Help Us Help Ourselves

Via Amp, Lauren at Faux Real has had a great idea, and is looking for input and help:

This compilation of how-tos, written by you and me, aims to help people with little in the way of resources and expertise get through unfortunate situations relating to money, finances, and bureaucracy.
It will be an open-source document, likely a Word doc wiki?, that can be edited and added to as the contributors see fit. Not only do I want it to include our stories, but I want it to include details, specifics, the steps in the process, what one can expect, what hurdles one may come against, and suggestions for how to get around them. This should be a pragmatic resource that takes a person in need through all the steps and details of the situation at hand. If you know of websites or other resources that include excellent step-by-step instructions, send them along as well. […]
This thought came to me while reading through the comments on my posts bitching about my lack of insurance and inability to deal with student loans. People were all too willing to share advice that I have actually put into motion. I’m a person with few monetary resources, but women I barely know approach me to ask about legal custody issues and sexual health issues all the time — and I love to share. Wouldn’t it be great if we could offer this kind of help to one another, and to people outside of the blogosphere?

I think a wiki is the perfect format, and a regular blog carnival is the ideal way to keep the resource growing. Lauren is calling now for posts for the first HUHO blog carnival; trackback to the linked post or email Lauren by Tuesday Nov 27.
(Special note: JD, I think you could contribute a lot of content to this.)

The Devil Lindsay went down to Georgia Virginia

Webb rally.jpgThis is it, folks. Time to find out whether the US is going to be a fascist shithole for the next 50 years, or start to claw its way out of the pit of horrors that BushCo has dug for us. Election time.
You don’t need me to tell you how to vote, or why. If you vote for a Republican, any Republican, even one of the few remaining decent ones, in this election, then you are a moral midget and an idiot and I hope you get chiggers. Genital chiggers.
That said, there is something I would like to suggest. Lindsay Beyerstein is blogging the Jim Webb/George Allen race live from Virginia, and could use a few clams to defray expenses (like, you know, food). Trust me, she’s earning it:

This rally was the most exhausting photo assignment I’ve ever done. The cab got lost, so I ended up being on time instead of early. So there was literally no room on the riser. The place was so packed that if I didn’t make it onto that riser, I wasn’t even going to see the stage, much less photograph it. So, I took up a place on the stairs, but the media people just started yelling, “Hey, you, get off the stairs!” (I had credentials, they just had a rule about people being on the stairs of the rise.) There was nowhere else to go, so I had to force my way onto the platform with all the big TV cameras. This was a small platform about fifteen feet off the ground and nobody was giving an inch.
I had to put my gear down, but there was only about three inches between my bag and the back edge of the platform.
Then my camera battery cut out for no reason. I had a backup charged and ready to go, but when I say there was no room, there was literally none. I couldn’t reach over to grab the battery out of my bag. Local TV news cameramen were screaming at me–Not at the white guys in suits who were pushing me, or ordering me to move over so they could stand in the non-existent empty space on my right, though. (“Let me just squeeze past you, hon…”)
Luckily, I had a backup camera. Unfortunately, there was no room to change the lens, either.
I shot the whole thing standing on one foot because I couldn’t figure out where to put the other one without knocking my bag off the podium or incurring the very vocal wrath of Mr. Local News.

I’ve previously suggested supporting Glenn Greenwald, and now I suggest sending your spare change (or more!) Lindsay’s way for the same reasons. The web, by way of truly professional-class writers and reporters like Glenn and Lindsay, is very likely our Last Best Hope for an effective media, transparency in government, community involvement in a real representative democracy, and all those good things. Schlubs like me won’t do it — I have a day job. What we need, and I mean need, is people like Lindsay who can deliver professional independent journalism. The web makes this possible, but it won’t work in practice unless we who value it are willing to pay for it.
Holding your nose and voting Democrat in this election is essential, but it’s emergency care — a stopgap, treating the symptoms but not the underlying causes. Lindsay is right there with the bandages and the cardio paddles, but she and other independent reporters like her are — if we pony up! — also going to be around in the long term, treating the disease, actually curing what ails the Republic.
So if you don’t have extra, spend what you can to get rid of BushCo. If you do have extra, now or at any later time, consider supporting online independent journalism so that We-The-People, by way of people like Lindsay, can hold the bastards’ feet to the fire.
(Update: The picture is, of course, one of Lindsay’s.)