There’s one a lot closer. The same people will be holding this in
Olympia march 8th. You can check out info on their website:

On Mon, 2003-02-24 at 19:55, Nancy Codon wrote:
> Communication for Couples
> Building relationships based on honesty and empathy!
> Sat., March 22, Seattle, 9:30AM-4:30PM
> ( at Ravenna United Methodist Church)

protest 15feb, saturday at sylvester park 2:15pm

FYI, this is part of a multi-city, multi-country protest.


Saturday, February 15th, 2003
when: 2:15pm – dusk
where: Sylvester ParkCapitol Way & LegionOlympia, WA
Peace Rally and MarchExercise your civil rights today by participating in an International Day of Action Against War! Peace rally with various speakers, followed by a march to the war memorial at the capitol campus, and return to Sylvester Park to listen to local music, and get info on how you can get involved in the growing worldwide peace and justice movements right here in Oly! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to speak up – this is it!

Don’t wait until its too late!
For more info: email: info@united4peacetc.orgwebsite: or http://www.united4peacetc.orgor call 867-6196
Sponsored by Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace

inequality in systems inevitably increases

I found this article this morning and wanted to share it. This article
is talking about power law curves in relation to blogs, which are online
diaries. However, this stuff is huge in implication. Take these quotes:

“Prior to recent theoretical work on social networks, the usual
explanations invoked individual behaviors: some members of the community
had sold out, the spirit of the early days was being diluted by the
newcomers, et cetera. We now know that these explanations are wrong, or
at least beside the point. What matters is this: Diversity plus freedom
of choice creates inequality, and the greater the diversity, the more
extreme the inequality.”

“In systems where many people are free to choose between many options, a
small subset of the whole will get a disproportionate amount of traffic
(or attention, or income), even if no members of the system actively
work towards such an outcome. This has nothing to do with moral
weakness, selling out, or any other psychological explanation. The very
act of choosing, spread widely enough and freely enough, creates a power
law distribution.”

“The basic shape is simple – in any system sorted by rank, the value for
the Nth position will be 1/N. For whatever is being ranked — income,
links, traffic — the value of second place will be half that of first
place, and tenth place will be one-tenth of first place. (There are
other, more complex formulae that make the slope more or less extreme,
but they all relate to this curve.)”

“Now, thanks to a series of breakthroughs in network theory by
researchers like Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Duncan Watts, and Bernardo
Huberman among others, breakthroughs being described in books like
Linked, Six Degrees, and The Laws of the Web, we know that power law
distributions tend to arise in social systems where many people express
their preferences among many options. We also know that as the number of
options rise, the curve becomes more extreme. This is a
counter-intuitive finding – most of us would expect a rising number of
choices to flatten the curve, but in fact, increasing the size of the
system increases the gap between the #1 spot and the median spot.”

“We are so used to the evenness of the bell curve, where the median
position has the average value, that the idea of two-thirds of a
population being below average sounds strange.”

“Inequality occurs in large and unconstrained social systems for the
same reasons stop-and-go traffic occurs on busy roads, not because it is
anyone’s goal, but because it is a reliable property that emerges from
the normal functioning of the system.”

In other words freedom is slavery, and inequality is inevitable in
systems of free choice.

Utah Phillips this weekend

For those of you with some money and time to burn this weekend, Utah
Phillips is in town. Actually he was on campus this week too on tuesday,
but that’s something you either went to or missed already. However,
there’s another chance. He’s going to be at the Capitol Theatre on
Saturday. I’m more bummed than I have words to tell you that I will not
have seen him at either of the two events he was at this week due to my

Everyone that can go should go. He’s awesome, funny and profound, etc
… etc …

Saturday, February 8th, 2003
7:30pm The Historic Capitol Theater 206 E. 5th Ave. in downtown Olympia
Utah Phillips is coming to town for a one night show of music and a bit
of that old IWW spirit. This show will benifit the New Old Time
Chautauqua, a non-profit organization that brings laughter and education
to rural northwest communities.Tickets are on sale at Rainy Day Records
in westside Olympia or at $16 general $14 students, seniors, OFS members $10 kids 12 and younger For more info: Harry at 360.956.9256

media watch for interfaith/iraq

Here’s a few fun articles online about current religious issues:

“Of course, that is beside the point to Robertson, Falwell and Swaggart,
men determined to judge the seventh century by their more modern
14th-century sensibilities.”

Bishop to Appear in Anti-War Commercial

Episcopalian leader lashes out at Bush for ‘reprehensible’ policy

Bush ’41’ Defends Son’s Iraq Policy,2933,76850,00.html

mental monkey dance

he’s very good at doing that mental monkey dance
within the lengths of the chains of self
but he’s turned a dance of freedom
into the pale pantomime of a prisoner
fancy dance doesn’t replace emancipation
the self can spend so much time entertaining
that it forgets the struggle to be free
that the dance is to shake off the shackles of self
not to amuse the other prisoners or to wallow
in the self-stimulation and mental masturbation

compassionate listening does not mean
he can get his mental rocks off at my expense
perhaps he’ll accidentally stumble out of those chains
I did but I doubt it

Knowledge@Wharton: Why Some Companies Retrain Workers, and Others Lay Them Off

This article is from

Why Some Companies Retrain Workers, and Others Lay Them Off

Until the 1990s, retraining ruled at companies like IBM. Big Blue, which promised lifetime employment to its workforce, moved its employees every few years and when it did, taught them new jobs.

But when IBM’s traditional dark suits and white shirts gave way to knit shirts and khakis, the company’s commitment to lifetime employment — and thus retraining — waned. Under former Chairman Lou Gerstner, the formerly paternalistic employer laid off tens of thousands of employees.

Why did the computer maker scotch retraining for workforce “churning” — that is, laying off employees with obsolete skills and replacing them with workers offering newer skills? It was simply bowing to the temper of the times, according to Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli, who says such an approach is increasingly common in today’s workplace.

“In the economy now, change is faster, and the odds that your skills will need to be updated have increased,” Cappelli says. “The question becomes, is your employer going to reinvest in you or move on to someone else?”

As director of the school’s Center for Human Resources, Cappelli wanted to know why a few companies have in fact remained committed to retraining, even in the new ramped-up business climate. “The question seems central to understanding why some employers and some jobs are ‘good’ while others are not,” Cappelli notes in a recent paper entitled, “Social Capital and Retraining,” forthcoming in the journal Industrial Relations.

In the contemporary context, Cappelli explains in his paper, “corporate restructuring has become the main driver of job insecurity.” He cites an American Management Association survey in which 66% of the employers responded that “downsizing in their companies during the 1990s was driven by internal restructuring and reengineering, in contrast to more traditional explanations that relate job loss primarily to business cycles. And roughly a third of all companies reported that they were hiring new workers during layoffs in order to get the new skills they need to accommodate their restructuring plans.”

This process of restructuring by laying off and hiring, or churning, “externalizes the costs of restructuring to the laid-off employees and increases the demands on other providers of skills in society,” Cappelli writes. Retraining, however, suggests the opposite approach to restructuring “in that it internalizes restructuring costs, stabilizing employment and expanding overall skill levels in the process.”

Consequently, the decision to churn or retrain “is increasingly central to discussions about the responsibilities that employers have to workers and society,” Cappelli says. He defines retraining as “the decision to invest in the skills of workers who would otherwise be at risk of losing their jobs unless they acquire new skills.”

Having placed his research in the context of today’s workforce, Cappelli then asks the question: What distinguishes companies that emphasize retraining from those that do not? His answer: Companies that employ a large amount of “social capital” are more likely to retrain workers.

What is social capital? It’s a tight network of relationships within a workplace, Cappelli says. “It’s where you and I work together in ways that are idiosyncratic enough that we need to know a lot about each other. Imagine dancers. There, the social capital is significant. In order to perform well, dancers have to understand their partners’ personalities and movements.”

Companies that employ social capital often emphasize formal teamwork. “A well-functioning team is a profound notion,” Cappelli says. “It doesn’t just mean being in the same office.” Many people, for example, say they work with colleagues when, in fact, their day-to-day tasks rarely overlap. The extent of their joint work is fetching coffee for each other, kibitzing in the hallway or sharing tired jokes via e-mail. Occasionally, they might offer each other advice. Well-functioning teams, however, “don’t just share what they know. They know what to ask each other. They know each other’s strengths.”

In his paper, Cappelli discusses the idea of synergies in the context of social capital in the workplace. “Because it is an asset that exists between individuals rather than within each individual, social capital may suggest why it could make sense to reinvest in and retain individuals even if their job-specific skills are obsolete: The relationships they maintain with others may create value that extends beyond their ability to perform their current job.”

Cappelli goes on to suggest a direct connection between social capital and retraining “that turns on the make-or-buy choice that underlies the retraining decision. If a firm chooses not to retrain, it replaces existing employees with new ones. In the process social networks in the workplace are disrupted, and social capital is destroyed. If a firm does retrain, it preserves social networks and retains social capital.”

In an economic sense, Cappelli says, “social capital can be thought of as a particular type of fixed investment that can be preserved through retraining … It may take less of an investment to retain redundant employees to make a contribution than to hire new ones because the former always have important firm-specific investments in social capital. But the investment is in relationships, not skills.”

White-collar endeavors that demand a high degree of social capital range from advertising firms to surgeons’ operating-room teams. Among blue-collar workers, social capital exists among groups of tradesmen who work together on construction project after construction project. “These relationships rely on trust. You can’t easily keep track of who’s done what. There’s a high degree of mutual obligation that’s difficult to cover in a formal contract,” says Cappelli. He suggests a test: “If you can spell everything out in a formal contract, then it’s a business with low social capital.”

Compare high ‘social capital’ sorts of jobs to, say, an accounting firm, where a set of formal rules — the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles — govern what employees do. The rules are the same no matter where an accountant works, which makes it relatively easy for an accountant to switch jobs. As Cappelli describes it in his paper, “Some organizations rely on bureaucratic management and work organization practice based on rigid rules and procedures for decision making that are designed in part to be relatively impervious to social relations and resilient to employee turnover. The classic example of assembly line operations based on the principles of scientific management seem to fit that model in that they reduce opportunities for social relationships to affect the work process … Work systems based on teamwork and empowered groups, in contrast, rely much more heavily on the social relationships between employees and therefore on social capital to operate effectively.”

For his research, Cappelli looked at more than 3,000 employers that had responded to a 1994 U.S. Census Bureau survey on employment practices. The survey asked specifically whether the employer retrained workers who would otherwise be laid off due to economic changes at their establishment. He also looked to see whether skill requirements for their jobs had risen, which suggested a need for retraining, and whether they had excess operating capacity, which suggested the need for a possible layoff.

Since Cappelli also had to find companies that relied on social capital, he looked for those that employed self-managed teams and Total Quality Management programs, which depend on problem-solving teamwork. In addition, he sought out companies that allowed flex-time, which requires that workers cooperate in setting schedules and making sure tasks gets completed.

He found a strong statistical relationship between companies that retrained workers with outdated skills and those that employed social capital. “The story here is that workers are bringing something other than their skills; remember, these people had obsolete skills. But what they bring is they know everybody else, know how to get along with them, and know everybody’s strengths and weaknesses. As a result, when they are retrained, they will make progress faster.”

In his analysis, Cappelli ruled out three conventional explanations of why companies retrain. They don’t retrain because 1) they face high hiring costs, which make it costly to replace workers 2) offer lots of training of other kinds as a rule or 3) have other employee-friendly policies. None of those held up to statistical analysis; Cappelli couldn’t find a relationship between them and the likelihood that a company would retrain workers. For example, just because companies strive to be “good employers” by offering benefits such as health insurance, family leave and profit-sharing doesn’t mean they will offer retraining.

Cappelli did find a relationship between companies offering employee stock options and retraining. “Stock options are back-loaded compensation. You have to stay around to get them, and retraining helps people stay around.” Then again, companies might not want people with lots of options to stay. After all, if the workers were forced to leave, the company wouldn’t have to hand them shares of its stock. But “companies that have opportunities to cheat like that don’t do it very often,” Cappelli points out. “They would develop a bad reputation, which is worse than not offering the options in the first place.”

Cappelli’s paper grew out of his service on a committee empanelled by the Russell Sage Foundation in New York. The foundation, which supports social-science research, asked a group of scholars to examine how more companies could be induced to retrain workers with obsolete skills. The committee members disagreed over whether it is possible to make companies retrain workers without fundamentally changing the way those companies operate and whether the problem was merely a technical one of finding the right incentives and penalties.

But Cappelli, a labor economist by training, believes employers might have fundamental reasons for taking different paths. “I’m skeptical of the carrot-and-stick approach. It would take massive carrots and massive sticks to get all companies to retrain, and it would ultimately change the way they operate.”

Different firms have different strategies because they operate in different markets, Cappelli says. Sometimes, employing teams and keeping those teams together makes sense. Other times, it doesn’t. Consider the difference between SAS Institute, a North Carolina-based maker of statistical-analysis software, and other software firms. SAS, the nation’s largest privately held software company, has turnover that is a fraction of the industry average, typically about 4% a year. As a result, it retrains its programmers as it enters new markets.

“SAS isn’t trying to develop new browsers and move into markets where nobody has been before. It is trying to adapt and extend a product it has had for 30 years. As a result, they need to keep the employees with the specific knowledge of its product. Companies that are doing new and different things, on the other hand, benefit from having new people with different ideas,” Cappelli says. “Do you want all software companies to look like SAS? It would be a peculiar business world if you didn’t have variation. The variation is there for a reason.”

Cappelli concludes in his paper: “Employers who retrain workers do so at least in part to preserve the social capital that exists in worker relationships. Specifically, the use of work practices like self-managed teams and TQM rely on that social capital to operate effectively … The TQM result may also reflect social capital beyond coworkers, including relationships with customers and suppliers. These results point to the importance of ‘strong-tie’ social capital of the kind that develops in close working relationships.”

If anything, the message of Cappelli’s paper goes to workers more than their employers. “My advice is caveat emptor,” he says. “If you walk into a company with a lot of contractual relationships, a lot of low social capital-type work, don’t expect that it’s going to make a big investment in you if business turns down.”

why we can’t know the whole system

I thought of this passage from The Phantom Tollbooth while we were
talking about Mindwalk and the idea that the system is always more than
what we know, no matter how much we learn about it. Enjoy!

[The Mathemagician says,] “What’s the greatest number you can think of?”

“Nine trillion, nine hundred ninety-nine billion, nine hundred
ninety-nine million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred
ninety-nine,” replied Milo breathlessly.

“Very good,” said the Mathemagician. “Now add one to it. Now add one
again,” he repeated when Milo had added the previous one. “Now add one
again. Now add one again. Now add one again. Now add one again. Now add
one again. Now add one again. Now add —”

“But when can I stop?” pleaded Milo.

“Never,” said the Mathemagician with a little smile, “for the number
you want is always at least one more than the number you’ve got, and
it’s so large that if you started saying it yesterday you wouldn’t
finish tomorrow.”

“Where could you ever find a number so big?” scoffed the Humbug.

“In the same place they have the smallest number there is,” he answered
helpfully; “and you know what that is.”

“Certainly,” said the bug, suddenly remembering something to do at the
other end of the room.

“One one-millionth?” asked Milo, trying to think of the smallest
fraction possible.

“Almost,” said the Mathemagician. “Now divide it in half. Now divide it
in half again. Now divide it in half again. Now divide it in half again.
Now divide it in half again. Now divide it in half again. Now divide it
in half again. Now divide —”

“Oh dear,” shouted Milo, holding his hands to his ears, “doesn’t that
ever stop either?”

“How can it,” said the Mathemagician, “when you can always take half of
whatever you have left until it’s so small that if you started to say it
right now you’d finish even before you began?”

“Where could you keep anything so tiny?” Milo asked, trying very hard
to imagine such a thing.

The Mathemagician stopped what he was doing and explained simply, “Why,
it’s in a box that’s so small you can’t see it — and that’s kept in a
drawer that’s so small you can’t see it, in a dresser that’s so small
you can’t see it, in a house that’s so small you can’t see it, on a
street that’s so small you can’t see it, in a city that’s so small you
can’t see it, which is part of a country that’s so small you can’t see
it, in a world that’s so small you can’t see it.”

Then he sat down, fanned himself with a handkerchief, and continued.
“Then, of course, we keep the whole thing in another box that’s so small
you can’t see it — and, if you follow me, I’ll show you where you can
find it.”


2 articles of interest [Fwd: K@W Newsletter]

Here are two articles from an e-mail newsletter I get from the Wharton
School of business/economics. One is on oil, so it relates to the
economic impact of this war, especially relevant since it talks about
the systemic effects of the war. Also, there’s an article about
re-training vs. layoffs which seems relevant to me in the dialogue about
the motive of some companies in implementing changes, examples of which
the Senge book talked.

These articles require that you register, so I’m going try to forward
them from the website in two following e-mails.


> The Outlook for Oil: What Lies Ahead?
> Surging oil prices are squeezing U.S. corporate profits, contributing to
> bankruptcies and forcing some companies, especially in the oil-dependent
> trucking industry, out of business altogether. With the threat of war in
> Iraq and a drastic cut in supply from strike-bound Venezuela, companies
> are braced for further increases soon. Knowledge@Wharton looks at what
> to expect in the coming months.

> Human Resources
> Why Some Companies Retrain Workers, and Others Lay Them Off
> In today’s economy, the odds that employees’ skills will need to be
> updated have increased, says management professor Peter Cappelli. The
> question then becomes, is your employer going to reinvest in you through
> retraining or lay you off and hire someone new? As director of the
> school’s Center for Human Resources, Cappelli wanted to know why a few
> companies have remained committed to retraining, even as the ethos of
> American business has changed. The answer, as Cappelli explains in a new
> research paper, has a lot to do with what is termed “social capital.”

follow-up to research presentation this morning

Our presentation (by the librarian at Evergreen) on research on the internet this morning was useful, but there was something that I wanted to pass on that may be a great asset to you.

If you are doing research and have come to a site that does not have a search function, it is possible to do a search on a single page using the browser, but as was demonstrated in the presentation this is of minimal use. In fact, I’d be so bold as to say it’s pretty useless, since you’d only find information on the exact page you’re on not for the whole site.

A far better technique is to use google to isolate your search by domain name. For example, if I wanted to find all the pages at evergreen that contained the word ‘police’ I could enter this search on google:


Click here to see this example online:

Anyhow, I wanted to tell you all about this, but didn’t want to interrupt the presentation. Hope that helps you at some point down the line. ;)


media watch / media consolidation

Here’s a very interesting graphic that shows how the media is
consolidated within just a few companies. Of course, we all know that
these few companies wouldn’t let business interests and desires for
deregulation (that allowed the consolidation in the first place, and
promise to allow it to continue) self-censor their content.

Anyhow, here ya go!

Thomas Metron quote on peace/love and cause of violence

Interesting, again with the hate/fight for peace idea, but it’s relevant
to our Wall of Violence project in other ways too. I thought I’d share
this since it caught my eye:

“So, instead of loving what you think is peace, love others and love god
above all. And, instead of hating the people you think are warmongers,
hate the appetite and the disorder in your own soul, which are the
causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny,
hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” –
Thomas Merton quoted in The Catholic Worker, Oct-Nov ’02

comment about what the US needs from “Canada NOW”

I’m sorry if this is going too far, but I heard an interesting comment
just now while watching a “Canada NOW” report about the pending war with

The correspondent, Adrienne Arsenault, said,

“Military contributions like the ones being made by Australia won’t
change the landscape much. [speaking of how the US will do most of the
fighting] But the United States needs broad support to help pay for a
conflict like this, to deal with the cost of both occupying and
rebuilding Iraq.”

The reason this struck me is in relation to some of the talk we had last
quarter about the military-industrial complex. I haven’t heard many
people talking about this war being a product, of the US
military-industrial complex, that we’re trying to sell to the world. The
idea really struck me that we’re packaging this product of occupation
and rebuilding and attempting to sell it to the world. Essentially, we
go in and do the fighting, as a service to the UN, and then the rest of
the world, through the UN, helps rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq so
that the world carries some of the cost of providing oil to the profit
making multinational and US oil refining companies.

So, the war is being packaged as a world subsidy to the
military-industrial complex, and that doesn’t seem to be something that
many people are saying. Anyhow, thought I’d share that.

example of failed privatization of water

On the topic of privatization, corporations as a tool that can be either
good or bad:

From: Angela Bradbery
Subject: Public Citizen press release
Date: 23 Jan 2003 17:58:02 -0500

Public Citizen issued the following three press releases today:

Jan. 23, 2003

Public Citizen to Mayor Franklin: Reclaim Public Assets

Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Director, Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program

In light of the audit of United Water that was released Tuesday, Mayor Shirley Franklin is now faced with one of the most critical decisions of her political life. We strongly encourage Mayor Franklin to pull the plug on this private water firm. If she recognizes that privatization is not right for Atlanta, she will be championed by consumer advocates who have long realized that United Water has failed the 1.5 million customers it purports to serve.

As expected, the city’s audit reveals that United Water has fallen far short of its projected savings since it took over Atlanta’s water and wastewater system in 1999 and has failed to stave off sewer rate increases. Given this latest in a string of revelations exposing United Water as a flop, now is the time for the mayor to loosen the company’s grip on Atlanta.

Atlanta’s residents have suffered under private control: United Water has failed to perform maintenance, billed the city for work it didn’t do and otherwise bungled the administration and delivery of Atlanta’s water service. United Water has abused contract terms, ignored customers’ cries for service, cut staff to dangerously low levels and occasionally delivered filthy brown water. City officials eventually felt compelled to independently monitor United Water’s work because they had so little faith in the company.

United Water now faces a pivotal moment as it stands at the crossroads of a public relations nightmare. For four years, Atlanta has been the international showcase for privatization, extolled by proponents as the wave of the future. Now, the company is drowning in its own errors. The mayor should not bail them out. Instead, the city should return management of the system to public control.

Many communities across the country have addressed waterworks problems without gambling on a private company. They have reviewed their systems from top to bottom, renegotiated costs, provided employee incentives to reward innovation and established clear goals and measurable means of accountability. Phoenix, Nashville, San Diego, Miami and other cities have saved money while maintaining or improving water quality and protecting the environment. Instead of draining money from the community to line corporate coffers, the savings are used to stave off rate increases, hold down system debt and reward employees, or are otherwise re-invested in the community.

Those results stand in stark contrast to United Water’s performance in Atlanta, and should be encouraging to city officials as they look ahead.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

affinity groups, grassroots dialogue

As you know, I’ve been interested in, what’s probably a cliche by now, a
time and place for dialogue. Along these lines, if there’s going to be
such a thing, that time and place should be part of people’s everyday
lives, or else there’s a disconnect between the ideal and the actual.

So, I started to think about this. There’s real life opportunities to
develop and promote dialogue within normal activities for people
involved in grassroots or progressive movements certainly, but there’s
also opportunities in the labor/union movement. With this in mind I
started to check around.

I have not really compiled the resources for labor/union examples, but
there’s the example of the “Affinity Group” which has been called
various things, like “Cell.” These minimally hierarchical structures
have been amazingly effective at distributing leadership in places like
Palestine and in any of the resistance struggles as well as in the every
day activities of progressive groups like the SOA Watch.

Here’s a couple links:

Anyhow, there’s more to this idea, that the need for dialogue training
is like the organization of any other progressive resistance movement.
This was something I kind of started to ask about when I asked Christine
Vernon about whether there was “enclaving” in response to the loss of
the “fifth discipline” support in her group, an enclaving that I’ve
experienced in the past also. That’s the formulation of informal
resistance. Why not make that kind of thing implicit?

For example, why should we not start thinking about dialogue and in fact
all grassroots resistance skills as something that it is our patriotic
duty to learn and teach? Dialogue, consensus and non-violent resistance
tools could be part of our societal citizenship training and brought to
all aspects of our lives.

Okay, so I feel like I’m on the verge of a rant, so I’ll stop there.
Suffice to say that I thought I’d share what I was thinking. As an
example, I’m thinking of suggesting a project to my discussion group on
fridays where we each engage with dialogue in some other setting and
spend time talking in the friday group about how that’s going, a kind of
dialogue check-in.

Anyhow, that’s probably enough said. ;) Time to leave for class!

quote from a recent Utne e-mail

I was struck by this quote. I thought you all might enjoy it also:

“TECHNOLOGIES WHICH ARE environmentally more sustainable are less prone to being hijacked by those intent on harm. No terrorist is going to make governments tremble by threatening to bomb a wind turbine, or release clouds of compost over our cities.”

Jonathon Porritt, English environmentalist, Resurgence (Sept./Oct. 2002)

The Fightin’ Whites

An article that talks about CafePress, which I was reading for other
reasons entirely (on-demand book publishing they will be introducing
soon), mentioned the Fightin’ Whites, which I thought was fun in
relation to our focus last quarter.

“A Native American college intramural basketball team called the
Fightin’ Whites raised a similar amount for its line of products. In an
attempt to point to racist tendencies in U.S. popular culture, the
organization has used the proceeds from its logo-laden items to
establish a scholarship fund.”

Here’s the link to their products:

This is especially interesting in relation to the AF logo’d t-shirt “Two
Wongs can make it white” about a fictitious chinese laundry. Okay, so I
just realized that I think one’s cool and the other’s not and I’m
wondering about that. So I started doing some searching for links on the

Here’s a link to a PDF document that actually talks about both that I
just found:

Here’s a related article in the seattle PI about the AF shirt: