The role of the internet in toppling Arab governments illustrates why aristocrats are desperate to seize control of it all over the world.
"It is the power of the communications networks, when coupled with a willingness on the part of protesters to gather in the streets, that spells a period of crisis for every autocratic regime on earth. The autocrats have seen in January 2011 that it is difficult to put a lid on any unorganized protests. The organizing did not come from some little group that can be infiltrated or arrested. This was as close to a spontaneous protest as anything we have seen in modern times.
The ability of the social networks to organize a protest almost overnight, because people of similar beliefs and commitments are in close communication with others, has completely changed the nature of political resistance and revolution. This system of revolution toppled a middle eastern dictatorship in less than a month. It threatens to topple two more before the end of February: Yemen and Egypt. We have entered into a new period political resistance."Aristocrats are in a panic.
"Because Egypt had fewer than a dozen major Internet service providers, the government was able to shut down the Internet at one time. The government also shut down landline telephone communications in some regions of the country. This was not simply an attack on the Internet. The government had to shut down other forms of telecommunications.
The difficulty that the government faces is obvious: it cannot continue to keep the Internet and landline telephone service from the general public. The modern economy is becoming increasingly dependent upon the Internet. It has already become highly dependent upon the telephone system. It is not possible for any government to intervene into the delivery of telecommunications services without creating enormous problems for the economy. Any government that attempts to do so on a long-term basis is going to find its tax revenues falling, more people becoming alienated from the government's policies, and more opportunities for troublemakers to increase the amount of trouble. At some point, the government will have to reestablish Internet services and landline telephone service. At that point, it will probably face an even more alienated population than when the protests began."I love that part. This is one reason I don't think Obama and his socialist lovers will win the revolution he's trying to start here. Another reason is private gun ownership. This shows why freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms are amendments one and two in the Bill of Rights. This also illustrates the power of leaderless movements. I'm with North on this. I don't think central planners are pulling the strings here.
RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS:
In the wake of the assassination attempt in Arizona, Bill Goodman will require vendors do background checks on customers at Goodman gun shows. This is a good example of how Americans often voluntarily aid government oppression.
Health promotions on labels tend to be misleading or false. Of course they are. Government has corrupted the entire food industry and made it unhealthy. What else would you expect?
GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:
How CRU manipulates its temperature record every month to fit the fiction they're trying to sell.
Great headline about Egypt:
"The Pharaoh in the Führerbunker"The police have disappeared, looting is rampant, and the army seems to be siding with the protesters. That doesn't bode well for Mubarak. Another comparison between the events in the Middle East and the collapse of the Iron Curtain before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"One cannot escape a sense that we may be looking at a Mideast version of the 1989 uprisings across Eastern Europe that brought down its Communist regimes and then the Soviet Union. Americans should be uneasy seeing crowds of Egyptians pleading for freedom and justice watched over by US-supplied tanks."Aggression by our government created this backlash the way aggression by the Soviets created the backlash against them. It's blowback.
"But there is also a big difference. The principled Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Communist rulers of Eastern Europe, refused to turn their army’s guns against the rebelling people.
In Tunisia, where the current Arab uprising began, the army has so far stayed admirably neutral.
But in other Arab states now seething with rebellion – Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Morocco, Libya, Jordan – there may be no such reservations. Their ruthless security forces and military could quickly crush the uprisings unless the soldiers refuse to shoot down their own people – as happened in Moscow in 1991."Let's hope the armies stay neutral.
"Washington is watching this growing intifada in its Mideast Raj with alarm and confusion. Ignore the Obama administration’s hypocritical platitudes urging "democracy." All of the authoritarian Arab rulers now under siege by their people have been armed, financed and supported for decades by the US. The US has given Egypt $2 billion annually, $1.4 billion of which goes to the military. Almost all the tanks and armored vehicles deployed in Cairo’s streets came from the US."I've long written that our country is turning into the Soviet Union. This is another example of how similar our government is to theirs.
"The brutal, sadistic secret police and other security forces of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen were all trained and equipped by the US or France. The CIA taught them "interrogation techniques," just as it did to the Shah of Iran’s secret police, Savak. We have reaped the whirlwind in bitter US-Iranian relations."Let's hope these countries don't become as anti-American despite the aggression of our government.
"Egypt, as this column has long said, has long been a ticking bomb. Half of 85 million Egyptians subsist below the UN’s $2 daily poverty level. A third of all the Arab World’s people are Egyptian. A well-connected oligarchy grows rich while the rest of the country struggles for basic food."That's where the US is headed.
"Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist since the assassination of another US-installed leader, Anwar Sadat, in 1981. All violent and peaceful opposition to Mubarak’s regime has been crushed. But now Mubarak’s time is running out. Nobel-Prize Laureate Mohammed al-Baradei has agreed to lead a resistance coalition that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, the best-organized movement in Egypt.
The Brotherhood is not an Iranian-style extreme Islamic movement, contrary to alarms being spread by neocons and the often poorly-informed US media.
In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood has long eschewed politics to concentrate on social, religious and educational issues. If anything, it has been ultra-conservative, even stodgy and timid. But it also represents the Washington’s best potential ally if Egypt’s military regime falls. We should not be misled by self-serving warnings about Islamic bogeymen."I never bought the fearmongering about the Muslim Brotherhood, but a potential ally of Washington? How?
As long as government has the power to use violence against us, the rich, powerful and corrupt will use that power to enrich themselves at our expense. It can't be any other way.
The Onion feels the pain of Bengals fans:
"Representatives from every NFL franchise had contacted the Bengals organization to insist they absolutely do not want quarterback Carson Palmer."I don't blame them. Bengals fire offensive coordinator Bratkowski. It's about time, but they just gave him a new contract last off season. Maybe Lewis and Palmer pressured Brown enough to make the change. This is an earthshaking change for Mike Brown, and it illustrates what I've been saying for years: if fans hit Mike Brown in his wallet, he will make changes. Cincinnati city councilman resigns so he can focus on selling Bengals tickets to reluctant customers.
Burn victims who play virtual snowball game report they feel less pain.