymore either, we just hold all the cards at the game table that we have convinced the world to join in with us playing.  And as long as they stay in that game with us we will make them suffer.....A LOT.


    Energy is the ultimate (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:23:18 PM EST

    And the speculators have gamed the price with the approval of our government and the people who thought that the environment should be protected by getting rid of oil by pricing it out of the reach of the users.

    The housing bubble also existed because of failed social policies but its bursting was sustained by the price of oil in 2008.

    Both of these policies were done with the best of intentions.

    The road to Hell is often paved with them.

    If you want to blame someone, try to figure out who brought these two things.


    The people who buy commodities (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 02:55:54 PM EST
    and blog completely disagree with you Jim.  Many are shifting away from gold now as severely as they were headed into it because you can't eat gold.  And they don't buy gold on paper either, they take delivery of what they buy where gold is concerned.  But you can't eat oil either.  They are certainly buying those commodities as well, but the largest focus that I have seen and heard about that they are planning to depend on shoring up their wealth now with is food.  Food is the one thing EVERYONE must have every single day, rain or shine.  Food is the new gold.  Things in the regime countries are going to get much much worse too, and they will get worse for all of us but not as much.  My children won't starve though, other people's children will starve.  And those people will take to the streets when they can't take it anymore.

    RE: Price of crude oil (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:07:53 PM EST
    Graph for 2000-present.

    Click or Bubblin' Crude Me


    Oil is a commodity (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 04:52:01 PM EST
    And somebody is buying.

    And according to the expert quoted in the WSJ (none / 0) (#75)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:21:46 AM EST
    it is expected to go down, not up, in the short term.

    Down tto $40 a barrel? (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:58:27 AM EST
    That would be good news.

    Don't think he'd go that far (none / 0) (#86)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 12:59:51 PM EST
    but any downtick is better than none.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#87)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 01:53:27 PM EST
    nothing like saving 15 cents on a fill up..

    Aren't you the guy who told us that we should drill because it will not produce enough to make a difference...

    Why yes. Yes you are.



    Not just Harry (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 05:44:07 PM EST
    The DOE studies the effect of the two largest areas of contention - ANWAR and OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) drilling.  They found that allowing ANWAR drilling and lifting the moratorium on OCS combined would reduce the price of oil by $.06 a gallon.

    But heck, ..... might be able to save you your 15 cents on a fill up.


    Twins (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:58:00 PM EST
    Bring some facts to the table (none / 0) (#91)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:15:46 PM EST
    instead of snarky observations, and you perhaps could still be worth paying attention to.

    If you believe drilling would make a difference (none / 0) (#88)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 05:43:52 PM EST
    then I have a bridge over the Los Angeles River I'd like you to have a look at.  :-)

    Andy Murray (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:52:28 PM EST
    Talk about bs pressure.

    The British tennis star was playing for the title at the Australian Open.
    The British have not won a Grand Slam singles title for 75 years.

    So -what happens?

    Andy gets calls from British Prime Minister David Cameron and Alex Salmond, the first minister of Murray's native Scotland before the match.

    "Now's the day and now's the hour!" Salmond wrote. "The whole of Scotland is behind you, and will be cheering you on from near and far for a famous victory."

    He lost.

    What I am reminded of is the way the US government used Joe Louis and Bobby Fischer when they were victorious - and then treated them both with contempt when they were no longer of use.

    There is indeed a ridiculous amount of (none / 0) (#54)
    by tigercourse on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:19:06 PM EST
    pressure put on Murray (particularly since he was going up against a top notch player here). I know he's making millions of dollars, but I still feel a little sorry for him.

    Juan Cole: Informed Consent. (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:00:15 PM EST
    His view of what is going on in Egypt seems accurate.  But he isn't cited often here.  Why is that?

    Juan Cole and Robert Fisk (none / 0) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:22:53 PM EST
    Their writings on the Middle East provide good insights.
    Cole and Fisk

    What Makes NFL Football So Great: (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by dead dancer on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:47:54 PM EST
    I'm not a Maher fan, but (none / 0) (#43)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 02:33:18 PM EST
    that is funny!  Thanks.

    And on certain days the planets line up (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:03:43 PM EST
    and we agree.  Those are the really scary days.

    I'm not saying he's not entitled to his (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:11:47 PM EST
    own opinion, just that trying to superimpose it over or incorporating it into your own isn't cricket, as my English grandmother would've put it.  :-)

    What is happening to the state of (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 10:47:40 PM EST
    contemporary playwriting?  Have seen three not-so-good new plays recently.  (Of course, I've never tried writing one!)

    Movies were really suffering too (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:48:36 AM EST
    Before I went to Black Swan, at least three recent movies in a row were very disappointing.  When we were in the hotel and Josh needed to rest we watched 'Due Date' with Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis and it was decent, had some geniunely funny scenes.

    King's Speech (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:23:23 PM EST
    I found extremely well acted, written, and interesting story.

    I wouldn't (none / 0) (#17)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:17:25 AM EST
    buy either one on DVD, but I did think that "The Fighter" and "Conviction" had some great acting and held my attention.

    Thank you for the recs! (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:20:06 AM EST
    I almost always get good recs on Talkleft.  I love movies, probably too much...but I did give up smoking so in that light how bad can too many movies really be?

    To paraphrase Andre Gide (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:56:22 AM EST
    "Who is the greatest living American playwright?
    Sam Shepard, alas."

    My mother did the lead role in "Sister Mary Ignateus Explains It All For You" some 20-years ago at our local community theater, and I can't think of anything since then that is as funny and pointed and true.


    Agree re Sam Shepard. I have seen some (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:15:15 PM EST
    well-written new plays:  Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo, for example.  In the Next Room.  Time Stands Still. Haunted (semi-well-written, terrific acting).  

    Did you see "Angle of Repose" yet? (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    Kudos for "KIng's Speech" and Mike (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:04:42 PM EST
    Leigh's "Another Year."

    I have a ticket for a 3 pm piano recital (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:56:51 PM EST
    by Louis Lortie.  All Liszt.  Music/intermission/music/2 hr. dinner break/music.

    I may not make it to the end.  Not that big of a fan of Liszt's music.  Pianist's virtuosity may not be enough to sustain my interest.


    Judging by the review in the LAT (none / 0) (#44)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 02:46:51 PM EST
    you're in for a real treat:

    The first book begins by creating the ambience of  William Tell's Chapel on Lake Lucerne with straightforward resonant chords. Lortie produced a booming sound that reverberated with a you-are-there transporting power that even 3-D Imax can't approximate. I have never heard such a piano sound in Segerstrom, and this was just the start of some of the most exceptional Liszt playing I have ever encountered anywhere.

    Click or SoCal Me


    I read the review before I realized Lortie (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 04:01:07 PM EST
    was repeating the program here.  Surprising, given the difference in audience tolerance for the "unknown."

    I've played one of the (none / 0) (#65)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 05:59:23 PM EST
    simpler works on his program(The first one from Liszts' Third Book of the Years of Pilgrimage),and am familiar with all of them from my youth.

    IMHO, after memorizing all of the YOP and other Liszt works as well, to learn or play a different program because of regional tastes would be too much work.


    Almost full venue for the pre-dinner (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 10:45:58 PM EST
    break portion of the concert.  A lot of people bailed b/4 the concluding portion.  Wonderful, very musical playing.  A real treat.

    I never made it to (none / 0) (#72)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:13:27 AM EST
    Angle of Repose, BTW.

    Glad you enjoyed the concert, I'm going to see if he has anything on Youtube.


    Too bad. Awaiting your impression. (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:20:51 AM EST
    Found this interesting (none / 0) (#74)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:49:24 AM EST
    from a posting of Il Sposalizio:

    He plays octaves with a stiff wrist, the movement coming from the elbows and arms, with unerring accuracy. Having been present at both recitals, I am posting this example of Lortie playing "Sposalizio" (Italy) that (in my opinion) completely displays the interpretive template that he employed for the entire three hour plus performance.The only encore, which was played at the end of the two recitals, was the Gondoliera from Liszt's Venezia e Napoli. Neither Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times or Timothy Mangan of the Orange County Register mentioned it in their rapturous reviews. Makes one wonder.

    Click or Youtube Me

    I don't think his wrists are as stiff as this fellow claims, octaves take some flexibility in the wrist unless you're doing loud and fast passages in octaves.

    He also does the Liszt transcription of Beethoven's Fifth, so he's a bit more adventurous than your average concert pianist.

    He is a fine pianist, he reminds me of Artur Rubenstein, but with more technique.  :-)


    Sometimes he adds an extra push (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 10:00:17 AM EST
    to a note at end of a phrase.   (There was a camera rigged to show the entire keyboard and Lortie's hands, arms, shoulder.)  On the huge chords at the beginning of the adventure you could hear the strings vibrating.  Amazing.

    That's a standard practice (none / 0) (#81)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:45:33 PM EST
    to use ones' upper body mass to emphasize the end of a phrase or passage.

    When Mater Saxon saw Rubenstein in San Francisco in the late 40s, she said he was practically leaping up and down as he played Khachaturians' "The Sabre Dance".

    Here's a favorite performance by one of Liszt's pupil who perhaps was the only one not to claim he was the Master of Weimar's favorite student.

    Click or Youtube Me


    Sorry, wrong performer (none / 0) (#82)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:47:06 PM EST
    but you should look up the Friedheim recording.

    This wasn't the whole body. Just extra (none / 0) (#83)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:36:19 PM EST
    pressure from hand to finger.  

    Believe me (none / 0) (#84)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 12:41:28 AM EST
    he was using his whole body, whether you saw it or not.

    That's why you need a loose wrist, so that the force from the body goes down the arm, past the wrist, and into the hand.


    Re Egypt and Katrina and Haiti (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 06:17:20 AM EST
    The common denominator is that the people are now being referred to as looters and gangs.

    Another nice bit of nostalgia is that the US administration is backing Mubarak in the interests of "stability".

    Ironic really... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:24:10 AM EST
    when the protest itself in response to a government gang looting Egypt.  A faster growing economy than ours and 40% in poverty...whole lot o' lootin' going on.

    There are gangs looting the planet allright...they're called governments and corporations.  They do it with pen and paper, badge and gun, prison and cell.  If anything the people on the streets are the anti-looting authorities in Egypt, trying to do their civic duty to stop the looting of a nation.


    On Fareed Zakaria this morning (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:59:08 AM EST
    His panel of those very knowledgeable about the situation are still saying that the looting has been done by squads of people working for the Mubarak regime.  He even used a common name for the squads used in Egypt that I can't remember now.  But these squads existed in a functioning form before the unrest and they are used during elections to intimidate and be thugs.  The Mubarak regime also freed those who were in prison to do their worst, and now there are reports that the reason why the police disappeared was also something done by the regime.  They want what Egypt has of a middle class to become afraid and terrorized and begin to fight for Mubarak control again.  So the Mubarak regime is trying to use fear and terror to remain in power.

    A panel member also says that the Muslim Brotherhood is not the player at this time that the Western press keeps freaking out about.  They are present, but their leadership is not wanted or needed by the Egyptian people.  The panel member (wish I had his name) also said that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is very cautious, they can be tortured to death if caught...and this chaos has nothing to do with them.  The Mubarak regime is going to attempt to use the West's fear of the Muslim Brotherhood though to maintain the West's support.


    Re: Command and control (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:13:40 AM EST
    They also reported that lawyers and other educated professionals are meeting to divide the city up into sections and set up checkpoints, etc., to keep unrest and looting to a minimum.

    Reliable Sources said that people were doing work-arounds against the Internet block, Twitter activity from Yemen giving ISP dial up numbers in France, etc.

    These revolutionaries are my kind of scum, fearless and inventive :-)


    I just got tears in my eyes (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:15:08 AM EST
    I am proud of many Egyptian people right now, people I don't even know.

    El Baradei on Fareed Zakaria GPS (none / 0) (#21)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:58:01 AM EST
    ELBARADEI:  I - I mean, obviously, that is going to happen, I think, Fareed, if not today, tomorrow, you know.  It will happen that he has to leave the country within the next three days.  That is - there is no way out, as I see it.  It's better for President Obama not to appear that he is - he is the last one to say to President Mubarak, it's time for you to go, leave in dignity before things are going out of hand.  We have seen the fate of many dictators.  I do not want to see that happening in Egypt.

    Fareed lineup (none / 0) (#68)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 07:50:20 PM EST
    Mohamed ElBaradei, PhD, Nobel laureate; former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

    Steven Cook, PhD, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, Council on Foreign Relations

    Richard Haass, PhD, president, Council on Foreign Relations

    Martin Indyk, vice president and director, Brookings Institution

    Tarek Masoud, PhD, assistant professor of public policy, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

    Michael Young, opinion page editor, Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)



    When (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:33:51 AM EST
    the government loots the people, we are programmed to respond by smiling faintly. Boys will be boys.

    When the people do it, we are programmed to say that we should lock them up and/or kill them.


    Programming/Conditioning... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 09:49:07 AM EST
    Shangri La baby.

    The little man who gets the train
    Got a mortgage hanging over his head
    But he's too scared to complain
    'Cos he's conditioned that way
    Time goes by and he pays off his debts
    Got a TV set and a radio
    For seven shillings a week

    Luckily, as the Eqyptians have shown us, the conditioning is not infallible...tv set and a radio on layaway can only placate so much.


    kdog... (none / 0) (#16)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    To me, the condition of the occupation of Iraq and the ongoing war in Afghanistan is unnerving.

    The loss of life is one thing.

    The other thing is the expenditure of over two billion a week - all whilst the fakers in D.C. are talking about cutting services.

    Do you think that our people will rise up?
    We certainly are conditioned (threatened) not to.

    In some sense, I think the election of Obama is a watershed moment. It might be the absolutely last time that people will put their faith in a politician who portrays him/herself as a populist.
    If that happens, our sham of an electoral process is laid bare.
    It has already been laid bare, it's true, but people aren't believing the evidence of their own senses.

    But if they do....


    Will our people rise up? (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:52:03 AM EST
    Any and all peoples will eventually, when conditions become worse than their fear of the power structure...we've got a ways to go here yet, as bad as it is we are nowhere near 40% at the poverty level like Egypt...people are for the most part pacified, struggling but pacified, and our power structure is skilled at getting us to kick the dog when we're unsatisfied with our conditions...the dog or ourselves, but never the guy running out the back door with 1 billion dollars, he is our f*ckin' national ideal as far as I can tell.

    It IS unnerving (none / 0) (#80)
    by sj on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 10:12:42 AM EST
    Afghanistan bankrupted the Soviet Union and helped bring about its demise, and here we are with Afghanistan AND Iraq.  For nothing.  For nothing.

    I don't know about watershed moments.  Obama never presented to me as a populist.  I didn't even see that he claimed to.  He presented himself from the beginning as "post partisan" (which in my mind were two words that didn't go together at all).

    Only John Edwards, with his emphasis on Two Americas presented as a populist from the beginning.  That's why he was my first choice.

    You can see I was doomed to be bitterly disappointed no matter what.


    Comment disappeared (none / 0) (#3)
    by Andreas on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 06:44:06 AM EST
    It was about the "recpect" El Baradei has for Suleiman.

    "recpect" -> respect (none / 0) (#4)
    by Andreas on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 06:58:09 AM EST

    And now Mubarak has shut down (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 10:01:35 AM EST
    Al Jazeera

    It dos not seem like this (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 10:27:53 AM EST
    is the time for diplomatic half-measures, trying to balance words of support for Egyptian democracy with words of support for an orderly transition with Mubarak as president.   It is unfathomable that Mubarak can provide even a semblance of effective governance let alone order without increasing oppression.  A public "suggestion" by the President Obama or Secy Clinton to that effect is needed  at this point to facilitate a transition in the interest of the Egyptian people and to assure US credibility.

    It is just so disturbing to me that the (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 11:55:26 AM EST
    American media seem to have been given their instructions about what the storylines are, with the goal of manipulating people into believing that the people are the problem - there is so much emphasis on the looting and violence, with little, if any, examination of who the looters are and whether Mubarek may be behind it - so that the American people can reach the conclusion that, of course, Mubarek has to get tough - he has to quell the violence.

    And, I think it's designed to take the pressure off the US, allowing Obama and the State Department to keep straddling the fence.

    What also is disturbing is that it's not like this hasn't been brewing for a long time, not as if the US didn't know that Mubarek wasn't exactly a beacon of democracy - but, then again, we've seen this movie before: we sacrifice the freedoms and quality of life for a people in the name of "stability," and as long as the balance of power remains in favor of the leader and not the people, we can pretend that things are just peachy.  Sadly, I think there's a fair amount of that going on right here in the good ol' US of A - and even more sad is that we're all just going along with it.

    I get that the Middle East is a difficult area, a cauldron of conflicting interests that is constantly on the verge of boiling over, but if years and years of this haven't convinced people that this is about ensuring the uninterrupted flow of oil, I don't know what will.  The uninterrupted flow of cash is what's driving things in this country, but in many ways, I don't see a whole lot of difference - other than that Americans haven't reached the point where they refuse to take it anymore.


    Glaring media gap (none / 0) (#32)
    by waldenpond on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:41:31 PM EST
    I knew US media was poor and watch very little any more, but putting up AJ and then having CNN or MSNBC on next to it just shows how shallow the coverage here is.  Cable news should lose market share as newspapers have as it becomes obvious we live in a global info age and US media focused on gaining access to corrupt US politicians and just wanted to be part of the in crowd and are incapable of journalism at this point.

    If it's not oil, corporations will go after some other resource.  People are a nuisance to them when they are exploiting nations for profit.


    Yes, the media is, essentially, (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 01:39:39 PM EST
    serving its stenographic purpose relying on whatever the administration knows or wants us to know.  Getting their own stories and analysis would require work and expense.

    NBC's foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, is an Arabic speaker and does a pretty good job of reporting, but, even then it sometimes seems like it is  coming from briefings in the hotel bar.  

    At this point,  US attempts to straddle the worlds with public odes to democracy and admonishments for stability have past their "sell-by" date.   Mubarak's efforts for survival are more likely to hinge on converting the protestors into looters and insurgents--in which case state violence is not only accepted but required.  A wedding party or two may become collateral damage but it would be justified to get the bad guys.


    Coordination (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:46:51 PM EST
    Reading in several places now that Europe's UK, France, & Germany have issued a joint statement urging Egypt to recognize the people "aspirations" and cautions against violence against the people, etc. Meanwhile, President Obama and the Administration have stepped up their statement to stressing support for an "orderly transition." (Transition to what, at this point in world diplomatese, is left open.)

    Inexorable movement.  Daydreaming me imagines now the coordination over which villa Mubarek & family will occupy.  A bit ahead of facts on the ground, perhaps, yet.... With a focus on a specific transitional leader today--ElBaradei--the possibility of the "orderly transition" increases.


    Query: what do people addicted to (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    football on TV do when there isn't a game on?

    answer: watch the Pro-Bowl today (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:28:52 PM EST
    then, learn to love the best game:baseball

    Garden, cook, clean, etc (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by nycstray on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:29:28 PM EST
    but most importantly, get ready for BASEBALL SEASON!!!!!!  :)

    Several member of my family (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 12:37:41 PM EST
    have watched one of last week's games three times already.

    They also love the channel that reruns games of all sorts from many sports from years ago.  So I guess it's true that, to paraphrase the saying:  It's not whether you know whether you won or lost. . .


    We are watching the Colbert Report (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 03:07:36 PM EST
    He just called snow Satan's Cocaine :)

    A foot and a half of Satan's Cocaine (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Towanda on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 04:07:06 PM EST
    is headed at us in Chicago -- which, with what we are known for in the Windy City, is being forecast as a possible blizzard.  This has not been a bad winter for snow, but after freezing ice this weekend and continued below-normal temps, we're weary.

    We need spring!  And the angle of the sun definitely has changed in recent days.  But will the groundhog be able to tunnel up through a foot and a half of snow on Wednesday morning?


    Crazy snow storms this year (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 04:11:45 PM EST
    We just got some rain in the CA (none / 0) (#64)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 05:52:36 PM EST
    southern San Joaquin Valley today, so perhaps it's Satans' GBH, in that we wake up the next morning and wonder what the H--- happened last night.

    MT, my first quick read of your comment (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 30, 2011 at 04:19:51 PM EST
    had me seeing Santa's Cocaine, not Satan's.  And in that moment the great red one's terminal jolliness, as well as his ability to zip around the world in one short night, became clear to me.