Two centuries ago, news of revolution -- and revolution itself -- reverberated back and forth across the Atlantic at astonishing speed. The social media of the day? Word-of-mouth information, rumor, and opinion.
President Obama is in a tough spot on the whether or not to push for a no-fly zone over Libya. He is weighing the costs and benefits of the situation, and his reluctance to get involved may turn out, in the long run, to be the correct decision.
The stampede to a no-fly zone in Libya doesn't solve the core underlying issues that it isn't efficacious, could rob protesters of their own narrative and even of their political legitimacy, and doesn't give them the tools they really need to win.
I predict the naked power grab by the Republican party in Wisconsin will go down in history as the second "shot heard 'round the world" which began the second American Revolution. Except it won't be a revolution. It will be a transformation.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot.
It is the question the world is asking itself about the one Arab revolution that has been the object of the most savage repression. So I asked the question in Libya, after crossing the border from Egypt.
People in America need to hear this type of leadership, and the people in the region who are risking everything -- including their lives -- to protest tyranny absolutely deserve to hear from Obama at this point.
The point is that no self-respecting human being likes to be bullied, whether in Tripoli or in Madison. In America, less urgently than in Libya but urgently enough, it's high time we reclaimed an honest and legitimately popular politics.
Despite Gaddafi's reputation as delusional, he still controls his own propaganda machine and media. An assassin's bullet could find its mark, things could disintegrate from within, but the Gaddafi clan is far from done.
In a police state, citizens live in fear of the police monitoring them. But what do you call it when the police themselves know that at any time or place while they are performing their duties, the citizens could be monitoring them?