Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for January 10th, 2011

Another IMF riot and Israel goes Dixie

Posted by Charles II on January 10, 2011

Emad Mekay, IPSNews:

Arabs across the Middle East Watched in awe as online video posts and sporadic coverage on Al-Jazeera TV station showed Tunisians, with a reputation of passivity, rise up in unprecedented street protests and sits-in against the police state of President Ben Ali.

The Ben Ali regime exemplifies the “moderate” pro-Western Arab regimes that boast strict control of their population while toeing the line of Western powers in the Middle East.

The spark of the unrest, now about to end its second week, came when a 26- year-old unemployed university graduate, Mohammed Buazizi, set himself ablaze in the central town Sidi Buzeid to protest the confiscation of his fruits and vegetables cart.

the police responded with overwhelming force. There were reports of use of live ammunition, house-to-house raids to chase activists, mass arrests and torture of prisoners.

The fear of similar spillover into Arab countries pushed at least one Arab ruler to rush to aid Ben Ali. Libya’s maverick leader Muammar Qaddaif said he was immediately dropping all restrictions on the entry of Tunisian labour into Libya. Tunisians were free to travel to his oil-rich country for work, he said.

Opposition says the unrest was prompted by high prices and unemployment but now has turned political with some demonstrators calling on President Ben Ali to step down.

Tunisia, like other non-oil producing Arab countries has implemented a Western-inspired privatization programme and gradual cut to state subsidies to staple goods without offering alternative sources of income.

Hoocoodanode that if you won’t let people eat, they might not feel they have much to lose?

Meanwhile in Israel (Mel Frykberg, IPSNews:

A number of recent incidents discriminating against Israel’s Palestinian minority has prompted Israeli Knesset (parliament) members to debate whether Israel is becoming increasingly racist.

Ronit Sela from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (Acri) has no doubts. “Israel’s democracy is under threat as an increasingly large racist element raises its collective head. A number of racist occurrences have taken place in a climate conducive to racism. This wouldn’t have happened prior to the current right-wing Israeli government,” Sela told IPS.

Recently an organisation called Jews for a Jewish Bat Yam (a suburb near Tel Aviv) held a protest against “assimilation of young Jewish women with Arabs living in the city or in nearby Jaffa.”

“It’s a local organisation of Bat Yam residents, because the public is tired of so many Arabs going out with Jewish girls,” explained one of the organisers, Bentzi Gufstein. “In addition to the protest, we will hand out pamphlets explaining the situation.”

Charming. We can expect anti-miscegenation laws are on the way.

And there are a number of other examples, including discriminatory housing laws, discrimination in stripping people of citizenship, and discrimination in funding education.

How far Israel has drifted from the ideals of its Founders.

Posted in colonial wars, Conflict in the Middle East, israel, racism | 25 Comments »

Because I want to read it over and over again

Posted by Charles II on January 10, 2011

(Via Rotwang at Eschaton) Laylin Copelin, Austin Statesman:

Judge Pat Priest sentenced Tom DeLay to three years in prison.

The three-year sentence was on the charge of conspiring to launder corporate money into political donations during the 2002 elections.

On the charge of money laundering, DeLay was sentenced to five years in prison, but that was probated for 10 years. That means he would serve 10 years’ probation.

“This will not stand,” said his attorney, Dick DeGuerin.

DeLay was taken into custody but he was expected to be released as soon as he posted an appeals bond.

The judge then ordered the courtroom cleared except for the lawyers.

Prior to the sentence, DeLay spoke to the court.

He was unrepentant.

“I fought the fight. I ran the race. I kept the faith,” DeLay said.

Judge Priest said he agreed with the jury’s guilty verdict, returned in November, and would have instructed a different verdict if he did not believe DeLay conspired to break the law.

He said there is no higher principle than that those who write the laws should follow the law….

Former U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, testified that his friend, DeLay, had purpose, passion and persistence in representing his district in Congress for 22 years.

Hastert defended DeLay not expressing remorse: “I don’t think you want to say anything until the process is over.”

DeLay is expected to appeal his conviction, saying after the jury’s verdict: “Maybe we can get it before people who understand the law.”

Justice has already been denied by the unconscionable amount of time that DeLay got between the time of indictment and the time of judgment. He could have received 99 years, but he got three. This has been a travesty, but at least this scofflaw has been confronted with a reality he will find very hard to deny: jail.

Posted in Busheviks, Professional Christians, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | 4 Comments »

Employment Numbers: Not As Bad Once Revised Upwards

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 10, 2011

New Deal Democrat makes the point that overall, the employment numbers aren’t as bad as people are saying — largely because they keep getting revised upwards, well after most folks aren’t paying attention:

On Friday I noted the near-universal use of the word “disappointing” to describe the December jobs report. In fact, with no more than three exceptions, every initial report on nonfarm payrolls in 2010 has been “disappointing.” Two months later, after upward revisions, they have usually been in line with initial expectations. But by that time the econo-punditocracy has moved on to disappointment with the newly-current initial nonfarm payrolls report.

What happened with November’s jobs report is typical. Expectations were raised by good ADP and TrimTabs estimates – Private payrolls on the order of 90,000 or even higher were expected. Yet the initial report was a “devastating” 39,000. The following Monday, after painstakingly picking apart the report, I wrote that it was likely to be revised considerably higher, and that in particular the retail hiring portion of the report was probably an outlier that would get raised.

One month later and November has been revised higher by 31,000. Further, retail hiring for both October and November has been revised higher in particular, to the point where the combined October and November numbers aren’t “disappointing” at all.

In fact, it turns out that every single monthly jobs report for 2010 was in positive territory, and all but one of those reports had been revised upwards after its initial release.

Posted in economy, employment | 1 Comment »

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