crime Drugs

Wouldn’t it be cheaper for society to make heroin legal and safe?

It costs about $38,000 a year to incarcerate a person for one year in Washington State (FY2019 Cost per Incarcerated Individual per Day — All Facility Costs). According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, The substantial prison population in the United States is strongly connected to drug-related offenses. While the exact rates of inmates […]

Bush Politics Progressives

Yes, Nader and his supporters DID cause Gore to lose to Bush

Some progressive writers have claimed that it’s a myth that Ralph Nader caused Al Gore to lose the 2000 presidential election to Bush. They say there were other reasons for the loss: the Supreme Court, bad ballots in Florida, Gore’s losing in his home state, etc.  They fail to realize two things. First, events can […]

War Washington State Politics

Primary candidates barely mention war and military spending

The Washington State Voters’ Pamphlet for the presidential primary election barely mentions the costs of wars and military spending. Tulsi Gabbard’s statement says the most about the topic. “Let us enter into a new century free from the fear of nuclear war, a world where there is real peace….” In the next paragraph she says, […]

Economic Inequality Economic Justice Homelessness

Homeless man in wheelchair, a few blocks from the headquarters of Amazon

I often see him in downtown Seattle in the morning when I arrive. There were two other homeless guys nearby: one sleeping on a metal bench (like the one you see on the right above), the other sleeping in a doorway. Amazon.com’s headquarters are a few blocks away. The two richest men in the world […]

Washington State Politics

A possible reason why liquor and motor fuel companies are exempt from business tax in HB 2907

Update: I heard from Rep. Nicole Macri’s office that while HB 2907 is dead for the session, the similar bill HB 2948 is still alive. It too contains exemptions for liquor and motor fuel manufacturers. The exemptions are there for consistency with municipal law related to RCW 35.102.130  (“Allocation and apportionment of income”) in the […]

Politics

Notes on 41st LD Town Hall at Bellevue College on 2020-02-22

Rep. Tana Senn said she’d start with a “light” topic: taxes. There was a recent encouraging news: high revenue for the state.  Someone in the audience asked if the legislature would return some money to the citizens. Senn said it’s unlikely, because the money won’t be available til next year, it may be a one-time […]

Politics Religion

Conversion story

A former colleague wrote about his conversion from Mormon to atheist and from Republican to Democrat. I realized a few years back that my religion was a bunch of made-up nonsense, and my wife and I left the Mormon church in 2016. I’m an atheist now and happier than before I think, but I do […]

Adam Smith

Report on Rep. Adam Smith Town Hall about NDAA (Jan 25, 2020)

On Jan 25 in Tukwila, Rep. Adam Smith gave a town hall to discuss the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act.  The NDAA has been widely criticized by anti-war and progressive groups for compromising away too many progressive amendments and for raising Pentagon spending to $738 billion. As Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, […]

Military Force Military Spending War

Interactive 3D visualization of U.S. Military Bases Worldwide

Click here for an interactive 3D visualization of U.S. military bases worldwide, using three.js.  (Alternative location is here.) The visualization includes data from 1746 bases. About 700 of the base are in U.S. states and territories; the rest are on foreign soil.  The data comes from public sources and is approximate; it does not cover […]