Guy W. Farmer: Senseless in Seattle
I usually return from family visits to my old hometown, Seattle, with a couple of column ideas, and my annual Christmas visit to the Emerald City was no exception. Some strange stuff is going on up there as Seattle is no longer the blue collar working man’s city I grew up in.
Here’s an example of what I mean by “strange stuff:” The venerable Seattle Times reported that petitions are being circulated statewide to disarm the police. The Times worded it more delicately by saying Initiative 940, sponsored by the “progressive” group De-Escalate Washington (loosely affiliated with Black Lives Matter), “would make it easier to prosecute law enforcement officers for alleged misuse of deadly force.” Basically, it’s a guilty until proven innocent proposition for the police.
Proponents of Initiative 940 say it’s necessary because of an increase in police shootings in the state of Washington, but they neglect to mention an increasing crime rate in Seattle and other cities in my home state. “Unfortunately, this initiative won’t do anything to reduce violent interactions between law enforcement and the public,” said Teresa Taylor, executive director of the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS), which represents more than 4,300 law enforcement officers.
The initiative “doesn’t make communities safer and doesn’t provide any funding to deal with the true problems that our communities face: rampant opioid addiction, a growing homeless population and a chronically underfunded mental health system,” the WACOPS statement continued.
Ironically, the same edition of the Seattle Times revealed a major increase in property crimes in the city. In downtown Seattle the annual property crime rate is 1,220 crimes per 1,000 residents, more than one crime per resident and one of the highest property crime rates in the nation.
“No one is immune from being the victim of a property crime in Seattle — not even the city’s top cop charged with fighting those crimes,” the paper reported. “I’ve had my car prowled,” said Assistant Chief Marc Garth Green, who heads the Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau. The ultra-liberal City Council will probably respond by taking away his gun. Go figure!
Let’s take a closer look at the city’s alleged “leadership.” According to the Times, Seattle’s generous (with taxpayer dollars) city government settled “a lawsuit that upended Seattle’s political power structure and ignited a string of sexual abuse allegations that ended former Mayor Ed Murray’s political career.” The city will pay one of Murray’s accusers $150,000 in taxpayer dollars to make his sexual abuse lawsuit go away.
The accuser, Delvonn Heckard, is one of five men who came forward publicly to accuse the former mayor of paying for or forcing them to have sex with him decades ago when they were teenagers. I was thinking of my precious 13-year-old twin grandsons as I read that sordid story. Ick!
In other weird news from Seattle, the city’s new soda tax went into effect on Jan. 1. Distributors of sweetened beverages will now be subject to a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce. In other words, Coke drinkers will be charged an additional $2.52 for a 12-pack of their favorite soda pop, another example of nanny governments telling citizens how to think, how to live their lives, and what to drink. Help!
Gender Identity Studies for First-Graders
Finally, as incredible as it may seem, Seattle public schools are following new state guidelines on “gender and self-identity,” which require schools to teach young children about “different ways to express gender.” So Seattle first-graders are learning about a stuffed bear named Teddy who identifies as a little girl called Tilly. Draw your own conclusions. Happy New Year!
Guy W. Farmer grew up in a much different Seattle many years ago.