Mike's blog

Increased Public Facility Access in Downtown Olympia? Well, maybe... thinking about it...

After a couple of weeks of emailing the Olympia City Council about the need for better public facility access in downtown Olympia, I went to the City Council meeting and asked them face to face to commit a staff person to taking part in meetings to explore the possibilities. I spy public bathrooms I did not get a yes to the staff commitment idea, but I did get a pretty reasonable reception and responses from several council persons.

There seems to be an understanding that more facility access is needed. I was encouraged by the responses. Also, big thank you to Paul for standing up to second my request. I think Paul was persuasive because he spoke from first person perspective of a guy who does not currently have good access to facilities. Paul mentioned that there is limited public facility access after-hours in Oly is at the Transit Center and out at the Marina.

Here is my current thinking on this issue: We need to convene meeting(s) with representatives from the City and from General Administration to talk about the possibility of opening up bathrooms. We need to include the downtown business owners, social service agency reps, and spokespersons from the houseless population to discuss a trial run of expanded bathroom access.

Request to City of Olympia for Public Bathrooms 24/7, Round 2

The City of Olympia responded to my request last month that they include public bathrooms in the Artesian Well improvement and reported they don't have the funds to include public bathrooms at the Artesian Well. That's fine for now. But the national and state economy are putting more people on the streets every day and public bathrooms seem like the least we can do for folks and let it not be said that we did not do the least we could do, right? Last week, I sent a message to the City Council asking them to open the bathrooms at City Hall 24/7 to improve the lot of people living on the street and to reduce the public blight of sidewalks, alleys, doorways, etc, being used as after-hour toilet facilities. I did not get a response last week, so I am renewing my request today. I suggest that those of us who support public bathrooms 24/7 let our voices be heard. I think there is a City Council meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm at City Hall. Here is my email to the City Council:

2012 Elections are Looking Ugly

Not just the candidates or the lack of political will to create public policy to turn the country in the right direction, but the election apparatus itself just got even less respectable. The Brad Blog carried the story recently that the Diebold voting machines can be easily hacked remotely. There seems to be some question as to whether the remote control parts to hack the machines will cost $16 or $26, but either way, the technology for controlling election outcomes is dropping dramatically and it makes a person wonder why the campaigns are collecting and spending so much money. This is money the "job creators" need to turn the country around. 2012 will be an election year when we see unleashed corporate influence in the elections thanks to Citizens United. We will see "new and improved" voter suppression tactics. We have increasing numbers of potential voters who have no "permanent" address other than 100 Street St., State of Economic Misery, Planet Earth. They may have reason to vote for change, but it is not certain that they have reason to believe that change is available at the voting booth, so the building occupation movement may be seen as a truly primary election on the US economy and the rules of the game.

Free Market Follies and Austerity Economics

It's easy to beat up on Keynsian economics in good times, but in a serious economic downturns, keynsian economics are the way up and out. The push and pull between keynsian economics and free market economics represent a scale and reasonable people will understand that both have their place in large-scale economic, real world applications. Wiki Commons courtesy 84user Unregulated free markets give you the mortgage crisis economic collapse. The answer? regulate the free market. Regulation does cut into profits. It also prevents rampant corruption in the free market that can create a long term economic downturn in exchange for short term bonus income. Regulate the free economy. It ain't rocket science. The second tool to create a relatively stable and honest "free" market is a steeply progressive tax schedule that makes short term profit-taking too difficult. It changes the dynamics of corruption, greed, temptation for folks with weak ethical constitutions if they know that the government is going to get the lion's share of their income if they throw out good sense and choose to enrich themselves at the expense of their businesses and the larger economy. Well, that's where we are these days and we are not getting out of the global economic slump without turning to Keynsian economic fixes. They are counter intuitive and they work. The deficits have to increase to get the economy growing again (this would be a good time to spur green economic growth - clean energy? energy independence?

Did we say goodbye?

Can't remember. Take it away, Steve. Bring it, Emmylou. It's hump day.

Media Workshop at People's Movement Assembly on October 29th

I just added an event to the calendar to pick up the PMA on October 29th. I hope someone from Olyblog will take part in the media workshop at 2:35 to talk about how Olyblog fits into the local indy media network.  get in touch with me at mike@smallblueplanet.org to follow up and formalize about that.  Thanks

here is the psa:

Upcoming People's Movement Assembly announcement

-Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace

Lawrence O'Donnel Challenges the Police Use of Force

Thanks to Abby Zimet at Common Dreams for her thoughts about this and for running this video there.

Nice Edit and Video from Wall Street Occupation

There are reports of police assault on the occupation of Wall Street.   The first amendment grants us the right to assemble and speak out.  It's a shame that this country has so little tolerance for first amendment rights. I am reminded of the video I have seen from China when the military was streaming toward Tiananmen Square and the Chinese people flooded into the streets to slow the military, they pleaded with the soldiers to join the protest, to side with the people. The pleas were not heard. It's going to be hard for the protestors who occupy Wall Street to reach the police who are ordered to come in and disperse the crowds, but things change when the shock troops of the empire hear the message that peace, freedom, equality, justice are not always compatible with order.   We have to reach across the lines and ask the police to choose constitutional freedoms over order.

Live Feed from the Wall Street Occupation

It's a live feed, for as long as it lasts or as long as they loop the footage, so the activity and engagement level varies depending on what is going on at any given moment, but thought I would embed the video in case you want to plug in for a minute or two and "be present at this moment" in the Wall Street occupation.

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

I think it's fair to say that the corporate media coverage of this real occupation is very slight, but they will jump and run to cover a tea party event funded by right wing plutocrats. Connect the dots, Kemosabe. Catapult the propaganda.

Request to City of Olympia for Public Bathrooms 24/7

Dear Sirs and Madams: Could the City make arrangements to have the public bathrooms at City Hall open on a 24 hour basis? We have already paid the construction cost, there is pretty good security in that building and there is daily maintenance of the bathrooms. We really need to increase access to public bathrooms in downtown Olympia. This is a win-slanger@ci.olympia.wa.uswin situation.
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