Posted by: sweeneyblog | July 11, 2014

Friday Odds and Ends: Oil by Rail, Skill Sharing and the Excavator

Hello Loyal Readers,

And here we arrive, stumbling to the end of the week. Usually July is my slow month as far as readers are concerned but thanks to the gunsgays and ganja social issues triple threat, I’ve been working overtime keeping this puppy running. So let’s get back to some less explosive topics like . . .

What could go wrong?

What could go wrong?

Transporting Oil by Rail. The Washington State Council of Firefighters passed a resolution at their convention in June (part one and two here) asking Governor Inslee to do “all in his power to halt the movement of this crude by rail until the completion of his study in March 2015.”

Strong words from our state’s firefighters, I hope the increased pressure on this issue will help create some stricter safety requirements and prevent a disaster.

The Whatcom Skillshare Faire is fast approaching. This event, sponsored by Transition Whatcom at Hovander Park, will includes classes on making soap, keeping bees and even making your own tools. The idea is share these hands on skills and provide an opportunity for everyone to learn, teach and grow. You can find more information at their website here.

As part of and around the Skillshare Faire, there will be an accredited course on Permaculture design being offered and the deadline for signing up is fast approaching. Check out all the details here.

These guys

These guys

Finally, at the request of a few very kind readers, I have given the Whatcom Excavator (a local very conservative blog with anonymous writers) a pass for a while but their latest post requires a little comment. They put up a post explaining that they don’t hate “Hispanic, black, Asian, Jewish, gay, young, old, poor, or a woman” citing a recent Townhall article. The Whatcom Excavators explain their position as, “There are too many truly important things going on, to get all bigoted on someone’s hiney.”

If I were Jon Stewart, this is when I would say, “Roll tape.” Here are just a sampling of the Whatcom Excavator completely not hating on poor peopleyoung peopleprofessional women and that’s just what I could find while drinking my coffee this morning.

Look, I know that the Republican party recognizes the need to be more welcoming for people outside of their base – the secret meeting among local Republican donors recently centered around that exact question – but this will require more than simply saying that you no longer dislike those “other” people. Nice try, Excavator, but your archives tell a different story.

Enjoy the good weather this weekend, I’m going to be working for Sweeney Portraits photographing a wedding and, of course, attending the Pride parade so I hope you have a restful couple of days. Oh, and I almost made it through an entire Odds and Ends without posting an amusing picture of Pete Kremen. Here you go.



  1. I reviewed those Excavator links and don’t find any untruths concerning “poor people, young people and professional women”. They just called a spade a spade without the usual radical left prevarications.

    • well they did imply that most young voters are naive rioters. Also continued the narrative that 20 something age people don’t know any better.

  2. The sad truth in our Empire of Oil (Trademark protected by the US military) is that the alternative to shipping oil by rail is more pipelines. Which means the Keystone XL. This is the Oil Oligarchy’s version of free choice – since in their paradigm, oil as fuel for our cancerous economy (for only a cancer has continuous growth) is a given.

    If we had leadership in Washington instead of bought and paid for officeholders and frontmen for the M.I. Complex, we might have an actual vision of a sustainable future as a hard goal for a great national effort. A goal which would put EVERYONE to work designing and building an economy based on sustainable energy (ie non-fossil fuel-based).

    Instead we have a government dedicated to keeping everything the same – only more. Controlled by an increasingly concentrated wealthy class which feels no duty other than to themselves as they offshore profits to avoid paying their share of taxes.

    It’s all comfy here in the heart of the Empire of Oil but it was also pretty comfy in 1910 at the heart of the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and British empires, none of which survive after meatgrinder world wars I & II.

    We have an empire unsurpassed in history for size and wealth. Grander than Rome, greater than Victorian Britain. Who else has the capacity to remake our economy into one which respects the basic reality of our living planet?

  3. Riley,

    Would you please provide a link to the fire fighters resolution. What other groups could endorse this resolution?

    Thanks, Tom Gilmore

  4. I agree but it’s hard to change the basic transportation infrastructure without government action. The whole way we live needs to change – we’re structurally addicted to the car and thinking that getting a hybrid will make the world better is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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