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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Not Optimistic Regarding Egyptian Uprising!


First:

The establishment and army stick together, get rid of Mubarak, but preserve the regime. The changes put in charge a former Air Force commander (the same job Mubarak once held) and the intelligence chief. The elite stays united, toughs it out, does a skillful combination of coopting and repressing the demonstrations, and offering some populist reforms. The old regime continues. In that case, it is only a minor adjustment.

Disgusted with the Mubaraks — Hosni’s stubborn refusal to step down; his son Gamal’s disgraceful cowardice, showing he fully deserved his insulting nickname “the boy” — the regime throws them overboard.

Second:

The elite loses its nerve and fragments, in part demoralized by a lack of Western — especially U.S. — support. The Muslim Brotherhood throws its full weight behind the rebellion. Soldiers refuse to fire at or join the opposition. Eventually, a radical regime emerges, with the Muslim Brotherhood as either ruler or power behind the throne. Remember that the “moderate democratic” leaders have been largely radical and willing to work with the Brotherhood. In that case, it is a fundamental transformation.

The new regime turns against the West, tears up the peace treaty with Israel (in practice if not formally), and joins hands with Hamas. Iranian influence isn’t important with this regime, but that will be small comfort as it launches its own subversive efforts and even goes to war against Israel at some point in the future. This will be the biggest disaster for the region and the West since the Iranian revolution 30 years ago. And in some ways it will be worse.

Third:

Neither side backs down bringing bloody civil war.

Absolutely critical here is the Muslim Brotherhood’s decision. Should it be cautious or decide that the moment for revolution has arrived? The choice is not clear because if it picks wrong it could be destroyed. Have no doubt, though, that the Brotherhood is the only non-government group with disciplined followers, real organization, and mass support. In an election where it was harassed, repressed, and cheated — thus undercounting its support — the Brotherhood officially received 20 percent of the vote.

The regime’s survival is by no means impossible, but if that is going to happen it is going to have to mobilize quickly. Meanwhile, the same U.S. policymakers who stood by as enemy Iran crushed democratic protestors is pushing too hard on a friendly Egyptian regime to make big concessions.

Finally, "to paraphrase Wordsworth, with the inert roused it might be the entire Western position in the Middle East that is swept away, and one dictatorship might be replaced by — unimaginable today — a worse one. I hope this analysis is wrong; I fear that it is accurate."

The reality to all of this is that no one knows how this will turn out and I am utterly flabbergasted as to choose a side at this point. I only wish that I had some confidence that the State Department had the foggiest notion as to what is going on and how to address it, but I don't, so I am left speculating and hoping for the best. Which at this point is $4 dollar/gallon gasoline this spring.

Matthew 24:6: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."

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Nearly 1,000 Prisoners Break Out of Jail in Egypt, Wreaking Havoc

Breaking: Nearly 1,000 prisoners have broken out of prison in Egypt amongst the chaos in the streets.

Not only will this likely result in a huge increase in looting and crime, but also murders.  Already, the head of the prison in Western Egypt has been killed by the jail-breakers.

M&C continues:
A high level of security incidents are being reported, causing concern among citizens who fear for their property and safety as looters have ransacked buildings and waged attacks.
Local residents are patrolling areas of Cairo, ordering citizens to keep lights on, in order to deter theft and vandalism. Some of these groups have detained looters.
Witnesses in several cities say the military instructed them to set up popular defence committees, after security fores were too stretched to handle the developing situation in Egypt.


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Jon Stewart Named to 9/11 Memorial and Museum Board of Directors

Jon Stewart, a comedian who has used the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as political fodder to mock Republicans, has been appointed to the board of directors of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced Stewart to the board this week, while Memorial President Joe Daniels explained why they chose the polarizing comedian:
"Jon Stewart is an incredibly important figure in today's news media, but he's also a New Yorker who felt -- as we all did -- the world changed in a matter of minutes on September 11. Since then, he has taken a definitive stance on so many issues that relate directly to our organization's mission of commemoration and education."
Stewart quickly made jokes concerning his appointment:
"Luckily for me, it appears as if they've done 95 percent of the hard labor on this. So I'm hoping to help in any way I can offer... I'm like their intern at this point."
Clearly Mr. Stewart believes it hilarious to make light of an organization that is commemorating the death of 3,000 Americans.  But then again, this is a comedian's job (regardless of if he is funny or not).  To name a comedian to a board like this is simply insulting.

This action mimics Stephen Colbert, another Comedy Central personality, testifying on Capital Hill.  As expected, Colbert made a mockery of the hearings and the event was widely condemned.
Stewart
Concluding his feelings, Mayor Bloomberg stated:
"Jon loves New York as much as I do.  He understands how important the memorial and museum are, both to the city and the whole country."
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Iran Arrests Opposition Leader's Son

Possibly fearing a "domino effect" in the region, Iran has arrested Mohammad Hossein Karoubi, the son of a major opposition leader.  With riots happening all across Egypt, it is very possible that Iran took this step as preventative.

Just two years ago major rallies occurred throughout Iran when students and many leaders called for a democratization of the country.  Unfortunately, at the time, President Obama did not voice support for the protesters, in hopes it would curry favor with him and the Iranian government.

Sahamnews reported:


"Mohammad Hossein Karoubi was arrested today for disclosing information about the Kahrizak detention center (where at least three detained anti-government protesters were killed)."

In a later dispatch, it added: "The son of Mr Karoubi has been released after answering some questions."


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Mubarak's Sons, Wife Flee Egypt

In the chaos that is Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak's wife and sons have fled the country in fear of their lives.  According to reports, they have fled to London, England.

Ynet Reports:
The president's son, Gamal, was previously expected to succeed his father, but the latest events in Egypt are raising question marks on whether Mubarak junior will indeed end up ruling Egypt.
Meanwhile, President Mubarak appointed Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman as his deputy, marking the first time the Egyptian leader ever made such appointment.
Mubarak
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Obama Speech on Egypt (January 28, 2011)

President Barack Obama is speaking about the situation in Egypt. He reportedly spoke to Egyptian dictator for 3o minutes today.

Obama says that the White House is monitoring the situation. His first concern is preventing "injury or loss of life." He called on Egyptian forces from refraining from using too much force. He reaffirmed Egypt's basic human rights.

Obama also called upon the Egyptian government to change their policy towards the internet and put it back on. He said that those speaking on the street "have the responsibility" to be peaceful. He said that violence will not solve their problems.



Embassies
Full coverage at World Threats.


Obama said that Egypt is a close ally but that there must be reform. "In the absence of these reforms, grievences have built up over time." He said that Mubarak has a responsibility to live up to his promises of better economy and more freedoms. "What's needed right now are concrete steps" that enables more freedom for the people of Egypt.

"The future of Egypt will be decided by the Egyptian people." Obama said that they wanted a government worthy of its history. Obama said that he will be willing to "work with" the government of Egypt, along with the population of that country.

He referenced his Cairo speech, saying that governments "must maintain power by consent, not coercion." Obama reiterated that he would work with the government of Egypt.

He refused to take any questions.

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Obama Speech on Egypt

President Barack Obama is speaking about the situation in Egypt. He reportedly spoke to Egyptian dictator for 3o minutes today.

Obama says that the White House is monitoring the situation. His first concern is preventing "injury or loss of life." He called on Egyptian forces from refraining from using too much force. He reaffirmed Egypt's basic human rights.

Obama also called upon the Egyptian government to change their policy towards the internet and put it back on. He said that those speaking on the street "have the responsibility" to be peaceful. He said that violence will not solve their problems.


Embassies
Full coverage at World Threats.


Obama said that Egypt is a close ally but that there must be reform. "In the absence of these reforms, grievences have built up over time." He said that Mubarak has a responsibility to live up to his promises of better economy and more freedoms. "What's needed right now are concrete steps" that enables more freedom for the people of Egypt.

"The future of Egypt will be decided by the Egyptian people." Obama said that they wanted a government worthy of its history. Obama said that he will be willing to "work with" the government of Egypt, along with the population of that country.

He referenced his Cairo speech, saying that governments "must maintain power by consent, not coercion." Obama reiterated that he would work with the government of Egypt.

He refused to take any questions.


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Watch President Obama's Speech on Egypt Live

President Obama is speaking about the unrest in Egypt right now.  While Pundit Press is covering the events in Egypt, including video of Mubarak's speech and updates on the ground, we do not have this video quite yet.  However, you can watch it live here:

http://interactive.foxnews.com/livestream/live.html?chanId=4

President Barack Obama is speaking about the situation in Egypt. He reportedly spoke to Egyptian dictator for 3o minutes today.

Obama says that the White House is monitoring the situation. His first concern is preventing "injury or loss of life." He called on Egyptian forces from refraining from using too much force. He reaffirmed Egypt's basic human rights.

RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK 
Embassies
Full coverage at World Threats.


Obama also called upon the Egyptian government to change their policy towards the internet and put it back on. He said that those speaking on the street "have the responsibility" to be peaceful. He said that violence will not solve their problems.

Obama said that Egypt is a close ally but that there must be reform. "In the absence of these reforms, grievences have built up over time." He said that Mubarak has a responsibility to live up to his promises of better economy and more freedoms. "What's needed right now are concrete steps" that enables more freedom for the people of Egypt.

"The future of Egypt will be decided by the Egyptian people." Obama said that they wanted a government worthy of its history. Obama said that he will be willing to "work with" the government of Egypt, along with the population of that country.

He referenced his Cairo speech, saying that governments "must maintain power by consent, not coercion." Obama reiterated that he would work with the government of Egypt.

He refused to take any questions.




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Obama Egypt Speech

US President Barack Obama will soon make a statement about the situation in Egypt. This comes soon after Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak made a speech in which he stated that while he will shuffle his government, he will not step down.


President Barack Obama is speaking about the situation in Egypt. He reportedly spoke to Egyptian dictator for 3o minutes today.

Obama says that the White House is monitoring the situation. His first concern is preventing "injury or loss of life." He called on Egyptian forces from refraining from using too much force. He reaffirmed Egypt's basic human rights.

Obama also called upon the Egyptian government to change their policy towards the internet and put it back on. He said that those speaking on the street "have the responsibility" to be peaceful. He said that violence will not solve their problems.



Embassies
Full coverage at World Threats.


Obama said that Egypt is a close ally but that there must be reform. "In the absence of these reforms, grievences have built up over time." He said that Mubarak has a responsibility to live up to his promises of better economy and more freedoms. "What's needed right now are concrete steps" that enables more freedom for the people of Egypt.

"The future of Egypt will be decided by the Egyptian people." Obama said that they wanted a government worthy of its history. Obama said that he will be willing to "work with" the government of Egypt, along with the population of that country.

He referenced his Cairo speech, saying that governments "must maintain power by consent, not coercion." Obama reiterated that he would work with the government of Egypt.


Earlier today White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated US support for freedom of expression in the country but did not take sides between the government and the protesters.

It is unknown what Obama will speak about specifically, but he will likely mirror the statements made by Gibbs and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Both have called for restraint but have not supported or antagonized Mubarak's government.

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Mubarak Speech (January 28, 2011)

Here is a video of the speech President Mubarak of Egypt finished just moments ago:
Related: 

Obama Speech on Egypt

Full coverage at World Threats.
RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies



And here is the entire speech without an English translation:



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President of Egypt Speech

Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is making comments in response to the huge protests today, saying that he regrets the casualties on both sides today. He says that the government handled the demonstrators poorly. He also says that the police originally defended the protesters, then the protests became "riots."

He calls his own government having freedom of the press and expression and that the protests would not be possible without them. He also declares that he receives and has received his power from the Constitution but that he will follow the sovereignty of the people. However, he says that there is a "fine line between freedom and chaos." He declares that he will defend "Egypt's stability." He will not allow for security to be reduced.
RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies




Full coverage at World Threats.

The demonstrations were said to have "repressed" the desire for more democracy and to reduce unemployment. He says that he is aware of the suffering of the Egyptian people and the problems facing society. He states that the problems facing the country cannot be fixed with violence and chaos but rather through dialogue.

He addressed the people as an "Egyptian citizen" and explained that he had given so much to the country. He states that he will 'continue reform' and "towards democracy and more freedom for citizens." He also says that he will increase the standard of living, create jobs, and improve services. "Our goals will define the shape of our futures."

Mubarak said that the protests left the "majority of the Egyptian people" fearing for the country's future. He said that he was shouldering his first responsibility to prevent "this fear to grip our people" and to "haunt our future and our fate."

BREAKING: It appears that he is talking about forming a new government-- but with him in charge. He says that he will try to keep security in the meantime.

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Watch Mubarak Speech Video

Here is Hosni Mubarak's speech:
RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies


Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is making comments in response to the huge protests today, saying that he regrets the casualties on both sides today. He says that the government handled the demonstrators poorly. He also says that the police originally defended the protesters, then the protests became "riots."

He calls his own government having freedom of the press and expression and that the protests would not be possible without them. He also declares that he receives and has received his power from the Constitution but that he will follow the sovereignty of the people. However, he says that there is a "fine line between freedom and chaos." He declares that he will defend "Egypt's stability." He will not allow for security to be reduced.

The demonstrations were said to have "repressed" the desire for more democracy and to reduce unemployment. He says that he is aware of the suffering of the Egyptian people and the problems facing society. He states that the problems facing the country cannot be fixed with violence and chaos but rather through dialogue.

He addressed the people as an "Egyptian citizen" and explained that he had given so much to the country. He states that he will 'continue reform' and "towards democracy and more freedom for citizens." He also says that he will increase the standard of living, create jobs, and improve services. "Our goals will define the shape of our futures."

Mubarak said that the protests left the "majority of the Egyptian people" fearing for the country's future. He said that he was shouldering his first responsibility to prevent "this fear to grip our people" and to "haunt our future and our fate."

BREAKING: It appears that he is talking about forming a new government-- but with him in charge. He says that he will try to keep security in the meantime.

Full coverage at World Threats.

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Egyptian Government to Step Down

BREAKING: It appears that he is talking about forming a new government-- but with him in charge. He says that he will try to keep security in the meantime.


RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies

In a speech that ended just moments ago, Mubarak has asked his government to step down; however, this is most likely a vanity move.  Mubarak has considerable power in the country, regardless of what "government" is in place. 


Full coverage at World Threats.

Mubarak
Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is making comments in response to the huge protests today, saying that he regrets the casualties on both sides today. He says that the government handled the demonstrators poorly. He also says that the police originally defended the protesters, then the protests became "riots."

He calls his own government having freedom of the press and expression and that the protests would not be possible without them. He also declares that he receives and has received his power from the Constitution but that he will follow the sovereignty of the people. However, he says that there is a "fine line between freedom and chaos." He declares that he will defend "Egypt's stability." He will not allow for security to be reduced.

The demonstrations were said to have "repressed" the desire for more democracy and to reduce unemployment. He says that he is aware of the suffering of the Egyptian people and the problems facing society. He states that the problems facing the country cannot be fixed with violence and chaos but rather through dialogue.

He addressed the people as an "Egyptian citizen" and explained that he had given so much to the country. He states that he will 'continue reform' and "towards democracy and more freedom for citizens." He also says that he will increase the standard of living, create jobs, and improve services. "Our goals will define the shape of our futures."

Mubarak said that the protests left the "majority of the Egyptian people" fearing for the country's future. He said that he was shouldering his first responsibility to prevent "this fear to grip our people" and to "haunt our future and our fate."


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Mubarak Still in Egypt, Will not Step Down

The people of the world have been asking exactly where Hosni Mubarak was for the last several hours.  In a speech that ended just moments ago, Mubarak showed that not only was he still in Egypt, but that he will try to hold on to power.

RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies

Mubarak has asked his government to step down; however, this is most likely a vanity move.  Mubarak has considerable power in the country, regardless of what "government" is in place.

Full coverage at World Threats.
Mubarak
For the last four days, Egypt has been in chaos.  Today, it has reached its highest point.  Buildings are burning throughout Egypt, while protesters are being shot in the street.  The government has imposed a curfew, yet thousands are in the street calling for Mubarak to step down.

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Obama Speech in Cairo (2009)

Here is President Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt that he made in June of 2009:



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Watch Mubarak Speech Live

The live feed is on AlJazeera here:

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/2007829161423657345.html

 Here is a video of the speech:

RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies


Some highlights:

Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is making comments in response to the huge protests today, saying that he regrets the casualties on both sides today. He says that the government handled the demonstrators poorly. He also says that the police originally defended the protesters, then the protests became "riots."

He calls his own government having freedom of the press and expression and that the protests would not be possible without them. He also declares that he receives and has received his power from the Constitution but that he will follow the sovereignty of the people. However, he says that there is a "fine line between freedom and chaos." He declares that he will defend "Egypt's stability." He will not allow for security to be reduced.

The demonstrations were said to have "repressed" the desire for more democracy and to reduce unemployment. He says that he is aware of the suffering of the Egyptian people and the problems facing society. He states that the problems facing the country cannot be fixed with violence and chaos but rather through dialogue.

He addressed the people as an "Egyptian citizen" and explained that he had given so much to the country. He states that he will 'continue reform' and "towards democracy and more freedom for citizens." He also says that he will increase the standard of living, create jobs, and improve services. "Our goals will define the shape of our futures."

Mubarak said that the protests left the "majority of the Egyptian people" fearing for the country's future. He said that he was shouldering his first responsibility to prevent "this fear to grip our people" and to "haunt our future and our fate."

BREAKING: It appears that he is talking about forming a new government-- but with him in charge. He says that he will try to keep security in the meantime.


Full coverage at World Threats.

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Mubarak Speech

RELATED: BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies



Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is making comments in response to the huge protests today, saying that he regrets the casualties on both sides today. He says that the government handled the demonstrators poorly. He also says that the police originally defended the protesters, then the protests became "riots."

He calls his own government having freedom of the press and expression and that the protests would not be possible without them. He also declares that he receives and has received his power from the Constitution but that he will follow the sovereignty of the people. However, he says that there is a "fine line between freedom and chaos." He declares that he will defend "Egypt's stability." He will not allow for security to be reduced.

The demonstrations were said to have "repressed" the desire for more democracy and to reduce unemployment. He says that he is aware of the suffering of the Egyptian people and the problems facing society. He states that the problems facing the country cannot be fixed with violence and chaos but rather through dialogue.

He addressed the people as an "Egyptian citizen" and explained that he had given so much to the country. He states that he will 'continue reform' and "towards democracy and more freedom for citizens." He also says that he will increase the standard of living, create jobs, and improve services. "Our goals will define the shape of our futures."

Mubarak said that the protests left the "majority of the Egyptian people" fearing for the country's future. He said that he was shouldering his first responsibility to prevent "this fear to grip our people" and to "haunt our future and our fate."

BREAKING: It appears that he is talking about forming a new government-- but with him in charge. He says that he will try to keep security in the meantime.

Full coverage at World Threats.

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Mubarak Flees?

There is an unconfirmed Arab-news source that has stated that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has fled the country. There seem to be no further details, and we should treat this as false until we hear otherwise.

UPDATE: There are reports that three private jets have lifted off from Cairo under heavy guard. This also comes as the Parliament Speaker is slated to make an 'important announcement.'

UPDATE: Al Jazeera is now reporting that the dictator Mubarak will make 'remarks' soon.


UPDATE: The 'important announcement' by the Speaker of Parliament was that Mubarak was still in control.


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BBC: Egyptian Tanks Surround US, UK Embassies


The BBC is reporting that Egyptian Army tanks have allegedly surrounded the embassies of the United States and United Kingdom. This comes after Israel evacuated its entire embassy staff via helicopter. This is coming in through their live blog, and further details appear scarce. The BBC is quoting an al-Jazeera cable:
2125: Tanks have surrounded the US and British embassies in Cairo, Al-Jazeera reports.
This could be a huge, huge problem. This is similar to 1979 when the Islamic rebels took the US Embassy and held hostages for 444 days.
UPDATE: The British Foreign Office appears to be reacting:
British Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez.

Cross-posted on WorldThreats.
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Live Video of Egypt Revolts

Here are links to live video from Egypt.  Please note, these links my be biased and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Pundit Press:

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream3&hpt=C1

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Vote in Our Poll: Is Obama Moving to the Center?

For the entirety of his Administration, President Obama has been seen as a liberal Commander-in-Chief.  However, with a crushing defeat in last November's mid-term elections, several news organizations are now saying that the President is moving away from left-wing politics and towards the political center.

Concerning his State of the Union address, Reuters reported that "U.S. President Barack Obama moved swiftly toward the political center on Tuesday with a State of the Union address that reached out to both parties and lacked major policy proposals."  ABC stated that Obama had not only moved towards the center, but was already being criticized for it.  Their seemly self-contradictory headline read: "Obama Criticized for Moving Toward Center After Signing Executive Order to Regulate Business."

The Main Stream Media aside, what do you believe?  Is President Obama moving away from liberal politics and towards the center, is he staying right were he is, or could he possibly be getting more liberal?  Vote below:




Is Obama Moving towards the Political Center?online surveys

Obama
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56% of Americans: Loughner Should Get Death Penalty

Jared Loughner killed six people and injured over a dozen others in a rampage on January 8th.  Amongst those dead were a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge; amongst the injured was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the head.  Now, according to a new poll, 56% of Americans believe that Loughner deserves the death penalty if he is convicted.

This solid majority is mirrored by only 24% of Americans who believe that Loughner should not get the death penalty.  The remaining 20% of those polled are undecided.

Loughner's attorney Judy Clarke, who also defended Ted Kaczynski and Zacarias Moussaoui, plans to plead "insanity."  However, only 28% of Americans believe that someone who pleads insanity should receive less punishment; 50% say that the convicted should be punished the same, regardless of pleas.
Loughner
Continuing the subject of insanity, Rasmussen reports:

Generally speaking, however, there is little disagreement when it comes to the punishment of suspects who are mentally ill: Majorities or pluralities in virtually all demographic categories think they should be punished the same as those who are not mentally ill.
Eighty-one percent (81%) of Adults say they have followed at least somewhat closely news reports about the recent shooting incident in Arizona, including 42% who have followed Very Closely.
Voters give mixed marks to the media’s handling of the Arizona incident, and most say the coverage focused too much on the political angle of the story. 
Despite the tragic shooting of the Democratic congresswoman, voter concern that opponents of President Obama’s policies will turn to violence has declined slightly over the past year. 

Oddly, the 56% of Americans that support Loughner receiving the death penalty is actually less than the percent of Americans that support it.  According to Rasmussen, 62% of Americans favor the death penalty, which means that at least 6% of those people do not support Loughner receiving the harshest of punishments.

Concerning the lies that the liberal Main Stream Media has spread in the aftermath of the shooting, only 28% of Americans believe that Loughner's rampage was the result of "political anger."  A solid majority, 58%, believe Loughner was simply an unstable man who got his hands on a deadly weapon.

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BREAKING: ElBaradei Arrested in Egypt

This is breaking news. Mohammed ElBaradei, the top opponent of Egyptian dicatator Hosni Mubarak, has been placed under house arrest. This comes just days after his return to the country. Meanwhile, his pro-democracy followers have reportedly been beaten during ongoing protests shaking the country.

Credit: Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

The Al-Jazeera TV network said at least one person was killed, but this could not be immediately verified.

Speaking to Reuters, one witness described blood streaming from people with head wounds and others collapsing to the ground. Other witnesses gave similar descriptions.

Al-Jazeera also said opposition politician Ayman Nour, who ran in the 2005 presidential election, was hurt. Citing his son, the station said the politician was in intensive care after being hit by a rock on the head.

This could be a huge development that throws Egypt over the edge.

Cross-posted on WorldThreats.

Hu's On First

Hu’s on First
A cliché is defined as a trite expression.  It’s often a figure of speech whose effectiveness has been worn out through overuse and excessive familiarity.  Yet a cliché is also a type of short hand: an instantly recognizable illustration that carries a wider meaning in a shorter phrase.  The recent triumphal visit by the Chinese President Hu Jintao has left many Americans wondering if Hu’s on first.
Most of us have seen something called a Chinese fire drill.  This is when a car, usually driven by teenagers, stops at a traffic light and everyone jumps out of the car for a blurred moment of deranged rearrangement.  The driver becomes a passenger, a passenger becomes the driver, a person from the back moves to the front, and the occupant of the coveted shotgun seat descends to the rear.  This is an apt picture of the current state of international affairs. 
The once world-shaking empires of Europe suffering the effects of two suicidal wars and decades of social welfare rot now stand in line to collapse as History passes them by.  America, once the arsenal of democracy silently watched as China went from making our socks to making our I-pods, cell phones, and computers.  Now as the light is about to change China climbs in the driver’s seat and says, “Hold it down in the back seat!”  How long will it be before they’re saying, “Don’t make me pull this car over” if we keep impudently petitioning for a level playing field?
To watch our President bow, to see the communist flag flying at the White House it’s easy to believe China has assumed its place as the Middle Kingdom: the land between heaven and earth where Red Emperors sit on Dragon Thrones doling out cash to rescue the poor barbarians who can’t seem to balance their books.
Our trade policy, with the Chinese, resembles their famous water torture where drip after drip bores a hole in an upturned and exposed forehead rather than equitable relations between equals.  Another fitting illustration for our trade policy with China is death by a thousand cuts. Whenever something was a long time coming people used to say it was on a slow boat from China.  Now that almost everything in America comes here on a boat from China it’s beginning to appear that slow and steady has won the race.
For all the expertise of our mature government, that has had a century of international prominence, our negotiations with the novices from Beijing resemble more a bull in a China shop than anything else.  We are bested at every turn often surrendering our advantages with all the wisdom of a man with a royal flush folding because someone else is bluffing with a pair of eights.
You might ask what any of this has got to do with the price of tea in China.  The Bush dynasty, the Clinton Interlude, and the Administration at the End of the World have spent us into oblivion.  They’ve exchanged the reality of being the number one manufacturer and the go-to creditor of the world for the mirage of being a kinder gentler social welfare state with our hand out.  We politely ask if our East Asian Bankers could please in their infinite much appreciated kindness assist us in any of numerous foreign policy debacles, such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or North Korea.  Our imperious masters smile and say, “Not for all the tea in China.”
It’s imperative that the Red Emperors on their Dragon Throne eventually squelch or emasculate any competing systems that allow their populations to have true freedom.  As long as there’s freedom somewhere the inhabitants of slave states will yearn for liberty.  As long as those in chains can see others walking where they wish as they wish uneasy lays the head that wears a crown.  Consequently they must ultimately compete for mastery not co-existence. 
So will our inscrutable financiers compromise?  Will they relent and give our goods the same open door we give theirs?  Will we convince them to abandon their mercantilist policies, which resemble nothing more than the policies we followed in the 19th century which led to our economic and industrial rise, and instead embrace our open border free trade policies which don’t seem to work so well for us?  The possibility of Mr. Obama’s kowtowing bringing compromise or even respect hasn’t got a China man’s chance.
So are all these illustrations merely an illusion, or has China built a great wall between our inept leaders and America’s ability to maintain its place in the first ranks of the world?  Look at our military stance with regard to China.  Our leaders make assumptions based on China’s publicly announced defense budget when people standing on the corner reading local papers realize their announced defense budget is the tip of an iceberg heading for the USS Titanic. 
In the past decade the Chinese launched 30 submarines while our fleet of submarines has shrunk.  They’ve developed a stealth fighter that just by coincidence looks almost exactly like ours and while we’ve quit building the original they’re gearing up to turn their clones out like toasters.  And for a real game changer our peaceful trading partners have developed a ballistic missile which can take out our Aircraft Carrier battle groups anywhere in the world. 
As we flush our power down twin drains fighting insurgents we call terrorists, the Chinese are preparing to stand toe-to-toe with America on the world stage.  Do they want war?  Their greatest military genius taught them long ago, “To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
We watch as our hapless leaders bumble around like vaudeville comics dropping their hats and pulling at their ties as the scales of time tilt leaving America wondering, if Hu’s on first, “What's on second?”  After years of deficit spending and leadership by the twin headed party of government growth it may end up that “Don't Know's on third.”  When will the lights go out?   When will our increasingly imperious banker call the note?  Perhaps only Hu knows Wen.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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