Who will stop these endless wars?

This discussion on Portland Indymedia got me to thinking: maybe the differences are really just too great between the remnants of the "New Left" and the Antiglobalization / Anti-imperialist resistance which grows in the Gen-X and younger folks.

I especially like what Citizen K said here:

"This returns us to the U.S. antiwar "movement," composed mainly of the aging remnants of whatever is left of the U.S. middle class. The median age of most rallies, meetings and vigils I have attended has been well into the fifties. You have to figure most people will only come out if they are already secure in their retirement; if they're still working, they won't come out because they have a boss to fear.

What must be recognized is that there is a leadership to the antiwar movement, despite what Scott Ritter says, and I am not referring to ANSWER or Not in Our Name, even though these folks have never received enough credit for organizing the really major events against the war. What I am referring to is the force or forces behind the much smaller, community-scaled events where like-minded individuals really have a chance to make contact with each other.

These groups include, but are not limited to, the various "Peace and Justice" centers, Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War (remember them?), the Fellowship of Reconciliation, etc. All have this much in common: they are very much faith-based, operating with the support and cooperation of local churches, which in turn donate funds and meeting space. What we must do is follow the money trail and ask where this funding is really coming from."

So, if this is reality, what are we gonna DO about it?

Pollution is forever

From Scientists Warn, 'Don't Pollute the Puget Sound':

Because of the sound's geography, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs are still being found in Chinook salmon caught in its waters, at levels up to six times higher than fish from the Columbia and Sacramento rivers and along the east side of Vancouver Island. PCBs have been banned since the 1970s.

"Once it's here, it stays in the sound," said Sandra O'Neill, a fish contamination expert with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

That's just one example of the way Puget Sound is polluted by what consumers flush down drain pipes. Scientists are also finding fish dosed with antidepressants and shellfish tainted with amnesia-causing toxins, researchers said at the Wednesday forum.

"People need to be mad as hell about this situation, but they aren't," said Brad Ack, head of the Puget Sound Action Team, a government agency. "We haven't gotten the message across."

The Good Food Movement

From Jim Hightower on AlterNet.org:

But a big change is coming. With little fanfare, a grassroots "farm-to-cafeteria" movement has been spreading from school to school. More than 400 school districts and 200 university cafeterias are now building their menus (and, in many places, their educational curricula) around fresh, local ingredients, much of which is organic. In nearly every case, the change has come because some parent, farmer, nutritionist, or other individual rose up to ask, "What the hell is going on here?"

Vanessa Ruddy was one of them. In 2002, her son, Grant, enrolled at Lincoln Elementary School in Olympia, Wash., and when she took a look at the lunch menu, she did not like what she saw. While this school had long shown an interest in good food (it had an organic garden, a children's activity kitchen, and a harvest festival in the fall), the lunch program at Lincoln was definitely old school.

At the bottom of the menu was the name of Paul Flock, the school district's child-nutrition supervisor, and Ruddy decided to call him. She put it off for a month, however, assuming he'd be a typical bureaucrat, and she dreaded having to make a big fuss and wrestle with the bureaucracy. Lo and behold, though, Flock welcomed her call and was open to improving the menu.

Ruddy enlisted other parents to join her for a meeting in Flock's office, and he asked what she wanted. "Organic Food" was her response. Thus began an organizing process to get teachers, cafeteria staff, the kids, farmers and other relevant parties involved and working together. Sure enough, in October 2002, Lincoln Elementary opened its "Organic Choices" salad bar, with a colorful and flavorful array of fresh, organic, locally produced fruits and veggies. Ruddy said that the school's cook told her, "You would have thought it was Christmas! You should have seen the kids' eyes light up."

Ducky DooLittle


The Hot & Bothered Show

Entertaining and astute, Ducky's tales of sex-gone-wrong and sex-gone-right flow into narratives of how women really orgasm, perverse octopuses, beer goggles, balls, female ejaculation, weird things found in people's butts, the truth about butt-gasms, outlawed sex toys, banned books and fear of sex education in America. Combine all that and you get a hilarious and thought-provoking look at today's twisted libido.

TICKETS: $5 to $15 sliding scale (This event is sponsored by For Your Pleasure.)

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?

Read more...

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.
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