GreyHawk is ranked #41 of 111
Some call me a "solution facilitator," others a "professional irritant." I help people, businesses & organizations clarify & resolve issues.
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My political story
I used to avoid politics & the associated "Kabuki theater in a Potemkin village" pantomime that I perceive as integral to it, but after seeing the devastation wrought by the rise of 'conservative ideals' and the damage done to families, the environment, to communities, to education and what once passed for common sense, I could no longer sit idle.
Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship
I've wanted to go to Netroots Nation since its inception as "Yearly Kos." I finally made it to one - NN12 - and hoped it would be the first of many. The economy's slow fizzle has kept job opportunities limited: my foundering 1-man consulting business isn't growing, my writing projects are not producing viable income and the job market is still lousy outside of seriously under-employment, part-time gigs which I've had to take on in order to meet the bills. Netroots Nation participation is good for the mind & the soul: it helps renew the desire to keep fighting, to push boundaries and not give up in the face of ongoing inanity and insanity in our government. It also allows us to network with others, spawning a myriad of opportunities to make & have an impact - and possibly find new ways to engage & employ ourselves. I believe I deserve a scholarship because I can use the opportunity to work with, meet and engage others in way that will inspire additional, effective efforts for the netroots, and to help build opportunities to expand the impact & awareness of the public in several areas.
What first inspired me to get involved
I enjoy writing. I'm told I have a knack for it, and I enjoy the sense of sharing that comes from writing about a topic in a way that people can feel, understand, and empathize with. My first "active" involvement came with participating on several online forums, where I would often sharpen my communication skills against right-wing shills using verifiable facts and carefully backquoting their own words to them to eliminate wriggle-room and get my points across. That graduated to posting a few diaries on Daily Kos a few years later - now, almost ten years ago - which touched upon issues both public and private: the impact that Bush/Cheney & GOP insanity was having on our nation (war, war crimes, terrorism - foreign & domestic), the economy, the environment, Alzheimer's Disease, caregiving, family, pets, "edumacation" and the increasingly poor state of our healthcare system. I found, and started working to hone, my voice.
The blog post I am most proud of
There are two. #1: I wrote a spontaneous piece called "Ten Characteristics of a True U.S. Patriot" in 2005 which garnered a lot of attention. With enthusiastic spontaneous encouragement of others, we created an online demonstration against the right's attempts to re-define "patriotism." It appeared on many sites on July 4, 2005. #2: I contributed to ePluribus Media, a netroots citizen journalism organization spun-off from the Gannon/Guckert investigation on Daily Kos, focusing on investigative journalism. The Journal portrayed carefully vetted, edited and formatted work. Archives: http://bit.ly/13zoHnq
Proudest Blog Url
More about my political involvement
Yes, I'm an active DFA member. My volunteering is limited due to economic-related time constraints, but I sign petitions and attend occasional meetups to learn more about and contribute to discussions in our area.
How I've gotten others involved
Starting with the online forums from years ago with the "Ten Characteristics" essay through recent times, I've been writing on more topics and working to use my voice to help bring the meat of important issues to light through all the noise & confusion that is constantly tossed about. One example: the online blogging about Alzheimer's Disease and caregiving turned into a book co-authored with another Kossack and our wives (Her Final Year: A Care-Giving Memoir). I've also just recently launched Boston Kossacks in response to navajo's "New Day" community building initiative.
Why I think participation in the netroots is important
Netroots participation is a natural extension and expansion of our increasingly connected world. Social media and the prevalence of interactive, mobile technology has extended the reach of our hearts, minds and voices to the extent that awareness of the netroots is nearly unavoidable in large urban populations, and it's still expanding beyond those physical population centers. Coordination of thoughts, ideas and people through the "multitouch focus" that mobile technology & integration enables us to achieve provides a potent, powerful means to counter some of imbalance faced by unlimited monetary resources used by opposing forces.
My Twitter manifesto on online activism
Online activism works b/c it provides greater opportunities for real-time, rapid engagement by disparate social & economic populations.
If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:
"Your voice and your vote are renewable resources."
My wild idea for a cool new action
Live mini-skits, not dissimilar to flash mobs but different in terms of execution & planning. The target is the public reaction, which is later tagged with the effective message Several public locations are chosen in various areas; a theme and message are devised, and a skit written for actors to put on w/o the public's knowledge (initially). It gets vimeo'd or YouTube'd surreptitiously. There are potential disadvantages to it, and potential legal ramifications, that I haven't investigated yet. But it's not unlike something that I did with friends (inadvertently) during high school, and I think it could be both fun & effective.
I am a