A Few Recent Photos

Here are about 30 or 40 recent photos from the past week or so. They're roughly chronological, starting with the most recent ones. The exception is the first one, which is featured because I find it very interesting and informative (explanation below.) The rest of the photos include some from Boston Harbor, the Olympia Rafah Solidarity Mural (which looks awesome,) some of water pollution, with some thoughts about water pollution, one about "holding the torturers accountable," and some other miscellaneous but somewhat interesting perspectives on the local scene here in little old Olympia, Washington. There are more photos from the same time frame posted on my flickr account. Have a good day. Cheers -- to happiness and freedom for all, consensus based government, sustainability, and everything else that is right and good (for all people!)

Estuary or Lake
Lake or Estuary

The sign on this motor vessel interests me. It associates the word "estuary" with the word "swamp". It juxtaposes the image of a mosquito with the the word "estuary". It juxtaposes the image of a kayaker with the word "Lake".

Two observations. Mosquitos (to the best of my understanding and knowledge) do not breed in salt water*. So the estuary, being brackish, would likely support far fewer mosquitoes than the lake scenario. (*see correction in comments section below)

Two, people would likely still be able to kayak in the estuary. Actually, the kayaking might be more sporty. Think of the ability to ride the river, and the tide, out to the sound. yippee!

George Orwell's 1984

I have been thinking about the concept of perpetual war. What are some of the consequences of the perpetual war economy? George Orwell's classic novel, 1984, speaks directly to that question. I urge you to read it, or to remember it if you have already...


The following is something that I wrote up a while ago, after seeing the Actor's Gang performance of "1984" at the Washington Center for Performing Arts:

An adaptation of Orwell's 1984 for stage, it was a great performance.

We are Not Terrorists

I heard some great segments (as usual) on today's Democracy Now! program. I wanted to draw particular attention to this one, because there is some choice testimony.

“We Are Not Terrorists”: Activists with the RNC Welcoming Committee Speak Out Against Police Crackdown & Terrorism Charges

Ramsey County prosecutors formally charged eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. On Thursday, other members of the anarchist group held their first press conference. One local activist accused the police of beating and torturing him in jail. [includes rush transcript]

WILLIAM GILLIS:... I want to see a world of anarchy without domination, without thugs, without warlords, without tyrants and without politicians. And as an American, I believe in actively resisting those who would rule us all.

The brutality and the lies of the state this week are not a surprise, but they are still deplorable. Police kicked down doors with guns drawn on families with their children at dinnertime. Reporters and the media at large have been repeatedly target for repression. Activists have been abducted off the street in unmarked vans and political prisoners held without access to medical attention.

The state has never really bothered with ethical justifications for its violence. But now we see that the agents of the law don’t even bother with internal consistency, ignoring the few rights they have pledged not to violate. Sheriff Bob Fletcher has unleashed a degree of repression that should embarrass and anger us all.


Colonel Ann Wright on Iraq

Ann WrightColonel (ret.) Ann Wright visited Olympia yesterday for a series of presentations on Iraq, on official wrongdoing within government, and on her new book, which is published by Koa Books. Dissent, Voices of Conscience: Government Insiders Speak Out Against the War in Iraq is co-authored by Ms. Wright and Susan Dixon. It chronicles the stories of about 25 government and military whistle-blowers who have come forward to expose corruption and wrongdoing in their respective professional settings.

Colonel Wright was a career diplomat with the US State Department. When the US Government, under the dictate of the Bush Administration, launched an invasion in Iraq she resigned her post (along with two other US diplomats.) I saw and listened to Ms. Wright give a presentation (on her experience vís a vís her professional career and Iraq) at South Puget Sound Community College. Her visit was sponsored by Washington Peace Action and BRICK (the SPSCC student group Building Revolution by Increasing Community Knowledge).

Father Ray Bourgeois is in Olympia Today!

Father Ray Bourgeois is a Roman Catholic Priest and the founder of the human rights organization, School of Americas Watch [4/10/2008 update: SOA Watch website currently blocked, apparently by Google]. You have several opportunities to visit with Father Bourgeois today, April 10th, in Olympia.
From the SOA Watch website:
SOA Watch is an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

On November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests, their co-worker and her teenage daughter were massacred in El Salvador. A U.S. Congressional Task Force reported that those responsible were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

In 1990 SOA Watch began in a tiny apartment outside the main gate of Ft. Benning. While starting with a small group, SOA Watch quickly drew upon the knowledge and experience of many in the U.S. who had worked with the people of Latin America in the 1970's and 80's.

Report may have prompted destruction of CIA torture tapes

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Report May Have Motivated Destruction of Torture Tapes
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report

Thursday 03 January 2008

When Congress returns from its winter break in mid-January and continues its probe into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, the lawmakers may be interested in speaking to Mary O. McCarthy.

McCarthy spent most of her career at the spy agency, most recently as deputy inspector general. In 2004, she was tapped by the CIA's Inspector General John Helgerson to assist him with several internal investigations.

One of those investigations included a closer look at the CIA's interrogation methods. The report on this probe was completed in spring 2004. It concluded that some of the agency's approved interrogation methods "appeared to constitute cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, as defined by the International Convention Against Torture," according to a New York Times story published in November 2005. That was the same month the CIA destroyed the videotapes.
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