• Facebook
  • Twitter
Kalima On January - 1 - 2011

Good morning everyone!

I hope that when and if you have the time, MB will be the place for you to catch up with friends before you leave for work or start your new day. A place to relax and take a break from serious topics and discussions during your day.

You are free to talk about anything here. Introduce your favourite news stories, videos, photos, funny stories or recipes. Think of it as your space, whether you wake up with the birds or chose to have a lay in, MB is open 24/7, from 5 am EST-2 am PST.

Please feel free to drop in anytime, you are always welcome here.

Categories: Morning Blog

Written by Kalima

Long time resident of Tokyo --- "Where is this woman I once knew so well? Memories fading or hurtling by like a howling wind at a speed I can't fathom or define. A star hangs like a teardrop from her eye, quivering but never falling. I search the empty corridors of my soul in hopes of catching just another glimpse of who she once presumed herself to be. Where is this woman who trod with such certainty, where is she now? I mourn her passing as another dawn breaks in my restless heart."

705 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. bito says:



    1956 Tunisia gains independence from France with Habib Bourguiba as prime minister. A year later the monarchy is abolished, Tunisia becomes a republic and Bourguiba its president.

    1987 Prime Minister Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has Bourguiba declared mentally unfit to rule and takes control, winning further presidential elections in 1989, 1994, 1999 and 2004.

    2009 Ben Ali wins a fifth term. A prominent journalist critical of the president, Taoufik Ben Brik, is jailed.

    17 December 2010 Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old graduate, sets fire to himself after officials prevent him from selling vegetables, prompting nationwide rioting over unemployment and political restrictions.

    14 January 2011 Ben Ali concedes power, fleeing to Saudi Arabia.

    15 January Fouad Mebazaa is sworn in as Tunisia’s new president; he orders creation of unity government.

    • Kalima says:

      Hello bito, in the BBC link below there is a lot of information and further links about when and how this all started.

      I finally reached my friend there yesterday. She had gone to stay with a friend about a week ago because the demonstrations had come within a kilometer of her house, and was on the way to her daily market. The police had come by to advise people to stay inside. They have a 6 pm curfew still in place. I will be speaking to her on Skype tonight. I was of course very relieved to hear from her.

      • bito says:

        Kalima, I’m glad you finally heard from your friend, must have been a relief.
        I have been reading all your links and links in those articles most of the day. Sounds like it is still a bit murky on what exactly will be the outcome of this. The stories on the gangs and who they exactly are is interesting and scary.

        • Kalima says:

          Thanks bito, yes I’m feeling better since I heard from her. She totalled her car about a month ago, and it’s still being repaired, so she was a bit stuck for transportation should she have to leave everything to move somewhere where it was safer. Things move very slowly over there it seems, Ii took months for her to get an internet connection.

          Whatever is to happen now over there, you can bet it won’t be peaceful or an easy road with the fighting and bickering to come in the power struggle to follow. Already armed gangs loyal to the ousted President are roaming the streets, remember Iraq?
          It looks as if it’s about to turn even nastier.

          Now it looks as if the unrest has moved to Jordan too, where there are many protests about food prices and jobs.

          I’m looking foward to speaking with her tonight.

  2. Kalima says:

    Breaking News:

    Tunisia: Deadly fire as unrest follows Ben Ali exit


  3. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Hope that you have a great weekend. It feels cold enough for snow here. I don’t mind, but the kitties outside have no boots on.

    Take care and stay safe.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    So the President escaped to Saudi Arabia because France didn’t want him there. Now the PM takes over, what changes and will there be fair elections soon?

    The last part of this sentence caught my eye.

    “But while the protests in Tunisia were led by an educated young population eager to expand their freedoms, in its neighbours much of the opposition is demanding the replacement of pro-western regimes with Islamic rule.”

    Tunisia riots: President Ben Ali flees as chaos hits country

    “President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, the pro-American leader of Tunisia, fell to a wave of student protest on Friday, fleeing into exile from a country that had descended into blood-soaked chaos.”


    Tunisia crisis: as it happened

    β€’ Prime minister takes power as president is forced out
    β€’ State of emergency declared, army surrounds Tunis airport
    β€’ President has reportedly left Tunisia for Paris
    β€’ Foreign Office advises against travel to the country
    β€’ Read a summary of key events


    Profile: Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali

    “Tunisia’s president has been a convenient ally for the west but news about his regime’s excesses sparked resentment at home”


    This is a racist headache that France or any other country could do without. As much as I dislike Sarkozy, this would be just so much worse.

    Marine Le Pen posing a growing threat to Nicolas Sarkozy

    “France’s National Front is set to widen its support base if Marine Le Pen is chosen to succeed her father as the far-Right party’s new leader this weekend, posing a growing threat to President Nicolas Sarkozy.”


    There might have been much more than insanity driving this guy. I’m getting a little tired of hearing how sick this guy was. He was well enough to buy a gun, plan to use it, and consequently killed 6 innocent people, wounding several seriously including a U.S. Congresswoman. My question is, if he was so sick where were his family and friends in this, don’t tell me they didn’t notice that he exhibited strange behaviour over the years, why didn’t they try to help him, surely you can have family members committed for evaluation?

    Arizona shooting: Jared Loughner ‘posed with gun in women’s underwear’

    “Jared Lee Loughner, charged with killing six people and trying to assassinate a U.S. congresswoman in Arizona, checked into a motel, bought bullets and had photographs developed on the night before the shooting, police said on Friday.”


    I reported this as a breaking news story yesterday morning, I hope that this will finally be the end of this corrupt politician. Wonder how many people he will be able to bribe and threaten from a jail cell?

    He brought it on himself by boasting about his “women” like a hormonal high schooler.

    Berlusconi could face trial as alleged sex offender

    “The Italian prime minister has been formally placed under investigation on suspicion of sex with underage prostitute”


    More protests in Jordan.

    Jordanians protest against soaring food prices

    “Protesters angry over high food costs and unemployment call for the prime minister to step down, in an echo of Tunisian demonstrations”


    A terrible tragedy.

    Brazil landslides turn tranquil cemetery into floodlit mass grave

    “With many other graveyards lost or cut off, exhausted volunteers of Carlinda Berlim work long into the night to bury the dead”



    “Major environmental ruling on coal”


    “Gun control after Tucson”


    “RNC proves me wrong”


    Interesting story, beautiful creatures

    Experience: I lived with wolves

    ‘I ate what they ate, mostly raw deer and elk, which they would often bring back for me, or fruit and berries’


    Franz Kafka’s other trial

    “An allegory of the fallen man’s predicament, or an expression of guilt at a tormented love affair? John Banville explores the story behind Kafka’s great novel of judgment and retribution”


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • bito says:

      Whoa!! 😯

      I was only ever truly scared on two occasions: once, when all the wolves were feeding, I ate the wrong piece of meat – there is a strict hierarchy of who eats what part of an animal – and one of the wolves leapt on me in seconds because of my mistake. He took my entire face in his mouth and started to squeeze hard. I could feel the bones in my jaw begin to bend, and in that split-second I realised how vulnerable I was and how restrained they were most of the time.

    • bito says:

      Presidential statement on Tunisia. As Khirad mentioned last night, the US is taking a very ‘hands-off’ approach to the situation. One can only imagine what would the stance be if a neo-con was in the WH.

      Statement by the President on Events in Tunisia

      As I have said before, each nation gives life to the principle of democracy in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people, and those countries that respect the universal rights of their people are stronger and more successful than those that do not. I have no doubt that Tunisia’s future will be brighter if it is guided by the voices of the Tunisian people.

  4. Kalima says:

    Tunisia: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out


  5. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    I seemed to have missed a day today. One of those winter days when the sleep never really seems to leave your eyes, and you wonder what possessed you to get out of bed in the first place. The loud meows of hunger pangs suddenly remind you in no uncertain terms that you are there to serve. I can’t remember a single day that I’ve been allowed to stay under the warm covers for longer than 7 am. With a loud sigh, I resign myself to the fact that I am their servant, and vow to teach them how to open cans one of these days, it works so well in my dreams.

    Hope that you have a good day. Take care, and stay safe.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    A sad day for Arizona. A sad day for America. A sad day for ALL of us.

    Arizona shooting funeral: Youngest victim laid to rest

    “Ground Zero flag flies over coffin of Christina Green as hundreds line Tucson’s streets in mourning”


    As predicted last year, the mirror has cracked and the LibDems start to suffer for their “sins” in the eyes of their voters. Didn’t take long, did it?

    Liberal Democrats suffer in Oldham by-election

    “Labour has won the Oldham and Saddleworth by-election, the first proper test of opinion since last year’s general election.”


    It’s been coming for a very long time, so a 50 year old dictatorship, and there are many that could be classified in this way, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, could see their own walls come tumbling down sooner than they think. I think it’s encouraging that the younger people have had enough while the older ones have become resigned to the fact that nothing major would happen in their own lifetimes. I see this as an omen of future revolt throughout the Arab nations in the next few years.

    Tunisia riots: Reform or be overthrown, US tells Arab states amid fresh riots

    “Riots by youths protesting against Tunisia’s 50-year dictatorship clashed with police in the country’s capital as the United States warned its Middle Eastern allies to reform or be overthrown.”


    Related story.

    Tunisian president says he will not seek re-election in 2014

    “Zine el Abidine Ben Ali announces decision in attempt to quell violence that has left at least 23 people dead”


    It’s about time that this particular piece of dung hit the fan. The interference of the Revolutionary Guards in the affairs of other countries remains a fact, as recently exposed in Afghanistan, known about Iraq, Lebanon, and the Hamas movement. Too many meddling fingers in too many pies.

    Iran arms smuggling details to be disclosed

    “A trial due to open in Nigeria at the end of the month is set to disclose embarrassing details of an extensive arms smuggling operation run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to supply guerrillas in West Africa.”


    Why am I just not convinced of their motives here, people say a lot of things when they want something as is the case here with ambitions for power sharing. This might sound very negative, but why trust them after all the chaos and destruction they have inflicted by denying the rights of the Afghans over so many years?

    Taliban ready to lift ban on girls’ schools, says minister

    “Afghanistan minister claims leadership has undergone ‘cultural change’ and no longer opposes female education”


    The death toll now stands at 482 and will surely increase during the clean up. Tragic.

    Brazil floods: country’s worst natural disaster in decades as 482 die

    “Rescue workers dug for survivors on Thursday and struggled to reach areas cut off by floods and landslides that have killed at least 482 people in one of Brazil’s deadliest natural disasters in decades.”


    This must have been quite a shocker for Italy’s aging “gigolo” after his years of unbecoming behaviour and blatant corruption of the institution of government, it’s about time to give the jerk the boot. Pun intended.

    Italian court waters down Berlusconi immunity law

    “Constitutional court ruling means Italian prime minister faces resumption of trials on fraud, bribery and other charges”


    Just in: 4:18 am PST

    Silvio Berlusconi in probe over teenage dancer Ruby


    It didn’t work the last time if I remember correctly, he lost a few sponsors but seems to have flourished since, again being able to spew his insane crap on the airways and the tv.

    It would be nice to see him gone though, leaving him to sell gold on the street corners of America. He could always go back to being the rodeo clown, a job he’s much more quailfied to do with his limited intelligence. My apologies to rodeo clowns everywhere of course.

    Will he be the next one to call himself a “victim?”

    Call for Fox News to drop Glenn Beck

    “Ten thousand sign petition for rightwing talkshow host to be removed amid accusations that he has whipped up hatred in the wake of the Arizona shooting”



    “The contrast couldn’t be clearer”


    “Gabby Giffords’ eyes”


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • Chernynkaya says:

      Bito, those photos are great. It’s amazing what a professional photographer can do. I was struck by the photo of everyone standing, honoring Hernandez-- And by the McCain photo bomb in the background.

      • boomer1949 says:

        I saw that one too and have been trying to find it to post here…adding a bunch of yellow arrows to point out his less than (understatement) civil facial expression.

        Pictures speak louder than words, especially when the subject is clueless he is being photographed.

        I have come to the conclusion Mr. McCain is never going to change, is a poor loser, and is far more angry he lost to a person of color.

        Someone here, sorry I can’t remember who, wrote the other day:

        […] can you imagine how Bush, McCain, or Palin would have sounded at the memorial service in Tucson? […]

    • kesmarn says:

      The one of Janet Napolitano was particularly touching, b’ito.

      Her job requires her to be cool and tough so much of the time.

      This reveals a moment of real vulnerability.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Kes, during the event (but not on any photo I’ve seen) I was particularly touched and actually surprised by Napolitano--she was sitting besides Giffords’ husband and as the President was speaking about “Gabby opened her eyes..” both Napolitano and the First Lady were holding each of his hands. He was clenching their hands so tightly. Incredibly moving. Napolitano seems so very warm!

        • kesmarn says:

          Cher, what a moment.

          I can hardly imagine the level of stress Giffords’ husband must be under right now. It’s tough being a patient, but sometimes people forget how tough it is to be the one who can only wait, worry and pray.

  6. Chernynkaya says:

    Yikes. This can’t be good news, can it? Maybe this is the proof positron we’ve been looking for on the effects of violent rhetoric:

    “Antimatter caught streaming from thunderstorms on Earth”

    A space telescope has accidentally spotted thunderstorms on Earth producing beams of antimatter.Such storms have long been known to give rise to fleeting sparks of light called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes.

    But results from the Fermi telescope show they also give out streams of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons

  7. Khirad says:

    Kalima, Hammamet:

    The only warnings so far are to avoid demonstrations.

    But, what’s happening in Tunisia -- and by god does this deserve more attention as it’s making Arab autocracies all over the region nervous -- is not Islamist or anti-Western in nature.

    Sfax, singing of national anthem:

    If you’ve seen the maps, this has spread all over the country.

    It’s been dubbed the Jasmine Revolution.

  8. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone. Hope that you are all ok?

    I thought that I might have a little more time today to chat, but my phone call with my father lasted longer than usual, a sign that he’s on the mend. I will just wish you all good day, and hope to run into you later.

    Take care and stay safe.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    I’m glad I’m living over over here and not there, I would be pretty furious with this.

    Pension payouts will be cut under reforms

    “Prudent savers face significant cuts in their pensions because government reforms will lead employers to reduce contributions to their retirement funds, experts said yesterday”


    This should prove interesting unless Vlad decides to send his undercover thugs over there.

    Russian TV channel to challenge Kremlin-grip on news

    “A new TV channel intent on challenging the Kremlin’s monopoly on news inside Russia is being launched in neighbouring Georgia in a move likely to enrage Moscow.”


    Well I’ve heard plane crashes blamed on a lot of things over the years, but to blame it on a dead man, a dead President at that, is really atrocious.

    Pilot error blamed in Polish plane crash report

    “The crew in an air crash that killed the Polish president was under intense “psychological pressure” to land the plane so as not to anger him, according to a damning Russian report that has blamed pilot error for the tragedy.”


    It’s nice to be able to report something good and positive for a change.

    Arizona shooting: President Obama at Gabrielle Giffords’ bedside

    “President Barack Obama flew to Arizona and headed straight to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ bedside to pay his respects to the wounded lawmaker as he sought to unify a mourning nation.”


    From The Guardian.


    Yesterday the number of dead was 200, how much longer are these people going to be allowed to live in such a dangerous place. This maybe a tourist town but how many shantytown houses are swept away every year, the loss of lives from landslides is staggering. When will the government try to save lives by finding them a safer place to live. Is it not important just because they are poor, should they have to die because they can’t afford to live somewhere else?

    Brazil landslides leave hundreds of people dead

    “Around 1,000 left homeless as torrential rainstorms trigger mudslides in mountaintop towns near Rio de Janeiro”


    Supreme Leader tweeting, good Lord, whatever next, and about what I wonder, how Godly he thinks he is?

    At the risk of sounding facetious, Twit might be a good nickname for him.

    Supreme leader tweetings infuriate Iran’s persecuted bloggers

    “Twitter account apparently run from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office draws accusations of hypocrisy after online crackdown”


    Here comes the same threat as before..

    Iran warns the west that Istanbul meeting is last chance for nuclear deal

    “Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Tehran’s ambassador to the IAEA, says time is running out for it to export enriched uranium”


    Considering how very fragile the government of Lebanon has been for so many years, this is definitely not a good omen.

    Lebanon’s unity government collapses

    “Hezbollah and allies quit after Saad Hariri refuses to convene cabinet to discuss how to name suspects in father’s murder”


    Does this sound familiar, well bound to happen when the Tories get power. I think that your lot and the rest of the conservatives spotted around the world, must be joined at the hip, and sharing the same girdle.

    Abortion rule to be challenged in high court

    “Government accused of risking the wellbeing of women”



    “A blow for civility”


    “I really wanted to ignore Palin”


    “The Tucson memorial service”


    24 Hours in Pictures


  9. Kalima says:

    Every year the same thing happens here. Isn’t it about time the government stepped in to move these poor people to a safer location?

    Death toll mounts from flooding in Rio de Janeiro state


    Tunisia imposes curfew in Tunis to quell protests


  10. Khirad says:

    Videos out of Tunisia

    14 year old boy claimed killed

    Troops move to curb Tunisia unrest

  11. Questinia says:

    Two Feet Of Snow! Yippee!!

    More coming down!!

    Didn’t put the cars in the barn… oops.


  12. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    I have just spent the afternoon speaking to one of my favourite people on Skype. It turned into a veritable giggle fest, even though I had warned that I might lose my voice again at some point, I didn’t. All that laughing has left me happy but a little tired, so I will wish you all a good day. Take care and stay safe.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    As unsurprising as this story might be, it still managed to send waves of fear down my spine.

    Chinese lawyer discloses his torture

    “An interview with China’s most prominent activist lawyer, who has been missing for almost two years, has surfaced in which he discloses that he was routinely tortured and threatened with his life.”


    After throwing every available obstacle in the way to any suggestions for peace talks, this is ridiculous in the absurdity of his claim. Is the moon made of blue cheese Mr. Netanyahu or do you believe the rest of the world is deaf and blind?

    Benjamin Netanyahu says Palestinians ‘walking away’ from peace

    “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday blamed the Palestinians for the stalled peace process, saying their refusal to negotiate showed they were not interested in peace.”


    I’m almost at the point where I call my friend and advise her to go back to Zurich until the riots subside.

    Tunisia’s violent protests spread to capital

    “Police fired into the air to disperse a crowd ransacking buildings in a Tunis suburb on Tuesday, the first time Tunisia’s capital has been hit by a wave of violent unrest that officials say has killed 23 civilians.”


    Gosh, they really have a thing for public “confessions” don’t they. Was the trial not convincing enough or are they so wrapped up in the failure of their own justice system that they are afraid it might be challenged unless they don’t?

    Iran broadcasts ‘confession’ of man it says was part of assassination plot

    “Majid Jamali-Fash says he was hired by Israel as part of network ordered to kill Iranian scientist Masoud Ali-Mohammadi”


    How convenient for them. Seems to me they can just about pick any charge out of a hat, mix it up, and make it stick. Who is going to challenge them?

    Iran claims Mossad link to scientist’s death

    “Intelligence chief says more than 10 held over killing of nuclear physicist Masoud Ali Mohammadi have links with the Israeli spy agency”


    Just jump on the bandwagon Trent before the real victims are even buried with any respect. Sickening, just how low on the chain will they go?

    We’re Arizona shooting victims too, says Tea Party co-founder

    “Trent Humphries says killings fallout is evolving into conspiracy to destroy Tea Party and silence criticism of government”


    Still no easing in sight.

    Brisbane residents flee homes as floodwaters rise

    “Almost 20,000 houses in Brisbane affected by rising water levels as PM voices concern for jobs and livelihoods”



    “Hillary and the progress on Iran”


    Best news I’ve heard about this is ages.

    Michael Jackson’s doctor ordered to stand trial

    “Prosecutors allege that Dr Conrad Murray gave Jackson a lethal dose of propofol leading to his involuntary manslaughter”


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • Questinia says:

      Any doctor doling out those types of “meds” and in those quantities is negligent and imo guilty of a type of murder.

      Same with Anna Nicole Smith’s and Elvis’ doctors. All they were interested in was the $.

    • escribacat says:

      Scary that Gao, the Chinese lawyer, has disappeared again. They must assume he’s dead if they’ve published this. It’s too bad that China seems to be operating on whatever system works best for the leadership (capitalism for the economy, totalitarianism for the government) but it turns out to be the worst of all systems for the population.

    • Khirad says:

      I don’t think she’s in danger, as this isn’t an anti-Western thing, but, to be on the safe side she might stay in Zurich for a couple weeks.

Leave your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Back to top
PlanetPOV Tweets
Ongoing Stories