In court and in the streets – big guns

Egyptian army armored vehicle are seen outside the television building following protests in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. The Egyptian capital Cairo was the scene of violent chaos Friday, when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons. It was a major escalation in what was already the biggest challenge to authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year-rule. (AP Photo/Victoria Hazou) (Victoria Haz

The fight is not over, not in Macau or in Cairo, the old men don’t want to let go and they are the ones with the big guns.  Stanley Ho, apparently recovered from the spell cast over him by his greedy children and legions of wives is on the attack again.  He denies his denial and is going to get them, all of them, in court. Of course, there are those that say he is now under another spell, that cast by his last and youngest wife, a former dancer and a hottie!  Old men are so vulnerable, and so are their businesses and their legacies, just ask, old Hughie the Hef.

In Egypt, the demonstrations have not lessened, the demonstrators paused to pray and then resumed with greater passion and numbers; the Muslim Brotherhood has called its supporters into the streets for the first time, and it is the first true traditional, party-based political expression of these demonstrations.  The government of Husni Mubarak has responded by trying to cut off  internet access and stop the social media organization that has fueled much of the demonstrations this far; Mubarak has also called out the big guns, the army for the first time. Does the sound of tanks bring back found memories of Prague and Detroit?  The tanks of the armies of the old men always win in the short-term, but the passions of the young men overcome them in time.

Both Ho and Mubarak’s days are limited, at least in the traditional sense, no one lives forever; but before they go, they intended to put up a fight.  The legislature in Indiana is cognizant of those kinds of bitter battles and is postponing hearings on casino legislation until Don Barden’s company works its way through bankruptcy, health issues and the family feud.  Just to keep the thread going, the leader of North Korea has chosen a new son, the youngest, to be his heir apparent, the older one is being punished for sneaking off to Japan to gamble and chase women ten years ago.  These things may seem only a diversion and an evening news version of the reality shows that have dominated television, but besides the legislature in Indiana, the stock market in Hong Kong and in the United States are treading water, marking waiting to see what happens before investors are willing to wager anything.

And so that we don’t run out of things to watch, discuss and analyze we can add Jordan and Yemen to the demonstrating list – and renewed demonstrations in Tunisia.  I am still stunned at how quickly 2011 jumped up and established a separate identity from 2010.


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January 2011
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