Truly remarkable: Revolution in Tunisia

Five years ago, I spent a week in Tunisia covering a United Nations conference on the “information society”; my interest was the U.N.’s attempt to wrest control of the Internet’s “plumbing” away from a U.S.-based non-profit. In some ways, the country was much more modern than the rest of the Muslim world: You were more likely to see a Tunisian woman walking down the streets of Tunis wearing a tank top and tight jeans than wearing a burqa (although, as my wife observed, you saw fewer and fewer local women out in public as evening approached). At the same time, outside the sprawling but remote grounds of the conference, the ubiquitous Tunisian police made it clear that the U.N.’s presence didn’t mean more freedom for the press, even temporarily.

The only thing rivaling the ubiquity of the police — uniformed and plain-clothes — were the photographs of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. His grip on power seemed, to an outsider, unshakable.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that the longtime dictator fled the country today in the face of mass popular protests.

It’s hard to tell, just by reading various press accounts, what will come next. Having the army take over a police state from a dictator may not be progress in the short term. In the not-too-long term, though, Middle East expert Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations suggests Tunisia has a good shot at establishing a durable democracy. Let’s hope so, because that would be a very good development in a part of the world expected to see significant political upheaval in the coming years.

In any case, any time an event like this one happens, I think it’s worth remembering how few of us in the world get an actual say in who leads our government — and celebrating the possibility of adding to our ranks.

91 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 14th, 2011
6:08 pm

obozo’s probably selling them over to the muslims right now. They’ll be wanting to kill us next week.


January 14th, 2011
6:16 pm

“You were more likely to see a Tunisian woman walking down the streets of Tunis wearing a tank top and tight jeans than wearing a burqa (although, as my wife observed, you saw fewer and fewer local women out in public as evening approached).”

Thanks for just happening to point out that your wife was around at the time when you noticed the appearal of the local women.

Road Scholar

January 14th, 2011
6:29 pm

Whiner: Tunisia is 99% muslim! Now take your meds!


January 14th, 2011
6:54 pm

“how few of us in the world get an actual say in who leads our Govt.”

Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to include the US in the above as Big Business in increasingly controling our Congress and giving the orders.

Michael H. Smith

January 14th, 2011
8:15 pm

Word that Tunisia’s entrenched leader had fallen from power sent shockwaves of surprise across the Middle East. Arabs have been transfixed by Tunisians’ rare display of grass-roots power—and, now, by the even more unique situation in which an entrenched president appeared to step down in a nation known as one of the region’s most authoritarian.

This could poses a real threat within the Muslim world, as apparently you are keenly aware Kyle.

…my interest was the U.N.’s attempt to wrest control of the Internet’s “plumbing” away from a U.S.-based non-profit.

Remind you in any manner of the recent FCC attempts?

The last great bastion of unregulated freedom, how long shall we have it?

Only as long as you can keep it, Ben Franklin would say.


January 14th, 2011
10:08 pm

Hope and fear there (Tunisia). The hope for increased democracy in less privileged countries doesn’t justify petty partisan attacks from any direction.

Liberal Pariah

January 14th, 2011
11:32 pm

carlosgvv…you left out the Lawyers and Wall Street.


January 15th, 2011
12:29 am

Educated young people unable to get jobs combined with the connection to the internet and no dictator in the world will be around much longer. Tunisia has long been a vacation destination for Europeans especially the French. The Greeks have been a big trading partner. With the implosion of Greece’s economy, Tunisian exports have collapsed and brought down the economy. I wish them well as they move forward to a democracy.

Recent Grad

January 15th, 2011
1:50 am

With all due respect, I couldn’t care less but I’m sure our government will get involved in some way. We can’t stay out of other people’s business. We’re so busy trying to solve other’s problems we can’t solve our own. So busy trying to spread democracy, we can’t see it’s failing right here at home. There’s a bible verse in Proverbs about that; something about “you’re so busy trying to get the splinter from another’s eye, you cannot see the log in your own.” Something like that.


January 15th, 2011
3:03 am

I with the Tunisian people and nation the best, and hope this movement for genuine change will come to fruition. The people have risen and spoken up concerning corrupt dictatorships. Absolutely agree with those saying the US should clean up here at home before over-extending abroad. People want human freedoms across the Mid-East, the US should either support them or stand clear of them, we have more than enough problems of our own.

Larry Major

January 15th, 2011
3:18 am

Al Jazeera has unconfirmed reports that Ben Ali’s son and other family members were taken into custody when they tried to leave, which would explain the military presence at the airport, but makes the actual driving force a little unclear. One very encouraging development is that the information lock-down is either relaxed or simply fell apart and outside networks are getting access to local reports.

Hopefully, the PM will understand the situation he’s in and be able to keep the place together long enough to hold *real* open elections in the very near future with independent oversight to make sure the votes really count this time. Judging by everything I’ve read about their local culture (including this post), it appears they will soundly reject any religious fundamentalist or totalitarian leanings, which will be great for their county and the rest of the world.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
8:59 am

A judge on Friday found former Atlanta City Councilwoman Davetta Johnson Mitchell guilty of theft charges stemming from her work for the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority.

Enlarge photo

AJC file Davetta Johnson-Mitchell, seen in this 1998 photo when she was then executive director of the Atlanta-Fulton Recreation Authority, pleaded guilty to stealing from the agency.
More Atlanta/Fulton news »

Another crooked black Atlanta politician going to prison, when will you fools stop electing blacks to be mayor and city council members? From today’s urinal liner: A judge on Friday found former Atlanta City Councilwoman Davetta Johnson Mitchell guilty of theft charges stemming from her work for the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority. Following prosecution recommendations, Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall sentenced Mitchell to five years on probation. Schwall found Mitchell guilty of seven counts of theft by taking for stealing more than $30,000 from the recreation authority from 2000 to 2003. Mitchell was indicted in 2007 and charged with writing checks to herself on the agency’s account for vacation and sick leave she did not earn.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
9:01 am

Another of our Puppet governments, under cover of democracy, has fallen to its own people, just like in Iran, vintage 1979. The Empire crumbles…..


January 15th, 2011
9:13 am

Liberal Pariah

I stand corrected.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
9:28 am

Note: the black crooks in atlanta are still looking out for each other. The former council woman stole 31 thousand dollars in diverted checks, per the plea agreement, but the atlanta guv crooks are only requiring a repayment of 20 thousand dollars, again per the plea agreement. What is the other 11 thousand dollars for, a bonus for a crooked job well done, or silence money, to keep her from talking about other crooked black politicians in atlanta? They are all crooks, in my opinion.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
9:30 am

Probation yet for the crook, how corrupt is this worthless city?


January 15th, 2011
9:30 am

Why would any country want involvement in Tunisia?Oil, that is why, to keep the shipping lanes open for mega tanker ships heading to the U.S. with millions of barrels of “sweet crude.” Until the reliance of the U.S. becomes a self reliant energy nation, that area around the middle east will be a tinder box.

I consider myself a problem solver. What is the one thing that will dimish our need on foreign oil, what is that one thing[as Curley said in “Curleys Gold”?
The answer is, an “electric blanket”. By turning back, way back, the thermostat in the house at night and having an electric blanket for heat, you will save using mega billions of barrels of oil for heat.
Do it now, believe me this will do it.
As for our involvement in Tunisia, forget it, they have made their bed, let them lie in it, cold and hungry.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
9:47 am

Dear q, you had best remain silent, otherwise your ignorance shows. We here in America do not use oil to generate electricity, we long ago closed our fuel oil burning electric plants. We now import little LNG, as we currently have a glut of natural gas. All those LNG plants people like you supported building over the past decade are now processing only LNG we are required to take under contract. It is the highest cost gas we have. Now repeat after me: “Electricity does not replace Oil in the American economy.”

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
9:59 am

DeKalb County is claiming roughly 3 times as much as other counties in snow storm expenses. Sounds crooked to me, we need an audit to prevent the black politicians and their lackeys from using the snow storm as a cover to steal more money from us. From todays urinal liner:

Storm expenses*:


Cobb County: $187,744

DeKalb County: $662,000

Forsyth County: $76,200

Fulton County: $309,975


January 15th, 2011
10:05 am

The real take home message from this revolution was that it was a popular uprising against a government that the US wholeheartedly supported. Not only that, but the internet was used as a key vehicle to coordinate the populace, the government further used its control over the internet to squelch the uprising, and ultimately forced people through the shutdown of internet sites to use less secure servers, etc. that led to the government arrest of key leaders, etc.

Anyone who sees the recent FCC actions against the internet as a positive, or the cries from the ususal scumbags in congress as a good thing should realize that the government does not want to have control over any part of the internet to protect us, but to PROTECT THEM. They know what they have done to our money supply. They know how they have bankrupted us with their illegal and immoral wars. They know that they have taken and taken and taken and have only delivered to the pockets of their friends in big business and the military industrial complex. They know that all governments exist only with the support of the people and they don’t want to allow anything to be in place that might assist in the undermining of support – like the truth for instance.

The folks who learned the most from the revolution in Tunisia were the folks in our federal government I am afraid. Expect more freedoms to disappear as a result.

Rafe Hollister

January 15th, 2011
10:22 am


You forgot the Unions which control most of the Democrat elected officials.


January 15th, 2011
10:39 am

The snow and ice are certainly off topic, but as a DeKalb resident I can assure you that the county didn’t do sh*t during this storm and certainly wouldn’t be able to justify whatever expenses they are claiming. Even major routes like Lawrencevill Highway and LaVista remained covered in ice and snow through Thursday with the only clearing coming from the tires and engine heat from the cars. Not an ounce of salt not an ounce of sand and certainly not a single plow. There are of course two DeKalb counties and maybe the “other” section down south got more attention. I have no doubt that the plows and salf trucks were making life fine near the government centers in Decatur and on Memorial but for those of us who just wanted to get out of our subdivisions and to the freeway I can assure you that the ice is still inches thick in places with no hope other than mother nature and her benevolent sun.


January 15th, 2011
10:55 am

“tar and feather party” is using extreme hate speech, which could very likely mean he’s planning a violent attack on some Atlanta politician. Also note he’s using hate speech in a blog about “revolution”.

I hope the AJC reports this to the authorites so they can IP track him for detainment before there’s an Arizona style shooting here in Atlanta. This gentlemen is clearly a high risk for it.


January 15th, 2011
11:11 am

I live in Tucker and can first hand say “MrLiberty” is lying.

The bridge on Mtn Industrial over 78 was quickly cleared/salted and both Lavista and Lawrenceville Hwy’s bridges over 285 were cleared and salted.

MrLiberty, by his “other section down south” comment was clearly trying to say the county only cleaned up the majority black sections of the county, but the regions I listed were cleared/salted and are all in majority white sections of the county.

Clearly you’re unhappy with living in Dekalb MrLiberty and if your anger is to the point you must come to news blogs and lie through your fingers about it then you should probably just move.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
11:17 am

Ervin – Your IP address is also available to the authorities, hopefully the FBI will be looking at your cover up actions for your fellow black crooks in Atlanta.


January 15th, 2011
12:02 pm

Congrats on not getting banned here Andy.

Power to the people.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
12:10 pm

Yo Tracy: I believe US 78 is treated as a State highway, and cleared by the State DOT,not by the County. Nice try though, giving credit for others work to your crooked county government.

tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
12:15 pm

Pssst Ervin, catch: “This is great news for the multi-billion dollar counter-terrorism industry, which has quadrupled in size since 9-11, with little to show for it. As Republicans look to cut budgets, this incident will be used as an excuse to demand more money instead. This wasn’t really terrorism and our massive counter-terrorist force did not stop it from happening, but that will be ignored. They will come up with several vague “links” to anti-government groups, which today is anyone who criticizes the government. Obama immediately hampered the investigation by dispatching the FBI director to the scene. All the FBI agents at the Tucson office had to stop what they were doing to go clean and organize their office, get their best suits cleaned and cars washed, while several were reassigned to escort the director around and help him grasp the issues in Tucson.

From the little we know, this was just a bored, lonely, and confused young man. Since one of his complaints was the lack of education in his district, he must be a crazed liberal who wanted more social spending. It is also possible his real target was the federal judge who he killed, and not Congressman who survived. (Yes I know she is a woman, but Congressman is the correct word.) That judge had made some unpopular rulings, and his name was listed as attending the event. If he was the target, the Feds would rather ignore that successful hit, and spin it as an unsuccessful attempt to kill a Congressman.

As I’ve blogged before, I am against the death penalty the way it is used today because hundreds of innocents have been executed over the years with the “clear and convincing evidence” standard. Some people are executed because they were picked out of a line-up by an angry witness, or fingered by a jailhouse snitch who was released in exchange for his testimony, or he “confessed” after 18-hours of harsh questioning, yet later denied that in court. Many Americans have been freed from death row after DNA evidence proved them innocent, a witness recanted, or someone else admitted to the crime. In other cases, they had already been executed. Had they been sentenced to life in prison instead, they would have been freed.

My standard would be “beyond any doubt”. Since this shooter was wrestled to the ground at the scene with his gun, there is no doubt he is the killer. And with this standard, trials would last but a week and appeals almost non-existent, so killers are executed promptly.”


January 15th, 2011
1:08 pm

Rafe Hollister

The financial position of the Unions is virtually nothing compared to that of Big Business. Therefore, their control of the Democrats is minimal conpared to Corporate control of the Republicans.


January 15th, 2011
1:11 pm

“when will you fools stop electing blacks”

Atlanta is a majority black city so, since birds of a feather flock together, blacks will continue to be elected and re-elected.

get out much?

January 15th, 2011
3:54 pm

tar and feathers – while oil fired power plants have declined in number, there are still many people in this country that rely on heating oil during the winter.

Michael H. Smith

January 15th, 2011
4:30 pm

Obama wants Internet IDs for the masses

The US Commerce Department is reportedly preparing to assume authority over a nascent cybsecurity initiative that would create a unique Internet ID for American citizens and residents.

Michael H. Smith

January 15th, 2011
4:33 pm

The Internet ID: Do we have any say in it?

It’s been called the “Trusted Internet ID” scheme by some observers. It won’t matter what we choose to call the government’s proposed Internet licensing system because in the end we probably won’t have a say in it.

Earlier in the week we reported that the US Department of Commerce was preparing to create an Internet ID for all Americans. White House Cyber security Coordinator Howard Schmidt said that the Department of Commerce is “the absolute perfect spot in the US government” to build an online “identity ecosystem.”

Right off the bat I can tell you that attempting to force people to identify themselves on a national level doesn’t have much to do with the Department of Commerce’s official mission. We should all be feeling skeptical about this ID scheme.

Thanks to a nearly dead technology known as “history books”, we know that the US government has a long history of misinterpreting the commerce clause and that their many attempts to micromanage most aspects of the economy and centralize economic authority have been well documented. Historically this is a new low for them.

Michael H. Smith

January 15th, 2011
4:47 pm

Obama’s Internet passport
Administration wants national ID card for online commentary

Federalized security screening at airports has been such a success that President Obama wants to apply the same government “expertise” to the realm of online commerce and commentary. The White House cybersecurity adviser joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7 to announce what amounts to a national ID card for the Internet.

Their plan is straightforward. Instead of logging onto Facebook or one’s bank using separate passwords established with each individual company or website, the White House will take the lead in developing what it calls an “identity ecosystem” that will centralize personal information and credentials. This government-approved system would issue a smart card or similar device that would confirm an individual’s identity when making online credit-card purchases, accessing electronic health care records, posting “anonymous” blog entries or even logging onto one’s own home computer, according to administration documents.

Officials insist this would be a voluntary program and deliver significant benefits to the public. Mr. Locke explained last week that “robust identity solutions can substantially enhance the trustworthiness of online transactions. They can not only improve security, but, if done properly, can enhance privacy as well.”

Put another way, Mr. Locke is saying, “Trust us, we’re from the government, and we’re here to help.” Congress, the technology industry and the public need to run as far away as they can from this purported assistance. The government is no more capable of securing information than it is of protecting airports. Just look at the WikiLeaks case, in which a disaffected private was able to grab hundreds of thousands of classified documents from U.S. Army computers. Agencies ranging from the Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Department of Veterans Affairs have proved equally incapable of dealing with personal data.


“Trust us, we’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”

What was it that Reagan once said about “the nine most terrifying words in the English language”, Kyle?

Trust us… “we’re from the government, and we’re here to help” ?


tar and feathers party

January 15th, 2011
5:07 pm

Dear get out much? – So what does home heating oil have to do with electricity?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 15th, 2011
5:25 pm

A new CBS News poll finds that Americans strongly prefer cutting spending to raising taxes to reduce the federal deficit. While 77 percent prefer to cut spending, just nine percent call for raising taxes. Another nine percent want to do both.

Hate speech!

Er, rhetoric!

get out much?

January 15th, 2011
6:55 pm

Dear tar and feathers – if you can back and read q’s comment, you will have your answer.

get out much?

January 15th, 2011
7:07 pm

Michael H. Smith @4:30 – that was one of the original goals of IPv6.

Michael H. Smith

January 15th, 2011
11:30 pm

get out much? @ 7:07 pm – want to clarify whose goals? Like a governing body (ICANN) or as the posts relates to the federal government taking over and “monitoring”?

It is very different in who is doing what and for what reasons. Developing a new internet protocol to increase capacity and connective vs federal government taking authoritarian control.

If you or (anyone else who wants to), are arguing for the GUB’MENT regulating please cite in the Constitution where federal government authority exist for the federal government to take these actions?

If via general welfare in the commerce clause is the one chosen for use, cite the “exact enumeration” that grants authority to the federal government, please?

Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2011
12:25 am

Tunisians see new Web freedoms as acting president takes over

Tunis, Tunisia (CNN) — Even while under curfew following the ouster of their long-serving authoritarian leader, Tunisians on Saturday experienced newfound freedoms online as their acting president promised a “new phase” for his embattled land.

Filters on websites like Facebook and YouTube, put in place under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, were dropped and Internet speed picked up considerably — a development that followed the new government’s vow to ease restrictions on freedoms.

In addition, three Tunisian journalists — including two bloggers critical of Ben Ali — have been freed from jail, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Saturday.

These developments come as Fouad Mebazaa was sworn in as the country’s acting leader on Saturday, after Ben Ali and his family took refuge in Saudi Arabia following days of angry street protests against the government.

get out much?

January 16th, 2011
12:25 am

Michael H. Smith @11:30 – turn off your paranoia filter and go read the RFPs for IPv6, which by the way in an international standard. In case you did not know, unless everybody plays by the same rules, things like the internet do not work.

Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2011
7:35 am

get out much?@12:25 am – turn on your eyes, take the filters off and go read some history, which by the way works by its own standards. Kind of like the Democrats since Woodrow Wilson to the present day have in disregard of the Constitution.

People are not going to sit back while Obumer and cronies regulate the Internet into a state of despotism with the rest of us lulled into submission out of a fear of being called paranoid.

unless everybody plays by the same rules, things like the internet do not work.

Yeah right. China, Tunisia, etc. the Internet works exactly like these governments want it to work! IPv6- LOL

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 16th, 2011
7:38 am

Tempered rhetoric usually short-lived -Urinal Page A2

Battle looms over $14 trillion-plus U.S. debt – Urinal Page A4

Kingston sharpens his big budget ax -Urinal Page A5

Health care battle rekindles -Urinal Page A11

The Urinalists would very much like to be treated civilly and if that’s not possible, they will battle you with their ax.


Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2011
7:57 am

AND, BTW, I’m still waiting for the Constitutional chapter and verse that grants BIG SOCIALIST GUB’MENT authority to take the before mentioned actions on the Internet?

The “exact enumeration” of the commerce clause, please?

Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2011
8:17 am

Oh, now isn’t this special…

National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

The NSTIC envisions a cyber world – the Identity Ecosystem – that improves upon the passwords currently used to login online. The Identity Ecosystem will provide people with a variety of more secure and privacy-enhancing ways to access online services. The Identity Ecosystem enables people to validate their identities securely when they’re doing sensitive transactions (like banking) and lets them stay anonymous when they’re not (like blogging). The Identity Ecosystem will enhance individuals’ privacy by minimizing the information they must disclose to authenticate themselves…

The Department of Commerce is planning to establish a National Program Office (NPO) to coordinate the federal activities needed to implement NSTIC. The office would be the point of contact to bring the public and private sectors together to meet this challenge.

Ah geee and we get yet another birth of a baby bureaucratic BIG SOCIALIST GUB’MENT agency. Isn’t it just wunerful how BIG GUB’MENT grows and grows and grows… bet the energizer bunny can’t do that trick.

Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2011
8:33 am

This time strangely enough, odd as it seems, the lunatics at the ACLU got one right, Sheepeople.

Obama Administration Aims to Enhance Online Security Through Internet IDs

The ACLU issued a press release entitled “Don’t Put Your Trust in ‘Trusted Identities,’” in which the group expresses fear that privacy protections would be violated in the interest of national security.

“In short, it’s possible that if all the stars lined up perfectly, this ‘online identity ecosystem’ could be a good thing,” the group wrote. “Unfortunately, there are too many reasons to doubt that all the stars will line up perfectly.”

The ACLU said it also wants more details from the administration to determine whether the program will be effective, if the government will or can create the IDs and what a secure electronic ID will cost.

“Unless the Obama administration comes out with a detailed proposal for an identity scheme that does these things in ways that are hard-wired into the system, and can convince us that its protections won’t fall by the wayside at any point, this scheme appears to be a sweeping, utopian intervention in the Internet driven by anti-freedom security agendas that promises to do more harm than good,” the group said.

Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2011
9:29 am

“unless everybody plays by the same rules, things like the internet do not work.”

Oh I love this, it is truly priceless. Ever wonder why our country is so darn screwed up presently?

Study: Elected Reps Fail Constitutional Knowledge

A new article on AOL News says that after surveying the public and elected officials for five years, they have found a disturbing lack of civic and constitutional knowledge.

But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:

* Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
* Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war — 54 percent of the general public knows that.
* Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase “wall of separation” appears in Thomas Jefferson’s letters — not in the U.S. Constitution — compared with 19 percent of the general public.
* And only 57 percent of those who’ve held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for “training those aspiring for higher political office.”)

None of this should come as any surprise, since CNS News asked many senators and congressmen last year where the authority came from to create a government health care system, and virtually none of them–including the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) and House Majority Leader (Steny Hoyer) could provide the answer (there is no constitutional authority for a government health care system). Indeed, several made clumsy stabs at an answer which did more to reveal their dangerous ignorance than even some of the more belligerent answers like Pelosi’s.

Of course some, like Rep. Phil Hare, simply admitted outright: “I don’t worry about the Constitution.” He should have been stripped of his office for this admission of contempt for his oath of office, but that is a matter for another article.

Yep! You are darn tootin’ I’m on a tear. The people in power of our government have NO REGARD FOR THE CONSTITUTION, let alone any desire to educate themselves to its’ contents and their need to abide by it.

Now, we should “trust them” to intrude with the full force of government into something that has become as vital to life as we presently live it as once were things radio, newspapers, television to remain abreast of current affairs, at the very least?

Take your IPv6 and smoke it! I wouldn’t trust this present constitutionally ignorant body that willfully, with all forethought and malice towards the Constitution, to touch the Internet with one ounce of BIG SOCIALIST GUB’MENT self-appointed authority.

“unless everybody plays by the same rules”… Hell, they don’t even know the rules!

tar and feathers party

January 16th, 2011
10:42 am

Dear get out much? and q: The electric blanket as the solution to America’s energy woes is a non starter. I keep the T in my mini mansion at 78 during the winter, and 72 during the summer. I do not and will not use an electric blanket. I also heat my three SUV garage to the same 78 degrees, Energy is cheap, so I burn it that way. I also own large amounts of oil company stocks, mostly foreign oil, beyond the reach of Uncle Stupid and his Windfall Profits threats. The Yankees use most of the home heating oil, and as far as I am concerned you can do with them as you will, I don’t care. Chew on this, Yankee boy —


January 16th, 2011
11:17 am

carlosgvv @6:54 pm “how few of us in the world get an actual say in who leads our Govt.” Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to include the US in the above as Big Business in increasingly controling our Congress and giving the orders.

Just remember who really is paying the big $$$ to control Congress. Visit

Rank Organization Total ‘89-’09 Dem % Repub %
1 ActBlue $47,896,163 99% 0%
2 AT&T Inc $46,024,320 45% 53%
3 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $43,295,361 99% 0%
4 National Assn of Realtors $38,628,241 56% 43%
5 Goldman Sachs $33,264,702 40% 58%
6 American Assn for Justice $32,939,279 96% 2%
7 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $32,927,766 98% 1%
8 National Education Assn $31,832,740 93% 5%
9 Laborers Union $30,061,550 96% 3%
10 Service Employees International Union $29,114,982 100% 0%
11 Teamsters Union $29,099,309 97% 1%
12 Carpenters & Joiners Union $28,973,808 87% 12%
13 American Federation of Teachers $28,704,141 99% 0%
14 Communications Workers of America $28,167,756 97% 1%
15 Citigroup Inc $27,829,981 46% 52%
16 American Medical Assn $27,077,520 53% 46%
17 United Auto Workers $26,949,252 99% 0%
18 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union $26,170,977 98% 1%
19 National Auto Dealers Assn $26,004,258 47% 52%
20 United Parcel Service $25,196,754 44% 54%


January 16th, 2011
11:25 am

{I sent this to some friends back in March…]

This column was in a magazine I read today. I have replaced the actual topic with __ and made a few word substitutions to mask the real topic. Can you figure out the real topic? Hint: it’s an area where the Obama administration set aside $7.2B last year in stimulus funding, and is certain to be one of the next “rights” that everyone will have. It seems pretty clear that the topic is being treated with the same logic that health-care was presented as a “right.”


According to Congress, the National __ Plan must “seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to __ capability” at affordable prices. As if that’s not enough, [the plan] must suggest strategies to improve consumer welfare, public safety,[…],education, job creation, economic growth, and a slew of related imperatives.

Those hoping for an entirely market-based solution to fill current gaps in __ will hope in vain. As [a government agency] recognized in comments filed prior to the __ plan’s release, and as __ reform advocates have long recognized, there are problems with market structure and market failures that have affected the U.S. __ system.

Private [funding] alone, in the current regulatory climate, cannot overcome [corporate] dominance and engender robust competition to benefit consumers. Neither can market forces alone extend [coverage] to [consumers] where there may be no business case to do so. Nor will such forces subsidize __ for people who would benefit from [access], but who cannot afford __.

The [government] cannot hope that __ will trickle down from entrenched incumbents. Therefore, its plan must reform universal [coverage] to promote efficient __ and adoption with the aim of closing divides that make __ more costly and less appealing to people who are in underserved [markets].

It should also revise access and __ allocation policies to eliminate bottlenecks that arise from monopoly pricing and inefficient use where [government intervention could] lead to greater gains. And the plan should strengthen __ consumer protection rules to require greater accuracy and transparencies in disclosures to new and existing customers about [benefits] and prices.

Finally, the plan needs to preserve the open [market] and promote [portability] so that users retain the freedom to access the [provider] of their choice and gain flexibility to switch providers.


Another hint, the magazine was EE Times. Of course, the topic is high-speed internet access, coming soon to a theater near you as an “entitlement” to which you have a “right” to force others to provide for you. Just like health care!

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