Kemper Freeman: The Stranger Interview

The controversial Bellevue developer tells Eli Sanders why global warming is just political nonsense, how it feels to know women who wear muumuus, and what the world looks like from a 737 with skis.


Really? I know this is a blog post of a transcription, but does copy editing count for nothing?! This is barely readable.
@1: This was carefully transcribed and copyedited. What you're reacting to, I think, is the way Mr. Freeman talks. We tried to preserve his style of speaking in order to most accurately portray him and the interview.
Occupy Seattle should relocate to Bellevue Square. Keeper Freeman is the 1%.
@1 What are you talking about? This is very easy to read - it reads like a conversation. Nice piece, Eli.
Dottering old meglomaniac. You can tell just from reading this that he's one of those old blowhards that everyone is nice to because the only places he goes are places where people are paid to be nice to rich people.

Consequently, he's never had anyone challenge any of his simple-minded notions. He just drones on, and people smile and nod and refill his coffee cup or wine glass, hoping for a big tip.

The idea that dear Grandpapa was the one who told the Dept of Transportation where to build the highway is patently ridiculous. The Milwaukee Road railroad had already built their line across Snoqualmie pass because it was the lowest and most direct to Seattle. He may be right about the bridge, but I suspect it was more than just Gramps involved in the planning.
Nitwit Freeman combines ignorance with assertiveness in defense of his conservative agenda.

CO2 is, as he asserts, perfectly natural in the environment, but only up to the limit our biosphere can handle it. There used to be much more in the atmosphere, true, but before aerobic life was established on the planet. Look at our "sister planet," Venus. Over 96% CO2, crushing pressures, and flaming hot, despite being only a little bit closer to the sun than Earth.

Over the last couple billion years, early versions of life, probably chemosynthetic organisms related to those only found today in the volcanic ocean trenches, used vast quantities of that CO2, turning it into much of what today we find as fossil fuels. As the atmosphere changed, the ocean formed, and aerobic, photosynthetic life got established, another couple trillion tons got trapped in limestone. All limestone on earth started off as marine organisms.

So, here we are, a couple hundred years ago, on an earth made hospitable for us by a couple billion years of work by busy little organisms, which trapped and removed all that CO2, essentially sequestering it out of the biosphere and releasing oxygen in the process, creating Biosphere 2.0. So, what do we do? We dig it up and burn it. We burn coal and petroleum for heat. We burn limestone to make cement and concrete. We use our oxygen to make carbon dioxide. Up until then, the stuff we burned mostly got recycled in the biosphere. Plants could turn the gas back into solids and we could burn them again. Now, there's way too much to recycle, and we keep adding more, and concurrently, decimating the forests that could recycle some of it.

Yes, it's all natural, and nature might eventually correct it. But, only after we've wiped out Biosphere 2.0, our aerobic environment, and nature has to reboot and start over.

CO2 is NOT inert; it reacts readily with water to form carbonic acid. If you breathe a CO2-enriched atmosphere, you'll end up with blood acidosis and die. Hell, even neon, which IS truly inert (or as close to it as you can get) will still kill you if that's all you breathe.
This guy doesn't know anything about chemistry or geology.
@7 -Yes, or biology or really any other -ology
If he "took all the science he could take" on college, why doesn't he have a PhD? And why does he think a year of biology 50 years ago makes him a science expert?

I mean, I disliked the guy, but I didn't know he was such a blowhard dipshit.
From one of Sound Transit's legal reps -

"The adopted marketing budget for the entire agency (including light rail, Sounder commuter trains, regional bus service and Tacoma Link) was $1.013 million. For the whole year."
@2 The version that was in my RSS was so littered with spelling errors, mashed-up words and strange punctuation that I was compelled to comment. It was pretty clearly a direct transcription before editing. Apparently the one on the site was fixed by then... so complaint retracted.

I do like the piece.
I agree 100% with Kemper. Sound Transit is a big waste of $$. We need a light-rail across Lk Washington like we need a hole in our head. People are never gonna give up their cars - period. Use toll-bridges, make people pay for the roads that Washington can't afford but are needed. If it starts to cost people too much to commute across the lake, they will MOVE. I hope Kemper & Tim Eyeman succeed with their initiative and I hope Washington residents WAKE UP and see Sound Transit for the waste of money they really are.
Troll dear, Kemper doesn't care about you, for you will never be wealthy enough to be one of his premiere customers. Just because you finally got a Penney's card, that doesn't mean you fit in at Bell Square.

So you might as well tell him to get off your face and go clean yourself up. It's unseemly.
This interview succeeded in making me like Kemper Freeman much, much, much less. This guy is the definition of "ignorant blowhard". Catalina's description is spot-on: he is obviously used to talking with people who will not challenge any of his assumptions.
The adopted marketing budget for the entire agency (including light rail, Sounder commuter trains, regional bus service and Tacoma Link) was $1.013 million. For the whole year

Sound Transit's proposed 2012 budget includes

$7 million for "communications and external affairs."

$6 million for "planning, environment, and project development."

Hmm, that's $13 million. I think Freeman is exaggerating when he says they spend a million a month on marketing and advertising. A bunch of the $13 million in the two categories I've highlighted aren't marketing or promotion.

However, the Sound Transit estimate is undoubtedly narrow. When they send lobbyists to Olympia and elsewhere, or conduct "public education" about "sustainability," whatever the hell that is, I'd say it fits with what Freeman was talking about.

My biggest complaint about Freemen is that he does the mirror image of what his critics do. They launch ad hominem attacks against Freeman and his family, and Freeman returns the favor with that typical rich-guy "socialism" crap. He's right in describing the transit people as essentially a bunch of quasi-religious zealots, but the "socialist" charge is absurd.

The biggest problem with the Stranger's article is that you never seriously looked at the transit utilization numbers -- past, current, or projected. Freeman is on very solid ground there, but the Stranger is deathly afraid to admit it. Sound Transit is a very large rat hole, and will get a hell of a lot worse. We'll all come to sorely regret this "investment" in light rail.
#14, something tells me you didn't like ol' Kemp too much to start with. Come on, admit it.
I think Freeman is on target. I've watched time and time again how Sound Transit blows budgets and wastes money. The Link Rail is a perfect example of a 2 Billion dollar rail that ended up costing 4 Billion dollars and all it did was move people from busses to rail that doesn't even have the right-of-way. Meanwhile, the majority of us sit in conjested freeways that haven't changed much in 30 years except for more cops, more tickets, and signs to tell us to slow down to 40 MPH when you can only drive 3 MPH. In Kemper's hood the parking rates are the same for your Prius as they are for your Hummer: Free.
What a douchebag. He's 71 years old I see. When people THIS ignorant finally die off, this country will be a much better place. He's just a teabagger that happened to inherit a zillion dollars. Seen them before, a bunch of entitled and privileged pukes who think they are better than the common people, who are "brainwashed".

And, @17, please move to Houston where there is little or no light rail and continue to sit in your inefficient, climate destroying car anyway, enjoying your worthless wankfest of a lifestyle.