(First in a series) Olympia Movies: Sandcastle Contest

I've been playing around with YouTube the last few weeks on another project, and I starte searching for Olympia movies, and found more than a few. A lot actually. I thought I start sharing my list here.

This first one is of the Sandcastle Contest, and from my memory, I think it is last year's. Enjoy.

Why *do* you shop at Ralphs and Bayview?

I shop at Ralphs often and have for the past 4 years and I see a lot of Coop shoppers there as well. I even run into people on the same pattern as me ... shop at the Coop, then go to Ralphs to get whatever the Coop doesn't have. 

Each time I go in there, I feel shitty about it because I know that a certain percentage of my money spent there will eventually be applied to political activities that  work to deny people's basic civil rights.

But the Stormans are crafty business people. They carry a lot of the same products as the Coop, while also carrying a few critical items that the Coop does not carry - free range beef, chicken and a wide variety of microbrews and wines. 

I know the Coop recently began carrying chicken and that's grand. I wish I could do all my shopping at the Coop because I trust the way the Coop spends my dollars.

But ...

  • I go to Ralphs when I'm in a hurry;
  • when I don't have time to risk something being out of stock at the Coop.
  • I initially began going to Ralphs because for a while it seemed the cash machine at the Coop broke a lot  ... which means a second trip home for the check book. 
  • I go to Ralphs when I need to buy beer or wine; 
  • when I need to buy boneless chicken breasts or free range beef that isn't frozen.
  • to buy sorbet that I don't have to cut with a sharp knife to dish up
  • mail: I can buy stamps, I can post my mail.
Let's face it, Ralphs is damned convenient. Most of the items I get at Ralphs are not easily found at another store.

So, while people are planning a temporary boycott of Ralphs due to their refusal to fill Plan B prescriptions, maybe it's time to consider the broader issue.

Ralphs and Bayview are owned by people who actively support religious politics that are quite contrary to many people's health and happiness.

National Day of Action to Stand Up with Lt. Ehren Watada

Army Officer Lt. Ehren Watada Poised to Refuse Orders to Deploy to Iraq

Stand up with Lt. Ehren Watada

Tuesday June 27th, 4-6pm

Ft. Lewis, exit 119

Olympia carpool 4th / Harrison at 3pm

Support Watada's Courageous Stand

US Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada stands poised to refuse orders to ship to Iraq with his unit at the end of June. Lt.  Watada has publicly stated his belief that the Iraq war is illegal based on US and International law, and that he has an obligation to his unit and his country to refuse to participate. Though the exact date that he will refuse orders is unknown, actions around the country highlighting Lt. Watada’s courageous stand are being planned for Tuesday, June 27th.  These actions will include marches, vigils, protests, nonviolent direct action or civil disobedience in support of his legal and moral refusal, and against the war and occupation of Iraq.

Supporters have planned events across the country in places including  Ft. Lewis, WA, Charlotte, NC, Cleveland, OH, Harrisburg, PA, San Francisco, CA, and Oklahoma City, OK. 

Stay tuned to www.thankyoult.org for more details and an updated list of cities holding support actions.

Local sponsors: Olympia Movement for Justice & Peace and Stand Up Seattle

Download the flyer here.

Profiles are now live

I've just re-activated the ability to access user profiles. This is a convenient way to send a personal message to people, and learn a bit about them (whatever they're willing to put in the profile). Which brings me to my second point: check your profile and make sure you're ok with the information contained there. If not, please edit it to your comfort level. Please also feel free to say something interesting about yourself, if you are so moved.

To view someone's profile, click on the person's name.

Being gay in the military is a mental disorder?

Just found this on the BBC website:

Pentagon gay 'disorder' list row
Protesters in military uniform on a gay rights march
US lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to change a document listing homosexuality as a "mental disorder".

Instruction 1332.38 on disabilities in the US military classes being gay under the same heading as mental retardation, personality disorders and alcoholism.

The link to the article is:

So I'm wondering if you are gay can you qualify as disabled and receive appropriate benefits.  We already know being gay seems to make a person a second class citizen, I was not aware until now that being gay was a mental illness.  Are we back in the old days of WWII where the Red Cross refused to give the blood of white soldiers to black soldier and vice versa?  I am amazed that America has evolved so little since then. 


Press Release on NSM

National Socialist Movement Raises Profile To Become America's Largest Neo-Nazi Group

New York, NY, June 20, 2006

The National Socialist Movement (NSM), a Minneapolis-based hate group known for its Nazi uniforms and open display of explicit Nazi symbols, has outpaced its rivals on the far right in both membership and activity, earning it the dubious distinction of being the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States today, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Read More: Press Release

Enjoy Cob Oven Pizza and support The Olympia Free School

Help support community based learning. Come to the Free School fundraiser this Friday, June 23rd, from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm at Fertile Ground and enjoy all you can eat cob oven pizza and listen to great music for $7.00. Drinks available. Fertile Ground is located at 311 9th Avenue SE, Olympia. Please call the Free School at 352-4165 if you have any questions.

women in I.T. at the Washington State Patrol

So, in today's Olympian, there was this article about some crazy fake party that employees at the Washington State patrol staged 2 years ago. Apparently, all the managers were away, and so as a joke, a bunch of employees videoed themselves snorting flour (fake cocaine) and drinking pop from unmarked cans.

Considering it was the state patrol, surely it was a joke in bad taste (I think it's funny; but maybe I'm missing something)

What disturbed me was this: They've disciplined 5 managers, most of whom were not present at the "party". All five of those managers are women who work in the I.T. Department, which is a rather rare thing ...  I.T. is  very male-dominated and mysogyny is a widely recognized problem in IT culture.

So, my question is ... were they really disciplined because their employees played a joke in bad taste?  The state patrol claims that the women are being disciplined for running a dysfunctional team (good god, we'd lose most of our state managerial workforce if that was a consistently viable reason). 

I suspect however, that the dysfunction was probably a result of having women in positions of power in an extremely male-dominated field and maybe those men they were supervising didn't like it. Pure speculation of course, but it would be consistent with research.

Oh yes, they're replacing the 1 manager placed on long-term leave with a man of course.

Picket and Girl/Boycott of Storman's

Okay Civil-liberty Fans! The people have gathered and the people have started to take ACTION against the Stormans and their right-wing conservative non-compliance with the needs and desires of the people of this community!

Heres the rub:

OlyplanB will be picketing Ralphs on Weds- Fri, June 28th-30th from 5-7pm in the parking lot of Ralphs thriftway. We will have flyers, handbills regarding what Plan-B is, petitions as well as pledge cards! We are asking all of our friends and neighbors to pledge to boycott Ralphs and bayview for the Month of July.

We need: Folks to distribute Flyers, Folks to picket, Folks to GIRL/boycott, sign-makers, button makers, noise makers and change makers to join us in our efforts! We will also be flyering Bayview and Ralphs at noon on those days.

Other actions:
Letters to the editor, Letters to Kevin Stormans, Phone calls to Stormans

Complaint Process:

If you would like information on how to receive a prescription for Plan-B in order to file a legal complaint with the Pharmacy board, please Contact Janet or Keylee at:

olyplanb@hotmail.com or minnaloushe2@gmail.com

Please repost this to your friends list as well as to anyother lists you think might be interested and or enraged!


Bench Warmer

I got into Olympia a bit early to get over the the Brotherhood.  I wandered around downtown sick as a dog.  I'd be ok if I could just find a place to rest.  So I wandered down 4th Ave from the Safeway.  I did manage to find one bench across the street from Orcas books.  I pressed on.  I did finally find another bench near Radiance.  So, not including Sylvester Park, we have a total of two benches in downtown Olympia.  I did manage to find a few bus shelter benches, all fully occupied. This is not good for Olympia or the people that frequent or visit downtown.  Public seating is a must for a downtown area.  We have the sidewalk space, that isn't a problem.  There are many fine locations to locate benches.  Each location has its own particular charm and interest.  Even in a progressive town like Olympia, I find the public realm to be very lacking.  It is the public and street realm that makes a town great.  So why don't we have more benches in downtown Olympia.  I know they cost money, but it can't be that.  While I have a couple of bucks I don't think it is right for me to be forced to be a customer to find a place to sit down or use the facilities.  And this is not really about me not spending money or making a choice to patronize a business.  This is about civilization, this is about welcoming public spaces.  If we want people to use downtown it has to be welcoming.  And, by the way, I don't want to hear any cracks about downtown being more welcoming if the homeless and young and bums weren't there.  They are members of our society as well.  Each has a butt and sometimes they have to rest.  You don't have to be rich in order to have the need to rest.  You don't even need to be tired or sick.  You just need to have the place, which for a short time can become your own and yet belongs to everyone.
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