Welcome to this blog which is dedicated to providing a forum for a civil discourse on a variety of issues to try and make our society a truly better place for all. While the views expressed are strictly my personal opinions, please feel free to join in on these conversations accepting the premises that every attempt will be made to ensure that nothing but the truth be spoken and the truth be heard.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Era of Faceless Revolutions

While definitely alarming for many reasons, it is also fascinating to watch the latest of four upheavals of long time dictatorships in the Middle East in just this month of January.  First, there was Tunisia, then Lebanon, then Yemen and now Egypt, with at least the first and last sharing the common aspects of being totally fueled by the Internet in the absence a central figure or force driving them.  Martin Indyck, former U.S Ambassador to Israel and now Foreign Policy Director for the Brookings Institute labeled it on Meet the Press this morning as a "21st century revolution" in which it is impossible for existing regimes to suppress the will of their people.  In that segment he also referenced the Tweet Deck visual that depicted the real time exchange of the thousands of those very Internet messages that are sustaining the current uprising in Egypt.   You can go to Tweetdeck.com, sign up and see for yourselves.

Interestingly, just last week Alec Ross, senior adviser for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave a compelling presentation on this very same subject entitled "Diplomacy in a Digital World" at the Clinton School of Public Service here in Little Rock.  In his capacity Mr. Ross is responsible for monitoring Secretary Clinton's 21st Century Statecraft initiative at the State Department which employs the latest technology in American diplomacy around the world.  Watch his entire program at http://www.clintonschoolspeakers.com/lecture/view/diplomacy-digital-world/, and you will get a much better sense of just how important these new-found revolutions are to our national security.  Since our track record has not been all that great in the past (remember Iran in 1979?), maybe by being fully engaged into the very cutting edge technology which is driving these tectonic political changes in that part of the world where we have so many vital interests, as well as huge investments in American lives and treasure, we will be more successful in this new era of revolutions.   In the words of Thomas Friedman, even though we have conflicting objectives as they relate to Egypt and its president, it is absolutely imperative that we be on the right side of this conflict this time, as they are the current lynch pin of stability in that region. 

As a post script to last week's blog about Teach for America, interestingly Mr. Ross first became enthused about the power of technology while working for Teach for America.  And just this past week it was announced in two separate articles that TFA was the beneficiary of a $100 million endowment, its first ever, from three separate national charitable foundations, as well as a $25,000 local contribution from Pine Bluff Cable Television and the Trinity Foundation to add teachers to the Pine Bluff School District.  You may remember that is the Arkansas city where the young TFA teacher from Ohio mentioned last week was assigned.  To echo a point made in that blog, the Superintendent of the Pine Bluff Schools, Mr. Frank Anthony, originally very skeptical of the program, was quoted as saying " He quickly realized we had struck a gold mine with the six we got. Their knowledge, ability, desire and professionalism were all there."  Enough said.

Laura Raborn at http://paintingsofhome.com and http://claygifts.com 
Jim Johnson at http://yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html 
Russ Powell at http://powellphotos.com 
Linda Flake at http://lindaflake.com 
Tom Herrin at http://tommysart.blogspot.com 
Matt McLeod at http://matt@mattmcleod.com 
Artists Registry at http://www.arkansasarts.org/programs/registry/default.aspx
Sandy Hubler Fine Art at http://sandyhublerfineart.com
George Wittenberg at http://postcard-art-gallery.com  
Will Barnet at http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,17315,23628,23670,24472,25834,26095,26328,26562,26637,26761,26790,26849,26992,27095,27126,27139,27147,27178&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=will+barnet&cp=9&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=xpfETMT1O4L6lwf66ugE&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQwAQ&biw=1350&bih=501
Barry Thomas at http://barrythomasart.com  
Sherry Williamson at http://meowbarkart.com
Julie McNair at http://juliemcnair.com  

Local Colour Gallery at http://localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://chromagallery.com
Cantrell Gallery at http://cantrellgallery.com
Greg Thompson Fine Art at http://gregthompsonfineart.com
Red Door Gallery at http://reddoorgalleryonline.com 
M2 Gallery at http://m2lr.com
UALR Gallery Program at http://ualr.edu/art
Gallery 26 at http://gallery26.com 
Boswell Mourot Fine Art at http://boswellmourot.com

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