Saturday, June 6, 2009

Moving the Democratic Party

Well, OK, just the local one. I'm off to help with moving the local Democratic party headquarters to a new office. The old office was in a warehouse by the railroad tracks, but now the party is moving into a real office near the public library. Don't know how this will impact politics or party policies, but we'll have a barbecue at the end of the move.

And completely unrelated news: in a World Cup qualifying match North Korea and Iran tied 0-0. There must be a joke in there somewhere, but I just can't think of one.
(added: never mind. Iran won the rematch 1-0)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Physical Therapy Update

(old x-ray; I don't have copies of the more recent ones)
I'm stiff and sore today, as a result of how hard I pushed myself in physical therapy yesterday. It's the price I expect to pay, and I'm not complaining. I've been really aggressive in my PT program, and both my surgeon and therapist have expressed concern that I might overdo it. I feel comfortable on how hard I'm pushing myself, and that I'm in touch with my body and know when to stop. It's hard to explain, but I know which pain is "good pain" and which pain means "stop!" But I'm highly motivated, and I have a goal: I want to get back on the river, so my shoulder has to get better. In my next step toward that goal, I'm doing Animas River Days next weekend on a paddle raft. It's a lower impact way to start with class 2 and 3 rapids, and being part of a paddle crew rather than full on oar rowing. At least one of my fellow boaters is nervous about my readiness, but I think I've convinced him that I'm up for it. This isn't the Canyon, or even the Juan. It's the Animas, and my shoulder is feeling stronger every day. So I'll keep working hard, even if it sometimes hurts.

Boobie Love

Don't they look happy on this Friday?

But Consider the Alternative

Almost everybody has already parsed Obama's Cairo speech, and most of the opinions are entirely predictable. The left loved parts of it, but felt Obama should have pushed a more progressive agenda. The right hated it, with much screaming about "apologies" and "terrorism" weakening America. The Israeli lobby doesn't want to be confronted about settlements, and most of the Muslim Middle East response is one of "very nice words, but what will be the action?"
One thing (almost) everybody agrees on is that Obama is a powerful speaker who can articulate his message clearly. Speeches don't change the world, but they sometimes shape perception And that was Obama's goal for this speech. On that criteria, the Cairo speech appears to be a success.
The thought that kept bouncing into my mind was "what if it were McCain on that stage?" While I actually doubt that McCain would have even attempted going to Cairo to make such an outreach, he would be compelled to articulate some Middle East position in some forum. And I just cannot imagine that his views would generate a positive resonance.
That's the crux of it. When progressives feel disappointed by Obama's moderation (and we feel it a lot), we must remember that the alternative we faced in McCain was a continuation of Shrub and the Republican international disaster. When Obama speaks on a global platform, it's a positive. Shrub and McCain induced a global cringe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Fist Bump Day

Remember June 3rd, 2008? The fist bump heard ‘round the world? Now we can celebrate it as another holiday!

This June 3, a group of media and design impresarios are promoting “National
Fist Bump Day
” in honor of the anniversary. They want to celebrate a new iconic American expression of authenticity, political transparency and of course, change we can believe in.

"The idea behind National Fist Bump Day is to give Americans a chance to make the world a slightly better place with a simple and fun gesture of respect," says David Weiner, one of the organizers, along with Sarah Greenwalt. “It may not solve the world's problems, but it can at least reaffirm the fact that in the end, we all can get down with each other.”

Sweaterman, I expect you to be out knocking knuckles for the good of America today.
(H/T Booman Tribune)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Loving the Husky Women

Nice. My alma mater, the University of Washington, wins the national championship in women's softball. Danielle Lawrie, I think I love you!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Artwork by Lynd Ward. For Dr. George Tiller. who was assassinated this morning. I've run out of things to say (via .McClatchy)

Closing California

I grew up in San Francisco and various parts of Northern California, so I'm somewhat sentimental about the stunning beauty of the state, much of it protected within the state parks. Now the state has a budget crisis (mostly of their own making), and Arnie is proposing cutting everything that is good (at DownWithTyranny Dr. Kirk Murphy has a great post about the impact on health care), because he can't possibly raise taxes:

Nearly every state park in the Bay Area — from the towering redwoods at Big Basin to Angel Island, Mount Tamalpais to Mount Diablo and every state beach from Año Nuevo in San Mateo County to Big Sur — would close as part of budget cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In all, 220 of California's 279 state parks, about 80 percent, would be padlocked starting as soon as Labor Day, under details of a historic closing plan released Thursday night by the state parks department.


On Tuesday, as part of an effort to close the state's $24 billion deficit, Schwarzenegger unveiled a series of proposed cuts. They included a plan to eliminate $70 million in state general fund money to parks in the year that ends in June 2010 and $143 million of that funding by June 2011. The latter number represents 40 percent of the state park system's $387 million operating budget.

Layoffs could hit 1,500 or more of the 2,900 state parks employees

Remarkably short-sighted, but Californian's have a long history of bad planning in their quest for immediate gratification. Cutting taxes and hoping that magic elves will take care of everything has been the California system for decades. Here's a simple equation: a study by the University of California-Berkeley found that for every $1 in public money spent on state parks, $2.35 is returned to the state in taxes from tourism and other revenue they generate. So the current proposal will only make the deficit worse in the future.

Julia Pfiffer Burns State Park