Helpful Canidates Links

via MyDD

–AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
–AZ-01: Rick Renzi
–AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
–CA-04: John Doolittle
–CA-11: Richard Pombo
–CA-50: Brian Bilbray
–CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
–CO-05: Doug Lamborn
–CO-07: Rick O’Donnell
–CT-04: Christopher Shays
–FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
–FL-16: Joe Negron
–FL-22: Clay Shaw
–ID-01: Bill Sali
–IL-06: Peter Roskam
–IL-10: Mark Kirk
–IL-14: Dennis Hastert
–IN-02: Chris Chocola
–IN-08: John Hostettler
–IA-01: Mike Whalen
–KS-02: Jim Ryun
–KY-03: Anne Northup
–KY-04: Geoff Davis
–MD-Sen: Michael Steele
–MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
–MN-06: Michele Bachmann
–MO-Sen: Jim Talent
–MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
–NV-03: Jon Porter
–NH-02: Charlie Bass
–NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
–NM-01: Heather Wilson
–NY-03: Peter King
–NY-20: John Sweeney
–NY-26: Tom Reynolds
–NY-29: Randy Kuhl
–NC-08: Robin Hayes
–NC-11: Charles Taylor
–OH-01: Steve Chabot
–OH-02: Jean Schmidt
–OH-15: Deborah Pryce
–OH-18: Joy Padgett
–PA-04: Melissa Hart
–PA-07: Curt Weldon
–PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
–PA-10: Don Sherwood
–RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
–TN-Sen: Bob Corker
–VA-Sen: George Allen
–VA-10: Frank Wolf
–WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
–WA-08: Dave Reichert

Moderates and Lefties get together

Its about time people in the middle to the left of the American political spectrum worked together to get a liberal Democrat elected. This is a prudent strategy. Here’s why.

The Dems need leftists more than ever. Simply because lefties consistently work with important Democratic constituants. We work for important causes of women, GLBT people, people of color, immigrants, etc. Consitantly! Its lefties who have jobs at non-profits helping people. Its lefties who choose to make a difference before profit. (Not that many self identifying Dems don’t do this.) We can help Dems do more than gather votes and power. We can teach them how to create real change, 21st Century style.

It’s possible to bring moderate Dems back towards the anti-war left. Ending the Iraq war is THE big issue lefties lead on! Look at the polls.

Personal Context:
We don’t have good third party election laws in North Carolina. My town and county politicians are mostly liberal Democrats. They inspire me. There is hope for the State and National Democrat parties in North Carolina.

I consider myself a very liberal person. So I struggle with participating in the State and National elections because they rarely match my values. Its really demoralizing to help someone get elected only to see them compromise on issues you hold dear. There is so much corruption, greed, and detachment from real people in National politics. We can change this. The 2006-2008 election is the time.

So I’ve been riding on the fence a bit. Trying to figure out how I can become active in National Dem politics. So today I read Stan Goff’s blog post Elections and it helped finally convinced me what to do. GET INVOLVED!

Censored, Ignored or Underreported

A good article from the Tuscon Weekly called Censored Stories: The 10 stories the nation’s mainstream news media ignored, neglected or missed last year. (Thanks Digg user pgoetz)

Here are Project Censored’s Top 10 stories for the past year:
1. The feds and the media muddy the debate over Internet freedom
2. Halliburton charged with selling nuclear technology to Iran
3. World oceans in extreme danger
4. Hunger and homelessness increasing in the United States
5. High-tech genocide in Congo
6. Federal whistleblower protection in jeopardy
7. U.S. Operatives torture detainees to death in Afghanistan and Iraq
8. Pentagon exempt from Freedom of Information Act
9. World Bank funds Israel-Palestine wall
10. Expanded air war in Iraq kills more civilians

This article has more info about each story and sources. Read ’em and search for MORE underreported news!

The Onion on Google buying YouTube

via The Onion :

Elisa Leonard,
Blanket Maker
“The beauty of YouTube is that it takes entertainment out of the hands of morons in suits and puts it into the hands of morons in sweats.”

LMFAO! Got to get me some sweat pants!

But seriously folks…. that quote is what most people think about home grown media. People have been trained to think only self proclaimed professionals can make professional media. Not true! All media makers are not morons. 🙂

Vlogger covers local Judicial race forum

Will Raymond, known online as WillR, has taken citizen coverage of local politics to the next level. He’s used a popular form of content creation on the web called video blogging. He didn’t record what his kids are up to but a local Judges forum and then put it on his weblog. Sadly local judicial politics is an area many people don’t know much about. To fill in the gaps of our knowledge many people just take a little piece of paper from the Indy to the polls. Video blogging politics is a great way to quickly share information with millions of people. Most likely this bit of video will only be important to thousand or so people who live in Orange and Chatham Counties. Maybe that’s all that really matters.

Some vloggers, a person who produces a video blog, have refined their work to a high level of quality with a fun new edge. (ex. Minnesota Stories vlogger Chuck Olsen, Much Respect!) But what’s really important about video blogs and politics is the raw information of the event. If and when TV coverage of local political events exists its edited down to sound bites. Sounds bites are easily manipulated and rarely get all the important information out to the people. This is especially problematic when a voter knows little to nothing about candidates in a obscure, but important race. We need MORE information to vote so democracy can work properly.

As to the quality of WillR’s videos: Broadcast quality is NOT required. This was his first attempt. He’ll get better at it I’m sure. I applaud him for his effort. Hell small video quality has jumped light years ahead in quality in ten years.

While easier and faster than producing a traditional TV show segment vlogging isn’t simple. It takes time to learn the production and post-production process. As viewers one thing we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get in our way is an out dated idea of video aesthetics. Just get a tripod Will and keep doing what your doing. 🙂

As to the quantity of the video: WillR shot a lot of video. Its hard to watch it all much less understand what it means. We still need people who enjoy watching hours of local political coverage to aggregate and distill it and tell us what it all means. Most especially we need to TRUST these people. Don’t trust someone else to edit video of an event? Do it yourself. It really isn’t that hard.

What happens if a local citizen vlogger captures a moment that becomes important latter? Have you heard about George Allen’s “macaca” slur? [Video] Welllll a young man of Indian decent taped Allen hurling this racial slur at him. The short video was put on the web and became very popular. This “consumer quality” video even became a big news story. We’ll see if this video will have and affect on Allen’s campaign. Some say it already has.

My point isn’t that we need to capture all the dirt we can on people running for office. Its that sometimes things happen in public that the WHOLE electorate needs to see. Take council meetings for example. Many times our elected officials do things on our behalf that many of us never know about. True much of its on community access TV. Yeah some communities stream video of meetings and archive it. But it comes back to a person you trust to edit the important parts. Someone who will bother to go to forums and council meetings. The main stream media sure doesn’t seem to go. Even if they did I lost my trust in many of them long ago.

With more online video about local politics I hope more people will vote and become civically involved. Remember elections are often decided by a small percentage of votes. Sometimes less than a hundred votes can decide who wins and who looses. It isn’t hard to organize a hundred people. Do you really want so few people having so much control of your life?

[To give you an idea of the popularity and importance of video online, Google just paid over one Billion dollars for popular video hosing service YouTube.]

I wish I had more time to do this… 😀

654,965 Iraqi Civilians killed since US invasion of Iraq began

via Bloomberg

About 600,000 people have died violent deaths in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in March 2003, researchers found in a new study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.
Gunshots were the most common cause of death, with males ages 15 to 44 accounting for 59 percent of the total as of July 2006, according to the report to be published in today’s online edition of The Lancet, a scientific journal. The estimates were made after a nationwide survey of 1,849 Iraqi households between May and July 2006.

-snip-

There have been 2,745 U.S. military deaths since the U.S.- led invasion in March 2003, the U.S. Defense Department said yesterday.

PDF of the study from The Lancet journal.