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San Francisco 2009 Carnaval Parade.

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May 28, 2009

Netroot Sites Online
Thursday. I read the first half of Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press yesterday and later this morning. Interesting overview of how the netroots came into being, how it evolved and some interesting interviews of many of the main players and how they came (stumbled) to the fray. Interesting to me as I started reading Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory blog a couple of years ago, not really knowing much about it other than I liked what he was saying about things of importance to me that weren't being said or followed anywhere else I was aware of in the “media”.

The book describes and ties together much I didn't know about the netroots, stories and posts I'd read, but imperfectly observed, in the mainstream media and on the web. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in politics, the media or the origins of the netroots blogging community and would like to know how sites such as firedoglake, Digby, Eschaton, Daily Kos and others (many of which were new to me) started.

I still basically read Greenwald, who has a background in Constitutional law, rather than the wider netroots constellation as Greenwald focuses on primarily Constitutional issues, an area that's been one of my long term bugaboos. I generally feel quite comfortable with his perspective and analysis although I wander around from time to time to see what the rest of them are up to.

I played, for a couple of days, with something similar, but discover I don't have the passion or the knowledge to get off the mark and make a commitment. Maybe something will happen out there that really pisses me off and I'll go forth, mouse in hand, to wrestle online, something out of whack here in Oakland, maybe. What's the worst that can happen? Upset people visit you in the the middle of the night?

I wouldn't mess with the local drug trade. Politics might be alright. If you cared.

What do I know about the drug trade or politics, here or there in Oakland?

Later. I've finished the book and realize the election coming up in 2010 for mayor here in Oakland is going to be a further, probably significant extension of the 2008 national election in the sense of netroot “citizen reporters” multiplying like, um, rabbits. It's going to fun to watch whether or not I play any sort of part. What was I thinking when I registered and other than keying on a quote by Gertrude Stein?

One of the “citizen reporters” interviewed in the book, for example, famous for catching Barack Obama and his “small town people clinging to their religion and their guns” and Bill Clinton going off on the author of a sleazy Vanity Fair hit piece on tape, is a resident of Oakland, a woman in her early sixties, someone who's never been a reporter or involved in politics before going on the road for The Huffington Post. I have to think the journalism students at Berkeley and all the surrounding schools will be out in force, yes, but this is a game anyone can play with a small tape recorder and a digital movie camera. I'd add a computer and internet access to the list, but who doesn't have those anymore?

Later still. The day has gone pleasantly. I skipped breakfast and walked down to the usual café to start the day at noon for lunch and read the papers, stopping by the post office to mail some much delayed paperwork to the state. Other than that, I'm going to finish this book and then check out some of these here netroots sites online.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2009 Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/100 second, f 2.8, ISO 200.