Living Liberally Blog

Living Liberally Blog

Convention Events: Denver, Twin Cities, NYC

We'll be hosting daily events at the DNC in Denver, the RNC in the Twin Cities, plus 8 nights of activity in NYC. It's time you start Drinking Liberally.

Convention Watch - NYC

Much more on this over the next week, but know that there will be a place in NYC for you to gather during the DNC and RNC.

Check out the complete schedule -- the abbreviated round-up is below:

Free Admission. Cheap Beer. Big Screens. Special Guests. Comedy. Trivia. Prizes. Oh, and Conventions.

Day-By-Day Schedule
All Events FREE; 7-11pm
at The Tank (except where noted)

Mon, Aug 25—Kick-Off Festivities with Laughing Liberally comedy throughout the night
Tues, Aug 26—– Let Your Voice Be Heard – (6pm) Open Mic on your vision for the next Prez streamed to Denver, hosted by the Manhattan Young Dems
Wed, Aug 27— Political Pub Trivia hosted by The Big Quiz Thing's Noah Tarnow
Thurs, Aug 28—Obama's Acceptance speech (and drinking game)

Mon, Sep 1—Bush's Last Stand & Labor Day Barbecue (4-7pm at Rudy's Bar – 9th & 44th)
Tues, Sep 2— Political Pub Trivia, hosted by The Big Quiz Thing's Noah Tarnow
Wed, Sep 3—Laughing Liberally (comedy throughout the night)
Thurs, Sep 4—McCain's Acceptance speech (and drinking game) – with special guest Markos Moulitsas Zuniga founder of Daily Kos, author of "Taking on the System"

Blogging Liberally: Aquaman Edition

1. Reading Liberally Page-Turner Nixonland by Rick Perlstein has been named one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon.

2. Michael Phelps: Another gold, another world record. That's 6 if you're counting.

3. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is expected to resign. I'd like to echo Matt's sentiments:

This is a nuclear-armed regime on the border of Afghanistan selling nukes to anyone with enough cash. Not good. At all.

4. The Russia-Georgia conflict is escalating. Poland agreed to host a US missile shield base. No links. Too depressing. Use the Google for more.

5. Obama reached the two-million donor mark, meaning that almost one out every 150 Americans has donated to the Obama campaign.

6. MUST READ: In the wake of Josh Green's dump of all the nasty and ugly emails from inside the Clinton campagin, the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has finally dug up some secret memos from the Obama camp.

7. McCain's internet policy sucks.

Praying Liberally: Fired up, Ready to go

About a month ago, we announced the creation of Living Liberally's new network of religious progressives: Praying Liberally. Now, the first chapters are beginning to get off the ground starting with Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, August 21st.

As Wilmington chapter leader Frank Bell puts it:

As I see it, the point of this thing is give persons of a reality-based persuasion a chance to look at issues from a perspective informed by faith without anyone's giving them funny looks because they profess a faith--and to allow those who may not have a religious perspective to participate in the discussion without penalty.

This is just the first of hopefully many groups of religious liberals organizing around the country to bring all the great community aspects of blogs like Street Prophets into a face to face setting. In this way we can create a sustainable, national, multi-faith social network of religious liberals.

As a I said before, Praying Liberally chapters will have weekly, semi-monthly or monthly meetings of local liberals from a wide range of faiths including, as pastordan so excellently phrases it, "those whose deepest faith is in the conviction that there is no God." At these meetings, faithfully-minded liberals could talk politics, say a collective prayer for "the least of these" in our community, our country and our world, and build community to organize around our common causes

Also, all chapters will receive a web site, chapter blog, listserv and other online organizing tools and support features from the Living Liberally national network.

Hosting a chapter is really easy. All it takes is deciding on a time and location, anywhere from a local religious space to the neighborhood cafe, and sending out a quick e-mail reminder before you meet - that's it. Overall, it's no more difficult than meeting up with your religious progressive friends to hang out and talk politics.

So, if you're in Wilimington next Thursday, be sure to check them out. If you're interested in starting one of the first Praying Liberally chapters email

Together, we can build a greater national community of religious liberals and finally put a stop to the Religious Right's monopoly on faith and politics.

Trouble the Water...coming soon

Screening Liberally is proud to announce that we'll be helping promote the film Trouble the Water as it rolls out its release nationwide.

Check out the current dates in NYC, LA & SF -- and more to come -- and return to our Trouble the Water / Screening Liberally page for more updates.

Blogging Liberally: Super Spy Edition

1. Prices are rising at twice the expected rate. Not a good thing.

2. War in Georgia continues to escalate. Russia says, "Forget Georgian Territorial Integrity."

3. New census data shows that white people will no longer be the majority by 2042.

4. Bill Gwatney, the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, was shot and killed yesterday afternoon.

5. Turns out TV chef Julia Child was a US spy during World War II.

6. According to John McCain, "In the 21st Century, nations don't invade other nations."

Liberal Lifecycle: Starting the School Year on the Left Foot

Are you concerned that your free-thinking tyke will forget his liberal roots this fall in the classroom? Why not equip her with all of the essential back to school items that a liberal pupil needs? When you're bombarded with ads telling you what type of parent you are if you don't shop at Walmart to buy your kid the newest Hannah Montana threads or what sugary fruit drink you should pack in their lunch it can be easy to get lost in the crowd.

Better World Shopper is a great resource for finding companies that are environmentally and socially responsible. They rank companies based on their involvement in human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. Their rankings are sure to help you find what you need for your kids' back to school needs and beyond.

For a new back to school wardrobe be sure to head to Patagonia, a leader in environmental responsibility and an outspoken ally for environmental policy. Patagonia also has backpacks which are designed for your student's busy schedule. Another clothing option that has more of a personal feel is Garden Kids Clothing, they offer organic options for kids.

For back to school kicks New Balance is committed to American assembled union made products free from child labor.

For you dorm dwellers out there you may want to consider bamboo sheets for your arrival on campus this fall, they not only come from a replenishable natural resource that doesn't require pesticides, they are hypoallergenic, antibacterial, wick away moisture, AND they're super soft! Bed Bath & Beyond offers a relatively cheap set of these sheets. Drawback: they don't come in that extra long twin size the dorms love to stick you with. There are some small online places to get the same sheets, these tend to cost a lot more and you can't feel the sheets before buying them.

If you're worried about what to pack for your child's lunch, it turns out that peanut butter and jelly, the classic mainstay, is pretty great for the environment, in addition to being delicious. Seth discusses the craze PB&J Campaign that is sweeping the nation in a previous post.

No matter whether your student is starting school for the first time or they're old hat, there are sustainable socially responsible companies out there that are providing quality products, to find out where just do your homework.

Consumerism aside, there are other ways you can help your little ones live liberally. If your school has a carpool set up try to take advantage of that if you don't already; if there isn't one set up, talk to some of the parents of your student's classmates and see if you can't start one. Try walking your child to school if it is in walking distance. See if a parent you trust already walks their kids to school and would be willing to take yours with them. Teach your children that sustainable living starts at the small tasks and that there is almost always a greener option if we rethink our day to day errands.

Even the youngest liberals can have a big impact on the environment and can spread their knowledge to the classroom and beyond.

Blogging Liberally: a break from McCain jokes

1. Michael Moore has come up with a blueprint on how we can screw things up for a third time.

2. For those of you who are members of your Homeowners Association, beware.

3. Lieberman turns the oldest anti-semitic trick in the world on the dirtiest A-rab of them all!

4. The Seattle Drinking Liberally chapter had a surprise guest at their last meeting.

5. Jared Polis, an openly gay nominee, has won in Colorado's 2nd primary.

6. Yglesias thinks the Golden Arches Theory has had its last McFlurry.

7. The Keynote Speaker has been named.

8. Kay Steiger over at pushback discusses the Democratic party's new platform on choice.

Corporate America Hates Poor Children

Another reason why fiscal conservatism doesn't work.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2005, Nicholas Negroponte, supreme prophet of digital connectivity, revealed a strange tent-like object. It was designed to change the world and to cost $100. It was a solar-powered laptop. Millions would be distributed to children in the developing world, bringing them connection, education, enlightenment and freedom of information.

And then some of them tried to kill it.

Microsoft, in logical self-interest that drives the free market, felt threatened by the prospect of a drastically cheaper laptop in the hands of millions of children, seriously undercutting their currently dominant product. As Bryan Appleyard points out in his Times Online piece, "Computers only cost as much as they do because the makers of the software – primarily Microsoft – go to enormous lengths to make their products necessary and expensive." Microsoft was also concerned because the new laptops would not use the Windows operating system but instead the free OS, Sugar.

Intel was upset because Negroponte's computer, the XO, uses an AMD chip, AMD being the second largest chip-maker in the world after Intel. This could cost Intel their status as the number one computer chip producer in the world, costing them their "market leadership."

So the two companies both set out to kill the XO. Intel created a cheap laptop called the Classmate and along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, set about trashing the XO in the press.

Obviously it is in Microsoft and Intel's best interests to destroy the XO, this computer that could bring tons of new information, education and communication technologies to communities that are in dire need of it. The XO, and projects like it, should be aided by the US Government, they should be well funded and protected from these corporate madmen.

It would be a great thing for the world to further connect people and strengthen our global community, introducing a new generation to the intellectual, cultural and economic marketplace of the future. Getting all the information and ideas that one can find on the internet out to the developing world is important as a cure for extremism and push for democratic thinking.

Appleyard comes to an interesting and accurate conclusion:

Computers are like drugs, literally. If the drug companies wanted to do the most good in the world, they would divert all investment from the illnesses of the rich – cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes – to the much more catastrophic ailments of the poor, primarily malaria, but also Aids. But they don’t; they sit comfortably on their high-margin drugs. Equally, if the technocrats really believed in the human value of universal connectivity – and all of them say they do – they would find ways of wiring southeast Asia and Africa. But they don’t; they sit comfortably on their high-margin laptops.

For all these reasons, we can see the that the best interests of a few corporations can often disregard or even seriously oppose the health and livelihood of individuals, the economic success of a large part of a world, and the moral welfare of our Nation.

cross-posted at Future Majority

Not-Rocking Liberally: This is Just Bad

If you thought that China's human rights and environmental violations were bad, check this out:

A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched "Ode to the Motherland," a ceremony official said _ the latest example of the lengths Beijing took for a perfect start to the Summer Games.


"The audience will understand that it's in the national interest," Chen said in a video of the interview posted online Sunday night.

Lin Miaoke's performance Friday night, like the ceremony itself, was an immediate hit. "Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke becomes instant star with patriotic song," the China Daily newspaper headline said Tuesday.

But the real voice behind the tiny, pigtailed girl in the red dress who wowed 91,000 spectators at the National Stadium on opening night really belonged to 7-year-old Yang Peiyi. Her looks apparently failed the cuteness test with officials organizing the ceremony, but Chen said her voice was judged the most beautiful.

That's just really upsetting. For real. Imagine how the little 7 year old girl who didn't get to perform feels. It's like Singing in the Rain with little Chinese girls.

There's something very un-liberal about that. Free Wang Peiyi!