Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wisconsin Gov. Walker: "We're Broke"

Sarah Palin: Union Brothers and Sisters: Seize Opportunity to Show True Solidarity

The union-led school closures and demonstrations in Madison have left most ordinary Americans shaking their heads in disbelief. Months ago, I penned a message to my fellow union brothers and sisters when I found myself on the receiving end of union boss Richard Trumka’s wrath. Yesterday’s demonstrations reminded me of the full-page ads taken out against me when I put my foot down in dealing with union demands while I served as governor. My message then and now to good union brothers and sisters is that you have another option. You don’t have to kowtow to the union bosses who are not looking out for you, but instead are using you. You can join millions of other union members in a commonsense movement to help fight for the right causes in our great country – for budgets that share the burden in a truly fair way and for commonsense reforms that take power away from vested interests like union bosses and big business lobby groups, and put it back where it belongs – with “We the People.” [read more]

Average MPS Compensation Tops $100k!

Glenn Beck on Comparisons Between WI Governor & Mubarak

Founding Fathers Quote

Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.

James Madison

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wisconsin Governor to Dem Senators: Do your job.

Irate, Tireless Minority: An open letter to Senate Democrats from one WI Mom

Republished with permission of Irate, Tireless Minority: An open letter to Senate Democrats from one WI Mom

Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen,


You were elected to vote.

•Not to run out on your responsibilities like teenagers pulling a prank.
•Not to run up expensive resort bills on the taxpayer's dime while you do so.
•Not to make our lovely state the laughingstock of the nation.
•And certainly not to leave our beautiful Capital building at the mercy of out-of-state hooligans brought in to act as Union Enforcers against the people of Wisconsin.

You may not like it that your vote will not change the outcome. That does not change your duty. You were elected to vote. I suggest, that you put your behinds back on that bus, get yourselves back to the floor of the legislature in Madison and do your jobs.

May I further suggest that you take up a collection amongst yourselves to pay the bills for the resort and the bus, so as to avoid further burdening the hardworking taxpayers of WI and shaming your electorates any further.

Your behavior is outrageous.

"The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. "~ Micah 3:11-12

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald on Democrats walkout

Sen. Ron Johnson Comments On Gov. Scott Walker Budget Fix And Leadership

February 17, 2011

Johnson Salutes Governor Walker for Courageous Leadership on Spending

Senator Ron Johnson released the following statement today:

“I am incredibly proud of the leadership and the courage that Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Members of Wisconsin’s State Assembly and Senate are showing against incredible opposition. Not only is Governor Walker leading the state of Wisconsin, but he is also leading the nation. America is hungry for leadership as both Washington and many states face crushing deficits.

“I was deeply troubled when I learned that union supporters were surrounding Governor Walker’s private home in Wauwatosa. That is out of line and out of bounds.

“I have deep respect for anyone that works hard to build a good life for themselves and their family. Nobody likes to face budget cuts. But, the fact of the matter is that we are talking about a $3.6 billion deficit in the state of Wisconsin, and a $1.65 trillion deficit here in America. We have got to take action, doing nothing is no longer an option. We simply can’t delay fiscal responsibility any longer.

“I stand ready to do anything I can to assist the men and women in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate. Showing this kind of leadership deserves our respect. I’m encouraging the citizens of Wisconsin to also voice their support for those people showing leadership and courage. They are doing what has to be done and they should be commended.”

###

Irate, Tireless Minority: Budget Repair

Irate, Tireless Minority: Budget Repair

Wis. Teachers Shut Down Schools, Threaten Strikes

Democrats Side With Unions Over Taxpayers - UPDATED

We have now learned that Democratic State Senators are refusing to come to the floor to vote on Gov. Walker's budget fix. The Assembly Democrats are wearing ridiculous orange shirts to show their solidarity with the unions. Mobs of angry union members have descended on the Capital Building.

I have received two emails from staff in the Capital building both reporting the same thing, that police have advised them to lock their doors. Large groups of protesters are screaming and baning loud drums inside the building. Other protesters are banging on the glass windows. One of the emailers has asked for prayers for the state. I can think of nothing more needed right now.

We are learning that national Democrats are involved. We have Obama's comment against Gov. Walker and I just heard on the radio that elements in Obama's former campaign apparatus are helping organize the protests. It seems a little convenient to me that a Democrat government official and unions helped by the media spread false rumors that the governor was going to sick the National Guard on them. Now the appear to be attempting to force the governor's hand. What happens if the police have to intervene and start making arrests?

We need to not only let our representatives know that we support the governor, but please consider a donation to the state Party; let's put our money where our mouths are. We all screamed for Gov. Walker and our new majorities in the state senate and assembly to govern as conservatives; their doing that now we have to be there for them. We are seeing real leadership out of Gov. Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers and we are seeing mob tactics from the Democrat Party. Keep that in mind in the spring election and in 2012.

Don't ever forget that school students are being denied an education right now by the unions and their Democrat supporters. I also heard that parents whose students attend private schools may not receive a hot lunch today if the public schools around them close. How many parents will be aware of this and how many students will go hungry?

Pray for the great state of Wisconsin the unions have shown who they are. Let's just be done with them and move to a right to work state. Their leadership is too out of touch with reality. Obama and his cronies in DC need to stay out of what is a purely state issue. Once again the feds are intruding and they have no business stirring up an already volatile situation.

If Gov. Walker gets his budget fix passed it will send shock waves through out the Republic and be an example to other states; that is why passions are so high. The left is seeing their strangle hold on the states challenged and are trying to dictate the outcome.

UPDATE:
620 WTMJ just reported that Republican Sen. Alberta Darling has heard that the Democrats have boarded a bus and are leaving the state. The final betrayal of the taxpayers. The Democrat Party has shown you what they think of you. Never for that they just abandoned the state. Since they show no interest in representing the state they should resign. At the very least voters should recall them.

Governor Walker Discusses Budget Repair Bill with Greta Van Susteren

Founding Fathers Quote

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin

Rhetoric vs. Reality: Liberal Protest of Gov. Walker's Budget Repair Plan

The Lie: Gov. Walker Sicks National Guard On Union

By now many Americans have heard a blatant falsehood that Gov. Walker was threatening to unleash the National Guard. Nothing could be further from the truth and this video lays it to rest. Please help spread the truth.

Left Insults National Guard, Wisconsinites' Intelligence

Just Make Wisconsin A Right To Work State


I watched the national media with disgust as they reported tonight on the situation in Wisconsin over Gov. Walker's proposed budget fix. Almost no details were given and even Fox Business was primarily reporting the union's side with one guest repeating often that they need a living wage. Give me a break! These spoiled union members are whining about the modest proposal the governor has put forward. I say forget trying to work with them; just make us a right to work state.



The unions are nothing but breeders of inefficiency and mediocrity. They have bled this state dry and now they and their supporters whine they need a living wage? I would love to have their wages, pension, and benefits. Some schools released their students to go join the protests. Apparently, without permission from the parents. This seems unethical to use children under your authority as props, not to mention the lost academic time.



The teachers staged a sick-out today, which I believe is against their contract. One of my children's teachers has mysteriously been out this week leaving him with a substitute teacher who basically conducted a study hall over the last couple of days. I find it especial interesting given that the school has repeatedly sent home notes through out the school year asking parents to no longer take their children out during school hours to doctor and dentist appointments because the kids can't afford to miss that valuable time.

The unions are well aware that if the governor does not succeed with his budget fix there will be mass layoffs. I would rather pay a little more for my pension and my health care than lose my job. It is like logic has no meaning to these unions. I also find it disgusting that pro-socialist literature is being handed out during the protests. Perhaps now we come to the real reason that these unions feel so entitled.

Please let Gov. Walker, your state senator, and assemblymen know that you support the common sense budge fix. Unions have been successful in one way; know one will ever believe that they care about the children again.


h/t: Berry Laker for student video

Way Up North: A Christian's Guide to the Second Amendment

Way Up North: A Christian's Guide to the Second Amendment

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Representatives Who Voted For The Patriot Act And Betrayed You

Here are the names of the representatives who betrayed you, America, and the Constitution by voting to extend the Patriot Act. It does not matter what justification they use to cover up their sin (sin is the absense of good), what they have done is to take away your God given rights to privacy and freedom.

This Act has been so abused it has become a violation of everything that is America. Bush's presidency was repulsive and disastrous for the Constitution and the Patriot Act is a devilish beast unleashed upon Americans like a plague slowly eradicating our freedom. It does not protect us or make us secure, in fact it rips away our security and all protections we have from out-of-control tyranny.

Contact your representative and admonish them for their betrayal of American freedom and commit to voting out every one of them who does not atone for their actions in voting to extend the Patriot Act.

Southern Avenger: Conservatives Hijack CPAC

Prayers For Lara Logan Attacked By Vicious Egyptian Protesters

Please remember Lara Logan and her family in your prayers. While covering the violent Egyptian protests She was sexually assaulted and brutally beaten by a mob. These protests have not been the peaceful gatherings that the mainstream media would have you believe; hundreds have been murdered by this increasingly unstable and violent situation.

Sen. Rand Paul On the Patriot Act

Press Release of Senator Paul

Senator Rand Paul’s Letter of Opposition to the Patriot Act

Contact: Gary Howard: 202-224-4343
Tuesday, February 15, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) released the following Dear Colleague letter to his fellow Senators this morning regarding the renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act.



Dear Colleague:

James Otis argued against general warrants and writs of assistance that were issued by British soldiers without judicial review and that did not name the subject or items to be searched.

He condemned these general warrants as “the worst instrument[s] of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever w[ere] found in an English law book.” Otis objected to these writs of assistance because they “placed the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.” The Fourth Amendment was intended to guarantee that only judges—not soldiers or policemen—would issue warrants. Otis’ battle against warrantless searches led to our Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable government intrusion.

My main objection to the PATRIOT Act is that searches that should require a judge’s warrant are performed with a letter from an FBI agent—a National Security Letter (“NSL”).

I object to these warrantless searches being performed on United States citizens. I object to the 200,000 NSL searches that have been performed without a judge’s warrant.

I object to over 2 million searches of bank records, called Suspicious Activity Reports, performed on U.S. citizens without a judge’s warrant.

As February 28th approaches, with three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act set to expire, it is time to re-consider this question: Do the many provisions of this bill, which were enacted in such haste after 9/11, have an actual basis in our Constitution, and are they even necessary to achieve valid law-enforcement goals?

The USA PATRIOT Act, passed in the wake of the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history, is no doubt well-intentioned. However, rather than examine what went wrong, and fix the problems, Congress instead hastily passed a long-standing wish list of power grabs like warrantless searches and roving wiretaps. The government greatly expanded its own power, ignoring obvious answers in favor of the permanent expansion of a police state.

It is not acceptable to willfully ignore the most basic provisions of our Constitution—in this case—the Fourth and First Amendments—in the name of “security.”

For example, one of the three provisions set to expire on February 28th—the “library provision,” section 215 of the PATRIOT Act—allows the government to obtain records from a person or entity by making only the minimal showing of “relevance” to an international terrorism or espionage investigation. This provision also imposes a year-long nondisclosure, or “gag” order. “Relevance” is a far cry from the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of probable cause. Likewise, the “roving wiretap” provision, section 206 of the PATRIOT Act, which is also scheduled to expire on the 28th, does not comply with the Fourth Amendment. This provision makes possible “John Doe roving wiretaps,” which do not require the government to name the target of the wiretap, nor to identify the specific place or facility to be monitored. This bears an uncanny resemblance to the Writs of Assistance fought against by Otis and the American colonists.

Other provisions of the PATRIOT Act previously made permanent and not scheduled to expire present even greater concerns. These include the use and abuse by the FBI of so-called National Security Letters. These secret demand letters, which allow the government to obtain financial records and other sensitive information held by Internet Service Providers, banks, credit companies, and telephone carriers—all without appropriate judicial oversight—also impose a gag order on recipients.



NSL abuse has been and likely continues to be rampant. The widely-circulated 2007 report issued by the Inspector General from the Department of Justice documents “widespread and serious misuse of the FBI’s national security letter authorities. In many instances, the FBI’s misuse of national security letters violated NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, or the FBI’s own internal policies.” Another audit released in 2008 revealed similar abuses, including the fact that the FBI had issued inappropriate “blanket NSLs” that did not comply with FBI policy, and which allowed the FBI to obtain data on 3,860 telephone numbers by issuing only eleven “blanket NSLs.” The 2008 audit also confirmed that the FBI increasingly used NSLs to seek information on U.S. citizens. From 2003 to 2006, almost 200,000 NSL requests were issued. In 2006 alone, almost 60% of the 49,425 requests were issued specifically for investigations of U.S. citizens or legal aliens.



In addition, First Amendment advocates should be concerned about an especially troubling aspect of the 2008 audit, which documented a situation in which the FBI applied to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to obtain a section 215 order. The Court denied the order on First Amendment grounds. Not to be deterred, the FBI simply used an NSL to obtain the same information.

A recent report released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) entitled, “Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001-2008,” documents further NSL abuse. EFF estimates that, based on the proportion of violations reported to the Intelligence Oversight Board and the FBI’s own statements regarding NSL violations, the actual number of violations that may have occurred since 2001 could approach 40,000 violations of law, Executive Order, and other regulations.

Yet another troublesome (and now permanent) provision of the PATRIOT Act is the expansion of Suspicious Activity Reports. Sections 356 and 359 expanded the types of financial institutions required to file reports under the Bank Secrecy Act. The personal and account information required by the reports is turned over to the Treasury Department and the FBI. In 2000, there were only 163,184 reports filed. By 2007, this had increased to 1,250,439. Again, as with NSLs, there is a complete lack of judicial oversight for SARs.

Finally, I wish to remind my colleagues that one of the many ironies of the rush to advance the PATRIOT Act following 9/11 is the well-documented fact that FBI incompetence caused the failure to search the computer of the alleged 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui. As FBI agent Coleen Rowley stated, “the FBI headquarters supervisory special agent handling the Moussaoui case ‘seemed to have been consistently almost deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents’ efforts” to meet the FISA standard for a search warrant, and therefore no request was ever made for a warrant. Why, then, was the FBI rewarded with such expansive new powers in the aftermath of this institutional failure?

In the words of former Senator Russ Feingold, the only “no” vote against the original version of the PATRIOT Act,

“[T]here is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists. But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. And that would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.”

I call upon each of my Senate colleagues to seriously consider whether the time has come to re-evaluate many—if not all—provisions of the PATRIOT Act. Our oath to uphold the Constitution demands it.



Sincerely,

Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator


###

Belated Valentine's

Rep. Andre Jacque At Green Bay Tea Party

Primary Day

Please get out and vote today. The unions are enraged that they are finally answering for the lavish spending of their Democrat Party. So I have not doubt that they will be voting in mass. Educate yourself before you vote today.

We need to repair our school boards, city councils, and support Justice David Prosser. Wisconsin has made a lot of progress. We cannot afford to sit any primary or general election out. Let's keep the conservative tidal wave rolling.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Time To Stand Behind Gov. Walker

The very financial well being of our state is at risk and the public and teachers unions want to protest and attack Gov. Walker's very modest budget fix. It is imperative that we make Wisconsin competitive again. Gov. Walker has aggressively working towards that end from day one.

We must stand strongly behind him and let our members of the state senate and the assembly know that we expect them to support the governor's plan. We have seen what years of the Democrat Party's pandering to the unions has brought. It is public and school union employees making considerably more than the hard working taxpayers who pay them.

For all the whining coming from the unions let's not forget that many taxpayers are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin states that public employees earn an average compensation of $76,500 a year. I know very few Wisconsin taxpayers who earns any where near that. Wisconsin's median income is only $47,220. I am sorry, but what happened to public service. It is more like they are living high off the hog while the taxpayers are breaking their backs so that the unions don't have to feel the economic impact of liberal policies the rest of us are suffering through.

There is even talk that many teachers will call in sick tomorrow to attend the protest. I wonder what kind of impact that will have on our children's education. Apparently that only matters when they are asking for more money. Know more sob stories. Let's make Wisconsin a right to work state. Gov. Walker's plan is a good first step. Here is some useful information from Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin.


AFP-Wisconsin Needs You!

Please join us in Madison
for a public hearing on Tuesday, February 15th at 10:00 AM to support Governor
Walker’s Budget Repair Bill.

Thousands of other government employees
will be attending this hearing, rejecting Governor Walker's plan to have public
employees pay their fair share of their health care and pensions to help balance
the state budget - despite the fact that public employees earn an average
compensation of $76,500 a year.

Gov. Walker's Budget Repair Bill takes
important steps to reduce the size of government and balance the budget without
raising taxes. It is imperative we attending this hearing and show our support
for these reasonable and necessary steps that will help get Wisconsin's fiscal
house back in order.

Moreover, as many as 8 Republicans Senators have
not committed to the Governor’s plan. Your immediate action is needed for the
Governor’s plan to pass the legislature this week.
Click here to contact your legislator and tell them to support the
Budget Repair Bill
.

AFP is also
proud to provide transportation for this critical hearing. Please see below for
more details.

If you plan on attending, please
register here.

The buses from these areas
listed below will pick you up and drop you off after the hearing. There is no
cost for these rides to Madison. We will leave Madison at 1:00 pm.

Bus 1 Rhinelander-Wausau Pick-up & Drop off Location:
Pick Up 1: Tuesday, Feb 15th @ 5:00 AM CST
Pick-Up 1: Parking
lot of old Tru Value, 2181 Lincoln Street, Rhinelander, WI
Location: Old Tru
Value lot

Pick Up 2: Tuesday, Feb 15th @ 7:15 AM CST
Pick-Up 2:
Wausau Homes Education Center, 10805 Bus Hwy 51, Rothschild, WI
Location:
Exit 185 off of I-39

Bus 2 Racine-Milwaukee Pick-up & Drop
off Location:
Pick-Up 1: Tuesday, Feb 15th @ 7:30 AM CST
Pick-Up 1: Ives Grove Park & Ride- Racine County park and ride lot
51-20, Ives Grove
Location: Take I-94 exit 333, turn west onto WIS 20 and
travel about one mile. The lot is located on the north side of WIS 20 near Ives
Grove Golf Links.

Pick Up 2: Tuesday, Feb 15th @ 8:00 AM CST
Pick-Up
2 : State Fair Park & Ride- Milwaukee County park and ride lot 40-55
Location: Intersection of 76th Street & Kearney Streets, just South of
I-94 near State Fair Park, West Allis, WI

Bus 3 Sheboygan-Fon du
Lac Pick-up & Drop off Location:
Pick-Up 1: Tuesday, Feb 15th @
7:00 AM CST
Pick-Up 1: Kohler Park & Ride at I-43 and State Hwy 28
Location: Kohler park and ride, motorists should take I-43 exit 123, head
west on WIS 28, and turn left on County A. The park and ride is located to the
left

Pick-Up 2: Tuesday, Feb 15th @ 8:00 AM CST Pick-Up 2: Parking lot
behind Rocky Rococo, 806 West Johnson Street, Fon du Lac, WILocation: 806 West
Johnson Street, Fon du Lac, WI

* Madison is Final Location for
all Buses.
Drop off & Pick-up Location: 188 East Main Street,
Madison, WI (intersection of Main & King Street)
Drop Off: 9:30am CST
Pick Up: 1:00pm CST

Thank you for taking action to support economic
freedom and prosperity across Wisconsin. We hope to see you tomorrow!


Sincerely,

Tim Phillips
President
Americans for
Prosperity

Log on to learn more about AFP Wisconsin!

AFP
Wisconsin Website

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope y'all enjoyed Valentine's Day with your families. One benefit to Wisconsin's over stuffed classrooms is that each of my children got a huge bag of candy. I used to speak and read Russian quite a bit in college so SR and I treated our family to Rosetta Stone as a kind of Valentine's gift; so I did her Valentine's card up in Russian. It took forever, but it is the thought that counts.

The weather was actually nice today. We were in the 20's and the wind wasn't too bad. I think we got up into the high 30's at one point because the snow started to melt, which left a nice sheet of water over the sidewalk that froze over by the time the kids got off the bus.

Egypt: The Distance Between Enthusiasm and Reality

Egypt: The Distance Between Enthusiasm and Reality is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

On Feb. 11, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned. A military council was named to govern in his place. On Feb. 11-12, the crowds that had gathered in Tahrir Square celebrated Mubarak’s fall and the triumph of democracy in Egypt. On Feb. 13, the military council abolished the constitution and dissolved parliament, promising a new constitution to be ratified by a referendum and stating that the military would rule for six months, or until the military decides it’s ready to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.

What we see is that while Mubarak is gone, the military regime in which he served has dramatically increased its power. This isn’t incompatible with democratic reform. Organizing elections, political parties and candidates is not something that can be done quickly. If the military is sincere in its intentions, it will have to do these things. The problem is that if the military is insincere it will do exactly the same things. Six months is a long time, passions can subside and promises can be forgotten.

At this point, we simply don’t know what will happen. We do know what has happened. Mubarak is out of office, the military regime remains intact and it is stronger than ever. This is not surprising, given what STRATFOR has said about recent events in Egypt, but the reality of what has happened in the last 72 hours and the interpretation that much of the world has placed on it are startlingly different. Power rests with the regime, not with the crowds. In our view, the crowds never had nearly as much power as many have claimed.

Certainly, there was a large crowd concentrated in a square in Cairo, and there were demonstrations in other cities. But the crowd was limited. It never got to be more than 300,000 people or so in Tahrir Square, and while that’s a lot of people, it is nothing like the crowds that turned out during the 1989 risings in Eastern Europe or the 1979 revolution in Iran. Those were massive social convulsions in which millions came out onto the streets. The crowd in Cairo never swelled to the point that it involved a substantial portion of the city.

In a genuine revolution, the police and military cannot contain the crowds. In Egypt, the military chose not to confront the demonstrators, not because the military itself was split, but because it agreed with the demonstrators’ core demand: getting rid of Mubarak. And since the military was the essence of the Egyptian regime, it is odd to consider this a revolution.

Mubarak and the Regime

The crowd in Cairo, as telegenic as it was, was the backdrop to the drama, not the main feature. The main drama began months ago when it became apparent that Mubarak intended to make his reform-minded 47-year-old son, Gamal, lacking in military service, president of Egypt. This represented a direct challenge to the regime. In a way, Mubarak was the one trying to overthrow the regime.

The Egyptian regime was founded in a coup led by Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser and modeled after that of Kemal Ataturk of Turkey, basing it on the military. It was intended to be a secular regime with democratic elements, but it would be guaranteed and ultimately controlled by the military. Nasser believed that the military was the most modern and progressive element of Egyptian society and that it had to be given the responsibility and power to modernize Egypt.

While Nasser took off his uniform, the military remained the bulwark of the regime. Each successive president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, while formally elected in elections of varying dubiousness, was an officer in the Egyptian military who had removed his uniform when he entered political life.

Mubarak’s decision to name his son represented a direct challenge to the Egyptian regime. Gamal Mubarak was not a career military officer, nor was he linked to the military’s high command, which had been the real power in the regime. Mubarak’s desire to have his son succeed him appalled and enraged the Egyptian military, the defender of the regime. If he were to be appointed, then the military regime would be replaced by, in essence, a hereditary monarchy — what had ruled Egypt before the military. Large segments of the military had been maneuvering to block Mubarak’s ambitions and, with increasing intensity, wanted to see Mubarak step down in order to pave the way for an orderly succession using the elections scheduled for September, elections designed to affirm the regime by selecting a figure acceptable to the senior military men. Mubarak’s insistence on Gamal and his unwillingness to step down created a crisis for the regime. The military feared the regime could not survive Mubarak’s ambitions.

This is the key point to understand. There is a critical distinction between the regime and Hosni Mubarak. The regime consisted — and consists — of complex institutions centered on the military but also including the civilian bureaucracy controlled by the military. Hosni Mubarak was the leader of the regime, successor to Nasser and Sadat, who over time came to distinguish his interests from those of the regime. He was increasingly seen as a threat to the regime, and the regime turned on him.

The demonstrators never called for the downfall of the regime. They demanded that Mubarak step aside. This was the same demand that was being made by many if not most officers in the military months before the crowds gathered in the streets. The military did not like the spectacle of the crowds, which is not the way the military likes to handle political matters. At the same time, paradoxically, the military welcomed the demonstrations, since they created a crisis that put the question of Mubarak’s future on the table. They gave the military an opportunity to save the regime and preserve its own interests.

The Egyptian military is opaque. It isn’t clear who was reluctant to act and who was eager. We would guess that the people who now make up the ruling military council were reluctant to act. They were of the same generation as Hosni Mubarak, owed their careers to him and were his friends. Younger officers, who had joined the military after 1973 and had trained with the Americans rather than the Soviets, were the likely agitators for blocking Mubarak’s selection of Gamal as his heir, but there were also senior officers publicly expressing reservations. Who was on what side is a guess. What is known is that many in the military opposed Gamal, would not push the issue to a coup, and then staged a coup designed to save the regime after the demonstrations in Cairo were under way.

That is the point. What happened was not a revolution. The demonstrators never brought down Mubarak, let alone the regime. What happened was a military coup that used the cover of protests to force Mubarak out of office in order to preserve the regime. When it became clear Feb. 10 that Mubarak would not voluntarily step down, the military staged what amounted to a coup to force his resignation. Once he was forced out of office, the military took over the existing regime by creating a military council and taking control of critical ministries. The regime was always centered on the military. What happened on Feb. 11 was that the military took direct control.

Again, as a guess, the older officers, friends of Mubarak, found themselves under pressure from other officers and the United States to act. They finally did, taking the major positions for themselves. The demonstrations were the backdrop for this drama and the justification for the military’s actions, but they were not a revolution in the streets. It was a military coup designed to preserve a military-dominated regime. And that was what the crowds were demanding as well.

Coup and Revolution

We now face the question of whether the coup will turn into a revolution. The demonstrators demanded — and the military has agreed to hold — genuinely democratic elections and to stop repression. It is not clear that the new leaders mean what they have said or were simply saying it to get the crowds to go home. But there are deeper problems in the democratization of Egypt. First, Mubarak’s repression had wrecked civil society. The formation of coherent political parties able to find and run candidates will take a while. Second, the military is deeply enmeshed in running the country. Backing them out of that position, with the best will in the world, will require time. The military bought time Feb. 13, but it is not clear that six months is enough time, and it is not clear that, in the end, the military will want to leave the position it has held for more than half a century.

Of course, there is the feeling, as there was in 2009 with the Tehran demonstrations, that something unheard of has taken place, as U.S. President Barack Obama has implied. It is said to have something to do with Twitter and Facebook. We should recall that, in our time, genuine revolutions that destroyed regimes took place in 1989 and 1979, the latter even before there were PCs. Indeed, such revolutions go back to the 18th century. None of them required smartphones, and all of them were more thorough and profound than what has happened in Egypt so far. This revolution will not be “Twitterized.” The largest number of protesters arrived in Tahrir Square after the Internet was completely shut down.

The new government has promised to honor all foreign commitments, which obviously include the most controversial one in Egypt, the treaty with Israel. During the celebrations the evening of Feb. 11 and morning of Feb. 12, the two chants were about democracy and Palestine. While the regime committed itself to maintaining the treaty with Israel, the crowds in the square seemed to have other thoughts, not yet clearly defined. But then, it is not clear that the demonstrators in the square represent the wishes of 80 million Egyptians. For all the chatter about the Egyptian people demanding democracy, the fact is that hardly anyone participated in the demonstrations, relative to the number of Egyptians there are, and no one really knows how the Egyptian people would vote on this issue.

The Egyptian government is hardly in a position to confront Israel, even if it wanted to. The Egyptian army has mostly American equipment and cannot function if the Americans don’t provide spare parts or contractors to maintain that equipment. There is no Soviet Union vying to replace the United States today. Re-equipping and training a military the size of Egypt’s is measured in decades, not weeks. Egypt is not going to war any time soon. But then the new rulers have declared that all prior treaties — such as with Israel — will remain in effect.

What Was Achieved?

Therefore, we face this reality. The Egyptian regime is still there, still controlled by old generals. They are committed to the same foreign policy as the man they forced out of office. They have promised democracy, but it is not clear that they mean it. If they mean it, it is not clear how they would do it, certainly not in a timeframe of a few months. Indeed, this means that the crowds may re-emerge demanding more rapid democratization, depending on who organized the crowds in the first place and what their intentions are now.

It is not that nothing happened in Egypt, and it is not that it isn’t important. It is simply that what happened was not what the media portrayed but a much more complex process, most of it not viewable on TV. Certainly, there was nothing unprecedented in what was achieved or how it was achieved. It is not even clear what was achieved. Nor is it clear that anything that has happened changes Egyptian foreign or domestic policy. It is not even clear that those policies could be changed in practical terms regardless of intent.

The week began with an old soldier running Egypt. It ended with different old soldiers running Egypt with even more formal power than Mubarak had. This has caused worldwide shock and awe. We were killjoys in 2009, when we said the Iranians revolution wasn’t going anywhere. We do not want to be killjoys now, since everyone is so excited and happy. But we should point out that, in spite of the crowds, nothing much has really happened yet in Egypt. It doesn’t mean that it won’t, but it hasn’t yet.

An 82-year-old man has been thrown out of office, and his son will not be president. The constitution and parliament are gone and a military junta is in charge. The rest is speculation.

Read more: Egypt: The Distance Between Enthusiasm and Reality STRATFOR

Founding Fathers Quote

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

John Adams

Israeli journalists speak of realities of Egypt protests

Article courtesy of Israel Today magazine, www.israeltoday.co.il.

Israeli journalists speak of realities of Egypt protests

Monday, February 14, 2011 Ryan Jones


Back from a harrowing week in Cairo, two journalists with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday spoke of the realities of the demonstrations in Cairo, which differed greatly from the romanticized version of events peddled by the mainstream international media.

Answering questions submitted by readers, correspondents Melanie Lidman and Ben Hartman described what was at times a “medieval” scene on the streets of the Egyptian capital.

Lidman said that when the mobs started turning on reporters she was “terrified…not only was I a target for being a journalist, I was also a target for being a woman and for being Jewish.”

She said that some of the things she witnessed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square - the beatings, lynchings and hand-to-hand combat - were from a different time.

Nor could either journalist say that there was any clear meaning to the madness. Most people were simply caught up in a kind of euphoric violence. Very few Egyptians had any clear idea of what they wanted to see happen after Mubarak was thrown out.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Slow Deterioration Of Redstate's Relevance

I used to be an avid reader of RedState and found them to be very informative and thoughtful. It is with great disappointment that I have witnessed them dramatically decline over the last couple of years. All too frequently opinion that differs from theirs is mocked, belittled, vilified, dismissed, and banned.

The latest example of this is a post attacking Ron Paul and his supporters. Instead of pointing out where they disagree with Ron Paul the poster relays misinformation such as Ron Paul has never disavowed 9/11 truthers. This video shows Fox News trying to slime Ron Paul with the accusation that he supports 9/11 truthers; he clearly says he doesn't agree with them. The RedState post is nothing more than a juvenile hit piece on Ron Paul and Libertarians.

If they really do manage to drive all Libertarian minded voters out of the Republican Party it will only result in many losses from the local level through the national level. The momentum is on Ron Paul's side. How do I know this? Because I used to think he was crazy too. Not because I had actually researched him or what he said, but because all the Conservatives I worked with in various campaigns said so. During his last presidential run I began to pay a little more attention to him. Since that time I have come to realize that he is right on a vast majority of issues and I was the ignorant one. I am far from the only person to come to this realization. The current public debate over the role of the fed, monetary policy, and the Patriot Act shows that many Americans have come to agree with Ron Paul.

While I am still much closer to Rand than Ron on policy issues I greatly respect the constant fight for liberty that Ron has been engaged in. RedState and other Republican establishment sites should consider how their short-sighted words might affect their relevance and the chances of us reclaiming the White House in 2012. There are many establishment conservatives I disagree with that I would support if they won the nomination. It does none of us any good to go around vilifying anyone who has the slightest difference in opinion.

The honest truth is George Bush was a horrible president. He spent like a drunken sailor, he destroyed our civil liberties with parts of the Patriot Act, grew government through the expansion of education and prescription drugs, and he left incompetent men in charge of running two wars. I am a veteran, it was obvious from day one that we needed to expand the military, yet George Bush dragged his feet on it and never adequately expanded our ground forces resulting in many members of our armed forces serving four and five tours of duty; an unimaginable burden to anyone who has not worn the uniform. Bush also shackled our armed forces with politically correct rules of engagement that led to a higher death count than we would have sustained otherwise. Why did he go to war if he did not plan on winning it?

Yet, RedState will ignore these issues and attack Ron Paul and his supporters who booed Rumsfeld, one of the worst secretaries of defense we have ever had. Rumsfeld was a closed minded bureaucrat who was incapable of handling the war on terrorism while preparing for the rising threat from Russia and China's growing alliance.

It is time that Conservatives and Libertarians fight for a truly limited government while shrinking our military footprint around the world, which in no way means leaving us vulnerable or undefended. All these bases spread through out the world are a joke when we close bases in the US costing untold American jobs and sending American dollars away from our cities. We do not need to protect Germany or Japan any longer. Their economies are more than capable of providing for their defense. No other nation in the world has its armed forces spread so far.

Let's have these discussions without name calling and demonizing anyone who doesn't agree with us 100% of the time. The left is unified and completely committed to reshaping our way of life. We must be equally unified and committed to resisting them. It is my hope that RedState and other's like them will re-evaluate their current direction.

Founding Fathers Quote

I will not believe our labors are lost. I shall not die without a hope that light and liberty are on a steady advance.

Thomas Jefferson