Olympia FOR YouTube for 2011

December 2011 Washington State Needs Tax Reform http://youtu.be/5hTXl8SUe7Y A few years ago the State of Washington experienced a budget crisis, so the Governor proposed drastic cuts, and the Legislature enacted drastic cuts.  Then our state experienced another budget crisis, so the Governor and Legislature slashed again.  Revenue keeps falling short of the needs, so they keep slashing and slashing.  They have cut funding for state employees, state parks, K-12 education, higher education, health care, assistance for our poorest people, and pretty much everything. Recent years’ spending cuts have seriously hurt many people’s quality of life, and further spending cuts threaten even worse suffering to our people and our state.  One guest flatly says, “We cannot cut our way to prosperity.”

November 2011 Decades of Solidarity with Santo Tomás, Nicaragua http://youtu.be/7qDMO80K0Bw Since 1988 our local community has built and sustained a strong relationship with a sister community in Nicaragua.  The Thurston Santo Tomás Sister County Association (TSTSCA) has built peace and across thousands of miles of distance by interacting face-to-face with back-and-forth delegations and by collaborating on practical projects in Santo Tomás.  While the Reagan Administration was making war on Nicaragua, people in Thurston County and Santo Tomás forged relationships of mutual understanding and respect.  Bypassing governments, we just went ahead and did what was needed – and what was right. Our TV program guests are two of the Evergreen student delegation delegates (Ellie Mansfield and Alex Becker) and two delegates from the July community delegation (Moira Rader Rice and Maureen Hill).  Maureen has been a very active volunteer for TSTSCA since its founding.

October 2011 Active Duty Troops and Veterans Work for Peacehttp://youtu.be/8AY-XKJQBU4 While the peace movement opposes wars and our violent foreign policy, we recognize that the individuals who currently serve in the military – or who have served in the military – deserve human rights just like anyone else.  When the military establishment hurts them, they need to protect their rights.  Also, some active duty troops and veterans find various ways to work for peace – sometimes at great personal risk.
This month’s TV program examines these concerns and focuses on Coffee Strong (www.coffeestrong.org), a GI coffee house near Fort Lewis, which is now called Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).  Coffee Strong describes itself as “pro-soldier, anti-war.” Our TV program discusses the activities of Coffee Strong and a number of other groups that work with active duty troops, veterans, and others from peace perspectives.  We affirm commonalities among them and the peace movement.

September 2011 A Public Park for Olympia’s Isthmushttp://youtu.be/sXAjBRMOaA4 Overwhelming public opinion supports having a public park instead of privately owned high-rise condominiums on the isthmus that connects downtown Olympia and West Olympia.  This much beloved strip of land at the southernmost tip of Puget Sound has a great view of the Capitol Building and the Olympic Mountains.  The Olympia FOR’s September TV program will provide background information, bring the community up to date on this exciting civic project, and look ahead to next steps. Our guests are three members of the Olympia Capitol Park Foundation:  Jerry Reilly, Sarah Segal, and Bob Jacobs.

August 2011 Teenagers Organize Peace and Justice Activities http://youtu.be/6AO6i2waSss Our culture wants us to be afraid of Muslims, homeless people, immigrants and young people. Our August 2011 TV program gives you an opportunity to meet four teenagers and a 21-year-old who is working with them. You can decide whether to fear them or to respect them. But don’t decide until you have had the opportunity to get to know them during this hour.

July 2011 The Arab World’s Democracy Movement http://youtu.be/JZXR6ns1Uwc In this month’s TV program, Dr. Steve Niva examines the growing movement for democracy in northern Africa, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf states, and throughout much of the Arab world.  The movement really took off in early 2011 and is continuing up through our taping date in June 2011, so it has been referred to as the “Arab Spring.” Dr. Niva offers clear information and insightful analysis about the underlying issues that are common to the democracy movements throughout the Arab world.  We specifically address Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.  We examine US foreign policy in the context of oil, geopolitics, the U.S.’s lip service to “democracy,” and implications for Israeli-Palestinian relations and the so-called “war on terror.”  Finally, our guest, Steve offers his recommendations. Our guest is Steve Niva, who teaches International Politics and Middle East Studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. 

June 2011 Stories of Working for Peace and Justice http://youtu.be/951RMA6kfBQ For a long time the world has been suffering depressing news about world affairs, economics, human rights, environment, climate, and other issues.  As a result, people who care about these issues can be feeling depressed and demoralized. But – over the years – people who persist in grassroots movements for civil rights, peace, labor, environment, and so forth keep saying that what keeps moving these movements ahead is people sharing their stories. This month’s TV program features personal experiences, stories and insights from six local people who have worked effectively for peace and social justice.  The program’s first half features Debe Edden, Bob Zeigler and Marilyn Dungan. The program’s second half features Douglas Mackey, Holly Gwinn Graham and James Bowers.

May 2011 Causing and Exploiting Economic Crisis http://youtu.be/uvF9wUm5Ihs What do Wisconsin’s Republican politicians, the political aftermath of 9-11, the Wall Street banking crash, and the federal budget crisis all have in common? In each case, a crisis (real or contrived) was used as the excuse to impose pre-conceived agendas of radical right-wing policies upon our political and/or economic lives. 

April 2011 Soldiers’ Wounds-One Cost of War That Never Endshttp://youtu.be/2w7Z64bWIEQ The Olympia FOR’s April TV program focuses specifically on how war hurts the people who fight and their families. Despite people’s glib rhetoric that soldiers are “heroes,” the truth is that every combat soldier is wounded in several ways. Our nation must be mature enough to recognize these human costs and responsible enough to cover the costs. Wars damage the people on all sides, and we must take responsibility to heal the people on all sides. Our two guests –Dr. Dennis Mills and Mark Fleming volunteer as independent accredited VA claims agents to help active duty GIs and military veterans protect their rights and get the benefits that they deserve. You can find one or both of them on most Fridays from 10 am to 2 pm at Coffee Strong, 15107 Union Ave SW, Lakewood WA.

March 2011 Real Democracy, Not Corporate Personhood http://youtu.be/CMOfb2TCrHM In January 2010 the US Supreme Court ruled – in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – that big business corporations can give as much money as they want to election campaigns.  The narrowest possible 5-4 majority overturned a century of settled law that had protected election campaigns from excessive corporate interference. This decision further entrenched the notion that money is “speech” and that corporations are “persons” with free speech and the same civil rights as living, breathing human beings. 

February 2011 A Nonviolent Society for the Common Good http://youtu.be/AKbhsb5XpWM In recent years American society has experienced a serious upsurge of anti-government rhetoric, including threats of violence against members of Congress – and in January an actual shooting. The Olympia FOR’s February TV program asks: Are these interconnected? Do they have common roots? Can we find solutions that will resolve these problems and restore our public ethics and our common humanity? How could we reduce fear and violence and build a society that is secure and nonviolent? Our two guests –Larry Kerschner and Becky Liebman are knowledgeable, wise and compassionate about these matters. They explore the problems and generate positive solutions.

January 2011 Create a Publically Owned Washington State Bank http://youtu.be/ozwE5NjZH5E Even during hard financial times, a lot of money flows through the state government. Property tax payments, sales tax revenue, payroll taxes, fees for licenses, and other kinds of revenue arrive at various times. Then the state pays out this money at various times too for salaries, equipment, supplies, rent, payments to local governments, and so forth. What happens to the money while the state has it? The state deposits it in the big Wall Street banks and other out-of-state parasites.