Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for June 14th, 2012

Remember when I said that after an extended kabuki, we’d find that the military was still running Egypt?

Posted by Charles II on June 14, 2012

That was July 13th, 2011, reprising a February 2011 prediction.

David Hearst and Abdel Rahman-Hussein, The Guardian:

Two days before the second round of presidential elections, Egypt’s highest court on Thursday dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament and ruled that the army-backed candidate could stay in the race, in what was widely seen as a double blow for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The decision was denounced as a coup by opposition leaders of all kinds and many within the Brotherhood, who fear that they will lose much of the political ground they have gained since Hosni Mubarak was ousted 16 months ago.

The decision by the supreme constitutional court – whose judges were appointed by Mubarak – brought into sharp focus the power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the supreme council of the armed forces (Scaf), the military council that took up the reins of power after Mubarak’s fall.

The Brotherhood has now lost its power base in parliament, at the same time as seeing the military-backed candidate, Ahmad Shafiq, the last president to serve under Mubarak, receive a boost.

The decision means legislative authority reverts to Scaf.

Let’s just say I don’t think this would happen if SCAF thought the US government would oppose this deed, which effectively blocks Islamists from legally attaining power.

As’ad AbuKhalil comments:

The counter-revolution (US-Israel-Saudi Arabia-Qatar) are overplaying their hands and screwing up big time. The outcome will reverse what they had aimed at. Stay tuned.

It will certainly legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood in the eyes of both liberals and the harder-line Islamists.

Posted in Arab Spring, Conflict in the Middle East | 2 Comments »

The corporate state extends its reach

Posted by Charles II on June 14, 2012

Two developments:

First, CISPA is not dead. To review, CISPA would permit corporations to treat your communications as public and, under totally arbitrary criteria, forward them to law enforcement. If somebody at Earthlink hates hollyhocks, he can read through your e-mails to discover you discussing sending the offending botanical to your Mom, and can forward it to the Department of Homeland Security with the subject line: Terrorist seeks to detonate floral fashion bomb. You find out and want to sue, too bad.

Sure, it’s unlikely to happen, but laws should be written well enough that they don’t permit outrageous behavior or, if it happens, they provide a remedy through prosecution or civil litigation. Contact your Senator and demand that the legislation be written tightly enough to prevent egregious bad behavior.

Second, a new piece of apparently poorly-written legislation called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret. Although it’s called trade legislation, it has wide-ranging effects that would make national laws unenforceable, provide ridiculous protections to foreign firms, and allow corporations to loot the US Treasury without even the nicety of a court hearing.

As far as I can tell from the text of one chapter that has been leaked and the analysis by Public Citizen, the positive feature of the legislation are that it would prevent national governments from providing sweetheart deals to its own companies. This is something the Chinese are notorious for, it does promote corruption, and it’s fine to eliminate it in general. The negative features are that it would create a corporate supercourt, above even the ridiculously lax standards of the corporate-loving American courts, and would allow corporations to extract money for acts of legitimate national self-protection like, say, banning triply-leveraged options on penny stocks–things that have no legitimate financial function, but are a boon to speculators, stock manipulators, and outright criminals.

Maybe decent legislation can be salvaged out of this. But as long as Ron Wyden, who holds a security clearance, cannot even see the draft text, something is wrong. It sounds like an attempt to hustle things through and we should all take a moment to just say no.

Posted in abuse of power, Obama Administration | 2 Comments »

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