Ideas for the online revolution.

You Can Hear FM Stations From 1000 Miles Away

During the summer, it is possible to hear FM stations (and also VHF channels 2-6) that are 1000 miles away using pretty much any FM radio!

From May 15 - August 15, the E layer of ionosphere will sporadically achieve a high enough level of ionization so that higher frequency signals (low VHF and FM) will bounce off the E-layer back to Earth, instead of going out into space.

This condition is rare. It is most likely that you will notice it on TV channel 2, because lower frequencies bounce back to earth with less ionization. During the course of the typical summer, I only get E-Skip twice, generally for a period of 1-3 hours.

Where is the Grassroots in Online Activism?

Is Online Activism

  • Visiting Websites to read news and commentary like Z Magazine, Independent Media, or The Guardian?
  • Donating Money?
  • Subscribing to an Email List?
  • Responding to Action Alerts?

    Where is the grassroots participation in these projects? Indymedia is the only place with a significant level of mass participation, and even there very few people actually write news stories to say nothing of taking pictures or uploading audio or video. When many people start participating, Indymedia gets overloaded with material that most people don't want to read, and you need to start moderating content.

  • US Green Party is Not Running Nader

    Most people do not realize that at its political convention the Green Party chose to run David Cobb for president. There are actually two progressive tickets running for office. Nader as an independent and Cobb as a Green.

    The Greens choice was close. On an approximately 300 to 200 delegate vote, they went with Cobb over "none of the above" - the latter option was pushed by Nader supporters who wanted the Greens to endorse the Nader canidacy.

    So progressives must decide between holding their nose and voting for Kerry, voting for Nader (who is running in all states), or voting for Camejo (who has an official strategy of only running in "safe-states" as he does not want to throw the election to Bush).

    Action Alerts for the Masses

    If you are an activist who uses email, you are probably overloaded with Action Alerts.

    You know you should be calling and writing Congress, but you also have a sneaking doubt that it just isn't worth your time.

    I think you are right. I think national action alerts are rapidly losing their effectiveness as people are bombarded by 101 appeals, and email and email petitions are practically useless.

    Fortunately, I believe we can resurrect Action Alerts by creating a grassroots system that focuses on local targets. By targeting people who are not used to being targeted, a small number of emails or calls can make a substantial difference in a local campaign.

    The Other Election

    On June 28, Canada had a federal election and nobody in the US noticed.

    The election was the closest race in over twenty years. The Liberals (a centrist party), who have been in power since 1993, were well in the lead in the polls when the called the election. The new Liberal leader, Paul Martin, wanted a mandate to govern and to hold an election before the newly formed Conservative Party (which was a merger of two rightwing parties) had its act together.

    Well, just after he called the election the Liberal's support fell about 10 percent. The entire election campaign was a neck-in-neck race between the Liberals and Conservatives - both at about 33%. The (loosely social-democratic) New Democrats (NDP) were hoping to make some gains as they were polling at their highest levels (around 16%) in any national election campaign since 1988. The seperatist (and somewhat progressive) Bloc Quebecois was set to win an overwhelming majority of the seats in Quebec. And the Greens (at 3-5%) actually stood a chance at winning their first ever seat.

    My First Blog

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