Monday, October 31, 2011


Dear Friends,
An Iraq War veteran who survived two tours of duty gets his skull fractured in ... Oakland! 53 activists arrested in Atlanta. SWAT teams deployed to boot out peaceful protesters.
Recent actions against Occupy protesters are irresponsible and tragic. They're an assault on our democracy. These protesters are bravely exercising their right to freedom of expression, to bring attention to a political and economic system that's rigged against most Americans. I stand with them; and, all Americans -- left and right -- should join me in protecting their freedom to non-violently create change.

This isn't a Democratic or Republican movement. It's not about one party or one policy. It's about standing up to a financial system that's completely backwards. Wall Street banks get billions in bailouts and emerge with massive profits. Most Americans see a program of austerity in a painful economic climate -- benefit cuts, high unemployment, declining wages, and crumbling infrastructure. Congress moved swiftly to "save" banks (something I strongly opposed), and now Congress is paralyzed, unable to create jobs and to save our middle class.

It's no surprise Americans are standing up. Our country's economic policies have consolidated and accelerated wealth to the top. One percent of Americans now control 42% of our wealth. It's not radical to think this is out of balance or to demand a government that is of the people and for the people. I've been to these protests, and I can tell you they're filled with honest, hard working Americans who are concerned with the direction of our country and our economic future.

I am deeply concerned. I'm concerned about an economic system which tethers job creation to China and big banks. We shouldn't have to borrow money from China -- or Japan or South Korea -- to get out of this ditch. We should stop the Fed from giving billions to the big banks. We have to take back the power to manage our own economy, to regain control over our monetary system, consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

That's why, one month ago, I introduced the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act. The legislation would put the Federal Reserve under the Department of the Treasury, and it would help us recapture control of our financial system. As part of the NEED Act, Congress would use its constitutional power to invest in America, creating millions of jobs by putting billions of dollars directly into circulation. And since this money is adding real, tangible value to our national wealth, it will not generate inflation.

We need a financial system that is of the people and for the people. We need to take it back from the big banks. We need economic and social justice. I will continue to support the Occupy movement. I will continue to fight for legislation, including the NEED Act, that sets America on a path of jobs for all, health care for all, education for all, retirement security for all, and peace.

Let's keep this movement alive. Let's keep fighting for economic and social justice. Keep occupying Wall Street. And, with your help, I'll keep occupying Congress.

With respect,
Dennis Kucinich

Link to website of Dennis Kucinich:

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Excerpt from Responses to:
Tonight: Vigils Across America for Scott Olsen
Mason County Progressive
To the Mothers and Fathers of America:

This may not be clear to you yet, but those protesters out in the streets are your bravest children. They now hold the front for all of us in the centuries-old battle against tyranny. Many are fighting the corrupting influence of money in American politics, others against a system no longer functional for a majority that will only grow.

Some do not know exactly what they want – only that something has gone terribly wrong in a country in which they would like to believe.

They have not articulated one focused message, or one set of demands – and they do not need to. This is not a battle of right against left, red against blue, or liberal against conservative. It is not made-for-TV politics. It is a battle of right against wrong. America has lost, in its political discourse and behavior, the ability to distinguish between the two. Many of its practitioners seem not to care.

Those who support this movement in all its myriad shapes, sizes, sexes, colors, ideologies, income levels, and nationalities – have no sound bite. They get the problem, in general, and are massing to change it. Like the old thinker, they would rather be approximately correct than precisely wrong.

They give their nights, their sleep, their weekends, and their comfort to fight an uncertain battle for you, for all your children. They face police lines and mainstream scorn. They face the indifference of the vast armies of complacency and distraction, who keep waiting for the channel to change, the web page to update, and this movement to end. They face cynics who believe nothing will change, they face the often well-intentioned defeatists who believe nothing can change. They face politicians who patronize, tell them they don’t understand – that they, the politicians, support the movement, even as they make plans with their police forces to clear them.

On Tuesday, October 25th in Oakland, California, Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Marine and Iraq veteran, standing beside another veteran, a naval officer in dress, was critically injured by a weapon used against him by a police officer from one of 17 jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A group of occupiers running away from the scene, amidst police flash grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets, rushed back when they saw Scott Olsen lying still on the ground. As they rushed in to pick him up – a dozen of your bravest, America – an unidentified officer tossed, from behind police ranks, another flash grenade at their feet. A handful of these unarmed protesters persisted, carrying Scott Olsen, dazed with a fractured skull, away from the police line, shouting for medics as the explosions and smoke recalled the nightmare of American battlefields.

Like this, the guns have again been turned back on your bravest children, most fighting only for the core values they were taught as children: people in need should be helped; democracy should be uncorrupted; citizens must gather in peace; and this country belongs to all of us, not a political elite increasingly indistinguishable from a financial and industrial corporate elite. Like all of us, they see clearly and abhor this crony capitalism now ascendant. They are doing something about it.

These are not trouble-making hippies, America – you mistake them as such at your peril. These are your better angels, trying to save you from yourself. They are your child that cannot help tell the truth, the sometimes inconvenient one that thinks of safety last and justice first. They are fighting the war that rages inside you when you see the circus on TV, in print, or online and can only shake your head. You ignore them, laugh at them, demean them, or discount them at your peril. They may be our last hope of transformation for this country reeling from war, from a crisis of confidence, from scandal, division, corruption, and poverty. Let no demagogue–especially talkers at the service of money and power – convince you, a thinking American, that these are not patriots of the truest kind.

So go out and support your children, America, and with them the fundamental ideas upon which this country was founded. Take a walk by the protest in your town at night, in the morning – drive by or bike past. Stop and talk to someone for a minute. Listen and watch. Gather your friends and neighbors. Everyone has their own place and their own role.

For every Scott Olsen, now lying in a hospital bed in critical condition, there should be 100,000 witnesses, who by their presence lend this movement strength and legitimacy.

As long as they occupy the centers of our cities, big and small, we – who wish to create a more perfect union – have an opening to change something vital, such as removing money from politics once and for all. It is possible. It has been done elsewhere. These children have brought the season of democracy, the days and especially nights of renewing democracy, and they need your protection.

Even your bravest children need to feel your strong hands on their back.

A Concerned American

Link to article and all responses on


Excerpts from:
Occupy Olympia location is a haven for homeless,
but regulations could change
By Matt Batcheldor

OLYMPIA – To the outside world, Occupy Olympia is a two-week-old political protest designed to make a point – spotlighting the growing income disparity of 1 percent of the wealthiest compared with everyone else.

But inside the village of about 100 tents, the camp has taken on another role, serving as a harbor for the poor and homeless, a place to get food and shelter and connect with social services.

Camp resident Audrey Daye told the Olympia City Council this week that the camp is “probably at this point two-thirds houseless community members and one-third combination of young activists and older progressives.” She has been staying there with her husband, Alex, and two children.

Mary Spokane, another camp resident, told the Olympia City Council on Tuesday that the state agreeing to open restrooms 24 hours a day “is what attracted many homeless to our camp.” She estimated 50 homeless people have come in. “There’s an equality that’s happening,” she said. “There’s immense love that’s happening"...

Linda Oosterman, a licensed mental health professional who has visited the camp, said she would like the camp to support legislators to make decisions to help the poorest. Thus far, the group has no specific demands.

Occupy Olympia began in Sylvester Park on Oct. 15, but a majority of participants agreed a day later to move to Heritage Park, because the grass is hardier there and there are restrooms. It’s in solidarity with the original Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, which began in September and since has sparked similar protests in hundreds of cities worldwide.

The sea of tents is visible from state Capitol buildings on the hill.

“This is a great location,” said Danny Kelly, a camp organizer who has been a liaison with the state Department of Enterprise Services, which manages Heritage Park. “It’s a very, very powerful image"...

Food is prepared off-site and brought cooking is allowed. The rules of the camp are posted: no illicit drugs, alcohol, dogs off leash or violence and aggressive behavior...

Unlike other Occupy movements, such as one Oakland, Calif., local authorities have not moved to evict the protest for camping overnight. Trooper Guy Gill, a spokesman for Washington State Patrol, said police haven’t responded to any incidents at the camp...

The campers drew support from the Olympia City Council.

“I agree completely with what you’re doing,” Councilwoman Rhenda Strub said. “I hope that you’re treated gently and if the day should come that you’re not, I would be on your side.”

Councilman Karen Rogers said, “I’m a populist, so of course I’m for this, a redistribution of wealth.”

Kelly said the group isn’t going anywhere, and he doesn’t know when the encampment will end. “We’re changing the conversation,” he said. “We’re pulling the conversation back where it belongs.”

Link to complete article:

Friday, October 28, 2011



Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

On Tues., Nov. 1 at 9:30 AM, Mason County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on whether to enact a 1/10 of 1% tax increase for sales and services, the proceeds of which will be used to fund mental health, substance abuse and therapeutic court issues.

Few people will argue against the need for alternatives to the incarceration of people with mental health issues, though some will object to any new tax for any reason, no matter how worthy the cause.

Having spent the past three months serving on the committee that is recommending alternatives to “revolving door” incarceration of those struggling with mental health issues, I am confident that a new approach to an old problem will reap great rewards for our community.

It is well documented that every $1 invested in prevention saves our community $18 in services that are not working. Additionally, it does our business community no good to have the same people loitering and soliciting near their place of business, driving away potential customers.

It is important to keep the scale of the proposed increase in perspective: a hundred dollar purchase will add only an additional dime to the tab; if you spend $20,000 on purchases in Mason County in a year, you will pay an additional $20 in sales tax. If you shop in Thurston, Lewis, Jefferson or any of the 17 counties that have already adopted the tax, you are contributing to the success of their mental health services, not ours.

Please attend the public hearing on Nov. 1, and tell our County Commissioners you want local money to fund local programs that benefit local families and businesses.

When it comes to “revolving door” incarceration, we know what does not work; now let’s do something that will. A 1/10 of 1% increase is a small price to pay for a giant step in the right direction.

Hope to see you on Nov. 1.



Link to Mental Health & Substance Abuse Advisory Committee Report:

Commissioners' Chambers

411 N. 5th St.
Mason County Building #1

November 1st

9:30 AM

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Oakland PD Shoots 2-Term Iraq Vet Exercising His Right to Free Speech

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price
Mason County Progressive

If ever anyone had the right to speak out for injustice in a public forum, it is a citizen who has served two tours in Iraq.

Scott Olsen, a Marine veteran who has survived two tours in Iraq, was shot in the head by a police projectile in downtown Oakland at Occupy Oakland on the evening of October 25. He is in serious but stable condition at an Oakland hospital.

Shooting a two-tour Iraq Vet could bring a whole new element of "security" to the occupations -- and these boys will be there to protect the citizens from the police AND to teach citizens how to "occupy".

If I were in the 1%, or the machine which serves them, I would be pretty worried right now. I would be worrying about having provoked a pretty big surplus, a surplus about to be increased, of unemployed, well-trained soldiers. Many of our unemployed, well-trained soldiers have survived multiple tours in Iraq; these guys know how to occupy.

I would be worried as hell about these unemployed men and women seeing on YouTube, the police in an American city attack the citizens as seen in the videos going viral out of Oakland.

I expect for many vets seeing their brother carried off through the smoke will remind them of whichever Oil War they have lately returned from. It will really freak them out when they remember that Scott Olsen was NOT in one of America's continuing Oil Wars being carried off; Scott was in an American city. Scott is a U$ citizen.

Scott is being carried by people who don't even know his name, who are shouting "MEDIC", and they are all on a sidewalk in California. There is smoke/tear gas, the sounds of explosions and gunfire, and it is surreal as hell to imagine that this is Oakland.

Scott was daring to exercise the very rights he was told he was in Iraq protecting. Scott was in a group of citizens lawfully and peacefully assembling to talk about their grievances and bring attention to their concerns.

Scott survived two tours in Iraq. I hope he survives being safe at home in the U$A.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Christine Armond Mason County Progressive


Photos by Christine Armond, October 19, 2011


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Jack Miles Mason County Progressive


Mt. Ellinor, Olympic Range, elevation 5,944 ft.
n County Progressive

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Carol Fulcher Hepburn Mason County Progressive

Last week I climbed Mt. Ellinor. Wow! I am so happy to live in this beautiful state!

One thing I noticed though while taking in the magnificent view was the layer of smog that now appears to be a permanent part of our horizon. When I was young, I only heard of smog in the Southern California area. Johnny Carson used to make LA. smog jokes.

It saddens me to think that pollution is now so common and so accepted.

It worries me that the Washington GOP wants to open up the Olympic Peninsula for even more logging, and wants to dismantle the EPA regulations. This would certainly open the road for even more corporations only interested in the profits of incineration for dirty energy to come to our state.

Now that all of our County Commissioners, and all but one of our Port Commissioners are pro-incineration, I hope that people will consider voting for Jack Miles for Port Commissioner. He is the only elected official who listened to those of us who believe in moving towards truly green energy and a clear horizon.



Link to Jack Miles Re-Election Campaign Website:

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Christine Armond Mason County Progressive


Under the Capitol Dome at Heritage Park, Olympia, WA

Encampment with 250 people & 100 tents grows daily

General assembly meetings at noon & 6:00 pm

Diverse groups of all ages & views learning
to come together in consensus


Cheerfully doing what needs to be done

Environmental activists

First Aid & Donation Drop Off Station

Creative shelters

Food donations coming & going

Organized necessities

Food offered with warm smiles

This occupation really has its "stuff" together!


Work still in progress

Comradery abounds

Networking that will extend beyond the occupancy

Smiling brightens up the gray drizzle

Sign for those who might not appreciate the
"colorful language" graffiti on Anarchists' Tent

Democracy in action

View from Traditions Cafe



Photos by Christine Armond, October 19, 2011