The recent uprising of millions against government atrocities and excesses tells us that miracles do happen. When the will of the people becomes unified, it acts like a prophet.
Freedom is the ability to recognize, demand, and exercise one's fundamental rights as a human being. The iron-fisted dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and Egypt had mocked and trampled the very definition of freedom.
Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, aptly described the Egyptian uprising as a "demographic tsunami" in North Africa. Sooner or later, the unified outcry for change in Egypt would catalyze and resonate in other parts of that region.
Sadly, the state of affairs in every other African country is not much different — and arguably even worse — than those in Tunisia or Egypt.
The long-lasting authoritarian regimes of Zine al-Abidine in Tunisia (23 years), Hosni Mubarak in Egypt (30 years), and the notorious Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe (33 years; 10 as the prime minister and 23 as the president) ushered in abject poverty, rising food prices, high unemployment, corruption in government offices, and scores of other ills.
With their hubris these leaders have robbed a young generation of the right to dream big, smell success, and taste prosperity.
Since times unknown, the tools of power and intimidation have been used to deprive masses of their dignity and control their destiny. Accountability is deemed the business of their subjects alone.
Pharaohs have lived since ancient times and still abound in the 21st century. But in the end, every pharaoh is destined to drown in a sea of ignominy.
The revolution that began online
Who knew? We don't have to spend billions to send in our military to squelch dictatorial foreign governments. Instead, we can safely bomb the population with iPods and Facebook access.
Auto insurance vs. health insurance
Contrary to the assertion in the Feb. 16 Readers' Forum letter "Health insurance argument faulty," the required mandate for auto insurance is no different from that proposed for health care.
Insurance is required for motorists to cover the financial risk associated with driving. Prior to the mandate, any costs an uninsured motorist could not cover were passed on by the insurance industry to the consumer as increased premiums. Those who were insured were indirectly paying for costs incurred by the uninsured.
In health care today, we have the same scenario. Hospitals are legally and morally bound to provide medical assistance to the extremely sick or injured.
Costs incurred by the provider that are not covered by the uninsured are eventually passed on as higher costs to the consumer in the form of insurance premiums.
Those who now have insurance are subsidizing the medical treatment of those who do not.
A mandate to require health insurance is not a mandate for having health care. It is a mandate that people take personal responsibility for their risk of getting sick or injured.
Public servants need unions
It is not required that taxpayers provide jobs. However, it is the responsibility of those employed in public service to perform their assigned duties diligently.
I have been a public employer and also a public employee. When people work in a position paid with taxpayer money, they are frequently unionized and have had their representatives bargain in good faith.
There are times when increases in pay cannot be given. Thus we see holidays, personal days, and vacation days given in lieu of money. To take away what has already been agreed upon means someone did not bargain in good faith.
Without the protection of unions, a public servant could be out of a job whenever there is a change of political party.
When lawmakers live under the same rules that common people do, the rank and file may be more receptive to change.
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