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  1. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    November 22, 2017 by John Crapper

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. Living Building Certification – The Bullitt Center Proves the Possibilities

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    October 12, 2017 by John Crapper

    April 1, 2015, the Bullitt Center proved its status as the greenest commercial building in the world by becoming the first office building to earn Living Building certification, the most challenging benchmark of sustainability in the built environment.

    The Bullitt Center was designed to show what’s possible today, changing the way people think about high performance green buildings.

    While the building includes many innovations, in reality every feature of the building is being used elsewhere in the world. As Denis Hayes says, “our chief innovation is that we brought all these ideas together in one place at the same time” – net zero energy and water, composting toilets, toxic-free materials, FSC wood, and more.

    Washington State residents can take pride in this marvelous achievement. Let’s hope it spurs a rethinking of architectural design and urban living.

    To be certified as a Living Building a structure is required to be self-sufficient in energy and water for 12 consecutive months and meet green building standards in terms of design and materials used.

    During 2014 the center produced 60% more energy than it used making it the most energy efficient office building in the U.S. and possibly the world. Congratulations.

    The process to achieve this award was rigorous and challenging.

    The Living Building Challenge requires a project to meet 20 specific imperatives within seven performance areas (or “Petals”). For the Bullitt Center, meeting the imperatives  includes the following:

    Site: The location will support a pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly lifestyle.

    Water: Rainwater will be collected on the roof, stored in an underground cistern and used throughout the building.

    Energy: A solar array will generate as much electricity as the building uses.

    Health: The building will promote health for its occupants, with inviting stairways, operable windows and features to promote walking and resource sharing.

    Materials: The building will not contain any “Red List” hazardous materials, including PVC, cadmium, lead, mercury and hormone-mimicking substances, all of which are commonly found in building components.

    Equity: All workstations are within 30 feet of large operable windows, offering all workers access to fresh air and natural daylight.

    Beauty: Stunning architecture, an innovative photovoltaic array, a green roof and other native plantings, large structural timbers and a revitalized pocket park help beautify the surrounding neighborhood.

    “We made a huge, bold bet that human creativity could overcome dozens of unprecedented challenges,” said Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation and the Bullitt Center. “If Living Buildings can be built and operated in Seattle, the cloudiest major city in the contiguous 48 states, they can and should be built everywhere.”

    The Bullitt Center is a showcase example and proof of how it is possible to build sustainably today.  Today the Seattle metropolitan area is experiencing a building boom but sadly it is not being built with anything close to the Living Building Certification in mind.

    If you are interested in taking a tour of this remarkable building you can do so here. I’ve yet to do so myself but it at the top of my bucket list.

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  3. Trumpty Dumpty

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    September 30, 2017 by John Crapper

    I ran across this and I like it.

    Trumpty Dumpty wanted to build a wall,

    Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall,

    All the wealthy republicans and all the white men

    Couldn’t put Trumpty in the White House again.

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  4. Trump Voters – I Need More Than an Apology – My Line in the Sand!

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    September 7, 2017 by John Crapper

    I’ve been kicking around writing this post for quite some time.  I don’t often venture into politics in such a direct fashion but current events compel me to say what I’m about to say.  The circumstances putting me over the top in determining my necessity to write about this revolves around  Charlottsville and what Trump said.  It was my line in the sand with the people that still support Trump.  It was the moment in time that forced me to rethink and adjust my relationship with Trump supporters.

    I know from experience just how hard it is for someone from a right-wing persuasion to admit they have been wrong.  I get the righteousness, the unique ownership of the cloak of patriotism and the pre-ordained chosen mind set.  What I can’t understand is where their line in the sand is?

    Now, just as a reminder, here is what Trump initially said about the events that took place in Charlottesville.  It is instructive because it is his unfiltered reaction revealing his true “heart and soul”.

     

    Since the video is a little long and rambling here are the choice comments.

    We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence that’s on many sides. On many sides...(emphasis mine).

    … We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection — and really I say this so strongly — true affection for each other. (emphasis mine)

    Sorry,  I do not want to have true affection for Neo-Natzis, white supremacists and racists and a President that strongly thinks that I should is sick in my book.

    Giving false equivalency between groups glorifying Nazis and white supremacists with counter-protestors against such hate groups is crossing my line in the sand.  Racism, bigotry, the celebration of Hitler and the genocide of 6 million Jews is never OK or justifiable in my mind.   And people who support,tolerate or ignore the behavior of such hate groups are not “good people”.  They are sick too.  

    But the comments Trump made shortly after the tragic events in Charlotesville is only the latest example of sick behavior.  He suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    The American Psychiatric Association says that anyone exhibiting five of the following nine egotistical traits has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Count up how many Trump exhibits:

    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

    3. Believe that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or high-status people.

    4. Requires excessive admiration.

    5. Has a sense of entitlement.

    6. Is interpersonally exploitative.

    7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

    8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

    I counted 9 out of 9.  Pretty strong evidence of mental illness in my book?

    Recent polls and focus groups of Trump supporters reveal growing impatience, frustration and discomfort with Trump.

     

    Once again the video is a little long but here is a choice quote from  Christina Lees, an independent who leans Republican and voted for Mr. Trump.

    “everybody knew he was a nut,” but that they hoped for him to achieve good things when they backed him.”(emphasis mine)

    It is encouraging that some Trump voters are starting to have their doubts.  But that is not nearly enough.  Even an apology is not enough for me.

    Yes, an apology is a good start but I require much, much more than merely contrition.

    I want a litmus test.  

    A  litmus test is a question asked of a potential candidate for high office, the answer to which would determine whether the nominating official would proceed with the appointment or nomination.

    Why do I ask for this?  Because their votes for Trump are causing immeasurable harm to our country.  Real damage is being done to our economy, environment, foreign policy, defense agreements, immigration policy, trade relations and most importantly the way we relate to each other.

    I want to see an apology coupled with a pledge of action; that in the future, before voting, they determine if the candidate they are about to vote for still supports Trump and if he/she does they pledge not to vote for them.

    Here is the petition I want circulated and signed by the growing number of disgruntled Trump voters.

    By signing this petition I admit I made a mistake in voting for Donald J. Trump for President. I want to apologize to the American people for my mistake.  As proof of my sincerity I pledge I will investigate each and every person I am tasked to vote for in the upcoming election to determine if that person still supports Trump.  If the answer is yes I will not vote for that person.  It is the least I can do to help repair the damage I have caused by my previous vote.

    In the beginning of this post I said Charlottesville was my line in the sand with the people that still support Donald Trump.  Let me be clear what I mean by that statement because I have friends who postulate a “live and let live” approach to issues; that there are no inherently bad people in this world and that if you just took the time to “understand their story and frame of reference” you would see where they were coming from.  I think this reasoning is wrong, naive and dangerous.

    There are very psychologically sick, emotionally flat-lined evil people in our world.  Diving deep into their past there is most often good reason for their disfunction to be found.  But that doesn’t mean we can change the way they are and how they believe and act.  That’s why we have a criminal justice system and prisons.  They need to be removed from society.

    Lines in the sand are points at which, if crossed, a person is forced to fight to preserve their way of life.   For societies there have been many lines in the sand that have caused war.  Taxation without representation and the resulting American Revolution, slavery and the subsequent American Civil War and the invasion of Poland by Hitler and the start of World War II are recent examples .

    Yes there were two sides represented at Charlottesville.  One side represented evil.  If their ideas were ever forced on me they would cause me to fight for my way of life.

    And no Trump.  You are wrong.  I do not condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence that’s on many sides. On many sides…  

    I condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence that’s on one side.  On one side.

    And I will not come together as an American with true affection for these types of people.  I will fight against them because they have crossed my line in the sand.

    I believe you are very sick Donald.  I truly believe you suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I’m sure there are good reasons found in your past for your disfunction.  But that does not mean I can change the way you are and how you believe and act.  That’s why I have to fight you Donald.  That’s why you need to be removed from office.   And that’s why I have to fight anyone who still supports you too.

     

     

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  5. Mother’s Day – It’s a Bunch of Crap (Revisited)

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    May 14, 2017 by John Crapper

     

    I don’t have to send a Mother’s Day card nor send flowers but I wish I still did.

    Reposting this in its entirety for Mother’s Day because my mom deserves it!


    Yes, that’s what I said. Mother’s Day is a bunch of crap! It goes a long way to explain why my blogging name is John Crapper.

    I say it with good reason. My mother, Loretta, passed away this last Easter Sunday. She was 92. She was buried on my birthday.

    I was close to my Mom and will miss her deeply. It may be quite odd for you to hear me say this but her funeral was one of the best I’ve ever attended. There was a lot of laughing. It was just the way my mother wanted it. Below the fold I’ll explain the reason for the title and share the service. It was a real celebration of life.

    All the blockquotes are excerpts taken from the actual words the preacher said during the service. Names have been changed or eliminated except for my mother’s. Outside the blockquotes is my additional background information.

    We each have a story. The time of our birth, the circumstances, the experiences that fill our life’s journey make us each unique and special. It was a privilege for me to sit with Loretta’s sons and daughters-in-law yesterday to get a glimpse of your mother’s story. And we all agreed that today is an appropriate time to celebrate her journey, her story, her personality, her influence.

    Loretta began her life story in 1920 in New Bedford, Massachusetts of French Canadian heritage, which lingered in her interesting accent with certain words. New Bedford was the world’s most famous whaling era seaport. The land was purchased from Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe. In 1818 Irish immigrants established the Catholic mission that built St. Mary’s Church. The Portuguese arrived in droves largely due to the whaling industry and established the first Portuguese parish in the city in 1871 – St. John the Baptist. French Canadians secured a foothold in the city at about the same time and built the Church of the Sacred Heart in 1877.

    This was the world of Loretta’s beginning: A strong Catholic influence in a hard-working world experiencing the Great Depression. At a young age, she went to work in the chenille factories, the fabric mills. Along with her siblings, Loretta knew the harshness of the northeast coastland and of a father who could be even harsher. Loretta’s mother would encourage her to scurry about and to pick up her toys when her father came home so that there would be no clutter in his way. She carried this compulsion to clean the house the rest of her days. You could eat a meal off her basement floors.

    I little more info that didn’t make the cut.

    1. During one of my overnight stays with Mom I got up to go to the bathroom (#1, not #2). In the short time it took me to tinkle Mom had made my bed. “MOM – I’m going back to bed!”, I said. “Crap, I thought you were up.”

    2. Another time I called long distance from Thailand. “What are you doing, Mom?” “I’m cleaning out the basement window sills.”

    She met Harold on a blind date while he was in the military; and he became the “love of her life.” She was ready to take a chance and moved to Missouri, where he went to work with Walt Bodine at WDAF TV. Ironically, Walt who sent a letter to Loretta upon Harold’s passing, passed himself to new life this past Palm Sunday, March 24. Walt, a devout Catholic, had battled visual impairment for years and once commented: “Being blind isn’t a tragedy; it’s just one hell of an inconvenience.” (Did I mention Loretta may have been exposed to some “sailor talk” growing up; maybe Walt was, too.) That generation knew hardship and tried to make the best of things.

    And Harold’s passing as a young man in 1960 became a defining moment for Loretta. Her life’s mission was clearly the raising of her four sons, ages 2 to 14, at their father’s passing. She would need all the grit she could muster. Suddenly, she was completely responsible for these boys; and she couldn’t drive and had never written a check.

    I was nine years old when my father died.

    She was worried and didn’t want to make mistakes in the raising of her boys. There’s a time for everything our ancient writer of wisdom says; and this became a time for Loretta to become even tougher and more determined and committed to her boys. In her last few years after entering the Memory Care unit, she would repeat to all who would listen to her the grandest accomplishment in her life: “I raised 4 boys and they had to toe the line.” One of her great sadnesses in life was the untimely passing of her son Richard on March 29 of 1992 when he was 37.

    She preached and modeled for her sons a strong work ethic and the need of a good education. All of her boys got a college education. And in celebration of their strong efforts, she received her GED at age 65.

    Now what really came through to me in sitting with Loretta’s boys yesterday was how much love and respect they have for their earthy, common sense, strong mother. At every critical junction of their lives, she was there as a memorable presence. She always told you what she thought; and her plain, straight-forward speech gave you endless material for laughter.

    This is an understatement. Always home, always there, always someone to turn to in time of need. She never put her own needs ahead of her children. One of her favorite sayings to me, since I was the one that gave her, without a doubt, the most trouble was: “If you get arrested don’t call me because I’m not going to bail you out!” I knew she meant it. She once had me picked up by the park ranger after she’d figured out that the senior skip day I told her I was participating in was not an “officially sanctioned” day off from school. Luckily, this was the extent of my run ins with the law!

    Let’s just get it out there. Her famous tagline, her go-to comment about many things was: “That’s a bunch of crap.”  This led to John composing songs to sing at family gatherings: Call “L-o-r-e-t-t-a; it’s all crap all crap to me – Loretta.” And “We Wish you a crappy Christmas. We wish you a crappy Christmas. We wish you a crappy Christmas and to hell with New Year. His younger brother thinks it may have stemmed from her days as an LPN when she once commented that her favorite procedure was “cauterizing hemorrhoids.” This sense of humor has carried the family through thick and thin.

    While being a home body, she also had some ability to let loose to her adventurous side. She once did loop de loops in an open cockpit plane.

    image

     

    On her trip to Thailand to visit John and his wife, she went para-sailing at the age of 72.

    image

    The Thai people could hear her laughing and pointed up saying, “Look at Grandma.” John’s wife likes that image of seeing Grandma Loretta sailing heavenward.

    She also, at the age of 74, rode a roller coaster that did three 360 degree loops in rapid succession.

    image

    She was plain-spoken. Soon after her youngest son got married, she told his wife, “I don’t babysit; I raised 4 kids; I’m done with that.” After a visit home from Thailand, John was ready to head for the airport and she sent him off with the blessing: “I’m kind of glad you are leaving because you were starting to get on my nerves.”

    And she became comfortable complaining a bit. Loretta’s oldest son’s wife remembers going to a family reunion with her and being alone with her in the car for a while; her comment was: “Thanks for staying in the car with me so I can complain.”

    But her stories in letter format really became legendary. Receiving letters in Thailand, John and his wife were often baffled with what was really happening with Mom. She once wrote of a dog someone had left in the street by her corner; and now it was in her yard; and what was she to do with it; this dead dog; which later got up and disappeared (not dead at all). Her tales were intriguing.

    Her phone calls were even more interesting. Once she called Thailand in the middle of the night to inform John that his cousin Chucky who was just his age – 38 at the time—had passed away. Very saddened John wrote to Aunt Lucy expressing his sympathy. Some three weeks later, in the text of a letter, sort of in passing, Loretta informed John that she had made a slight mistake. It wasn’t Chuck who passed, but Uncle Wesley. Chuck is here today; and Chuck, John wants you to know that when your time comes, he has already sent a card.

    A part of the way Loretta survived was to laugh with you at her own frailties and quirks. I’ve always liked the quaint poem “The Watcher” and I think it speaks of your relationship with your mother:

    The Watcher

    (author unknown)

    She always leaned to watch for us,
    Anxious if we were late,
    In the winter by the window,
    In the summer by the gate;
    And though we mocked her tenderly,
    Who had such foolish care,
    The long way home would seem more safe
    Because she waited there.

    Her thoughts were all so full of us,
    She never could forget!
    And so I think that where she is
    She must be watching yet,
    Waiting till we come home to her
    Concerned if we are late—
    Watching from Heaven’s window
    Leaning from Heaven’s gate.

    Loretta was blessed with her four sons, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren with two more on the way. She exemplified to you how to live a good life based in solid values and strong ethical principles. She was down-to-earth and earthy perhaps of necessity; but she taught you whether she intended to or not, how to laugh at life and make the best of the situation you are facing.

     Loretta lived her life fully—through the struggles and joys—with an attitude of perseverance which is a treasure for all of you to remember.

    Her youngest son was with her at her passing and shortly after giving her permission to go on home, she raised an arm as though reaching for heaven, and in a minute passed peacefully. She had told you all for some years that she was ready: “Just let me go; no tears at my funeral; I’m at peace.”

    That’s a powerful thought and I’m sure it helps you today. There was a time for everything in her life; she approached it all with an attitude of perseverance; and when her work was winding down, she was ready to meet her Maker and to experience the peace promised to us in our faith. And so today we send her off with a blessing: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Master.”

    Or as Loretta might have put it: “no more crap.”

    I am who I am today because of this 5 ft. two-inch powerhouse of a woman.  Thanks Mom!

    My beautiful Mom as an LPN during WWII.

    My beautiful Mom as an LPN during WWII.

    In loving memory…your son….John Crapper.

    ****

    My Mom knew nothing about the Church of the Holy Shitters and its environmental message. Her dementia was too advanced before I could share. She probably would have thought it was a bunch of crap. That would not be bad coming from my Mom.

    It alludes me when I first started formulating the concept of the Church of the Holy Shitters. I’m certain, however, that the myriad of times I heard the phrase “It’s a bunch of crap.” uttered from my Mom while I was growing up played a significant role in germinating the idea in my psychic. Thank you Mom! Your legacy lives on!

     

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  6. Expatriate Musings and Yearnings

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    May 11, 2017 by John Crapper

    WOW — what a week in politics.

    I’m looking forward to changing my climate in light of the current political climate in the United States.  Let me explain.

    My wife and I lived overseas for about 15 years mostly in Thailand but also in Taiwan and Myanmar (Burma). We consider ourselves expats even though we currently live in the US.

    In my view there are roughly two kinds of expats — those chasing their dreams and those running from their nightmares.

    My wife and I were in the first category. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences in our lives. We only returned to the U.S. to be closer to and help care for aging parents. That role is still ongoing.

    Living overseas will be part of our retirement picture in the near future if we are lucky when that job is finished. We’re looking forward to it. In many ways living overseas makes you appreciate the U.S. even more but it also takes the American exceptionalism blinders off of your thinking too. Those blinders are insidious and we’re anxious for them to be lifted once again.

    And this time, when we go overseas, although we’ll still be chasing our dreams we’ll also be escaping a nightmare — HIM! — and the day-to-day political banter so pervasive in the U.S.

    It is comforting for us, in times like this, to have a second home half way around the world.

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  7. Health Care in America – Stating the Obvious

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    March 29, 2017 by John Crapper

    U.S. Health Care Ranked Worst in the Developed World  –
     Time Magazine Jun 2014
    U.S. Health-Care System Ranks as One of the Least-Efficient
    BloomBerg, 2016

    Before I begin this post and In full disclosure I must tell you that I’m fairly opinionated regarding health care in this country because formerly I was a health insurance underwriter tasked with approving and denying people health coverage.   That in the trenches experience gave me an up close and personal insight into our private health care delivery system in the United States.  This past experience has led me to advocate for a single-payor system of health care modeled roughly after Medicare.

    But since the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare has been and continues to be a hot current events issue I’d like to share some thoughts.

    The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is under attack.  In my opinion, it’s been a flawed law from the beginning and the Democrats have been flawed both in their approach and in their defense of the law.

    Of course the ACA has insured millions more Americans and improved coverage for those insured.  It’s a good thing that there is no lifetime limit to coverage.  It’s a good thing that children can stay on their parents plan until age twenty-six.  It’s a good thing that people can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

    But the big flaw in the ACA was that it catered to the private medical delivery system and the big mistake committed by Obama and the Democrats was their unwillingness to initially push for a single payer system and then later to at least push for a public option to complete with the private insurers.

    Here is a simple explanation as to why trying to maintain the private medical care system is flawed and cannot be corrected or fixed.

    First, we need to remind ourselves of the players in the current system.  The major players are:

    • Health care professionals
    • Hospitals and clinics
    • Pharmacies
    • Drug companies
    • Lawyers
    • Patients

    Now back to the explanation.

    Most health care professionals are trying to make a good living while at the same time providing good healthcare.  They are under pressure from hospitals and clinics to see a certain number of patients in a given timeframe.  They are under pressure to administer health care in such a way to avoid malpractice suits.  Also, they are under pressure to predetermine that the  tests, procedures and treatments they recommend will be covered by the patient’s insurance.  Finally, many physicians have a financial interest in the clinics/hospitals in which they work resulting in a desire to ensure they are profitable.  All these factors influence their health delivery performance.

    Hospitals and clinics are trying to  make a profit.  They want their appointment calendars and beds to be filled.  They want their equipment and facilities to be utilized in an efficient manner.  They want to charge as much as possible to maximize their profits.

    Pharmacies are trying to make a profit.  They want to sell drugs to as many customers as possible.  They want to maximize their profits.

    Drug companies what to make a profit.  They want as many doctors as possible prescribing their drugs.  They want to sell as many drugs as possible at the highest price to maximize their profits.

    Lawyers want to make a profit.  They want to win as many malpractice lawsuits as possible and settle those lawsuits at the highest price possible .  They want to maximize their profits both for their firms and themselves.

    Patients do not want the cheapest care.  They generally do not shop around for the best price.  They don’t want a cut rate bypass surgery or a two for one cataract operation.  They want the best care they can get.  Finding the lowest price of care is not their primary concern.

    With the exception of some health care providers I contend that a medical delivery system that has profit as its motive for all in the system except the patient does not have the patient’s best interests paramount in their mind.  They have their profits.

    The doctor has motivation to over test, over treat and over prescribe to avoid malpractice suits. He has motivation to inquire and consult with his patients quickly to maximize the number seen in a given timeframe.

    The pharmacy has motivation to stock and/or push only the most profitable brands of a given medicine.

    Hospitals have motivation to fill beds at the highest price.  They have motivation to cater to the most profitable patients which translates into serving the most lucratively and completely insured.

    Drug companies have incentive to push their most expensive lines and fight to keep prices high for as long as possible.  They have reason to provide incentives and kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe their drugs.

    Where is doing what’s best for the patient fall in the hierarchy of motives within this system?

    Now that Trump Care has failed the Democrats need to go on the offensive and adopt the Bernie Sanders approach by calling for the adoption of a single payer health care system for the replacement model.  This should be their constant mantra.

    They should concede that the current system is flawed because it was a failed attempt to keep the for profit medical delivery system in place.  It was also a desire on the part of President Obama and the Democrats to take a bipartisan approach to health care which in retrospect we now know was a total failure.

    With the colossal failure of the Republicans health care repeal and replace effort things have changed; the atmosphere is different.  Democrats should seize the moment and begin a relentless drive to push for what is truly needed to correct the healthcare delivery system in the United States.

     

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  8. Time Waits for No One and Time Has Come Today

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    March 23, 2017 by John Crapper

    Time waits for no  one.  I was born in 1951.  Read on to see why I bring this up.

     

    “Time”

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

    And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again
    The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

    Home, home again
    I like to be here when I can
    When I come home cold and tired
    It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
    Far away, across the field
    The tolling of the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spell

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, …

    According to a timeline I’ve been working on the effects of climate change really start to cause us major problems around the year 2030 and really start falling apart during the 2040 to 2050 decade.

    A person with a birthdate of

    2017 will be 13 years old in 2030 and 43 in 2050

    2007 will be 23 years old in 2030 and 53 in 2050

    1997 will be 33 years old in 2030 and 63 in 2050

    1987 will be 43 years old in 2030 and 73 in 2050

    1977 will be 53 years old in 2030 and 83 in 2050

    1967 will be 63 years old in 2030 and 93 in 2050

    1957 will be 73 years old in 2030 and 103 in 2050

    1947 will be 83 years old in 2030

    1937 will be 93 years old in 2030

    1927 will be 103 years old in 2030

    It is extremely difficult for scientist to make a firm causal relationship with any individual event but there is general agreement that climate change is amplifying the following.

    • Droughts
    • Heat waves
    • Storms
    • Flooding
    • Migration of diseases
    • Glacier melt
    • Polar ice sheet collapse
    • Coral bleaching
    • Ocean oxygen loss, acidification and suffocation
    • Accelerating sea level rise

    In researching a book I’m writing I’ve been collecting prognostications about climate change. These have been gathered over time from numerous sources and I’m constantly updating it.   But they are projections and hence a best guess as to what is in our collective future.

    I must confess that during the time I have been compiling these predictions the timeframe has been trending towards an acceleration of events rather than an elongation of them.

    I challenge you to plug yourself into it and contemplate just what priority you should assign the issue.

    It starts out in our recent past then projects out all the way until the year 2200.

    The Timeframe

     

    2008

    In 2008 Arctic sea ice hit its second lowest summer ice extent on record (the lowest extent was in 2007).

    A massive chunk of ice breaks away from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier.

    Several breakups of ice shelves in Antarctica are observed. (NSIDC; Jason Box, Ohio State University; ESA, NSIDC)

    The Bush Administration enacts changes to the Endangered Species Act that affect reviews of government projects.

    Polar bears and beluga whales are placed on the Endangered Species List.

    2009

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

    An ice bridge connected to the Wilkins Ice Sheet of Antarctica breaks apart.

    Many of the world’s major rivers are found to be losing water. (Aiguo Dai, NCAR, Journal of Climate)

    2010

    China becomes the largest energy consumer in the world, overtaking the USA.  China added 15,000 cars to its roads every day and a new power plant every week.

    2012

    The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, an international environmental treaty created to limit the production of greenhouse gases, expires. Nations will have to draw up and enact a successor treaty to further limit emissions, should they choose to do so.

    2013

    The amount of carbon pollution has already locked in more than 4 feet of sea level rise past 2013 levels. That is enough, at high tide, to submerge more than half of 2013’s population in 316 coastal cities.

    2015

    Pope Francis releases his192 page encyclical on combating human climate change in June.

    Paris Climate Agreement negotiated by representatives of 195 countries adopted in December.

    2016

    Paris Climate Agreement opened for signature by agreeing countries in April.

    In October 2016 there were enough signatures for it to go into force.

    During the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump the Republican nominee vows to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.

    Donald Trump is elected President in November.

    Projections

    2020

    Flash floods increase across all parts of Europe. Less rainfall reduces agriculture yields by up to 50 percent in some parts of the world.

    World population reaches 7.7 billion people.

    Hubbert’s Peak or peak oil level is reached. Global oil production begins an irreversible decline, triggering a global recession, food shortages and conflict between nations over dwindling oil supplies.

    Manokwari, the largest and capital city of the West Papua, Indonesia is the first city in the world to hit climate departure.*

    *A city hits “climate departure” when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. For example, let’s say the climate departure point for D.C. is 2047 (which it is). After 2047, even D.C.’s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2047 will be hotter than D.C.’s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It’s the moment when the old “normal” is really gone.

    2023 – Kingston the capital and largest city of Jamaica and Ngerulmud the capital of Palau become the next two cities to hit climate departure.*

    2028 – Singapore hits climate departure*

    2029 – Jakarta, Georgetown and Lagos hit climate departure.*

    2030

    Diarrhea-related diseases increase by up to 5 percent in low-income parts of the world.

    Up to 18 percent of the world’s coral reefs are lost as a result of climate change and other environmental stresses.

    In Asian coastal waters, the coral loss reaches 30 percent.

    World population reaches 8.4 billion people.

    Warming temperatures causes temperate glaciers on equatorial mountains in Africa to disappear.

    In developing countries, the urban population more than doubles to about 4 billion people, packing more people onto a given city’s land area. The urban populations of developed countries increase by 20 percent.

    The Arctic Sea is ice-free in the summer.

    In China lung disease kills over 80 million people due to the long term effects of pollution.

    2031 – Mexico City hits climate departure.*

    2033 – Bogota hits climate departure.*

    2034 – Mumbai hits climate departure*

    2036 – Cairo and Nairobi hit climate departure.*

    2037 – Alpine glaciers disappear completely.

    2038 – Sydney, Lima and Cape Town hit climate departure.*

    2040 – World Population hits over 9 billion.

    2042 – Taipei and Seoul hit climate departure.*

    2043 – Phoenix, Santiago. Pretoria and Honolulu hit climate departure.*

    2044 – Rome hits climate departure.*

    2045 – Kabul hits climate departure.*

    2046 – Beijing and Bangkok hit climate departure.*

    2047 – D.C. and New York hit climate departure.*

    2048 – Los Angeles hits climate departure.*

    2050

    The Amazon rainforest is threatened not only by illegal deforestation, but also the effects of drought and climate change. Under a “business as usual” scenario, nearly half of the jungle is be destroyed. and it could be almost entirely gone by 2100.

    More than 2,000 native tree species face extinction.

    World population reaches 9.5 billion people.

    Some 70% of polar bears disappear due to the shrinking of Arctic ice caused by global warming.

    Large glaciers shrink by 30 to 70 percent.

    Ocean acidification kills off most coral reefs.

    One of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef disappears .

    At least 400 bird species become extinct due to deforestation and climate change.

    In Australia, there is an additional 3,200 to 5,200 heat-related deaths per year. Hardest hit are people over the age of 65.

    An extra 500 to 1,000 people die of heat-related deaths in New York City per year.

    In the United Kingdom, the opposite occurs, and cold-related deaths outpace heat-related ones.

    All amphibians in Europe are extinct.

    Crop yields shift increasing by up to 20 percent in East and Southeast Asia, while decreasing by up to 30 percent in Central and South Asia. Similar shifts in crop yields occur on other continents.

    As biodiversity hotspots are more threatened, a quarter of the world’s plant and vertebrate animal species face extinction.

    Rio de Janeiro hits climate departure.*

    2052 – Chicago hits climate departure.*

    2054 – Ulan Bator hits climate departure.*

    2055 – Seattle hits climate departure.*

    2056 – London hits climate departure.*

    2060 – By 2060 the following cities were listed as being severely devastated by rising seas.

    Miami, USA

    Guangzhou, P.R. of China

    New York-Newark, USA

    Kolkata, India

    Shanghai, P.R. of China

    Mumbai, India

    Tianjin, P.R. of China

    Tokyo, Japan

    Hong Kong, P.R. of China

    Bangkok, Thailand

    Ningbo, P.R. of China

    New Orleans, USA

    Osaka-Kobe, Japan

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Nagoya, Japan

    Qingdao, China

    Virginia Beach, USA

    Alexandria, Egypt

    Rangoon, Myanmar

    Hai Phòng, Vietnam

    Khulna, Bangladesh

    Lagos, Nigeria

    Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire

    Chittagong, Bangladesh

    Jakarta, Indonesia

    Extinctions peak with 0.5% of the world’s animal and plant species disappearing every year.

    World population reaches 9.9 billion

    2063 – Moscow hits climate departure.*

    2064 – St. Petersburg hits climate departure.*

    2066 – Reykjavik hits climate departure.*

    2070

    World population reaches 10.2 billion

    As glaciers disappear and areas affected by drought increase, electricity production for the world’s existing hydropower stations decrease.

    Hardest hit is Europe, where hydropower potential declines on average by 6 percent; around the Mediterranean, the decrease is up to 50 percent.

    Warmer, drier conditions lead to more frequent and longer droughts, as well as longer fire-seasons, increased fire risks, and more frequent heat waves, especially in Mediterranean regions.

    2071 – Anchorage hits climate departure.*

    2080

    World population reaches 10.5 billion

    While some parts of the world dry out, others get inundated.

    Up to 20 percent of the world’s populations live in river basins and are affected by increased flood hazards.

    Up to 100 million people experience coastal flooding each year. Most at risk are densely populated and low-lying areas that are less able to adapt to rising sea levels and areas which already face other challenges such as tropical storms.

    Coastal populations balloon to 5 billion people, up from 1.2 billion in 1990.

    Between 1.1 and 3.2 billion people experience water shortages and up to 600 million go hungry.

    Sea levels rise around New York City by more than three feet, flooding the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

    2085 – The risk of dengue fever from climate change increases to 3.5 billion people.

    2090 – World population reaches 10.7 billion

    2100

    World population reaches 10.8 billion

    Global average temperature rises to 6°C (10°F) by 2100.

    Carbon dioxide concentrations reach 1000 parts per million (ppm).

    By the start of the century, global climate emissions increased, to lock in 23 feet of sea level rise, threatening 1,429 municipalities in the U.S. alone.

    A combination of global warming and other factors push many ecosystems to the limit, forcing them to exceed their natural ability to adapt to climate change.

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are much higher than anytime during the past 650,000 years.

    Ocean pH levels decrease by 0.5 pH units, the lowest it’s been in the last 20 million years.

    The ability of marine organisms such as corals, crabs and oysters to form shells or exoskeletons is impaired.

    Thawing permafrost and other factors make Earth’s land a net source of carbon emissions, meaning it emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than it absorbs.

    Roughly 20 to 30 percent of species assessed as of 2007 are extinct by 2100.

    New climate zones appear on up to 39 percent of the world’s land surface, radically transforming the planet.

    A quarter of all species of plants and land animals—more than a million total— are driven to extinction.

    Due to climate change and food scarcity, up to 30% of bird species go extinct.

    Polar bears go extinct.

    Increased droughts significantly reduce moisture levels in the American Southwest, northern Mexico and parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, effectively recreating the “Dust Bowl” environments of the 1930s in the United States.

    The Amazon rain forrest is almost entirely gone. More than 2,000 native tree species face extinction.

    2200 – Scientific projection An Earth day is now 0.12 milliseconds shorter, as rising temperatures cause oceans to expand away from the equator and toward the poles. Water in the oceans shift toward the poles so the poles are closer to the Earth’s axis of rotation, which causes them to speed up the planet’s rotation.

     

    Time has Come Today

    I have to roam
    I’ve got no home
    My mind is blown
    The truth is unknown!
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    I have no place to stay
    Thinking about the subway
    The rules have changed today
    This world is blown away!
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    I have no home
    I have no home
    I have no home!
    No place to run
    I’m staring at the sun
    Thinking about the subway
    This world is blown away!
    Time has come
    Time has come today
    Time has come

     

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  9. Bipartisanship & the Lack of Common Ground

    0

    February 18, 2017 by John Crapper

    I didn’t write this but I agree with it wholeheartedly.

    Several of my conservative friends have said that we should “work together” with the president and the Republican majority because they won the election and Trump is “everyone’s president.” This is my response:
    •I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years…
    •I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.
    •I will not “work together” to build a wall.
    •I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.
    •I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from other countries.
    •I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
    •I will not “work together” to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.
    •I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
    •I will not “work together” to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
    •I will not “work together” to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people like killing them.
    •I will not “work together” to remove civil rights from anyone.
    •I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
    •I will not “work together” to slash funding for education.
    •I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
    •I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
    •I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.
    •I will not “work together” to support so-called “Right To Work” laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
    •I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
    •I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
    •I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
    •I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.
    •I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.
    •I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred and racism.
    •I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.
    •I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a “pre-existing condition.”
    •I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.
    •I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.
    •I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversight at any level of government.
    •I will not “work together” with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
    •I will not “work together” to give less support to government employees.
    •I will not “work together” to find ways for the billionaires to cheat the system.
    •I will not “work together” to implement a hiring freeze at government agencies.
    •I will not “work together” to suppress reporters’ right to ask questions the administrations does not like.
    •I will not “work together” to bully any country, big or small.
    •I will not “work together” to craft a message diminishing women and young adults.
    •I will not support anyone that thinks its OK to put a pipeline to transport oil on Sacred Ground for Native Americans. And, it would run under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of people. An accident waiting to happen.
    This is my line, and I am drawing it.
    •I will stand for honesty, love, and respect for all living beings.
    If you agree feel free to copy and re-post

    Marilyn Singer

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  10. Immigration Up Close and Personal

    0

    February 9, 2017 by John Crapper

    Immigration Man

    Crosby & Nash

    There I was at the immigration scene
    Shining and feeling clean
    Could it be a sin?
    I got stopped by the immigration man
    He says he doesn’t know if he can.
    Let me in,
    Let me in, immigration man,
    Can I cross the line and pray
    I can stay another day
    Let me in, immigration man
    I won’t toe your line today
    I can’t see it anyway. Hey hey
    There he was with his immigration face
    Giving me a paper chase
    But the son was coming
    Cause all at once he looked into my space
    And stamped a number over my face
    And it sent me running
    Won’t you let me in, immigration man
    Can I cross the line and pray
    I can stay another day
    Won’t you let me in, immigration man
    I won’t toe your line today
    I can’t see it anyway.
    Here I am with my immigration form
    It’s big enough to keep me warm
    When a cold wind’s coming
    So go where you will
    As long as you think you can
    You’d better watch out, watch out for the man
    Anywhere you’re going.
    Come on and let me in, immigration man,
    Can I cross the line and pray
    Take your fingers from the tray.
    Let me in, irritation man,
    I won’t toe your line today
    I can’t see it anyway.

    Songwriters: Graham Nash

     

    I usually restrict my writing efforts to issues connected with climate change but today I want to make an exception and write about immigrants and refugees. Their plight is up close and personal for me.  That’s because for the past 10 years I’ve been teaching them English as a Second Language (ESL).   In many instances I’m the first American citizen they get to know.  They rely on me for help and guidance.

    I love my job.  I get to know people from all over the world.  I help them learn English which is key for them to have a better life in the United States.

    In any given quarter it’s not uncommon to have sitting in my classroom students from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan among others.  It is my honor and privilege to be their teacher.

    Each student comes with their unique personal history. Most did not come to the United States because they wanted to leave their home country and live here.  Most fled due to war, poverty, persecution or discrimination they suffered while in their home country.

    Each night when they arrive to class they almost always greet me with a smile on their faces.  I know they are tired but they never fall asleep, work hard and appreciate all I do for them.  They humble me in their outlook on life.  Their problems, which I know are many, seem to not phase their positive outlook.  I know this comes from bearing and surviving their past unimaginable hardships.

    But life in the US for them is anything but easy.  They work in mostly menial low paying jobs right at and sometimes below the minimum wage and more often than not they feel obligated to take part of their meager earnings to send money home to their relatives.

    I try hard to maintain a cordial and comforting atmosphere in my classroom.  I find the more cordial the atmosphere the more open and sharing my students become.  At times they feel sufficiently comfortable to share some pretty poignant memories with the class.

    I recall a few years ago one particularly harrowing tale told by a student from Rwanda. He was Tutsi.  He told a tale of of his family hearing shooting going on all around their home one night. There was silence in one direction so they made the decision to head that way only to discover to their horror why it was so quiet.  All the inhabitants had been shot to death.  It was a tale of ethnic cleansing up close and personal.

    Ahmed, one of my current students recently opened up to me about his past.  He’s from Somalia and has only been in the country a little over two months which is just about the same amount of time he’s been in my class.  Amed was a nurse in Somalia working for two years with Doctors Without Borders.  Al Shabob threatened his family. Amed’s brother was shot by them and as a result is now paralyzed from the waste down.  Amed now cares for him.

    Ahmed can’t work in this country as a nurse but I’ve explained to him our school can assist in helping him work as a nurse again in this country but to do that he needs to produce his certificates and diplomas.  His family in Somalia is looking for them but he fears they have been lost in his many moves he had to make to remain safe.

    Sometimes I’m fortunate to be able to help my students in areas other than learning English. For instance last week Ahmed came in holding a pair of reading glasses with one of the lenses out.  He was trying to put the lens back in the frame.  I looked at it and quickly realized the small screw had come lose.  I explained he could go to any ophthalmologist  and get it fixed for free. He then went on to explain to me the ophthalmologist had given him a stronger prescription for new glasses but he didn’t have the $300 to buy them.  He looked up at me dismayed saying, “The doctor told me Obamacare doesn’t pay for this.”  I then explained he should go to a drugstore and try the over-the-counter reading glasses.  They would be much less expensive.  The next day he was sporting his new pair and thanking me profusely.  It’s these little things I’m able to do that make my job extra special.

    Another woman from Somalia came into class thanking me.  She had had to rush her daughter to the emergency room for treatment of a breathing disorder.  She told me in her broken English that the health vocabulary I’d taught her helped save her daughter’s life.  Apparently, the medical staff were on the verge of administering the wrong medication to her daughter.

    I recall, last year, when I took my class to a job fair specifically designed for second language learners.  Prior to attending I’d taught for weeks all the basic words connected with looking for a job and employment.  After the fair six students secured employment.  It decimated my class attendance but I didn’t care.

    I realize every day just how fortunate I am to be teaching these people.  They are truly the stuff making America great.  Donald Trump wouldn’t know about such people.  His only exposure has been when they serve him food in his tower or make his beds in one of his fancy hotels.

    Many of my students are undocumented.  I know because they tell me.  Our school has a policy to never ask though.

    During the course of my 10 years doing this I’ve had two students get in trouble with immigration and be deported.  One was departed because her husband got pulled over for bad driving and was found to be under the influence.  The other had a spouse that was caught in a raid at the workplace.

    Now my undocumented students are  fearful they will be deported as a result of the election of Donald Trump and his recent executive order.

    One student was so upset she had a bout of atrial fibrillation and ended up receiving urgent care.  Another student from Afghanistan was concerned  members of his family would not be able to join him.  Still another was in tears worried she would no longer get help purchasing her diabetics medicine and food stamps.

    We talked about it some.  It was hard to explain my thoughts revolving around the election results in part because I don’t truly understand them myself but also because of their limited command of the English language. Usually this lack of knowledge frustrates me a little but this time I found it strangely comforting. They wanted me to reassure them everything is going to be OK. I really, in good conscious, couldn’t do that.

    The trouble is I’m not sure everything is going to be OK.  These classes are free for our students. Will funding be cut for our program removing the chance for these new arrivals to learn English?   Will they have to pay going forward?   Will I be required to screen my students to insure legal status?  Will I be required to submit all my Muslim students’ names to federal authorities in order to place them on a national registry?  Will the US become an unwelcoming nation?  Will we let hate fill our hearts and succumb to bigotry and nationalism?  Will I have to watch as the INS raids my class?  Will pathways to citizenship be closed down for them?

    Their vulnerability to the circumstances in their home countries drove most of them to seek shelter and security in our country.  It is hard to see the fear in their eyes now.  It is very up close and personal and I cannot reassure.

    screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-10-47-pm

    screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-09-25-pm

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  11. A Poem for the Trump Times

    2

    January 29, 2017 by John Crapper

    This poem came my way so I thought I’d pass it along.

    TRUMP, a Seussian Poem…
    By John Pavlovitz

    In a land where the states are united, they claim,
    in a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name,
    lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump,
    the bright orange miscreant known as the Trump.

    This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man,
    with the tiniest heart and two tinier hands,
    and a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl,
    and a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.

    He looked down from his perch and he grinned ear to ear,
    and he thought, “I could steal the election this year!
    It’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won,
    I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!
    Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell,
    and I’ll be Jerk Messiah and their souls they will sell.

    And I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth,
    but I’ll say them with style so they won’t ask for proof.
    I’ll toss out random platitudes, phrases, and such,
    They’re so raised on fake news that it won’t matter much!
    They won’t question the how to, the what, why, or when,
    I will make their America great once again!”

    The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say,
    “They’ve all come for your jobs, they’ll all take them away.
    You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too,
    every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes blue.”

    And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed,
    He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus folk need.
    And celebrity preachers they all crowned him as king,
    Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.

    And he spoke only lies just as if they were true,
    Until they believed all of those lies were true too.
    He repeated and Tweeted and he blustered and spit,
    And he mislead and fibbed—and he just made up sh*t.

    And the media laughed but they printed each line,
    thinking “He’ll never will win, in the end we’ll be fine.”
    So they chased every headline, bold typed every claim,
    ‘Till the fake news and real news they looked just the same.

    And the scared folk who listened, they devoured each word,
    Yes, they ate it all up, every word that they heard,
    petrified that their freedom was under attack,
    trusting Trump he would take their America back.
    From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back,
    Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.
    And so hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait,
    all his lies about making America great.

    Now the Pant-suited One she was smart and prepared,
    she was brilliant and steady but none of them cared,
    no they cared not to see all the work that she’d done,
    or the fact they the Trump had not yet done thing one.
    They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,
    because Fox News had told them—and Fox News had clout.
    And the Pant-suited One she was slandered no end,
    and a lie became truth she could never defend.
    And the Trump watched it all go according to plan—
    a strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.

    And November the 8th arrived, finally it came,
    like a slow-moving storm but it came just the same.
    And Tuesday became Wednesday as those days will do,
    And the night turned to morning and the nightmare came true,
    With millions of non-voters still in their beds,
    Yes, the Trump he had done it, just like he had said.
    And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won,
    All the racists and bigots; deplorable ones,
    they crawled out from the woodwork, came out to raise Hell,
    they came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.
    With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets,
    with death threats to neighbors and taunts on the street.
    And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers,
    while the Trump he said zilch—for the first time in years.

    But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times,
    And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times,
    and he pouted a pout like a petulant kid,
    thinking this is what Presidents actually did,
    thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk,
    terrified to learn he had to actually work,
    work for every American, not just for a few,
    not just for the white ones—there was much more to do.
    He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,
    for the brown, black, and tan ones, and the ones who vote blue.
    They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,
    and those nasty pant-suited ones were here to stay.
    And the Trump he soon realized that he didn’t win,
    He had gotten the thing—and the thing now had him.

    And it turned out the Trump was a little too late,
    for America was already more than quite great,
    not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true,
    It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue,
    It’s straight, gay, and female—it’s Gentile and Jew,
    It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.
    It’s Asians, Caucasians of every kind,
    The disabled and abled, the deaf and the blind,
    It’s immigrants, Muslims, and brave refugees,
    It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves.
    And we are all staying, we’re staying right here,
    and we’ll be the great bane of the Trump for four years.
    And we’ll be twice as loud as the loudness of hate,
    be the greatness that makes our America great.
    And the Trump’s loudest boasts they won’t ever obscure,
    over two million more of us—voted for her.

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  12. Meet Bertha Boondoggle

    0

    June 23, 2015 by John Crapper

     

     Bertha – Drill Baby Drill! Largest drilling machine in the world.

    Definition of a boondoggle: An unnecessary or wasteful project or activity.

    Bertha is a 57 foot diameter tunnel boring machine built specifically to drill the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel. Bertha is named after a former Seattle Mayor, Bertha Knight Landes.

    Bertha started drilling in July, 2013 and tunnel drilling was slated to be completed in just 14 months (September, 2014). In December, 2013 Bertha had tunneled approximately 1000 feet when the machine hit a buried metal pipe left over from a previous drilling project.

    In February 2014, as Bertha was preparing to continue drilling, it was discovered it was overheating due to a damaged main bearing seal. Bertha was idled for repair again and not expected to be back in operation until March 2015. In December 2014 settlement of one inch was discovered.

    Public safety is our top priority, which is why we installed a state-of-the-art settlement monitoring system as part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project. Recently, that system detected approximately one inch of ground settlement near the pit Seattle Tunnel Partners is building to access and repair the tunneling machine. We have also seen the same amount of settlement on the Alaskan Way Viaduct; the amount of settlement lessens in the surrounding area.

    The latest timeframe for the resumption of drilling is now projected to be late July 2015. The overall project is now slated for completion in September, 2018.

    Alaskan Way Viaduct

    The history: The Alaskan Way viaduct was completed in April, 1953. In 2001 is was damaged by the Nisqually earthquake. In 2005, a group of researchers advised political officials to close the viaduct within a two-year timeframe. Several options were developed. The first was a six-lane tunnel.

    The tunnel was envisioned to solve not only the viaduct’s traffic limitations and safety problems, but also to allow better uses for the waterfront real estate, including parks, housing, and retail developments. While future development of the Alaskan Way real estate corridor may provide tax revenue for the city, many state lawmakers objected to the cost of the proposed six-lane tunnel.

    Another proposal aimed to replace the current viaduct with another elevated structure built to withstand seismic disruptions.

    Many prominent leaders and organizations opposed the elevated structure and believed this was a unique opportunity to remove the viaduct and connect downtown Seattle to the waterfront. Former Governors Dan Evans and Gary Locke, former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, and the American Institute of Architects[12] recommended against rebuilding the viaduct.

    WSDOT evaluated five proposals in 2003–2004 and decided that the six-lane cut-and-cover tunnel was the preferred alternative. Rebuilding the viaduct was retained as a backup plan.

    However, due to the costs and scope of the project, other options were still being discussed in the local media. A proposal to remove the viaduct and replace it with surface street and transit improvements was backed by former King County Executive Ron Sims,[14] the People’s Waterfront Coalition.

    They envisioned the waterfront becoming a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with a mix of commercial, retail, and public park spaces. Traffic needs would be addressed through improvements to existing streets, I-5, and public transit; they argued that these improvements would be desirable in any event. Proponents further argued that this plan had the potential to improve the tourist economy, create jobs, and encourage a denser and more residential downtown through the offering of a generous waterfront park. The total cost of removal of the viaduct, repairing the seawall, and improvements to I-5 and existing streets was unofficially estimated to be $1.6 billion

    State and city officials deadlocked in late 2006 over whether to build an elevated structure (the state’s preference) or a hybrid tunnel (the city’s preference). Governor Gregoire stated “no action” was not an option for the viaduct. The state government called for an advisory ballot on March 13, 2007, for Seattle residents, which was supported by the city council. The advisory ballot allowed Seattleites to vote on whether they supported a surface-tunnel hybrid and whether they supported an elevated structure. Voters rejected both options, with the surface-tunnel hybrid getting only 30% support and the elevated structure only 43%.

    And damn the torpedoes an undemocratic decision was reached.

    On May 12, 2009, Governor Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5768, authorizing $2.8 billion in state funds for a possible deep-bore tunnel. Controversy surrounds the tunnel project however, as it was never approved in any general election or referendum, is the subject of multiple lawsuits, was selected before legally required environmental impact studies on both the state and federal level were completed, and is designed in legislation to make Seattle-area taxpayers pay for any cost overruns, which is not the norm for state-level projects, which generally have their costs distributed evenly among all state residents.

    The approved design is a four-lane, 2-mile (3.2 km) long bored underground tunnel. It was originally slated to cost US$4.25 billion.

    And in a report appearing on King 5 news May 18, 2015 :

    “Damage to the machine was more extensive in some areas than anticipated and some minor damage occurred during disassembly, ” WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn said in a released statement. “For example, the outer seals and the steel retainers that hold them in place were destroyed. There was also damage to the cutter drive motor pinions and the main bearing bull gear.” The project’s contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, said they will not provide a revised schedule for when digging on the tunnel will resume until they understand the scope of the repairs. WSDOT says it will likely have a revised schedule for Bertha put together by June. Seattle Tunnel Partners and Hitachi are responsible for repairing Bertha. Digging on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel has been suspended for more than a year as Seattle Tunnel Partners try to assess and fix Bertha.

    No telling what the actual costs will end up being in light of all the ongoing delays and repairs but the title of boondoggle already applies to this fiasco IMHO. What do you think? Do you have a boondoggle in your area? The floor is yours.

    3:51 PM PT: Posted on Jun 5 2015 2:41 PM
    Seattle Tunnel Partners has begun installing the SR 99 tunneling machine’s newly redesigned seal system. Crews lowered the new outer seal ring into place Wednesday, marking the first new piece to be installed in the machine as part of STP’s effort to resume tunneling.

    The new outer seal system arrived in October and was stored on-site prior to Wednesday’s installation. The new inner seal system arrived last week and is currently being installed. Made in Japan by manufacturer Hitachi Zosen, the new seal system will be easier to access should the need arise.

    originally posted at Daily Kos

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  13. Daily Kos, Carbon and Washington St.

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    April 25, 2015 by John Crapper

    I’m the Daily Kos Washington State Community Builder.  Daily Kos is the largest progressive blogging site in the United States.  Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 3.23.02 PM

    This site is about addressing climate change along with the many other serious environmental problems we face.  In my role as community builder I’m doing all I can to address climate change within our state.  The following article was posted on Daily Kos just today.

    Calling on Washington State Kossacks to put some adrenaline into the mix. It’s time. Time for a carbon tax reality check: There are only two carbon pricing policies on the table in Washington State. One of them is Governor Inslee’s climate bill in Olympia. The other is CarbonWA’s “relief pitcher” carbon tax ballot measure, Initiative to the Legislature #732.

    The most important thing we can do as progressives for either one of them is to contribute our strength and our voice to the Carbon Washington campaign. But don’t take my word for it. Read what Rep Joe Fitzgibbon, the Chair of the Washington State Environmental Committee and a former guest last year at our Seattle & Puget Sound Kos meet up, recently said:

    … administration officials, House representatives and even representation from the GOP Senate caucus have been meeting almost daily to discuss the possibility of reviving Inslee’s dormant proposal. It would require Washington’s 80 to 90 biggest polluters to pay for the right to produce specific amounts of carbon emissions, which scientists have linked to global warming.

    …legislators have looked at signature gathering by the group Carbon Washington to put Initiative 732 on the 2016 ballot. I-732 would install a $25-per-ton tax on carbon emissions beginning July 1, 2017. The prospect of a blunt initiative rather than a more nuanced bill has prompted legislators to huddle about Inslee’s carbon emissions tax proposal, said Fitzgibbon.

    CarbonWA is starting to light a fire under our legislature. I think we should help add fuel to that fire – a lot of fuel. Personally, I’d like to see both CarbonWA’s initiative and Governor Inslee’s cap and trade proposal succeed, but regardless I want to see the temperature continue to be increased on this issue! The time is now!

    How can we help? Well, first and foremost we can contribute to their efforts. Check out the heartwarming crowdfunding video.

    Already they’ve raised over $5,000 in small donations (75 so far, none greater than $500). We can help by donating $22 in honor of Earth Day, or $150 to get a t-shirt, or $250 to get a t-shirt and a signed copy of Yoram Bauman’s Cartoon Climate Change book.

    We can help by collecting signatures. Their office is already filling up with many thousands of signatures, but they could use all the help they can get to reach their targets for April and beyond! There are trainings and kickoffs coming up all over the state (Lopez Island, Olympia, and Spokane on Saturday April 25, Port Townsend on T April 28, Bainbridge on W April 29, Vancouver on Saturday May 2, Bellevue on Monday May 4, Federal Way on Sunday May 31, etc.) plus lots of great events coming up, including the Procession of the Species in Olympia this coming Saturday afternoon, the Seattle Sounders game against Portland this Sunday at 6:30pm, and Nobel laureate and carbon tax fan Joseph Stiglitz at a sold-out Town Hall on April 28. (To get involved, email michelle@carbonwa.org for Olympia and laurel@carbonwa.org for the Seattle events). We can help by reading and sharing these new articles in Sightline and Real Change. Kristin Eberhard at Sightline didn’t mince any words about the Carbon Washington proposal: “Win.”

    “A steady and predictably rising price on pollution could usher in an orderly transition to clean energy for free for most households, with the added bonus of improving Washington’s woefully regressive tax code. Win.”

    And Alex Lenferna and Yoram Bauman have an op-ed (“Carbon Washington’s climate ballot measure will boost social justice”) in the new issue of Real Change: go buy an issue from your local vendor or read it online. We can help by getting inspired by CarbonWa’s Tales from the Trails

    Ian writes: “I came to the training at Bellevue Public Library on Sunday – it was awesome! It was really fun, inspiring and effective. I have 32 signatures already: I mailed my first sheet to PO Box 85565, Seattle [98145-1565] tonight. I collected mainly from PCC and Trader Joe in Issaquah, but also a couple of colleagues, my wife, and one random guy outside the library.”

    Ben writes: “I’m finding that collecting signatures for the initiative is easier than I expected. Most people willing to stop and chat agree to sign or take note of the CarbonWA website and agree to take a closer look. I have collected signatures at Green Lake and in Eastsound on Orcas Island. To date I have about 230 signatures. I have used a hook like “Would you care to sign an initiative to reduce the state sales tax in favor of a carbon pollution tax?” Usually a minute or so of explanation is required to explain the proposal. A lot of people are concerned about how regressive our tax system is and like to hear that the initiative funds a state supplement to the federal earned income tax credit.”

    Note: The information in this post, although not technically cross posted, was written using information obtained from this article written by Yoram Bauman, one of the Executive Directors of CarbonWA.

    Yoram is a PhD environmental economist (and “stand-up economist”) who co-authored the 1998 book Tax Shift with Sightline’s Alan Durning. I plan to pursue having Yoram as a guest speaker in the near future and I personally feel this is an excellent opportunity for Seattle & Puget Sound Kos to make a difference. Signature gathering pledges can be made here.

    The first diary I ever posted on Daily Kos was entitled “Time is Wasting”. Let’s not let this opportunity to make a difference slip away through our hourglass of time.

    Hourglass

    Related articles on this same issue: Competing WA cap-and-trade ballot initiative? A modest proposal to stop the insanity WA State enviro nonprofits seek to kill citizen™ climate initiative

    The Cascadia Climate Action Calendar

     

     

    Connect and Help Our Local Environment
    Seattle and the Puget Sound area have ample opportunities for concerned citizens to get involved. Because of the work of some dedicated people at Cascadia Climate Action it is now easy to find an event or organization that fits with your passions and schedule.With just one easy click on the Cascadia Climate Action Calendar you can easily review and find the perfect event in which to participate or organization you wish to become involved. You can even sign up to receive weekly updates of upcoming events sponsored by 350-Seattle, Sierra Club-Beyond Coal of Washington, , Citizens Climate Lobby of Seattle, CarbonWA and many other groups all now compiled together in one weekly email, organized into sections.
    Meetings/Recurring Events
    There are organizations and groups working on climate issues that meet monthly to plan, strategize, network and implement events and actions. These includeSierra Club – Beyond Coal Washington (3rd Thursday)350 Seattle (1st

    Wednesday)Citizens Climate Lobby (1st Saturday)

    Sustainable Seattle and other SCALLOPs groups

    Local 20/20 – Port Townsend GreenDrinks – Seattle (2nd Tuesday) and Bellingham (1st Wednesday)

    Recurring meetings are posted on the Cascadia Climate Meetings calendar. If there are other groups that would like to be listed, get in touch with them at admin@cascadiaclimateaction.org.

    Our group is the hub of a wheel with spokes emanating from that hub. A place where people can share their reasons for being part of Daily KOS. A place where people can inform others of their activist efforts so like-minded individuals can connect. A place where we can invite others to join our community. A place to make new members feel welcome and connected. And a forum giving us the opportunity to hear from our local leaders and us a chance to share our ideas with them. And a place to gather and have a good time. Join us!

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  14. North Cascades Highway – Photo Diary

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    September 8, 2013 by John Crapper

    North Cascades Hwy

    North Cascades Hwy in Red

    For the third year in a row my wife and I, along with another couple, traveled the North Cascades Highway to spend 3 nights in two chalets surrounded by farmland and open range.  As always it was a fantastic time. 

    The North Cascades Highway is part of The Cascade Loop described by National Geographic Traveler as “One of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives.”  I couldn’t agree more.  I thought I’d share some pictures I took during our trip. 

    Join me for a trip through the most spectacular gardens of all – nature’s own! 

    Leaving Seattle it doesn’t take long before a person is off the freeway and entering scenic country.  This is a picture taken only one and a half hours after leaving our home. 

    Beautiful famland with Cascade foothills in background

    Beautiful famland with Cascade foothills in background

    Within the hour we were seeing scenes like this. 

    Snow in late August.

    Snow in late August.

    We had our picnic lunch right here!  We’ve camped here before!  One of our favorite spots to stretch our legs and breath in the fresh mountain air. Haven’t had any luck catching any fish here but that is a consistent report when it comes to my fishing luck.  

    Diablo Lake

    Diablo Lake

    A short drive further east on Highway 20 you come to Ross Lake, a large reservoir spanning both northern Washington State and southwestern British Columbia.  High peaks surround the lake.  Ross Dam made the lake possible.   Ross Dam is operated by Seattle City Light generating hydroelectric power for the city.  The lake also serves numerous recreational activities including fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hiking.  The trout fishing in particular is well-renowned. 

    Ross Dam

    Ross Dam

     

    This is the color of the water!

    This is the color of the water!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we drive over Washington pass at 5,477 feet it doesn’t take long for the landscape to change into a more arid one.  IMG_2956

    Close to our destination we pass through the small touristy town of Winthrop.

    IMG_2964

    In just a few minutes out of Winthrop we arrive.  Two chalets off by themselves in a very private and peaceful natural setting. 

    IMG_2974

    The view from the deck of our chalet.

    The view from the deck of our chalet.

     

    IMG_2976

    The view from the deck of our friends chalet.

    I have seen as many as 38 deer in these fields at one time.  Suffice it to say they are everywhere around our two chalets and most often very close.  IMG_2966 IMG_2993

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And it’s not just deer.  Check out the eagle in this  tree a short walk from our chalets.   IMG_2983We love to go on walks in the fields and meadows while there.  Here are a couple of shots of the wild flowers dotting the landscape.  I have no idea what the names of these are. 
    IMG_2982 IMG_2990After three great days we headed back refreshed and rejuvinated.  But my streak continues.   After fishing in both surrounding lakes and rivers I once again came away empty!  Oh, but it was fun! IMG_3048

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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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