A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, December 5, 2011

Arab Spring

Egypt, We Hardly Knew Ye

Information seems to be that the Muslim Brotherhood received 45% of the Egyptian vote and an even more extreme Salafist party received 25%.  Were these early returns or final results?  In so, the clueless scions of Generation Tweet and the Urban Intellectuals have been snookered again, just as in Iran years ago.  They actually thought they were numerous and important.  Hey, we used social media to bring down the secular regime!  How kool is that?  Then they learned that others regarded them as part of the 1%. 

The question now is whether the Army will permit this to happen.  Even other Arabs notice that those countries run by strict shari'a tend to be the poorest and most repressive ones.  
Meanwhile, after
Occupational Autumn
The Los Angeles Times asked quondam occupiers "what message they hoped people would take away from it."  The following are the important messages:
  • "We the people are the powers that be."--Allen Lasley, 26
  • "We have to stop taking and start giving. That is the mind shift I am trying to bring to the world."--Matt Wegner, 53
  • "Government power is an illusion. We placed them there. We can always take it away from them."--Michael Basillas, 26
  • "Politics matters. It is not peripheral. If you want to build a better world, you have to engage in the political process. We need to build a kinder, gentler world."--Joseph Thomas, 50
  • "The major thing is that something is wrong with society."--Vivian Ortiz, 19
  • "The disparity in wealth is saddening. To do nothing is just not an option for my soul."--Gabriel Martinez, 25
  • "The government is totally messed up. Everybody here can agree on one thing: Things are not right."--Rachel Bulisky, 29
A great deal of that sounds like it could have come from a Tea Party gathering, albeit a highly disorganized, clueless, and extremely messy Tea Party gathering.  It makes me wonder why mostly  Democratic city administrations* moved so simultaneously to close down the "Obamavilles."  Perhaps comments like "The government is totally messed up" informed their choice.  Once it became clear that the Occupiers were not in the tank for the administration and resisted being co-opted by surrogates sent to address them, there was no political gain to be had.  On the positive side, they did not stain any tank treads.

Or is all that too cynical? 

(*) New York's mayor is a lifelong Democrat who switched to Republican because there was less competition on their primary ballot.  

Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle asks, amidst the usual boilerplate:
"As winter sets in and cities across North America clear Occupy protesters from their camps, many wonder what lies ahead for a movement without a geographic base, leaders or concrete demands."--Deutsche Welle website, Dec. 3

Let's see....
No leaders, no concrete demands, no geographic base...  What does lie ahead?  Ooh, wait.  I know!


  1. "those countries run by strict shari'a tend to be the poorest and most repressive ones."

    Saudi Arab has probably the most strict sharia.

  2. Yes, and is among the most repressive and - once outside the admittedly numerous House of Saud, not very wealthy, either. They have virtually nothing except oil, and produce no wealth beyond that.


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