Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012


A core activity of the evening, in the upstairs apartments, was the matron of the house, resident activist extraordinaire, age 83, taking her supper in the living room, usually doubling as my office, and watching Easy Like Water, Glenn Baker's travelogue / documentary, about Bangladeshis pioneering new ways of coping with global warming, a good example to learn from then.  Carol exclaimed several times "this is wonderful!" and gave Glenn really high marks for that movie.

In the meanwhile, we kept getting knocks and / or rings of the door bell, as we were signalling the availability of treats, by means of high end decorations and a bright porch light.  The expected result, upon knocking on such a door, is wishes for a Happy Halloween and commercial brand candy.

The actual witches in the house had provided some decorations, JenQ in particular.  When I say "high end" I don't mean extravagant.  We had customized one-of-a-kind art.  I contributed the pumpkin skull at the last minute, well into the evening, debraining it in the kitchen.  Check the pictures.

Around this time of year and St. Patrick's Day, we tend to honor non-Christian or pre-Christian (post-Christian) roots. To one Friend I wrote:
A backstory re Witches is my wife's name was Dawn Wicca, and although not a practicing Wiccan (it means "wise woman" -- a chosen name to help her be one) she was quite distrustful of Christianity, but not of Jesus (whom she liked reading about -- a voracious reader).  When she felt led to become a member of our Religious Society, she did so in such a way as to leave a clear audit trail (she was a bookkeeper after all):  no, you don't have to identify as Christian to be one of "our brand" of Friend.

What do I mean by "our brand"?  I mean "Beanite", named for the Bean family that came West, escaping the sweeping evangelism of Iowa that was changing the character of the people.  Kinda scary. They founded what was called College Park Association in California.
When it comes to Christmas itself I have my Fourth King ideology (mythology).  There's an acceptance of "Festivus" which is "A Festival for the Rest of Us" i.e. not-Xmas is holy too.  From the Parliament of World Religions I learned to celebrate "days in common" i.e. it's not essential (to me) to distinguish the various winter holidays in denominational terms.  Winter can be a hard time to get through, especially in the farther northern latitudes, a tunnel with precious little light seen at the end, going in.  There's some blind faith involved, plus an inability to stop the cycle except by migrating south.

The latter is what Carol is planning when she sees a way open for an entourage (perhaps).  Could we get a posse together, for intra-Quaker visitation?  Portland Friends are always visiting faraway places but what about Greater LA?

Letting a Western Friend editor do all the work of piecing it together is too lazy for words.  We should host some serious meetings amongst ourselves that aren't always following established patterns.  Some good might come of it.

Carol's ethnic bias is anti-Halloween as she associates it with cruel taunting and worse by Protestants against Catholics.  Her dad was Irish and perhaps this lore came down through that branch.

For me, orange and black imagery, and the hexapent ball (called a "global matrix" by some), go back quite a ways.  There's the "skinning a cat" discussion of how to make a flat map from a globe, where said cat would be striped were Princeton colors involved (OSU uses those too).

Safe to say, I have owned it in my own way, but then in the traditional way as well:  as a time for "traffic between the worlds".  Not about teasing Catholics in this zip code.

Tigers feature in Glenn's movie by the way.  Bangladesh is tiger country, all the more reason to scrutinize the action.

Lindsey took off with a bike trailer to pick up her order from Peoples, long in the planning.  Our attempts at efficiency as a household might earn us the label Dymaxion in some dimension.  That doesn't mean we're without lag, slack or waste.  Just that there's some discipline.

Happy Halloween.  I think I'll sip some Jack Daniels.

Maureen came buy earlier with an article from Harper's Magazine about high school debate.  That was Tara's sport in high school and Maureen knows that and is looking for a Blue House reaction, preferably in writing.

I showed her some opening frames from Resolved, the documentary, just to acquaint her with "spreading" (which Lincoln-Douglas does not do).  By the sound of what she read to me, the author's criticisms lay elsewhere.  I may have some comments in a later journal entry.

Nirel came by earlier, eluding my sensors.  In my "landing space for jets" mythology, she's one of the stealthier, puts down and leaves, refueled and resupplied, before anyone notices.  More power to her, another "witch" in this story (or "elvynchyk" if you prefer).

Enjoy your winter scenario (if in the north).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Functionalism Versus Objectivism (again)

Yes, the title is a joke, as there's no global fixed namespace for these "isms" -- you can read whatever you like into these inkblots.

However, I have a definite Versus in mind, the semi-feud between the Haskellians, the Knights who say "Ni!" to the Objectivists, those who are object oriented, and proud of it I might add (come to our Proud to be Objects Day parade sometime).

By Haskellian, I mean the broader camp of Lambda Calculus lovers who discourage side effects and hidden state changes.  Pure functional programming keeps the expressions just saying what they mean, whereas Objects are capsules of secrecy, making proof quasi-impossible; the transparency is just not there.

Objectivists are in the "wizard with wand" school and the Actions (spells) may be redolent with side effects, especially on globals (environmental variables).  Since structured programming days, we've been discouraged from hanging ourselves with all the slack that we're given.  Perhaps too few of us took heed, and now the frustrations of end users are aimed at us, for all our bugs.  If Windows had been written in Haskell, we wouldn't be where we are today (I don't disagree by the way).

My lurking suspicion is if the compass needle had flipped the other way, and functional programming were more at an apex in power, there'd be a counter-culture of Objectivist die-hards exclaiming about the purity of their new mental model, the one with state machines passing messages around, networks of agents, like "turtles" (or was that "tractors" and miss-translated?).

In any case, I'm quite admiring of Haskell's implementation of a type safe system with a kind of inheritance or polymorphism.  I find some similarities with Python, not just differences.  I also find it charmingly steam-punky in its retro neo-Victorian-sounding metaphysics.  "Don't be afraid of Monads, they're just where we get more imperative-seeming with our do [not dot] notation and stuff."  When they need to "talk to the real world" they let the Monads come between them, and their Shangri-La of pure functionality.  "You from the real world?  Talk to the Monad, please".

I don't mind "teaching the controversy" as some Creationists used to put it, but to steer clear of computer languages in general, scared away by this feud, is just too high a price to be paying.  We're sacrificing way too many ready-to-learn-somethings.  "Better both than neither" will be my Mantra of the Day (MOTD).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Revisiting Slavery

I've been studying several books on the history of slavery in the USA including:

Fit for Freedom, Not Friendship (2009)
The Origins of Pro-Slavery Christianity (2008)
Slavery and the Meetinghouse (2007)

On my Kindle / smartphone / laptop:

The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (2006)

Quaker neoliberals of the pre Civil War period were quasi-uniform in condemning slavery but not in a "right now, get rid of your slaves" sense.  Government had legitimized slaves and the rights of slave owners should be protected against religious zealots who might impose other forms of zealotry once given the reigns of power.  Quietists don't trust the shrill.  Plus the immigrant pioneer settlers had a similar solution for all social ills:  send the troublemakers elsewhere.  Recruitment into evangelist churches had much to do with preparing slaves for God's plan to send them to Haiti and Liberia.  Quakers who couldn't abide slavery moved west and north.

Slaves tended to embrace Christianity for its promise of Liberation, ala the later Catholic Liberation Theology of Central and South America.  The non-slave class needed countering pro-slavery arguments to bolster Christianity as a slavery-justifying religion.  As the Bible is but clay in the hands of a skilled minister, it comes as no surprise that both pro- and anti-slavery extremists sought comforting words from this book.  This has continued to be the way to win friends and influence people in North America:  thump the Bible like a drum, but with a characteristic beat pattern that attracts your own kind (anti-gay, white-supremacist or neoliberal or whatever).

Many settled, well off Quakers did not like the "immediatist" position, whether they held slaves or no.  In social theory, slaves should be free, but until a new homeland could be found in Africa or someplace, some "Israel" (a promised land), they'd have to put up with 2nd class treatment as guests in this New World.

True, the slavers felt a different kind of relationship to the slaves than to the native peoples (Pueblo).  The pueblo had not been "invited" as in forcibly removed from their homeland and brought to America by boat.  Anglo-Euros and Africans were both here as boat peoples.  The Christians put a lot of pressure on themselves to "convert" their guests, so they would "think as we do".  Interracial church services were the norm in many counties of Virginia, as slaves were encouraged to take in the English view of themselves.  The Pueblo, on the other hand (I'm using the term inclusively, not just for the folks near the Rio Grande), were going to be a more classic enemy to be fought with weapons.  "If they won't join you, beat 'em" was the rallying cry.

The Quakers mostly disagreed with this philosophy and were ostracized as "people lovers" i.e. "lovers of human beings".  Their "no human being is illegal" campaign typifies their belief in a universal Inner Light, whereas most North Americans have a knee-jerk impulse to criminalize the undocumented and oppressed as a source of cheap prison labor (slavery is still going strong in the USA, by these other labels (one might argue the South won)).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dot Notation Again

I'm somewhat the short order cook or maybe Chinese chef (that'd be a stretch maybe) in that I keep hopping around twixt the same simmering pots.

Back burner becomes front burner, then back it goes, and so on.  No, not so simple as "round robin".  More "interrupt driven".

So on Math Forum, I'm back to:  "sharing 'dot notation' with K-12 is overdue."

That sounds somewhat cryptic right off the bat.

K-12 is jargon for the ethno-cultural torch passing that goes on up through "coming of age" young adulthood.  Kindergarten through 12th grade, in the USA system, with four years of college sometimes called 13-16, making K-16 a rather complete induction into adulthood, by academic means.

"Dot notation" means different things to different web pages.  The chemists have a dot notation for indicating electrons, valence patterns.

There's a "dot notation" associated with Principia Mathematica, by Russell & Whitehead (I start my thread with an allusion to their approach), borrowed from Peano according to Wolfram.

Newton used dots for his "fluxions", first, second and third derivatives.  That's considered a bit unwieldy.  Typography went for Leibniz notation dx/dy, though Spivak had some problems with that too right? (thinking Calculus on Manifolds, my text at Princeton).

However, the "dot notation" to which I refer is "none of the above".  It's the "dot notation" of the object oriented family, i.e. C-family including Java, ABC / Python, JavaScript.  Smalltalk is considered a parent as well.  I've not been comprehensive (Simula, OCAML.. FoxPro).

Plus one could argue that using a "dot" is not that conceptually critical i.e. you can use an arrow or double colon or... yes, yes, I agree.

I'm casting a net and pulling in enough fish to at least point to substantive content.

"These fish, lets share them, with loaves too, why not?" -- these languages are free and open source and replicate faithfully to the bit.

But saying the software is "free" in the Stallman sense (of four freedoms) implies an ability to read and modify source code in the first place.  "Computer literacy" we were calling it in the 1980s.  I'm just calling it "literacy" and, under STEM, I don't see the need to decide which pigeon-holes.  These memes bounce around.

The key point is to share them, not pretend we only care about Leibniz notation, or Riemann.  This bias against machine executable languages was surely overcome by Mathematica and Mathcad.

We're over that prejudice: that it can't be mathematics if it runs on a machine.  On the contrary, Mathematica had to tighten up the old notations, with yet more precision.

Machines have helped us take our mathematics to a new level.  Lets teach "dot notation" in K-12 to help share about this breakthrough.  More SQL too while we're at it (different topic).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quakers and Racism

My initial take, when I heard the suggestion we let go of "Oversight Committee" in favor of something less slavery-oriented, was one of surprise, then suspicion.

That Anglo-Euro Quakers would flinch and drop their own ball (their heritage and nomenclature) suggested deep-seated guilt, worth probing more deeply.  These "peculiar people" might be sicker (more psycho) than I'd thought.

Jiggering with words is a typically "white and nerdy" response; to make it all better with cynical / facile word games.

Put some "English" on the cue ball, replace "Oversight" with "Member Care" (fortifying against non-member interlopers?).  I wasn't eager to leave it to "English" to be the magic puzzle solver, yet again.

Isn't this is the essence of corporate sanitization:  keeping the language innocuous, toothless, feckless?

Keep it squeaky clean on the surface by further delaying the conversations that need to happen.

Is that Quakerism in a nutshell then, or is that Mormonism or what?  If the shoe fits, right?

Actually, now that I'm reading Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship, I'm seeing plenty to celebrate in this Quaker heritage.  They were into cleaning up their act early and showed it could be done.

Yes, they started out as slave owners, many of them.  Quakers were sharp at business and slaves were a part of their version of World Game.

Today, undocumented aliens (including ETs?) perform much the same role.  Prison labor as well.  The USA has always depended upon grave inequities to uphold its proud (as in "vain", verging on "ugly") living standards.  That's really not a secret.  It's OK to say so in your speaking voice.

Euro indentured were less of a good deal.

Africans could be passed on to your children in your will.  Euros would pay off their debts and not be indentured.

The economics of owning slaves were easy, at least in the short term.

I had been unaware to what level the Quakers had disowned other Quakers in droves over the slave owning issue pre 1800.  I'm not sure all those "disowned" actually agreed with their status though (still studying that question).

The current fracas with Indiana Yearly Meeting might prove instructive, as to how Friends go about disowning each other even if that only means recognizing a schism when you see one.

IYM is agonizing about marriage at the moment, whether it's Biblical (as in "OK with God") if apparently contrary to the social mores and taboos of Middle Eastern agrarians before Jesus.

What's instructive is the extent to which the Bible was used by the pro-slavery movement, i.e. Scripture has a way of arming both sides, with God playing the suckers off against each other in true divide and conquer fashion.

"Way to go God! good job managing those silly humans, barely worthy of your breath" -- this is how the angels think, say some know-it-all gnostics:  humans are just beasts, prove it every day -- actually beasts are better.

Good thing God keeps confusing them, then, in their vanity-packed Towers of Babel (pick a skyscraper, any skyscraper...).  God subverts humans and their best laid plans, is smart enough to do so (being of superior intelligence).  Or maybe we're talking about a sub-god (Theo?), tasked merely with Earth's management?  It might be heresy to even ask.

Anyway, I'm happy to see Quakers fighting their own reflex-conditioning through the ages, standing out from the crowd.

However, this succumbing to the temptation to rename Oversight, because apparently (go the apologists) some people can't be trusted to see the difference between a whip-lashing slave-driver and a Friend, is most telling, most symptomatic.

"There they go again, wallowing in guilt, a low state, spiritually banal.  Shouldn't we help them?  I'm thinking more workshops would be good."  AVP.  Alternatives to Violence.  That was one way Friends sought to better themselves.  They took the workshops into some really difficult situations, where feuds were long-lived and vengeance potent.

Working with AFSC in the 1990s was a relief, for me, from some of the more the boring forms of racism I'm not that interested in.

In LAAP, we were looking at how immigrants from South and Central America were dealing with an influx from Asia and vice versa, mostly from the Asia-Pacific region.  Hence our name:  Latin-American Asia-Pacific program (with variants).

Our scene was sort of like West Side Story but without the white juveniles.  We weren't that interested in blacks either, although respected DJs and VJs helped out at dance parties, where whites showed up too, but not as centers of attention.

To study racism and work on smoothing relations, yet not with any special interest in "whites" -- that was interesting and fun.  I'm somewhat tired of "white racism" which I find rather predictable and boring, no longer instructive.

Will they get over it?  Who cares?  Not holding my breath.  Whites are just dummies, what can I say (chuckle).  Their idiocracy is absurd.

Sometimes I enjoy not thinking about "whites" at all, either as part of the problem nor as part of the solution necessarily.  What a privilege.  I am blessed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Lady (movie review)

In some ways this movie reminded me of Logicomix, probably because of all the shots of Oxford, and all those famous people (e.g. Bishop Tutu), making an appearance.  My own little life is kinda "comic book" to me, ala Crumb decor at Laughing Planet (a frame in a frame), so don't think I'm "putting it down" in comparing this movie to a comic book, or "graphic novel" if you prefer.  Anime.

The meditation it inspired was again about nationalism and its failures.  I think of the patch quilt of nation states applied as a layer as an especially Anglo invention that reached its peak with the Anglo empire.  Our suspended disbelief in nations was most suspended back then.

Of course (goes the thinking) every people needs a flag, a central government, ministries, agencies, bureaucracy.  "Is Greenland a country?" I asked a member of the Yorkshireman race.  "Of course it is, want me to look it up in the CIA World Fact Book"?  Antarctica isn't a country (yet).  The Vatican is a country.

Sony (as in Sony Pictures) is a company, not a country.  Disney with Disneylands could be a country, if it wanted to be.  EPCOT shows the nations as World Expo style pavilions, facing Tomorrowland, all companies (named The Grunch by Fuller, the BuckyBall an anchoring motif).

Some companies are bigger than some countries, though their assets may be more globally dispersed.  They make alliances with nations.  East India Tea... British Petroleum -- these companies have their own diplomats and embassies so to speak, not to mention bureaucracies, but the namespaces are different (logos instead of flags, though both use decals and stencils).

Then we have these more illegal-sounding names, like "cartel".  Burma has a lot of company cartels, no doubt with their internal rivalries, but from the outside it behooves them to don the "dress of nations" and parade around on stage with the others.  It's a lot about style & fashion, and whether one carries weapons, and whether it's socially acceptable to use them.

The presentation on Zapatistas at the meetinghouse used the word "gang" and "party" (as in "political party") somewhat synonymously.  These were violent actors.  They would sweep through and seize property, vandalize with impunity.  This is how warring groups attempt to assert control and/or deny rivals the benefits of having inventory. 

As a veteran of Laughing Horse Books and Video Collective movies, I'm quite aware that "companies" and "nations" fade into the underworld pretty quickly, with few hard edges.  You get to violence, bullying, coercion, imprisoning pretty quickly.  England has as sordid a history as the rest of them.

Companies seize land from peasants at gun point, often using nation state armies to do so.  Smedley Butler wrote about this pattern in War is a Racket (just delivered to my Kindle for $2.89).

Some peoples had the good fortune to work out some agreements before the weapons got so powerful and effective.  Imagine the US Civil War with carpet bombing and long range missiles.  Submarines were only just getting going.  With the US and others exporting outward weapons to pay bills, strengthening the hand of those opposed to weapons use becomes a critical business.  Countdown to Zero is a part of that strengthening, and is popular with non-aligned nations (those without a "superpower" complex).  The intelligence community tends to be supportive, somewhat by definition.

We packed the living room:  Steve Holden, myself, Lindsey & Melody, mom, and JenQ.  Melody and I went to Freddies and stocked up on popcorn.  I projected using mom's Sony VAIO, directly on the wall.  The picture quality was sharp, the sound plenty loud.  The sound track is quite musical, featuring piano and violin music.  Pachelbel's Canon rises to the level of theme music.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Mixing It Up


Today was somewhat complicated, however the weather was beautiful:  clear, crisp, still warm, a sunny October day.

October 6, a rally point for Occupy.

October 6, date of some DC-led invasion of Afghanistan (I'm a little hazy on the details, not my area of most focus (DC's various epileptic fits, attacks of neuritus or whatever we call it -- lots of flailing and flinging explosives, lethal dorkiness (like 911))).

October 6:  Willamette Quarterly Meeting (WQM) in full swing.

The complicated part:  Carol Urner, my mom, was scheduled to address both the Occupy Rally downtown, in the park blocks, and to serve on a panel at Quakers at WQM.  Yet she was quite ill with a cold-flu and would she even be mobile?

The bright weather and Tylenol helped her back on her feet and I got her to the rally in time for her speech, but her WILPF peers, knowing of her illness, had scheduled a Code Pink woman to speak in her stead.

The Code Pink woman's talk was pretty interesting in that she mentioned that a substantial delegation of civilians were marching in Pakistan to visit areas hardest hit by the V2s er drones.  Not just Congress people get those junkets.  Authentic citizen diplomacy is more effective anyway.

I was serving as a roaming camera guy, sometimes wandering away from the event.  Most of the police, charged with ushering the subsequent march through town (a complicated route) were hanging out at Starbucks.  No one was giving them any trouble.  The horses were out as well.

Some faux police ("Occu Popo") with giant fly swatters shadowed the police, just clowning around, somewhat mocking state authority (an old theme, goes back to the Middle Ages).

At meeting, I got to meet Kathleen Burkhardt, daughter of Jeanne.  She gave me one of the '3rd Culture' pamphlets they have at Lewis & Clark for people like herself and myself, somewhat expat in outlook i.e. lonely planet types, less able to say where we're "from".

Mom's presentation went well.  Two of the panelists chose homophobia as an example of a touchy topic that their respective Quaker institutions had been dealing with.  A former NPYM clerk and current NWYM clerk shared about their multi-threaded process.  Jane's story was set in East Africa whereas Tom's was set here in Oregon.

Mom's story was about an AFSC board (which meets in Philadelphia), going from rubber stamp to more activist during the recent succession of executive directors.  She gave us some good insights into Quaker process at AFSC, which has a Quaker board of directors (of which she has been a member of for several years).

While Brian Wilson was talking (effective speaker) I swung through a regulated state liquor store for some Jack Daniels in a circuit to check the parking meter.  I used some in my coffee after all this was over and I was back at my house, blogging.  Apparently alcohol is a touchy topic among some Friends as well.

Tom thought processing around alcohol had helped his Yearly Meeting develop practices and discussion muscles which carried over when it was time to address homophobia more openly.

Speaking of homophobia, some of the standup comics at The Bagdad last night were doing their best to gross us out about sex in general.  Anything carnal (means "meat related") can be gross, I agree.  Raw unadulterated first person stories tend to be better ice breakers than teachings delivered from on high as it were.  Comedians may be more effective than preachers, when it comes to stirring the pot.

In the Middle Ages (Europe), it was more common to see meat space as ugly (they had more disease, enjoyed less sanitation that many take for granted today).  The 'body beautiful' movement that came with the Renaissance hearkened back to ancient Greece.  The idea of sexuality as 'dirty' helped protect people from STDs.

A lot of credit goes to the film industry for helping elevate carnality to a higher art -- not just talking about MA-rated skits (aka porn) that take a cultural context for granted.  Real innovation creates a new context, doesn't just piggy-back.

I've been looking at some of the characters around the time of Louis IVX, thanks to discussions with a retired musician from Italy living at Leslie's house.  She specialized in music of that period.  Ms. Jeanne Guyon was spreading the mysticism of Quietism in his court, affecting his grandson, in opposition to Catholic orthodoxy.  Quakers were having an impact in that regard.

Thanks to Melody for sharing this instructional video about how to build a self-wicking planter from pallets.

After the end of the panel discussion, I mingled with Friends.  I told Sara Michner and Chris Cradler about Drunk History on Youtube, the one about president Harrison being my favorite.

Speaking of DIY projects, Lew Scholl (with some help from his Friends) has recently installed the new sound system and was giving it a workout.  Panelists used a hand-held mic to project sound from the several ceiling mounted speakers.  Special battery-powered devices allow especially hard-of-hearing individuals to jack in with ear buds.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sanity Check

I listened to the first of the US presidential debates on National Public Radio (NPR).

The NPR correspondents do not seem like National Forensics League judges in that they put relatively more weight on style of delivery and less on content.  Both matter of course.  But NPR's seeming to call it for Romney traced more to style than substance.

"I wonder what the conservatives will say about the 'liberal media' if we call it for Romney" one of the correspondents mused aloud.  That may have been more the point:  to show journalistic "objectivity'.  After all, Romney had just said he would cut NPR from the budget, rather than let China finance it (through borrowing).

I think the assumption is political debates take place in their own namespace, have their own logic, which is not always that connected to what's really going on.  Internally to that namespace, I thought president Obama did a better job.

The public knows, at some level, that the plans of presidents never pan out exactly, life isn't like that.  So the substance is somewhat discounted, intuitively.  The debates become more like an audition, like American Idol, for a role.  The president will be a media personality and the public is judging whether they might get used to a persona.

Governor Romney allowed his proposals to collapse without alternatives if they were seen to raise the deficit in any way, yet it seemed clear that with the tax policies and projected military spending increases, that "closing loopholes" was not going to cover expenses.

If the loopholes could be closed, then maybe some of these shareholders and executives at General Dynamics, insisting on producing more M1 tanks, even with a desert full of them, would shoulder more of the burden.  That's unlikely though.  The whole point of making those tanks is to enjoy rolling in dough while letting the public pay back the lenders, with interest.

The "closing loopholes" idea is itself a giant loophole, being used as a sound bite, to get elected.  It's more what people want to hear than it is a coherent set of policies.  As the one NPR correspondent said:  of the two, Romney seemed the more eager to get the office.  I agree.  He's willing to say whatever, no matter how mushy.

Reality can come later, once he's in.

But maybe the unreality of Romney's thinking was more a reflection of my fevered state.  I was suffering from chills and went to bed soon thereafter.

I feel better today and am working in a neighborhood coffee shop.

My thanks to Ellen Simmons, member of Multnomah Friends, for arranging for me to meet with Jeanne Burkhardt, visiting from Canada.  Her husband Jim, who has visited Wanderers, also joined us.

One fact the NPR fact checkers (interviewed after the debate) didn't check, was this idea of tax breaks for relocating a plant overseas.  President Obama claims businesses have tax incentives to export jobs.  Romney said he had no idea with the president was talking about.

That'd be something for NPR to get around to talking about I think.  What's the story there?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Disarm Day 2012


Checking back through my blog posts, I'm not finding much on the 50th anniversary of Portland's officially commemorating of the atomic bombing of two cities (authorized by some) and a commitment to healing from nuclear weapons woes more generally, with a focus on Hanford.

The poet Laurette of Washington grew up in Hanford and had a personal take on the whole scenario.  She and her charming family were a welcome part of the well-designed program.  Japan had a diplomatic presence.  Native Americans had a foot print.  Many said this was the best ever.

Polo gave the event continuity, as he has in other years, and singled out Carol Urner, my mother, for all the commitment she had demonstrated in helping get the event rolling 50 years before, the bombs having been dropped several years before that.

I'm sure I wrote about this someplace before, or did I only take pictures?

Portland is celebrating its 1st anniversary of Occupy this Saturday and I'm chauffeuring between events. The Willamette Quarter is also doing its thing, with AFSC putting its time into the Occupy side of things.  I'll be driving for AFSC, and doing photography.  Carol, my mom, is both speaking at the Occupy rally (lightning talk) and at the Meetinghouse (on a panel).

Lindsey has a map of the march route and is planning some performance art (trademark punky loud, somewhat on the rude and crude side though no worse than American Dad in that respect -- just went through Season Six I think it was).