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Posts published in “Day: February 3, 2020”

A case for “term limits”

frazier

We just returned from a visit to Hawaii’s “Big Island” where we observed a public notice sign on Alii Drive–the posh oceanfront street packed with hotels and condos.

The proposed project included “60 condos and 20 AFFORDABLE HOUSING units!” That prompted us to ponder just exactly what constituted “affordable” on the trendy real estate? Then, we realized the local lingo seems to be the same throughout the USA.

With that in mind the GUARDIAN has compiled a list of terms which can mean whatever the politicos want them to mean.

TERMS WORTHY OF LIMITS

REVENUE, CLAWBACK, TRANSPARENCY, SHARROW, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HOMELESS, INCENTIVES, HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION, CONNECTIVITY, URBAN RENEWAL, TAX INCREMENT FINANCING, SUSTAINABILITY, GREEN CERTIFIED, ROUNDABOUT, COMMUNITY POLICING, OUTREACH, LISTENING, FIRST RESPONDER, CLIENT, CONSULTANT, DEVELOPER, SURVEY, POLL, PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP, SUSTAINABILITY, LOCAL OPTION TAX, TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR, INCREASED DENSITY, MASS TRANSIT, BICYCLE FRIENDLY, URBAN RENEWAL, INFILL, INCREASED DENSITY, SMART GROWTH

SELECTED DEFINITIONS

REVENUE–a term used to disguise “tax money taken from the hard earned wages of local citizens, usually against their wishes.

CLAWBACK–A way to grab REVENUE previously not collected.

TRANSPARENCY–A way to hide CLAWBACK of missed REVENUE.

TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR–Formerly called streets, but includes bike lanes, pedestrian routes, street cars, scooters, electric bikes, and some autos.

ROUNDABOUT–A junction of two TRAFFIC CORRIDORS where it is difficult for HOMELESS to solicit because cars don’t stop.

MASS TRANSIT–Church bus for Catholics or use of TRAFFIC CORRIDORS.

INFILL–Result of INCREASED DENSITY and justification for MASS TRANSIT.

BICYCLE FRIENDLY–Motorists who stay out of SHARROW lanes to make a right turn.

SUSTAINABILITY–The ability to keep collecting REVENUES.

GREEN CERTIFICATION–A government declaration of color. Not red, yellow or blue. The certification can lead to SUSTAINABILITY.

INCENTIVES–Payments and tax breaks for DEVELOPERS and businesses seeking to exploit Idahoans. These lead to increased density and the clamor for GREEN CERTIFIED BUILDINGS.

PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP–A scheme for DEVELOPERS to get tax REVENUES and INCENTIVES for free.

SMART GROWTH–A cult following. Those in the cult advocate SUSTAINABILITY, SHARROWS, INFILL, ROUNDABOUTS, MASS TRANSIT, COMMUNITY POLICING, CONNECTIVITY, SURVEYS, CONSULTANTS, CLAWBACKS. A fantasy not rooted in reality.
 

Anger and citrus

rainey

"Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office. ... (Sen. Marco Rubio 1/31/20)

Taken alone, that hideous piece of convoluted “thinking” can be brushed off as the ignorant rumination of a nutcase devoid of political savvy. Taken as the cloak chosen to hide behind by 50 other Republican U.S. Senators on a vote leading to impeachment of the President of the United States, it’s ludicrous.

When the vote total on the TV screen showed 49-51 to prevent witnesses from being called to testify on Trump’s incredible misuse of power, the founder’s creation of a balanced governmental structure was deliberately attacked. Further votes this week will - at least for now - shift that power to the executive and render congressional and judicial authority to minority roles.

Disappointed? Yes! Angry? Yes! Mad as Hell? Absolutely!

Over a lengthy lifetime, many of us develop protection mechanisms to maintain our sanity and avoid - as much as possible - responding to outrageous events irresponsibly. We try to avoid immediate striking out or venting our extreme disappointment in destructive behavior.

My personal “shield” against irresponsible reactions at those times is to focus on one or more diversions. Like citrus.

Outside my office window there are three trees loaded with ripe citrus: oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. On the other side of the yard, a loaded lemon tree. Hell of a change for a Pacific Northwest boy used to pines, sagebrush, apple, peach, pear and cherry trees.

There are no individual fences in our neighborhood. So, standing in the backyard, I can look a couple of hundred yards away and see dozens of citrus trees with loads ready for the picking. Or gleaning.

First year here, when everything was ripe for picking, I tried to do so. Big, big mistake. Unlike other fruit trees, citrus tree branches are hard, unbending and sharp. Though the citrus may be ripe, it’s almost as if the trees are intent on keeping their burden.

After a couple of minutes - and learning citrus fruit require a strong, two-handed pull to separate fruit from branch - my arms were bloody up to the elbows. I realized, then, why the Hispanics who trim and shape such trees during the year wear long-sleeved shirts - even when the temperatures reach into the 100's.

So, we contacted a local church with members who form volunteer gleaning teams each Spring. For a donation of about $40, a team of 10-15 will descend on your lot, spread tarps under each tree and clean them all in about 20 minutes. Like the Hispanic landscapers, they’re dressed for the task. Long sleeves. The church makes some extra money and the fruit goes to several local food banks. Win-win.

As a couple of lifelong Northwesterners, Barb and I are still not really acclimated to desert living. But, when you can go out in your own backyard, pick oranges, juice ‘em and learn what real orange juice tastes like, well, you can’t do that in Pocatello.

Using thoughts of picking oranges, tangerines and grapefruit to keep from thinking about how 51 Republican Senators purposefully destroyed, at least for now, the balance of government in our nation?

Yes.

Thinking of how to care for citrus trees for a year and enjoying the bounty they produced this week instead of thoughts of what our dictator-wannabe will attack and destroy in the next 11 months with nearly unchecked, ill-gotten power?

Yes.

Trying to assuage thoughts of how 51 self-serving politicians opted to vote in a manner undercutting 244 years of observance of laws based on the U.S. Constitution to keep their own assess in office rather than do their “sworn” responsibility?

Yes.

Attempting to understand how 51 people can swear to God in their acceptance of elected office, then swear to the Almighty again to be impartial jurors, then violate both sacred oaths out of fear for one man proven to have repeatedly broken many laws under which we live?

Yes.

I feel anger. I feel a sense of loss. I feel betrayed. I feel scorn for 51 oath-takers who violated oaths and the duties of their offices who, likely, will never face voter retribution. Like Risch and Crapo.

There are 51 MAGA hats in the Senate. And one on a head from Florida who’s trying to justify himself by turning truth, law and his sworn oaths into jibberish.

But, at least for now, I’m going out to pick a couple of oranges and then enjoy something really good.

And Marco Rubio can go straight to Hell!