Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Northwest Progressive Conference


Anybody want to make an office pool about the average number of body piercing per person at this event?

This is going to look like bar scene in Star Wars.

Maybe the WSU College Republicans should show up at this thing and make a big display of walking out. Or, they could behave like adults and let these kooks have their fun in their own little cocoon.

[Michael, the Star Wars cantina analogy is apt, but I'm thinking something more like a Star Trek convention - tf]

31 comments:

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

I had "The Dans" in my shop the other day; one of them dropped the best line I've heard yet about this:

"They're having the Northwest Progessive Conference here. Must be spring break at Evergreen State College."

:)

Tom Forbes said...

This event in particular should be a hoot;

Affirmative Action meets Immigration
TODD 334
3:00 - 4:30 pm on Thursday, April 19th

Equal rights under the law dictates that since all people are made equal than all people must be treated as equals. Come experience a Socratic workshop where everyone will have the chance to participate equally. Immigration the next frontier in affirmative action will be the issue of the day and major subtopics will include the Dream Act, The Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action in the United States of America, NAFTA, Economics of Globalization, and how to find the activist within you.

Sean Michael Patrick Gallegos is a former candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University and member of M.E.Ch.A, Washington State Democratic Party, Washington State Hispanic Latino Caucus, Young Democrats of Washington State, and the Washington State Democratic Affirmative Action Committee. Sean has spoken at conferences across the west on issues from immigration, affirmative Action, responsible energy production, and the constitution.

Tom Forbes said...

Iraq Veterans Against the War
TODD 302
1:00 - 2:20 pm on Friday, April 20th

Formerly served in Baghdad, 2003. Now a student in the VA vocational rehabilitation program at WSU. Will talk about soldiering, about the best way to support your troops, and about the impact the Iraq war has had on Washington State. Will leave some time for Questions and discussion.


What, no debate? I smell a walkout coming.....

And I also smell max coverage by our local "unbiased" media.....

Truth said...

"Will leave some time for Questions and discussion"... wouldn't that qualify as debate? In fact I was talking with one of the people out on the Mall today and he was saying the whole point of the conference was to encourage discussion and debate, and that all workshops had left time open for just that.

Also looking at the schedule on their site a lot of the workshops don't necessarily seem to be focused on political issues but rather on activism. I mean granted there are specific issue workshops, but seriously how political is "PETA is problematic" "Rock En Espanol" "Palestine: Through the Eyes of a Doctor" or the host of enviormental workshops.

If it were actually an evergreen conference there would most likely be something titled "pot 101" and "the evils of bush".

I just dont see it as some liberal, bush-bashing conference.

Tom Forbes said...

Not political??????????

You did see this, right?

Why we went to War with Iraq

TODD 334
4:30 - 5:50 pm on Thursday, April 19th

The United Nations has stated that the US-led war in Iraq is illegal under international law. Johns Hopkins University researchers estimate that 650,000 Iraqi civilians have lost their lives since the US invasion while the English Medical Journal The Lancet estimates as many as 900,000. With nearly a million Iraqis dead, millions more fleeing their homes and US casualties approaching 4,000 – why did we go to war in Iraq? With claims about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi connections to 9/11 now shown to be exaggerated or distorted, what were the motivating factors behind the Bush administration's push for war? This workshop will highlight the investigative reports from journalists who had unprecedented access to the White House, the documents that have since been released to the public and the historical context that puts Iraq as an important component in US geopolitical strategy.


PUH-LEASE. Why not call it the "Evils of Bush?" Or better yet, "A Flock of Moonbats?" It would be more appropriate.

And yes, I imagine the aroma of the wicked weed will be prevalent along with henna tatoos and suburban white guilt Marxist rhetoric.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

"Why not call it..."A Flock of Moonbats?"

I want to ruuuun, run so far awaaaaay!

Sorry, couldn't resist. :P

Truth said...

So 1 out of all of the workshosp you define as political, and even there it sounds like they'll be doing an analysis on the war. And really, when one of the two bolded sections of the workshop (which I'm assuming are the biggest causes of concern for you) comes from the UN, is it really that political?

And as for you claim of "wicked weed...and suburban white guilt", really could you stereotype more. I'm sure that an event in Todd Hall will have pot floating all over the place.

If you are so intersted and concerned with debate, why not go, and present some debate?

Tom Forbes said...

Surely, you jest.

Just a cursory look at the schedule shows more leftist stereotypes about whites, men, corporations, capitalism, conservatives, Republicans, evangelical Christians, and the American Way of Life than you could fit on board the Titanic.

For example:

...This will be an informal, interactive discussion surrounding the current political legislation that affects reproductive justice. Topics being discussed will include: the ramifications and consequences of the global gag rule, health insurance and contraceptive coverage, parental notification laws, abstinence-only sexual education, the Healthy Youth Act, as well as others. This will be an informative session examining the implications of the Bush administration's conservative agenda.

...Direct action and civil disobedience are tools in our toolbox as we demand social and economic justice.

...Adrienne was co-editor of the youth organizing collection How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office.

...Linking indigenous nations globally is the key to unlocking the oppression of people of color.

...She will give a brief description of racism at the core of US migrational policy and its historical discrimination of women.

...He is researching the Prison Industrial Complex, particularly the incorporation of juveniles into the prison system. He will be presenting his research paper entitled "Criminal Blackman: How Fear and Racism Created the Myth of the Black Criminal."

...Has the use of progressive, independent media to simply criticize our oppressors causing globalization to decrease? When we witness that 51 of the world's largest economies are now multinational corporations rather than countries, the answer becomes self-evident.

...As archaeologists look back on the ruins of past civilizations, the pressures of environmental damage and the costs of war are the most significant causes for collapse. With the World Wildlife Fund estimating that 30% of all species have gone extinct since 1970 and with population pressures likely to accelerate this trend, are we irretrievably damaging the landbase that supports us?

...Ultimately they led her out of Evangelical fundamentalism. Dr. Tarico’s book, The Dark Side, examines rational and moral contradictions that caused her fundamentalist world view to crumble. In this book and in her public lectures, Dr. Tarico offers keen, sometimes frightening insight into the beliefs and priorities that drive the Religious Right.

...First we will briefly cover how institutions (universities, government buildings, corporate halls, etc.,) in the USA and around the world have always been and continue to increasingly be, a very racially and politically alienating venue that only discourages lack of participation in media conferences from minorities, marginalized groups and civil disobedience activists.

...The last two decades have shown globalization to be one of the greatest polarizing issues around the world. What is advertised by Western business interests as free trade that benefits everyone is actually a system of banking regulations that puts a nation's economy under the control of unaccountable (and unelected) institutional bureaucracies managed by the world's wealthiest business interests.


This event is about as "non-political" as a meeting of the Comintern. I'm afraid I would be put under FBI surveillance if I even set foot in Todd Hall.

Sutra said...

As one of the organizers of the NW progressive Conference i invite you to hold whatever demonstration you want on whatever issue. We are all about an active democracy!! Come to any event or workshop and talk about what you disagree with. The schedule is at www.wsuprogressive.com. Hope to see everyone there!!

Tom Forbes said...

Thanks Jason, but I think I'll just put on my "A-for-Anarchy" t-shirt, put a red handkerchief over my face, turn up Rage Against the Machine to 11, and pop "30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle" into the DVD player. I can get the whole experience without ever leaving home.

April E. Coggins said...

What this event needs is a capitalistic tin foil milliner.

Truth said...

All I'm saying is you can't really insult a conference if you don't go to it. If we all just go to events which reaffirm our beliefs then we only become more entrenched in our beliefs and refuse to achnowledge that other beliefs exist, which as I have said before is what I think is the biggest problem with politics today.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

"Truth": "If we all just go to events which reaffirm our beliefs then we only become more entrenched in our beliefs and refuse to achnowledge that other beliefs exist, which as I have said before is what I think is the biggest problem with politics today."

How can we not acknowledge that other beliefs exist if we consciously don't go to events that run counter to our own? Seems like the one has to come before the other, doesn't it? ;)

April E. Coggins said...

Oh dear. How many generations (including mine) thought they were original? I'm afraid I will have to decline your generous offer with the "been there, done that" excuse.

Truth said...

Paul I belive you understood the point I was making. Of course we recognize the opposing views, but to really understand them, understand the reasoning behind them, and possibly learn something about opposing ideas which allow us to strengthen our knowledge and possibly meld both views together in a synthesis which is stronger than either of the views by themselves.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

"Truth": "Paul I belive you understood the point I was making. Of course we recognize the opposing views, but to really understand them, understand the reasoning behind them, and possibly learn something about opposing ideas which allow us to strengthen our knowledge and possibly meld both views together in a synthesis which is stronger than either of the views by themselves."

Oh, you mean argumentum ad temperantiam.

Tao said...

To add to Truth’s message…alienating yourself from the opposition is exactly what this country DOESN’T need. We need more bi-partisanship, more understanding, and more compromise. As liberal as I am, I UNDERSTAND the need for the conservative ideals and its role in our countries development. I don’t think conservatives are evil un-American fascists; they help keep our wonderful democracy in balance. It’s what makes this country great, and what keeps it from steering too far off in the wrong direction (Checks and balances anyone?). We have had an extremely conservative government over the past decade, but too much of any one thing is bad, and now the country seems to be steering itself towards a more liberal course. The November election results are proof of that. But again, once people get tired off all the programs and strict government regulations being enforced by democrats (as they love to do), the conservatives will have their run again. This is the basic trend that has defined America for centuries. As divided as the country is, you can at least come and rally yourself. It’s all about activism…get off the computer and get ACTIVE! It’s what democracy is supposed to be all about…the people!!! Everyone on this site has interests in political issues…get out there and promote them already!

Tao said...

p.s. argumentum ad temperantiam is a concept that this country is founded on. Our country's political direction doesn't work like a debate, and our bi-partisan, three-branch government system is specifically designed for compromise. That way, the actions of few don't outweigh the views of many.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Tao: "Everyone on this site has interests in political issues…get out there and promote them already!"

Well, actually, that is what we're doing here.

Tao said...

You are catering to a narrow and specific audience of people that think like you do. Bringing your ideas to new places is key. Or maybe bringing your ideas to a place where they aren’t popular scares you...whateva you do what you want.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Tao: "p.s. argumentum ad temperantiam is a concept that this country is founded on."

Hrm... so our country was founded on an even mixture of freedom and oppression? Interesting idea, that one.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Tao: "You are catering to a narrow and specific audience of people that think like you do."

And yet, here you are.

Tao: "Bringing your ideas to new places is key."

Like, say... the whole world? Granted, it's via the web and not precisely "the whole world," but it reaches pretty far.

Tao: "Or maybe bringing your ideas to a place where they aren’t popular scares you."

That happens fairly often. Does it not count if it doesn't include your event?

Tao said...

"Hrm... so our country was founded on an even mixture of freedom and oppression? Interesting idea, that one."

What are you talking about? Are we thinking of the same argumentum ad temperantiam? Cuz the one I'm familiar with has nothing to do with freedom...or oppression. It has to do with logical flaws in arguments concerning compromise, unless my debate class back in high school lied to me. Our country's government is build upon compromise between the people...it is an interesting idea isn't it? If you want less of that you might want to look into moving to a country like China. Plenty of non-existent compromise to suit your needs forever! (Or until their capitalistic economy drives them into a democracy) Either way, you get the point.

"And yet, here you are."

Yes me, and the two other liberals who post. What a wide ranged audience you have!

"That happens fairly often. Does it not count if it doesn't include your event?"

No..."real life" events will suit just fine. Jesus...like I said, you do what you want. Not my problem if you want to be a couch potato. I'm just giving out a friendly invite. More people to hear a liberal point of view I suppose, it can't hurt my side if you decide to not partake. Have a cool weekend blogging it up buddy.

Tom Forbes said...

Your event proves that this country was built on one thing, and one thing only: Freedom. And freedom brooks no compromise.

You realize, of course, that the buildings in which you will be holding these events in are owned by the "oppressive and imperialistic" government, paid for with taxes from "greedy" businesses, and protected by the "racist and brutal" police.

In Damascus, Havana, Teheran, Pyongyang, or Beijing, holding an event like this would earn you a trip to prison or a pistol to the back of the head (I didn't happen to see any criticism of those regimes on your schedule.)

I thank God for your freedom! There is nothing wrong with youthful idealism. But much of your agenda is about anger, bitterness, rebellion, and resistance to all sorts of perceived oppressors, from white men to Republicans to Christians (all of which I am). When you get to be my age, you'll realize there's a lot more to life than political angst. No one is going to be expanding their political horizons at your event, other than as Sun Tzu admonished, to "know your enemy." Your views are rejected, not due to a lack of understanding, but rather because they are antithetical to everything that most Americans hold dear.

Like I said, enjoy. I would never dream of disrupting or disturbing your sacred freedoms. Democracy is not a mosh pit where the loudest and most strident voices win. It's a marketplace of ideas and your ideas have a shelf life that expired back in 1968. Plus, no one likes an aggressive, in-your-face salesman. That's what makes voters apathetic. As you get older, you'll also learn that people really do hold deep political beliefs, they're just not prepared to debate them with extremists.

Oh, and when you get a chance, you might want to thank veterans like Paul for sponsoring your event.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Tao: "What are you talking about? Are we thinking of the same argumentum ad temperantiam? Cuz the one I'm familiar with has nothing to do with freedom...or oppression. It has to do with logical flaws in arguments concerning compromise, unless my debate class back in high school lied to me."

It sounds like they were basically steering you in the right direction. The problem is that you've stopped short of the critical part of the definition: that the compromise position is assumed to be the right one simply because it is a "middle ground" version of two irreconcilable points of view.

What you're citing as compromise in our nation's founding and on-going government is politics. And you're right, a lot of that did go on and continues to today. However, in and of itself, that is a matter of pragmatic expediency and not the ideal, as the compromises involved have everything to do with appeasement of competing interests, not the establishment of new truths.

Take, for example, the enshrinement of the ideals of individual liberty in our nation's founding documents. In Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence, he scolded the British crown for bringing the practice of slavery to the colonies, which was the correct view. Representatives to the Congress from some southern states demanded that language be dropped, owing to their interest in keeping the institution of slavery at the time, and so it was. Had they not done that then, consensus amongst the nascent U.S. states might not have been reached until much later.

So to say that argumentum ad temperantium is the founding ideal of our country is to make the claim that we were founded on a conceptual melding of freedom and oppression, as per this example, and many others, when obviously that is not a correct conclusion. As Tom said, we are founded on one ideal, freedom, and have had to make unfortunate ideological compromises in the ever-present fight for freedom along the way. Such compromises, in and of themselves, are not the good that our nation represents.

The conference represents a heaping portion of Marxism; I am a Capitalist. The conference features a prominent collectivist theme; I am an individualist. The former two items are evil, the latter, good. What possible logical compromise exists between good and evil? None. As Ayn Rand put it: "In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."

Tao: "Yes me, and the two other liberals who post. What a wide ranged audience you have!"

One word, Tao: lurkers. We should also note the persistence of posts - what we put here will have an audience for a long time, unlike, say, a few seminars on any given weekend.

Tao: "No..."real life" events will suit just fine. Jesus...like I said, you do what you want. Not my problem if you want to be a couch potato."

Actually, Tao, I’ll be quite busy. My business partner is out of town on vacation, so I am left here alone to keep our two companies running. I really would like to be a couch potato, but instead of doing fun stuff like hanging out at seminars to listen to things I already agree with all weekend, I have to be productive and generate the wealth that makes that other stuff possible as we have it. Couldn’t you guys have planned around my schedule a little more?

Tao: ”More people to hear a liberal point of view I suppose…”

Yeah, that’s another thing – I’m a bit older than you, Tao, so I’ve kind of heard this stuff already. Another little bit of info you don’t know about me: I’ve got a BA cum laude in anthropology from WSU. In the 3.5 years I spent getting that degree, I took in and considered plenty of what this conference is all about, long before you were likely introduced to it. April said it best:

April: ”Oh dear. How many generations (including mine) thought they were original? I'm afraid I will have to decline your generous offer with the "been there, done that" excuse.”

Same pig, different lipstick. Sorry, buddy, I’ve got better things to do! I'm sure you understand.

Truth said...

Tom, I'm pretty sure that agressive in your face salesemanship has not ever been listed as one of the main reasons as to why people have become apathetic, if you have source which shows otherwise I would be interested in seeing it. Also, your idea that people hold deep political beliefs and don't want to debate them with extremists is 1) irrelevant in the context of the conference and 2) somewhat disproved by the presence of Tao and Sutra here.

And Paul, if you hold true to the idea of not attending events which you have already experienced, then I'm assuming that you will not be attending any events put on by the College Republicans. Because really, there isnt a whole lot thats unique about calling for english as the national language or handing out flags.

Also, as I'm guessing, none of you went to the conference. I did and I thought I would contribute to your "office pool" and say of the about 60 people I saw at the few events I manged to make it to the only people with body piercings were girls...who had earings. I know. Even worse, no marxist though, pot-smoking, or anti-white men beliefs. For example, the Spoken Word performance included a lot on poverty and racism. Mainly the message was that we cannot solely place the blame on the government for the problems our society has. I know, it was a pretty hippee-laden conference. I would still encourage the CRs and anyone else who can to attend. It seemed like a really interesting place for discussion.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

"Truth": "And Paul, if you hold true to the idea of not attending events which you have already experienced, then I'm assuming that you will not be attending any events put on by the College Republicans. Because really, there isnt a whole lot thats unique about calling for english as the national language or handing out flags."

I never said I wouldn't have another go with something that I want to do again, "truth". What I did was reject Tao's insinuation that I should go because I'd learn something new. Really, I wouldn't, so that reason goes out the window.

I watch movies I've seen before from time to time, just not the bad ones, know what I mean?

Truth said...

But how can you claim that the conferece is "bad", especially considering no review has been written of it, and you have not taken the time to attend any of the workshops.

Is you judging this conference without bothering to understand it any different than people judging the CRs actions regarding the wall demonstration without actually talking with them?

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

"Truth": "But how can you claim that the conferece is "bad", especially considering no review has been written of it, and you have not taken the time to attend any of the workshops."

I read through the description of the conference and the synopsis of each presentation. Simple.

Truth: "Is you judging this conference without bothering to understand it any different than people judging the CRs actions regarding the wall demonstration without actually talking with them?"

Your question is meaningless; see above.

Truth said...

Paul my question was not meaningless and you have not addressed it above. How is judging this event without talking with to the presenters any different than people walking past the CR fence and not talking with them?

April E. Coggins said...

Well, the Move-On students are now moving on. Spreading their politics all over the United States. Pullman is always a fun, safe sand-box. Thanks!