User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2011-02-06

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Will Egyptian Peace Threaten Israel?

Original article published as Will a Democratic Egypt Destabilize Israel?


Not everyone thinks the new democracy in Egypt is a good thing. However, those who believe in freedom will give the new government time and a little space to make it's own errors. Democracy grows after the seed if is first planted. Even in the United States, democracy has been an evolving concept and applied to evolving classes of people. As Israel wakes up Saturday, February 12, 2011, it's world will be changed forever. There is a new sheriff in town and the success or failure of the Egyptian democracy will clearly affect it's neighbor state, Israel, and so, the rest of the world.




The roar from Liberation Square continued for an hour and a half after Pres. Hosni Mubarak stepped down. The celebration lasted throughout the night. Hosni Mubarak may have been a brutal dictator but he was a friend to Western and Israeli interests. He especially was the go-to man in the Arab world when claims were cast against the Israeli government about oppression of the Palestinians. If the predominately Arab country of Egypt was not objecting to Israel's actions it must be acceptable. Such rubber stamping of Israel foreign policy is likely a thing of the past. In fact, the entire peace process between the two countries is clearly at stake.


At the same time, the fledgling Egyptian military government has it's own hands full. Many Jews resent the Camp David Peace Accords in which Israel gave up the Sinai Peninsula, won in the 1967 war, in exchange for lasting peace with Egypt, according to columnist Joe Hilliker of the The agreement cost Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat his life. His successor, now Past Pres. Hosni Mubarak, respected the Camp David Accords, hence continuing the peace for 30 years. Not all was lost under Mubarak. Radical forces in either country could put that lasting peace to the test. celebration ii sm Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational political organization founded in Egypt, may seek to turn the new government into an an Islamic state. US democratic principles suggest mixing a state religion with government can lead to oppression of the minority, an un-democratic principle. It precludes minority religious voices from representation and an opportunity to be heard and excuses the country from the obligation to protect the few from the majority, often the necessary job of a democracy. While the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt believes in peaceful processes, and decried the 911 attacks on the twin towers in New York, suspected splinter groups are violent and not Western friendly. The benefit of a controlling entity for 30 years is the consistency of the ruling government, for good or for bad. While Egypt has maintained a stable position towards Israel throughout a series of leadership changes in the US, the US rarely maintains the same stable point of view. With each new presidential cycle comes new priorities and a new leadership direction. Currently, some in Israel feel the US is not as friendly as it once was, for example.


 guarding palace One can rationally expect the same swings in position from a new democratic Egypt as it struggles to find itself. Hence, Egypt cannot be expected to side eternally with US policy in the Middle East if it sides with our political point of view at all. When Pres. Barak Obama sided with the Egyptian people he was siding with the people who reflect American values, that is, he was siding with democracy. One bad part of a controlling entity for 30 years are the civil rights abuses that strong-arm governments effect upon their people.






None of this matters to an ecstatic population in Egypt tonight as they celebrate liberty won in just 18 days. From another point of view, the freedom won today when Hosni Mubarak stepped aside has taken 18 days of gut wrenching protests preceded by 30 years of political oppression. How tragic it would be to endure those 30 years plus 18 days only to lose one's life in a war that otherwise would never have taken place. Eternal hope exists the citizens of Egypt will choose their government wisely.  At the same time, those who truly believe in freedom and democracy understand freedom is a process and encourage the birth of a new society, even if it does not side with current political positions. That will require significant patience and tolerance from neighbors and a world community already galvanized.


storefront sign al jazeera


Read more: http:/ Read more: Freedom always come with a price. If Egypt elects leaders who seek war rather then peace then they will be as bound by the constraints and casualties of war as they were by their prior dictator. If they choose peace, not war, they will give the gift of a future to their children, and to the world.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mubarak Tells Protesters To Take A Hike, Power To VP Suleiman

Article first published as ">">Breaking: Mubarak Enrages Egypt, Future In Hands Of Military, Citizens by Tim Paynter, on Technorati.

Egyptian activists in Tahrir Square, dubbed "Liberation Square", waived their shoes in the air as an insult to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after a speech he gave on national TV.   Not much was liberating about the Mubarak speech. He continued the same promises made before, to not run for reelection in September and to support reforms to assure a new generation of leaders take over the Egyptian country through elections.

“I announce in very plain unequivocal words that I will not run in the coming presidential elections. I announce I will … continue to shoulder my responsibility until the authority and power is handed over to the people in elections this coming September.”

“Go! Go! Leave! Leave!” an angry crowd yelled in response.

“I will not take orders from anyone”, Mubarak said, a possible reference to activists who demand he leave office immediately. The statement might also reflect subtle pressure from world leaders including President Obama, encouraging Mubarak to step down.

In Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria, a large crowd changed from scenes of jubilation to a demonstration of anger, crying, shouting and obscenities. Thousands poured into the streets on their way to rally at the nearby military base. Citizens are calling upon the Egyptian army to force Mubarak to resign.

It was an announcement by a military leader in Liberation Square earlier in the day that sparked the protest today. Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, the military commander for Cairo, spoke to thousands gathered in Tahrir Square:


“All your demands will be met today,” Hassan al-Roueini said on live stream with Al Jazeera, a media service catering to Middle East politics.





The protesters are concerned Mubarak will diffuse the protest and then place a puppet government in office.  Until recently, he was grooming his son to take his place in a continuation of a perpetual reign of power.  Recent unrest may have put the kibosh on that plan.


tent city in tahrir park

Tent city Liberation Park, Cairo, Egypt

Hassan al-Roueini’s remarks were interpreted as an assurance Mubarak and his government will leave office, in conformance with one of the primary demands of the protesters. Hundreds of thousands poured into the street to hear the expected resignation.

Al Jazeera quoted the phrase as “Everything you want will be realized.”

The Egyptian military convened a special council today, something they have only done 3 times in the past 30 years. President Mubarak did not chair the counsel, as he usually would. Instead, Mohamed Tantawi, Egypt’s defense minister, chaired the meeting. The counsel indicated it would convene in a continuous session to safeguard the Egyptian people, a signal they were in effect taking control of the government. That statement now remains in the air as to it’s true meaning.

During Mubarak's speech, he indicated he would transfer power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, a move which activists consider a continuation of the Mubarak regime.  Suleiman is accused of being brutal in his dealings with the opposition, including use of torture.  Forty-five minutes after the Mubarak speech, Omar Suleiman appeared on public television asking for unity and calm.


omar suleiman
Vice President Omar Suleiman calls for peace

“We cannot allow those perpetrating intimidation. let’s join hands and march forth. the love for the homeland is the top priority. I call to the youths of Egypt, go back home, go back to work. The country needs your hands. Let’s join hands.”

Activists are calling for peace.  A massive protest is expected tomorrow. The future of Egypt likely lies in the hands of the military, which to date has not taken sides. It was the military which brought Mubarak to office in a coup 30 years ago.Read more:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Huppenthal Demands Mexican American Studies in Tucson, Threatens School Funding

Arizona Legislators Continue Attack On Immigrants

Legislators in the Arizona senate continue their assault on everything not exactly just like them, which is mostly white.  One of the most recent victims of conservative thinking is the ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools.  The legislature has enacted a law which makes it illegal to study diversity in public school.  They didn’t have a book burning in public education.  They just refuse to let anyone open the books that have already been written.  The following article will give you a few more details.

This article originally appeared as:  Huppenthal Forbids Mexican American Studies on Technorati, by Tim Paynter

In late December, 2010, Arizona SB 2281 went into effect. The new law bans ethnic studies, thus putting an end to the study of cultural diversity in Arizona.  One of those classes is the Mexican American Studies Class in Tucson, which has provided great insight to both minority and non-minority students.

In response to the new law, a protest group has been set up by the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Mexican American Studies Community Advisory Board. According to organizers, Mexican American Studies class informs and motivates students. Some of it's goals include: 

  • Working towards the invoking of a critical consciousness within each and every student; Promoting and advocating for social and educational transformation;
  • Promoting and advocating for the demonstration of respect, understanding, appreciation, inclusion, and love at every level of service.

However, newly elected Arizona Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal told the TUSD to halt classes or it would lose $15 million dollars in annual state funds. The threat breaks Huppenthal's promise to "Direct More Money Into the Classroom...too many of our education dollars are wasted on administrative bloat. More money needs to go directly to the classroom to support teachers." he says on his web page.

John Huppenthal from KVOA Photo

Huppenthal says the class violates SB 2281.  The TUSD disagrees and will sue.  If one side does not back down, the TUSD will spend more tax payer dollars in what Huppenthal called "wasted bloat" in court defending the basic rights of students to learn about the history of the Mexican-Americans who shaped a great part of Arizona.

confederate colors

Russell Pearce’s face has been placed over a new background on Facebook by some people who would like to recall him.   Many people believe his is proposing laws which are racist in nature.

According to the new law, the school has 60 days to comply.   Conservative voices say the SB 2281 is designed to promote unity and non-discriminatory practices.  Specifically, the law makes a class illegal if: 1. It promotes the overthrow of the United States; 2. Promotes resentment toward a race or class of people; 3. (Is) designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group; 4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

However, others argue the law is designed to stop discussion and opposition to SB 1070, the most vicious anti-immigrant law in history, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) in May of 2010.  SB 1070 promotes racial profiling and has been found to usurp federal immigration law to such an extent Judge Susan Bolton blocked major portions of it.  Arizona continues spending large sums litigating SB 1070.  Civil rights groups have called for national boycotts as well as a boycott of specific businesses which cater to the Hispanic community but whose owners back conservative candidates.

A meeting has been called seeking solutions to the crisis and banned classes.  The meeting will be at El Pueblo Center Senior Building 101 W. Irvington Road Tucson AZ from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, February 4th, 2011, according to a public page of SAVE Arizona.

The organization SAVE Arizona was set up to fight conservative law makers who attack minorities and the poor. The group is involved in several grass roots projects including a recall petition for Sen. Russell Pearce (R-AZ), who consistently supports anti-Hispanic laws.

Arizona remains the hotbed of anti-immigrant thinking and sentiments.   One can only hope the laws proposed in Arizona and which continue to divide the nation do not spread to other states.   Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) provides a solution for those who want to strengthen the border while at the same time addressing the problems undocumented workers already in the US face.