Thursday, July 17, 2008

Netroots Nation, Day One

The first day of sessions for Netroots Nation 2008 is done, but there's still the opening keynote with Governor Howard Dean, coming up in a few minutes, and then a movie afterwards. I hadn't really planned any particular theme for my choice of sessions, but one seems to be emerging nonetheless: the Iraq war, including the failures on the part of both the Bush Administration and the Mainstream Media that got us into it, the illegal tactics the Bushies have employed, and the work that will be needed to undo the damage the Bush Presidency has done to our national security, our Constitution, and our standing in the world.

I started off today with a workshop on how to give a good interview, if you ever find yourself on radio or television, including a brief mock interview, played back for feedback from the panelists and the other attendees. Apparently I need to smile more....

That session took the whole morning. After lunch, I went to the Media That Matters Film Festival, a series of short films on subjects ranging from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the havoc caused by mandatory minimum sentencing laws to the threat posed to our food supply by the collapse of honey-bee colonies. I bookended that session with the LGBTQ Caucus, where I joined in a discussion of anti-bullying laws and other issues facing queer youth, and the Science Bloggers Caucus, where we mostly talked about energy policy, including the myths of "clean coal," the fantasy that we can build enough nuclear power plants to provide our energy needs (even supposing we could safely deal with the nuclear waste without allowing any of it to fall into the hands of terrorists), and some very simple ideas for reducing the number of internal-combustion vehicles on the road: plug-in electric hybrids for mail delivery trucks and school buses.

The movie after Howard Dean's keynote tonight is A Bad Situationist, a film by Sam Seder, shot in between the 2000 election and 9/11; elements of the plot made it an awkward project to finish in the aftermath. More on that later — for now, I'm off to see Howard Dean.

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