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Politics

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The Stranger is a smug, snarky and occasionally clever Seattle media institution that makes some great nightlife recommendations. But when it comes to city politics, it’s on the wrong track. With 50+ candidates running for City Council, many Seattle voters are going to be looking for ways to winnow down their choices come August 6th. City Council Primary Ballots are mailed July 17th. For what are likely historical or sentimental reasons (hey, remember Grunge?), The…

In the urgent debate around Seattle’s homelessness crisis, many articles (such as this otherwise great one in Crosscut) cite the statistic that 35% of those who are homeless in the Seattle region have some level of substance abuse. It’s often a very central part of the framing, especially by those who wish to portray substance abuse as a relatively low contributor to the problem. Among other things, presenting that statistic at face-value implies that presumably,…

Fears matter, and they often prevent action. Each side of the debate needs to have a cogent, believable answer for the other side’s worst fears. That’s currently missing from the debate. But only then can we make progress. I’m lucky to have very smart, good faith, prominent and well-intentioned friends on both sides of the “Seattle is Dying” debate. They sincerely differ in their perspectives — both on what the severity of the problems are…

Flipping channels today on CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere I’m reminded of a famous book in social psychology. Social Psychologist Leon Festinger, the same researcher who coined “cognitive dissonance,” released a fascinating book in 1956 called When Prophecy Fails. When prophecies fail, the most fervent believers often double-down on their original beliefs, asserting that their very actions and diligence were precisely what prevented the dire prophecy itself. That is, bad things would have come true had…

Last night, an hour-long program aired without commercial interruption in Seattle on the addiction crisis and homelessness. It’s an important watch. I found it devastating, riveting and motivating, all at once. There is already much being made over the fact that (a) it comes from KOMO News, a station now owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, a large conglomerate which has an unquestionably conservative lens. And that (b) there is direct footage within this broadcast of people…

Socialism is where the government owns or substantially controls the means of production and distribution of goods. (Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster) Nations like France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Canada… are capitalist nations. They are market economies, not centrally planned and controlled economies. Please correct your friends when you hear them say they are socialist nations, because no, they are not. Their economies are not socialist.  The vast majority of the largest producers in those nations are…

The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein estimates that raising the marginal tax rate to between 60 and 70 percent on incomes above $10 million might raise as much as $720 billion dollars over a decade, or $72 billion per year. There are some 16,000 households that meet that criteria — fewer than 0.05% of all US households. Collectively, their taxable income was about $405 billion in 2016, on which they paid $121 billion in taxes. Current…

Steve MurchSteve’s an entrepreneur and software leader. Most recently, he founded HipHip.app, the easiest way to create celebration videos. He also founded bigthanks.org, helping people discover and share productive ways they can respond in times of crisis. Steve’s worked on consumer apps, online travel, games, relational databases, management consulting and telecom. He launched Alignvote in

I was there at that raucous council meeting to repeal the vote, I signed an Open Letter from Tech Leaders Opposed to the Proposed Head Tax, and I was a volunteer signature gatherer and small donor ($275) to the repeal referendum effort. Why did the council vote 7–2 to repeal it, just a few weeks after voting 9–0 to pass it? It is telling that the City Council called for a vote to repeal…