27 December 2010

Minnehaha Falls

I am in the City of Minneapolis right now. One of my favorite places in the city is Minnehaha Falls. Minneapolis has an extensive park system. It's one of the highlights of life here for many people. This afternoon the air was breezy, thin, cold, and dry, but the sky was clear (besides some atmospheric pollution in the form of haze.) The early winter sunlight was beautiful (probably even enhanced, ironically, by the pollution.)

Minnehaha creek feeds into the Mississippi river—not far from Minnehaha falls. Today the water was flowing, it was quite interesting to watch the flowing water disappear into a shell of ice.

I have memories from when I was a teenager of climbing behind the frozen ice of the falls.

Today, I thought I could hear some of the ice cracking.

I have heard that the City turns on municipal water supplies to feed the creek. I am not sure if that's the case currently (as seen in the following photos.) Anyway, the falls are an impressive sight.

Here are some photos of Minnehaha Falls in the winter. There are a few more posted on my Flickr site.

Trees in the Park
Trees and Trail

So much clean snow. Quite a wonder.

Trees and Sky

Frozen Minnehaha Falls in the Winter

Top of the Falls


Peace! Namaste! May All Beings be Happy!

26 December 2010

Winter Solstice Sunrise

I already posted this photo, but I am re-posting it because I want to remark that this was on the winter solstice: an awesome winter solstice Sun-rise!

Rocky Mountain Winter Solstice Sunrise, near Idaho Montana border
7:30am Tuesday 21 December 2010
Rocky Mountains near Idaho Montana border

Glacier Park Lodge and Landscape with Mountains and Sky

This photo is from Tuesday the 21st of December 2010, the winter solstice. It's the view from the left side of an Amtrak coach train car on the West-bound Empire Builder (route #8). This is the Glacier Park Lodge, in East Glacier, the lodge is not in the park. This is in Montana. The photo is geo-tagged on Flickr.

Glacier National Park
view original size

Amtrak Train Empire Builder Route

Glacier National Park

BNSF Montana Train Passing

I rode the train from Washington State to Minnesota. Here's a sight from the train trip. This was in Montana, East of Glacier National Park. A BNSF locomotive passed the coach car where I was sitting. I turned my camera on the high-speed automatic shutter setting and here's what turned out.

Also try viewing here, this is probably a better way than the below slideshow:

23 December 2010

Rocky Mountain Sunrise

Sunrise, somewhere in Idaho or Montana
I am in Minnesota now. I rode the train from Olympia to Seattle, and then to Minneapolis/St. Paul. The above photo is of the rising sunlight reflecting on clouds over the rocky mountains somwhere in Idaho or Western Montana. I love all the color in the sky.

There is a lot of snow here in East Central Minnesota. Streets are narrower and the snow piles are high, it's regularly 3 to 5 feet high in between roads and sidewalks. I saw one mountain of snow that must have been 40 or 50 feet high. Lots of snow. That's for sure.

Well, happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever other festivity you might partake in around this time of year. Namaste, world peace, may all beings be happy.

12 December 2010

Street at Night

Bigelow and Fir
It's good to walk in the neighborhood at night. I appreciate the temperate late-fall weather this December in Western Washington. Last December was FREEZING cold. Lots of rain the past couple of days, but the air is relatively warm, with a Southwesterly breeze. Growing up in Minnesota, I really do appreciate the warmer air.

09 December 2010

Rays on the Bay

Clouds Over Budd Bay on the Eighth of December 2010
Wednesday 8 December 2010
Budd Bay Salish Sea (Puget Sound) Cheetwoot (Olympia Washington)

23 November 2010

Capitalism Hurts

Capitalism Hurts Flickr Group Slideshow (link to group photo pool):

Capitalism hurts!

Instead of the accumulation of wealth: imagine a society geared toward mutually beneficial, life-serving interests. Imagine a world of health and well-being, for ALL people!

15 November 2010

Live in Light, Love, and Hope—Conquer Fear

Personally, I believe all people are essentially good inside, and the reason that people hurt each other in this world is because people are trapped in habitual patterns that are encouraged by socio-cultural-economic pressures, and fear.

I think applying labels, like hawk and dove, make it difficult to move past pre-conceived notions, false assumptions. I think this labeling is a problem—it promotes prejudice, and it promotes jumping to conclusions.

Rather than judge others, I think it is better to pursue communication, to challenge peoples' assumptions about each other. To be patient, and persistent, and hopeful. To talk, and to listen.

Because in a world that is so rife with violence, what good is it to live without hope for a better future? What service would we be doing for the childrens' children of today's children if we were go forth into the world, into the supposed work of bringing peace, with gloomy countenances stooped low in hopeless desperation that the world is fated toward violence and destruction. Nay, it seems to me that peace, true peace, peace with justice—real world peace—is possible.

I believe that the great great great majority of people, if not all people, are essentially good, caring people; we have common values: like honesty, truthfulness, respect for one another and the planet, to ask and gain consent before taking, etc.

I believe it is a product of fear that some people exploit and steal, plundering the planet and human labor for some supposed economic self-interest...

So instead of giving in to fear, re-doubling and re-doubling its effects by allowing them to pervade our own sphere, what if we walk in light, and hope, and belief that another world is possible; what if then we encourage and allow others to do the same, to promote, support and accelerate their liberation from the gloom of helplessness in the very real and tremendous face of economic and political violence: violence that is daily visited upon the people of this small planet...

I don't believe in a utopia where all suffering can be eradicated. I think life will always involve some amount of pain and suffering. People will always stub their toe. Or fall down when they are learning to walk, etc.

But life in today's world, for most people, if not everyone, comes with unnecessary suffering: so much unnecessary suffering, and in some cases, extraordinarily horrible unnecessary suffering.

I believe much of this suffering, especially the worst of it, really is unnecessary, and I believe we humans have the ability to evolve our consciousness, our awareness of each other, to develop our understanding of the interconnected nature of humanity—and to radically eradicate this type of suffering which is unnecessary, and which is the product of fear-based socio-cultural patterns.

Walk in the light, live in the love. We are never alone. Hope springs eternal.


10 November 2010

Ahmed Moor: Time to Dismantle Palestinian Authority

It's Time to Dismantle the Palestinian Authority by Ahmed Moor
an excerpt:
Those salaries are then spent on regular commodity goods -- yogurt, laundry detergent, cellular phones -- that are either produced by Israel or are subject to exorbitant import tariffs. At the same time, Israel imposes anti-market, anti-competitive, protectionist economic policies in the West Bank and Gaza to prevent the genesis or development of genuine Palestinian industry. The result is a badly developed Palestinian service economy whose primary function is to consume Israeli goods.

04 November 2010

Why are some people so much richer than others?

The Social Means for The Perpetuation of OppressionWhy are some people so much richer than others?! Is it because they are smarter and more talented, better-looking and more ambitious (etc.)? Or is it possible that often times, or at least in some cases, there are other reasons, for example, like being willing to take advantage of others, or to exploit differences between people.

And why are some people so much poorer than others. Is it because they are lazy, unmotivated, and stupid? Or is it possible that it is because the system is oppressive, corrupt, and discriminatory.

Is it possible that the system is racist, and classist, and functions in a way so that some have systemic advantage over others?

I tend to believe the latter. In a rational world, no human being would be subjected to violence by another. In a rational world, no human being would go without adequate food, shelter, and belonging in community in order to be healthy and happy.

In a rational world, people's needs would be met. The system would be designed to serve life—rather than to capitalize on people's differences, and prey upon their fears.

I believe that the world—human society—is more often irrational than rational, and that wide-spread oppression exists on a culturally systemic level—in a radical (root-level) way.

Nonetheless, it should be clear to everyone that another world is possible. It doesn't have to be like this. There is enough for everyone. There is no true need for war. People can learn to get along, and co-exist in peaceful harmony with each other.
Bruce and Berd
This is me and Bruce on Monday 1 November 2010 at a speech by Glenn Greenwald. The South Puget Sound Community College student group BRICK brought Greenwald to SPSCC to speak about civil liberties and terrorism in the era of the Obama Administration.

quote from Harvey Jackins from the photo above:
The crucial social means for the perpetuation of oppression is dividing the oppressed and pitting them against each other, so that different groups of oppressed people cooperate in oppressing each other to the "benefit" of the oppressing people.

Any Colour You Like by Pink Floyd, song 7 on Dark Side of the Moon

If you haven't listened much to Pink Floyd, you might want to give them a try, I recommend it!

Stop the Abuse!

Good Morning,

It is obvious that the way the Israeli gov't and Israeli society treat Palestinians is bad for Palestinians. And it should be obvious that it's bad for Jews as well, and not only Jews living in Israel/Palestine, but all Jews.

Additionally, it's bad for the world. For Jews of conscience, who oppose the policies and behaviors of the Jewish state, what other alternative actions—other than Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—do you propose, in order to persuade and pressure the Israeli state and society to stop abusing Palestinians?

Cascade Mountains

01 November 2010

maybe life would be better if...

maybe life would be better if the world was set up differently—instead of a society that rewards people with, and that promotes, materialism, and the maintenance of hierarchical structures where some have power over others—maybe life would be better if the world was set up for mutual/interdependent empowerment of all people (and the rest of nature) toward mutual health/prosperity/well-being, and mutual/collective liberation from oppression for all people... maybe, just maybe.


29 October 2010

Back from Camping

I returned from camping on the Olympic Peninsula late last night. It was an awesome trip. It rained a lot, but we managed to stay almost completely dry! I have a bunch of photos that will take some time to sort through, but hopefully I will post a collection of the best ones.

While I was gone I was thinking a lot about the conflict in the Middle East. The one between Israelis and Palestinians. On last Monday night I went to see the Rachel Corrie Foundation Peace Works event at Evergreen. It was the play "There is a Field" by Jen Marlowe. I am glad I went, and I enjoyed the performance and the Q&A afterward. The play is about a Palestinian-Israeli family and the death of 17 year-old Aseel, a Seeds of Peace volunteer, who was killed by Israeli Defense Forces Soldiers during a demonstration. The play brought up a lot of difficult issues, and was an interesting glimpse into the lives of Palestinians who live in Israel proper. It seems that for these Palestinians, discrimination is the norm.

I am also looking forward to seeing Marc Ellis, who is a Jewish theologian and philosopher and author. Marc is in Olympia, and is making a series of presentations about his views and his work. There's more information about that on OlympiaBDS.

One aspect of the conflict in the Middle East that I have been thinking of, from a psychological standpoint, and in terms of diagnosing the conflict (which I believe is a disease) is the idea that given the intensity of trauma that Jews have experienced over the years—that many Jews have what might be thought of as a "survivor's complex." That is the mentality of surviving despite intense oppression and persecution-even to the point of real genuine concerted attempts at annihilation.

[added paragraph that I meant to include earlier in posting originally: One of the possible symptoms of "survivor's complex," as it may evince itself either in individuals, or in socio-cultures, is as an attitude of superiority. Another way to understand this is how when people are bullied (or mis-treated in other ways) they sometimes take on the behavior of the bully (or abuser) in order to achieve safety or security...]

This is a very serious and problematic issue. Some people might like to think that since I support human rights for Palestinians, that I don't support the rights of Israelis. This could not be further from the truth.

Human rights are for everyone-for all human beings-everywhere. The true and genuine security of one, depends on the security of all. Real security is mutual.

Anyway, I think there are some seriously deep and difficult psychological aspects of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and the best way to look at the situation is from the point of view that all people deserve to be treated well.

Below is a photo of a Buck on Rialto beach on the Olympic Peninsula. Rialto beach is just North of the Quileute American Indian Reservation.

Best Wishes, and (for) Peace!


Rialto Beach
Olympic National Park
Wednesday 26 October 2010

21 October 2010

Yellow Rose

This is from the rose garden at Priest Point Park. Remember to stop and smell the flowers!

11 October 2010

08 October 2010

Capitol Lake at Night

Capitol Lake at Night Saturday 11 September 2010
Saturday 11 September 2010

This is a view of Capitol Lake at night. Capitol Lake is part of the Washington State Capitol Campus.

30 September 2010

Root Out the Seeds of War

Examine Our Possessions to Try Whether They Contain the Seeds of War
John Woolman (1720 - 1772): "May we look upon our Treasures, and the furniture of our Houses, and the Garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have any nourishment in these possessions or not."

Lately I have been thinking about how to build a mass movement of nonviolent resistance to defy the political status quo. The political status quo in the USA is a plutocracy (that means rule by wealthy elite.) The real-political situation in a plutocracy is similar to a dictatorship—except in the USA it relies on popular media messaging to promote consumerism and complacency, along with a host of other harmful attitudes and myths, like racism, classism, ageism, genderism, homophobia, and myths like those of independence, scarcity, and meritocracy.

It seems to me that such a mass movement of popular nonviolent resistance will require a lot of popular education about how the current socio-economic/political establishment is actually harmful.

Many of us are just plain hood-winked, and don't understand how harmful our system is, or why it is the cause of so much suffering. People may sense that there is something wrong, but they may not understand what it is, nor why.

Another world is possible. It DOES NOT have to be like this! We can have progress without destruction, without violence, without oppression, without poverty, without war!

19 September 2010

Current Reading

Dissent is Essential to DemocracyI am currently reading From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp. This is an interesting book about nonviolent resistance and strategy for social change toward democracy, justice, equality, and human and ecological rights. Sharp defines nonviolent resistance to include the concept of political defiance. It's an interesting read. One thought it brings up for me is Cuba, and the dictatorship that exists there. Is it possible for conditions to improve under a dictatorship? My basic thinking is that the current dictatorship in Cuba is less oppressive, and even less of a "dictatorship" than the previous regime (under Bautista) which was corrupt and abusive, and overtly supported by the US government.

Obviously this is a highly simplified analysis of what is a complex situation. For example, my understanding is that conditions in Cuba for many people (probably most) have improved significantly since rebel forces led in part by Fidel Castro overthrew the former regime. Oh well, it's interesting topic of discussion for certain!

Here's an example passage that I like, and I think is important, from chapter 8, Applying Political Defiance:
Early in the liberation struggle a special strategy should be de-
veloped to communicate with the dictators’ troops and functionaries.
By words, symbols, and actions, the democratic forces can inform the
troops that the liberation struggle will be vigorous, determined, and
persistent. Troops should learn that the struggle will be of a special
character, designed to undermine the dictatorship but not to threaten
their lives. Such efforts would aim ultimately to undermine the morale
of the dictators’ troops and finally to subvert their loyalty and obedi-
ence in favor of the democratic movement. Similar strategies could
be aimed at the police and civil servants.
The book by Gene Sharp, Dictatorship to Democracy, is available online, either downloadable or for purchase at a very reasonable $6 US. I am also impressed, encouraged, and gladdened that it's available in a number of languages other than English (over 20!) Here's a link to the page where it is available from the Albert Einstein Institution: http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations98ce.html

Dictator Types

We Are the World!

This is from about 11 months ago. It is what it is. I love this song by Michael Jackson, We Are the World.

09 September 2010

War is Bankrupting and Impoverishing Us

War is Bankrupting the U.S.
Friday 19 September 2008
Percival Landing Washington

War is a bankrupting activity. It bankrupts economically (financially, ecologically, etc.) And it bankrupts morally.

There are some anti-war quotes attached to this photo where it's linked from on the flickr site, and I am reminded of another quote by the Rev. Dr. MLK Jr.:

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Which reminds me that I recently read Stride Toward Freedom by MLK. It's about the Montgomery bus boycotts of 1954-55. I thought it was a great read. Why? A number of reasons. For starters, it was clearly written, and also of compelling content. It's the story of Southern Black Liberation—a story that is ongoing today—and it's roots are in campaigns like the one described in the book by MLK.

Rosa Parks and MLK are popular figures in America. For example, many cities have major thoroughfares buildings named after MLK. That's pretty high esteem for a radical revolutionary. Because that's what MLK was. He was a radical, and a revolutionary. Even at the age of 26, in 1954, he understood the cause of so much violence and disease (including racism) was fear, and distrust/mistrust between people, and the repetition of old patterns of behavior, patterns that really just don't make sense—and he also understood that the vast and growing discrepancy in wealth between global rich as a root-level cause of war and other violence.

By the time that MLK was assassinated in 1968, I think he may have even moved in his political views further toward the left of liberation, that is the liberation from oppression for all people—and he criticized the war in a very meaningful and fundamental way, calling into question national aggression, and calling for a movement to counter the rampant "militarism, materialism, and racism" prevailing in society.

I recommend the Speech, Beyond Vietnam, which was delivered a year to the day before he was killed.

Seeking to address the root cause of violence, disease and poverty, MLK stated in the speech that: "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

Another statement from the speech:

"I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such." MLK Jr.

Following is a link to audio of the speech, and then the text. Please take a listen!

03 September 2010

Include Everyone!

Include Everyone
I was reminded of this concept of including everyone by an article I read in the Progressive magazine. It's a book review by Ruth Conliff. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have researched the effects of socio-economic equality on people's health, and have desecribed their work in a new title, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. I wrote a blog about that on OlyBlog here.

Here are a couple more photos, with peace, Berd

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Equal Rights and Justice!

01 September 2010

Just a Scene from Olympia

A forest scene at the Washington State Capitol Campus in Olympia, Washington on Monday the 15th of February 2010 (which was my birthday.)

This past February 15th the Capitol Campus was also the scene of a Rally "to Protect Our Future" against discriminatory budget cuts against vulnerable and disadvantaged people (as well as against workers and higher education.)

Here's a slideshow from that rally (which I thought was awesome!):


28 August 2010

War is terrorism (mouseover)

This is from Friday the 27th of August 2010 at the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation weekly peace vigil at Percival Landing.

move cursor over image for mouseover effect:
War is terrorism with a bigger budget. [view larger]

All war begins with aggression, and aggression is never right. Aggression is always wrong! period.

I also attached this to a letter posted on the White House Facebook page:

Dear President Obama and Administration,

How can peace come to the world when the USA acts with aggression and belligerence in pursuit of policies of dominance?

Aggression is never correct. It's always wrong.

For the well being of all people and the world, the USA needs to change from aggressive policies, to peaceful policies.


more photos: http://olyblog.net/some-recent-photos-20100828

27 August 2010

Great Sky

The Great West
view larger
Tuesday 29 June 2010, Wyoming—There is little, if any, of the American landscape that has been left untouched by industrialization. Utility poles, mining operations, electrical generating facilities, roadways, settlements, smoke from industry: these aspects can be witnessed almost everywhere across the entire landscape.

p.s. Please come to the Cascadia Freedom Caravan Olympia report-back on the US Social Forum this Sunday the 29th, 7pm at Fertile Ground Guesthouse. more information: http://olyblog.net/cascadia-freedom-caravan-report-back-us-social-forum

23 August 2010

Big Sky

Open Spaces
view larger
June 2010—Somewhere on I-80 near the continental divide in Wyoming, while heading West in a 1975 converted Crown Coach school bus (with 25 other people on the return leg of a round-trip from Eugene and Portland, OR, and Olympia and Seattle, WA to Detroit, MI.)

Members of the Cascadia Freedom Caravan are planning to do two reportbacks on the weekend of August 28/29. Saturday the 28th of August we'll be in Portland at Sisters of the Road cafe from 7-10 pm.

And Sunday the 29th, we'll be in Olympia (at Fertile Ground Guesthouse, 7pm, it's a potluck, and there will be some pizza from the cob oven too.)

more information! http://olyblog.net/cascadia-freedom-caravan-report-back-us-social-forum

22 August 2010

Lots o' Thoughts

Helsing Junction August 2010Lots of thoughts as I return to Olympia after the weekend at Helsing Junction Farm. The sixth annual Helsing Junction Sleepover was this weekend. It's a festival to celebrate K Records, the farm, and many of the great talents in the local music scene.

I enjoyed the music and the people and the food and the farm. The sweet smell of hay and earth. A lot of the food we ate came straight from the farm. The weather co-operated for the most part, though there were some sprinkles as I was leaving this afternoon.

I left early because I wanted to attend a meeting at Temple Beth Hatfiloh that was sponsored by a group of people who are organizing against the Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors' decision to boycott products from Israel. It was an interesting meeting. Not easy. I am glad I went. I have a lot of thoughts about the meeting.

There were a few ground rules, like confidentiality, and being respectful. I thought that part was okay. I am okay with not identifying people by name, given the emotional nature of the issue, I think it is important for people to feel safe to openly express themselves without fear of being called out, or intimidated in other ways. I also think this type of confidentiality makes it easier for people to talk and share openly, and to change their minds when presented with new information and/or alternative viewpoints. I hope that the part about being respectful can more and more go without saying.

The group, which was pretty large, I would say there were 60 or so people there, did some brainstorming about what people wanted to work on. These topics were ranging from taking action to directly oppose the Board decision, to working to develop Jewish identity that is separate from the actions of the government of Israel. There were a lot of other different ideas in between.

The group I chose was community dialogue, which was merged into another group that decided to work on figuring out how people can best be allies to both Jews and Arabs. It was an interesting discussion, and I think I learned quite a bit. One important aspect of this that I am beginning to grasp in deeper understanding is how deeply some people feel about Israel. And while I disagree that the boycott is against "Israel," I do think that people feel threatened in a way that challenges their very identity, and their sense of safety, and their desire for survival. So that makes sense. A lot of conflict in the world is probably about survival.

Anyway, it's late, and I am tired after a good long day. I hope to flesh out my thoughts about this more in the near future.

Take care,
from Berd

17 August 2010

August Moon

crow rests on electrical line with beak agape on a hot summer evening with utility pole, and moon in background, august 2010, olympia washington
view larger
August 2010
Olympia—A crow sits on a electrical line near a utility pole with the Moon in the background. It was hot, and the crow had its beak agape.

I was leaving Media Island after a meeting for the radio station KOWA 106.5 LP FM. KOWA meeetings happen on Mondays, at 6pm, at Media Island, 816 Adams St SE (right across from the downtown Olympia Timberland Regional Library.)

13 August 2010

Olympia Food Co-op Boycott of Products from Israel

There has been a lot of discussion on OlyBlog about the boycott.

I created a book page where related posts can be accumulated:

From Tacoma

This photo is from Tacoma Washington, near the County City Building. I was there to attend a trial for a friend of mine who was charged with disorderly conduct after blocking a military vehicle.
Friday, August 12, 2010
Parking lot near County City Building
view larger

Daniel Ellsberg
view larger
In this photo, Mr. Ellsberg is seen in the witness stand, in the court of Pierce County Judge Maggie Ross, where he gave testimony in a trial where the state was prosecuting a war protestor in a case of nonviolent direct action civil resistance.

Ellsberg delivered a brilliant testimonial about his life and experience, ranging from education at Harvard, to service in the Marine Corps, to consulting with the White House and State Department, to releasing the Pentagon Papers, which detailed incriminating documents, that related to the invasion and occupation of Vietnam, by the US government.

The jury delivered a disappointing verdict, finding the defendant guilty, a strike against the claim of necessity.

But it seems to me that the defendant, Patty Imani, who is a care-giver by trade, is a winner anyway, because of her principled and courageous act of conscience in resistance to aggression.

09 August 2010

An Act of Nonviolent Civil Resistance

Update, it's about 1pm on Monday, and I feel super bad, because I slept through my alarm and failed to make it to the protest at Ground Zero. I guess this is proof that I need to take care of myself. I am sorry that I let down my friends, and I hope the protest went well. I will look forward to being able to participate in the future.

The following is something I intended to publish earlier, though I stopped it from being published after my friend called and woke me up, and I realized that I had slept through my alarm and wouldn't be able to make it to the protest in time to participate. -Berd

This post is set to self-publish at 6 am on the morning of Monday the 9th of August, which is the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city Nagasaki. I will be on the Kitsap peninsula at that time.

I am planning to participate in nonviolent civil resistance/disobedience against the immoral and illegal maintenance of nuclear weapons by my government, the United States of America, by entering the roadway in an effort to blockade passage into the base. As these Trident nuclear missile weapons system exist in a first strike capacity they are illegal under recognized legal agreements. As such, this is a big part of why I see the USA as a rogue nation.

These maintenance of these weapons furthers the American Empire, an empire which is also immoral and illegal. I call for an end to imperialism.

When I enter the roadway and risk arrest, I will do so in an effort to raise awareness about, and prevent the conduct of, an immoral and illegal military infrastructure. Either way, I enter the roadway to block traffic in a sincere effort to prevent harm, to save lives, and to give voice to the vision of a world that is based on mutual respect and reciprocity, rather than conquest and domination.

I will carry a statement similar to the following, when I enter the roadway.

By peacefully entering the roadway in front of the Gate to the Naval Submarine Base Kitsap-Bangor, on Monday the 9th of August 2010, I take meaningful action in nonviolent civil resistance to the immoral and illegal actions of my government. I resist the maintenance of weapons of mass destruction.
I act against bullying.
I act against imperialism.
I act against aggression.

And I call for change.

I call for peace. I call for respect for the rights of all people, all around the world, the rights of whom are denied by the policies of my government, of the USA. People deserve to live in peace, and to be free from the fear of the threat of nuclear war.

By taking action to resist, and risking arrest for doing so, I stand for a world that is much different than the one we have now. I stand for a benign world that is altruistic, a world that seeks to serve life and to meet the needs of all people.

I stand and voice my desire for a day when people don't feel the need to wield power over others, whether they do so in order to feel safe themselves or for other reasons.

I have a message for the soldiers, sailors, and other military personnel of the US military: I want to be your friend. I mean that sincerely. From where I stand, I see the government as a guilty partner, an abuser, and an enabler of tremendous abuses.

I believe that we have that in common, that we are essentially victims here, the victims of an abusive society, one that is enabled and perpetuated by the government of the United States of America.

What I want is for you, and for all people, to have meaningful work that is enjoyable, and constructive. I want you and all people to have economic security, without weapons, and violence, bullying and belligerence.

I want to be happy, and I want you to be happy. I want happiness and joy for all people.

So here I stand: a witness to the annihilation, 65 years ago today, of the residents of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. May it be that such atrocities never happen again—to anyone.

For the immediate abolition of all nuclear weapons!


Robert Friend Weber (Berd) Whitlock

06 August 2010

Active Stills—Photography from Israel/Palestine

Active Stills is a collective of great photographers who are working on the Israel/Palestine conflict. One of their members visited Olympia a couple years ago, or so, and I went to a presentation, which was great. It was great to hear first hand about the devastation occurring in that part of the world, and about the tremendously unjust situation that Palestinians face as they are subjected to violence and oppression and are unable to live their lives with a fair degree of freedom.

Here's the Active Stills photostream on flickr:

Active Stills

05 August 2010

Recent photos

Watershed Park

Capitol and Heritage Fountain on Wednesday
Capitol and Heritage Fountain Park

No Trespassing on City Hall Construction Site
No Trespassing on City Hall Construction Site
Olympia—Construction site for the new city hall.

Olympia BDS: Why Boycott, Why Divest...
Olympia BDS: Why Boycott, Why Divest
Olympia BDS presentation about their work to get the Olympia Food Co-op to boycott products from Israel.