Living Liberally Blog

Living Liberally Blog


Coolest thing I've heard all day, courtesy of Jill Tubman:

Meanwhile, a day after Beijing revoked a visa for Darfur activist and former Olympian Joey Cheek, the U.S. Olympic team selected a Sudanese refugee to be the American delegation’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies, a move that will further highlight China’s role in the war-scarred region.

This kind of cultural/political exercise is important. Yesterday, Justin talked about athlete turned activist Joey Cheek, whose visa was revoked by China yesterday after he organized a and organization called Team Darfur to get olympians to talk about the atrocities that are going on in Darfur, atrocities that China, through its oil money, has implicitly supported.

Now the US, our Country whose core values are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, is standing up to defend those rights of people abroad...well at least they are symbolically.

Problem is that because of the quagmire in Iraq and the US's loss of many strategic military allies, we just don't have the manpower to take serious action in Sudan. This is especially problematic because, as Jill points out, Sudan has much closer ties to Osama Bin Laden than Iraq ever did.

That's why it is important that under our next President, we can take more than symbolic action. We need leaders who will engage other countries to stop genocide (like Wesley Clark did in the 90's) and forge a US foreign policy that responds to real threats to national security, instead of imaginary ones.

Screening Liberally Watch of the Day

The truth behind the decreased violence in Iraq. Twenty miles of concrete have turned Baghdad into "A City of Walls"

Daily Digest: Hug a Conservative.

1) The 2008 Election: Who would you rather Hug?

2)Tom Daschle says McCain ads are doing damage. Democrats want Obama to put on the boxing gloves.

3)GOP protesting because no one will come to their off-shore drilling party.

4)The secrets of the Chinese Olympic Rain Dance.

5) "Ringin' Wet & Wild Women's Wrestling" and a McCain speech! I have tickets to both!

6)Prizes for Politics, McCain will give you a hug if you post on his blog.

7) McCain to tell Ohio DHL workers, "Sorry I lost your jobs".

8)Organic regulations hurt local farms and aren't protecting us anyway.

Anti-Conservation Conservatives & Anti-Rights Right-Wingers

Obama offers a comprehensive energy plan,
& accurately notes keeping tires pumped
saves more than offshore drilling will produce.
The reaction: Conservatives mock conservation.

The Bush team ordered a forged letter
to mislead America into invading Iraq,
deceiving Congress, distorting the press....
In short, Republicans subverted the Republic.

And in a military trial at Guantanamo
secret evidence & closed proceedings
are supposedly the road to justice.
Because the Right-wing opposes Rights.

Anti-conservation conservatives...
anti-rights right-wingers...
anti-Republic Republicans...

At least these lunatics are consistent.

Take a deep breath & enjoy a deep swig
and share deep debate or (light libations)
at your local progressive social club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.

The Facts on Energy

Our friends at MoveOn just released a brand new video pointing out some facts very relevant to the current energy debate.

New Reading Liberally Resources- And Continually Impressive RL Leaders

Never underestimate the help and guidance that can be gained from the obscure corners of your virtual netroots universe! Take, for example, an email that I recently received from John Karls, a Reading Liberally chapter leader from Salt Lake City.

As a Reading Liberally summer intern, I was contacting our existing chapter leaders in search of tips and advice to pass on to future RL enthusiasts. Among the few replies, one stood out so much in terms of the passion it exuded as well as the effort it must have commanded that it effectively restored my faith in the power of the email outreach.

The email was epic: a 4-browser-screen-long chronicle of John Karls' various triumphs and frustrations in his attempt to wrangle new readers for the Salt Lake City chapter. Snippets of wisdom to be extracted from the whole: That nearby universities, political organizations and community groups were surprisingly poor sources for progressive readers, that the majority of the current active members were recruited directly in person, and that to create any successful organization requires "a long, hard slog by someone... willing to spend a lot of time in a 'labor of love'!!!"

Leaders such as Mr. Karls who are willing to put such attention into any political organization should certainly be commended. And in case you don't happen to have a similarly effort-loving progressive at the ready, hopefully you will be inspired to become one! If you need help, never forget to contact others in your network! In the meantime, consult Living Liberally's newly completed resources for running a Reading Liberally Chapter-- made possible only with the combined input and time of our chapter heads.

Good Campaign Strategy

In what is possibly the best political advertising ideas I have ever heard of, Barack Obama is running energy ads above Florida gas pumps.

This sounds like a great way to reach people about energy policy. They see the Obama solution while feeling how the failed Bush/McCain policies have directly and negatively affected them.

Coupled with volunteers campaigning at local gas stations this could make for a very effective strategy. One of Living Liberally's goals has been to integrate politics into our everyday lives. We do this because the results of political policy, like gas prices, mortgage rates, and more, are already so present in our everyday lives. However, until more people understand how those factors result from government policy, and how politics affects those policies, we won't be able to do anything about it.

Good job Barack Obama. Keep showing America why politics is important.

Blogging Liberally: A Terrorist Fist-Jab To Your Brain.

1. Wal-Mart's attempts to sway the political attitudes of its employees go horribly awry.

2. n+1's Dark Knight review paints the film as Bush administration propaganda. Tell us, n+1...why so serious?

3. Proof that John McCain doesn't know what bad press looks like.

4. File this one under horrible-but-not-actually-that-surprising: Ron Suskind's revelation that the Bush administration forged a letter linking Iraq and Al-Quaeda.

5. Also, Grandpa got totally drunk at the Buffalo Chip competition and embarrassed New Grandma.


Republicans have always hated celebrity candidates, haven't they?

Joey Cheek, Living His Values

I met Joey Cheek last fall through an event sponsored by the American Democracy Institute (the folks who recently launched "I Vote, You Vote."

This tall, even-tempered, friendly guy seemed to have stature even greater than his height, and I soon learned why:

1. He's an Olympian (gold-medalist, in fact, in speedskating)

2. He's been using his window of celebrity to push for something greater than himself: awareness of Darfur.

Joey had started Team Darfur, an organization that enlisted other Olympians in promoting discussion of the atrocities in Darfur...and implicitly the responsibility of China, this year's host country.

He had donated his gold-medal bonus to the cause; but more impressively, he recognized that fame -- no matter how fleeting -- can be invested...and put to good use.

Well, Joey, you did well. If China is revoking your visa, it means you got to them -- which means you've raised awareness.

Sorry you won't be able to attend the games. But I'm proud to know there are members of the Olympic Team this year who are also members of Team Darfur.