20 March 2012

Tree Motif

Tree Motif

Here are some photos from the past few years, common strand is trees:

Tree with Holes

Big Trees

Tall Trees

Tree Moss

Trees and Shadows

Trees on the Trail

Palm Tree


Tree Detail

Redwood Depth of Field

Mossy Maple

Bob Bammert Forest Grove Trail

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove

Peeling Madrona Bark

The Grizzly Giant

Evergreen Woods

Windswept Vista


Boston Harbor Point

15 March 2012

Wall Street Divided Over Ethics

Three New York Times articles about Greg Smith's resignation from, and experience at, Goldman Sachs:

Op-Ed Contributor
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
Published: March 14, 2012

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

01 March 2012

Capital Gains, Tax Exemptions Expiration, testimony

Yesterday (Wednesday 29 February 2012,) I testified on a couple of bills at the Washington State House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. There were other bills of interest, but I wasn't adequately prepared, and bill sign in was hectic, with a busy hallway. Here's a little more about the two pieces of testimony:

Capital Gains Testimony


In this testimony I was SUPER nervous, and felt super rushed too, and neglected to mention the two concepts that I most wanted to address: "externalities" and bullying.

Companies "externalize" their harmful impacts so that they don't detract from their financial bottomline. I wanted to suggest that the world might be better if the concept of externalization was eliminated, and that might be accomplished through advocacy and regulatory efforts.

I also wanted to argue that as bullying is wrong in schools, the workplace, and general society, it is also wrong in greater economic schemes, (as well as in legislative discourse.) Really bullying is wrong anywhere. Capital gains tax could very much go toward encouraging a world of dwindling aggressions and hostilities practiced between people, and by people against the planet.

Tax Preferences Expiry


This testimony is a little more self-explanatory. Currently, there are over 500 tax exemptions that benefit various industries. Some people say there is not enough scrutiny in regard to the merits of the industries that receive these benefits — and that they amount to entitlement for already successful and wealthy industries, and the benefits from these exemptions can be seen to trickle-up to banks and other upper level financial powers.

During a hearing about tax preferences last year, Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences Chair, William A. Longbrake, described the state tax code and surrounding political activity as arcane.
Here's a link to a segment of testimony from that hearing:

Occupy Reality