Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Libyan debacle plus other News

The drama really seems to be gaining steam in the Middle East  and today is no different. Call me crazy, but it seems that we are actually at war with Libya. First we were hesitant to get involved, then we spent $100 million shooting missiles over the first weekend of bombing, and now the CIA is on the ground advising. Kind of sounds like Afghanistan to me, when are we going to learn? I understand the situation was bad in Libya before we got involved, but what about all the other countries in the Middle East right now? Should we go into Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, all those countries that have had innocent citizens die in protest for a chance at a better life?

With everything going on ,with all the debt we are in as a country, how is it even possible that we are this involved in Libya. What happens when Muammar Gaddafi does not leave and it's a stale mate ? What happens in ten years when the Libyan rebels we want to arm now turn against us like we are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan? We literally can't afford to fight these wars anymore and when are we going to get it?

We should have a poll, would you rather your Social Security age be raised to 70 years old or do you want to fight some more wars in the Middle East?

CNN - Arming Libyan rebels: Should U.S. do it?

CNN - Gates, Mullen face hostile Libya questions

BLOOMBERG - Libya-Owned Bank Drew at Least $5 Billion From Fed

ABC NEWS - Crews 'facing 100-year battle' at Fukushima

NPR - Revving Up For 2012, GOP Hits Obama On Gas Prices

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - Radioactive milk found on West Coast, but levels are 'minuscule'

TPM - Tea Partiers Rallying In DC Praise Donald Trump's Birther Stance (VIDEO)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We just spent 200 million and counting in Libya, but don't worry The U.S. Government just figured out how to save 33 billion by cutting Education and Health Services.

According to a source close to ABC News and Reuters News Agency, President Obama has authorized Covert help for the Libyan rebels. The President has authorized this new " Presidential Finding " within the last two or three weeks. By taking this step President Obama opens the door, legally, for covert ops and the CIA to work in Libya; if the President wants them too. This also opens the door for potentially supplying the Libyan rebels with Arms. When President Obama was asked by Diane Sawyer if he would send arms to the Libyan Rebels he replied, "We are examining all options to support the opposition ". President Obama also said that the objective was for Qaddafi "Ultimately, to step down " .

In late Breaking News Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa has defected to the U.K.  and has rejected Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi. He flew in on his own free will from Tunisia and since has been talking at length with British officials.

Reuters - Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret help for Libya rebels

BBC - Libya foreign minister 'defects'

AP sources: CIA sent operatives into Libya


 President Obama pitch for Clean Energy

POLITICO - Budget deal close with $33B in cuts

BUSINESS WEEK - Stocks higher after payroll report, pharma deal

Monday, March 28, 2011

Is the U.S. hypocritcal when it comes to the Protesters in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain ?

When the people protested and overthrew the government in Egypt, it was encouraged by the lack of intervention from the west, and the protests and revolt were all over the news.

When the Libyans; emboldened by what had happened in Egypt; attempted to do the same, France (who has heavily invested interests in Libya) stepped in to keep the Libyan military from squashing the uprising. Again, it was all over the news.

But somehow, when protests occurred in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, not only did no one step in to ensure that the people had their say, but the media coverage of the events (at least in western countries) was scanty at best.

Why is it that the international community in general; and the United States in particular, are not encouraging the governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to let the people have their say? Indeed, when Saudi Arabia took matters into its own hand and sent troops to quell the uprising of the people in Bahrain, not one of the western countries so much as said “boo,” let alone spoke out about the injustice.

Why, you may ask, are Saudi Arabia and Bahrain handled with kid gloves when it comes to international relations? Could it have something to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia is the second largest producer of crude oil in the world? Could the fact that the United States has the highest consumption rate for crude oil of any other country on the planet and that over 17% of its oil is imported from Saudi Arabia have something to do with it?

Oil has given the Saudi Royal Family a unique position in a very volatile part of the world. In a country that is primarily Muslim and where the people are sympathetic to fundamentalist beliefs, the precarious alliance between Saudi Arabia and the western countries is one that is tolerated, but not smiled on by the populace, and it would take very little to upset that delicate balance.

The United States may have the most to lose were Saudi Arabia (and by default Bahrain) to cut off its oil supply. But the United States is by no means the only country that would not be willing to taking the chance that the people of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might, if allowed to overthrow the Saudi Royal Family, replace them with a fundamentalist regime that would be hostile to western relations. We may not see eye to eye with the Royal Family, but at least we are able to negotiate with them. Throw a religious divide into the mix, and things could get very ugly very fast.

While this may not be the only reason that the protests in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have received only a minimal amount of media coverage; after all there are many factors to take into consideration when attempting to negotiate the labyrinth of pitfalls that comprises international relations with any country in the middle east; but it would go a long way to explaining why the United States is not taking an active part in encouraging democracy in these particular areas.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Who is Phylicia Barnes and why should you care?

Phylicia Barnes, now 17 years old, disappeared when visiting family in Baltimore over the holiday season in 2010. She went missing on December 28th when visiting her newly found half-sister's house in Baltimore, Maryland. Phylicia Barnes was a very gifted and hardworking student, she graduated  from High Sshool early  and was getting ready to attend college.  Soon after her disappearance, in addition to doing all the routine police investigating, Baltimore Police department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi  also tried to reach out to local media outlets to get Phylicia's face known to the public. 

Mr. Gulielmi was not to happy with the response from local and national media outlets when he asked for their help with getting Phylicia's face on the news. Since it was unlikely that a great student who had never been in trouble before just got up and ran away, Guglielmi knew she might of been abducted out of state and wanted people to see her face as soon as possible. In Mr. Guglielmi's own words he said that the response from the news outlets where less then enthusiastic and anemic. At the time, the media was more concerned with birds dropping out of the sky mysteriously then a missing African American women in Baltimore.

I think it is important to point these stories out to everyone, not to cause tension, but to shed light on the facts. Without doing a google search, just off the top of your head how many African American women do you remember being acknowledged in the news for being missing?  I do remember Natalie Halloway who went missing in another country was on the news everyday, I do remember that crazy bride with the bug eyes who ran away from her husband, but I can't recall any African American women in the News.

If Phylicia Barnes was a white girl who graduated early from High School, who was going places with her life and went missing in Baltimore, the news would of been all over the story. Now put your self in the shoes of Phylicia's family, because your daughter is black there is a good chance that that's the reason people don't care. Unfortunately missing black girls do not get the ratings, so they don't deserve all the resources available.

Daily Update News - Phylicia Barnes: Missing and invisible – Baltimore Sun