Friday, February 24, 2012

Protest in Baghdad, money to protect the rulers

Friday, February 25, 2011, protesters turned out throughout Iraq and they would continue to protest each subsequent Friday. In Baghdad, they gathered in Tahrir Square. Many were beaten, many were killed (at least 16 were killed). A number of journalists covering the demonstrations were later rounded up and tortured. That included Hadi al-Mahdi who was assassinated September 8th in his Baghdad home.

Today, the first anniversary is being observed. Kitabat notes that the protesters were demanding change and reform and that, back then, Moqtada al-Sadr was describing Nouri as a dictator. (Notice Nouri never went after Moqtada the way he has Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.) A protester states that there demands were not met and that they will continue protesting until they are. AFP reports that police officers and the military made their presence known in Baghdad's Tahrir Square today with weapons ("wooden clubs, pistols and assault rifles . . . police vehicles mounted with machine guns"). They quote chant leader Muayid al-Tayyeb stating that "when the government faced these demands with repression, our request became new elections."

Iraq's finally approved their 2012 federal budget. Nouri's usual sycophants online are already cooing and mewing. But this photo is being used to illustrate a point at the Great Iraqi Revolution.

great iraqi revolution 2

Where do the billions go because it's not going to the Iraqi people?

Aseel Kami (Reuters) notes the budget is $100 billion US dollars. Aswat al-Iraq adds that $17 billion of that is for "defense." KUNA explains the 2012 budget is "22 percent higher" than last year's budget. (Online sycophants did not refer to those just listed or to reporters. It referred to the Nir Rosen Online Brigade. They know who they are.)

It's left to Kitabat to put money issues in real world terms
, yesterday the Parliament voted to spend approximately $50 million (US) on 350 armored vehicles for their own members while Iraq citizens have no such protection, while Iraqi citizens receive no protection. But don't worry, the ruling elite will continue to live high on the hog and safely. Al Mada notes that the Sadr bloc (Moqtada al-Sadr's representatives) did put forward a motion (which passed) that 25% of oil export revenues to spending on the Iraqi people (Al Rafidayn states it's 20%); however, though it passed, the measure would still need the approval of Nouri's Cabinet.

Okay house cleaning steps. First, this appeared yesterday morning:

Iraq has yet again been hit with a series of spectacular attacks. Instead of addressing the attacks, the reporters hide behind garbage like "a hallmark of Al Qaeda in Iraq" (AP) and "Sunni insurgents affiliated to al Qaeda" (Reuters). One bombing attack after another. [Credit to to participate in this game. And, please note, the Ministry of Interior has proclaimed it was al Qaeda in Iraq on their website though AFP's the only outlet noting that in their coverage -- the only outlet mentioning al Qaeda in Mesopotamia that bothers to note they're repeating a charge of a ministry.] And [. . .]

Who? Who was I saying needed credit? BBC News.

What happened?

I put a link in and all the words linked vanished.

That's happened repeatedly this morning.

I use Flock. I love Flock. Flock is no more as a Browser. (It was discontinued a year ago.) And a number of us just switched laptops Wednesday. So I'll either have to transfer Flock over from the old laptop or get use to another browser. I've used Mozilla Firefox the last two days -- to be clear, I use multiple browsers -- I have Internet Explorer, Rock Melt, Google Chrome and Firefox all open right now and multiple screens in each. But I used Flock for Blogger/Blogspot. I had to stop using Internet Explorer two or so years ago because they're 'upgrade' made it not work with Blogger/Blogspot. I have some http tag with "gif" showing up in some entries. That's from the browser not working as well. And I am an HTML. That's what I'm comfortable blogging in. Can't do it in this browser. I have to flip to add a link because if I add it in HTML, it doesn't go where I highlighted for it to go, it goes a paragraph above.

In addition, this keyboard layout is different so I'm adjusting to that as well. (There are additional keys.)

And that's why (second question) there was no "I Hate The War" last night?

No. The plan was to post something and to explain that that was it for "I Hate The War" until spring got here. I hate winter. I can almost stand it when I'm home where's it warm and, even today, would be in the sixties. I have always hated winter. And I'm not in the mood these days to do the columns for the newsletters on Thursday night and then do something here. I'll be fine when spring gets here.

What happened to the plan? Elaine and I got ripped off. We wanted a piece at Third last Sunday and there wasn't time. So we decided we'd write it together. And we did. And Elaine showed it to a few friends for feedback, which is fine, except one (who is also a friend of mine) decided to rip one of our key phrases and use it in a speech this week (speech by a Democratic politician). When I saw that, I was furious. And confronted him on his using that for the speech he wrote for _____. That meant I had no interest in redoing that one phrase. I told Elaine she could run it at her site tonight but we'll probably just trash it. (And please note, I know if I'm seated next to a columnist at dinner, anything said can end up in their copy. They're magpies. Fine. I know that. I know the same with screenwriters and songwriters. And I'm fine with it. When my back went out a few years back and I was in screaming pain and a few months later I turn on the TV and a friend has written that into a sitcom, I don't object. I just laugh at the funny parts and know that everything is copy. But when ___ steals a phrase to use for ___ who is a politician I do not care for, I do get ticked off and I seriously am still. If it were another politician, I'd probably laugh at it. I'm not laughing at this.) [That phrase, which is the only thing that worked in the speech that was delivered, was the structure around which we built our piece -- on Chris Hedges, OWS, the so-called violence debate and more. And I honestly don't want e-mails saying, "Oh, you're using ____'s phrase from the speech he just gave." I do not like that politician. I would not copy or emulate that politician.]

So I was in a sour mood due to the winter, in an angry mood due to the stolen phrase and not really wanting to navigate the new browser or the keyboard. The different browser and keyboard is also why the entries are going up a little later than usual. Give me about a week and hopefully I'll have a better browser to use and be adjusted to the keyboard (the down and up arrows are what are really screwing me over -- I hit them and it turns I'm on a different key and I've summoned the help genie).

I did get laptops for those who are kind enough to take the dictation and type it into the Iraq snapshots. Which is the last house cleaning question: Was the snapshot shorter than usual?

It was 135K. That had to do, however, with something other than the text. When I was told we'd hit 135K, we pulled one section and sent it immediately to see if it would stick (anything over 90K is a problem). Later when I saw it, I realized this was a different issue. (It's why, in the dictate e-mail account -- I usually do transcripts of hearings or of radio programs myself and save the draft and then when it's time for the snapshot that's pulled up and used by whomever I'm dictating it too -- it has remained Yahoo classic and not gone to Beta. Which may be too much information but if we switched to Beta it would have changed the K amount when we were used to using 90K as the cut off point for snapshots.) So it has something to do with that switch. But the point wasn't too have a shorter snapshot yesterday, we honestly thought it was a long one due to the 135K. Why was only it showing up? I have no idea on that. (After it hit the site -- it's e-mailed to the site -- no other entries were showing. Normally there are five entries on the main page.)

ADDED right after this went up. Before someone wonders why the latest photos (one here, one in the previous entry) are not up in the latest Flickr account, I don't know the password. With Flock I didn't have to. I never had to enter it. I closed and when I reopened (even if it was after a shut down), everything came up. I'm using an earlier one for those and I called Sunny to get Elaine's password. (Sunny's Elaine's assistant. Elaine's very sweet assistant.) Because I knew there was still space in that one.

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