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Recent Articles

Dead Or Alive?  Schrödinger’s Public Banking Bill

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a thought experiment described here:

Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. 

 

Like the cat in this experiment, SB 5188, the Public Financial Cooperative bill, did not see further action prior to the House concluding its business for this year's legislative session. So for the moment, SB 5188 has, like that cat, been placed in a virtual box leaving the bill in a situation that is unknown. Is it alive or dead? It appears to be dead, but at the beginning of the next legislative session the box will be opened for citizens to see. After all, much hard work was done over the past year to get this bill passed; but for now it remains in stasis, in a version of its own quantum uncertainty - dead/alive.  

On a brighter note, across the nation, public banking bills are being considered in many state legislatures as shown on the map above. For a more detailed list of public banking actions in various states,  there is a list at the Public Banking Institute site. An interesting piece on public banking in the U.S. was published in December 2020 on the site Project Censored (The News That Didn't Make The News). The article, entitled The Public Banking Revolution, had this to say: 

"In July 2019, The Hill reported on how public banking could help fund the Green New Deal, the policy proposal to address climate change and environmental deterioration. Skeptics have argued that strapped federal and state governments lack the financial resources to take on the Green New Deal’s multi-trillion-dollar costs. However, as Eric Heath explained, state banks, such as the BND  [Bank of North Dakota], “free the financial resources needed to fund vital investments in the planet’s future.” Public banks’ mission to serve the public interest could allow them “to extend financing to projects that other banks would not consider”—not because green investments are unprofitable, but because “their profits slowly accumulate and are widely shared across a community.” A September 2019 study, published by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, recommended the adoption of public banks by all Northeast and Midwestern states, not as “a panacea” but as one important move for “addressing critical investment gaps and realigning state resources with state interests.”

It has been over 100 years since the BND was created in the aftermath of an impasse between Democrats and Republicans (sound familiar?). So, the people created the Non-Partisan League which won the ND 1916 election and, in turn, established the BND which helped the farmers by allowing them to stay and work on the land after foreclosure and to buy their farms back after the Depression. ND also weathered the 2008 economic collapse by continuing to lend while the private banks shut their doors to lending for all intents and purposes.  Recent years have seen record profits with the BND all of which comes back to the residents of state.  You would think we would have had enough time already to get it right with public banks and quit shoveling our money into private coffers.  

Dead Or Alive?  Schrödinger’s Public Banking Bill

By Dick ConoboyOn Apr 18, 2021

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a thought experiment described here:Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If [...]

Why is flag at half-staff?

By John ServaisOn Apr 20, 2021

Tuesday, April 20 until day of day of interment. Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation, Governor Inslee hereby directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agency facilities continue [...]

Boulevard Park And Infrastructure: Another COB Missed Opportunity

By Jon HumphreyOn Apr 05, 2021

[The following article is a modification of a piece by Jon Humphrey that appeared in change.org on March 30, 2021 entitled “Boulevard Park And Infrastructure (131 years and the COB still refuses [...]

4 comments, most recent 2 weeks ago

State Public Banking (Cooperative) Bill - Update on House Actions

By Dick ConoboyOn Mar 28, 2021

{ Udpate 4/10/2021: E2SSB 5188 the public cooperative (banking bill), now in the Rules Committee, can use a push by a legislator by requesting that it be brought out of Rules and [...]

8 comments, most recent 1 week ago

COB: Go Ahead, Discuss All You Want…

By Jon HumphreyOn Mar 23, 2021

3/26/2021 Update: Thanks to public pressure the COB has finally started to post the BAG meeting recordings. While it takes them an uncommonly long time to post the videos, they date [...]

3 comments, most recent 3 weeks ago

The Battle for Bellingham’s Tiny Homes

By Guest WriterOn Mar 20, 2021

[Douglas Gustafson guest writes. Doug is Chairman of HomesNOW! Not Later, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization operating in Bellingham and Whatcom County. HomesNOW operates Unity Village, the first tiny home community [...]

26 comments, most recent 2 weeks ago

A Variant Virus Outbreak in Whatcom County?

By Michael RiordanOn Mar 12, 2021

According to recent data from the Washington state Department of Health, a serious outbreak of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus strain occurred in Whatcom County during February, about a month earlier than [...]

10 comments, most recent 4 weeks ago

State Public Banking (Cooperative) Bill Moves To The House

By Dick ConoboyOn Mar 07, 2021

After a decade long effort on the part of State Senator Bob Hasegawa, a bill for a Washington State public bank (cooperative) has been passed by the Senate and moved [...]

4 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Masked Resistance

By Riley SweeneyOn Mar 05, 2021

We are a year into this pandemic and like most traumatic moments in history, it will soon be boiled down to a single concept in our collective consciousness. In my [...]

7 comments, most recent 1 month ago

The Importance of Our Public Fiber Optic Infrastructure

By Guest WriterOn Mar 03, 2021

[ Guest Writer Atul Deshmane, a PUD Commissioner, County Planning Commissioner, and Broadband Advisory Group (BAG) member, outlines some of the biggest infrastructure issues facing Bellingham today.]This article is [...]

7 comments, most recent 6 days ago

‘Public Banking Bill’ Voted Out Of Ways and Means Committee

By Dick ConoboyOn Mar 02, 2021

[This article is intended as an update to several previous articles listed below that should be read for the complete picture.]A second substitute bill (SSB5188) on a Washington State [...]

1 comment, most recent 1 month ago

After worker victories, The Bellingham Herald’s union is in place

By Ralph SchwartzOn Mar 02, 2021

McClatchy put up a fight, but newsroom employees at The Bellingham Herald and three other Washington newspapers got what they wanted -- a single union to represent workers at all [...]

3 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Emergency Management

By Guest WriterOn Feb 27, 2021

[Guest Writer Garrett O’Brien is a lifelong resident of Bellingham and lives with his wife Brittany and their three children in the Birchwood neighborhood. Garrett has worked in the [...]

5 comments, most recent 1 month ago

The Reality Of Zoom And Citizen Participation

By Dick ConoboyOn Feb 21, 2021

We have entered into the age of Zoomification, book-ended by the Boomers and the Zoomers. We, the public, have now been consigned to being pixels on a screen with electronic [...]

2 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Letter: Secretary of Department of Corrections

By Letter WriterOn Feb 20, 2021

Dear Governor Inslee, I am writing to you today after learning your Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary, Stephen Sinclair is resigning. I’ve watched over the decades as many people [...]

Public Banking For The State of Washington Inching Along

By Dick ConoboyOn Feb 13, 2021

SB 5188, a substitute bill to establish a state public financial cooperative (no longer referred to as a bank) moved out of the Senate Committee on Business, Financial Services & Trade [...]

2 comments, most recent 2 months ago

Ranked-Choice Voting – Let’s Keep It Moving

By Stoney BirdOn Feb 12, 2021

Over 1,500 Washingtonians signed in “Pro” to the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee’s February 8th hearing on HB 1156, sponsored by Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley. On February 11th, the Committee [...]

1 comment, most recent 2 months ago

Cruising And Tourism: Wretched Excess

By Dick ConoboyOn Feb 10, 2021

A friend in Juneau, Alaska sent me this article, “Towns and businesses across Alaska brace for a second summer without cruise ship tourists” which states in part: “[Alaska] saw more [...]

4 comments, most recent 2 months ago

Political Pretzel Logic without Cognitive Dissonance

By Guest WriterOn Feb 09, 2021

Ray Kamada guest writes. Ray is a retired atmospheric physicist from NOAA/DoD, and is now mostly involved in climate change and renewable energy studies. - - - - - [...]

5 comments, most recent 1 month ago

COB Puts The BAG In A Box

By Jon HumphreyOn Feb 07, 2021

Since the City of Bellingham decided not to broadcast or record the first meeting of the Broadband Advisory Group in an open manner, I think it’s important that we [...]

3 comments, most recent 2 months ago