Re-Introducing the Roots Project

Cross-posted at Firedoglake

Shorter me:  here's the beta for the Roots Project we've already built with volunteer effort.  It's not debugged, fully functional or ready for prime time, but I'm showing it to you anyway, so you can get a loose idea of what we're after:  a social networking site for people with progressive values, allowing them to form their own groups, sharing information and best practices nationally while acting together locally. 

What we need now is the ability to hire a lead developer to direct the remaining programming effort to make this a user friendly, functional base site for grass roots organizing and information sharing all over the country.  If you'd like to help us hire a developer, please contribute what you can through the contribution links on the upper right side of the home page Firedoglake  (paypal and credit cards accepted) or send a check directly to  The Fire Dog Lake Company, 8033 Sunset Blvd. #966, Los Angeles, CA 90046.  Please make your amount a denomination ending in .75. 

We lack the infrastructure yet to respond with thanks to everyone individually, and hopefully, we can get beyond that soon, but let me say, very publicly, thank you thank you thank you!

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Help Wanted: Programmers for the Common Good

Cross posted at Firedoglake.

Many of you may know we are close to completion of our Roots Project beta site.  This Drupal site will provide a social networking and organizing infrastructure for progressives all over the country.  Whether people want to create groups based on their local communities, based on issues of interest or even based on lifestyle interests and hobbies, our site will provide the infrastructure for common people to gather together for the common good.  The site will be a place to create tools and best practices designed by locals for others to copy and adapt to their own circumstances all across the country.  The focus of the site is to connect people, making the distinction between the grassroots and the neetroots ultimately obsolete.

To get the site from its current 0.8 state to 1.0 during the next month, we need additional site development help.  Lambert from Correntewire, our highly talented and experienced lead developer, sent me the following information about who and what we need.  Please email me at pachacutec01 at gmail dot com if you think you can help.  Let me know what your programming experience has been and please provide me any references you may have that give me confidence you share our progressive values.   Those interested in helping complete what will be, I think, an historic project must be available for focused work right away, during this month of August.  Thanks!   

Here's what we need:

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Why the GOP Seeks to Destroy the Middle Class and New Deal

Cross posted over at kos. . .

Ok, I'm not a historian, and I'm interested in comments to the following theses:

  1.  The New Deal laid the social and economic foundations for the rise of the American Middle Class.

  2.  Following World War II, butressed by favorable national and tax policies to support G. I. education and home ownership, the Middle Class began to take off and to fuel the engines of consumerism and economic prosperity.

  3.  At the same time, more disposable income in families created greater opportunities for financial independence among women, leading to a realignment of the power relationship between the sexes.

  4.  Similarly, greater family disposable income allowed Middle Class teens to spend their parents' money on entertainment items.  The creation of American youth culture, ushered in by Elvis, changed family structures further.  Kids had money to spend and no longer listened to Lawrence Welk with their parents.  

More on the flip. . .

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If We Didn't Have Fags, We'd Have To Invent Them

This diary begins with a simple question:  what political function do gay and lesbian people serve in this country?

It seems pretty clear to any of us who are gay or who have gay friends that the depictions and descriptions of gay and lesbian people in the media and in the culture do not really fit the actual people we know.

It also seems pretty clear that gays are really important politically.  After the jump, I'll offer a few observations for discussion about what function gays serve in the political and cultural discourse, and offer some thoughts about how we on the left can reframe the debate about gays and gay rights to counterattack and clear up the confusion.

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The Joy of Killing

Here's something combat soldiers know but seldom talk about:  kicking ass and killing enemies can be a lot of fun.  They play their favorite kickass jams when they're in tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.  It pumps them up.

It can be like a narcotic high.  It can even feel liberating.  The context of battle, unified with brothers in arms, enables men (and women) to channel something basic, elemental and seemingly "pure" from within our natures.  We are a violent species.

That's why "news" programs love battle footage.  People at home can share in this joy from the safety of their living rooms, by proxy.  There is a thrill to the kill.

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