Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Culprit

Found this bad boy in my bike tire today. Explains a lot about yesterday.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Late November Velo Fashion Transit News

Today was sunny and calm after yesterday's high winds and rain, a perfect weather window for cycling. Decked out in a newly purchased very bright cycling rain/wind jacket (see below), I rode out to The Evergreen State College on the west side and returned through southwest Olympia, north Tumwater and southeast Olympia to Chehalis Western trail, where I headed north toward home. In all, a very pleasant day. I was comfortable in the new jacket and was able to adjust it as I warmed up.

Yesterday's storm was especially visible on the trails, lots of debris and standing water in places. I had to carry my bike over one small tree that had fallen across the Evergreen Parkway trail. A much larger tree had fallen across the Chehalis Western but had been partially cleared when I passed. I always collect holiday greens along the trail immediately after a storm like this. The pickings were good today. Not surprising after a full day of 20+ mph winds with gusts in the 30's.

I was well on my way to a 28 mile day when my rear tire went flat and would not hold air at mile 23. And me without a spare tube. I started walking and by the second road crossing headed east in search of a bus route. My gamble worked. The first intersection was a street on Route 60 which goes right past my place. When I found a northbound bus stop and checked the schedule, the next bus was leaving Panorama City, which I had just passed, about two minutes ago. Maybe 10 minutes later the bus arrived with bike rack space available. Twenty-five minutes later I was home.

Sure beat walking.

Here are some pictures from the ride.

the new jacket

clock tower at The Evergreen State College

Evergreen Parkway Trail

fish ladder and high water on
Deschutes River below Tumwater Falls

upstream from the fish ladder

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Something To Be Thankful For

Last night I heard an interview with economist Richard Wolf on Between the Lines. He was speculating on the prospects that Occupy Wall Street may have for transforming the US economy, and quite possibly world-wide change as well. He sounded pretty upbeat, noting that in the many years he has observed social movements their focus was typically single issue. Occupy and its related movements question the entire premise of our economic model, they question capitalism itself, something he has not seen before.

That's good news since the Earth is a finite planet whose laws trump human conceits. If we continue to consume everything, then ultimately all we will have is waste, a diminished planet that supports limited life forms (maybe). All of which means that capitalism based on consumption is not sustainable.

Naomi Klein makes a similar argument
in The Nation. She argues at length and convincingly that meeting the challenges of climate change with require revolutionary change in the way we think about economic and societal organization. Simply put, capitalism is not compatible with a living ecosystem.

So the ideas are out there and being discussed. They are more visible now than six months ago. And that discussion will continue. Another interview on Between the Lines was with two media organizers from Occupy Wall Street. They said that the movement was more than the encampment; they had offices and other spaces that are sill in use after their eviction. Here in Olympia, the same is true and the encampment received support from the many local progressive organizations.

The discussion will become more lively here in Washington on Monday as the Legislature meets in special session to carve another $1.7 billion from the state budget after receiving the latest grim revenue estimates. Occupy groups, community action programs, other Peoples' Advocates from around the state will converge at the Legislative Building for an extended occupation for the purpose of educating legislators on the reality of life in this capitalist economy. Events are planned each day. It's not necessarily a sleep-in but will certainly be a notable presence.

Of course, all this may come to naught, as so often in the past. But at least the ideas are in play, a necessary first step. I can be thankful for that.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Logic of Authority

“She is one professor among thousands of professors in Turkey,” he said. “I have difficulty understanding those saying a professor should not be arrested while thousands of other people are being arrested in Turkey.”
Idris Naim Sahin, Turkey’s interior minister, explaining why he does not understand protests about the detention of Busra Ersanli, a well-known academic detained since a previous sweep this month against the KCK, a shadowy organization that Turkish authorities say includes Kurdish terrorists.

To the authoritarian mind thousands of detentions justify any one of them. Never once will the authoritarian entertain the idea that none of the detentions are justified.

This way to the gulag, if you please.


Sign of the Times

Military families are using food banks and food stamps to get by. War may be good for business but it doesn't seem to do much for the troops.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fact of the Matter

Representative James Clyburn, member of Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka Super Committee:
It would be a sad commentary on our state of affairs if a decade-old political pledge to a corporate lobbyist were allowed to prevent bipartisan progress on our nation’s most pressing issues. Yet with massive across-the-board budget cuts hanging over us like the sword of Damocles, that seems a possible outcome.

It would. And is.

About the corporate lobbyist here.