It’s Friday November 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1895, German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen became the first person to observe X-rays. X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act like light rays, but at wavelengths almost 1,000 times shorter. Upon their discovery, X-rays allowed doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. We here at Upside Downtrodden feel a special kinship with X-rays. We, too, possess the ability to see through humans. Read more
The nation lost billions of dollars, the GOP lost national respect & the government lost more of the public's faith while Ted Cruz grew his email list.
The global economy held its breath, the American people threw up their hands & even Republicans of good faith rolled their eyes while we learned Boehner can't run his House.
Now the government can serve the people again, the President showed he can be resolute & the US avoided national default -- with no guarantee this won't happen again.
In the meantime, Congress is back on the job of not passing bills for jobs, immigration, climate change, food stamps or gun control while wiretapping & drones continue unimpeded.
We may have maintained our full faith and credit & seen the Tea Party's fool's faith discredited. But to win the full faith of the American public, it will take real work before DC gets any credit.
Come for a night of good faith and good company as we debate, discuss & drink to recent events at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
We're scared of the rise of religious radicals in Egypt but our own states are passing sweeping new laws to control women's bodies, health and choices.
We question the accountability of Egypt's military, yet accept drones, indefinite detention, domestic spying, a contractor-centric military-intelligence complex and a new FBI head who signed off on water-boarding.
We declare that Egyptian democracy is stalling while we're in knots on immigration reform, can't pass relief for student loans and have stopped addressing the sequester altogether.
Egypt has problems. We have problems. Violent protests devour their country. Filibusters, email petitions & cable news sedate ours.
We need to do more here to resist authoritarianism, respond to the right-wing & reinvigorate our democracy. They need an alternative to fierce, frightening fighting.
In both America and Egypt, reforms & results will come from democratic defiance -- between violence and silence.
In the meantime,there's nothing violent or silent about a vocal visit to share a peaceful pint at your local progressive social club. Read more
Busy #opengov week here in NYC. I’m pleased to be attending the following events on behalf of PPF: Read more
"Few probably recall the name Dwight Elliott Stone. But even if his name has faded from the national memory, the man remains historically significant. That’s because on June 30, 1973, the 24-year-old plumber’s apprentice became the last American forced into the armed services before the military draft expired.
Though next month’s 40-year anniversary of the end of conscription will likely be as forgotten as Stone, it shouldn’t be. In operations across the globe, the all-volunteer military has been employed by policymakers to birth what Gen. George Casey recently called the “era of persistent conflict.” Four decades later, we therefore have an obligation to ask: How much of the public’s complicity in that epochal shift is a result of the end of the draft? "
Thus wrote David Sirota last week in Salon.com.
"There is, of course, no definitive answer to such a complex question. However, a look back at some lost history shows that today’s public acquiescence to militarism was exactly what the government wanted when it ended the draft. Read more
Its Wednesday May 8th! Do you know where your Podcast is? On this day in history back in 1858 John Brown held a secret anti-slavery convention in Canada where he and around 50 like-minded individuals adopted an anti slavery constitution. Brown is one of the most polarizing figures of the chaotic period leading up to the civil war. Hated by supporters of the southern way of exploiting human beings for their own personal gain and glory - I mean advocates of states’ rights; revered by the growing population of civil rights warriors who believed that change would not come without a fight; shunned and shamed by peace loving, meek abolitionists who preferred to sing songs, publish articles, and peacefully assemble to end slavery. Read more
This weekend in D.C. – it’s the “un-conference” of the year for #opengov heads & civic engagement developers. That would be Transparency Camp, organized by the Sunlight Foundation. By “un-conference”, it’s a straightforward-yet-refreshing take on usual conference get-togethers – panels are generally organized bottom-up, so actual tech developers can get-together in the same room and look at actual code & actual features & actual data & actual UIs & actual needs & actual opportunities. Well maybe not as much as would be ideal, but it’s still rather refreshing if you’ve spent months looking at a project management system like Pivotal Tracker or whatever & writing grant proposals in Google Docs.
David from OC & PPF will be there to demo our new major project: Read more
Update, Friday March 29th: This “feedback” phase of the Knight NewsChallenge ends at 5pm ET today, so please help now. Let’s bring We The People style petitions to every U.S. city government for accountability and engagement.
The OpenCongress team has submitted a proposal to the Knight Foundation NewsChallenge for open-government projects:
OpenGovernment.org – a version of “We The People” for state, city, and local governments
… thanks to mentions from friends-of-PPF like Chris Hayes, Zephyr Teachout, Reihan Salam, and others, as of this writing we’ve risen in the ranks to the bottom of the first page of most-viewed projects overall. Currently ranked 20th (Monday 3/25/13 update: 16th!) most-viewed of 825 proposals, not too shabby – and we’re sixth most-applauded overall, which is awesome popular support. Lots of great #opengov submissions, more on that below. (Right: a sample of our new, clean design for Q&A on OG.) Read more
Our tiny non-profit team was plainly excited when we heard that the Knight Foundation NewsChallenge had an #opengov theme, viz.: How might we improve the way citizens and governments interact? Good Q! Read more
Two of the PPF team will be at SxSW Interactive this week.
I’ll be there to sneak-preview the recently re-designed OpenGovernment.org, for engagement with state & city government. I’m attending with James McKinney, the E.D. of the Canadian non-profit Open North, who is working as OpenGovernment’s technical lead. Here’s my draft pubilc schedule, feel free to suggest events. Ping me anytime to meet up to see the new OG user interface & give your feedback, we’re easy to reach & happy to chat. AIM / Skype: davidmooreppf, #opengovernment in Freenode on IRC, david at ppolitics.org over email. Read more
Lest we forget, here are the highlights:
Susan Fluke … so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills.
What does that make her? It makes her a slut right? It makes her a prostitute! She wants to be paid to have sex
Ms. Fluke...Who bought your condoms in the 6th grade?
She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk.
Random hook-ups that these babes are encountering here … having sex nearly 3 times a day.
Ms Fluke and the rest of you FemiNazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex...then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke, and that would be the videos of this sex posted online so we can see.
There's more--a lot more. Although you can't find the transcript on Rush Limbaugh's website, which otherwise contains a meticulous archival treasure trove of hate speech. He erased it when he realized what he had done. Read more
Barely a year after the defeat of SOPA, Congress is back to testing the waters for legislation that many internet users believe to be in violation of their fundamental rights to privacy and free expression.
CISPA, a bill that would make it easier for corporations and the government to share internet users’ personal data, was officially re-introduced in the House on Wednesday. It’s already being rushed forward in the legislative process. The House Intelligence Committee is holding a full hearing on the bill today at 10 am. They will hear from four witnesses — all from the business sector and all known supporters of CISPA. No experts with concerns about privacy issues in the bill were invited to address the committee. Read more
"The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance." --Samuel Butler
Rush Limbaugh has been spouting bile unchecked for many years, but the reaction to his obscene tirades against Sandra Fluke in February of 2012 set off an unprecedented grass roots movement which nears its one year anniversary with no signs of slowing. What has come to be known as StopRush serves both to educate often unwitting advertisers of the show about Limbaugh's hateful rhetoric and to offer consumers the opportunity to make informed decisions about where to spend their money. Read more
Little children at Sandy Hook Elementary were told by police to "hold hands and shut your eyes" as they exited the building following Friday’s mass shooting in Connecticut, according to witnesses. Wanting to spare students from further trauma, officials tried to protect them from the grisly scene. What these kids endured was already so far outside the boundaries of normal, so excruciatingly traumatic, perhaps they will never be the same; I don’t believe any of us will be.
America is one large community- a family of 315 million souls, and it seems every one of us felt this tragedy as if it’d happened one town over. We watched every news update, called our loved ones, and cried at our televisions and laptops. The folks in Newtown are in countless thoughts and prayers. We send so much love to this community, the force of it should measure on the Richter scale; yet no amount of concern can alleviate the pain this town is feeling, especially the 26 families who lost a loved one. Read more
I haven’t written anything more than an email for a couple days, spent as my writer’s mind is from Campaign 2012. In addition to posting here, I was a regional digital lead for Organizing for America. For many months, I gave my best energy to the cause of reelecting President Obama- and it was worth it. I know all volunteers and staff feel it was worth it following our big electoral win. We are the champions, the victors, the big winners. But what does it all mean, anyway?
What this means is the winning work of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party continues for four more years.
The first major effort of President Obama’s Administration was the Affordable Care Act, which will be fully realized in 2014. Health care reforms will continue to come online, helping save millions of people’s lives and financial futures. It is an inalienable human right to receive health care, and our nation is closer than ever to achieving full coverage. Read more