The Power of the Progressive Swarm

as requested

there is power in self-organization.  self-organization is the scientific term for the spontaneous emergence of similar interests and mostly independent organization around those interests.  perhaps the best example of this in politics comes from the howard dean campaign.  hundreds of thousands of people, often through word of mouth or just simple opposition to invading iraq, became simultaneously interested in dean's campaign for president -- and used the nascent organizing tools available to them (such as meetup).

there is power in the swarm.  one of the biggest barriers to action, whether getting involved or the simple act of voting, is the belief that one's act(ion) doesn't matter, that it won't change anything.  but when we act together, our influence rises exponentially.  this was one of the reasons why thousands of dean supporters flocked to iowa.

but some of us may be wondering whether or not we should get personally involved in campaigns that are outside districts where we live.  i, for example, live in a deeply blue district where the democratic incumbent is unopposed.  others face similar situations.  and we may ask ourselves, what about the dean experience in iowa?  we remember (or at least were exposed) to the push back that iowans (well, mostly the press and opposing campaigns) gave to the outsider dean supporters who went around iowa in their orange hats.  isn't this instructive?

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Barack Obama , Ron Paul...the Military's men....

It seems that the presumption of Republican tilt among the military is just one of many strongholds that conservatives can no longer count on thanks to George Bush.  It seems the blinders may finally be starting to fall from their eyes when it comes to who really has their back.  According to the article below, Ron Paul, libertarian, comes in second among presidential candidates receiving campaign contributions from people who work for the four branches of the military and National Guard, and none other that Barack Hussein Obama is leading among these same soldiers. It seems that not only do they want to support candidates they believe will end this war, but, they want to give their hard-earned, limited resources to candidates who DID NOT play a role in putting them in the godawful situation they're in. This is going to be on hell of an election year for Democrats.  If we can just make sure the bleeping votes get counted!

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FEC Recognizes Bloggers

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed complaints that two Internet bloggers violated campaign finance laws by advocating for certain candidates.  [ruling can be found here]

The decision upholds previous FEC rulings that blogs fall under a media exemption prohibiting regulation of news stories, commentaries and editorials in both traditional and online format.

The commission ruled unanimously Tuesday that Kos Media, LLC, which operates the liberal blog DailyKos, and Michael L. Grace, whose blog reportedly advocated the defeat of Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., in the last election, did not violate any laws by creating and publishing such content. In doing so, it rejected the claim that blogs with distinct political leanings should be regulated as political committees.

the fec decided that "Activity on the DailyKos website does not constitute a contribution or expenditure that would trigger political committee status."

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The Deathmonger

Having such a long run-up to the Presidential nominations (which, by the way, includes this push to earlier primaries) is a disastrous and divisive situation for America. The focus it puts on arguing over persons as opposed to problems makes it that much easier for a corrupt and dangerous administration like that of George W. Bush to get away with  pure murder.

I watch as the kid who enjoyed killing frogs for fun, the Governor who broke records for state executions (with the help of his buddy Gonzales), and the President who created a war in Iraq through lies and misdirection to bring on the deaths of some of our youngest and brightest squeezes the last ounce of enjoyment out of his god-like control over lives. It is hard to endure.

Now Bush and Gonzales are trying to get the policy changed on executions of Federal prisoners who are sentenced to death to eliminate their chance to appeal. As President, he has not had the same opportunity to hold that life and death decision over that one category of individuals and it must be making him ache inside.

And we put our attention more to which of the 14 or 15 potential candidates from either side  can sort out the mess of the world and ignore the Emperor of Death who spies on, arrests and tortures people without the protection of habeas corpus, letting and unknown number die in secret prisons or at Gitmo. How do we ignore this?

I'm tired of death everywhere. I'm tired of violence as the American way. And I'm tired of a President who makes it our National Image (while hiding behind the face of  seeming incompetence and idiocy).

November of 2008 cannot come soon enough.
Under the LobsterScope

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Summer is ending... a good time to let Politicians know what we think.

Supposedly, while they are on their summer recess, politicians are not just vacationing, but are mixing it up with their constituents. This is when we get the chance to confront them face-to-face (if we frequent the same vacation areas) and let them know what we think of their performance since the 2006 election.

Now, if they are not out trying to become President, perhaps they might actually pay attention to how we feel about their effectiveness, say, in ending the Iraq war. Or improving the economy for those of us clinging with our worn nails to what's left of the middle class. Or in monitoring the wastefulness of an Administration that pays millions for a couple of screws.

I look forward to the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade. There, at one session, I have a 99% likelihood of encountering Steny Hoyer, who is my Representative, and Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, who are my Senators, as they shake hands in the crowd and present their backs to be patted. I'm not sure that back pats are in order this time.

As they focus on hustling us, we have to focus on hustling them more. Many of my fellow citizens are planning on joining the September 11th work stoppage as a means of making a statement to our Government representatives. I somehow think confronting them directly has more appeal. At least you can see their facial expressions (well-trained as they may be) when you express your displeasure.

Under the LobsterScope

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