Archive for February 1st, 2011
One week after the unprecedented popular uprising began in Egypt, more than two million people descend on Tahrir Square in Cairo, defying the military curfew, to demand regime change in the country.
The Egyptian army has declared they will not use force and have recognized the “legitimate grievances” of the people. Sharif Abdel Kouddous, senior producer at Democracy Now!, reported live from Tahrir Square at 8:15am Eastern Standard Time. “I am standing in an ocean of people .. (continue reading…)
The sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War has unleashed a cacophony of voices from across the South and outside the region, including elected officials, Civil War reenactors, and professional neo-Confederates, spreading falsehoods and myths about that pivotal time in U.S. history. They contend that the conflict was barely about slavery (if at all), that post-slavery and Jim Crow conditions were not that bad, States’ Rights is the only legitimate form of government, and the South is now a paragon of racial tolerance and enlightenment. Confederacy defenders carefully ignore the original documents of the Confederacy that conflict with their modern views and reinterpretations (continue reading…)
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Above is the first half of Beet.TV’s Online Video Journalism Summit from the Washington Post. Below is the second half of the panel, a picture of the entire group and our live-blog of the event.
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From left to right, Ann Derry, The New York Times; Stokes Young, msnbc.com; Kevin Roach, The Associated Press; Mike Toppo, CNN.com; Andy Plesser, Beet.TV; Alex Werpin, TVNewser; Anna Robertson, Yahoo! Video; Jeff Whatcott, Brightcove; Mark Larkin, CBSnews.com and Mike Stephanovich, Reuters Insider.
Below you will find our live blog of the panel.
11:35 AM: After a rundown on the future of video (quick recap: it is very bright!), we’re done! Keep checking Beet in the following days for highlight clips of the panel (continue reading…)
PLAY > SKIP: New Music for the Week of February 1
The elements collide in this first week of new February music. There are some earthy grooves from down South and across the Atlantic, courtesy of the Civil Wars and the Boxer Rebellion, while the North Mississippi Allstars have a jam-band fire sparking their sound. Unfortunately, Ricky Martin and newcomers the JaneDear Girls pour cold water onto the whole affair — their two albums are so filled with mediocrity they suck all the air from the room.
MUST-PLAY PICK OF THE WEEK: The Boxer Rebellion
SKIP: Ricky Martin, Musica + Alma + Sexo
Part of me wants Ricky Martin to win (continue reading…)
Just what role will Egypt’s wily, ever-evolving Muslim Brotherhood play in a post-Mubarak era? Is it really the sinister, underground, subversive political force that could potentially hijack the Egyptian peoples’ revolution? Or is it an anachronistic, outdated Islamist dinosaur of another bygone era — so pre-Twitter and 20th century?
As the Brotherhood thrusts itself into a central role in any post-Mubarak transitional coalition, the Brotherhood’s rabid ideological brand of Islam is raising the specter of an Egypt potentially slipping into the hands of Islamic extremists.
Much is now being written about the Brotherhood’s past as a predicator of Egypt’s future.
Indeed, while much of Egypt’s modern history has been shaped by the Brotherhood’s ever-present and at times lethal role in Egypt’s society, nothing occurring in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today guarantees that this canny fox of an Islamic political movement will be able to seize the spoils of the revolution.
Ironically, despite the Brotherhood having the most dynamically organized political apparatus in Egypt; it seems to be less directing the revolution as much as slowly positioning itself to be the beneficiary of it. The Brotherhood, along with everyone else, was caught flat-footed by the events that sparked Cairo’s “winter-awakening.”
Some quick cliff notes on the Brotherhood…
The Muslim Brotherhood is the great granddaddy of Islamist-oriented political movements. Founded in 1928, the MB has spawned identical offshoots throughout the Arab and Muslim world.. (continue reading…)
According to data from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the International Franchise Association, approximately 25% of today’s franchisees are female. Franchisors are taking note and starting to make their business opportunities specifically targeted at female franchisees. FranchiseHelp.com conducted an informal poll to find out which franchises were most attractive to females looking to start their own business.
Check out the list of 20 franchises that poll respondents thought women considering launching their own business should get to know from FranchiseHelp’s franchise blog.
Focalpoint Business Coaching
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Focalpoint Business Coaching, founded by legendary author Brian Tracy, has helped men and women achieve their goals for decades.
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Lenin may have been a lousy Marxist, but he was a highly perceptive revolutionary when he cautioned that people were likely to be steamrollered by history — which may be what is taking place in the Middle East right now. Last week’s uprising in Tunisia has sparked far more critical unrest in Egypt, and potentially Jordan, Yemen and elsewhere. Liberals were quick to see the Egyptian riots as peaceful protests and a just reaction to the failings of an aging Mubarak Government.
Certainly they have some legitimate points. Mubarak has been in power for some three decades; his record on human rights is not ideal; there is serious corruption within the ruling party; and economic conditions are disastrous (continue reading…)
I write this while sitting on a plane back from Sundance, where I managed to see eight films in 48 hours. To be at Sundance and dedicate yourself to films intensely, even for a few days, is one of the most liberating experiences I can imagine for a few reasons.
Beyond the abundant quality and gritty humanness that tends to be woven into the fabric of most Sundance films, the stories behind the making of these films serve to inspire you to do more, try harder, and to never surrender. The fact that the festival runs at the beginning of each year, provides eleven months for you to follow through with the energy and the possibility that Sundance affords those who care to hold a mirror up to themselves (continue reading…)
Some say his Mormon faith may count against him in any election. He has seven children, two of them adopted. So too, they say, could the fact he accepted Barack Obama's offer to become ambassador in Beijing. So will it?
Well China may not have been a big issue in 2008 but it has since become more prominent in America's politics. The supposed threat to US jobs from China, the trade deficit, the charge that China is manipulating its currency, all added up to make China an issue in last year's Congressional elections (continue reading…)
These being the times they are, you may be tapped for a loan by a relative or friend who is unable to come up with the down payment for a home or who wants to start a business or keep it afloat. And what if the loan goes sour, as so often happens? The tax rules on deductions for bad debts can be more bad news for you. So before staking someone, it’s a good idea to know how the Internal Revenue Service looks on worthless loans.
The IRS says you can deduct a worthless loan if there is no likelihood of recovery in the future. But you can’t take a deduction for an outright gift (continue reading…)
Yesterday afternoon, Judge Rodger Vinson, who has presided over the 26-state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, issued his ruling.
In a decision that constitutes radical judicial activism run amok, Judge Vinson declared the “individual mandate” portion of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
He then took the opportunity to insert his political philosophy into public policy, striking down the entire law! This decision flies in the face of fourteen other decisions, contradicts decades of legal precedent, and could jeopardize families’ health care security. And to make matters worse, this is the very kind of judicial activism that most conservative justices and politicians have argued against for years.
In the recent Virginia ruling, Judge Henry E. Hudson adhered to precedent, narrowly tailoring his opinion by only striking down the individual mandate in December (continue reading…)
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The organization I run, Constitutional Accountability Center, will be dissecting this monstrously wrong opinion in detail over the days and weeks ahead.
For now, I wanted to address a key point made by Judge Vinson, Judge Henry Hudson (who ruled against the ACA in a separate case in December) and some Republican state Attorneys General, who talk about a slippery slope from the Affordable Care Act to a federal law that somehow requires people to eat broccoli or other vegetables.
I have a question for this “broccoli” argument: “Where’s the beef?” While we should all heed our mother’s advice to eat our vegetables, the important task at hand is to look at the text and history of the U.S (continue reading…)
Every clued-in business leader in America is now aware that workplace flexibility is a business imperative. Employees across all industries say their lives are increasingly complicated and the traditional workplace structure just doesn’t work for them anymore. They are demanding new options, so much so that 45 percent of job seekers now say a company’s ability to offer flexible schedules is even more important than salary. So it’s no surprise that companies large and small have come to see options like telecommuting, job-sharing and flexible hours as one of the very best ways to attract and retain talented workers, and an important benefit to a business’ bottom line (continue reading…)
You know you have to serve all the standards at a Super Bowl party: pizza, wings, nachos, burgers, blah, blah, blah.
But that doesn’t mean they have to be blah! A little whiskey, a few roasted red peppers and a dollop of fig jam later — we present ten classic Super Bowl recipes, each one with a contemporary foodie twist.
1. Chocolate Beer Truffles
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8 Unexpectedly Awesome Wine Regions
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Last week the FDA reported that breast implants put women’s lives in danger. The big news last week was that a small number of women can get a very rare type of cancer (ALCL: anaplastic large cell lymphoma). It confirmed that death is a possible side effect of breast implants.
But what no one is talking about are all the other more frequent, more common and very real dangers and problems that go along with breast implants (continue reading…)
A few hours before the onset of what is supposed to be a “multi-day” and “life-threatening” blizzard, over one hundred Chicagoans gathered to sample Chicago’s best seafood chowders at the Columbia Yacht Club’s Chowdah Fest. The event was modeled on Boston’s popular ChowderFest, which perhaps more fittingly takes place in July. The Columbia Yacht Club is located on the Sea Scouts Ship #5111, a vessel currently moored in glacial Monroe Harbor. Inside the Yacht Club on Monday evening, however, the scene was cozy, complete with burnished wooden staircases and trophy cases glistening with sailing prizes (continue reading…)
When the coach, an assistant at South Carolina State, approached me at my book booth at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I knew immediately that he, as others before him, wanted me to sign his copy of Eddie Robinson: “…he was the Martin Luther King of football”.
And as I did with everyone who came to me with a copy of my biography of the legendary Grambling coach, I asked: “Did you know Coach Rob?”
I, of course, wanted to know more. As I signed his book, he told me the following story:
That briefcase was one of Eddie Robinson’s trademarks. In my book, I wrote about him carrying it to practice daily, and quoted Jackson State’s W.C. Gorden relating his reaction the first time he saw Coach Rob walk to the opposing sideline carrying it (continue reading…)
It was rather warm for mid-November in Central Laos as I buzzed the pasture to clear the cows and allow my fragile O-1F to land. The Royal Lao outpost, called “Elephant” was halfway between the Marine Corps base at Khe Sanh and the Ho Chi Mihn Trail strategic junction at Tchepone. The commander, also called “Elephant” provided a useful safe haven and asset if fuel got too low or weather got too bad. On that day we spoke in French of the growing activity of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in the area.
Elephant helped the U.S (continue reading…)
The government of Poland announced it will publish its own, independent report into the causes of the Polish Air Force One disaster.
The accident, which occurred in the territory of Russia, claimed the lives of the President of Poland, his wife, 8 crew members and 86 members of the official state delegation, in April of last year.
Poland’s announcement comes a week after Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) published its final report into the causes of the crash without including 148 pages of comments submitted by Polish investigators.
According to some Polish aviation experts, this is in violation of the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convention on which the Russian investigation is based.
Chapter 6.3 of Annex 13 to the ICAO convention states:
Polish investigators submitted their comments to the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) December 16, two days before the sixty days’ deadline.
Aleksei Morozov, who heads Technical Committee at MAK, says the comments submitted by Polish investigators “were not technical in nature” and that only less than 25 comments were. They mostly pertained to the issue of responsibilities of the air traffic controllers on Russia’s Smolensk airport (continue reading…)
A lot of folks are using prepaid cards these days as a payment method. The Federal Reserve estimates that a full 17% of Americans are using them. This number is likely growing much bigger with all the people that are dropping their credit cards and getting rid of debt. Just be aware that security and consumer protection for prepaid cards are nothing like those offered by traditional credit and debit cards (continue reading…)
In legislative houses across the country, newly-elected lawmakers are getting down to the business of fulfilling their campaign promises. Those elected vowing to crackdown on immigration have proposed various restrictionist and enforcement-oriented policies, which seem poised to satisfy voters rather than solve actual problems.
In Texas, Governor Rick Perry proclaimed that eliminating so-called “sanctuary cities” was an emergency item for the state legislature. Generally, the term refers to city policies which affirm the separation between local law enforcement and immigration issues; cities with these laws on the books don’t waste local resources targeting immigrants for status checks. Perry campaigned on ending the practice in Texas, but it’s not clear that it existed in the first place (continue reading…)
Is Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali the Pinochet of the Arab world?
They both orchestrated economic revivals that ranked their states among the top economies in their regions.
Both suppressed any viable opposition in their ranks and in staged elections — Ben Ali earning himself the moniker Mr. 99%, opting for the faade of democracy over its real implementation.
Both maintained police states, with internal security apparatuses that dominated over civil life — banning public meetings, press and expression that were not pre-approved by the state (continue reading…)