Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top 1% in America get much richer

LAT: "The rich have gotten richer over the last three decades -- and the very rich have gotten very richer -- far outpacing the middle class, according to a new government study."

The news is all over the US media: income disparity grows exponentially. In America!

"Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret."

There is another graph that shows the line escalating sharply. I will update this post later.

and a more amusing photo going around facebook:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Most sophisticated IEDs designed in Iran

"Electronic parts made in Minnesota were smuggled through Singapore to Iran, and some of them ended up in the remote controls of makeshift bombs seized by American forces in Iraq, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The parts are normally used in commonplace devices like routers that wirelessly connect computers and printers in a typical office network. The Justice Department said in an indictment that the ones smuggled to Iran had been put to use in sophisticated improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, that could be triggered from miles away.

...About 60 percent of all American casualties in Iraq have been caused by makeshift bombs, and the American military has long reported finding evidence that the most sophisticated and deadly of them were designed or fabricated in Iran.

By implicating Iran, at least circumstantially, in insurgent attacks on American soldiers in Iraq, the charges add to the ever worsening tensions between the countries. Two weeks ago, the United States accused Iran of complicity in a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington."

Global warming confirmed by a skeptical scientist

'The latest icy blast of reality comes from an eminent scientist whom the climate-change skeptics once lauded as one of their own. Richard Muller, a respected physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, used to dismiss alarmist climate research as being “polluted by political and activist frenzy.” Frustrated at what he considered shoddy science, Muller launched his own comprehensive study to set the record straight. Instead, the record set him straight.

"Global warming is real,” Muller wrote last week in The Wall Street Journal.'

Monday, October 24, 2011

Arab Hypocrisy on US Embassies

A day after I expressed my belief that Iraq should maintain diplomatic ties with the US in a post about Muqtada al Sadr's comment about the US embassy, a Canadian Palestinian said I am a traitor for defending the occupier. Just because I want to see Iraq maintain diplomatic ties with the US? He said if I ever said this stuff in any Arab country I would most likely be lynched.

Tonight I watched this:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Syrian protesters in Hama greeted the American ambassador with flowers. The Palestinian in Canada, like most Sunni Arabs everywhere, presumably support the protesters in Hama. At the same time a large number of them condemn or have condemned Iraqis who want normalized relations with the US. There are US embassies in every Arab capital now, yet only Iraqis are condemned for it. I wonder if the munafiqeen know they are munafiqeen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sadr considers US embassy staff in Baghdad as "occupiers"

'In response to a question from one of his followers, Sadr now says that after the expiration of the SOFA, the staff of the embassy should be considered “occupiers” and must be “resisted”. '

On one hand I see Muqtada al Sadr as an ungrateful fundamentalist majnoon. His opposition to the US does not make sense, given that the US overthrew the dictator who murdered his father and his two oldest brothers in 1999.

On the other hand I can understand why Muqtada al Sadr and his followers would distrust the US, given that the US could have overthrown the dictator in 1991 after bombing Iraq for 40 consecutive days and marching to the outskirts of Baghdad. By the 29th day of the 1991 bombing, the "Allied air campaign passes 40,000-sortie mark - 10,000 more missions than were flown against Japan in final 14 months of World War II."

Based on comments by Americans for posts about 1991, some Americans seem to think the Iraqis should not be angry or bitter about what the US should have done differently in 1991. Some think Iraqis should blame the Saudis, who were afraid of Iran taking over. So did the US allow Saddam to fly his helicopters because the Saudis did not want to see the Shia take over Iraq? Did KSA & USA have common interests? Or was KSA in charge? Is America KSA's bitch? It seems that way, especially when you consider that KSA was not punished for 9/11. The friendship seemed to flourish, actually.

For Americans and Saudis, 1991 turned out to be a good year. They got it all: a short war with relatively little casualties, KSA paid for the war and Sunni Arab domination of Iraq continued. Few Americans and Arabs were interested in helping Iraqis overthrow the Saddam.

Despite the bad things that happened and the mistakes, I would say the average Iraqi does not agree with Muqtada al Sadr and would like to see normal relations with the US. Iraq needs international assistance to develop into a prosperous nation.

Friday, October 21, 2011

All US troops to leave Iraq by end of 2011

"President Obama announced Friday that the United States will withdraw nearly all troops from Iraq by the end of the year, effectively bringing the long and polarizing war in Iraq to an end."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Qadhafi is dead

Haha. The talk in the US media is a lot about the killing of Qaddafi, and a US drone was involved, according to Lawrence O'Donnell. Many commentators on MSNBC are comparing it to how the US acted against Iraq. It is a valid comparison, but they don't go into how Iraq and Libya were very different. It is interesting how some Republicans are reacting - they're playing down American involvement, don't want to give too much credit to Obama.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow is portraying it as a "Responsibility to Protect", as in protect civilians. America will "work with others" and liberals are praising the way Obama has conducted his foreign policy. It is impressive, even though he doesn't have to deal with major civil war in Libya.

I wonder how different Iraq would have been if the US had helped Iraqis kill Saddam. It would have taken serious help, and the US should have done it in 1991, after bombing the shiite out of the place.

Anyway, it is always good to see a dictator go down. I hope Libya becomes a progressive democracy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ayn Rand hated altruism

A very clever video that shows what Republicans are all about:

Paul Ryan says Ayn Rand did a "fantastic job" of explaining the "morality" of capitalism. What morality is that schmuck talking about? Ayn Rand was a selfish individualist who hated altruism and socialism. She did not believe in love for our fellow human. And these Republicans who love Ayn Rand call themselves Christians! Either these Republicans do not understand Ayn Rand's philosophy or they do not understand Christianity. Perhaps it is both.

Some Republicans are smart

Some Republicans learned from their mistakes:

"Republicans favor tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, but these had no stimulative effect during the George W. Bush administration and there is no reason to believe that more of them will have any today."

--Bruce Bartlett, who held senior policy roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations

Monday, October 10, 2011

Egyptian police kill 25 Egyptian Christian protesters

No surprise that the Mujrimeen, I mean Muslimeen, would kill Christians, but is this the new Egypt?

"At least 25 people were killed in Cairo when government troops crushed a demonstration of Coptic Christians over an attack on a church. It was the worst violence Egypt has seen since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

The protest was aimed at Egypt's new military leaders, blaming them for failing to protect the Christian community from attacks by radical Islamists, such as the partial demolishing of a church in Aswan province last week."

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tea Party vs. "THC" Party

Jon Stewart takes a humorous look at the "Occupy Wall Street" protests that started in NYC and are spreading across the country. I love how he compares FOX News' coverage of the Tea Party to their coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, whom he sarcastically suggests may be called the "THC" party.

Also watch a NYPD "white shirt" pepper spray peaceful protesters.

"Inside Job"

I gotta watch this documentary.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs was a great American

Steve Jobs died today. It was not unexpected, but it was still shocking. He was relatively young and he had a huge impact on the computer industry. Macintosh was always more expensive than Windows-run computers. When I bought my first Mac in 2008, I understood why.

After I read the news I got on facebook. I happened to see a post by an Arab American, who wrote on her page: "in case you didn't know; the arab that made apple" and linked to this article: "Steve Jobs Dies: He Was The Most Famous Arab in the World". Steve Jobs was an Arab? LOL! A couple of hours after that I got back on facebook, saw another friend express her gratitude to Steve Jobs. A friend of hers wrote on her post "Did you know he is Sryian".

After I bought my Mac and then my iPhone I saw Apple's stock explode. Last year while visiting London I visited the Apple store on Regents street and I was not surprised to see huge crowds there. During my visit I read an article that said that Apple store on Regents street was the most profitable per square foot in London in 2009. After I returned home I wanted to know more about the genius who founded Apple, so I read the Wikipedia article. From that article I learned that Steve Jobs was born to a Syrian father and American mother, who gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by an American couple named Paul and Clara Jobs. So I was a little surprised to see Arabs and Arab Americans claiming that Steve Jobs was Syrian or Arab!

I wonder if Steve Jobs even knew his biological father, and I wonder if he would have become the genius he was if he was raised by his Syrian American biological father, a political science professor!

Steve Jobs was not Syrian, not an Arab, had nothing to do with Arabs except that his biological father was an Arab. Steve Jobs was a great American.

Bahrain court jails more activists

"A Bahraini security court has sentenced 26 activists to prison for their part in anti-government protests, raising to 60 the total number convicted over the past two days in stepped-up prosecutions.

Bahraini authorities on Tuesday also banned the largely Shia opposition from organising a "human chain" demonstration against the jailing of medics and activists.

The official Bahrain News Agency said Tuesday's verdicts included members of a Shia political group, Al Amal, which was banned by the Sunni monarchy after pro-reform protests began in February."

Thanks Ghassan for posting on fb.

Were the numbers of US troops in Iraq enough to avoid tens of thousands of deaths of innocent Iraqis?

Al Jazeera reporter Abderrahim Foukara asks former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if he made adequate preparations for the invasion of Iraq to avoid tens of thousands of deaths of innocent Iraqis. As if Arabs really cared about the deaths of innocent Iraqis! But it is a good question, and obviously the answer is no.

Also interesting is the charge that it is in Foukara's "nature" to be pejorative. It is not in the Arab "nature" to be pejorative. It is in the Arab nature to be a hypocrite. LOL