Sometimes the best way to approach your goals is to move away from them. An unseemingly large number of election items at issue Tuesday have brought this simple life rule to the forefront of my thoughts.
Moving backwards to go forwards is a life lesson taught to me through sport - and though built a bit like Seahawker Mack Strong - it's a lesson I learned through navigating the wilds of the Western U.S., not as a High School Offensive Lineman.
Proceeding blindly towards an obsessive goal can be dangerous. Even more dangerous is taking an easy road that has been put before you fraudlently.
Before my comments, a brief outdoor story, illustrating the point:
I once took a friend on one of my favorite hikes in Washington State - the Soleduck River/High Divide/Ridge Loop, just north of Mount Olympus. The day was perfect, late August with the Huckelberries at their ripest - as also was the weather.
The hike is long, about 20 miles, but it is also a loop, returning to the same spot you started. These 20 miles can be covered more easily in a day, lightly burdened, than could be covered in a weekend with full camping gear.
The pace to begin is mellow, slowly climbing through the rain forest of the Soleduck River valley, past Soleduck Falls. Only near the end of the basin do you enter the open Alpine Country - a modest cirque of heather, huckelberries, and small granite peaks. Climbing out of this basin you reach the pass, High Divide, to the Hoh river basin.
Though the climb to the pass is moderate the other side is quite dramatic, dropping thousands of feet below to the Hoh river then climbing several thousand above to the glacier covered peaks of Mount Olympus.
But this is not our route, our route is down the ridgeline - wending among rock pinnacles and cliffs as we slowly descend to our starting point - all in the glorious view of mountainous glory and riverine sublimity.
Though Huckelberries and views can do much to sustain this is a long hike, and by now all but the most enduranced of travelers will be feeling the burn. Perhaps distracted by a herd of grazing elk we chose any path that we thought was heading back down to the Soleduck Hot Springs.
But it was not descending into this watershed, it was in fact descending into the Hoh - a decision that could've proved quite problematic. Luckily, upon a bit of reflection, we discovered our error, corrected our path with only a slight detour - a worthwhile one actually - save for the legs. It was not long before we began to climb down from the ridge, steeply now, and returned to the trailhead, conveniently located next to the Soleduck Hot Springs.
For those of you so inclined, they do serve. I'd highly recommend spending the night here before driving back to home and work. My trip was the last time I smoked marijuana, an experience I'd like to do again some time. Proper time to recover, like that of an airplane pilot and alcohol, is important - something I think I learned, though not always through the easy path...
That said - observations on a few of the initiativi that are now before us.
Proposition 1, Sound Transit Two, et al:
This has been covered at length by myself and others, perhaps best on Crosscut. (The pieces by Bundy and Morrill are best - quality commenters include Piper Scott and David Sucher, and, hopefully, moi.) I won't burden my site anymore with the deserved negativity of the so-called 'business' practices of this funding proposal. (BTW, nothing wrong with the engineering, at least so far - save for poor route choice on I-90 - one of at least two very poor financial choices, the other being the Sea-Tac to Tacoma segment.)
A second vote will improve the package, just like with Sound Transit One.
R-67 - Insurance Reform:
Though the letter of this law make sense the implementation of it by the legal profession will not. Witness the heart tugging ads regarding a Puyallup Fireman, covered by the State's Workemen's Comprehensive and City of Puyallup policies, neither of which are subject to this initiatives regulations.
As for me, I trust my insurance company (and their lawyers) than I trust the trial attornies. A good place to start here would be the effective implementation of triple damages for legal practice malfeasance.
4204 - Levy vote margins for Schools
The proponents of this proposal are right. It is not fair that schools need to pass a higher threshold for passage than other financial measures. However we need to get State spending practices back in touch with reality, and a better move would be to raise the standards for all proposals to the level currently held to our schools.
I am, unfortunately, reminded of the not unrelated recent watering down of mathematics requirements in our standardized school testing program.
Lowering standards is not the way to improve our schools. Threats about the future economic success of our children, should this fail, should be legally pursued.
I-960 - Legislative Financial Accountability, by Initiative
My socially liberal politics are probably completely opposite the drafter of this proposal, Tim Eyman. However the continued lack of financial responsibility to even the most simple of legal standards is shameful.
I can't say this is the best way to do it. Like with global climate change though it is damn well time to start trying to do something. Claims of red tape are, like State Treasurer Mike Murphy, are bogus.