30 July 2010

I wanna be your friend.

Military Personnel (I want to be your friend. I want the USA to stop abusing you.)
Military Personnel (I want to be your friend. I want the USA to stop abusing you.)

Saturday 16 January 2010
Naval Base Kitsap Bangor
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Action

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29 July 2010

Beautiful Flowers on a Gorgeous Summer Evening

Flowers at Fertile Ground
Wednesday 28 July 2010
Fertile Ground, Olympia, Cascadia—These are some of the beautiful flowers in the garden at Fertile Ground where POWER (Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights) held a panel discussion report-back on the US Social Forum. It was a lively evening with a great discussion. Thank you to POWER!

28 July 2010

A Nighttime View of Olympia

Madison Scenic
View from Madison Scenic

These are some of the nighttime views from Madison Scenic. This is the view toward the West of parts of downtown Olympia.

It was about 10pm on Tuesday 27 July 2010, and a two day old full Moon was rising in the East.

Here's a slideshow. It's somewhat repetitive, but I think it's an impressive scene. I thought the hills in the West looked impressive, dark and mysterious, in the humid night air. It felt spooky seeing the Black Hills faintly illuminated through the city lit glow of the warm humid night air under the light of the full Moon.


25 July 2010

Demonstration to Support Gaza

This demonstration happened a few months ago, but the recent decision by the Olympia Food Cooperative Board of Directors reminded me of it. A great demonstration, there were over 100 people in attendance even though it was planned spontaneously, and made to happen less than 24 hours after news of Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla.

Emergency Demonstration to Support the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and to Protest Israeli Violence

24 July 2010

A Couple Pretty Flowers

Sometimes it helps to have something beautiful and inspiring to look at. Sometimes the insanity and irrationality, the confusion that sometimes prevails in this world, makes it necessary to escape, to flee, to find a place of solace and beauty—away from the horror and terror of a world where people kill, and lie, and cheat, and steal. There's more information about my experience with this troubling world, here, in a blog I posted to OlyBlog.

Here are a couple flowers, for contrast. Imagine how awesome the world could be. Heaven or hell. We have a choice.

I think that it's time to start demanding heaven!

Cone Flower
Cone Flower


18 July 2010

Moon O'er Olympia

Moon Over Capitol and Olympia
Moon Over Capitol and Olympia [view larger]

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Olympia—I volunteered with EGYHOP. EGYHOP stands for Emma Goldman Youth Homeless Outreach Project.

It was a good experience. Very interesting. I think it's an important project. People need support.

I am thankful to my friend for asking me to help, and I look forward to learning more about the project, and about Olympia's homeless youth.

It's amazing how we have homelessness in society, considering the relative material prosperity enjoyed by some.

Enjoy the Moon.


17 July 2010

Peace Vigil Report (re-posted from OlyBlog)

Peace Vigil Report

Richard and Me
Richard and Me at the Peace Vigil
July 16, 2010
Percival Landing Olympia Peace Vigil—For some reason, although there were mostly acknowledgments of approval, there were more than the usual number of passerby who registered disapproval. One individual, who "did two tours in iraq," (and I believe them) verbally accosted me from an open car window with three or four young children in the vehicle. Another asked, "where is your green card."
There is more info about the vigil available here: olyblog.net/thought-bandit
I was asked to show my green card—and I am white! I can't believe it. I can only imagine what black, brown, and other people of color are experiencing these days. Racism is hate speech, and there are laws against hate speech. Hate speech does not belong in public, nor in society in general.
Please ask the Obama Administration to enforce laws against racist hate speech. If you're on facebook, you can find more info here:
White House Enforce Laws Against Hate Speech. If you're not on facebook, then please consider contacting the White House, information at whitehouse.gov.
p.s. here is another photo from the vigil that shows the recent hazy polluted air quality:
Can't See the Olympic Mountains for the Haze

16 July 2010

Thought Bandit!

I just posted three new blogs on OlyBlog. One about the socially destructive nature of advertisements, another about my letter of interest to serve on the Editorial Board of The Olympian, and the following Thought Bandit, which is also cross posted here:

Olympia Washington San Francisco Avenue Sitting Station View

14 July 2010

Products of Industry Ought to be Made for the Benefit of All People

I have been blogging a bit over the past few days, mostly on OlyBlog (see Berd's Blog) and also on Flickr here, and Facebook, here.

This past weekend I attended the Freedom Socialist Party National Convention at The Evergreen State College, and I was introduced, thankfully, to Karl Marx's analysis of capitalism. I was impressed with the humanism of Marx's analysis, and I agree that it is wrong for some to profit from harmful economic activities, while others do not. If there is to be harm, then all people should benefit equally, the products of harmful industrial practices ought to be made to serve the mutual uplift of all people.

Some of my recent blogs and photos relate to this idea of the wrongfulness of doing harm for the purpose of private gain.

I have also been thinking about various social myths that prevail in today's world, as well as how these myths interrelate. These myths are, namely, the myths of: independence, meritocracy, altruism, and scarcity.

It seems to me that these myths (and likely others) are of vital importance toward the maintenance of a status quo of socio-economic injustice, and environmental degradation.

Another concept that I have been pondering is how, in my belief, one of the root causes of this insane, irrational, and harmful societal status quo are mentalities that are rooted in fear, and subsequent confusion, and need for ego-driven dominance.

Our society makes me ill, (and I know that I am very far from being alone in being made to be ill.)

When people are ill, we do not think (nor act) as well as we might if we were healthy.

So I think the root causes of poverty and all unnecessary suffering are in disease—the disease of fearfulness and distrust—and this applies to all people. People oppress because they are in fear. And oppositely, people are oftentimes unable to recognize, much less stand up against, oppression because they are unwell, living in fear.

This reminds me of a workshop I attended at the Allied Media Conference, entitled, "Health is Dignity, and Dignity is Resistance."

This is not to say that there aren't very many great people working to make the world a better place. There are many working for change, and they are effective.

But it seems to me that often times there is confusion that makes it difficult for people to understand each other, and difficult for people to promote the type of broad sweeping changes that would truly benefit all people.

Most people understand—most people know—that there are dreadful problems in the world. And so it is ironic that the very dreadful nature of the problems, which should provoke people into working for change, is actually a key factor in disabling people toward addressing the problems.

The point is that serious changes are necessary in order to eradicate social ills like poverty, hunger, hate, violence, war, and environmental destruction, and in order to be most effective and efficient in terms of achieving these productive changes, it makes sense for people to support each other, and maintain a caring and encouraging network of relationships.

Maybe it's time for humanity to grow up, and start thinking and acting in a way that reflects the desire for a true egalitarian peace.

And therefore, maybe it's time for people to start respecting each others' experiences, and to genuinely and earnestly seek ways to make the world a better place, a place of social and economic stability, truth, consent, well-being, and peace.

Hey hey hey! Go socialism! And please consider checking out some of my other recent bloggings.


12 July 2010

Ship in Port, with Ideas about Success, Materialism, Society, and Health

Log Export
July 10, 2010
view original size

A ship carrying logs is seen at the Port of Olympia, in the City of Olympia, Thurston County, Washington State. The ship is the STX Pioneer, of Panamanian registry.

Despite the many faceted objections of environmentalists, the Weyerhauser company has teamed up with the public sector and is operating a log export operation at the Port of Olympia.

Many people who understand and care about the environment object to the activities of the Weyerhauser company. The lists of reasons is long. The objections stem at least in part because of the fact that the logging operation is harmful to ecosystems. The logging and shipping imperil the delicate biodiversity that is at the heart of ecosystem health. This goes along with a number of other reasons to object to the log export operations, including but not limited to the environmental effects from the transport of such a heavy commodity over long distances.

Should companies be allowed to engage in activities that harm the environment?

Who does the environment belong to? Or rather, who ought the environment belong to? (To some and not others? To all? To none?)

When there are harmful industrial activities, does it make more sense that some few should benefit disproportionately more than others, or does it make more sense to distribute the wealth in a way so that everyone would benefit equally?

Does the focus on a definition of success that leans on the metrics of materialism (v. spirit, or community, for example) promote a fundamentally harmful, abusive, violent relationship with the material of existence, the substance of the planet?

Is it possible that there other ways of defining success that would be more favorable toward a vision of economic stability and justice, and toward an end to what many believe is the criminal behavior of big companies?

In of the current system societies are engaged in competition to exert control over resources. Instead of this scenario, think about societies moving toward a culture of cooperation and stewardship and mutual prosperity. Think about society moving away from a culture of war, conquest and dominance.

Instead of measuring success based solely on personal material riches, perhaps success could be defined along the lines of a healthy community, on the ability to take care of each other, and to be truly aware and awake, conscious (and conscientious) in our daily lives, so that we are careful to the greatest extent possible to NOT do harm...

Perhaps success could be defined along the lines of efforts to strengthen the fabric of society, to work toward an end to all violence, and an end to all unnecessary suffering - an end to poverty, starvation, illiteracy, homophobia, sexism, ageism, racism, nationalism.

Perhaps success could be defined along the lines of contribution to the mutual health and well-being—the mutual happiness and prosperity—of all people.


07 July 2010

Beyond Vietnam, April 4, 1967—Speech by Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

I downloaded the following from here: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

Bees on Tree

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Olympia—A bunch of bees were hanging from a tree limb.

05 July 2010

Children of a Common Mother, Peace Arch Park at the Border of Canada and the US

Children of a Common Mother
Children of a Common Mother seen from the USA

May it be so.
Inside the Arch

seen from the Canadian side of the border

Seattle Skyline on Approach from South

Seattle Skyline
shot from bus

Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan Canadian Delegation Enters the United States

On July 4, 2010 a delegation of Canadians entered the USA to travel to Cuba as part of the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment. Over the years, hundreds of vehicles and tons of supplies have been shipped to Cuba in an effort to break the blockade, and to raise awareness about the immoral policies in the USA. I have more about the event here [http://olyblog.net/pastors-peace-cuba-caravan-annual-friendshipment-border-crossing-canada].

More information from Pastors for Peace: IFCO/Pastors for Peace

Here's a bunch of photos from the trip:

Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan Canada to US Border Crossing Event

03 July 2010

More on the Social Forum

Group Photo in Front of the Matilda B. "Freedom House"I was impressed and I am still struck with the spirit, or theme, of caring that was evinced during the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit. I believe that properly caring for myself includes caring for the well-being of all other people. I understand that all people are interconnected, and interdependent upon each other. So when I hurt another person, I am also hurting myself. I believe this is true for everyone, whether they are aware of it or not.

So it was great to see so many dedicated caring people committed to making the world a better place—all in one place, in Detroit, a city which has seen its fair share of suffering as a result of the consequences of a boom and bust economic system, as well as other unfavorable social trends and pressures (violence in the media, corruption in government...a generally abusive socio-economic-political system...)

It was also great to see so much resilience in the face of such unfavorable trends and pressures.

I have been uploading more photos to my flickr pages, here. I also posted a blog article about being back in Olympia on OlyBlog, here.

Be well, and I hope you survive the warzone this weekend. It's July 3rd and it already sounds like Armageddeon in my neighborhood. Though I do remember a time when I was very enthusiastic about the fireworks...

I guess the fireworks wouldn't bother me if they weren't a celebration of war. If they were instead a celebration of life, and of a stable society, and the mutual health and prosperity of all people.

For now, I don't think fireworks make sense, because there is so much that is wrong with the world. It would make more sense to spend resources on fixing the problems in the world, on fixing the problem of inequality in distribution of wealth and resources.


Happiness does not equal having or controlling more than others. Happiness = serving the mutual well-being of all people. Liberation from economic instability!

Liberation from economic instability and liberation from economic violence—for all!

That includes all people everywhere, without regard to age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, nor any other defining characteristic! (that includes hairstyles)

01 July 2010

CFC Return to Cascadia

Day 17 Aboard the CFC Blue-Green Machine
Day 17 Aboard the CFC Blue-Green Machine

June 30, 2010

Somewhere in Eastern Oregon—This is one of the many beautiful scenes that I was able to imperfectly photograph along the route of our journey. As usual, the best ones (images, scenes...) got away...

The Cascadia Freedom Caravan returned to the Cascadia Pacific Northwest region today (June 30/July1). Though many were tired, the travelers were in mostly good spirits. And while most were glad to be home, I think there is also some pain of loss and separation in seeing the end of an amazing journey, and as friends new and old go separate ways.

For me, the trip was somewhat of a pilgrimage. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with so many amazing people. I made good connections and had some awesome conversations. For me, it was an educational and transformative experience.

Both the Allied Media Conference and the US Social Forum were worthwhile. I learned a lot at both. I learned about myself, and about the world. I learned about the work of making the world a better place for all people.

Detroit is an amazing place, full of contrasts, and a past of conflict. In the midst of the chaos of economic instability, there exists an amazing spirit of resilience, opportunity, and even beauty as communities learn to adapt and grow despite the presence of unfavorable social trends and pressures.

I have nearly 3,000 photographs from the trip. I hope to compile a few sets to tell the story, including a set of the best ones. That is after I get some much needed rest!