Zephyr Teachout (previously) isn't just an expert on antitrust law and corruption, and isn't merely a netroots pioneer who has been on the right side of every technology policy fight since the Gore years -- she's also running to be the Attorney General of the State of New York, from which position she plans on gutting Trump on his corrupt business practices, targeting him using the dread emoluments clause.
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Back in the days of the Howard Dean campaign, it seemed that the political left had a near-monopoly on brilliant, technologically sophisticated "netroots" activists, a situation that carried over to the Obama campaigns. But by 2016, the Pepe-slinging alt-right showed that earlier right-wing cybermilitias weren't just warmed over jokes with an unhealthy appreciation for Conservapedia -- they, too, could fight effectively by forming decentralized open source insurgencies that allowed autonomous activists and groups to change the political landscape.
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If you hate videos depicting karmic road revenge where both parties are at fault, you may enjoy watching this one of a tailgater receiving instant justice. A cyclist realizes he's being menaced by a tailgater only when a Skokie PD cop car pulls in, then pulls them both over. He says "I want you to know that I care" to the cyclist, and busts the driver. Read the rest
Though the crimes and abuses of the GW Bush era seem almost quaint in comparison to the trumpist agenda, the Bush actions spawned a new kind of protest movement, the first mature, networked resistance, which tried (unsuccessfully) to haul the Democratic Party away from finance-oriented neoliberalism and into a labor-oriented, diverse, racially aware left wing opposition party. Read the rest
Doubtless you've laughed at the ideological war between the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea
. I laughed along with you: having grown up in politics, I know firsthand about the enmities that fester between groups that should be allies -- groups whose differences can only be parsed after months of study, but who are seemingly more at odds with one another than their obvious political opponents on the "other side" of the debate.
Netroots movements -- grassroots programmers who pitch in on political campaigns -- have been significant factors in US electoral campaigns since the Howard Dean era, and indeed, some of the key players from that era are still deeply involved in campaign tech, but the netroots that's pulling for the Sanders campaign is a significant advance on the netroots of years gone by. Read the rest
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just dropped a bombshell, ruling against the Authors Guild in its bid to force Google to stop scanning books and making them searchable.
Tiffiniy Cheng writes, "No governor deserves your attention unless they're awesome, right? What if the awesomest possible candidate was running against big power right now? Zephyr Teachout is that badass." Read the rest
One year ago today
Stormtrooper on a unicycle: Something something a little short something something.
Five years ago today
Groundbreaking Kansas rep netroots candidate takes another run at election with a new XKCD-style toon: Sean Tevis is the "candidate from the Internet" who caused an enormous stir when he financed a run at Kansas State Rep by soliciting micro-donations from people around the Internet who were inspired by an XKCD-style comic about his vision for the state.
Ten years ago today
Profile of Iraqi torture woman: Her name is Lynndie England, she's 21, and she comes from a "backwoods world" West Virginia. Read the rest
You'd think that the proponents of SOPA would give up that legislative dead parrot's ghost. But they're still doing the rounds on radio and in print, claiming that millions of Americans were 'duped' into opposing their harmless little internet censorship law.
The fresh (!) talking points go like this: Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing and others 'lied' to the public about what SOPA was in the crucial final moments, 'abused our power' by going dark for a day, and thereby tricked legislators and the public into turning on a much-needed new law.
What rot. Read the rest
There were two things I learned watching the Netroots Nation panel on Science Policy in Unexpected Places.
First, more science communication is happening, in more ways. Scientists are taking initiative to talk to the public and to journalists, helping to make sense of the flood of information so that people come away educated, instead of overwhelmed. And advocates are finding fun ways to bring basic science—the stuff that isn't fresh news, but sure does help when you need to actually understand the news—to people who have traditionally been overlooked by science education programs. Sports fans, for instance. That's the good stuff.
The bad stuff: Turns out, it's frustratingly easy for science to become as polarized as politics, with a mentality that divides the world into the Smart People (who already know everything) and the Idiots (who won't ever know anything). Read the rest
Sean Tevis -- the "candidate from the Internet" who caused an enormous stir when he financed a run at Kansas State Rep by soliciting micro-donations from people around the Internet who were inspired by an XKCD-style comic about his vision for the state -- is taking another run at the Kansas House and has the comic to prove it.
I really like Tevis's approach, his platform, and his ideals. I can't give to his campaign -- I'm a dirty foreigner and I don't even live in the USA (though the IRS is happy to tax the hell out me!) -- but you can!
Running for Office: Option 4
Progressive geek looking for 3,000 people to help him win Kansas election against dinosauric anti-science/pro-surveillance dude
Kansas Representative introduces anti-netroots campaign finance reform bill
Homophobic politician sends self-published comic book to voters ... Read the rest