Freeway Blogging

Impeach!

Via Liberally Mirth:

On Saturday, April 28th, tens of thousands of Americans will be making their voices heard by putting the word IMPEACH! in front of the public eye. Along with demonstrations and media events around the country, it’s going to be up to us freewaybloggers to really get the message out. Freewayblogging, as you know, is the simple art of placing text in front of traffic in such a way as to maximize the number of people who see it.

Remember that when all those flags went up on overpasses after 9/11 they established a legal precedent to use freeways for the expression of free political speech, and it’s time we started using it. A single sign placed next to a major freeway can be seen by 200,000 people a day and remain up for days before it comes down: ten signs placed next to a couple different freeways can be seen by over a million people. easily, before they come down.

For complete info on the A28 nationwide impeachment actions, click here.

For more details on signmaking and posting go here:

http://www.freewayblogger.com/howto.htm

And here:
http://freewayblogger.blogspot.com (type “arsenal” into the search box for tips)

Mirth note: If you aren’t near a freeway, any ol’ road will do.

Be heard!  This is low cost and high impact.

It is also heartening to look up and see a peace sign floating gracefully above the interstate.

Put an American Flag next to the sign (or make it a part of it).  This is, after all, an act of patriotism.

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Stand Against Theocracy

The blog against theocracy was a rousing success.  (I participated with three posts: here, here, and here).

Blue Gal has some advice on next steps:

The folks at First Freedom First (not a sponsor, just a support) have some good advice for those bloggers who want to continue the fight:

1. MOST IMPORTANTLY, continue posting about the importance of church-state separation.

2. Go to the resource page of the FFF web site for free banners and sidebar badges for your blog. The code works, people. Coooode.

3. You can click on the volunteer sign-up page, and join FFF (you’ll meet cool people, and even some fellow bloggers) if they are tabling in your area.

4. You can continue to urge everyone you know to sign the petition in support of safeguarding separation of church and state, and protecting religious liberty.

Continue to post!  Standing against theocracy means staring down attempts by fundamentalist religion to take over our government.  It also means affirming our rights to practice or not practice as we see fit.

Also check out the volunteer page.  It is a great way to participate and meet allies.

We’ll be back again next year. It seems a near universal opinion that this is the way the blogosphere will commemorate Easter weekend. On behalf of me and my fellow co-conspirators (see sidebar) thank you for the overwhelming show of support. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

So would Thomas Paine.

It was an honor and a pleasure to take part, and will continue to be one with every new post.  Let’s continue to support the Bill of Rights and keep Church and State separate!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Blogging and Apologizing

Kos responded to the barrage of commentary that erupted after a particularly bad post on his part.  To follow up on my own post on the matter, I thought I’d take a look at that apology and the open letter from my left wing.

Kos’s response was a clarification rather than an apology.  In its entirety:

I don’t disagree with anything Lindsey wrote. I disagreed with using a bloggers threats as an excuse to foist upon us all a “Blogger Code of Conduct”.

That’s what I was saying. 1) There are assholes that will 2) email stupid shit to any public figure (which includes bloggers, but 3) that won’t be stopped by any blogger code of conduct.

You see, stupid asshole psycho threatening emailers don’t care about codes of conduct. That’s all.

He perfectly clarified what he meant in his post, and publicly states his full agreement with a prominent feminist’s take on the issue.   All that is missing is “I’m sorry”, and any attempt to crack open the larger can of worms that have been appearing in and around the responses to his original post.  Worms like the pie incident, whether or not Kos is truly a progressive, dailykos banning people for political positions, or ignoring the feminist blogosphere.

The lack of an apology, of a simple “I was wrong to use Kathy Sierra as an example, or to portray those who are legitimately threatened as hysterical.”, is sadly telling.  It smacks of Bush.  A “stay the course” approach to blogging.  There is nothing wrong with an apology!  Is Kos really sticking behind his entire post?  No, his response is quite clear about that…  So he would just be acknowledging that he misspoke, and giving the rest of us reasonable assurance that he might not make a similar mistake in the future.  Why didn’t he do that?

The open letter from My Left Wing to A-List bloggers sums it up quite well:

So, let me appeal to you. Maybe you’ll have better luck that we have had. Maybe you can get Markos to see that admitting his mistakes makes him a bigger man, not a smaller, weaker one. Maybe if you speak up against the reprehensible and uncalled for comments he leveled at Kathy Sierra, and by extension, at all other women online who’ve ever received threats, or been demeaned and belittled by sexist and sexually harassing comments, he will see the light, and come clean.

Really, all it would take on his part is a simple apology, and an admission that he was wrong, and a lot of the anger and outrage he has generated among his fellow liberals and progressives, both men and women, would be forgotten, or at least forgiven. Not that big a deal, you would think. It’s what we teach our children when they are still in diapers. When you’ve done something wrong, when you’ve hurt someone, say you’re sorry.

The effect of an apology would be to dissipate some anger, and maybe invite some people into the amazing discourse over at dailykos who have previously stayed away.  After all, Kos’s site is all about the netroots, and profoundly irritating such a large and naturally progressive chunk of citizens isn’t the most practical of moves.

Apologizing would be a first step.  A second step would be to start working with the feminist community more.  Set this and the pie incident aside, and start making movements towards embracing the progressivism evident in the feminist movement.  You’ll find a warm response, many allies, and another validation of the power of progressive netroots.

We’d be a lot more powerful working together than we are now.

A simple “I’m sorry” can set us in motion.

 

Friends of the Court

Spreading the news when someone takes a true stand against injustice helps widen the impact.  So go on and spread the word about a few brave folks standing against racist interment (via Dave):

It is always a bitterly telling commentary on any government when the only people who seem capable of standing up and stopping them from doing something that nearly everyone with a sense of basic decency understands is wrong are just plain, ordinary citizens — the kind willing to stand up in the face of immense social pressures, as well as the sheer inertia created by bad leadership, and say no.

But it says even more about those citizens, because standing up in this fashion requires a special kind of common-sensical courage, the kind we often take for granted. Over the history of the United States, individual citizens — the people who made up the ranks of the abolitionists and the suffragettes and the civil rights movement, and all the Walt Woodwards and John Henry Faulks in between — have done a duty the rest of us have shirked, and we all owe them an immense debt. Even when they did not succeed at the time, their legacy has shaped us and, in the end, played a critical role in preserving democracy in America.

The contemporary versions of these civic heroes can be found among the Japanese Americans who recently filed an amicus brief filed on behalf of Muslims detained by the federal government after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001

The New York Times article goes into more detail (via Dave):

Holly Yasui was far away when a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled last June that the government had wide latitude to detain noncitizens indefinitely on the basis of race, religion or national origin. The ruling came in a class-action lawsuit by Muslim immigrants held after 9/11.

The ruling “painfully resurrects the long-discredited legal theory” that was used to put their grandparents behind barbed wire, along with the rest of the West Coast’s Japanese alien population, the three contend in an unusual friends-of-the-court brief filed today in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

This is inspiring an action!  Dave draws the broader conclusions the lawsuit (and the brief) are trying to address:

The combination of secret lawbreaking, brutal mistreatment, and a Kafkaesque bureaucracy are the unmistakable hallmarks of a government careening out of control, consumed by the omnipresent temptations of authoritarianism. And the echoes of the wartime internment episode of 1942-45 not only can be heard today, they seem to be amplified — not merely in the mass sweeps that followed the attacks of September 11, but continuing through the abuses of detainees at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the bizarre treatment of Jose Padilla, the legalization of torture under the Bush administration.

We are still headed down the road to authoritarianism.  Whenever citizens like Ms. Yasui, Mr. Hirabayashi, Eric L Muller and Ms. Korematsu-Haigh take a stand against authoritarian and racist streaks in our government we move farther from the abyss of totalitarianism.   (Emphasis mine):

In the end, it is always going to be incumbent upon ordinary citizens — engaged, informed people who take their citizenship seriously — to act as the stewards of good government and to rein in the powers of authorities, particularly when they become excessesive. And the more of them there are, the greater their chances of success.

We all had better hope that the efforts of Eric Muller and the descendants of the Japanese American internees, as well as the entire Turkmen legal team, succeeds — because if they fail, we face the grim prospect of repeating one of the real tragedies of recent American history.

It is always our responsibility to oppose authoritarianism and champion the cause of democracy.  One of the more joyous and fulfilling aspects of that responsibility is to bring attention to those who take up that charge to stand and deliver.  When we join voices we live up to our duty and create the success that ensures our liberty and our rights.