May Day bike ride -- Critical Mass

Come one come all and celebrate cycling and MAYDAY at the same time as we ride to the rally in Sylvester Park! Where: Meet at Red Square at Evergreen When: Meet up at 2pm Or join us at 2:30 at Harrison and Division! Let's skip work and school and have some fun! Support each other and all people around the world in spirit! Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists' right to the road. Keep rollin`-

Robert Jay Lifton talk, Part I Lessons from Hiroshima, Imagery of Extinction.

We are very fortunate to live in the Olympia area (Marylea and I actually live in a south Oly neighborhood we call Chehalis) because Oly has become a destination stop for some big thinkers, great souls, large vision folks.

Dr. Robert Jay Lifton is the most recent example. Lifton joined the Olympia community on Tuesday night to talk about the superpower syndrome, the topic of his most recent book. But the discussion was much broader than simply a review of the dangers of superpower status. Here are some notes and thoughts I collected as Lifton spoke:

Lifton has made a career of studying the causes and consequences of experiencing human horror. Lifton thanked the crowd for coming out since his presence must raise the question "What new horror will he bring us this time?" Lifton said "When I am in demand to speak, the world is in trouble." And the question raised is "What is the moral path?" How do we as a community regain or restore our collective moral compass. The journey to find a moral compass is mytho-psychosocial journey. A nitty gritty review with a double layer of meaning - a struggle in symbolization of immortality that seeks to make an eternal home for each of us. We are creatures of history, we are survivors. Like the survivors of the Hiroshima bombing, or the experience of combat in Vietnam, or life as a patient or physician in Nazi deathcamps, we are all survivors of our individual experience of human horror.

Lifton said when he was a young man, and relatively inexperienced psychiatrist, he traveled to Japan and by chance took a side trip to Hiroshima and met and spoke with the survivors of the boming of Hiroshima. That experience led Lifton to come to the conclusion that there is a certain law of history which says that the more important a historical event is, the less likely it is to be studied. It's an interesting and perplexing thing, but it ties to his lifelong work in the study of the experience of human horror. Fleeing the experience may be easily understood, but perhaps unwise if there are lessons to be learned from the event and experience.

The history of McClatchy

There is a long piece on the McClatchy Family in The Seattle Times:

Brown McClatchy Maloney of Sequim tells this story to illustrate how far The McClatchy Co., his family's newspaper chain, has come in 40 years:

In the late 1960s, another newspaper family put its Olympia and Bellingham papers up for sale. One of Maloney's older cousins thought McClatchy, whose only daily papers at the time were in Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto, Calif., should at least look into buying them.

He ran the idea past his septuagenarian aunt, who had run the company for more than three decades. Her response?

"If it wasn't in the [Central] Valley, we weren't interested," Maloney says.

Today, McClatchy's horizons extend far beyond the Sierras. On July 1, if all goes as planned, the chain will swallow Knight Ridder and become the nation's second-largest newspaper company, with 32 dailies stretching from Miami to Anchorage.

Among the 20 newspapers it would acquire: The Olympian and The Bellingham Herald.

A Good Place to Release Your Pet Caiman

Back in the old days, a hotel owner named John Wesley Porter (1876-1923) had a going concern in McCleary. He ran the Porter Hotel for the working men in Henry McCleary's mill and door plant. There was a place just shortly north of the door plant known as the Pig Lot. This was where Porter kept his pigs as a source of bacon and ham for his hotel guests.

Oldtimers in McCleary still call the area the Pig Lot. It is now a shallow lake formed by a dam. It covers probably 3 to 5 acres. In the summer it is shallow enough to retain enough heat to support a hungry caiman. Locals have fed the lake with fish, and lots of ducks, geese, and cranes rest there. So a caiman should do OK during the summer months.

It would have to be retrieved by September, since up here in the Coast Range we get pretty cold pretty fast. And you can't get there by motorized vehicle, so be prepared to have several friends help you transport the creature overland on foot.

Of course, if you are a millionaire playboy like Bruce Wayne, or OlyBlog's Master, Rick, you could afford to drop a caiman into the Pig Lot via Black Helicopter. But the rest of us would have to do it the old fashioned way-- manually.

There is a lot of ink devoted to Lewis and Clark's giant Newfoundland dog, Seaman. But how many scholars have really investigated the role of Skippy, the caiman, who accompanied the expedition? By my count, not one.

Someone out there in OlyBlogland needs to rise to the challenge and record the exploits of this brave caiman for the world to see. I am, according to AARP, a senior citizen now, so my opinion no longer counts as I become increasingly invisible as I age. There is a great opportunity for a scholar to devote years of her/his life to this subject.

Insert Nazi President Joke Here

Free Image Hosting at

The Neo Nazi National Socialist Movement has announced that it will run a candidate for Prez 2008. Will it be Jeff Schoep (pronounced Scoop), their commander?

Olympia will most likely get a look at the man when the NSM rallies on the state capitol steps this July 3rd.

(Click pic for larger image)

Muskie! Muskie! Muskie! Muskie!

 I'm sorry. I couldn't help it. The spirit just moved me.

Thurston County Community Action Team Meeting!

This Sunday, April 30th, join fellow health care justice activists at Washington Citizen Action's April Thurston County Community Action Team meeting. At the meeting we will be discussing and developing organizing strategy for:

    * The Campaign to Fix the Part D Disaster – Calling for a simple, guaranteed, and affordable Rx benefit under traditional Medicare
    * The Hospital Debt Justice Campaign – Fighting for fair billing practices at Providence St. Peter Hospital
    * The Secure Health Care Campaign – Organizing for secure, quality, affordable health care for all Washington residents.

Washington Citizen Action is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots organization. With over 50,000 members, we are the largest consumer advocacy group in the state. Our strength as an organization depends on our members' involvement. Our mission is to achieve economic fairness in order to establish a democratic society characterized by social and racial justice, with respect for diversity, and a decent quality of life for those who reside in Washington State.

For more information, carpools & to RSVP, contact us at or 206-389-0050 x108.

Jennifer Harbury to speak at TESC

Jennifer Harbury, the acclaimed human rights lawyer, activist and author will make a free public presentation at The Evergreen State College on May 10, 2005. Ms Harbury’s most recent book is Truth, Torture and the American Way: The History and Consequences of U.S. Involvement in Torture (Beacon Press, 2005).

The community is invited to join Evergreen students, staff and faculty on May 10th from 1:00-3:00pm in Lecture Hall 1 at the Olympia campus. The subject of Harbury’s talk is “Torture and U.S. Foreign Policy: What Can We Do?

Labor Struggles on the Edge: Ports, Borders and Workers in the PNW

The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association conference the Labor Center is hosting on Evergreen’s Olympia campus June 2 – 4 of this year. The conference theme is Labor Struggles on the Edge: Ports, Borders and Workers in the Pacific Northwest.

Here's the details.

Amara Pagano and the Waves Dancers Performance

Amara Pagano and the Waves Dancer will perform a piece during Artswalk in which they explore the human expression of longing. Further they explore how this expresssion relates to what is known & unknown, and the many ways that we experience the known and unknown.

Waves will also have other dance performances throughout the evening starting at 5:45.

Waves invites you to join the community dance beginning at 9:00 pm.

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