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Category — Al Jazeera

Egypt Erupts

Breaking News

I’ve been watching Al Jazeera English online for the last 2 hours. It’s amazing what’s happening in Egypt. Protesters have set the main government building on fire and are demanding Hosni Mubarak leave the country. Hillary Clinton just made a statement. It feels a little like 1989….

Watch live at

January 28, 2011   2 Comments

Russia Bans Death Penalty

From Al Jazeera English….

“A Russian court has effectively outlawed the death penalty in the country, ruling that a moratorium on capital punishment due to expire in January must remain in force.”

I was wondering just the other day if Russia had the death penalty. This action by the Russian court is very positive. The death penalty is wrong and immoral in all cases and in all forms.

November 19, 2009   3 Comments

Council Brings The Stupid II

It could have been worse.

Now that I’ve read and heard a little more about the Monday’s city council meeting, I realize that what the council passed vis-a-vis Burton’s sexy snowboards could have been much worse. From Lauren Ober at the Burlington Free Press:

The resolution, a softer version of the one originally proposed, doesn’t force Burton to take any action, but rather encourages the Burlington-based company to listen to the concerns of community organizations that say that the boards promote self-harm and misogyny.

The original resolution, sponsored by councilors Kurt Wright, R-Ward 4; Joan Shannon, D-Ward 5; Clarence Davis, P-Ward 3; and Jane Knodell, P-Ward 2, asked that Burton withdraw the boards from the market, a request that city councilor Ed Adrian, D-Ward 1, thought was unnecessary.

“My personal opinion is that people should be allowed to make choices, whatever they are,” Adrian said.

Russ Ellis, D-Ward 4 said he wasn’t interested in having the council censor any business and likened the Burton issue to Burlington Telecom’s decision to carry the Al-Jazeera network.

“I don’t think we want to get into the issue of being a censoring board. It’s really not appropriate for the City Council to be dealing with,” Ellis said.

Adrian did recognize that the community groups, including the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Girl Scout Council of Vermont and the White Ribbon Campaign of Vermont, deserve to be heard and he said he hoped that Burton leadership would engage in a dialogue with these organizations.

Wright, council president, sponsored the initial resolution based on the concerns he heard voiced in the community about the boards. It is the council’s right to be able to weigh in on community issues, Wright said, and the council has a responsibility to put pressure on business to do the right thing.

“In a time of increased domestic violence, I think it is incumbent on leaders to speak out on this,” Wright said.

The discussion on the resolution lasted for about half an hour and in the end, the council passed the amended resolution. Paul Decelles, R-Ward 7, was the lone dissenting vote, citing a reluctance to restrict business.

Thank you Paul Decelles. I’m glad I voted for you. This ain’t none of the city’s business. That should be Obvious. Paul gets the gold medal in this event for casting the only correct vote. Ed Adrian gets the silver medal for offering a moderate and ultimately successful alternative to the original insane resolution. Russ Ellis grabs the bronze for recognizing Burton’s first amendment rights.

I’d have to say the most stupefying part of this was Kurt Wright’s role in it. You sponsored this thing Kurt? Are you kidding? Republicans are supposed to want to leave business alone and get the government off people’s backs, remember? You’re not supposed to pontificate from the council and use government to “put pressure on business to do the right thing.” Government can regulate or not. Consumers and market forces have the “pressure on business” thing covered. Thanks.

And what if the original resolution passed an Burton took it to court? Burlingtonians have to pay lawyers to deal with this stupidity?

If Kurt is trying to strike a tone he thinks will be considered more centrist than his assumed default stance as a Republican, he’s made a mistake. This doesn’t look centrist, it looks unprincipled. It’s not a good place to start if you’re running for mayor. You’re not Obama, Kurt. You’re not going to lock up the nomination and then “run to the center” like you’re on the national stage. This is Burlington. The population has been 38,000 since the beginning of time. Forget about the sexy snowboards. Fix the city’s retirement system already. (Hint: attrition.)

November 19, 2008   Comments Off

Blurt Beats BurlingtonPol

It’s only 11:34pm- but I’m going to call it and go to bed. Looks like I’m going to beat Blurt again today. The score right now is BurlingtonPol-72, Blurt 68. And no cheap tricks today either. And no new posts except for this one. Blurt has two new posts up today. Both by Cathy Resmer. One on Al Jazeera covering the Al Jazeera controversy in Burlington and one on Speeder and Earl’s turning 15. Tomorrow it’s back to work, and back to getting only 2/3 the number of visits Blurt does. Even though tonight’s victory is more legit, it isn’t as sweet for some reason.

For blogging today I pretty much just tried to convince David Usher that the recent Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush was correct.

Wait a minute… Blurt just got five more visitors while I’ve been writing. Now I’m behind by one with twelve minutes left in the day. Shit… ok eleven minutes… come on… Somebody Google Amy Tarrant or something… 11:53… one more for Blurt. Now it’s Blurt-74, BurlingtonPol-72… 11:55- I can’t belive I’ve been sitting here for half and hour. Looks like I’m going ’till midnight after all… Now I know why the victory isn’t as sweet tonight… because it doesn’t exist. 11:57-Time to change the headline… 11:59. Shit. At least I was right to be psyched last night.

Midnight. I lost.

Have a nice Monday.

June 23, 2008   Comments Off

The Evidence Against Al Jazeea

Channel 3 reports that at Wednesday’s public forum on Burlington Telecom and Al Jazeera, Jamie Zeppernick of the Defenders Council of Vermont commented that Al Jazeera “does incite murder. It incites hatred and it incites violence.”

This is quite a claim, so I wrote to Mr. Zeppernick and asked if he had any evidence. Here is his reply:

“Good day,

I have offered only a fractional amount of evidence at our events on the 9th and 10th of June. Further evidence is readily accessible from doing your own objective research on the issue. An exploration of the public record using a broad spectrum of resources will provide you with the best results.

Thank you and please let me know if you have further questions about our organization.

Jamie Zeppernick”

June 13, 2008   1 Comment

Al Jazeera public meeting 6:30pm

I don’t think I’m going to make it there. Too many unpaid bills piling up at my house, including Burlington Telcom’s, which I haven’t paid since this whole Al Jazeera thing erupted. I’d like to call it a protest, but the truth is I’m just kinda broke right now. Another economic stimulus check would be nice.

Plus I ran into Richard Donnelly last week in City Hall Park and he said they we’re going to keep the channel. I asked him if that whole “contract” issue was basically baloney, and I think he said no. You gotta hand it to those marketing people. I shook his hand, said he was a good sport and continued on my way.

Anyway here are the details for all you freedom fighters who want to attend. The copy is lifted straight out of the 7D article linked to in my preceding post. I’ve been a lazy blogger lately…

The public forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Hauke Conference Room at Champlain College, Maple and Willard Streets, Burlington. Members of the public will be asked to limit their comments to under three minutes.


Richard Donnelly adds this update (by email rather than my preferred method, comment):

“Just to clarify one point, the final decision to keep the station on the air has not been made. I don’t know how long that will take or what the contract negotiations will yield. BUT it is staying on the lineup in the meantime while this process takes place.”


June 11, 2008   Comments Off

Al Jazeera Reporter Speaks Out

Here’s the latest fine reporting from Seven Days Ken Picard. More to come…

June 10, 2008   Comments Off

Yeserday’s Burlington Telecom Meeting

I stopped by City Hall yesterday to get a flavor for the joint meeting of the Burlington Telecom Advisory and the Citizens Advisory Committees. I almost crashed into Rabbi Glazier who was walking out of the building just as I was coming in.

Inside the auditorium it was a packed house. I listened to several speakers, most of whom spoke in favor of keeping Al Jazeera. Applause indicated a mostly pro-free speech audience, as well.

*Councilor Decelles spoke against keeping Al Jazeera on Burlington Telecom, citing veterans who live in Ward Seven. In a moment of muddled logic, he said he would never subscribe to Burlington Telecom because of them. Actually, Paul will never subscribe because he doesn’t believe in the city owning a telecom company, whether they have Al Jazeera or not.

*Several speakers including James Vos reminded the committee that Al Jazeera has a large audience in Israel.

*One lady reminded counciler Decelles that veterans fought for our freedoms, including freedom of speech.

*Owen Mulligan said it was pathetic that BT no longer takes cash payments.

*One man in orthodox Jewish clothes questioned how some can say Al Jazeera is free to Burlington Telecom when they don’t have a contract hammered out.

*One lady said if Al Jazeera goes, she will cancel her BT subscription.

*And so on. And so forth.

I went home and turned on Burlington Telecom channel 317 and saw the meeting wrap up on live TV.

Note: I am intentionally conflating Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera English. Unlike Bill Simmon I think it’s better to conflate them than it is to parse them.

May 28, 2008   1 Comment

Burlington Telecom Meeting 4pm Today.

A joint meeting of the Burlington Telecom Advisory Committee and the Citizens Advisory Council will be held today (May 27, 2008) at 4:00pm in Burlington City Hall Auditorium to discuss whether to keep or censor Al Jazeera.

I work until 4:30pm. Unless there’s an emergency, I’ll be there right after that. 4:00pm is a poor time for an important public meeting if you work, but show up if you can.

According to Seven Days. Al Jazeera will be there to cover the meeting. Free speech is an interesting topic for people everywhere.

Yesterday we remembered those who died for this nation. This nation exists because of a set of ideals, and the struggle to realize those ideals is always going on.

May 27, 2008   Comments Off