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Oct 30, 2013 Zelbinian commented on No on 522: Label GMOs, But Not This Way.
Also, for those saying that GMO's are the only way we can feed the world... I can understand why some would think it is the only solution. Furthermore, I can understand why someone would think the benefit of feeding the hungry trumps all the possible side-effects of GMOs.

However, if you think that way, Allan Savory's TED Talk is worth watching. I'm not knowledgeable enough about the science to know whether or not his method is irrefutable, but it's certainly another option worth considering. http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_ho…
Oct 30, 2013 Zelbinian commented on No on 522: Label GMOs, But Not This Way.
All you people coming down real hard on those who are questioning the science would do well to remember that part of the scientific method is to default to skepticism. Yes, that skepticism should have reasonable bounds, but realize it's actually way WAY worse to say "SEE? SCIENCE SAYS SO." I probably don't have to trot out the long, long, LONG list of important things that science got wrong.

There is sufficient evidence to state that there is a scientific consensus that GMO's aren't bad for your health. Ok. I don't want to accept it, but I will. But it is still reasonable to question how that concensus was arrived at and, given that Big Agriculture is not entirely dissimilar a business model from Big Tobacco, there is *every reason* to be skeptical that this is a real consensus.

Here's why: it took centuries for there to be a clear, independently-reached scientific consensus that smoking directly caused cancer. Yes, it's true, medical research wasn't then what it is now, but this is not the only example of us not knowing the unintended consequences of what we put in our bodies for a looooong time after we think we do. Sugar is another example.

It's also not the only example of an entrenched industry purposefully muddying the scientific waters. Here's an excerpt from a peer-reviewed study of the history of the tobacco controversy: "The tobacco companies knew and for most part accepted the evidence that cigarette smoking was a cause of cancer by the late 1950s. The documents also reveal that the tobacco companies helped manufacture the smoking controversy by funding scientific research that was intended to obfuscate and prolong the debate about smoking and health. Today, the tobacco companies acknowledge that smoking is a cause of disease, but they have not materially altered the way they do business." (Link is here: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/16/…). Likely many of you have though of the additional example of "climate change" without prompting.

So, yes. I accept that there is evidence that there is a consensus. But I do not accept that there is enough evidence to suggest this is a *final* consensus or that its positions are irrefutable. There is room for reasonable doubt. Given that it is the charge of government to protect health, safety, and general welfare of its citizens, the existence of said reasonable doubt leads me to conclude that imperfect labeling is better than not labeling at all.
Mar 8, 2013 Zelbinian commented on Council Member Tom Rasmussen Wants to Freeze Construction of Affordable Housing.
Here's a thing: I lived in Seattle for 10 years, lived outside the dorms for at least 6 of them, and I never paid $600/mo (except the last 6 months when I paid slightly more than that for a studio in the Denny Triangle).

I almost always shared a bathroom. I almost always shared a kitchen. And yeah, it was sometimes tough living with other people, that's just how it works. But I also had my own bedroom. I lived in standard apartments and share houses found in dense neighborhoods all around the city with more space and comfort than those aPodments could offer (and yes, I've been inside them).

I'm all for quality, affordable housing. Gods know we need it. But, in my view, this fails on both fronts. $600/mo may be cheap "for downtown" but a poor person's budget gives less than a shit about geography. And it's not terrible quality, but the individual leases would make it feel like living in a hostel, which directly affects quality of life. If you ask me, a program that helped poor people find roommates and find housing they could afford would be more worthwhile.

That said Rasmussen's reasons for wanting to stop these projects lack... what's the word... compassion. And there's no reason for a moratorium - that's knee-jerk bullshit. They aren't the greatest developments in the world, but they don't really seem to cause very many actual problems. Get off the soap box and get to work changing the code, asshole.
Nov 7, 2012 Zelbinian commented on The Time Has Come for National Vote-by-Mail.
@8 If I remember correctly, the state makes sure that there are in-person voting stations as well as vote-by-mail for all those folks who lead a more... mobile lifestyle. I also seem to remember that if you're having any difficulty whatsoever voting that you can call the elections commission and they'll bend over backward to make sure your vote gets counted. You guys can correct me if I'm wrong about those things, but it's my opinion that it's the level of service that WA state backs up the vote by mail with that makes it work.

@Goldy - I like the idea of a federally mandated vote-by-mail system, but I'm not so sure such a law would be constitutional. That'd be one hell of a stretch of the commerce clause. But maybe it could rely on the 14th's equality clause? (I'm a planner, not a lawyer, so anyone who is a lawyer feel free to step in here.)
Jun 3, 2012 Zelbinian commented on Seattle Cupcake Maker Endorses Barack Obama's Socialist Health Care Program, Is Rewarded in Presidential Tweets.
@18 Unless you know firsthand that this is common at the small business in question, you are basically labeling them as being guilty by association. Feel free to be skeptical, but please refrain from muddying the water with inflammatory speculation.
May 31, 2012 Zelbinian commented on Last Night's Wake for the Dead at Cafe Racer: The Seattle Version of a New Orleans Jazz Funeral.
As a misplaced Seattleite, I can't thank you enough for sharing this. I have a deep fondness for the Roosevelt neighborhood and Cafe Racer, and this ain't gonna stop me from continuing to visit that bar each and every time I'm in town. Probably I'll spend even more money than I usually do. Dunno if karma exists, but I'm gonna will a little of the good side on what remains of one of my favorite places in Seattle.
Dec 2, 2010 Zelbinian commented on For Some Reason, I Watched Skyline.
@ 3: I suspect Christopher Nolan would vehemently disagree with you whilst counting his giant pile of money.
Dec 2, 2010 Zelbinian commented on Police Back Plan to Let Felons Withhold Criminal Records on Rental, Job Applications.
Why are we pontificating about this? The damn article says that there are states who have removed "the box" for employment and states that have done so for tenancy. Instead of guessing what will happen, let's look at the data in those places - both before and after - and see if we can't make some informed judgments about how it would affect Seattle. Let's look and see how other places have made these work and see what we like about it and what we don't.

Or we can keep jerkin' each other off. I don't mind, I got all night.
Nov 18, 2010 Zelbinian commented on Rasmussen on Tunnel Study: "I Have Only Read the First Page".
@3: You are correct. A City Councilperson (or any elected official, for that matter) cannot possibly read every word of every document that crosses their desk. This means that Mr. Rasmussen must prioritize: he must choose, based on some set of heuristics, what to read personally and what to let his staff summarize for him. This means he chose not to personally read the most important document yet produced for the largest project within his direct domain of responsibility. Ergo Dominic's assertion that Rasmussen is not doing his due diligence is also correct.
Nov 3, 2010 Zelbinian commented on Rand Paul Wins Kentucky Senate Seat.
@ 4:

If he was a Congressman, you'd be right. But he's a Senator, and a single Senator has the power to gum up the entire legislative process if he so chooses, and the Filibuster is only one tool he could use to do so. Most Senators are not foolish enough to use these tools for their own agenda, but if Rand Paul is a forreals Tea Party candidate - if he decides to actually follow through on his convictions despite campaign help from Mitch McConnell - he could make life in Washington extremely difficult every single day of his 6 year term.

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