Saturday, August 15, 2009

NetRoots Nation Saturday

I left NetRoots Nation Thursday (even missing Bill Clinton's speech, which I would have loved to have heard) completely exhausted. After working my three hour airport shift, I went home and collapsed and missed Friday's events (including my cousin Alice's good friend Howard Dean).

So I returned to NetRoots today, and worked three hours at Registration, went to the Keynote Lunch, spent the afternoon videotaping a couple of panels, and am now at the evening Keynote.

The lunchtime keynote was OK, but not quite as forward-looking as I'd hoped. Most of the discussion was "it's better in Europe" and "we need more unionization." While these things are certainly true, they aren't making any new suggestions about how to handle the situation. Where are Paul Krugman and Charlie Stross, who spoke very interestingly on this very topic at Worldcon, when we need them?

After lunch, I was the videographer for a fascinating panel on DOJ extremes during the Bush years (that the Obama folks haven't fixed yet...*sigh*) and a very interesting panel on getting parents more involved in political organizing. I kept having to ask for help, but, luckily, my room was next door to the video office, so it was pretty easy to run next door and ask another stupid question.

At the evening keynote, State Senator Jim Ferlo gave a good speech, reminding us that peacefui assembly during the upcoming G20 meeting in Pittsburgh is Constitutionally protected - "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin. The city is way overreacting, saying that protests A MILE AWAY from the Convention Center during the G20 are forbidden. Much as I do believe that the G209 should continue unimpeded by disruptions, peaceful assembly is not disruptive. I'm very much opposed to muzzling peaceful protest.

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