The Talking Dog "Sure, the dog can talk…but does it say anything interesting?" He ain't The Man's best friend

Synchronous orbits(?)

After saying “happy Valentine’s Day,” we’ll start with a visit to Yemen, where street protests against the government (on a somewhat modest scale, as around 1,000 or so protestors are reported) continue for the for the fourth straight day. Yemen has fairly tight command and control– at least in this area– and few doubt that should the order be given, police and troops would open fire on protestors without a second thought. Because of “domestic concerns,” Yemeni president Saleh has canceled a scheduled visit to the United States later in the month. I really want to make that point as...

Continue reading...

Impressive looking change

Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln. But for that bastard John Wilkes Booth, Honest Abe would be 202 years old today. But that’s not important right now… The Grey Lady treats us to this dicussion of the two man military junta ruling council that will babysit Egypt for the foreseeable future until a new constitution and elections can be implemented. On the one hand, I’d like to think we’ve seen a popular revolution unfold in front of us– well-intentioned, well-organized street mobs brought down a dictatorship. Of course, Mubarak holds the rank of air marshall and Sulayman has the rank of general…...

Continue reading...

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Irrelevant

And so, just days after signalling that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must unconditionally go, and take his ruling apparatus with him, today… the position of the United States (as expressed by the much put-upon Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) is that Mr. Mubarak should resign immediately in favor of Vice President Suleiman, who in turn should supervise a transition to… something democratic, whatever that is. Fortunately for the stability of the world… the rest of the world seems to regard American pronouncements as… utterly irrelevant. One hopes that something is going on “behind the scenes”… but one doubts the institutional...

Continue reading...

Sputnik Moment

Once again, we’re not talking about the nebulous promise of “more better teachers and sh**” that the President “put out there” at the State of the Union (didn’t watch it; just heard the highlights and all)… we’re talking about the situation breaking out all over the Arab world now, which has already brought down the government of Tunisia, has caused the Egyptian strongman and American ally Hosni Mubarak’s police to fire on protesters in Cairo, killing at least one thus far and injuring who knows how many others, and protests have broken out in Yemen as well, and even Jordan...

Continue reading...

For your viewing pleasure

No, not the State of the Union which, to be frank, I utterly ignored (though I did walk in on Rep. Ryan’s non-response response playing on the radio… which I did my best to ignore as well)… but tonight’s event in Berkeley (go if you’re anywhere near there; watch otherwise), details as described by Candace here. Almerindo sends Facebook info, here. The event will not just feature my friends Candace (interviewed by me here) and Almerindo (interviewed by me here), but a live-feed from England with former GTMO detainee Omar Deghayes. While I haven’t met Omar, the simple humanity of...

Continue reading...

Deep sighs

Well, one here in New York could have such a reaction to the valiant second-half efforts of the New York Jets to come back from the immense hole they dug themselves, but still came up short losing to Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-19; the Steel Curtain will play the upstart Green Bay Packers in Dallas in two weeks for the Big Enchilada at Super Bowl XLV… where was I? For further deep sighs, Candace reports that her client Razak Ali has lost his habeas petition at the District Court level; Andy has more on this, and all matters GTMO…. The great Carol...

Continue reading...

Actual hopey changey stuff… for a change…

I join those who applaud the President’s decision to loosen (albeit inadequately and pathetically, but it’s still something)… er, loosen travel restrictions to Cuba. The move allows some minor increase in remittances and increased access for direct travel to Cuba for church groups and students and so forth… and the move goes in the direction of letting any American who wants to travel to Cuba do so (you probably can now, though you have to do so “unofficially” without a passport stamp and through an entry point other than the United States, such as Mexico or another Caribbean country). I...

Continue reading...

Hammer nailed

In an otherwise grim world, where we ponder the aftermath of the Arizona shooting and the fact that today marks nine years since the Guantanamo Bay prison-beyond-law was opened [a commemmorative protest will take place starting at 11 am across the street from the White House for those in the D.C. area]… at least one thing can bring a smile to our faces– when a bad man gets his, in this case, former House Majority Leader Tom “The Hammer” DeLay receiving his just recompense, a three year prison term for his role in money laundering and attempted laundering associated with...

Continue reading...

Congresswoman shot

I obviously have my own conclusions about [what is being reported now] as the shooting of Congressman Gabrielle Giffords (DEMOCRAT, Arizona) in Tucson, at a constituent meeting in a grocery store there; a total of twelve people were shot during a shooting spree, and apparently six are dead as well. The L.A. Times reports that the gunman is in custody. I suppose at the moment, until more information is available, I should restrain myself from making conclusions, other than to note that “civility” in our society has been breaking down for a long time, and, along with a failing economy...

Continue reading...

Twits

The only thing I can say about Justice Dept. efforts to subpoena Twitter account private messages of a member of the Icelandic parliament (and more importantly, former Wikileaks volunteer) is… at least they’re doing it in a way that can be talked about, to wit, a subpoena, rather than a “national security letter.” The reason is somewhat obvious: the use of a subpoena means that anything obtained by subpoena can eventually be used in a hypotehtical court prosecution of Emmanuel Goldstein Julian Assange, whereas anything obtained by a national security letter might have a slight Fourth Amendment problem. For whatever...

Continue reading...