Sunday, February 27, 2011

Libyan Cities Continue Anti-Gaddafi Trend

This map was posted by Libyan anti-Gaddafi Protesters to show the free city versus Gaddafi-controlled city situation (as of yesterday) in Libya. Since the source is the Protesters, we can assume that the data is in their favor, although the map from the UK's Guardian is substantially similar.

Some citizens report the use--or at least talk of the use--of chemical weapons by Gaddafi as well as continual efforts to clean the neighborhoods of Tripoli to remove all evidence of conflict and bloodshed.

The citizens of free eastern city Benghazi have taken to the streets, looking proud and jubilant, wearing small pre-Ghaddafi flags of Libya on their faces as sports fans do at games, doubtless delighted for the newly-rediscovered right for citizens to peaceably assemble in groups. There are Youtube videos of newly constituted town councils still untranslated, giving their  pronouncements looking properly dressed and very serious. In a country well known to be divided into tribes which are then divided in to clans, everyone is talking that the Libyan people are united, more united than ever before, and that the people are one.

Libyans have been clear that they do not want military interference by the USA or Europe in their country, so the words of the UN's Ban Ki-Moon are perhaps the best to quote: “As the Libyan people take their destiny into their hands, as is their right, I hope that the new future for which they yearn, peaceful, prosperous and democratic, will soon be theirs,”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Genocide: Libya's Citizen Reporters Tell the Story

Have you been following the revolution in Libya? Who would have ever thought that Libya, a country headed by a man scorned by most of the civilized world, would have enough citizens willing to risk their lives to create a network of citizen reporters using cell phones with cameras to take the story of their terrible genocide to the world? Their reports have been relayed by young Libyans living outside the county, who are free to use social media and quite capable of deploying it in their cause. In addition to cell phone cameras, there have been reports by phone, webcam hook-ups, and every other modern way a message can be relayed. These reports have eventually made it to manor news networks as the best reporting available.

Hope remains that Global Leaders will use their power to protect the Libyans from their leader, Col. Gaddafi,  who is surely mad. Sadly, America's response has been late, underwhelming, and led to ridicule from quarters as diverse as Twitter to the UK Telegraph. If nothing changes, one of the debates of succeeding centuries will be why the US told Mubarek to step down, while ignoring the atrocities in Libya. The answer will not be pretty.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taking its Story Global via Internet, Libya Joins Mideast Revolution

Who would have ever though that the people of Libya would rise up against dictator Muammar Gadaffi and demand their freedom? Gaddafi, who has been ruling since a military coup in 1969, turned Libya into a haven for anti-Western radicals, where any group supposedly could receive weapons and financial assistance, provided they claimed to be fighting imperialism.

A group of young techs--one is pictured above--has been working around the clock to take Libya's story to the world, and mainstream news outlets are beginning to initiate coverage. The young techs show evidence of foreign schooling and residence, speaking in Arabic, occasionally English, and rarely in French.

From all reports, protesters in the city of Benghazi have been very hard hit by Gaddafi through who they claim are foreign mercenaries, and the killed and wounded have been reported in widely varying but extremely troubling numbers. It is said that the Gaddafi forces are killing anyone who moves, even at the windows of the houses.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bahraini Protest at Lulu Roundabout in Manama Turns Deadly.

The nice enough life most citizens of Bahrain enjoyed has been turned on its ear. In this video of Lulu Roundabout - Pearl Sqare in Manama where Bahraini protesters were camping out on the morning of February 17, 2011, live fire (not fireworks), and tear gas and concussion grenades can be seen and heard. According to a BBC Journalist: "Bahrain this morning looks like a virtual police state."

The aging king has rallied his subjects--against him. Paramedics rushing to Lulu square to help the wounded were beaten by the police. “They made the people feel safe,” said a nurse, Fatima Ali, referring to what had initially seemed to be official tolerance of the huge protest in Pearl Square, emulating an uprising in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that brought down President Hosni Mubarak. “Then they killed them.”

As of our morning, the Bahrain military is now claiming control of parts of Manama and protests have been banned. After the wholly unexpected and entirely unnecessary attack against the citizenry, Bahrain--and perhaps the region--will never be the same.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Have a Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you are having a Happy Valentine's Day! Can you keep a secret? I am making some heart breadsticks for dinner! I hope that is a nice surprise! I never made breadsticks before, so I am definitely taking a chance, although I did use the bread machine. Hope they turn out!

Egypt Unrest Continues

We managed to out of town for the blizzard, but the only news we seemed to be able to get was of Egypt. And we still are puzzling whether Revolution televised will end in a free Egypt or an Islamist takeover. In the meantime, the above statute is one of 17 major missing antiquities from the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

Meanwhile, the Arab street does not disappoint in its reputation as a rumor mill, placing President Mubarek in a coma and in Baden, Germany. The Germans deny he is in Germany, and the Americans say that he is at his house by the shore in Egypt. There is no reliable information about his health, although the BBC has comprehensive information about the situation in Egypt. Al Jazeera continues its online streaming TV media coverage of the situation.

Let us hope that this Egyptian revolution leads to an increase of personal freedom and economic opportunity in Egypt, although it is clear that the demonstrations are not yet ended. Certainly the Egyptian people are very hopeful, and we do wish them the best. A touching online tribute, well worth a few minutes visit, has been started to honor those who lost their lives on streets of Cairo during this turbulent time, reminding us that the price of freedom is never free. What road change will take in Egypt may surprise much of the world, however, based on a Pew Global Attitudes Poll released just over two months ago.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dan Seals Not Running for Congress in 2012. Maybe.

The Daily Herald reports that perennial candidate for Illinois' 10th Congressional District, 9th District Wilmette resident Dan Seals, isn't taking a fourth crack at Congress. Well, that is unless he is taking a 4th crack at Congress. Sound confusing? It is.

According to the Herald, "His [Seals] comments came with a caveat, however. Although he isn’t planning to run again, Seals said he’s 'certainly not closing that door to the future.' "

It would appear that the true answer answer is to "stay tuned for further reports." Meantime, Seals appears to have taken down his website. With earlier charges that Seals recycled old endorsements for later elections and made a 180 degree change in several political issues, this further obscures the matter.

Friday, February 11, 2011

District 39 Tax Referendum: Good only for the Recession Unaffected

We won't be supporting the District 39 Referendum because of the economy. Perhaps the recession has treated you well at your house, but it has taken a toll at our house. Over the past few years our property taxes have doubled and enough is enough! The following letter came from friend:

"I'm always amused by the argument that increasing taxes for schools will support high housing values.(Wilmette Life, 2.10.11) Given our declining property values, I can see why that is an attractive argument. If that really is how the housing market works, why not double or triple the taxes! People fail to think about what happens to property values when property tax bills exceed annual mortgage payments. That's when housing prices will be "discount" in order to offset the tax burden faced by any purchasers. Who wants to further discount the price of their home in this depressed market? Not me. I'm not supporting District 39's referendum."