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Sunday, February 13, 2011 ISSUE #642

Roots of Egypt protests revealed 
 Feb. 13, 2011

    COLUMBUS: Except for Egypt, all the attention lately has been on Valentine’s Day. Chocolates, cards, roses, diamonds... that’s all we heard. Not a single mention that Saturday was President Lincoln’s birthday.

    We could use a President Lincoln to tackle the budget. A President who saw  600,000 Americans die in the Civil War would not call a 4 percent spending cut a catastrophe. But that’s what they are facing in Congress. When a man can trim $0.15 Trillion from a $3.5 Trillion allocation he ought to be applauded, not crucified.

    Mubarak finally stepped down on 02-11-2011, forced out by peaceful protests. Most news stories say the protests started after the protests in Tunisia.
    But here’s another explanation, from my friend in Egypt: Last summer, a young man named Khaled Said was arrested at an Internet café in Alexandria by two plain-clothed policemen. He demanded proof of their identity and they beat him to death. The policemen attempted to cover up the murder, were tried, and received a light sentence. The public outcry never stopped.
    Recently, a 31-year old Google executive, Wael Ghonem, created a site on Facebook seeking justice for the murder of Khaled Said. The government put Wael on a list of troublemakers. He and three other young Egyptians called for a demonstration in Tahrir Square on January 25. Hundreds of thousands showed up.

    The army has taken temporary control of Egypt. Under Mubarak, the national police force numbered about 2 million, including 1.25 million for controlling riots, whereas all branches of the army totaled 400,000.  The police were intended to protect Mubarak and his regime, not the security of the citizens. These police will need to be retrained to focus on citizen safety, including patrolling highways. Being an optimist, I think Egyptians have a chance to transform to a constitutional government with individual rights.

    These protests have spread to Algeria and Yemen, even to Italy. Italy? Yes, 100,000 Italian women protested against their President’s, uh, sexual habits. If they want to get rid of him, just pass a law that he can only have sex with a woman his own age. He’ll be out by nightfall.

    The conservative wing of the Republican Party held a straw poll, and Ron Paul got 30 percent of the votes. If he ends up with the nomination for 2012, that’s about the percent he’ll get against President Obama. The Republican Party without Ronald Reagan is kinda like the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James. Well, not that bad. They do have a dozen or so good prospects, but no one that stands head and shoulders above the crowd.

    A lawyer plans to file a $5,000,000 suit against the National Football League on behalf of Super Bowl fans who were not allowed into the stadium because 400 temporary seats were deemed unsafe. So far this lawyer has signed up 2500 of those 400 ticket holders.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

    "Papers today say, "What would Lincoln do today?" Well, in the first place, he wouldn't chop any wood. He would trade his axe in on a Ford... Being in sympathy for the underdog he would be classed as a radical progressive. Having a sense of humor he would be called eccentric."
DT #2349, Feb. 12, 1934

    "The budget is a mythical bean bag. Congress votes mythical beans into it, and then tries to reach in and pull real beans out." DT #2047, Feb. 24, 1933

    "This relief thing is a hard thing to balance into your budget. You can't sit down a year ahead and figure out who all is going to be hungry and how many of them there will be. It's like sickness. It can upset the best family budget." WA #656, July 21, 1935

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