Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why sport matters (Go Iraqi national team)

A little while back I wrote a couple of pieces about why the Sonics should matter. My emotions pale in comparison to this explanation why the Iraqi soccer team making the finals of the AFC Asia Cup matters:
The Iraqi football team and the match bring together all the Iraqis , regardless on our religions or castes , whether they are , Arabs , Turkmen , Kurds , Muslims ( Sunnis , Shiites ) , Christians , etc ..

All the Iraqis who live outside or inside Iraq were feeling the same way ..

Our players played hard to reach the finalist level , they played while their country Is agonizing , they won to cheer their wronged people..

...

Iraqi guys were exceptionally happy , laughing and celebrating , we the needed to feel that way, we didn’t feel happy for a long time , I didn’t see many cars in the streets for a long time , but today , it was awesome & full of life in all the Iraqi cities , from the north to the south ,in the east and west..

It is a great way to unit the Iraqis.

May god help and bless the Iraqis and all the Iraqi teams ..

Sunshine..

P.S this is the first football match I watch , I am not very big fan of sport , I like to hear the result when Iraqi team is playing , but from now on , I’ll watch the Iraqi matches ..

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Civic republicanism and 2008 (part 2)

After Democrats trot out the language, if not the actions, so says Gov. Mitt Romney:
"Hillary Clinton just gave a speech the other day about her view on the economy. She said we have been an on-your-own society. She said it's time to get rid of that and replace that with shared responsibility and we're-in-it-together society," Romney told the crowd. "That's out with Adam Smith and in with Karl Marx."
I have to admit, for someone who has been blogging about one candidate in particular, I've paid very little attention to what's been going on on the other side of the aisle in terms of rhetoric (short of the Ron Paul/Gualani dust-up). My impression had been that of any of the GOP candidates, that Romney was the one that would seem to stand out as a... pragmatist. Someone not willing to say really harsh things to win votes.

So, I was surprised that he basically said "Yes, we really are in this by ourselves. You can't trust your neighbor, you can't trust your government, you can't trust anyone."

For a republican, not very civic republican.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lakefair, ships and the "polarization in American communities"

The last week or so a small debate has been happening over email and blog in Oly (here, here and here) about the invitation last summer of some Canadian and American ships to Lakefair. Basically a cultural clash between different sides of Olympia, its been focussed on the ships.

I tried to write my homage to Lakefair this morning on Olyblog, but I ended up shutting down the comments because, well, I didn't like where they were going, and I didn't want to turn my post into a open thread on why Lakefair sucks and why the Navy sucks as well.

Anyway, I've been bummed about the specific controversy, I've also been bummed about how things like this usually get handled in Olympia, with the different groups talking past each other. Its true that we're a very engaged community, but at the same time I wish we would be more engaged with each other and not so much choosing up sides.

Peter Levine has a very appropriate post that I'll clip some text out of. Read the entire thing though, he's good and worth the read:
...why are public discussions so polarized and dominated by hot-button issues? The questioner came from Kansas, and she specifically mentioned local discussions of education.

...

First of all, we have actual disagreements that split us into groups, and we sometimes have to deal with these issues. But they seem over-represented in our public life.

This is partly because most of us lack practical experience in mobilizing people except when issues are polarized. From countless news stories and movies, we know the "script" for angry, adversarial politics. We know how to organize our allies when we are angry at another group: we can call for a march or a rally, put up flyers, alert the media. There are also techniques for organizing people around less contentious issues--ways literally to get citizens out to meetings and then to achieve social change without relying on polarization. These techniques include the "one-on-one" interviews popular in community organizing; Study Circles and other deliberative forums; and volunteering opportunities that are connected to discussion and reflection. But such techniques are not widely reported or described in fiction; even less are they taught in schools.

Blogging other places recently

Over at WesternDemocrat wondering why a Dem couldn't win the West in 2008

Over at Washblog, just a couple of things on the AWB and Luke Esser and pointing folks to a Goldmark post out east.

Olyblog, various things.

Some soccer stuff, one wondering if Vancouver BC will steal the MLS and another at BigSoccer pointing out that the USL is dominating the so-called major league MLS in the Open Cup.

I really should have a couple of posts here this weekend, one long MLS/Soccer/Fan thought and a short addition to the Archie Binns project.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

EWU: The Cal-State Chico of the Northwest

To Ryan, the top contract demands of Eastern Washington University faculty:
  • No school on October 13, the first day of the modern firearm deer season.
  • Tenure to be determined on cow herding skills.
  • Professional training on the correct spelling of regional, yet unfamiliar, fauna. Especially the geoduck clam, which is neither spelled goeduck or gooeyduck.
  • Cowboy boots, mullets and dickies to be approved attire.
  • Pleasepleaseplease put regular floors throughout campus buildings. We're tired of the dirt floors, this isn't one big barn.
  • "Schlitz: the official beer of EWU."