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I have to say, this particular presidential campaign of the young senator from

Illinois, is impressing me more and more each day!

Speaking to members of the Wake Up Wal-Mart campaign group, Obama said: "You gotta
pay your workers enough that they can actually not only shop at Wal-Mart, but
ultimately send their kids to college and save for retirement."

And speaking to health care advocate group...Families Care...Obama said:

"The days of using the war on terror as a political football are over...It is time
to give Iraqis their country back, and it is time to refocus America's efforts on
the wider struggle yet to be won." According to his speech, Obama also called for
a phased withdrawal of American troops starting in 2007, and an opening of
diplomatic dialogue with Iraq's neighbors, Syria and Iran.

More than a week before Barack Obama announced his candidacy in Springfield,
Illinois, 3,500 students--many of whom had driven for hours from out of state--
packed into George Mason University's Johnson Center in Fairfax, Virginia,
brimming with idealism. As the Senator took the stage to address the frenetic
young crowd, he was visibly taken aback.

Obama has been podcasting from the Senate since late 2005 and is responding to the
people through web-based grass roots groups who happen to agree that our future
lies in "our" hands and we all know the basics here; it's number crunching time
again. What really impresses me about this campaign is the way in which the it is
organized through the use of Internet communities.

Internet Politics are here to stay, at least all of us should understand this
truth. Yes, it is brand spankin' new, and as a matter of fact, wikipedia needs
some writers for their entry of Electronic Politics. Perhaps some of us here
should explain to the people exactly how electronic politics are playing a vital
role in the rising wave, and which direction will this type of politics travel?
Will it's growing power be controlled by the "media elite" or will grassroots
communities begin to force accountability and transparency as the standard...and
transfer power from the hands of the few into the will of the people...the
majority?

Internet Activism is without a doubt the best opportunity for the people...and to
deny this fact is deny your very future...what a tool it is. As individuals, we
are armed with a seemingly endless supply of cyber tools at our disposal.

Internet activism (also known as electronic advocacy, cyberactivism, and


online organizing) is the use of communication technologies such as e-mail, web
sites, and podcasts to enable faster communications by citizen movements and
deliver a message to a large audience. These Internet technologies are used for
cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, community building, and
organizing.

And as we build links and expand and embrace other communities, our strength to
"change what needs to be changed" builds as well. And it's this growing sense of
community that bonds us together. It is in essence, your neighborhood. Here are
two definitions of sense of community from wikipedia.
For Sarason, Psychological Sense of Community is �the perception of similarity
to others, an acknowledged interdependence with others, a willingness to maintain
this interdependence by giving to or doing for others what one expects from them,
and the feeling that one is part of a larger dependable and stable structure�
(1974, p. 157).

McMillan & Chavis (1986) define Sense of Community as �a feeling that members
have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group,
and a shared faith that members� needs will be met through their commitment to be
together.�

I'm keeping my eyes and ears open to this young Senator's campaign...definitely a
social experiment in social computing. And it seems our youth also is being active
and participation levels are sky rocketing. In my personal opinion, when we begin
to witness unrest among the youth of our countries... change is in the air. The
wind of change is blowing once again and after all...the answers have always been
blowin' in the wind!

There have been 27 universities participating in social protests throughout the


nation, including Columbia, U C L A, U C Davis, Berkeley, and UCSB. In the article
entitled, The Pulse of the Youth the author writes:

Protestors sat on the pavement of Highway 217 and listened to speakers address
the group with words of encouragement, news of other opportunities for political
activism and the like.

�I wasn�t planning on coming today. I was on the bus,� said Dos Pueblos High
School student Adam Rothman, referencing a public transit vehicle which was
attempting to drive past the protest. The traffic had been completely stopped from
circling the roundabout by the march of the people. The crowd met this
identification with cheers.

Other speakers spoke about the protest being sadly uncharacteristic of the crop of
young adults.

�Our generation is the one that will be remembered for i Pods and ignorance,� said
a speaker. �We�re the generation that is willing to get arrested for public
intoxication on the weekend on [Del Playa Drive] and not in a protest for civil
disobedience.�

Jeronimo Saldana, a member of UCSB�s Associated Students Legislative Council who


took part in the protest, praised the crowd for coming as far as they had. �We
shut down the university as of now. We�re showing our solidarity,� he said...
�This is beautiful. Let�s keep this going on.�

This is our future and it's this shift in powers that we as concerned citizens and
families should embrace and engage in my humble opinion at least. The shift is
inevitable and we can expect to get no more out of it than we are willing to put
into it. This is the opportunity to lay the foundation blocks of our future. The
way I see it, it's two choices and it's not rocket science...either help build it
or continue to let "somebody else" build it! If you don't have the time left to
help build it, and are willing to accept what comes down the pike, don't be
surprised to one day find you no longer have the freedom to actively participate
in your own future!

But take note, if you make the choice to help build it, this will definitely
require a "time payment" or your part. You will have to sacrifice some alotted
time in your daily life and redirect energy toward more...reading, researching,
discussing, comparing, and writing. It boils down to active participation and
there are many here that are already concerned enough in our future that they are
willing to do anything to help. It's the dreamers who always chart new paths.
These dreamers have faith in creating a society that is built on justice and
participatory democracy. It's getting late...do you know where your Senator is?