Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 2/3rds, shame on Tim Eyman

This fall, Washington will be voting on yet another anti-tax Tim Eyman initiative that would require a 2/3rds majority vote of the Legislature to raise revenue. Similar initiatives have been approved by voters twice in the past, although the 2/3rds majority requirement has been ruled unconstitutional by the King County Superior Court and will be ruled on by the State Supreme Court this fall.

Which begs the question, what do you think of when you hear the word taxes? What do you think of when you hear that the government wants to raise taxes? I used to think of rich, old white men (Willard Mitt Romney-esque) with suits made of $100 bills smoking cigars scheming of ways to become even more unnecessarily rich.

But, after some time working closely with the Seattle public school system I got an eye opening realization of what taxes pay for. Taxes pay for teacher salaries and supplies and resources offered within public schools. Without this necessary funding schools cannot perform. I’ve walked into high schools where classrooms have empty bookshelves except for a few dictionaries and thesauruses. Classrooms across the state will continue to suffer if  we cannot find the proper amount of revenue to alleviate the situation.

This tax initiative won’t just effect the education of students in Seattle, but it will also make it extremely difficult to raise money for other crucial services. Many people will lose basic health coverage and senior citizens may have to pay more out-of-pocket for their prescription drugs. Road maintenance will suffer, and cities won’t be able to hire enough police and firefighters.

No one likes to pay taxes. But it’s a necessary expense for the quality of life we expect to live as citizens of this great country. Understand what this money is used for. Eyman’s potentially unconstitutional 2/3rd’s initiative is a true barrier to progress and many communities in Washington State will feel its impact.

Watch Fuse’s very own Iron Jim Dawson go toe to toe with Tim “Agree to Disagree” Eyman himself a few years back. Anyone recognize the voice of the mysterious cameraman?

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Engagement Extravaganza!

You love marriage equality.

Wait, wait – that means WE LOVE YOU!!!!! So much, we’re throwing you a party. 

Come one, come all! The Washington Bus is hosting an Engagement Extravaganza!

Come to be entertained by our Newlywed Game (inspired by the original,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T5E4cVwyBE).

Stay for the free beer, snacks, and fabulous prizes.

Leave knowing how you can help Washington be the first place on earth to approve marriage equality by popular vote.

Be there. Or be a party pooper. The choice is yours! We recommend the first choice though.

August 11th. 5-7pm. Washington Bus HQ, 1100 E. Union St.

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THE END OF THE “DOGG”

It looks like this is farewell to the old S-n-double o-p D-o-double g!

 As you may have heard today marks a sad day in Hip Hop history, as the man once affiliated with Charlie Brown’s best friend has chosen to abandon the “Dogg” moniker (while keeping the “Snoop”) in favor of “Lion” (not sure if this is really a Mac OSX Lion advertisement or not). The West Coast rap stalwart has had a musical change of heart, not only switching his name, but his genre as well – taking on Reggae with his forthcoming album “Reincarnation.”

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 With that in mind, here’s a tribute to the old “Uncle Snoop” and his nearly 20 year contribution to the rap game – from teaching us how to “keep it G” to dropping it like it’s hot. My top 10 Snoop Dogg videos (in no particular order):

“Beautiful”

“I Wanna Rock”

“Drop It Like It’s Hot”

“Candy (Drippin’ Like Water)”

“Gin and Juice”

“Snoop’s Upside Ya Head”

“Who Am I? (What’s My Name)”

“Young, Wild and Free”

“2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”

“Ain’t Nothing But a G Thang”

Last, but not least, here’s a picture of just how far Mr. Broadus Jr. has come since Dr. Dre showed us his talents!

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Politics! Oh the Joy!

As we embark on this beautiful journey to fill out our ballots and figure out what in the world we are voting for I thought perhaps a brush up on the definitions of censorship and caucus would be helpful. I’m almost sure we have all heard of censorship, the definition is: suppression of published or broadcast material: the suppression of all or part of a play, movie, letter, or publication considered offensive or a threat to security. In layman’s terms it means that a person is bullied into keeping silence on a controversial subject by either a corporation or a powerful person.

Which takes me to the next word caucus…now you’re probably thinking what?! Caucus is defined as a political meeting: a closed meeting of people from one political party, especially a local meeting to select delegates or candidates. I myself didn’t know what this meant until recently, a perfect example to make sense of this is to think of it like this “It is pretty much grown men talking politics, it’s like high school. Whoever is more popular pretty much gets their way.

I hope this was helpful and now that you are more informed go on your way and fill out your ballot with confidence! Don’t forget to mail it in by August 7!

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Announcing registerinwa.org: Your voting info one-stop shop

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Hello soon-to-be and fellow voters, Ever wonder why you didn’t get your ballot in the mail?  Or what’s going to be on the darn thing once it comes?  Or where to take it once you’ve checked all the appropriate boxes? … Continue reading

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Olympic Fever

Its that time of the year again.  The time when everyone finds it totally cool to leave your television on almost all day (because who knows when you might see some cool, obscure sport like trampoline or archery).  That’s right, its the Olympics!

The Olympics are one of my favorite world events because its a time where over 200 countries come together in friendly competition.  For a couple of weeks, we try to pretend like all the other problems we might have with each other don’t matter.  Heck, even the commercials ooze with patriotism and inspiration (Check this one out for example).

But don’t forget that there are real diplomatic and political issues  that do matter and are affecting the games in London.  This and this, and even this are news articles that might help give you an idea of what issues are happening at the Olympics, besides the sports and athletes.

Happy Olympics!  And may the odds be ever in your favor.

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What if you were forced to vote?

Imagine you lived in a place where if you don’t vote the government will not let you leave the country? Or if you don’t make it to the polls you would be fined 20 bucks? Policies like this are referred to as compulsory voting. To Americans this may sound a little crazy but it’s very real in places like Brazil and Australia.

So how outlandish is this idea? Maybe not as much as you think. I see three fantastic reasons to support compulsory voting. First off, it would revolutionize United States political organizing for the better. All of the time and money spent on registering and reminding citizens to vote would be all be done by the government. This intensive and time consuming process would be gone, making room for more time spent actually campaigning. Secondly, it would increase the legitimacy of the government and it’s elected officials. It would prevent politicians from representing a constituency in which the majority didn’t vote for them (See Bush v. Gore ). When everyone votes, everyone’s voice is heard equally. Finally, compulsory voting leads to a more educated and informed populace which will increase the overall value of the political process.

So next time you forget to vote, remember how in other parts of the world you don’t even have the option!

Now stay tuned for my next post when I mix compulsory voting with the crazy idea of proportional representation! Now that’s what I call a serious democracy.

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