Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt Protests - The Army Will Not Fire on the People

The Protestors' Fight in Egypt - ABC News

So the Army will not fire on the people and tomorrow is the big day. I almost want to stay home and watch the news. The winds of change in the Middle East. The power of the media is at work for democracy.

US Egyptian Relationship after the Revolt and Democratization

What the U.S. Loses if Mubarak Goes
One thing I notice reading this article is that the popular US perception of Arab politics as "moderates" vs. "radicals" is not likely to be reality.
Certainly, the internet and wireless has to play a huge role in the overthrow of closed and repressive regimes. When the printing press arrived so did the protestant reformation and ultimately democracy. Now, with the internet, another move toward power for the people is emerging. The question is will this people go the way of Gaza and place a Hamas styled anti-American party in power.
From Mansoura Ez-Eldin of the NY Times
Clearly, the scent of Tunisia’s “jasmine revolution” has quickly reached Egypt. Following the successful expulsion in Tunis of the dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the call arose on Facebook for an Egyptian revolution, to begin on Jan. 25. Yet the public here mocked those young people who had taken to Twitter and Facebook to post calls for protest.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where is Egypt Going? - After Mubarak, will Egypt face a void?

After Mubarak, will Egypt face a void?
Top contenders:
Mohamed AlBaradei
Amer Moussa

Will Egypt Become a More Open Society - An eyewitness account of the Egypt protests

An eyewitness account of the Egypt protests
It is hard to know what to think about the protests and possible revolution in Egypt. The protests seem motivated by the people's desire for democratization and against police and military oppression. It always comes down to the politics that follow.

This eyewitness account by Ahdaf Soueif (more) tells a picture of people taking back their country. Our hopes and prayers are with the Egyptian people that freedom and civil rights for minority peoples and minority opinions will win the day.
and of course AlJazeera Live blog

Friday, January 21, 2011

China Goes to Nixon - More on China Currency Denial

China Goes to Nixon

A few weeks back, i started to write on the need for China to let it's currency float with the market and rise in value. The Chinese currency is estimated to be 50% under value which greatly effects trade with other nations making Chinese exports artificially cheap and leads to inflation in China. All this is a mess the chinese are dealing with by tightening credit instead of solving the currency problem. This obviously is related to special interests in China probably US multi-nationals included.
History teaches us that this is all a very bad thing:
Could all of this really turn into a full-fledged crisis? If I didn’t know my economic history, I’d find the idea implausible. After all, the solution to China’s monetary muddle is both simple and obvious: just let the currency rise, already.
But I do know my economic history, which means that I know how often governments refuse, sometimes for many years, to do the obviously right thing — and especially when currency values are concerned. Usually they try to keep their currencies artificially strong rather than artificially weak; but it can be a big mess either way.

Plans being drawn up to let states go bust

Plans being drawn up to let states go bust

The night of the 2010 election, I said to my wife, "This is very bad news for the states. There is simply no way California for example can make it without a bailout."
Not a good time to be a retired state worker in California.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Israel and the Stuxnet Virus

This story of Israel's use of a commuter virus to partially destroy Iran's centrifuges which enrich nuclear materials is a wonderful story of multi-national cooperation. As reported here, Virus attacking Iran Nuke Plants is Israel, and here, 'Israel tested Stuxnet virus on Dimona plant', the Americans, the Germans, the Brits and the Israelis worked together to pull this off.

No bad press images. No civilian casualties. But the semi-successful efforts is reported to have put time back on the clock. Net result: a pretty big win for the good guys!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Banksy on Revolutionary Art

I must admit, I am way into the democratization of media. Back in 2003 or so when this blog started that was the source of blogger enthusiasm. Too bad most bloggers are so nuts that it gave the whole sphere a bad rap. In the same way, street art and new media gives the power of art generation and distribution back to the people.

In the late '70's, this "everyone gets to play" motif was the idea behind punk rock. The whole point was that rock and roll needed to be given back to the everyday guy on the street. Having to kiss up to power is certainly antithetical to rock and roll.

So, how does Banksy fit into this?...Well, below, Banksy explains how Mr. Brainwash revealed that sometimes Banksy is the man too...very self-aware reflection. Your work explores power, tests power and is therefore revolutionary, encouraging people to subvert the powers that be. Mr. Brainwash kind of did this to you. He looked at the power structure around him (you and Fairey) and exploited it for his own ends. Does that make him a student — or a con man?

Banksy: Thierry essentially trespassed into the art business, and even in the wild world of vandalism there’s a lot of conservatism — people don’t like to see the rules being broken. The story of Mr. Brainwash should be inspirational, and in the hands of a more cheerful director it probably would’ve been. The film might come across as a bit cynical, but it’s important not to forget these are revolutionary times in art.

There’s a whole new audience out there, and it’s never been easier to sell it, particularly at the lower levels. You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful. All you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection. This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Love is in the Air - Banksy

Banksy 2010

I took a few pics from this post ...The Banksy 2010 Top 10
Here are more Banksy's from 2010. Every one of these is incredible.

Banksy Art

Banksy's graffiti on the wall dividing the Palestinian and Israeli sides of the west bank.

My family and I watched a Banksy video yesterday. The commentary of his graffiti is inspiring. For more go here