Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Open membership in Thurston County (vote in June)

Last night we (the executive committee of the TCD) presented another version of the open membership amendment to the central committee.

And, wow Ivan Weiss, chair of the 34th LD gave a great five or so minutes on why open membership is the core of his organization. 100 to 150 folks show up to each monthly meeting, because "they have a voice." They also get out in the community (volunteering at a food bank for example), trying to get more folks involved while also helping their community.

Rossyln Reed, chair of the Mason County Democrats, followed up with her organization's more recent experience with open membership. Last August they amended their bylaws to allow open membership and since then they've seen a sharp increase in participation.

So, next month we'll be voting again. Last time around the amendment was tabled. Here is some information on a powerpoint I presented last night as well (more technical that rah rah stuff).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thurston County Dem membership marching on

After a few months off, we're going again at the membership thing starting tomorrow night. We're cleaning up the language a bit, but the intent is basically the same. Like some other counties and tons of legislative district organizations, if you think you're a Democratic person and want to give a bit to your local party, you can vote. Not for everything, but for a lot.

We'll have a handful of presentations during this month's meeting, explaining the point of the bylaw change and talking about the benefits of open membership in Mason County and in an LD up in Seattle. Then in June, we're going to vote again.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Yet another template change

Yes, we're playing musical templates here. Just when you thought it was ok to look at that black template, I changed over the the new xml based templates here at blogger. They are cool.

And, I got this one to work for me by knowing that "absolute" was the opposite of "relative." I didn't even know it would work, but it did.

Jorge may get his start

With starters dropping like flies in Seattle (Weaver gone, Ramirez down), the Ms look like they're going to call up a new starter any time now. From the M's own scouting page on Tuesday's game against the Angels:
Mariners: While the Mariners have yet to announce who will replace Horacio Ramirez, who went on the disabled list on Friday with left shoulder tendinitis, Campillo is a leading candidate. He went seven innings for Triple-A Tacoma in a no-decision on Thursday against Las Vegas, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five. The 29-year-old Campillo, who made his Major League debut Sept. 26, 2006, with Seattle, is 2-4 with a 3.90 ERA in 10 starts with Tacoma. He has walked 19 and struck out 42 in 62 1/3 innings.
Detect-o-vision provided the link, and their readers provide a comment:
I don’t think there will be a big difference between Campillo and Feierbend right now, and I can’t wait to see Feier pitch in the big leagues. However, Jorge’s window of opportunity to prove himself with this organization is very, very small so I hope he gets the call. If he doesn’t start next Tuesday, he won’t get another chance with the M’s ever again unless a third guy goes down this year.
Which is right, I hope he gets his chance now. And, if he's gas arm Jorge, then I'll settle for that when he's released. But, its better he gets his chance as a starter now and we just really find out what he's worth.

You might have noticed that I haven't written all that much since the first few weeks of the season about our friend Campillo, but its mostly been because when I have noticed him, its been gas arm time, which isn't very encouraging. But, he has had some quality starts. Let's hope one of those comes on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"if you build it, they will come" caucuses

This is why the reason to go with caucuses next year was wrong, if it didn't include a broader civic engagement component:

The provision of ‘de facto’ opportunities for empowerment embodies what can be termed a ‘field of dreams’ approach. Here the processes take precedence over people, as those responsible for engagement within government often believe that “if we build it, they will come”. Across the country there are countless consultation events and meetings that are focused around engagement for its own sake rather than aiming to meet the needs of local people. This approach to public participation in turn favours those who feel comfortable in these environments – and who have the time, skills and persistence to sit through a multitude of meetings.

While there has been a lack of uptake in these types of opportunities to engage with political and democratic processes volunteering and social activism remain a consistent part of British public life.
The same can be said for volunteering in the U.S. More people volunteer year to year, but very few actually turn out for the deep political engagement type activities, like caucuses. Just expecting people to show up and engage in party politics once every two years is absurd. We need to make the local parties more transparent, more relevant and more open.

Darcy Burner diarist: civic engagement

She's not in my district, but just wanted to point out with this morning's diary, Darcy Burner has pulled at my heart strings by talking about civic engagement twice in a month.

Pretty sweet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My super long baseball post at the ROS Domican baseball show

I'm glad I got that off my chest.

I mention the Mexican League experiment of the Pasquel Brothers and the effort of the Pacific Coast League to become a third major league during 1945-47. Wouldn't it have been interesting if the two leagues joined together and became a default third major league, rejecting "Organized Baseball" all together?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

This week in Oly and I've been away

I've been not really busy lately, but rather not blogging until this weekend, when I've posted a bit, just not here. In Olympia, they'll be talking with the downtown association.

One post over at Washblog about PFDs, one post over at WD about folks back in DC fighting about Montana.

I've been reading and thinking a lot about baseball, pushed by a series of Robert Whiting essays over at Japan Times. My thinking right now is that there should be three major leagues: MLB, Pan-Latin and Pan-Asia. Economically speaking, Pan-Latin is unlikely to happen, there just isn't enough money to pay for it right now.

Pan-Asian, though seems to make a lot of sense economically. Plenty of income, but from what Whiting points out, tons of organizational problems with the premier Japanese league to keep it from happening.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lookout Landing on Campillo

Good talk:
Jorge Campillo and Ryan Feierabend have been capable, though not necessarily blow-away arms that demand to get called up. Jorge Campillo's 20/10 K:BB in 30 innings indicates a heavy reliance on his defense, and his 2.70 ERA will inevitably rise by about a run as he continues.

Baseball Economic Roundtable on Latin/Asian Major Leagues

Roger Noll, a smart guy from down at Stanford, took part in a roundtable discussion at the Biz of Baseball blog, and had an interesting thing to say during the open topic segment:
Baseball has not yet found an effective way to exploit business opportunities internationally. The same can be said of other American pro sports, but baseball probably has the largest unrealized potential for international play. In the immediate future, the greatest opportunity is for a genuine baseball World Cup among national teams, featuring mainly players from Major League Baseball. But in a decade or so, rising incomes in Latin America and Asia could make “major leagues” (with some teams equivalent in quality to MLB) feasible there, in which case an international club championship, like the Champions League in European soccer, also would become attractive. Does MLB have the entrepreneurial capability to take the lead on these issues? Based on its feeble attempt at a baseball world championship in the spring of 2006, baseball seems in danger of missing these opportunities.
The major question for me is whether these leagues will be created home grown, like a new Pan-Asian circuit being born out of the current Japanese/South Korean/Taiwan leagues or whether MLB will just expand into these markets. Personally, I'm hoping for the homegrown option with a Euro cup like competition between the leagues.

Because MLB is already so ingrained with the Latin leagues, I'm much less hopeful for a homegrown option there, even though I think it would be great.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mark Gardner: new blogger

Noemie writes a measured, yet extremely long, post about here concerns with Darcy Burner. I've been much less measured with my concerns over Dwight Pelz.

Mark Gardner sees civil war. But, you know what Mark, this is what blogging is, in a way. Its about writing the things that at one point you kept private and shared only with close associates.

Its not just pining for Dixie Lee Ray (and, yes, here) and screwing up the English language. So, sorry, no civil war here.

And, dude, you know what? Those tags you use under your post should at least attempt to be accurate: 2008 Presidential doesn't relate to a congressional campaign, sorry.