Stumbling across history

jarretts press

Continuing to catch up from my posting vacation, here comes the photo flood. This is the art batch. Esta and I went walking in downtown Asheville on the morning of the 22nd. I was looking for textures. I think I found a few.

I also found a mystery. The faded lettering in the picture to the right says “Jarrett’s Press” (the full logo says “Jarrett’s Press Printing”). It’s on the back of a warehouse-like building behind the First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, just off Patton Avenue. Googling tells me a few things, namely that the press was active in the late 1920s, but not much else—and particularly not whether a close family member ran the press. It would be a little too ironic if one of my ancestors was in the printing business.

Go MainStream

From Mathew Gross,, an attempt to revitalize the conservation movement. The organization is a partnership between Robert Kennedy, Jr, Gross, and Bobby Sundeen. From Matt’s email:

We formed because more than 90% of Americans hold our values in common — clean air, clean water, open lands — yet 40% think that ”most environmental activists don’t really care about people.“

We formed GoMainStream because the corporate plunderers have hijacked our public lands and the public process.

And we formed GoMainStream because they’ve hijacked our language. They call polluting the air “Clear Skies” — and they call it “development” and “access” when they lock Americans out of the public lands that we hike, hunt, fish and love.

We’re going to change that. And we’re going to change it by building a new coalition from the bottom-up — an organization that helps Americans take action and that works to reframe the debate about the future of our country.

We’re going to do it by connecting hunters fighting to maintain access to elk habitat with suburbanites combating urban sprawl.

Because conservation is not an issue of right or left, or urban versus rural, or red versus blue.

It’s an issue of who we are as Americans.

I think that this sort of action is an important first step in reversing the tide of Newspeak that continues to impede progressive efforts in the US—note the careful use of “conservation” rather than “environmentalism” and the nod toward the Bush administration’s successful avoidance of broad public outrage through careful language use. In fact, the only thing I can think of that I would change in the message is some of Gross’s language regarding “corporate plunderers.” He’s emailing to his base, but we learned in 2004 that if you stir up your base using inflammatory language, they’re not the only ones who end up getting mad. As commenters on my site have noted over and over again, the same fighting words that put a fire in the belly of liberals tend to make potentially sympathetic but conservative-leaning undecideds hot under the collar.

Land speed record

We just got in from our trip back to New Jersey from Asheville. It took 11 and a half hours, which is I think something of a land speed record.

On the way, at a rest stop on I-81 in Virginia, I stopped to chat with a nice young man with a microphone and a TV camera who was earnestly quizzing people about their experiences driving on this, the second-worst traffic day of the year. As it was at that point about 10:30 am and we hadn’t seen more than a handful of vehicles, I was probably trying too hard not to laugh to say anything intelligent.

More updates will have to wait until I clear my email backlog, which is currently at 36 skillion and counting. It turns out that my current mail load is not maintainable using Webmail over a 28.8 dialup connection.