I Guess Republicans Think Community Organizing Is Funny.

Well, things were pretty depressed at the Republican convention over the last few days. But now we can begin a rollicking good time mocking the very idea that community organizing has value.

Of all the things that both Gulliani and Palin could have fixed on as a line of attack, the idea of community organizing as work for pussies is not what I would have expected, and Lord knows my expectations after Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are prety low. But what amazed me was how many folks on the floor of the RNC Convention actually laughed and whooped it up at the very mention of being a community organizer, before even getting to the supposed punchline about how it doesn’t give you any “real” experience.

Hee hee hee. Those whacky Democrats! They think that if someone goes out into a local poverty striken neighborhood, inspires people to believe that participating in the political process can change things and make their lives better, gets wildly diverse and often fractious interest groups focusing on a common goal, against industry interests backed by an entrenched political power structure, all on a shoe-string budget is something that matters! Ha ha ha! What a ma-roon! What a joke! People matter? They can make a difference? And inspiring them and organizing them to believe that qualifies you for something other than a beating by the cops? What a joke!

Voters who think they want to have beer with these people better think again. They will be happy to pat you on the head and drink your beer — especially if they can stick you with the tab. But if you would like people who actually give a crap about your lives, you’re coming to the wrong store.

As for community organizing, we actually have another name for it over here. We call it “voter registration.”

Laugh away chuckles. See you in Novemember when the rabble turn out to vote.

Stay tuned . . . .

Blogging Live From Denver: The Quest To Actually Get Into Big Tent.

Well, my usual level of organization pays off.

Due to an annoying computer crash, I failed to get my application to get into Big Tent Denver. My pass as a speaker for Common Cause only covers me for tomorrow. My alternate arrangement has run into a bit of difficulty. And, of course, such is my fame among the progressive blogger community that no one here knows who the $@! I am or why they should care.

I had hoped to take Henry Cohen up on his offer to see the wireless microphones for the convention in action. Alas, the DNC convention is locked down like a drum, and Henry — despite massive efforts — could not get me in today to see the tech operations. The DNC and RNC conventions have got to be like the superbowl for wireless microphones, so this is also rather disappointing.

So I am sitting in a delightful bookstore/coffee house down the block from Big Tent, contemplating wandering over to the main convention to see if protesters are using sophisticated technologies to outwit security –or not. I will confess that despite news stories of tight security, I was able to drive past the convention center this morning no problem.

If all else fails, I will spend a pleasant day in Denver and can catch up on some other work and various blog things.

UPDATE: Thanks to the amazing work of Katie Flemming at Common Cause Colorodo, I am now inside with a pass.

Stay tuned . . . .

Kafka alive and well, and working for the NYPD

Emmanuel Goldstein, one of the guiding forces behind the hacker magazine 2600, was arrested and detained for over 33 hours during the RNC, for doing nothing more than covering protests which are supposed to be every American citizen’s right. The story of his arrest, and the long, slow, grinding process of being processed through the “justice” system is available over at 2600.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Indy Media Centers Harassed by Feds?

The Independent Media Centers got started after the mainstream press gave very corporate/globalization friendly coverage of the protests around the WTO meeting in 1999 that kicked off the anti-globalization movement.

IMCs frequently provide on the spot coverage of anti-globalization events which the archive and distrbute via streaming media.

NY IndyMedia reports that the FBI and Secret Service have subpeonaed information about who posted a list of RNC delegates.

While I cannot claim direct experience with the FBI harrasment of the civil rights movement in the name of the struggle against communism, I know enough about history to be damned sensitive to the first sign I’m repeating it.

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WIFI and Democracy

Check out this article on high tech anarchy protests during the RNC Convention in NYC. While I don’t condone the illegal uses (e.g., breaking in on protected licensed frequencies), I do applaud the many creative uses of wireless networking — made possible by the FCC unlicensed rules.

And I’m off on vacation, culminating in the community wireless summit. No doubt I’ll have loads to wax eloquent about when I return.

Stay tuned . . .