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Save the Rave: Stop Surveillance in San Francisco

Save the Rave: Come down to City Hall TOMORROW night

Hot on the heels of last month’s joint San Francisco Youth and Entertainment Commission’s hearing on electronic dance music, we’re back with a sequel.   Now, in what Jim Harper of Cato calls a “jaw-dropping attack on privacy and free assembly“, the San Francisco Police Department has proposed onerous new conditions for permitting for all venues with more than 100 people.  For example:

3. All occupants of the premises shall be ID Scanned (including patrons, promoters, and performers, etc.). ID scanning data shall be maintained on a data storage system for no less than 15 days and shall be made available to local law enforcement upon request.

4. High visibility cameras shall be located at each entrance and exit point of the premises. Said cameras shall maintain a recorded data base for no less than fifteen (15 days) and made available to local law enforcement upon request.

Yikes!   As Deborah Pierce of Privacy Activism says, “We go to clubs to relax and spend time with friends. Knowing that all of your interactions are being recorded and that those images may be matched to your driver’s license information and handed over to the police at any time chills all manner of speech and association.” Yeah really.   And there are issues from the business perspective as well; on his Facebook profile, Save the Rave organizer Liam Shy summed it up as “Increased unnecessary burden/right to privacy conerns = fewer events, fewer folks attending events.”  Indeed.

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Notes from Underground: DJ Anomaly and the Mysterious Voice of Ra at The Atrium

Special event tonight at The Atrium

Wow!  We were bumming about missing last night’s PULSE in San Francisco with the legendary Green Nuns of the Revolution and Dutch.  But then we discovered that DJ Anomaly’s in the Seattle area tonight at one of our favorite venues.  I heart psytrance.

candles and glowsticks

After spending almost a month in SF, we were both glad to get back to Washington.  Our life is so different here: walks in the park and relaxing evenings with just the two of us at home as opposed to the fast-paced city life, socializing, and going out multiple times a week in the Bay Area.  It’s a great balance …

It’s a pretty special weekend for us: 25 years since our first date.  Who would have predicted?  And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it just keeps getting better and better.  Tonight should be wonderful, and then we’ve got a scrumptious dinner planned for tomorrow.  Can’t wait!

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Notes from Underground: April Fool’s Day

April Fools RaveIt’s been a hectic few weeks.   It started with cleaning out our SF apartment, creating more space in the apartment — and attacking the storeroom from Hades in the garage.   We had put some stuff in there in 1991 when we moved into the apartment and then more in 1999 and then our Burning Man stuff in 2006 … and it turns out there were a dozen boxes or so from a former three-doors-down neighbor who had moved away years ago and asked to leave them there temporarily.  Several trips to various recycling centers and the Community Thrift Store later, it was virtually empty so we could start to refill it with our other Burning Man stuff to create space in the apartment, and it went from there … with plenty of carrying stuff up and down stairs.

In the middle of it I testified at City Hall in a meeting sparked by the Save the Rave; am working BORDC, EFF, Demand Progress, and so many othersto get the word out at #privchat on Twitter and Facbook for PATRIOT Act activism.  Yay for grassroots social network activism!

And also: helped D submit her novel (!) to a publisher.  Strategized with my brother Greg on his Kickstarter campaign “Spread the Word!”.  Drove a friend to work for her first day on her new job and hung out with her in SF for the first time.   Went barrel tasting — and discovered a bunch of wine from the 1990s we had left in our neighbor’s cellar, most of which is remarkably drinkable.  Went to a fashion show and a fabulous dinner party.  Had dinner and drinks with friends and enjoyed Brubars.  Bought tickets to take the train across the country (I’m minimizing flying because of the f—ing TSA).  Started work on a bilingual (although not yet beautiful) qweries prototype,  Danced till four a.m. two nights in a row.

Life is good.

And no wonder I’m tired.

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Tonight: Save the Rave — live at City Hall!

“We’re dealing with the most difficult-to-motivate generation ever. People today feel so powerless, like they can’t have an impact on anything that matters. But you can! So one of the things I’m trying to share with the community is that when you come together, we can make a difference. ”

– Save the Rave organizer Liam Shy

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Notes from Underground: DJ Anomaly at the party without a name

pink lava lampIt was so underground that there weren’t any flyers and it didn’t even have a Facebook group.  A tiny venue with headliners who we’ve seen at DNA Lounge and Barnevald, with DJ Anomaly opening and closing.  The music was fantastic, amazing visuals, incredible depth, great colors.  I heart psytrance.

lavender fingernails in the black lightI was in a great mood and totally had the “I’ve earned this” feeling.  The latest skirmish in the fight to restore our civil liberties worked out far better than anybody had hoped.  Twitter and blogs and CSPAN callers agree, Americans across the political spectrum hate the PATRIOT Act.   Yeah, who knows what’ll happen next: we’ve got three months to organize, and oh gee, there’s also wiretapping back doors (CALEA 2.0), the internet kill switch, COICA, domain name seizures, Wikileaks, and the TSA.  For now, though, time for some well-deserved celebration.

So we enjoyed the lava lamps and the glowsticks and the candles and the depth and the music and danced all night.

At 6 a.m., D read my cards in the atrium.

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It’s Valentine’s Day (aka 25 Bahman), and people all over the world are fighting for their civil liberties

Two and a half years after I wrote It’s the Fourth of July and we’re fighting for our civil liberties, it’s another activism-filled holiday. Today’s House vote extending the Patriot Act until December went as expected, passing 275-144.   Now the action shifts to the Senate; EFF has more.   Nothing to see here, move along, move along …

Or maybe not.  27 Republicans bucked their leadership and stood up for the Constitution.  Walter Jones of North Carolina joined Tom McClintock of California in apologizing for their past support of the Patriot Act.  Jason Chaffetz of Utah and others who voted for HR 514 spoke of the importance of having hearings and looking to amend the process.  At the very least, it’ll be hard for the Obama Administration and their Congressional allies to get the multi-year extension they want.  With Ron Paul once again rocking CPAC and contemplating another presidential run, we might well see some fireworks later this year.  Stay tuned.

feb14Meanwhile in the Middle East, the 25 Bahman protests in Iran followed revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.  There are estimates of tens to hundreds of thousands of people in Tehran, and big protests in Shiraz and Esfehan.  A re-energized Sea of Green? With the “Days of Rage” in Bahrain, and protestors battling demonstrations in Yemen, there’s a sense that something’s in the air …

I spent the with my Facebook and Twitter avatars showing support for the protesters in Iran, glued to Twazzup, splitting time between the #25Bahman and #iranelection and  the Patriot Act debate.  There were familiar names everywhere, my Get FISA Right friends like Sally, Patrick, Korkie, Mark, Jim and Julian … our allies from BORDC and EFF like Shahid, Rainey, Chip, and Kevin … and from the #iranelection hashtag: @IranRiggedElection, @iran88, Josh Shahryar, @oxfordgirl, @lissnup, and perhaps even the unexpected return of @persiankiwi. Not to sound like a broken record or anything, but social networks really can change the world.

The fight will resume tomorrow, all over the world.  Tonight, though, I’ll be hanging out with the woman I love celebrating Valentine’s Day.  How cool is that?

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Notes from Underground: I’m noticing a pattern here …

synchronizeHey, guess what?  Civil liberties activism and psytrance!

Back in 2008, It’s the Fourth of July and we’re fighting for our civil liberties was written the day after Senator Obama responded to Get FISA Right’s open letter.  It was a great moment in grassroots civil liberties activism, and the bonds we formed then have remained.  It’s Goa Gil’s birthdy, and we’re *still* fighting for our civil liberties is from October 2009, in the midst of the battle over Patriot Act renewal.  Hail Eris!  All Hail Discordia! is from December 2010, featuring wikileaks and anti-TSA activism.  Hey wait a second.  I’m noticing a pattern here …

Tonight we’re in the middle of another Patriot Act battle; trying to building on an unexpected victory with grassroots activism.  As always the odds are stacked against us … hey, if changing the world were easy, everybody would do it!  With Tunisia and Egypt leading the way, 2011 is shaping up to be the year where social network activism breaks through internationally.  Will it happen here?

synchronizeBut the Patriot Act isn’t the only civil liberties battle that matters.  The TSA is still clinging to its scanning/groping policy, insisting that the only way to keep us safe is to touch the breasts and genitals of 2% of travellers (including all Sikhs, women wearing saris, and other “anomalies”).  And here in California, Save the Rave is taking the lead in standing for our right to peacefully assemble and fighting back against the war on fun.   When worlds collide …

So after spending the last week hunched over a computer dealing with the bizarreness of legislative process (“S.249 is also S.289 is likely to make it to the floor, while S.193 aka S.290 may get marked up by the SJC, but how to reconcile with HR 514?”), it was great to go out tonight to Synchronize, San Francisco’s Wednesday night psytrance weekly.  As usual, there were few dozen people there, and the DJs tonight were great.  I got there at 11:30 and danced until 1:55, when it closed.

Tomorrow’s back to work, and I’ll be hurting in the morning. But it’s worth it.

I heart psytrance.

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Notes from Underground: Vibration spanning the decades (New Years Weekend 2010/2011)

2010/11Last New Year’s Eve, the card for the “final outcome” in my Tarot reading was Temperance, which represents vibration.*   And what a coincidence: guess what tonight’s psytrance party is called?

It’s been a long decade.  Ten years ago, things were spiralling down: the dot-com crash, a stolen presidential election, with Enron and 9/11 fast approaching.   The ten years since then have been pretty depressing, watching our economy and civil liberties go down the drain as the rich white guys in charge struggle to keep everybody else down and the plutocracy gets greedier and greedier.  I’m sooooo ready to put the Awful Aughts to rest and start moving forward.

First though, let’s take a few moments to remember that there was plenty of good stuff over the last decade too.

At the societal level, the last couple of years have included the emergence of social networks, choosing hope over fear (at least partially),  reenergized womanist, mujerist, feminist, and anti-racist activists, Wikileaks, and an emerging coalition that’s neocons’ worst nightmare and the future of civil liberties.    So the trend is positive — and momentum is building.

And at the personal level, all I can say is … wow.

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Notes from Underground: A Death Guild Twofer

Death Guild flyerWe got back from D’s family around 6 p.m. Christmas Day, car stuffed with food and presents. Looks like we won’t starve 🙂 Then we took a nap, and after munching on leftover spaghetti I headed out to Death Guild’s X-Mess night at the DNA Lounge. Saturday night in the big city! How cool is that?

Saturday night, I posted as Kallisti on Dreamwidth, danced like crazy, and had a great time.   Tonight it’s Death Guild again, a regular Monday night … yay darkness!

every Monday Death Guild

The DNA Lounge is one of San Francisco’s great clubs.  We’ve been going there for years, long enough that I remember when they were serving “smart drinks” for groups like D’Cuckoo, the time when Wil Wheaton used John Gilmore’s light saber to strike down Barney at an EFF benefit, and a great performance by Snog.   It’s a fine spot for Death Guild.

It’s been a low-key few days, thinking about restructuring g0ddesses.net and wrestling with a blog post on Wikileaks … so much to say! And of course starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions too. So a great time to go out dancing.

I heart darkwave.

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Notes from Underground: Psymbolic and Entheogenic Garden. Hail Eris! All Hail Discrodia!

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An experiment, a (net)work in progress, a meta-level solution, a work of art

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Another Geomagnetic party at the Gingerbread House, and then Arjuna at a downtown venue I haven’t been before … time to take a quick break from the infowar and civil disobedience for a weekend of psytrance in San Francisco!

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What Did You Win by Playing Sports? Rally to Help Girls’ Sports Day

Rally for Girls’ Sports DayI almost never blog about sports here … but since today is National Women’s Law Center’s Rally to Help Girls’ Sports Day, I figured I’d make an exception.

The theme for the blogging day is “What did you win by playing sports?”  First, though, a little context.

And it’s something that made a lot of difference to me personally.  I was the stereotypical “weird smart kid” in school, wearing glasses starting in first grade, with a lot of multi-syllable words in my vocabulary and a preference for reading instead of TV.  In the classroom, I didn’t fit in well at all with most of the other students.  But on the baseball field, I totally did.

Second base and shortstop were my thing in Little League.  We moved to a new town when I was in fifth grade, and my team (go Mansfield Mets!) was pretty bad my first year.  But the next year, when I was twelve, we somehow got a lot better, and wound up in a tight race for the championship.  One of our star player’s moms was the main coach, and my dad (who had no athletic ability whatsoever but was a great teacher) helped out too.   I made the all-star team and we went on to the district finals.  Cool!

So one of the biggest win for me was winning people’s respect.   I practiced hard and played hard too, and didn’t mind getting dirty.  Even though  I was a lot smaller than most of the other guys my age, I had a decent eye and was a good bunter — so I added a lot of value to the team.   It really changed how the other kids reacted to me.

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Time to celebrate!

November was such a busy month that I didn’t do any journalling. But now, with the draft of g0ddesses.net wrapped up, it seems like a good time start up again.

So …

Wow, what a month. I wrote a novel! Well, at least a draft of one … 75,000 words. g0ddesses.net needs a lot of work of course, but still: I’m pretty darned happy about it. D got her novel done too, and I can wait to read it. Yay us! Tonight’s the end of NaNoWriMo, and we’re having champagne to celebrate celebrating. Thanks to ladysheishou and the [community profile] nano_writers community. Dedication and links to some excerpts below.

And that’s not the only reason to celebrate. We made great progress on Tales from the Net this month, and the second half of the month was filled with activism. On the night before Thanksgiving, after National Opt Out Day, my Facebook profile said “i heart the grassroots” and wow it’s true. I think when we look back at what just happened we’ll realize that heroes across the country stood up and said “enough is enough”. The organizing happened on message forums, blogs (including me on I Will Opt Out and Pam’s House Blend), Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, tribe.net, and email; social networks really are the the future of civil liberties. I’m proud to have been a part of it and looking forward to working together as we fight for our rights.

So all in all, a great month. Pass the champagne!

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