I am running for Mayor to bring 50,000 jobs to Greensboro and Guilford County over the next 10 years. I want my kids to be able to live and work around Greensboro after they graduate college. The status quo is currently an impediment to the chances of my being able to watch my grandkids grow up close by. We cannot bring in good paying jobs with an uneven playing field for businesses looking to relocate or expand. I believe we don't have a level playing field, which means some of our city's leaders have acted in the name of our community, while favoring a select few in an ethically inappropriate manner.
Sound Familiar? "Twitter Gives Saudi Arabia a Revolution of Its Own"
New York Times:
"...Open criticism of this country’s royal family, once unheard-of, has become commonplace in recent months. Prominent judges and lawyers issue fierce public broadsides about large-scale government corruption and social neglect. Women deride the clerics who limit their freedoms. Even the king has come under attack.
All this dissent is taking place on the same forum: Twitter.
Unlike other media, Twitter has allowed Saudis to cross social boundaries and address delicate subjects collectively and in real time, via shared subject headings like “Saudi Corruption” and “Political Prisoners,” known in Twitter as hashtags.
With so many people writing mostly under their real names — there are some 2.9 million users in the kingdom, according to one recent study, and it is the world’s fastest-growing Twitter zone — the authorities appear to have thrown their hands up.
“Twitter for us is like a parliament, but not the kind of parliament that exists in this region,” said Faisal Abdullah, a 31-year-old lawyer. “It’s a true parliament, where people from all political sides meet and speak freely.”
...In a country where public entertainment and street life, let alone protests, scarcely exist, and few people socialize outside their families, social media fills a crying need.
...It has revealed, among other things, a striking depth of anger at the royal family that cuts across the political spectrum and has led some Saudis to wonder how long this deeply conservative and seemingly placid society can survive without serious reform.
“Twitter has revealed a great frustration and a popular refusal of the current situation,” said Salman al-Awda, a prominent cleric who was jailed for several years in the 1990s for his attacks on the government and is now seen as a moderate. He has more than 1.6 million followers on Twitter.
“There is a complete gap between the rulers and the ruled,” he said. “Even those who are in charge of security do not know what the people really think, and this is not good.”
The most flagrant criticism of the royal family by far has come from a single mysterious person named Mujtahidd. (The word means “studious.”) Starting late last year, Mujtahidd began posting sensational and richly detailed accusations about corrupt arms deals, construction boondoggles and back-room power plays involving numerous royals, including King Abdullah. He often writes directly to the Twitter accounts of the alleged malefactors.
“Is it true that your house in Jedda cost $1 billion but you charged $6 billion and pocketed the rest?” he wrote early this year to Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, one of his favorite targets. There is no way to verify any of his claims, but the royal family clearly takes him seriously, writing heated denials. He now has more than 660,000 followers.
...The insurgent emotions visible on Twitter appear to have carried over into the traditional media, where columnists and talk show hosts have become more assertive in criticizing the government. But Twitter still drives the conversation.
...There have ...been a few ham-handed efforts to control the criticism, including a royal decree issued in July barring Saudi judges from writing on Twitter.
That decree was a result of months of furious verbal assault by judges against the mismanagement of the judicial sector. In September, 45 judges resigned in protest. “There is a revolution in judicial circles,” said Abdulaziz al-Gasim, a prominent Riyadh lawyer.
...A hashtag about the cinema, which is illegal in Saudi Arabia, shows a lively debate between liberals who oppose the ban and conservatives who say lifting it would corrupt the youth.
“This is increasing the culture of rights here,” Mr. Abdullah said. “And it matters. Yesterday, I wrote a tweet about the court system, accusing the judges of arrogance. The judiciary minister himself called me to talk about it. So you see, they read it.”
ROBERT F. WORTH
Posted by Hartzman at 8:56 AM