Kos recounts PNW trip

From Daily Kos:

I hit Seattle Friday morning from NYC and the Colbert Report. I didn't get any sleep that night as I replayed every question Colbert asked and came up with 10 better answers I should've used. Kind of like traumatic job interview. I also hadn't slept the night before Colbert from nerves and the fear that I wouldn't wake up and I'd miss my 6 a.m. flight.

So I was running on fumes. I was picked up 19-year-old Andrew, who runs the Pacific NW Portal, and we got lunch. Jerome was hanging with David of Horse's Ass (who broke the "Brownie is a horse lawyer" story). With a little food in me, I seemed to perk up. We headed over to Redmond to speak at Microsoft. Tamara at MSFT put on a great event, and I got to meet famed tech blogger Robert Scoble. I even got to sign a book for one of George Bush's former national press secretaries. (Jerome's inscription: "Not next time".)

After Microsoft, I was really starting to feel exhausted. We headed over to Seattle's Labor Temple, where SEIU and Drinking Liberally's Seattle chapter hosted a great talk. Elliot Bay Book Co was on hand to sell books and reportedly did brisk business. We had close to 200 people show up, the event was blogged, and I was so pumped from meeting so many great people that a bunch of us headed out to a bar afterwards for a drink. I was suddenly not so tired. That night I slept great at the swanky W courtesy of MSFT.

The next afternoon we had a picnic in torrential rain, but people still showed up, including Dave Neiwert, Preemptive Karma, and Auntie Neo Kawn.

We then headed to Olympia, where a great crowd met us at Orca Books and wiped out their entire inventory of CTG. The General tried to disrupt the event, but his mission was not accomplished. (And how cool was that? I was quite the groupy.)

JA also put up a post about their soggy sortie to the NW.

We are not alone

From DesMoinesRegister.com:

Postal union members in Sioux City are worried that a proposed consolidation will leave residents with lesser postal services than people from bigger cities.

To show their disapproval of the plans, which would close a post office distribution plant in Sioux City and move its activities 90 miles away to Sioux Falls, S.D., union members picketed in front of a downtown post office in Sioux City last week.

Currently, Sioux City's distribution center offers the same speed of service available to residents in much larger cities. But some fear those services will suffer if the distribution center leaves town.

Protests in Sioux City mirrored similar displays in other cities, such as Olympia, Wash., and Philadelphia, said Tom Maier, a national business agent with the American Postal Workers Union.

Maier said that he doesn't believe all postal consolidations are bad, but that he thinks some of them could leave people with lesser service. Federal law requires the postal service to provide universal service to the public, he said.

Day in court

Remember Bill, who was banned from Heritage Park? Well, it looks like he's gettin his day in court:

He is appealing the $101 ticket for failing to obey the regulatory sign and directions while walking on the road toward the hillside trail.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll win,

Democrat County Convention

Even though I wasn't there near long enough (missed the fun morning stuff) to really give a report, I'll give what I can.

  • We came out of the day with a platform. Click here to download it, but beware, a pdf file lurks behind this link.
  • Andy Maris is not a big fan of the platform, but goes to show, Andy Maris is not a big fan of really anything we do.
  • The Mark Wilson folks where there. Not a big fan of him, mostly because he ran for congress in 2002 as a Libertarian and for Senate in 2004 as a Green, and this year he's trying to out Democrat Maria Cantwell. I'm not sure where the common thread is between Libertarian/Green/Democrat.
  • The YDs sold some baked goods. Thanks to all those who supported our bake sale.
  • There was a resolution at the end of the day to cancel the 2010 caucuses that I actually voted for. This year's caucuses where not very well attended, and the thought was to develop some sort of less formal process leading up to the couny convention, you might get some better participation. Even though it failed very badly, I still think we can improve on our caucus to convention process to increase participation.

More words from Dr. Cornel West

The death and funeral of Emmett Till was the first event of the Civil Rights era. It is believed that about 250,000 people walked past the open casket of Emmett Till. It was three months before sister Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in a bus and kicked the Civil Rights movement into another gear.

Emmett was a 14 year old boy from Chicago who whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Emmett was black and he was brutally murdered for the crime of whistling at a white woman. When his body was returned to Chicago for the funeral, Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till, insisted on an open casket. She wanted the world to see the mangled body of her child, but she said, I don’t have a minute to hate. I have the rest of my life to work for justice. This is the gift and knowledge that the blues people bring to America. What kind of people do we want to be. When we are attacked and murdered do we want to say I don’t have a minute for hate, or do we want to talk about hunting people down like cockroaches, bringing them to justice, dead or alive?

The imperial conservative system is cracking, the rulers are scared. So many children living in poverty in the richest nation in the world. What kind of nation are we? Shall we be well-adjusted to injustice or shall we stand up straight and work with courage and hope? When we stand before a coffin at a funeral we see the past and realize that all that is gone. We stand before a coffin in the present and have an opportunity to ask what kind of person do we want to be? What kind of stories do we want to leave behind?

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Aaron Dixon campaign kickoff

Justin has just posted over at his blog about Aaron Dixon's campaign kickoff rally in Seattle. Click on the picture to see a slide show of Justin's pictures.

Myths, Propaganda and Annexation in Palestine and Israel


Friday, April 21st, Jerry & Sis Levin present “The Piece Process Continues! The Struggle Against Myths, Propaganda and Annexation in Palestine and Israel.

Democratic fat cats and Republican con artists

Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga spoke at Orca books last night, on tour for their new book "Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics." In fact, they didn't have prepared remarks, but launched right into Q&A. As one might have expected, given the interactive nature of what they do on-line, what occured was a conversation between the authors and the audience.

Here's a choice quote from the book to get started:

Theocons like Roberson and Dobson rail against the debased American culture, flooding the FCC with complaints of "indecency" on television, and attempting to extend FCC reach into satellite radio and cable television. But their moral crusade only extends to issues of sex -- premarital sex, homosexual sex, televised sex, presidential sex, adulterous sex, online sex. They see no moral issue involved in killing thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, or as Pat Robertson publicly called for, in assassinating Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected president of Venezuela, because he threatened to cut off oil shipments to America. Assassination is not a moral question for such theocons, but oral sex among consenting adults or the fleeting flash of a singer's breast on TV -- now that could lay the nation's soul to waste.

Somehow, it doesn't matter that the Republicans never deliver the goods. The authors made the point last night that the Republical Party still gets far more small donations than the Democratic Party. So, ma and pa from Oklahoma send $50 to the Republicans, even though they never get what they want from them, in fact, they get the opposite: almost total corporate control of government (documented in the book). In essence, the Republican foxes have figured out a way to rule the hen house while the hens donate to their campaigns. This disconnect between the voter's interests on the one hand, and the reality of what's happening between the Republican Party and its looting of government is truly astounding.

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Truth, courage and hope from Dr. Cornel West

What an event! The event had a certain rockstar quality from the first as a large, diverse community arrived and promptly formed the thousand person march into the Evergreen State College Recreation Center.

The gym was free now of the excitement of the NCAA basketball tourney, but the space was still ringing with the excitement of earlier crowds who had thrilled to the excitement of the Geoducks annual trek to the Final Four and the National Championship.

True enough that the Geoducks did not win it all this year, but images of the streaking Geoduck fast break ending with the spectacle of a frankly pornographic bi-valve attempting to dunk a basketball still hung in the air. But the season was over and there was only a slight smell of tennis shoes and clam left and this night belonged to Cornel West.

Herewith some notes from the man: The blues is a matter of choice not skin pigmentation. It takes courage to live the blues. The blues people have something to teach, a gift for the world.

Tavis Smiley stepped on stage to talk about his friend, telling us that Cornell had told him you cannot lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people, if you won't serve the people. Then the stage belonged to Cornel again.

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Embarrassment of riches

Olympia is such a political and cultural mecca that we find ourselves in the position of having two very interesting events scheduled at exactly the same time (tonight @ 7:00 pm):

  • Crashing the Gates booktour with Jerome Armstrong & Markos Moulitsas Zuniga.
  • Dr. Cornell West: "Democracy Matters".

So, what to do? I'm going to the blogfest, personally. Anyone going to see Dr. West? Wanna take notes and write it up for the rest of us?

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