Don’t call regressives conservatives

My pet peeve of the moment:
I keep hearing progressives (including Amy Goodman today) refer to right-wing extremists as “conservatives.” Please people! There is nothing conservative about these far-right extremists who are working to destroy US public norms & institutions. It’s like calling anti-choice people “pro-life.” They are no such thing. Words matter! Do not accept the language of our adversaries! #ConservativeMyAss #wordsmatter

More fun and drama with Bernie Sanders in Second Life

As a follow-up to my earlier Fun with Bernie Sanders and friends (in Second Life) here are some more photos and commentary from Second Life.

A Bernie supporter:

Sitting with Bernie

Silliness with Donald Trump

In Second Life, the Bernie Sanders Headquarters is adjacent to the Donald Trump Headquarters. Some Trump people put a huge sign facing the Sanders HQ.   So, the Sanders people erected a blue wall to block the view:

In response, the Trump people put up this (I made the blue wall temporarily invisible for the sake of this image):

When I clicked on the Trump wall — where it says “Click the wall for a teleport to Trump 2016 Second Life Headquarters” — it tried to install a virus.

The current status is that there’s a no-man’s land between the two headquarters.

Later some Trump “demons” visited the Sanders Headquarters to cause trouble, make noise, and fill the chat window with “Trump! Trump!” spam:

At least one of the spammers (aka “griefers”) got banned from the area.

But there were some polite Trump supporters. In fact, several people I met are supporters of both Trump and Sanders.  One guy said he liked Sanders’ economic policies but supported Trump’s tough stand on immigration.  Another guy said he wanted to set up a coordinated rally for both Trump and Sanders supporters to tell the Establishment that “we’re not going to put up with business as usual anymore.” I said that I couldn’t participate because I disagree with too many of Trump’s policy positions (see this comparison chart) and because Trump has said some racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and unpresidential things.

I visited the Trump headquarters (without my Bernie shirt) and was shocked by the profanity. It seems every sentence had a four-letter word.  Someone said the “n” word.  Someone said something about sending Chinese people back to China with their egg rolls.    It felt like a fraternity from Animal Farm or those college jerks from the film Borat.

I hope this isn’t stooping as low (it’s not my creation): Donald Trump as the garbage collector.

Successful Climate Justice Activism

Look what we have accomplished together! (see the media roundup below)
Paddle In Seattle
Together we were:

Paddle in Seattle Stranger CoverLed by the beauty and spirit of the moment,

Emboldened by the drums and wise words of the Duwamish and Native Canoe families and the voices of those on the front-lines of the climate crisis,

riven by a moral obligation to take principled and bold action in service of a habitable planet and younger generations.

300+ people (and countless others on land) took to the water, paddling straight to Shell’s Arctic destroyer to demand climate justice.

It is in these moments that we solidify the courage to act upon our convictions. The Paddle In Seattle has seized headlines across the world and has inspired others to join the movements for climate justice.

Thank you for sharing in our vision and for striving to manifest it. Collectively we have done something truly beautiful and powerful.

Kayaktivists confront artic destructionNow, we must use this momentum and spotlight to push onward.

Right now, we are resuming kayaktivist trainings and organizing a rapid response network for when Shell dares to leave for the Arctic. We’re also connecting the solar powered People’s Platform with upcoming night-time paddle actions.



Media Round-Up:

Chief Seattle is Watching banner at Jack Block with Native      Canoes by Alex GarlandThe news from the weekend made national and global headlines in addition to completely saturating Seattle media (best- KOMO 4 TV, KIRO 7 TV, Q13 Fox TV, Stranger, Seattle PI, West Seattle Herald) This has completely changed the conversation around Arctic drilling and rocketed it to being a top national and even international issue. Even Obama found himself extolling the virtues of protecting the Arctic at a USCG Academy commencement address.

Here are a few highlights: on Saturday, the protest was #3 on BBC World News (right beneath the ISIS raid and Morsi’s death sentence, to give you perspective). The Guardian went wild with coverage as well (here, here, here, and here) and it even reached Australia!

The Associated Press story was picked up in nearly every major paper across the country from Atlanta to Minneapolis to Dallas and on ABC and Yahoo news.

The coverage from the NBC affiliate, King 5 TV, was picked up nationally.

The photos were particularly well-traveled with even Leonardo Dicaprio posting the aerial kayak photos on his Instagram.
Paddle In Seattle
Here is a roundup of the photos from Grist.

The speeches all came from native and impacted people telling us powerful truths. In fact, after traveling to Seattle from the North Slope, Mae Hank and Faith Gemmill-Fredson – founder and executive director of the grassroots indigenous network REDOIL- confronted Shell at the AGM meeting in London. Faith spoke directly to Shell shareholders saying “The moral and financial burden of the irresponsible decision to drill in the Arctic is too risky to consider.”

Paddle In SeattleArctic drilling dominated the coverage of the meeting, casting serious investor doubt on the project.

Earlier in the week, Kayaktivists were live on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, followed by an amazing segment on Rachel Maddow during which she spent several minutes reading out-loud the riveting and terrifying piece “The Wreck of the Kulluk.”

The Monday following the actions, there was even more national coverage. Here are just a few of the highlights: USA Today, NPR, Slate.

Lastly, #ShellNo and “Arctic drilling” were trending on Twitter and Facebook, respectively!

Floating Banner Defend The Arctic Climate Justice Now

New Kayaktivism Training Dates:




Donate online HERE or send checks to PO BOX 278, Vashon, WA 98070

Software developers and medical workers should organize for income equality

I work as a software developer, and I’m thinking that there should be an organization of developers who advocate for income equality. We’re paid well, and some developers earn absurd incomes. The medical field is similar. High finance is even worse.

John Oliver reams wealthy, entitled ‘dweebs’ at tech awards show: ‘F*ck you, straight away’.

People who enjoy the benefits of capitalism and who have a conscience should be more vocal in saying things like: “We aren’t taxed enough!”  They should get together and fund ads and messaging to inform the people about the need for progressive taxation.

I’m aware that a significant proportion of developers (and physicians) are libertarian and either think they deserve their financial security or just don’t care about others so much.  Still, a lot of developers do care and would be willing to spend time and money for this cause.

If we can find some big name developers (physicians) to be spokespeople, that would raise awareness of this issue.

Would you join with Warren Buffet, etc. and help fix our broken tax system?