Monday, May 4th, 2015 – Kent State Day

Monday, May 4th, 2015 -(11°C / 52°F deceptively sunny and bright at 10:45 am in our little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Cat enjoying cat food in a nice bright window.

Not the last photo we ever took of Domino. I didn’t post this one before because it showed how pudgy he became.

— Twice I got to choose a pet. In sixth grade I rode with my father when he drove a friend of his up to the vet in Trumbull to pick up a pet who’d needed extra care there. I asked my father if we could ask if the vet knew of any dogs up for adoption, he’d had a couple drinks earlier and he said, “Sure-” so I did and the vet just happened to have a fairly large young mongrel, white with brown spots, named ‘Reno’ who came ran me all around the parking lot on the end of a rope tied to his collar and then came home with us. We couldn’t let him run wild through our neighborhood so we tied him outside a couple times a day. He learned that a few short loud barking sessions would get him inside in a hurry. One next door neighbor complained. Dad took Reno back to the vet after we’d had him maybe a little more than a week. — I think I was just about 30, back living with my parents again on the advice of a spiritual Yogi. Working evenings in the post office. My sister Sharon and her first husband, Charlie, had puppies and offered me one. I knew that they wouldn’t live very long if I said, “No thanks-” and I wanted them both, but chose a female and named her “Lucky” My mother complained that she didn’t want to be the one who got stuck taking care of another puppy. I told her I was perfectly capable of taking care of her and didn’t mind at all. Another case of within a week, Mom and Dad jumped in the car to go visit my sister and took the puppy back with them. Brother in law Charlie shot both puppies shortly after that and shocked my mother, who didn’t believe me when I’d said that that could happen. Other than that, any time a pet came into my life it came because somebody else wanted it or somebody had to give it away. An undocked Doberman in New York state, Named ‘Rooster’ had scared a kid off a bicycle when he wanted to play with her and the kid’s parents threatened legal actions. I kept Rooster on property I was trying to buy up there and the neighbors made a big stink, I gave Rooster to a future Vet who believed there were ‘papers’ available. The Vet and another friend of mine contacted the woman I’d gotten Rooster from and learned that, yes, somebody had papers, but they weren’t quite legitimate and would have cost real money and a bit of moral quicksand that a future Vet didn’t want to deal with. The dog was a pure bred Doberman who hadn’t been registered at birth and the person with the papers registering phantom pups and charging people with questionable intent an unreasonable amount of money for those papers. And, my friends didn’t think they wanted to try to trust anybody like that. Other friends in New York had to get rid of a cat. I couldn’t have a cat where I was staying, another friend said he would take the cat and keep him for me until I had a place where I could take him back. Okay, well that cat caught feline leukemia very shortly thereafter and wasted away to almost nothing in a couple weeks. My life in New york fell apart shortly after that and my father asked me to move back home and help him out, so I did.

— One stray cat came and found me. She’d been in a fight and the first time I saw her one eye was a mess. I’d never been a cat person before this. But that cat found me every time I was in the depths of teen aged angst and depression. She got killed in the road while I was either in Vermont or away in the Navy. She was special. Every pet has been special. Trixie used to fall asleep in my lap as a wobbly puppy. It nearly killed me to see her in the dog pound after the same neighbor that complained about Reno complained that Trixie was digging up his back yard. A couple weeks after Trixie disappeared from the dog pound that neighbor came over and screamed at me that if we didn’t get rid of that dog he was going to call the cops on us, he’d seen it the day before digging up his back yard again. If I had the power to kill with my mind that guy would have exploded then and there. Thank God I don’t?

— And, other than that, any time a pet came into my life it was somebody else’s idea and somebody else’s choice.  But every one of them has been magical and special. When his doctor told my father he might be allergic to pet hair mom asked Sharon in Vermont when I was staying up there if she could take him. When we conferred with her husband and he reluctantlay agreed, we called back and said, “Yes!” And we were told it was too late. Flipper was gone. Too many pets were ripped out of my life by selfish adults. When Max the gray cat died last November, that was rough. We had seen him gradually wasting away and then in the last couple days he went quickly. Erin, my step daughter who had fallen in love with Max, especially because he was ‘older’ when they saw him in the cage in the animal shelter display at a pet store, thought that nobody would want him because he was an older cat.  So she gotr him and brought him to Mississauga, then Ottawa, then up to Pembroke when she was going to University up there. Then she transferred to WEstern Ontario University in London, Ontario, and Max stayed with us for a while. Then her future husband turned out to be extremely allergic to cats so Max stayed with us until the end. She came here to see him one last time and he went downhill really fast while she was here, he went that night. That was rough. 

— Maybe every time a pet leaves us is going to be rougher.

Young white deer and young normal deer in the foreground another normal deer in the background, blending in under the tree.

April 21st, 2015 – We’d heard that the white deer, the mother, who had been coming around with her mottled white and brown offspring had been hit by a bus and killed last winter. I think we’ve seen her and we’ve also seen this one, a younger deer, seen through the rain on the window here. Life renews itself. Earth abides. Silly people and their silly ideas fade away but love and joy and everything good about life is still here. Sometimes interrupted by brief periods of grief. There’s at least one more deer beneath the treem to the left of these guys.

— Argh! And thank you for the facebook messages of support and sympathy.

~~~~~ Jim

Easter Monday – Cold Holiday in Canada

Easter Monday, 06 April, 2015.  -( -18°C / 0°F with Sparkly snow and ice in the trees @ 8:00 am )-

Sunlight on Lacework branches

I’ve seen more spectacular visions of sunlight hitting ice and snow on the branches of trees, but Eek! I’m not used to 5 and 10 centimeters / 2 to 4 inches of snow at this time of the year. Global Warming? Climate Change? Or Mother Nature fighting back against a species that threatens all life on Earth? (Us?) But it is pretty.

— We had +56°F / +13°C weather on Good Friday. I watched a documentary on how many fish and how much other ocean life is disappearing from our oceans and remembered Edgar Cayce explaining that the dinosaurs had to go because they threatened all other life on the planet, and when a species or group of species threatens all other life on a planet – it has to go – & that triggers an extinction event. Life insurance ain’t gonna help ya, dud, I mean ‘dude’, or maybe I do mean ‘dud’-

Driveway on Easter Monday.

I haven’t shoveled since the last couple inches of snow fell, on – um – Friday into Saturday? First it didn’t look like it might be a rain event, then it looked like it would not amount to anything ‘worth writing home about’ Then it looked like we might get the 8 inches / 20 cm that had been predicted- Then mid afternoon on Sunday / Easter Sunday we were pelted with maybe ten minutes of what looked like a genunine blizzard which, instead of dumping a foot of snow on us, just kind of yawned and wandered off into the depths of questionable memories, feeling like, ‘hey – did that really happen?’ – Shrug –

— I have an insistant orange cat threatening to tear down the office door if I don’t stop everything and feed him right now. I’ll be back-

Snow, Ice, more snow, a couple objects and more snow.

Not my prettiest photo – This was taken from inside our porch. The interesting shapes on the lower left are chunks of ice we pulled down from the roof on Friday, covered with a little bit of snow. The plastic is still up on the windows and has trapped moisture here and there, or just made spots blurry. But almost all of the should-be-horizontal top bit of the lawn swing is visible out there, showing off its lack of horizontal-ness. I think the bar that the awning has pivoted on is about five feet or more above the ground. There is at least four feet of snow out there covering most of the ground.

— So, the cats have been fed, the dog has been out and back in, he lasted about two minutes before he began complaining that he wanted back in, which did not give me enough time to fill his bowl with ‘dry food’ after making sure he had pleanty of clean wet water. Then the cats had to pace back and forth and remind me that I could be shredded for less of a crime against cat-kind than taking too long to feed the cats and give them their favourite treats.

— Did I tell you that Easter Monday is a Holiday up here? Tell the cats I deserve a day off, see how far we can get with that one.

~~~~~ Jim

Brrrrrr- Friday, March 6th, 2015

Friday, March 6th, 2015 -( -26°C / -15°F  Sunny & Bright @ 7:45 am )-

Mom & 2 yearlings.

I shot this photo on March 1st. 2015 -with the telephoto function and the ‘sports’ function both active. Full sized, this looks more like a painting than a photograph, I shrunk it down here so it would fit in all our blogs. This is a mother and two of three yearling offspring. -Don’t know if all the children are hers- She is the gutsy-est member of the herd or herds that come around, acts like she almost trusts me. She will warily stand there while four or more younger deer turn tail and srpint off in different directions.  —jim w—

— This morning I woke up to ‘wump’ sounds, guessed that heavy sheets of snow might be sliding off the roof, I got up and stumbled around at about 6:19 am, and was surprised to  see how light it was outside. It felt like, at that time last week, it was still dark out there. When I saw the temperature outside was at -28.9°C / -21°F I thought the wump sounds were probably more like the house’s frame freezing in the cold.

Driveway, March 2, 2015

This was early Monday morning, March 2nd- It was still snowing lightly. But we didn’t get enough snow to merit a visit from the snow plows that frequently make it impossible to get out of our driveway here. One peculiar effect of this year’s snow, after what fell as light and fluffy stuff, the plows come by and give us a two and a half to three feet high ridge blocking the driveway, not with light fluffy stuff, but with hard frozen stuff, that isn’t really heavy, it’s like the weight and consistency of dry ice. -Weird- —jim w—

Snowy driveway

This is our driveway from inside the porch at about 8 am this morning, March 6th, 2015. Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of the driveway from our glassed-in porch and thought it was worth photographing and keeping somewhere- But I was busy fixing a broken bed frame (Yup, the dog did break the bed the night before. Our 125 pound Labrador thinks he’s the size of a chihuahua, and wants to sleep between us. The twenty five pound orange cat wants to sleep on my chest. Cathi needs her sleep to deal with her high pressure job and this makes for some interesting dilemmas, including bed frames that break apart at 2:34 am.)

Snow pile

Friday, March 6th, 2015- around 8 am. The pile that began beside the outside section of our porch now covers about half of that outside deck, and reaches the edge of the porch roof there. Before next year I want to cover the outside edge of the porch roof, back maybe a couple feet, with black metal to discourage the ice formation we got this year from thinking it can come back any time it wants to. I’m thinking we may need vertical bits of black metal high enough to catch the sun and warm up enough to melt any snow and ice that forms there.

— Yesterday I had felt a burst of optimism after feeling oppressed by a silly dry skin rash drove me to distraction for almost a week. And then Cathi sent me a link to something that led me to an article that might be ‘slightly out there-‘ but made a lot of sense to me. — I’m going to copy and paste that article here. Since this goes up on facebook- it will reappear there, but some things are worth repeating:

=====  https://sacredascensionmerkaba.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/urgent-message-to-ground-crew-total-solar-eclipse-march-20-galactics/

Urgent Message To Ground Crew – Total Solar Eclipse – March 20 – Galactics

23 Votes

SOLARECLIPSE032015URGENT NOTICE TO ALL OF GROUND CREW. A set of events that were set into motion resulted in a decision that will change the world as we know it. A few days ago I have received a transmission which is highly important for all of you to read. In it our Galactic Star Aliances talk about what has occurred and what is about to happen around March 20th, the “dark moon” as they call it, which is the solar eclipse.

Please be mindful of what you allow into your psyche. The times ahead are incredibly auspicious, everything that you want to happen will, therefore be careful what you wish for, and whatever you put into motion now will manifest very quickly into your reality. This is the time to create a beautiful new world, or rather restore it to the pristine state that it once were. Many in know understand the importance of these magnificent energies entering GAIA and so will try to pull your energy to them. Please focus on your now moment, disregarding whatever the media will try to feed you, in order to move your focus away from what you are truly here to do and are trying to achieve. The times between now and September are incredibly important. The more positive you stay the more light you can anchor, the better everything will be once we move closer and closer to September.

— I don’t know much about the background of the web site this was posted on. I’m not sure who the ‘Galactic Star Aliances’ might be. But when I wake up feeling a lot more optimistic than when I go to sleep I sometimes think I may have learned something while bopping around in dream land.

— Take nothing at face value, keep ‘reality testing’ any information you get, no matter how truthful  or weird it might sound at first- I’ve had the feeling that we have forces of light and darkness working over time to convince us that one side or the other has it right, as if they believe that whichever side can convince the most people – above a critical mass- of which good or evil future is coming our way- that side wins. I also had the idea that our reality might split in two with the ‘good’ people waking up miraculously in the ‘New Heaven – New Earth’ world and the ‘bad guys’ waking up to a nuclear winter where they can get a nice close up view of what their beliefs and attitudes can manifest for them.

— I guess we won’t know for sure until whatever happens – happens.

~~~~~ Jim

 

Sunday, 22 February, 2015 – News?

{ Copied & Pasted from Radio Free Earth News: ———jim w——— }

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Sunday, 22 February, 2015  -( +24˚F / -4˚C   w/ ‘light snow showers’ @ 7:00 pm near Ithaca )-  -( +18˚F / -8°C   & Dark w/ clear skies & Stars shining  @ 8:00 pm Closer to Halifax —jim w—)-   —  { Headlines compiled by douglas j otterson & jim wellington, with help from —jda— } { Some things change, some articles remain. Do you know where your survival kit is?  —djo— } { 5,352 new tweets since 10:00 pm last night –  aaaaaaaaa!  —djo— }

Yay Citizen 4, gaaa NPH

My favourite ‘Significant Other’ gave me the news that Citizen Four won the Oscar for best Documentary and Neil Patrick Harris tried to put the gay rights movement back a few decades by calling Ed Snowden a Traitor. “He couldn’t be here for some treason-” She says she used to like N.P.H. but his jokes are coming out way too mean spirited. & He seems to have forgotten that if it wasn’t for people like Edward Snowden, people like him would be jailed, if not lynched for sodomy and other ‘perversions and unnatural sex acts’  —djo—

Grumpy Cat Fairy Godother

Ack! This is what happens when parallel worlds collide. Run for cover! Aaaaaaa—– { Wink } —djo—

Jack & Ian

Cool, sensitive, intelligent beings- watching TeeVee- —djo—

Encouragement during failure is worth more than praise after success.

And a little encouragement is always a good thing. —djo—

War Is Over!

And a bit of Nostalgia/History – & Yoko just had a birthday. —djo—

{ Today’s Birthdays : — You can find all this and more at http://www.historyorb.com/today/birthdays.php 

February 22nd: 1403 – Charles VII, King of France (1422-61), drove the English out from Northern France, (d. 1461). 1599 – Anthony Van Dyck, Antwerp Belgium, painter. 1732 – George Washington, Westmoreland, Virginia, 1st American president (1789-97).  1788 – Arthur Schopenhauer, Germany, philosopher (Great Pessimist). 1857 – Robert Baden-Powell, founder (Boy Scouts, Girl Guides). 1883  Marguerite Clark, voice (Snow White). 1889 – Olave Baden-Powell, English founder of the Girl Guide (d. 1977). 1891 – “Chico” Marx, actor/comedian (Marx Brothers, Animal Crackers), born in NYC, New York. 1892 – Edna St Vincent Millay, poet/dramatist/feminist (Harp Weaver-Pulitzer Prize). 1906 – Gale Gordon, actor (Conklin-Our Miss Brooks, Here’s Lucy), born in Los Angeles, California.  1907 – Robert Young, actor (Father Knows Best, Marcus Welby MD), born in Chicago, Illinois & Sheldon Leonard, actor/director (Danny Thomas Show, Big Eddie), born in NYC, New York. 1908 – John Mills, England, actor (Big Sleep, King Rat, War & Peace). 1918 – Don Pardo, Westfield Mass, TV announcer (Jeopardy, Saturday Night Live). 1926 – Bud Yorkin, producer (All in the Family, 1959, 1960 Emmy). 1929 – Ryne Duren, near-sighted pitcher (NY Yankees). 1932 – Edward M “Ted” Kennedy, Boston Massachusetts Politician (Sen-D-Mass 1962- 2009 ). 1934 – Sparky Anderson [George Lee Anderson], Bridgewater South Dakota, American MLB manager (Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers). 1942 – Christine Keeler, English model and showgirl. 1945 –Oliver’, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, American pop singer (Good Morning Starshine, Jean).   1948 – John Ashton, American actor (Original Gomez on the original Addams family?). 1950 – Julius Erving, Nassau County New York, ABA/NBA forward (Virg Squirers, NY Nets, Phila 76ers). 1958 – Kyle MacLachlan, Yakima WA, actor (Blue Velvet, Dune, Hidden). 1962 – Steve Irwin, Melbourne Victoria, Australian naturalist and TV personality (The Crocodile Hunter). 1968 – Jeri Ryan, actress (7 of 9-Star Trek Voyager). 1975 – Drew Barrymore, actress (ET, Firestarter, Poison Ivy), born in Los Angeles, California.  (& I won’t tell) – Lorraine Armstrong Hildreth, Beautiful Person & Jim W’s cousin.     }

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{ Canadian Headlines : From :  http://www.cbc.ca/news  <— Link }

Harper Eats donkey shit.

I hope you can read this. “Born again Fascist Prime Minister guts Environmental and Consumer Protection Laws to fleece the economy of Canada.” —djo—

Fupp Harper

“The Secret Police Creation Act?” —djo—

Harper Leaves the PM-ship in handcuffs.

People are really getting angry with their PM in Canada. —djo—

Oscars 2015: Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons win for supporting roles   { * And I hear that Patricia Arquette called out for Gender Equality in the Equal Pay for Equal work department and lots of tweeters approve. *  —djo— }

-Live Blog- Oscars 2015: Join us [CBC] four our awards show viewing party!   { * Why bother? *  —djo—  }

Meet the researcher who wants to end the cancer that’s been killing her family   { * Then she better take on the AMA and the CDC and the Big Pharma companies who have been feeding us lies while hiding technology and herbs that cure cancer because they’re making so effing much money by not curing it when they know there is stuff out there that really works. *  —djo— }

Humpback whale freed from fishing lines after 8-day struggle   { *  Yay!  *  —djo— }

Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls photo taken on February 17th. I don’t see the falls here, do you?

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Torture

Asking if torture works might be the wrong question, but the answer is, “No- it doesn’t work. It’s pure b.s. and makes for good fear tactics, and instant mind control- that’s all it’s good for. Mind Control.” —djo—

Lock Out?

– Halifax, Nova Scotia – looks like the Chronicle Herald might have locked out its personnel. —djo—

Fred Koch - Nazi

A couple of my favorite prophecies lately include the one that says that those who believe that knowledge is power and feel they have a right to lie to us to keep that power to themselves will be unmasked and publicly humiliated, & stripped of all power. —djo—

Schnarr

Measles documented among the fully immunized.

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Weird

A Florida based artist has been told to stop selling miniature versions of the Super Bowl halftime ‘character’ sharks.

Offbeat News:

Moose on the loose gets police escort in Ontario  {  }

What goes into the making of an all-out hockey brawl?  {  }

Regina man goes to extreme lengths to answer online comments   {  }

Why shooting moose with paintball guns might be a great idea  {  }

Blowtorches being used to melt sidewalk ice in Windsor   { * I think I remember a really old issue of Mad Magazine suggesting various ways snow cleanup could be made much more effective and easier –  one of them involved flame throwers, but the ‘after’ frame showed an entire city under about 20 feet of water. *  —djo— }

Nestlé and Hershey pledge to make their candy bars healthier   { * If G.M.O. ingredients are involved, don’t buy it. *  —djo—  }

 

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Brrrr

New words to describe extreme weather? = “Freeze-nado” ? Works for me. —djo—

ERA & Patricia Arquette

I’m not watching the Oscars, So I don’t know what Patricia Arquette said or did, but it’s causing quite a stir on the ‘Tweet-Us-Sphere’ —djo—

Bad move, Telus

“Telus is cutting off its own nose to spite its face?” Or “Telus commits consumer suicide?” —djo—

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Brrrrrr

The Big Chill – Version 2015 – Hits the Maritimes-

Local / New Brunswick / Maritime News:

Weather warnings in store for most of Maritimes  {   }

Young cabbie looking for Fredericton’s Worst Drivers  {   }

Another Sunday storm brings slushy mess to the Maritimes  {   }

Saint JOhn taxi driver dies in car crash  {   }

Irving pipeline gets retroactive approval fro EUB   { * New Brunswick’s Energy and Utilities Board has granted an Irving Oil company retroactive permission to build an oil pipeline that the company already built without permission last year. *  —“Not Good,” —djo—  }

Larry’s Gulch review findings will ‘absolutely’ be made public   { * This is a New Brunswick ‘scandal’ that sounds way too much like a slight of hand distraction to take your attention away from something else. The Province owns a multi-million dollar fishing lodge where they entertained visiting politicians and invited newspaper reporters who were fired for conflict of interest violations. There also seems to be some confusion over when the lodge went from being ‘private’ to ‘publicly owned’ & where the line between private and public functions was drawn. The new Liberal government has decided that the lodge can only be used for functions designed to bring jobs to New Brunswick.  *** “Any time I hear a politician utter words like ‘jobs’ or ‘Leadership’ I know my ears are about to be assaulted by pure and utter b.s.” — Douglas Jay Otterson *** *  —djo— }

Energy East Pipeline construction training premature, David Coon says.  { * The Energy East Pipeline is a project that is being bitterly contested in Quebec. Activists cite dangers to wildlife, and say the claims of loads of jobs for local people is highly over-estimated and point out that New Brunswick will lose money in this deal unless they re-write the agreement with the corporations that will own the pipeline. And instead of refining and distributing the gas/oil the pipeline is supposed to deliver, here, they claim the resources would be exported, benefiting foreign interests at our expense. Oh, and Irving Oil stands to save and reap loads of money if this goes through. *  —djo— }

Mounting snow days leave schools scrambling   {   }

 

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Mohamed Fahmy Back to court in Egypt on Monday

Canada and the U.S. aren’t the only countries in this world that are in trouble with their Karma. —djo—

End homelessness now!

End Homelessness Now. It’s much more cost effective to give homeless people a place to live than to leave them out in the cold.  —djo—

{ “Perma-Link” to the above article, copied and pasted at “Child Of Light” >>—> http://www.aerendel.org/news/?p=396  <—<<  }

Yay India.

India is building the world’s largest solar plant. 🙂 —djo—

Eeek

It looks like more people every day realize that September 11, 2001 was perpetrated, if not entirely by- then with the help of – possibly rogue – US Government Insiders. —djo—

Yay Teddy R

Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican who championed anti-trust laws. —djo—

Eeek

Effective Cartoon, Surveillance State dark ops goons tear a hole in the Canadian Charter of Rights to further their godless power. —djo—

meanwhile in canada

Conservative Lies cast Environmentalist as terrorists. Well, if the conservative’s jobs are threatened by people telling the truth, maybe they should be in terror. Ya think? —djo—

Government Terrorism

Government Terrorism = “Governments have killed more of their own citizens than all the wars in the past hundred years.” —djo—

Schnarr

“How to gut oversight .101 – make sure the watchdogs don’t get enough money to function.” = Stephen Harper will leave the PM’s office in Handcuffs. —djo—

Harper's an idiot

“Canada Jettisons Rights and Land Claims in a bid to label environmentalists as terrorists.” —djo—

Schnarr

“Anti-Terror Legislation is aimed at labeling Environmental Activists as terrorists.”

Harper -5

The Harper government’s deregulations seen as the real cause of the Lac-Megantic tragedy.

4 tweets

From OccupyWallStreet-NYC & The Electronic Freedom Foundation, thanks to “—jda—“

Police State.

-Um, another theory: The ‘War on Drugs’ is a manipulation to keep the ‘street prices’ of drugs high so the C.I.A. and other ‘black-ops’ groups who traffic in those drugs to keep their budgets secret can really cash in on their highly profitable business. They do want a Police State, but the ‘war on drugs’ is just one more strategy designed to bring that about. —djo—

Human Rights under attack

Human Rights are under attack around the world, not just in the USA and Canada

Half Past Human dot com

Follow these links, even if you have to type them in manually, this guy is the real thing. —djo—

Gaaa

Strip Mining on the Moon?

4 Tweets

Here’s a page for ya- Wow.

bad news

“Smart” Phones, “Smart” Meters, “Smart” appliances, “Smart TeeVees spying on You” — “Smart”-Anything is beginning to = “Bad News”. —djo—

Why Are They Smiling?

God Bless Ed Snowden – And why do those guys on the right look like somebody has a gun pointed at their private parts? —djo—

Good Work Matters

Keep up the good work 🙂

Meaning & Purpose

I wish I said that- —djo—

Positive News

It is refreshing to see any half-way main-stream news organization showing anything positive about any group that has been targeted for divisive/’divide-and-conquer’ propaganda. “Women and Children First” was just one of many positive philosophical ideas that came from Islam. —djo—

Happiness flows from within.

“Happiness can only be found within” —djo—

— We should quit here and publish this fiasco before we look at the clock and realize it’s next week already and we haven’t gotten anything done in our ‘real lives’  —djo—

Saturday, 21 February, 2015 – News?

{ Copied & Pasted from Radio Free Earth News: ———jim w——— }

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Saturday, 21 February, 2015  -( +21˚F / -6˚C   Cloudy & ‘dark’ @ 10:00 pm near Ithaca )-  -( +25˚F / -4°C   w/light snow  @ 11:00 pm Closer to Halifax —jim w—)-   —  { Headlines compiled by douglas j otterson & jim wellington, with help from —jda— } { Some things change, some articles remain. Do you know where your survival kit is?  —djo— }

Switzerland

Switzerland 🙂

Bear

“Moment of Truth”? – Bear on a horizontal tree. I have no idea where this photo was taken.  —djo—

Jack & Ian

Cool, sensitive, intelligent beings- watching TeeVee- —djo—

Poetry

Lord Byron quoted. —djo—

Encouragement during failure is worth more than praise after success.

And a little encouragement is always a good thing. —djo—

War Is Over!

And a bit of Nostalgia/History – & Yoko just had a birthday. —djo—

{ Today’s Birthdays : — You can find all this and more at http://www.historyorb.com/today/birthdays.php 

February 21st: 1674 – Johann Augustin Kobelius, composer. 1728 – Peter III, Kiel Germany, Russian Tsar (1762) and husband of Catherine the Great. 1821 – Charles Scribner, US, music publisher (Scribner Catalog).  1878 – The Mother, Indian spiritual leader (d. 1973). 1893 – Andres Segovia, Linares Spain, classical guitarist, (d. 1987). 1897  Celia Lovsky, Austrian-American actress (Soylent Green, T’Pau-Star Trek). 1903 – Anaïs Nin, French writer (d. 1977). 1910 – Carmine Galante, Italian-born gangster (d. 1979). 1924 – Robert Mugabe, president (Zimbabwe, 1988- ). 1925 – Sam Peckinpah, Fresno CA, film director (Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs).  1927 – Erma Bombeck, Dayton Ohio, humorist (Grass is Always Greener…). 1932 – Harald V, King of Norway (1991- ). 1933 – Nina Simone, [Eunice Waymon], Tyron NC, vocalist/pianist (Porgy). 1934 – Rue McClanahan, Healdton Oklahoma, actress (Maude, Golden Girls). 1937 – Gary Lockwood, Van Nuys Cal, actor (2001, Survival Zone, Lieutenant). 1939 – Richard Beymer, Avoca IA, actor (West Side Story, Diary of Anne Frank). 1946 – Alan Rickman, actor (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Harry Potter) & Tyne Daly, Madison Wisc, actress (Cagney & Lacey, Angel Unchained) & Anthony Daniels, British actor (Star Wars – C-3PO). 1958 – Jack Coleman, Easton Pa, actor (Steven Carrington-Dynasty) & Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Princeton NJ, country vocalist (This Shirt). 1979 – Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress (Sarah Reeves-Party of Five).   1987 – Ellen Page, Canadian actress.   }

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{ Canadian Headlines : From :  http://www.cbc.ca/news  <— Link }

Canadian businessman jailed in Cuba returns home for 1st time in 3 years   {  }

3 U.K. schoolgirls suspected of joining ISIS in Syria   {   }

Mother of boy who died in cold thanks people for ‘outpouring of love’   {  }

‘Nearly married’: Letters by Princess Margaret reveal romance with former PM John Turner   { *  “- in the teeth of a vegetarian sea snail.” *  —djo— }

Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls photo taken on February 17th. I don’t see the falls here, do you?

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Anti Austerity In spain

How an Anti Austerity  platform can win in Spain.

Smart use of smart phones?

How to use a cell or smart phone without being spied on? Yay! —djo—

Schnarr

Measles documented among the fully immunized.

==============

Weird

A Florida based artist has been told to stop selling miniature versions of the Super Bowl halftime ‘character’ sharks.

Offbeat News:

Regina man goes to extreme lengths to answer online comments   {  }

Why shooting moose with paintball guns might be a great idea  {  }

Blowtorches being used to melt sidewalk ice in Windsor   { * I think I remember a really old issue of Mad Magazine suggesting various ways snow cleanup could be made much more effective and easier –  one of them involved flame throwers, but the ‘after’ frame showed an entire city under about 20 feet of water. *  —djo— }

Nestlé and Hershey pledge to make their candy bars healthier   { * If G.M.O. ingredients are involved, don’t buy it. *  —djo—  }

 

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Brrrr

New words to describe extreme weather? = “Freeze-nado” ? Works for me. —djo—

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Brrrrrr

The Big Chill – Version 2015 – Hits the Maritimes-

Local / New Brunswick / Maritime News:

Sussex explosion and fire investigated as a possible drug crime  {   }

Oromocto West still under a boil water order  {   }

Maritimes face more weather warnings for Sunday  {   }

Irving pipeline gets retroactive approval fro EUB   { * New Brunswick’s Energy and Utilities Board has granted an Irving Oil company retroactive permission to build an oil pipeline that the company already built without permission last year. *  —“Not Good,” —djo—  }

Larry’s Gulch review findings will ‘absolutely’ be made public   { * This is a New Brunswick ‘scandal’ that sounds way too much like a slight of hand distraction to take your attention away from something else. The Province owns a multi-million dollar fishing lodge where they entertained visiting politicians and invited newspaper reporters who were fired for conflict of interest violations. There also seems to be some confusion over when the lodge went from being ‘private’ to ‘publicly owned’ & where the line between private and public functions was drawn. The new Liberal government has decided that the lodge can only be used for functions designed to bring jobs to New Brunswick.  *** “Any time I hear a politician utter words like ‘jobs’ or ‘Leadership’ I know my ears are about to be assaulted by pure and utter b.s.” — Douglas Jay Otterson *** *  —djo— }

Energy East Pipeline construction training premature, David Coon says.  { * The Energy East Pipeline is a project that is being bitterly contested in Quebec. Activists cite dangers to wildlife, and say the claims of loads of jobs for local people is highly over-estimated and point out that New Brunswick will lose money in this deal unless they re-write the agreement with the corporations that will own the pipeline. And instead of refining and distributing the gas/oil the pipeline is supposed to deliver, here, they claim the resources would be exported, benefiting foreign interests at our expense. Oh, and Irving Oil stands to save and reap loads of money if this goes through. *  —djo— }

Mounting snow days leave schools scrambling   {   }

 

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End homelessness now!

End Homelessness Now. It’s much more cost effective to give homeless people a place to live than to leave them out in the cold.  —djo—

{ “Perma-Link” to the above article, copied and pasted at “Child Of Light” >>—> http://www.aerendel.org/news/?p=396  <—<<  }

Yay India.

India is building the world’s largest solar plant. 🙂 —djo—

Eeek

It looks like more people every day realize that September 11, 2001 was perpetrated, if not entirely by- then with the help of – possibly rogue – US Government Insiders. —djo—

Yay Teddy R

Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican who championed anti-trust laws. —djo—

Eeek

Effective Cartoon, Surveillance State dark ops goons tear a hole in the Canadian Charter of Rights to further their godless power. —djo—

meanwhile in canada

Conservative Lies cast Environmentalist as terrorists. Well, if the conservative’s jobs are threatened by people telling the truth, maybe they should be in terror. Ya think? —djo—

Government Terrorism

Government Terrorism = “Governments have killed more of their own citizens than all the wars in the past hundred years.” —djo—

Schnarr

“How to gut oversight .101 – make sure the watchdogs don’t get enough money to function.” = Stephen Harper will leave the PM’s office in Handcuffs. —djo—

Harper's an idiot

“Canada Jettisons Rights and Land Claims in a bid to label environmentalists as terrorists.” —djo—

Schnarr

“Anti-Terror Legislation is aimed at labeling Environmental Activists as terrorists.”

Harper -5

The Harper government’s deregulations seen as the real cause of the Lac-Megantic tragedy.

4 tweets

From OccupyWallStreet-NYC & The Electronic Freedom Foundation, thanks to “—jda—“

Police State.

-Um, another theory: The ‘War on Drugs’ is a manipulation to keep the ‘street prices’ of drugs high so the C.I.A. and other ‘black-ops’ groups who traffic in those drugs to keep their budgets secret can really cash in on their highly profitable business. They do want a Police State, but the ‘war on drugs’ is just one more strategy designed to bring that about. —djo—

Human Rights under attack

Human Rights are under attack around the world, not just in the USA and Canada

Half Past Human dot com

Follow these links, even if you have to type them in manually, this guy is the real thing. —djo—

Gaaa

Strip Mining on the Moon?

4 Tweets

Here’s a page for ya- Wow.

bad news

“Smart” Phones, “Smart” Meters, “Smart” appliances, “Smart TeeVees spying on You” — “Smart”-Anything is beginning to = “Bad News”. —djo—

Why Are They Smiling?

God Bless Ed Snowden – And why do those guys on the right look like somebody has a gun pointed at their private parts? —djo—

Good Work Matters

Keep up the good work 🙂

Meaning & Purpose

I wish I said that- —djo—

Positive News

It is refreshing to see any half-way main-stream news organization showing anything positive about any group that has been targeted for divisive/’divide-and-conquer’ propaganda. “Women and Children First” was just one of many positive philosophical ideas that came from Islam. —djo—

Happiness flows from within.

“Happiness can only be found within” —djo—

— We should quit here and publish this fiasco before we look at the clock and realize it’s next week already and we haven’t gotten anything done in our ‘real lives’  —djo—

Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 – Special Edition: End Homelessness Now!

Special Edition?  Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 – Why we should have ended homelessness a long time ago:

End Homelessness

This tweet led me to the story below. —jim w—

 

End Homelessness? – Copied and Pasted from an article in Mother Jones – March/April 2015 Issue – “Room for Improvement/Clean up cities. Give the homeless a place to live. And save money too? The shockingly simple, surprising cost-effective solution that won over a bunch of conservatives in Utah.” by Scott Carrier –  w/Photos by Jim McAuley

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It’s early December, 10:30 in the morning, and Rene Zepeda is driving a Volunteers of America minivan around Salt Lake City, looking for reclusive homeless people, those camping out next to the railroad tracks or down by the river or up in the foothills. The winter has been unseasonably warm so far—it’s 60 degrees today—but the cold weather is coming and the van is stacked with sleeping bags, warm coats, thermal underwear, socks, boots, hats, hand warmers, protein bars, nutrition drinks, canned goods. By the end of the day, Rene says, it will all be gone.

These supplies make life a little easier for people who live outside, but Rene’s main goal is to develop a relationship of trust with them, and act as a bridge to get them off the street. “I want to get them into homes,” Rene says. “I tell them, ‘I’m working for you. I want to get you out of the homeless situation.'”

And he does. He and all the other people who work with the homeless here have perhaps the best track record in the country. In the past nine years, Utah has decreased the number of homeless by 72 percent—largely by finding and building apartments where they can live, permanently, with no strings attached. It’s a program, or more accurately a philosophy, called Housing First.

Scott Nowlin

Scott Nowlin, 60, was homeless for 20 years before he was given a home as part of Utah’s Housing First program.

One of the two phones on the dash starts ringing. “Outreach, this is Rene.” He’s upbeat, the voice you want to hear if you’re in trouble. “Do you want to meet at the motel? Or the 7-Eleven?” he asks. “Okay, we’ll be there in five minutes.”

Five days ago, William Miller, 63, was diagnosed with liver cancer at St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno, Nevada. The next day a friend put him on the train to Salt Lake City, hoping the Latter Day Saints Hospital might help. For the past two nights he’s been sleeping under a freeway viaduct. He vomits when he wakes up in the morning and has gone through two sets of clothes due to diarrhea. Yesterday he went to the LDS Hospital for a checkup and slept for five and a half hours in a bathroom. Now he’s sitting on the back of the van in a motel parking lot. A friend staying at the motel let him take a shower in his room, but then William started feeling weak, so he called Rene.

“I’m one that rarely gets sick,” he says. “It takes a lot to get me down, but I’m all out of everything.”

“homelessness

He has bushy sideburns and a lot of hair sticking out from a beanie and looks as if he was once much bigger than he is now, like he’s shrinking inside oversized clothes.

“I had two cups of Jell-O yesterday. My buddy got me a cup of coffee and a couple of doughnuts, but I’m gagging and throwing up everything. I’m nodding out talking to people, and that’s not good.”

Rene helps William get in the passenger seat and drives him to the Fourth Street Clinic, which provides free care for the homeless and is where Rene used to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer. He knows the system and trusts the doctors and nurses. William gets out of the van and walks inside very slowly and sits down in the waiting room. Rene checks him in. “I’m a tough old bird,” William says to me. “I ain’t never had something like this. I’m just weak as all get out, and in a lot of pain.”

Watch: Hanging Out With the Tech Have-Nots at a Silicon Valley Shantytown

Then he nods off.

The next stop is at a camp next to the railroad tracks. A 57-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman are living in a three-man dome tent covered with plastic tarps. Patrick says he’s doing okay, even though he’s had two strokes this year and has two tumors on his left lung and walks with a cane.

“My legs are going out. I’m sure it’s from camping out. We were living in the hills for two years,” he says. “My girlfriend, Charmaine, is talking about killing herself she’s in so much pain.” Charmaine is a heroin addict who suffers from diabetes, grand mal seizures, cirrhosis, and heart attacks. “When we lived in the foothills we both got bit by poisonous spiders,” she says, showing me a three-inch scar above her swollen right ankle. “The doctor tried to cut out the infection, but he accidently cut my calf muscle.”

She walks slowly, with a limp. As Rene is getting Charmaine in the van, Patrick takes him aside and asks if maybe Rene could get her into one of the subsidized apartments for chronically homeless people.

“If she comes back here she’ll die,” he says. “Especially with the cold weather coming.”

Rene tells him he’ll look into it.

On the way to the Fourth Street Clinic, I ask Charmaine how many times she’s been to an emergency room or clinic this year.

Patrick Bartholomew

He lost his job, home, and kids to drug use. Now Patrick Bartholomew is clean and has full custody. “I can talk about my story now,” he says. “For a long time I couldn’t.”

“More times than I can count,” she says.

By the end of the day, Rene has met with 12 homeless people, all with drug and alcohol problems, many requiring medical help, all needing the sleeping bags, warm clothes, food, and supplies that he hands out. As the sun sets we head back to the office with an empty van.

“I do it for the money and glamour,” he says, laughing. “No, I mean you cross a line and you really can’t go back, ’cause you just know this is out here.”
We could, as a country, look at the root causes of homelessness and try to fix them. One of the main causes is that a lot of people can’t afford a place to live. They don’t have enough money to pay rent, even for the cheapest dives available. Prices are rising, inventory is extremely tight, and the upshot is, as a new report by the Urban Institute finds, that there’s only 29 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households. So we could create more jobs, redistribute the wealth, improve education, socialize health carebasically redesign our political and economic systems to make sure everybody can afford a roof over their heads.

Instead of this, we do one of two things: We stick our heads in the sand or try to find bandages for the symptoms. This story is about how Utah has found a third way.

To understand how the state did that it helps to know that homeless-service advocates roughly divide their clients into two groups: those who will be homeless for only a few weeks or a couple of months, and those who are “chronically homeless,” meaning they have been without a place to live for more than a year, and have other problems—mental illness or substance abuse or other debilitating damage. The vast majority, 85 percent, of the nation’s estimated 580,000 homeless are of the temporary variety, mainly men but also women and whole families who spend relatively short periods of time sleeping in shelters or cars, then get their lives together and, despite an economy increasingly stacked against them, find a place to live, somehow. However, the remaining 15 percent, the chronically homeless, fill up the shelters night after night and spend a lot of time in emergency rooms and jails. This is expensive—costing between $30,000 and $50,000 per person per year according to the Interagency Council on Homelessness. And there are a few people in every city, like Reno’s infamous “Million-Dollar Murray,” who really bust the bank. So in recent years, both local and federal efforts to solve the homelessness epidemic have concentrated on the chronic population, currently about 84,000 nationwide.

In 2005, approximately 2,000 of these chronically homeless people lived in the state of Utah, mainly in and around Salt Lake City. Many different agencies and groups—governmental and nonprofit, charitable and religious—worked to get them back on their feet and off the streets. But the numbers and costs just kept going up.

The model for dealing with the chronically homeless at that time, both here and in most places across the nation, was to get them “ready” for housing by guiding them through drug rehabilitation programs or mental-health counseling, or both. If and when they stopped drinking or doing drugs or acting crazy, they were given heavily subsidized housing on the condition that they stay clean and relatively sane. This model, sometimes called “linear residential treatment” or “continuum of care,” seemed to be a good idea, but it didn’t work very well because relatively few chronically homeless people ever completed the work required to become “ready,” and those who did often could not stay clean or stop having mental episodes, so they lost their apartments and became homeless again.

In 1992, a psychologist at New York University named Sam Tsemberis decided to test a new model. His idea was to just give the chronically homeless a place to live, on a permanent basis, without making them pass any tests or attend any programs or fill out any forms.

“Okay,” Tsemberis recalls thinking, “they’re schizophrenic, alcoholic, traumatized, brain damaged. What if we don’t make them pass any tests or fill out any forms? They aren’t any good at that stuff. Inability to pass tests and fill out forms was a large part of how they ended up homeless in the first place. Why not just give them a place to live and offer them free counseling and therapy, health care, and let them decide if they want to participate? Why not treat chronically homeless people as human beings and members of our community who have a basic right to housing and health care?”

Tsemberis and his associates, a group called Pathways to Housing, ran a large test in which they provided apartments to 242 chronically homeless individuals, no questions asked. In their apartments they could drink, take drugs, and suffer mental breakdowns, as long as they didn’t hurt anyone or bother their neighbors. If they needed and wanted to go to rehab or detox, these services were provided. If they needed and wanted medical care, it was also provided. But it was up to the client to decide what services and care to participate in.

The results were remarkable. After five years, 88 percent of the clients were still in their apartments, and the cost of caring for them in their own homes was a little less than what it would have cost to take care of them on the street. A subsequent study of 4,679 New York City homeless with severe mental illness found that each cost an average of $40,449 a year in emergency room, shelter, and other expenses to the system, and that getting those individuals in supportive housing saved an average of $16,282. Soon other cities such as Seattle and Portland, Maine, as well as states like Rhode Island and Illinois, ran their own tests with similar results. Denver found that emergency-service costs alone went down 73 percent for people put in Housing First, for a savings of $31,545 per person; detox visits went down 82 percent, for an additional savings of $8,732. By 2003, Housing First had been embraced by the Bush administration.

“homelessness

Still, the new paradigm was slow to catch on. Old practices are sometimes hard to give up, even when they don’t work. When Housing First was initially proposed in Salt Lake City, some homeless advocates thought the new model would be a disaster. Also, it would be hard to sell the ultra-conservative Utah Legislature on giving free homes to drug addicts and alcoholics. And the Legislature would have to back the idea because even though most of the funding for new construction would come from the federal government, the state would have to pick up the balance and find ways to plan, build, and manage the new units. And where are you going to put them? Not in my backyard.

This is when two men who’d worked with the homeless in Utah for many years—Matt Minkevitch, executive director of the largest shelter in Salt Lake City, and Kerry Bate, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake—started scheming.

“We got together and decided we needed Lloyd Pendleton,” Minkevitch said.

Pendleton was then an executive manager for the LDS Church Welfare Department, and he had a reputation for solving difficult managerial problems both in the United States and overseas. He’d also been involved in helping out with homeless projects in Salt Lake City, organizing volunteers, and donating food from the Bishop’s Storehouse. Dedicated to providing emergency and disaster assistance around the world as well as supplying basic material necessities to church members in need of assistance, the Church Welfare Department is like a large corporation in itself. It has 52 farms, 13 food-processing plants, and 135 storehouses. It also makes furniture like mattresses, tables, and dressers. If you’re a member of the church and you lose your job, your house, and all your money, you can go to your bishop and he’ll give you a place to live, some food, some money, and set you up with a job…no questions asked. All you have to do in return is some community service and try to follow the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. A system very much like Housing First—give them what they need, then work on their problems.

Minkevitch and Bate believed if they could get Pendleton to come on as the director of Utah’s Task Force on Homelessness he could mobilize the LDS, unite the different homeless-service providers, and sell the Housing First paradigm to the Legislature. Minkevitch’s agency had a close relationship with LDS leaders; the church had been a big donor for his shelter, The Road Home. Bate had worked with Lt. Gov. Olene Walker, who had just ascended to the governorship when Mike Leavitt was appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. He asked her to write a letter to LDS elders, requesting that they “loan” Pendleton to the state. She did, and the church leaders said yes. It was a perfect marriage between church and state.

Once Pendleton took over the task force, he traveled to other cities to study their homeless programs. But he didn’t see anything he thought would work, at least in Utah. “I wasn’t willing to go to the Legislature until we could tell them we had a new goal and a new vision,” he said.

Then, in 2005, after a conference in Las Vegas, Pendleton shared an airport shuttle ride with Tsemberis and got a firsthand account of the Housing First trial. Tsemberis bore his testimony, as the Mormons would say, about the transformative power of giving someone a home.

Kim Hansen

Kim Hansen moved into Grace Mary Manor in 2014, after 15 years of homelessness. Hansen, who once owned a restaurant, now runs the kitchen at another homeless residence.

“Going from homelessness into a home changes a person’s psychological identity from outcast to member of the community,” Tsemberis says. The old model “was well intentioned but misinformed. It is a long stairway that required sobriety and required stability in order to get into housing. So many people could never achieve that while on the street. You actually need housing to achieve sobriety and stability, not the other way around. But that was the system that was there. Some people called it a housing readiness industry, because all these programs were in business to improve people to get them ready for housing. Improve their character, improve their behavior, improve their moral standing. There is also this attitude about poor people, like somehow they brought this upon themselves by not behaving right.” By contrast, he adds, “Housing First provides a new sense of belonging that is reinforced in every interaction with new neighbors and other community members. We operate with the belief that housing is a basic right. Everyone on the streets deserves a home. He or she should not have to earn it, or prove they are ready or worthy.”

When I asked Pendleton if that struck a chord because Housing First seemed akin to the LDS Church Welfare Department, he was careful to insist that “the Mormon church is no different than other Christian churches in this way.” Whatever, he was sold.
Lloyd Pendleton is 74 years old, fit and spry with silver hair and pale-blue eyes that have the penetrating and somewhat mesmerizing stare of a border collie. He grew up relatively poor on a dairy farm and cattle ranch in a remote desert of western Utah and maybe has some cow dog in him.

“As a kid,” he says, “I was expected to do everything on the farm, from building fences to chopping wood to milking the cows. Every year I was given a new pair of work boots and a new pair of Levi’s. That was all my family could afford.”

He earned an MBA from Brigham Young University and was hired straight out of school by the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. “I remember my first day on the job, sitting at a table in the corporate headquarters, looking around and realizing everyone else had gone to Harvard or Yale, and I was just a country hick from Utah. It was intimidating, for sure, but I thought, ‘No one here can outwork me.'”

At Ford, Pendleton began to hone what he calls the “champion method” for getting results. Champions, according to Pendleton, have stamina, enthusiasm, a sense of humor, and they focus on solutions rather than process. Getting stuff done is more important than having meetings. A perfect meeting for Pendleton amounts to him clasping his hands and saying, “Let’s get going and not waste any more time.”

Pendleton asked Tsemberis to come speak to the state task force, which he did, twice. Then Pendleton called a meeting of “all the dogs in the fight” and announced that they were going to run a Housing First trial in Salt Lake City. He told them to come up with the names of 25 chronically homeless people, “the worst of the worst,” and they were going to give them apartments scattered around the city, no questions asked. If it worked for them, it would work for everybody.

“I didn’t want any ‘creaming,'” Pendleton said. “We needed to be able to trust the results.”

Many of the people in the room were uncomfortable with Pendleton’s idea. They were case managers and shelter directors and city housing officials who worked with “the worst of the worst” every day and knew they had serious personal problems—terrible alcoholism, dementia, paranoid schizophrenia. Something bad was sure to happen. There could be lawsuits. And who would be responsible? No, they thought, it will not work.

Pendleton, however, did not want to hear complaints. This was a small-scale trial, and he only wanted them to answer one question: “What do you need to get this done?”

So they did it. They ended up with 17 people and gave them apartments, health care, and services. They took people without a home and made them part of a neighborhood. And it worked, surprisingly well. After nearly two years, 14 were still in their apartments (the other three died), and they are still there today. They haven’t caused problems for themselves or their neighbors, Pendleton says.

The cost of housing and caring for the 17 people, over the first two years, was more than expected because many needed serious medical care and spent some time in hospitals. They were, however, the worst of the worst. Pendleton felt confident that, averaged out over the whole homeless population and over a period of years, they were looking at a break-even proposition or better—it would cost no more to house the homeless and treat them in their homes than it would to cover the cost of shelter stays, jail time, and emergency room visits if they were left on the street. And those “cashable” savings wouldn’t even include less quantifiable benefits for the rest of the state’s residents: reduced wait times at ERs, faster police response times, cleaner streets.

This is when Pendleton announced a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness in Utah by 2015. But finding scattered-site housing wasn’t going to cut it. To house 2,000 chronically homeless people, they would build five new apartment complexes. Around 90 percent of the construction money would come from the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, which gives tax credits to large financial corporations that provide financing for housing authorities or nonprofits to build low-income housing—an average 6 percent profit on their investment. It’s a rather complicated and circuitous route, but it’s politically easier than getting lawmakers to allocate billions for poor people. The remaining 10 percent of construction costs would come from state taxes and charitable organizations. Most of the rent and maintenance on the units would come from federal Section 8 housing subsidies—and, at the time, Utah was fortunate enough not to have a long waiting list. On-site services, such as counseling, would largely be paid for by state and county general-fund dollars.

It took the task force only four years to build five new apartment buildings with units for 1,000 individuals and families. That, and an additional 500 scattered-site units, reduced the number of chronically homeless by almost three-quarters. And nine years into the 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, Pendleton estimates that Utah’s Housing First program cost between $10,000 and $12,000 per person, about half of the $20,000 it cost to treat and care for homeless people on the street.
As anyone who’s followed social services can tell you, however, cheery annual reports can hide a world of dysfunction. So I go to see for myself.

Sunrise Metro was the first apartment complex built following the 2005 pilot study. It has 100 one-bedroom units for single residents, many of whom are veterans. Mark Eugene Hudgins is 58 years old and has brain damage. When I first start talking to him, I wonder if he’s been drinking.

“I always get hassled because I sound a little drunk,” he says. “My brain works a little slow. They drilled a hole in it.”

He had a motorcycle accident in Santa Ana, California, the year after graduating from high school. After that he spent 22 months in the Navy, then worked as a groundskeeper for the aerial field photography office of the Department of Agriculture for 13 or 14 years. He says he was homeless for five years before he came here, but he’s not sure: “My memory is a little fuzzy.”

“This is a nice place to live,” he says. “I put up with them and they put up with me, and it’s a good deal. I like it here.”

While we talk, two other residents come up to listen. One is in a wheelchair. His name is John Dahlsrud, 63, and he says he’s had MS for 45 years. The other guy looks like a weary Santa Claus—Paul Stephenson, 62, a Navy vet who lived for three years in the bushes behind a car dealership.

“The caseworkers are good,” Paul says. “They take us bowling on Saturdays. The apartment pays for one game, we pay for the second game.”

“They let you do what you want,” John adds, “as long as you keep things down to a minimum and don’t run up and down the halls naked.”

“Utilities are included, except for cable,” Paul says. “They gave everybody a free cellphone with 250 minutes a month. We get a pool table, a pingpong table, 60-inch television, eight recliner rockers. They give us food boxes once a month. I got 22 cans of tuna fish last month. There’s nothing to complain about.”

They each receive about $800 a month in Supplemental Security Income, and pay a third of that toward their rent. (The balance is paid via federal vouchers, along with some Utah funds.)

Over at Grace Mary Manor, I am given a tour by the county housing authority’s Kerry Bate—one of the men who helped persuade the LDS church to loan Pendleton to the task force. Grace Mary Manor is home to 84 formerly homeless individuals with disabling conditions such as brain damage, cancer, and dementia. You have to have a swipe card or get buzzed in at the front door, and there’s a front desk manager during the day and an off-duty sheriff at night. Bate explains that one of the biggest problems in giving homeless people a place to live is that they often want to bring their friends in off the street—they feel guilty. So there are rules to limit such visitations.

“It gives the people who live here a way out,” Bate says. “They can blame it on us.”

Tom Pinkerton, 67, from Red River, South Dakota, has cancer of the esophagus. He needs to have surgery, but first has to gain 10 to 20 pounds to make it through the anesthesia. (He has since passed away.) Howard Kelly, 44, from Denton, Texas, has brain damage from falling out of a car when he was a kid. David Simmons, 39, from Texas, was living under a bridge before coming here. I’m no doctor, but I’d guess he has some mental-health problems. Lorraine Levi says she’s “over 50.” Her boyfriend beat her up and broke her back. She needs surgery and is on strong doses of pain meds.

“The average person at Grace Mary was homeless for eight years before coming here, so their health condition is really poor,” Bate says.

On the third floor there’s a library with big leather chairs, nice wooden tables, and a portrait of Grace Mary Gallivan hanging above the fireplace. She died in 2000. Her father was a manager of a silver mine in Park City, and her husband was publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune. Her family foundation put up $600,000 for the construction of the apartment complex, matched by the foundation of the heirs to Utah’s first multimillionaire, David Eccles, who built one of the biggest banks in the West. From a window in the library you can look outside and see a gazebo for picnics and a volleyball court with evenly raked sand.

Bate introduces me to Steven Roach and Kay Luther, young caseworkers who check in on their clients every day to see what they need. They take them to the Fourth Street Clinic and Valley Mental Health, bring food from the food banks—pretty much anything they can do to help.

“The point is to have a service person on-site,” Bate says. “So if Sally Jo is having a crisis, we got somebody here who can help. Their goal isn’t to take everybody off the street and repair them and turn them into middle-class America. Their goal is to make sure they stay housed.”

“We have a guy who goes out to sleep in the park every month, and we have to go get him, talk him into coming back,” Roach says.

“There’s no mandate for participation in substance abuse or mental-health care, but we can certainly encourage it,” Luther says. “We had one guy who got completely clean from heroin and is off working in a furniture store.”

Bate shows me an empty apartment, a fairly spartan studio with linoleum floors, new sheets on the bed, the kitchen stocked with canned food, silverware, plates, etc.

“The church donated all of this,” Bate says. “Before we opened up, volunteers from the local Mormon ward came over and assembled all the furniture. It was overwhelming. For the first several years we were open, the LDS church made weekly food deliveries—everything from meat to butter and cheese. It wasn’t just dried beans—it was good stuff.” (The Utah Food Bank now makes weekly deliveries.)

I ask him if this is why the programs work so well in Utah—because of church donations.

“If the LDS church was not into it, the money would be missed, for sure,” he says, “but it’s church leadership that’s immensely important. If the word gets out that the church is behind something, it removes a lot of barriers.”

“homelessness

“Why do you think they do it?” I ask.

“Oh,” he says, “I think they believe all that stuff in the New Testament about helping the poor. That’s kind of crazy for a religion, I know, but I think they take it quite seriously.”

“Do you think you can meet the goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Utah by 2015?” I ask.

“Yes,” Bate says, “we have a little less than 272 remaining unhoused, and that’s a number you can wrap your head around. Not like California and other places.”

“So do you think your success can be duplicated in other places?”

“I think it can be duplicated,” he replies. “San Francisco has Silicon Valley. Seattle has Bill Gates. Almost all of our larger cities have local philanthropic organizations that can help a lot with funding and building community support.”
And that’s the question, isn’t it? Can Housing First scale to areas where land and services are expensive, where NIMBYs are accordingly more powerful, places where the full organizational zeal and experience of the LDS church aren’t in evidence, and where data about the benefits of offering the homeless a permanent residence might not withstand the whims of politicians? In New York City, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled out a well-regarded Housing First program focusing on mentally ill individuals. But he then gutted housing subsidies for the general homeless population, including families, after saying he thought they promoted passivity instead of “client responsibility.” Today, homelessness is the highest since the Great Depression, with 60,000 New Yorkers—including 26,000 children—on the streets, in the subway tunnels, and in the city’s sprawling network of 255 shelters, conveniently located far from the playgrounds of the 1 percent. “Every month I get a paper from Welfare saying how much they just paid for me and my two kids to stay in our one room in this shelter. $3,444! Every month!” one exasperated mom told The New Yorker. “Give me $900 and I’ll find me and my kids an apartment, I promise you.” The new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has pledged to reinvest in supportive and affordable housing, but 1 in 5 residents now live below the poverty line, and demand is high.

But the real test case might be California, where 20 percent of the nation’s homeless live. Los Angeles has 34,393 homeless people, more than a quarter of whom are chronically so. San Francisco has 6,408 homeless, Santa Clara County—home to San Jose and the greater Silicon Valley—has 7,567, and housing costs are among the highest in the nation. It takes three minimum-wage jobs to pay for an average one-bedroom apartment there. Tax credits for construction and Section 8 vouchers for rent don’t come close to the actual costs.

That’s the dilemma facing Jennifer Loving, the executive director of Destination: Home, a public-private partnership spearheading Santa Clara’s Housing First program. As in Utah, the leaders of Santa Clara’s initiative were able to marshal different agencies, nonprofits, and private groups, unifying their vision and goals to house the chronically homeless. “At first, it was tough to move out of the shelter way of doing things. It was new to all sit around the same table and change the way the system responds to homelessness,” Loving says.

Like Pendleton, they addressed the chronically homeless cases first. In 2011, in conjunction with a national effort called 100,000 Homes, they began a trial to house 1,000 people who’d been homeless for an average of 18 years and estimated to cost the system upward of $60,000 a year. “Our motto was, ‘Whatever it takes,'” Loving says. “We built the plane as we were flying it.” That meant lots of innovation along the way, such as creating a $100,000 flex fund to do things like pay off small dings on people’s credit, so they could qualify for vouchers and establish rental history: “So if Bob has an eight-year-old violation on his credit history, we’d just pay that off,” Loving says.

By the end of 2014, they had housed 840 people in apartments scattered around the county. The remaining 100 or so have rental subsidies but can’t find a place to live due to exceptionally high occupancy rates. Still, the trial was considered a big success—in part because supported housing only cost an estimated $25,000 per person—and Santa Clara County has now officially adopt­ed the Housing First model. “We made a system out of nothing, and we used it like an assembly line to house people,” Loving says. “And the only thing in our way is the high cost of housing stock.”

So now they’re embarking on a five-year plan to house the county’s remaining 6,000 homeless. First, they’ve launched an extensive study on exactly how much homelessness actually costs taxpayers. Those costs are very hard to determine: There are so many agencies involved—hospitals, jails, police, detox centers, mental-health clinics, shelters, service providers—and they all keep separate records, separate sets of data used for separate purposes, all run on separate pieces of software. “Each department has an information system and a team that looks at the data,” says Ky Le, director of the Office of Supportive Housing for Santa Clara. “They have small teams who know their data best, how it’s configured and why, what’s accurate and what’s not.” Ky says that merging datasets has been “a tremendous effort,” but by integrating and analyzing it, Santa Clara hopes to better understand who’s already a “frequent flier” of clinics and jails, and, more tantalizingly, to develop an early warning system for who is likely to become one, and how they can be housed and cared for in the most cost-effective manner.

New housing needs to be found, or built, but with the market so tight, finding housing—any housing—is a huge challenge, one made worse when Gov. Jerry Brown slashed all $1.7 billion of the state’s redevelopment funds during the 2011 budget crisis. (Those funds have not rematerialized now that California has a huge budget surplus.) So they’re getting creative—”tiny homes, pod housing, stackable—we’re looking at it all,” Loving says. And they’re employing creative financing efforts, like “pay-for-success” bonds, in which investors (mostly foundations) would stake the construction funds and get a small return if the savings materialize for the county.

Madeline Wesson

After a year and a half on the streets of Salt Lake City, Madeline Wesson, 63, moved into Grace Mary Manor when it opened. Seven years later, it’s still home.

Advocates estimate it could take up to a billion dollars, half from grants and philanthropy, the other half in the form of county land and services. “The work we’re going to be doing in the next year,” Loving says, “is determining where and how to create new units and how much they are going to cost and where we can get the resources from—whether it’s private or public money. The money is all here. We have eBay, Adobe, Applied Materials, Google.” The hope is that the emphasis on quantified efficiency will persuade tech firms and billionaires obsessed with metrics that Housing First is a solid civic investment. “It’s fascinating because we have this problem we could totally solve if we wanted to,” Loving says. “We solve complicated problems all the time, right? Silicon Valley is an example of solving complicated problems all the time.”

If places as different—economically, demographically, politically—as Salt Lake City and Santa Clara County can make Housing First work, is there any place that can’t? To be sure, the return on investment will vary, depending on how you count the various benefits of fewer people living in the streets, clogging emergency rooms, and crowding jails. But the overall equation is clear: “Ironically, ending homelessness is actually cheaper than continuing to treat the problem. This would not only benefit the people who are homeless; it would be healing for the rest of us to live in a more compassionate and just nation,” Tsemberis says. “It’s not a matter of whether we know how to fix the problem. Homelessness is not a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s where we don’t yet have a cure. We have the cure for homelessness—it’s housing. What we lack is political will.”

 

Monday, 16 February, 2015 – News?

{ Copied & Pasted from Radio Free Earth News: ———jim w——— }

========================

Monday, 16 February, 2015  -( +4˚F / -16˚C  & overcast @ 4:00 pm near Ithaca )-  -( +12˚F / -11˚C   & cloudy  @ 5:00pm Closer to Halifax —jim w—)-   —  { Headlines compiled by douglas j otterson & jim wellington, with help from —jda— } { Some things change, some articles remain. Do you know where your survival kit is?  —djo— } { & Doug tells me he had some problems trying to get this done this evening. Let’s see how we do at this end?  —jim w— }

Web Cam Shot

Between 4 and 4:05 pm – WebCam shot overlooking Ithaca from one of the towers at Cornell U.

2015-feb-16-FredBridgeCam540pm

Looking north from Fredericton’s Downtown side of the Westmorland Street Bridge @ 5:40 pm today.

{ Weather News? Both New York State and New Brunswick have survived the latest major snow storm event. New Brunswick probably got hit harder than New York State did. }

 

{ Today’s Birthdays : — You can find all this and more at http://www.historyorb.com/today/birthdays.php 

February 16th: 1866- Johann Strauss, Austria, composer (Waltz King). 1884- Robert Flaherty, Mich, father of documentary film (Nanook of North). 1903- Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist (Charlie McCarthy), born in Chicago, Illinois.  1909- Hugh Beaumont, Lawrence Ks, actor (Ward Cleaver-Leave it to Beaver) & Richard McDonald, American fast food pioneer (d. 1998). 1911 Hal Porter, Australia, writer (Tilted Cross, Paper Chase). 1912 Machito “Frank Grillo”, Florida, bandleader (created salsa music). 1925 or 1926- John Schlesinger, director (Midnight Cowboy, Darling), born in London, England. 1935- Sonny Bono, vocalist (Sonny & Cher)/(Rep-R-Ca, 1995-98), born in Detroit, Michigan. 1954 – Margaux Hemingway, Portland Or, actress (Lipstick, They Call Me Bruce). 1957 – LeVar Burton, Landstuhl Germany, (Roots, Star Trek Next Generation).  1958- Ice-T [Tracy Marrow], Newark, New Jersey, American rapper and actor (New Jack City, Tank Girl, Crazy Six) & Lisa Loring, actress (As the World Turns, Wednesday-Addams Family) (The original Wednesday Addams on the TeeVee show). 1959 – John McEnroe, Wiesbaden, Germany, American tennis great (US Open 1979-81, 84 Wimb 1981, 83, 84). 1964 – Christopher Eccleston, English actor (Dr Who, Heroes). 1998 – Mr Jefferson, Virginia, 1st cloned calf.  }

==============

{ Canadian Headlines : From :  http://www.cbc.ca/news  <— Link }

Ottawa drops back-to-work legislation as CP Rail, Union end strike   { * I capitalized “Union” cbc news didn’t.  *  —djo— }

Student says U of T failed to help her avoid attacker   {* The University of Toronto is investigating the way it handled a report of sexual assault after a student says the school failed to help her avoid her attacker in classes she shared with him, CBC News has learned. * —djo— }

Lesley Gore, singer of ‘It’s My Party’ and ‘You Don’t Own Me’, dead at 68   { * I remember seeing her on a local -New Jersey/New York City area- Rock and Roll teevee program, after lip-syncing one of her hits – smile and give the host of the program a list of reasons why she would make the perfect girl friend for Paul McCartney. One of her reasons was that they were both left handed. * —djo— }

RCMP accused of helping mother abduct baby to Australia   { * The father is suing the RCMP, alleging the force helped her commit a criminal offence.  *  —djo— }

==============

Weird

A Florida based artist has been told to stop selling miniature versions of the Super Bowl halftime ‘character’ sharks.

Offbeat News:

RCMP find stranded seal near Highway 9 in Newtown, N.S.   {  }

Cocaine found in pocket of jacket at Value Village   {  }

Mark Critch locks lips with Danny Williams for IceCaps’s kiss cam   {   }

Scorpion on a plane: Woman stung before flight takes off   {  }

==============

Brrrrrr

-The Big Chill – Version 2015 – Hits the Maritimes-

Local / New Brunswick / Maritime News:

2 Moncton Times & Transcript editors out after ethics probe   {   }

New Brunswick couple stranded in SUV in P.E.I. for 24 hours   {    }

Weekend storm blankets parts of Maritimes with 60 cm of snow   {   }

Moncton’s Claude Gauthier loses Mars One bid   { * & Doug Otterson is singing “Mars Needs Ice-Holes, Lets Send Stephen Harper” *  —jim w— }

==============

2016 US Federal Elections?

Some of the most accurate ‘prognosticators’/Futurists/’psychics’ believe there won’t be an election in 2016. Some say there will be a Fascist regime which will have declared Martial Law in the USA. Others believe the USA will be paralyzed from strife and infrastructure collapse and won’t be able to function. —djo—

Sunrise - Lions

I thought I should pop something that isn’t completely negative in here before things get out of hand… —djo—

Thunder Snow Reaction

Thunder snow Jim Cantore- the weather channel guy’s reaction in Boston, Mass.

Space Shot

Another non-negative thing, unless this is a galaxy some black ops group just blew up or something… wink —djo—

Leaky Fracking Type Wells & Govt Nonsense

I believe I will need to copy and paste this story below this Re-Tweet. One Comment reads, “Huge North Dakota fail and sell out to Big Oil!!”

 

{     – http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/region/3680221-leaky-saltwater-disposal-wells-allowed-inject-fluid-underground-anyway-review :

Leaky saltwater-disposal wells allowed to inject fluid underground anyway, review shows

DICKINSON, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas has allowed saltwater-disposal wells to continue injecting fluid underground even as mechanical integrity tests – meant to detect weaknesses in the well’s construction – have indicated leaks in parts of the wells’ multiple layers of casing.

—Adverisements deleted—

A review of 449 well files and more than 2,090 mechanical integrity test reports show how state officials conditionally approve disposal wells even after they don’t meet widely accepted pressure testing standards.

Like oil and gas wells, disposal wells consist of multiple layers of steel and concrete tubing that stretch past layers of soil, rock and aquifers, thousands of feet underground. But instead of carrying oil and gas to the surface, injection wells pressurize saltwater – commonly referred to as produced water – shooting it back underground into porous geological formations.

GRAPHIC: Saltwater disposal wells

While the records don’t document any instances of groundwater contamination, they highlight how the agency has allowed wells with structural problems to operate, sometimes for years, even though guidance documents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommend wells with significant pressure losses be repaired within 270 days and that wells with less than two viable layers of casing be shut down during that time.

Officials with the Division of Oil and Gas said they have the authority to approve the wells for use because they were given primary enforcement responsibilities by the EPA, and that the conditional approval of wells are not considered test failures, suggesting the EPA guidance doesn’t apply to those cases.

Mark Bohrer, the agency’s underground injection control manager, said decisions to conditionally approve wells that lose pressure during testing were based on geology and petroleum engineering, and that if there was any threat to drinking water, the wells would be shut down.

“If we had any inkling that there would be contamination of (U.S. drinking water), the well would be shut in,” Bohrer said. “That is the last thing I want to do is contaminate somebody’s freshwater well.”

However, a review of state and federal documents, as well as interviews with geologists, engineers, environmental policy experts and lawyers who have litigated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, suggests the agency is loosely interpreting guidance and protocols that are meant to maintain the multiple layers of protection that separate aquifers from the toxic saltwater.

In parts of North Dakota, rural landowners rely on underground aquifers as a source of drinking water for themselves and their livestock.

“The reason well integrity is important is because if you develop some sort of leak then you could have fluid that moves, in the worst case, up to an aquifer,” said William Fleckenstein, a professor of petroleum engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. “Typically, that is what you are trying to avoid with the variety of integrity tests that are done.”

While saltwater spills on the surface can contaminate soil, leaving behind withered crops and barren patches of land, scientists have found that saltwater contamination of an aquifer can last for decades, with no economically feasible way to clean it up.

“It doesn’t just flush out and disappear,” said Joanna Thamke, a hydrologist with theU.S. Geological Survey, who has studied saltwater contamination of aquifers in Montana and North Dakota.

Saltwater is a mixture of hydraulic fracturing fluid – the water and proprietary chemicals that companies use to break apart shale deposits deep underground – and produced water – the briny solution trapped with oil and gas in those formations.

The toxic mix often contains significant levels of arsenic, lead, ammonium, benzene, bromide, radioactive material and high concentrations of chlorides. In North Dakota, saltwater has been shown to have ammonium levels at 300 times the EPA-recommended limit and chloride levels high enough that if any more salt was added, it wouldn’t be dissolved in the fluid.

While medical researchers have only begun to analyze how low levels of continued exposure to these oil and gas contaminants through the environment can affect people, medical science has already shown that high concentrations of these elements can cause cancer, neurological disorders and birth defects.

Bohrer said there are no reported cases of a saltwater disposal well contaminating an underground aquifer in North Dakota and at no point has the agency placed underground aquifers at risk to contamination.

But energy and public health experts said the long-term impact saltwater can have on an aquifer and the danger the fluid can pose to public health emphasizes the importance of constantly maintaining the mechanical integrity of disposal wells.

“There is a reason well bore integrity is tested,” said Seth Shonkoff, the executive director of Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, a think tank that aims to bring scientific transparency to energy and policy issues.

State officials said the EPA guidance documents related to integrity testing don’t hold the same standing as the administrative rules, and that the agency has the authority to choose which EPA guidelines to follow.

“There is a big difference between guidance and having your own (underground injection control) program,” said Alison Ritter, the public information specialist for the Division of Oil and Gas.

But environmental lawyers who reviewed the guidance documents said the state’s actions were legally questionable and could open the agency up to citizen lawsuits or a review by the EPA if enough people petitioned federal officials.

Bohrer said EPA officials were fully aware of how the Division of Oil and Gas operates the injection control program in North Dakota, but federal reports and email responses from the EPA Region 8 office in Denver suggest the federal agency’s oversight of state injection programs is limited due to staffing and budget constraints.

The findings of a Forum News Service investigation come at a time when landowners and Democratic legislators have called for a performance review audit of the Division of Oil and Gas and as agency officials have resisted legislation that would separate their dual roles as the regulator and promoter of the state’s oil industry.

As large surface spills have flowed onto farmers’ fields and into streams, grabbing public attention and causing lawmakers to rethink regulations over oil and saltwater pipelines, the documents highlight another, largely unseen but vital, part of the agency’s regulatory responsibilities.

The integrity reports raise questions about the agency’s criteria for pressure testing and conditional approvals, as the number of operating disposal wells in the state increased from 293 to 486 in the past seven years and the amount of saltwater disposed of jumped from 94 million to 350 million barrels in 2014.

Officials with the Division of Oil and Gas disagreed with the points raised by Forum News Service and in an email response said that if anyone is to fully understand the agency’s underground injection control program they should have a strong background in petroleum engineering and geology.

“The UIC program is highly technical and complex, with regulatory development and implementation evolving over time,” Ritter wrote in an email.

Regulations covering underground injection control programs began in the early 1980s under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, after federal lawmakers recognized the threat that injection wells posed to underground aquifers.

As part of the law, states could apply to take over primary enforcement responsibilities for injection wells, including Class II wells that handle saltwater and other liquid waste produced during the oil and gas drilling process.

When a production well is hydraulically fractured, millions of gallons of saltwater surge back to the surface with the oil, and continue to flow throughout the lifespan of the well. This large influx of liquid waste requires companies to dispose of the toxic fluid as long as the well is in operation.

While injecting saltwater underground has been shown to be a better option than attempting to treat the fluid or storing it in pits, environmental policy experts point out that the strict guidance regarding injection wells is in place to eliminate any chance of the steel and concrete tubing becoming pathways through which saltwater leaks into or near an underground source of drinking water.

In order for the Division of Oil and Gas to take over the underground injection control program in 1983, the state had to adopt rules that met minimum standards for construction, permitting, monitoring, enforcement and plugging of the wells.

But while those rules require wells to pass mechanical integrity tests every five years without a “significant leak,” Bohrer said the agency doesn’t have guidance to define what a significant leak is.

The most common mechanical integrity test conducted is a standard annular pressure test (SAPT) where the annulus, the space between the casing and production tubing, is pressurized with liquid to see if it holds.

Since the 1980s, at least 13 states and the EPA have adopted administrative rules or guidance defining the standards for pressure testing, including some of the country’s largest oil producing states, like Montana, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.

In all of those cases, the rules and guidelines state that tests are considered failures if a well loses more than 5 to 10 percent of the pressure placed on the annulus over 15 to 30 minutes.

Officials with the Division of Oil and Gas took issue with the comparison of rules and guidance in other parts of the country, because those states don’t have the same geology as North Dakota, which they said is well suited for underground injection.

During an interview, Bohrer said the accepted standard for a passing pressure test is less than a 10 percent drop over 15 minutes, but state records show the agency allows companies to continue injecting fluid underground even as wells lose 11, 30 or even 70 percent of the pressure during testing.

Bohrer said the decision to conditionally approve a well is made on a case-by-case basis and that the companies have to accept certain operating rules, like yearly testing and extra pressure monitoring to make sure the production tubing – the innermost layer of steel piping that saltwater is injected through – isn’t leaking. He said operators are ordered to immediately shut in the well if a leak in the production tubing is detected.

During an interview, the Division of Oil and Gas’ staff referenced an EPA guidance document from 1992 to show it had the authority to allow wells to continue operations after significant pressure losses, but when it was pointed out in follow-up emails that the guidance document calls for wells to be repaired or plugged within 270 days, the agency stated the document didn’t apply because conditional approvals were not failures.

That same document also states that if officials can’t handle the “administrative burden” of “additional inspections” and data monitoring, they shouldn’t allow wells to operate within those 270 days.

When state inspectors conditionally approve an injection well for use in North Dakota, it requires integrity tests to be performed annually instead of every five years, and mandates that annulus pressure readings be checked monthly, like the wells’ permitted surface injection pressure.

But officials with the Division of Oil and Gas said they fully accept the extra inspection and monitoring burden and that the agency doesn’t have any problems meeting its existing regulatory duties.

When asked whether the Division of Oil and Gas collects the additional pressure readings from conditionally approved wells for monitoring purposes, Bohrer said that the agency does not and that it is up to field staff to check the readings during monthly inspections. He said companies are expected to keep those readings for several years, but the agency does not collect them as part of the well history.

“These requirements are not considered burdensome to our regulatory program, as we already inspect all UIC wells at least monthly and witness all (mechanical integrity tests),” Ritter wrote in an email response.

According to a 2014 legislative audit, the Division of Oil and Gas agreed that agency-wide inspections were not being completed within the timeframes established, but said that around 75 percent of the injection wells in the state were being visited on a monthly basis, which it said was the best rate in the country.

Ritter said the Division of Oil and Gas has 32 field inspectors and three staff members in the Bismarck office to oversee the operations of the 486 active disposal wells. The field inspectors also have other regulatory responsibilities, like rig and production well inspections.

The Division has requested another 16 full time employees to handle the agency’s permitting, monitoring and enforcement efforts.

Officials with the Division of Oil and Gas said higher emphasis is placed on disposal wells that are conditionally approved and that the monthly inspection of pressure readings and the proper construction of the wells – usually with two outer layers of steel and cement running from the surface to below the aquifer – leaves little to no chance that saltwater can escape the well.

“If your well is properly constructed, there is really no avenue available for that fluid to migrate,” Bohrer said.

‘The absence of adequate data’

While the vast majority of the wells that were reviewed had a surface and production casing running past the aquifer, state records show the Division of Oil and Gas has conditionally approved wells that only have one external layer of casing next to underground sources of drinking water.

Bohrer said there is no rule requiring injection wells to have two or more layers of external casing to operate, but according to the EPA guidance documents, wells that fail an annular pressure test and only have one external layer of casing should be shut in unless officials can verify that the leak isn’t located near the underground source of drinking water.

  • In May 2011, the Pan Am 501 disposal well in Burke County failed three consecutive pressure tests, but while the operator was initially ordered to stop injections until it could pass, inspectors allowed the well to operate for four days between the second and third test. It was only after the third test that inspectors noted the well only had one outer layer of casing next to the aquifer. When the well was tested for a fourth time in June 2011, it was conditionally approved after losing 10 percent of the testing pressure. It operated under that conditional approval for 16 months until it failed a test in December 2012. During that failure, the well could not be pressurized, suggesting the leak got significantly worse. After that fourth failure, the company installed a liner inside the production casing.
  • The Klandl 26-31X disposal well in McKenzie County has either been conditionally approved or in violation of mechanical integrity rules for much of the time between 2003 and 2012. But while it was noted in July 2007 that the well only had one layer of casing located at the depth of the aquifer, inspectors have continued to allow the well to operate under conditional approvals, even as it has lost significant pressure during testing. Over much of that time, records suggest the operator has injected saltwater at pressures above its permitted limit until March 2014, when state officials finally recognized the violation and the well was shut down.

In an email, Ritter wrote that The Press’ interpretation of the guidance – which was substantiated by lawyers consulted for the story – was flawed because a well’s tubing, casing and cement are each considered a layer of protection.

But the 1987 EPA document states that “if the outer casing is breached, even if there is cement behind the casing,” the well should be considered a significant non-compliance and be shut in until it is repaired or plugged.

In the cases of the Pan Am 501 and Klandl 26-31X disposal wells in Burke and McKenzie counties, pressure testing indicated leaks in the casings, and since both wells only had one outer layer of casing near the aquifers and the location of leaks cannot be determined by pressure testing, it left them with only one verifiable layer of protection remaining – the inner production tubing.

Bohrer said the agency meets all of the minimum standards required by federal law and that EPA guidance documents were drafted for the entire country, not for North Dakota.

“We try to mirror those things that are applicable to our situations in North Dakota,” Bohrer said. “Those are national documents – one size fits all – and we take the parts that are applicable to our state.”

Lawyers consulted for the story said the EPA guidance documents may not have the same legal standing as a rule, but argued those guidance documents are put in place to fill in the administrative gaps that rules don’t address.

“It isn’t an issue of whether there are laws on the books – in this case whether we have laws that regulate underground injection,” said Andrew Reid, an environmental and natural resources law professor at the University of Denver. “The issue is whether the state is going to enforce it and live up to the responsibility of protecting the citizens and the natural resources of the state.”

If the issue was addressed in court, Parenteau said the administrative rules and guidance documents would be reviewed as a whole.

“You have to look at all of these documents together,” he said. “That is what a judge would do.”

Business realities

When an injection well fails a mechanical integrity test and is shut down, it can cost operators tens of thousands of dollars in lost profits and repairs.

The most common repair for a disposal well is a tubing replacement, where a workover rig pulls the internal production tubing out of the well, checking it for holes and weaknesses and replacing the sections of the steel or fiberglass pipe that are leaking.

“At the end of the day, if you have a hole in your production tubing, it’s a simple matter to change that out,” said Fleckenstein, who is currently working on a National Science Foundation project studying the effects of gas development on air and water resources.

But if a pressure test indicates a hole in the well’s casing, which records show is often the case for wells that are conditionally approved, the repairs can be more difficult.

There is no way to replace the casing, Fleckenstein said, but it can be fixed by forcing cement down the well’s annulus to seal off leaks or by installing a liner inside the production casing.

Installing a casing liner the entire length of an injection well, which stretches thousands of feet, can drive up the cost of repairs, Fleckenstein said, and is usually done when a cement squeeze doesn’t work.

“It can start to cost money,” he said.

But shutting in a disposal well can have far bigger ramifications than repair costs for a single operator.

When an injection well shuts down, it can create a ripple effect in the oil industry, Bohrer said, requiring all of the oil wells that pipe or truck saltwater to that disposal site to stop production or find another well in the area.

“Should that be done in certain instances? Certainly,” Bohrer said. “It’s just the price you have to pay.”

But numbers suggest it’s difficult for a disposal well in the state to shut in operations without affecting the production wells that rely on it.

Between 2007 and 2014, the amount of saltwater disposed of in North Dakota increased by 270 percent, while the number of disposal wells handling that fluid increased by only 65 percent.

Bohrer said those business and economic realities and the state’s effort to reach and exceed 1 million barrels of oil produced per day doesn’t play any part in the agency’s decisions to conditionally approve disposal wells for use.

“That is not a significant contributing factor,” Bohrer said.

Shut ins, landowners and coincidences

In Bottineau County, the Division of Oil and Gas has begun to shut down wells that lose significant pressure during testing, even when operators request conditional approvals.

At five saltwater disposal wells in the county, inspectors have issued failures for pressure losses of more than 10 percent and ordered companies to shut down operations until the wells can be repaired or plugged, as EPA guidance recommends.

Prior to those failures, two of the wells were given conditional approvals even as they lost between 26 and 50 percent of the testing pressure.

But over the past year and a half, as members of the Northwest Landowners Association have began monitoring those wells – inspecting publicly available files, requesting documents from the Division of Oil and Gas and testifying at legislative hearings – all five of the wells have been shut in after failures.

  • The Jesperson 31-29 disposal well was shut down in November 2013, after losing 28 percent of the pressure during testing. Prior to that, the well had been conditionally approved since January 2007, even as it lost 28 to 50 percent of the pressure during testing.
  • The Cramer 1 disposal well was shut down in September 2014, after losing 25 percent of the pressure applied during testing. After the test, the operator had requested a conditional approval from the Division of Oil and Gas but was denied.
  • The Leo Hallof 1 disposal well was shut down in November 2014 after losing 30 percent of the testing pressure. The well had previously been conditionally approved after losing 26 percent of the testing pressure in February 2009.
  • The Peterson 2 disposal well was shut down in November 2014 after losing nearly all of the testing pressure over several minutes.
  • The Lillie Farms Partnership 1 disposal well was shut down in November 2014 after losing 50 percent of the testing pressure. It has since been repaired.

One of the wells, the Peterson 2, is also at the center of an ongoing lawsuit over the cleanup of multiple surface spills.

Officials with the Division of Oil and Gas said they were unaware that the landowners – who are some of the most vocal critics of the agency – were checking on those wells and that decisions to shut down those operations until they could pass integrity tests were based on the wells’ history, performance, geology and construction.

“If there is a lawsuit, that doesn’t tell me that they are monitoring it,” Bohrer said. “That has absolutely no influence on our decisions here in this office.”

Lynn Helms, the Department of Mineral Resources director, was deposed by lawyers representing Daryl Peterson, the landowner in the reclamation lawsuit, the same day that The Press met with Bohrer and the staff of the Division of Oil and Gas on Jan. 27.

Bohrer said the fact that all five disposal wells were shut in, after the landowners began looking into the wells, was a coincidence.

He said the agency’s focus is, and has always been, on protecting underground sources of drinking water.

“We take great pride in our program,” Bohrer said. “We inject well over 1 million barrels of saltwater per day, and I think our track record speaks for itself.”   – }

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Radio CAnada is the French Language Radio service of the CBC. If they hate Stephen Harper's values, they have good reason to. He's trying to unfund and shut them down. A lot of Canadians Hate Stepen Harper. He's a Fascist dictator pretending to be a 21st century nice guy. Nice guy He is NOT!

Radio Canada is the French Language Radio service of the CBC. If they hate Stephen Harper’s values, they have good reason to. He’s trying to unfund and shut them down. A lot of Canadians Hate Stephen Harper. He’s a Fascist dictator pretending to be a 21st century nice guy. & Nice guy He is NOT! —djo—

{ — Experiencing weird problems with this, I better publish now, reboot and try to finish up shortly.  —djo— }

 

Orange Cats find trouble anywhere

Hey, Jim & Cathi – Do you know where your orange cat is? —djo—

Man swimming in frozen water to save dog.

If I knew it was this easy to translate stuff I’d have been doing that all along. Even if I have absolutely no use for bing. —djo—

Balloon Sunrise (Bagan?)

Dang! Too many good ‘fluff’ photos today. Well, maybe it’s more positive and would have a better effect on the collective psyche than sticking to ‘hard core news’. Ya think? & I’ve never been able to follow any of the links on these Buddhist tweets.  —djo—

{ Okay, we’ve crashed twice, once when I first tried to include the photo of the orange cat between the horse and the dog, & again when I tried to add the photo of the balloons. && Between those two crashes WordPress told me I had to sign in again. Whattaya think? is there a conspiracy afoot here? 😉 }

==============

Oile Train fire in West Virginia

Oil Train derailment in West Virginia – one comment was ‘It should have been shipped via pipeline’ But are pipelines any safer? We need to switch from oil and gas to other, cheaper, more dependable renewable sources. —jim w—

Australian Demonstration

Looks like things are getting nasty in an Australian dispute between coal mining interests and aboriginals and conservationists and others concerned with trying to save a rare Australian forest from destruction by the mining company. —jim w—

Sustainable Energy

Jimmy Carter’s Presidency was cut short by the Iran Hostage Crisis – Which may have been orchestrated with the help of outgoing Republicans? Who knows? Anyway- with Habitat for Humanity and other projects he’s endorsed, Jimmy Carter might be the most popular ex-President alive in the US today. —jim w—

{ I better quit here, too, funny things are happening in the bloggish-sphere —   —jim w— }

{ — Quitting while we’re ahead, I think Jim had some stuff to add, but he can do that later.  ———djo——— }

Later on in the day

The old man shuffles where the young man used to run

His eyes see the same world he saw as a child

But a lot has changed

Many details look the same

But a sandy area near a river where he used to play

lies now, half neglected and half fenced off and ‘improved’ with over priced houses

and distrusting owners glaring out through locked doors and windows armed with burglar alarms

The books he loved reading more than once now require a pair of glasses to reveal their coded secrets

Anywhere he looks, any memory he peers through is now weighted with years of random association with pleasure and pain

memories strained through love and loss, anger and forgiveness, harsh words and encouragement

Words like ‘forever’ and ‘betrayal’ fill with nectar and poison, sting and soothe

Wrinkled old women still look like the first time he saw them, softened by years of warm touch, celebration and consolation-

clarity, confusion, they’re all still there, you never forget.

Some things you never get over – some tears still burn.

The loss of a pet, the cruelty of a ‘friend’. The death of a child or a childhood companion.

Loves that turn sour can be survive – Loves that never were – cannot

And yet a rainy day can still bring back the sunshine

And dreams left unfulfilled can still inspire

While promises unkept can still burn deeply

as the pain in his joints can be ignored with a hint of a wagging tail

or the memory of a purring cat

whether ‘ghosts’ or ‘souls reborn’ are real, they are still with him and always will be

And now hints from the next life shock less and less

While messages from long gone parents, friends and lovers

feel more convincing every day.

Contact from beyond the grave, much harder to deny,

Leaves this tearful poem without an ending.

 

~~~~~ Jim Wellington – 19 January, 2015

5:28

Friday, January 16, 2015 -( -5°C / +23°F w/light snow falling @ 7 am in Atlantic Canada )-

— 528 Hrz is supposed to be the frequency of Love, and also the frequency at which cats purr. I dreamed I was writing in this blog and composing email at the same time and the email contained an old family recipe for a home remidy cough syrup that tasted horrible but worked? I woke up and heard our Native American/First Nations drum, which we have hanging on the wall at the east-facing window in our bedroom- go ‘Thunk’. I looked at the digital clock, it read “5:28” -a.m.-. This happens fairly often and we keep praying and hoping and projecting white light with the intention that, if this is a ‘Spirit’ saying hello, it’s a guardian angel type or above. And we keep getting different impressions of who it might be, anything from an aunt or grandmother that Cathi vaguely remembers or didn’t know in this life at all, to White Wolf, an Elder First Nations Medicine Man / Spiritual Guide. At times I’ve also felt that it might be Paramahansa Yogananda, a bonafide Hindu Indian Guru who came to North America in response to our growing hunger and thirst for Real Spiritual Truth and Guidance over here.

— I hovered between dream and waking up for a while. I dreamed a young man from India was very upset with a group of Maharajas who were meeting at a Hotel and wanted to confront and possibly assassinate one or all of them. I knew where the Maharajas were meeting, In the dream I knew there were 5 of them, but I was using my best acting skills to convince the young man that I had no idea where they might be. I did not feel like I was in danger. I felt like I was trying to save everybody’s lives including the angry young man’s. I might have been the young man’s hostage, sort of a shield, he had me open doors and stand in front of him as he was directing me to search around the area where he thought the Maharajas were meeting. When I opened one door we looked outside through a screen door, saw a sparkling white vehicle. The young man grumbled that it would be like the Maharajas to travel around in something called a Grand Caravan, and he repeated that he was upset because he believed that these Maharajas were fleecing his country of its wealth. I took another look at the white vehicle and it looked like a limousine version of a Chrysler Grand Caravan with a kind of enclosed pickup bed behind the van part. It was still all clean and shiny white. The young man then had me open another door and we did, and stepped into an older room in the hotel. It had two twin beds and a window, the walls were all plain unfinished wood and when I looked toward what might have been a bathroom, there were large clumps of dust on the floor. I was slightly worried that somebody may have rented that room and might be there and might be in danger if the angry young man saw them, he might kill them.

— I woke up and glanced at the clock, it was 6:48 am. I thought I should get up and go to the washroom. I thought I should keep the 5:28 am episode fresh in my memory and write it down in my blog as soon as I could. As I stood up beside the bed in the dark the drum went ‘Thunk’ again. I smiled, put my hands together, bowed, “Namaste – Thank you-” and felt a slight thrill.

— And, here we are.

Friday Visists beyond time

Friday, January 9th, 2015 – Bitter cold in Atlantic Canada.

My friend Doug Otterson posted the end of his novel  ‘An “Un-Remarkable” Girl’ on Tablo.

My favourite artist drew and tweeted a drawing she felt moved to create for #JeSuisCharlie:

Eiffel Tower with #PensUp

“#JeSuisCharlie / Nous Vaincrons” -We shall overcome- by Cathi Harris

 

And I went to talk to my future daughter, Evelyn (?) in my Higher Self Corridor:

— Adventures in the higher realms:

— Yes, we’ve been shaken again by the Charlie Hebdo massacre. & Yes, we can see both sides of this.

Perspective

‘Perspective’ from “Meanwhile in Canada” — While it looks like evil ice-holes are manipulating public opinion to divide and conquer — Please, do not lose your heads and jump on the bandwagon.

— Lately, I failed and fell asleep every time I’ve tried to prepare myself to climb the spiritual stairs to consult with my higher self, or my daughter from my next life, my finer angels or whatever is actually there- I haven’t gotten through the process of clearing away the tensions and distractions before I could climb those stairs. I was relaxing, preparing for another try, when I thought about sending Evelyn a message, “Are you upset with me because I haven’t been able to connect with you in a couple days?” And, received the answer I was not expecting, “Yes, I decided never to talk to you again-” with the unexpected humourous realization that she was indeed, talking to me. I was thinking about saying, “I really need a two way conversation here-” when she answered, “We have that, don’t we?” — ‘Wow, I guess we do.’ I can feel something, I get the very strong impression that after praying that only positive communications, positive inspirations, positive connections with positive angels and ‘beings’ that Jesus and God would approve of, she’s there. She’s telling me things I do not expect to hear, she really feels like she has an existence beyond my imagination.

— So far,  every time I’ve been there, she’s been a kid, somewhere in the nine to twelve year old range? – it’s hard for me to gauge, kids were younger longer when I was growing up- but this time, she looked more like a 17 year old. I had recently felt almost compelled to write a story about a runaway girl who had almost been forced into prostitution by the idiot who convinced her that he loved her, introduced her to the adult world of making love and then forced her outside in the pouring rain and told her if she didn’t come back with at least fifty dollars, he would give her to the thugs he has protecting him and let them rape and do whatever they felt like with her. I didn’t know how preposterous the story line I came up with might be, whether me trying to find a happy ending for one hopeless kid would ever make a difference to anybody, whether the story could eventually be any good, or good enough to get out into the public consciousness. I was wondering if my future daughter, who apparently knows more about what I’m doing than I do, would approve, or be appalled, or what. I was truly shocked that she would appear to be a seventeen year old when I expected her to still be nine years old. I betcha every parent out there knows that feeling. You blink and your tiny cherub who was struggling to learn to walk is grabbing the car keys and charging out the door, coming back home with a lover and asking for your blessing to marry, or your understanding that, since you blew it, they don’t trust marriage and feel that seeking God’s Blessing, ‘living in love’ and, by human standards, ‘living in sin’ – is the way they want to go.

— The last couple times we’ve been together up there, we’ve gotten down on our knees, facing east, and prayed. She is almost always on my left side, I often hold her hand as we get down to kneel. This time, as soon as we were kneeling, getting ready to pray, not knowing what I might pray for, if anything, I glanced to my left as I was holding her hand and saw a very bright cone of white light blasting her- so white, so bright I couldn’t see her face, I couldn’t see much above the knee socks she was wearing. And they were odd, they were striped, in the kind of colors my mother would choose to wear, a creamy off-white and a subdued, almost greyish tan. She asked, “Why are you doing this to me?” and I was shocked by this, I said, “I don’t think it’s me-” and she was surprised and we both wondered who might be doing something like that. I thought it was some kind of highly protective blessing.

— I came away from this believing there is somebody waiting for my next life who loves me unconditionally. Somebody who is human and was human and knew me before, and might be some kind of official guardian angel’s consultant or something. ( I really don’t know enough, or remember enough, about what actually goes on in the ‘next world’ or the next higher levels to feel like I understand what any of this is all about. )

— I’ve had interactions with a kind of awesome entity who just might be my higher self. I’ve felt the presence of ‘angels’, ‘archangels’, and what felt to me like ‘Undeniable Representatives of the Divine’ – Jesus was not the only one. I don’t know if I would recognize Moses if I bumped into him while not quite looking where I was going or whatever. I don’t believe that God would only send hope and salvation to a tiny percentage of His Creations. It’s painfully obvious to me that dark hearted men -mostly men- have tried to pervert and hi-jack the messages brought to us by Jesus, Moses, Muhammad – God Bless All of The True Prophets – And that those dark hearted individuals had a dark agenda and meant to warp the messages we receive toward their own evil ends. Jesus said we can all find God and listen to our inner directions and the bad guys try to tell us, no, we need to be ordered and pushed around and conform to the whims of idiots who have convinced us that they know the only true pathway to God and we have to pay them dearly for their services. I believe that Muhammad wanted His daughter to have a lot to say about how His message would be shared with this world, and greedy evil power mad men re-wrote the basic tenants of Muhammad’s message to give themselves huge amounts of power and tossed Muhammad’s Daughter into poverty and shame because she was a woman.

— I could be wrong, and I’m willing to learn. I might not believe that I know enough about this subject until I’ve had a nice long conversation with my Creator, and that might not be possible while I’m still breathing the polluted air and eating the poisoned GMO foods that we apparently are stuck with down here in this day and age.

— God Bless Everybody who is trying to find their own way, and God Bless Everybody who is trying to show us the truth and help us find our own ways.

— Billions of paths lead to God, and almost everybody believes they know the only way. “Do your Dharma – Do your best, let others argue and confuse themselves to death.” I wish I could remember the original quote and who said that.

— Amen –,

~~~~~ Jim