Thursday, June 3, 2010

An Exchange With Tim Harris, of REAL CHANGE


Dear Tim,

I have been a patron of "Real Change" here in Seattle since 2001 or so until recently.

I love the model of a homeless person doing a real job, and getting compensated in return. Hopefully, this is a first step for many of these folks getting back into "mainstream" society, and moving on to even better employment, and getting off the streets. Even if this doesn't happen very often, I still like the idea of a man or woman having dignified employment, rather than simply asking for money.

Part of the reason I like the model, is I am a Conservative politically. Your model fits in well with my world view of helping persons to get back into the working world, and the idea of someone striving to improve one's lot in life.

However, after recently reading a few articles recently laced with name-calling toward Conservatives (ie, "Teabaggers"), I have stopped buying the newspaper. It really saddens me, walking past folks out there trying to make an honest living, but I see the paper as hostile toward my point of view and I will no longer support it until civility and balance are restored.

Is this possible? Can you ask your contributors to argue for their point of view, and not denigrate those with opposing views? Or, at the very minimum, refrain from name-calling? Can you find a Conservative advocate for the poor to contribute an article in each issue? (Conservatives tend to give more to charity, you know:

I realize this is Liberal Seattle, but simply a more civil attitude from your contributors could win me back. I've been reading the paper for many years, despite it's Liberal bent. That doesn't bother me. The current lack of civility from your pages does bother me, and I can no longer financially support such a publication.

Please win me back.

Thanks for your consideration.

Greg Moon


Hi Greg.

We're a progressive community newspaper that fights for social change, and would no more have a conservative columnist than National Review would offer a column to Michael Moore. I wonder if you could offer any other examples of the name-calling you describe. "Teabaggers" is, after all, what one strain of reactionary populism dubs itself, and hardly constitutes a descent into incivility. Thanks for writing.

Best, Tim

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Letter to Congressman McDermott

This "Slaughter" rule being proposed in the House of Representatives is truly frightening, it threatens the foundation of our Republic.

I wrote this to Representative McDermott expressing my concern:

Congressman McDermott,

I have been reading about this proposed "Slaughter" rule in the House that may be used to pass health care. Essentially, the House may "deem" the Senate health care bill to have been passed by the House, without an actual vote of the House on the Senate bill having taken place.

Everything I've read and listened to indicates to me that the use of this rule would be unconstitutional. A basic reading of Article I, section 7 reveals this to be true.

I strongly encourage you not to use any unconstitutional means to help pass health care. The future of our great democratic Republic depends on the preservation of the constitution, which you have swore to uphold and protect.

Thank you,

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Seattle Tea Party - 1 Year On

UPDATE Feb 28: Story in the Seattle Times. Seems very fair. The estimated the crowd at 250.

I attended my 5th Tea Party protest at noon today. Today's event was fairly low key and quiet, we had no formal speakers, but we did have, by my estimate, around 125 American Patriots willing to sacrifice a Saturday Afternoon in the rain to tell our fellow country men "We gotta stop this insane spending!". The crowd was largely older and white, but I did spot a few younger folks, and non-white folks. There were a few critics driving by in cars, but everything remained pretty cordial.

Opposition to government mandated and run health care was a major theme.

This young man is an Iraq war veteran, who is worried about the course his country is on.

People were very friendly and very polite.

The man 2nd from the left is James Watkins, who is running for Congress in the 1st District of Washington State.

Here's the sign I brought. Get it?

A shot of a small part of the crowd.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Episode IX of Rain City Bunker Posted

Andy and I just posted Episode IX of our Rain City Bunker Podcast.

We're actually kinda interesting, if I do say so myself!

In this episode, we follow up on a previous discussion about the Large Hadron collider, talk about the "lung flute", a vaccination for cocaine addiction, lab-grown meat, an interesting development in using CO2 in place of petroleum, and alternative energy in general. Listen and let us know what you think!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wonder Years Songs

Happy New Year, all!

We all know that time of life when things starts changing significantly as a child. Called the "Wonder Years" by the old TV show. You're growing up, gaining a little independence. The Middle School/Junior High Years, roughly 6th through 8th grades. For me, the first big change was getting my first job, a paper route, in the spring of my 6th grade year. Then, having my first real "crush" around that time.

I got the paper route, with several friends, we met daily at the neighborhood "Paper Shack" were we got our papers. There were some older kids there, too. We were looking forward to Junior High, and we asked the older kids what it was like. Then, the next big change, the Jr. High years (7th and 8th grades)- meeting a bunch of new people from all the different local elementary schools. Instead of one class a day with one teacher, all of sudden there were 6, and you got your own locker. Big changes, indeed!

Anyhow, there are a bunch of songs that remind me of this time. I'm sure you have your own bunch, too! I had just started listening to popular music, and these songs all bring back strong memories of this time of life.

Here's some of my favorites from the time, with links to the Youtube videos (yeah, some are bit corny!).

Supertramp, "The Logical Song"
The Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star"
Blondie, "Heart of Glass"
The Pretenders, "Brass in Pocket"
Tom Petty, "Don't Do Me Like That" (My favorite from the time)
The Cars, "Lets Go"
Jefferson Starship, "Jane"
Foreigner, "Mind Games"
Little River Band, "Lady" (Reminds me of the my hopeless first crush.. yes, the video is very geeky!)
Supertramp, "Breakfast in America"
Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall" (Played endlessly all year in the lunch room in 8th grade)
Little River Band, "Cool Change" (I sure needed "Cool Change"!)
Christopher Cross, "Ride Like the Wind"
Christopher Cross, "Sailing"

Yeah, no AC/DC... I wasn't into the harder rock as you might be able to tell from the selections!