Friday Five

Cinco de Mayo brings a special meaning to Friday Five. I’m not sure if this will really end up being five unrelated topics or not, but it will have a bunch of different tidbits, much of it follow up to various things I’ve written about recently.

I just got an email from the Media Bloggers Association giving me an update on the Maine Web Report case. It is great to see bloggers across the politics spectrum work together to defend free speech.

Peter Turner, whom I met at the New Organizing Institute training in DC back in February sent me an email about The Katrina Project. They are trying to keep the Gulf Coast tragedy fully in the public eye and promote a serious national conversation about poverty and inequality through helping rebuild the New Orleans Public Library. A very cool project. Please, check out their site and contribute a book or two.

The schedule for Personal Democracy Forum 2006 is up. I will be on a panel, The Rising Power of Local Political Blogs. Two of the other people on the panel are Liza Sabater, whom I’ve met at various events around CivicSpace, last year’s Personal Democracy Forum, and probably other events, and Juan Melli, whom I’ve met online several places. It should be a good conference.

I’m also gearing up for the Media Giraffe conference. With that, I’m spending a bit of time looking at various video sharing sites. A few quick comments on this: Apparently has cleaned up its interface and is easier to use now. For example, you no longer need to create a separate thumbnail. DailyMotion and ClipShack allow loading videos from cellphones. Kim’s cellphone records videos, so I’ll give that a try. Unfortunately, neither of them have a nice feed into other blogs, although DailyMotion does include RSS feeds and group abilities. Grouper has moved out of the ‘Coming Soon’ category, and I should probably explore that a little.

Also, Kim uploaded this picture of Reilly resting in the sun yesterday. It fits nicely for cat blogging on Friday.

So, that’s a little bit of what’s going on with me.

Media Giraffe Grassroots Filmmaking Workshop and Festival

As digital video cameras become more popular, as people start taking videos from their cellphones, and as new sites emerge online to distribute these videos, citizens’ filmmaking is set to take off. Many people will be simply sharing home movies. Others, however, will want to create documentaries, political advertisements, and citizen journalism.

The Media Giraffe Grassroots filmmaking workshop and festival will celebrate noteworthy citizens’ filmmaking and provide workshops for those wishing to learn how to become more involved.

Okay. That’s the idea as it stands right now. Can I pull together this as part of the Media Giraffe Conference I’m helping with? I’m getting interest from various parties. Now, I need to see if I can find some good folks to lead the workshops, a good keynote speaker, people making good grassroots videos, and people interested in attending the festival.

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

UPDATE: Things are taking shape nicely for the conference. Details can be found here:

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On the road with Ned Lamont

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills.
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;”

Today, Kim, Fiona and I went to the 28th Annual Daffodil Festival in Meriden. For Ned, it was an opportunity to meet with people from Meriden and surrounding towns and talk about the issues that mattered to them. For us, it was an opportunity to enjoy some of the simple pleasures of our home state that too often gets overlooked.

Fiona was particularly interested in the swimming pool filled with trout where youngsters could try their hands at fishing. She also enjoyed a pony ride.

Last week, Kim and I joined Ned as he worshiped at Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Stamford. It isn’t our regular church and we enjoyed a different style of worship than we are used to.

As I’ve traveled the State with different campaigns, I’ve found myself looking for these special times, chances to savor what Connecticut has to offer, from daffodil festivals, county fairs and oyster festivals, to a rich tradition of spirituality and innovation.

It struck me that this is perhaps what I like best, being on the road with a candidate I believe in.

"Nuestro Himno”

(Originally posted at DailyKos)

On July 27th, 2004, I was at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and wrote this blog entry about the music. “the real highlight was when Michael Enis and Alicia Chiles sang our National Anthem in Tohono O'odham

It was a wonderful honoring of the diversity that helps make our country strong.”

This evening, I heard a news report about "Nuestro Himno”, a Spanish rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner". Bush is quoted as saying, “"I think the National Anthem ought to be sung in English. And, I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English." (Ref: Spanish National Anthem Hits Sour Note with Bush – KTLA News. The article talks about how this rendition was done “as an expression of solidarity for the undocumented immigrants.”

This is not the first time a former Governor of Texas has said foolish things about English. Ann Richard’s is fond of quoting "Ma" Ferguson, the first female Governor of Texas as saying, “If the English language was good enough for Jesus Christ it was good enough for the school children of Texas.”

Well, if we are really all that concerned with immigration and what language the National Anthem should be sung in, then perhaps we should all be learning Tohono O'odham and singing that version.

The way life shouldn’t be

I haven’t written about the Media Bloggers Association in quite a while, which is probably a good thing. Their website describes the organization this way:

The Media Bloggers Association is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and educating its members; supporting the development of "blogging" or "citizen journalism" as a distinct form of media; and helping to extend the power of the press, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails, to every citizen.

While the promotion and education of its members is important, MBA probably makes its biggest mark in protecting bloggers against scurrilous lawsuits.

Today, I received an email about Maine Web Report. Lance, the blogger for Maine Web Report has been writing extensively the Maine Office of Tourism. Apparently, people haven’t taken well to his criticism, and an advertising firm involved has slapped him with a ‘3 count multi-million dollar federal lawsuit’. The MBA is will be acting as co-counsel in defending Lance.

I was born in Maine. I have friends in Maine. I still think of Maine as Vacationland and hope to move back to Maine one day. However, I must say, I am very disappointed with what I’m reading about those attempting to promote tourism in Maine.

This isn’t the way life should be. As much as I hate to say it, right now, I prefer New Hampshire and their motto.

Various bloggers that are writing about this include B. L. Ochman, Bill Hobbs, Tor Lindahl, Jason Clarke, James Joyner and Don Singleton

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