Sunday Reads: “Icy Ice” and other thingsPosted: February 6, 2011
Have you seen this? It seems that Wisner, the envoy Obama sent to Egypt to speak to Mubarak, has been…cough…let go. BBC News – Egypt unrest: US disowns envoy comment on Hosni Mubarak
Mr Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt, was sent by President Obama to Cairo on Monday, apparently to urge Mr Mubarak to announce his departure.
“We need to get a national consensus around the pre-conditions for the next step forward. The president must stay in office to steer those changes,” he told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
“I believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical – it’s his chance to write his own legacy.
“He has given 60 years of his life to the service of his country, this is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward.”
But in Washington, state department spokesman PJ Crowley said: “We have great respect for Frank Wisner and we were deeply appreciative of his willingness to travel to Egypt last week.”
“He has not continued in any official capacity following the trip. The views he expressed today are his own. He did not co-ordinate his comments with the US government.”
With all the praise that we heard about Wisner, it seems strange that he would make a statement about supporting Mubarak without the Administration knowing about it. Then the late coming announcement of Crowley, that Wisner has been fired. For most of the evening Saturday, I heard the US media talk about the effect this has had on the Egyptian protesters. The building of anti-American sentiment. I guess I am too tired to make anything more of it. I would like to hear what you all think about it.
The United States and leading European nations on Saturday threw their weight behind Egypt’s vice president, Omar Suleiman, backing his attempt to defuse a popular uprising without immediately removing President Hosni Mubarak from power.
American officials said Mr. Suleiman had promised them an “orderly transition” that would include constitutional reform and outreach to opposition groups.
“That takes some time,” Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton said, speaking at a Munich security conference. “There are certain things that have to be done in order to prepare.”
But the formal endorsement came as Mr. Suleiman appeared to reject the protesters’ main demands, including the immediate resignation of Mr. Mubarak and the dismantling of a political system built around one-party rule, according to leaders of a small, officially authorized opposition party who spoke with Mr. Suleiman on Saturday.
Events are changing so fast, it would be safe to say that by this morning things have progressed. We will continue to have Live Blog Post on the Egyptian Revolt throughout the day.
On with other newsy links.
It seems that Kucinich has written a letter to DoD Secretary Gates requesting a visit with Manning. The link above has a copy of the letter. You can read more about this over at Raw Story.
Over on C-Span they are talking about the Internet Kill Switch that some elected officials are pushing for: Discussion Examining Governmental Control of the Internet | C-SPAN
The Communicators looks at the various ways the Internet can be used by governments; filtering information, increasing political awareness as well as defend against cyber attacks.
In the last Congress, Senators Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE) sponsored legislation concerning executive powers in the event of such an attack and reports have indicated that they may reintroduce a similar bill this year. Two guests join via teleconference to give their thoughts whether the United States government should have the ability to shut down Internet communications if the national electricity grid was compromised.
There is a video of the discussion at the link above, I think with all that we have seen the past couple weeks over in Egypt, it proves just how important internet connections are. More importantly, even if a country has a “shut down switch,” information still gets out.
This bit of science news is encouraging fascinating. ‘Cornell dots’ that light up cancer cells go into clinical trials
ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2011) — “Cornell Dots” — brightly glowing nanoparticles — may soon be used to light up cancer cells to aid in diagnosing and treating cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first clinical trial in humans of the new technology. It is the first time the FDA has approved using an inorganic material in the same fashion as a drug in humans.
“The FDA approval finally puts a federal approval stamp on all the assumptions we have been working under for years. This is really, really nice,” said Ulrich Wiesner, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, who has devoted eight years of research to developing the nanoparticles. “Cancer is a terrible disease, and my family has a long history of it. I, thus, have a particular personal motivation to work in this area.”
The article has a more detailed description of the C-dots, which are essentially glass…it seems that if the use of nanoparticles directs treatment of the cancer in a more precise way, it can target the therapy drugs and cause less damage to the healthy cells.
With all the icy weather in the Lone Star State…the electricity has been spotty. People are without power and who are your going to blame? One item that caught my eye was this statement from the White House:You Can’t Believe Everything You Read | The White House
As valuable as the internet can be in helping to spread information, most people know that you can’t believe everything you read, and they should check the source before relaying every alarming story they read. One such story is going around the internet over the past two days claiming that the Obama Administration is somehow responsible for the rolling blackouts in Texas that have caused terrible hardship for so many Texans. The source is questionable and the story is unquestionably false.
According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, these blackouts were actually the result of extreme cold temperatures and high winds, which led to a variety of mechanical failures at more than 50 power plants around the state.
So, let me see if I get this straight. There are power outages in Texas, we all have seen the ice that has built up on the stadium and heard the stories of extreme conditions the winter storm has created in a state that does not usually see this kind of weather. The Obama Administration finds it necessary to go on the defensive about the blackouts, and put out a statement?
Take a look at these links:
Hey, I don’t blame the White House for being sensitive about the Faux Nation (Faux News) reports and Rush Limbaugh spreading crap about these blackouts. However, this is another example of Obama and his Administration quickly putting out a statement to legitimize this kind of right wing “news.” Yet when you have important and tragic events that truly need an official word from the White House, when a statement from Obama would go far in expressing a sense of connection to the people affected by the disaster, oil spill, international government revolts, etc… it can seem like an eternity before we get some sort of response from Obama. And when we finally get it, it is usually a lame, half-ass kind of statement, full of the kind of indifferent dialogue that I come to expect from the O-Man.
I don’t know, maybe I am just being sensitive myself? Perhaps seeing new people move into my foreclosed house has clouded my judgment? Maybe my wish to have a real leader and problem solver in the White House is overpowering my reactions here. After all, I did see Friday night’s American Experience on PBS…the one about Eleanor Roosevelt.
You can read the transcript here: The AMERICAN EXPERIENCE | Eleanor Roosevelt | Enhanced Transcript (I)
Seeing all the work that this woman did for the people of this country, and watching the discussion about the significant dedication Eleanor and FDR had to those in need…made me think just how much we the people are being ignored by the current occupant in the White House.
Stay tuned for some real good post coming up, and keep away from those icy roads and falling icicles…
Oh, and I must ask…What are you reading this morning?