Oly Oly Action Alert 1_10_13 Diversity

In my own humble opinion this week’s commentary section carries the most important message I’ve ever tried to convey.


It’s pretty funny too.


Please forward freely.









Diverse Worldviews 101


1)  FYI Section:

   1A)  War on the Homeless Update

   1B)  Formidable Warrior Women of Olympia Profile:  POWER

   1C)  Olympia FOR on TCTV

   1D)  Link to Petition against Coal Trains

   1E)  Help Support the Backpack 6

2)  IDLE NO MORE!  Support Chief Spence Meeting with Prime Minister

3)  Resistance in Palestine

4)  Fundraiser for Tamale Fusion Café IV


   5A)  King Tide Meetup

   5B)  Meet and Greet the Washington State Legislators 2013

   5C)  Climate Crisis Rally

   5D)  Washington CAN Action!

6)  Corrections

7)  Bonus Tip of the Day




Hey Kids!


Welcome to the Oly Oly Action Alert!


I am proud to announce that the commentary section of this week’s Oly Oly Action Alert is being brought to you by:


The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews!


Oly Oly Action will return in just a moment, but first a word from our sponsor:


Hey Humanity!


This is The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews!


So tell me, Humanity, are you tired of that nasty old Machine destroying all life on your planet?  Yeah, yeah, sure; you really would like to do something about that, but geez!  Some of those people you gotta work with!  There are assholes and old sexist white guys and passive-aggressive power manipulators with dark hidden agendas — and I hear they even let right-wingers and homophobes try to save the world these days!  They spend all their time fighting each other instead of fighting the baby-killers!


Oh, well (sigh).  Guess I’ll just vote for Obama and hope for the best…


But wait!  What would you say, Humanity, if I told you that THERE IS A SOLUTION!


Yes, Humanity!  What would you say if I told you that there is a tried true and tested method for getting along with other people!


Well I am here now to tell you that very thing, for this miracle product is called:


The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews!


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As always, we hope that you will patronize our sponsors and keep this newsletter lettering!




Personal or Political?


Three times over the last two weeks I have been stumbling around in the dark and someone suddenly shined a spotlight right in my frigging face — and I suddenly discovered that I was in the middle of a minefield.


You tend to wake up and learn a lot of things from such experiences.


I will always remember the last two weeks as The Time of Dana’s Schooling.


The first time played out very famously in this newsletter so I don’t need to go there again; the second time my friend actually shined the spotlight in my face before I actually stepped into the minefield — which she is very good at doing and for which I love her dearly — and I was thus able to just slowly back away; and the third spotlight emanated from an anonymous source — but in spite of his anonymity I intend to drag that person into the minefield with me this evening, whoever he is.


I think he’ll be surprised.


We’re about to have some fun, Kids!


I actually love when things like this happen because such experiences teach.  The Machine is our common enemy and we need to work together against our common enemy and the more we know and understand each other then the easier that is.


A lot of our internecine problems are caused by misunderstandings resulting from diverse worldviews.


(Yes, that statement was slyly planted in this newsletter by this evening’s sponsor The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews as part of a deep dark plot to prime your mind for the Grand Finale sales pitch…)


I got serious flak for going personal in that Special Alert.  Even disregarding the fact that the blowback from that Alert turned into a script that might be sold to a good comedy producer several people strongly felt that this was an inappropriate forum for such a discussion.


I disagree.  I disagreed then and I disagree much more strongly now.  I think that the things that we all learned about each other were invaluable and I’ve got a couple of pretty controversial stink-bombs I’m gonna throw at you tonight too because the more I deal with The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews the more important I realize this is.


One thing that makes implementing The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews much easier is learning to understand where other people are coming from.  This is why I really think the personal is the political.  I don’t really think that you can separate them.  We need to become the world we want to create and the more we know about each other and the more understanding there is between us then the easier that is.


Therefore, this evening I plan to boldly go where most of you have most certainly never gone before because I think maybe I can help you understand viewpoints that may be alien to your worldview — for Understanding a Diversity of Worldviews is a Vital Component to Implementing the Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews.


Duly warned.


Critique á la Critique or…


My Psychiatric Prognosis


I received a lengthy email from an anonymous source that was very interesting in a twisty sort of way.  It touched upon many issues many of them very personal.


I should probably be honored that someone spent so much time and thought on me.


Since he brought up a lot of interesting and relevant stuff and since most of that stuff I can tie into The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews then I am happy to return the favour.


I found his message to be yet another invitation to engage my challenger with a duel of witty repartee — but my opponent this time, alas, whilst highly intelligent and highly knowledgeable about many things yet displayed little wisdom and even less humour.


(As for wisdom vs. knowledge:  I’ll take wisdom any day.)


 (As to humour:  I have personally found that when it comes to dealing with the world you can either laugh about it or you can cry about it and in my experience laughing both feels a lot better and makes you much more popular at parties.)


Some of this will seem like personal ‘gotchas’ because that is exactly what they are; I ask you to bear with me though because even most of the ‘gotchas’ build into a crescendo that tie into the central theme of The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews in the end — so please bear with me.


Before thoroughly and effectively trashing nearly everything he said (in my humble opinion) I will first cut him this slack:  He composed his screed during the Great Castration Controversy last week and I suspect that my critic was riding to the defense of the popular local activist that I had allegedly slandered — which situation has since been explained and accepted by all parties involved as unintentional highly comedic and arising from misunderstanding.  If he was indeed riding to the aid of a damsel in distress then I actually find that quite admirable, especially in his choice of distressed damsels — but if that is indeed what he was doing then I might suggest that before any future wagging of penis in that particular damsel’s service he may want to consult said damsel’s policy on penis-waggers…




Jokes aside (just for a second, don’t worry!) I am going to do a lot of paraphrasing due to the original correspondence’s length and due to its unknown provenance and due to the fact that I don’t really like the person who sent it very much and due to the fact that he sent his observations anonymously and due to the fact that he tended to use lots of excess verbiage and due to the fact that my translations are not only shorter but they are also much funnier.  I believe that my summaries convey the spirit if not the endless details of the correspondence — but if anyone really wants to wade through the original and check the accuracy of my characterization then I will be happy to forward it to you upon request.


(Okay, the serious second is over.  Watch out for jokes now.)


He started off by saying that he didn’t really know me and had only met me briefly a couple of times but that I made him uncomfortable, he didn’t like me, didn’t trust me, and he questioned my character and my credibility — evidently basing all these rather serious charges and allegations upon two brief meetings and upon my writing in this newsletter.  Then, in spite having just acknowledged not knowing me, he launched into a fairly lengthy and detailed psychoanalysis using words such as “dualistic neurosis” to explain to me in exquisite detail exactly why I am such a piece of shite white male sexist pig with no character and with dark dangerous hidden agendas so hidden that they are hidden even from myself, and that he was now revealing me to myself as a public service so that I may emerge from my old white guy sexist darkness and joyously emerge into the light as a truly enlightened man…


…though he didn’t really expect that to happen because us old white guy sexist pigs were so firmly set in our ways and so on and so forth and etc.


Dana is actually pretty aware of his many psychological quirks (including referring to himself in the third person) and I at least like to think that I deal with them rather adeptly.  While I admit that my anonymous therapist hit a couple of slightly uncomfortable nails right on the head, by the end of his screed I was thinking that maybe he had stumbled upon even those purely by accident because so many of his other observations were so off the mark that I began to suspect (at the risk of engaging in amateur psychoanalysis of someone that I don’t know) that rather than criticizing me, the anonymous gentleman was instead analyzing himself and then projecting his observations onto me.



First he offended me:  He challenged my personal honour.


Concerning my honour:  I spent six years in prison rather than sell my friends to the feds.  One of many reasons I did that was because my honour is what makes me who I am and without my honour I am a nothing.


I spent six years in Hell earning my badge of honour — and now you are questioning that?


And exactly who are you?


You refuse to say.  You send me your email anonymously through a third party because you say:


it’s clear anything but anonymous feedback brings a cruel public slandering via your ‘news’letter – so I remain anonymous to prevent such…


I put my name to everything I write, I stand behind everything I say, and when I’m wrong I acknowledge such publically — as I have done many times in the past.


You, on the other hand, challenge my honour and my credibility from behind a veil of anonymity.


As far as sending your message anonymously because you fear my ‘slandering’ of you in my ‘news’letter, how about we do this and I’ll grant you a little validation:  If you consider me calling you a coward to be slander then I hereby officially slander you because you send your words anonymously.


(Oh how I love irony!)


(And by the way:  I normally do not print the names of people who ask me not to print them anyway.)


While I regularly blast the Machine and its evil minions without mercy, who have I ever ‘slandered’ in this newsletter?  I don’t remember ever ‘slandering’ anyone.  Do you consider policy disagreements to be ‘slander’?  When I ‘trashed’ (as opposed to ‘slandered’) Steve Langer and Charles Shelan for their roles in the previous iteration of the Homeless Wars a lot of prominent and respected activists seriously criticized me for doing that; I printed their criticisms and then other people with inside knowledge and/or unique perspectives chimed in and we all learned a lot about everything from those exchanges — but ‘slander’?  Did I ever make any factual assertions about Langer or Shelan that weren’t accurate?  Have I ever made any factual assertions about anyone that were not accurate or that I didn’t correct after learning I was mistaken?


(Uh oh, I’ll bet someone will remember one now!)


(I opened that can of worms right up, didn’t I?)


Anyway, for the record:  From here on out I will be ‘trashing’ you rather than ‘slandering’ you, even if I must do it anonymously.



As for my unsolicited therapist’s deep psychiatric insights:  One of many he alleged is that I like to move and shake for its own sake and therefore that I cannot be trusted since I fight for the sake of my own ego rather than for the Cause.


Does anyone really know anyone that does not have an ego?  If so I imagine they would resemble a lump of flesh that occasionally eats something.  Having an ego is not the problem; the problems come with their size and their health.  They can be too big or they can be too small or they can be just right.  They can unleash holocausts and they can write frigging Beethoven’s Frigging 9th Frigging Symphony when the frigging owner of that frigging ego was stone frigging deaf.


As with so many other human characteristics, ego can be a force for good or a force for not so good.


The primary reason that I move and shake is so that my granddaughter will have a planet that is worth living on.  Other than that, though, I do indeed absolutely love moving and shaking for its own sake because it’s a blast and I’m good at it and if you are going to feed your ego and pride yourself on being good at something then I think that being good at saving my granddaughter’s planet is a rather benign form of that particular psychological derangement.


I don’t expect to be seeking therapy anytime soon.



Then he pissed me off…


It seems that my story of Julie Dancing with the Flowers (i.e. Riders on the Storm) revealed to my anonymous critic’s deep-seeing psychological perceptions that I actually have a dark hidden penis-wagging power-manipulation agenda going on here and that I ill-used Julie with ill-intent and for ill-purpose by writing Riders on the Storm in order to advance said dark agenda.


Really?  You got all that from Riders on the Storm?


Who’d a thunk?


Here is my own quite different opinion of Riders on the Storm, which I think relevant because I was there when I wrote it:


(Uh oh!  Ego Alert!)


My own opinion is that Riders on the Storm is one of the most beautiful pieces of literary artistry that I have ever managed to summon in a very long career of writing lots and lots and lots of things.  At this point in my life adventure, in addition to numerous articles essays songs and two years worth of these Action Alerts, I have also completed eight novels, I have two more nearly ready for view, and I have concepts in my brain for four others.


In all those years of writing all that stuff I now consider Riders on the Storm as my second favourite creation to which I have ever given birth.


While Riders on the Storm was technically written for political purpose in a political newsletter — that was a pure art piece.


So you first anonymously attack my credibility and my honour— and now you attribute dark motives to my art?


Riders on the Storm came straight from the most precious parts of my soul.


Dead serious now:  Fuck you.


(Uh oh!  Penis-Wagger Alert!)


It’s rather ironic you accuse me of dark hidden agendas in writing Riders on the Storm, not only because it is probably one of the least dark things I’ve ever written, but also because in that particular case I actually stated very plainly before telling that particular story that I did indeed have an very specific agenda for telling that particular story at that particular time and that I would reveal said agenda immediately after telling said story — which I did indeed subsequently do.  Said agenda was to illustrate how a sexual relationship can produce profound magic and I was presenting this in response to a bunch of flak I was receiving for speaking of sex in a manner many considered sexist.


Not much hidden there.  Sorry.


I do believe that you are confusing the way my mind works with the way your mind works.  I would suggest to readers that rather than speculate upon my dark hidden agenda in writing a story like Riders on the Storm you would serve yourself better by speculating upon what kind of person would be disturbed by a story like Riders on the Storm.



And then finally, the SEXISM!  DANA IS A SEXIST!  DANA IS A SEXIST!


My sesquipedalian friend held my depictions of Boss and of Julie as me defining who is a woman and who isn’t a woman.  According to Mr. Anonymous Critic, what I was actually saying was that if pretty naked girls danced for me in the flowers then they are women but that if they are harsh and/or more ‘masculine’ type women then they are not.  He stated that I was ‘demeaning’ Boss by referring to her as a ‘Warrior Woman’.  He said:


Instead of calling the woman masculine and militaristic things to discredit them from being a woman — try redefining what it is to be a woman in your brain.  Your rant only gave proof you are a sexist.”


Yes, the klaxons on my well-tuned irony-detectors were blaring and red lights were flashing before I even fully understood what he was trying to say, for actually my anonymous critic was himself the one who was actually ‘defining women’ and ‘demeaning Boss’.  Julie was a dainty delicate female.  Boss is a non-dainty non-delicate female.  Both of them are very much women.  I made up the moniker of ‘Boss’ and I call her a ‘Warrior Woman’ out of respect for her womanhood, not to discredit it.  I greatly admire Boss’ attributes both because that is so essentially who she is and because they are a large part of what makes her so effective as an activist.  As far as the world of Effective Activism is concerned, in fact, when it comes to Boss then I am the acolyte sitting at the feet of the Master.


I thought I made all of that clear in my depiction but I guess it wasn’t clear to you since you considered my paean to be ‘demeaning’ to Boss.  Are you saying that rather than celebrating Boss’ attributes as I did, that I should have instead ignored or tried to gloss over such an essential aspect of Boss’ character as if it is somehow wrong or embarrassing?  To my way of thinking that is ‘demeaning’ to Boss both as a human in general and as a woman in particular.  Boss is what Boss is and I think that what Boss is is pretty frigging awesome.  If you read that post as demeaning to Boss in any manner then yes, I’d say one of us is definitely messed up here.



However, your especial wrath was saved for near the end:


Also, possibly most offensive of all the offensive statement[s] you made in your defense — men who love men do so for the same reasons men love women, and women love women, and women love men.  One can make sense of a man loving a man sexually without insisting their brains are different!


Really?  That was ‘possibly the most offensive’ thing you found?


Dude, I can be a lot more offensive than that, believe me!  That’s almost insulting!


For readers who may have missed that:  I was pushing my ‘women are superior to men’ shtick and I mentioned in passing the recently discovered fact that gay men exhibit many of the same differences in brain function and brain physiology as women do (and therefore according to my theory means that gay men are possibly also superior to other men).


I think part of the problem here is that I’m not even really clear about what he found offensive; was his problem with the fact itself or with my mentioning of it?


It also really isn’t all that clear how my mentioning a fact about the differences in sexes in a conversation about the differences in sexes relates to my being a sexist either — but whatever.


Anyway, it’s time to tie this all of this psychological stuff into The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews


Enlightened Sexists?


As for this latest contribution to the “Dana is a Sexist” bandwagon, well duh!  Does anyone really know anyone who isn’t?


A lot of people don’t seem to get it that most of this stuff is hardwired into your base-brain when you’re still a little kid and by the time your in your 50’s like me then a lot of it is pretty much set in concrete.  I hear that most gay people know they are gay before puberty.  I clearly remember always liking to hang out with the girls before I even knew that sex existed — and you kids these days may have trouble believing this, but during the quaint period of American history wherein I spent my happy childhood they were mostly successful at keeping the very existence of sex itself a complete secret from pre-teen children.  Check out the old 60’s sitcom “Leave it to Beaver” sometime.  I lived there.  That is where I grew up.  I was Beaver.


Quite different than the world you grew up in, eh?  Growing up in a different world is likely to give you a different worldview, eh?


So, you want an alternate worldview?  Do you want dark psychological insights?  Well I’ll tell you what, while I cite scientific discoveries that back up my ‘women are superior’ theories this is indeed one area in which I also have psychological stake because I’ll tell you what, Kids, I feel that The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews is so important that for your enlightenment this evening I am willing slake your prurient dark-psychological curiosities and provide some really choice fodder for all of you armchair psychologists out there!


 (Dark scary music now, please…)


Yes, Kids, I’m gonna rip it all off and expose myself to you for the Cause!


(No, I didn’t mean it that way!  You’re the one with a dirty mind!)


Yes, I implore you to now to sacrifice for the noble cause of promoting The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews!


For you see:  In order to understand this particular worldview, you must first embark upon a dangerous journey of exploration deep into the dark twisted mystery of Dana’s disturbed old white guy sexist mind!


(Be strong, Kids!  You can handle it!  It’s for the Cause!)


For you see, here’s what it is:  In my case my brain was largely wired by my cold distant disciplinarian father and by the drunk driver that killed my mother when I was eleven.


(Ahhh, that explains everything!  You can try to tear me down all you want but I think I’ve done pretty well for someone whose whole destiny was largely shaped by a drunk driver…)


That was bad enough in itself — but in addition to that, my little sexless Leave it to Beaver fantasy-land where everything was good and wholesome (except for Wally)… …(inside joke for my generation)… and this magical little cartoon-world where all the clouds were always white and fluffy and where bad things simply never happened — this world completely failed to prepare me in any way whatsoever or in any manner whatsoever for dealing with my insulated little bubble-world suddenly exploding into a literal fireball.


I certainly don’t remember Beaver ever having to deal with anything like that.


As my anonymous psychological expert would probably attest, sometimes a cigar isn’t just a cigar.


(I guess now I’m exploiting my dead mother for some secret hidden power agenda also; a slippery slope indeed…)


The point of all this is that as a result of my pre-adolescent brain-wiring job I have always preferred the company of women to that of men.  I like women more, I trust women more, and I consider women to be nicer, smarter, gentler, wiser, stronger, kinder, more interesting, and more pleasing to the eye.  Basically I love most women and I like some men.  That’s just the way my brain is wired and that’s the way it has always been so I just do the best I can within the psychological framework in which I operate.  If that makes me a sexist pig or if you think I suck because of that then whatever.  Being this way has advantages and disadvantages and that’s just the way it is.  I’m an old sexist white guy.  If you want to work with me trying to save the world then deal with it.


Putting aside relatively petty personal judgments to work on the greater cause of saving my granddaughter’s planet is an example of The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews.



My anonymous critic also said this:


You have no chance of developing any meaningful relationships in this community or in any community you set yourself in.  Your interactions are contaminated from the start.  It is pure and ugly exploit for your own unhealthy purposes, which seems to be to isolate yourself from other (so that you feels safe/in control), though tragically in the end it only affirms the personal insecurities and fear driven identity that brings you to this unhealthy thinking/behavior to begin with…


“…being an old sexist white guy as you are, I don’t expect you to change your thinking or behavior.  Most old white guys’ psychology and behavior is habitually set and I don’t really expect to witness any real change in your thinking or behavior any time soon.”


Thus, my shrink’s prognosis is that I’m an irredeemable hopeless old white guy who is incapable of ever changing my evil sexist woman demeaning ways and that no one really likes me and that since he is onto me now then I might as well just go skulk in the corner and suck rocks.


(See?  I evoke the same spirit but my version is funnier.)


Anyway, in the interest of full-disclosure I just thought that everyone should know that about me.


Generation Gap


Joking aside for another second, there actually is a lot to consider there and a lot of it just happens to coincidently correspond with The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews.  I am thinking from that last statement that my critic is of the younger generation and I think that comes into play here because one more thing that I am now starting to get is that there are some rather profound differences in views about the place sex holds both personally and culturally between my generation and the current crop of kids — and I will here admit that I flat don’t get a lot of it.  Please keep in mind that I had never heard of — nor even considered — the concept of ‘gender neutrality’ until last year.


(Actually I once wrote a science fiction story about a planet where everyone was both sexes and thus everyone was sexual to everyone else.  The height of sexual perversity on this planet was the desire always to be the same sex in your sexual relations.  If children were born with one or the other sex missing, the assumption was their lives would not be worth living and they were euthanized for reasons of mercy.)


(All of this caused some pretty serious misunderstandings when the Earthmen showed up.)


Er, yes.  Anyway, as an Earthman who has enthusiastically celebrated the difference between the sexes for my entire adult life I am afraid that ‘gender neutrality’ simply does not compute in my reality.  I’m not saying that it’s wrong or bad or that people shouldn’t adopt whatever the hell identity they are comfortable with and I’ll use whatever pronoun someone wants me to use to refer to them since it is them that I am referring to; I am just saying that it doesn’t come at all naturally and it makes me feel really weird.


What I am saying is that in the interest of The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews I am willing to suck it up and accept a worldview that I find alien.  I think it is not too much to ask the same in return.  Kids other than Mr. Anonymous have also told me that this cluelessness about current sexual mores amongst the youth is a common problem amongst men of my generation so evidently that is just something you kids are going to have to deal with if you want to work with us.  I came of age post-pill/ pre-AIDS and I was a member in good standing of the Free Love Generation, so that definitely influenced my perspective on the role of sex — and to be honest, from what I can discern of what the kids are thinking about sex these days I think that — overall — my view is the more realistic more enlightened and psychologically healthier anyway (regardless of what my anonymous therapist says) and at this point in my life I am enjoying a thoroughly wonderful and fulfilling sex life — and I find myself wondering if my anonymous therapist can say the same…


…so excuse me but I’ll just keep it, thank you.


Don’t expect to witness any real change in my thinking or behaviour (on this particular subject anyway) any time soon.  If you can’t deal with that then I guess we don’t work together.


I really would suggest trying The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews though.


We’re stronger if we work together.




Enlightened Homophobes?


And I’m not done yet, Kids!  No sirree bob!  If you’re going to truly adopt The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews as a worldview then you need to stretch it out and get it down!


When boasting of the healthy state of my sexual mental health there is actually one fairly major caveat that I must make.


I’m gonna be real honest with you now!


(Or possibly I have a deep dark hidden agenda…)


In yet another sacrifice to The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews I will now invite you into yet another far distant land located deep in Dana’s lizard brain where mayhap you have yet to ever tread…


Yep.  Just for kicks (not) I think that now is the perfect time to throw yet another firebomb that I’ve had sitting on the shelf for a long time now just waiting for the right time to be ignited.


(I’m sure that some of you just can’t wait!)


So here:  I, Dana, hereby publically confess that — as if being an old sexist white guy weren’t bad enough — I also have a fairly serious case of homophobia.


(Now, drop a pin and listen…)


I am different from lots of other homophobes in that I fully understand this is purely 100% my own personal problem and I do my very best not to make my personal problem a problem for gay people, so in that way my homophobia is not as bad as the more popular brand — but in another way my homophobia is even worse because even in this area I am a sexist pig in that my homophobia only applies to gay men.


Irredeemable indeed.


I fully agree that this totally sucks and I really wish it wasn’t so but —just as is so ironically the case with the romantic proclivities of gay people — it seems to be hardwired into my brain and it’s just there and I can’t do anything about it, so I just do the best I can.  I make sure that it’s not a problem for gay people and other than occasional slight discomfort it’s really not that big a deal for me either.  I’m fine hanging out with gay people as long as they understand I’m not and I wasn’t going to say this because it’s so frigging clichéd but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s true:  I have had gay male friends, one of whom I worked with and became fairly tight with.


It’s just that the thought of men engaged in sex churns some deep part of my lizard-brain and there is nothing I can do about it.  I love hugging women.  I don’t like even touching much less hugging men.


(Darn that cold distant father and that drunk driver anyway!)


I am different from gay people in that I’m not proud of it, though.


Anyway, my question for the kids in general and for gays in particular:  Are you willing to work with me knowing that I’m a homophobe?


Did I mention:  Putting aside relatively petty personal judgments to work on the greater cause of saving my granddaughter’s planet is an example of The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews.


Having now spent four years in Olympia surrounded by gay people and by gay culture I have lately spent thought on possible productive purpose for my homophobia.  As someone who unquestioningly accepts the right of gay people to both exist and to be gay and fully supportive of gay people doing whatever the hell they want to do under the same caveats as everyone else is free to do whatever the hell they want to do, then possibly I can convince other homophobes that my homophobic view is the more enlightened?  (Start an ‘Enlightened Homophobia’ movement?)  Possibly I can help gay people understand that when someone makes someone else uncomfortable — especially about a sexual thing — then a common human reaction is to externalize that discomfort and blame the other person for what is actually their own problem that was wired into their brains when they were still little kids?


Maybe I can help other homophobes understand the same thing?


I’ve long wanted to attend a Pride event with a sign saying “Homophobes for Gay Rights” and see what kind of conversations that would stir…




Enlightened Assholes?


I have one more observation concerning The Concept of Accepting a Diversity of Worldviews:


The most incredibly offensive asshole that I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter — this guy was a foul-mouthed alcoholic drunken racist sexist anti-Semitic misogynistic demeaning degrading sneering arrogant condescending and just in general the most incredibly offensive prick that you could possibly imagine named Stephen Principle which was ironic since the guy didn’t have many if any principles that I could discern — but back in 1988 I watched Mr. Principle put in 20-hour days for a couple of months doing most excellent legal work for the Rainbow Family free of charge.


He won the case, too.


Not only that, but he won the case in a staid solemn and serious federal courtroom full of staid solemn and serious suits presided over by a staid solemn and serious judge and surrounded by staid solemn and serious people with guns…


…whilst dressed in a court-jester’s outfit…


…complete with the funny hat.


And he kicked their ass.


Assholedness can be a powerful force.  The biggest assholes in the world are the assholes that own and run the world, in fact.  I am thinking that maybe just like I can’t help being a homophobe that maybe assholes also can’t help being assholes and maybe there are ‘good’ assholes out there who try to put their assholedness to productive purpose?


Should we forsake their contributions because they are assholes?


It takes all kinds, Kids.


Think about it.  Really.




Business as Usual — Surprise Surprise!


To wrap up the commentary section for this week’s Action Alert I would like to include a couple of quick-notes about that ‘nasty old Machine’ just to remind everyone that it’s still out there and that it’s still going strong:


Barack Obama just nominated John Brennan, a noted pro-torture advocate, to head the CIA.


You’ve heard of ‘marriages made in heaven’?


This is the other kind.


Business as usual.  Surprise surprise.



Michael Boyle, an adviser from 2007 to 2008 on the Obama Campaign’s Counterterrorism Expert Group, said:  “[Obama] has been just as ruthless and indifferent to the rule of law as his predecessor…”


But at least Obama’s not a Republican!


Business as usual.  Surprise surprise.


What say we put aside our personal differences and save my granddaughter’s planet, eh?


It’s time to get to work…



1)  FYI Section:


1A)  War on the Homeless Update


As fully expected the Olympia City Council passed their new ordinance with a 6-0 vote.  (Actually we were expecting a 6-1 vote but our one vote called in sick.)  (Wouldn’t have mattered anyway.)


I was ready to get arrested on this one but I couldn’t find anyone to get arrested with me.  since getting arrested is a major pain in the ass and since getting arrested by myself would be next to pointless I abandoned that plan.  I am thinking it is the middle of winter and that everyone understood that the council was determined this time.


Again at the council meeting, articulate brilliant people who know the issue and who have the ideas to make things better spoke one after another after another.  They spoke passionately and brilliantly explaining in compelling detail why for both practical and moral reasons this was such an utterly reprehensible thing to do — and this time their argument was bolstered even further when Rob Richards presented a statement signed by over 20 downtown business owners who also strongly rejected the new ordinance.


Again, not one person spoke in favour of the ordinance.


Since the community hated this law and since a large number of downtown businesses hated the law, this led to several sharp questions as to whose interests the city council was actually representing.


Evidently there are secret people out there who secretly support the law but evidently they don’t want their names kept secret so they don’t have to be publically associated with such a controversial travesty of a law.


Taking the heat for that kind of stuff is what they pay the politicians for.


The council critters didn’t even bother trying to justify the unjustifiable this time.  Other than specious rhetoric and empty banal platitudes the only interesting things said on the dais were all said by Mayor Stephen Buxbaum


The mayor was a puzzle.  We assumed he was on our side but on the first reading Mr. Buxbaum not only voted for the ordinance but he didn’t even bother explaining why.  It was widely assumed that someone in the Olympia Machine had gotten to him and he had sold us down the river.  It is known that powerful political forces are at play on this law.


At the meeting the mayor gave what was — for a city council meeting — an impassioned speech about how he had agonized over this issue and worked on this issue for a long time.  He has indeed.  Then, he said something that actually took me in for a little while:  He said he was supporting the law because he knew that it would piss people off so much that the community might finally mobilize and might finally fix the damned problem.


I said:  “Wow.”


Then I thought:  “People are very pissed off and they are finally mobilizing to finally fix the damned problem.”


Could our good mayor have actually fallen on his own sword for the Cause?  Was he that philanthropically Machiavellian?


He had me suckered until this morning when I thought:  The ordinance would have passed even without his vote.  If he didn’t really support the ordinance but he was just pushing it as a community mobilization tool, then why did he have to actually vote for it in the end?


I have a suggestion:  Maybe for the same reason that Senator Barack Obama voted to give the Telecom Machine legal immunity for having illegally spied on us for the government even though his vote was completely unnecessary for its passage:  To send the Machine the signal that you’re ready to play ball.


Mayor Buxbaum also said something else that caught my attention:  He said that the county should pick up more responsibility than the city on this issue, especially since Tumwater and Lacey are both more than happy to dump all of their responsibilities into Olympia’s lap and let us pay for it.


I realized as soon as he said that that this was absolutely true.


Thus, you can soon expect the baleful gaze of Oly Oly Action to slowly and ominously turn in the direction of the Thurston County Council…


Can they feel the heat yet?




1B)  Formidable Warrior Women of Olympia Profile:  POWER


It occurs to me that I haven’t riffed on POWER for awhile and new readers may be unfamiliar!  Allow me to introduce you:


Parents Organized for Welfare and Economic Rights [POWER] advocates for low income families and they are very good at it.  They provide information on available resources, they assist families in navigating the labyrinth of DSHS, they lobby legislators, and they provide regular trainings and workshops.  (See the listing below in this week’s calendar for this month’s POWER Outage.)


Legislators feel a frisson of fear when their doorways are darkened and they look up to see the dreaded and legendary Monica Peabody standing over them.  Monica instantly deploys her deadliest weapon:  Her warmhearted smile that lights up the entire surrounding area!


That smile simply cannot be resisted by any mere mortal.


If Boss is so effective because people are afraid not to do what she wants them to do, Monica employs the tactic of simply making them want do whatever she wants them to do.


(Both tactics seem to be very effective.  Whatever works.)


During the time that their office is being lit up by Monica’s light legislators suddenly begin feeling dangerous threads of humanity attempting to escape from the dank prison of their cold politician’s soul.


If by some miracle they are able to resist the Smile — and just as they begin to think that maybe they can escape this terrible trap by employing the usual method of making empty promises and spouting meaningless platitudes — they suddenly espy Monica’s terrifying coven of interns marching at her back!  Their eyes are blazing and their mysterious powers are radiating!  They are fidgeting and rocking as they anxiously await opportunity to spring into action and unleash a fury of right­eous indignation upon the brute oppressors of low-income families!


Highly alarmed legis­lators often just give up without a fight at this point and surrender unconditionally.


(Or so Monica wishes.)


Another unique aspect to POWER is that they seem able to successfully navigate the treacherous waters of mixing activism with providing services.


There were a lot of problems and much debate about this very issue at both Occupy Olympia and Media Island.  Activism is a proactive attempt to fix the problem.  Providing services is a reactive attempt to deal with the results of the problems.  Service providers often depend upon funding and engaging in radical political action can sometimes endanger that funding.  When activist organizations begin providing services almost immediately all resources time and energy is diverted from pro-acting to reacting and the mission of fixing the problem is lost in the wave of Need that almost instantly overwhelms them.


I never could figure out which side I fell on that one.


POWER somehow bridges that divide.  They seem to remain relatively well-funded (with emphasis on relatively) but when we occupied the capitol building back in 2011 Monica was right there with us in the rotunda with her sleeping bag.  Monica can usually produce a team of highly motivated and highly talented activists at a moment’s notice.


Check out POWER.  Volunteer meetings are every Wednesday 3:30-5:30 pm @ the POWER office.


The POWER office can be found at 309 5th Avenue, Olympia, WA.

360-352-9716 or (toll-free) 866-343-9716





1C)  Olympia FOR on TCTV


Glen’s people at the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation produce a TV program every month.  Since I don’t own a TV I have kind of neglected this in my newsletter but a lot of you probably do own TV’s and if you’re going to own one you might as well watch good things.


This from Oly FOR:


For 26 years the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation has produced one-hour TV programs on issues related to peace, social justice, economics, the environment, and nonviolence. The Olympia FOR’s program airs on Thurston Community Television (TCTV), channel 22 for Thurston County’s cable TV subscribers. Each program airs every Monday at 1:30 p.m. and every Thursday at 9:00 p.m. for a full month. Also, starting on Wednesday January 9, our program will also air every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. This creates many opportunities to watch each program. After the program has debuted on TCTV, we’ll post it to our website, so you can watch this program — and more than 80 of our previous programs — at www.olympiafor.org


JANUARY: “Local Government Fairness and Accountability”

How many people actually pay much attention to local governments’ detailed decisions about zoning, funding streets and sewers, and so forth? Hardly anyone pays attention – except those who have a direct financial stake in those decisions, such as real estate developers and other persons who have direct financial interests in local governments’ decisions.


So what happens as a result?  The “special interests” are able to exploit local governments to serve their narrow economic profits, while the rest of us never know that we are being ripped off.


For example, the local elites that run many local governments and media keep urging “growth” so more people will move here.  Let’s recognize that not all “growth” is good.  (Remember that cancer is a “growth.”) We need to distinguish between “growth” that is good for the overall community and “growth” that imposes burdens and costs upon us.


If we want real democracy, we have to get involved in making the decisions about public policy, at the national, state and local levels.  Otherwise, the “special interests” will shape the decisions to make money for themselves, at our expense. As a result, they will rip us off, degrade our environment, and corrupt our governments.


Don’t count on mainstream media to inform us.  Mainstream media are owned by giant corporations with their own agendas.  Mainstream media are funded by advertising by some of the rich “special interests” that profit by telling us only one side of the story. Read and watch alternative media.


Let’s participate in grassroots organizations (such as our local Carnegie Group) that are independent, conscientious and ethical.


The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s January 2013 TV program helps us understand some basic principles related to local government decision-making so the viewers will be better able to protect the broad public interest. We also discuss a few local case studies, such as the proposed Olympia conference center that an aroused public stopped, and Olympia’s Isthmus, which the public wants to turn into a public park.


Our guests are Walt Jorgensen, who served on the Tumwater City Council, and Bob Jacobs, a former mayor of Olympia.  Both Walt and Bob continue to volunteer actively as positive forces for local governments to be ethical and responsive to the broad public interest.  Both work to protect the public’s financial and environmental needs.  They are active with our local Carnegie Group, which we discuss near the end of the TV program.


“Freedom is when the people can speak.

Democracy is when the government listens.”

— Alastair Farrugia


Glen Anderson (360) 491-9093 glen@olywa.net



1D)  Link to Petition against Coal Trains


This is from Climate Solutions:


The impacts of coal export facilities extend well beyond the   site of the port facility.  Here’s yet   another example.


Recently, the Tongue River Railroad Company filed a new   application for a permit to build a coal-hauling line through the quiet,   pristine Tongue River Valley in eastern Montana primarily for exporting coal   to Asia. This long-proposed project renews its attempt to cut the valley in   half, jeopardizing farm and ranch operations, disrupting wildlife movements,   devaluing property, and increasing flooding potential.  The reason?  So Arch Coal   can ship strip-mined coal through Montana, Idaho, along the border of   Washington and Oregon, to Asia.


Building   this rail line will only line the pockets of Arch Coal.  Please make your voice heard today opposing   the build out of this rail line which is being proposed only to enable coal   export off the West Coast.


The deadline for written comments is January 11th.  All   citizens’ voices need to be heard. Please   send in your comments today.


Thank you for standing up to Big Coal!



Joelle Robinson

Field Director



Climate Solutions

1402 Third Ave, Suite 1305

Seattle, WA 98101





1E)  Help Support the Backpack 6


Some activists that were harassed by the Tacoma Police are suing Tacoma for violating their civil liberties.  The ACLU is involved.  They want support.  Check it out.





2)  IDLE NO MORE!  Support Chief Spence Meeting with Prime Minister

Friday January 9th from 3 to 7 pm @ Percival Landing, 4th and Water Streets


Idle No More is a massive environmental/ human rights movement that has suddenly sprung up amongst the Canadian indigenous population.  The Idle No More spokesperson will be speaking with the Canadian prime minister Friday and there are nationwide rallies being held to support him.


Check it out.







3)  Resistance in Palestine

Saturday January 12th at 5 pm @ First United Methodist Church, 621 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma


Films and workshops on the outrage that is continuing in Palestine.


This from the organizers:


An Evening on Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance includes an award-winning film, Palestinian food, and personal stories & photos from a visiting Palestinian resistance leader.


Come to “Resistance in Palestine” at 5:00 pm Saturday January 12 at First United Methodist Church, 621 Tacoma Avenue South, in downtown Tacoma.


à See the award-winning film “5 Broken Cameras,” which is also being considered for an Academy Award. http://www.kinolorber.com/5brokencameras/#


à Enjoy a light supper of Palestinian finger food.


à Hear Iyad Burnat, leader of the Bil’in Popular Committee in Palestine’s West Bank. (His brother made the film.) Iyad will tell stories about his life in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation. Hear him explain how his group is nonviolently resisting the Apartheid Wall and the occupation of their land.


Admission is free.


This is sponsored by the Tacoma Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, Tacoma@Jewishvoiceforpeace.org



4)  Fundraiser for Tamale Fusion Café IV

Saturday January 12th at 5 pm @ 911 Adams St, SE


Come help promote activist cafés!


This from Melanie:


We happily announce our next cafe.  This will be a fund-raiser to raise money for the cost of our transition to wholesale.  We still need a lot more money up-front to make this happen.  We also plan to launch a kickstarter campaign toward this end so we may be taking some video of the event.  Don’t worry, we wont film you if you don’t want to be filmed!


Also there will be music by Ari Moshe Wolfe, Mike Merker, Ariel Birks with Reid Trevarthen, and myself, Melanie.  Beyond this, we want to leave space for anyone who has music to share to bring an instrument and share away.


As for the Menu-


All dishes are served with Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas with a Citrus-Honey Dressing, and a side of Apple Chutney


-Black Bean & Roasted Banana Pastel with Coconut Lemongrass sauce.  Vegan.  $12 / $6 a la carte


-Turkey Tinga Pablano -Tender, Herbed, Slow-cooked Turkey in a Smoky Chipotle Tomato Sauce. Mildly Spicy.  $14 / a la carte not available


-Vegan Sausage and Potato Pastel with Mushroom Sage Gravy.  $14 / $8 a la carte


Pastels, for those of you who haven’t tried ours yet, are a deep dish of baked tamale, layered with masa and ingredients.  They come out fluffy and full of flavor.  We use Organic Blue Corn Masa and Organic Moroccan Olive Oil.


-For dessert we are offering a Bittersweet Chocolate Tamale with Caramel-Lime Sauce $4


-To drink we have Tamarind Wassail, a hot, mulled drink with mollasses.

This drink shared during the winter with good friends is said to ensure a bountiful harvest for the following growing season.  Hooray for abundance!  Let’s grow together!


Cafe will be held from 5-8:30 at the Eco House, part of the Downtown Commons shared with Fertile Ground.


We can’t wait to see you there!  And please please do feel free to pass this on.







Come ‘meet and greet’ our legislators in a manner they deserve.


(No, don’t bring the torches and pitchforks.)


(At least not quite yet…)


All of the following events will be at the state capitol on the first day of the legislative session.  All of these organizations are more-or-less working in conjunction.  This is a huge rally and lots of out-of-town people will be joining us.  This is a recommended event.  Contact one of the organizations below to plug in.


5A)  King Tide Meetup

Monday January 14th at 7:30 am @ Percival Landing, 4th and Water Streets


This is in association with the Climate Crisis Rally [Details Below].


This from Mike:


Second king tide meetup is set for January 14th at 7:30 am.  We will meet at the Kissing Couple at Percival Landing.  The king tide is expected to join us around 7:46 am.  We can walk and talk, observe the infrastructure of downtown Oly as it deals with a high tide in the 17 foot range.  I think we may end up over at the Bread Peddler to warm up, drink coffee and have breakfast once the tide ebbs.  Probably all done by 9:30 am, but this is an unmoderated meetup, so if folks want to stay and talk about next steps, what to do, we could go longer.

Jan 14th is a busy climate day.  After the King Tide event, Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation – Climate Crisis Committee – will be putting on a Climate Crisis Rally on the Capitol steps at 11:30 am.  Music, speakers, entertainment, political action.  Be there!

There is another speaking event going on later in the day on the 14th, but I can’ t find the details on that one at this moment.  It’s not on the olyblog or tcpronet calendars.







5B)  Meet and Greet the Washington State Legislators 2013

Monday January 14th All Day @ Washington State Capitol


This is being organized by our local home team.  Come greet our returning corporate representatives in a manner they deserve!  There are liable to be numerous organizations organizing numerous actions so whether you are into standard protest or you want to engage in some civil disobedience there will likely be an activity for you!  Stay tuned!


This from the organizers:


The people of Washington State are invited to gather at the Capitol on January 14, 2013 to present the returning legislature with a set of legislative requests.  The people’s legislative agenda is likely to include a Carbon Tax, GMO Safe Food legislation, a State Bank, a Coal Free WA Bill, and so much more.  Help us gather and deliver the legislation to our elected representatives.






5C)  Climate Crisis Rally

Monday January 14th All Day @ Washington State Capitol


The Green Party, POWER, Washington CAN, and Olympia FOR are all participating in organizing various parts of this event.


This from Janet:


Hi Greens,


Monday, January 14 will be a Climate Crisis Rally on the steps of the Capital, sponsored by FOR.  That is the first day of the legislative session and they want to motivate everyone to lobby for good climate crisis legislation.


They have asked us, What can the Green Party contribute to the rally?


We could speak up for good legislation and say that the Green Party has always been in favor of it.  But good legislative ideas would not be news . . . I think we already know most of the plausible legislative ideas and the organizers have speakers ready to present them.  We also know the connection between Big Money and the obstructive tactics that thwart good legislation.


Most likely there are already speakers for that too.


I would suggest that the two-party duopoly itself is something that thwarts good legislation, since the parties tend to come close together in their efforts to eliminate “independent voters.”

A third party on the scene would keep the other two honest; the sort-of-liberal party could no longer assume that all the liberal votes belonged to them. It might be that speaking about this would be a real contribution the Green Party could make to the rally.


In other words, a plug for IRV.


Do the rest of you agree that this would be our contribution, or do you have other ideas?  If you have any other ideas, please speak up!  Planning is going on now!  (Also if you like this idea please let me know.)


Also please let me know if you can be a speaker for the Green Party on this occasion.  Mike Coday says the rally will be from 11:30 to 1:30.


Hoping to hear from you!


Janet Jordan





This from POWER:


Climate Crisis Rally

MONDAY JANUARY 14, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

On the State Capitol Steps in Olympia

Folksinger Jim Page, Brief Speakers and a Human Mural

The public is invited to participate in a rally supporting the climate and urging the Washington State Legislature and Governor Inslee to take bold action. The rally will occur on the first day of the 2013 legislative session, Monday January 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the Washington State Capitol Building.

“Extreme weather patterns throughout the world, historic rates of polar ice melt, and other realities confirm scientists’ increasingly strong findings that the climate crisis is already upon us,” said Bourtai Hargrove, one of the event’s organizers. “Every person, local community, state and nation must take bold actions to reduce climate disruption.”

The rally will include brief speakers, music, and dozens of persons in a human mural spelling out “NO COAL” because the organizers oppose exporting coal through Washington and Oregon ports to Asia, where it would be burned and would return to us in air pollution and climate damage. Another human mural will spell out 350.ORGbecause the nationwide nonprofit organization at www.350.org has done excellent work.

The organizers are recruiting 70 volunteers to commit themselves to participating in the human mural. Interested persons should contact Rod Tharp at (360) 951-1080 smcrae@earthlink.net.

Longtime Seattle folk singer Jim Page (www.jimpage.net) will perform.

Brief speakers will address various aspects of the issue. Confirmed speakers include Paul Pickett, a scientist who currently teaches a climate course at The Evergreen State College; Zoltan Grossman, another TESC professor who recently published the book Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Change; and Gar Lipow, author of Solving the Climate Crisis Through Social Change and Cooling a Fevered Planet.

Also, Jess Spears from Socialist Alternative will speak on economics and climate change. Carlo Valli will speak on opposition to the climate-destroying XL pipeline. Patricia Ridge will speak on how the climate crisis hurts poor families. Cindy Cole will speak about how a publicly owned state bank (Washington Investment Trust) could help finance solutions. Glen Anderson will discuss the climate crisis as a moral issue.

When the climate crisis rally ends at 1:30 p.m., additional speakers may address other issues needing bold legislative action.

A “meet and great” component is being planned for the Columbia Room on the first floor of the State Capitol Building.  Information about this is available at http://www.facebook.com/events/268522753270071/or from mike@smallblueplanet.org. The organizers are developing ideas for later proposals for climate-related legislation.

The rally is one of many activities organized by “Confronting the Climate Crisis,” the active project of the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), which works on a variety of issues related to peace, social justice, and nonviolence.

For information about this event contact Mike Coday at mike@smallblueplanet.orgor Bourtai Hargrove at (360) 352-6327 climate@olympiafor.org. For information about the Olympia FOR contact Glen Anderson at (360) 491-9093 glen@olympiafor.org or visit www.olympiafor.org and www.olympiafor.org/Climate_Crisis.html



This from Mary Lea:


We are looking for 70 volunteers to commit themselves to participating in the rally’s human mural at noon!!!!.


First we will spell out “NO COAL” because the organizers oppose exporting coal through Washington and Oregon ports to Asia, where it would be burned and would return to us in air pollution and climate damage.


Another human mural will spell out “350.ORG” because the nationwide nonprofit organization at www.350.org has done excellent work.


Red vests will be available on site.

Interested persons contact Rod Tharp at (360) 951-1080 smcrae@earthlink.net.




5D)  Washington CAN Action!


Here is contact info if you want to plug into Washington CAN’s always well-organized and effective lobbying efforts; they provide training and a kit and then they send out teams to talk to legislators:


As 2012 comes to a close, we’re already busy planning ahead for 2013.  In January, the legislature will come back together to make critical decisions about the future of our state.


This year it’s going to take all of us standing together to protect the things we care about: education, health care, a just economy, equal opportunity.  That’s why on Martin Luther King Day, Washington CAN! will head to Olympia to demand the legislature raise revenue and close corporate tax loopholes, instead of passing another all-cuts budget.


In the words of Dr. King:


“There is nothing new about poverty.  What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty.  The real question is whether we have the will.”


Join us on Monday, January 21st as we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.


The day will include trainings, meetings with legislators and a rally for economic justice.  Meals, transportation and childcare will be provided.


As we begin a New Year, let’s ensure it’s filled with prosperity for all, not just the 1%.


Please join us in Olympia on MLK Day: click here to sign up.


Thanks for taking action,

–Teresa and the entire team at Washington CAN!


PS – In case you missed the news, Democratic Senators Tim Sheldon and Rodney Tom recently abandoned their caucus to give Republicans control of the Senate.  They said they’re doing it to “push conservative budgeting principles” this session.


This is what we’re up against, but we know nothing prevails like consistent public pressure.  Let’s keep it up.


Sign up here to spend Martin Luther King Day with us.



With over 35,000 members across the state, Washington CAN! is the state’s largest grassroots community organization.  Washington CAN! fights for progressive social change at the local, state, and national levels, with a focus on issues that most directly affect the lives of Washington residents.  Our mission is to achieve economic fairness in order to establish a democratic society characterized by racial and social justice, with respect for diversity, and a decent quality of life for those who reside in Washington State.



6)  Corrections:


I don’t usually get a lot of feedback unless I make a mistake or say something controversial and when I do get feedback I treat it as I deem appropriate.  I get good and bad advice and I get positive and negative responses, but I mostly focus on the negative responses because that is where you learn.


(I don’t at all mind hearing about how awesome I am either, though, so keep those coming too…)


When I first started doing this I printed all of the feedback but that quickly became unwieldy so I actually don’t print most of it these days; only if notable and/or relevant to the activist community.  (Some may disagree with my definition of what is relevant to the activist community but whatever.)


I have found that the more you move and shake things up and the more controversial you are then the more criticism you get.  This is also both good and bad because the criticism is also both good and bad.



For an example of the former:  Last week I described the clients of PiPE as broken and abused kids.  PiPE does indeed see a lot of broken and abused kids but they also see a lot that aren’t broken or abused and it was pointed out to me that some of those kids think that they are just fine, thank you, and the frigging Machine is the breaker and abuser around here — and that such kids might resent such a description.


Too late to fix that this time but now I know that for the future.  Thanks for the heads up.



My favourite type of criticism is when someone points out a fact or viewpoint that I had not previously considered — especially when neglecting to consider that fact or viewpoint could cause harm.  A recent example of this happened just last week when I created the Facebook Event for the Defend the Homeless at City Hall Action that happened last Tuesday.  (There’s a short update on that in the calendar.)  As usual I was balancing three balls and I was very busy and now I gotta make a Facebook Event real quick so what do I call it?


Uh… uh… how about this:  Homeless Invasion of City Hall!


Yeah!  Good ole’ radical rabble-rousing rhetoric!  Time to fire up the troops!  Mount your horses and draw your swords, ye valiant defenders of the defenseless!


Bad name.  For several reasons.  I had quickly moved on and hadn’t thought about them.  Others did think about them and let me know.


Again:  Thanks for the heads up.


Defend the Homeless at City Hall” may not be the wittiest or most original title I’ve ever come up with but it is short sweet and to the point — and it doesn’t potentially cause confusion or freak out the cops and thus endanger the homeless…



7)  Bonus Tip of the Day:


Run over dogmas every time you drive your karma.







One thought on “Oly Oly Action Alert 1_10_13 Diversity

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