Archive for January, 2011

Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American amateur street photographer who was born in New York but grew up in France, and after returning to the U.S., worked for about forty years as a nanny in Chicago. During those years she took about 100,000 photographs, primarily of people and cityscapes most often in Chicago, although she traveled worldwide, taking pictures in each location.

Her photographs remained unknown and mostly undeveloped until they were discovered by a local historian in 2007. Following Maier’s death her work began to receive critical acclaim. Her photographs have appeared in newspapers in Italy, Argentina, and England, and have been exhibited alongside other artists’ work in Denmark and Norway; her first solo exhibition is running at the Chicago Cultural Center from January to April 2011.

Many of the details of Maier’s life are still being uncovered. Initial impressions about her life indicated that she was born in France, but further searching revealed that she was born in New York, the daughter of Maria Jaussaud, who was French, and Charles Maier, who was Austrian. Vivian moved between the U.S. and France several times during her childhood, although where in France she lived is unknown. Her father seems to have left the family for unknown reasons by 1930. During the census that year, the head of the household was listed as award-winning portrait photographer Jeanne Bertrand, who knew the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In 1951, at 25 years old, Vivian Maier moved from France to New York, where she worked for some time in a sweatshop. She made her way to the Chicago area‘s North Shore in 1956 and became a nanny on and off for about 40 years, staying with one family for 14 of them. She was, in the accounts of the families for whom she worked, very private, spending her days off walking the streets of Chicago and taking photographs, most often with a Rolleiflex camera.

John Maloof, curator of Maier’s collection of photographs, summarizes the way the children she nannied would later describe her:

She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men’s jacket, men’s shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.

Between 1959 and 1960, Maier traveled to Los Angeles, Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, Italy, and the American Southwest, taking pictures in each location. The trip was probably financed by the sale of a family farm in Alsace. For a brief period in the 1970s, Maier worked as a nanny for Phil Donahue‘s children. As she got older, she collected more boxes of belongings, bringing them with her to each new post. At one employer’s house she stored 200 boxes of materials. Most were photographs or negatives, but Maier collected other objects, such as newspapers, and sometimes recorded audiotapes of conversations she had with the people she photographed.

Towards the end of her life, Maier may have been homeless for some time. She lived on Social Security checks and may have had another source of income, but the children she had taken care of in the early 1950s bought her an apartment and paid her bills. In 2008, she slipped on ice and hit her head. She did not fully recover and died in 2009 at the age of 83.

Maier’s images depict street scenes in Chicago and New York in the 1950s and 1960s. An article in The Independent characterizes her photographs thus:

The well-to-do shoppers of Chicago stroll and gossip in all their department-store finery before Maier, but the most arresting subjects are those people on the margins of successful, rich America in the 1950s and 1960s: the kids, the black maids, the bums flaked out on shop stoops.

Maier’s photographic legacy, in the form of some 100,000 negatives — a large portion in the form of undeveloped rolls — was discovered by 26-year-old real estate agent John Maloof, also president of the Jefferson Park Historical Society in Chicago. While working on a book about the Chicago neighborhood of Portage Park, Maloof bought 30,000 prints and negatives from an auction house that had acquired the photographs from a storage locker that had been sold off when Maier was no longer able to pay her fees. After purchasing the first collection of Maier photographs in 2007, Maloof acquired the rest from another buyer at the same auction.

Maloof discovered Maier’s name at an early stage of his discovery, but was unable to find out more about her until just after her death, when he found an obituary notice in the Chicago Tribune. Her work was first published on the internet in July of 2008 by Ron Slattery who had also purchased a good deal of her work at auction. In 2009, Maloof started to post some of Maier’s photographs on a blog, and later he announced his intention to publish a photo book of Maier’s photography. The book is scheduled to be released in fall 2011, and a feature-length documentary film about Maier and Maloof’s discovery of her work, titled Finding Vivian Maier, is scheduled for release in 2012.

Maier’s photographs, and the way they were discovered, received international attention in mainstream media.

Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work

Photographer’s Talent Went Unknown Until Death

A painting by Bruegel animated 3D

Lech Majewski worked with art historian to interpret Christ Carrying the Cross painted in 1564.

Le Figaro FR (English Translation)

The auditorium of the Louvre will broadcast premiere on Feb. 2 as part of the fourth edition of the International Days of Films on Art, The Mill and the Cross of Lech Majewski.

This is not the first filmmaker flirting with the visual arts. In 1996 he produced and wrote the biopic Basquiat on the meteor New York. Besides the astonishing plastic beauty of the images and the presence of Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling and Michael York, the interest of this work lies in a completely original design. Everything is indeed based on a single table in which the viewer will be immersed.

Become a text script

This is the port cross Pieter Bruegel the Elder executed in 1564 during the brutal occupation of Flanders by the Spanish. The oil of 1.70 m by 1.24 m is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The art historian Michael F. Gibson extensively analyzed and its text became scenario. “Why the painter he concealed the central figure of Christ among a crowd of peasants? he asked.

Why, in a Renaissance landscape, he gave considerable importance to an improbable mill perched on an enigmatic rock? Why are policemen who flank the procession are they red uniform? What does the archaic style of the holy women? Past and future, life and death, destiny and freedom shape this teeming fresco, which has at least five hundred characters heading toward Golgotha. In Vienna we can not enjoy the thousand sketches and anecdotes with a magnifying glass and a stool. All are significant. “

His essay published by Noesis in 1996 is bright. It explains why the particular artist imagines the Passion in the sixteenth century: “Brueghel’s approach is to use the immediate political situation to understand the history of the messiah in not taking the story of Christ to condemn the atrocities in Spain.

But the movie that flows from his reading, combining analog and synthetic imagery to 3D, producing a manner equivalent to the visual interpretation, book an extra sense. For example, it is only during the shooting, Michael F. Gibson was able to discern the different perspectives structuring the composition. There are seven A magic number.

In A Small Corner Of YouTube, A Web Star Is Born

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“I heard your call — And now I’ve given an answer.”

Isaiah Crowell, we’re waiting on you; Antonio Richardson, we’re waiting on you; John Jenkins, we’re waiting on you; and Jeoffrey Pagan, we’re waiting on you.

Come join what we’re putting together, the Dream Team. But remember, a dream is only a dream until you make it reality. So I’m calling you out on this one.

I hope you’re not afraid to be thrown into the fire. I hope you’re not afraid to be the ones to make the change.

Ray Drew Announcement Video

Partial transcription of Drew’s announcement as delivered:

First I’d like to thanks all the schools that recruited me:

Georgia: I became not only a recruit but a friend to many coaches on the staff.

Auburn: Auburn is a place that makes you feel at home. I personally think in the recruiting process the most overused word is family. At Auburn University, they actually make you feel like you’re in a family. . . . War Eagle!

Louisiana State: I’ve never been or seen a more crazy, exciting fan base. I have never seen a coach quite as unique as coach Miles. I truly appreciate them for everything. Go Tigers, as in G-E-A-U-X.

Clemson: Coach Swinney is putting together something very special in the hills of South Carolina. Clemson is a very unique place in that it has a population of 12,000, a student body of 17,000 but it has an 85,000 seat stadium sitting right in the middle. You do the math. In the words of the great Coach Howard, if you’re not going to give 110 percent, keep your filthy hands off my rock.

Miami: Coach Golden is a very genuine guy. He knows where The U used to be and he plans on bringing back the swagger. . . . And you can’t ask for a better campus Coral Gables. Go ‘Canes.

Thanks to the other schools for recruiting me, and I have nothing but respect for all them.

After many long nights of prayer – and I believe I’ve prayed about this decision more than I’ve prayed for my own well being – after a very close evaluation of each school, I have made a final decision, to attend…

It’s the toughest single decision I’ve ever had to make, hands down. I’m going to pick…

I’m just glad this whole thing is over, it’s really been very, very stressful [laughter]…

Throughout all the War Eagles and all the Go Tigers and throwing up the U of Miami, none compared to the two words that say it all, [throws on Georgia cap],

Go Dawgs!

The Pastor of Pass Rush: Coveted recruit Drew truly shines in church

SI – By Andy Staples

…For his first sermon, Drew chose the story of Abraham and Isaac. His message: The lord will provide. Looking back, Drew believes the nervous first-time preacher needed to hear the message just as much as the flock did. “I didn’t know how I was going to deliver the sermon,” Drew said. “I didn’t know how people would react to it. All I knew was the lord will provide.”

Drew tells the congregation that everyone is guilty of forgetting the meaning of Christmas every once in a while. “They don’t even want you to write out the word Christmas anymore,” he says. “They want you to call it X-mas. How in the world are you going to cross Christ out of his own day? … We forgot what happened inside that manger. It’s time to get back to reality and remember the real reason for the season. It’s all about the inside.”

As his preaching skills grew, so did Drew. Playing for the same high school that produced Heisman Trophy winner-turned-NBA-star Charlie Ward, Drew grew into a 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback-wrecking machine. Drew is lean enough that he could add another 20 pounds and not lose a step.

He even brings church to the football field. After he makes a tackle, he doesn’t cuss the ballcarrier. He says “God bless you.” Drew believes that sometimes this unnerves opponents more than a stream of insults. “It gets in their head a little bit,” he said.

Still, Drew needs to develop his on-field mean streak. The young minister may have to act a little more Old Testament to overcome college offensive linemen.

For that, Drew couldn’t have a better hero. He relishes tales of the exploits of late Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers defensive end Reggie White. White, who was an ordained minister, used football to help spread his message of faith. But he never turned the other cheek on the field. Drew has learned that through conversations with White’s daughter, Jecolia.

In fact, some have suggested that Drew, who has yet to be ordained, might be the next Minister of Defense. Drew balks at the notion. There is only one Minister of Defense, and that’s White. Drew would prefer another nickname. “The Pastor of Pass Rush,” he said with a wide smile.

As Drew really gets rolling, he lapses into a half-talking, half-singing staccato that hypnotizes his audience. After each pause, the amens pour forth from the pews. “Anybody can dress up, but that doesn’t mean all is going well,” Drew says. “The $300 suit that you have on is worth about as much as the dirt.” With that line, Drew sets up the congregation for the big payoff.

The coach who signs Drew will get a player who can fill two positions — defensive end and chaplain. Eddie Edwards, the senior pastor at Paradise, believes Drew has a natural gift for preaching. “He’s just a soul-stirrer,” Edwards said. “It’s captivating how he allows the spirit to use him.”

Drew plans to play football for as long as he can, and he’d love to become a broadcaster when his career ends, but none of that will keep Drew from standing in the pulpit every chance he gets. Preaching, he said, is the most challenging and rewarding experience he can imagine. “Standing up in front of the congregation,” he said, “you’re responsible for someone’s soul.”

Drew has lathered up the crowd. Now it’s time to drive his message home. “Let’s just say that I didn’t have on this coat,” he sings as he takes off his suit jacket. “Would you look at me any different?” “Now what if I didn’t have on this tie?” he sings as he yanks off his tie. “Would you look at me any different?” “This shirt that I have on, it doesn’t make the person deep down inside of me,” he says, tugging at the buttons on his white dress shirt.

“Would you love me just the same if it look like I’d been beat within an inch of my life?” With this, Drew rips off his dress shirt to reveal a Thomas County Central football shirt that appears to have been shredded and dragged a mile down a dirt road. “Would you still look at me the same way if I looked like I’d been drug through the mud. Would you still love me? Would you still embrace me?”

“Somebody here is looking at my outward appearance right now, but I’m trying to get you to look past the outside and go deep down on the inside. Would you still throw your arms around me and say I love you? I’m still the same child of God that I was when I had on my suit, when I had on my tie and shirt.” “It’s not about what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside.”

The church rocks with applause. In the pew nearest the pulpit, Lizzie Mays is in heaven. The young man gets it. She offers an amen after every sentence. Pam Drew is beaming at her son. In the back of the church, Ray Drew Sr. can’t help but smile. A few minutes later, the younger Drew wraps up his message. “May God bless you and God keep you,” he says. “That’s my sermon. It’s not about what’s on the outside, but on the inside.”

As Drew steps aside, Rev. Edwards steps in. “The preacher done preached,” Edwards says. “Amen.”


Related Previous Posts:

Wallowing In Misery…

Georgia Bulldogs 2010: Time To Put On The Silver Britches…

Cam Newton: The Son Of A Preacher Man…

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W.H. won’t take sides in Egypt

No call to Mubarak

President Obama has not spoken with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as protesters in Cairo demand that Mubarak resign, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.

Gibbs said the White House is “watching and monitoring very closely” the political crisis in Egypt, but he wouldn’t take a side in the conflict. “This is a situation that will be solved by the people in Egypt,” he said.

The White House will “be reviewing our assistance posture based on events that take place in the coming days,” Gibbs said.

Live Twitter/TV Stream

Press TV English: Live Stream

Al Jazeera English: Live Stream

The Society of the Muslim Brothers (often simply الإخوان Al-Ikhwān, The Brotherhood or MB) is an Islamist transnational movement and the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. The group is the world’s oldest and largest Islamic political group, and the “world’s most influential Islamist movement.” It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna.

The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for … ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state”. Since its inception in 1928 the movement has officially opposed violent means to achieve its goals, with some exceptions such as in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or to overthrow secular Ba’athist rule in Syria (see Hama massacre). This position has been questioned, particularly by the Egyptian government, which accused the group of a campaign of killings in Egypt after World War II.

The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, and members have been arrested for their participation in it. As a means of circumventing the ban, supporters run for office as independents.

Outside Egypt, the group’s political activity has been described as evolving away from modernism and reformism towards a more traditional, “rightist conservative secularist” stance.  For example, the Muslim Brotherhood party in Kuwait opposes suffrage for women. The Brotherhood condemned terrorism and the 9/11 attacks, but whether or not it has ties to terrorism is a matter of dispute. Its position on violence has also caused disputes within the movement, with advocates of violence at times breaking away to form groups such as the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) and Al Takfir Wal Hijra (Excommunication and Migration).

Among the Brotherhood’s more influential members was Sayyid Qutb. Qutb was the author of one of Islamism‘s most important books, Milestones, which called for the restoration of Islam by re-establishing the Sharia and by using “physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system, which he believed to include the entire Muslim world.

The book also reveals that Qutb no longer held the Brotherhood’s ideas and that he was closer to the ideas of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is concluded in the introduction and dedication of the book” While studying at university, Osama bin Laden claimed to have been influenced by the religious and political ideas of several professors with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood including both Sayyid Qutb and his brother Muhammad Qutb.

However, once Al Qaeda was fully organized, they denounced the Muslim Brotherhood’s reform through nonviolence and accused them of “betraying the cause of Islam and abandoning their ‘jihad’ in favour of forming political parties and supporting modern state institutions”.

The Brotherhood is financed by contributions from its members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement. Some of these contributions are from members who live in oil-rich countries.

Muslim Brotherhood Beliefs

In the group’s belief, the Quran and Sunnah constitute a perfect way of life and social and political organization that God has set out for man. Islamic governments must be based on this system and eventually unified in a Caliphate. The MB goal, as stated by Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna was to reclaim Islam’s manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain to Indonesia.

It preaches that Islam enjoins man to strive for social justice, the eradication of poverty and corruption, and political freedom to the extent allowed by the laws of Islam. The Brotherhood strongly opposes Western colonialism, and helped overthrow the pro-western monarchies in Egypt and other Muslim nations during the early 20th century.

An important belief on the part of intellectuals who have assisted the organization is the reemergence of Islamic Civilization because Western Civilization is in obvious decline; in the words of an 2007 essay, “More than forty years ago the premise was made clear: The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values, which enabled it to be the leader of mankind.”

As Sayyid Qutb, an Islamic intellectual and supporter of the Brotherhood wrote in his 1963 book, Milestones, (Ma’alim fi al-Tariq), “The leadership of mankind by Western man is now on the decline, not because Western culture has become poor materially or because its economic and military power has become weak.

The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values, which enabled it to be the leader of mankind. It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which is positive and constructive, and which is practicable. Islam is the only System which possesses these values and this way of life.

On the issue of women and gender the Muslim Brotherhood interprets Islam conservatively. Its founder called for “a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behavior,” “segregation of male and female students,” a separate curriculum for girls, and “the prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes…”

The MB is a movement, not a political party, but members have created political parties in several countries, such as the Islamic Action Front in Jordan and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank. These parties are staffed by Brotherhood members but kept independent from the MB to some degree, unlike Hizb ut-Tahrir which is highly centralized.


Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt

Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Ismailia in March 1928 along with six workers of the Suez Canal Company. It began as a religious, political, and social movement with the credo, “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

Al-Banna called for the return to an original Islam and followed Islamic reformers like Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida. According to him, contemporary Islam had lost its social dominance, because most Muslims had been corrupted by Western influences. Sharia law based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah were seen as laws passed down by Allah that should be applied to all parts of life, including the organization of the government and the handling of everyday problems.

The Brotherhood also saw itself as a political and social movement . Al-Banna strived to be a populist. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed to want to protect the workers against the tyranny of foreign and monopolist companies. It founded social institutions such as hospitals, pharmacies, schools, etc.

However, in addition to holding conservative views on issues such as women’s rights, it was from the start extremely hostile to independent working-class and popular organisations such as trade unions. This is disputed however by William Cleveland, who points out that the Muslim Brotherhood became involved with the labour movement early on, and supported efforts to create trades unions and unemployment benefits.

By 1936, it had 800 members, then this number increased greatly to up to 200,000 by 1938. By 1948, the Brotherhood had about half a million members. Robin Hallett says: “By the late 1940s the Brotherhood was reckoned to have as many as 2 million members, while its strong Pan-Islamic ideas had gained its supporters in other Arab lands”. The Muslim Brotherhood also tried to build up something like an Islamist International, thus founding groups in Lebanon (in 1936), Syria (1937), and Transjordan (1946). It also recruited among the foreign students in Cairo. Its headquarters in Cairo became a center and meeting place for representatives from the whole Muslim world.

Underground links to the Nazis began during the 1930s and were close during the Second World War, involving agitation against the British, espionage and sabotage, as well as support for terrorist activities orchestrated by Haj Amin el-Hussaini in British Mandate Palestine, as a wide range of declassified documents from the British, American and Nazi German governmental archives, as well as from personal accounts and memoirs from that period, confirm. Reflecting this connection the Muslim Brotherhood also disseminated Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion widely in Arab translations, helping to deepen and extend already existing hostile views about Jews and democracy in Western societies generally.

In November 1948 police seized an automobile containing the documents and plans of what was thought to be the Brotherhood’s “secret apparatus” (its military wing) with names of its members. The seizure was preceded by an assortment of bombings and assassination attempts by the apparatus. Subsequently 32 of its leaders were arrested and its offices raided. The next month the Egyptian Prime Minister of Egypt, Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi, ordered the dissolution of the Brotherhood.

In what is thought to be retaliation for these acts, a member of the Brotherhood, veterinary student Abdel Meguid Ahmed Hassan, assassinated the Prime Minister on December 28, 1948. A month and half later Al-Banna himself was killed in Cairo by men believed to be government agents and/or supporters of the murdered premier.

The Brotherhood has been an illegal organization, tolerated to varying degrees, since 1954 when it was convicted of the attempt to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, head of the Egyptian government. The group had denied involvement in the incident and accused the government of staging the incident to use it as a pretext to persecute the group and its members.

On this basis from 1954 until Nasser’s death in 1970, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were systemically tortured under Nasser’s secular regime, highlighted in Zainab al Ghazali‘s Return of the Pharaoh. More recently, since the mid-2000s, some young Muslim Brotherhood members have publicly identified themselves as members of the banned organizations on their blogs, where they have been critical of both the existing system as well as aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood organization itself.

The Brotherhood is still periodically subjected to mass arrests. It remains the largest opposition group in Egypt, advocating Islamic reform, democratic system and maintaining a vast network of support through Islamic charities working among poor Egyptians. The political direction it has been taking lately has tended towards more moderate secular “Islamism” and so-calledIslamic Democracy.

In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood’s candidates, who had to run as independents due to their illegality as a political party, won 88 seats (20% of the total) to form the largest opposition bloc. The electoral process was marred by many irregularities, including the arrest of hundreds of Brotherhood members.

One observer, Jameel Theyabi, writing in an op-ed for Dar Al-Hayat, noted that a December 2006 campus demonstration by Muslim Brotherhood university students that included the “wearing of uniforms, displaying the phrase, ‘We Will be Steadfast’, and the drills involving martial arts, betray the group’s intent to plan for the creation of militia structures, and a return by the group to the era of ‘secret cells’….” .

Of course, the huge gains in the 2005 parliamentary elections allowed the Brotherhood to pose “a democratic political challenge to the regime, not a theological one” . Initially, there has been widespread skepticism regarding the movement’s commitment to use its influence to push Egypt forward towards a democratic state.

For instance, briefly after the elections Sameh Fawzy remarked in the Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper, “If the Muslim Brotherhood were in a position to enforce its ideological monopoly, the vast majority of the populace would face severe restrictions on its freedom of opinion and belief, not just on religious matters, but on social, political, economic and cultural affairs as well”

However, considering its actions in the Egyptian parliament since 2005, it appears that those skeptics misjudged the movement’s scope. In an article for the Middle East Report Samer Shehata from Georgetown University and Joshua Stacher from the British University in Egypt claim that, in fact, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that revived a parliament that till then had “a reputation for being a rubber stamp for the regime” . First of all, according to their observations, the movement did not simply “focus on banning books and legislating the length of skirts” .

Instead, the movement’s involvement shows attempts to reform the political system. Unlike other MPs, those associated with the Brotherhood took their parliamentary duties very seriously as an “unmatched record of attendance”  already shows. Moreover, they also took their role as members of the opposition to the ruling NDP quite seriously.

A significant example is the creation of a considerable opposition to the extension of the emergency law when MPs associated with the Brotherhood “formed a coalition with other opposition legislators and with sympathetic members of the NDP, to protest the extension” . The overall involvement leads Shehata and Stacher to the conclusion that the Brotherhood has convincingly attempted to transform “the Egyptian parliament into a real legislative body, as well as an institution that represents citizens and a mechanism that keeps government accountable”.

Meanwhile, approved opposition parties won only 14 seats. This revived the debate within the Egyptian political elite about whether the Brotherhood should remain banned.

Since 2005 Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt have also become a significant movement online. In 2006 Abdel Menem Mahmoud created the first publicly identified Brotherhood blog, Ana Ikhwan ( In an article for Arab Media & Society (, Courtney C. Radsch of American University explores how the Egyptian blogosphere expanded as many younger members followed suit, especially the activists who were sympathetic to Kefaya and members who wanted to be part of the discussion about the draft party platform.

These “cyberactivists” are often critical of the organization, such as its rejection of women and Copts as being permitted to hold the presidency, and more liberal than their offline counterparts.

General leaders (G.L) or Mentors of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt المرشد العام لجماعة الإخوان المسلمون

Related Previous Posts:

Obama’s New World View Of The Middle East: Disaster Of Bibilical Consequences?

Related Links:

Muslim Brotherhood Members to Attend Obama’s Cairo Speech

Some Revolutions Are More Equal Than Others

King Tut museum secured by Egyptian army: TV report

ME Report: Comrades and Brothers

Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising

Egypt protests: secret US document discloses support for protesters

Toppling Egyptian President Mubarak: Careful What You Wish For

Obama Administration Lifts US Ban on Muslim Brotherhood Leader

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Senator Yee Calls on Limbaugh to Apologize to Chinese Community

Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement today after Rush Limbaugh mocked the Chinese language and culture on his radio program:

“Today, Rush Limbaugh reached a new low as he mocked the Chinese language and culture.  His classless act is an insult to over 3,000 years of cultural history and is a slap in the face to the millions of Chinese Americans who have struggled in this country and to a people who constitute one-quarter of the world’s population.  His comments belittle the contributions of the Chinese community and are sadly indicative of the bigotry that has often plagued his commentary and lined his pockets.  Mr. Limbaugh owes the Chinese community an apology for this pointless and ugly offense.”

In 1 Day, Over 1,000 Join Boycott of Limbaugh

Civil Rights Groups Join Yee in Condemning Limbaugh, Advertisers

Over one thousand people from throughout the country have already signed an online petition that Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) launched on his website yesterday to condemn Rush Limbaugh for offensive comments he recently made during his radio program.  The petition calls on Limbaugh to apologize for mocking the Chinese culture and asks his sponsors to pull their advertisements.

Several civil rights groups have also joined Yee in protest including the California National Organization for Women (CA NOW), Chinese for Affirmative Action, Gray Panthers, Japanese American Citizens League, California Nurses Association, International Institute of the Bay Area, Marcos Gutiérrez Productions, Mission Beacon, Hecho en California Radio 1010, Zamboanga Hermosa Organization of Northern California, Filipino Californian Senior Citizen’s Society, Inc. (Fil-CA), and United Domestic Workers (AFSCME UDW), among others.

Other leaders have also condemned Limbaugh including Congressman David Wu, Congresswoman Judy Chu, California Assemblyman Paul Fong, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and New York Assemblywoman Grace Meng,

After condemning the offensive comments by Limbaugh, yesterday Yee received death threats via racist, expletive-laden faxes that contained a graphic of an American flag adorned pickup truck dragging a noose.

“We should never allow such racist vitriol to go unchallenged,” said Yee.  “It is unfortunate acts like these that demonstrate why we must continue to be vigilant against hate and intolerance.  These threats will not deter me and others from the work we are doing to embrace our diversity and help move our country forward.”

In addition to the online petition, Yee’s website – – lists several of the companies that advertise on Limbaugh’s show, including Pro Flowers, eharmony, Onstar, CARBONITE, Inc., Sleep Number Bed, Sleep Train, Les Schwab,, The Shane Co., Domino’s Pizza, Oreck Upright Vacuum Cleaners, Mid-West Life Insurance Company of Tennessee, AutoZone Inc., 5 Hour Energy, Blue-Emu, LegalZoom, Citrix Online (, American Forces Network, Mission Pharmacal Company, Lending Tree, and Life Quotes, Inc.


Platitudes, Platitudes, Platitudes

Townhall – By Michael Reagan

President Obama’s State of the Union address said more about the state of his approach to governing than it did with the present condition of this nation under his governance.

It was an uninterrupted march of platitude upon platitude, with nary a solution offered to any of the problems facing the United States.

As anyone with one cent’s worth of intellect understands, the United States is not only broke, but up to its thinning hairline in debt to — of all places — China, which despite its communist government is acting more like a capitalist regime than an old Moscow-style dictatorship…

For the most part, the speech was his attempt to disguise his quasi-socialist agenda as being an approach to political and social moderation — not an easy task for a chief executive who has just shoved a version of socialized medicine down the throats of the American people.

With the sole and surprising exception of CNN, which unlike the other networks chose to broadcast the Tea Party response delivered by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the president’s speech went mostly unchallenged.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spoke for his party but his remarks were lukewarm compared to those of Rep. Bachmann, which cut right to the heart of the Marxist aspects of the president’s address.

Needless to say, it wasn’t the president’s speech which raised the ire of the so-called mainstream GOP, but Rep. Bachmann’s well-aimed barbs…

The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2011 Through 2021

CBO Director’s Blog

The United States faces daunting economic and budgetary challenges. The economy has struggled to recover from the recent recession: The pace of growth in output has been anemic compared with that during most other recoveries and the unemployment rate has remained quite high.

Federal budget deficits and debt have surged in the past two years, owing to a combination of the severe drop in economic activity, the costs of policies implemented in response to the financial and economic problems, and an imbalance between revenues and spending that predated the recession.

Unfortunately, it is likely that a return to normal economic conditions will take years, and even after the economy has fully recovered, a return to sustainable budget conditions will require significant changes in tax and spending policies.

This morning CBO released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook. I will discuss the economic outlook first and then turn to the budget outlook.

CBO expects that production and employment will expand in the coming years but at only a moderate pace, leaving the economy well below its potential for some time. We project that real GDP will increase by about 3 percent this year and again next year, reflecting continued strong growth in business investment, improvements in both residential investment and net exports, and modest increases in consumer spending.

But we have a long way to go on the employment front. Payroll employment, which declined by 7.3 million during the recent recession, rose by only 70,000 jobs, on net, between June 2009 and December 2010. The recovery in employment has been slowed not only by the slow growth in output but also by structural changes in the labor market, such as a mismatch between the requirements of available jobs and the skills of job seekers.

We estimate that the economy will add roughly 2.5 million jobs per year over the 2011–2016 period, similar to the average pace during the late 1990s. Even so, we expect that the unemployment rate will fall only to 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of this year, and 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Only by 2016, in our forecast, does it reach 5.3 percent, close to our estimate of the natural rate of unemployment.

CBO projects that inflation will remain very low both this year and next, reflecting the large amount of unused resources in the economy, and will average no more than 2.0 percent a year between 2013 and 2016…

To prevent debt from becoming unsupportable, the Congress will have to substantially restrain the growth of spending, raise revenues significantly above their historical share of GDP, or pursue some combination of those two approaches.

The longer the necessary adjustments are delayed, the greater will be the negative consequences of the mounting debt, the more uncertain individuals and businesses will be about future government policies, and the more drastic the ultimate policy changes will need to be.

But changes of the magnitude that will ultimately be required could be disruptive. Therefore, Congress may wish to implement them gradually so as to avoid a sudden negative impact on the economy, particularly as it recovers from the severe recession, and so as to give families, businesses, and state and local governments time to plan and adjust.

Allowing for such gradual implementation would mean that remedying the nation’s fiscal imbalance would take longer and therefore that major policy changes would need to be enacted soon to limit the further increase in federal debt.

CBO: Social Security to Run $45 Billion Deficit in 2011

CNS News – By Matt Cover

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that Social Security will effectively run a $45-billion deficit in 2011 and continue to run deficits totaling $547 billion over the coming decade.

The admission comes in the CBO’s semi-annual economic review that projects federal spending, debt, and economic growth. In the report, the CBO also examines the impact of projected economic performance on the trust fund that nominally funds Social Security.

“Excluding interest, surpluses for Social Security become deficits of $45 billion in 2011 and $547 billion over the 2012–2021 period,” the CBO reported.

This means that in order to pay benefits Social Security will need $45 billion more than it will collect in payroll taxes this year, and $547 billion more over the next decade.

The “interest” the CBO mentions is the interest that the federal government owes to the Social Security trust fund because the trust fund is legally obligated to take Treasury bonds – federal government debt – in exchange for the cash revenues raised by Social Security payroll taxes.

The CBO uses the interest payments on the bonds to account for the difference between what Social Security collects in taxes and what it pays out in benefits, if benefit payments exceed tax receipts.

Normally, payroll taxes are used to pay current Social Security benefits, with any excess revenues being exchanged for Treasury bonds. Because the Social Security trust fund is populated with these bonds, the federal government essentially owes interest on those bonds to itself, providing the CBO with another apparent source of revenue for the funds…

By Sarah Palin

The President’s State of the Union address boiled down to this message: “The era of big government is here as long as I am, so help me pay for it.” He dubbed it a “Winning The Future” speech, but the title’s acronym seemed more accurate than much of the content.

Americans are growing impatient with a White House that still just doesn’t get it. The President proves he doesn’t understand that the biggest challenge facing our economy is today’s runaway debt when he states we want to make sure “we don’t get buried under a mountain a debt.” That’s the problem! We are buried under Mt. McKinley-sized debt.

It’s at the heart of what is crippling our economy and taking our jobs. This is the concern that should be on every leader’s mind. Our country’s future is at stake, and we’re rapidly reaching a crisis point. Our government is spending too much, borrowing too much, and growing too much. Debt is stifling our private sector growth, and millions of Americans are desperately looking for work.

So, what was the President’s response? At a time when we need quick, decisive, and meaningful action to stop our looming debt crisis, President Obama gave us what politicians have for years: promises that more federal government “investment” (read: more government spending) is the solution.

He couched his proposals to grow government and increase spending in the language of “national greatness.” This seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism – an “exceptionally big government,” in which a centralized government declares that we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree.

Where once he used words like “hope” and “change,” the President may now talk about “innovation” and “competition”; but the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

Real leadership is more than just words; it’s deeds. The President’s deeds don’t lend confidence that we can trust his words spoken last night…

Despite the flowery rhetoric, the President doesn’t seem to understand that individuals make America great, not the federal government. American greatness lies in the courage and hard work of individual innovators and entrepreneurs. America is an exceptional nation in part because we have historically been a country that rewards and affirms individual initiative and offers people the freedom to invest and create as they see fit – not as a government bureaucrat does.

Yes, government can play an appropriate role in our free market by ensuring a level playing field to encourage honest competition without picking winners and losers. But by and large, government should get out of the way. Unfortunately, under President Obama’s leadership, government growth is in our way, and his “big government greatness” will not help matters.

Consider what his “big government greatness” really amounts to. It’s basically a corporatist agenda – it’s the collaboration between big government and the big businesses that have powerful friends in D.C. and can afford to hire big lobbyists. This collaboration works in a manner that distorts and corrupts true free market capitalism. This isn’t just old-fashioned big government liberalism; this is crony capitalism on steroids.

In the interests of big business, we’re “investing” in technologies and industries that venture capitalists tell us are non-starters, but which will provide lucrative returns for some corporate interests who have major investments in these areas.

In the interests of big government, we’re not reducing the size of our bloated government or cutting spending, we’re told the President will freeze it – at unsustainable, historic levels! In practice, this means that public sector employees (big government’s staunchest defenders) may not lose jobs, but millions of Americans in the private sector face lay offs because the ever-expanding government has squeezed out and crippled our economy under the weight of unsustainable debt.

Ronald Reagan said, “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” President Obama’s proposals last night stick the little guy with the bill, while big government and its big corporate partners prosper.

The plain truth is our country simply cannot afford Barack Obama’s dream of an “exceptionally big government” that may help the big guys, but sticks it to the rest of us.

White House to Push Gun Control

“Obama intentionally did not mention gun control in his State of the Union, but aides say that in the next two weeks the administration will unveil a campaign to get Congress to toughen existing laws.” – Newsweek