Detroit and Washington DC (and Kate) draw attention

Washington DC says they don’t want Sam Walton to open any stores in our national capital. It seems the city council is concerned that unless Wal-Mart offers to pay everyone twelve dollars an hour, they won’t find anyone willing to work there. Wal-Mart figures they can get enough good workers signed up at eight dollars an hour, but the councilmen say they know their city better than a company in Arkansas.

I wonder if Detroit would welcome a new Wal-Mart.

Detroit is bankrupt. It’s been bankrupt for several years, but is just now admitting it. Detroit was a fine city, a regular boomtown that ranked right up there with Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston and Baltimore. You hate to see it go under. If he was still around, I would turn the whole city over to Henry Ford. Or maybe Donald Trump. He knows all about bankruptcy and how to get out of it.

If Detroit was good farmland, it might sell for $10,000 an acre, or about $1 Billion total. But as is, even China with all their spare cash wouldn’t be interested at a dollar an acre. Maybe Canada would take it off our hands if we promised to build a new bridge. You know, when you have a mortgage of $18 Billion, and your income before expenses is only $1 Billion, there aren’t many suitors.

The Affordable Care Act is being delayed, partly. The President has asked our famous pro football, basketball and baseball players to brag about how good the new healthcare plan is for them and the country. I’m not sure the average worker is going to be persuaded by young men who make over a million a year and have all their injuries and illnesses taken care of by their teams. What some of those athletes need is coverage of bail and lawyer fees.

We are still in a recession. Yes, the stock market is back up where it was five years ago. But the unemployment and underemployment numbers are hardly budging.  More people than ever are on food stamps and other welfare programs. In fact for the first time there are more people receiving assistance than there are working in business and industry. That never happened during the Great Depression, although plenty of people needed help.

William Wilkins, one of the President’s men at the IRS in Washington, seems to be the one causing headaches for non-profit Conservative organizations, not just a couple of IRS agents in Cincinnati. Like an old time college basketball team with a 2-point lead and 5 minutes to go, Wilkins figured he could win the game by dribbling out the clock. And he did; he froze the ball until the election was over. Now he’s hoping the referees don’t show up and admit they saw him hide the ball under his shirt.

The aftermath of the Zimmerman trial and the anticipation of Queen Elizabeth’s new great-grandchild are battling for time on TV. President Obama stepped in with heartfelt personal comments about Trayvon Martin. Everyone is eager for continued progress in relations among all the races. And Kate is eager to please the Queen.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Every time Detroit outgrows Henry Ford he has to go in and save ‘em again.” 
DT #2051, March 1, 1933
 “See this morning where the Supreme Court says Negroes in Texas have the right to vote at Democratic primaries. Certainly will seem funny to see Negroes and the whites voting the same ticket. First thing you know they will be allowing a white Republican to associate with a white Democrat in the South… (I’m) for quality in politics regardless of quantity and color.” DT #191, March 8, 1927

The Egypt upheaval: one view from Cairo

You may remember that I have a friend in Egypt who gave us great insight on the 2011 “Arab Spring” in Cairo. Last week he emailed me valuable details on the ouster of President Morsi by the Army Generals. If you still question the justification of forced removal of a “freely elected president,” the actions of that president in the past year will be enlightening. Just imagine, if you can, if a U.S. President took similar actions described below within a year of being elected.

Here are my friend’s comments: For the election after Mubarak was ousted, the Moslem Brotherhood (MB) nominated Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist activist, who ran on a platform centered on a massive development project of Egypt called the Renaissance Project. Among 20 candidates, Morsi came in first in the first round, and before the second and final round he identified several sources of corruption in government spending and promised to correct them if elected. Based largely on those promises Morsi won the presidency by a narrow margin (51.7%) and took office June 30, 2012. He proceeded to ignore his promised changes and dropped the Renaissance Project.

After Morsi was installed, a House of Representatives was elected and functioned. Morsi appointed an Assembly (70 percent Islamists) to draft a new Constitution. It was only a matter of time when the liberal and secular members of the Assembly walked out because they were outvoted on every single issue and felt useless.

Five weeks after Morsi took office, Islamist terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers on the border with the Gaza strip. Morsi promptly dismissed the former army leadership and promoted Gen. Abdel Al-Sisi, head of military intelligence, to Defense Minister and General Commander of the Armed Forces. A campaign was hastily arranged in the Sinai to weed out the terrorists. In a few days, it killed and captured dozens of terrorists and destroyed hundreds of illegal tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. Then, without explanation, Morsi stopped the campaign.

It is reported that, as former head of military intelligence, Al-Sisi uncovered evidence that the Moslem Brotherhood (MB) planned the attack on the soldiers in order to get rid of the former army leadership. He also uncovered evidence that during the 2011 revolution against Mubarak, Hamas of Gaza, Hezballah of Lebanon and those same Sinai terrorists attacked an Egyptian prison with bulldozers to knock the walls and heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, killed prison guards and inmates, and freed 33 MB leaders, including Morsi.

When Morsi stopped the Sinai campaign, he was simply protecting those who freed him and was keeping the illegal tunnels open to Gaza to serve Hamas, at the expense of all Egyptians.
The constitutionality of the Assembly and House of Representatives was challenged in the Egyptian Supreme Court; it ruled that both were unconstitutional. Morsi appointed another Assembly and the Senate started functioning. Learning that the Supreme Court was about to rule the Senate and the Assembly unconstitutional, he issued a decree on November 22 giving himself unlimited powers and “protecting” the Senate from the court. That was when Morsi lost his legitimacy!

While violating the constitution left and right, Morsi dismissed the Attorney General in a flagrant violation of the Egyptian Constitution, both old and new, and appointed a new Attorney General ready to do the MB dirty work.

Egyptians poured into the streets around the presidential palace protesting the decree. He ignored them and sent the MB militia to blockade the Supreme Court and prevent the judges from entering, blockade the Broadcasting Media studios and prevent “unfriendly” talk shows hosts and guests from entering, and to break the protests around the palace. The militia tortured and killed many protestors around the palace. His Attorney General refused to intervene. In the mean time, the Assembly produced a “tailored” constitution overnight that gave Morsi unprecedented powers, rendered his decisions immune from review by the parliament or the courts, and deleted any mention of accountability, let alone impeachment.

Egyptians screamed that this was not going to work but he ignored that and concentrated on appointing MB Islamists in key government positions. He appointed a governor for Luxor who was the leader of the terrorist group that committed the 1997 massacre of about 64 European tourists in Luxor! His Minister of Tourism resigned over this. By hook and crook, Morsi jammed this down our throats. We had a dictator second to none.

Al-Sisi uncovered evidence and has documents proving that Morsi plus three other top MB leaders conceded 40 percent of the Sinai to the Palestinians in return for 8 billion dollars, which the US is paying them and/or the Moslem Brotherhood over four years. There is a public inquiry into these secret documents. No Egyptian can concede a square centimeter of Egyptian soil to any other country. If the story is true, it is treason.

That’s a view from Egypt. My friend closed by asking if I knew whether Congress is investigating the $8 billion land-for-Palestinians deal. With all the media attention on the Zimmerman trial, I have not heard anything about this deal. Have you?

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Hitler must have got his information about (running) Germany from Mussolini. He didn’t seem to know much about what was going on till he went down to (Italy) to see the old ‘daddy’ of all the dictators.” DT #2469, July 2, 1934

Air travel is safer than Chicago

One thing we’ve learned about this Egypt uprising: you can’t blame it on John Kerry.  No sir, he has an alibi. He was on his yacht in Nantucket Sound.

With all the diplomatic problems over there, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Gaza and Israel, he should sail his boat to the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and drop anchor. Save a bundle on air travel from DC. Of course, our Secretaries of State have been wrestling with the Middle East problems for decades, and what have we got to show for it? Mainly, trillions in new debt. Considering where our efforts have got us, maybe Kerry should just plop that yacht down in the Dead Sea. (After writing this, I learned that Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry is in critical condition in a Boston hospital. I wish her a rapid recovery.)

I saw a headline, “12 killed, 55 injured.” No, it wasn’t the airplane crash at San Francisco, and it wasn’t the runaway railcars in Quebec. Do you know what it was? Last week in Chicago that’s how many was shot to death, and shot but not killed. The story never said how many dozens more was shot at and missed.

Boeing sure knows how to build an airplane. When that 777 bounced on the runway the tail tore off, but the fuselage and wings held together pretty much in one piece. Yes, two died and a few more are critically injured, but three hundred got out alive. I’ll take those odds over a Chicago gunfight.

In Egypt we don’t seem to know exactly what we want. We pay 70% of the Army budget, so we expect the Generals to be looking out for our interests. Mubarak was tossed out, then the Islamists voted in Morsi who acted more like an Ayatollah than a President and he got the boot. I think the majority in Egypt would like a leader who can democratically and intelligently govern a country with advice and consent from local representatives and a fair judicial system. But that ain’t easy when a loud minority insists on Islamic Sharia law that most of us consider barbaric.

In case you missed the news, part of Obamacare was postponed and won’t take effect until after the 2014 election. Interest rates on student loans went up, which likely will cause students to pay off the loan first rather than letting them drag on for years. That change might even cause new college students to pick a field of study with good prospects of solid employment rather than moving back with parents.

I could give you an update on the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin trial, but I know the airwaves are filled with that news. A couple of so-called TV news networks are insisting that the investigation into the plane crash be concluded quickly so they can get back to uninterrupted trial coverage at 9:00 a.m. Monday. That, my friends, is why I read a newspaper.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“If there is a safer mode of transportation
 (than aviation), I never found it. If your time is worth anything, travel by air. If not, you might just as well walk.” DT #389, Oct. 20, 1927.