Seattle Councilman discusses challenges of finding homes for the homeless.

From The Voice November edition

Seattle Citycouncilman Mike O’Brien discusses
challenges of finding homes for the homeless
Mike O’Brien
wants to
tax large
companies in
order to raise
more funds for
the homeless.

By Nancy Gardner The Voice editor

Seattle City Councilmember Mike
O’Brien told Seattle Housing Authority
residents that Seattle’s homeless crisis has
escalated due to a lack of enough affordable
At the monthly SHA resident meeting
on Oct. 11, he said, “A person can’t live in
Seattle on $15 per hour or by making the
minimum wage. And ticketing, towing and
sweeps create more problems than they
He also said Seattle needs more places to
move the homeless before they get ‘swept’
out of their makeshift housing.
The 49-year-old native Seattleite said
housing was affordable 20 years ago, but
not anymore.
“Look around − we’re creating massive
amounts of wealth in our community but
that’s going to just a handful of people.”
To help raise revenue for affordable
housing, O’Brien has proposed a new tax
on businesses making more than $5 million,
called the Housing, Outreach, and
Mass-Entry Shelter (HOMES) proposal.
Councilmembers will vote on Nov. 20.

Posted by Linde in Homelessness, 0 comments

Progressive Party Endorsements

The Progressive Party has endorsed the following candidates for the primary elections:

Seattle  For Mayor Nikita Oliver and Bob Hazagawa (duel)

For City Council Jon Grant

Shoreline For City Council Carolyn Ahlgreen

Marysville For City Council Jason Call.


Please support them with your vote, and your funding if possible.




Posted by Linde in Calls to Action, 0 comments

NeoFuedalism Part2

Historians love precise words, so I have been talking about corporate oligarchy for years now, but something else has recently come to my attention. . We, as a country, have been sliding back into the Robber Baron Era for a very longtime, but recently, I have noticed a return to something earlier, more dangerous, and not native to this land at all.

I call it, “Neo-fuedalism”, and you will have to move your mind to Europe, and back to the time of Kings at the top of society, owning everything in the land. But, if his nobles fought to help him win every war–they could own, with his majesty’s permission, huge estates. Naturally, they had to pay in service and taxes for these rights, and since that cost money and effort, they, in turn, let their knights have control over some of their estates provided they paid by fighting in their army, and paying him taxes.

There were two exceptions to this…in the early Middle Ages, the Church was exempt from this system, but created their own paralleling it. And, at the bottom, were the serfs. These unlucky people were owned right along with the land. They had to fight in any war that came up, and since they were property, anything they gained in the fighting went to their Lord, who in turn paid a tax on it at each level right up to the King.

Now compare this to our current tax systems. We no longer have kings, but plenty of would be nobles have lined up to take credit for creating all of the wealth in the world, demanding to pay the lowest percentage of taxes. These have sometimes been referred to as the 10%. Then we have the knights—the owners of the big corporations earning less than the top 10% of all Americans. They don’t feel the need to pay taxes much either. And so it goes until we get to the serfs. Who are the new serfs? If you can’t afford to own your own home, eat healthy, well-balanced meals, use either private or public transportation, see the doctor or dentist, buy new clothing– you are skating very close to being a new serf. If you are homeless, sick, hungry every day, looking for work and not finding it–you are a new serf.

And how those at the top use our fears against us is, if you have a job that doesn’t quite pay enough, no savings, and your rent has just gone up, the would be nobles are there to point the finger at the homeless, and skating awfully close to being homeless, saying, “You work hard. Why should we pay taxes to keep those lazy people. Vote for my guy, and taxes will go down.” And you do, and those taxes go down for the 10%. Yours go up.

Sometime, you have to listen to your own voice—the one that says, “Hey, every time I vote for a Republican, my taxes go up, and there are fewer jobs.” Then, four years later, “Hey, every time I vote for a Democrat, my taxes go up, and there are fewer jobs.” So they say, “It’s a Two Party System. You have to vote for one or the other.” Do You???? If you vote in the primary, sometimes there are other parties, or even no party on the ballot. Read the Voter’s Guide, and choose someone you agree with who could be outside the Two Party System. And if your favorite happens to lose, keep voting for the ones you actually agree with. If everyone kept doing this, eventually we would have a choice that included candidates you actually agree with winning.

When the thirteen colonies defeated England, and George Washington officially accepted their surrender, the band played, “The world turned upside down.” It might be fun to play it the day we get rid of the Neo-fuedal system.

Posted by Linde in Opinions, 0 comments

NeoFeudalism Part 1

The word feudalism comes from “feu”, “fend” or “feudum”, which stands for the fee or the fief. The fief is a piece of property held in return for services.

Corporatism: The New Feudalism

image source:

The term feudalism was first brought into general use in eighteenth century Europe. But in the history of the world, the feudal period is recognized to have itself from the fifth to the fifteenth century. According to some critics, feudalism developed between seventh and tenth centuries.

According to Schumpeter, “feudal civilization suggests the idea of a particular type of warrior society, namely, of a society dominated by a warrior stratum that was organized on the principle of vassalage, in a , hierarchy of fief-endowed lords and knights.”


Maurice Dobb has defined feudalism to be virtually identical with what we generally mean by serfdom :

“An obligation laid on the producer by force and independently of his own volition to fulfill certain economic demands of an overlord, whether these demands take the form of services to be performed or of dues to be paid in money or in kind.”

Usually, it is West European feudalism that serves as the primary example of a feudal model. But many scholars hold the view that there were different types of feudalism existing in different parts of the world. In this regard, Paul A. Baran remarks there is a “tremendous different” between the histories of the feudal systems in different parts of the world”. Daniel Thorner has correctly remarked we have numerous ‘feudalisms’, they constitute a series of systems belonging to different families. Even for the cases that are clearest—in Asia Japan, Europe from the 9th to 12th centuries, feudalism turns out to be a mixed system, a symbiosis, difficult to conceptualize and analyze.”

Features of Feudalism :

From a discussion of the features of feudalism we can have a proper idea about the various aspects of this economic system.

1. A simple mode of production :


Feudalism represents a low level of technique in which the instruments of production are simple and generally inexpensive. The act of production is largely individual in nature. It is not the result of complex division of labour

2. Production for consumption :

Production in a feudal society is organized to meet the need of the household or a village community. Production is not meant for exchange or for the market. The feudal economy is a natural economy; its main object is consumption.

3. Political decentralization :

In the feudal era the State becomes less powerful. There is usually no strong unified central government. The most significant economic and political functions are discharged by the feudal aristocracy.

4. Hierarchical organization :

According to Holesovsky, titular ownership of land is vested in members of a class of feudal lords, Church, nobles, etc. These lords form a hierarchy starting with a king above, his vassals and then his tenants of successively lower ranks.

5. Personal relationship :


According to John Critchley, feuda­lism—particularly of Europe was Characterized by personal relationship between the lord and the vassal, between the grantor and the grantee. Dobb mentions that, with lord possessed “some judicial or quasi-judicial functions in relation to the dependent population”. The Libri Feudorum which was the most famous collection of feudal laws contained regulations governing the behaviour required of the vassal towards his lord and more vaguely of lord towards his vassal. In Japan this relationship was so close and deep that they even spoke of the “feudal family”, consisting of the tenants and the landlords.

6. Based on custom :

It was an economic society organized by tradition. Tradition solved the economic problem. Tradition directed men to their tasks. Tradition also regulated the distribution of social rewards.

7. Changelessness :

Changelessness was another attribute of classical feudalism. As Paul Sweezy mentions, “European village society which characterized feudalism was “conservative and change resisting.”

8. Absence of molestation :

Under classic form of feudalism, transactions were mostly of a barter type. Cash payments were rare.

‘Use of money for exchange was very less. Products under feudalism did not take the form of “commodity” as they mostly had a “use value”. Market forces of demand and supply had very little relevance in this system. The feudal economy was a subsistence economy.

9. Self-sufficiency :

The insularity of economic life was an important feature of feudalism. The manor used to be self-sufficient. Each manor produced all types of crops in quantities sufficient for its population. Inter-manorial trade was very insignificant. Reduction of trade with the outside world to the minimum was considered as a sign of good management. Extreme self-reliance was the economic hallmark of feudalism.

10. Typical feudal mentality :

Feudal mentality is lazy, inexpert and un-progressive. Feudal ideology is based on non-acquisitive­ness, submissiveness and respect for tradition. Motivation was non-economic. Feudal qualities were antithetic of businesslike. The emphasis is not on profit.

Posted by Linde in Issues, 0 comments

support the high earners tax!

Following is an overview of the issues relating to the proposal to enact a high earners tax in Seattle. This will undoubtedly be challenged in the courts but, in my opinion, is a much needed first step along the path to what hopefully will result in a more fair tax system. Many thanks to Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold for this information.
*—– Original Message —–* *From:* Herbold, Lisa < <>> *To:* Herbold, Lisa < <>> *Sent:* 4/28/2017 5:26:58 PM *Subject:* re: I support the high earners tax! ———————————————————————— Thank you for writing me about a potential city income tax, and issues of tax fairness. Seattle is a growing and prosperous city that should offer better schools and healthier communities, yet our City faces many urgent challenges, including a homelessness state of emergency, an affordable housing crisis, overcrowded classrooms, education equity and racial achievement gaps, inadequate provision of mental health services, and severe traffic congestion. Because there are real risks that the Trump administration will cut funding for Seattle priorities like housing and human services, education and transit, the _Trump-Proof Seattle Coalition_ of more than 40 different organizations has come together to fight back. They have been meeting with Councilmembers in every district to propose an income tax on high incomes. Residents have contacted my office in recent months in shock over the increase in their property taxes. It’s our tax structure that is responsible; Washington State’s is the _most regressive in the nation_ , with people earning $20,000 a year devoting two entire months of pay to their yearly tax bill, while the 1% pay their annual tax bill in only 6 days. We need a fairer tax system. Economist Dick Conway reports that across five different measures – fairness, transparency, adequacy, stability, and economic vitality – Washington State’s tax structure is the worst of all the states in the nation.
* Fairness – we have the most regressive system, meaning the tax burden is greatest on those with lower incomes (see above) * Transparency – we don’t know how much we pay in taxes because so much is buried in the sales tax. Transparency is a prerequisite for rational tax policy. Washington has the second least transpar­ent tax system in the nation. * Adequacy – our tax system doesn’t generate enough revenue to meet the public needs (e.g., education and transportation) of a growing economy – resulting in over-reliance on the property tax levies. * Stability – Washington has a highly unstable tax system due to its inadequate and volatile sales tax base, the ninth most unstable in the nation. * Economic Vitality – many economists believe that the best way to promote economic vitality is with high-quality education, good roads, and a safe and healthy environment. There is no evidence that having an income tax is an impediment to economic growth and there is a lot of evidence that the lack of an income tax has put our economy – not to mention our schools – in jeopardy.
On Monday, the Council will consider a resolution “expressing the City of Seattle’s intent to adopt a progressive income tax targeting high-income households.” The _resolution_ lays out a timeline and the elements of the legislation that need to be determined, including: what types of income can and will be taxed; the threshold above which income is taxed, and/or below which households are exempted from the tax; at what percentage(s) income is taxed; the use of the revenue so raised; and the administrative mechanisms to ensure the accurate and enforceable collection of income tax revenues. The resolution notes that legal viability will be the primary consideration in making these decisions. It further notes that “revenue from such a systemic change in taxation could be dedicated to lowering the property tax burden and the impact of other regressive taxes; replacing federal funding potentially lost through Trump budget cuts; and providing public services, including housing, education, and transit; creating green jobs and meeting carbon reduction goals.” The _Trump-Proof Seattle Coalition_ proposal is a 1.5% tax on adjusted gross income in excess of $250,000 per year. They estimate this could raise $125 million annually. On _Thursday, May 4__^th __they are coming to District 1 at_ South Seattle Community College, Olympic Hall. I’ll be there. Doors open at 5:30. Program begins Best, Lisa Herbold District 1 Councilmember, Chair Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee 206-684-8803 _lisa.herbold@seattle.gov_ <>

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This Weekend: Arm-In-Arm, Forward Together!

From the Backbone Campaign

Bckbone Campaign

All interested,
2017_earth_day_The_Guardian_use_of_Backbone_earth_day_photo_from_2015.jpeg*Join Backbone and friends as we skill-up and inspire the next wave of activists to rise up, resist, and protect what they love. *
/There are a host of awesome opportunities this weekend and Monday to raise the visibility of the issues that matter to us and skill-up for the societal transformation we need!/
Get the scoop and RSVP below!
March for Climate Justice w/ Backbone & Solutionary Rail Imagery
/Saturday, march for a life-sustaining biosphere. Amplify and animate the idea of Solutionary Rail/.
Wear the cool wind turbine backpacks, roll the ecotopia / solutionary rail train, or add some thunderous percussion. Many hands welcomed and needed.
Saturday April 29, 2017 at 9am – 11am Occidental Park 117 S Washington St Seattle, WA 98104
*RSVP – Click HERE *

We Demand Climate Justice w/ 350 Seattle Friends at an Art BuildSkill-up at the People’s Climate Action Summit!
*Check out the schedule HERE *
Join Backbone and the People’s Climate Movement at the half day summit of workshops and skill-shares. The summit builds our understanding of what it means to fight climate change from a perspective of justice and offers tools for taking action.
/Backbone will be offering a workshop on Solutionary Rail and 3 speed-dating type skill-shares on Making Visually Compelling Actions, Guerrilla Light Projection and Giant Banner Making, and Drumming for demonstrations. /
*Check out the full program with a host of amazing opportunities from our friends and collaborators at *

Mobilize Solutionary Rail Imagery w/ Backbone & WSLC at the Seattle May Day MarchMobilize Solutionary Rail Imagery w/ Backbone & WSLC at the Seattle May Day March
Amplify and animate the idea of Solutionary Rail. Help us build the public presence for this visionary proposal.
*Backbone is proud to join our brothers and sisters of the Washington State Labor Council for the 18TH Annual May Day March for Workers & Immigrant Rights!*
/Meet-up at Noon at the Wisteria Park parking lot near the corner of 16th Ave S and S Main St./ (Just a short walk from Judkins park if you want to enjoy some of the rally first. Arrive no later than 12:30pm).
Monday May 1st, 2017 at Noon – 3pm Wisteria Park parking lot near the corner of 16th Ave S and S Main St. 1427 S Main St Seattle, WA 98144
*RSVP – Click HERE *
*Tuesday, May 2nd, join the conference call with fellow change-makers!*
/Find out about upcoming actions and mobilizations and learn how you can be a part of making these fun, creative, and principled protests sprout up! Get updates from solidarity squads, the Builder’s Guild, and more.
*RSVP HERE for Tuesday’s 5pm PST / 8pm EST conference call! */
*/Now, more than ever… Forward Together!
-Team Backbone Campaign
*PS: Don’t forget to APPLY for /Localize This!/ Action Camp July 25h-August 1st. Click HERE to let us know you’re interested and get all the info! *
Inflatable_Earth_Painting_Marathon_Art_Build_small_with_group_IMG_0909_(1).jpg / ————————————————————————
Backbone Campaign ·

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You can also keep up with Backbone Campaign on Twitter or Facebook .
Support the Backbone Campaign: Donate
* Thank YOU for supporting the *Backbone Campaign* located in Vashon, WA. *Backbone Campaign* is registered with Washington State’s Charities Program as required by law and additional information is available by calling 800-332-4483 or visiting
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Posted by Email Poster in Calls to Action, Land Use, Politics, State, 0 comments

From a Progressive Party Member

Tiny Homes: Seattle’s Latest Solution to Housing Homeless Western U.S. cities like Seattle are combatting the homeless crisis with tiny homes. Kirei Mei Johnson, who just moved to one tiny home village, says the shelters …


Posted by Email Poster in Homelessness, Opinions, Resources, 0 comments

Taxes. Who Pays? Who benefits?

For many years, this party has spoken out against Washington’s terrible Tax system. Generally, it can be described as a way of asking the poor and middle class to pay for most things, while the rich complain about having to pay taxes. This system may look fair on the surface, because it asks everyone to pay the same amount in taxes. But it is rather like a company that asks a low paid worker out to a fancy restaurant as a reward for hard work. Two big bosses take hi to dinner, and announce that in order to be perfectly fair, they will divide the bill equally.

So, the waiter appears, and one boss orders a nice, thick steak, champagne,  and caviar. The second boss orders Wagu beef, pate and mineral water, and the poor guest orders the cheapest soup. The bosses don’t even notice him sweating under his collar as he worries about how to pony up his, “Fair share” of the bill. The bosses congratulate each other on how fair they were.

If we all pay the same amount, those earning the least pay a high percentage of their income.

And, it’s even worse with out Business and Occupancy Tax. Businesses are supposed to thrive and provide jobs, plus provide tax money to operate our state. So, what we do is tax every penny that comes in the door of the business, instead of waiting to see what their profits might be. I’m not encouraging Hollywood bookkeeping  here, but shouldn’t businesses be allowed to subtract expenses like rent, utilities, pay for employees and inventory? What do we do instead? We allow tax breaks to the biggest companies based on the idea that they provide the most jobs. And we don’t even insist that those jobs be in our state.

I believe it would be much more sensible and fair to get rid of all the special tax breaks, then only tax the profits each company makes.  That way, even the newest, smallest companies get a fair chance to survive the first few years when they don’t always make a profit. Especially since small businesses provide more than 50% of jobs in our state.

Let’s try a little fairness in our tax system.


Posted by Linde in Economy, 1 comment

Corruption in Government

This video from provides a good description of the current corrupt practices in the US government.


Posted by Webmaster in Opinions, Politics, 1 comment
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