Hope for the Trump Administration

Hope for the Trump Administration

Biker for Trump
Larry heading out to the biker rally at the inauguration

There are growing signs that Donald Trump’s presidency may be the most irrelevant since William Henry Harrison’s, who came down with pneumonia after an interminable outdoor inaugural and died a month later.

Here are some of the signs that indicate the irrelevance of what Donald Trump is saying and why we shouldn’t take it seriously or fall into despair.

Last week I watched a conference on C-SPAN in which Susan Rice, the outgoing National Security Advisor, exchanged hugs with Mike Flynn, her replacement in the Trump administration. Flynn in turn gave sincere recognition to Madeline Albright’s contributions as Secretary of State. I was struck by the cordial atmosphere at the conference.

A few days later I heard John Kerry say that foreign policy under Trump won’t be much different than under Obama. Then I noticed that many of Trump’s nominees for cabinet positions were walking back and even contradicting some of Trump’s outrageous and incoherent claims, particularly on climate change and renewable energy.

Even Rick Perry, who looks so much more intelligent in his new “smart glasses,” admitted that he regrets what he said about abolishing the Department of Energy and that climate change is real. Ironically, there was explosive growth of wind farms in Texas during Rick’s administration.

Regardless of what Trump’s administration attempts to do about renewable energy, fossil fuels are on their way out. Two of the four largest coal companies have gone bankrupt and more and more businesses are seeing the profit potential of renewable energy. The global momentum to deal with climate change is an inexorable process and all the tweets in the world will not stop this from happening.

Of course, not all Trump nominees will end up as moderates or garden-variety Republicans. Unfortunately, his nominee for Secretary of Education, dingbat Amway billionaire Betsy DeVos could screw up the Department of Education even more that it already is. The U.S. is rated below most developed nations in education. Finland was next to the U.S. five years ago and has risen to number one by eliminating homework and having extra-long unstructured recesses.

Season’s Greetings 2016–Antidote to Brag and Gag

Season’s Greetings 2016–Antidote to Brag and Gag

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Wardwell Chalet Dec 6, 2016

Well, this is a season for peace and reconciliation for the Wardwell family. After a disastrous family feud over the election we have come to terms with the result and are moving forward with our own individual plans for the future.

Larry was stunned when he found out that Donald Trump had read his article in the Huffington Post comparing him to Jesus Christ. In his article, Larry mentioned that Trump and Christ had a lot in common: they were both in the construction business. Christ was not just a carpenter, but also a builder of high-end luxury condos. However, they were very different in terms of outcome. Christ just didn’t have the charisma and negotiating skills that Trump has and ended up a loser and being “nailed” by the Romans.

Trump was so impressed by Larry’s intellectual prowess and ability to communicate the innate genius of Donald’s plan to Make America Great Again, that he offered him a job as speech writer.

Linnea has also made a great connection with Melania, Don’s wife. Linnea has been chosen to lead her Permaculture Initiative. Melania was very active in the Slovenian permaculture movement and was responsible for many sustainable sewage systems. They are planning a demonstration system on the White House grounds with a pond and a swamp that will treat the sewage from the White House. This will support a wildland habit for African game animals that will allow the Trump boys to kill their favorite animals without the need to travel to Africa.

One good thing that has come out of Hilary’s devastating defeat is that, through their connection with the campaign, Devan and Sarah will both be working on an exciting new project sponsored by the Clinton foundation. It’s a job-creating program for young women interested in the hospitality industry. They are developing a new type of sports S and M motel called “Locker Up”. All the interns applying for the program will be personally vetted by the Foundation director Bill Clinton.

Have a great holiday!
The Wardwells

Encounter with the Alamar

Encounter with the Alamar

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The 45-foot schooner Alamar at the dock in Buck’s Harbor, Maine, summer 2016

As we walked down the ramp to the dock at Buck’s Harbor, Linnea and I were delighted to see the Alamar tied up to the dock.  This the boat that John Sims sailed for many summers teaching kids how to sail. Also, Linnea and I chartered the boat for a week with John, our son Devan and a bunch of kids about 15 years ago.

The crew of the Alamar in Maine in 2001
The crew of the Alamar in Maine in 2001
“Captain” John Sims on the Alamar in 2001 on the schooner he sailed for many years with the kids at Alamoosook Island Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have such fond, even reverential memories of that great boat, it was hard to see it being used as a weekend party boat.

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On the Alamar with the weekend crew 2016

That evening as we returned from a walk, we noticed the dock was littered with wet clothing and underwear—a harbinger of what was to come later that night!

About 3 AM we were jolted out of sleep by loud, sub-human sounds (sort of a cross between a seal and an elephant). Two of the crew members had gone AWOL and were rowing around the harbor lost in the dark and were screaming some sort of distress call. Suddenly the Harbor Master’s boat with all its search lights shining was headed toward us at about 25 knots. It swerved just in time to miss us and went chasing after the missing “crew members”. Apparently, the Alamar crew had hijacked the harbor master’s boat and spent the rest of the night chasing down the screaming AWOL sailors.

The next morning, I rowed over to the Alamar to give them hell for disturbing the whole harbor when I suddenly remembered that I had pulled a similar stunt over 50 years ago on Cape Cod in the quaint little harbor of Brewster. My activities resulted in many boats being borrowed and returned to the wrong moorings as the entire harbor was awakened while the police trained a spotlight on us, suggesting that we give up. My associates and I were arrested and banished for life from Brewster…..More details see excerpt:

Excerpt from Confessions of a Closet Yogi: Moonlight Boat Ride

My anger dissolved and I hailed the crew and told them how mad I was until I explained to them that it was my karma coming back to haunt me.

They had a good laugh and headed out to the rough seas and foul weather with their boatload of beer.

What Was Senator Merkley Thinking?

What Was Senator Merkley Thinking?

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Senator Jeff Merkley (left) and Deputy Secy of Interior Mike Connor at hearing October 2016

As we walked into the large meeting room at the local university, I was struck by how crowded it was. There were at least 600 people crammed into a room designed for 500. A week earlier we had received an urgent email urging us to attend a pubic hearing on an executive order by the Obama administration to expand the size of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The room was packed with blue shirt wearing tree huggers, burley Trump troopers, paper shuffling environmental scientists, corporate miners, loggers and decrepit old 20th century ranchers, who wore the coolest cowboy hats and jackets.

Blue-shirted supporters at October hearing
Blue-shirted supporters at October hearing

This looked like a potentially volatile mix of people to cram into one room. All it would take would be for few “deplorables” to get agitated and things could get ugly very fast. I quickly scanned the room for potential trouble-makers. From my days of giving public presentations on meditation in the Bible Belt in the 1970’s, I had learned to spot people who were seething with hatred and keep an eye on them. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. The blue shirt environmentalists and anti-monument people were all mixed in with each other and every time I would spot someone whose behavior exhibited signs that they might be a closet “deplorable”, I noticed that they were wearing a blue shirt.

Suddenly, one of the minor officials sitting on the stage jumped up and quickly announced “now we will pledge allegiance to the flag.” Before I knew what happened, I found myself standing along with the other 600 people in the room who were pledging allegiance. I didn’t say the words, but I was stunned that everyone on both sides of the issue were making the pledge.

As soon as everyone sat back down, a grey haired, uncharismatic looking man in a seedy, dark brown sport jacket got up and methodically explained the ground rules for the meeting. I asked Linnea if she knew who he was and she said Senator Jeff Merkley. I was surprised that a U.S. Senator would get so personally involved in the details of determining who would get to speak. There was not enough time for all 250 people who signed up to speak, so they set up a lottery and each person was allowed to speak for one minute and would alternate one for and one against the monument.