It isn’t often you find something labeled ‘Commentary’ any more. Of course, all the columns in the ether and myriad pages in the realm of paper are, in one way or another, commentary. We simply have gotten away from that moniker. Also, the term blog has been twisted and contorted to mean almost anything written that offers words in any way not specifically factual. (Remember when it was a term for a binary log – a personal account of the world?)

So the presentation of this commentary is more than a running list of ideas – it is a set of wishes tied together – fairly well.

from PC World –

Commentary – Your Second Economic Stimulus Check Is On Its Way

Today is an important day for freedom. With Obama’s winning of the Democratic presidential nomination, all indications are that freedom is coming. It’s coming in the form of another economic stimulus check. Another economic stimulus check? So soon after the last one?

Yes, and here is how it may all unfold. One of Obama’s first executive acts may be to standardize all Federal offices to

OpenOffice is free, robust, stable and more than sufficient for 99 percent of government work. If any particular government office requires Microsoft Office, they’ll be able to purchase it — after explaining in a few sentences why OpenOffice is insufficient for their needs.

What do you get when all Federal offices standardize on OpenOffice? The effect of this is a second economic stimulus check. You get increased productivity at lower cost. Scratch that. You get increased productivity at no-cost.

But far more than that, you put this nation and the world on the path towards accepting free software as wholly mainstream. Within a few months of the Federal government standardizing on OpenOffice, several large U.S. corporations will standardize on OpenOffice. School districts will soon follow. State governments, more often followers than leaders, will pull up the rear.

Brazil, a country with great foresight and leadership, has standardized free software in their schools. That means 100 million students in Brazil will have several years more experience using free software than students in the United States. In a competitive, flat world market, schools in the United States cannot afford to be left behind like that.

Our students will be using Windows while Brazilian students will be using Linux. We can’t afford to be falling that far behind.

The new leadership coming to Washington has the difficult task of correcting some very serious mistakes made in the past. A small, but important, first step is to switch all Federal agencies to free software. When you make wise choices, you become known for your wisdom.

Our civilization has reached a digital tipping point. Old way of doing things are no longer acceptable. And so we say: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty we are free at last.


Phil Shapiro
The blogger is an educator in the Washington DC-area. He can be reached at: [email protected]

Phil has a set of good points. But more than his fervent wishes, it is something that should be – it’s that simple. (If you ask me, this should have been implemented by the Republican Party, as part of the notion that its members are fiscally conservative!) It is clear that there will always be a certain set of circumstances where retail software is needed – but for most of the world, those circumstances don’t exist.

It is also interesting that Phil mentions Brazil – a country that was wise enough to avoid most of the counterfeited oil supply problems of today. The leaders there must have more than cronyism, profits for their cronies, and book deals after their public life ends on their minds.  Why are we the ones playing catch up to other, (and by our ethnocentric views) less important countries? Where has the leadership gone?

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