Friday, April 30, 2010


I hate that phrase. Really hate it. It equivocates obstruction of business and loss of profit, or at worse destruction of property, with the taking of life for a political gain. I guess it's simply a matter of perspective, and the ultimate utilitarian argument: I agree with the ends, therefore I can justify the means.

I find myself becoming more utilitarian in this regard, mostly because I feel a room full of Kantians would never accomplish anything. Progress is often predicated on a strong sense of ideology, but also a willingness to enter into compromise.

This is problematic in and of itself. If Gandhi or Martin Luther King had compromised, would they have accomplished as much?

At what point does a stubborn 'right' turn against itself? Is Paul Watson, for example, a terrorist? If he had strictly used peaceful means, would he be a Gandhi, or pejoratively compared to Osama bin Laden? Just because I agree with his goals am I overlooking what is a form of terrorism, by definition?

I have no answers to these questions. I'm just tossing them out there because I haven't made up my mind, and I'm not sure what to think.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Last night I went out for dinner with a team visiting my office from Korea to a local seafood place. On the menu: oysters, crab legs, a little bit of fish, and some bread.

Normally oysters are something I eat in my mom's stuffing at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I don't dislike them, but I've always found them kind of gross.

Last night I eschewed that and had quite a few (for me) oysters. And in retrospect, they weren't half-bad.

As I get older, I find my palate changing, accepting things I would not have eaten before. I love bananas. Black pudding in the UK was good. The Beautiful Competition even turned me on to fois gras, which I admit is really damn good. I feel like there's a new world of culinary delights out there yet to be discovered as I open my mind and taste buds more and more.

Still not going to eat any raw oysters on the half-shell though.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

40 Years

Today is the 40th Earth Day. Today, I rode the bus to work for only the second time since I've been back (this was not planned, it was a coincidence.)

I admit that most of my efforts are token at best. I recycle, I owned a hybrid car (but now drive a far-less efficient Jeep.) I carpool when I can and I compost, but still continue to directly participate in a system that encourages wasteful and unmitigated consumption that is ultimately unsustainable.

I'd like to think I did my part this morning. Our secretary was going to drive three hours south to Portland to pick up 3 iPads because there aren't any left in Seattle, then drive three hours back. iPads. Calculate the carbon footprint on that.

I convinced her that if she really had to go 200 miles to pay $600 a pop for some fashionable gadget, she should at least take Amtrak.

She also had no idea it was Earth Day.

40 years from now, I'll blog that today is the day I truly felt and understood the meaning of the term Phyrric Victory.

Edit: here's something a little more positive.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fundamental Beliefs

Health care is not a luxury item. It is not an iPad or a BMW or a bottle of nice wine. It is not a vacation to Fiji or a seven-bedroom mansion.

Health care is a utility, like sewage and sanitation, police protection, fire departments, good roads, a strong military and other utilities that keep society safe and operating well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. Most of them are the sort of laundry I don't care to air on this blog, but I will admit to and apologize for this one.

When I was a freelance writer trying to make my name, I sold out my integrity as a movie reviewer, Star Wars fan and as a writer by penning a good review of Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones in exchange for the chance to see the movie a week before the rest of the world.

I'm so very sorry.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I'm now about 99% certain what the Bible was referring to in the story of the loaves and fishes.

Jesus said, bread and anchovies? Awesome. Let me get a little red sauce and I'll show you guys a real miracle - of flavor!

You heard it here first kids.