Category Archives: Washington

Culture War Backfire: Polls Show Left Losing Gender Debate to More Traditional Millennials

From the Aussie Conservative blog.

Aussie Conservative Blog

gender

There is some good news amid an apparently changed cultural context, as despite extreme feminism and other Leftist causes being prevalent in public life, these ideas are becoming increasingly unpopular amongst the bulk of society.

Clearly, the voices who shout the loudest and make themselves the most visible, are not always those who enjoy overwhelming support.

While we should be proud that conservatives are more modest and pleasant in this regard, such an environment should serve as reason for an emboldened, re- energized populist backlash, to ensure that further ground is not lost on key social issues.

Because as Hitler’s Germany proved, wicked ideas do not require predominance in a society, for great acts of evil to subsequently occur.

Daily Wire, by John Nolte, April 3, 2017:

Last week I wrote about why I am not buying into the conventional wisdom that the Left is winning the culture wars. This is objectively true on the issues of guns…

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Hey, call me crazy

Yep, call me crazy, but I’d prefer a justice who always stands up for the law. If the law is sometimes at odds with the individual, and it seems like an injustice, don’t blame the the courts; blame the lawmakers for writing shoddy legislation. Unintended consequences can be a bitch.2017-03-31 (6).png

Update: In which Maria Cantwell admits she knew nothing about Neil Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy in 2006, but voted for him anyway. I’m glad she’s on the job, voting for stuff she doesn’t know anything about.

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Taxes, taxes and more taxes

Did you already guess that this post is about Sound Transit?

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I’ve already told you how Sound Transit is taxing some property owners who weren’t allowed to vote on the ST3 ballot measure, and I’ve mentioned in passing the fraudulent scheme they’re using to arrive at inflated car values.

Now the last puzzle piece is set to drop into place on April 1st. Enter the sales tax.

From the Seattle P.I.:

Beginning April 1, the sales tax portion of ST3’s funding plan will take effect, adding one-half of 1 percent on top of the nine-tenths of 1 percent already in place from past Sound Transit initiatives. That means the Sound Transit portion of the sales tax will now be 1.4 percent (for those who want some easy math: That’s $1.40 per $100 spent).

The sales tax increase will look a bit different depending on where you are within the Sound Transit taxing district, which includes the most populated areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and how much sales tax is already in place. For Seattle and Tacoma residents, the total sales tax will rise to 10.1 percent.

I am very grateful that my home lays outside the RTA (Sound Transit’s gerrymandered taxing district), but I often shop within its boundaries, being only a handful of miles from the line. That is going to stop. In the future, I will – as often as possible – shop outside the boundaries of the RTA, and I encourage you to do the same.

 

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I don’t stand with Planned Parenthood

This will probably come as no surprise to you, but leftists disgust me. I’m not talking about well-meaning but misguided people like my liberal neighbors. I’m talking about hard left politicians and activists.

Today in particular, which has been designated as a “Pink Out Day,” whatever that is supposed to mean – and thanks for spoiling a perfectly good color, BTW – I’m thinking of women who have made protecting Planned Parenthood their mission in life. Women like Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Suzan DelBene (can you tell I live in Washington?) and Elizabeth Warren.

Planned Parenthood was birthed out of the negative eugenics movement of the 1930s and it would appear they’ve been wildly successful, as 40% of all African-American pregnancies end in induced abortion.

Today’s leftists are selling Planned Parenthood as essential health care. In case they’re not aware, abortion isn’t health care unless pregnancy is a disease, which, to be perfectly fair, some of them probably believe. But generally speaking, the goal of “health” care isn’t usually a dead, dismembered baby. By definition. Seriously, look up the definition of health care.

Planned Parenthood could do one simple thing to secure federal funding from now until our inevitable financial collapse: stop providing abortions. In the meantime, the funds they’re currently receiving could be channeled into the more than 1,300 federally funded community health centers which provide actual health care without the ethical baggage of abortion. In their own words:

HRSA Health Centers care for you, even if you have no health insurance – you pay what you can afford based on your income. Health centers provide services that include:

  • Checkups when you are well
  • Treatment when you are sick
  • Complete care when you are pregnant
  • Immunizations and checkups for your children

Some health centers also provide mental health, substance abuse, oral health, and/or vision services. Contact the health center organization directly to confirm the availability of specific services and to make an appointment.

As you can see, HRSA health centers probably provide more services than are available at your local planned parenthood clinic.

This is a not hard and if leftists weren’t exclusively focused on allowing the maximum number of women to kill their own babies as quickly and easily as possible, they’d see it, too.

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Sound Transit: Screwing area taxpayers since 1993

2017-03-25

This was too good not to share. Read the op-ed.

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Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Quick! What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions Washington State?

Licorice Ferns and Spaghnum Moss grow on a Big Leaf Maple treeDid you answer rain? Of course you did. You’ve all read Twilight, right? I mean, seriously, ferns grow on trees here. And you’d better pray that you don’t get lost in the woods, because the moss grows on all sides of the tree trunks.

Even in the arid part of the state east of the Cascade Range, you don’t have to go far to find water. The Columbia River not only provides clean hydro power, it’s also the backbone of the Columbia Basin Project, capable of irrigating over a million acres of otherwise useless land.

Because Washington has been so abundantly blessed with water, it makes an October ruling by the State Supreme Court even more baffling than it might otherwise be. The Hirst ruling deprives rural property owners of the rightful use of their land by restricting their ability to drill water wells.

Here’s an overview of the Hirst ruling.

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 6, 2016 that counties planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) must make their own determination of available water before issuing a building permit.

The case, Whatcom County v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (also known as Hirst), overturns a 2015 Court of Appeals decision that held that Whatcom County could rely on the Department of Ecology’s determinations of available water to allow the use of wells (considered permit-exempt under the law) in basins not closed by Ecology.

Essentially, a county planning under GMA cannot issue a building permit that would depend on an exempt well—even if Ecology’s rule allows exempt wells—without showing that the well will not impair certain rivers and streams or a senior water right.

Not unsurprisingly, the Hirst ruling has virtually halted building in rural areas dependent for water on drilled wells.

Yesterday I asked you to consider whether the government could tax people out of homes outside the reach of economically feasible public transportation as a means to achieve the stated goal of  having the majority of people in the state living and working in “places that both support bicycling and walking for shorter trips and provide reliable and convenient public transportation that meets mobility needs for longer trips.”

chelan sage steppeNow I ask you to consider the Hirst ruling in that light. Property without access to water is unfit for human habitation.

I’ve said for many years that real property owners are only renting from the government. If you don’t believe that’s true, try not paying your property taxes for a couple of years. Now that they’ve made themselves the de facto owners of your property, they’re telling you exactly how you can use it. That’s their right as your landlord, isn’t it?

But beyond that, they’re asserting their right to control your access to a basic necessity of life – water. That scares me!

No one should be able to do that and I’m therefore very grateful that there are legislators in Olympia who agree and sponsored SB 5239. The bill has passed the State Senate and passage is now in the hands of the Democrat controlled House. If you don’t think the government should be able to withhold water from property owners, it can’t hurt to contact your State Representative and let them know.

 

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The perplexing push for affordable housing

snoco houseBack in 2003, Mr. Words and I decided that we needed more open space than our tiny postage stamp yard afforded, so we started looking for a new home with a bigger yard. At the time, we lived in a virtual hovel in what was probably the worst neighborhood in a very expensive area and we knew we’d have to move farther “out” to find a house on more land within our price range.

Before that, many years ago, I lived in Sumner (now Bonney Lake), Washington, and worked in what is now called the SoDo District of Seattle. At the time, it was a 45 minute drive on good days, but could be much longer depending on traffic. In a car with no air conditioning. On bad traffic days in the summer, it could be brutal. But I did it because Sumner was the place we could afford a cute little house with a nice, big yard and friendly neighbors.

That’s what fiscally responsible people do, right? You live where you can afford the rent or the mortgage payment.

So you  might wonder why people like Seattle Mayor Ed Murray are constantly going on about the need for affordable housing and cutting deals by upzoning, or rezoning, various Seattle neighborhoods for more intensive use. This allows developers to build taller buildings, yielding more units with smaller footprints. The upzoning triggers a Seattle ordinance that requires developers include a minimum number of rent-controlled units in their buildings or pay a fee to help develop them elsewhere.

micro unitThat might also lead you to wonder why Seattle effectively killed the micro housing industry, which naturally provided affordable housing units without the need for government intervention.

To get back to my question, why doesn’t Ed Murray (or other mayors in large metropolitan areas, for that matter) just let market forces work? Why do he and the city council prefer to force developers to include rent-controlled (i.e., government controlled) units in their buildings?

Let me propose this: Affordable housing is only an issue of government concern when that same government wants or needs “everyone” to live in densely populated urban centers, and rent control only when government pursues perverse policies that unnaturally limit the affordable units that would otherwise be provided through the free market.

High rise housing in Hong Kong

Is high-rise housing, Hong Kong-style, in your future?

If you’re wondering why the government cares where you live, let me direct your attention to ESS HB 2815. This was passed into law in 2008 in response to then-Governor Christine Gregoire’s executive order 07-02. The executive order set some fairly aggressive goals for CO2 reductions which, to an ordinary person, seem rather arbitrary and unattainable given the current state of technology. At least one provision of the law, participation in the Western Climate Initiative, was abandoned when it became clear that the State Legislature was not likely to to enact cap and trade.

One thing that did come to pass was the implementation of a work group to study various policies that could be utilized in pursuit of those carbon reduction goals. In November of 2008, the work group presented a report with their recommendations. Among other things, the report concludes, “However, to significantly reduce VMT and GHG emissions in Washington State, the majority of people in Washington State will need to live and work in places that both support bicycling and walking for shorter trips and provide reliable and convenient public transportation that meets mobility needs for longer trips.”

Right now, just under half the population of Washington State, roughly 48%, live in the three most populous counties, King, Pierce and Snohomish. But not everyone in those counties lives in an urban area with access to public transportation. Consider this system map from King County’s Metro division. Do you see all those areas that have no bus routes? Those are areas where leftists would prefer that people not live.

This is an aerial view of Covington, Washington, an area included on the linked system map. Does this look like an area that can ever “support bicycling and walking for shorter trips and provide reliable and convenient public transportation that meets mobility needs for longer trips?”  No, it doesn’t, because going almost anywhere is going to be more than a short trip. Is it ever going to be close to where the majority of the people living there work? No again.

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Remember, the study group concluded that the majority of people in Washington need to live and work in urban areas. That means that to meet their goals, people who currently live in exurban and rural areas are going to have to accept that their lifestyles will change. This, in a nutshell, is why it’s vitally important to Ed Murray that the city include affordable housing.

ratsIf our leftist overlords are going to herd us into the cities so that we can live and work there like rats, there needs to be housing available. And too bad for you if you’d rather not live that way. Do you think it’s beyond the reach of government to make your daily commute a living hell? Or tax you out of homes outside the reach of economically feasible public transportation?

Leftists embrace an ideology that’s diametrically opposed to liberty. They want to control where you live, how you live, where you work, what kind of vehicle, if any, you can drive, and where you can go. That doesn’t leave much to your discretion, does it, but, I mean, really…is anyplace you can’t reach via public transportation a place that’s worth going? So no big deal, right?

You have to admire leftists; they never do anything that doesn’t move their agenda forward. So the next time you see a leftist say or do something that doesn’t make any logical sense at all, look for the hidden agenda.

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