This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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November 2019
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Half the Chance

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam goes solo for the first time in years. He talks about the state of the presidential election race at the one year away mark. And of course, the latest impeachment developments are not ignored. Then some thoughts on Facebook and Twitter’s differing responses to political advertising, and the use of their platforms for social manipulation in general. Finally, a few thoughts on local elections, specifically the one Sam’s wife is running in.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2019-11-02
Length this week – 1:28:00

  • (0:00:27-0:35:55) Election 2020
  • (0:36:40-0:58:40) Impeachment
  • (0:59:50-1:15:19) Political Ads
  • (1:15:57-1:27:37) Local Election

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Local Bellevue WA Elections Again (Part II)

OK.  Lunch break time.  I am allowing myself 45 minutes, and am doing this instead of eating lunch today.  Bleh.  Of course, they put out excess Halloween candy in the hallway, so I am not hurting for junk calories with no actual nutrition value.  Woo!  Anyway…

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 1

One candidate.  John Creighton.  Leaving aside the Farscape reference (yes, I know it is spelled differently) the unopposed thing gets me again, and I write myself in.  I vote for SAMUEL MINTER.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 3

Two candidates.  Holland:  Truck Fleet Salesperson.  Supported by unions.  Doud: Investment properties broker.  Says he represents the whole county rather than just Seattle.  Criticizes union support of opponent.  I think I’ll go with the more business oriented Doud.  I generally dislike the idea of unions, and therefore am wary of Holland.  I will vote for DAVID DOUD.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 4

Two candidates.  Albro:  Touts his independence.  Bunch of endorsements.  Small business owner.  An engineer.  Vekich:  Former longshore worker and Democratic Legislator.  Says we don’t need an insider, but then lists a bunch of insiders who endorse him.  Why are these elected positions again?  The Stranger says: “The port needs a business-minded person who isn’t evil. That’s Tom Albro.”  Ha!  OK.  Good enough.  I’ll vote for TOM ALBRO.

City of Bellevue Council Position No. 2

Two candidates.  Orrico: Involved in a lot of local commissions and such.  Points out opponent is running for 4th term.  Her website was done by a middle school aged relative (child?).  Lee:  Incumbent.  Basically says he has done a good job so bring him back.  Looking around I don’t see much about issues that are very contentious.  I think multiple terms in local government is generally not a great idea though, and I liked the middle school designed website.  So I’ll vote for VICKI ORRICO.

City of Bellevue Council Position No. 4

Two candidates.  Wallace:  Looks like he is the keep taxes low, fiscal responsibility, that sort of thing type.  Also pushing light rail.  Bonincontri:  Some stuff about parks and quality of life and the like.  There really isn’t much to go on here.  Most of the stuff on both of them is of the “I’ll work to make things better” type.  On balance though, I think I’m leaning Wallace.  I will vote for KEVIN R. WALLACE.

City of Bellevue Council Position No. 6

Two candidates again.  Marchand:  Talks about jobs and pushing Bellevue to the next level.  Davidson: 22 years on the city council.  He says to reelect him because he has done a good job.  OK.  Marchand looks OK, and Davidson has just been there too long.  I will vote for MICHAEL MARCHAND.

OK.  My timer went off and my 45 minutes are up.  I have five more races to make decisions on.  They will have to wait for a few more hours until I am done with work.  I did six in this last 45 minutes, so I should be able to finish up in another 45 minute batch.  There should be plenty of time.  I’ve got just under four hours left before the time I usually leave work, and just under six hours before the ballots are due.  I can do that.

Local Bellevue WA Elections Again (Part I)

It is once again time for a set of local elections here in Bellevue, WA.  As usual I will try to write through my thoughts here, but also once again, I’m doing this at the last minute, so I’m not going to be all that in depth, either in my though process, or in what I write here.  Anyway, here we go:

State of Washington Initiative Measure No. 1033

This is an anti-tax initiative that would basically limit future tax increases to inflation plus population growth.  Honestly, I’m very tempted by this.  I don’t like taxes.  I am often not in favor of the things new taxes are used for, as I generally prefer more limited government.  I am not moved by the arguments that this will severely limit what government can do in the future and what services it can provide.  That is after all kind of the point.  However, I also dislike lots of complicated restrictions on the legislative process.  After the basic structures are put in place, and fundamental things restricting government from violating basic rights are taken care of, the rest should take place through the systems that are in place, not things like this.  I’m going to vote NO.  I admit to not feeling very solid on this though.  I could have gone the other way.

State of Washington Referendum Measure No. 71

This is about extending domestic partnership benefits so they are equivalent to marriage benefits.  In general, I don’t believe the government should be in the marriage or domestic partner business AT ALL.  Government should only recognize individuals.  And perhaps parent-child responsibilities should be codified in some way.  But anything else should be completely between the individuals involved and government’s only  involvement should be the same as with any other type of contract between individuals.  But as long as there *is* government recognized marriage / domestic partnership then having multiple types makes no sense.  I generally don’t like referendums as a method to do anything, and this is still flawed because there are still strict limits on what kinds of people in what kinds of situations can become domestic partners (for instance, Brandy and I are not eligible) but the after state on this one will be better than the before state, so I’ll vote APPROVED.

King County Charter Amendment No. 1

This simply removes language from the charter that defined the process of transitioning between different forms of government for the county.  A transition that finished years ago.  I guess I’m OK with this.  I’ll vote YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 2

This is also to remove procedures that are mandated by the charter, but which relate to budget processes that ceased to be used many years ago.  So continuing to follow those procedures is just a complete waste.  I guess I’m OK with eliminating them then.  I’ll vote YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 3

This clarifies a point of confusion between two sections of the charter that describe the appointment of commissioners in different ways.  This just reconciles the differences and makes the procedure clear.  I’m also OK with that.  I’ll vote YES.

King County Charter Amendment No. 4

This adds changes to the charter to make it more difficult for the county to sell off various lands currently used for parks, etc in the future.  By the same reasoning as my vote against State Initiative 1033 I think this is a bad idea.  Things like county charters should not be full of detailed restrictions on specific things.  They should lay out the basic functioning of government, and then those decision making procedures should apply across the board.  IT shouldn’t be structured with a whole menu of types of issues each of which have different procedures for decision making.  On this one I will vote NO.  (This by the way is in no way saying I favor selling off these public lands or any such… this question is on what the right procedure should be, not on the merits of the underlying issue, which is a completely separate issue.)

King County Executive

Two candidates.  Susan Hutchison and Dow Constantine.  Honestly, with the various things I read, I’ve heard pretty much nothing but bad things about Hutchison.  Of course, my Seattle area news is almost all from Slog, so that isn’t exactly unbiased.  Looking directly at her own website of course presents a more positive view and quotes some endorsements that sound somewhat valid.   But frankly Constantine still looks more competent and solid.  I’ll vote for DOW CONSTANTINE.

King County Sheriff

OK, one of my pet peeves.  An unopposed candidate.  Sue Rahr.  I’m not even going to bother looking up anything about her.  I fundamentally object to any and all unopposed candidates.  As usual in these situations, I write in myself.  I vote for SAMUEL MINTER.  (Of course, in this case I also don’t believe Sheriff should be an elected position at all.)

King County Assessor

First of all, why are there more than two candidates?  Didn’t we have a primary?  I guess this office wasn’t included?  Whatever.  Also, this shouldn’t be an elected office either.  Grrr….  Five candidates.  Albertini:  Appraiser, Appraiser Trainer, etc.  Looks good.  Lux: Some government experience a number of years ago.  Hara: Endorsed by a lot of people, also a Port Commissioner.  Rosenberger: Former Deputy Assessor.  Blanchard: CPA, real estate tax manager.  I have no real strong feelings here, but from their statements in the voters guide I guess I’ll vote for GRAHAM ALBERTINI.

King County Metropolitan King County Council District No. 9

Two candidates.  Dunn: Incumbent.  Anti-tax.  Tonda: Talks about her ancestors.  I’ll vote for REAGAN DUNN.

Judicial Court of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 3

Judges shouldn’t be elected.  There should not be unopposed candidates.  The one candidate, Ellington, is unopposed.  I once again write myself in.  I vote for SAMUEL MINTER.

OK, that is page one of the ballot.  I have just over 10 hours until the ballot needs to be turned in, and I need to go to work.  So page two will need to wait a bit.  I’ll probably do a bit during lunch, and the rest in the short time between leaving work and when I have to turn in the ballots.

[Minor text edits 21:45 UTC]