Finkbeiner finally flips

It looks like we might get a meaningful civil rights bill through the senate this year. From

Finkbeiner joined fellow Republicans and two Democrats in opposing the bill, leading to its 25-24 defeat after passing by a large margin in the House. On Monday, however, he reversed his stance, giving civil rights advocates new hope for the bill's passage.

"I've had a number of conversations over the past year that have led me to more fully understand the level of discrimination against gays and lesbians, and I now find it is both appropriate and necessary for the state to make it clear that this is not acceptable," Finkbeiner said in a written statement.

There has long been broad bipartisan support in the House for a statewide antidiscrimination bill. Washington's Senate, however, has been bitterly divided, and observers see Finkbeiner as the key link to break Republican opposition to the bill.

Whether more Republicans follow suit is unclear, but Democrats say Finkbeiner's reversal locks in the minimum 25 votes to ensure passage. If the bill makes it out of committee this week, a vote could come as early as Jan. 20.

Given the long and tortuous road to a statewide antidiscrimination law -- a bill in one form or another has been delayed or defeated for 30 years -- gay rights advocates are waiting until the vote is final before celebrating.

You can read more about it here.

Check those closets

From the Olympian:

Whether it’s a clarinet that lost its appeal after six months of squeaking, or a trombone that was faithfully toted to class each day until high school graduation, used band instruments can be spared a life sentence of storage thanks to at least one South Sound nonprofit organization.


Each fall, the instruments are given to schools that have high numbers of children who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, which is an indicator of poverty. Then individual band and orchestra programs loan the instruments to students who can’t afford to buy or rent an instrument of their own.

“Those are the kids that need that instrument,

Republicans are our Friends

When was the last time you hugged your local Republican? It's never too late. The hour is now; time is nothing. Categories are nothing. Life is flesh. Love is cells. Republicans are as innocent as anybody else. It's not about red versus blue. It's about east and west uniting for the common cause of indiscriminate love and sharing. Sharing stories. Sharing hugs. Sharing middle names. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Rubber Sidewalk: 6th & Cushing SW

Rick posted earlier on rubber sidewalks and there is now one ready for inspection on 6th and Cushing SW, westside Oly.

The sidewalks are under two large trees that survived the ice storm of winter 96-97. So the placement is appropriate, will be interesting to see how the rubber panels respond to the tree roots over time.

My honest first impression? I don't like rubber sidewalks. But eventually probably I'll get used to them. They don't feel right, they are sort of spongy and strange. They aren't quite like rubber used for playgrounds, less give to them. But there is a big transition from walking on cement to rubber. And possibly I'd like the rubber sidewalk better if all the sidewalks were rubber, to have just a patch of rubber amidst cement doesn't seem to work.

I am curious about how animals will react, anyone have a dog out there that they can walk across the sidewalk and see how it responds? I can easily imagine a dog refusing to walk on it, or deciding that the sidewalk needs to be properly marked. Which might make the now light colored surface take on a yellowish tone.

Please make it stop!

I'm starting to grow webbing between my toes. From the Olympian:

It has rained every day in Thurston County since Dec. 16, and it could be several more days before that streak is broken, according to the National Weather Service.

“We're just in this pattern where we keep getting one right after another,


peace is not that great because we would not use guns and guns are gods penis

Evergroove trivia, pt. 100: the final installment

It is May, 1979. I'm less than a month away from graduating. While visiting with faculty member Margaret Gribskov, she asks me, "So what are you going to do after you get that degree?"

It was the first time in my entire Evergreen career anyone had ever posed that question.

Evergroove trivia, pt. 99

I'm sure I'm not the only 1970s TESC grad to be asked this question over and over: "Did you know Matt Groaning?" No. But I knew a great guy named Matt Groening (rhymes with "raining"). Here is my collage of Matt memories ...

--He was one of the very first people I met at TESC after I enrolled. We were neighbors in A Dorm. Before I met him, I noticed the stairway walls were covered with variations on the "happy face" icon (e.g. Thalidomide Happy Face) and I soon discovered the author of this grafitti was Matt. Right away we established that we were both life-long cartoonists with many of the same influences. However, he had one up on me. He was the son of a cartoonist, named Homer Groening.

More on the flip...

Evergroove trivia, pt. 98

Bits of memory quilted together regarding Lynda Barry:

--We met in fall quarter 1974. Lynda's original goal was to be an art teacher.

--Once, when walking from the dorms to main campus, she spied a dadaist approaching us. Lynda grabbed me and forced us to hide behind a corner. "That man hates everything beautiful about art!" she spat.

--She had some sort of weird power over Matt Groening when he was CPJ editor. Once I witnessed her making a grand entrance into the paper's office and ordering Matt, "I want my picture on the cover of this issue!" And by God, he did it. I swear her photo was in every other issue of that era.

More on the flip...

Debriefing the NW Blogger's Conference

One of the real pleasures of attending the blogger's conference over the weekend was sitting next to Dave Neiwert, and learning about his blog, Orcinus (pronounced orSInus). It was my duty, and distinct honor, to introduce Dave at the conference, and I am equally pleased to be able to introduce him to Olybloggers. Dave's background is in newspaper reporting, and he also worked at MSNBC. More recently, he is the author of several books, including his most recent, Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community. His calling, it appears, is to expose, examine, and repudiate right-wing extremism in its several forms. His writing is clear, well-thought out, and effective. For example, he encapsulates an argument about what is wrong with the MSM in the following exerpt from a recent post (discussing comments of a journalist from the Boston Globe named Young):

For the bulk of my journalistic career, I probably saw the world in terms similar to Young's: the left and right, both for their virtues and their flaws, tended to balance each other out. For every bit of ugliness on the right, you could often find a counterpart on the left. This leaves those of us in the middle to balance things out. I think this view dominated in most of the newsrooms where I worked as well.

But I also studied logic and ethics back in the day (philosophy was a second major) and after awhile came to see that what many of us were doing in "balancing" our stories was in fact the antithesis of seeking out the truth, which is what journalism is supposed to be about. Specifically, many of us -- not just journalists -- were indulging in a classic logical fallacy, namely, the "false middle," or the argumentum ad temperantiam: "If two groups are locked in argument, one maintaining that 2+2=4, and the other claiming that 2+2=6, sure enough, an Englishman will walk in and settle on 2+2=5, denouncing both groups as extremists."

I don't know if the balance that I used to see ever existed. But in the 1990s, when it became clear that a lot of people on the right were declaring that 2+2=6, and a lot of people in the media were reporting their claims without batting an eye, any balance I had seen before began to vanish -- and it has not returned.

For Young to suggest that the vicious rhetoric that sprung from the right during those years had any kind of counterpart on the left is simply absurd. While we were being regularly regaled with Vince Foster and Mena Airport and Black Love Child conspiracy theories from mainstream right-wing pundits ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Rush Limbaugh to Fox News, as well as assassination talk from the likes of Ann Coulter, there simply was no counterpart for this kind of talk on the left during those years. The left, indeed, remained remarkably subdued during the Clinton years, except for those more liberal than Clinton who criticized him for being too conservative.

I kick myself for not having found my way to his blog before now, and I hope that Olybloggers will click their way over and check it out; it is well worth the effort.

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