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Archives for 10/02/2005 - 10/08/2005

Friday, October 7, 2005

Destroyed by grindcore

posted by on October 7 at 2:16 PM

Tonight, if you want to get destroyed by grindcore, Cephalic Carnage is playing at El Corazon (show starts at 8).

They’re one of those heavy-ass bands that’s way into smoking weed—and they’re quite vocal about it. I find that to be kind of dorky, but they rock nonetheless. (There seems to be a genre of it, which I guess I’m way into, although I don’t smoke weed. Once I saw El Dopa, a favorite of mine, and they dedicated songs to weed, were tattooed with pot leaves, and had pot leaves on their hats. Nerds.) Cephalic Carnage have this album called Halls of Amenti that is insanely sludgy, heavy, and epic. It’s the only album of theirs that I own or have heard, so when I saw them last year at the last day of a three-day metal fest in SF, I was pleasantly surprised that they also rock in a faster, metal kind of way.

Happy Birthdays, Annie and Dan

posted by on October 7 at 12:21 PM


Oops, I did it again…

posted by on October 7 at 12:02 PM

This just might be the best thing in the world. For right now, at least.

Apparently the big Britney Spears hit “Oops, I Did It Again” is really a cover of a Louis Armstrong original from 1932! Well, that’s what the internet wants you to believe, anyways. It’s not true, but it’s still ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS that someone took the time to recreate the entire song Louis Armstrong style… You can listen to it (and laugh!) here.

(Thanks to my friend Drew for the tip!)

Capitol Hill Cat Murder

posted by on October 7 at 11:51 AM

Perhaps you’ve been seeing this sign posted on poles around (Seattle’s) Capitol Hill:


Like me, you’re probably curious about the details of this allegedly brutal cat murder. Well, here they are, courtesy of an email from the dead cat’s grieving owner. (Warning: This is some fucked-up shit, and a testament to the scary new crack culture that’s flourishing in southeast Cap Hill…)

Continue reading "Capitol Hill Cat Murder" »

Whooooo Knows

posted by on October 7 at 11:06 AM

Taken from Hegel’s Philosophy of The Right, this is one of the most beautiful passages in the brief history of human writing:

Only one word more concerning the desire to teach the world what it ought to be. For such a purpose philosophy at least always comes too late. Philosophy, as the thought of the world, does not appear until reality has completed its formative process, and made itself ready. History thus corroborates the teaching of the conception that only in the maturity of reality does the ideal appear as counterpart to the real, apprehends the real world in its substance, and shapes it into an intellectual kingdom. When philosophy paints its grey in grey, one form of life has become old, and by means of grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known. The owl of Minerva, takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering.

Attention, Laptop Music Wizards

posted by on October 7 at 10:55 AM

The Stranger’s 2004 Genius Award-winning organization Seattle School wants YOU for their hot new performance competition series The Pop Smear Test. Full info below.

Continue reading "Attention, Laptop Music Wizards" »

Terror on NYC Subways?

posted by on October 7 at 10:49 AM

From the New York Times:

City officials announced that they had been notified by federal authorities in Washington of a terrorist threat that for the first time specified the city’s transit system.

Maybe I’m jaded, but this whole thing smells like a diversion from the pending indictments.

Pt. 2 on the British rain clouds

posted by on October 7 at 10:34 AM

Thanks to the anonymous email I just got, here’s the complete story on the British and their cheery weather reports from The Times in London.

Forecasters have been told to put a positive spin on the weather, writes Adam Sherwin.

It is goodbye to those miserable showers and isolated storms. Prolonged sunshine is expected under new “positive” forecast guidelines issued by the Meteorological Office.

Britain may have a tendency for damp and drizzle, but there is no need for our television forecasters to rub it in. They have been told to look on the bright side and accentuate the positive in an edict from the national weather centre.

Continue reading "Pt. 2 on the British rain clouds" »

Whooooo attacked Stranger publisher Tim Keck?

posted by on October 7 at 9:45 AM

Tim’s report:
Last night while I was jogging through the Arboretum near dusk, I felt like I hit my head on a thick, thorny branch. I was wearing an orange baseball hat. I turned around to see what I hit and there weren’t any branches. I thought maybe a crow dive-bombed me but I didn’t hear its wings. I was looking around and then suddenly (and without a sound) a big owl was bearing down on me—talons first, about two feet in front of my face. I hit the dirt. It swooped over me and flew up to a branch 8 feet off the ground. I looked around for a stick, and then I backed away from it. As I was backing out, it followed me, flying from branch to branch. It was dusk but still I think I got a pretty good look at it: It was gorgeous, about 15 inches tall, with a very round face, brown and grey/white stripes, and yellow eyes. I looked online and the owl it looked most similar too was the Great Grey Owl. The one in this photo is a little more brown than the one that attacked me.

Boobies, boobies, boobies!

posted by on October 7 at 8:19 AM

Tonight, Seattle nightlife queen The Swedish Housewife is throwing the mother of all burlesque parties at the Catwalk (172 S. Washington) to benefit victims of hurricane Katrina. As veteran clubgoers and burlesque fans will attest, this woman doesn’t slap together mere shows, she puts on extravaganzas. This evening’s bill includes emcees Dina Martina and Kevin Kent, performances by Miss Indigo Blue, El Vez, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, The Atomic Bombshells, and many, many more. Plus The Rat City Roller Girls will be serving drinks on skates. Doors are 8 PM, show starts at 9 PM, cover is $15, 21+.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

The rain cloud is half full

posted by on October 6 at 5:04 PM

I wish I had the link the actual story, but NPR reported this morning that over in England they’re worried about people getting depressed about the weather. So the powers that be have passed a law requiring weathermen to give optimistic weather reports. For example, if it’s probably going to rain, they’d say there’s a good chance the skies will be sunny. Or if it’s going to be overcast, they’d say there should be some sun breaking through the clouds. You know, it’s a sad day when even the weather is a subject that needs tidying up—let alone actual hard news.

The Fall of Troy. Tonight.

posted by on October 6 at 4:43 PM

If you find yourself without plans tonight, check out the all ages Fall of Troy show at El Corazon. The trio is insane to watch, thrashing around the stage and making more noise than you’d believe. They incorporate a lot of improv into their live set, so even if you’ve seen `em before, it’ll be a whole new experience this time `round. After tonight they’ll be on tour for the rest of the fall, so catch `em while you still can. Their new record, Doppelgänger, was released on Equal Visions Records in August.

Show starts at 8 pm and they’re on first. Don’t be late.

Rove to Testify Again

posted by on October 6 at 1:36 PM

But the special prosecutor won’t guarantee Rove that his testimony won’t be used against him in an indictment:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have accepted an offer from presidential adviser Karl Rove to give 11th-hour testimony in the case of a CIA officer’s leaked identity but have warned they cannot guarantee he won’t be indicted, according to people directly familiar with the investigation…

Rove has already made at least three grand jury appearances and his return at this late stage in the investigation is unusual.

The prosecutor did not give Rove similar warnings before his earlier grand jury appearances.

“Within Days…”

posted by on October 6 at 12:20 PM

Reuters says indictments or plea bargains may be coming in the CIA leak investigation within days. And investigation junkies are now focusing on these lines in the Reuters story:

As a first step, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was expected to notify officials by letter if they have become targets, said the lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter…

Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to say whether his client had been contacted by Fitzgerald. In the past, Luskin has said that Rove was assured that he was not a target.

Why so silent now, Luskin?

Meanwhile, over at HuffingtonPost, Lawrence O’Donnell, who has been right before in his predictions about this investigation, says this:

Prediction: at least three high level Bush Administration personnel indicted and possibly one or more very high level unindicted co-conspirators.

Re: Doris Nicastro for City Council!

posted by on October 6 at 12:05 PM

Screw that. Doris Nicastro for mayor!

I mean, check this out:

Imagine if the issue threatened the loss of over 550 male jobs at the same pay rate. Mayor Nickels would be demanding tax breaks, subsidies - may we offer you an $18 million walkway, would a trolley help? Ah, but these are only women’s jobs… and bad women at that; doing un-savory activities and being well paid for it.

Doris Nicastro for City Council!

posted by on October 6 at 11:56 AM

Sixty-six-year-old Doris Nicastro, AKA former city council member Judy Nicastro’s mom, rips into the City Council’s recent decision to ban lap dances, require bright lighting in strip clubs, and restrict tipping to tip jars, among other ridiculous new regulations designed to put strip clubs out of business, on her blog.
Nicastro writes:

I’m angry for the unemployed strippers. They’ve been treated badly by their elected officials. Lap dances are a lot less shocking than the sexual services offered up every week in the alternative papers. I expect that the employment options for these women aren’t between stripping or management slots at Microsoft. Now they’ll have to join the mass of other workers applying for crap jobs (aren’t they all!) involving long hours, and low pay, maybe serving food, packing apples or stocking shelves for $10 an hour and no benefits.

Notice too how Seattle’s many ‘Nam-era, windbag, progressive pundits with their greying pony tails, fat asses and jaunty berets, don’t even see this as an issue! I gave up expecting a feminist sensibility from Seattle’s women writers long ago. Gay issues, wounded puppies, the political condition of Iraq’s women are what they ponder. Their level of concern for the financial interests of the women of a different class, in their own city, their own country? Zero.

What Seattle needs is more “pissed-off old ladies” like Doris and fewer schoolmarmish political opportunists like most members of the Seattle City Council.

More trouble at Lake Washington High

posted by on October 6 at 11:55 AM

I wrote yet another story this week about the problems at Lake Washington High School, when it comes to Antioch Bible Church. In this installment, last year’s school paper co-editor, Molly Silver—now a student at New York University—wrote an opinion piece about the church, which the school yanked. The school says they yanked it because it was plagiarized, a charge Silver very much denies. Silver says she did base her opinions on what she’d read in the New York Times, but she credited that paper where credit was due.

The school’s principal, who attends the church, also contends—via the district spokesperson—that he offered to set up Silver with Antioch’s pastor, Ken Hutcherson, for an interview. When I spoke with the district spokesperson, I told her that according to Silver, no one offered her chances to fix her piece, or told her about interview opportunities.

The story I wrote includes Silver’s denial of the school’s version of events. But just to make everything perfectly clear, I got this note from Silver today. She read the story, and takes strong exception to the district’s line:

Hi Amy,

I just read your piece and I liked it, however I have a few things to

THEY FUCKING DID NOT OFFER ME ANY INTERVIEW WITH KEN HUTCHERSON. I am completely shocked that the district rep would lie so blatantly and I am insulted that they did not realize I would have remembered such an offer had it actually occurred. Not only that, but there was no Seattle Times article that I “copied word for word”. They articles that I REFERENCED in the piece were from the NY Times and from a Christian website. Furthermore, I was never given any options to improve the piece because I was not informed of its removal from the issue until AFTER it was sent to the printer.

The corruption at Lake Washington High School continues…

Molly Silver

It’s Official: Tom & Katie Have Sexual Intercourse

posted by on October 6 at 10:56 AM

Or maybe he just ejaculated on her lap during one of his Dianetics-induced frenzies.

Either way, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are expecting their first child.

Is it cruel of me to hope that Holmes suffers a post-partum depression that drives her to the brink of suicide? I’d really love to see Cruise’s “anything can be cured with vitamins and Scientology!” theory put to a personal test…

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Rumors of 22 Indictments Coming in the CIA Leak Case

posted by on October 5 at 4:25 PM

Ok, not to jinx things, but the jinxy rumors are already out there, so here is the link.

The D.C. Rumor mill is thrumming with whispers that 22 indictments are about to be handed down on the outed-CIA agent Valerie Plame case. The last time the wires buzzed this loud — that Tom DeLay would be indicted and would step down from his leadership post in the House — the scuttlebutters got it right.

Can it be a coincidence that the White House appears to be distancing President Bush from embattled aide Karl Rove? “He’s been missing in action at more than one major presidential event,” a member of the White House press corps tells us.

What About Us Girls?

posted by on October 5 at 3:13 PM

Yesterday, as my colleague Eli Sanders notes below, the New York Times ran a story about a study that links bike seats to male sexual dysfunction - impotence, reduced blood flow to the penis, numbness, and loss of libido. What the story doesn’t talk about, except in passing, is whether female cyclists are affected, too. The story notes casually that female cyclists “have not been studied as much as men,” but adds, alarmingly, that they “probably suffer the same injuries.”

Clearly, female sexual problems aren’t as marketable as male impotence. But surely, I thought, there must be some studies out there on similar problems in women cyclists. As it turns out, there’s been exactly one: In 1999, a Boston University study of 232 female bicyclists found that 32 percent of women experienced injuries that impacted their sexual function - about the same rate as men.

Signs O’ the Times: Commercial Edition

posted by on October 5 at 1:36 PM

If it’s true that the best measure of a society’s desires are its television commercials, I’ve recently seen a handful of ads that speak directly to contemporary America’s fears and lust.

First, not one but two commercials—one for the cell-phone sellers Car Toys, the other for some car company—luring prospective buyers with promises of free gasoline.

Second, the new Burger King commercial hyping the MEAT piled upon MEAT piled upon MEAT of their new breakfast sandwich, christened with the vaguely nauseating neologism Meat’Normous.


Seattle’s Smaller Weekly Watch

posted by on October 5 at 1:31 PM

For the week of October 6-12, 2005

The Stranger: 112 pages.
Seattle Weekly: 100 pages.

Mayor Nickels To Seattle: Let’s be more like the Suburbs

posted by on October 5 at 12:56 PM

Asked to justify his Focus on the Family bright lights, four-foot rule (Seattle’s new laughing-stock-of-the-world strip club regulations), Mayor Nickels told the Stranger during our endorsement interview last August: “We want the clubs to have the same regulations that our surrounding communities have.”

So, Mayor “24-7 City” Nickels wants us to be more like the suburbs.

P.s. And actually Greg: Redmond, Lynnwood, and Des Moines don’t have 4-foot rules.

Kill the Board, Save the Monorail?

posted by on October 5 at 10:40 AM

Urban-planning blogger David Sucher argues that voters should approve a shorter line for the monorail (last month, the monorail board voted to put a measure on the ballot that would shorten the Green Line, reducing the “initial phase” from 14 miles to 10.6) but only if the board resigns en masse, restoring public confidence in the agency. To that end, the November ballot will include a measure that would change the board, which is now mostly appointed, to a majority-elected body, giving voters a direct say in the monorail’s leadership.

Big Trees

posted by on October 5 at 10:16 AM

Hey everybody, I’m looking for big trees in the city of Seattle. Trees that are as huge as a universe and shade a wide area. Trees with millions of leaves and branches that support a city of birds and critters. If you know of such a tree, a really big tree, please email its location to


posted by on October 5 at 10:12 AM

Seattle’s lap-dance ban was news in more than 301 newspapers worldwide yesterday, from the Mainichi Daily News in Japan to the Daily Telegraph in Australia.

A Nickels Plot Against Erections?

posted by on October 5 at 8:51 AM

A Stranger forums participant notes, apropos of my post yesterday on the connection between traditional bike seats and erectile dysfunction, that we can now see a neat convergence of outcomes from two of our mayor’s signature policies.

Both Nickels’s promise to make Seattle the most bicycle-friendly city in the nation, and his commitment to banning lap-dances in city strip clubs, are likely to produce the same result: fewer erections in our fair city.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Christ Almighty

posted by on October 4 at 5:35 PM

Remember when Howard Dean called the GOP “a white Christian party”? He got no end of hell for it, of course, because it was essentially true, as Harriet Miers “journey” into the GOP demonstrates. This is up on Drudge now: “Miers Found Christ, Turned Republican.”

Kate Moss coke tape

posted by on October 4 at 5:08 PM

Of course, it’s all “alleged” that it’s cocaine going up her nose. You never know what’s going up that rolled up bill. It could be just about anything.

The Perils of a Bike-Friendly City

posted by on October 4 at 4:45 PM

Mayor Greg Nickels has made it his mission to transform Seattle into the most bicycle-friendly city in America. But has he considered what that might do to the erections in this town?

According to this frightening article, traditional bike seats are a bunch of ticking impotence timebombs. September’s Journal of Sexual Medicine apparently has several articles showing alarming findings from studies of the bike seat issue, along with an editorial warning of bike seat perils — compressed pereniums, constrained Alcock’s canals, bike cops who can’t get it up at night. (Could this be the reason Seattle’s finest are sometimes so grumpy?)

Pray for the penises of this bike-friendly city…

In a bluntly worded editorial with the articles, Dr. Steven Schrader, a reproductive health expert who studies cycling at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said he believed that it was no longer a question of “whether or not bicycle riding on a saddle causes erectile dysfunction.”

Instead, he said in an interview, “The question is, What are we going to do about it?”

The studies, by researchers at Boston University and in Italy, found that the more a person rides, the greater the risk of impotence or loss of libido. And researchers in Austria have found that many mountain bikers experience saddle-related trauma that leads to small calcified masses inside the scrotum.

This does not mean that people should stop cycling, Dr. Schrader said. And those who ride bikes rarely or for short periods need not worry.

But riders who spend many hours on a bike each week should be concerned, he said. And he suggested that the bicycle industry design safer saddles and stop trivializing the risks of the existing seats.

A spokesman for the industry said it was aware of the issue and added that “new designs are coming out.”

Continue reading "The Perils of a Bike-Friendly City" »

Representative of Whom?

posted by on October 4 at 1:27 PM

In a Seattle Times poll, 84 percent of respondents disagreed with the city council’s decision yesterday to pass new restrictions on strip clubs that would ban lap dances, require bright lighting in clubs, and require a “continuous railing three feet” high separating dancers from patrons.

Meanwhile, this mock resolution lampooning the council’s prudish decision was circulating at City Hall:

A resolution replacing the 4-foot rule and the moratorium on new strip clubs with a 4-year moratorium on the use of the term “world-class” (continued below)

Continue reading "Representative of Whom?" »

Viewing August Wilson

posted by on October 4 at 1:23 PM

I just got back from seeing August Wilson’s newly dead body and paying my respects. The great playwright is on view today at the Bonney-Watson funeral home on Broadway. I was underdressed and felt a little awkward while his friends and family chatted, chuckled, and sniffled. There were a few photographs and paintings of Mr. Wilson and a small stereo played the blues song “Samson & Delilah,” which contains the lyrics: “If I had my way/If I had my way in this wicked world/If I had my way/I would tear this old building down.”

His coffin sat at the far end of the room. He wore a suit. His face and hands looked just like another old man I watched die of liver cancer last year. That man was white and Mr. Wilson was black, but in death they look like brothers.

Seattle will not keep Mr. Wilson. His body will be mailed back to Pittsburgh, where it was born.

Harriet Miers Lookalike Contest

posted by on October 4 at 1:06 PM

My friend Jim points out that Harriet Miers could be Jean Enerson’s evil twin, if she had a hair/makeup stylist.


Photo thanks to and the State Department.

Reverend Buddy Verite

posted by on October 4 at 12:57 PM

This past summer, to research a Stranger story, I attended Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out” conference, devoted to the Christian cure and prevention of homosexuality, housed at Bothell’s Northshore Baptist Church. One of the ongoing rewards of the experience has been my placement on the Focus on the Family mailing list, which brings an array of James Dobson-approved propaganda into my life each month. Best in show: Focus on the Family’s monthly magazine, packed with content that makes “Ask Reverend Buddy!” seem perfectly sane.

The highlight of the October issue is “The Great Deception,” Susan Graham Mathis’s firsthand testimonial on the Satanic lure of yoga and its various new-age offshoots—tai chai, dream work, the concept of karma, etc. But Mathis’s scariest brush with Satan came via meditation:

Continue reading "Reverend Buddy Verite" »

I Heart Wonkette

posted by on October 4 at 11:50 AM

The funniest political blog around is running a poll on who Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers most resembles. My vote is Jerri Blank, of Comedy Central’s “Strangers With Candy”:


But Alice Cooper and Robert Smith are also in the running. Cast your vote now!

A Miers-Plame Connection?

posted by on October 4 at 11:45 AM

The Miers nomination seems such a strange choice — sure to upset both right and left, with no obvious benefit to the White House in doing so — that I’ve found myself wondering if the widely reported White House jitters about the upcoming close of the CIA leak investigation might have something to do with this pick.

It’s just a wonder. But a friend who has the same wonder, and who has also been following the CIA leak case super closely, notes the following: Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is thought to be pursuing “charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials,” according to The Washington Post. And if senior Bush officials are indicted, it could raise constitutional questions, which would have to be resolved by… The Supreme Court.

(1) bushco knows that the fitz indictments are likely to raise unsettled constitutional questions (who can be indicted, what happens, when, where, congress’ role, fitz’s powers, etc.) (2) these questions will ultimately be resolved by the supreme court (3) o’connor’s seat is the one that tips the balance (4) he’s appointing A CRONY WHO IS THE WHITE HOUSE (HIS) LAWYER!

Monday, October 3, 2005


posted by on October 3 at 7:40 PM

While the gossip poured in about the ultra-glam Cthulhu shoot (check out Thursday’s issue of The Stranger for all the salacious details), I stumbled across this evangelical Chick tract parody inspired by the HP Lovecraft oeuvre and entitled


Thanks to Maud Newton for the link, and University of Virginia [Very] Special Collections (type “Chick tract” in the upper right-hand search box) for rekindling my obsession with those flipbook-sized communiques from the Lord our God.

More on Jack Chick here.

My article on Cthulhu the movie appears here.

And CONFIDENTIAL to Grant “Zioncheck” Cogswell: I thought you were supposed to stay the fuck off the set, huh?! What is this I’m hearing about you teaching the extras to speak gibberish?

Kill Your Parents—Just Kidding!

posted by on October 3 at 5:01 PM

Yes, Vice magazine’s raison d’etre is to outrage with utmost tastelessness, and I can respect that. But this is indefensible. The mealy-mouthed “just kidding” disclaimer beneath the article adds insult to injury. The editors’ eyes should be dotted with stilettos.

Right-Wing Tizzy

posted by on October 3 at 4:11 PM

Over at The National Review’s blog, “The Corner,” Rich Lowry posted this about Bush’s choice of Miers for the Supreme Court:

Just talked to a very pro-Bush legal type who says he is ashamed and embarrassed this morning. Says Miers was with an undistinguished law firm; never practiced constitutional law; never argued any big cases; never was on law review; has never written on any of the important legal issues. Says she’s not even second rate, but is third rate. Dozens and dozens of women would have been better qualified. Says a crony at FEMA is one thing, but on the high court is something else entirely. Her long history of activity with ABA is not encouraging from a conservative perspective—few conservatives would spend their time that way. In short, he says the pick is “deplorable.” There may be an element of venting here, but thought I’d pass along for what it’s worth. It’s certainly indicative of the mood right now…

What if someone recorded all the calls?

posted by on October 3 at 2:19 PM


“Beach Boys co-founder, Grammy winner and music legend Brian Wilson has raised $210,000 and has made over 500 phone calls through his Katrina donation challenge, which ended this past weekend, Saturday, October 1st. He organically launched this challenge via his website on September 22nd where he stated that he would match all cash donations and would make a personal telephone call to thank each donor giving $100 or more.”

Harriet Miers’s Blog

posted by on October 3 at 1:59 PM

In which the new Supreme Court candidate allegedly lunch-blogs and lashes out at her enemies.

The Smokeout on Teletubby Hill: The Aftermath

posted by on October 3 at 11:33 AM

Like Josh Feit, I attended Saturday’s Smokeout on Teletubby Hill, the would-be stoner celebration at the glorious new Cal Anderson Park. I didn’t go to smoke, but i wanted to see who would. The police in attendance were polite and professional but were there to do their jobs. When Seattle’s invaluable pot activist Dominic Holden urged cops to respect the voter-approved I-75, which made personal pot smoking the police department’s lowest legal priority, the spokesmodel cop replied with what seemed like an inspired bit of double-speak: Yes, smoking pot is a low-priority crime, but not when it’s happening in a high-priority park. Upon reflection, his point became clear: The police presence had less to do with punishing potheads and more to do with setting clear boundaries about what will and will not be tolerated in this fledgling city park. (And, surprise, pre-publicized marijuana smoke-ins aren’t among the desired activities.)

And so potheads were punished—specifically, the aforementioned Dominic Holden, who was nabbed after he concluded his levelheaded plea for police to focus on real drug crimes by lighting up some green. Dominic’s report on his experience, related to me via email, is excerpted below.

Continue reading "The Smokeout on Teletubby Hill: The Aftermath" »

A Cronyism That Benefits the Left?

posted by on October 3 at 11:30 AM

Bush’s nomination this morning of judicial neophyte Harriet Miers as the replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor smacks heavily of the cronyism that brought Bush so much criticism after Hurricane Katrina. Miers has never been a judge, and her main qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court seem to be that she was loyal to Bush as White House counsel.

However, before anyone starts frothing at the mouth about this being another detestable crony pick, the liberal blog DailyKos invites us all to “sit back and enjoy” as Miers’ lack of rabid-right credentials causes the rabid right portion of Bush’s base to implode:

Several Democrats, including Reid, have already come out praising Miers, which ultimately will only fuel the right-wing meltdown on the decision.

I reserve the right to change my mind, but Miers’ biggest sin, at this early juncture, is her allegiance to Bush. That her appointment is an act of cronyism is without a doubt, but if that’s the price of admission to another Souter or moderate justice, I’m willing to pay it.

More immediately, this is the sort of pick that can have real-world repercussions in 2006, with a demoralized Republican Right refusing to do the heavy lifting needed to stem big losses. That Bush went this route rather than throwing his base the red meat they craved is nothing less than a sign of weakness.

It’s in the PI The Stranger

posted by on October 3 at 10:44 AM

While the PI may be shy about crediting The Stranger when we break news stories, the PI’s readers sure aren’t. Check out this letter in today’s PI.

Monday, October 3, 2005 Letters to the Editor HARBOR STEPS

Story didn’t factor in the favoritism

In “Harbor Steps fetches steep price,” Brad Wong failed to reveal a crucial piece of information regarding the record-breaking profit on the sale of Harbor Steps (Wednesday).

Mayor Greg Nickels’ downtown rezone allowed for height increases from Yesler Way to Denny Way, and from Interstate 5 to Alaskan Way. As The Stranger reported several months ago (“Zoning for Dollars,” Josh Feit, June 2), after heavy lobbying by Harbor Properties’ president and a face-to-face meeting with the planning director, the portion of the up-zone just south of the Harbor Steps building (along Western Avenue between University and Columbia streets) was removed from the plan, sparing Harbor Steps the risk of future construction obstructing its views.

While the region’s improving economy may be helping the rental market, it seems likely that the biggest boost to the sale price of Harbor Steps was provided by favoritism from Nickels.

Phil Mocek

Here’s what my new favorite person in the world, Phil Mocek of Seattle, is talking about.

Sick Like Me

posted by on October 3 at 10:32 AM

It’s always a bummer when Sunday night shows place a) four acts on a bill and b) go late, with the headliner hitting the stage around midnight. Some of us have to start work weeks on Monday! That said, I stuck it out for a good chunk of T. Raumschmiere’s set at Chop Suey last night, and it was worth the painful lack of sleep I’m feeling today. The dude plays techno like a punk, and last night he had a drummer and bassist with him, turning his last two albums into loud industrial- and techno- toned rock ‘n’ roll. Totally amazing. And although there were maybe 75 dedicated fans there, he kicked out the jams like it was Friday night and the place was packed to the rafters—pounding on his console, jumping around, diving onto the stage. Check out a bit of what you missed here (click through “artists” to get to his page where there are a couple good videos listed). If I was a rich woman I’d fly to San Francisco tomorrow to see these Berlin boys all over again. And local openers Foscil and Jerry Abstract were great as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Re: August Wilson is dead

posted by on October 2 at 7:49 PM

In one of those curious brushes with genius that sometimes occur when one works retail in a big city, last year Eli Anderson (aka Seattle’s Sexiest Record Store Employee) and I met Wilson while working at Sonic Boom records. He purchased a copy of the 5-CD archival gospel collection Goodbye Babylon (making him one of only two Sonic Boom customers to shell out the $100+ for it during my tenure - the other was R.E.M.’s Peter Buck). He was funny and cordial, and nattily attired in a light-colored suit and (if memory serves correctly) a straw hat.

Americans Donate $600 To Iraq

posted by on October 2 at 5:51 PM

I hate it when American stories as telling as this are only published in the UK.

August Wilson is dead

posted by on October 2 at 4:13 PM

The Seattle-based playwright died at Swedish Hospital today of liver cancer. His play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, one of a ten-play cycle about the black experience in twentieth century, was produced here last year and his last play Radio Golf, which closed the cycle, was a last-minute addition to the 2005-6 Rep season and will open in January. See the AP wire for the first obit.

Making Franz at the Paramount

posted by on October 2 at 10:55 AM

For years, I’ve generally been prepared to be disappointed at huge theater and arena shows, as they rarely deliver with the energy of a performance at, say, the Showbox or Neumo’s. But in the past seven days or so, performances by Nine Inch Nails, Sigur Ros, and now Franz Ferdinand proved my cynicism wrong. Last night the latter of those three turned the elegant showroom of the Paramount into a writhing, hopping dance party—turning the upscale space into one of the most love-thy-neighbor events I hit all week. The Scottish band left no hit unplayed, charging through all the crowd’s favorites off the debut Franz Ferdinand (“Take Me Out,” “Michael”) and the new, equally recommended You Could Have It So Much Better (which contains the party single of the decade, “Do You Want To.”). As often happens at the Paramount, the band’s between-song banter was completely swallowed up/garbled in the huge space, but the songs and the presentation definitely showed a band in its prime and confident about their place on top of the pop world—especially the huge Franz Ferdinand logo behind the group that rotated to show their larger-than-life, handsome profiles every couple songs. They sounded great—even energizing the less than healthy in the place, such as the woman celebrating her 41st birthday next to me, a woman who, although she said she’d come down with the flu, was shaking it hard and grinning all night long. Hopefully she’s not paying dearly for that decision today.