Tag: Netroots

All That’s Left To Say

I’ve been doing some deep thinking, and was going to post three essays today featuring my deep thoughts about the economic crisis, the banking crisis, and the global warming crisis, but the deeper I thought about these deep issues and the deep impact they are having, the deeper I sank into deep crisis fatigue.  So I took a deep break, and realized that except for Norm Coleman and possibly John Cornyn, no one has ever had deeper thoughts about deep issues than Jack Handey . . .

To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.

I hope that after I die, people will say of me: “That guy sure owed me a lot of money.”

If you’re a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it’s real embarrassing if someone tries to kill you.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is “Probably because of something you did.”

I have the deepest respect for Jack Handey, but I think it’s more likely God is crying because of all the crap Evangelical Christianists do.  They should listen to Jack Handey.  We all should, after all, he tried to warn us about Wall Street bankers.  When they die, we’ll say, “Those guys sure owe us a lot of money.”  And long after they’re dead, our great grandchildren will say, “Those guys still owe us a lot of money.”  Jack Handey’s deep thoughts encompass more issues than one might think at first glance. Take Daily Kos, for example.   It’s like ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.  

Blogging the Future

Blogging is conducted through cyberspace here in the 21st Century, we type on keyboards, we read each other’s words on computer screens.  The technology enabling us to engage in this form of communication is new, but what we’re doing when we blog isn’t new, it’s as old as civilization–we’re talking to one another just as people did thousands of years ago, we’re sharing our thoughts, communicating about what matters, reaching for the kind of future we hope to see.  We don’t want history to keep repeating itself, there’s been too much war, too much killing, too much misery.  

As global war and genocide took the lives of 50 million people only three generations ago, a young girl expressed her hopes for the future in a diary.  Anne Frank didn’t know her words would be ultimately be read by millions of people, but they have been and will be for as long as human civilization exists.  The most brutal and inhuman regime ever to darken the pages of history killed her in Bergen-Belsen, but it could not silence her.  

What was Anne Frank doing?


She was blogging the future.

Senator-Elect Jeff “Energy Smart” Merkley’s blogger call

This afternoon, newly minted Senator-Elect Energy Smart Jeff Merkley (D-OR) took the time to reach out to the netroots with a blogger conference call.  “The Netroots were critical to my election … It is 40 years since an incumbent lost in Oregon and only the second time in 100 years that a Republican incumbent lost … the Netroots put the campaign over the top.”  

But, more important than any plaudits for bloggers (“Netroots Nation was one of the best things that I did during the campaign.”) and promises to remain engage for the future, was Merkley’s evaluation as to the election’s mandate and visions for moving forward.

We have a very strong mandate for a progressive agenda. We have had two cycles in a row with winning six [at least] seats in the Senate.

Bush claimed a mandate when he didn’t even win the popular vote.

We absolutely have a mandate and we should not be shy in anyway in claiming it.

If not now, when?  Our people need us, our planet needs us …

Get Mad. Get Even. And Punch ‘Em In The Nose

What do you feel when you see this (warning, sick and wrong attack on Obama follows):

Angry? Incensed? Stay with that emotion and watch this next one:

Ask Pelosi about Impeachment at Netroots Nation

Nancy Pelosi's Table reports that the Netroots Council of Elders is asking people to submit questions for Pelosi's “open” Q&A at Netroots Nation 2008 in Austin.

Please submits some questions for Pelosi to anwer at Netroots Nation.

Ask The Speaker!
Welcome to the Netroots Nation question submission page for the Saturday morning (July 19, 9:00am) keynote session “Ask The Speaker.” The event empowers citizens to engage America's current House Speaker in substantive discussion about current issues, the legislative process, and how citizens can participate in their government. Instead of simply giving a speech at a podium, Speaker Pelosi will be taking your questions and interacting with convention attendees. The 9 a.m. keynote will be moderated by Gina Cooper, Netroots Nation's Executive Director, and Jeffrey Feldman, author and blogger. But it all begins right now, right here, when you submit your questions and vote on questions submitted by others.


Go there Now and submit your own question or uprate others such as “Why is Impeachment Off the Table“.

or read more about Pelosi and Netroots Nation or find out more about impeachment

Iraq, the Candidates, and the Netroots

One of the reasons I have a hard time getting enthused about either of the Democratic candidates is that I find both of their Iraq withdrawal plans lacking. I am enthused about ending the Bush era, and I’m enthused about preventing the election of another Republican who doesn’t even seem to realize we have a problem in Iraq, but neither of the Democrats offers a plan that I consider to be complete.

Reading such is usually particularly galling to Obama supporters, because he gave such a pretty speech in 2002, and is therefore supposed to be vastly superior to Clinton, on Iraq. Some of the more deranged Obama supporters even go so far as to try to pin the war on Clinton, as if her having voted no on the AUMF would have changed anything other than her present political fortunes. It was a terrible vote, but she is demonized for it even by many of the same people who now lionize John Kerry, because he supports Obama, and despite his having made the same terrible vote made by Clinton. And, of course, most of these Obama supporters ignore the reality that despite the very pretty speech, when Obama was not in the position of actually having to vote on the resolution, his voting record has been nearly identical to Clinton’s, since he has been in the position of having to vote. That’s one of the reasons I find this particular argument for Obama and against Clinton to be, at best, specious. But the main reason is their withdrawal plans. I have said it many times: what happened in 2002 and 2003 is now irrelevant; the only thing that matters is what begins to happen in 2009. Which candidate will do the best job of most expeditiously getting us out of Iraq? And that doesn’t even begin to address the question of reparations, which isn’t even a topic of discussion.

Naomi Klein recently published what I consider to be the best book on politics in at least a generation. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, and I will undoubtedly do so again. Many times. It should be required reading for anyone who claims to be politically informed. So, I also want everyone to click over to Huffington Post, and read her new article, with Jeremy Scahill:

Sixty-four per cent of Americans tell pollsters they oppose the war, but you’d never know it from the thin turnout at recent anniversary rallies and vigils.

When asked why they aren’t expressing their anti-war opinions through the anti-war movement, many say they have simply lost faith in the power of protest. They marched against the war before it began, marched on the first, second and third anniversaries. And yet five years on, U.S. leaders are still shrugging: “So?”

There is no question that the Bush administration has proven impervious to public pressure. That’s why it’s time for the anti-war movement to change tactics. We should direct our energy where it can still have an impact: the leading Democratic contenders.

Because Klein and Scahill also understand that although both Democratic candidates are much more honest and realistic than John McCain, when discussing Iraq, neither is coming close to being honest and realistic enough.

Petition against Tony Blair as President of Europe

Over the past 2 days, we’ve been pretty busy over at the European Tribune, launching a petition against the possible nomination of Tony Blair as Chairman of the European Council (or, as the job is likely to be known by the lazy media, “President of Europe”).

His name has been floated by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the campaign to support him seems to have picked up strength lately. As this is a prospect that fills us with dread, some eurotribbers have decided to take action and to launch a petition to make clear that citizens across Europe are opposed to such an idea.

This is where the amazing power of blog communities comes into play: thanks to uncoordinated volunteer effort, transparently happening over various threads on ET, a text was drafted, edited, translated into 11 other languages and a website (Stop Blair!) was set up literally overnight (thanks to linca). The effort was somehow picked up by a first paper (as it were, the Financial Times, my favourite source of material to comment upon on ET) and is now getting 50-100 signatures per hour.

The full text of the petition is below. And you can help!  

Tech Talk – Building a News Aggregator

Problem: How do I take a bunch of feeds* and put them all through one system so that they will appear in chronological order and display the source and time of the post?

Solution: gAjax RSS Feeds Displayer (hosted) found on DynamicDrive.com

The speed of this aggregator** is incredibly fast and I can control the output in any number of ways.  All of the steps are outlined on the page linked above.  Basically you insert some code into the header of a new HTML*** page, add the code snippet to the body of the new page, save it, upload it to your server and in the same folder upload an image and a javascript****.

So with 10 minutes of work I can now display any news headlines I like.  And If I want to build new pages with different sources all I have to do is make a new page and plug in the new feeds, the script doesn’t change, which means it can be referenced repeatedly for different queries.

(examples below the fold)

Tech Talk – An Interview w/ NewsCorpse

Recently NewsCorpse decided to start posting on Docudharma.com.  NewsCorpse runs a site by the same name http://newscorpse.com/ and I’ve been a fan for a while.  The site combines amazing original graphics with hard hitting important stories.  So I took the opportunity to request an interview and this is the result:

Thanks for your reply and invitation to get in touch.  I’m a back-end developer mostly and am interested in who links to what and why…recently I signed Docudharma up on Blogburst and that system has been placing our headlines onto sites like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reuters etc.  

I saw your headlines from another Wall Street Journal story and when I did it reminded me of other times I saw your news on Google News and places reserved, usually, for News Sources not mere blogs.

Until we registered on Blogburst I thought it was nearly impossible to get linked from the top dogs.  You were able to do it much earlier than most.  Until recently I was just submitting links anywhere possible, hoping that would raise the site’s rankings.  Once I got into news feeds I realized there is a lot of hidden potential on the development side.

You appear to understand the concept of a blog/website as a dot com….I am just getting to that point now so here are some questions (below the fold):


Systems Science & Possible Applications

While searching for information and sites related to Science I stumbled across the International Society for The Systems Sciences.  In July they’ll be holding a conference on the following topic which I found very intriguing:

Systems that Make a Difference

Location: University of Wisconsin, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin

The title for this conference borrows from Gregory Bateson’s definition of information as “a difference that makes a difference.” The question for systems researchers and practitioners is, “what difference are we making?”

What difference are we making and is our information and our information system a difference that makes a difference?

We need to start from a very basic perspective…you at a computer, connected occasionally to Docudharma.com, producing content which is presented to the group, the readers of the site and readers in other places via the news feeds, blog comments, directories and community sharing sites.

Building an Alternative News Source

Well it was an interesting evening piecing together the bare bones of an alternative news source.  First I found a host that uses wind and solar power to run their servers, then picked out a domain with a little help from the people on Kos. The registration took a little longer than usual simply because it was a Holiday.  I was emailed my confirmation letter with all of my passwords and login information.

If you are signing up with a host for the first time be sure to save your confirmation emails and print them out, you may need them in the future.  Then read all of the helpful information about how their system works.  Most will have an online file manager, script installation system, database management, email system, and a few other tools in their control panels.  

Update – My Experience with “Helping the Veterans”

Technorati Profile

A while ago a user came on and started discussing how the netroots needed to help the Veterans more.  I agreed and offered my assistance.  I researched hosts, explained domains, hosts, Content Management Systems etc.  I set up the Content Management System, designed the logo, Linked to blogs and alternative news sources, fed newsfeeds through javascripts in order to display them as headlines on the side bar, researched PTSD, Health, International resources for inclusion in the site, arranged for a cartoonist and a Gear Shop to be installed, created a back room for administrators along with advice on how to post images and youtube videos, explained copyright violations and how to avoid them and I did all this for free.

Now the owner, a Veteran, has decided that I am not worthy of his particular project.  I did all of the above in a week’s time.  I have been on computers since the age of 11.  I understand HTML, javascript and Content Management systems, I understand search engines and ranking techniques and have just recently understood how to utilize newsfeeds in new ways as yet undiscovered by the majority of bloggers and websites.

So God dammit I tried.  To any Veteran that feels these skills would be helpful to their own projects please contact me at thefuture at inbox.com.  I would very much like to help someone that would like to be helped.

Tips for better communication below the fold:

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