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

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?