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    The Daily Troll: Boeing keeps pols on their toes. Del Bene to NSA: Back off. Sound Transit wants your ideas.

    An 82-year-old man was taken into custody after a shooting at Union Gospel Mission.

    Boeing memo clarifies ... what?

    An internal Boeing memo says that design engineering for a new 777X airliner could be spread around various sites worldwide (including Moscow) with "much" work done outside Puget Sound. But it also indicates that the company learned something from the Dreamliner debacle: More of the work on the new 777 will apparently be done by Boeing's own people. The Seattle Times notes that the memo set off something of an internal furor and the reassurance of engineering union representative Ray Goforth, who told the Puget Sound Business Journal that the do-it-ourselves message may make the memo mostly good news, isn't entirely convincing — he was talking about national membership.

    As The Herald points out, Gov. Jay Inslee is making a push for keeping most design and construction here, as with the current version of the 777, but he clearly won't take any comfort from this. And in such a carefully written memo, Boeing might just have intended to keep politicians nervous as they court the company. — J.C.  

    DelBene and Wisconsin Republican target NSA

    Freshman U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene is co-sponsoring a bill to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of data. The Eastside Democrat joined with Wisconsin Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner on a proposal that requires any data collection to be based on tangible evidence, allows Internet service companies to disclose the number of accounts that the government asked for data on and creates an advocate to argue for personal privacy before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which evaluates the case for personal surveillance. In other words, DelBene is coming out against the NSA apparatus. Though they probably knew this before we did. — A.S. 

    Sound Transit: Where you want to go?

    Sound Transit is playing 20 questions with its long-range plan: The agency wants the public to help shape expansion after currently approved projects are completed in 2023. Adjusting the plan now (it was last adjusted in 2005) should help Sound Transit shape future ballot measures, and route options for pedestrians/ bikers. You can view the current plan here, and if you want input on where Sound Transit should be (and everyone seems to, whether to adjust planned routes or to call for a halt), you can take the survey here. — A.S. 

    Mission shooting

    Seattle Police say that a man, believed to be in his 40s, suffered life-threatening injuries in a shooting inside the Union Gospel Mission at the south edge of Downtown Seattle just before noon. The Seattle Times reports that the alleged gunman is 82 years old, has no criminal history and said he felt threatened. The victim has an extensive record. On the less depressing side, a mission official tells The Times' Jennifer Sullivan that volunteers and staffers acted heroically to get the gun from the man in the middle of a crowd. Seattlepi.com reports the mission has a no-weapons policy and conducts random checks for guns at night but usually doesn't do so at meal times. — J.C.  

    Halloween: It's go time for ghouls

    If you aren't in the Halloween spirit yet, consider a visit to your local cemetery. Or, more conveniently, check out the gravestone epitaphs Ellis Conklin of Seattle Weekly researched recently from around the state: "Return to Sender" (Ritzville); "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" (Queen Anne); "I told you I was sick" (Tukwila). Dave Quiring of Quiring Monuments recalls carving one for a Microsoft software engineer: "Press any key to continue." 

    And for everyone this Halloween who is going to be out and about or just at home, the Seattle Police blog pulls together close to three dozen safety tips. The first two directed at motorists and bicyclists are probably the biggest: Be alert for extra pedestrian and bicycle traffic. And be patient. Full list here. — J.C.

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    Posted Wed, Oct 30, 7:30 p.m. Inappropriate

    Sound Transit “wants the public to help shape expansion after currently approved projects are completed in 2023”? Awesome. Here's my advice. I know exactly what that unaccountable municipality should do: hike regressive taxes! That's precisely how expansion should be "shaped" -- just look at what's happening now.

    The political appointees controlling that board NEED to do what they always do – target the most economically-vulnerable individuals and families with heavy sales taxes and car tab taxes. And they definitely should not admit they've done that after the fact. If they admit it, they'd look stupid and abusive as none of the peers behave that way.

    Everyone remember the ST2 ballot proposition that municipality floated that got enough “approve” votes in 2008? That ballot measure did not impose a single nickle of new taxes. It was nothing other than a series of suggestions of what taxing and spending policies might later be adopted. We know that from what the proposition that was put on the ballot said. All voters approved in 2008 was a board resolution that said the board would decide later how much taxing to do. That ballot proposition was Resolution 2008-11. Here is what it actually said about any future regressive taxing – that all the decisions about the amounts and duration of the tax confiscations would be made later by the board of that oligarchy:

    “Section 5. The local-option taxes approved by the voters shall be levied or imposed at such rates and collected as of such dates as may be determined by the Board pursuant to law.”

    THAT is what we need more of: the political appointees on that board suggesting they should be able to slam the least well-off households for decades with the unchecked regressive taxation powers their sugar daddies in the state legislature handed them.

    Everyone knows what the unaccountable appointees controlling that board did the year after that ballot measure passed, right? No? Well, you have an excuse . . . they didn't tell you.

    Once the boardmembers got the chance to abuse the governmental powers the state legislature delegated to them they went to town. They adopted a massive Sound Transit tax imposition law, with zero fanfare. On September 10, 2009 the board adopted a new local law for that municipality that contained an irrevocable pledge to confiscate sales tax throughout the district at or near a .9% rate through 2039. They did that via Resolution 2009-16. That new law will result in Sound Transit confiscating about $22 billion of regressive tax from this region, merely as security for a single $300 million bond.

    The fact of the matter is that the ballot measure approved in 2008 did not require the boardmembers to enact ANY new laws imposing ANY local tax. Moreover, absolutely nothing in that 2008 ballot measure even suggested they would pass an ordinance requiring that municipality to confiscate $22 billion of regressive sales tax over the next thirty years merely as security for a $300 million bond.

    Aggregating all Sound Transit’s spending budgets doesn’t come anywhere near demonstrating a need for $22 billion of sales tax revenue through 2039. Those bond sale contract security provisions mean that municipality’s tax confiscations are meant to exceed by billions of dollars reasonable capital and operating costs. The staff of that oligarchy's most recent projections about future taxing are that it will need to secure an additional $7.5 billion of long term bonds by serial thirty-year tax confiscation pledges.

    Why such an abusive mentality by the boardmembers when it comes to tax confiscation pledges? Because Goldman Sachs and Sound Transit's local enablers at Foster Pepper and the elder Bill Gates’ law firm want fat cuts off the top of those bond sales. Here is the link to the 2009-series bond sale “official statement” that was filed with the SEC in connection with that $300 million bond sale described above:


    As you can see from the cover page, this punishing scheme was designed by Goldman Sachs and its local enablers (the lawyers and financiers who get rich setting up abusive tax scams like this). The board, being unaccountable political appointees, were happy to spearhead this abusive financing scheme.

    No other transit services provider in this country pays for buses and trains with decades of regressive taxation pledges as security for mountains of long-term muni bonds. The only reason it happens here is that an oligarchy was created with massive unchecked tax and spend powers. Sound Transit is our Grand Experiment in municipal governance, and it blows.


    Posted Thu, Oct 31, 12:35 a.m. Inappropriate

    I took the survey. Some of the questions are good. Others are worded in a way that leads to answers whoever has put this together want.

    For example, question 7 Which of the following statements best describes your views for how the regional transit system should expand in the coming decades? [select one]

    Here are the selections. Notice how one of the choices doesn't have any drawbacks, but the other two do? This seems like push polling to me. Here are the choices:

    1. focus on light rail extensions that offer congestion-free and high capacity service (comment: is light rail truly high capacity? Why are there no drawbacks, like the decades it takes to get something up and running or the high fixed costs that are paid for with regressive taxes, as noted above?)

    2. focus on express bus and bus rapid transit with lower construction costs, but lower capacity and increased vulnerability to rising congestion without investments in dedicated and/ or priority lanes (comment: how about a choice of investing with dedicated and / or priority lanes? Why can't I select that one?)

    3. focus on improving the Sounder commuter rail system, providing service on freight tracks with focus on peak commuting hours

    4. expanding the regional transit system is not a priority for me

    Then question 9 has a very strange juxtaposition of "I don't think I will use transit in the future" contrasted with benefits people that motivate use. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 as most important, what does a 1 or a 5 mean on "I don’t think I will use transit in the future"? Does a 1 mean I disagree with the negative statement? This is confusing.

    There was some other question that has the respondent put pins on two places that need more transit. Were these two pins supposed to then connect? I am not sure if this question is going to yield any meaningful insights.

    Two final closing comments: the survey should have concluded with a question about "was this survey understandable". I think Sound Transit would get some additional perspectives if they asked that question that would then help them with the next survey. Also, being asked for income range and then right after that being given a chance to fill in an email address is kind of creepy. I think Sound Transit meant to say that the email address would not be associated with the survey results, but the wording could have been better.


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