Friday, April 28, 2017

Marching for science in Ann Arbor


I promised four times that "'I'm planning on posting a first-hand account of tomorrow's March for Science in Ann Arbor sometime next week,' just like I did for the Women's March."  It's time to follow through.

I learned my lesson from the Women's March to arrive early so that I could get parking.  Then, I managed to get inside a structure that had one space available after dealing with traffic backups and no parking all the way from the freeway to downtown.  This time, I parked in the nearest structure to the start of the march nearly an hour early when it had 300+ spaces open and had no congestion to speak of.  I was able to get a coffee, stroll to the Diag, find a restroom, and sit on the benches around the edge of the paved area in front of the library, where about 1,000 people had already congregated.  There I sat for about fifteen minutes as more people assembled.

Unlike both the Women's March and Tax March, which began at the Federal Building and ended at the Diag for speeches, the Science March started with an hour of speeches at the Diag and then proceeded to the Federal Building.  One of those speeches was by State Representative Yousef Rabhi, who also addressed the crowd at the Tax March.  Like the Tax March, MLive recorded him speak.


MLive quoted Rabhi in Thousands flood streets of Ann Arbor during March for Science.
State Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, who spoke during the rally, estimated there were easily more than 10,000 people there, possibly as many as 15,000.

"I think this is about as many people as came out to the Women's March in Ann Arbor," Rabhi said, referring to the Jan. 21 march that drew more than 11,000. "This is amazing, and a beautiful day. The earth is smiling upon us."
At the time, I didn't believe him, as it didn't feel as crowded as it did during the Women's March speeches.  After looking at the video, now I do.  That was a much larger group than I thought at the time, which was halfway through the hour of people talking to the protesters.  While I don't think more people attended than the Women's March, I now think it was close.  If the Women's March had 11,000, then the March for Science in Ann Arbor had 10,000.  I guess the decision to start with the speeches first and march later paid off in terms of attendance.

Rabhi also called out all of the people protesting Line 5 under Mackinac and told them (us, as I was one of them) to hold our signs up high.  We did.  I felt both proud and useful, more so than at the Women's March.

Follow over the jump for more that happened at the Ann Arbor March for Science.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CBC and Futurism report on the March for Science


I twice promised that "I'm planning on posting a first-hand account of tomorrow's March for Science in Ann Arbor sometime next week,", just like I did for the Women's March.  That will happen later this week.  Today, I bring reports on the big picture of the march from two of the sources I used last Saturday, CBC's The National and Futurism.  First, Futurism's The March for Science Spread A Clear Message: Science Is For All.

The March for Science was a huge success. Hundreds of thousands marched in 600+ cities. Here are the highlights!
That was very optimistic.  CBC's The National took a slightly darker view in Global March for Science raises concern over Trump policies.

Scientists and their supporters marched in hundreds of cities around the world Saturday, protesting against proposed U.S. government funding cuts to scientific research.
I'm pleasantly surprised to find that the role of science in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis was featured in the main march.  I barely recall that being mentioned in Ann Arbor.  On the other hand, both videos show all the creative and correctly spelled signs, which Ann Arbor's march had in abundance.  I'll be sure to mention those when I write about my experience last Saturday.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Trump's border wall is an environmental disaster, too


I've written about Trump's proposal to build a border wall with Mexico, most notably when I made fun of the idea in Trump is coming and he's building a wall.  As both the end of his Administration's first 100 days and the deadline to pass either a budget or a continuing resolution coincide this week, it looks like his administration is insisting on making that particular campaign promise happen.  CNN reports Shutdown deadline nears, border wall looms.

Fights over money to pay for a border wall, as well as Obamacare subsidies, threaten to trip up congressional talks over a funding bill to head off a government shutdown. CNN's Jason Carroll reports.
In addition to all the other reasons why building a border wall is a bad idea, Seeker/DNews points out U.S./Mexico Border Wall Puts Animals In Danger Of Extinction.

A wall along the United States/Mexico border could seriously disrupt the natural habitats and movements of many animals species that live there.
That's just the video summary.  For more, read Vox's The ecological disaster that is Trump’s border wall: a visual guide.  It has more examples and details about those examples, including the graphic used to illustrate this post.

Fortunately, NBC News reports Trump Signals Willingness to Drop Border Wall Funding in Budget Standoff.  His administration will still want the wall, but at least it isn't as likely to shut down the government in a temper tantrum over not getting it now.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Flint Water Crisis for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


I concluded Entertainment for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News by writing "The next retrospective will be about the Flint Water Crisis, which had two posts in the top forty, one of which was briefly on the all-time top ten.  Stay tuned."  I'm not waiting until Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday to post it; today is as good a day as any to finish the recounting of the forty most read entries of the blogging year finished just last month.  I summarized the rise of both entries in Monthly meta for April 2016, so I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle the stories for each in turn.

The twenty-ninth most read entry of the past year was Slow drip of Flint Water Crisis erodes Rick Snyder's approval from April 7, 2016 with 1509 raw page views on March 20, 2017.  That an entry that ranked so low at the end of the blogging year, however briefly, was in the all-time top ten, became one of the main reasons why I recapped the top forty instead of the top twenty.  Here's the tale of its rise and fall.
"Slow drip of Flint Water Crisis erodes Rick Snyder's approval" from April 7, 2016 earned a series of accolades.  It came in second among entries shared at the Coffee Party's Facebook page, second for April entries, second for the month overall, and tied for first in comments on entries posted during April with four comments (Thanks Paul W. and Les, who apparently came via the Coffee Party).  I also shared it at Greer's and Kunstler's blogs.  All that earned it 1416 page views, 1434 according to the raw counter, attracting 1639 page views on April 8th and 9th, and placed it tenth on the all-time list, kicking out "Doctors to Congress: Fund gun violence research at the CDC and NIH."  It only lasted ten days there.  Sic transit gloria mundi.
John Oliver and FiveThirtyEight on Tax Day knocked this entry out of the top ten after only ten days, a story I told in John Oliver: Top posts for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Follow over the jump for the other entry about Flint that made the year's top forty.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Entertainment for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


At the end of The resistance for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I promised that the next installment of the series would be about general entertainment not having to do with the election.  I should have added that it wouldn't be about holidays or John Oliver, either, as many posts covered in both installments were also entertainment entries.  Regardless, today is Sunday, time for the weekly entertainment feature, so it's the perfect occasion to fulfill my promise.

Al Jazeera America's final Emmy nominations from September 21, 2016 wasn't exactly about entertainment, as it reported on the defunct cable channel's news and documentary award nominations, but the post fits better in entertainment than anywhere else.  It was the twenty-second most read entry of the year with 1890 raw page views as of March 20, 2017.  It was also the fifth most viewed entry during October 2016, ending the month with 1724 default page views after reaching a maximum of 1825, 1852 according to the raw counter, at 7:59 PM on October 20, 2016.  It earned its page views after being shared at the Coffee Party USA Facebook page, gaining 611 page views in the first hour and helping attract 708 page views to the plog that same hour.  It earned nearly 1600 page views in the first 24 hours and helped attract 2499 page views to the blog the day it was shared.

Follow over the jump for more entertainment entries.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

March for Science today for Earth Day


Happy Earth Day!  In yesterday's The resistance for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I mentioned that "I'm planning on posting a first-hand account of tomorrow's March for Science in Ann Arbor sometime next week."  So, just like I did for the Women's March, I'm posting a preview of the event.

I begin with Science Magazine's Behind the scenes at the March for Science.*



How a simple text message launched a global movement.

Next, Scientists: Why We March.

#MarchforScience coming in April 2017. Scientists will not step back while war has been declared on the Planet's Life Support System.
That's why the scientists are marching.  Futurism's March for Science on Earth Day in a City Near You explains why the rest of us should be, too.



Science is under attack. But we can stand up for it.

I've already posted about when and why environmentalism became a partisan issue.  I hope I don't have to blog about how science became one, too.  Just the same, if it does, I will.

*I'm Director of Partnerships for the Coffee Party.  After the march is over, I'm going to contact Ayana Johnson to see if the March for Science is still looking for partners for future events.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The resistance for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


I mentioned "an upcoming retrospective about the resistance" twice in Election leftovers for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Since it's Flashback Friday, it's the perfect time to share it.

The last post in the top twenty was Thousands across Michigan protest immigration and travel ban from January 30, 2017 with 2080 page views according to the raw counter as of March 20, 2017.  It was also the most read entry during February with 1827 page views, 2054 according to the raw counter by the end of the month.  It earned its page views by being shared at Coffee Party USA Facebook page.

Follow over the jump for more posts about the resistance to Trump.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

John Oliver on marijuana legalization for 4/20


It's April 20, which for the past two years I've used to update my readers on the status of marijuana legalization.  Last year, I referred my readers to Reclassifying Marijuana Would Be Game-Changing at You Might Notice A Trend while posting drink recipes with a reefer theme.  This year, I'm letting "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" do the heavy lifting with Marijuana from two weekends ago.

Under federal law, even legal marijuana is illegal. John Oliver explains why conflicting drug laws pose serious problems.
As I wrote last year, "Here's a toast to marijuana legalization following in the tracks of marriage equality!"  At this rate, it will happen in Canada before the U.S.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Seeker/DNews on when and why environmentalism became a partisan issue


This is Earth Week and Saturday is Earth Day, which is also when the March for Science will be held.  To observe the first and build up to the second, I'm sharing When Did Environmentalism Become So Political?  In it, Seeker/DNews makes a point that I make about the environmental record of Richard Nixon; Tricky Dick signed into law much of the federal legislation of the modern environmental era, making him a very different Republican from the ones who induced me to leave the party in 2000.



When you think of environmentalism, does Richard Nixon come to mind?

Yes, but Nixon as the second greenest U.S. President?  That's something that surprises even me!