Month
Category

Archives: April 2011

Syrian Army Splits over Deraa Repression

Syrian Army Splits over Deraa Repression

The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Asad’s decision to quell popular protests in Deraa with military force and live ammunition may have begun splitting his army. AP reports eyewitness accounts on Thursday that…

Birth Certificate just Jim Crow all Over Again

Birth Certificate just Jim Crow all Over Again

There isn’t actually any mystery about the phenomenon of birtherism, the denial that Barack Obama is a US citizen and has a right to vote and hold office, or why obnoxious billionaire…

TomTom, Apple and the Security-GPS Complex

TomTom, the maker of a popular Global Positioning Device that helps drivers navigate their way in unknown territory, sold its data to the Dutch government. Dutch police requisitioned the data, and used…

Top Ten Arab Spring Advances this Week

Top Ten Arab Spring Advances this Week

With the horrid crackdowns on dissent in Syria and Bahrain and the vicious shelling by Qaddafi brigades of the port of Misrata in Libya on Tuesday, it would be easy to concentrate…

Misrata Reprieved

Misrata Reprieved

The city of Misrata, a port and steel-making city and Libya’s third-largest urban center, was sentenced to death 7 weeks ago by the Qaddafi family, which sent its armored brigades and professional…

The Tyrants Strike Back

The Tyrants Strike Back

Syria Early Monday morning, columns of Syrian tanks led the way into the southern city of Deraa (pop. 75,000), followed by infantry brigades who took cover behind them as the city was…

Syrian Security fires on Protesters, Kills 90

Syrian Security fires on Protesters, Kills 90

You never issue an ultimatum unless you are prepared for war. Syrian President Bashar al-Asad abolished the forty-year-old emergency law on Thursday, and he had dismissed two unpopular governors against whom there…

Apple Tracking likely a “Bug” or Oversight

The database of all our movements being kept on our iPhones by Apple is likely a software bug or oversight, according to John Gruber. The positions recorded are not exact, unlike GPS,…

Bush’s Pre-War Iraq Oil Deals Alarmed BP

Bush’s Pre-War Iraq Oil Deals Alarmed BP

George W. Bush was quietly approaching US petroleum corporations and trying to do deals with the French and Russian governments and their energy companies regarding Iraqi petroleum fields in fall of 2002,…

Saif admits Qaddafis are Brutal Foreign Occupiers

Saif admits Qaddafis are Brutal Foreign Occupiers

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of the dictator, gave an interview yesterday to the Washington Post. In it he justified the Libyan army’s horrific attacks on the besieged city of Misrata: ‘ “You…

Informed Comment & Big Blog on Campus

Pamela Paul includes Informed Comment in her Sunday NYT piece, “Big Blog on Campus.” Favorite line from her interview with me: “Good blogging involves attitude and snark.” Now if only I finally…

Saving What’s Left of the Constitution

Hmm. Somehow I missed this one. The American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the US government under George W. Bush regarding surveillance of phone calls made and emails sent overseas by US…

Egypt’s Ruling Party Dissolved

Egypt’s Ruling Party Dissolved

A special administrative high court in charge of ruling on Egyptian political party affairs on Saturday declared the former ruling party, the National Democratic Party, to be defunct. For Egypt, a major…

Yemeni Women: “We Will not be Silent!”

Yemeni Women: “We Will not be Silent!”

Oh no he di’n’t! Thousands of Yemeni women demonstrated against President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Saturday in Sanaa and Taizz, saying “We will not be silent!” They were protesting his complaint on…

The Music of the Libyan Resistance

The Music of the Libyan Resistance

Libyan rock guitarist Massoud Abu Assir is entertaining Free Libya forces and volunteers not far from the front lines, says AP. I couldn’t find Abu Assir’s video clips, but here are is…

Arab Spring Protests Continue

Arab Spring Protests Continue

1. Syria: In the biggest day of protests in Syria so far, tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated against the Baathist state of Bashar al-Asad on Friday. Large crowds came out in…

Qaddafi Using Cluster bombs on Civilian Areas

The NYT has confirmed that the pro-Qaddafi military in Misrata is using cluster bombs and other forms of indiscriminate anti-personnel weapon in the middle of a city full of non-combatants. Indiscriminate fire…

African Languages origins of the Rest?

Quentin Atkinson of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, has done a computer analysis of certain sounds (phonemes) in about 500 languages, and concludes that all of them likely descended from African…

Allies Insist on Qaddafi departure

Allies Insist on Qaddafi departure

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and US President Barack Obama are publishing a joint op-ed in three newspapers on Friday in which they make it clear that the…

Mubaraks Arrested

Mubaraks Arrested

Al-Ahram is reporting in Arabic that Gamal and Ala Mubarak, the sons of deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, have been arrested and will be moved from Sharm El Sheikh to the maximum security…

Misrata’s People under Siege

Misrata’s People under Siege

Misrata, a city of several hundred thousand people about 150 mi. east of the capital of Tripoli, is under, and for weeks has been under siege. Qaddafi’s strategy is to starve it…

Sea Water for Honolulu Air Conditioning

Here’s a neat, practical idea: Honolulu is going to draw in sea water for air conditioning. The system “will reduce Hawaii’s consumption of oil by some 178,000 barrels a year and cut…

Benghazi Rejects AU Plan to Leave Qaddafi in Power

Reuters reports that, as expected, the Transitional National Council in Benghazi has rejected the African Union proposal for a cease fire. Since Muammar Qaddafi’s forces are actively attacking civilian cities such as…

Fukushima Core Failure a Level 7 (the Worst)

Fukushima Core Failure a Level 7 (the Worst)

It’s official. The Fukushima nuclear core failure is now more like what happened in Chernobyl than what happened a Three Mile Island, and is being declared a Level 7 nuclear emergency– one…

Romney Haunted by Ghosts of Romney Past

Romney Haunted by Ghosts of Romney Past

Mitt Romney Has announced another run for the White House. Here is his 1994 debate with Senator Teddy Kennedy, in which he talked about his deeply held and obviously relatively liberal beliefs.…

Hundreds of Thousands of Arabs Protest their Governments

Hundreds of Thousands of Arabs Protest their Governments

On Friday, the US Congress endeavored to decide whether American democracy has irretrievably broken down because the representatives of the Billionaires refused to compromise with the representatives of the People (“cutting spending”…

Thomas Jefferson in Arabic

Thomas Jefferson in Arabic

I am excited to announce that the Global Americana Institute has, in partnership with Dar al-Saqi of Beirut brought out a volume of selected writings of Thomas Jefferson in Arabic. It was…

Wholesale Solar Energy Costs Rivalling Coal

Bloomberg reports that wholesale solar energy costs are falling 8% a year and may already rival coal in sunny climes like the Middle East and Japan. They’re expected to be halved in…

Green Energy in 20-40 Years?

Green Energy in 20-40 Years?

All the power the world needs could be provided by alternative energy sources within 20-40 years if the political will could be found, according to Stanford researchers. Note that they do not…

24 Dead in Fresh Yemen Violent Repression

24 Dead in Fresh Yemen Violent Repression

Violent repression of Yemen’s protesters led to 24 deaths on Tuesday in Sanaa and Taizz. Demonstrations were put down near Sanaa university, and dissident Gen. Ali Mohsen Ahmar maintains that an assassination…

Impatient Rebels Critique NATO Aid

Gen. Abdelfatah Yunis, the commander of rebel military forces in Benghazi expressed dissatisfaction on Tuesday with the pace of the NATO/ UN intervention in his country. He worried that Misrata, the country’s…

Japan Nuclear Woes Galvanize Indian Protests

Japan Nuclear Woes Galvanize Indian Protests

Indian peasants in Maharashtra are protesting plans to build a nuclear plant on an earthquake fault at Jaitapur. India has an ambitious set of plans to build 21 further nuclear reactors. The…

Libyan Rebels Aspire to Democracy

The USG Open Source Center translates an article about a rebel news conference in which they lay out their vision of Libya’ future: Libya’s TNC Presents Memo Detailing Vision for Post-Al-Qadhafi Stage…

Crackdowns Against Arab Spring Continue

Crackdowns Against Arab Spring Continue

1. Tens of thousands of protesters are said to have come out in the Yemeni city of Taizz on Monday, but were fired on by security forces, who killed 11 and wounded…

Westbrook: Half-Measures in Libya will Fail

Here is David A. Westbrook’s guest column for Informed Comment It is in many ways a critique of the position Juan Cole has taken, that a limited air intervention in Libya was…

7 Dead in Syria Unrest

7 Dead in Syria Unrest

Smaller than expected protests were held in Syria on Friday that were nevertheless met with deadly force that left between 7 and 10 dead. An alleged 5000 come out in the southern…