24 April 2011

New Material

It is Easter Sunday, and although I don't consider myself to be Christian, I do recognize Jesus as a pretty awesome human being! I was somewhat raised Catholic, so I understand some about the event. I think it is good to ask questions. For example, who was Jesus. What was the reason he was killed. How has his life and death been interpreted and used?

Anyway, happy Passover, and happy Easter, or whatever other you might celebrate at this time of year (like the start of the growing season, in the Northern hemisphere, the return of the Sun...)

I have posted new stuff on my other blogs, like a video about Artswalk and Procession of the Species 2011 on OlyBlog, here. Also I have new photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, and other material on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are in Olympia, make sure to get to the Capitol Theatre this week for the Olympia Film Society showing of "I Am," a documentary film by director Tom Shadyac (director of Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty.) It is about human consciousness, social/political/economic evolution of consciousness. Trailer posted below.


09 April 2011

Some Thoughts about Nuclear Weapons, Bullying, and Policy

I will not bully.
This photo is from the 3rd of March 2011. It was for an F.O.R. [http://forusa.org/] effort to post photos of people holding signs like this on a giant electronic billboard in (I think, though I am not sure) Manhattan, downtown NYC.

I was reminded of it because of I was arraigned on federal trespassing charges yesterday in Tacoma, WA. I and six others are accused of trespassing on the Naval Nuclear Weapons/Submarine Base Kitsap—Bangor, during a protest hosted by the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action [http://gzcenter.org/], on Martin Luther King day this year (15 January 2011.)

KOMO had a TV camera and reporter there, and also a journalist with the radio station.

During a pre-arraignment rally and vigil, I was able to speak in front of the TV camera for a little bit, and then reporter from the radio station did a short interview with me.

In front of the camera I echoed previous comments made by my fellow defendants, about being inspired by the actions of the Disarm Now Swords into Plowshares group [disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com].

I also mentioned being thankful for the hard work that the GZ Center does, and my reason for being there, which is to inspire increased awareness, and inspire people to ask whether we might be on the wrong track as far as these weapons are concerned—and if so, then how we might go about abolishing them as soon as possible!

I am glad the KOMO radio reporter also stopped me before entering the courthouse, because I was able to talk more about my reasons for being there. Which is where the bullying idea comes in. My opposition to nuclear weapons is not only based on their destructive potential (and illegality,) but because their existence is designed to support, enable, and further policies and practices of economic and political dominance.

So I ask why, when it is wrong for children to bully in kindergarten, is it considered normal or acceptable for grown-ups to bully in the marketplace or in the international political arena?

Just say no to bullying!

[also see "no more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis": www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1589328&l=9ad9eae545&id=1061322373]

07 April 2011

Washington State Budget Protest Update!

More updates on my flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhitlock/ and OlyBlog, http://olyblog.net/blog/berd.

The following is from a couple emails I sent, one to the Fair Budget Coalition and Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace listserves, and another to my Washington State legislators:

Hey everyone, congratulations on the week so far. Tuesday was awesome, and then Wednesday was even more awesome!

The Backbone Campaign [http://backbonecampaign.org] is encouraging people to contact their legislators. I think it makes sense to communicate with them about the reasons we are demonstrating too. more information at http://backbonecampaign.org

Here's a note I sent to Gov. Gregoire:

Dear Governor Gregoire, I support the people who are occupying the Capitol Building, and I want to join in saying, "no excuses." There is no excuse for anti-social budget cuts at a time when there has never been more wealth in society. Wealth must be taxed. Wealth must give back to society from which it was garnered!

No Excuses!: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhitlock/5596842492/

I also posted photos from Wednesday here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhitlock/sets/72157626445019320/

and a hastily edited video (which might disappear if I re-do it) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZnX66zEV20


Dear Senator Fraser and Representatives Hunt and Reykdal,

I am writing to express my support for protests against the budget this week. I am sure that
you're all similarly inclined toward more progressive taxation. So the purpose of my letter may
be less to persuade, than to make sure you know that there are many people amongst your
constituency whom are interested in basic changes to the state revenue system. I have heard of
polls that indicate nearly 70% support taxing wealth in order to fund social services.

The demonstrations this week illustrate the urgency of this problem. For example, people are
losing their homes at a time when the economic elite control a massive proportion of society's
wealth, and at a time when there are not enough jobs, much less dignified jobs with living

You have my support in vigorous and assertive approach to this problem. Wealth that is
garnered from society, must be taxed and returned to society, in order to maintain the
commonwealth. People need fairness and equity.

There is class warfare, and I want government to protect the poor against avarice and predation
in the marketplace.

Thank you!

Berd Whitlock
Olympia, WA]

Poverty is not caused by personal defect, it is not an individual problem. Poverty is a social problem.