October 2009

My favorite day of the year!

Last year, I ended my post with “… what a difference a year makes.” Yeah, really.

One thing’s a constant, though: spending Halloween doing something wonderful with Deborah.  Yay!

Happy Halloween, all!

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Social network activism and the future of civil liberties

Also posted on The Seminal and Pam’s House Blend

The most recent skirmish on the Patriot Act reauthorization battle ended badly for civil liberties.   Despite passionate speeches all around in the Senate Judiciary Committee public hearings and classified briefings, in the end, only Senators Feingold, Durbin, and Specter stood up for the Constitution. As Marcy Wheeler says, we got rolled.

At the same time, though, the social network activism I discussed in Can Skittles fix the Patriot Act? and on the Get FISA Right blog highlights the opportunity to broaden and recharge the civil liberties community.

Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Care2, OFA and other social network sites:

  • provide a way to engage with Millennials and other diverse groups of people who care a lot about the Patriot Act — but are not currently involved with civil liberties activism.
  • make it easy for people to let their politicians know their feelings — and recruit their friends in the process.
  • allow civil liberties organizations to get beyond the media blackout and provide accurate information to everybody.
  • complement in-person local campaigns like People’s Campaign for the Constitution’s local ordinances and good ol’ fashioned letters-to-the-editor

It’s a powerful narrative.  Social network sites epitomize the wave of the future, Obama’s strength in 2008, and youth.  They’re overwhelmingly in favor of civil liberties.  And civil liberties supporters are getting organized there.  As we continue to make progress, every political consultant and politician thinking about a primary or general election challenge in 2010 or 2012 will be paying attention.

Social network activism for civil liberties has made great progress so far.  Some simple steps from organizations and bloggers can take things to the next level.  Before getting to the suggestions, though, I’d like to discuss the diversity aspects in a little more detail.
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Tales from the Net

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Social network activism and the Patriot Act (DRAFT)

DRAFT Work in progress! Feedback welcome!

Final version intended for The Seminal and Pam’s House Blend

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National Equality March: some highlights via Twitter

Some screenshots from the #nem hashtag via Twazzup:

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Is my brother Greg well-connected or what?

Since it’s a poem about social media, my brother Greg has version 2.0 of “I’m Pretty Well connected” up on Gottabook and The Happy Accident:

I’m pretty well connected.
I’ve got my Facebook page.
I tweet, blog, plurk
From home and work.
I link, connect, engage!

I Stumble, and I Ustream.
My YouTube channel’s big….

Read on for more!

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It’s Goa Gil’s birthday … and we’re *still* fighting for our civil liberties!

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… keep your eyes open for a river, once you pass the river, the driveway will be the first right after the river. There is a Scarecrow on the mailbox at the edge of the driveway. Follow the driveway to your destiny 🙂

— from the direction to Goa Gil’s birthday party

Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: I’m in the midst of a social network activism campaign — and looking forward to a psytrance party.

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Can Skittles help fix the PATRIOT Act and FISA? (DRAFT!)

DRAFT!  Final version published on The Seminal.

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