...as in the imperative (i.e. you, youth, progress). This blog is updated by politically active young people. Issues that will be discussed are those which concern young voters and are of concern to young voters.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Remember Ben Franklin (Net Neutrality)


Tommorow, the Senate Commerce Committee can decide the fate of the greatest library ever. Senators Dorgan (D-ND) and Snowe (R-ME) have proposed an amendment that will protect Net Neutrality. If you have been watching television recently, you have dully noted the dark side of the Net Neutrality debate, the Hands-Off the Internet Coalition, which represents the telecommunications companies (telcos).

What is Net Neutrality? Net Neutrality is the equality of all information on the internet. It is a code of conduct - that the FCC is supposed to be enforcing - that requires all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allow all information on the internet to be downloadable to its costumers in a non-discriminatory manner. This prevents, for example, cable companies from charging a fee for visiting a Net Neutrality website, or providing faster service to the RNC's website than the DNC's website.

An internet without Net Neutrality is like a library which charges you more money for taking out certain books. Who gets to decide which books have more valuable information? The politically biased telcos? Without a Net Neutrality regulations in effect, this the future of history's greatest library.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that politically active young people would be hurt most by the loss of Net Neutrality. The youngest voting demographic uses the internet for a greater extent of activities than older generations (http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060617/bob9.asp). These activities include political resources such as blogs and forums. Whereas older generations might turn to the internet, I believe that these resources are the main information artery for the politically active youth of America. Thus, young people should be greatly concerned about this impending legislation.

To the Senators: Franklin watches. Call your senators if they are on the committee! Ask them to affirm Net Neutrality!

More Information on Net Neutrality:

Save the Internet

More Information on Benjamin Franklin:

Benjamin Franklin and the Invention of the Library
Wikipedia

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Intoductory Diary Post on Raising Kaine

Crossposted from Raising Kaine (URL: http://www.raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3237):

Though I was born in downtown DC, I have lived my whole life thus far in the great city of Alexandria, VA. My life as a blogger started two weeks ago, when I met TeacherKen (who posts here frequently) at the Webb campaign in Rosslyn the day of the primary. The following day, I sent TeacherKen an e-mail about young voters and voter apathy (he is a high-school teacher of government, among other classes). He posted his response to my e-mail as a diary post on DailyKos and Raising Kaine. I was intrigued by his response, and I decided to make the discussion into a blog of its own.

...Thus, I would like to share my opinion, as an 18-year old voter, on how the Webb campaign can utilize younger voters to declare victory over George Allen. Here is what I think is important with regards to all young voters:

Before I mention anything, let me direct your attention to the fact that this demographic has the fastest growing voter turnout (up 4.6 million between Bush/Gore and Bush/Kerry), and is becoming increasingly liberal (48% Gore - 46% Bush/55% Gore - 44% Bush, Source USA Today).

1. Campaign on the issues that young voters experience on a daily basis. The best one: Education. Rep. Pelosi in the Democratic Weekly Radio Address this week announced the Democratic Party’s intent to lower rates on student loans. The Democratic Party now needs to advertise this message to the college-aged demographic.

2. Make Clear to Young Voters the Extent to which the Leaders in Washington are Destroying America for the Next Generation. When my generation reaches maturity, we will wake up to find a big mess, to say the least. Social security will be on its way into bankruptcy or already there, an inconceivable budget deficit will leave our government in huge debt to other nations and entities, and rising global temperatures will threaten the human species like no other challenge in recorded history. These problems are fixable! And they are fixable right now! But they will not be fixed with this conservative Congress, which provides lavish lifestyles for its rich constituents at my expense.

Republicans would say that my approach to young voter apathy is fear-mongering. To this I say that it’s about time people my age became afraid, as budget deficits threaten the future wellbeing of the economy and the American government with inexpressible magnitude and global warming has this Earth spiraling headlong towards unprecedented global catastrophe. Youthful intervention is this nation’s, indeed this world’s, only salvation.

Now, here is my list for young voters of Virginia:

1. Galvanize the Universities: Virginia has some of the best universities in the US, if not the world. The people who attend these institutions are recieving incredible educations, and if any demographic should know the stakes of current national and global political affairs, it should be the college-aged demographic in Virginia. Plus, most of these universities are located within Republican turf. The Democrats need to work with Democratic student leaders within these institutions.

2. Warner!: The political memories of the voters in my demographic is extremely short. Democrats can take advantage of this because average Virginians do not have particularily unfavorable views of Warner's governorship. I do not need to emphasize this point, as Warner's voice will be utilized in Webb's campaign. To what extent remains to be seen...

If you would like more discussion about young voters, I encourage you (or shamelessly advertise to you) to visit my blog, www.progressyouth.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 23, 2006

Quick Notes

Technical Difficulties:

Update: This site now appears to be fully viewable in Internet Explorer. Please tell me if this is not the case (by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post). If you see the sidebar (the MediaMatters bar, the archived posts, etc.) at the bottom of the page, please tell me. If the text is too small or too large, please tell me. Also include what browser you are using, "text size" (if applicable), and screen resolution. I would be very appreciative of any responses to this ongoing problem, if it is indeed still a problem.

Last night, I accidentally destroyed the whole template while messing around with the HTML. Rather than seeing this as the glass half empty, I decided to go with a new, more eyecatching template and redo the sidebar, graphics, etc. Tell me what you think by commenting below. Please do not be afraid to tell me what I should change.

Because of the new template, I am no longer having problems with Internet Explorer. This site should now be correctly viewable in all browsers. Please comment below if it isn't.

In case you are worried this might happen again, I have saved a copy of the template-HTML in Notepad.

Update: Still having technical difficulties. Trying to shrink text in the sidebar so it will actually fit in the sidebar.

New Author Coming Soon!:

...Stay tuned!

First Diary Post at DailyKos:

My diary is up at DailyKos! http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/23/165239/330

Webb Campaign Rolling Again!


Two days ago, I received a call by a senior Jim Webb for Senate volunteer asking me to clarify some answers I had hastily put down on a campaign volunteer form. It was encouraging, a week after the primary. We're on the move!

Today I recieved the following e-mail:

Parade and Show Your Support for Jim Webb!

When: July 4th

Where: Downtown Fairfax City

Meeting Place: Behind the Massey Building **

Time: 6 am to help with the float and balloons


Time: 10 am to join the parade

We need lots of volunteers to parade, cheer, wave flags, give out balloons, and in general have a really good time while showing your support for Jim Webb. We will march behind the Fairfax City Democratic Committee float. This is a fun activity for all ages, so bring family and friends and join in.

Please RSVP to: [Don’t want to post another person’s information on the internet, contact me at progressyouth.gmail.com]

** Detailed directions to parade site and float building site to follow



I encourage all of you to volunteer to defeat George Allen!

In case you have not heard of my involvement in the Webb campaign, check out my biography post


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Welcome to the Peoples' Republic of Kentucky"

...Kudos to the young lady for ruining the photo-op.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at one of the scummiest politicians in America, Gov. Fletcher of Kentucky. (He's the big one who's not wearing shorts.)

It's bad enough that Fletcher has been indicted by three separate grand juries for firing protected state employees and putting lobbyists and Republican cronies in their places, but Fletcher has upped the scum-factor to an unconstitutional level.

The Republican governor has blocked several high-profile, left-wing blogs on all state-employee computers. NOT right-wing blogs, just left-wing blogs.

Here is a list of some of the blogs blocked on Kentucky state computers:

Originally, probably in an effort to make Fletcher's crackdown on First-Amendment Rights to look slightly legal, the administration had blocked some conservative blogs. Today, according to Bluegrass Report, this policy was reversed to allow state employees to view the regressive Bluegrass Policy Blog. Moreover, other conservative blogs and sites such as Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, or Hot Air, (just to name a few) were never blocked.

This site will heavily criticize agendas designed to impede free speech on the internet, as this is the main information medium for the youth of America. One issue that I promise to discuss soon is Net Neutrality, which must be preserved.

Gov. Fletcher appears to be losing his reelection race according to Bluegrass Report, which says, "a new statewide poll commissioned by the Republican Party shows that a 2007 contest for governor between our indicted Governor Fletcher (R) and Rep. Ben Chandler (D) is a blow-out:

Chandler (D) -- 55%
Fletcher (R) -- 28%"

...There maybe sunshine after the storm.

More Information on "The Great Kentucky Blog Banning:"

Bluegrass Report (best coverage of this)
"Political Blogs Off-Limits for State Workers" - Kentucky Courier-Journal

More Information on The Fletcher Proceedings:

"Fletcher Legal Fund Ruling Sought" - Kentucky Courier-Journal (Clink links on right for past coverage)

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Crazy Like a Moron"

Firstly, I would point out why this is a bad ad for any demographic, but that has been done for me by Josh Marshall, his reader "JH," and his blog - one which I discovered last night- Talking Points Memo. First, click the image to the left to see the ad, and then check out the blog entry here.

...But this is a particularly bad ad to market to young people. Keep in mind, this is not a TV ad, this was on the internet. I don't think I would raise any objections by saying that the average age of people who see political ads on the internet, indeed people who actually use the internet, are younger than people who do so on TV.

And this is a problem, as young voters will not respond well to this ad. Why? Weicker is a bygone. Weicker hasn't served in office since 1995, when some voters were as young as 11. Moreover, Weicker served as governor during an administration in which more Americans had confidence in their government and in their future. I would also like to speak on behalf of 18 year-old people everywhere in saying that this ad creeps me out. This comes off as a very negative attack from an incumbent, someone who shouldn't be stooping down to this level. This phenomenom is exacerbated in the minds of young people by the fact that Lieberman is an authority figure. I would suggest that because young peoples' minds are less "institutionalized," they are less affected by the power of authority figures. Cartoonish advertising would aggravate (as in the antonym of "extenuate") this effect.

This is not merely off-the-mark advertising for the Lieberman campaign, several blogs more widely renowned and respected than this one such as TPM and DailyKos have said that this ad will backfire. Go now and see why:

DailyKos
Talking Points Memo

More Information:

Hartford Courant: "Lamont Tagged by 'Bear' Spot"

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Introductory Diary Post on DailyKos

As soon as the one week waiting period passes, and I am able to post diaries on DailyKos, this will be my first diary entry. I will label it a crosspost now to save time. I would also like to say that it is 2 in the morning and I just finished writing this, so this will be edited several times during the week...

Crossposted from DailyKos.com:

Hello, my name is progressyouth. The subject of my diary entries and the theme of my blog, “Progress, Youth” (www.progressyouth.blogspot.com) are issues that concern young people and issues that are of concern to young people. My expertise in this area comes mainly from the fact that I am 18 years old. Unlike the majority of people my age (or at least my perception of the majority), I vote, I am politically active, and I care what happens 10 miles North of me in Washington.

Voter apathy among young people is one of the more serious problems facing American democracy, especially the left wing. Many argue that the lack of voter participation among young people is an expression of their willingness to accept any group that gains political power. Perhaps the rest of the young feels that all politicians are the same, or that they will all act on our behalf. This, as demonstrated time and time again especially by the more conservative members of government, is simply not the case.

A few days ago, I sent an e-mail to a fellow Webb volunteer who blogs under the pseudonym of TeacherKen. He responded with a lengthy, thoughtful, and interesting response to my questions, which he posted on DailyKos as his dairy entry for the week. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/15/9831/07251). This provoked a thought-provoking discussion which is the core theme of my blog. A more lengthy discussion of this topic will be available on my blog, but here is my short response:

It is a misconception that young people do not care. Like most voters, young people care about the things that they perceive to affect their lives. Issues such as social security and tax reform are irrelevant to them because they are healthy, and for the most part they do not have a greatly taxable amount of money. Thus, young people are blissfully unaware of their own peril when it comes to the issue of the budget deficit and the impending destruction of social security system. Young people live fast; the future is of no importance.

Other issues such as global warming and NSA wire-tapping are unimportant to young voters for the same reason they are unimportant to the majority of voters: The results of these phenomena are not tangible, they require complex thinking. Even though I believe most people are capable of this, it does not strike the potential voter with enough fear.

So, how do you reach young voters?

1. Campaign on the issues that young voters experience on a daily basis. The best one: Education. Rep. Pelosi in the Democratic Weekly Radio Address this week announced the Democratic Party’s intent to lower rates on student loans. The Democratic Party now needs to advertise this message to the college-aged demographic.

2. Make Clear to Young Voters the Extent to which the Leaders in Washington are Destroying America for the Next Generation. When my generation reaches maturity, we will wake up to find a big mess, to say the least. Social security will be on its way into bankruptcy or already there, an inconceivable budget deficit will leave our government in huge debt to other nations and entities, and rising global temperatures will threaten the human species like no other challenge in recorded history. These problems are fixable! And they are fixable right now! But they will not be fixed with this conservative Congress, which provides lavish lifestyles for its rich constituents at my expense.

Republicans would say that my approach to young voter apathy is fear-mongering. To this I say that it’s about time people my age became afraid, as budget deficits threaten the future wellbeing of the economy and the American government with inexpressible magnitude and global warming has this Earth spiraling headlong towards unprecedented global catastrophe. Youthful intervention is this nation’s, indeed this world’s, only salvation.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Santorum Doesn't Understand Foreign Policy, His Constituents

An amendment proposed by Sen. Santorum (R-PA) to the Department of Defense Authorization Bill was killed in the Senate yesterday in glorious fashion. The execution was lead by Sen. Biden (D-DE) and Sen. Hagel (R-NE), who proposed a counter-amendment supporting the executive branch’s diplomatic efforts.

Santorum’s amendment called for the appropriation of $100-million dollars for pro-democracy efforts in Iran. The US has joined forces with the EU, Russia, and China in diplomatic efforts to disarm Iran’s developing nuclear program. Santorum’s amendment would have undermined these efforts by providing Iran with $100-million in aid even in the case of non-compliance with the US, EU, Russia, China, and other involved nations. In lieu of Santorum’s amendment, the Senate passed the Biden-Hagel Amendment “which included a call for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing” (Reuters) by a vote of 99-0. (Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) was the only abstainer. He is on medical leave.)

Before submitting his own amendment, Sen. Biden had called Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice to ask for her opinion, and was told that she and the rest of the State Department also opposed the Santorum Amendment.

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the Santorum Amendment was the potential rift that would have been ripped between the US and its allies in the negotiations. Biden commented: "The Santorum amendment would have limited the president's flexibility in those crucial negotiations and caused a rift with our allies at the very time we need their support. The end result would have been to isolate ourselves, not Iran, and make success in stopping Tehran's nuclear weapons program less likely.”

Santorum’s foreign policy record is a treasure trove for Treasurer Bob Casey, who will take Santorum’s seat in the Senate come November. He currently leads Santorum by 23 points according to Rasmussen Reports, who labels Santorum America’s “Most Vulnerable Incumbent.”

More Information:

Biden's Press Release

Reuters

Friday, June 16, 2006

E-Mail Correspondence with TeacherKen Posted on DailyKos

An e-mail correspondence that I had with fellow Webb volunteer and educational blogger TeacherKen has been posted on the popular leftist blog DailyKos.com. For those of you who do not know about TeacherKen, I suggest you check out his personal blog: http://teacherken.blogspot.com.

This is the correspondence that lead me to start this blog. I asked TeacherKen the questions that I am attempting to answer with my explorations in this blog. Though he is not a member of my demographic, TeacherKen is a high school teacher (one of the classes he teaches is AP US Government) and works with people my age on a daily basis.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/15/9831/07251

AutoBio: progressyouth

Due to concerns about my privacy, I will not reveal my real identity. I was born in downtown Washington DC 18 years ago, and grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs. For the last four years, I attended Sidwell Friends School, in Northwest DC. Next year, I will attend Wheaton College in Massachusetts ; I plan to major in Political Science.

I describe my political views as liberal, though some might consider me more of a libertarian. Some of the issues I feel particularly strongly about are legislative and voting reform, environmental reform, gay marriage (I support gay marriage), and abortion (I am pro-choice). I am an atheist of Jewish ancestry who supports Israel.

I come from a Washington family: Most of the members of my immediate and many members of my extended family are current or former lobbyists, advisors, or government employees. However, I will not reveal which organizations they worked for or work for due to my privacy concerns.

My only current political activity is my involvement with the Jim Webb for US Senate campaign. I worked the phone bank during the Democratic Primary (wherein Webb ran against longtime Democrat Harris Miller in one of the most confusing turnouts to happen in politics this year). I have been told that my support will be needed in the coming months, and I look forward to helping defeat George Allen (R-VA). At Sidwell, I was a member of the Debate Team in the Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensics League (WACFL).

I plan to have other young voters post on this blog, so stay tuned!

Update: I am once again a phone bank volunteer for the Webb campaign.

What is Progress, Youth?

I hope that this blog will be useful to everyone who votes. The purpose of this blog is to achieve the following:

1. The presentation of opinions and information on issues that are of concern to young people and issues we should be more concerned about.

2. The presentation of opinions on present local, national, and global affairs in a way that offers insight into the psyche of young adults for the sake of everyone else.

3. An investigation of the specific issues surrounding young voter apathy and low voter
registration among young, potential voters.

4. Random musings into politics.

For you politicos and people who are interested in how young people think, I encourage you to use me as a lab rat. Ask me questions to test my response. See how us young voters think!

For young voters, I hope that I will help provide you with vision beyond the nonsense spun by the pundits and politicians by keeping myself extraordinarily informed on present issues. Obviously, at the ripe old age of 18, I do not claim to have any expertise beyond what I will state in my autobiography (next post), so take my opinion with a grain of salt, check all my sources and facts before making up your mind.

And thus, I begin…