Tuesday, May 20, 2008


An article/opinion piece in the latest Eat the State reminded me of a fairly recent (March 4) incident where a housing development of large (4200 sqf.) homes in Woodinville, WA was burned down. A banner with an environmental slogan against the homes signed with the letters ELF was found at the arson site. Authorities assume that this indicated that the Earth Liberation Front was responsible for setting the fires. As far as I know ELF has never taken responsibility for this arson nor has any other proof been found to link them but that is a story for another day.

I don't agree with eco-terrorism or so called anarchists that think by damaging, destroying or threatening they can "fix" the world (for whatever values of fixed they use.) Although this kind of action can bring attention to their cause I think in the end it turns public opinion against their cause. Now, either the people who commit these acts don't agree with me or they just don't care. They are selfishly making their point to the detriment of those that are trying to work within the system to solve the same problems like Global Climate Change, the unfair practices of the WTO or suburban sprawl like in the Woodinville arson.

The article in Eat the State accused all of us "Mommies and Daddies" of not giving a fuck because we are all evil baddies that worship materialism and don't care about ruining the planet. The author, Jason Miller, goes on to praise ELF for burning down the homes in Woodinville because they represented a "rape" of the planet. Now, I'm not a big fan of huge mansions or housing developments built on land that may be ecologically sensitive, but I think in this case the bigger "rape" of the planet was the damage to the environment done by the fire, the effort to put out the fire and the fact that the builder could just take their insurance money and rebuild the homes thus using twice the materials originally needed. Even worse, in some ways, this incident gives the conservatives a chance to paint all environmentalists as eco-terrorists. 

I'm not so naive as to think that protests and civil disobedience aren't necessary tools of chance but I think the positive impact that they generate are based on the willingness of people to PEACEFULLY disagree en mass and be willing to pay the price; by which I mean jail time or fines not police violence. The average American respects someone willing to stand up for what they believe in even if they disagree with their cause. They don't respect violence or property damage because they will empathize with those who have been victimized rather than the perpetrators.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Neville Chamberlain

What did you think of when you saw the post title: Neville Chamberlain? What if I through in the word "appeasement?"

Why am I asking? Well first some background. Apparently President Bush is attempting to slap Barack Obama (not explicitly mentioning his name mind you) with the label of appeaser based on Obama's desire to talk with Hamas to help make some settlement to bring peace between the Palestinians and Israel. He even made a comparison between Obama and Neville Chamberlain appeasing Hitler. You can check out the video here (via Crooks and Liars) along with some commentary from MSNBC talking heads.

So back to the question. I asked it because a GOP operative trotted out the Republican talking points of calling Obama an appeaser like Chamberlain on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Now, I'm not a Chris Matthews fan but I was impressed when he asked the guy what Chamberlain did that made him an appeaser. The GOP operative was of course clueless because they didn't include that information in his talking points for the day.

I was enjoying the roasting of the GOPer when I thought to myself what DID Chamberlain do exactly to get the label of appeaser. I wracked my brain for a second and then I thought "I think it was let Hitler get away with invading Czechoslovakia with out any consequences." Well I was at least very close. Then I wondered how many Americans could really come up with the guess I did and would just say "Yeah appeaser." with no thought to what it really meant.

Chamberlain was an appeaser because he allowed Hitler to take and take with no repercussions. Negotiating with an opponent is obviously NOT appeasement. It is a way to solve problems as Bush well knows (cough) North Korea (cough) Axis of Evil (cough). Sometimes the hypocrisy of the Bush administration drives me crazy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Actually Republicans DO Have Horns Growing Out Of Their Heads They Just File Them Down

or Overheard At The Coffee Shop

I like to write at coffee shops. Getting out of the house or the office helps me focus on my writing instead of the television, chores that need to be done or other distractions.

Coffee shops can also provide a good source of material for rants, blog posts, fiction and articles. Today, for example I was sitting at Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square just drinking my latte (no I don't wear Birkenstocks) and doing a little bit of writing when three guys sat down at the next table and started talking a bit too loudly. I was doing a pretty good job of ignoring them until one of them said...

"...a Republican and you don't have horns growing out of your head."

That got me thinking, and you know what... Republicans DO have horns growing out of their head most of them just file them down. For example:

FOX News: Files their horns down with "Fair and Balanced"
Bill O'Reilly: "No Spin Zone"
John McCain: "Straight Talk Express"
George W. Bush: Good ol' boy, man of the pepple, werkin' at his ranch
Dick Cheney: ...wait you can actually SEE his horns if you squint just right.

My point is that Republicans get upset when people see them as evil bastards but they don't do anything to disavow themselves of the elements of their party that are either pretty damn evil or are evil enablers; you know "the guy who runs in to the convenience store to get Satan a pack of cigarettes."