Turkuaz is a complete force to be reckoned with. While the funk powerhouse stands strong on their own, they of course get stronger with numbers. Percussionist Nate Werth of Snarky Puppy will be joining the 9-piece “Powerfunk” outfit from now until December 4th. Currently on tour with The New Mastersounds, the nation sweeping tour will make stops at The Fillmore in San Francisco, Park West in Chicago, the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, Terminal 5 in New York City, and beyond.It’s safe to assume these shows will sell out quickly, so we recommend you get your tickets on the fly!
The tension and unrest that arose in Egypt last month after the army ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi exploded this week, with hundreds of people killed as security forces broke up camps of protesters demanding Morsi’s return.The widening violence raised questions about the democratic future of a key American ally and an important partner in Middle East peace efforts, and also cast a shadow over the durability of changes wrought in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.To better understand what’s going on in Egypt, Gazette staff writer Alvin Powell spoke with Harvard’s E. Roger Owen, A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History Emeritus, about the fighting and about what Egypt’s future might hold.GAZETTE: What is at the roots of the clashes going on in Egypt today?OWEN: Well, I think there are two roots. One is a very long antipathy — or fight to the death — between the army and the Muslim Brothers. Most of the time since the [Gamal Abdel] Nasser revolution of 1952, the army has been involved in putting Muslim Brothers in jail. So there’s no love lost between them.But the other thing is that in any popular revolution in the Arab world at this moment, when you get to elections and constitutions and elections to the Constituent Assembly, the first elections are almost bound to be won by the religious parties, who will then be emboldened to use the constitution to try and shape Egyptian society in ways that they want, but which are resisted by other Egyptians.GAZETTE: Who are the major players involved?OWEN: The army, or an army-backed regime, which would be any of the modern presidents of Egypt — so Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, and now General [Abdul Fattah al-] Sisi. And the Brothers are a rather loose organization associated with mosques and so on, but under a supreme guide.GAZETTE: And the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi? Can we call him deposed?OWEN: The Americans refuse to call it a coup. But it was a coup, in which he was clearly deposed and arrested, and nobody quite knows where he is.GAZETTE: What’s your sense as to the likelihood the violence will abate, continue, or worsen?OWEN: I think it will go on. I think the Muslim Brothers are fighting for their lives. They had their moment, and they feel they’ve been unjustly deprived of the fruits of their victory. They’re opening up other fronts already, one of which is attacks on government buildings. Another, unfortunately, is attacks on Christian churches. And a third is, no doubt, a lot of activity in places not under government control, like the Sinai Peninsula or along Egypt’s southern borders.GAZETTE: Was this confrontation inevitable once the army acted to remove Morsi?OWEN: Probably at that stage, but there were plenty of people like [U.S. Sen.] John McCain who felt that the Americans had a great deal of influence over the Egyptian army. They knew these guys very well and provided Egypt with so much military support. I think the significant change is that Sisi was able to use the American intervention to mobilize a kind of Egyptian nationalism or patriotism to say, for once, that we’re not going to be told what to do by the Americans. We will do what we think is in our interest and the country’s interest.GAZETTE: Does this action put the U.S. in a difficult position?OWEN: It does, yes. It shouldn’t, but it does. What happened right at the beginning of the spring was that the American administration, President Obama and the Department of Defense, told the generals not to fire on the demonstrators in Tahrir Square 2½ years ago, in January 2011, and they were obeyed. If it hadn’t been for that, this might have happened then.But this time, Sisi has decided to call the Americans’ bluff. Though the $1.3 billion or $1.5 billion in military aid seems a great deal, it consists of F-16s and Abrams tanks, which the Egyptians can’t use, most of which are in crates. Lots of them aren’t even in Egypt. It’s the prestige of getting weapons from the U.S., but it’s not anything that they can use. The only point of having them is that one day, notionally, they might want to attack Israel or defend themselves against Israel. But nobody in their right mind believes that that’s about to happen.GAZETTE: Can you address the difficulty to the U.S. — after having an Islamist president, democratically elected — in this situation?OWEN: I think the Americans did their best. There is one argument that in a Muslim country, with political Islam, it’s better that it be represented in the political process — properly, as it were, in an inclusive way — than be excluded. It sounds like the American ambassador, Anne Patterson, was pursuing that in association with the Obama administration. They realized there was no point worrying about an “Islamic tide,” because the religious parties are so much better organized that if you want democracy, you also have to have religion, as you do in Tunisia.They made sure by sending messages to Morsi not to do anything like attack Israel or help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and in fact he went out of his way to show he wasn’t going to do anything like that. So he was regarded as something like safe by the Obama administration. And so this coup is very upsetting to them that their efforts to encourage democracy in the Middle East have been defeated in this way.GAZETTE: Is there a danger that, whatever future administration comes to power in Egypt, it will be viewed as illegitimate no matter what?OWEN: I think the business of creating a new political order is very difficult. The Arab revolutions of 2011 were big, world revolutions like the French of the late 18th century. You have a revolutionary process in which you destroy one political order and you move to another. So you can look at what’s going on at the moment in two ways. Either you haven’t destroyed the old order at all — the old order has come back, in which case you have to start all over to destroy it — or this is just part of a messy process of accommodation that still has a long way to run until you get a new legitimate order.GAZETTE: Do you come down on one side or another?OWEN: No, what I realize more is what a messy business republican government is. Sovereignty belongs to the people, and the people in a revolution are all over the place jumping around. You want the people to go home [after the fighting] but also to vote for a legitimate — and vote to legitimize — the new order. In this particular case, the people voted, certain people didn’t like the way the people voted, and so you’re bound to have a period of confusion.GAZETTE: Was there a precipitating act that led to Morsi being removed, or has this been coming since the election?OWEN: Most people point to something that happened in a presidential decree in November last year. If you look at the public opinion polls, he had a great deal of support, and then suddenly he didn’t. I think probably significant parts of Egyptian society felt threatened by the fact that the Muslim Brothers were involved, increasingly, in government. I think this business of having Muslim Brother provincial governors was one of the reasons why the army finally intervened. It seemed like they [the Brothers] weren’t just part of the government, but they were taking over the whole government.GAZETTE: Was that the November decree?OWEN: Yes, that’s right.GAZETTE: And did that install people from the Muslim Brothers to head the provinces?OWEN: It led to or encouraged more Muslim Brothers to move into government. The system embraced initially by the Muslim Brothers was supposed to be parliamentary, [under] which, if you follow the English model, the president should be like the queen, and the prime minister should be in charge. What I don’t understand is how the president emerged as strong — or nearly as strong — as his predecessor, Mubarak. And the one thing those in the middle of the Egyptian political spectrum do not want is another strong president like Mubarak. The whole point of this thing was to get rid of a strong president.GAZETTE: What does this tell us about the Arab Spring uprisings?OWEN: I think it’s that the business of establishing a democratic system after a revolution in countries that don’t have a tradition of a system with built-in checks and balances or a built-in tradition of political accommodation is extremely difficult and has failed for the time being in Egypt — but not necessarily in Libya, not necessarily in Tunisia.GAZETTE: So you’re saying this is what happened here, but it doesn’t invalidate what happened that spring?OWEN: No, it doesn’t [invalidate what happened]. I would see the Arab Spring as a revolutionary process, which still has some way to go. I think the big question is: Can you go back? I think there are now some people in Egypt who think you can. You may not want to go back, but it has gone back. My own argument is you actually can’t go back to the old system. You can have a version of the old system, but a very unstable one, because a significant part of the people have been mobilized.GAZETTE: And you can’t take that away from them?OWEN: They’re fighting not to allow you to do it. And you have doughty opponents in the Muslim Brothers, because they’re willing to risk death, it seems.
Notre Dame senior Tommy McNamara was having lunch with a friend at The General restaurant in South Bend on Friday. While he was eating, he said he noticed another young man moving suspiciously about the establishment.“I kind of noticed this kid who had his hoodie on, kind of walking around the place. Little bit of strange activity,” he said.A few minutes later, the man grabbed another customer’s purse and bolted out of the establishment. Kendra Osinski | The Observer Tommy McNamara, a senior on the lacrosse team pictured here during a game against the University of Maryland, stopped a robbery on Friday afternoon. McNamara was eating lunch at The General in South Bend when he took off running after a teenager who had stolen an elderly woman’s purse.“All of the sudden, I’m just sitting at my table — and I’m pretty close to the door — he sprints from the front of the restaurant by the cash register, scoops up an old lady’s purse, and just darts out the door,” he said.Not missing a beat, McNamara, a member of the Notre Dame lacrosse team, rose from his seat and took off after the thief.“I guess without really thinking, I just leapt up and started running after him,” he said. “From the very beginning, I’m yelling ‘Stop! Stop! Give me the purse! Stop! You don’t want to do this!’”After chasing the individual for a substantial distance through the streets of South Bend — McNamara estimated the chase lasted between five and seven minutes — McNamara persuaded the thief to stop running.“I eventually start saying, ‘I’m not trying to get you in trouble … I’ll give you $20, just give me the purse. I get it,’” McNamara said. “He finally stops. I approach him slowly and say, ‘Dude, I’m not trying to get you in trouble. I have 20 bucks. Take it, you just can’t take this purse.’”Once the chase had ended, McNamara got the purse back and engaged with the man he had been chasing.“I get up close to him, and look at him, and ask, ‘Dude, how old are you?’ He’s like, ‘I’m in high school.’ He couldn’t have been older than 15 years old,” he said. “I start talking to him for a while. He gave me the purse, and we had a conversation. I actually gave him my phone number. I was like, ‘I understand this is a really tough situation.’ We were just talking for a while about kind of everything. I told him, ‘If you ever need to reach out, I’ve got like 50 teammates who’d have your back. I get it. You’re in high school having to make that decision.’ Think about it. Being 15 years old and your choice is ‘do I or do I not want to steal this woman’s purse for whatever extraneous reason that’s out of his control?’ I gave him 20 bucks and just said, ‘Listen, take my number. Give me a call if you ever want to talk, or need help.’ Then we went our separate ways.”The teenager was remorseful, McNamara said. McNamara thinks the high schooler vacillated about whether or not to steal the purse in the first place.“He was entirely apologetic. The first thing he said was ‘I’m sorry,’” McNamara said. “He’s sitting there thinking, ‘do I or do I not want to steal this woman’s purse?’ What’s crazy is I saw him leave the place a couple times — he would walk out, then walk back in. … That’s kind of why he was in the corner of my eye. He was just apologetic. … He was like ‘I don’t want to be doing this.’ It was a tough conversation, but a real one. That’s why I wanted him to be able to reach out.”Upon his return to The General, McNamara was greeted as a hero.“It was funny, the whole place broke into applause,” he said. “There was a priest in there — I guess he was eating food there — he comes up and gives me a blessing. … One lady came up to me and said, ‘My husband was a retired police officer. I have a son who’s a police officer, a son who’s a firefighter,’ and I just connected with her in that way.”The owner of the stolen purse was particularly grateful, McNamara said.“She was just really thankful,” he said. “She asked for my name. She tried to give me money. Everyone was trying to give me money for it. I was like, ‘No, it’s OK.’ She was just really thankful. Full of gratitude.”McNamara credited a variety of people in his life with his decision to help out in the situation.“I think a lot has to do with the lacrosse team, and everything that we’re about and kind of the team culture and values we try to build,” he said. “The three parts of the lacrosse team are character, culture, community. That’s something that from your first day when you get here you really try to emulate. … I think my family, a lot. Something that I’ve always thought of that my dad says to my brothers and is, ‘The other fellow first.’ Kind of that mentality of people before yourself.”After relating the incident to some of the lacrosse coaching staff, McNamara said he addressed his teammates about his good deed on lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan’s request.“I told coach about it,“ McNamara said. “After a lift on Friday — it was like three hours after it happened — he had me tell the story to the whole team. I kind of wrapped it up with Thanksgiving. It’s a time where we have a lot to be thankful for. The biggest takeaway for me was this kid — 14, 15 years old — making this decision. That’s a circumstance that myself and probably everybody here at Notre Dame hasn’t had to go through. That was something to be thankful for.”On the whole, McNamara said he was motivated to act due to the many experiences and people he’s encountered in his life, particularly in high school, college and at Camp Tecumseh, a sleepaway camp where he has been both a counselor and a camper.“It’s cool, being able to reflect on that event you think of all the people from high school, to Notre Dame with the lacrosse team, coach Corrigan, all of my coaches, all of my teammates, people at Camp Tecumseh, all kind of into this one moment where it wasn’t really me reacting,” he said. “It was all of them in this one moment where I didn’t have to make a choice, I just got up and started running after him.”Tags: ND Men’s Lacrosse, thanksgiving, The General Deli and Cafe, theft
TheOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development formally invited Costa Rica to apply as a candidate for membership this week, five years after it began its push to join the exclusive club of developed economies.The news of Costa Rica taking one more step closer to joining the league of developed economies came shortly after President Luis Guillermo Solís said he would lobby U.S. President Barack Obama for some of the $1 billion in proposed aid designated for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — countries that lag far behind Costa Rica in many social and economic indicators — during the Summit of the Americas in Panama Friday.Costa Rica’s economy is far smaller than many OECD nations and still relies on larger partners, like the United States, for security and development assistance. But the country’s long record of universal education and socialized healthcare has put it on par with many OECD nations in terms of social indicators, as seen in the 2015 Social Progress Index released Thursday.The Social Progress Index looks beyond gross domestic product when ranking nations, taking into consideration how well citizens social and environmental needs are met.The contradiction begs the question: Can Costa Rica present itself as an advanced, or at least, soon-to-be developed economy, while also keeping one hand out for foreign aid? Some analysts say yes.“It’s a tricky argument but one that is not so unusual for developing countries,” Latin America expert Michael Shifter wrote in an email. Shifter is president of the Washington D.C.-based Inter-American Dialogue, a thinktank.Costa Rican leaders were nothing but positive about joining the OECD. President Solís said the OECD application “marks a milestone in our development.”“It’s a decision that supports our aspirations to spark growth with a solid base of best practices, transparency and high standards of management that this administration has proposed,” he said in a statement.Casa Presidencial said that OECD membership would help improve public policies here as well as further sustainable development goals and grant Costa Rica a place at the table during global negotiations about climate change and financial transparency.The OECD is a club of 34 developed economies, mostly in Europe and North America, that works to improve governance and economic growth along with topical concerns like the environment and corruption. The OECD countries account for 70 percent of the global market, according to Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Ministry.OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría also issued a statement Thursday, welcoming Costa Rica’s and Lithuania’s applications for the club.“The opening of accession talks with Costa Rica and Lithuania and the interest by these two countries in joining our Organisation highlights the OECD’s growing role as the place where countries go to find answers to common economic challenges. Both Costa Rica and Lithuania come well prepared,” he said.In Latin America, Colombia is in the process of applying to the OECD, and Mexico and Chile are already members.Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora said that joining the OECD would “open great opportunities” for Costa Rica.But the payoff from eventual membership remains vague.“I think there’s been some hype about what joining the OECD will mean for Costa Rica,” Juan Carlos Hidalgo, a Latin America political analyst at the Cato Institute, observed.“Joining the OECD means you get a little gold star on your forehead,” Hidalgo said. “You get to boast that you belong to a club of mostly well-run countries. But that’s pretty much it.”Membership does not make any guarantees when it comes to trade access or investment, he said, and it does not mean that Costa Rica becomes a developed economy overnight.“It’s better to be inside the OECD than outside,” Hidalgo said, “but it’s not like we suddenly reached development status.”Costa Rica might not be a full-fledged developed economy but the country’s human wellness index is better than many OECD members. According to the Social Progress Index, Costa Rica, which ranked 26th in the world, outscored OECD member states Italy (31), Hungary (32), Greece (34) and Mexico (54).The armyless Central American country’s long history of redirecting resources that would have gone to its military into education and healthcare has helped it develop one of the best human resource talent pools in the isthmus.Shifter, from the Inter-American Dialogue, said that membership in the OECD would give the country a leg up in terms of its global economic strategy. The prestige that comes with OECD membership grants the country greater name recognition and shows that Costa Rica adheres to international best practices, he said.He said he saw no contradiction in joining the OECD while still receiving U.S. aid.Costa Rica began its application to join the OECD in 2010 under President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014). The Legislative Assembly now must approve the application protocol. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Solís calls for revival of free trade agreement with Canada Costa Rica president sets date for OECD application Is Honduras heading for the privatization of parts of its territory? As budget battles loom, Biden asks US Congress to approve aid for Central America