Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Power = Information Exchange^2

Technology is changing everything. The Internet is all about information. Information is power. Despotic governments are having a hell of a time keeping a lid on free dissemination of information. China’s having the hardest time, requiring all new computers sold after July 31 to be configured with “filter” software that keeps out the bad stuff, and they don’t just mean pornography. In Iran, protests survive and threaten the government enough for government agencies to adopt strong arm tactics. But, the official government disinformation branding protesters as rioters, looters and violent criminals just doesn’t wash considering all the phone cam-captured evidence to the peaceful contrary. Well, peaceful and organized until the police and Revolutionary Guard get there, that is. Dozens of journalists have been ejected for publishing what the government describes as lies. But, YouTube doesn’t lie.

Twitter threads available for all to see describe moment to moment details of what’s happening on the streets. Twitter dispatched calls to rally have kept some protests one step ahead of the Guard and the authorities a bit clueless.

It's grassroots activism that'll make a difference in this kind of battle. It's my firm conviction that we're all in this together. I'm trying to monitor this stuff daily, but it helps to catch a glimpse of what catches other peoples' eye. So, thank you for any and all references to articles that catch your eye. Blog them. Twitter them. Keep the issues front and center in the consciousness of the people you care about. It is these loved ones who are affected by the political machinations of those who would deny you rights and fundamental services. 

A long lost friend with whom I’d only recently, after almost thirty years, regained contact, cited on his Facebook wall a story about so-called centrist Democrats stonewalling the public option of healthcare reform in the Senate. I just don’t get it. Just whom are they working for? Of the two senators cited in the Op-Ed piece, one is obviously protecting his interest in healthcare insurance companies at the expense of his constituents. The other is just spouting disingenuous, obscure-and-obfuscate, reflexive reasoning gobbledygook hogwash. 

So, I sent the two senators noted in the piece a message in support of the public option in the pending healthcare reform bill. Once again, technology rules! I Googled the senators’ names, picked the senatorname.senate.gov page, clicked on Contact, and sent them the email. Easy as pie. Somebody said it takes a hundred letters or email messages to counter one minute of face time between a Senator or Congressman and a lobbyist. So, send a message every chance you get, whether it’s to your own representatives or to elected officials in other jurisdictions. Every little bit helps.

Here's a copy of what I sent, tailored to correspond to the senators' home state. 

It is immaterial that I am a Californian and cannot vote in your state. I am still an American outraged at the obvious loyalty shown by any number of Senators for the corporations that line your campaign warchests over the constituents you're sworn to represent. 

What the hell is wrong with you? Americans NEED the public insurance option. It's your SWORN duty to protect American Citizens and not the insurance companies. Sure, this competition will cut into insurance companies' bottom lines, but it won't threaten their viability as ongoing concerns a bit. Not one iota. Not a whit.

Sure, insurance companies contribute to your campaign, but the boards there only account for one or two dozen votes, if, indeed, they vote in North Dakota/Nebraska at all. Even when you vote FOR the public option in this healthcare reform movement, where the hell else are the health insurance companies going to go? You'll still be the incumbent. You're still going to run for reelection. And, by being on the vangard for protecting your constituents, you'll be on good ground to be reelected. Knowing this, the insurance companies will STILL contribute, as always, to your campaign.

Do your sworn duty, and serve the ethics for which you were elected to act. Support with all your faculties the public option in healthcare reform!

Etc, etc, etc.

NYT The Lede Blog: A Young Woman's Fate Resonates

YouTube: million person silent protest in iran

NYT Healthcare Showdown

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