Saturday, January 12, 2013

Near Freezing Velo News

Olympia froze last night with a low of 22 F and freezing fog almost to noon.  Once the sun came out around mid-day, the temperature got up to 36 and the day was bright and sunny in between scattered clouds.  Still the day never thawed out much.  I saw lots of ice--in drainage ditches, driveway puddles and a fair amount on the larger ponds--on today's bike ride.  I rode north through northeast Olympia and Thurston County to the northern terminus of the Chehalis Western Trail, followed the trail to Yelm Highway and worked my way back through southeast Olympia; just under 24 miles.

The ride was cold.  I put an extra layer on my torso but stayed with a single layer long tights under my cycling shorts.  This winter is the first where I've regularly worn rain booties to keep the wind off my feet and full fingered cycling gloves.  Today I wore micro fleece gloves as a base layer.  I thought the extra torso layer would be too much but I never overheated.  My fingertips were often cold but not enough to go to a heavier glove.  Around three o'clock in this neck of the woods this time of year, whatever warmth has accumulated begins to dissipate as the sun heads toward the horizon.  I could feel the change as I rode  .  By the time I got home my feet were especially cold.

I got several views of Mount Rainier, totally blanketed in snow, shining like a jewel in the east.  No matter how many times I see that sight, I am always awe struck.  Today was no different.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

His Name Should Become a Synonym for Murderer.

A harsh judgment on a man who richly deserves it--Henry Kissinger--in Michael Yates' review of the Vietnam episode of Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States.  Beyond that nice turn of phrase, Yates is appalled that Barack Obama is commemorating what Oliver Stone shows to be a a true crime against the peoples of Southeast Asia.

It is appalling but, as Yates points out, Americans have no sense of the destruction we wreaked in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  Our national myths will never allow us to honestly acknowledge our responsibility for that destruction.  Maybe the reason we must continue to commemorate the Vietnam War (the American War to the Vietnamese) is because it we can never escape the fact that it was a crime based on a lie compounded by ignorance, arrogance and greed.  So we keep piling on the patriotic bullshit to keep that truth away.

And because we refuse to learn that lesson we continue to wage war.   And need ever more of that bullshit to cover our doubts.

I'll pass on the commemoration.  I saw that shit in Vietnam and learned that lesson.  I haven't forgotten.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

What Will End It

American military occupation in Afghanistan, that is.  From the BBC:
Mr Karzai has held back from signing a long-term binding security agreement with the US, amid fears that Afghan sovereignty is being undermined. He is unwilling to grant US soldiers immunity from prosecution.
No way will the US or its military accept those terms.  It is a sine qua non for our military.  Our forces will not be subject the locals, that's all there is to it.  We won't be staying without those guarantees.   Lack of immunity ended American military occupation in Iraq.
US and Iraqi authorities reached a similar sticking point in negotiations over the drawdown of US troops from Iraq. Aside from a contingent guarding the embassy, all US soldiers left the country by December 2011.
 I certainly hope President Karzai stands up for his nation's sovereignty. 


Monday, January 07, 2013

An Aussie Looks at America

...and sees corporatocracy and the web of interlocking interests that perpetuate corporate control at the expense of the majority.  If only Americans could see as clearly.

(h/t to Skippy)

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Our Everlasting War

Drones never sleep.
They fly and kill in our name.
Until we say, "No more!"