Benny's World

Saturday, June 17, 2006

These R Days

First song --at my wedding dance to my current spouse..

These are the days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky

It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days that you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you
With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true

That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

These are days

These are the days
You might fill

With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light

Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It's true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking
To you, to you

Love knows a lot, such as not skin colors, not political parties, nor sexual orientation. And I love this song. Thanks, Natalie Merchant.

JRE at Gnomedex

Last night, I was one of the first OAC supporters to notice that JRE had agreed to be a keynote speaker at Gnomedex, blogger's conference of the West, so to speak. Here's more on the skinny from Chris Pirillo, on why JRE was a natural to be the keynote on June 30th:

"You might read that subject line and think: since when did Lockergnome have anything to do with politics? I’d answer: we’ve been talking about geek politics for a while now (where have you been?). In all seriousness, you probably know who Senator John Edwards is. I’m thrilled to report that he’s keynoting this year’s Gnomedex conference - which many of you, unfortunately, will not be attending. Democrat, Republican, or Independent - this is absolutely tremendous news for us. The senator may very well be the next President of the United States of America, yet he’s taking the time to talk to true technologists. Gnomedex started with humble beginnings in Iowa; six years later, we’ve become one of the most talked about tech conferences in the industry. I really wish more Lockergnome subscribers could’ve been there with us through the years. Then again, we found our strongest audience in the blogosphere - which is one of the reasons you haven’t heard me push attendence through Lockergnome over the past couple of years (not like I used to do). Still, Senator John Edwards will be there with us - and there’s still time for you to pick up a Cove pass.

The government of America faces tremendous tech issues - the most recent of which being Net Neutrality. And whatever happened to the digital divide? These aren't just buzzwords; they're issues that face every citizen of this country. Even if you don't live in the United States, you're probably impacted (one way or another) by the choices our government makes. We invited Senator John Edwards not because we wanted to play partisan politics with the crowd. I'm sure we'll get more than one geek questioning our motives, but for us it was simple: find a tech-savvy leader to come and lead a discussion with our audience. Senator John Edwards has been blogging, producing podcasts, and preparing himself for 2008 (or so it's been speculated). It doesn't matter which way you vote - this guy is important, and he's going to be spending time at the conference we put on for you. They say you should never discuss politics over dinner, so I hope you weren't eating anything when you read this report. If you can't make it to Seattle for Gnomedex, we'll have the live audio stream going (as always)."

This has been announced at least 10 times in past 24 hours, including Ed Cone's Word Up.

Yep, we are the 5th Estate, as I've said before.

Speaking of.. Update, June 18

From the Scobleizer blog:

Chris Pirillo locks journalists out of Gnomedex

"Chris Pirillo and Ponzi told me last night that journalists are begging to be let into Gnomedex now that Senator John Edwards is doing the keynote. They told us that every ticket is a press pass and that they don't give away free tickets and that journalists are welcome to buy a ticket, but one problem, Gnomedex is sold out. So any other journalists who want to come are gonna be forced to sit in the cove. "What about if Steve Ballmer dropped by?" I asked. He said he wouldn't get in either unless he found a ticket on eBay somewhere. He did say that some journalists, like Todd Bishop of the Seattle PI, had the good forsight to buy a ticket before they were sold out."

There is an interesting discussion go on about this topic. I posted there too. Just click here. I must say I'm impressed that Robert Scoble has his own blog for anyone to comment. I just picked up his book, Naked Conversations, from my library. Just hadn't had time to read it yet, but I guess I need to since it pertains to my research.

Workin' It in Central Illinois

Today, I worked at the Champaign County booth at the Farmers' Market in Urbana. Urbana is a pretty liberal town, so most of the time, it's very friendly. I have been volunteering mainly to support David Gill, who is running for Congress and from our district 15. This was my 3rd time in the past 6 weeks for volunteering, and a wonderful way to celebrate JRE's week of buzz. I wore the OAC t-shirt designed by NCDem. (Thanks, NCD)

It was great to see two candidates workin' it, and I learned quite a bit about the local politics, as well as some state issues. Of course, I talked quite a bit about JRE and OAC One Corps, something Dems were unfamiliar with.

Finally I have some pics to share.

Steve Beckett, UI Trial Law Professor & Champaign County Board Re-election candidate, District 9, talking with one of his former clients about easement issues

Mike Frerichs, some OAC Supporter (you can tell by the t-shirt), and Steve Beckett.

Mike Frerichs, current Champaign County auditor and candidate for Illinois State Senate. He's very knowledgeable, personable, and tall. (6'6'')

Thursday, June 15, 2006

JRE Buzz (4)

Update, June 16: JRE is announced as keynote speaker at Gnomedex Convention at Seattle June 29-July 1. Gnomedex is a high technology conference of mainly bloggers and tech enthusiasts. Gamers go to this conference too. Chris Pirillo reports that he is thrilled that JRE has signed on:
Just when you thought Gnomedex couldn’t get any better, Senator John Edwards signs on as our Keynote.

The senator is a long-standing supporter of technology - including podcasting and blogging. Every year, we wonder how we’re going to top ourselves. When conversations started with Senator John Edwards’ office, they were intrigued and enthralled with our approach to content! Sentator Edwards will quickly turn his time over to the Gnomedex audience, fielding questions and fostering discussion over how technology could and should play a role in our world. This is fantastic! I’m sure you’ll agree, no matter your political persuasion. This is a tremendous opportunity to have your voice heard. Does anybody know any political bloggers out there? I don’t know any…

Sounds like JRE is following Elizabeth's footsteps from the PDF.


The National Press Club announced this afternoon:
Sen. John Edwards to Deliver Major Policy Address Outlining New Ideas in the Fight Against Poverty at National Press Club, June 22.

Note: JRE bloggers already knew this, but we didn't know what the speech would be about, nor did we know the general public could get in for the luncheon, which starts at 12:30, and only costs $35. I hope a JRE supporter from Northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland can attend and give an event report at OAC or JREG.

JRE stopped in Wilmington today.

Here's the scoop:

WILMINGTON -- Former US Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards made a stop in downtown Wilmington today. He spoke at a meeting for the tenth district International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Edwards said, "I came today to speak to the IBEW, which is a union my brother is a member of. It's a great union andI am proud to be able to be here to talk to them about what's happening to the working men and women in this country."

Read the rest here.

Other news...

Mark Crispin Miller writes an open letter to Salon on the Huffington Post about RFK's interview in the Rolling Stone concerning the "stolen election" in Ohio. What I didn't know was why Kerry had stayed mum on this. Here's what Crispin Miller wrote:

"Kerry won't discuss the issue frankly on the record, we've been told, because he's worried that the media will smack him for it. ("They're saying that, if I don't concede, they'll call us sore losers!" he reportedly said to a stunned John Edwards just before he called it quits the morning after.) That may be what Kerry, among others, actually believes, but it's absurd, as no amount of public scorn, however withering, could ever be as frightening to a democratic politician as the twilight of democracy itself. "

Yikers..Elizabeth has alluded to this more than once.

More buzz about the Iowa poll: The Pilot
Jacksonville Daily Record
Pittsburgh Tribune Review

More buzz l8tr..

Update (as of 5pmCDT): BIG Buzz

Chris Bowers of MyDD Releases Netroots Survey. Guess who is on top for Potential Presidental Candidates who are Favored at Present...You got it: John Edwards. Here's the graphic.

More about this survey l8tr...

Follow-up from the Hotline Today (June 16), hat-tip to Kos:

National Journal Insiders' Poll: Netroots Help Dems

It's like asking the sharks how the guppies taste, right?

This week's Political Insiders poll from National Journal talked to 71 GOPers and 66 Dems (6/17 issue).
What Impact Will The Netroots Have On 11/06?


Help Dems 14% 69%

Help GOPers 15 0

No significant impact 70 31

Readers, there is so much buzz about JRE and the polls in Iowa, as the anti-Hillary candidate (for now, but I hope that will change) and his work with SEIU. I will update as the day goes on and time allows, so come back and visit for those updates.

Prominent business trade magazine The Economist has an article about Hillary Clinton and Dems who have doubts about her, ranging from Daily Kos polls to the new Iowa poll that put Edwards at the top for potential candidates. JRE hasn 't been mentioned much by the Economist lately.

New York Post columnist Deborah Orin mentions that Hillary too, but as a fence sitter on the war.

"It showed when antiwar activists booed her the other day - and when a shock weekend poll in first presidential test Iowa found her trailing likely 2008 rival John Edwards by 30 to 26 percent."

Context: Sen. Clinton spoke at the Take America Back conference and was booed about her stance on the war, although the attendees liked her overall speech I hear. At the same conference, Sen. Russ Feingold took a shot at Kerry and JRE by saying he didn't need to write an op-ed on his stance; he was always against it.

That's OK, Russ, you're in there fightin' where JRE is fighting the regular folks' battles at the moment.

Speaking of, good news from the SEIU in Miami this afternoon:

MIAMI, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- By an overwhelming majority, janitors who clean the University of Miami elected to form a union with SEIU,according to the American Arbitration Association, which certified and made public today the results of the workers' decision. A nine-week strike by the janitors, who are employed by national cleaning firm Unicoo, drew attention and support from an impressive coalition of religious leaders and community supporters including students and faculty at the University of Miami, elected officials, and the janitors who are employed by the cleaning firm Unicco drew national attention support from an impressive coalition religious leaders community supporters including students and faculty at the University of Miami, elected officials and national figures such as Sen.John Edwards, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, and civil rights leader Charles Steele Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

More buzz l8tr...


JRE Rallies Workers in Hawaii

Tons of buzz about the Iowa Poll. Most of it good, some of the MSM press not certain what to do with the information, so JRE is dismissed in some ways. I will post links l8tr, but wanted to get some very recent buzz...

I just found something on JRE's visit to Hawaii and SEIU rally there, as reported by the Star Bulletin:

Edwards' hotel-union push hits Waikiki

Former vice-presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John Edwards joined Honolulu's hotel workers yesterday to push for better benefits in the middle of the first round of union negotiations.

Contracts for approximately 6,500 Local 5 hotel workers employed in 10 of Waikiki's largest hotels expire this month. Unite Here, which represents about 11,000 service workers in Hawaii, encompasses about 90,000 full-service hotel workers in the United States and Canada.

Read the rest here.

I liked the quote from one of the rally participant, a worker who has been in the hospitality business there at Wikiki for 18 years:

"Other union concerns include protection from subcontracting, job security for military personnel who are called to action and how to cope with an ever-increasing workload, said Stella Galon, a housekeeper who has worked for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for almost 18 years.

Galon praised Edwards for his support, saying, "At least some politicians care enough to travel to Hawaii to support us in our fight to improve our wages, benefits, health care and to protect our jobs

This just in:

John Edwards fights for Hawaii hotel workers

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) _ Potential presidential candidate John Edwards rallied a Hawaii hotel workers union today in its fight for better pay and benefits.

Edwards is a former U-S senator and vice presidential candidate.

He says he's ``thinking seriously'' about running for president in 2008 but hasn't made a decision yet.

Edwards spoke to hundreds of cheering union members at a Waikiki beach against a backdrop of tourists bathing in the sun and swimming in the Pacific Ocean.

Read the rest here, courtesy of the AP/KPUA News.

JRE is a man of conviction, speaking on behalf the workers in front of the tourists. Chuzpah! Wonder what hotel executives thought.


Hotel workers rally draws 1,200

Hotel workers rallied yesterday in Waikiki to bolster their position in contract negotiations. The hotel workers union, Unite Here Local 5, organized the rally, which police said drew about 1,200 people.

John Edwards, a former United States senator and vice presidential candidate, spoke at the rally.

Local 5 has begun or will soon begin contract negotiations with the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa, the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, the four Sheraton properties in Waikiki and the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa.

Read the rest from the Honolulu Advertiser site.

When the advertisers are taking note...JRE's Workin' It! Wow, 1200 workers. Go Local 5!

More buzz l8tr...

Update: Here's another piece from the Cleaning Maintenance Management web-zine. Not a lot new, other than they have noted that this was JRE's 5th Appearance for Hotel Workers Rising/ Unite Here group. They also are keeping up with SEIU's activities. Interesting.

My favorite pic:

JRE and Local 5
Good to go!

Note: I posted this on the last thread, but wanted to make it easier for JRE supporters to find.