March 11, 2007

What to Read?

When thinking about building a progressive infrastructure as I wrote about here, one thing to note is that it took more than 30 years for the conservative worldview to dominate our politics. Yet, we don't have 30 years to build up the progressive infrastructure, so what should we do? Answer: turn to the internet. For a excellent article about how the internet has unleashed a technology that can upend the status quo rapidly, read Patrick O'Heffernan's piece on the Commonweal Institute blog. As he writes, the internet shows the potential of re-democracizing our society largely because amateurs are able to participate in the campaigns and the media ending the gatekeeper role of the professionals.

Altercation provides some food for thought on two important topics. Here's a report that says the situation for children in Red States is markedly worse than those living in Blue States (with one Red state in the top 10 and a single blue state in the bottom half). How does your state stack up?

What about unions? Today, Democrats of all persuations, liberals and DLCers, agree, unions are good for the people who are in unions and they are good for the country. And don't miss this interesting piece by Nathan Newman saying that Unions are far less corrupt than either our administration or corporations because of their greater transparency and openness.

Here's an incredible piece by TomDispatch about the waste Bush's war has been. Reading this and the news that the Army is sending seriously wounded soldiers back to Iraq reminds me of the vivid and heartbreaking stories of World War I:

This cultural impact of the war is the aspect most obviously still with us. Poets, writers and other people capable of expressing their experiences have left a body of passionate, dark and stirring work which has dominated our popular memory. For most in the West, The First War One conjures up images of muddy trenches, thousands of young men walking into machine gun fire and the sense of wasted youth. Despite the efforts of a small group of historians to argue otherwise, World War One is seen as a waste. The physical injuries suffered by soldiers from gas and shell fed the imaginations of the 1920's and 30's cinematic horror boom; there are relatively few films about The Great War, but plenty fed by its consequences.

Who will be able to look back on Bush's folly and not finally come to that conclusion?

Did you know that Spencer Ackerman who was recently muckraking for TPM has gone to Iraq as an embed? You can follow his journey here.

Finally, on a different note, sometimes you can read something that makes you cry because it is so profound and so filled with the best of what humans can be. Yesterday, dKos' teacherken wrote just such a piece. May life bless you with loving connections and worthwhile journeys.

Update: I selected the wrong Nathan Newman post. Try this one instead.

Posted by Mary at March 11, 2007 06:54 PM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

Karen Kwiatkowski recently: The great promise of the internet may be that it brings us back to the future, so to speak. In the 1700s, de Toqueville was amazed with our American obsession with information, our abundance of little newspapers, everyone a reporter, everyone with an opinion to share, and many interested parties reading and debating these opinions and observations. This energy struck him as uniquely American, and today, this energy is global, and it is embodied in the internet, in the blogosphere specifically. The blogosphere is that rough, raw and personal reporting, complete with elements of gossip and imagination. Mainstream media is establishment media, the kings' notices to the serfs. I think Allison's investigation into how well or how poorly the truth was reported in the run-up to Iraq, within the blogosphere and by the mainstream media, is not only important, but points us into a new place that may in fact lead us to fewer wars rather than more wars. After Iran, that is….

Posted by: Thomas Ware at March 12, 2007 08:18 AM