Why Organizing Matters

The difference between campaigning and organizing is a critical one, and it’s time for the left to refocus on organizing over campaigning. Organizing requires that relationships between people with the same values and interests be developed over time, in the context of leadership development, political education and community building. Campaigning simply calls for messages that either generate immediate action from a targeted demographic or that call on the already converted to act. Organizing is done by outreach, community building, and political education. In place of one-shot calls for action, effective organizing starts with an entry point and requires years of consistent follow-up and engagement.

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Baltimore: Freedom from Poverty Vigil & March

The United Workers is a human rights organization based in Maryland of low-wage workers working to create the political conditions for poverty’s end. This weekend the cleaners at Camden Yards and other day laborers organized an all-night vigil in front of the Orioles owner’s offices in downtown Baltimore. Workers also held a prayer breakfast and marched with supporters to draw attention to poverty’s wrongs and to how the publicly owned Camden Yards exploits low-wages workers for Peter Angelos’s private interests. Workers aired out Angelos's dirty laundry of profiting from poverty and using Camden Yards for his private gain at great cost to the community. Shirts we dirtied with poverty's ills and carried on a clothes line throughout the vigil and march.

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Baltimore's poor organizing for freedom from poverty

The UWA launched its Summer of Justice Campaign today at the April Fool's Day game between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles.  While this game was preseason, we choose to start our campaign the day that Peter Angelos, owner of the Orioles, treats Nationals fans about as well as he treats the cleaners at Camden Yards.  

Read more: UnitedWorkersAssociation.org

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Rovian rules & SOTU: Pysch of propaganda

Bush's speech last night was a prime example of applied cognitive psychology and the science of communication, linguistics and propaganda.  While much of the speech was very humdrum - the listing of Clinton-esque programs and a series of claims for how well things are going and how things should go, or why they should go one way or another.  The following are examples from three applications of the Rovian Rules for Effective Communication (humdrum removed).

  1. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt associate one's own weakness with thy enemy's great moral stances
  2. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt create false categories
  3. Rovian Rule: Thou shalt speak in the logic of false dichotomies

cross posted: Political Porn at EconoCulture.com

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Bush's Neoconservative Revolution Over

Okay.  It's over.  No, really. It is.  George Bush's Neoconservative Revolution is dead.  It started with Cindy Sheehan's off-message camp in front of Bush's ranch.  Bored Washington reporters stuck in Crawford had nothing else to report, so they made Cindy's camp into a media circus.  Then, in a stroke of shitty luck, Katrina hit.  Bush's advisors were out of town: Shopping in New York, getting married in Greece, buying a new house - doing those sorts of things.  And so Bush was on his own, to show his true cold-bolded colors.  

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Thank Bush for Michael Moore

From the White House yesterday, comparing a 73-year-old conservative and hawkish Democrat to Michael Moore:

Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party.

Hey Bush, thanks for reminding me of Michael Moore's role in discrediting your administration.

When Moore spoke these lines at the 2003 Oscars,  most of his American audience didn't know what he was talking about:

We like non-fiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts, we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.

A lot has changed since Moore was half-cheered from the stage in March 2003.  Moore kept playing the role of catalyst for the millions of pro-peace Americans who are at the core for making these changes into reality today.   And that core kept spreading a more honest narrative about the war than the one generated by Bush and his allies in government.

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Did Woodward's White House Leaker 'Fully Cooperate'?

Bob Woodward's admission that a White House official had already leaked the identity of a CIA operative's name, before Libby leaked the same information, has no bearing on Fitzgerald's charges against Libby.  Libby is charged with lying to cover-up, not with being the first to leak.  

But Libby's cover-up does have bearing on why Fitzgerald may have missed the earlier leak.  Libby's lies prevented Fitzgerald from being able to get to the bottom of any possible White House crime.  It should come as no surprise that Fitzgerald is missing parts of the puzzle, given that the White House has misled and withheld information.

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Rovian Rules Uncovered: Closer Look at Cheney & Reid Remarks

Cheney's speech last night is an excellent example of the Rovian Rules at work.  The attack on Democrats for charging that Bush lied about going to Iraq was perfect in almost all ways, except at the highest level.  Bush is clearly desperate, as his White House is now attacking Democrats on specific issues and charges, and not just by attacking individual persons.

DICK: The suggestion that's been made by some U. S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of this Administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.

Rovian Rule (violated): Attack the person, not the issue.

Why this rule matters: The debate is about the person, are they or aren't they (fill in the blank).  If the issue is attacked, the debate becomes (in this case) did Bush lie?

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Is it okay for Clinton to be critical abroad?

Bill Clinton broke protocol yesterday when he, a former President, spoke against Bush, the sitting President, while he (Clinton) was on foreign soil.

I don't care that he spoke on foreign soil.  But partisan conservatives will, as will many ordinary Americans.  And regardless if I or others don't care about protocol, Clinton's remarks as given on foreign soil will matter to many Americans.  That means that Clinton's actions be examined in the context of where he spoke.  He will be called a traitor.  He will be asked to apologize.  He will be used as a symbol to bolster the claim that Americans opposed to the war are actually Americans opposed to America.  And that requires that we not only respond to what Clinton said, but also to where and when he said it.

Clinton was answering questions at a forum in Dubai.  When asked about the war, Clinton said that it "was a big mistake." He said that Saddam being out of power is good, but that the US made mistakes.  Clinton spoke mostly of logistical failures, such as that the US did not plan for what to do after toppling Saddam.

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Meet the Modern American Communists

I don't have much of a problem with what most Commies believe is just and moral: An end to poverty, equality for all.  But I do have a problem with how they've gone about trying to get these things: Tryanny and murderous regimes that made almost everyone poorer and more oppressed.  And I also have a problem with American Commies of this century.  That's because there are other (much more effective) movements for doing good things like changing working conditions and creating a more just society.  

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