There’s been a lot of debate lately regarding the extent of the role that social media played in Egypt’s street protests that led to the ouster of its oppressive President. As Al Jazeera English revealed in this video, young activists actually trained and prepared to mobilize the public far in advance of any street protest. It’s even been uncovered (see this The Nation article) that Egyptian blogger activists even looked to American social nonviolent movements like Martin Luther King’s as templates to follow as they executed organizing strategy. In fact, the application of such approach went as far as distributing copies in Tahrir Square of a translated version a 50 year old comic book relating to the nonviolent civil disobedience tactics of MLK. Exponentially adding to all this on-the-ground organizing, it could very well be said that new media technology helped accelerate the organizing process at an unprecedented rate. This topic was perhaps perfectly examplified by what young Egyptian activists were saying during the protests, going as far as mentioning Facebook by name on camera. This was precisely captured by a video that aired on Cenk Uygur on MSNBC Live:
It appears that in discussing the street protests in Egypt against Hosni Mubarak’s oppressive autocratic rule, little coverage in our media has been given to the role that speculation in the stock exchange markeplace might have had in Egypt’s current civil unrest. Ed Schultz has been one of the few media voices that has touched on this subject, as he did an excellent piece on his show (video above) regarding how pricing speculation in basic food staples was a contributing factor to Egypt’s unrest. He details how the U.N. estimated that by 2008, speculators held 65% of corn future contracts, 68% of soybean, and 80% of wheat. Egypt happens to import more wheat than any other, where its price rose more than 70% last year. With the price of a basic staple of their subsistence skyrocketing, no wonder the Egyptian people are mad as hell and have taken to the streets to get rid of Mubarak.
In a surprise mention during the State of the Union Address 2011, President Obama alluded to the DREAM Act and urged Congress to fix our immigration system to stop the deportation of our youth, who, having grown up here their entire lives, by all intents and purposes are as American as the next person minus the document that recognizes them as such. Video clip here and trancript below of what the President said regarding immigration reform:
Freedom of speech empowers us all. But let us not forget that with power, comes great responsibility and we can use that power of speech to either heal each other or we can use it to destroy ourselves. It’s our choice. Latino Voces has put together the following video to illustrate how our nation’s rhetoric has taking a disturbing turn, especially when it comes to hate speech against Latinos and immigrants:
Would you like to be part of the healing process to counter the wave of hate speech that has been assailing our nation? Share your story of your experience with hate on Alto Arizona‘s website here.
As you may have heard by now, the right-wing radio and Fox [Republican] News hosts have been pushing back against the rising criticism of the violence in our political rhetoric in the wake of the Arizona shooting. In light of this, it’s been encouraging to see some leaders actually not capitulating to the right-wing media machine on this topic. The usual way a bad media cycle goes for conservative politicians is that if they are criticized or put on the defensive or in a bad light on an issue, the right-wing media machine goes on full attack mode and by the next day actually changes the narrative in the mainstream media from a question of “are the conservatives wrong or bear some responsibility for this?” to “was the media wrong or biased for reporting it the way it was reported?” It’s a very clever way to shift the focus away from key questions of facts and from the issue at hand to distracting ones around a veil of “is the media attacking conservatives unfairly?”
Chris Matthews (click here for previous entries regarding his views on immigration) had Representatives Grijalva and King to debate Republicans’ latest attempt to change the Constitution:
Make no mistake, whether you want to recognize it or not, “reinterpreting the 14th Amendment” WOULD BE CHANGING our Constitution. In fact, regardless of whatever historical context you want to list in your arguments, there is NO room for “reinterpretation”, as the Constitution is very clear on this:
But What Does It Mean Immigration Strategy-Wise?
The AP reports:
President Barack Obama is considering naming former Commerce Secretary William Daley to a top White House job, possibly chief of staff, a person familiar with the matter said. The development comes as Obama eyes a broader reorganization of his senior staff heading into the next phase of his presidency.
The move by the President to appoint someone like Daley as his Chief of Staff signals a direction away from progressives, as Chuck Todd of MSNBC points out:
That’s right: immigration reform IS a civil rights issue and will be so for 2011 and beyond; the people that have been here for years and have kids that have grown up here their entire lives and contribute to our society with their taxes and hard work ARE Americans except for the government document that recognizes them as such; treating them as second-class citizens and seizing and deporting them no-questions asked is a direct attack on what America stands for.