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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper Editor's Note: Hope you can join us. Yoram is a funny guy! -- John Crapper
It's time for a get together, catch up with each other, have a drink, eat some good food and be entertained.  

Where:   Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant
              1201 First Ave S. (across from the sports stadium - free parking if space    
              available)            
Date:      Saturday 5/30/15
Time:      12:00 - 2:30
Why:       Connect, Unite and help plan Action for 2015!
Cost:       $20.00 with selected menu TBD.  

I'm very pleased to announce we'll be having lunch with Yoram Bauman, a smart, funny guy with a great comedy routine that carries with it an important message and call to action.  I promise it will be an enjoyable and informative couple of hours.

Yoram Bauman
Yoram is a PhD environmental economist (and "stand-up economist") who co-authored the 1998 book Tax Shift with Sightline's Alan Durning.  
How did Yoram Bauman get started in comedy?  From his website:
In graduate school I blew off some steam by writing a parody of the “ten principles of economics” in Greg Mankiw’s best-selling textbook, and in 2003 my parody got published in a science humor journal called the Annals of Improbable Research. They run a humor session every year at the AAAS annual meeting, and in 2004 it happened to be in Seattle so they invited me to present my paper. I had so much fun I started going to open-mic nights at the Comedy Underground, and the rest is history.
Yoram Bauman serves on the Executive Committee of Carbon Washington.  Carbon Washington is a non-partisan grassroots group of individuals who are keen on bringing a BC-style carbon tax to Washington State.

Here are the four pillars of their policy proposal:

Reduce the state sales tax by one full percentage point.

Fund the Working Families Rebate to provide up to $1500 a year for 400,000 low-income working households.

Effectively eliminate the B&O business tax for manufacturers.

Institute a carbon tax of $25 per metric ton CO2 on fossil fuels consumed in the state of Washington.

In April they started signature gathering for their Initiative I -732.  Already they've got over 20 chapters around the state, including new chapters in Ellensburg and Spokane, plus college chapters at Whitworth in Spokane; at WWU in Bellingham; at UW Seattle, Seattle U, and North Seattle College in Seattle; and at UPS and PLU in Tacoma.Check out the complete list here on their handy map to get in touch with your local chapter!

I personally feel this is an excellent opportunity for Seattle & Puget Sound Kos to make a difference. Signature gathering pledges can be made here.

Yoram will entertain us and then fill us in on the latest from CarbonWA.  

Plus, we'll be on the verge of launching our Washington State Open Thread.  

Starting on June 7th and every Sunday thereafter, around 3:30pm PST, this series will post meaningful content of interest to Washington State residents encompassing a full range of topics including not only political issues of concern in our state but also articles that share the passions, special interests and unique experiences of some of our members.  

Already members have stepped up to regularly post to this series.   All our welcome to contribute.  

I've also been successfully reaching out to individuals I know who are not yet Kossacks asking for contributions including some VIP posters.  

So, May 30th will be an entertaining time with lots of news to share.

The sooner you can RSVP the better!  Your participation in our meet ups is very much appreciated.  You can either RSVP in comments below or by sending me an e-mail at johncrapper51@gmail.com .  And please, I encourage you to invite guests.  We want to share how special a community and group we have with others!  

Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support of my efforts too!  It is appreciated and uplifting!  

Hope to see you there!  

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.

If you haven't yet joined our group - do it.  If you haven't yet been to a meet up -do it. You owe it to yourself.  

Discuss

Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 11:32 AM PDT

April filled with Rallies in Seattle

by momomia

Reposted from momomia by John Crapper I’ve been busy lately attending a number of rallies in the Seattle area.  I’ve been joined by many others. We’re all saying Shell No!  

I learned the day before Easter there would be an "Encouragement Rally" in the West Seattle junction (a business district) 5 blocks from where I live.

Encouragement rally a family affair.
The encouragement part of it was to the Port of Seattle to rethink their allowing Shell to bring in the Polar drilling rig and all that entails to Terminal 5 on the Seattle waterfront. A group of about 50 people walked close to terminal 5 which is less than 2 miles from where I live. The plans for Terminal 5 are to dredge deeper for larger vessels to be able to dock, as well as refitting all there, big orange cranes included, to allow for the mega ships now being built/used around the world.
Terminal 5 at our left. Anyone want to buy some big orange cranes?
Terminal 5 is left on last leg of our trek
Terminal 5 has sat empty for a few years.
Even some woozles got involved
Great signs and good people
Polar bear spotted
Kyaktavist training I'm in the far right yellow one in back

A week later I took  "kyaktavist" training to participate in what is hoped to be a large flotilla, 1,700 or so boats. That will happen on May 16 with a large direct action planned for May 18 (Mt St Helen day).
This is entering the park
This last Sunday was a much larger rally at Myrtle Edwards Park. I was there for awhile and took some pics but The Stranger link has great pics and names of those who spoke.
Hundreds of people—one organizer estimated more than a thousand—attended the event. Leaders from Bayan-USA, Got Green, Gabriela Seattle, Greenpeace, Plant for the Planet, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation delivered speeches before the crowd marched south to Port of Seattle headquarters with big signs and a red kayak full of handwritten messages to port commissioners. JOSHUA KELETY
Some good crowds Sunday last
Had to get the Space Needle too!
I took some photos of these 3 events and want to share them along with some links from a few different sources who were there and have much more information.
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Reposted from Backyard Science by John Crapper

I took advantage of a spring minus tide to explore an interesting historical feature along the Bellingham waterfront and to investigate how the intertidal denizens were faring in and around this feature. As you will see, this is not a pristine Salish Sea beach, as if there were such a thing anymore.  However, in spite of 150 years of habitat trashing, there remains a remnant of an earlier ecosystem.

         2015-04-18 tin pile beach 012
                                                    The big tin rock

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you. Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Join me below the tangle of orange bull kelp to explore this bit of beach.
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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper Editor's Note: Important issue and initiative for Washington State. -- John Crapper

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.

Follow below the orange hairpiece to find out about other ways to help.  Thanks!

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Reposted from Pacificshift by John Crapper Editor's Note: Suggesting a constructive way to move forward to get carbon emissions under control in Washington State. -- John Crapper

Washington State faces the possibility of competing 2016 climate ballot initiatives.  A carbon tax initiative forwarded by grassroots citizens group Carbon Washington is already on the streets.  Another might potentially be introduced by nonprofit advocacy group Climate Solutions and its allies if an effort to pass a carbon cap and trade proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee in the legislature fails, as seems increasingly likely.  Here, Patrick Mazza, a founder of Climate Solutions and supporter of Carbon Washington, tracks the several-year trajectory that has led to the troubling scenario of competing climate initiatives. He also dissects the difficulties of placing a complex cap-and-tarde initiative before voters, and lines out a "modest proposal" to prevent the efforts from cannibalizing each other.  

Crossposted from Cascadia Planet

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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 09:30 AM PDT

The Blobs Are Here

by John Crapper

Reposted from Holy $h*tters by John Crapper

The stuff of science fiction movies is now here in reality.  When I read this article I just paused in shock, opened my mouth and uttered the phrase I always utter at such moments:  Holy Shit!

As reported on CNN April 22, 2015:  

Waters in a huge area of the Pacific are running 5.5 degrees warmer than normal!

A shot from the video showing the size of the blobs.  
(CNN)Marine life swimming in unusual places.  Water temperature higher than normal. No snow where it should be feet deep this time of year.

"The Blob" could be playing a factor.

Go below the orange hairpiece for greater detail.  

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Reposted from Pacificshift by John Crapper Editor's Note: Very important issue to be aware of if you live in Washington State. -- John Crapper

Climate politics is heating up in Washington state.  Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a carbon cap-and-trade bill to the state legislature.  But it is on life support.  Meanwhile, Carbon Washington, a group of citizens frustrated with the long-term inability to pass meaningful climate policy in the state, has just hit the street with its own ballot initiative for a revenue-neutral carbon tax.  Just as that happened the two nonprofits leading the charge for the Inslee plan, Climate Solutions and Washington Environmental Council, sent email blasts to their lists clearly seeking to depress citizen signature gathering in the vital early months of the effort.  They say they are ready to run an initiative of their own if they fail in the legislature, as seems increasingly likely. It could be a cap-and-trade. What's up here is less about climate policy design, though, than insider political calculus and a classic NGO-grassroots clash.  Patrick Mazza, a Climate Solutions founder and former Research Director, and a Carbon Washington supporter, deconstructs the politics in this cross-post from his Cascadia Planet blog.  

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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper Editor's Note: Going into 2015 with energy! Please contact me if you'd like to find out how easy and fun it is to start your own Connect, Unite Act group. -- John Crapper
Maybe it was all the closed major arteries into Seattle making traffic a nightmare; maybe it was having our first meet up on a Sunday rather than a Saturday; or maybe it was the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in full bloom; but the numbers for our meet up yesterday were a little lower than usual.
But it turned out to be one of the most productive and enjoyable ones to date.  For me personally it was great to have the chance to really have lengthy conversations with people rather than feeling so rushed.  

In fact, the conversations were so engaging we totally spaced out taking any pictures.  The camera sat on the table unused while we proceeded to solve the world's problems and plan for our group's future.  

We nailed down a few guest speakers to pursue, set the date for the next get together, reviewed some opportunities we have in our area to get involved and make a difference and caught up with our individual activist activities.  

The following Kossacks attended

momomia - I  believe she's got perfect meet up attendance
Flamingogrrl - an activist force in her local community of Tukwila
MiddleEaarth - a welcome new face and future environmental writer on Kos on behalf of Sierra Club
TBone Apollo -  Searching to make room in his life to contribute!  
LarisaW - President of Progressive Radio Northwest
bleeding blue - 34th Precinct Captain
notrouble - a welcome new face
John Crapper. - some people say I'm full of it.
John Crapper S.O. one of the people who knows I really am!

Plus we had one guest.

Michael Foster - Founder of Plant for the Planet in the United States.

Follow below the orange hairpiece for more detail on our meet up.  

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Reposted from E Johnston by John Crapper Editor's Note: Emily Johnston is a Seattle poet, essayist, and activist, published also in Slate, Crosscut, The Oregonian, and elsewhere. Her first book of poetry, Her Animals, is forthcoming in early spring 2015 from Hummingbird Press. You can follow her on Twitter, @enjohnston." -- John Crapper

Cross-posted from Truthout.

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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper Editor's Note: Announcing the next meet up. -- John Crapper
Hi everybody.  It's time for another get together!  I've discovered this is a busy time for the Pyramid so securing a date to meet was a challenge this time.  You will note our next meet up will be on Sunday 3/29/15 between the hours of 12:30 and 3:00.  That was the soonest date available on a weekend!  

Where:   Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant
              1201 First Ave S. (across from the sports stadium - free parking if space    
              available)            
Date:      Sunday, 3/29/15
Time:      12:30 - 3:00
Why:       Connect, Unite and help plan Action for 2015!
Cost:       $20.00 with selected menu TBD.  

I've been busy since our last meet up laying the groundwork for the launch of a new group on Daily Kos called Northwest Climate Voices with a planned launch in April, 2015.  Although this group is not yet active I invite you to join and follow now so you'll be ready to take part when it happens.  I'm counting on your enthusiastic support!

As members of the Daily Kos community we sometimes take for granted the influence our community has in this country.  Let me remind you.  
I'm working on bringing this power to the environmental activists in our area and designing it to be a prototype for replication throughout the country.  Prior to our last meet up I had a private meeting with our guests spending most of the time discussing different aspects of Northwest Climate Voices.  

Follow below the orange hairpiece for more detail of our upcoming event and an important time sensitive action you can take to help out our Puget Sound environment before our get together!  

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Reposted from ProgressiveLiberal by N in Seattle Editor's Note: That's my Congressman! -- N in Seattle


A Chinese proverb comes to mind—"He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself." Ed Schultz asked Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) whether the Republican bill to redefine full-time work in the eyes of the Affordable Care Act to a 40-hour week would have a severe impact. McDermott's answer was thoughtful and reflected what many feel will be Obamacare's ultimate great outcome.

"Well I think if you take in the big picture, Ed, this is in the longterm good for us. Because they are driving us towards single payer. Employers are trying to get out of participating in the employer mandate. They don't want to provide for their employees if they can get out of it. So they are all playing all sorts of games. And ultimately this 40-hour week thing means everybody—people are working 38 hours or 35 hours—they are not going to have to offer them health insurance either. They will come in to the subsidized exchanges and be a part of the federal system. I think we are moving to a system where business is trying to offload their responsibility for the health of their workers."

Ed Schultz responded that companies are racing to the bottom for taking advantage of Obamacare in some states even as they attempt to stymie their responsibilities under Obamacare.

Jim McDermott then got to the core of the issue. "I really think that the whole question here of whether we are going to have 40-hour weeks is whether the employers want to give health insurance to their workers or not. In my view they don't," McDermott said. "We are talking about middle-class folks who are working 24 hours a week in two different jobs to hold on to their house and their family and their education. They are struggling like mad. And we are not getting any help from the Republicans."

That last sentence from Rep. McDermott is important. When you hear many falsely criticize Obamacare for creating a part-time economy or that the Obama job market is full of the underemployed, remember that last statement. Irresponsible employers are using plutocracy-inspired government regulations to tailor the workforce to minimize the benefits corporations must give to their employees. It is a dereliction of civics and citizenship. It is for this reason government, "we the people" must force politicians with the power of our vote, not the power of not voting, to effect middle-class-centric policies. Single-payer healthcare, Medicare for all is just a start.

Discuss
Reposted from Karen Hedwig Backman by N in Seattle Editor's Note: Damn you, Rodney Tom... (Yes, I know he's left the Senate. But his putrid legacy will be with us for at least two more years.) -- N in Seattle

At present only six states and the District of Columbia do not have parental notification or parental consent laws regarding abortion. Republican state senators in Washington State are seeking to remove Washington from the six, including my newly-elected senator, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality Mark Miloscia.

SB 5289 - 2015-16 Requiring notification to parents or guardians in cases of abortion.
The Religious Tolerance site has a nice rundown of the pros and cons of these laws. The list for notification is short and focuses on control, control of females, control of physicians, parental control, control by religion. The list opposing notification is long and complex, including quite a lot of information about the health risks of notification laws. More discussion below:
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