Today at the Port

So far it's been pretty relaxed, a shipment is supposedly coming in a little later. I expect it to pick up after that. People seem pretty undeterred by the rain. I went down to B&B, which is on the same street as the port, and where the majority of the folks are gathered. Saw about 20 people there and more were spread out along the road all the way to Plum St. Oh yeah, a woman from B&B came out and offered us all coffee. That is an example of how one can support a cause even with a busy schedule or business to run or if protesting is not your thing yet you are against war. You can be creative in how you show support, the only limit is your imagination. Well, I'm warmed up enough now, I'm going to head back out. More later.

Official English?

Through the current national discussion on immigration policy, we seem to have slipped sideways into a conversation about language policy. Indeed, many people think that making English the official language of the U.S. is a good idea. One only need look as far as the Olympian to see evidence of this. They have a poll up right now that asks the question: "Should Congress make English the Official Language of the United States?" The current "yes" total is 81%.

If Congress is considering passing legislation about something, one might assume that it is a serious problem, right? There must me too many people who don't speak English for our goverment to consider taking such action, wouldn't you think. Actually, when you look at the numbers, it just doesn't fit the picture. According the 2000 census:

  • There are 215,423,557 speakers of English in the U.S.
  • There are 46,951,595 speakers of languages other than English.
  • The largest minority language is Spanish at roughly 26 million speakers (11% of the total population). No other minority language reaches 1%.
  • Of those approx. 47 million people who speak languages other than English, 77% report that they speak English "well" or "very well."
  • This means that 96% of the population of the U.S. speaks English "well" or better.

Now, maybe the Congress will start making laws that the sun will rise tomorrow, but I think it would be just about as useful as a law to make English the Official Language of the U.S., because that is already the case. In fact, there are strong incentives for people to learn English, usually having to do with getting a job. Nothing the Congress can do (with respect to language policy) will affect this phenomenon.

So this begs the question: what is the "Official English" movement all about? It seems to me that if Congress passed such a law, we'd see local communities using it to provide justification for stopping services for people who don't speak English. Now, communities can do whatever they want with their money, but maybe the public debate about allocation of resources would be different if they just honestly said: "We don't want to pay to help minorities in our town (city, county, or state)", instead of using language as an excuse. If the Olympian were to ask the question: "Should we stop paying for services to help minorities?", I think the response would not be 81% "yes."

Newpaper articles may include links to blogs

From SEO by the SEA:

Does the future of newspapers mean that when you blog about a story appearing in your local paper, a snippet from your blog post could appear next to the story, with a link to it on the pages of the paper? Is this where citizen journalism will lead?

Maybe, and it could possibly happen fairly soon.

What might this mean to bloggers? One benefit they may see are new readers, and perhaps many visitors who really haven't seen a blog before.

Technorati and Associated Press Teaming Up

An announcement on the Techorati Blog points to a joining of forces between Technorati and the Associated Press (AP) to bring access to blog posts about Associated Press stories to readers of more than 440 newspapers in the United States.

That's supercool.

Better publicity needed

I just registered for the purpose of posting this as a comment in the most recent entry I could find here about the recent Stryker protests. Figured I'd post it as an article as well, just in case it manages to catch more eyes. Here goes:

 

First, I'm really pleased to see such acts of resistance to the war crimes being carried out by the government in my name. However, I feel compelled to offer a little constructive criticism.

The recent actions could have been much more successful had more people participated in them. I'm in Seattle and heard nothing about them locally until the news on NPR this morning. Had I known, I would have been eager to make arrangements to be down in Olympia on Tuesday and/or Wednesday.

Upon checking both Portland and Seattle indymedia, I noticed a single article on the Portland site with a very brief description of the upcoming actions and no contact information or further details.

Consider getting the word out better next time. Thanks.

Technical difficulties

Something funky is going on with our host (Bryght). We seem to have lost some functions (comments, private messages). I'm looking into it.


Update: OK. Comments seem to be working, but private messaging is still on the blink. Anything else not working?

Second Update: Everything seems to be working again. Blog as you were.

Fear the Dark Lord

Check out Danzio's first blog post

Blogging Hacks, Tricks, and Treats

When I first started blogging here I had never even touched any html and I honestly was intimidated by it. But I really wanted my posts to look right, so I doggedly persisted, and I appreciate Rick's patience during that process. 

Html cheat sheets  were a start, I could figure out some things from them, there are many variations of these online. But I still didn't even really get what I was doing, I did not understand, everything was mystery land for me for quite awhile. Would doing x help format my text or would it blow up the blog? These were my concerns.

Dogged peristence and lots of poking at things got me the next step or two along. What really helped was and is using Firefox as my browser and Xinha Here! as my text editor. Once Xinha Here! is set up, you then can right click where you want to post and choose from the context menu how you want Xinha to appear, I use it as a bottom bar to work from. It helps me set up links, images, font changes, etc. Once I like what I see, I press Apply and all my work plus the raw HTML is pushed back into the destination text box. I may fuss with it a little there, preview, then once I'm done I then publish to OlyBlog.

Welcome historymike!

Lots of new folks have joined in recently, welcome to you all. I've not had time to entirely catch up yet, especially with all the news being made lately in our fair town. Our downtown is practically a war zone of military convoys, protesters, Homeland Security, Coast Guard, police, reporters, and all manner of participants.

One name I do recognize and want to specially welcome is HistoryMike, I first found his blog while doing some initial research on the National Socialist Movement. His blog is about much more than those boys, he covers quite a bit of ground and it is all intriguing stuff. Michael Brooks, a Midwestern "writer who travels between journalism, academic writing, and iconclastic rumination". His blog is worth following. Plus now we can also compare notes about the boys in brownshirts who want to take over Olympia.

Welcome HistoryMike and everyone else new to our local blog.

Teachers Walk Downtown

At 4 o'clock Wednesday teachers from Olympia's public schools marched up Legion from Sylvester Park to the Knox Administration Building, Olympia School District's Headquarters.

There they dropped notes into a ballot box saying they were teachers and supported the ongoing effort to bring a fair working contract to teachers in Olympia.

They are trying to get compensation for all the overtime that they work, the average teacher spends at least two hours of their own time preparing for their classes that they don't get paid for.

They have only had a .5% increase in pay since 2000.

Over 200 teachers and supporters made the walk.

Joahna Vaughn who works at Olympia high said, "I've been in the district twenty years and I can't recall this ever happening."

As the teachers approached the Knox Administration Building, children waved to them from the doorway. Their goal was to bring attention to teachers in Olympia and to let people know that they were sticking to the objective. To make Olympia a world class school district.

Shine a little light

My goal is to shine a light on Neo-Nazis, specifically on their ongoing harassment campaign against myself and quite a few other people. The hit page text is archived here thanks to Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, so we don't have to wade through all the images of Hitler. Other names have been added since. We the targets are in about the fourth month of this rather novel experience.

We've been visited by odd phone calls and even odder emails. Because the hate mail I've gotten is not for family viewing, I posted on my other blog the details.

The National Socialist Movement doesn't like our blogs. They don't like our articles. Jim Ramm doesn't like me to use the word "database". They don't like our newspapers. They don't like that we have meetings or where we have meetings. They don't like Viking Fest. They don't like that statue of Lenin in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle. They don't like the granite steps of the capitol because it makes it hard to tape good audio. They don't like us, though they haven't met all of us. So........here is the question...........what DO they like?

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